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Monday 13 January 2014

Chocolate Biscotti and a Big Question

2014: delicious.

I think we're too far into the New Year now for me to legitimately still be able to wish you and yours a happy and joyous 2014, but since my biggest resolution for this coming year was to raise hell, I feel secure throwing caution to the wind and ignoring protocol. Happy New Year, guys.

I started 2014 as I seem to start every year: feeling like death.There's something about the date December 31 that just turns me into an animal, and I don't remember a great deal other than pomegranate cosmopolitans (seasonal!), dinner and shouting at my party guests to pull up the rug because I was going to dust off my R. Kelly. TBH, I often wonder how I still have friends. I think they like the cocktails.

I thought we'd start the year with a simple recipe, but before we get to that, I want to review my resolutions from last year and make some new ones. You'll remember I wanted to:
  1.  Make more time for family. I live so far away from them that they probably think I forget about them, even though I don't.
  2. Be nicer to my husband. I don't want to get divorced. 
  3. 'Date Night' - at least one every time I'm home. If it's good enough for Barack and Michelle...
  4. Not be so obsessed about saving set amounts of my salary each month. I need to enjoy myself as well as take care of the pennies!
  5. Work on the side project I've been procrastinating about for far too long now.
  6. Knit myself a sweater. It is time.
How did I do? I definitely remember trying with numbers 1 and 2. 4 was amply achieved, and I did quite well with 3 as well. But 5 and 6 are failures. They need to be reinstated as 2014 Resos.

This year, I want to:

  1. Work on the side project I've been procrastinating about for far too long now.
  2. Finish my sweater. It is pissing me off that I can't wear all that gorgeous merino.
  3. Make Twitter a part of my life. (@peterdelicious) I joined, and hate it so far. Come hang out and make me like it.
  4. Raise hell. I have been too good for too long. Realistically, I probably won't be that bad. But I might swear on here a bit more.
  5. Be nicer. Be positive. Be the sort of person people like. 
We'll see how we go. I must get that sweater out.

OK, I also have a question for you all to answer. In the comments. Or you could tweet me! New for 2014! Basically, shall I Re-Invent the Lamington again this year? I will not have time to follow my usual schedule running up to Australia Day, but I know that last year I got comments and a couple of emails from people who were disappointed that I didn't go in for a fourth year. So I might do it at the end of the month instead. I can do that. It's my game.

Should I once again cover my kitchen in coconut? Will you bake along?

While you think on that: chocolate biscotti.

Chocolate Biscotti

You will need:

250g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
200g granulated sugar
100g almonds
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, bicarb and nuts. I never chop them, but if you don't want chunks of almond in the biscotti, either chop them finely now, or leave them out.
  2. Break in  the eggs and add the vanilla, and using your hands (keep one clean and outside the bowl, so that you have a clean hand for emergencies), mix carefully to a dough. You can add a splash of milk if everything looks dry, but it should be fine. Take your time, and mix well.
  3. Form three small baguette shapes from the dough, each the width of two fingers. Put the dough baguettes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 190°C, then remove from the oven and slice the baguettes into biscotti. Bake the slices for another 5 minutes in the oven on the baking sheet, then turn them over and bake again on the other side for 5 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack. Store airtight.
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