Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Nigella Christmas and Happy New Year

Well, Happy New Year everyone =) I hope that 2010 is a happy, healthy and blessed good one. I’ve been awol once again due to the ongoing flu-ey bug, the general hustle and bustle of December, followed by my Father passing away at Christmas time. It’s been good, but also extremely sad. I’ve been cooking though, it has been a calming act in my grief, surprisingly enough. I have to say I didn’t really ‘get’ Nigella’s comments before of taking solace through calming kitchen activity. I do now.
It’s a little late to be posting this in January, but here are some of the new things I’ve made from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson this December past. A look through Nigella’s great Christmas book fairly puts you in the swing for Christmas cooking. A year on I’ve still cooked a good bit from it, and of course it is such a cheery book. I do wonder what her new one due out in September 2010 will be about… Anyhow enogh of my disjointed ramblings, here is the food.

Chocaolate Almond cake with Cointreau Cream
This was a knockout! We really loved this, I down scaled the coffee a bit, as hubby isn’t keen on it, also sweetened the cream a little to take the edge of the alcohol. Gorgeous.

Lentil and Chestnut soup
This is a Nigella stalwhart, wwe liked it, but not sure I’d make it again, there was too much chestnut and not enough lentil for us.
Red Bean salad
A good all rounder salad, very pretty too.
I know the jar is out of date, but I do put fresh stocks in!
Trifle
I made this as per the recipe, and it was too boozy and not sweet enough in my opinion. I had high hopes as Nigella’s trifles are usually fantastic, maybe this one wasn’t quite to our taste. It’s very pretty though, the pistachio and rose petal topping is one to be used on other trifles.

Crab Cakes
I loved these lovely little mouthfuls.

Boston Baked Beans
I made this and reheated it, they were good, my little people were not keen, it being too far removed from the famed tinned variety.

Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate (sort of) shortbread for Christmas time, with a chocolate glaze for the vibrant sprinkles to stick to. Mmmm.

Chocolate Peanut cups
My hubby doesn’t like Reese cups, so I didn’t expect him to be wild for these, but Missy and I love them, so I knew we would be. I’ve made the bigger ones in How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Did a half quantity of the recipe to get 24 and that worked out fine. Baby peanut chocolate cups, sweet and yummy, Missy enjoyed helping with this one too.

Rum Butter
Did this as a change from brandy butter, it was delicious. We had to restrain ourselves not to eat it with a spoon!

Butternut Squash Soup with Blue Cheese Swirl
Lovely soup this one, smooth and velvety with the fabulous blue cheese swirl to kick it up a notch.

Date and Lamb Tagine with Red Onion and Pomegranate Relish
I made this one for Christmas Eve, which worked out fine, as made it the day before and it only needed a little work before supper time. It is sweet with the dates and also the lamb, not that I have issues with sweet (!) and the relish balanced it our perfectly. I served it with plain seasoned couscous with a big know of butter tossed trough the grains.

Chestnut Stuffing
Here is the stuffing I made for Christmas Day, I make it on Christmas Eve ready for the oven on the big day itself. It’s not a looker by any stretch of the imagination, but it tastes really, really good.

3 comments:

Sylvie said...

I'm sorry about your loss. Christmas is an especially bad time of the year to lose a loved one. I"m glad you've found some solace in the kitchen and my have you been busy. All the best for 2010.

Anne said...

I hope 2010 brings you more happiness, am sorry to hear that you lost a loved one, especially at Christmas time.

I love this book but have not made much from it so really glad to see what you recommend, I did made the nuts at xmas and were very popular here, definate keeper of a recipe!

Anna said...

Kelly-jane, I hope you're doing ok ((()))
Everything looks good as always! I'm especially impressed with the peanut butter cups of course!
xxx