My First Hudson Pants

That’s right folks I whipped up my first pair of Hudson Pants from True Bias (and I do mean first pair because this is a fab pattern and it will be made again soon)! Remember it is also part of my 2018 resolution/challenge to make at least 1 garment a month. The end of January is fast approaching so I’m glad these could be whipped up in a day!…

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Finished Hudson Pants

I’ve been dying to try this pattern for ages now. I got this gorgeous french terry from Spool and Spindle in Kitchener, ON. I knew this fabric would stretch out quite a bit so I went down a size from what I was originally thinking.I like this style of pant a little more close fitting. (Glad I did. This is the size 4 but I think in a regular jersey I’d do the 6.) I used the Navy in this fabric for the Lane Raglan by Hey June. If you look closely to the pic on the left you will see how it hangs bigger than the standard black sweat shirt material, especially at the neck and sleeves. Not sure I would go down a size if I made it again but just be prepared for it to fit more loosely…

You’ll notice I played around with a cute floral pocket detail (Liberty print floral jersey that I got when we lived in the UK). Check out the process…

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Purchase the pattern online or in a store. I got mine off the True Bias website. Print it and tape it together.

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I checked out my fav PJ pants from Costco years ago that remind me of the Hudson Pant. The black pair is straight from the dryer and the grey has been worn. I wanted to pick a size that would be no larger than the grey pair. I measured the grey ones to decide to make the 4.

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If I have a digital pattern I like to just cut it out because I can always reprint for an alternate size.

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I auditioned fabric for the job!

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I decided to use this black and white ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I reversed it to the lighter side for the pocket detail.

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Time to use this amazing french terry. So cuddly!

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Decide to cut later because the babies looked so cute.

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Do up the pockets first.

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Fun pocket details.

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Practiced my button holes on a scrape first!

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Final button holes not too shabby!

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Sew the drawstring casing.

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Get my Instagram Husband to take photos!

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Can’t wait for spring to wear these shoes again!

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Too cold for just a long sleeved shirt but warm enough today for just a vest, yahoo!

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Wear these the rest of the day!

Can’t wait to make another pair!

Milk Street Magazine Jan-Feb Recipes

Have you bought any of the Jan-Feb Magazines I’ve been making recipes from? Maybe this post will inspire you to try something new…

From the recent Milk Street (still in stores)…

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…I first made the Chickpea and Harissa Soup (Lablabi) p.22. I love the description “For an older generation, lablabi is hot breakfast. For a younger one, it is late-night after-club grub.” For John and I it was just a weeknight dinner for 2 (which made enough to feed an army by the way.) Here’s where I got creative. You basically had to sauté the ingredients and then add the chickpeas and water. I thought “hey! why don’t I forget about soaking and cooking the chickpeas first. I could just cook it all in the Instant Pot together”. You  know dried chickpeas are the best right…

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Instant Pot time!

You know what? It worked brilliantly! There are 3 quarts of broth in this soup which was more than enough to cook the chickpeas…

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Saute function first

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Toast up those spices

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Ready to pressure cook for 45 min

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All done kids

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Look at those gorgeous gems

There was no lack of fixin’ madness with this soup. Cilantro, capers, parsley, green olives, toasted sourdough croutons…you name it! I recommend adding some diced preserved lemon…

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Finished Product

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Those eggs! Great soft boiled egg tips in the recipe. Steam for 7 min then directly in ice water. Perfect softies every time!

Next up was an interesting take on Guac, Colombian Avocado Salsa (Aji de Aguacate) p.24. Avocado is mashed with some hard boiled egg then mixed with a tangy vinegar herb and chilli mix, topped with larger chunks of egg and tomato…

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The magazine suggests it could be traditionally served on patacones (double fried plantains) so why not try those too! I looked to the Nomnom Paleo app and my foodie friend Moody Little Kitchen for some advice. I think they turned out pretty well for my first go. You are meant to find green plantains but that’s not always easy at a Zehrs in the middle of an Ontario winter so yellow ones had to do (they just made them a bit sweeter which was fine)…

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John’s seal of approval

I really liked the addition of the egg. I can see trying my usual, memorized version of guac with some hard boiled goodness. Let me know if you give it a go!

 

 

 

Food and Drink Free Magazine

If you live in Canada you can easily add the LCBO (where us Ontario folks buy our spirits) free magazine to your recipe collection. The Winter edition is out right now…

 

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The magazine is obviously a great way to advertise different wines and spirits but I still quite enjoy it. It’s fun to see the recipes they come up with that use different liqueurs etc. As I vowed to make recipes out of magazines this year (yes, even free ones) the other night I made the recipe for Tahini Swirl Brownies p.32IMG_2429.jpg Don’t let the tahini put you off. Personally, I LOVE tahini and could eat it by the spoonful and it does give it a subtle nutty flavour. I admit I did over bake them and they were too dry at the edges so BE CAREFUL! It says to bake until the skewer comes out clean but perhaps not too dry! I may have also left them in too long because my self-diagnosed ADD kicked in and I got doing something else. I’m sure I did hear the buzzer lol!…

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I’m actually very curious about this recipe because the new Sweet cookbook by my fav Ottolenghi and Goh also have a tahini brownie recipe. I’m going to try it soon to compare!

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WIP for years

If you knit a lot you probably have a basket or 2 (or 2 extra large, could fit a body in them, tubs) with projects that are waiting to be finished. I used to be A LOT better at starting a project and finishing it in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the more I have knit the quicker I become bored with a pattern. Please don’t even ask about my husband’s sweater from 9 years ago that is ALMOST done. Thank goodness it’s a classic design so it will always look nice.

ANYWAYS…the project I finished last night has only been kicking around for about 2 years. It’s the Lady Sunnyside sweater from Tanis Fibre Arts. I love her patterns but this is the first of her sweater patterns that I have knit. Find the pattern on Ravelry here

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Cable detailed version with 3/4 sleeves.

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Lace detailed option with long sleeves.

I chose the option with long sleeves and the lace detail. This sweater is also a top-down knit and who doesn’t LOVE that! I especially love a top-down because I have oddly long arms so it’s fab to be able to try on a sweater as you go and get those sleeves just so. I think this would be a great beginner pattern too because it’s a pretty straight forward knit with the detail only at the edges. Her patterns are well-written and easy to follow, I think.

I have NOT blocked this yet or weaved in the ends (I’ll do that this weekend, I hope), but I wanted to give you a peak…

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This is my 3rd or 4th sweater out of Madeline Tosh Vintage. LOVE! If you can buy it somewhere please do. Colours are always gorgeous and lush to knit with.

First Magazine Recipe Meals

A Saturday night spent with friends and new recipes is one of my favourite past times. This weekend was no exception. I tried 3 new recipes from “display until March” magazine, The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen...

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I figured if you’d like to cook along with some of the recipes then I shouldn’t wait to post at the end of the month like I did last year with my monthly cookbook challenge. In this way, you can get the magazine and cook the recipes too! If you do PLEASE let me know what you made.

Last night we started with the Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Cumin p.21. I LOVE beet salads and this one didn’t disappoint! The addition of the pistachios and parsley really shined through. Will be my new go-to beet salad from now on I think…

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Roasting the carrots in my new oven.

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Mix the carrots and roasted beets with the dressing to cool and marinate.

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Before serving add the toasted pistachios, parsley and lemon zest. Gorgeous!

For the main we had the Artichoke, Bell Pepper and Chickpea Tagine p.55. I love a Tagine of course and this was a good one. I love kalamata olives in anything so right there I figured it would be good. The addition of 3 cups of roasted artichoke hearts also made it for me. I didn’t cheap out on the chickpeas either. No canned peas for this girl with access to a new Instant Pot (Dad got one for Christmas so I only have to run to the downstairs flat). In 40 minutes I had gorgeous chickpeas, done with no soaking time! Can’t beat the flavour of dried chickpeas, I say…

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Starting the simmer.

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Just before serving you add some greek yogurt. This makes it creamy and dreamy.

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Serve with couscous.

Not that you need a recipe for couscous but the Tagine recipe does direct you to use the one on p.85 called Simple Couscous. It gets you to brown the couscous in oil for a few minutes before adding the liquid. Careful, it can spurt up!

Let me know what you decide to make from The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes Magazine. On sale now until March.

Knitting Updates

I had to create a whole new shelf in the closet just for winter hats. They really are a quick and satisfying project. Recently I’ve completed 2 cuties. Both with the on-trend fur pom-pom addition (see The Needle Emporium to order).

First up is a free pattern from Ravelry called Pennyroyal (see pattern here) done in a worsted weight tweed…

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The next was another quick aran knit. I had some left over Arranmore from the sweater in the above pic. It’s merino wool with cashmere and silk so super soft and lovely! I used a Maria Socha pattern called Magnolia

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Yes, I splurged on the Arranmore but it is soooooooooo scrumptious! It was originally bought for the popular Veronkika Cardi by Very Shannon. Love it! Warm and cozy! I did the smallest size. Blocking is a MUST to get the size right. I wet blocked it and stretched it a bit longer because I wanted more tush coverage. Annoying to wear under a coat so bring it in the car with you if you live in cold Canada…

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New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

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A Year of Cookbooks – 3 Recommendations

As everyone who has been following my blog will know I chose 1 cookbook a month in 2017 to see how many recipes I could make…

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All 12 challenge books

I learned some new techniques and ate some gorgeous new food. Here are the 12 books I chose. All vegetarian and all picked for different reasons:

January – Skinny Bitch, Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin (Picked because it was January and said Skinny in the title lol!) See the post here.

February – Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz (Picked because I’ve been to the restaurant and have always wanted to make more of their recipes.) See the post here.

March  The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (Picked because this is truly a Vegetarian Classic and published in 1977, my DOB.) See the post here.

April – The World of the Happy Pear by Stephen and David Flynn (Picked because I loved some of the salad recipes from the first book and hadn’t made anything out of their second yet!) See the post here.

May – A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones (Picked because I LOVE the aesthetics of her books, they are a pleasure to read. The recipes also looked very much the way we like to eat normally.) See the post here.

June – The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews (Picked because it is a GORGEOUS looking book with fresh, simple recipes.) See the post here.

July – The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Picked again for the beautiful photography and because the recipes look so healthy and flavourful!) See the post here.

August – Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming (Picked because the recipes looked like basic ingredients that could be accomplished on an island cottage! I.e. basic ingredients, no fancy mixers needed and crowd pleasing. It was a plus that they are Canadian authors.) See the post here.

September – Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Lindon (Picked because the first Oh She Glows is one of my go-to vegan cookbooks and I wanted to try more recipes from her new book.) See the post here.

October – River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Picked because I’ve LOVED Hugh and River Cottage ever since we lived in the UK. His first Veg book is a staple, one I always recommend people to take a look at.) See the post here.

November – Mildreds The cookbook by the chefs at Mildreds UK (Picked because I’m a sucker for UK restaurant cookbooks and the recipes looked yummy.) See the post here.

December – Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (Picked because the food at his restaurants is my absolute fav way to eat and because I have all his books and do more drooling over them then cooking from them!) See the post here.

I thought that I should try and pick my top 3 that I think you should buy. If you love cookbooks as much as I do you’ll probably want to buy them all but I think some are more worthy to own. It was soooooooo tough to decide but…

1- Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz. The recipes are really lovely and always turned out well. Unfortunately, it’s a bit “self-published” looking so you aren’t going to buy this for the pictures! It’s Canadian too which is cool!

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2- Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. I picked this one, not because it was my favourite, but because it had a lot of recipes that I think all eaters (meat included) would like. They are simple without “fancy” spices and ingredients. I think it would be a good all arounder…

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3- Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. I really just think everyone has to try some Ottolenghi. Really you could get any of his books though I’d think. Take a peep next time you are out and buy one!

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Ok I’m going to have to pick 4… The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. The pictures are lovely and the recipes are fresh and vibrant. If you don’t fancy the book she has a great blog and instagram where you can probably find most of the recipes or ones very similar.

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From my posts you may have noticed that I tried a few follow up books from some of my favourite chefs. Below are their first books. If you are interested in these authors then I’d suggest getting these, their first triumphs…

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Definitely not his first book but his first dedicated to the glorious veg! If you are a meat eater you’ll want to check out his others for sure!

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Honestly all her books look like this one so you probably can’t go wrong with any of them. There are 3 out now I believe.

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If you are venturing more into the Vegan realm then DEFINITELY pick up this gem. The cashew cream will change your life!

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Looking for some neat salad ideas in particular then get this one to try.

Also, could you go wrong with any classic Molly Katzen, probably not…

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Happy Cooking and let me know if you buy something new!

 

 

Happy New Year From Me and Plenty

I hope everyone had a happy New Year. We finished the year with a gorgeous pasta recipe from Plenty, Saffron Tagliatelle with Spiced Butter p.260. It was rich, so don’t go overboard on the sauce, but always satisfying to make fresh pasta…

Given how busy December can be I’m pretty impressed with how many recipes I managed from Plenty. They always looked so involved with lots of ingredients but actually it’s usually just a lot of lovely spices and if you already have them in your cupboard then you will be fine to make these recipes. Most recipes use fresh herbs as well so that could be a draw back for some. Overall, I was pleased with all the recipes we tried. Some have already become serious favourites and have already made them again. Two recipes in particular will make the “weekday meal round-up” for sure, Shakshuka p.87 and Cardamom rice with poached eggs and yogurt p. 240. Both were healthy, hearty and quick to make…I’ve learned how to make the most gorgeous poached eggs as well, very proud of that…

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Cardamom rice cooking

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Cardamom rice with poached egg and plain greek yogurt dollops

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Shakshuka cooking. Doesn’t it look cozy!

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A must it with lovely white bread

The Christmas break helped me to make a couple feasts, one being Spicy Moroccan carrot salad p.14, Sweet Potato Cakes p.32 and Freekeh Pilaf p. 241...All were totally Moorish…

One of the other keeper recipes I’m going to remember that will be great for company is the Surprise Tatin p. 22. It was soooooo simple but looked impressive! It was filled with slow roasted tomatoes, sauteed onions, baby potatoes and goat cheese. The most interesting part was the caramel sauce that baked in on top to give it a wonderful colour and buttery taste…

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Another company crowd pleaser was the Very Full Tart p.84. Roasted sweet potato and eggplant were the star of the show…

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Not oddly, one of the most moorish, wonderful recipes was one of the simplest. The Burnt Eggplant with Tahini p.122 was incredible. I did the “salad” version with mini cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. A must eat with quality Lebanese style pita…

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I’m pleased to have a nice “side” recipe that could be done at a larger meal. The Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes p. 136 would be great with a Sunday Roast or a Full Breakfast…

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For me, (as everyone else loved them) there was one recipe downer this time and that was the Puy Lentil Galettes p. 208. It was cook error though. I messed with the puffed pastry too much and they didn’t puff up and cook through as one would have liked. I should have just ate the lentil mix on it’s own as it was divine…the combo was a bit odd, if honest…

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Finally, the recipe that has inspired my new foray into fresh pasta making was the Lemon and Goat Cheese Ravioli p. 250…

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Everyone knows that fresh pasta is the best but one must remember how incredibly easy it is to make too! If you have the pasta maker it can be done so quickly. Of course ravioli takes longer to put together so not a weekday meal but I challenge everyone to get on with MAKING THEIR OWN PASTA! The tarragon and pink peppercorns in this dish were truly divine as well.

So that’s the cookbook challenge for 2017 done! Wow, what a marathon! I’m so thrilled with all the new recipes accomplished! Our waistlines haven’t suffered too much. Stay tuned for a post about which of the 12 books I tried that I think you need to get as well as my idea for a 2018 challenge. Get cooking everyone!