It's hard to believe that we've almost come to the end of 2010 but we can see it off with the last Weekend Herb Blogging for the year.
Naturally there's a festive feel to this week's recap and I'm sure you'll find something to suit your tastes - be it sweet, savoury or something to sip.
As usual I've presented the entries in order of their main ingredient.
Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Fruit Preserves
by Yasmeen from Health Nut
Sticking with healthier options during the holiday season doesn't have to mean going without. Yasmeen has created a fabulous adaptation of those traditional thumbprint cookies - she uses a mix of whole wheat flour, almond meal and all purpose flour as well as pure cane sugar.
Apple and Date Brioche
by Anh from A Food Lover's Journey
I think Anh describes this best "The fruits are thinly sliced, tossed through some lemon juice and baked on a lovely buttery golden brioche. I adore this combination – fruity and buttery." I especially like that the brioche dough can be left overnight in the fridge - I can see fruity brioche for morning tea in my future!
Candy Striped Beetroot, Avocado and Olive Salad
by Marisa from The Creative Pot
When you manage to come across these candy stripped beetroot, you want to ensure that their full beauty is on show and Marisa's dish certainly satisfies that requirement. The beetroot are first sliced thinly and then lightly baked. When cool, they are joined by avocado, black olives, fragrant mint and lemon balm and tossed in a simple dressing made with lemon juice and olive oil.
Black Fungus/Wood Ear Fungus
Chicken with Black Fungus
by Annie and Nate from House of Annie
Black (wood ear) fungus does have quite a unique appearance and texture and it can sometimes leave you scratching your head trying to work out how best to use it. Thankfully, Nate and Annie have a great recipe for us to try. Chicken pieces are first marinated in a mix of grated ginger and its juice. Garlic is quickly stir-fried and then the chicken is added and cooked until browned. Black fungus and Chinese wine follow and after a little simmer, it's finished off with green onions.
Goat Cheese Squares with Raspberry Chipotle Chutney and Cilantro
by Victoria from Flavours of the Sun
Victoria is bringing us a touch of spice from Mexico in the form of chipotle chiles. This colourful chutney combines garlic, onion, red bell pepper, honey, ginger, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce and raspberries and once cooled extra raspberries and cilantro is added. Victoria uses it to top a simple goat cheese tart. Red, Green and Perfect for Christmas - I think it is!
Homemade Chocolate Mix
by Cinzia from Cindystar
We can always count of Cinzia to make the most fabulous edible gifts and this week is no exception. Cinzia shows us how simple it is to make our own Hot Chocolate mix complete with suggestions on how to make flavoured versions. There will be no excuse to buy the commercial blends any longer.
by Brii from Briiblog
Brii continues her families cooking making tradition with these beautiful Spiral Cookies. You must have a look at her post and in particular the photo of the cookie making session - I've never seen a table so full of cookies before.
by Claudia from Honey From Rock
I always thought that the only use for guava was as a drink, ie guava juice but Claudia has opened my eyes to the potential of this tropical fruit. She's made a guava cobbler - sliced guava is first cooked in a mixture of sugar, butter and flour until softened. The cobbler topping has a tropical feel too as it uses coconut milk.
Key Lime Meltaways
by Janet from Taste Space
Another fabulous cookie for the holiday table - a buttery, melt in your mouth type with hints of tart lime. Janet uses both the zest and the juice from Key Limes in these cookies. Once the cookies are baked and still warm they are tossed in a sugar filled bag - I just love that idea! Janet says they will last in an airtight container for 2 weeks, I don't think they would survive 2 hours in this house.
Hibiscus Tea Poached Pears
I've used hibiscus tea to help colour these poached pears.
Vegan Pate with Sweet Potato
by Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe
It is the season for entertaining and Johanna shares with us a pate that isn't just vegan, it's also gluten free! Johanna combines sweet potato, onion, garlic, tamari, ground sunflower & linseeds, nutritional yeast and thyme to create a puree which is then baked. The leftovers also make excellent sandwich fillings.
Thyme Passionfruit Green Tea
by Min from Honest Vanilla
Min has created this special tea for her mum and luckily for us we can enjoy it too! If I close my eyes I can imagine that the combined aromas of passionfruit and thyme must be utterly intoxicating.
If I've made any errors or left anyone out, please drop me a line and I'll fix it right up.
Thanks again to everyone who joined in this week and to everyone who has taken part throughout the year. Weekend Herb Blogging officially restarts January 3rd however I will be accepting entries posted during the break - just send them along to whb AT cookalmostanything DOT com.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year and I look forward to the start of another great year of Weekend Herb Blogging in 2011.