In my kitchen

In my kitchen there is a lot of delicious, fresh, seasonal food — avocados and mangoes, crunchy cucumbers and peppery rocket. We have fresh fruit every morning and the peaches and nectarines have been juicy and delicious. I am picking little tomatoes and green beans from the garden. And yes, more silver beet!

In my kitchen there has been a lot of baking and roasting this month. That’s because our normally hot, summery January has been chilly and grey. More oven work, less salads and BBQs.

In my kitchen I have been trying out new recipes and really enjoyed this one ~ oatmeal, spinach [or, in my case, silver beet 🙂 ] tomato and feta cheese tart. It came from the kitchen of the Lady with Red Specs and can highly recommend both her blog and the tart.

You can see that I managed to save a portion for my lunch.

In my kitchen I made a similar dish, one that I call That Eggy Pie Thing ~ so similar I almost mixed up the photos! It doesn’t have pastry. Instead the flour seems to fall towards the bottom to create a firmer base. I don’t know if that is what is meant to happen, but it does, and I like it. It’s great because you can add anything you like to it. The original recipe included chopped ham, but I don’t usually have any. Bacon would be good to.

2 cups milk

4 eggs

1 cup grated cheese

3/4 cup plain flour

1 onion (I cook the onion before I put it into the mixture)

2 bunches of asparagus (but this time I used tomatoes)

You can also add capsicums, mushrooms, or whatever you would like to experiment with.

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 180 fan forced. Grease a 6 cup ovenproof dish. Whisk together the milk, eggs, cheese and flour until well combined. Pour into prepared dish and arrange the asparagus on the top. Bake for about 35 minutes or until set. [In my crummy oven that is longer than 35 minutes 😦 ]

Can’t get much easier than that!

Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015

In my kitchen were some helpers. Miss C and Miss B came over for lunch. While the Fella BBQed the chicken thighs we got the inside things ready. Miss C is 10 and did a great job of cutting up the capsicums and carrots for the salad. Meanwhile Miss B set the table, arranging everything just so. They both love vegetables and were dying to eat the little tomatoes we had picked from the garden just before.

In my kitchen were other guest who came over for dinner. Denise brought a delicious salad made with oranges and I made a roast vegetable one.

Chop up a range of vegetables. In my mix were capsicums, sweet potato, zucchini, a leek and potatoes. Put them in a bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to coat the veggies. Roast. When they are soft and the edges beginning to brown, take them from the oven, place onto a pile of rocket and pour over a dressing of balsamic vinegar and oil.

For dessert I made Celia’s ricotta slice. I have spoken about this before, and just love it. So did everyone else!

Lastly, In my kitchen was a roasted eggplant for tonight’s dinner. Again super easy, and surprisingly quick.

I halved the glossy, firm eggplant [aubergine], scored the flesh and salted it. Leaving that to one side, I opened a tin of tomatoes [but use chopped fresh ones if you like], added finely chopped spring onions, capsicum [must win Ingredient of the Month for January!], zucchini, salt and pepper. It was way more mixture than I needed, but will be handy for other meals this week.

After washing the salt from the eggplant I fried both halves for a couple of minutes. While that was doing I thinned down some soya bean paste with hot water. This is my secret ingredient. I love the Japanese dish nasu dengaku ~ eggplant and miso paste ~ and though why not combine the miso with the tomato mixture? So I painted the cut side of the eggplant with the paste.

Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015

Spooned on the tomato mixture

Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015

Added cheese, of course!

Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015

Into the oven for about 20 minutes ~ could be even quicker in non-crummy ovens. And there it is. You can probably tell I am not a food stylist 😉 but boy did it taste good!

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015

 

So, what’s been happening in your kitchen this month? Head over to Celia’s blog at Fig Lime and Jam Cordial. Each month she hosts In My Kitchen, and it’s almost as popular as My Kitchen Rules!

In my kitchen, at the beginning of June

Celia, over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, hosts a monthly get together. It means that we can take a seek peak into kitchens around the world. It is good fun, and everyone is welcome to drop by. Celia’s own post this month is about teas she has recently bought, and they sound exquisite.

In my kitchen this month is some fresh produce from the Victoria Market.

As we walked into the market I found this persimmon on the road. It was like a shining jewel and I could not resist it. I think I will paint it.

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We also bought some shanks, because it is Winter now, and time for stews and shanks and soups. So there is also chicken stock on the go, made with a couple of frozen chicken carcasses, celery that was lurking in the fridge, a carrot, garlic of course, chilli and ginger, pepper and quite a bit of salt. It cooks in the pressure cooker for a good while. I keep any flesh still on the bones and give the vegetables to the compost. Then I am going to use some of the stock to make cauliflower and bacon soup.

Because it is Winter there are lemons from a friend’s tree. (Thank you Billy!)

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014

Also this week I am going to cook a cabbage galette from Joanna Harris’ cookbook. You  will know her as the author of Chocolat, and her cookbook is a delight for any Francophiles. I have found her recipes to be very reliable (but can’t comment on their authenticity).

The story behind the book…..My Fella and I had stayed a few days at Mildura, a regional town in the northwest of Victoria. On Sunday we went to a small town nearby to find a market. While there were people wandering around the other stalls, it was the bookstall that had the most interest, seemingly caravaners like us. As I am a sucker for second hand books it soon drew me in too. What did I see……Joanna’s cookbook and for only $3. I quickly tucked it under my arm, protecting it from anyone else that might want to snatch it away! How could they ignore such a bargain? 😉

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014
IMG_9764
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014

I have decided to introduce you to some of the fixtures in my kitchen. Today I would like you to meet the teapot. We drink a lot of tea, so the pot needs to be big. A common question through the day is “Would you like a cup of tea?” and you can guess the answer. My first cup comes to me in bed, delivered by my Lovely Fella and I drink it while I read and wake up. ❤

Snug in its homemade tea cosy
Snug in its homemade tea cosy
In its naked glory. How could I not have a teapot that has a botanical theme? :)
In its naked glory. How could I not have a teapot that has a botanical theme? 🙂

In my kitchen…..

Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, has a wonderful blog that is always full of scrumptious delights. Boy, she is one talented lady! One of her regular segments is to show what is in her kitchen, and I love taking a peek at what she has.

I have just been to the Victoria Market for the weekly shop, and thought I would show you what is now in my kitchen. We try to eat as little processed food as possible, so the Vic Market is a godsend. Where we can we buy locally grown produce.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Capsciums. I am going to stuff these and then roast them. I am not sure if I will stuff them with rice or beans. I do know that it will be a garlicky/tomatoey/oniony mixture.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Beetroot. I am roasting a couple tonight and will eat them with the capsicums. I asked the stall holder to leave the tops on, as I would prefer to have them in my compost and feeding the worms than in land fill.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Mushrooms, because it is the season for them. I will nestle a cheesy mixture into the cups and gently cook them. They will be dinner later in the week.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Kransky sausage. I was inspired by Meeks’ recipe for lentil stew that included a kransky sausage. Yum!

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Rhubarb. This will be stewed with …..

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

……apples and pears and added to our breakfast fruit and yoghurt.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Bacon. I have a little kit that removes the air from the bags. It helps to keep things like bacon fresher for longer.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

3 tubs of homous, because the deli we go to has a good deal for three dips. I will freeze two to use later. (By the way, should ‘homous’ have a double m? My spell check thinks it should be ‘home’!)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Pizza bases. I will freeze them, as they are a great stand-by. You can always rustle up things to put on a pizza.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

My list for the freezer. This list, which lives on the fridge, makes me look organised. Really I have it so that things do not linger in the freezer. Despite my list, last time I defrosted the freezer I found a packet of spinach with a use by date of 2007!

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Hot cross bun. Only the remains to show you, but it was delicious!

I am very fortunate to be able to eat so well.