Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Catch Up

December has been a crazy month for me, mainly because I work in a shop and anyone who works in retail at Christmas time will know that it pretty much takes over your life! Because of this I've been neglecting my blogging duties, and having adventures on my days off instead of writing posts. But never fear as I have collected up all my foodie adventures from December in to one huge post! Here we go...

Lush Christmas Party
As I just mentioned I work in a shop, a shop called Lush (have you heard of it? If not then you're missing out) and in the first week of December they let me make canapes for one of their events. We decided to have food and wine paring inspired by the active ingredients in Lush products for out Luxury Christmas party. So in the end I decided on (veggie) Parmesan and asparagus tarts inspired by the fresh asparagus is used in lots of Lush products and chocolate brownies, because they always go down well and cocoa butter is used in loads of Lush stuff. I think the canapes were a success, they all got eaten so that must be a good sign.

Hummus Bros
Have I ever mentioned that I suffer with really bad food envy, I spend a lot of time reading other food blogs and restaurant reviews and get so jealous, I feel like I need to go and eat the same food as soon as humanly possible. So after I read this post from The Vegan Butcher (my new favourite vegan blogger) I started begging vegan Emma to go to Hummus Bros with me. So off I went to visit Emma for the weekend, she cooked me an amazing vegan Sheppard's pie (I wish I could give you the recipe, but I don't think she even knows how she created the magic) and then the next day we set off to go to the Hummus Bros in Holborn. It certainly lived up to my hummus loving expectations, I had the fava beans and Emma had (evil) mushrooms. The hummus was so creamy and full of flavour (even better with a bit of the lemon and garlic oil poured on) and even the small potion size was enough for me! I would definitely recommend it for a quick vegan/vegetarian bite in London.
Demuths, Bath
A few weeks ago, after realising that we both had a week day off, my boyfriend and I decided to go on an adventure. It started off with going to London, then Amsterdam, then France. After getting extremely close to booking a hotel in France, we decided that it was probably the worst idea ever and I slyly moved the direction of our trip over to Bath, with the main intention of going to Demuths. It was our first trip to bath and after a horrible drive in the rain we arrived to the most beautiful hotel room I have ever stayed in, drank lots of wine, ate lots of bad food and had a good nights sleep (I also have to mention that they did an amazing vegetarian full English).
The next day we did a bit of Christmas shopping and touristy exploring (the baths, of course). Then went in for the main event. Demuths is like a vegetarian mecca, and has always been up there with Terre a Terre as one of the restaurants I would really, really like to visit. It had a lot to live up to and didn't disappoint, although I have to say it didn't blow me away like Terre a Terre, it was still an amazing experience. The actual restaurant is really cute and homely inside and instantly makes you feel comfortable. Scott and I both had the same meals, mainly because he's scared of vegetables and didn't know what to pick. We started with the Celeriac Veloute with a Ewe's Cheese Croquet and cavolo nero, which I absolutely loved, it was rich and creamy and perfect for warming you up after a long day of shopping. Scott, wasn't overly impressed (again, fear of vegetables) so I ended up eating both starters! Then for the main we had Applewood Smoked Somerset Cheddar Souffle served with red wine baked figs, tarragon dressed potatoes, walnut puree and a selection of winter greens from  the fields of bath, which really was something else. The flavours went really well together and it was like nothing I've ever tried before. Scott actually liked this one, so I didn't have to eat two main courses as well (sigh). Then for desert we had the Cashew coconut cream, which was unusual but I loved the gooey clementine middle contrasted against the coconut cream shell. Yummy! All in all, I would definitely recommend it for an amazing vegetarian meal if you're visiting Bath. 
Christmas Dinner
Every year I cook Christmas dinner for my friends, it started out as just me and 3 girl friends who were all vegan/vegetarian and has now grown in to everyone, meat eaters and all. After last years absolute disaster (I don't want to talk about it) I vowed never to do it again, but when it actually came to it, I just couldn't resist! This year was probably the best year ever because 1. I decided not to do anything fancy and just do a plain old roast dinner and 2. I had vegan Emma on hand to help me with the cooking, and she also made the AMAZING vegan main. So we had no started (:O) and then Emma's amazing chestnut, mushroom and port strudel (which I loved even though it contained mushrooms) Then apple crumble, followed by a silly amount of cheese. It probably is my favourite event of the year because it combines Christmas, food and my favourite people. 
Double Christmas Day
One of the perks of having separated parents is that I get to have 2 Christmas days and 2 Christmas dinners. Both my mum and dad are amazing cooks so I end up feel obese by December 27th. This year I got loads of foodie presents including the River Cottage Veg cook book, a pasta maker, loads of vegan marshmallow mix and a new Humming Bird Bakery book and I'm sure all these things will be inspiring many blog posts to come. I also finished my Christmas cake and can proudly say that it actually tasted nice and like a real Christmas cake, I will definitely be making another one next year! 
So Happy New Year everyone! I've made it one of my New Years resolutions to cook, eat and blog more so expect lots of veggie and vegan posts coming your way. It's been a great year for Hef's Kitchen and I couldn't have done it with out all of you lovely readers, so thank you! 

Much Love, 

Heather xx 


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