December 2014 Favourites List
Today is the last day of term. At the law school where I work we have had a long term. We started in September with a whole new cohort of students. We have all got to know each other, got settled in to the year's course, and worked hard over the last 4 months. I am so proud of my students who have gone from being purely academic lawyers to an awareness of the practicalities of being a "real life" lawyer. We have more ground to cover and a long way to go, but they have come so far, so fast. I hope they take some time to reflect on how many practical skills they have learned, and how much procedural knowledge they have amassed which make them far better lawyers than they were when they arrived with us. All the credit goes to them; they have put in the work, time, dedication and engagement.
Since the start of term, I have been so busy my feet have barely touched the ground. I have not had the same time for home cooking and blogging as I have in previous years. It's a shame, but without making promises I can't keep, I hope I will be more prolific in 2015 than I have been recently.
And so we come into the heart of the festive season. Slowly my neighbours are putting lights in their windows and trees in their bay windows. High Streets are lit up for Christmas. I have donned my Santa hat and flashing festive earrings for my last classes of the year. I'm not entirely sure if my students appreciated the sense of fun in doing so, or merely thought I was a little bit mad, but it something had to be done! After all, otherwise life would be like Narnia in the days of the White Witch where it was "always Winter and never Christmas"!
Christmas is a wonderful time of year for colour, fun, love and celebration. I hope you have a very happy Christmas!
So here is my last Favourites List for 2014. All the best for a happy new year and a brilliant 2015!
This month's pictures are the heavenly Christmas themed cake offerings at Konditor & Cook.
Cheap, warming and will keep you feeling full... Chicken wings in mushroom and barley broth by Nigel Slater: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/25/nigel-slater-chicken-wings-with-barley-recipe
Gymkhana's potato chaat recipe, with some bonus Mark Hix recipes:
"Strata" are a like an eggy muffin bake. Here's a lovely Autumnal recipe I found with sausage and fennel. http://www.strawberryplum.com/sausage-fennel-gruyere-miniature-egg-stratas/
I usually braise in wine, so this is a lamb shank recipe with a different twist; beer! http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/beer-braised-lamb-shanks
Speculaas (Dutch moulded gingerbread) is iconic. Here is a website with recipes run by the Vandotsch Speculaas spice company. Their moulds are so cute and their spice warming and high quality. http://www.speculaas.co.uk/
30 minute tagine? Yes please. I don't always have the luxury of time on a schoolnight! http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/lamb-date-and-spinach-tagine
Zuppa Toscana, Magri Style with Italian sausage, potato, kale and cream: http://recipehalloffame.co/zuppa-toscana-magri-style/
Festive Flocks - an Indian/Bangladeshi food menu for Wintry days, featuring Pani Puri, Jeera chicken, lamb shank fillet curry, veg haleem, pilau rice and kulfi: http://goodthingsmagazine.com/festive-flocks-menu-2/
Healthy, easy with the added attraction of being finger food. Beef and shiitake mushroom lettuce wraps: http://thefoodaddicts.com/beef-and-shiitake-lettuce-wraps/
Baking fans - here is a Stollen Biscotti recipe for Christmas by the lovely Angela (AKA cherubpaddock on twitter) http://www.patisseriemakesperfect.co.uk/stollen-biscotti-brighthouse-christmas-kitchen/
Christmas dinner recipes, tips and wine picks: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/25/how-to-cook-perfect-christmas-lunch-jeremy-lee
Just in case money's too tight to mention this Christmas: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/16/christmas-on-a-budget-skint-foodie-tips-recipes
Christmas dinner inspiration, spiced glazed ham recipe for Christmas for 8 people: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/recipes/christmas-food-spiced-glazed-ham-recipe-9901137.html
Walnut, Stilton and Mushroom Risotto Cakes - a wintry dish which can use leftover risotto if available: http://www.foodifancy.com/walnut-stilton-mushroom-risotto-cakes
Winter salads: Brussels sprouts, water chestnuts, pork and pak choi and Red cabbage with fennel and carrot: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/07/nigel-slater-winter-salad-recipes
5 best British chippies revealed... http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/five-best-fish-and-chip-shops-in-the-uk-revealed-9858177.html
Cromars in St. Andrews, Fife
Papa’s Barn in Ditton, Kent
Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Kent and Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Fylde Fish Bar in Southport, Merseyside
Jay Rayner sends up food fads and fashions. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/10/food-trends-foam-foraging-silly-enjoyable-jay-rayner… Caution: may contain a trendy foam... Or are they passe now?
Feeling cold in the Big Smoke? Warm yourself with one of London's best hot chocolates...
How to avoid stress this Crimbo.... http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/01/stress-free-christmas-kitchen-five-tips-for-happy-cooking
Looking for cook book gift ideas? Let Sarah at Maison Cupcake help! http://maisoncupcake.com/december-book-reviews/
Lillyhammer Season 2
Play It Loud; The Story of the Marshall Amp
Black Music Legends of the 1980s: Prince - A Purple Reign
First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
Girls - Album
Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.