Now that the holidays are over, the “real” winter appears to be settling in around our corner of the world. Not just in the weather-related sense, but also in a more subtle way where the sudden lack of the all-encompassing fog of overly flamboyant Christmas-themed foodstuffs, -decorations, -music, -media coverage and the like leaves you with a sense of… focus? Awareness?
Welcome to 2019 everyone! I hope you had a good time over the last couple of days and celebrated the end of 2018 with a roaring party (or in any other way suited to your personal picture of “perfect”) that set exactly the right tones for a fantastic new year~!
The colder and nastier it gets outside, the more often my mind wanders off to about 2,800km west-southwest of here, to Madeira. Since there’s nothing I can do about shortening the actual distance on the spot, I can only tap into my recently refilled inner reserve of Madeira-Zen, roll up my sleeves and start cooking to bring a delicious little piece of the island into our corner of the world instead~!
Oh 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~
A 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.
With 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.
Once 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.
For 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.
I 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.
I’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.