It’s been a rough year and for weeks now I’ve been highly excited about ringing in 2009 and saying good riddance to 2008. So much so, in fact, that I was rather taken aback when the below collage of this year’s blog pictures made me smile so much.
Lesson learnt: don’t let the grim blot out the great.
Hope you all have a wonderful time!
Love Wendy & Marco
With fun stuff though.
White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies (adapted from Ottolenghi)
100g salted butter, room temperature
1 tspn vanilla essence
60g caster sugar
60g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten slightly
80g plain flour
1/2 tpsn baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
100g finely ground oatmeal
75g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
100g dried cranberries
* This recipe makes at least 30 cookies. Dough keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Promise Lucy one of these last year and never got the chance!
Bah. Not amused. I have a sore throat.
I could grumble and moan for some time about how unhappy I am about this but I have to admit there is a slight bright side: I have an excuse to eat one of my very favourite foods. Crisps!
I know that many people suffering from sore throats crave cooling, soothing ice-cream to ease their pain but I don’t. Scratchy foods make me feel better. Dry toast, crackers, cereal and, most of all, rough salty crisps.
The following root vegetable crisps are a little healthier than the average potato chip for not only are they made from a colourful selection of different vegetables, they are also oven-baked.
That means I can eat more, right?
Root Vegetable Crisps
Selection of root vegetables (I’ve used carrots, parsnips, beetroot and turnip)
Vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
I love my mandoline.
My final festive Scandinavian dish for this year is lanttulaatikko. This Finnish recipe takes the humble turnip (what you folks might call swede or rutabaga) and turns it into a rich, creamy, bubbling baked dish of yumminess.
As with most Christmas vegetable dishes, lanttulaatikko could never claim to be in anyway healthy but I quite like the idea that vegetables go a bit wild at this time of the year and naughtily dress themselves up in honey and butter and cream.
In fact, I’ve spoke to some turnips and it seems that for eleven months of the year they feel they are thought of as nutritious but dull - nothing to get excited about. They understand this and respect their position in the vegetable world but come December, these grubby roots want to let themselves go and be transformed into wickedly silky, sexy side-dishes that have diners groaning for more.
And if that comes at a calorific cost, well, both the turnips and I are absolutely fine with that. This month, anyway.
(serves 4 as a side-dish)
1 large Scottish turnip (i.e. rutabaga or swede – the yellow fleshed one)
150ml cream (single, double or crème fraîche)
1/2 tspn nutmeg
2 tblspns soft butter (plus a little extra)
1 tblspn honey
There’s something rather restorative about gingery biscuits, don’t you think? Their aromatic spices, warm sweetness and golden hues are the perfect antidote to dark days and biting winds.
Pretty sure the Finns agree with me as one can find the following piparkakut (ginger cookies) almost everywhere in Finland at this time of the year. They go terribly well with a warming glass of Glögi but aren’t too shabby with a simple cup of tea either.
Piparkakut (Finnish Ginger Snaps)
(make a lot)
125g golden syrup
2 tspn cinammon
2 tspn ground ginger
1 tspn ground cloves
Rind of 1 orange, finely chopped
150g salted butter
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
500g plain flour