• Duck breast
  • 1 Liter Chicken Soup Base
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • several allspice berries
  • bunch of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Button mushrooms
  • 250 grams sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated horseradish
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry jam

2014 is upon us, first and foremost I want to take this moment to wish you and your loved ones a superb year. Filled with love, laughs, and joys to the max.

How did you spend your holiday?

I was very surprised I even made it to midnight. These days with a 3 month old baby, I’m usually in the bedroom at 9:30pm putting the spawnling to bed in his baby straight jacket aka swaddle. I read and do some pintresting until I pass out usually by 10:30pm.

Boy have times changed. I remember not very many years ago that I rang in the new year at this huge dance festival called Qrime Time at the Heineken music hall in Amsterdam every year. Now that was something to see and I have great memories! I stumbled home at 8am the next day….

That’s not to say that my current New Years celebrations were bad, that’s not the case at all! It’s just different now and I’m in a completely different phase in my life. I was blessed on October 9 with my first baby, a boy named Jasper. He was a month early and changed our life in so many amazing ways. We feel SO lucky.

Needless to stay we didn’t go out for a big ol new years party. Hell I wasn’t sure I could stay awake long enough for my midnight kiss and champagne. We also weren’t really sure what to do for dinner since the baby is not on the best schedule yet and is pretty unpredictable. Some days he will cry for hours and others he is calm and happy. Would he let us have a nice sit down dinner? unlikely…

We looked through several of my cookbooks until we had the idea to cook a new recipe in our Chinese Hot Pot. This maybe isn’t the easiest thing to do with a baby as you need to use your hands, but using he hot pot means we will have a long extended dinner and could switch turns holding baby Jasper if needed. AND we can sit on the couch the whole time as a family.

This is the chinese hot pot that we own, it’s made by Novis and costs about 200 euros.

This sucker is pretty big, very heavy, and well worth the money for the quality that you get. It’s kinda like a piece of furniture, that kind of investment.

We picked out a special recipe that we never tried before, duck breast in red wine. But our adventure started way before dinnertime.

At 6pm we lost power. First time in the 9 years I’ve lived in the Netherlands. It even knocked out our cell phones and mobile internet connections. Sigh. Pitch black. Crying baby. Fuck where are the candles? Lol. We spent the next 3 hours hoping for power to return so we could eat dinner and heat bottles. Sigh. And shaking without internet….

This was our view:

Thankfully about 9pm the power automagically turned back on. REJOICE! So we setup our hot pot immediately.

We added the spice support to the center of the hot pot. That was simply the thyme, cinnamon, bay leaves, and allspice.  Then to the pot we added the chicken soup and bottle of red wine.

Crank that baby up and let it boil for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the dipping sauce by combining the sour cream with horseradish and raspberry jam.

Slice up your duck very thin.

Drizzle some lemon juice on your mushrooms.

And you’re ready to dine!  After your hot pot has boiled for 15 minutes, turn it down to a simmer.

Basically you cook your mushrooms and duck for 3 minutes each in the broth, then dip it in the sauce and OMG THAT SHIT IS GOOD! it’s like fondue but awesomer (I made up a word yay!)

So that’s the new hot pot recipe we tried. PURE bliss. It’s really fun to do with guests too. We served it with some dark brown bread and honey butter. It’s now on our “regular recipes” list it’s that good. 

SO what about the spawnling? He was a good boy and slept next to us on the couch while we ate. Know what else? He woke up on his own about 5 minutes BEFORE the new year and the fireworks started.

This smart little guy wanted to ring in his first new his mommy and daddy <3

Here’s a little video from out back window in the neighborhood. Baby Jasper stayed awake for 15 minutes and watched the fireworks before passing out again. What a great new years eve!

How did you spend yours? What did you cook?

happy 2014.jpg