Happy New Year!

Well we are here!  Are we ready?  HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂

I’ve mentally noted down some new things that I would like to bake/cook, so I’m guessing I better just note them down here so you ladies and gentlemen can keep me right and give me a nudge if I go quiet for a wee while (which to be true is not a rare thing for me to do!! 😉 )

Croissants both normal and Almond is right up there.  I’ve purchased Edd Kimbers’ book awhile back, so I’m guessing I’ll use this book to keep me right!

I'm hoping it's simple!
I’m hoping it’s simple!

Next up, before the warmer weather strides in is a dumpling dish. I’ve seen this recipe on my Facebook timeline and have been daydreaming about it ever since.

On the chilli front, I have to for the sanity of me do a chilli corn bread.  It’s been on my list for ages and I do love a corn bread! Whilst baking for Mrs C’s Cakes I’ve come across gluten-free versions a few times, yet I’m baffled to why I actually have bake it yet!!  I’ve no set recipe for this as I’ve a few to choose from.

Sourdough is one of my favourite breads when i can get my hands on it.  It’s also, for me fascinating to bake as the “starter” is just the next best thing to having a pet as you don’t have to go out in the cold, wet and wind, you just need to remember and feed it.  I’ll be using one of two recipes to start the starter from these books.  “The Baker Brothers” is regularly used for the soda bread and the mackerel pate recipes, it’s a firm favourite of ours when we are hosting as it’s quick and easy to prepare. I’ve admired the photographs many a time from the “Bourke Street Bakery” and it was one of the books that was recommended from a sourdough bread course that I did a few years ago.

fresh bread, homemade and it's even better :)
fresh bread and if homemade, it’s even better 🙂

Next up, it has to be Italian.  And to start with basics will be pasta.  Mr C has now got the knack of making fresh pasta at home. Just this Christmas past he made a lasagna from scratch with fresh pasta (no bechamel in sight!!) and it is his best yet!  Next year, I have a funny feeling he will go one step further and actually peel the plum tomatoes himself rather than get shop bought tins but we will see if that comes through!  Yes, as I was saying fresh pasta – possibly Farfelle shapes and then moving onto ravioli.  Thanks to the Chiappa sisters and their tv series a while ago as they made it so easy to understand.  I’ve yet to purchase their book (I’m sure it could be a birthday pressie idea from someone I know!!) but often find myself watching their you tube channel for ideas and inspiration.

Anna Del Conte’s book has been sitting, waiting on the bookshelf like many other books.  A favourite of Delia Smith’s for Italian cuisine so I shouldn’t go wrong here with that endorsement!!  I’ve haven’t chosen anything from this book yet but if you have any suggestions to what I should start of with, please let me know!

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The front cover looks so damn tasty!

Both Mr C and I love “Mexican” cuisine.  I think the closest we’ve been to it is possibly by visiting Wahaca, which is has 3-4 restaurants down in London.  We’ve tried a couple from Thomasina’s book, I think what puts us off is the cost of ingredients and if we are going to get the benefit of using every measurement possible and not for it to sit in our cupboards and lose it’s shelf life once opened and forgotten.  I think you can’t go wrong with this book as the recipes are clear and easy to get by with.

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I’m already salivating for guacamole. Love that stuff!

This book called out to me whilst visiting an indie bookshop, the golden hare on Grassmarket (sadly no longer there 😦 ).  Ok the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” completely left the shop and ran away. The cover just sang so sweetly to me, it was like I spellbound and I didn’t care what the cuisine was, it had to be purchased!  Going through it now I’m looking a pictures and just falling in love them.  This book has recipes from many kitchens and many cuisines, some Scottish, Finnish, some Greek and even South African and many more.  I’d like to get my hand in at some of the Greek ones as I would love to see what my Greek SIL has to say!

Does it not sing to You?
Does it not sing to You?

Just, last Christmas I was busy baking in our kitchen making ricchacelli, chocolate salame, chocolate mints, mince pies (2 varieties), white chocolate truffles, pandoro butter pudding and a birthday cake.  Ok I can put my hands up and say it was busy and I was tired by the end of it but I did enjoy seeing others enjoying them too.  It has to be said that I really want to do sweet boxes for my friends at Christmas.  It may not be an every year thing but I love to resurrect what my mum used to do at christmas as it just brings so many yummy memories back including the “quality control” one!  I’m not sure mum would agree on the “quality control” as her stocks diminished, eeek!  The book (below) has just some of the sweets I would like to try in small boxes for friends to receive at that special time.  Honeycomb brittle and after eights have to be up there as well as a couple of truffles, add to that a marzipan one and then you must have the coconut ice (as pictured on the front cover).  Yeah, I can see this book being used for not only Christmas food parcels but for other gatherings!

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I’m sure Mr C’s “quality control” won’t be a harsh on stock as to what my Brothers’ and I was!!!

Last but not least, one of my favourite books (especially the front cover) to look at.  We’ve only had a taste of Peruvian cuisine whilst in L.A. at Los Balcones, I’m not entirely how true to Peruvian food it was, but I enjoyed it.  I may try something simple like the Bolas de Yuca which uses cassava (yuca to me and you!) with cheese and formed into a coquette as that’s hitting “two birds with one stone” as I’ve never tried croquettes either!

Oh how I love this cover!
Oh how I love this cover!

Mr C would like to try his hand a chinese dumplings but wants to de-clutter the cupboards first before we get anymore kitchen accessories – ha!

So there you have it.  My mental plan on paper (well on this blog), it’s a least a record and a list of what I want to accomplish in our kitchen this year.  There might be extras added once I’ve got through this list first and I can up-date you how i got on with the recipes once I’ve done them (yes !’ve said this, so I’m double making sure I’m going to do this!!).

In the mean time, stay safe and be happy xx

Disclaimer: All books were purchased by myself and all opinions are my own

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