Sunday, 2 July 2017

In My Kitchen - July 2017

July is here bringing the start of the school holidays, winter woollies, and warming stews.  The month started with unusually cold mornings.  (It was 2 C overnight.)  We've passed the Winter Solstice but the nights still are dark.  Above is the last of the lemon and limes from our trees (featured in my latest garden update).  Many of them have gone into lemonade and limeade.  We made another batch with grapefruit in it (but no oranges this time) which is lovely.

On a Saturday morning a few weeks back I baked pumpkin scones, cheese muffins and chocolate cupcakes, before getting Sylvia to her late morning gymnastics classes.  The muffins were for Sylvia to take to a playdate after gymnastics.  The pumpkin scones were for me because I had roast pumpkin in the fridge.  I made them vegan with a flax egg, used half wholemeal flour and curdled the milk with some lemon juice.  They were lovely.

After Sylvia's playdate we headed to Geelong to stay the night.  The next day we went with my dad to the National Celtic Festival at Portarlington.  We love seeing the Irish and Highland dancers on the Village Stage.  More bemusing was the duelling in blow up Sumo suits.  E had a haggis roll.  Sylvia and I tucked into tattie scones.  My dad headed for the doughnuts.  I love all the craft stalls at the festival.  In the background of the above photo you might see a stripey green black and white woollen hat the I bought from a church stall for a bargain $5.

We left the festival early to get back to my parents' house for a birthday lunch for my niece.  Sylvia had decided to decorate chocolate cupcakes for her.  She texted my sister in law to check on her favourite colour and her favourite theme.  Teal was the colour.  (Kids are so fancy these days!)  The theme was Beauty and Beast.  You might notice the cupcake with the red rose which is like the rose in the film.  We had lots of other yummy food - hedgehog, red velvet cupcakes, pavlova and sponge cake to follow a fantastic Asian feast of spring rolls, fried tofu and fried rice.

I had a bag of chickpeas in the cupboard for what felt like years and finally cooked them.  For a time we were just eating chickpeas.  This big pot of curry (based on this vegan chickpea curry recipe) was great.  I added lots of pumpkin and even got Sylvia eating some of the chickpeas (but no pumpkin).  When I searched for curry paste at the back of the fridge I found a jar of rogan josh paste that was 2 years past it's Best Before Date.  It seemed fine so I used it and we are all still alive!

I don't usually think of curry and cheese as likely companions but I did enjoy some of this curry on toast with a thin layer of cheese that had been melted under the griller.

We've had a flurry of Milo-flavoured products lately.  The cereal was ok for a novelty product but too sweet and processed for a regular product.  I preferred the Milo muesli that we also tried.  The Milo bars are quite light and make for a fine lunchbox snack.  I am torn between fond childhood memories and current multinational ownership of this Australian chocolate malt drink.

Sylvia has loved having the Milo bars and set up this photo for me with her cat notes, cupcake stickers, Milo bars and mandarins.  At my parents', Sylvia tasted an imperial mandarin.  It was so good she had to have another.  We have been eating a lot of them ever since.  I will be sad when mandarin season ends.

After my recent apple pudding, I stewed more apples and decided to make an apple crumble for dessert.  I used a favourite crumble recipe but used ground almonds instead of flour.  It was scrumptious.

This packet of Sunbites Snack Crackers excited me because I love smoked paprika.  They tasted really good but were heavy on the seasoning and went too quickly.  Probably not something to buy often.

Another snack that was interesting to try but wouldn't come into our kitchen regularly are these Dang Chipotle Garlic flavoured Onion Chips.  (Crisps to you in the UK.)  Faye kindly gave me to me.  They were an odd mixture of savoury, spicy, sweet and salty.  While strange by themselves, they were surprisingly good in a sandwich with hummus. 

Lastly, as I am not baking much, I bought these Uncle Toby's Lamington muesli bars for lunchbox snacks.  While I was tempted by the name, the novelty and the purple packaging, I chose them because I stood in the muesli-bar aisle checking the nutrients and found these were relatively low in sugar and fat.  Which surprised me.  I would have expected some of the supposedly wholesome oat bars to be lower than a bar based on a chocolate cake.  Oh to have an easy way of navigating the nutritional minefield in the supermarket!

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 10 May.  Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens. 


  1. Your idea of using almond flour for crumble topping is very tempting. Your brand-name products are all unfamiliar to me -- maybe they are strictly Australian?

    You are lucky to have lemon and lime trees in your garden, small as you make it seem.

    best... mae at

  2. Ooh onion chips! I love onions so I think I'd really like these :D

  3. Those garlic and caramelised onion chips sound amazing. Yes it's always surprising how much sugar is in supposedly healthy food items. I like the sound of your pumpkin scones. What is a flax egg?:). Thanks for joining in this month.

  4. I really need to plant a lemon tree. Hope you can share your scone recipe with us for International Scone Week next month. Enjoy the school holidays :)

  5. Thanks for the glimpse into your kitchen. Many of the products are unfamiliar as Mae said. Eventually some of them may make their way to the US, it's a preview.

  6. Those pumpkin scones look absolutely delicious.

    The way I negotiate a supermarket is to not buy anything at all in a box or packet. Even if low is sugar and salt, most have all sorts of added numbers, colours and preservatives, palm sugar, and trans fats. I see a supermarket as a place to buy washing products, toilet rolls,and a few staples.

  7. Love the idea of pumpkin scones but scones just defeat me! I can never get them right!

  8. I am impressed by all that baking prior to gymnastics! The resulting goods look lovely too. I am so intrigued by those lamington bars and equally impressed at their low sugar. I hope you're staying warm with those cool mornings.

  9. I have enough unused sweet potato and no inspiration so I might use them in 'pumpkin' scones, though that chickpea stew certainly looks inspirational!

  10. I wish we had citrus trees, unfortunately it gets a little too cold here in the winter. Your chickpea meals sounds wonderful, we eat chickpeas so many ways. I'll have to remember to add pumpkin. Our pumpkin plants are just popping out of the ground now.


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