In My Kitchen: May 2018

In my kitchen this month…it’s May…it’s Term 2…and things are getting crazy busy in our house…so much so that I’ve had to resort to making my own personalized family calendar for the term which is gracing the cupboard next to the fridge. It’s five A4 pages landscape taped together and I made it in Excel with a column for each of us plus a general family column and each day is a row. It’s also an electronic file that we can share when we’re not at home, but I find that we really need a centralized visible calendar to keep track of everything and this is the place where we write stuff in or cross stuff off so I know to update the electronic copy. So far no one has missed anything important…but it’s only week 1!

A hopeful sign of future sourdough posts – I’m finally attempting to rehydrate some sourdough starter I dried out about 6 months ago.

This peanut butter is the best! I’m in a bit of a panic that we’re on our last jar as it is quite expensive when not on sale given the amount our family of 6 goes through each week. #peanutbutteraddicts

Remember my daughter’s Belle drawing that was gracing my kitchen window last month?!! Well to it has been added another drawing of Harry Potter and his owl Hedwig. I need to buy some frames for these!

Friends of ours own a coffee business and this is our favorite blend that we’ve been brewing here at home for the past 6 months or so. And now that we have 4 coffee drinkers we’re going through a lot of it, thankfully our coffee machine isn’t on the fritz anymore.

I absolutely love cookie jars and have planned that my special gift to my kids when they move out of home is going to be a funky collectible cookie jar that reminds me of each of them…also something that I have an excuse to bake and fill when I come visit. This one, however, was a gift from Aaron’s sister a while back and since we didn’t have a specific use for it, it has become our dog Ridley’s biscuit jar. Ridley is named for Daisy Ridley who plays Rey in the new Star Wars movies. Our Riddles’ full name is Ridley Rey because my daughter and I both have Rae as our middle names. Anyhow, Darth Vader seemed like the perfect cookie jar for our beautiful doggy.

I’ve gotten my Mother’s Day present a little early because it was on sale on Bing Lee’s ebay store. I have been wanting a good quality portable bluetooth speaker for ages and Aaron bought two of these that can be paired together. Currently we have one in the lounge room and one in the kitchen and now my baking is accompanied by a lot of wacky dance moves. =)

My current cookbook “shelf” – paired down a bit, the kettle fits again, but only if I put the cookbooks that I own on top of the sadly empty fresh bread bin. That will be corrected this weekend though, I hope!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!


Thanks to Sherry’s Pickings for hosting the In My Kitchen link up. To learn more, click on the logo on the right. 

 

In My Kitchen: April 2018

I was meant to post this on Friday but have been terribly slack. Actually that’s a lie. I was flat out coordinating and running the cake stall at our daughter’s primary school this weekend, so this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down to write this post.

My cactus collection is growing…my sweet nephew bought me this lamp for my birthday because he knows I like cactus. We’re having him for a sleepover sometime in the next couple weeks and I’ve got a special surprise in the works for him.

And my mom came through in a big way when I told her I desperately needed some new hanging hand towels in my kitchen. She found some cactus and some pumpkin tea towels and sewed the tops on herself. Such a great birthday present that will seriously be used all day every day.

Speaking of gifts from my mom – the package she sent also included some new flavors of Oreos…the cinnamon ones are by far my favorite!

Then I spotted these at Woolies and had to buy a couple bags – one for us and one for my mom, I’m sure she’s never seen these before!

See that little red ring on my coffee machine. That is the difference between happiness and chaos. There used to be a little greyish green one like the one behind there but it broke off the other day. Who knew that something so small could mean that we couldn’t make coffee?!! Aaron luckily found the red one on the milk steamer wand that we don’t use very often and repurposed it. We’d been buying coffee for several days (this was over the course of the fete weekend) and it is just soooo much nicer to be able to make it on demand.

This has been adorning the kitchen window above the sink for the last few weeks. Miss 6 has been learning how to draw with the help of YouTube and she’s getting really good at it. Belle is my favorite Disney princess so I’ve happily left her on display.

My cake stall contribution…3 batches of caramel slice…

…3 dozen red velvet cupcakes…and (not pictured) 45 gluten free custard yoyos with roasted strawberry icing. It was a busy couple days in the kitchen.

My library cookbook shelf atm – so many books I had to move the kettle. This is getting out of hand!

 

Thanks to Sherry’s Pickings for hosting the In My Kitchen link up for this month. To learn more, click on the logo to the left.

Baking: From My Home to Yours: Coffee Caramel Pots de Creme and book review

I made some friands yesterday which left me with 5 egg yolks to use and I still needed to try one more recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours for the month so it was the perfect time to make pots de creme!

I’ve made one of Dorie’s pots de creme recipes in the past (not sure which book it came from) and loved it, so thought this should be a rather simple task for extraordinary results. Well…I’m not sure this has been my week cooking wise, because I’ve had an unusual amount of trouble.

First when I combined the sugar and the coffee in a saucepan and stirred to get the sugar to melt and caramelize, the coffee started burning badly. So I had to scrap that and start again. For my second attempt, I just chucked the sugar into the saucepan until it turned into caramel, then I added the coffee and the warm milk/cream mixture. The caramel immediately seized so I had to bring it back up to boiling to get the caramel to separate from the coffee. Then from there I set it aside to infuse for 20 minutes and completed everything else as per the instructions – adding egg yolks, eggs, and the remaining sugar, creating the water bath, baking in a low oven. Pretty standard stuff.

The result…well it’s nice but we didn’t really get the caramel flavour, the coffee completely overtook the dessert. Which is not a bad thing, but not what we were looking forward to. Would I make these again? Definitely, but I wouldn’t use the coffee method that Dorie recommends. I’d just add some instant espresso to the milk/cream mixture. There’d be a whole lot less coffee wastage that way (it ended up being 2 cups of beans which is absurd for 6-8 dessert cups).

Baking: From My Home to Yours is an excellent book for the home baker. It has a wealth of different types of baked goods to choose from and all the recipes I’ve looked at seem very approachable and with good results (apart from my disappointing lack of caramel flavour in the pots de creme). I am glad I added this book to my cookbook shelf.

There are still many recipes I’d like to try from the book, and I’m sure I’ll be back with more recipes from it on Throwback Thursdays. If you want to join in on the fun, check out the Food52 Baking Club Facebook group and you’ll also get a chance to see what other bakers have done this month. I love this group,  especially given the access you get to cookbook authors – Dorie commented on my cinnamon squares yesterday! It’s a lot of fun.

To see the other two recipes I’ve tried from this book click on the links below: