Happy New Year...

...Happy new year everyone!
I hope you have all had a brilliant Christmas and are enjoying 2014 so far...

2013 was a year of change for me. It started off pretty average, but starting this blog was one of the best things I have ever done. When I started out I remember thinking "I'll never keep this going, I can't even keep a diary!". But here I am 10 months later and i'm still posting, even if isn't as often as originally intended.

The blog has opened so many doors for me, i've met some amazing people...From John Whaite to Larkin Cen and not forgetting the fellow bloggers! It's made me push myself in the kitchen, I've tried foods that I wouldn't have dared eat before. I've consumed some damn good burgers and chicken wings.. I've baked my ass off and most of all I have loved every single second of it.

I have a few new years resolutions for 2014, some I am going to stick to, some will last a month or so..some may not even begin. But I will share it all with you.

The first is to eat healthier food that isn't as boring as sin! Every year I promise myself that I will try and lose weight and every year I get to the end of the first week and then stuff my face with every burger in sight. Blogging has shown me that there are some seriously tasty meals out there that are good for you and don't taste like the underside of muddy boot.

The second is to join the gym, as of the 5th of January this is still yet to happen but its having the time at the moment. I will do this though as I need to swim! 

The third is to give less F•cks... I get myself in to quite a state sometimes with the smallest of things. But this year I'm taking the attitude that people do what they want, it's not my problem.

The fourth is to update the blog more regularly and give it a make over.

And finally the fifth is to continue saving and do new things! 

All together I think I can stick to most of these...With a little help from you guys!

You may have noticed I've been a little quiet on here recently, Christmas is the busiest time of year for me at work. That and all the time spent in the kitchen at home creating Christmas bakes has really stopped me from having a moment spare to post. So I thought I would do a little round up of my lead up to Christmas now.

Christmas for me started with a solo visit to London. I decided to go with no plans and just explore, get some shopping done and enjoy myself. It solve involved some eating (standard) but I'll save that for a separate post.

London truly is beautiful at Christmas, the lights really give the festive feeling and a smile as wide possible.

The next part of Christmas is obviously the food...The glorious food!
This is the first year that I have actively wanted to take part in creating the food for the big day. I started with a Mincemeat Streusel, making everything from scratch. I've got incredibly warm hands so can struggle with pastry but this was BEAUTIFUL. Buttery pastry that makes the mouth water. This is probably the best bake I have ever done and it makes me sad that its a Christmas bake...I need it all year round!

The next bake was Raspberri Cupcakes Christmas tree meringues. I've never had much luck with meringue but was determined to push myself and they turned out beautifully. A gloriously goey center meets the tongue as your teeth break through the outer wall.

I even went as far as cooking a turkey! My first ever bird went down a storm, I stuffed it with a whole lemon and basted it with lashings of butter, white wine and water. It was beautifully moist and made some great left over dishes including a turkey and ham pie, Turkey curry and tons of soup!

I also attempted my first flap jack! Nigel Slater supplied the recipe and I have to say, they were bloody lush! Buttery goodness followed by sour cherries dancing on the tongue.
I also made some edible Christmas tree decorations for my colleagues at work.

Anyway enough about food, I'm sure you all have similar resolutions to me so I best stop talking...

My family were incredibly generous this Christmas, they have obviously noticed I like to bake, everything was baking related!

But I'd like to say one special thank you on here, and that thank you goes to Rosie over at The Londoner.

I received this little beauty after entering one of her give aways. Its possibly one of the nicest things I have ever received. If I knew you in person not only would you be receiving a massive bunch of flowers but you would receive the biggest hug ever. Its a lovely watch and I am going to wear it proudly.(but not to work, don't want it getting scratched to buggery!)

I hope you all have a fantastic year! Heres to 2014 and all it brings our ways!

Happy New Year!

Alex aka The Broke Boy