January 01, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year

to all of you from Hannibal the Cat and I. We hope you will get an exciting, promising and healthy New Year here in 2014 with plenty of sunshine, some white snow to bring some light into a dark Winter season and less wind during the rowing season !!!

Looking into the progress of 2013 on my wish about baking my way through "Hjemmebagt", I can see, that I have baked 13 recipes in 2013 compared to 6 recipes baked in 2012 !!!! mainly during the first 6 month of 2013. If I can keep up with a speed of 13 recipes per year, I will have baked my way through this excellent bread book after another 3½ year bringing the finishing time up to sometime during 2017 with the last recipe of "Hjemmebagt". So here I have made some great progress on this specific topic, so let´s see, if I can maintain similar progress here in 2014 !!!

My New Year´s Resolution of 2013 concerning more usage of the seasonal herbs, flowers and fruits, which you can collect for free in nature maintain to be something of a challenge for me. I have a very good grip of using the wonderful white and fragrant elder flowers, but ramson, slow and elderberry is still unknown territory for me, but 2014 will bring me new options for getting acquainted with these Danish seasonal vegetation.

Again I felt more comfortable here in 2013 about using my baking capabilities for various fund raising activities involving both work colleagues and friends turning the month of October into PINK month (PINK fund raising afternoon tea 2013 & sale of-muffin as PINK fund raising at work) collecting an amazing 1300 DKK to support the fight against breast cancer. I will be back again in 2014 with some more PINK fund raising activities.

Still I am eagerly participating in the monthly virtual tea table called Tea Time Treats hosted by two food bloggers in the UK. It is great fun for me to work the various theme selected for these monthly tea tables. And I will continue to enjoy these monthly virtual tea tables in 2014, as it bringing me a lot of inspiration to both my and little kitchen.

During Autumn I expanded my kitchen equipment assortment with two major pieces: ice cream machine with own compressor for freezing and KitchenAid in the classic red colour.

Relating to the ice cream machine I am having a very ambitious plan about making a monthly ice cream, where you as my blog reader could be a part of this process through ice cream votes on my blog. So fare I have been  conducting one ice cream election, where you selected vanilla ice cream as your first choice, and I created two versions of this vanilla ice cream: home-made vanilla ice cream a la "A Country Cook´s Kitchen" and ultra indulgent vanilla ice cream artisan style. And here in December I created the Christmas ice cream, which was very fitting into my annual Christmas Calender.
I am planning to continue this ice cream election and creation process in the coming year of 2014 :-)

As usual the two month of November and December was a very, very busy months for me in my little kitchen, as I am working on selecting interesting Christmas recipes as well as actually making the Christmas stuff, so I can share an daily blog post with a Christmas recipe with you in the count down for Christmas !!! For me this process is a little bit like mood therapy, a way of keeping up my mood during a long, dark, gray and rainy Winter season, as it keep me busy inside of hiding under my duvet like a little sleepy brown bear !!! So therefore I will already now promise, that you will get Christmas Calender again in 2014 :-)

Finally I "cracked the code" after two years of hard work, both baking and eating making the ultimate strawberry cake. It took it´s time, but it was a very rewarding work on a personal level to get to the finishing point on this strawberry cake journey :-)

As regular theme blog posts during every single month I have shared the following type of blog posts with you:
  • blog introduction to each month with focus on a specific theme (starter in September 2013)
  • recipe on cocktail and drinks (started in 2011)
  • contribution to Tea Time Treat (started in December 2012)
  • recipe on ice cream (started in October 2013) 
Coming to the end of this very long blog text I would like to share a "TO DO" list with you of the things, which I would like work with in my kitchen during 2014:

      TO DO LIST 2014:
  • making rye bread from a real sour dough
  • collection of sloe during Autumn 2014, so I can make my own sloe gin
  • collection of ramson during Spring 2014
  • collection of elderberry during Autumn 2014
  • making macaroons
  • making caramels, which is NOT floating together during storage
  • making a ginger bread decoration for Christmas 2014
  • making my own marzipan from almonds for Christmas 2014
  • making mince meat for Christmas 2014
  • baking mohn back (poppey seed) cake
So let´s how many of these "TO DO" points, which I managed to cross during the brand new year of 2014, at least I have 365 days in front of me to do something about it :-)

Kitchen status on 2013:

Review day: 1 January 2014
Recipes baked during 2013 from "Hjemmebagt": 13 accomplished
Amount of new cooking books in my kitchen: 3 new cooking book (58 books at end of 2012)
Page views in 2013: 59.684 (total page views of 109.517 at 31st December 2012)
Publish posts in 2013: 209 posts (total posts of 746 at 31st December 2012)

Top 10 of the most popular blog posts published during 2013:
  1. Dinner at Belle Epoque Nykøbing Mors - published 8 October 2013
  2. The ultimate strawberry cake - published 12 June 2013 (Tea Time Treat)
  3. Paleo (Stone age diet) chocolate cake - published 16 June 2013
  4. Stone age bread - published 22 January 2013
  5. Bergamot-orange jam - published 8 January 2013 (Tea Time Treat)
  6. Classic rhubarb cordial - published 21 August 2013
  7. Eating yogurt in New York - published 27 April 2013
  8. Rugkiks - rye biscuits with cumin - published 31 January 2013
  9. Apple Mac with modification - published 3 August 2013
  10. Tartes aux pommes - published 17 March 2013 (Tea Time Treat)

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