Joy of New Recipes

Hello Loneeaters. It's taken me a little while to get round to editing this December Challenge, but I hope you'll find loads of inspiring images to encourage you all to take on this adventure! It has been one of the challenges I enjoyed the most.

Full disclosure, three of my five recipes are Hemsley + Hemsley recipes. I love their stuff!

First up, I made this amazing Butternut Squash and Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding, which is just an amazing way to think about using butternut squash as a sweet ingredient. It's a recipe I've already come back to and know I will again. 

I also tired their Baked Amaranth Pudding at the same time, which was nice but a bit grainy for me and definitely not as good as actual rice pudding. I do however love the use of coconut milk instead of milk and double cream, and equally had no trouble finishing it!

What I liked about both these recipes was you prepared quite large portions and then could breakfast or snack on them for the coming days. This really fits into my way of loneeating which doesn't yet reliably come up with proper meals every day, so needs a bit of a snacking buffer so I don't get too hungry.

Next up from The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, was courgette fries.

I was so pleased with the picture ... until I realised you weren't supposed to add the egg to the dry ingredients! Ah well, that's what second attempts are for:

They were good. Not yet as good or as convenient as roast veg or potatoes for me but a great way to get some more variety into 'chip shaped things you put in the oven and dip in ketchup or mayonnaise'.

These mushrooms was rescued from New Covent Garden Market as part of an Olio mission!

My fourth recipe was a bit of an odd one, mainly based on the fact I had a LOT of mushrooms and so wanted to gently preserve some so I'd be able to finished them. This recipe doesn't really preserve them, but it does make them taste amazing and is a fun, asian style side salad I'll come back to if I ever have loads of mushrooms...

This last recipe was an attempt to branch out with a new dipping sauce for my potato wedges. I've been having a bit of a love affair with peanut butter for the last few months and, remembering a great satay sauce we made when I was a child, I tried to recreate it. If I'm honest, it wasn't the best thing in the world, it just got really greasy instead of retaining the gorgeous creaminess of peanut butter and I think next time I might try and make a raw version - if it works I'll post the recipe here!

So there we have it, five new recipes to broaden my loneeating repertoire.

A couple of thoughts:

1. It's great to have an excuse to push yourself to try new recipes. It's always going to take a bit more time, and be a bit more uncertain when you do, but then it's so easy to get stuck in a rut and bored, even of great food, it's worth it.

2. It shows the value of finding a great cooking book, suited to your cooking style. For me, that would be Hemsley and Hemley, how about you? Have you found a really inspiring recipe book?

3. This is something great to have ticking over in the background every month. Pick your target, depending on how much loneeating you do and how adventurous you want to be, and then aim for that many new recipes every month. Always learning :-)

Did you do the December challenge? How did you find it? How do you think making new recipes impacts your loneeating?

Have your say in the comments section below.