Friday, May 3, 2013

In my kitchen - May 2013

Over the past few months I've enjoyed reading "In my kitchen" posts written by my blogging buddies Johanna, KariVaishali and Sandy and decided to join in too. This monthly event is hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. This is what's been happening in my kitchen...


In my kitchen is a coffee machine and bean grinder. This is the third coffee machine we have owned which was purchased four or five years ago, the previous two models we had only lasted about two years before breaking down. I would have to say this is my favourite appliance as it's used every single day. One cup of coffee a day is all I usually need as long as it's a good quality strong one like this.


In my kitchen are lemons from our young tree which are being used up as quickly as they are ripening. The tree went through minor surgery over summer due to an attack of gall wasp, unfortunately some branches with many new buds had to be amputated and subsequently the yield has been less than I was hoping for. I haven't had the chance to make our favourite lemon slice yet and must rectify this soon.


In my kitchen are some animals on my window sill. The jade elephant was a souvenir we bought when travelling to Thailand (this particular pose with the trunk lifted in the air is supposed to be good luck). The glass horse sat on my mum’s dresser for years before she passed it onto me. The jade cat was a gift from my mother in law from an overseas trip and the wooden elephant belongs to the man although he can't recall where it came from.


In my kitchen are home made vegan cheeses and rejuvelac, a fermented liquid used for culturing the cheeses. Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner was sitting on my cookbook shelf for several months before I finally had the time to delve into it. A lot of patience and self control is required for these recipes to work their magic. There isn't too much hands on work involved although some of the cheeses are best enjoyed after resting for 4 weeks! The cheeses in the photo are a cashew chevre and sharp cheddar with rejuvelac in the background. The sharp cheddar has been my favourite so far.


In my kitchen are delicious meals like these curries; a result of recipe testing for Leigh Drew. I've been enjoying testing for Leigh recently as I'm a fan of her cookbook Wrapped in Pastry and have also loved several recipes I've made from her blog. Leigh's exciting new cookbook will be released later this year!


In my kitchen are some substandard chocolate chip cookies. They have taught me a couple of lessons, to follow my own recipes closely and not to bake things late at night! My fellows had a hankering for something sweet last weekend so I hastily baked a batch of cookies for them. I was slack with measuring and didn't use enough flour which made the cookies way too soft. They also stuck together when I put them in a container as I was frustrated with my cooking blunder and didn't allow them to cool down enough before transferring them. Despite these woes, they still tasted great!


In my kitchen are olives soaking in a pot. They will remain here for the entire month with the water changed every second day! This is the first year our young trees have produced enough olives to bother making an effort with. There are more olives on the trees that are yet to ripen and I plan to experiment with some alternative preparation methods in due course.


In my kitchen are spicy Indian snacks. They are similar to Twisties yet they are coated in spices rather than flavoured with cheese or chicken like regular Twisties. I visit a local Indian spice shop every few months to replenish my hoard of spices and cannot resist their ongoing special of three packets for $4 every time I shop there. They are made from corn meal, rice meal, gram meal, vegetable oil and an assortment of spices. As well as tasting great I also like that there are no suspicious codes to watch out for in the ingredients list.

Thanks Celia for hosting this fun event! I look forward to peeking into other people's kitchens too.

19 comments:

  1. Welcome to Celia's IMK family! I am about to harvest my first lemons. So exciting. Happy cooking. ; )

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    1. Thanks Bizzy Lizzy, hope you are enjoying cooking with your lemons too!

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  2. Glad you joined in with In My Kitchen - it is such a great event and lovely to see in your kitchen. there is lots I want to comment on but will just comment on a few

    Our lemons get gall wasp and we have to constantly watch them but not much of a bounty this year. sylvia is keen on lemonade so I should try this again (not very successful the first time)

    I was delighted to see your artisan cheese - I just got that book yesterday - it has a lot more nut cheese than I thought and I am not sure if my equipment is up to blending to make it smooth enough as I usually use a mini blender attachment or food processor. Might take me a while to start experimenting. But pleased to see it works for you.

    and I feel your pain with the choc chip cookies - I have had many baking problems lately - mostly minor. But I find if I have problems I them can't be bothered making an effort and it often makes the baked goods even worse.

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    1. Thanks Johanna, I've been meaning to join in for a while. It is a great event and I hope to write more of these posts if I can get myself back into a proper blogging routine.

      Gall wasp is so annoying, our little kaffir lime was hit hard with it too!

      Hope you enjoy making vegan cheeses, I'll look forward to hearing how you go. One thing I have found about the recipes is not to soak the nuts for too long - some of the recipes say 3 to 8 hours and I have left them longer which results in the cheeses having too much moisture and not setting up as firmly as they should. It's been a learning experience for me so far with getting the textures right but I have been extremely pleased with the taste of the cheeses.

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  3. I would love to try the Indian "twisties"!

    PS: I'm hosting a Suigo hair pack giveaway; hope you enter: http://www.underlockandkeyblog.com/2013/05/suigo-hair-review-and-giveaway.html

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    1. The Indian twisties are such a yummy snack, I hope you can track them down...

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  4. I am so glad you're doing these! I loved the peek into your kitchen, especially seeing your much loved coffee machine. That does look like an excellent coffee. I'm glad your lemon tree is finally starting to yield for you too, and I am impressed with your cheese making efforts (I might not like cheese, but I respect the effort involved!) and intrigued by the olive ones :)

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    1. I'll try to keep up with these posts as they are a bit different to write and I enjoyed mixing it up a little. I adore my daily coffees and have been having them my way for such a long time I'm often disappointed when I do buy one from a cafe. I hope your lemon tree is fruitful for you too!

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  5. Wow - the twisties are so cool - i had no idea that something like that existed!!!
    I TOTALLY agree re the one cup of coffee a day being enough as long as its a good one - I'm the same! :-)
    Your little animals are so cute! :-)

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    1. If you have a decent sized Indian supermarket in your area they might stock these twisties. I savour my one cup a day - it's one of the best parts of my morning!

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  6. How wonderful to have you joining in, and what an interesting kitchen you have! I love your coffee machine with all its smooth matt curves, and your lemon tree is definitely doing better than ours - we have lots of lemons, but they won't ripen! I'll look out for the Indian snacks next time I'm in a shop, thank you! :)

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    1. Thanks again for hosting Celia! I do love my coffee machine too, it's the only appliance that permanently sits on our benchtop and I like it's look too. I hope your lemons are ripening for you now, they do seem to take a while.

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  7. I got really worried for a second there, I misread that you had an attack of gall wasp, not the tree!

    I do love a little peek over the wall at other people's kitchens, especially when they're as interesting as this one. With you on artisan vegan cheese - a bit of effort to start off with, but well worth it in the end.

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    1. Hahahaha, I would rather the tree had gall wasp than me!

      I'm still struggling to achieve a firm cheese than can be sliced but my efforts that aren't setting up properly taste great anyway!

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  8. You've inspired me to have another look at making cheese. Every time I see a recipe for it, I think "I'll try that." and bookmrk the site but then . . . .

    Now I've gone public, I'll just have to try!

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    1. Good luck with the cheese making Pat!

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  9. Mel, I loved peeking into your kitchen. It's full of warm memories and thoughts and your love of cooking shines through. I share your love for spicy, crispy Indian snacks. And you have olive trees and a lemon tree-- I am totally jealous! :)

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    1. I try not to keep too many Indian snacks around. If a packet is opened I can't help going back for more and more... The olives and lemon tree have only been in the ground for 2 years now so I'm hoping that they continue to prosper and fruit well for us!

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  10. Mel, I loved peeking into your kitchen. It's full of warm memories and thoughts and your love of cooking shines through. I share your love for spicy, crispy Indian snacks. And you have olive trees and a lemon tree-- I am totally jealous! :)

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