The Last of the Lazy Days!

The last few days of the holidays and it is almost time to pack up, leave Kerry and return to normality.  Almost but not quite.  It has been both a lazy and an eventful few days if that makes any sense.

Not quite at the dinner party stage yet, I did however host a NYE cocktail party, and given the amount of empty champagne bottles despatched to the recycling centre the morning after, I think it is fair to say that people relaxed and had fun.  I decided on no hot food, because our cottage has a teeny kitchen, more suited to dinner for two than catering for fifteen. Therefore I went with an antipasto theme and stuck to boards of meats and cheeses, smoked salmon and bruschetta, and fail safe bowls of peanuts and crisps.

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We kept the drinks simple with champagne, champagne cocktails, beer or wine and lit the house pretty much by candlelight. It was simple entertaining but an enjoyable dipping of toes in the waters of hosting. Dinner parties are surely just around the corner.

An early start and a quick clean-up on New Year’s Day, before we headed for a family dinner at my sister-in-laws.  As always, there was a warm welcome, a blazing fire and a banquet of delicious food. And of course the last of the crackers and the boxes of chocolates.  It was lovely to have so many friends and family gathered for one of the last big meals of the holiday season.

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Continuing on  the food theme, I also tried out a new supper dish over the past few days and it was definitely one I will tackle again. For me, life can never have too many chicken dishes and in the aforementioned tiny kitchen, the less pots required the better. The recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food, one of my favourite sources of food inspiration.

Chicken Baked in a Honey, Mustard and Crème Fraîche Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 8 skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs
  • 500g baby potatoes
  • A couple of handfuls of green beans
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • Bunch of basil, roughly chopped

Method:

  • Heat oven to 200C. In a bowl mix together the crème fraîche, mustard, garlic and stock with some salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, in a roasting tray just large enough for the chicken and vegetables. (I used two smaller trays)
  • Arrange the potatoes and beans in between the chicken pieces. Ensure the potatoes are small or you will need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Pour over the sauce mixture, season the chicken and drizzle the entire dish with honey.
  • Cook for 40-45 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes tender. Scatter over the chopped basil before serving. We added a side portion of petit pois to add to the vegetable content.

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Now to begin the mission to undo the harm caused by a calorie filled December, it is time to wrap up warm and enjoy some long walks around this beautiful part of rural Ireland.  Maybe I can convince my new furry friend to come along….Have a great day xoxo

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