Wednesday, 8 January 2014

In My Kitchen January 2014

This month, in my kitchen we have Christmas presents, Christmas food and a few fun supermarket discoveries.  This post is part of In My Kitchen, an event held by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to give you a glimpse of bloggers' kitchens. Let's take a peek!

My sister Chris and her family have just flown home to Ireland.  It was lovely to have them at our family Christmas.  It was exciting to receive presents from Dublin.  They gave us some gorgeous cupcake papers and toppers from The Great British Bake-Off.  I look forward to using them.  I am fascinated that the tv series has its own range of kitchen stuff.  I've never watched the show but have read good things about it.

Also in their gifts was a tin of Marks and Spencer Sottish Shortbread.  E was most impressed with this, comparing it favourably to Walkers shortbread.  I am not such a shortbread fan but I liked it.  More to my liking is the retro tin.  It reminds me of my mother in law who always kept tins of bikkies and treats in her kitchen.

I love the little vegetable scrubber we also received.  It sits above the sink.  Now I wont need to scrub vegetables with the dish brush.

Another gift, these straws, will be for Sylvia.  If she had her way she would drink every drink with a straw.  I see straws and giggle about the time she asked her father for a "pink straw, please" and he thought she was asking for "pink strawberries".  Again, lovely packaging!

I bought E some Aussie shortbread.  I barely got a taste because I am not much of a shortbread fan.  It was nice and I thought I could taste the slightly bitter nuttiness of the wattleseed.  E enjoyed it, but not as much as the Marks and Sparks one!

We still have candy canes in our kitchen.  I dislike them.  Yes, they are cute and festive.  But they are just too sweet and I don't like the hard texture.  I only bought them for my gingerbread house.  Sylvia loves them with a passion.  Maybe we need to crush them over brownies.  Everything is better with chocolate!

I vowed not to make more fruit mince last month after having leftovers in my fridge for 12 months.  Somehow we didn't buy many mince pies before Christmas either.  The Bakers Delight ones were delightful.  After Christmas I bought a box of Mr Kiplings mince pies on sale.  We are almost through them.

Just before Christmas I received a beautifully packaged taster pack of Kez's Kitchen's gluten free snacks that I won in a giveaway by Cass on Food is My Friend.  I really enjoyed the ones I tasted.  E took the cereal packets to work and said they were great little snacks.

My favourite was the Almond Toffee.  A simple concoction of toffeed slivered almonds with a chocolate bottom.  It was just a great balance of flavours and very satisfying.  In fact, I enjoyed the Kez's Kitchen snacks so much that I bought a box of the roasted almond and cranberry florentine snacks at the supermarket.  Delicious!  Thanks again Cass.

My mum did an amazing job of catering for family three days in a row over Christmas.  What impressed me was that while she was whipping up salads and puddings, setting up the table and doing dishes, she still found time to bake her sourdough bread.

My sourdough baking slowed a bit over Christmas.  However I thought I would share this odd shaped slice of bread.  I was impressed because after I put it in the tin for the second rise, I left it overnight for 12 hours and it was just delicious when I baked it in the morning.  Thanks to my friend Kathleen for the tip.  And next time I will slash it so it doesn't look like it has horns.

E might love his shortbread, but I'd prefer an interesting box of crackers any day.  I found these caramelised onion gourmet crackers in the supermarket recently.  Am yet to taste them but am looking forward to it.

On the other hand, when it comes to savoury snacks, E just loves chips (or crisps).  I couldn't resist this packet of Parsnip Crisps.  They are less savoury than potato chippies.  Probably  because parsnip has a sweet undertone.  Very moreish.

I can't blame pester power for these.  I resist a lot of branding but am fond of Peppa Pig.  However these are disappointingly bland.  I guess that is why kids like them.  I really like bits of fruit in my yoghurt.  Real fruit.  Not just a bit of colour to make you guess if it is apricot, banana or strawberry!

I made a birthday cake with oreos last week (to be posted soon) and found these 100s and 1000s oreos.  They look quite similar to the birthday cake oreos that Hannah posted a while back.  They were very sweet but they smelled amazingly delicious in that sugary kiddie fairy floss kind of way.

Far more exciting, but also for the birthday cake was this purchase of Bob's Red Mill all purpose flour (at Coles supermarket in Barkly Square).  I have never liked the local commercial gluten free flour mixes which are very starchy and give a sandy texture to any baking.  This flour mix is made up of besan, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and fava bean flour.  More protein.  Better texture.  It made an excellent cake.

Finally a calendar for the new year.  It must be the first year for a long time that we haven't received a calendar for Christmas.  Fortunately Readings had some good ones on sale.  I love this Jukurrpa calender with beautiful modern Aboriginal art.  Once the new calendar is up, it really feels like the new year begins.  Hope your 2014 has started well!

Disclosure: I received the Kez's Kitchen taster pack for free.  I was not obliged to write about it or give a positive review.

33 comments:

  1. Nice. I always love these kitchen snippets... and that veggie brush is just too cute!

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    1. Thanks Janet - yes I think Sylvia would love to have a little brush like that

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  2. I LOVE all of those, especially the Shortbread biscuits too! Happy New Year! Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen - E really loved those shortbread biscuits - they sell heaps at Christmas here but not much after the festivities die down. E is now missing the shortbread

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  3. Great pictures! One Christmas my youngest son requested ANZAC biscuits with crushed candy canes to make them minty. They were really good.

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    1. Thanks Pene - great idea for candy canes - ours are just being neglected (I try not to remind Sylvia about them)

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  4. I love a good peak into someone's kitchen - looks like yours has got loads of lovely things. The Bake-Off insanely popular over here! I'm also quite keen to see how the idea of sprinkling candy over brownies goes - I suspect the canes would definitely be something better in small doses!

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    1. Thanks Joey - I think the bake off is popular but it is just not at a good time for us - my mum loves it so I have watched it a few times but not got into it

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  5. 100s and 1000s makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE than "birthday cake". Just one of the ways Australia beats North America ;)

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    1. Thanks Hannah - yes I think 'birthday cake' is a bit fanciful - they are just hundreds and thousands but it does smell amazing

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  6. Johanna, your IMK post was a colorful, flavorful read. (Lovely tribute to your Mom, too.) The mince pies and Almond Toffee sounded like tasty treats. Thanks for the tip on the GF flour, too -- will have to try that. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Kim - I highly recommend the flour - worked a treat in a mud cake

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  7. G'day Johanna! What cute and fun in your kitchen, true!
    Love the Scottish bickie tin and the whimsical veggie scrubber too!
    Thanks also for this month's kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

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    1. Thanks Joanne - nothing like a few treats from Marks and Spencers

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  8. I love that shortbread tin Johanna - far more than the contents given I don't like shortbread, but I'd have happily bought it just for the container :-) The vegetable scrubber is great too, and your new calendar looks brilliant. I'm also interested by the parsnip chips, and definitely recommend crushing candy canes over something chocolate to make them edible. I don't like them plain either, but I crushed them into a peppermint chocolate bark a few Christmas' back and that format was very good!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I sometimes just want to buy food for the container but it just doesn't seem right :-) I have seen your peppermint chocolate bark and loved the idea.

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  9. I'm excited about the parsnip chips! I wonder if I can find those here!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I am not sure how widely the thomas chipman chips are sold but you never know!

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  10. The vegie scrubber is a real find.

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  11. The veggie scrubber is way too cute! :-)

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    1. Thanks Sandy - yes much cuter than others I have had that get neglected

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  12. a beautiful post...HAVE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Kumars Kitchen - and to you too

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  13. What a brilliant list of Christmas goodies, your post feels like Christmas again :) How sweet of your family - these are gorgeous cupcake pappers & toppers indeed! I’ve heard about The Great British Bake-Off, but I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m watching the Taste at the moment now! The vegetable scrubber is adorable…I need one like this! I agree with the lovely packaging on these straws, so floral and elegant! I swear I have seen these parsnip chips before… are they vegan, too?

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    1. Thanks Rika - I haven't heard of Taste - I enjoy cooking shows but they are usually at the wrong time or I just get annoyed at the adverts. I am very pleased to have the vegie scrubber - from time to time I think I must get one and then forget til it is too late. And I love a nicely packaged kitchen product too.

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  14. Johanna, your sourdough slice reminded me - we had a bread stamp years ago when the boys were little (no idea where it's gone now) and we used it to stamp smiley faces into toast. They kids loved it, and I reckon your Sylvia would too if you ever saw anything like it again. Your vegetable scrubber is very, very cute, as are the pink straws. I agree with S, I think most drinks taste better through a straw! How nice that you had your family over for Christmas! Hope 2014 is wonderful! xx

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    1. Thanks Celia - I have seen those sort of bread stamps and consider buying them every now and again - I think Sylvia would love them. It is amazing how many straws we go through - I am not bothered about drinking through straws but they are great for craft.

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  15. Great little round up. I love the Great British Bake Off - it's on Gem or Go on Sunday nights you know? We are way behind the UK but they show it every week so will catch up soon enough. I can't stand those candy canes either - what a waste of perfectly good sugar. You don't like shortbread? What is wrong with you GGG? Still, I will overlook this foible and continue to read throughout 2014. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Fiona - I have heard they are showing the Great British Bake Off on Gem (I think) but am all out of whack with my days after some time at the beach so need to get into some routine if I am ever to watch it. I actually quite like home made shortbread but I once spent months at a job in Edinburgh where we had nothing to do except eat the Walkers shortbread in the kitchen and it spoiled it for me (well I did do some work but there was a lot of boredom)

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  16. Drinking out of a paper straw is so much nicer than a plastic straw, especially if it has stripes and it pink. I love these posts Johanna. I just did one too, but yours is much more fun!

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    1. Thanks Jac - I agree that the paper straws are nicer than plastic though I still don't know why sylvia chews every straw she drinks through - will look forward to peeking into your kitchen

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  17. Oh how sad Christmas has finished. Presents are fun. Great tips about Red Mill flour. I always have candy canes left over too. They go very nicely with chocolate.

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