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What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition

She sure is. S couldn't believe how generous and thoughtful the package was. He kept shaking his head in disbelief and saying 'this is sooooo good' as he ate!

What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition

Well ChristinaMason went all out and dropped off an amazing care package for us this evening. I think we'll be good for food all week!

Tonight we had pork slouvaki, greek salad and saffron rice with tzaziki and a lovely greek white wine. It was so delicious and she'd thought of everything, even jars of dressing.

For the rest of the week we have a tortilla with mojo rojo and snacky stuff to eat one handed - pitta and GF wraps with dips,a GF lemon polenta cae, fruit kebabs, hazelnut chocolate an even some food magazines! It's not something that people do in the UK so it felt like such a lovely treat and I feel very, very spoiled. In return she did get a cuddle with the baby, who was vey well-behaved for her!

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

The return of 'proper' Friday night food! S is making rare hanger steak with dauphinoise potatoes and a watercress salad.

I already snacked on buttermilk blue, walnuts and those lovely if overpriced salted date rainforest crackers.

I have a small glass of really good cab sauv to savour.

If I have room (likely - I'm perma-hungry at the moment) there's salted caramel gelato which I've been enjoying with shards of super dark valrhona.

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

Wow, that looks so professional. I bet your family will be thrilled!

Dec 12, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

That sounds like fun!

Dec 12, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

The baby girl arrived last night so WFD tonight is a falafel salad with tahini dressing my husband picked up from Sweet Green en route to the hospital. The hospital menu was too depressing to contemplate.

Dreaming of all the food I can now indulge in: cured meats, blue cheese, brie, oysters, zabaglione and washed down with a little pink champagne to toast the new arrival!

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

You're such a kind friend Christina! I'm sure they'll appreciate you putting together such a thoughtful dinner.

Dec 04, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Small Christmas dinner help and suggestions

Lamb shoulder is totally forgiving. It's much easier to overlook leg or a rack.

You can cook it over sliced potatoes so the lamb juice/fat goes into them, kind of boulanger style. I think it's a Nigel Slater recipe. It's gorgeous!

Is the salmon an alternative for non-red meat eaters? Otherwise yes, salmon and lamb is a bit of an odd combo.

Dec 04, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

Salted caramel gelato no less! Gotta start em young.

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

Well the Christmas cake was baked last night and the baby didn't show. S is out tonight for drinks with work so I decided to eat with the 5 year old. He wanted spaghetti carbonara (known as bacon and egg pasta) he had his with extra bacon, I had a side of rocket and parmesan salad with a drizzle of the v posh syrupy without being syrup balsamic vinegar I found in a deli recently.

No doubt he'll want gelato for dessert.

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

Mmm that does sound good. I developed a real love of chowder on our vacation in Maine.

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

I'd never heard I'd boar taint. Well, you learn something new every day.

Dec 02, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

I agree, it looks amazing! I love juniper, no wonder it smelt amazing.

Dec 02, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

I'm making Nigella's mushroom ragout from her first book (my favourite, I can't get on with her later books) I'll make parmesan polenta to go with it and we have a load of endives so I'll make a salad with those and some rocket.

I'm debating trying oven-baked polenta but I have the fruit soaking in cointreau ready for my Christmas cake and I'm concerned that the baby might arrive without me having time to turn them into a cake. I should err on the side of caution and bake it tonight.

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

First dinner for a while featuring no thanksgiving leftovers (froze the rest of the turkey!) Still vaguely festive though: jewelled pumpkin rice from Moro East. Buttery basmati rice flavoured with allspice, cinnamon, saffron, cardamom and topped with barberries, pistachios, roasted pumpkin and crispy onions. We'll have salad too.

Maybe some ginger, cardamom and pistachio gelato for dessert.

Christmas Baking 2014

Crikey, you're right, I just checked against the book. The conversions are listed so I have no idea how the blogger got them so wrong! The correct amounts are:

400g / 14oz dark choc
125g / 4 1/2 oz unsalted butter
425g / 15oz or 425ml / 15fl oz condensed milk
250g / 9oz ginger biscuits
250g / 9oz crystallised ginger
75g / 3oz flaked coconut

Nov 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Christmas Baking 2014

It's gluten and dairy free - the original recipe is for cherry and nut biscotti but I add whatever combinations I fancy, just making sure I make the weight of the nuts/fruit up to 90g. The fig, anise and almond ones I made at Thanksgiving were possibly the best combo so far.

150g polenta (you want a medium/fine grind or they're too crunchy)
70g rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g golden caster sugar
50ml apple juice
2 eggs, separated
30g dried sour cherries
30g sultanas
30g shelled hazelnuts
30g shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 150°C, 300F. Beat egg yolks until pale. Add apple nice then the polenta, rice flour, baking powder and sugar.

Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold into the polenta mix. Stir in fruit and nuts.

Spoon onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and shape it into a flat log about 8cm wide.

Bake for about 30mins. Using a serrated knife slice into 1cm slices. Lay these on the baking tray and return to the oven for 10mins, turning half way through.

Nov 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

Uses for chestnuts

Moro's chorizo and chestnut soup is one of my wintery favourites. I look forward to making it every year: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/food-dri...

Nigella's lentil and chestnut soup is good too: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/lent...

I also use them up in Jamie Oliver's turkey and leek pie - he presses them into the pastry.

Nov 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

That sounds so good! Could you share the recipe?

Nov 28, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

I'm looking forward to dinner, I'm making goi ga but with shredded turkey instead of the more traditional chicken. It's a favourite of mine from our local Vietnamese takeaway so I hope I can recreate it.

Shredded cabbage, turkey, basil, mint, fried shallots, roasted peanuts and a lime/fish sauce/chilli dressing.

More pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Loved the pumpkin cheesecake I made. Could have taken a bit more spicing (more ginger) but I've added it to my notes for next year.

Nov 28, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Ha! We set off the smoke alarm too. I'd actually cleaned the oven the day before to try to minimise the chances of that happening but my husband decided to wrap the stuffing in foil and bake it right on the shelf and of course the fat from the bacon etc dropped down and boom! Smoke alarm! I'll be cleaning the oven again today...

Nov 28, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Christmas Baking 2014

Oops, not sure how this became a response to PharmaChick, it was meant to be a reply to rstuart!

Nov 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Christmas Baking 2014

Sure, it's a recipe from the first Green&Blacks cookbook. Luckily a blogger has typed it up already! I never add the coconut because my cousin made it a family gathering without it and I can't imagine it with it now! I make loads every Christmas for friends and colleagues:

http://puddingpielane.blogspot.com/20...

Nov 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

Happy Thanksgiving! We've just finished our first thanksgiving dinner at home. I'm sure it wasn't entirely traditional but we enjoyed it:

Roast turkey (herb butter under the skin, more herbs, onion and an orange in the cavity, giblet gravy, cranberry and orange sauce)
Pork, pistachio and cranberry stuffing
Sweet potato mash with garlic and rosemary
Roasted carrots and parsnips
Roasted sprouts
Buttered green beans

Gorgeous oregon pinot noir to drink with it although I only had a teeny taste (our baby is due in 2 weeks).

We've got gluten free pumpkin cheesecake for dessert or ice cream (pistachio, ginger and cardamom) with gluten free biscotti which was an experiment this morning - fig, anise and orange. I'm not sure I'll have room until much, much later though.

Thanksgiving Day Live

Our turkey has just come out of the oven to rest (giving it a good 40-50mins) and the carrots and parsnips have gone in to roast.

I'm 9 month pregnant and taking up a lot of space in our tiny kitchen so I'm avoiding the kitchen as much as I can (I made desserts and cranberry sauce yesterday) so I'm actually sewing some last minute linen napkins to keep out of the way of the cook.

Nov 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

T-day leftovers game plan

I bought ingredients today (didn't intend to go shopping, went for an afternoon walk to get out of the house, saw Wholefoods was open and it was so quiet and blissful!) to make goi ga which is a Vietnamese chicken salad with white cabbage, loads of mint, basil, chilli, lime, fried shallots etc. I'll be using shredded turkey instead of the chicken. I'm almost looking forward to that more than the main event!

I'll also make turkey and leek pie using the Jamie Oliver recipe. I love the way he adds chestnuts to the puff pastry.

Nov 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
2

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

It seems to be really tricky to find pork belly with skin still on in the States (found this out the hard way trying to make porcetta for christmas day last year) and this is about the ony dish where I don't miss it.

Nov 26, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

That's the one! I'm making it without the sausage as it's too much meat otherwise.

Nov 26, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition! [through 2 December 2014]

You poor thing, I'm so sorry to hear about your illness, it sounds just awful.

The sushi looks amazing and so neat! I can't believe that's the first time you've made it. You definitely have to keep sushi night up. Lucky bf!