Christmas Catchup

The holidays are over, and winter has settled in for the long haul. Although I (like everyone else on the planet) eagerly anticipate and plan for the holidays, I kind of dread them in a way, because I know that I will become complacent in my daily habits of rising late, eating deliciously unhealthy things, and including booze as another food group, making it all the harder for me to return to work in January. Plus, over the holidays is when I fiiiinally have time to try out new recipes, do some “recipe development” of my own, and give myself a chance to cook without work or other commitments looming over my head. But inevitably, the flip side of all this cookery is that it is always so hectic, thus never leaving any time for photog-ing. So, I can tell you that I made pomegranate and coconut marshmallows FROM SCRATCH, but what is showing without telling? Lame, that’s what. Essentially, I cooked all the recipes from Bon Appetit’s winter issue; all the good ones, anyway. Mostly because that is the only food publication I have time to read, but this year my focus will be to not be so narrow minded, and to treat all food avenues with the same respect and open kitchen that they deserve.

So, to start the year off right, a quick recap of all that was delicious over the holidays, and some highlights from the year that I haven’t been able to share yet:

Pomegranate and resomary holiday punch

This punch is definitely a keeper, and so easy to make, yet looks super fancy and is delicious to boot

Pomegranate and Rosemary Punch

(portions are for approx 12 with some for leftovers, when serving in a small cup like a teacup)

– Simple syrup: Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan with 2 sprigs rosemary, bring to a simmer and leave until all the sugar has dissolved; then, take off heat and leave to cool with the rosemary sprigs still in. Once the syrup has cooled, the rosemary can be discarded and the syrup can be chilled in the fridge and can be kept for a few weeks.

– Punch: Mix 1/2 cup simple syrup, 1 cup gin, 2 cups (or more) pomegranate juice, and a bottle of Prosecco in a punch bowl and stir. Add more simple syrup to taste. I served this with some fresh cranberries that I had put in the freezer for a few hours, because I think ice rings and ice cubes both would have taken away from the glorious appeal of this punch. Putting rosemary sprigs in the cups would also be a nice touch, or do as I did here and float a few raspberries!

(For a single serving: 2 tsp simple syrup, 1 shot gin, 2-3 shots pomegranate juice, top up with soda water, float raspberries)

Other shots from this year:

Back in the days of sunshine and warmth...delicious beets in the backyard

Back in the days of sunshine and warmth…delicious roasted beets in the backyard

 

Lamb kofta with homemade yogurt dressing. Easy weeknight meal, and the fresh cucumbers add a healthy, crunchy counterpoint

Lamb kofte with homemade yogurt dressing. Easy weeknight meal, and the fresh cucumbers add a healthy, crunchy counterpoint

 

Homemade preserves, from my "Fall Photoshoot"

Homemade preserves, from my “Fall Photoshoot”: blueberry jam, peach butter, raspberry jam, and raspberry vinegar

 

A closeup of raspberries in vinegar: leave raspberries to soak in red wine vinegar for a week and you end up with raspberry vinegar, great for giving salad dressings an extra something and for cooking with, especially with heavy meats

Raspberries in vinegar: leave raspberries to soak in red wine vinegar for a week and you end up with raspberry vinegar, great for giving salad dressings an extra something and for cooking, especially with heavy meats

 

Homemade goat curry from the BBC; the first time I've ever cooked with goat! It definitely needs quite some time to cook away the toughness, but was so rich and flavourful in a dish like this

Homemade goat curry from the BBC; the first time I’ve ever cooked with goat! It definitely needs quite some time to cook away the toughness, but was so rich and flavourful in a dish like this

 

Meyer lemon curd: such a sunny disposition was welcome this week, as temperatures dropped below -20C and all the slush froze in ruts...

Meyer lemon curd: such a sunny disposition was welcome this week, as temperatures dropped below -20C and all the slush froze in ruts…

I started a 30 day yoga challenge this week, and have been getting up at 5:30 so I can make it to yoga for 6. I made this lemon curd yesterday, and completely missed out on a crucial ingredient: the butter! So there are only 4 ingredients in my lemon curd: lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and sugar. So far, it seems to be holding up well: I can imaging the butter would bring about a smoother texture but honestly, this one is doing just fine as is. Perfect for dolloping in yogurt this morning.

I hope these pictures inspire you to get cooking this weekend and this year! Stay warm and stay delicious my friends ;)

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