Saturday, 7 November 2015

In My Kitchen - November 2015

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, October was the "most abnormally dry month  in records going back to 1910".  It was a month that sped by here with low energy, a hospital visit (not for me) and lots of other draining moments.  Though I continued blogging, I only posted 3 recipes.  Hopefully November will be a more productive month in the kitchen and on my blog.

Meanwhile, I have been returning to quite a few favourite recipes.  Above is another stab at potato and cheese pasties.  Sylvia requested them for a school event.  I had planned to buy her something from the freezer section of the supermarket but she would have none of that.  The pasties worked really well with pre-rolled puff pastry when shaped in square.  No pesky off-cuts.  Everyone was very happy with them

I have been fascinated at the explosion of interesting vegan and/or gluten free products in the supermarkets.  Here are a few.  (1) Kale and quinoa popcorn.  Sylvia was initially horrified at the idea until she realised it was salted pocorn with so subtle green flavouring. (2) Nudie coconut yoghurt.  Sadly just as rich and creamy as Coyo's yoghurt.  I am still seeking a vegan yoghurt that has more of a cultured tang.  (3) Condensed coconut milk.  Amazing find.  Short ingredients list.  Yet I am still to use it.  (4)  BBQ fava beans.  A nice variation on a favourite snack. 

We loved making lemonade with lemon juice, sugar and water.  On a whim I tried it with coconut sugar recently.  It was so brown that Sylvia has told me it is like coke.  (Better than "murky".)  I had to add some agave to achieve enough sweetness.  It is nice but has a bit more flavour than regular sugar.

I have a few baking goodies from the supermarket.  Muffin papers, fudge chunks and popping candy.  We have only used the muffin cups so far (for the ghost cupcakes).  I am planning on using the rest in some choc chip cookies.

I made frugal freezer stock recently.  I love having a freezer with lots of stock.  (I guess you might call it well stocked - ha ha!)  It always makes me enjoy making soup when I have a good home made stock.

I finally used up my puy lentils in a harrira soup from Isa Does It.  I love that cookbook and keep planning to write about it.  Don't the lentils look beautiful?

Finally some of the finer things in life (just think of the lack of focus as a sentimental patina).  Gifts of home made candles and home grown broad beans.  Plus a little luxury purchase of blood plum balsamic vinegar.  As Christmas approaches gifts are on my mind.  Doesn't it feel like we are heading for the festive season at some rate!  Before we know it, the end of the year will be upon us.

I am sending this post to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her In My Kitchen event.  Head over to join in (by 10th of each month) and/or check out what is happening in other bloggers' kitchens.

31 comments:

  1. Johanna, can you tell me where you tracked down the coconut condensed milk? I've been keeping an eye out for it but not seen it yet!

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    1. Cindy, it was in Woollies in Coburg - just happened to see it but these things come and go so hopefully they will have it there for a while

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    2. Thanks Johanna, I'll tour the northside Woolies!

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  2. Coconut condensed milk intrigues me. I have a number of other cookbooks from the Isa and Terry, but don't seem to have this one, so will have to check it out - I think I may have been hesitant in picking it up, as I have not cooked from Appetite for Reduction and one another, but I trust your recommendations more.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - I have a few other cookbooks by Isa but have never used any of these as much as Isa Does It. Not sure why. I looked at Appetite for Reduction and just wasn't enthused enough to buy it.

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  3. As always, the differences in US and OZ supermarket products is a bit surprising. Very interesting post!

    best.... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Mae - I visited a friend in Washington DC years ago and was so excited when she took me to a supermarket - as so much has changed in our supermarkets since then I can imagine (and hope) US ones have also changes in weird and wonderful ways too.

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  4. Condensed coconut milk sounds interesting. Would it not be like coconut cream? I haven't seen it in the stores but I haven't really looked for it to be honest! I'd love to try it.

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I haven't opened the tin but I did make a lovely condensed coconut milk - condensed milk is sweetened so it is different from coconut cream (it is still a mystery as to why it is called condensed milk when it is sweetened and condensed) and it is more gloopy (yep that is a technical term - ha) I found it in woolworths

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  5. Those pasties are just the right ones for me, looks really nice. And making some stock is also on my list soon.

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    1. Thanks Veg Hog - am sure you would enjoy the pasties - and they would be great in your cooling climate

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  6. I've got that condensed milk too but haven't used it yet!

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    1. Thanks Faye - we will have to compare notes when we use them

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  7. I am sorry to hear about the hospital visit and hope all of you are doing OK now (am sure that it was stressful not just for the person who was ill). You have reminded me to get back into freezing veg scraps as I haven't done so since we moved, and I love the look of all of those new vegan snacks / products!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I have linked to the hospital visit as it was the one for sylvia that I wrote about in October. I usually start on a bag of vegie scraps once my veg stock starts waning - the freezer always has an allotted area for stock - probably why the freezer always so crowded

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    1. Thanks Lizzy - I never made stock regularly until I found this idea so I highly recommend it

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  9. You have been busy in your kitchen. I do love the look of your frugal stock. I hope you're okay after having to be in hospital xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I love the frugal stick because it means I get a whole lots of different vegies in there without having to buy them just for the stock. Fortunately I wasn't in hospital - but have linked to sylvia's visit now as I realise my words were misleading

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  10. Oh my goodness, I hope you're feeling all right! Hopefully November brings you many awesome things. :) And I was excited to see the condensed coconut milk, didn't know that type of product existed and I'm hoping it makes its way here! Christmas always comes too soon, so I'm trying to do planning and gifts now too - kudos on the homemade candles!

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    1. Thanks Allysia - I'm fine - the hospital visit was a brief one for Sylvia (now you can check out the link in the text) and I just found it tiring. The coconut condensed milk is easy to make at home if you have just a little time - I tried it recently and it worked really well. Good luck with your Christmas preparation

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  11. Hoping you are on the mend after being in hospital...those pasties look yum!!! That Sylvia knows a good thing by the sounds! Jan x

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    1. Thanks Jan - I wasn't in hospital - sylvia was and you can see by her dinner request that she is now healthy and hungry :-)

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  12. Nice idea to make the pasties into rectangles. Usually I make a cook's treat with the cut offs (one of my favourite bits) but sometimes you just want it to be neat and easy.

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  13. I'm a lover of broad beans but hard to come by in these parts. I nearly fell over when I saw them on every other stall at the Canberra Farmer's Market. I'm looking for that Pandaroo condensed coconut milk. Now hand me a spoon...

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  14. I want to try the Nudie coconut yoghurt!
    I actually haven't tried puy lentils yet - they do look really pretty =)
    And the homegrown broad beans look so vibrant.

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  15. I love the look of the pasties. Must give them a go soon.

    Sorry to hear the nudie yoghurt wasn't to your taste, I definitely don't find it as overpowering as Coyo. I've been keeping my eye out for the coconut condensed milk but I'll have to look harder.

    Love those sentimental patina-d goods... Christmas always induces me to buy a few fancy ingredients that I then spend the rest of the year trying not to save 'for good' and just use them!

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  16. Johanna, you made me smile with your "well-stocked freezer" and "sentimental patina" comments. :) The flavors in your veggie stock must be fabulous! I finally got a stock pot (yay) and look forward to simmering some myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. It is time for me to stock the freezer again as well. I now have room and it is soup weather so stock up I will! October was also crazy busy here, though definitely not dry. Seems like ages ago but the beginning of October was our flood. I am quite intrigued by the coconut condensed milk, I'll have to see if we have that here. Seems every time I go to the store there are so many new products.

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  18. yum i love pasties. brings back memories of childhood when mum made them for us. full of parsnip in those days.:) i tried coconut yoghurt once - eek not nice.

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