Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy new year and Fooooood

Happy new years! :D
Oh wow, has time flown. My two much appreciated weeks off for christmas are over, and I spent most of the time enjoying time with friends and family, cooking, eating and learning. Not a bad end of the year! ;)

Now I'm not one to make new years resolutions. The way I see it, if you want to make a change in your life, do it NOW, don't wait till the next year! On the other hand I suppose a new year sort of feels like a fresh start...like a new period of time...where some people find it easier to forget about previous habits and start afresh. Plus since lot's of other people are making changes I guess it's easier to run with the crowd.

That said, December was a pretty 'let-myself-go' month, Diet-wise, fitnesss-wise, and productivity-wise.
So I'm back on the bandwagon this week..hoping to get stronger, burn some fat, get a little bit closer to my dreams and goals, do some more travelling, do more exciting stuff, meditate more, start yoga, get my knitting for charity project off the ground, paint more, get better at German, learn to drive...and...gosh that's a helluva lot right there! But yeah, I have a lot to achieve. There's no time limit, so I'm taking each day as it comes.

I'll start this year off by posting my Christmas dinner meal and  some treats I made during the last days of 2011. Treats that  I probably won't be indulging again for a while, but that were definitely worth it. :D

First.. Christmas dinner, which was a little different this year. I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for 'empire roast chicken' months ago which made my mouth water so much I had to save it to make for a special occasion. Here is the recipe used. Instead of a whole chicken I used chicken legs, a partridge and a pheasant! Paired with spicy 'bombay' potatoes and an indian style sweet and spicy gravy, it was the perfect feast for 8 hungry people.

During the holidays I also had another go at making a delicious Japanese fermented food. It involved culturing some rice with aspergillus oryzae bought from G.E.M cultures  to make koji. Then I used koji and some freshly boiled rice to make amazake, which is sweet and pudding like. The whole process seems long and complicated, but honestly...it's pretty easy!

I used some of the amazake to make this 'quick' kheer which is an indian rice pudding flavoured with cardamom and saffron. My version uses rice couscous instead of regular rice (so ready in 5 mins!) and coconut milk instead of regular milk.
I simply boiled some homemade coconut milk (yes! By juicing fresh coconut in a champion juicer) with a few saffron threads and crushed cardamom, added a spoonful of amazake, some rice couscous, and boiled till soft. I finished if off by topping it with coconut cream that melted into the pudding. So good...

The other treat I made was a chocolate chestnut torte with my surplus of chestnuts. The original recipe calls for this to be baked, but I tried it uncooked (just putting it in the fridge to harden) and much preferred it this way..It was much more 'melt-in-the-mouth'.. No pics unfortunately as I was a greedy bastard and scoffed it for breakfast this morning..XD

50g dark chocolate (I used 82 %)
50g butter
50g whole chestnuts, boiled and mashed with a bit of water
1 small egg, seperated
1. Melt butter and chocolate together, and let cool
2. Add chestnut puree, sweetener and egg yolk and mix thoroughly
3. Beat egg white until stiff and fold through
4. Put in fridge for a few hours OR bake/steam for a warm cake.

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