Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year I hope you are enjoying 2013 so far?

To bring in the New Year I celebrated with Mr Ward and a few friends, we really indulged with tonnes of food and wine and it was fantastic.

To make the evening special we made a number of dishes with ingredients bought from the market in leeds including Jose Pizarro's salt and fennel baked prawns which stole the show. 

It looked to our guests like such an extravagant dish with the salt crust being cracked open to serve, but it is really simple to make; 
2.5k of rock salt is mixed with whisked egg whites and fennel seeds and then layer a third of the mix in a roasting tin. Throw in some shell on prawns, cover and bake for 8-9 minutes. 
It tasted so delicious and we have saved the salt because we will be making this one again.

We also made some lovely pear and parma ham bites; 
Peel and core a pear into 1cm thick chips, add a bite size piece of mozzarella and wrap in parma ham, bake them in the over for about 6-8mins. Another delicious but simple treat. I aren't normally a fan of pears because of the texture but this makes them soft, sweet and scrumptious!  

I wanted our dining table to look special, but not too Christmassy and as we have a country style old pine table I didn't want it to look too modern.

I bought a bouquet of cool water roses and some sprigs that had been sprayed gold for that extra New Year sparkle.

I love the idea of using kilner or mason jars for decor and found an old one in the cupboard, but using this alone I was stuck with too many roses. I had a root around and found some old jam jars that had been through the dishwasher with the labels faded so used these too, along with some candlesticks they added a difference in height which made the arrangement more interesting and I think the labels just look so cute.

Its great to make something that looks so pretty on such a small budget (about £6) and you can do this easily with any sort of flower and old jars you have.

The Centrepiece with Candlesticks

'Home Made' Jam Jars
This has definitely inspired me to do more floral arrangements, especially for dinner parties, so that's something to add to my New Years Resolutions, along with eating more healthily, doing more exercise and the usual.

I hope you have had a great festive period, enjoyed your NYE celebrations and are going all guns blazing at your resolutions.

Bye for now (off to do some Pilates!)