Although the Christmas tree is up, its not looking overly festive in my kitchen yet. I guess that will come with Christmas day and the festive holiday when we get to indulge and be thankful for what we have.
I have started making some bookmarked festive food in advance though, such as Johanna's Chocolate Salami and Chocolate Panforte. I have other festive recipes that I want to make, but yesterday I was hit with a stinky cold and a chesty cough. So you can imagine the last thing I wanted to do is be in the kitchen sneezing over things, instead I had resigned myself in front of the TV.
But I have found some energy to sit in front of my computer and share some new stuff in my kitchen. Let me start with a disclaimer, this is not a sponsored blog post - I say this because I seem to have amassed a number of Merchant Gourmet products in my kitchen...carry on reading and you will see.
Firstly there are whole chestnuts. Its the festive season and chestnuts are must in every home.
I am planning on making Roasted Chestnut, Parsnip and Carrot Loaf and Savoury Chestnut, Rainbow Carrot and Lentil Cake. Funnily enough, over the weekend, I found another box of chestnuts that I picked up a early in the year and still in date.
Next we have some Quick Cook Polenta. We haven't had polenta for a while, one of my favourite dishes want to do is Tamale Bean Pie, but over the festive season I am planning on making some Polenta Bombs filled with winter vegetables and Savoury Mosaic Polenta Cake with vegetarian Black Pudding.
I am planning on having a fancy cheese board this year, so picked up some beetroot and three seed oat biscuits and charcoal and sesame wholemeal crackers. I have had charcoal crackers in the past and disliked them, but wanted to give them another try - also I think they would look good on the festive platter.
D picked up this jar of potted blue Stilton. He said the jar could be reused. He has been thinking a lot about our plastic consumption and has been making a concerted effort in reducing it whenever we can.
I picked up some pistachio nuts and wasabi peas. More nibbles and nuts to come!
Now onto some world food or ingredients. I saw this Smoky Spanish Style Grains and Rice on offer and thought i'd give it try. I also picked it up hoping it would inspire me to make something different for our lunch boxes as I must confess I am getting bored with the homemade pasta salads and sandwiches.
I was running low on Panko. I was glad to find some at a supermarket. I prefer using panko to dried breadcrumbs for my homemade vegetarian Scotch Eggs and Fishless Cakes.
On a recent trip to Bristol, we stopped at an Oriental supermarket. I picked up a bag of hot chili flavoured dried bean curd to snack on - think vegan jerky, and a packet of bean curd sheets - I remembered a recipe I had come across calling for it, but when I got home - as usual I could not remember from which cookbook, hopefully it will come to me in the next few days.
Many of the supermarkets this year were flogging American ingredients for Thanksgiving. I saw these Tortilla chips - one Fiery Hot Chilli and the Ranch Red Pepper and was tempted by them. I also wanted to see how different they were from the ones sold in the UK, plus I am a sucker for savoury crispy snacks. I must say, these were superior than those sold in the supermarket as they had more texture, bite and crunch. I also picked up two cans of Pumpkin Puree (not shown) that were reduced to 99p each and let me tell you that is a bargain.
I am sharing this post with Sherry Pickings for In My Kitchen series, it was started by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Celia has been a great source of inspiration to me from her Sourdough bread to her Beeswax Wrap. In My Kitchen Series is also a nice way to meet bloggers from around the world, as well as an opportunity to take a peek into other bloggers kitchen.