Tuesday, 3 June 2014

In My Kitchen June 2014

In my kitchen is a wealth of food this month.  Lots of fun shopping excursions, home made sourdough bread and all sorts of cheeses (both dairy and vegan).

Let's start with the above packages of cheese biscuits.  We made these for a cake stall at a school fundraiser.  I also made a loaf of treacle gingerbread.  The cakes were sold for dessert after a bbq at a musical evening.  I was pleased to see mine were all sold.  I must confess Sylvia bought a few of the cheese bikkies and her friends weren't so keen when she offered to share them.

What really pleased me even more was my neat labels.  I printed out the ingredients, cut with crinkly scissors and pasted onto coloured cardboard.  Then I tied the labels on with string.  It was one of my better efforts. 

I haven't baked much sweet stuff over the last few weeks.  My friend Kathleen gave me the Herman the German friendship cake starter and I gave a little to my mum and used most to make a huge batch of cake that has been residing in the freezer.  Great for school lunches and late night snacks.  Delicious with yoghurt and stewed plums.  So good that I have just got some more starter from Kathleen. 

Sylvia has developed a love affair with cheese toasties.  We have a place that we pass on the way home from school that sells them for $1.  But there are days we get halfway to the mall, find I have forgotten the library books, turn back to get them and it starts to rain.  When this happened, I decided to make sourdough flatbreads, filled them with cheese, folded and fried til cheese is melty.  E and I were even more posh and added roasted cherry tomatoes to ours.  Sylvia was very happy.

The apples from the supermarket are so disappointing that I have been visiting farmers markets more regularly just to buy decent apples.  Above is the haul from a visit to the Coburg Farmers Market

Here is a closer look at some of the products from the Coburg Farmers Market.  The beetroot gnocchi was panfried with some spinach, parmesan and cherry tomatoes.  Home made crumpets are heavenly and disappear at some rate.

The new Pistachio Croquant from Cocoa Rhapsody (caramel roasted pistachios with almond gianduja) is amazing.  My mum loved the ginger spiced chocolate and we gobbled down our favourite salted lime chocolate.

I loved the fresh tortillas (which had such an enticing aroma when warm) and still have some Pat's Veg sauerkraut in the fridge.  The tortillas and sauerkraut were very good together with some apples and cheese in quesadillas.

It has been ages since I had some Thai curry paste in my kitchen.  It is always hard to find one without shrimp paste.  How many hours do I spend checking out the ingredients lists on these pastes.  We had a lovely red curry with coconut milk, tofu and vegies.  Must make it again soon.  Still not quite sure how to use the Nasi Goreng but am sure it will be used.

I had a shopping trip to Brunswick IGA supermarket.  They have such a different range from our local supermarkets that it makes me feel like a tourist in my own town.  Above are (clockwise from top left) Watsonia tasty cheese, parmesan, firm tofu, smoked tofu, pesto cheese, and won ton wrappers.

Also purchased at Brunswick IGA were Mayver's Hazelnut and Cacao Spread and a bottle of Bruce Cost Ginger Ale.  The hazelnut spread had no sweetener so I had to add a spoonful or two of honey.  It is delicious straight from the jar or spread on fresh bread.  I bought the ginger ale because I thought it was one I had liked at a markett.  It was quite sweet and very spicy.  I think it would be refreshing in summer but was a nice autumnal drop.

Mothers day came and went with presents and good food.  I really liked that some parents at the school got together to make presents and held a stall for the kids to buy presents (nothing over $5).  Sylvia bought me this handkerchief and a keyring.

I fell out of sourdough bread making during Easter when my sourdough starter was being used for hot cross buns.  In May I tried Dan Lepard's White Leaven Bread from The Handmade Loaf.  The result was a lovely soft loaf with an open crumb.  You may notice the interesting shape of the top of the loaf.  That is where the floured tea towel stuck to the bread dough.

I baked my second loaf of Dan's bread in my bread tin.  This meant no dough sticking to tea towels.  The bread was dense and moist but a closer crumb.  It was just lovely with my mum's quince jelly.  I grew up with my mum's quince jelly always in the cupboard, thanks to a family friend with a large quince tree.  It is now a great comfort food for me.

Yet another of Dan's loaves.  You can see my slashing is not improving.  I think I need a sharper blade.  I was very pleased to find this wire rack in an op shop for 50c.  It is a good sturdy rack and much smaller than my other racks.  Making it so it much easier to find it a place on a crowded kitchen table.  And a loaf of bread fits on it very nicely.

On a visit to the Cruelty Free Shop in Brunswick Street, I purchased two vegan cheeses: Vegusto blue cheese and Notzarella.  I will write more about these later but I was very pleased with the blue cheese.  The Notzarella was good on pizza, though I think I prefer the Vegusto mozzarella.  However it took me some time to get into the Vegusto so I am prepared to give Notzarella a go.

A trip to Yarraville saw me returning with Raw Materials wild garlic salt flakes and Amazon chipotle sauce.  I only bought the sauce because it said it was mild.  Mild and smoky sauce sounds good to me.  I have had the wild garlic salt before but I think I appreciate it more this time round.  It really does smell strongly of the wild garlic.

A Vitasoy hamper arrived on my doorstep last week.  I was excited to win it in a giveaway by Almost Skinny Vegan Food.  Vitasoy is our soy milk of choice - Sylvia loves it and it has added calcium and vitamin B12.  The generous pack contained 3 cartons of milk, a T2 mug, a keep cup, recipe cards, a Pete Evans Healthy Every Day cookbook, recipe cards, Global Cafe Direct coffee (not pictured) and a Coles gift voucher. 

It didn't take me long to go shopping at Coles (in Brunswick where there is more specialty food).  On the same trip I went to  Aunt Maggie's.  Above is a selection of goodies I bought.  I was excited to find Muir Glen fire roasted tinned tomatoes, Bionade and almond coconut yoghurt at Aunt Maggie's.  Those tomatoes are so so good.  Coles yielded sour cream and caramelised onion corn chips, roasted tomatillo salsa, harissa, tomato chutney, teas, crackers, and Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream (not pictured).  The Phish Food is amazing.  E now thinks the kitchen is not properly stocked without it.  I keep using words like treat and extravagance!

I am sending this post to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her In My Kitchen event.  Head over to join in and/or check out what is happening in other bloggers' kitchens. 

46 comments:

  1. Wow so much amazing stuff! Bread dough on tea towel would have sent me spinning around the room all crazy-like. I'm hoping to get to Aunt Maggie's soon, I sadly had to drive past it the other day without being able to stop. Herman the German looks fascinating, I've bookmarked the site. And yet again I forget about the local farmers markets.

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - you will love aunt maggies but go when you feel rich :-) Herman the German is not vegan because it uses milk but you can do your own starter with soy milk (I have been using soy milk in mine) And it is coburg farmers market tomorrow - not sure if I can get along - want to very much

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  2. Wow, look at all that goodness! I am itching to go to a farmer's market - I haven't been since I moved house as I've missed the two that happen closest to me at the Abbotsford convent. I must get to the next one!

    I am with you on notzarella - I think vegusto is much better. I do want to like/support homegrown products, but to be honest notzarella just tastes salty to me - no real cheesy flavour. I do like the texture when it's melted though!

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    1. Thanks Caeli - moving house and farmers markets aren't a good combination - I tried the notzarella on corn chips, nacho style, this week and not sure if it wasn't in long enough but it wasn't as nice and melty as vegusto - still have a bit more to use up

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  3. What an amazing array of great food! It would be an exciting time to eat at your table at the moment!

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    1. Thanks Daneille it actually feels quite overwhelming but yes fun too

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  4. Wowser lots of edible goodies in your kitchen and it makes me happy to see lots of new things. Thanks for sharing the wild garlic sea salt. I agree about the nasi goring finding one without shrimp is hard, been a while since I've had some. Also I so need to get one of those crinkly scissors, would make some of my presentation more appealing.

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    1. Thanks Shaheene - the wild garlic smells so strong that I am sure it adds lots of flavour. Definitely recommend the crinkly scissors - I bought some cheap ones for sylvia that are actually an OHS nightmare so they are kept high and are probably sharper than her regular scissors because they are less used

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  5. My friend gave me one of those too! Hers was called Herman lol. It had a cute story too. I love seeing your shopping. I bought vegan cheese this week. It's so good. Tastes like parmesan :)

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    1. Thanks Cass - Herman is very cute how he has a little personality. I am still not so sure about vegan cheeses but I love vegan cheese sauces and loved the vegusto mozzerella or melty when melted

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  6. Lots of goodies indeed, thanks for the tour!

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  7. Awesome! So many new things in your kitchen! You certainly haven't been slacking in the photos department while you were off. :)
    That Vitasoy hamper looks incredible! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Janet - I think my In My Kitchen post was even fuller this month because I was not focussing on recipes so much and had more time for other food. Loved the hamper!

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  8. What a great haul. I especially like the salted lime chocolate. Maybe an old fashioned razor blade or Stanley knife will work for slashing your dough :)

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    1. Thanks Tandy - the salted lime chocolate is really delicious. I think I need to look for a razor for slashing bread - tried scissors but they didn't really work

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  9. Lots of delicious food here! I would have been so happy to see cheese biscuits at a fund raiser. Normally there's just sweet goodies and I much prefer something savory.

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    1. Thanks Nupur - I took the cheese biscuits along because I hate going to cake stalls and wanting something savoury - especially when you want a snack - and I also thought Sylvia might eat some of them rather than just cake - which she did - kids love stuff from their own kitchen when they are eating out :-)

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  10. The first thing I noticed was how pretty your labels looked! :) It never occurred to me that buying curry paste would be hard for a vegetarian, but of course the shrimp paste is an issue! Sylvia obviously loves all things cheese - good for her! And my tip re flouring tea towels is to always use something other than plain or bakers flour - rye flour works well, as does fine semolina, and lots of bakers use rice flour. Also, use LOTS of it! :)

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    1. Thanks Celia - I have had days when I think I will buy a nice curry paste but all the ones I want have shrimp paste - it is very dispiriting. Sylvia loves cheese but loves some more than others - I find it odd she loves parmesan but is a bit unsure about some vintage cheeses. Thanks for the tip about flouring the tea towel - might feel brave enough to try it sometime - we all seem to life the square loaf of bread esp for sandwiches - but I love the open crumb that tea towel gave.

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  11. I like the idea of cheese filled flatbreads. Everyone's loaves always look so beautifully slashed that I thought I was the only one who couldn't do it. My tea towels stick too sometimes, though I find that linen ones are better than cotton.

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    1. Thanks Anne - it is nice when bread looks pretty as in a bakery but I am always just pleased if it tastes great - am sure your does! I will need to try and check which of my tea towels are linen and which are cotton for when I use them for bread

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  12. I must visit the Coburg framers market one day when I am staying in Brunswick. Your breads look great to me.

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    1. Thanks Franscesca - the coburg farmers markets are great (as long as you get the right date which I somehow confused this month)

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  13. Wow, Johanna! There is so much here I can't begin to do it all justice in my comment. I loved seeing it all though, and your biscuit labels were so professional I thought they were store bought packets. I also agree that supermarket apples are awful, and am glad you could win the Vitasoy give away as I recall you liking the brand.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I don't know how there was so much food purchasing this month - somehow I was out and about and it just fell at my feet :-) Vitasoy is the soy milk of choice in the house - Sylvia likes it and very few others seem to have B12 in them.

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  14. Wow!!! Some amazing things in your kitchen this month! I always shop at farmers markets when I can as I find the food is so much better. We have an apple farmer that comes down to my local market and his apples are wonderful! I have a Thermomix bread mat which is fantastic, so if you have a friend who sells them they work a treat! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - we have a great apple stall at our farmers market - never heard of a thermomat but have looked them up and they sound interesting - will look out for them.

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  15. Some lovely goodies in your kitchen. Thanks so much for the tour!

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  16. What a busy kitchen you have this month. I spent years trying to find a curry paste without shrimp paste and in the end, started making my own. Mine comes from Spirit House (I think I may have the recipe on my blog). I can't handle the taste of shrimp paste; it's just too smelly for me xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I went vegetarian before getting into thai curries so I've never tasted the ones with shrimp paste but as I never liked seafood a lot I gather I would not be a fan if I wasn't vegetarian. I should try and make my own but I never have despite having a few recipes - though the ingredients don't overwhelm me as much as they used to so maybe I will get there.

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  17. It is crazy how hard it is to find curry paste without fish sauce or shrimp paste! Wonder if we get that brand here...

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    1. Thanks Joanne - yes I often think would it really make that much difference :-)

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  18. I cannot believe Hermann has made it to Australia! That's kind of wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Mihl, your comment made me wonder how far my starter has travelled - it hadn't occurred to me it might be called Herman the German because it actually started in Germany, I just thought it was a German style cake!

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  19. GGG - Every time I read your IMK, there is something on the list that I need to buy next time I head to the shops. I love all the Mayver's products and use their tahini so now I'm on the look out for the Cacao Spread. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Fiona - the cacao spread is amazing - when I buy nutella I find it terribly addictive but this one is really satisfying and I find a little spoonful will usually do me when I want a little sweet chocolate something!

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  20. Loving that chipotle sauce - let me know how spicy it is please. I love spicy spicy so may want to try the hotter version. Some amazing cheeses too - yumm! Great to see you on IMK

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    1. Thanks Miss Food Fairy - still haven't used the chipotle sauce but am almost through the fancy cheeses and back to the boring old cheddar that sylvia loves. will write about it when I do use the chipotle sauce

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  21. The cheese biscuits look lovely! My Sylvia is obsessed with cheese toasties and all things cheese. I often laugh about it as her rebellion in having a vegan mum :) I love Vegusto too, ad have enjoyed notzarella on pizza. They're a bit pricey for a regular purchase though!

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    1. Thanks Kate - I didn't know your Sylvia ate cheese - am sure you are a very patient vegan mum - cheese is one of my easier foods for sylvia so she eats it a lot despite me trying other things - I keep meaning to make her cheese biscuits for her lunchbox

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  22. i have tried the peanut and cacao spread but i must try the hazelnut and cacao one. i really love hazelnuts! so many goodies in your kitchen.

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    1. Thanks Sherry - I think I would like the peanut and cacao spread but haven't bought it as sylvia has a peanut allergy - though she seems so against peanut butter I am not sure it would bother her if I had it

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  23. So much delicious food in your kitchen! Your bread looks amazing, and served with quince jelly, yum, my favourite!

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    1. Thanks Clare - yes we can have all the fancy food in the house but sometimes a simple home made bread and jam is the best of all

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  24. oozing with jealousy that you won the vitasoy hamper ;-)
    How awesome are those mayvers spreads? my daughter LOVES them. Love your farmers market produce - fruit & veg always look so pretty put together to show their lovely colours!
    I am yet to try notzarella - but I've heard such good reviews about it

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    1. Thanks Sandy - my daughter is not into nut butters - I think her allergy to peanuts didn't help because it means I didn't give her peanut butter as a toddler - but more for me. I am still not sure about notzarella - grated it over a pasta bake this week and it didn't melt as I had hoped but I still enjoyed it on the bake - it has melted a little on pizza.

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