So here we are, the end of another year. Quite an eventful year for me with the completion of our renovation and finishing a 28 year career in the Australian Public Service. I’m on a bit of a sabbatical at the moment – I will eventually need to go back to work but I’m in no hurry and in the mean time, Mr Tiffin is reaping the benefits of my extra cooking.
In my December kitchen…
…was this band of merry eaters. I recently hosted an afternoon tea for some readers who had expressed an interest in learning more about me, the blog and good food. They brought lovely gifts including macarons and Vietnamese jellies but I have no photos of these as they have all been eaten. As part of the afternoon, we enjoyed…
…Tamari Spiced Nuts
Something to nibble with the first aperitif while everyone got settled. Super easy and very moreish, you definitely need to make these in double batches. Recipe here.
For a bit of fun, I created petite versions that were served in my tiffin boxes.
This cake was a whopper, easily serving 16 people. I was only feeding 4 so Mr Tiffin got to take the rest of the cake in to colleagues. Normally I would have frozen the rest for a later date but as we are entering peak cake season, I thought it best to feed to the masses.
These are version of Ottolenghi’s Tahini Cookies that I demonstrated how to make as part of the afternoon tea. I find that they are hugely adaptable and in the past have made a peanut butter and ginger version. This time around, to give a festive accent, I added dried orange peel and fennel seeds pounded in the mortar. We enjoyed a plate of the original cookies and guests took the orange and fennel version home as a thank you. Mr Tiffin’s colleagues also received a batch of these. Lucky them!
…Coconut Tea Jelly
I wanted a light dessert that wasn’t too sweet and this one fit the bill. On my way home from Hong Kong, the airline lounge had some tea jellies on offer and it set my mind buzzing. Their version was topped with thin layer of pouring cream. My version had a second small layer of coconut milk jelly flavoured with palm sugar. I topped some with mango and left some plain. I will share the recipe with you soon.
Not in my kitchen but on my blog…
is this post about how you can make a difference this Christmas by helping the people stranded in the middle of a civil war in Syria. I hope you can spare some time to read it and can contribute to their plight.
That’s just a small taste of what’s happening in my kitchen this month. I’m sure many of you will be ramping up for Christmas, with your ovens going strong morning, noon and night. For those experiencing the first of the East Coast heatwaves, I recommend chilled black coffee sweetened with a little maple syrup and air conditioning. Enjoy all of that planning and cooking and when you have a break, take some time to get inspiration from the others who join IMK from across the globe. Liz, our IMK host from Good Things is now a published author with her memoir about her family, The Barber of Budapest. If you are interested in learning more, visit Liz’s site.
Fa la la la la… la la la la