Surely it is not already April! The days pass quickly and there is always a lot to do and not enough done. I have managed to catch up with some friends. Easter has been a fun break with family, Hot Cross Buns, swimming and a new Spotify account. Politics has kept me outraged with our federal government shown to be hopeless out of their depth when faced with the truth about women in federal parliament, disappointed with our slow vaccine rollout, and saddened by our premier's spinal injury. Brisbane locked down, the cat lost his collar and the the library blocked my card. At least we have School Holidays and an extra hour at the end of Daylight Savings!
Above is an Ortolana pizza from Old School Pizza. We've had takeaway pizza on a couple of tired nights. This pizza had roasted pumpkin, wilted baby spinach, marinated sliced potato, zucchini, roasted eggplant, oil infused garlic and herbs. It was pretty good with lots of vegies.
It has been farewell to summer fruit. The fruit bowl has been filled with apples from my parents' tree, citrus and passionfruit.
I have been missing summer fruit but occasionally I make a nice juice - usually by blending fresh orange juice, strawberries, pineapple and lots of ice. This happens much more than I bake bread or visit the farmers market.
I had some time in the city a few weeks back. One visit was to eat sushi and churros after the NGV Triennial and another time I was there for an appointment, after which I stopped at David Jones for cheesy snacks - pretzels and crisps.
I was intrigued by these Miso and Mushroom flavoured Corn and Kale Chips. They were slightly green with lots of umami flavour. And very good with hummus.
These Coco Pop covered Golden Gaytime ice creams were also irresistible. They combined two favourite childhood treats. But sometimes the sum is not greater than its parts. Fun to try!
We bought baking potatoes at the farmers market and had them one night as traditional baked potatoes with lots of grated cheese, sour cream and coleslaw. The next night I had one leftover that went into a taco bowl of sorts: baked potato, corn, red capsicum, coleslaw, grated cheese and broccoli served with dollops of plain yoghurt, refried beans and salsa. This sort of bowl is such a great way to get my vegetables in my diet.
A trip to Northland shopping centre included purchasing a tub of chickpea and pumpkin salad for lunch with arancini. There was a lot of salad! I took some of it home, cooked up some sourdough flatbreads and added purple cabbage and baby spinach. An easy and satisfying dinner!
My beloved Oxo potato masher broke so I headed to Northland to buy a new one. I wanted one exactly the same as my black one. I was fascinated by the Dreamform masher. It is now sitting in the draw waiting to be used.
I bought some new salt and pepper grinders. First thing I did was wash them. When I filled the salt grinder with rock salt I found that it had not dried out properly and would not grind. Last week when I worked from home on a nice warm day, I dried it outside and now it seems to be grinding the salt as it should.
Sylvia requested we buy some mini gnocchi. I served it with pesto (made with basil from the garden), mushrooms, capsicums and herbed cream cheese.
I finally tried Pinch of Yum's Cauliflower Walnut Vegetarian Taco Meat. It is not a new idea. I remember being amazed when I saw Ricki Heller's very similar "Meaty Crumbles" back in 2010. I liked the Pinch of Yum version but was I think it would have been better in a tomato sauce as it was quite dry when I served it. Having said that, despite it being so crumbly and able to spill everywhere, the yoghurt and salsa with the vegetables were fine accompaniments.
I was surprised that my camelia was already flowering by the end of March. It usually flowers in about May but it has been quite a wet, cool start to the year. I also have great expectations for the lime tree with lots of fruit that looks set to ripen soon. I also have lemons that will ripen soon but the lemon tree is looking a little sad.
We tried to go easy on the Easter goodies. But novelty chocolate and sticky date butterscotch brownies are hard resist. The hot cross buns are in the freezer so I am not sure how they taste. I found the cherry ripe egg a little dark but the fruit tingle easter egg was very good.
I baked a couple of batches of sourdough hot cross buns before Easter. As usual I pipe my crosses a lot thicker than the shops because we love a thick chewy glazed cross in my household. I had a problem this year with the glaze being boiled too long and it turned to crystalised sugar on the buns. Next year I will just heat it until it boils. Glaze aside, I really loved these hot cross buns. They are so so good. It is so sad that my stash in the freezer is almost finished.
Another temptation I fell for was this box of Chocolate hot cross bun ice creams which was on sale after Easter for $1. The packet says they are spiced and have biscuit pieces. I am disappointed there aren't chunks of hot cross buns inside and a white cross over the chocolate! The box has not been opened yet.
I went to Geelong to my parents for Easter Sunday. Sylvia and I managed to fit in a swim before the easter egg hunt and lunch. I didn't make a nut roast this year but my mum did a great roast dinner with sweet potato fritters, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, pumpkin salad with feta and pomegranate, peas and my sister's great cauliflower cheese. There was also my mum's chocolate caramel cheesecake and my niece's grubs for dessert. So much good food.
I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event. Sherry has suggested that as well as sharing what's in our kitchen, that we send a curveball photo too. So I am sharing a photo of Sylvia's new stylish boots that happen to be also my size so I have suggested we share them! If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month. Or just head over to her blog to visit more kitchens.