In My Kitchen – June 2015

In my kitchen are . . .

some Bocconcini all’ Amarena.

almond biscuitsg

I finally cracked open my huge tin of Fabbri Amarena cherries. My favourite treat of all times are these delights. They are little almond biscuits with an Amarena cherry in the centre.This is my first attempt at replicating the ones in my memory. I was very pleased with the first result. The recipe  requires just the smallest amount of tweaking. I used a recipe by Ottolenghi. If you search for Sour Cherry Amaretti, you will find the method on various sites. Stand by for any further attempts.

Cherrytime capsicumThis capsicum was picked on June1! I waited all summer for one. It was worth it. It looked beautiful and tasted very sweet. Unfortunately it was the only one to reach maturity. We will have to try again next season. The variety is Cherrytime.

wpid-20150528_191333-1.jpgI made Nargisi Kofta, eggs in meatballs. This is a Charmaine Solomon recipe. Yummo!  I used the bantam eggs which are smaller than the standard eggs, although it is hard to tell in this picture.

wpid-20150609_215526-1indigo tea towelI am a sucker for tea towels and when I came across this indigo one, I couldn’t resist. It is from Bind/Fold.

Keeping in the blue theme,

Boulabaise potI received this beautiful Staub bouillabaisse  pot for my birthday from my family. I love it!  It is not as heavy as I expected, much easier to handle than some pots. It heats up quickly and has a sloped bowl, a little like a wok, not just for bouillabaisse. Of course, I love the little fish handle.

Thanks again to Celia who organises IMK each month. Head over to her blog for many more IMK posts.



In My Kitchen – February 2015

We have been enjoying the produce from our new veggie gardens. It is all experimental so far, so we are pleased with any successes.

In my kitchen are . . .rock melonssome of our crop of rockmelons, sweet and juicy! We are pleased with our first attempt and will try them again next Summer. I made some ice cream with some of the riper ones They seem to ripen all at once!

Our tomatoes have been great. tomatoespgThey have had to battle strong winds and storms but are holding in there.

My favourite tomatoes are this deep pink variety with a tapered shape.

rosy tomatoesNot sure of its name, the wind must have blown the label away!

In my kitchen are . . .

1st-barnie-eggssome Barnevelder eggs. Finally, after a long time waiting, one of our three Barnevelders has started to lay. How frustrating is it, looking in the hen house everyday for that first egg? A second hen seems to be getting closer with her comb and wattles reddening up, so hopefully it won’t be much longer.

We recently took a flight from Canberra airport, much easier than struggling with the traffic to Sydney airport. Before our return drive back to the coast, we called in to Fyshwick Markets. Although we have access to all the major supermarkets where we live, there is no independent greengrocer!! So, I was in summer fruit heaven at the markets with 5 different shops to choose from. Also, at the markets I found some Pialligo Farm bacon.

wpid-pialligo-farm-bacon.jpg.jpegIt certainly lives up to its reputation, beautiful! Looks like there will be more regular trips to Canberra.

Thanks to Celia who continues to host In My Kitchen worldwide. Take a look at other posts at figjamandlimecordial.



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.

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

Prawns with Pernod Sauce

Do you have a bottle of Pernod in the back of you cupboard? I  used Pernod to make licorice ice cream once, but otherwise the bottle sat in the cupboard for a long time. Then  I found this Pernod sauce recipe.

I was watching one of those morning shows (for some reason), when I saw this dish being prepared. It was a quick segment, making the recipe even more appealing. I jotted down the ingredients as best I could.

Prawns in Pernod Sauce

400 gms fresh green prawns

1/2 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed


1tsp curry powder

juice of 4 oranges (I like to use blood oranges when in season)

150mls cream

50mls Pernod

chopped parsley

2 tomatoes, finely diced

1 lemon

Prepare prawns to cook, barbequed or sauteed. Marinate with garlic, chilli, lemon zest and olive oil.

Fry onion and garlic in butter.

Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute.

Pour in Pernod and flambe for 30 seconds.

Add strained orange juice to put out the flames.

Simmer for 2 minutes then add cream.

Add fresh tomato and parsley and gently heat through.

Serve with barbequed prawns or stir in sauteed prawns.

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.

Passionfruit and Cherry Pudding

This pudding is a family winter favourite. The passionfruit and the cherries go perfectly together and the smell of it cooking is divine.

The pudding is similar to clafouti but lighter in texture. I find if I mix the egg mixture well, the pudding puffs up better. I usually use frozen cherries but canned work as well. It also works with raspberries and I have used peaches. In Sydney we are lucky to have passionfruit  available most of the year. If not I am fortunate to have frozen pulp available locally, from Frozberries or I substitute orange juice.

I have been making this recipe, by Lynne Mullins, for some years after keeping a page out of an old magazine. I have found the recipe online but I will include the ingredients as the measurements don’t seem to appear very well .

Passionfruit and Cherry Pudding

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp (about 6 passionfruit)

30g sifted plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

60g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

500g pitted cherries

The online recipe is here.

There are plenty of passionfruit around at the moment so give it a try, especially on a cold rainy night.

In My Kitchen – June 2012

In my kitchen are . . .

some tamarillos generously given to me by a friend to play with. More of them another time.

In my kitchen are. . .

these pieces of family memorabilia. They are commemorative plates of the Queen’s tour of Australia in 1954. I thought it was an appropriate time to give them a dust off!

In my kitchen are . . .

these ‘Jubilee’ eggs (Heston’s scotch eggs)! What a great achievement by the BW, too fiddly for me to attempt.

In my kitchen is . . .

a small jar of Australian saffron, grown by Capertee Valley Saffron near Mudgee, NSW. I found it at a local growers’ market. I am saving it for something special. Aren’t the colours incredible?

In my kitchen are . . .

these tea towels that I found at the back of my cupboard. I must have decided that they were too nice to use. Time to go in the tea towel drawer.

In my kitchen is . . .

this book by Charlotte Wood which I am enjoying reading. I love her simple, no fuss ideas. I am trying out her suggestion for pomegranate honey.

In my kitchen is . . .

a curry leaf plant, finally. I have been on the lookout for one for ages. It will be staying in a pot as apparently they grow quite rampart. I first started using fresh curry leaves when I made Celia’s lemon rice. I am now hooked and use them whenever I can get fresh ones. Do you have a rampart curry leaf plant near you? Maybe we could start a curry leaf register so that people could have a fresh supply available, ha ha.

Check out Celia’s great recipes and many more posts for In my kitchen in June, at her blog here.

Red Confusion

I am not the most organised person in the kitchen, so it is quite common to find unlabelled jars and containers of foodstuffs in the fridge. With the shelves bulging with leftover things from the holiday season, it has been easy to confuse similar coloured foods.  What I thought was left over summer pudding juice to put on my yoghurt, was actually spicy plum sauce! It was quite a shock to the taste buds but tasted okay with the addition of the berry juice.

I have been on a mission to find the best tasting plum sauce recipe. The recipes so far have been smooth in texture. I may try a chunky one before the end of the season. I am not much of a fan of eating fresh plums other than in fruit salads but I love cooking with blood plums. Their colour  is so deep and rich.

Plum Sauce 1 was a lovely colour. The BW didn’t like it, I think I put in too much vinegar. It went well with duck breasts.

(PS This sauce has improved with age.)

  Plum sauce 2 has more Asian flavours. This is our favourite.

The sauce ended up quite reduced which has made it a good dipping sauce but also works well if thinned out a little with water. We had it with roasted pork belly (how decadent!). I always cook pork belly Bill Granger’s way. It cooks for  long time so the meat just falls apart and the fat is rendered off.

So, after making two savoury sauces, I tried a sweet plum sauce.

Plum Sauce 3 sweet produced a deep colour that tempts you to eat it. The taste is almost like berries. I think it would go well with steamed puddings or maybe pancakes( Shrove Tuesday coming up!)

I carefully placed these in different places in the fridge for later labelling. But of course that didn’t happen so now there are 3 types of sauce all looking much the same!

As long as the blood plums are still in season I will continue to try out different recipes but will make sure I label them! Even the beetroot I pickled is the same colour!