Saturday, 12 January 2019

New Year, Same Me

I'm not one to get excited about a new year. Honestly, it is just the passage of time. I never stay up until midnight, and I don't do long lists of resolutions. I am the New Year grinch. But I still have a few food traditions that amuse me around this time. So here it is, from 2018 to 2019.

New Year's Eve Eve

Normally I make pizza and pie on New Year's eve. However this year (last year?) my brother and his girlfriend were arriving from London on NYE in the evening, so that was going to be its own thing. So I did my tradition a year early. In the past I have made two pizzas, but this year I just made one.

BBQ Hawaiian Chicken Pizza: I guess this can technically be I made a thing, but really it is just I put some stuff on a pizza. I used a pre-made pizza base, topped it with BBQ sauce and Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese, then layered on some chopped Vegie Delights schnitzel, pineapple chunks, black olives, and Daiya cheddar. Once it was out, I sprinkled it with some bacon bits and some chives. It was really satisfying, and really easy.

NYE BBQ Hawaiian Chicken Pizza

Apricot Frangipane Tart from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky: I love apricots, and we are having a really good apricot season at the moment. My pastry skills are still pretty amateur, but I was pleased with how pretty this turned out! The pastry was easy to make, though I found it was a bit thick and tough (which could be due to me, I need more practice). The filling was delicious - almond meal and sugar and things, it was like a perfect non too sweet soft marzipan, topped with the sliced apricots. The filling called for 1TBS flaxseed, which you then grind. I skipped that and just used ready ground flax. This was a lovely taste, and kept well for a couple of days.
Rating: :)

Apricot Frangipane Tart

New Year's Eve

We decided to go with a spread of snacks for the actual NYE. By the time they landed, got through customs, and my parents drove them home, it was almost 8pm. So I was glad we hadn't planned for anything more complex. There was crusty bread, water crackers, veggie sticks, and GF rice crackers to go with Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese, Kehoe Beetroot Dip, and Tartex Mushroom Pate. It was my first time trying the beetroot cashew dip, and it was surprisingly tangy. It is probiotic, so I guess that is why?

NYE dips

Rounding out the spread we had some dolmades, kalamata olives, left over tart, cherries, grapes, watermelon, and some vegan GF rosemary, cranberry, and sea salt biscotti. There was only one non-vegan thing on the table, which is hiding behind the star. It was stuffed mini capsicums, which to be honest I probably would have starred out even if they were vegan because you know how I feel about capsicum!

NYE spread

I stayed up way later than I normally would on NYE, but was still asleep before midnight. Everyone else stayed up to eat 12 grapes at midnight, which is a Spanish tradition. My brother's partner is Spanish. Dim Sim and I were asleep.

New Year's Day

Vegan Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes from The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan: My brother eats mostly GF, so I made some GF pancakes for my traditional New Year's Day pancakes. Somer has a GF flour blend you can make in the book, but I used a smidge of leftover Bob's Red Mill and the rest just some Coles GF flour I picked up at the supermarket. They turned out so well! These pancakes are delicious, and I was silly not to make a double batch. I got 11 pancakes using a scant 1/4 cup as a scoop, and there were 5 of us, so we savoured what we had. Rounded out with some leftover fruit from the previous night. I used regular brown ground flax rather than golden, because that is what I have and who can tell in chocolate pancakes anyway. I also used maple syrup instead of stevia, because stevia is gross. But do you know what is not gross? These delicious pancakes! SO GOOD MAKE THEM!
Rating: :D

Vegan Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes

Black-Eyed Pea & Collard Stew with Spicy Tahini from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook by Matt Frazier and Stephanie Romine: Technically this should be called borlotti bean & silverbeat stew with tahini, because I made some changes. Collards are not available here, so I used silverbeet instead (and added their chopped stems to the stew when I added the carrots and celery instead of capsicum). Tinned black eyed beans are also not available here (they were for like, two minutes, but no longer) and I didn't have energy to make some from scratch (yes, I know it is super easy but sometimes you just need a tin), so I used borlotti beans instead. The stew also has pearl barley in it (I soaked it for a few hours before as recommended in the recipe so it cooked perfectly in time) and tinned fire-roasted tomatoes. They are super expensive and hard to find here, so I used regular tomatoes and added some smoked paprika. The tahini drizzle is lovely with lemon, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. It is meant to have sriracha, but I left that out and just had sriracha out for people to add if desired. The stew itself made a lot (served 5 people easily), though was quite liquid. I served with coriander on top instead of scallions because I was using stuff up.
Rating: :)

Black-Eyed Pea & Collard Stew with Spicy Tahini

So hello 2019, I guess. Also, I am also super behind on catching up on reading blog posts, but I am getting there! This year has already started off with some pretty big challenges, so I haven't been on my laptop quite as much.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

All I want in the new year is to spend time with her.


  1. So much delicious food! Everything looks great, but I'm feeling especially jealous of those cherries. Cherry season is so brief, and so far away...

    1. We have a good cherry season here, and they are so juicy and sweet!
      Out of season, the shops always have US import cherries that I refuse to buy.

  2. I'm a New Year's grinch too! I'm kind of grinchy for all holidays to be honest!
    The apricot tart looks so beautiful!! You definitely have more baking skills than I!!
    I swear I will try sesame cheese even if I have to make it myself!!!!!

    1. I am getting more grinchy. I don't give a hoot about easter, Christmas is harder every year. I prefer to have fun little days that I make up myself, when I feel like it and I am in the mood.

  3. That looks like such a fun and festive pizza, and the tart looks great, too!

    1. I highly recommend the pizza combination! I love pineapple on pizza. And the black olives are the secret weapon.

  4. So much good food! I'm sorry the apricot tart didn't turn out as hoped but it looks so beautiful maybe that makes up for it.

    1. I just need to practice, practice, practice. Pastry is tricky! But it turned out much prettier than some of my other attempts, so that is getting somewhere!

  5. We aren't big NYE people either. We went to a few parties in our hay day. One I was the designated driver, and I remember thinking I was just as bad a drunk driver because I was tired by the end of the night lol

  6. I used to be a massive new year fan but it's kind of lost it's shine for me and I was in bed at 10.30 this year. When I was younger I had a group of friends that I always used to go to different European cities with for New Year. I can remember doing the 12 grape thing in Barcelona!