Happy new year!
I hope the festive season was warm and cosy and stress-free for all (so not underwater, without power or spent negotiating the rail network courtesy of the good old British weather), and filled with family, friends and all things Christmas-y. I hosted in the new den for the first time which was enormous fun and full of merriment but I now find myself in an exhausted heap surrounded by spekulatius crumbs and a sense of impending doom.
Not really how I had intended to start the year (I was thinking more green tea and yoga) but this, it appears, is what January intended for me. If you are feeling similarly flat from the grey, rainy days and battling acute withdrawal from the Christmas sparkle, why not draw the curtains and curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and the last slice of Christmas cake and peruse pip & little blue’s top posts of 2013? A tasty year all round and it might even inspire you to cook yourself out of the January blues…
Here’s to 2014 and new adventures!
Top 5 most popular posts (with four of your five-a-day snuck in!):
1. Punjabi treat: Gajrela (carrot halva)
Naturally sweet and vibrantly coloured from the carrots, rich and sticky from the sweetened milk and almonds and laced with cardamom, this is a decadent and comforting sweet treat. Think exotic rice pudding.
2. The original red velvet? Chocolate beetroot brownies
Mellow and earthy and cocoa-y – this is grown-up chocolate cake at its very best – with a secret healthy ingredient.
The perfect gift for a fellow gin-lover (or yourself…), this pretty pink gin has a lovely fresh raspberry flavour – enjoy with tonic or simply over ice.
4. Caribbean treat: Banana cake with rum & spices
Subtly flavoured with rum, vanilla and cinnamon to give it an exotic Caribbean twist, the bananas and ricotta make this cake wondrously moist. Fantastic for using up overripe bananas and sneaking booze into your cooking!
Sweet, plump scallops and spicy chorizo on a bed of slick linguine – such a quick, bright midweek supper, this is (posh) comfort food at its finest.
Top 5 personal favourites (a round-the-world trip!):
1. Japanese supper: Pork & prawn gyoza
Juicy little steamed envelopes coated in more-ish sauce and packed with sweet prawns, pork, coriander and chilli. They are both comforting and exotic, like a hug from a Japanese grandma (I imagine).
2. Peruvian supper: Sea bass ceviche
The sharpness of the lime, the kick from the chilli and the melt-in-your-mouth fish make this vibrant and exotic dish an absolute must-have for sushi-lovers craving some South American love. And other people too.
3. Italian supper: Hot beef tagliata, rocket & parmesan salad
Beautiful juicy pink ribbons of beef on a bed of peppery rocket and sweet tomatoes, topped with slivers of salty parmesan and a sharp sweet sticky smooth dressing.
4. Mexican supper: Fiery prawn & guacamole wraps
Spicy flash-fried prawns with a chunky zesty guacamole, tucked snugly into tortilla wraps. The lime, coriander and chilli are perfect partners and give a new lease of life to the retro prawn and avocado pairing – perfect for a light lunch or supper.
5. Spiced butternut squash whoopie pies with maple cream cheese filling
These sponges are full of spice and all things nice (in this case, squash) and the filling has the tang of cream cheese with a mellow overtone of maple syrup. A twist on the traditional carrot cake.
Source: All content by pip & little blue.