In My Kitchen – December 2013

Thanks to Celia who provides us bloggers with exposure through her own blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

I have been neglecting my blog recently as I prepare my house and the 30 years of acquisitions, for a big move early next year. What a job!

I have found some interesting long forgotten items such as this recipe book!

Girl Guide Biscuit recipes

It is full of recipes using Girl Guide biscuits,  guaranteed to use up all the biscuits you had to buy. Each recipe is accompanied with a handy household  hint, such as cleaning white cloth with ground rice. Also, quotes from Lord Baden-Powell, “In order to get money, you must expect to work”!

I wonder if the guides still sell the biscuits?

In my kitchen is . . .

a stack of Magimix attachments.

Magimix attachmentsMy former Magimix expired, after many years of hard work. My new Magimix came with its own attachments so these are waiting for a new home. They fit the 5100 model and maybe some others. Let me know if they could be of use to you. My email is

In my kitchen is . . .

this sugar bowl.

Barham sugar bowlIt has not  been used for a few years now as we don’t use a sugar bowl anymore, do you? Sugar is kept in the pantry for cooking uses, not on the table. This bowl was made in Barham, a small town on the Murray River, now famous for its avocadoes. I have had an idea to start using it again by filling it with my favourite salt, Murray River pink salt flakes, which is always close at hand.

In my kitchen is . . .

some rhubarb.

rhubarbMy friend gave me a huge bunch from her garden. It kept its beautiful colour when I cooked it and has the best flavour I have ever tasted in rhubarb. I can’t wait to grow some next year.

In my kitchen is . . .

an early Christmas present.

amarena cherriesThe BW came across this huge tin of Fabbri Amarena cherries on a trip to Melbourne. Knowing how much I love them, he struggled home with them on the plane. All I need now is the large container to store them in. Has anyone seen the large blue and white decorated containers anywhere? I think a cherry dessert is on the cards for Christmas. I did make some star anise meringues ( a Belinda Jeffery recipe). The cherries go wonderfully with them.


Pearl Oyster Mushroom Kit

In a previous post, I showed you a mushroom kit that we were about to activate. Here are the photos of the results.

After an overnight soak in water, the kit is ready to go.

The first sign of activity was these cute little buttons.pearl oyster mushrooms

As they grew, they reminded me of The Mushroom Dance in Walt Disney’s Fanatasia.


We were keen to inspect them regularly to see if they had grown. I love their shape at this stage.


After a few attempts at growing these mushrooms, you would get to know at which stage of growth you prefer to eat them.

The instructions say to harvest them when they start to flatten out.


We picked some the morning after the above shot.


The tops of the mushrooms felt like soft suede and tasted delicious.

This process is very easy, anyone can do it,  you don’t need a garden, only a room that gets sunlight (not direct sunlight) and a spray bottle to mist the mushrooms everyday.

All of this happened in just over a week. It was great fun and I can’t wait to see if the kit produces anymore after soaking it again.

This mushroom kit is available from Fungi Culture.

Betta check your Fetta!

We are very fortunate these days, especially in the city, to have such a wide range of foodstuffs available. We are ‘spoilt for choice’ but need to be careful when making selections.

I will be more careful now when buying feta cheese after unknowingly choosing one that contains PALM OIL!!  Palm oil plantations are responsible for the large scale destruction of orangutan habitat, bringing them closer to extinction.

fetta packet

Because of inadequate labelling laws, palm oil is often disguised as vegetable oil. If a cheese label lists vegetable oil, it could be palm oil. I don’t understand why you would need to add oil to cheese. It makes you wonder what other nasties are added. In future I will be more careful when selecting cheese or, make my own fetta. It is one of the easier cheeses to make.

I needed the fetta to make this Greek cheese and spinach pie.

cheese and spinach pie

In My Kitchen – September 2013

In my kitchen is  . . .

oyster kitan oyster mushroom kit given to the BW on Fathers Day. Will let you know if it works!

yorkshire puddings escapingThese Yorkshire puddings that I made literally jumped out of the pan!

In my kitchen is . . .

coconut chipsthis packet of coconut chips, found in the supermarket. I like just a few sprinkled on top of my yoghurt, just enough to give a bit of crunch and sweetness.

In my kitchen are   . . .

Asian ingredientsthese Asian ingredients. On the left is licorice root which I used for the first time when slow cooking a pork neck. It gave a very interesting flavour and I will certainly try it again.

Next are black sesame seeds which I add to all sorts of dishes, including salads.

The last two are both Szechuan peppercorns, also known as prickly ash. The red ones, on the right are more commonly used. I’m sure you must develop a tolerance level with them. I love using them for  salt and pepper squid and for  . . .

salt and pepper tofusalt and pepper tofu. It’s like eating little puffy clouds!

The green ones have a more citrus flavour. I used them for the first time to sprinkle over this Sweet and Sour Pork Belly. I used a recipe from “Gingerboy” which cooks the pork firstly in a master stock and afterwards is quick fried. Yum!

Sweet and Sour Pork bellyThanks to Celia again who, every month provides the opportunity for us to share our kitchens. Check out other kitchens at her blog.

In my Kitchen – June 2013

In my kitchen is . . .

Can you guess what it is?

garlic chopper

Do you have trouble finding a good garlic crusher? This Rosti gadget  chops instead of crushing and is much easier on the hands.

IMG_1246It reminded me of this perfume bottle.


Sadly, all my fresh garlic has been used and the sprouted cloves planted in pots and some in the garden. Hopefully the brush turkeys won’t be around this year.

I have  pickled some garlic in coconut vinegar. I hope it will be okay.


In my kitchen is . . .

some candied quince.

candied quince

Each quince season I attempt to cook  quince. Some are successful, some end up as toffee or anemic looking. I am pleased with this result of candied quince. I think it will be used in a ricotta tart or semifreddo or maybe in some winter puddings.

In my kitchen are . . .

these bottles of cherries.


For years I have been on the lookout for amarena cherries. Who remembers the Fabbri cherries in the white and blue jars? Sadly they don’t seem to be available here anymore. I was told once that because they contained amarena liqueur, they had to be sold through a liquor store. Please let me know if you have seen them anywhere.

I was pleased to find these ones by Sandhurst. The taste is there so they will quickly be consumed!

In my kitchen are . . .

these beehive ginger blossoms.

beehive ginger flowersThis is the second year they have flowered, in hardly the best garden conditions. This year we had tiny yellow flowers appear in some of the pockets. I cut these stems before they perished in the cold weather.

Thanks to Celia who collates the posts of IMK by bloggers from around the globe. It is well worth a look at

In My Kitchen – January 2013

In my kitchen is. . .

a collection of goodies. Every year around Christmas time I like to buy some foodie treats, usually from an international purveyor. This year I went to Dick Smith’s General Store. No, he doesn’t sell computer bits and pieces, his store is stocked with  products sourced from around Australia. This photo is just a sample of a variety of food treats that I brought home.

Australian goodiesThe Pink Lake salt is from Victoria, the dried muscatels from South Australia and the peppercorns from Queensland. I can think of many uses for the delicious toffee apple syrup produced in Port Macquarie, NSW. The shop is well worth a visit or you can order online.

In my kitchen is . . .

some Australian buffalo mozzarella.

Australian  buffalo mozzarellaI was surprised to find it at a local market. It is produced in Northern New South Wales. One less import to buy. It goes perfectly with summer tomatoes.

tomato salsaIn my kitchen has been a lot of cheese after attending a cheesemaking course.


These camembert were a joint effort with a friend. They have grown their white mould and are waiting to be wrapped in foil and then to rest in the fridge. For amateur cheesemakers, I think they taste pretty good.

I love making mascarpone and quark and prefer them to the shop bought products.

mango and mascopane tartThese mascarpone and mango tarts were so quick and simple. I used supermarket baskets and finished with some passionfruit syrup.

How easy is it to make your own yoghurt? I always thought it couldn’t be true but it is AND it tastes great AND is so cheap!

yoghurt with fresh apricotHere I have my homemade yoghurt smothered in tree ripened apricot sauce in a pretty new bowl. The apricots were from my friend’s tree. The flavour of the fruit is unbelievable. Just look at the colour of the sauce. I won’t be able to eat a shop bought apricot again, they are tasteless.

Move over duck a l’orange for now there is duck a l’abricot.

duck breast with fresh apricot sauceI used the same apricots as the base, to make the sauce for these duck breasts.

If you would like to see what other bloggers are doing in their kitchen, check out

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial where Celia has them listed.

In My Kitchen – October 2012

In my kitchen is  . . .

some tamarillo paste, made by my friend with an excess of tamarillos, very nice.

I made tamarillo sorbet.

The flavour is quite strong. It is better served with some vanilla ice cream to soften the tartness of the tamarillos.

On a recent trip to Broome WA, I found some interesting items at the Courthouse markets.

I brought back some coffee.

I was attracted by the boab label as I love boab trees. The coffee itself is beautiful, the blend is Mintaka. I love smelling the beans whenever I open the pantry.

I found some other goodies, made by the folks  from Wallis Mangoes, at the same markets.

The rosella vinegar has an interesting flavour.

I love the pickled papaya. It works well with an Asian salad adding a bit of crunch to the leaves and herbs.

The Mango Sauce is made from locally grown mangoes, yum!

In my kitchen are . . .

some superfoods.

Gubinge, also known as Kakadu plum is harvested in the Broome region and made into a powder high in Vitamin C. The aboriginal producers have an interesting website.

Maqui is a superfood from Patagonia. Also in a powder form, it has a fabulous colour. I love having it with yoghurt or giving  porridge a wow factor.  It will be fun experimenting with the colour. It is available from Loving Earth who have an amazing range of products.

In my kitchen is . . .

a homemade Chicken Kiev perfectly cooked by the BW.

In my kitchen is . . .

this wonderful bunch of native flowers.

No, not from my garden but from a lovely grevillia garden that gets plenty of sun!

Read lots more “In My Kitchen” posts from other bloggers at Celia’s.