Winter Chocolate Box Special – Roasted Almond & Cinnamon Apple Bites

Winter-Christmas-Chocolate-Box-2018-1Oh yes! Approaching the most button-popping, feast- and party intensive, energy-draining yet most fun time of Winter! Indeed, it’s time for my annual Winter Box’o’Chocolates bash again as the Holidays are edging closer and closer. As usual, I prep my boxes a bit earlier than they actually need to be ready to make an appearance below splendidly decorated Christmas trees, on office desks, banquet tables or simply on the palms of the night owls amongst my friends and family, so you guys get a – hopefully inspiring – sneak peek as well as the chance to request a recipe in addition to my pick today to appear just in time to prep a batch for your Holiday festivities or personal pleasure~

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Persian Beef & Quince Stew “Khoreshe Beh”

Persian-Beef-Quince-Stew-Khoreshe-Beh-4A quick glance at the world outside my window just confirmed what my internal world already knew: It’s officially Stew Time! The Christmas Markets around town have opened their gates, doing their very best to counter the grey-on-grey, cold’ish, wet’ish “thing” that’s our signature early winter weather with the most delicious treats, aromas and, of course, all the hot spiced wine they can cook up.

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GW2 Spiced Red Lentil & Orange Soup

Red-Lentil-Orange-Soup-3While I was skimming over my list of the last few and the next couple of yummies on my to-cook list, I noticed how most of them share the same basic characteristics while being very different in the end. All of them are “warm” be it in the actual temperature, in their color palette or in the heart-and-soul ”warm”ing sense of the word. All of them are really quick and easy to whip up, and all of them – even my pick for this year’s Christmas Box of Chocolates~! – are packing a serious punch in the “Healthy” department.

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Spicy Mango & Beetroot Salad

Spicy-Mango-Beetroot-Salad-1With the season of shorter, darker and colder days having set up shop on our doorstep, I find myself digging deeper and deeper into my repertoire of bright and colorful lunchbox’able recipes and combinations to bring a bit of smiles’n’sunshine on Hubby’s and my desks during the day. This particular salad is something that makes an appearance on our table quite often, during the hottest as well as during the coldest and darkest times of the year, but of course it has the biggest “brighten up the day” effect on us during the November Nasties.

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Tangerine Sorbet

Tangerine-Sorbet-2Once again, this weird and out-of-place Ice-Cream-in-Cold-Weather craving came knocking at my door today. Well actually, at least this time, it wasn’t all that out-of-place, come to think of it… You see, I don’t live far away from the largest and most beautiful park in town, so whenever I need a whiff of fresh air, some peace or simply a bit of nature to power up my batteries, I go for a walk through that park.

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Harissa Duck & Apricot-Bean Salad

Harissa-Duck-Apricot-Bean-Salad-1For some reason, while everything else in the stone-fruit department has been gone for a while already, apricots have been available for a really, really long time this year, until about 2 or 3 weeks ago, in fact. The problem with these freaky late stone fruit? They’re… tart, to say the least. Pretty much inedible in a raw state to be honest. The good side of the deal? I’ve got no qualms about throwing them into the pan whatsoever~! That’s the perfect(-ly late!) opportunity to cook up one of my favorite end-of-summer dishes and share it with you guys.

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GW2 Apricot-Vanilla Jam and Apricot-Marzipan Swirl Cookies

Apricot-Marzipan-Cookies-2Alright, I admit: I have a problem. Looking at a pantry full of preserving jars, jams, compotes, jellies and all that jazz, now that the fruity seasons in our region have come to an end, makes my problem painfully obvious. I’m a fruit hoarder! Right about now, I’m under the impression that we’ll never be able to munch our way through that wall of jars until next spring, but a more rational part of me is very well aware of the fact that there probably won’t be anything left by lets say… February.

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Lemony Potato & Avocado Salad

Potato-Avocado-Watercress-Salad-4I guess, if you’ve followed my posts for a while, this one might just raise an eyebrow or two. Potatoes really are a rare sight in my kitchen – and that’s exactly why I actually have quite the number of leftover-potato-recipes up my sleeves. You see, the fingerling/baby potatoes I always use, for Papas Arrugadas, Lemon-Confit Potatoes or the humble Potato & Herby Fromage Blanc dinner every once in a while, always come in 1kg packages. Since 1kg of potatoes is a lot for two people and the next potato-gig is at least a month or two away… Well, you get the picture.

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Honey Panna Cotta & Blackberry-Rosemary Curd

Honey-Panna-Cotta-Blackberry-Rosemary-Curd-4I’m not entirely sure why, but whenever I see, hear, smell or think “honey”, I get that warm-and-fuzzy-blanket-around-my-shoulders kind of feeling. As I’ve recently discovered, that feeling works the other way around, too~! Last weekend I woke up in one of those moods… you know, the good kind of comfy-mode-mood that instantly calls for such a blanket, a good book, a steaming cup of tea and something mmmmmh to go along with it.

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Veal T-Bone Steaks, Cider Apples & Spicy Parsnip Purée

Veal-T-Bone-Steak-Cider-Apples-Parsnip-Puree-5With the apple harvest season slowly coming to an end in our region, you can’t swing the proverbial cat without hitting a raucous apple/wine or apple-wine festival around here once you stick your nose outside of town. Anything edible or drinkable you could possibly turn apples into – including the trees themselves, I might add (Keywords: applewood chips, smoker, piles of meat and veg) – is cozying up next to other seasonal goodies on carry-around plates, carried around by happy people indulging in the festivities (and the cider…).

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