13 days off from work has been blissful. I started the holidays full of determination to tick things off my To Do list – as always, I have a long list of posts I’m eager to write and share. In the end, I did far less than planned – quickly succumbing to the realisation that I just needed to rest and relax.
It’s been a tiring year, with some tough times but of course, there have been many positives too, and as always, lots of great food, drink and travel.
Before I get too far into 2016, here’s a look back at 2015 on Kavey Eats.
I started off the year with my handy guide to visiting Borough Market, Maltby Street, Bermondsey & Bankside.
In 2014 I launched a series called Meet The Blogger, interviewing the bloggers behind some of my favourite blogs. I carried this into 2015, but let it fall by the wayside somewhat as the year progressed. One of my goals for 2016 is to resume the series as a regular feature.
I continued my love affair with Japanese food, visiting Kouzu restaurant in Victoria.
I reported back on my trip to the beautiful city of Vilnius in Lithuania.
I shared a killer recipe for the richest, densest dark chocolate ice cream ever – simplified to make in a power blender. Pour it into ice lolly moulds for the best ever fudgsicles!
Despite it being the shortest month, I crammed a lot into February!
I started by sharing all the reasons why I love my microwave, asking fellow food writers, bloggers and chefs for their input too.
You may also enjoy my recipe for Easy Microwave Salted Caramels.
I shared more about the phenomenon of Super Tasting, from a personal perspective.
One of my most popular posts was this guide on which cuts of beef are best for which kind of recipes, including a few lessons from a master butcher.
And a warming cider braised pheasant with shallots apples and thyme.
If you don’t already read Fig Jam & Lime Cordial, you should – it’s a wonderful blog written by my friend Celia, who lives in Sydney. Celia has been spreading good cheer, good bread and good friendship by way of deyhdrated portions of her super sourdough starter, Priscilla. In March I introduced you to Pussy Galoaf, as we called our Priscilla offspring. She makes amazing sourdough!
I absolutely loved the Peruvian-inspired cocktails and food at Pachamama restaurant in London.
Also on the dining out front, I had an incredible supperclub experience at my friend Jason’s Peranakan Palace and tasty Moroccan food at Le Menar.
My personal favourite recipe of the month was my grandfather’s spicy tomato ketchup, a recipe I’ve been making for several years using tomatoes from our garden. But there was also a lot of interest in this chocolate and coconut dairy-free ice cream, rum optional and my Chorizo, Cod & Pea Fish Pie.
I started the month by sharing some recent instagrams including a visit to the Sky Garden, some juicy lychees, being a judge for the International Chocolate Awards again and a delicious tea tasting wit Momo Cha Fine Teas.
I swapped my enormous sous vide water bath with a nifty, space-saving and affordable Codlo sous vide adaptor. Codlo is priced at £119, available here.
This month, my travel piece was a staycation in glorious Glazebrook House Hotel, a luxurious hideaway on the edge of Dartmoor.
On the recipe front, it was a really simple idea that caught readers’ imaginations this month: I’m not one for green smoothies – the kind featuring kale, spinach, wheatgrass or other green vegetables – but I do like to add matcha into a regular fruit smoothie – for flavour, caffeine and L-theanine – believed to boost concentration.
By the way, the single best thing that happened last year was nothing to do with food or travel; my gorgeous baby nephew was born! He’s grown up so much as the year has progressed. All of us absolutely adore him!
After a few weeks of play, I published my review of the new Huawei Ascend G7 smartphone. There’s a lot to like, especially at the price point, but a fair few frustrating niggles too.
Having been a bit remiss in sharing more of our 2014 Iceland trip, I wrote a few more postcards from Iceland for you in May and June.
When Pete and I eat lunch out locally, we tend to favour Japanese. Sushi Mania is a relatively new local restaurant with great food (but frustratingly, consistently poor service).
This month’s travel post is a visual report on our fourth trip to Islay, a beautiful island off Scotland’s West Coast, best known for it’s numerous whisky distilleries.
My most popular post this year has been this guide on how to make pour-over coffee in a Chemex coffeemaker. This beautifully elegant glass jug coffee apparatus looks modern but was invented back in 1941!
I’m delighted that you’ve also given a big thumbs up to both July’s recipe posts too – Lebanese-inspired Carob Molasses & Tahini Chocolate Brownies and Eton Mess Ice Lollies (strawberries, cream & meringue on a stick, what’s not to like?)
We enjoyed eating out this month. Jamie’s Italian really surprised us; we loved it! We were similarly impressed with Lobos Meat & Tapas next to Borough Market. And the modern Filipino food we tasted at Luzon left us keen to try more.
Images from shutterstock.com
Since our first visit to Japan back in 2012, I’ve been trying to learn more about sake and to develop my palate and understand my own tastes. In this guide, I’ve shared everything I’ve learned about sake, and given you some handy information about classifications, different varieties and some recommendations too.
Two key recipes this month. The first is another summery ice lolly, roasted banana and cream paletas – the roasting really intensifies the banana. The second is Lizzie Mabbott’s Chinese Spag Bol from her excellent book, Chinatown Kitchen.
Pete and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this month. That’s weird mostly because in my head we’re still the barely-adult youths we were when we met!
Of course, I was still loving Japanese food, this time at Shoryu’s Liverpool Street branch, with proper robata grill.
I’ve been gradually sharing my experiences in Canada since my September visit, with many more still to come. The first was this delicious sticky buns recipe which we learned from Chef Anna Olson when visiting her and husband Michael Olson’s home in Welland, Niagara.
We also loved dining with a view over London, in the Sky Garden’s Fenchurch restaurant.
I published my first Markets of Canada post, on Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon.
My favourite meals out were at newly opened Viet Food in Chinatown.
Pete and I developed a few new recipes this month, including this absolute winner: quick golden-baked peri peri chicken, yoghurt & rice cake, not only a showstopper but very quick and easy to make too.
The second home-developed recipe was a potato rosti pizza base, not only delicious in its own right but also a great alternative for gluten-free diets.
From the Canada trip I wrote about my fine dining experience at Toqué restaurant and enthused about another market, Quebec City’s Marché du Vieux-Port plus nearby Île d’Orléans. For a preview of the entire trip, check out the overview I shared.
You can tell that Japan is never far from my thoughts. I loved telling you about the Japanese legend of the mochi-making rabbit in the moon.
Cookbooks fans will hopefully enjoy my pick of favourite cookbooks from 2015.
I finished the year with another travel post from my trip to Canada, this time learning about First Nations food and culture at Wendake’s Huron-Wendat Museum.
Many thanks to all my readers for visiting Kavey Eats, and especially to those of you who leave me a comment on a post you’ve enjoyed. I appreciate every single one, and love hearing your reactions to recipes, reviews and travel experiences.
Wishing you a happy new year!