Happy New Year 2012!
I just wanted to start the year off by thanking everyone for all their support and encouragement since I created The Lovely Pantry. I have so many ideas for recipes and concepts for photographs. I’ve grown so much and met so many wonderful people along my journey so far. I’m excited and grateful to be able to continue my passion through this medium. The holiday season has been quite busy for me, to say the least. But it was wonderful to be around friends and relatives and to share meals and watch the children play together. I miss my own family immensely (parents, brother, cousins etc) but hopefully I will get to see them later this year. There’s nothing like having your own family with you during the holidays! I’m still very thankful and blessed for those that I have around me that make me feel “at home”.
Now that things are slowing down a little bit, I have a lot of posts to catch up on! I have a few goals for myself which includes posting more often, improving my photography, meeting more foodies and making bread! Those are just a few things I have on my list. Below are some photographs of a meal I prepared for an informal gathering at my home during the holidays. No recipes today. I still have to show you what I cooked for my own family after Christmas. I found a new love for cookies! My husband says he thinks he’s found his new favourite cookie – this may mean trouble for me!
The menu is as follows, served with Jamaican style Rice and Peas:
Lemon Herbed Salmon. I’ve made this before – here’s the recipe. Underneath that herbed crispy topping, is moist salmon. It was lovely.
Veal Pastitsio – a definite crowd pleaser. I really love it, especially because my children enjoy it.
My guests specifically requested Oxtail! I aim to please! I don’t have oxtail very often but I definitely indulge the few times for the year that I actually make it. It brings back memories of Jamaica.
Perhaps I went a little overboard, but you have to know that I enjoy feeding people. I also love getting feedback from my experiments! So basically I used the Ginger Carrot Bread recipe and modified it. I split the batter in 2 and used smaller loaf pans to bake them in. I made a plain Ginger Carrot Bread, and another with raisins. I modified the same recipe and used Vanilla Chai Soy beverage instead of carrot juice. I made it before so I knew what it would taste like however, this time (again, I split the batter) I made one with dark chocolate chips and the other with dried cherries. Then of course I made a cake that I had not tried before – Orange cake made with orange rind and freshly squeezed orange juice. Heavenly! I will be posting that recipe very soon!
After a night of entertaining, I decided to make cookies. I don’t usually make cookies but I realized if I’m going to be a kitchen Goddess, I need to be able to make everything! They turned out to be a success and I was even able to give them as gifts during the holiday season. Well, not the one’s my hubby loved the most.
And finally, this is the reason my husband adores me. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. No flour required. I was even able to use low-fat peanut butter, clearly for my own satisfaction. I plan to use organic peanut butter next time to see if there’s any major difference in the taste. That’s our secret though. He doesn’t have to know.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed ringing in the New Year. I wish everyone the utmost success in everything they hope to achieve and accomplish this year and beyond. 2012 is going to be an awesome year filled with personal growth and wonderful friendships! I believe this, so I know it will become reality!
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Say hello to me anytime.