Festive Holiday Catch Up & Wild Mushroom Risotto

I’ve finally made my way back into blogging world!  Firstly, I want to say a bit ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ to you all.  I hope 2012 brings you everything you wish for 🙂

Secondly, apologies for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks.  I took a break away from the computer so that I could give the family my full attention.  The school holidays were spent playing with new toys and games, including the awesome Harry Potter Cluedo…

and the superb Labyrinth 🙂

This is such a great game for developing kids’ (and adults’) ability to think strategically and be flexible and adaptable. You have to work out how to reach certain objects on the board but, at each turn, the labyrinth changes so you have to keep adjusting your plans. I loved it!

As well as some old favourites, like Rich Uncle 🙂

Now he’s 8, Lil’ L’s has been able to play all these board games as a contestant in his own right, and he’s loved it!  It’s been a great way to spend quality time as a family 🙂

We’ve also been on some awesome walks, including a hike up to the Glastonbury Tor on New Year’s Eve.

(c) Michael Cobb

As we were climbing up to the Tor, we were greeted with a spectacular sun set!

Evenings have been spent catching up on all the films that we’ve missed this year.  M and I also watched several Victorian films including The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Young Victoria and adaptations of Dicken’s Great Expectations and David Copperfield.  The Victorian times weren’t that long ago, yet life was so different then.  It’s easy to forget just how easy we have it these days.  Since watching these films, I haven’t complained once about having to do the odd hour of housework 😉

On New Year’s Day, we took a trip to the cinema to watch Hugo in 3D.  This film was beautiful, mesmerizing, moving.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend going to the cinema and seeing it in 3D.  IMO, it’s one of those films that really needs to be seen on the big screen to get the full effect.

Well, no post of mine would be complete without the mention of food 😉  We ate really well over the festive period, although we probably ate a bit too much.  I’m not worried though as I know that that any extra weight I put on will come off over the next few weeks, now I’m back into moderate eating mode rather than over indulgence.  I reckon I just need to wear those stretchy leggings for one more week, then I’ll be back in the jeans 😉

Some of our favourite eats in the past few weeks have been the more ‘natural’ foods.  We’ve loved eating hot roasted chestnuts, walnuts eaten straight from their shells, and ruby red grapefruits.  I don’t think I’ve eaten a grapefruit since last Christmas and I’d forgotten just how much I love them!

We’ve also enjoyed plenty of Christmas pudding drizzled with fresh soya milk.  I don’t bother to make my own Christmas pudding as I love Tesco’s cheap range pudding (it only costs about £3 and is vegan).

This is where the extra calories start piling on. One portion of Christmas pudding has over 300 calories… and that’s before the cream’s been poured on top! Who cares though, it’s Christmas!

Remember the snowball Christmas cake?  Well, it looked like this inside.

It was delicious… and it’s all gone!

We did try a few shop bought ‘processed’ foods, but we didn’t like most of them (probably because we’re not used to eating them).  I’m really glad that I made a nut roast for Christmas dinner, as the ‘Turkey-style’ veggie roast that I bought was way too salty and chewy for me.  We also tried some ‘chicken style’ nuggets, but they were really bland.  The one ready-made food that we really did love though was Linda McCartney’s sausage rolls.  Very tasty indeed!  I’ll definitely be buying them again next Christmas.

And finally, I’ve got a recipe to share…. Wild Mushroom Risotto

This is what I made on arrival at my mum’s house on Christmas Eve.  It was super easy to make and didn’t take too long.  Mum had some butternut squash to use up, so we roasted it in large chunks and served it as a side dish.  It turned out to be a perfect accompaniment for the risotto.  It really was delicious.  Pefect for special occasions or dinner parties.

Instead of going out last Friday night for a meal (the credit cards needs a well earned rest 😉 ), I decided to make risotto again as a treat and, this time round, I actually wrote down the ingredients and method.

Here’s the recipe:

This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s #Wellness Weekend

Since the beginning of 2012, I’ve been cooking with renewed enthusiasm, and my favourite meals have been those that you can whip up in no time at all and, preferably, use one pan.  I’m looking forward to sharing them with you over the coming weeks 🙂

Did you play any fun games or see any good movies over the holidays?


3 thoughts on “Festive Holiday Catch Up & Wild Mushroom Risotto

  1. Oh I want some of that risotto. How delicious! My husband and middle child love mushrooms like no other veggie…so I will have to give this a go.
    So glad to see that the Christmas and New Year were good to you and your family. And the food well we all over indulge that time of the year.
    I must say it feels good getting back into a more moderate way of eating, I feel so much better and have so much more energy.
    Oh and one final note we just polished off the gold coins…a particular favorite of the children.
    Thanks again!

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