Happy New Year everyone.. I hope you didn’t suffer this morning with a headache! I still can’t believe that it’s 2017 although I think most people are thankful that 2016 is now over.
Obviously, Christmas has been the main focus this week.. friends and family descended on Tara’s Busy Kitchen for fun and foodie frolics.
Saying that, Christmas Eve was a quiet affair this year with Steve and I popping up the road to one of our local pubs, The Oddfellows for a festive drink before heading home to await our first guest, Alex.
When I awoke on Christmas morning it was as if Father Christmas had been and left lots of goodies under the tree for us all. (Cat not included!)
The next wave of guests arrived for Christmas morning brunch. Tim, my stepdad was spending the whole day and Serena was joining us for the morning before heading off to others for lunch. I prepared a cinnamon breakfast bread and butter pud that I had made for my friends the weekend before. It had been a success with them so figured I would make it again for Christmas Day. A little forward thinking and a bit of preparation on Christmas Eve results in a delicious baked breakfast delight that is delicious served smothered in maple syrup or honey. Alongside this we had the option of fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt and granola. Obviously the fizz started flowing as we were in celebratory mode and lots of laughter followed.
From our present opening we decided to go out, stretch our legs and get some much needed fresh air. The weather was grey but fine so it was great to get outdoors. Whilst out we stopped off at The City Gate for a festive tipple before heading home for games and food preparation ready for our late lunch.
Salmon with tahini, herbs and pomegranate was our main event this year with roasted maple syrup and cinnamon sweet potatoes plus a fruity sprout slaw. We followed all this with a Mrs Figgy’s Christmas pudding with brandy butter and a delicious tiramisu trifle made with love by Serena.
After a short break and more games, my sister Juliet joined us for the cheese course along with the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing. The only time the television was on all day may I add!
Boxing Day arrived without any of us having hangovers!! For this I was thankful as I was desperate to get up to the moors for a walk and to blow away the cobwebs. We had booked a late table at The Rugglestone at Widdecombe In The Moor and our goal was to build up a good appetite for lunch on our walk. The Rugglestone is my favourite pub on the moors. An unstuffy place that has fires burning in winter and amazing traditional pub grub. There is a fantastic beer garden there for the summer months too.
Alex’s final day with us was spent on a walk around the quayside followed by lunch at home before she headed off. I made a yummy salad of roasted butternut squash and a new discovery from HECK. The most delicious “Super Green” quinoa balls that you heat in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they go golden brown. I added these to my salad with avocado, cranberries and walnuts. It was totally delicious.
After lunch I decided I still had energy to burn off so I headed back out for another walk up to the University of Exeter grounds. I was so glad I did as I witnessed the most beautiful sunset. At moments it looked like the sky was on fire.
As well as my own cats I have been looking after the lovely Muffin this week. I thought you might like a few pictures as she has been getting a lot of love on Instagram stories..
I had a winter picnic (it was all cake!) with Lucy on Friday. We filled a flask with builders tea, packed up some mince pies, honey cake, panettone and gingerbread in our basket then headed off to the University grounds and the community garden. It was so foggy so we snuck into one of the poly tunnels and set up a table using a blanket as the table cloth and a plant for the centrepiece. Out came the flask of tea, teacups, saucers and our delicious cake selection. We sat in our makeshift tearoom for two hours chatting and catching up. It was a real highlight of my week next to the festivities of Christmas.