Hello Sweet ’16!

There are still just under 12 hours left in 2015, but I wanted to get in early with my greetings for a Happy 2016!

I’ve made my resolutions already and I’m busy preparing for a New Year’s Day brunch (as you do- or as I do really).  But mostly, I’m looking forward to 2016 and hope you are too.

Looking back on 2015, it was exactly the year that I needed.  The last 3 years have been full of the highest highs and the lowest low, so 2015 was a great year to just be.  I settled into a new job which I love (not as much as maybe winning the lottery and not working at all but….), visited three new countries that I’d never been to before (yes, I’m counting Dubai despite not leaving the airport), I tried to learn German (that did NOT go as well as I hoped) and kept doing many of the things that I love doing- cooking, pole dancing (despite breaking my toe early in the year), reading (32 books this year- just shy of my goal of 35), and of course, writing.  It was our first full year of marriage and a year that The Runner and I both learned a lot about ourselves- including resilience and patience (for me, more than him- he has the patience of the Saint of Patience).   I even had a surprise visit from The Mom.  Overall, it was a great year!

Tomorrow, we’ll start 2016 exactly how I hope it continues- with food and friends.  We’re hosting a New Year’s Day brunch filled with foods that will bring good luck and good fortune in the New Year (according to the internet!)

So, we’re having:

Whiskey, Marmalade and Mustard Glazed Ham– because in many cultures eating pork on New Year’s Day symbolizes progress, wealth and prosperity.

Manu Fieldel’s Lentil Salad– according to Italian tradition they look like coins and represent wealth.

Kale Salad– in the American tradition eating greens on New Year’s Day guarantees prosperity in the New Year.

Pete Evans’ Fig, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and balsamic salad– Eating many fruits are considered lucky and figs are a symbol of fertility

Dinner:  A Love Story’s Peanut Noodle Salad– Noodles in several Asian cultures represent long life.

Cornbread– its golden colour is said to bring gold (or wealth) in the New Year

Smitten Kitchen’s Tres Leches Cake– Tres leches cake because I’ve always wanted to make one, and a round cake because in many cultures round cakes represent the cyclical nature of life- I’m even going to bake a coin into it for extra good fortune for someone.

Nigella Lawson’s Pomegranate and Prosecco JellyPomegranate’s seeds are meant to signify abundance and prosperity

Smitten Kitchen’s Fairy Tale of New York for after- I made a double batch to take to a 2nd Christmas dinner that we never made it to, so we have a LOT to get through!

So fingers crossed, with this menu, set 2016 to be delicious, abundant, healthy, wealthy and fun!

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

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Lions, the Tour, and the tennis…

It’s a busy, busy time in the He Runs, I Cook household.  We’ve been cooking, eating, pinning, and watching sports.

The Runner is in the midst of  a late night sportsapalooza of Wimbledon and the Tour de France.  Add in the British & Irish Lions Rugby tour and it’s been a pretty sports filled couple of weeks.  We have grunting women, men in spandex and scrums happening in our living room on a nightly basis.   Thankfully, we have Foxtel so he hasn’t missed a minute- and luckily Wimbledon and the Tour start after Masterchef so there haven’t been any fights over the TV—yet. 

I’ve been cooking up a storm- slow cooker corn and prawn bisque, Nigella’s spaghetti with mushroom and thyme, and Bourbon glazed pork tenderloin with peaches  tonight from my Dinner: A love story cookbook (Thanks Mom!)

 We went to the Good Food and Wine Show this past Sunday, and well went a little bit nuts on the Wine part of the show.    We discovered some great wines from some wineries I can’t actually remember, but don’t worry, we came home with enough bottles to jog my memory the next morning! 

I’m still in the midst of wedding planning– I’m actually not even sure what’s being planned at this stage but I think the term “wedding planning” covers my obsession with pinterest and wedding blogs.    Of course, I don’t actually have time to read all of the blogs so at this stage they’re going into a “Wedding” folder in my email account……Last look, there were hundreds of emails in there….yikes.   

I have to confess, I don’t know the first thing about weddings or wedding planning.   It’s a nice distraction, but I’m starting to get a bit bored of tulle and looking at pictures of centrepieces.  It wasn’t a good sign the other night, when I turned to The Runner, who was distracted by the first stage of the Tour de France and announced that I was ready for the wedding to happen now.  

He sort of looked at me and rolled his eyes.  We still have 13 months and 6 days to go until the wedding— so If I’m already tired of planning, it’s not a good sign.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited about the wedding and about being married and all, but I just kind of want it all to happen on its own.  Like all the little bouquets to make themselves, and all the placecards to be set and all the photographers to be interviewed and all the dresses to just appear as if by magic.  Yes, I’m like the anti-bridezilla at the moment.

The Wedding is sort of falling into the same category as photography and scrapbooking—two hobbies I  enjoy doing- especially photography  and was really really into for a few months so I took lessons and bought all the gear and now I never really do it now.  I mean, yes, I take pictures, but the Adobe Photoshop Suite I swore I was going to learn to use because I was going to be a serious photographer—nope touched it once, still don’t get it.  All that pretty paper I was going to use to make a scrapbook out of, still sitting upstairs on the desk I bought as a scrapbooking desk.  By the way, the scrapbooking desk—covered in wedding magazines at the moment! 

Maybe it’s just that it’s so far away and I’m actually slightly organised that wedding planning has lost its sense  of urgency.  I’m becoming quite good at shopping for wedding dresses, but not so much making a decision on one— yet.  And I haven’t really started on anything else yet.    I’m very relaxed about the whole thing because I have loads of time… and I’m more of a last minute person anyway…..  procrastination and finishing assignments in the middle of the night  is how I got through school!   Partly, I’m writing this because I’m sure 12 months from now, I’ll be frazzled and panicked and interrupting the Tour de France with Bridezilla like freak outs about posies vs. peonies and other silly things.    But this year, I’ll just let The Runner stay up and enjoy it in peace!

 

 

Back to life, Back to reality….

So the holiday is over.  I’m back at work now, which as a contractor is not such a bad thing, but from next week, real life kicks back in.    Laundry will have to be done on the weekends only, meals will have to be planned, groceries bought on Sunday afternoon (don’t ask why, it just seems better than buying them on a Saturday.)  No more fluffing around, hanging out with the yummy mummies at the grocery store on a Tuesday at 2pm, no more watching the American Today show until 11am on 7Two.  I’m back to being a working girl (no, not that type, the kind in the office) and my time won’t be my own.  Sad Face.  

The first two weeks back were like a holiday from being on holidays, kind of nice and new  but now that I’m back from Christmas break with no breaks in sight until May, it’s a bit weird.  As in, weird that I’m expecting to go in every day regardless of what else I’d like to do.  See, as much as my wallet would scream otherwise, I’m not cut out for this working malarkey.    I’ve decided that I much prefer blogging and cooking and sunning and well, not working.  So now I have to figure out how to make this happen.

Hmmmm….let’s brainstorm:

1)       I could win the lotto……the chances of me winning lotto would be about the same odds as getting hit by lightning…..on a sunny day, I never buy lottery tickets because I hate the idea of flushing money down the toilet.

2)      I could marry well and by well I mean super rich…..  not looking good for this one either. The Runner is wonderful, lovely, and amazing, but his last name is not Trump, Kennedy, Schwarznegger, or de Rothschild.  Nor does his name start with Prince, Baron, or Count.  He doesn’t even have a weird name like wealthy or famous parents give their child, like Jogger or Sunshine or Marsanne or Oval….And I’m quite a big fan of The Runner so I think I’ll keep him.

3)      I could invent something fabulous…..nope, can’t think of anything either and if I could, I wouldn’t put it on the internet just yet….but if you have any ideas, please send them to herunsicook@gmail.com– no really, please do.

4)      I could have a portfolio of high interest investments enabling me to live off the interest and their yields, dividends, blah blah……  not going to happen without 1,2,or 3.

5)      I could do something I love- like maybe figuring out how to make money from blogging and write a cookbook, have a TV show, or a range of table linens, cheese graters, and other things that people will give as Secret Santa gifts…..working on this one.

But seriously, if anyone does have any ideas for me, let me know.  My mother, who is wonderful and amazing and possibly the only one besides The Runner who reads this blog—(by the way, I know The Runner only reads it to make sure I’m not oversharing about him).  Anyway, my Mother sent me two cookbooks for Christmas which are both Awesome with a Capital A because they both started out as blogs- Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and Dinner: A love Story.    Dinner: A Love Story I read in one sitting from cover to cover, it’s brilliant and I highly highly highly recommend it.  (I will write more about it at some stage because it’s great. )   But really it got me thinking, it’s not too far fetched to think that maybe I could make money doing something I love, like entertaining, party planning, writing, cooking- so maybe I should finally make 2013 the year  that I do it!  Life’s too short to not have a go at what you love, and I think I just need to give myself a big push—or possibly strap myself to someone else who is jumping out of a plane like they do for tandem skydiving!  Right, so there you have it, back to work and the reality of office living, but also here’s to kicking off the planning for how to be amazing and successful in my own right doing what I love!  

Fingers crossed for 2013!