And finally December comes around. It does not bring much festive cheer this year. There seems to be less socialising and more cancellations than usual. I consider myself lucky to have two work Christmas parties and live in Melbourne that has had over a month of no diagnoses or deaths from Covid. We have had the edict on masks eased so yesterday I had my first Christmas party in the sunshine, without masks, sharing a bbq and drinks, catching up with colleagues I hadn't seen for most of the year moving from lawn bowls to the park to a Thai restaurant. Today we had our first cinema outing since lockdown and put up the Christmas tree. But I am still not in the mood for Christmas shopping and there are no carol services.
At home it has been mainly easy meals but Sylvia has been enjoying a bit of the festivities. Above is a rice, vegetable and hummus bowl I made for dinner recently. Now that we are getting some warm days, I am enjoying more raw vegetables.
We had our first department store shopping out of lockdown on the weekend that we went to Geelong to visit my family. It was busy on the road between Melbourne and Geelong because the "ring of steel" that stopped Melbournians getting out of town for months was finally down. After marvelling at escalators and realising how long it was since I was on one, thanks to lockdown, I bought this Grazing Collection in a supermarket to nibble on.
Miso soup is a favourite of mine. I know mine is not traditional. It is always full of vegies. It is full of flavour, chewy dried mushrooms, soft slurpy noodles and lots of healthy veg. It both comfort food and what Nigella calls "temple food".
I have also been eating quite a few wraps lately. Above is one that has some of the salad from a pesto and veg pasta salad I made to last most of a warm week.
This wrap had some leftover tempeh black bean taco filling that I mixed with corn and tomatoes and piled on hummus and spinach. It made a really filling lunch.
I was intrigued to find this vegan vanilla brownie ice creams. It was ok but not much in the way of brownie pieces.
Sylvia made this cute snowman pizza (it looks a bit like Daddy Pig off Peppa Pig). The snowman is made of mushrooms, olive eyes and buttons, carrot nose and chive arms and hands. The actual pizza is a tomato sauce, egg and cheese one that she makes quite often now.
Here we have the cooked snowman. The mushroom outlines have darkened. The light part is where the egg has cooked in the oven under the cheese.
More of Sylvia's Christmas touches around the house. This is her desk which has been made rather festive.
We bought Christmas sprinkles. So when Sylvia made a chocolate mug cake with a nutella topping she finished it off with the red, green and white sprinkles.
With the arrival of summer, the garden is thriving. Strawberries and flowers are appearing. Parsley and johnny jump-ups are moving around the pots. Shadow is enjoying the catnip. Sadly the rosemary and blueberries are looking brown and dead.
We have purchased a few festive goodies. Gingerbread biscuit chocolate, Nutella in a festive glass and Festive gingerbread shapes. I always thought that gingerbread and chocolate were a great combination but it hasn't been doing it for me this year.
Sylvia made this reindeer cheese on muffins with pretzel antlers, olive eyes and round tomato slices for the nose. The pretzel antlers were added after the cheese was melted.
I am not a huge fan of outfits for pets. Animals do not want to dress up but they do look cute. Sylvia had made him wear a santa hat and beard for Shadow that she found in the Christmas decorations. It has disappeared now!
I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month. Or just head over to her blog to check out her cute hand drawn festive banner and visit more kitchens.