Christmas: indeed my most favourite time of the year. I love everything about Christmas, and I usually go crazy with the decorations and the cooking and baking and shopping. But this year, we decided to do something differently. Less waste, less spending, be more practical. We asked relatives to give to charity instead of to us. We’re smarter with our budgeting. And because we moved into a smaller apartment in the city, space and storage has posed a big issue and therefore we decided to not have a tree and decors. But I had one request: could I still have a tree? Off I went to the local shop, bought a desk-sized silver tree and an Ecoya Christmas scent candle, and placed my trusty guardian angel next to them. Ta-da!
Another addition to our Christmas ‘decor’ is this edible Christmas wreath, thanks to melt in your mouth Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano with some fresh figs I picked up from the local Pyrmont Growers’ Markets and a drizzling of balsamic glaze and garlic infused extra virgin olive oil.
Oh and hey, you can bring this dish to any Christmas party or gathering if you’re strapped for time and don’t feel like cooking, but still want to bring Christmas on a plate.
This is my little Christmas corner, in my little apartment, but celebrated in the big, generous and beautiful way that it deserves.
Thanks to Prosciutto di Parma & Parmigiano Reggiano and Bite Communications for the generous 15 and 24 month prosciutto and the beautiful parmigiano reggiano.
I work long hours. Long hours involving intense mental and emotional work out, that when I walk out the building doors I’m usually drained out of juice. My stress release is exercise: I jog, do Body Attack, RPM or core work. 1 hour of pumping endorphins through my blood stream really does wonders to my physical and mental health. And then I go home.
Usually close to 8pm. Sometimes 9pm.
And I’ll be exhausted and hungry, and tired, and hungry. Did I mention hungry?
Thank goodness for the husband. He’s usually at home early, and when he knows I’m running late for dinner, he usually prepares a warm meal so all I have to do as soon as I crawl through our front door is to get changed and literally stuff my face with food, glorious food.
So when the awesome guys at Your Fork contacted me and invited me to try out the Your Fork service, I couldn’t say no. I think of it as the executive’s personal grocery shopper, plus some pretty tasty recipes all designed for novice cooks. Sometimes, simple really is better.
Similarly to ordering take away, Your Fork’s point of difference is you actually pick the meal of your choice, but they do the shopping for you and you cook it at home. This service is perfect for those who still prefer cooking their own meals as opposed to ordering already cooked food, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your food. One of the best things about my Your Fork experience is, they literally remove the thinking and guessing of the individual ingredients of your favourite dish. You just pick and choose the dish that you want, they shop and deliver it to your door; you cook, and voila!
Sugarlace had the Your Fork experience courtesy of Shanu and Roshan of Your Fork. Thank you for the generous invitation & and the awesome service!
So on this particular evening, I timed it.
4.30pm. Left the office quite early. Because I can.
4.45pm. Got home. Got changed to my exercise gear, started my jog around the bay.
5.10pm. Stopped at a park bench to watch the sun set. Played with a few random friendly dogs who were catching sticks for their humans.
5.18pm. Placed my order. Smokey BBQ grilled of course. I chose the “deliver within 1 hour” option which is only an extra $10. Oh did I mention I did this all from my mobile phone?
5.45pm. Went home to shower and got changed.
6pm. Doorbell rang. My order is here – hand delivered by the lovely Shanu! *waves*
6.15pm. Marinaded the meat, sliced my veggies for my salad, and chilled the drink in the freezer. A tray of chips in the oven PRONTO!
6.30pm. Popped the meat in the grill.
7pm. Meat’s done, salad is chopped, chips are cooked, drink is chilled, dinner served. Stress free.
I am blessed to have a husband that loves cooking and eating and shares my passion for everything in the kitchen. We time-share the custody of our kitchen space, and take turns planning for our weekly meals. On weekends though, we try and make Sunday lunch or dinner extra special. One of my most favourite dish to request is Mr J’s steak. He makes a mean tender, medium steak with a side of roast vegetables similar to ratatouille. I usually pair it up with a side salad, but on this occasion I whipped up a quick couscous with Moroccan spices.
Easy, tasty, healthy Sunday lunch… hubby style.
Mr J’s Tender Steak
Makes 2 servings
500g scotch fillet
Salt & pepper
1. Mix all the marinade mix in a shallow dish. Marinade the fillet in the mixture for about 1 hour.
2. In a hot grill pan, grill the steak according to preference. For medium, cook the steak for approximately 4 minutes on each side.
3. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
4. Once rested, slice and set aside.
Mixed Roast Veggies
Makes approximately 2 servings
1 zucchini, chopped in large chunks
1 carrot, chopped in large chunks
1 onion, chopped in large chunks
1 green capsicum, chopped in large chunks
1 tomato, chopped in large chunks
1 tinned tomatoes1 tbsp Mixed herbs
1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
2. In a large baking dish, place all ingredients and cover with aluminum foil. Put in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Toss the vegetables, and place back in the over for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Remove from the oven.
Couscous with Moroccan spices
Makes 4 servings
This recipe is similar to my Pearl Couscous recipe here.
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tbsp Morrocan seasoning
1 tomato, diced
Small bunch of parsley, chopped roughly
Salt & crushed pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Prepare couscous according to packet directions (ie 1 cup couscous to 1 1/4 cups boiling water or stock).
2. Add all ingredients together. Leave to cool for a bit, serve warm with vegetables and steak.