Handpicked Links December 2008

by sophie on December 8, 2008 · 9 comments

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A few favourite finds from over the last few weeks.
  • Winter fruit salad – Smitten Kitchen has a gorgeous winter fruit salad made with pear, apples, pomegranate seeds and dried fruit, scented with star anise, vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Ginger jewelled salad – Heidi Swanson has come up with a stunning dried fruit studded salad that somehow combines a lightness of touch with a real holiday season feel.
  • Nigel Slater writes about his garden –  one for the green fingered among you to enjoy, a tour through Nigel’s kitchen garden with its six themed beds of fruit, vegetables and herbs.  Particularly enjoyable are Nigel’s loving descriptions of his horticultural successes and failures over the years.
  • A moveable feast – the full Christmas recipe spread from talented Ottolenghi chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is available on The Guardian web site. Particularly luscious are the veggie side dishes such including Pan-fried brussels sprouts and shallots with pomegranate & purple basil and Roasted pumpkin wedges with chestnut, cinnamon & fresh bay leaves

  • 20 ways with rice and beans – Michael Pollan, Mollie Katzen, Marion Nestle, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and a whole host of other people whose names don’t begin with M all talk about their favourite ways to make rice and beans.  It’s a struggle to think of a more frugal, environmentally-friendly and healthy combination and there are so many variations in there that there is sure to be a version to please everyone.
  • Make a better breakfast – whether you prefer a cooked breakfast, a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast, Kathryn Elliott has a guide to simple tweaks to make all manner of breakfast choices a little more nutritious.
  • Simple No-Cook Sesame Date Bites – Medjool dates coated with tahini, agave nectar, orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon are a delicious no cook sweet treat from Veggie Meal Plans, perfect for a party nibble.
  • Worried about dioxins in pork? – the big food news this week has been the discovery of levels of dioxins 200 times over the safety limit in Irish pork, caused by contaminated feed.  While it sounds pretty scary, the actual risk to health is low, particularly at the levels most people consume pork.  The BBC have a good Q&A on the issue and the Food Standards agency have a page all about dioxins and their potential risk to health.
  • Winter foliage


Wendy December 9, 2008 at 06:40

Lovely links, Sophie. Thank you. Had seen quite a few of them before but was very glad to be reminded of them. And the Slater one? How did I miss that?

Cassie December 9, 2008 at 16:55

I love these links posts as there’s always something I’d not seen and will find interesting. Loving the look of that brussels sprouts dish with the pomegranate. Would have never thought to put them together – and with basil on top of it all!

kathryn December 10, 2008 at 07:11

Ooh what juicy reading. Thanks for these Sophie. You ALWAYS manage to come up with great lists of articles, recipes and information – most of which I haven’t come across.
And you’ve also reminded me about Cassie’s sesame date bites. Just as I’ve been looking around for Christmas foods to make for presents, that aren’t fat, sugar loaded.

joey December 10, 2008 at 15:28

Interesting links! Thanks for the heads up :)

Sophie December 10, 2008 at 20:37

Glad you liked it Wendy – I just loved reading about Nigel talking about his garden!
Thanks Cassie – I loved your sesame date recipe, though I’m currently too busy OD’ing on another of your tahini recipes, the tahini miso orange dressing
Kathryn – you’re a hard act to follow when it comes to a talent for finding exciting links :-) I’m always on the look out for something you might not have spotted yet
Hi Joey, it’s my pleasure!

Johanna December 11, 2008 at 01:58

Thanks for these links – always love seeing what others are reading and find it great inspiration – we had rice and beans for dinner this week after I saw the article you linked to here

Cassie December 11, 2008 at 20:02

Sophie, that’s great to hear. That recipe is one of my favorites and it’s always nice to know how these things work out for others. Appreciate that!

Elaine December 13, 2008 at 05:54

Hello, Sophie.
Thank you so much for carefully selecting these links. You certainly are a connoisseur of the finest posts of the food blogs. I’m really grateful for the rice and beans collection.
What a lovely photo at the end! Your garden?

Sophie December 15, 2008 at 08:32

No worries Cassie – I’ve been having the dressing on everything, even my sandwiches!
Thanks Elaine – the rice and beans article was really interesting I thought. The picture is one from a huge batch I took in the main Oxford University Park last year, not long after I got my camera.

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