So it's a happy new year and I have a happy new kitchen. Well, only some new shelves actually but they have given my kitchen and my cooking a whole new lease of life.
When I moved back to the flat I got rid of the old grotty wall units with their tiny cupboards and I asked my friend Clare to make me some shelves.
I have a thing about jars. Spices are so just so colourful and textural. I want to see them.
I want to see the beautiful soy sauce pot that Ai Kawauchi gifted me in that gorgeous cafe in Japan and the sweet bird salt and pepper pots that Matt brought me back from New York.
I love how green the wheatgrass powder is for my smoothies (thanks Rachel). It needs to be seen too.
I was given some inspiring cookbooks for Christmas and my birthday. It's been so cosy over the holidays, cooking and eating with friends and trying out new and healthy recipes.
The Green Kitchen is a gorgeous one. Simple recipes with straightforward ingredients and mouthwatering photos. We tried out their broccoli pesto and beet bourguignon. Nommmm.
I heard about this Salad Love by David Bez on a programme on radio 4 about salad. This guy decided to make a salad every day from scratch at his desk in the office. He has a desk drawer with his chopping board and knives and stuff and takes over a shelf in the communal fridge. He photographed all of his creations and kept a blog about it, which has now become a book. Lots of great ideas and tasty dressing to try.
Ffion took some great photo's of some of the things we cooked up for my birthday feast. This was Rachels chick pea salad preparation. Soooo good.
We tried the cauliflower couscous salad that Helen Dixon Hill showed us on her salad day last year. It was so fresh and delicious. You blend a raw cauliflower and add herbs and oil and lemon juice. The cauli looks just like couscous. A great alternative if you don't eat wheat.
We don't mind a bit of wheat though luckily so Rachel made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's magic dough for this out of this world pizza.
It went down so well...and fast!
I recently met a health and wellness coach called Janice Levitt (more about that adventure soon) who recommended The Green Smoothie Prescription by Victoria Boutenko. My sister happened to buy it for me. You just want to get as many greens inside you as possible after reading it. I've been making green smoothies for a year or so now and I have never felt so nourished and well :)
It's a shame Ffion didn't capture pictures of the new years eve curry feast we prepared from the amazing Prashad book because it was soooo good.
I recommend the cinnamon spiced chick peas.
What a cosy and colourful time we have had.
I've enjoyed having a house full of friends and family. I finally had enough mugs for everyone!
It was sad to see them all go home again but I've got my kitchen pin board to help me keep them close.
..and I've still got those cat boys insisting that sitting on the kitchen table is ok.
I hope you've all had lovely holidays too and I wish you a healthful, prosperous 2015 where all of your dreams come true!