In My Kitchen.

Where oh where do the days go? I just seem to puddle around, not seeming to achieve very much at all, but then I reflect and think about the luxury I now have by being able to do things at my leisure, when I want and to a certain extent on my terms. A big thank you to Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings for linking us In My Kitcheners, I need a kick up the butt to post lately and this linking up helps with that!

I haven’t really got a lot to report about whats been going on in my kitchen, we have been out and about a lot, illness has played its toll on a few and our exteno work has become a priority to finish so we have been going full speed on a few jobs around here.

The most exciting activity In My Kitchen has been that I have now done four sourdough classes which have been very popular and a lot of fun as well as a challenge to do. I don’t get much of an opportunity to interact with people since I left work and this is a great way to do that. It is extremely rewarding seeing how the participants react to their creations and especially rewarding when you see some extremely successful bakes once they get home. Still tweaking the format for the day but it seems pretty good and I have only had positive feedback far.

We love our tea, we decided quite a few years ago to revert to using ‘real’ tea made with tea leaves in a pot. I have never once regretted this decision, it is a nice process putting it all together and taking a moment or two to ponder  while the tea brews. This tea was a gift and it is from our favourite tea shop TeaLeaves in Sassafras. This shop has an amazing range of teas, pots, accessories of all descriptions and is quirky and interesting to visit.    It’s not in my kitchen yet, but come next week it will be. This year’s garlic harvest, somewhat smaller than previous years but hopefully still enough to get us through for close to the next 12 months. One great thing that is In My Kitchen, is the lovely book by Emilie from The Clever Carrot  I first had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ Emilie quite a few years ago when In My Kitchen was hosted by the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial Emilie’s book, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple is a great book, easy to read, clear and just gets to the crux of where you need to be. No elaborate hoo ha, no unnecessary race fillers just great information, great recipes, easy on the eye pictures and it is something I would recommend to any sourdough enthusiast. I have not heard one (and I’ve had a lot of feedback) negative about this book. I actually bought the eBook version too. This pic shows the cover and  Emilie’s  low hydration and high hydration loaves which I asked to compare. These bialy’s were made following Emilie’s recipe (apart from the filling) to a tee and they were sensational. These are filled with caramelised baby leek and onion, red capsicum, thyme and feta. Time to do the Christmas tree again, I laughed when I read Celia had a tree full of years of memories and I mentioned that I had this great idea that every year we would get the kids one special tree ornament and when the time came for them to leave home they would have ornaments to put on their own trees. Well guess what, now we only have lights, the bloody kids have nicked off with all the ornaments!  Anyway, here we are with the snack platter and some liquid refreshment as we sit back and enjoy ‘the lights’.Finally In My Kitchen is one little fella who loves his food, especially dried fruits, bread and in particular Ree’s Fruit Bread Toast. Here he having a picnic on the floor as it was awful outside. Yep dates are on his top 5 list! Thanks Sherry for taking on IMK this year, wishing everyone a happy Christmas, I look forward to seeing what everyone is up to in the New Year.

 

In My Kitchen

At the risk of seeming somewhat obsessive about baking with sourdough, I tried to find some photos I’d clicked over the last month that included something else. I wasn’t very successful I must admit!

Anyone that knows me, know that I loathe football, actually I’m not really fussed about any sport, but football just irks me beyond belief. I fail the good Aussie test by all accounts. So when Mr ATMT went to our friends to watch the great game, I happily played in the garden and once the game was over headed around there with a platter to share. I literally threw some ‘stuff’ together and it was delicious. Our oranges, pickled onions and sourdough crackers with parmesan and rosemary and a few bits from the deli as well as some nuts and dried fruits. I didn’t realise you could buy things like roast beef slices in the deli! Shows how often I shop. Oh, some ciabatta I made in the morning went with the cheese well. Meat and 3 veg, a rarity here but sometimes it just hits the spot. A friend had given me a cabbage and our butcher has the loveliest crumbed cutlets (with real crumbs). Some mustard carrots and mash, can’t go wrong! Can’t help it, a couple of my sourdough loaves. I’ve been playing with spelt and different grains and it has been great fun. The oranges have just about finished for this season but we still have a few more mornings of juice left. I have planted 2 more orange and 2 more mandarin trees, as we seem to just keep eating them if they are available. Our little grandson has had a great time picking mandarins and eating them straight from the tree. This breakfast is made up of our orange juice, eggs a friend brought to us (thanks Keryn) and served with bacon and maple syrup on the Italian Corneti (or Italian croissant) I made using the recipe in Carol Fields book ‘The Italian Baker’. It’s made using yeast, not sourdough so I’m off the hook with that one! I’ve decided I prefer ‘normal’ croissants as this dough has eggs added which I find a bit too rich and strangely enough, adds an ‘eggy’ flavour. And the most precious of what’s In My Kitchen this month, is our brand new (well 2 1/2 weeks old now) grandson. Here is is 4 days old and has changed so much already. It’s a bit addictive having these babies around!So that’s it from me ‘In My Kitchen this month’, I’m still trying to get to the links that Sherry has over at her blog Sherry’s Pickings of last months kitchen peekers. Thanks Sherry for sharing, I will get to it eventually!

So it’s nearly time to plant the tomatoes, make the Christmas Pudding and plan how this years Gingerbread House Demolition is going to be done.. Always open to some good creative ideas about that one.

 

 

 

 

In My Kitchen September

What better way to spend an afternoon (that is absolutely vile), than sitting in front of the fire and catching up on quite a few jobs that can be done while sitting on ya bum? Thought doing an In My Kitchen quick post might fit the bill for this. Thanks to Sherry over at SherrysPickings for hosting IMK, she hasn’t been well, so do a post to give her something to read while she recuperates! Thanks Sherry!

Well I tried a new calamari recipe, this time it was Annabel Langbeins 5 spice salt and pepper squid from her book the Free Range Cook. I didn’t have any 5 spice made up so I just added a little bit of cumin, chilli and coriander along with the salt and pepper. Served on a salad of lettuce, capers, our oranges, tomato and a dressing made from greek yogurt, a blur of mayo  and lemon juice and it was a nice light tea. I never tire of looking at the antique dresser I restored and the spring flowers look right at home on it. I made a peel out of cardboard for loading bread into my oven that is the same size as my steel baking stone. This piece of cardboard on the right has lasted nearly a year but is definitely showing signs of being quite ‘past it’ so I cut out a new one. I had visions of buying a beautifully hand crafted wooden peel but the cardboard works really well, even when you forget to slide the loaves off it and put the whole lot, board  and all in the oven! My daughter has been making some bath soak for the little fella to help relieve his slight eczema. She blitzed oats and Calendula but it was a bit coarse so I’m running it through the spice grinder. It is coming out very soft and fine. Speaking of my daughter, she is due to have her second baby in a week, so I’ve been working on a crocheted bamboo baby blanket. This has been a beautiful project to work on. My hands will take a while to recover, but it has been worth every ache and pain it has brought about.When we first got the kitchen operational, I built a work board out of marine ply. This was for making pastry on, making pasta and gnocchi on, putting pots etc on, pretty much for anything that might cause damage to the timber bench tops and it has been wonderful. It was getting a bit dog-eared so I have given it a sand back and a new coat of Danish oil. This has been an absolute godsend to have! I’m continually working on testing and perfecting making sourdough croissants and these have probably been the best tasting ones so far. Need more proving time but we were having them for father’s day breakfast so they got baked before at their prime state. I’d love to know how they would have been of left another couple of hours as this crumb is pretty good when still not proofed enough!Finally as we sit and listen to the rain absolutely pounding down outside I think of the pretty spring flowers that are probably getting their heads demolished by the rain. This is why we need to appreciate things at the time we see them and not put off the pleasure of just enjoying them. Happy Spring to South of the equator and happy Autumn to those in the north!

 

In My Kitchen-For the first time in a while!

I was having a look around my kitchen to see if there may be anything of interest to post and realised it is exactly one year since I moved from the temporary kitchen into our new lovely space. I posted about having a new oven installed at the end of July last year. Twelve months on and I can honestly say I am thrilled with my Falcon oven. Not too thrilled though that it threw a door seal the other night, will have to get that sorted pretty quickly. There has not been one moment when I haven’t been thrilled with this oven and its performance. So back to what’s to share In My Kitchen this month. We now have Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings doing the linking up of fellow IMKer’s, thanks Sherry!

Here I have some sourdough croissants that look suspiciously like crumbed chicken. I finely chopped hazelnuts and almonds to sprinkle over the top and it makes them look crumbed. Glazed with a rosewater glaze they were a great success with the kids arguing over who got how many and some whinging that they “always” miss out. The recipe for these completely sourdough croissants is from Shipton Mill, I have made it a few times and it always goes well. I made these smaller as a mini croissants which were cut to about 7cm wide X 15cm long. They should have proofed another couple of hours but it had already been 24hours and I got impatient! Here are definitely the last tomatoes for this season. I picked these from the greenhouse today and to be honest I was quite surprised to see them. Mr ATMT has been working his ‘not quite as young as he used to be’ body out laying brick paving in the area outside the kitchen. These bricks are reclaimed from a local demolition company and look really great. The orange tree we moved is coping really well so far and the overnight temperatures that have been down to -4 haven’t knocked it much at all.  Now to get some fence screen planting in. I think lots of citrus will do very nicely.I love fruit cake but we never have it as I am the only one who eats it. My sister gave me this boiled fruit cake and I am looking forward to working my way through it with my cup of tea each day. My girlfriend brought me back these napkins from her overseas trip. I hope they don’t say anything offensive, feel free to translate for me! I have a new bread knife In My Kitchen, crusty sourdough bread can be a challenge for cutting and I love this Opinel bread knife. I have 2 new books. I bought the Bien Cuit bread book because I love the pictures and it is a nice book to have on the coffee table (which we don’t have!) and the Culinary Adventures  of Marakesh was kindly given to me by a neighbour. I have only started delving into this and I think it will be quite an enjoyable read. Is anyone else familiar with this book? Lastly for this months’s IMK post is a picture of our classic winter Saturday or Sunday wake up snack. A cup of tea with some toasted sourdough, here it is fruit loaf with raspberry jam on one and quince jelly on the other. Bloody lovely! Now off to have a look at the other “In My Kitchen” posts.

 

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In My Kitchen-April

As the seasons change so does what goes on in my kitchen. We have had a couple of days cool enough to run the heating and we’ve had a couple of days hot enough to sit outside under the trees for their cooling relief. Alas, I do think the warmer days are over, snow today on Mt Baw Baw.

In my Kitchen this month is my entire onion harvest for the season, save the drum roll, no need whatsoever. Also in my kitchen is something quite dear to me. About 23 years ago we were meant to go camping, but all three kids had the chicken pox and that was too testing even for me to endure in a tent. I managed to find a farmer who had an old farmhouse that he let people stay in (usually backpackers) and he said it was available. It was a wonderful old house on a beautiful farm in Leongatha and it had a wood fired stove, fireplaces in the main bedroom and lounge, a fig tree out the back and lots of chooks. He was thrilled that he had someone stay who actually knew how to use the stove and the next day he turned up saying his mum used to bake bread with yeast she had made herself so he had taken the time to dig out the recipe for the yeast or as we would now call it ‘starter’. It looks like it came from an old PWMU cook book but I’m not sure. I’m really pleased I still have this and I may even attempt to make the yeast from hops one day. I picked most of the fruit from the rocoto chilli bush and decided to see how it goes freezing it. I have read this works well, we will find out. I have put small quantities into ice block trays and frozen them then put into a container for easy access. A bit left of field with this one. I found this fur jacket at the op-shop in Warragul and just had to bring it home. It is like brand new, has no smell and has the most beautifully detailed buttons. It came from the Myer emporium furriers and it has made me question the whole concept of why shouldn’t we use fur. I’m not sure what is worse, polluting us and the environment with all the synthetics or if done in a responsible and humane way using animals. Whole big can of worms in that question, one I’m not ready to ponder too deeply on yet. Not sure how, but this is the last pickled onion in my kitchen. I usually make sure I have a good supply on hand but somehow I slipped up. Better make sure I do a batch next week! This is a sandwich of my freshly milled barley and whole wheat bread with ham, pickled onions and cheese. Haven’t indulged myself in something like that for a long time. We are  very excited that it is now cool enough to have fired up this little Nectre bakers oven/wood fire. This replaces the wood fired stove that was in the chimney, it was very inefficient, offered no ambience and took about 4 hours to preheat. I am thrilled with this unit, just right for sitting in front of on a miserable day while at the same time you can use the heat to cook. Tonight we are having Moroccan style meatballs with roast veggies. I put some eggplant and a head of garlic in to roast earlier which I will make a little side dish with. I see lots of enjoyment coming from this little fire.  And finally in my kitchen this month is this little cutie who has decided he LOVES grapes. I picked a bunch from the berry house and we sat on the back lawn doing the suck, spit swallow which he worked out very quickly. These are the grapes that taste like passionfruit and even though they have fairly thick skin and large pips it didn’t stop him working his way through almost an entire bunch. Got quite a good rhythm going after the first couple!Thanks to Liz over at BizzyLizzysGoodThings for being the conduit for linking those who share a peek into their kitchens each month.

In My Kitchen December.

Well the month started with a landmark birthday for me so to celebrate we headed to Echuca on the Murray River to take charge of a houseboat for 7 nights. Myself, Mr ATMT, my 3 sisters, brother-in-law, our 2 closest friends and our 2 sons (interchanged throughout the week) spent some lovely hours doing absolutely nothing apart from eating, swimming, drinking, dozing and playing games. Unfortunately our daughter couldn’t make it as they were in Hawaii and were delayed getting back.

Brittania on The MurraySunset starting to roll in.img_3539 Most nights we just ate, played games, had a few drinks and did lots of laughing while the cockies squawked loudly around us.img_1243

In My Houseboat Kitchen.

We ate like kings! Unfortunately I seem to have waylaid a few photos but I can share the Finnish Flaxseed Sourdough load that was made from the recipe Francesca over at Almost Italian had posted, this loaf was delicious and I have been requested to make more and more and more. The recipe was spot on which always makes me happy!

Finnish Flaxseed Sourdough

I had packed some basic supplies and ran a mini ‘how to’ session for making sourdough. The house boat had a gas oven that wasn’t all that good at keeping in the heat so it needed some assistance. You do what you have to do!oven-doorThe loaf actually turned out pretty well considering, but I have had a bit of experience cooking in a dodgy or even without an oven.bread-on-boatWe had a butterflied lamb leg that my sisters purchased at the sensational butcher in Yae. The meat from there was some the best I’ve had in a very long time, roast BBQ’d lamb, lovely fresh asparagus and salad and we were happy campers on a boat.

roast-on-houseboatI was blown away by this lemon & ginger cheesecake that my niece made and was brought along by my sister as a surprise birthday celebration. It was delicious and I kept sneaking a piece every day when no one was around.img_0131-001 I took a batch of Glenda’s orange muffins as these have become somewhat addictive for us. I had made and frozen them to take, they really last the distance very well. Not sure what made me place it on the BBQ to take a picture of, but here it is, looking back at the Murray River before it gets gobbled up.img_0184-001 Before we left I made a batch of sourdough croissants with the intention of taking them with us.img_1161They didn’t make it away and they were delicious!Sourdough croissants Finally In My Kitchen back at home was the making of the Christmas pudding. As is tradition at our place, whoever is around has to have a stir for luck. Look who I found! I’m loving having our grandson around, you turn into complete idiots entertaining him and I love every minute of it!

Pudding stirring
Pudding stirring

Thanks to Liz over at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things who takes the time to link us all together for these peeks into what goes on in other kitchens.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season. I’m pretty excited about having a kitchen to entertain and cook in this year! 🙂 

 

In My Kitchen November-

Might need a cuppa for this, I’ve rambled on a bit!

It is really Spring, but we keep going back to winter and then back to Spring repeatedly. I was going to start this post saying I think Spring is well and truly here but it’s currently 11 degrees with 30km per hour wind and it feels like it could snow up on the hills. I have deferred planting my tomatoes for a week or two, hoping to see some improvement. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are doing well, but everything else in the veggie patch is way behind its normal schedule so I don’t have the space for tomatoes free quite  yet.

In My Kitchen  is all I have left from last years garlic harvest.

Garlic sproutingIt has lasted really well but there are signs of sprouting so I went through the remaining bulbs and discarded any that were soft and had sprouts showing. The remainder I have placed in the fridge to delay shooting (theoretically) hoping that this years harvest will soon be ready.

In My Kitchen this month are a few goodies I bought while in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. Last year I bought some smaller clay dishes after Celia wrote about them and I love them but they are a little too small for a whole serving per person. I bought these at Chef’s Hat in Melbourne. I love this store, they have an amazing array of cooking gear for both commercial and domestic purposes.

img_9966 I grabbed a bottle of this gorgeous smelling Turkish Rosewater from Sonsa Foods in Collingwood. It is a freshener and smells just like when you used to make rose-water from pulling the precious heads from your mums best roses and mixing them with water in a jar. The description vaguely translates as “A Turkish toilet waters (Kolonya), as it should be. Pleasantly refreshing, not too pushy and a fragrance that makes happy. the EST Kolonya “Hatiralar” smells fine and gently green leaves, rose, water flowers, Indian grass, sandalwood and some sweet fragrances. The refreshments for the start of the day and also in between for the face, neck or hands”.  I broke the rule of not buying plastic but I just couldn’t resist it.img_9968 I love this little find I had at the Turkish Suppliers in Campbellfield. This is a Guvec, a Turkish clay pot that is glazed inside and is used for cooking stews and casseroles. It can be used in the oven and on the stove top. I just love its simplicity and rustic look.img_9970 Then there is the Sucuk. This is a spicy beef cured sausage and will be going into gozleme, on top of pizza and just for nibbling on. It is often served in Turkey as part of the breakfast dishes. img_9974 and I couldn’t resist a couple of bottles of Sulcer Biba, or pepper paste. I find I am using this more and more as you would tomato paste. It really adds a delicious depth and zing to dishes. This one is a mild version but I also got a hotter one.img_9976I stocked up on chicken feet and chicken pieces at the Footscray market. I bag these up, freeze them and make fresh stock when needed. Our older son was suffering with a good dose of tonsillitis so I made up a care kit package for him. I made chicken stock, turned this into some chicken soup loaded with vegies, made some sourdough bread and a couple of rolls. This along with some freshly squeezed orange juice and I felt like a ‘real mum’ again.

Chicken Soup Care KitI had a few things that needed to be used up in the fridge so we ended up with a roast capsicum, broccoli, broad bean, bacon and greek yogurt quiche. I made the shortcrust pastry using a recipe Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella had  posted and it is beautiful. I did cook this a little too hot, still tweaking with the oven.Red pepper quicheThis was accompanied with a salad I made using coarse bulgur rather than the smaller variety. It is basically a tabouleh but using red capsicum instead of tomato (no decent tomatoes around yet). Soak 1/2 cup of burgul  into hot water until fluffy, add a good splash of olive oil, juice of a lemon plus another half (maybe) S&P, fry off a red capsicum and an onion until slightly soft. Chop a very generous handful of mint, parsley and mix all together. Adjust tang to your liking by adding either more lemon or oil. Top 10 list for us!Capsicum TaboulehI finally got the chance to use my ‘Big Bertha’ (almost 3 wine bottles long) rolling-pin when making the pastry.  It is impressive I must say and did a great job in a flash.img_9946 I got to add a few treasures to the sideboard, still have to do the door and drawer knobs, they are on the list…..img_9934 Nearly finished, hang in there!

In my kitchen is some Oolong tea or as we have now named it, Rabbit Poo Tea. We drink a lot of tea and this is a good way of going through the ceremony without consuming the added sugar we have with our strong black tea.  This is a sample pack and I have arranged for Tea Leaves to now fill my BYO container at the store. Tea Leaves  is an incredible tea shop that really needs to be seen to be believed.img_9952There are a couple of loaves of sourdough, these are sesame seed loaves. I simply toasted a cup of sesame seed and added to the dough and rolled a few on the surface before baking, it smells wonderful. Sesame Seed sourdoughI have been crocheting some shopping bags. I bought some 8 ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills and am really thrilled with how they have turned out. These, along with some dish cloths, might make up some Christmas gifts I think. The pattern for the red one can be found here. The pattern for the green one, here.

Market bags crochetedFinally, In My Kitchen this month is this gorgeous little fella! Now 10 months old and discovering that pasta is not only tasty but fun!CharlieThanks to Liz over at BizzyLizzyGoodThings for being the “In My Kitchen” link up host. It is a great way to see what people are up to and get some great ideas along the way. What’s happening in your kitchen this month?

In my kitchen-Finally!

For those that don’t get regular updates to my posts, for the last four years I have endured living with no real kitchen, no hot and cold water connected at the same outlets, bucketing water for dishes, no real oven, no proper storage and have been using the gas camping cooker as a range. I’m not complaining, luckily I am a very resourceful person and have managed quite well even down to baking our sourdough bread weekly in either the ‘Sunbeam Pizza Bake N grill bench top oven’ or on the gas BBQ.

This was the space when we first moved in to this house, there was no cold water to the sink, only hot. The cupboards, floor and wall were all rotten and stunk!

Kitchen 1We started our ‘exteno’ this time last year, it involved moving the existing wall out another 6 or so metres, plus there so much other work my mind starts to glaze over just thinking about it. Check out my blog for full details, I shudder at remembering it in detail! This shot shows things in early progress stage.

Kitchen layout This is what our dishwashing facilities were in February this year. That was fun, as we had ours sons wedding and houseful of guests! Kitchen sink removed This is the same corner where just today we brought in the antique dresser/sideboard that I have been working on restoring over the last few weeks. The unit had been coated with polyurethane that gave it an orange ‘glow’ and I was adamant that I wanted it back to its raw timber state. I have dressed the timber with Feast and Watsons carnauba wax which is a natural blend of beeswax, citrus oils and some other wonderful smelling goodies. This has been a labour of love, my hands hurt like hell but I don’t care, I love it! sideboardThis is the sort of project where you need to know when to stop, if you are into things being pristine and ‘neat’ then these projects would leave you disappointed. I’ve yet to put the handles on and the hinges need a tweak or two, but overall I am so happy with this project. Notice the chimney has also been stripped and that there are real benches in the middle of the room (albeit covered with bread making ‘stuff’). I now need to fill this beauty with some very special items. When I was about 16/17, I went with my then boyfriend to pick up some second hand golfing stuff his father had bought from the ‘Trading Post’ (yes, pre buy/swap/sell days) and this lovely old lady was getting rid of a beautiful Royal Doulton dinner set. Well this dinner set has moved with me, been boxed for years and only once or twice seen the light of day as I knew one day I would have an old dresser where I could display it. I have no idea why I bought it, but I thought the $8.00 she was asking wasn’t such a bad investment. Complete with soup bowls that have little handles and everything else. Don’t think it’s valuable, but I am very excited about seeing it out from the boxes and realising my dream that ‘one day’ has come .img_9508Tonight was the first night we could cook outside, ON THE NEW DECK! There are just too many things being achieved all at once now, I don’t know where to start. Hope you like the lovely stand the Weber Q is on! This pic is from the new deck looking back into the kitchen space. The boys are debating whether the light fitting over the island bench that moves in the breeze because its not tightened should stay on the angle. It’s one of those bottle of red discussions!img_9519-001I’ve been turning out some pretty impressive sourdough bread,img_0814 And because I have a real stove top, I can take my Indian Karahi out of the shed andimg_0827create meals like this beautiful Indian vegetarian matar paneer curry,img_0828 or this cumin stew which is a recipe from the Anatolia cook book. I have returned this to the library and forgot to write the recipe down, but it was lovely, strong flavour but lovely.Cumin stewI made Turkish boregi (water pastry) which is really a light style of lasagne. I needed to use up some things in the fridge so this is what it tuned into. This was really easy, I will add the recipe later this week. A great picnic, holiday dish.img_0841 img_0833I know there is so much else to report “In My Kitchen” since the necessary hiatus it has undertaken. Thanks to Liz at Bizzy Lizzie Good Things for picking up the reins and supporting us all in sharing what is ‘In My Kitchen’ every month. I never thought I’d see the day when I could actually say I had a kitchen. Still a few things to do, range hood, display shelves, splash backs behind the benches and stove, painting the windows etc but we are pretty much there. This time last year the kitchen benches were still standing as the framework of the old rooms, covered in cobwebs and all sorts of other debris. I’m happy that we have retained the feel of the old house but the working components are clean an functional.img_9523

Peas & Pomegranates In My Kitchen

In My Kitchen this month we have been chipping away at the exteno and things are progressing nicely. A few of the cabinets are in place,

IMG_6905 and we have delivered a trailer load of timber which we removed from the old section of the house, to our  bench top man. These lumps of timber will hopefully be transformed into beautiful timber bench tops, that are full of character and it’s nice to think we’ve put a little of the old house back into the mix.IMG_1116-2After a busy day and when you don’t feel like cooking much, it’s great to reach into the freezer for some easy goodies. I made and froze this tomato soup following the guidelines from Francesca at Almost Italian and it is terrific. Easy peasy, heat, serve and slurp!Tomato soupIn My Kitchen is sourdough Banana bread. I made this banana bread using Teresa L Greenway’s recipe from her Northwest Sourdough site. If you are a keen student of sourdough, you can’t do better than learning from Teresa. I have been referring to her work for many years and she has become something of a celebrated guru in all matters of sourdough. Teresa now offers online tutorials through Udemy and they are an excellent source of information. Her success is very well deserved! I used half the recipe for a loaf and the other half for individual ‘muffin’ style banana breads. The crumble is a lovely addition and they are very light and fluffy. Mr ATMT said he didn’t really like banana bread, then I served this up……IMG_6916Oops, overfilled this tin. That smelled good for a while while it burned off the element!IMG_6908Roast veggies with a twist.

As I mentioned before, we have been looking for quick, hassle free meals at the end of the day and tonight I did a simple roast vegetable dish with a little twist. I roasted, sweet potato, eggplant, parsnip, a couple of onions and Dutch Cream potato in a recycled foil tray. These veggies were sprinkled with sumac, salt and olive oil and roasted for about an hour. I added the cherry tomatoes to roast for the last 15 minutes or so and at this stage I removed the eggplant and mashed it with some black pepper and lemon juice, setting it aside until serving time.

IMG_6918 Onto the plate I stacked, the eggplant mash, quickly cooked peas (so they retained their bite), then the assorted roast veg with cherry tomatoes laid across the top. I sprinkled the lot with chopped coriander then drizzled the last of the magnificent Bill Granger Caramel Vinegar Sauce (left over from our pork belly feast) over the roasted vegies. This was then crowned with pomegranates, I love these fruits, the fresh popping of these seeds is delightful. Fresh and tasty, the coriander worked so well with the sauce. Delicious!

IMG_6935That’s all for In My Kitchen this month, why don’t you pop over to Maureen at Orgasmic Chef  and see who else she has hooked together this month.

 

In My Kitchen-April Already

Thanks to Maureen at Orgasmic Chef for hooking up fellow In My Kitchen bloggers who participate in sharing their own and peeking into each others kitchens each month. Why don’t you head over and check a few out? Thanks Maureen, I always learn new things each month.

I refuse to bang on again about the reno this month. I am over it and as we are closing in on completion, I want to keep things under my hat a bit. I must admit it has been interesting trying to come up with ideas to share this month, but as always, once you start you can usually dig out a few!

In My Kitchen were Sourdough English Muffins

I was wanting to try making something different with my sourdough starter, so I decided to try making some sourdough English Muffins.

Sourdough English MuffinsI made these and was very pleasantly surprised with the way they turned out. Being basically lazy, for the first couple I made them square rather than round as I have no idea where my crumpet sized rings are. I actually think I’ll stick to the square shape in the future, easy to handle and fit better into the pan. These were the slightly rounder ones cooking.

Sourdough English MuffinsI really liked the texture and gobbled one down for breakfast with butter and Vegemite. I highly recommend this recipe, although I did cut back on the sugar as I find with most recipes, they are too sweet for my liking. These would make a great breakfast addition for when you have guests stay and you enjoy a leisurely brunch. It can all be prepared a day or two ahead and you could cook them on the barbecue in bulk quantities.

Sourdough English MuffinsIn My Kitchen, an oldie but a goodie-Fried Rice.

Fried RiceI hadn’t made fried rice for ages and it just seemed to fit the bill for an easy Easter Meal. I think the secret to good fried rice is cooking the rice well in advance and letting it really dry out well before using it in the dish. I’ve tried to record how I make our fried rice, Mr ATMT said this was the best he’d had over the years. Click this link for MAREE’s Fried Rice recipe

This years planting of garlic

In My Kitchen is a little less garlic. Last week I planted out what will hopefully yield  enough harvest for the following 12 months. This is the first season in a long time where I have used garlic from my own harvest for planting. For years I have been supporting Simon at Garlicworld and buying from him but I wanted to see how mine went.

Garlic

 

 

In My Kitchen is a jar of honey. A special jar of honey!

Last time I went to the Warragul Farmers Market I bought this jar of honey from a very special stall-holder. The Bunyip Beekeeper is spreading some wonderful knowledge about bees and bee keeping. They offer a huge range of services including leasing of hives, training and education about beekeeping and they do some amazing swarm and hive removal/relocations. I find bees to be fascinating and they are under some heavy duty environmental threats worldwide so need all the help they can get. I love seeing someone with such passion and knowledge sharing it with others. Apparently this is one of the stronger flavours of honey they supply. Might have to make some more muffins!

Bunyip beekeeper honeySo that’s about it for this month in my kitchen, thanks again Maureen for hosting.