Thursday 11 April 2024

In my kitchen: March 2024

April has greeted us with heavy rains, cooler nights and the end of daylight savings.  March was a busy month with some hot weather.  We eased back into home life after travels in Europe.  I spent a lot of time blogging about this trip and catching up with friends and family to discuss it.  We have tried lots of new dishes for dinners and new cafes: mostly hits but a few misses.  And then there was the Oscars, Easter and the NGV Triennial to keep me occupied.

I have a few changes for this blog, which I will talk about more but will just mention briefly here.  I have added a subscribe button (finally got this done after Blogger removed the default subscribe function a few years back), It is on the right hand column of the web view but not on the phone view.  I have been working on my recipe index to break up some long sections.  And I am inspired by these In My Kitchen posts and also Sammie's Taking Stock posts to start a writing monthly companion posts to catch up on what is happening outside my kitchen.  Currently I think I will call it Monthly Chronicles.  It is intended to help with my desire to post more blog posts than I have time for.

Above is Carrot Fritters, which was one of our star recipes of March.  We found the recipe in the month's Coles Magazine.  Our version was adapted from the Coles version but the basic fritter recipe was really good and has been made twice in the last few weeks.  And requested a lot more!  It was delicious served with the yoghurt sauce from the broccoli fritters I mention below, brown rice salad and salad vegetables.

These are some of the new fridge magnets from our travels.  We loved the tiny pasta packets, drink bottles and cheeses magnets at Milan railway station and Sylvia got the fondue and cheeseboard magnets in Zurich.  If you would like to catch up on my travels, I now have a complete list of European 2024 travel posts.

We've made a few favourite recipes since getting home from our trip.  When Sylvia baked these cheese and parsley muffins, she took some cherry tomatoes from our garden.  Not many of the tomatoes were up to her high standard.  The muffins were delicious.

Sylvia still loves her pasta recipes. This creamy zucchini alfredo is one of her favourites and was a great warm weather meal.

We love bangers and mash in cold weather but when it gets warm the sausages are paired with potato salad.  I think it is because we had so many barbecues with potato salad in hot weather when I was a child.  The one in the photo also has some mock tuna (chickpea) salad, rocket, cherry tomatoes and of course tomato sauce.  Perfect summer meal!  Even good when the season has turned to Autumn but is in denial.

Another current favourite salad of Sylvia's is the Ramen Noodle Salad with Kimchi.  She has made it twice and both times we thought we had kimchi but it has gone off.  When she made it recently I made some honey garlic tofu to eat it with it.  The tofu and the salad worked really well together.

Occasionally we buy something interesting from the supermarket.  I enjoyed the French onion and cracked pepper lavosh crackers and the Sun-dried tomato and olive flatbread crackers with hummus.  The buckwheat flakes were excellent and crispy in my toasted muesli.  

I was really interested in trying the Vitasoy Greek-style strawberry soy yoghurt.  I have wanted to find a vegan alternative to yoghurt but the coconut yoghurts are too rich and the soy ones are often lacking oomph and have an unpleasant aftertaste. I was pretty impressed with this yoghurt.  While there was a slight aftertaste, it was smooth and pleasing in texture and flavour.

The Whittaker's peppermint and lavender milk chocolate was excellent.  Sylvia not usually a fan of mint chocolate but with the lavender, she loved it.

We loved the Whittaker's peppermint and lavender chocolate so much that we tried others.  The Relax passionfruit and chamomile milk chocolate was lovely and mellow.  The Revive ginger and mandarin dark chocolate was a little more intense but very nice.  As well as great chocolate, we loved the dreamy designs.

This Super Green Sheet Pan Soup was one of Sylvia's favourites.  It was lots of roasted vegies (broccoli, cauliflower, leek, potato and zucchini) made greener by the addition of green peas with the stock.  I really liked it but found it quite thick and sludgy.  It was elevated to amazing by the pesto and cheese toasties that was chopped into croutons.

I made this Kale Potato Salad on a warm lazy night.  I loved the way the kale was massaged with lemon and salt and then mixed with a grainy salad and the potatoes were added at the last moment.  I kept the potatoes and kale separate so we could add as much as as little of the kale as we liked and then I added cashews, cherry tomatoes, celery and some yoghurt and mixed it all up in my plate.  It was amazing.

As the mushroom lover, Sylvia could not get enough of this Creamy Mushroom Gnocchi.  She added quite a bit of different seasonings to the  it more than the recipe's simple cream and mustard dressing and it worked well with the gnocchi, mushrooms and spinach.  She loved it so much she made it again for herself and E one night when I was out at the cinema with a friend.

These Raspberry and Custard Buns are from the March 2024 Woolworths Magazine.  (As an aside, it has the best vegetarian recipes I have seen in a supermarket magazine for some time.)  Sylvia made these with a little help from me.  I was impressed at her gung-ho approach to making her first yeasted recipe.  Though she has spent years helping me with yeast and sourdough recipes so she does not know of the fear some people have with yeasted recipes.  I am not sure why they were called buns rather than scrolls.  They worked ok but I felt the recipe should have had included more kneading time in it.

This chickpea pilaf is an old favourite of mine.  Sylvia turned up her nose at it.  But she was eager to taste the mushrooms that I made with our favourite tofu bacon marinade.  I have served the pilaf with tofu bacon marinade before but wanted something a bit easier than chopping up all the tofu.  The mushrooms were fried golden brown and then fried some more when the marinade was added.  They were so so good!

We tried the Recipe Tin Eats Broccoli Fritters (which came from Smitten Kitchen).  They were really good but I stumbled at the mashing the broccoli part.  I was unsure how mashed the broccoli should be.  I ended up chopping them more than my masher could do.  They were so green and delicious with the yoghurt sauce Mock tuna (chickpea) salad and Macedonian eggplant salad.  

I preferred the amazing carrot fritters at the top of the post would love to make them again.  Sylvia is now loving fritters and requesting other vegetable variations.  I really want to try Dreams of Sourdough's idea of adding corn to sourdough starter to make fritters.  (She is an inspiration with her beautiful creative sourdough baking!)

Another warm weather meal Sylvia made was this delicious haloumi and lemon pasta.  It had little chunks of crispy, salty, golden haloumi and red onion that we complemented by the lemony flavours.

We were inspired in our pizza toppings by our trip to Rome, especially the Campo de' Fiore Forno.  We made one zucchini pizza with lots of cheese and grated then wrung out zucchini.  That was Sylvia's favourite.  I really loved the mushroom and truffle pizza made with the truffle paste we brought home.

When planning to make tteokbokki, we found some kimchi and enoki mushrooms at ima Pantry in Brunswick when waiting for a table at sister venue ima asu yoru.  We forgot about the enoki and when we looked at the kimchi it was mouldy.  I wonder if it is because when we carried it home it leaked brine.  I was surprised as usually jars are well sealed but I am not sure what happened here.  Sylvia fried some enoki to have with noodles and enjoyed it but I think we haven't paid the packet enough attention.

Here is Sylvia's tteokbokki.   I was under the impression there was a recipe she was using but apparently she just watched some videos and made the sauce with butter, gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar and cream. It had udon noodles, rice cakes and cheese in it.  Hers had eggs and spring onions.  It is pictured in our lovely new bowl.  I served my tteokbokki with broccoli, tomatoes, spring onions and black sesame seeds but it is not pictured so you will have to imagine how colourful it was.  This Korean rice cake stew was better than one we had at a restaurant a few weeks back.

I had this page torn from a Coles Magazine with the colourful variation on my childhood zucchini slice.  I tried the broccoli and pea zucchini slice that was even greener than the original.  It was something I would like to make more for lunches.  Sylvia didn't love it.  In fact she said it "tastes like a fart."  Brassicas!

I only baked one batch of Hot Cross Buns this Easter.  They were delicious warm with butter.  Much better than the ones I bought but my mum's were amazingly soft and pleasing.

I went to my parents on Easter Sunday for a family roast dinner.  It was great to catch up with everyone.  I made a nut roast to use up a creamy pesto that Sylvia made with lots of cream cheese and no nuts.  I added breadcrumbs, ground nuts and eggs.  It was a little dense but worked well with my mum's roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, peas, tomato sauce and my sister's cauliflower cheese.  

For dessert we were spoilt by my mum.  She made a pavlova, a berry meringue cake (based on Nigella's lemon meringue cake), and a baked cheesecake with chocolate chunks.  When my sister got up in a hurry she knocked her glass of white wine into the cheesecake.  Even though the wine was drained off the cheesecake immediately and could not really be tasted, it amused us to call it the drunken cheesecake.

This is my grandmother's handwritten cookbook that my mum gave me after she died.  I have had it for years but my mum wanted to look at it so it has left the building.  I have asked that it comes back some day.

We had a visit to see my parents in Geelong a couple of weeks back.  Sylvia and my mum spent some time in the garden and we came home with a couple of boxes of cuttings from my mum's plants.  Once home, Sylvia repotted them in our backyard.

On the trip to Geelong, we had lunch at the Village Door in Packington St followed by a browse at Geelong Fresh.  I bought some of the amazing Irrewarra sourdough bread and large twisty pasta.  My dad said one piece of that pasta would be enough for a meal.   So I came home with these plus some lovely tomatoes from my brother in law, John and lemons from my mum's tree.  You might also be able to see a chunk of apple cake my mum gave me.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event. 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 and her gorgeous hand drawn header.


  1. Your dinner plates always have so many different items on them! Several vegetables, vegan tuna salad, greens, and more … always looking delicious. Your Sylvia is becoming quite a remarkable cook.
    best. mae at

  2. Love your new fridge magnets. And that new plate. Yes how clever is Sylvia! An instinctive cook by the sound of it. I think I have made Nagi's broccoli fritters. I do love me a fritter, but it has to have lots of veg. to flour and egg, tho sadly most of the ones you buy at cafes are really just pancakes with a tiny bit of veg. Thanks for joining in this month and have a great April. cheers

  3. How did you get time to cook/eat such an array of delicious meals in one month?! I feel like we are just on a forever stir fry and curry train at the moment.. I do love me a fritter, unfortunately I don't have a box grater in Paris so I haven't had anything grated for a while! Have a great month x


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