Post-Christmas Catch Up

First things first, Happy New Year! Sorry I’m a bit late to the party.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break with plenty of food, wine and family. I know I certainly did!

Clearly I was a good girl in 2015 too, as I had some fabulous foodie gifts which I’ll be talking about today.

Now, while I applaud anybody undertaking Dry January, I most definitely will not be, seeing as rather a large percentage of my presents were alcoholic! I got some lovely bottles of wine and Champagne, but two of my favourite imbibable gifts were Kraken black spiced rum and a Delirium Christmas gift set.

I got not one, but two bottles of Kraken, much to my delight! This rich, dark rum is from Trinidad & Tobago and has no less than 11 different spices, including Christmassy clove and cinnamon. It is brilliant on its own, and surprisingly easy to drink, but it’s even better as a cocktail ingredient.

Then the King of Beers, Delirium Tremens had a special Christmas edition of their beautiful Belgian beer, adorned with its adorable pink elephant logo donning a Santa hat! It’s not for the feint hearted mind, it’s 10% ABV (compared to the usual 8%) so one for savouring rather than a session, but it made me feel fantastically festive before and after!

Indulging my passion for tea (as well as alcohol) this Pug in a Mug tea infuser was a belter of a stocking filler.

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It is ridiculously cute. I mean, ridiculously! Just look at him peeking over the rim of the cup!

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This loveable little fella is made from silicone, so he’s heat proof and super easy to clean. He holds all your loose leaf tea in his belly to infuse while he hangs out in your cup. Perfect present!

Hampers are always a hit for me too, and this one from Edinburgh Preserves contained a plethora of sauces, chutneys and pâté to last me well into the new year!

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From classic mint sauce and caramelised onion chutney, duck and farmhouse pâté with sesame biscuits, to more adventurous products like cajun hot sauce, whiskey infused mustard and smoked chipotle sauce, this baby is jam packed with stuff I can’t wait to try. I have already dived into the caramelised onion chutney which is lovely so I’m really looking forward to digging into the rest.

I had a great haul of cookbooks this year. Number one on my list was Simply Nigella, the newest offering from my favourite home cook Nigella Lawson. Let me be the first to say, this is not a ‘detox’ book, or some form of healthy eating recipe compendium. As well as deliciously, well, simple recipes that are designed to be nutritious for the body and soul, the book reads almost like a journal from Nigella, reinvigorated from her experiences post-divorce and full of hope for the future. It makes me feel good while I’m reading it, and by default, while I’m cooking from it!

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I also received the Bake Off celebrations book (I think my mum is hinting that she wants a Birthday cake in March!), Spice Kitchen by Ragini Dey to indulge my endless passion for Indian food, and my lovely other half received The Higgidy Cookbook as he’s a dab hand at pies, and Spices & Spandex by Tom Perkins – a cookbook come travel diary from his 501 day bike trip from London to Cape Town.

I think it’s safe to say we’ll be doing a lot of cooking in 2016!

On the subject of cooking and specifically, spices, my wonderful cousin bought me and Steven a 3 month ‘Date Night’ subscription to The Spicery!

Each month we’ll receive a letterbox friendly package of themed spices and meal ideas to enjoy together. With sweet and savoury recipes it means we can experiment and enjoy new flavours that we wouldn’t normally have. Our first one is Yucatan, with fish tacos and spiced biscuits with bitter orange curd on the menu. Follow me on Instagram to see the results!

On the subject of spices, along with our subscription, we also got this stunning Himalayan salt pestle & mortar.

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I have a thing for the colour orange. It features a lot in my home, and the beautiful frosty orange and white stripes on this pestle & mortar made my eyes light up as I opened it. It almost appears to glow as the sunlight catches it, so it’s getting pride of place in my kitchen. It’s also as practical as it is gorgeous, as the pure Himalayan salt it’s made out of seasons everything you grind in it.

I’m so excited to use it!

Then finally, I received an obscene amount of chocolate…

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So, as you may have guessed, there will be no detoxing in my house during January!

This week will be all about using up the leftovers and sharing these lovely treats with anyone and everyone who stops by to save me from putting on any more weight! I’ll be posting up some of my favourite recipes for leftovers later this week, but for now, happy new year and here’s to a fantastic 2016!

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