Sunday, December 21, 2014

Festive baking!

Today was the day for the annual Christmas bake fest. These days, it's a lot more relaxed than it used to be as all three kids can help, two of them with little or no supervision. Which means that I don't have to make everything, or even take part in making everything. It worked really well today, actually, as whoever was around wanting to do something just did whatever the next thing was... In fact, we also got all the rest of the presents wrapped, as well! Here are some plates of cookies ready to go to neighbours for Christmas treats. Yum!

Here are some peppermint creams and some florentines. 

These are Merry Christmas cookies - i.e. a rather plain sugar cookie, which is lemon flavoured - nice addition to all the really rich stuff.

Butterhorn cookies - a firm family tradition - these were my dad's favourite. 

Jam thumbprints, which we always run out of first - we really ought to make a double batch in the firstplace!

Rice krispie treats - Alex made these pretty much all by himself this year.

Fruity Christmas Biscotti,

Fudge Meltaways (nothing to do with fudge - no idea why they are called that!)

Jan Hagel - these are kind of like a shortbread with a bit of egg white and chopped nuts. 

And finally, chocolate, peanut-butter no bake squares (though they aren't square as I can't cut straight through them - they are very thick!). 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dinner, 20/12/14: Vegetable Paella (with Prawns)

We had guests for lunch -- my brother-in-law and sister-in-law -- and I was so busy talking and whatnot that I totally forgot to take photos of lunch. Luckily, we've had this dish before, although this time I added some prawns to it as well. So imagine this, in a different pan, with prawns. Otherwise, pretty much the same. Tasty.  The recipe for the vegetable paella is here, online

And we had this for dessert - looked kind of like this, only a little more messy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dinner, 17/12/14: Roast Haddock Supper

The girls were both out, at a concert at school, so we took advantage of that to have some fish for supper. The girls like fish, but they aren't fanatics about it like Alex is... and sometimes it's hard to cook fish for larger numbers of people. This dish, however, would work well for a larger group - and it was very, very easy to do. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dinner, 16/12/14: Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Made from the leftovers of the chicken and vegetable pot roast we had on Sunday (which didn't get photographed, because Olivia and I were out - it was done (mostly) in the slow cooker, and apparently, was tasty. Though I was out, so I didn't get any until this soup - which was great, and very easy, due to having been mostly cooked before, though I did chop up the veg into smaller pieces...)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ice Skating at Hampton Court

Most years, the Guide unit which Sarah and Olivia are involved with (as Young Leaders, these days) goes ice skating at Hampton Court Palace for their Christmas activity. The palace is always lit up nicely in coloured lights...

This year, Alex went along as well as the girls.

Here come Sarah and her friend Rosie (ignore the guy on the left; not sure who he is)

...and here they are standing still - with Olivia behind them making peace signs, in the helpful manner of a younger sister...

Alex doesn't look happy here, but I think he's just concentrating hard on not falling down!

Dinner, 15/12/14: Pasta with Brussels sprouts and pancetta

A new recipe to us, and one which seemed quite seasonal (what with sprouts being a Christmas food in the UK, and not eaten much through the rest of the year, even when in season in the autumn and winter).  Verdict: excellent. Sprout flavour not too strong, really nice texture contrast, maybe could use a little more pancetta or use bacon so the pieces were a little more substantial. Didn't use orichiette, as the supermarket didn't have any. Close enough!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dinner, 13/12/14: Homemade Pizza Night

This is mine - pepperoni/salami, artichoke hearts, black olives, jalapeno peppers, cheese. I think that was it - other pizzas came in other combinations of course. But I only photographed mine...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dinner, 12/12/14: Tikka Salmon

We were so hungry for dinner (and busy with one thing and another) that I actually forgot to take a photo of this curry - luckily, we have had it before, so I just reused an old one. I actually cut the courgettes (and salmon) a bit smaller this time around, more bite sized pieces, but honestly it looked pretty much the same - and of course was very yummy. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dinner, 10/12/14: Chickpea and Chorizo Soup

This is one we've had before - it's a quick, filling, warming, wintery sort of soup. We really like the bits of chorizo in it, but if one were a vegetarian (or vegan) it would work quite well just leaving those out and making sure you added some paprika while cooking. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Dinner, 9/12/14: Ginger and Chicken Noodles

This is a modification of the recipe below - I added vegetables and left out the omelette as a) we only had one egg and b) several of the kids wouldn't have like it with egg in anyway. But we all really liked the large slivers of ginger in it - that was a nice idea; a good variation on the normal noodles with veg and chicken...