Happy New Year! (+ Big Waffly Cowl, Candied Orange Peels, and Recipes for a New Year)

Happy New Year, everyone!

I'm not into resolutions. My annual resolution to floss more often doesn't count . . . anyway if I had always stuck to it, I would be flossing every 18 minutes by now. I have been thinking lately about spending less money (who isn't?) and getting more actual nutrition out of my food. And of course, it would be nice to knit more.

Starting with knitting, here is my first new project of 2009, which while still on the needles, is destined for the frog pond. I am making this big waffly cowl as a gift, and using some School Products cashmere purchased ages ago, doubled (it does not look very cashmere-y here because SP yarn has spinning oil on it which comes off on washing).

big waffly cashmere cowl

It's turning out perfectly - cushy and bulky - but the yarn will run out before it gets long enough. If anyone purchased this particular colorway of 2-ply SP cashmere about two years ago, and hasn't used theirs (yeah right), LMK.

Now, that nutrition thing. Let's rewind for a minute, so I can show you what we did for holiday gifts this year. Candied orange peels - an idea filched from Parikha!

candied orange peels

candied orange peels

We dipped half of ours in bittersweet chocolate. Chris' family LOVED them. They are one of those old timey candies that people love but seldom see anymore. And they were super simple to make.

Originally we intended to make Parikha's orange pomegranate marmalade out of the leftover oranges, but the idea of sterilizing the jars made other activities, say, watching season 1 of Arrested Development on DVD, seem a lot more appealing. So we had about a dozen naked oranges in our fridge. They inspired this salad, repeated over several nights to use up a bit of our surplus citrus:

use #1 for the 13 leftover peeled oranges in my fridge.

It's a loose interpretation of the not-very-punchily named Arugula Fennel Apple Mandarin Orange and Pomegranate Salad from an old Bon Appétit. Any excuse to use the V-slicer is a-ok with me.

There was also a TON of leftover orange-infused turbinado sugar syrup. In the name of using all the parts of the pig, so to speak, I poured it into a mason jar for later use in cocktails. Chris was like, um, when do we EVER make cocktails? He's got a point, but his cousin-in-law David helpfully suggested all these yummy looking libations for which the orange syrup could sub for simple syrup.

And finally, working my continuing efforts to enjoy beets into the goal of getting more out of food has been easy. I prefer beets raw more than in any other form, which is good because reportedly some of beets' fabulous health benefits are destroyed by heat. Lately I have been shredding beets and carrots in about equal proportion, and combining with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil for a tasty side salad. Here it is with another *really* nice, healthful recipe from Bon Appétit, Catfish Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salsa:

catfish tacos and beet + carrot salad

Let me know if you try any of these dishes. They were winners for us! Next up: tonight we're making a lamb and green bean tagine from Fresh Moroccan, an interesting cookbook Chris' mom got us for Christmas. Now, let's see whether we can keep this up when I go back to work tomorrow . . .

By the way - while we're on the topic of goals, is anyone out there participating in the Body + Soul Challenge? Some of it feels silly to me (a new me in five weeks? oooookay magazine editors!) but there's a nice, sane detox plan at the beginning and there seem like there may be some other interesting bits.

Posted by jess at January 4, 2009 2:50 PM | TrackBack

nice packaging for the candied peels! :)

Posted by: sixoneseven at January 4, 2009 5:25 PM

I have considered the Body + Soul challenge. Not certain yet. Might give myself a week or so.

Posted by: paisly penguin at January 4, 2009 7:58 PM

god, all of that food looks amazing! i hear ya on spending less and eating better. we'll have to nudge each other on this year! happy new year!

Posted by: gleek at January 4, 2009 8:30 PM

Candied orange peels! What a great gift idea.

Posted by: Snowbird at January 4, 2009 11:24 PM

Wow, you've been enjoying your home time this holiday season! Everything looks yummy :)

Posted by: Veronique at January 5, 2009 10:40 AM

I bought some garam masala from a local Indian foods store to use when I make interesting Indian dishes. Your recipes are making me hungry!

Posted by: Bo at January 5, 2009 10:48 AM

Ohmigod, those Candied Orange Peels look so tasty. First peeked over at Parikha's blog and now over here. And dipped in (dark) chocolat ...

Posted by: Elena at January 5, 2009 10:50 AM

Wow. The candied orange peels are a great idea! I made tons of mini-loaves of banana bread, but I think your idea is far better!

As for the Body and Soul Challenge...I hadn't heard of it, but am now considering it.

Posted by: Sarah at January 5, 2009 11:07 AM

ooh. you're making me hungry! I love candied orange peels, and you're right- you never see them in stores. I've bookmarked the recipe! Those catfish tacos look incredible, too....

Posted by: Julie at January 5, 2009 12:39 PM

OMG, that just made me SO hungry! Esp. the fish tacos--I haven't had a good one since I left California.
Perhaps New Year's Rez should be to drink more orange-infused cocktails? ;)

Posted by: Jessica at January 5, 2009 1:14 PM

they look amazing

Posted by: asiye Ivedi at January 5, 2009 2:33 PM

they look amazing! yummy!!
I will definitly try it, and am off to eat something now, since all of this made me hungry :)

Posted by: asiye Ivedi at January 5, 2009 2:40 PM

Ooh. Lovely and yummy. This is making me hungry.


Posted by: Rima Aranha at January 6, 2009 11:15 AM

Fish tacos are easily one of my favorite foods ever, but I've never made them. About time I do, right?

Posted by: Jesse at January 8, 2009 2:03 PM

Your candied orange peels look yummy and beautiful !!
To sterilize jars, I put them in the oven for a few minutes: I found this in a wonderful cookbook about jams and marmelades, I've been doing this for 3 years now and my jams have never been spoiled !

Posted by: yan at January 10, 2009 2:20 PM

Oh my goodness!! We LOVE candied orange peels. Gonna have to try this one out real soon now. Can I ask what jars you used to package them? I can't tell from the distance you shot them--beautiful photo BTW!

Posted by: cheryl at January 11, 2009 6:23 PM

I am actually totally planning on doing the Body and Soul challenge!! I already did all of my shopping/ planning for this week! The detox does look- I don't want to say easy, but rational.

Posted by: Lindseyrose at January 12, 2009 10:22 AM

tried to sign up for the B&S but the sign up form kept kicking me out, took that as a sign.....

Posted by: d'marie at January 13, 2009 9:39 AM

Wow, those fish tacos look awesome. So do the candies. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos!

Posted by: Jessie at January 14, 2009 10:21 AM

I haven't commented in eons, you probably don't even remember me! : )

The orange peels made me nostalgic for the ones my aunt used to make for us. I was the only one in the family who really liked them so I got to eat pretty much the whole batch. Yum.

I made the grated beets/carrots with balsamic and olive oil tonight. I added fresh ground pepper. Delicious. A nice break from a tossed salad. Thanks for the idea!

Posted by: Margot at January 14, 2009 8:28 PM

I am the last person on earth to see this! I'm so impressed!!
Actually, I'm doing a craft fair in 2 weeks, and am planning on doing candied orange peels m'self! great packaging!

Posted by: Craptina at January 22, 2009 2:01 PM

Thanks for the great photos - I love the idea of the legwarmers - I hear ya about the cold in the Northeast. I live in upstate NY near Albany (Berkshire mountain foothills - aka mountains of snow)and I have really gotten into "repurposing." The recipes look if I could only find the time to do all of that.....

Posted by: Jennifer at February 1, 2009 11:00 AM

Jess - the orange peels were amazing. I truly loved the chocolate covered ones. Thank you!!

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