This is going to be posted before the end of December, so I can have a relaxing Christmas Break and be all refreshed and inspired for the New Year.
December means Christmas baking. Chelsea's Christmas Cookies from her Scrumptious book were first up. Quite a simple recipe, the icing was yummy. meant to have silver cachous, but I only had these coloured ones which I thought were very festive.
Verdict: Well needless to day these didn't last long. They are delicately spiced, deliciously chewy a day after they are made. These will probably be made again before Christmas. In fact I might put Mr J and Miss B on the job when they finish school.
Week Two: If a surprise 70th birthday party isn't an occasion to test some new recipes, I don't know what is. With my sister over from Australia, we cooked and baked for the event. Three new recipes were tried:
- Real Raspberry Louise Cake from Scrumptious
- Lemon Tarts - from the family cookbook my sister made
- Roast Vegetable and Quinoa Salad
Week Three: A morning tea at work saw me making Raspberry and Chocolate Coconut Ice from Cuisine Magazine issue 161, while a surplus of old bananas got used up in Best Ever Banana Bread from Annabel Langbein's Celebrate Summer Annual.
Verdict: Fiddly to make, I used raspberry essence which gave a nice flavour but not the colour, so had to add pink food colouring. If I had felt like splurging on my work mates, possible the dried raspberry powder may have been a better option. The banana bread was a nice easy recipe, it makes two loaves which is very handy with an almost teenage boy in the house, tastes delicious too, I added chocolate chips, cranberries and coconut from the suggested list of ingredients.
Week Four: I always make a dessert to take to the in-laws for Christmas Day. This does prove to be a challenge in itself, as my mother in law is allergic to dairy and chocolate!! A pavlova is my standby dessert (she can scrape the cream off) - this year I am planning to make Coconut pavlova with mango and passionfruit from issue 120 of the New Zealand Taste Magazine. I'll try to get a photo before it's served up.
Overall I think I did pretty well managing to try new recipes each month, definitely easier in the beginning of the year. I ended up getting 3 or 4 new cookbooks too during this time, so probably neglected some of my older ones which I should have used,
I guess the big question now is do I keep this monthly post going in 2017, are you all still interested in reading about my cooking endeavours? Would anyone be interested in doing it with me, perhaps if we link up each month (if I can work out how to do that).