I’m back! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Personally by body is suffering a little bit from over-indulgence but I’ve had a fabulous time at the coast with my family and some friends and the weather, unlike years past, has been perfect. Ok well it was perfect until today. As I write this I can see another wall of rain heading in from the horizon.
My only complaint about the holidays is that the week has flown by. It seems that December 31st came about a lot faster in 2011 than other years. It could be because 2011 has been a rather exciting year and I hope it’s not because the older you get the faster the years go by, as my parents have been telling me.
2011 has definitely held some highlights so in the true spirit of New Year’s Eve, it’s time for a little reflection on the year that was.
2011 didn’t get off to a great start in my part of the world. The Queensland floods brought with them devastation and destruction. Thankfully I wasn’t directly affected but watched the awful events first hand.
Although the floods were heart-breaking to watch, the show of spirit was unbelievable. The photo above was taken at 6am on a Sunday morning. All of these people had given up their weekends to help with the clean up. I’m not very useful physically, so helped to feed the volunteers. That’s me in the middle standing behind the 4 wheel drive and my mum leaning into the car. The other lady standing next to me had gotten up at 4am and driven from the Gold Coast to feed the volunteers with baked goodies that she and her friend had spent the entire day before baking.
April was very exciting for me with the opening of the Eagle Farm Markets just up the road. Every Sunday I make the short walk with my grandma trolley in tow and stock up on fresh produce and a few little treats for the week.
In 2010 I was given Nigella Kitchen for Christmas so 2011 featured a lot of her recipes. The fajitas were delicious but also high on the list were:
July marked a family trip to Fiji, an early celebration of Dad’s 60th Birthday. It was just me, mum, dad and my sister and Will was home alone for the week.
It turned out leaving him alone was a great idea because the night I got back he proposed! This was definitely the highlight of 2011. No I’m not a little tipsy, I cried happy tears from the moment I knew what was happening. We have less than 4 months until the wedding!
I baked a lot of bread in 2011 and the best recipe goes to hot dog rolls. These rival any store-bought version. Other bread-making quests included:
In September, Will and I jetted over to Asia to visit his sister and her boyfriend in Shanghai then holidayed in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Singapore and Ria Bintan.
One of my proudest creations of the year was my first ever paella. I hope I did my Spanish aunt and uncle proud!
Only hoping to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty, I was thrilled to get so close to the Queen on her visit to Brisbane in October. She’s such a lovely looking lady.
Later that month it was Claire K Creations’ 1st Birthday. I couldn’t believe how fast a year went. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I made a lot of dairy products from scratch in 2011 but it all started when I made my first yoghurt. Like lots of my creations, my first Greek Yoghurt was inspired by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and since then I’ve made labneh and ricotta from scratch too.
In November I headed off to the Good Food and Wine show and saw George and Gary on stage. The following night I was out to dinner and who should walk in but George and Gary. They were so lovely and George gave me a few tips on food blogging.
My last achievement for the year was my very first gingerbread house. It was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience but well worth the effort.
Yes 2011 was quite a year! I can’t wait to start 2012 off with a bang and look forward to all that it brings. I’ll be dining out and welcoming the year of my wedding (as it will be known to me) with my fiance and then celebrating the first day of the year with our traditional lunch at Noosa with family and friends.
I wish you a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a healthy, happy and well-fed 2012!