In My Kitchen: August 2014

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen August 2014. This month, in my kitchen are …

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours: sundried tomato and basil, rosemary and roasted garlic, and basil and Parmesan. I wrote a review about them.

imk-sugo

I’m also trialing Spiral Foods sugo range, which comes in garlic and basil, primavera, and arrabbiata. They are very versatile and we’ve used it in casseroles, baked chicken and curries. Of course, it is packed full of flavour and only made from natural ingredients.

imk-rice-syrup

I bought this Spiral Foods rice syrup to try in a few recipes that I had kept. It is very mild tasting, so you could use it instead of honey or golden syrup in a recipe.

imk-butter

I’ve loving this organic, grass-fed butter which we get as part of our organics delivery (Farm Fresh Organics) every couple of weeks. It’s from Organic Times.

imk-sauerkraut

Matt likes this organic sauerkraut from Eden Foods. It is fermented using traditional methods and only using cabbage and sea salt. We tried making our own, but it didn’t work out, so this is the next best thing.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen August 2014. Thank you Spiral Foods for providing samples.

The Garden Share Collective: July 2014

Garden Share Collective

I’m participating in the Garden Share Collective again this month, so here’s a round up of what has happened in our garden over the last month.

gsc-trees

Our fruit trees are growing well. Here from left to right is our black sapote (chocolate pudding) fruit tree, guava (coffee tree underneath) and our tropical apple.

gsc-tropical-apple

I’m so excited to see our first tropical apple coming along well. The citrus trees are doing much better and we have had a few limes. The macadamia is nearly up to my hip.

gsc-carrots

We’ve had a bumper crop of carrots and bulls blood beetroots. We eat the leaves of the beetroot, either steamed or roasted just like kale chips. We have also had a few of our own sweet potatoes, but they are a bit stringy for my liking.

We planted in some of our seeds from Fair Dinkum Seeds, and the garlic and marigolds have come up already. The Egyptian spinach is not doing much. The coffee plants have red beans on them, but not enough to make it worthwhile harvesting yet. We got a free basil seedling from our local library on Saturday that needs planting out.

The weather has been getting cooler, so we haven’t spent as much time in the garden as I would have liked, but everything is going well.

Coming up I’m hoping to give everything a handful of rooster booster, trace elements and seaweed solution. Things will be quiet again since winter is here.

Post for the Garden Share Collective challenge hosted by Stayed Table

In My Kitchen: July 2014

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen July 2014. This month, in my kitchen are …

imk-jerky

Geronimo Jerky is a Brisbane based beef jerky company that specialises in producing the best beef quality jerky. The jerky is gluten free, low in fat, low in carbs and use no artificial colourings, preservatives or additives. These three are without chilli.

griffiths-coffee

I tasted Griffiths’ Just Fair Coffee and Mundial coffee and wrote a review about it. It’s fair trade and organic in a resealable tin.

imk-cacao-nibs

I’m planning on adding cacao nibs to trail mix and muesli when I get around to it. This is the first time I’ve bought Banaban’s raw cacao nibs.

imk-paleo-hero

I’ve been enjoying Paleo Hero’s Primal Choc Granola. It reminds me of lamingtons with the cacao powder and shredded coconut. Yummy.

imk-vege-chips

These popped Vege Chips are new on the market and come in three flavours: lightly salted, lime chilli and cheese. They are a very more-ish treat.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen July 2014. Thank you Vege Chips and Griffiths Coffee for providing samples.

In My Kitchen: February 2014

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen February 2014. This month, in my kitchen are …

mork-hot-chocolate

The absolutely delicious Mork Hot Chocolate. I can’t say enough good things about this, but I encourage you to try it. It’s the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

smooze-coconut

We’ve been loving the new simply coconut Smooze. You pop them in the freezer and have a ‘healthy’ creamy snack – perfect for hot summer days. They are made from freshly pressed coconut milk.

hills-cider

I continue to drink ciders and at the moment The Hills Cider Company is my favourite. The cider has no added sugar or concentrate – important factors in finding a good tasting genuine cider. I also tried three ciders at the Fluid Festival.

oz-tukka-herbs-spices

This one was a present – lots of interesting Australian flavours to try by Oz Tukka.

walkers-tin

Another present with a beautiful tin – Walkers shortbread.

Also this month, I compiled a list of the top 49 essential cookbooks as voted for on Food52.com.

I started a challenge where I am Learning how to cook with Delia Smith.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen February 2014.

How to cook Canadian buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup

buttermilk-pancakes

I’m up to my third recipe for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge and this time I’m cooking Canadian buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup.

For some background research I found a couple of videos on youtube of making pancakes. The most humorous one is probably How to make British Pancakes (slightly different recipe) by danisnotonfire. I’m not sure Delia would approve!

There is an original video of retro style Pancake Batter from Delia Smith’s Cookery Course,  BBC. Delia uses electric beaters.

I decided not to use lard, so instead I used butter and I regretted that decision, because I burnt it badly. So then I switched to olive oil and that worked just fine. I mixed together in a large bowl plain flour, baking powder, buttermilk, cold water and three eggs.

I wasn’t game enough to toss my pancakes, as previously mentioned I’ve recently cleaned the kitchen top to bottom. And cleaning pancakes off the floor isn’t my idea of fun. It pays to do the washing up before you start cooking because both the flip and tablespoon were dirty. How annoying.

Instead of tablespoons of mixture I used 2 dessertspoons, so I ended up with about 12 pancakes. Actually they were more the size of pikelets – never mind it didn’t matter. The middle batch turned out the best – with nice round edges and good colour.

The pancakes were yummy with real Maple syrup, but not so filling. I was hungry a couple of hours later.

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

Learning how to cook with Delia Smith

delia-smith-retro

I’ve always wanted to be a good cook so I’ve decided I am going to work my way through Delia Smith’s Complete How to Cook. The book was originally published as three separate volumes with an accompanying TV series. It was released as one complete book in 2009 to celebrate 40 years of writing recipes.

Delia has sold an impressive 21 million cookbooks worldwide, producing more than 20 recipe collections and spent over 30 years on our screens. Delia has a way of explaining complex instructions that make you understand what she means, which is perfect for beginner cooks like myself.

delia-smith-now-then

Photo: BBC

“Delia’s genius is to understand what Middle England wants to eat at any given time, and then nudge it just very slightly forward in a way that seems fresh and exciting rather than strange and intimidating” says Clarissa Dickson Wright in “A History of English Food”.

She continues “Delia’s other great skill is in being straightforward and comforting….. What’s more her recipes work – hence the 1980s joke along the lines of “I danced with a man who danced with a girl who had failed with a Delia Smith recipe”.”

Mary Berry says Delia’s “recipes were inspirational, effective and always worked.”

Delia’s Complete How to Cook was voted as the best recipe book ever published (The Daily Telegraph/www.OnePoll.com). The book has over 700 pages, 350 recipes and step-by-step photography. There are 25 less recipes than in the originals (Delia’s How to Cook One – 137 recipes; Delia’s How to Cook Two – 120 recipes and Delia’s How to Cook Three – 118 recipes). 

I’m going to pace myself and try to complete a couple of recipes each week, so it will probably take me a few years to complete! I’m looking forward to trying lots of new recipes and new techniques with the ultimate aim of finally learning how to cook.

Delia's Complete How to Cook: Both a Guide for Beginners and a Tried and Tested Recipe Collection for Life

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

In My Kitchen: December 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen December 2013. This month, in my kitchen are…

pics-peanut-butter

Pic’s Peanut Butter is made from Australian peanuts and a touch of salt.

maleny-cheese

I was lucky enough to win $100 worth of Maleny Cheese (some of which is featured in the photo above). There may be some left for sharing with family at Christmas.

aeropress

Here’s an action shot of Matt using his aeropress to make his morning coffee. (A great gift idea for guys.)

felties-fruit

I am still making felt vegetables for one lucky niece. This month I’ve made banana, strawberries, pear and a lemon.

maggies-xmas-cover

I wrote a book review on Maggie’s Christmas. And visited the Good Food and Wine Show and L’Angolo Bistro.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen December 2013.

In My Kitchen: November 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen November 2013. This month, in my kitchen are…

rosies-gf-biscuits

We continue to watch Recipe to Riches, but our enthusiasm is starting wane. We only bought one product from the show this month – Rosie’s Kitchen almond meringue biscuits. They were nice and had a great texture, but I don’t think they were special enough that I’d buy them again.

herbies-november

Herbie’s Spices had four Australian spices for the month – akudjura (bush tomato), lemon myrtle, saltbush and wattleseed. I’ve been experimenting with them all, and we tried the spicy nut recipe on the back of the saltbush packet. I also cooked a chicken and akurjura rissotto based again on the recipe on the back of the packet. I have been enjoying lemon myrtle on fish and particularly liked tuna and lemon myrtle penne.

james-squire-cider

I have been enjoying different ciders, and my favourite at the moment is James Squire’s orchard crush apple cider. I am also fond of the perry – a traditional cloudy pear cider. I made an apple cider fruit loaf with the first one.

felties-two

I am still making felt vegetables for one lucky niece. This month I’ve made beans, carrot, daikon, radish and zucchini. I’m yet to make some felt fruit and that will be next.

I enjoyed watching the final episodes of The Great British Bake Off, but I can’t believe we are three years behind! I wrote a book review on the The Great Australian Bake Off, and I also wrote a book review of Bill’s Italian Food.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen November 2013.

The Garden Share Collective: October 2013

Garden Share Collective

I’m participating in the Garden Share Collective again this month, so here’s a round up of what has happened in our garden over the last month.

I volunteered at Northey Street City Farm, but it’s starting to get too hot to be working outside in the garden in the middle of the day.

In the vegetable beds, I planted Red Kuri pumpkin, Eggplant Listada di Gandia, Leek Elephant, Hales Best rockmelon, Sugar baby watermelon and Minnesota midget rockmelon. Some of these seeds were old, so it’s more than likely they won’t come up. We also need some decent rain to soak the beds.

bottlebrush

The red bottlebrushes of the King’s Park are spectacular and are really the highlight of our garden this month. The rainbow lorikeets adore them.

bottlebrush2

We have been harvesting lots of green beans and green leafy vegetables. My parents had an abundance of lettuce, so we got a bunch and made lettuce soup – delicious, if not unusual and very subtle.

Plans for next month include working out how to revive my citrus tree that looks half dead but still bares a fruit. I also want to plant out the first bed with more vegetables.

Post for the Garden Share Collective challenge hosted by Stayed Table

In My Kitchen: October 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen October 2013. This month, in my kitchen are …

croqs

Concetta won the first week of Recipe to Riches. They were delicious, but I’m not sure we’d buy them again because we don’t eat very much frozen prepared food.

chocorn

Last week’s Recipe to Riches was won by Chocorn – corn covered in caramel and then chocolate. They are marketed as a premium product which I think is their downfall. They were overpriced at $8 a box. The dark and milk chocolate were fantastic, but the white chocolate was sickly sweet.

We also tried Sweet Billies the previous week but found them too sweet as well.

sumac

Sumac is Herbie’s Spices spice of the month. We have been having it on our chicken fajitas. The berry goes well with avocado and tomatoes, so it’s perfect with guacamole. You can also add the tangy lemony flavour to salads as a garnish and seasoning rubs on grilled and roasted meats (sprinkle on before cooking).

marmalade

My Aunty made cumquat marmalade, which goes perfectly well my spiced fruit cider bread. I’ve been trying to perfect a bread recipe, and this one finally turned out well.

felt-vegetables

I’ve been having some fun making felt vegetables. They are supposed to be a Christmas present, but I’m afraid I like them too much to give away.

Posted for In My Kitchen October 2013 hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial