Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas decorations in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Christmas decorations at home

The annual tradition of iced spiced Christmas biscuits (here with chocolate instead of icing)

Christmas porridge (featuring cranberries and chocolate chips)

Shopping centre Christmas festivities (Bluewater, Kent)

Local lights (apologies for the blur)

Outdoor ice skating (I didn't partake)

Wishing you all a very happy holiday period and a wonderful start to 2017!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Festive apricot spiced flapjack

Flapjack is something I think of making quite often, but actually make infrequently. I am not sure why. You only need one mixing bowl and there is no electric beating - two things I value in a sweet recipe. It is also an economical treat and oats pack more nutritional value than flour. Whatever the reason, though, I did make flapjack recently. I am consequently pleased to share this recipe with you.

This version is given a Christmas twist by the use of mixed spice and cloves. I am not sure if mixed spice is found worldwide but it is always in my kitchen. Most versions feature allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, coriander and ginger. You can easily make your own (example proportions are here) but I prefer to buy it because I don't usually have all of the individual spices. For this recipe I used mixed spice and extra cloves, which ups the spice deliciousness.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Barley salad with kale, walnuts, cranberries and an orange-maple dressing

When I bought cranberries for my cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread, I had more berries than the bread required. I used the leftovers for this barley salad. Whilst completely different to the sweet bread, I liked it just as much and have been eating it for lunches across the week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread

On Sunday we went to a pot luck Christmas event, organised by one of the mother's I met through a local mother/baby group. Mr Bite and I are not the most sociable couple (I think it's safe to say we are both introverts!) but with moving to a new country and then a new town, I have tried to make an effort to build our social networks. Our school and university friends are back in Australia, as our are families, and I don't think it's healthy for us to be completely isolated. The pot luck event was enjoyable and a nice opportunity to socialise with other couples with babies.

I took along some hummus and vegetable sticks, as well as this cranberry and chocolate chip banana bread. I adapted it from a non-vegan cranberry banana bread, but opted to swap out the walnuts used in the original for more decadent chocolate chips. I really loved the bread and am pleased to share the recipe now.

Friday, December 2, 2016

In my kitchen - December 2016

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen event, hosted by Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.

It is most surreal to find myself writing a final In My Kitchen post for 2016. I'm sure I'm not alone in finding it hard to conceive that 2017 is on the horizon. Here is what my kitchen features in this final, December edition of the year.

Besan flour pancakes with Choc Shot chocolate syrup and banana

In my kitchen were some besan flour (chickpea flour) pancakes. We periodically have a pancake night for dinner where Mr Bite makes traditional pancakes and progresses through a reliable string of fillings (tuna and cheese, followed by banana and nutella, jam, lemon and sugar, and/or chocolate syrup). I vary my pancakes each time and on this occasion made a batch with besan flour - simply 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water. I had enough for dinner and some the next day, so enjoyed various savoury (tahini, sweetcorn and paprika) and sweet (diced apple with cinnamon and vanilla soy yoghurt; lemon and maple syrup; banana and Choc Shot chocolate syrup) fillings. The banana chocolate version, pictured above, was probably the best.