I'll omit the obligatory how-the-heck-is-it-December-already and move straight to outlining my excitement for the impending silly season. Parties, dinners, sunshine, Christmas music, and Bloody Mary's - it's going to be awesome. Last weekend was spent family-filled at the beach, and multiple beach swims and champagne barbecue brunches and rants over trivial pursuit were had. It set the tone for what is shaping up to be a very excellent summer. Which I am very much looking forward to after the winter of my both my discontent and multiple-fractured wrist.
There will be salad, speaking of which I've made a few on the Good Morning show recently. All the recipes are over at the GM website, and my salad picks for this time of year are the spiced baby carrot salad, a brown rice and broccoli salad (pictured below with the chilli and lime chicken thighs), a roasted eggplant salad with feta and mint, and the one with asparagus and quinoa. And if you're just going to have snacks for dinner, this pea and mint dip is so easy, as is this one with white beans.
On Wednesday I also whipped up, with rhubarb and pistachios, a white chocolate cheesecake. I'm a little bit obsessed with cheesecake; my Mum makes an amazing baked one with lemon and mango, and I became firmly addicted to a passionfruit and white chocolate number we used to serve back at my very first cafe job. I have a white chocolate cheesecake recipe in the now-in-stores Whittaker's cookbook, speaking of which, we have a winner!
Using a very scientific method, I re-read all the entries to my Whittaker's cookbook competition, wrote out each name on a piece of paper, and drew one out of a hat. Congratulations Amy! I'm sending you a copy of A Passion for Chocolate. Amy's entry was not an embarrassing story, but a beautiful apple cake she recently made. Gorgeous!
Now, the entries. I asked for either a photo of something you've cooked or baked recently, or a funny/embarrassing story. And there is no better way to feel better about yourself than reading about other people doing embarrassing things. There were so many good ones. Lacy underwear stuck to backpacks, nappy mishaps in shopping malls, going in for the hug to a prospective employer by accident, pashing your friend's little brother on the dance floor at said-friend's 21st, oh how I laughed. And blushed. There were also some cooking disasters, and some beautiful baking photos. So a huge and hilarious thank you to everyone who entered.
I've been eating and drinking lots of delicious things around Auckland lately, and coming up I've got a dinner party to host and some Christmas baking to do and never fear, through the hazy heads and full bellies I'll be telling you all about it.