My house smells amazing right now. I have one of my favourite childhood dishes simmering away on the stove: beef in red wine. It’s perfect cold weather, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, but by using good quality beef, low sodium stock, and lots of fresh vegetables, this stew isn’t necessarily a huge indulgence. Meaning, of course, that you can still have dessert. Watch for the recipe coming soon!
Have you all recovered from New Year’s Eve? My Better Half and I went for a delightful dinner at one of our favourite tapas places, but were home by the time the ball dropped, so no hangovers for us. However, Thursday meant it was time to head back to work and my next time off seems a long way away. We are planning a trip abroad in September, so I can amuse myself for the next 8 months with travel planning (and cooking and writing, of course).
Here’s what happened this week:
What I posted:
- Turkey Vegetable Pot Pie to use up the last of the Christmas leftovers.
- Smoked Paprika Almonds to snack on before our New Year’s Eve dinner.
- Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia, because fresh bread is sometimes an absolute necessity.
What I pinned:
- Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup from Cookie and Kate will be coming to a meatless Monday in my house very soon!
- Biscoff No-Bake Cookies from Cooking Classy. I know I’m late to the party, but just last week I bought my first jar of cookie butter. I’m having to restrain myself from eating the entire jar with a spoon; I will try to save enough to make these lovely cookies.
- Lemon Ricotta Thyme Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce from Baked Bree seem like a fabulous idea for Sunday brunch next week. The pictures of the finished product are stunning.
What I read:
I feel like it’s been ages since I talked about books. Reader, I have made a goal on GoodReads to read 50 books in 2014. Am I crazy? I only read 38 in 2013, but to be fair a number of them were big, fat, 600+ page behemoths. You can see my 2014 progress here.
Over the break I read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. The story begins during a snowstorm in 1965, during which a doctor is forced to deliver his wife’s twins, one of whom is a healthy boy, and the other a girl with Down syndrome. Faced with the shock of this discovery during an already stressful and emotional situation, he decides to give his daughter away and tell his wife that the baby girl died during labour. Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything – that is all revealed on the book jacket and happens within the first few pages.
I found myself thoroughly engrossed in this tale from start to finish. Although not all of the characters were always likeable, I really felt for them and the impossible situations in which they found themselves. This novel would probably make a great book club selection, as in addition to the difficult choices the characters face, the author uses quite a lot of symbolism and thematic elements that could spark discussion.
Also, continuing with last year’s trend of reading historical romance, I recently began Katherine by Anya Seton. I’m only a handful of pages in, so no thoughts yet!
That’s all for now. I have to go stir my stew.
Have a wonderful week,