In My Kitchen – November 2011

For more IMK, check out Celia’s blog.

In my kitchen is …

Baba Ganoush (eggplant dip).

I came across some beautifully fresh eggplant at a local roadside stall. I  have been disappointed with packaged dips so I was keen to try making my own. The recipe I used is by David Lebovitz. Other recipes are similar but I am very pleased with this result. The BW doesn’t usually like eggplant dishes but  loves this one. Looks as though I will be making Baba Ganoush regularly!

In my kitchen are…

Australian vanilla beans. These are from Daintree Vanilla and Spice, Queensland. I also bought the vanilla essence and some vanilla salt to try. These will be handy for Christmas gifts. I haven’t tried the beans yet but compared with some that I have from Guinea, they are bigger, more succulent and the aroma more appealing. This carries through to the vanilla essence which I used in a custard. It gave a lovely perfumed flavour. Vanilla bean plants fascinate me, they remind me of my pencil orchids.

In my kitchen is …

Australian olive oil from Patrice Newell. The biodynamic oil is grown and produced in the Upper Hunter Valley. I bought six of these  attractive 500ml bottles, once again to use as gifts. We can’t wait for the delivery of this season’s garlic that I have ordered from them. It is definitely worth waiting for.

In my kitchen is…

another Australian product, Lively Premium Linseed with Organic Blueberries. These are grown in the north western slopes of NSW.

I am enjoying it  every morning on my fruit and yoghurt. I just love the fruits available now and in the coming months, especially red papaya and mango.

Talking about yoghurt, in my kitchen is…

Coyo Coconut Milk Yoghurt! It really is as they say “Heaven in a mouthful!” Beautiful with mango, I usually use it instead of cream on desserts, that is if I haven’t already devoured it.

In my kitchen is …

a box of mini cupcakes. A generous friend offered to show us how to decorate cupcakes after attending a course herself. We had a great time using the many cutters and other tools. I could use some lessons in design.

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7 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – November 2011

  1. Vanilla salt- I am intrigued! I think I could make this with my own beans. MMmmm! I am thinking of all the dishes I can make WITH it!
    I think your cupcakes are very lovely. And scrumptious tasting, too!
    My favorite of your kitchen highlights is the Baba Ghanouj- though- it is always my favorite. Do you roast your garlic along with the eggplant? My d-i-l uses raw garlic and I find it a bit harsh. But roasted garlic makes this dip sing!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Heidi,thanks for the roasted garlic tip. I tried it yesterday and yes, it made a difference. The vanilla salt should be easy to make, The ingredients are rock salt and ground vanilla beans. I wonder if you could use just the bean cases after using the seeds? The packet says good with fish, chicken char-grilled vegetables and even melon. I guess its a case of experimenting.

  2. Watching Poh’s Kitchen last night, I adored the story where she visited vanilla bean growers in north qld. I wonder if this vanilla bean farm is the same one. I suspect it may be as it takes ages to establish a vanilla bean crop. If it is, then these would have to be the most looked after and well cared for beans ever! They even massaged each bean, would you believe – something to do with producing more oil. Amazing.

    Your coconut yoghurt really looks luscious. Yep. With mango would be the way to go.

    • I enjoyed Poh’s last show as well Mariana. The vanilla growers were different to the Daintree people but they have a similiar story and both seem to be producing vanilla beans with lots of love. It certainly looks like hard work, but fascinating! The Sydney Morning Herald also had an article in their Good Living section last week, about Australian vanilla. (Nov 15)

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