I'm starting to be ready for Christmas, even though a lot of food planning etc. still needs to be done. However I haven't done that much at home yet, we only put up the Christmas lights on the windows. Below you can see a couple of photos of our tradition of putting the lights up and then going to the yard and in the street to look at them while sipping mulled wine. It's a lovely yet low key tradition that we have kept on for many years in a few different homes. Other than that I've been enjoying our neighbours' festive lights and those in our local streets. It's so nice in this dark period.
I have a new cotton branch in my kitchen, which I think is a little bit Christmassy, as it's white and fluffy like snow. The photo was taken just now. It's darkish even at midday and I'll have to go out to the rain soon. I have a good incentive though, there is a Christmas street party in a small street nearby, so hopefully I'll get some mulled wine again.
I bought this Mikkeller beer gift pack for myself yesterday as a Friday treat, because I quite wanted that glass. I like their beer anyway and these small cans named after Danish phrases are very funny too. They are called “I don't have a red shrimp” (meaning: I'm broke), “Hair in the mailbox” (meaning: to have a tricky problem or to be about to be uncovered) and “Stick a finger in the soil” (meaning: think before you jump into conclusions).
On that note I wanted to write about another Mikkeller beer that is all Christmassy red: Spontan Double Raspberry, a sour ale brewed with raspberries and aged in oak barrels. I just love these lambic style sour beers that are fruity and so tart. I think that this would be a fine Christmas drink even though it's not a Christmas beer as such.
I made garlic knots as a side to a pasta dish from some left-over pizza dough. They are so easy and quick to make, but with a little frying in butter, garlic and thyme they are just the perfect side to many dishes. A bit more refined version could even make it to the Christmas dinner.
I've lately often made a pasta dish with fried halloumi and roasted bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Pine nuts also go well here, but otherwise the dish can be left simple. It gives so much comfort and is one of my absolute favourites and often seen in my kitchen on weekdays. I just feel that the chewy halloumi gives a nice contrast to the soft pasta.
I also tried a new veggie product Oumph! from Sweden. I mean, it's a new product for me, but it has been around for a while, I just haven't got around tasting it. It's a frozen product made from soy beans, and there are currently eleven different variations, like salty & smoky, pulled Oumph! and tandoori bbq. I tried the kebab one and made nice little flatbreads with it. I think that it was a tasty product and had a good texture. I will definitely try some of the other ones too once I spot them in shops.
I'm sharing this post with Sherry from Sherry's Pickings blog, who is hosting the In My Kitchen blogging event.
Have a nice weekend and pre-Christmas time everyone!