If December is all about cooking delicious Christmas food and eating out, who would blame us for thinking that January is all about performing penance for our December food sins. But it doesn't have to be that way and I refuse to partake in the January 'guilt fest' this year. Yes, I'm all for returning to healthy eating and watching what I eat - green smoothies and vegetables juices have made a major come back in my house. I'm more than happy that the festive days of eating with abandonment are behind us for another year; not a moment too soon as my dodgy tummy and dull skin will attest to. But January doesn't have to be all about portion control and calorie counting; instead factor in some select culinary activities to indulge your love of food and help keep the January blues at bay.
Keep reading for some ideas of how to feed your foodie soul this January.
Enjoy a long lazy weekend lunch in your favourite restaurant
Our weekends in the run up to Christmas are always manic and let's be honest, our many social engagements blur into one. Come January, we have lots more time on our hands and what better way to spend it than whiling away a lazy Saturday afternoon over a long lunch in your favourite restaurant. January lunches offer much better value than Christmas set menus, so get your like minded friends together, book your favourite restaurant and clear your schedule. There's nothing quite like having an entire afternoon to eat delicious food over good wine with the people you like the most.
Take a cookery lesson
If you can't face alcohol and the thought of another January night spent at the cinema is too much, book yourself into an evening cookery class instead. This Middle Eastern cookery class offered by Cooks Academy in Dublin on Friday, 14 January caught my eye. If that doesn't suit, they have plenty more options throughout the month. There are lots of cookery schools and classes all over the country, a quick google search will find your local one.
Book a food holiday for later in the year
We are travelling more and more in search of good food. Netflix and social media are taking us on food adventures that we want to experience first hand. Whether you wish to stay in Ireland or go further afield there is much to chose from. The Peruvian capital, Lima is the on trend foodie destination right now a long with Toyko, Singapore and Denmark. If I had my pick, I would head to the Middle East and feed my hummus obsession. Book in January and salivate over the idea until your holiday comes around.
Make January the month of brunches
It's an undisputed fact that brunch is the best meal of the day and particularly so in Winter. Hygge has just made it all the more on trend. Optimal brunching at home calls for an open fire, eggs on a slow scramble and coffee on repeat; all you have to do is curl up in your favourite wooly jumper and relax. Going out to brunch is just as satisfying. Chose your favourite cafe, grab the papers and have your eggs and avocado served up to you.
Pimp out your kitchen in the January sales
Whether it's a Vitamix, Thermomix or Magimix, invest in your most lust after kitchen appliance in the January sales. I love nothing more than a good kitchen appliance, particularly when I can grab a bargain. Table ware is heavily discounted in most retailers, so now is the time to invest in those plates you love. If you want to stay on trend, experts are predicting that glossy, perfect finishes are losing popularity as they make way for more natural and imperfect finishes. Colourwise, muted greiges (grey-beige) are growing in popularity while greens and deep blues continue to wow.
Buy one cookery book and resolve to cook one new dish a week
If your favourite past time is cooking at home, treat yourself to a new cookbook; one that you have had your eye on for a while and take some time to yourself - just you, your kitchen and your new food bible and enjoy the very act of cooking.
Sign up for a city food trail
If you like the idea of spending a crisp Saturday morning, strolling through your favourite Irish city while eating, a city food trail is the perfect January activity for you. Food trails provide a mix of history and culture, all experienced while sampling contemporary Irish food and meeting the people behind that food. Check out Fab Food Trails or Delicious Dublin Tours for more info.
Image credit: Gabriel Gurrola, via unsplash.com