Saturday, 3 January 2009

D4D: Done. Almost.

It's been a grand yearlong experiment, and now it's time to sit down, put Our feet up, turn the telly on, and have a cuppa.

Although We won't exactly be hanging up Our pinny (We gotta eat, after all) We won't be documenting every meal, every night any longer – only the new or particularly innaresting ones, and then only in brief.

But first! The stats.

This week we'll be examining 365 D4D reviews to determine the winners in such categories as:

  • Dinner o' the Year
  • Dinner Made Most Often
  • Best Dinner Out
  • Best Salad
  • Restaurant Visited Most Often
  • Best Dinner Made for Guests
  • Best Dinner Abroad
  • Cookbook Used Most
  • Cookbook o' the Year
  • Best Link
And of course We'll tot up the numbers for how often We made Our most popular dinners, including:
  • Lemon chicken
  • Black bnz
  • Chickpeas with cumin and sherry
  • Pea and mushroom risotto
  • Red prawn and mango curry
We'll post the 2008 stats as soon as We can, hopefully by next weekend. Might post a pic or two in between, so do check in.

And to all two of our regular readers: ta everso!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

01.01.09: Black-eyed peas and greens

Peas for good luck and greens for money – We dine with pleasure and hope for a good year that we know harbours many changes. She adulterated the Pappy's Saucepan recipe from vegan treasure trove Something Delicious This Way Comes by Joshua Ploeg – former punk rocker turned travelling chef – with chorizo. (Sorry. But not really.) Nigel Slater's fennel, pear and watercress salad made a sassy sidekick.

SHE SAYS: The peas were a little too sweet, but a pinch of salt and a shake of Crystal fixed it up right. Plus, I think this kind of bean dish, with such strong flavourings as bourbon, maple syrup, liquid smoke and (in our case) chorizo, needs to set a while to let all those components mingle. Even near the end of the meal mine was more blended – maybe it's like letting wine breathe. Salad gave us the crunch and the sharp angle we needed in the flavour dept.

HE SAYS: Deja vu? As She said, it waz on the shweet side this time but this meal had to be made since its a tradition 'round these parts. This time We had it with the greens mixed in with the peas, and I think it helped out the overall consistency. As said numerous times on this blog, chorizo can't fail to make a good meal better. I really enjoyed the salad which We haven't had in a while, the mix of the fennel and pear satisfied ma soul.

31.12.08: Out to New Year's Dinner Party

We really are indebted to Jon & Judy for some excellent party food this year. In fact, they had Us over last New Year's as well, just before We started the blog. Above, Judy prepared 10 (10!) portions of Jamie's Fifteen Christmas Salad [video!], some sans prosciutto for the veggies in our midst.

Jon rolled up sleeves to make Ramsay's Cider and Honey Roast Leg of Lamb – oh my. Also plated but not pictured: roast potatoes and steamed broccoli.

And then: two desserts! Judy whipped up a banoffee pie topped with Flake, and the very nice French au pair turned out a swell sugar-dusted gateau. Were We spoiled or what? And you don't even get to see the postprandial dance-a-thon (sorry, that's classified).

HE SAYS: The two J's again outdid themselves on the festive food front. The salad was class with every taste sensation fully taken care of and the roast was fantastically seasoned with tart and sweet apple tanginess. I have to vote for the banoffee pie as the highlight, though, a perfect combination of velvety cream, banana and chocolatey goodness. We went on to drink too much and I even had a jig with the missus in their makeshift disco/living room, good times.

SHE SAYS: I love me that salad: a taste treat of sweet, salty, creamy and a touch of grassiness from the olive oil. Mmmm. The lamb was applesweet and the potatoes had an almost grainy crunch to them that led the blissful way to floury indulgence within. Do I really need to tell you the desserts were divine? The gateau was deeply chocolatey and had that just-right cakiness, while the banoffee pie was like a sweet and sticky tastebud bubblebath.