December is a month full of festivities: holiday parties to attend and coordinate, visitors to entertain, baked goods to create, presents to make or buy, occasions to celebrate with friends and family, cards to write and good cheer to spread. For many of us, it's the busiest time of the year, but also a time of year when we get to let our kitchen prowess shine - or at least get in there and try a few new things!
For me, December means breaking out the Alabama Christmas CD for a few renditions of "Thistlehair the Christmas Bear," scouring books and magazines for new cookie recipes to share with friends, family and cookie swaps; finding new side dishes to accompany the dusty and required recipes for artichoke dip, prime rib and chicken noodle soup that make up Christmas eve and Christmas day fare; and choosing to attempt one of those "traditional" holiday treats that simply are aren't around the other 11 months of the year: yule logs with chocolate bark and marzipan mushrooms, soft and sweet panettone, fruitcake studded with jewel-like candied fruits, elaborate gingerbread houses, rum-spiked eggnog...you know the stuff. Every year, I dream of making such decadent treats, but December comes and goes too quickly, and I find myself left with only the vision of sugarplums dancing in my head and no yule log to speak of.
This year, I'm determined to make those sugarplums materialize and sink my teeth in to them.
For over a year, participants of the monthly Heart of the Matter (HotM) event been helping Ilva, Joanna and I show that food that's good for you doesn't have to be boring or bland. We've already done baked goods and holiday food as themes before, so now we're stepping it up a notch. The holiday season is a time of celebration, abundance, and culinary wanderlust - so for HotM this month, we're asking you to share your recipes for the most decadent, delicious treats you can think of - with a heart-healthy twist. What sort of mouth-watering, scrumptious recipes do you dust off from your kitchen repertoire this time of year? Do you have a something you've always wanted to try, that always seemed too over-the-top to make any other time of the year? Will you take the challenge to make those indulgent foods saved for once-a-year into heart-healthy holiday treats?
The usual rules: If you’ve participated before, you already know the basics. If you haven’t, check here, here and here for ideas on what “heart-healthy” means, and we hope that you’ll join us! Again, we ask that this please be a single event entry(please don’t use your post for other events – that way we can keep things centred on healthy heart awareness). Just send your entry to phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com (please use the title HotM, so they don't get lost) by midnight on Thursday, December 25, linking to my site, The Accidental Scientist (and to the HotM blog if you’d like). Please note that this is only a few short weeks away! Since it's so soon, and I want people to be able to gain inspiration and be able to enjoy the recipes all month long but have them before the holiday actually arrives, I'll be doing the round-up differently this month and posting the recipes that have come in at the end of each week. If you've never participated before, please join us! We'd love to have some new "faces" and recipes to share!