However, in the spirit of my annual challenge, I settled down one cold wintery evening surrounded by cookbooks and online recipes to select my menu for my Mama and sisters.
I opted for:
A Jamie Oliver starter - "Favourite Winter Salad" with halloumi, fennel and pomegranate.
A BBC main course - "Stuffed Trout" and purple spouting broccoli
And a 'Serious Eats' dessert - "Fig Tart".
First up a trip to the supermarket to stock up on the ingredients...
Including some items I don't think I've ever bought before!
First up was the pastry - desperately hoping to avoid a 'soggy bottom' for my (non-Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry) audience.
While the pastry was left in the fridge for a couple of hours, I set to work on the crème patisserie (pastry cream). A lovely smell of orange filled the kitchen as I carefully transferred my custard between saucepans and bowls, keen to avoid a scrambled eggs mess - my only previous experience of custard making!
The orange creme pat joined the cooling pastry in the fridge and I moved onto main course.
Kicking off with the fish stuffing. Yes random sounding I know, but it's what the recipe called for.
I whizzed up hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, anchovies, garlic and capers.
Then, confusingly for my foodie brain, I switched back to dessert as the pastry and cream had now set.
The pastry had been arranged into a flan dish and cooled before I spread the pastry cream over it...
Next it was time to surround myself with one of my favourite fruits, as I halved about 20 figs.
After snapping some fig beauty shots (with my awesome new camera - what do you think?!)...
I carefully arranged the figs on top of my pastry cream.
Before smothering them in a sugar-butter finisher and popping it into the oven.
While the tart cooked, I filled the trout with my nutty-cheesed stuffing...
...and tied them up!
The fig tart came out of the oven (much before the allocated time), looking tasty - it was a challenge to leave it to cool on the side.
Then making the plates up with the lettuce, fennel, yoghurt dressing and watercress - adding the colourful pomegranate - bizarrely to me, totally in season in December.
The fried halloumi (aka squeaky cheese) was added just before serving.
A yummy main course, though there was perhaps too much cheese for my taste in the stuffing.
Finally it was pudding time and we tucked into the (delicious - if I might say so myself!) tart.
Not a soggy bottom in sight!