Hi everyone! We are already in February! The time seems to have flown by. I have been doing quite well. After being on holidays for two weeks in December, it was not so easy to come back to work. Falling out of a routine is easy but getting back into it is not! My holidays were a bit disappointing in that my parents were both ill with the flu and my husband´s family decided to come to my Christmas dinner to argue. It was a nightmare and it made us (my parents, my husband and myself) very uncomfortable. Looking back on it, I find it all very selfish. You may have problems, but if you want to bring them up and complain, how about just staying home and leaving us alone? Why not put differences aside and just be grateful? Or even better, how about not airing all of your dirty laundry? Nobody needs to know all your problems!
So there is my small rant about the sad part about my holidays. The saddest part was seeing my parents so ill and although they are recovering, it was so hard. They felt like they were being a burden and ruining everything by being ill. Slowly but surely, they are getting better and that is the important thing.
On a positive note, I was able to spend a few days in London in January and it was wonderful. I went to the Royal Opera House to see the Nutcracker and loved it. It was so beautiful and during the intermission we enjoyed a lovely glass of bubbly!
And I was able to see Agatha Christie´s play ¨The Mousetrap¨which is running for its 65th year!! Can you believe that!?
It was sensational and I must have a devious mind because I figured out who did it! I think that these performances just reminded me of how exceptional a live perfrmance really is. No special effects. No editing. Nothing enhanced. Just real live talent and artists at work. Incredible.
These experiences certainly cheered us up. The past few weeks, as I said before, have gone by quickly and I have been cooking a lot. Of course, although I have not been consistently posting, I have continued to cook my way through David Lebovitz´s My Paris Kitchen. My cooking group, Cookthebookfridays is cooking its way through some delicious recipes. The first recipe was for the fresh herb omelet.
It was surprisingly easy to make and the additing of a bit of Gruyere cheese is just perfect. It is nice and filling and just lovely. I cannot post the recipe itself but a recipe from Ina Garten which looks really great!
Another recipe thar I tried was the salted cod fritters with tartar sauce. This was not a ¨light¨ meal by any stretch of the imagination but it was wonderful. I think we consider something like this to be an appetizer, but this more like a meal. It takes some time to put these together but they are worth it. They are delicious and the tartar sauce is divine. What makes the sauce so lovely is those small pickles aslo known as cornichons. They add a delicious kisck and help to make this dish definitely worth repeating!
And finally I have made a delicious coq au vin. i made it on a Saturday afternoon and it was a lovely recipe. I keep saying that every recipe is great but it is not an exaggeration. How can you go wrong? You marinate a whole chicken (separated) in red wine and spices and then cook it the next day. Yes….lovely. My husband absolutely adored it. I will admit, I am a bit funny about something that is like a stew that has bones in it so that is my only complaint about it. But in terms of flavour, it is wonderful. I used some nice wild mushrooms and some cured ham intead of the bacon lardons.
I recommend this as a simple ¨knock your socks off¨ kind of a dish. It requires so little effort but tastes like something you would have in a pricey restaurant. Why not enjoy something like this on a random Saturday afternoon? Interested? Check out the recipe here.
I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! Sending you all the best from Madrid!