Sunday, 6 January 2013

Celebrating the New Year with Favourites

Happy 2013 to everyone! This blog has been a bit quiet over the last week or so, as I decided to take a bit of a holiday from blogging over new years. I've also decided to take a month off my World Food Challenge, so that I can relax a bit in January and not have to worry about deadlines and getting everything up before the end of the month. There are a few dishes that I didn't get around to trying from Southern USA, so I might keep experimenting with some USA dishes and keep sharing them with you. I'll get back on track with the countries in February though - and we have a delicious year ahead. I've had so many requests from readers that I already have a full list for 2013!

I hope you had a wonderful Xmas and New Years? What did you get up to? I celebrated with friends over food, of course! As you may know, every month I get a group of lovely people around and force them to try all my experimentations from whichever country I'm featuring. So, for an end of year party I asked each of my food tasters to pick one of their favourite dishes from any of the countries featured this year and make it. The result was a delicious mish mash of foods from all over the world! Want to know what they picked?

Amy picked the Croatian Pizzas from Croatia Month (no wonder, as she was the consultant on them, having just travelled in Croatia). Sophie made Sweet Potato Fritters from Chad Food Month (also no wonder, as she picked Chad as the country to be featured!).

Daniel chose the Rendang Tofu from Indonesia Month, which this time I made with dried coconut instead of fresh as cooked it a slightly more traditional way - by simmering it for 1-2 hours instead of being impatient and eating it after 20 minutes. Ruth requested Rohkostsalat a refreshing salad of cabbage and fruit with a creamy dressing (a bit like a fruity coleslaw) from Germany Month.

Heather was game enough to tackle the impressive Smörgåstårta (Sandwich Cake) from Sweden Month. The above picture is her spectacular creation,, and below is what it looked like after we demolished it's deliciousness!!

As for me, I decided to take the opportunity to remake some of the World dishes which never made it onto the blog, either because the recipe didn't turn out quite right or because I didn't get any good photos. So, for savoury I made Cambodian Cucumber Vermicelli Salad and Cambodian Mango Chilli Salsa (recipes coming soon!).

I also made some Razlevjak, cornbread from Bosnia Month - because it's so easy and delicious!

And for dessert?

Amy 2 brought little bites of heaven from Chad Month with the Almond and Pistachio Loz, Paul brought a gorgeous Sholeh Zard (Rosewater Rice Pudding) from Iran Month. I made a creamy tangy southern USA inspired Key Lime Pie, which I'm saving up to feature in my upcoming cookbook (so keep your eye out) and, following my earlier philosophy of remaking dishes which has failed in the past, I made a Croatian Bajadera. I'm happy to say that the amended version was an absolute success! It was also quite spectatularly  tasty, recipe coming soon. Here is how it turned out:

It was a huge feast from all over the world! Dishes from Chad, Croatia, Bosnia, Sweden, Germany, Iran, Cambodia, Indonesia and the USA, and I have to say we ate it alllll! I can't wait to see what delicious dishes we have in store for 2013's World Food Challenge!

What delicious foods did you eat this holiday season?

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