Sunday, July 2, 2017

Keeping warm

It's July! Term is over, winter holidays have begun, and overnight temperatures are consistently below freezing. Keeping warm in houses built for summer is a high priority.

I was very excited to find this on my trip to Kinokuniya Sydney a few weeks ago; I'm still working my way through it and haven't picked my first recipe to try yet. But looking forward to having lots of excuses to turn on the oven this month. (Recommendations welcome!)

Speaking of excited, we got two care packages from the US in the last week - full of healthy treats, as you can see. The resulting jumping up and down helped us generate some heat.

Hot chocolate season is in full swing, of course. I've topped up my stash of hot chocolate mix (using this recipe), as well as some suitably giant American marshmallows from Costco.

I can't give up on fruit salad just because it's winter, even if I do have to use canned apricots and peaches. (These make the salad more appealing to Miss B, so whatever works, I guess?)

This week one of our friends had an impromptu winter cookout housewarming, including breaking in her new fire pit. I brought along the ingredients to make s'mores, and since graham crackers are hard to come by in Australia I made my own - the classic version (on the right) following this recipe, and a grain-free version (on the left) using this recipe.

I also brought this along for us to nibble on while dinner was coming together - a hot spinach dip. I've made this several times over the past few weeks, but I haven't been following a precise recipe - it's basically 1 part sauteed baby spinach to 2 parts a combination of cream cheese, Boursin-style fresh herbed cheese, and sour cream - how much of each depending on what's in the fridge. Add seasoning to taste - salt, pepper, lemon juice are what I generally go for. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbling. Serve with crackers. A good way to warm people up on a cold winter's night.

Hope you're keeping warm where you are - or cool, as the case may be.

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