Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things is taking a break from hosting In My Kitchen this month but the central round up will be back in February.
2017. In many ways, to my surprise, it feels less odd to write that than I might have expected. 2016 was such a full year (featuring the significant milestones of pregnancy, birth and maternity leave) that it seems appropriate to be into a new year now.
|Dairy free Marks & Spencer truffles; Caramel Choices truffles; Mini Moo flavoured chocolate bars|
With the new year, there are some exciting products in my kitchen. I was extremely fortunate with Christmas chocolates, as featured both above and below. These complement birthday chocolates from earlier in December, meaning I am doing well in the chocolate stakes at present!
|Marks & Spencer 85% cocoa chocolate; Montezuma orange and geranium dark chocolate|
I am particularly excited by the dairy free Marks & Spencer truffles, as vegan truffles are quite hard to come by. The flavours include orange, blackcurrant, seat salt caramel, and raspberry. I am saving them to try so can't comment on quality yet, but all of the other pictured chocolates are excellent/
My kitchen (and elsewhere in the house) also features some excellent books, again spanning birthday and Christmas presents.
I have finished Footnotes, which has the subtitle 'How Running Makes Us Human'. It is an excellent wander through the mechanics, philosophy and meaning of running and has the added bonus of featuring runs from South-East London and Kent, areas I know well and have run myself. I'm half way through both Girl Up (a female focused exposure of the lies and pressures society places on women) and Walk the Lines (the author walks all the London tube lines, above ground) and look forward to getting on to Almost Somewhere when time permits (telling of a 28 day hiking adventure of California's John Muir Trail).
Not pictured, but worth mentioning while I am on books, are two unexpected delights by James Rebanks. My mum sent me The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd for my birthday and has also lent me Rebanks' first book, The Shepherd's Life. Set in the Lake District they are funny and surprisingly captivating for books focusing largely on sheep!
The astute among you may wonder how my mother lent me a book when she lives in Australia. Delightfully, my kitchen has also featured my parents this week. They are on a short UK visit so my Dad could meet Mini Bite and my Mum could get reacquainted, it being nearly 4 months since she was last here. It has been wonderful having them around and seeing them with Mini Bite. We have also fit in some outings away from my kitchen. Leeds Castle, above, was one picturesque highlight and Scotney Castle, below, was another.
Back in my kitchen, I have a wonderful selection of teas. In addition to the liquorice and chai versions pictured below (Christmas presents), I am still working on a Pucca liquorice and cinnamon mix that Mr Bite gave me for my birthday. With recent cold winter days, warm tea is still a big delight.
My kitchen has also featured re-runs of tried and true dishes. I made a version of this apple gingerbread cake that featured pears and stem ginger as well as apples (delicious) and have made impromptu variations of my hummus lasagna, stuffed peppers and burrito wraps. I've been too busy enjoying my parents' company to take photos, but they have been easy meal repeats that prove reliable and enjoyable in taste.
Last but not least, in my kitchen there are some rather small bathers (swimmers). They aren't yet used, and seem out of place in UK winter, but Mini Bite and I start adult and child swimming lessons next week. 'Lessons' is a generous term - they are 20 minute classes to get babies used to the water, in an indoor heated pool - but I am hoping she enjoys them. She is a squirmy baby so I envision lots of splashing!
What is happening in your kitchen this month?