Friday, 28 November 2014

In My Kitchen - December 2014

I really cannot believe December has rolled around already! This year my 'foodie' gene has kicked in and I have been preparing for all things Christmas in the kitchen. 

As always, I thank the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for this IMK series. I look forward to each months posts, and the opportunity to tour into kitchens from all over the world and chat with some lovely bloggers. Check out the growing number of participants on Celia's blog.

In my kitchen this month there has been a lot of bottles of alcohol opened. Not for drinking, but for soaking and a bit of baking. Firstly, here is my 'boozy fruit mix' which I will soon bake into a monster Christmas cake. Look at how glossy and shiny all the fruit and nuts are. Right now, it smells amazing, and it has been soaking for about 4 weeks.


Next up is my attempt at homemade vanilla extract.  I have vodka and bourbon, and have popped in an equal number of split vanilla beans into each. They have been soaking for 2 weeks, and already the aroma from each is amazing. I hope to bottle these beauties in about 6 months time.


In my kitchen I baked a lovely apple cider bundt cake. I just happened to have pumpkin spice mix on hand (I acquired it from USAFoods.com.au). The cake was simply delicious. Real 'fall' flavours and perfect at this time of year for a Thanksgiving treat.


In my kitchen was an order from Aussie Farmers, from the 'Naked 'n Fresh' range from Spade and Barrow. The fruit and veg looks a little wonky and misshapen, but it is still perfectly good. At only $20 a box, I couldn't resist.


In my kitchen this month was a batch of rhubarb muffins, and leftover stewed rhubarb.


In my kitchen this month it was my birthday, and we celebrated with a lovely tropical sponge cake, purchased from 'The Cheesecake Shop'.


Lastly, in my kitchen this month are Christmas treats. I doubt whether they will last uneaten until Christmas day ; )





25 comments:

  1. Your apple cider bundt cake looks really good and I love the soaking fruits and nuts- a generous mix.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Francesca the cake was lovely. I've made it twice now and drizzled a little less cream cheese on the second one. I know, less cream cheese! but it worked a treat.

      Delete
  2. Lots of goodies happening here! I made my own vanilla extract ages ago and haven't look bake. I used vodka for mine, but only had to leave it for about 3 weeks before it was ready to use. Now and then I top up the vodka or add another bean :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Sarah. Thanks for the advice. I dare say I won't last months waiting. I like the idea of topping it up as it gets used. Makes me think I'll be adding to these babies for some time. I might write the date on the bottle so I know when I first started them :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Kirsty. My German neighbour always gives me a stolen for Christmas but she is not so well this year so I may have to make her one. I have a lot of rhubarb at the moment so I may have to make some rhubarb muffins too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Glenda, sorry to hear your neighbour is unwell. I'm sure she would love to receive a home baked stollen from you, cheers, Kirsty

      Delete
  4. G'day Your bundt cake looks delish and am sure your neighbor will be back on the road to recovery with anything that is being created and shared with love in your kitchen this month too!
    Cheers! Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  5. I made my own vanilla extract about 2 years ago and it's still going "strong". Your bundt cake looks scrummy. The veg looks like the real deal - I love it when that aren't supermarket-perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just saw that Woolies are expanding their range of "non perfect" fruit and veg which is great to see. Looks like they are priced well too. I am so looking forward to using my vanilla!!

      Delete
  6. I love seeing all these Christmas preparations - so exciting! Snap on the Naked ’n Fresh box Kirsty, I got one last week too, but forgot to photograph it - it seems good value so far, and some of the wonky fruit is very cute! Love your soaking fruit, it does look very boozy, practically adults only :)
    Happy birthday too!
    Beck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beck! : ) I had intentions of baking my Christmas cake last weekend, but it didn't happen. This weekend for sure. Can't wait!

      Delete
  7. Oh yes... I loves me a bit of Christmas stollen, yes I do. Nah...it won't last till Christmas. Well done on making your own vanilla extract. Thanks for the tour. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooo now all I can think about is that stollen... sitting quietly in the cupboard... being so tasty and all that. Hmmm might pop me the kettle on soon ; ) Thanks Fiona for stopping by! Kirsty xx

      Delete
  8. Hi Kirsty - your apple cider bundt cake looks fabulous as does your steeping dried fruit mix - I can almost smell it from here! I love buying mini stollen but the trouble is that I cannot stop at one…have a wonderful December!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like that apple cider cake. I've made it twice and it keeps getting better. Its a keeper recipe for sure.

      Delete
  9. Hi Kirsty, that bundt cake looks delicious - love that drippy icing effect! Also, happy birthday!!!

    I bet your kitchen smells amazing with the fruit and extracts soaking away. Also, how yummy does that rhubarb look!?

    Merry Christmas! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, my kitchen on the weekend was very Christmassy. I cooked my 'boozy' fruitcake and did a batch of gingerbread as well! The rhubarb was a steal for $1 for the two bunches : )

      Delete
  10. The bundt cake looks wonderful as does the vegetable box. I lived in Germany and Austria for a while and enjoyed the bakery fresh stollen this time of year. I may have to make my own as I ever never found a store bought one that it anything close to the real thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gretchen, I love the sound of bakery fresh Stollen, rather than the boxed prepared stuff we can buy at the supermarkets here. Actually... I might check out a bakery in Mawson, ACT run by a Swiss baker called Bruno. He might make real stolen?? I'll have to ask.... : )

      Delete
  11. Love that you are soaking fruit for Christmas baking... your kitchen must smell amazing, Kirsty. So glad that you tried the vanilla... as you have seen, mine is going great guns... it's still tucked away in my larder, nicely maturing! Soon... soon. Haven't tried the Aldi stollen... is it good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiya Liz, I have since baked my fruitcake and it turned out great! I can't believe I crammed 1.2kg of soaked fruit into it : ) I actually used a little of the fresh vanilla in the cake. It smells so good, can't believe I waited so long to try making my own extract. Love hearing that yours is coming along splendidly. I actually haven't had the Stollen yet... I keep thinking about it though... soon.. soon ; )

      Delete
  12. Four weeks! That fruit mix will be well and truly sozzled by now, and I bet it will be stunning in your fruit cake! I'll be interested in what you think of the vanilla bourbon - I'm back to just using vodka these days, as the brandy and rum I tried both proved too overpowering for the vanilla aroma. Have a fabulous December! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sozzled indeed! and now the cooked cake is bathed in a heady aroma whenever you unwrap it. Still uncut as yet, will wait until closer to Christmas. I have too many treats on the go. Yes, I opened the Aldi Black Forest Stollen, and it is amazing. I'll see how the bourbon vanilla goes. I might use that more in dessert sauces, or maybe an ice cream? I think I'll keep the vodka vanilla for more delicate baking flavouring. I'm glad though to have tried both. Thanks for stopping by Celia. Have yourself a lovely Christmas, K xx

      Delete
  13. it all looks delicious in your kitchen. yes i always have a pot of vanilla extract in my pantry and every so often i take some out to use then add more vanilla pods and vodka to the mix! it is great to make your own. i read that someone said the bourbon is too strong for the vanilla and overtakes it so i will be interested to see how yours goes. oh and that fruit soaking for weeks. how wonderful! have a great xmas.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Kirsty! Love the homemade vanilla extract: I used bourbon for mine and I loved the flavor. :)

    ReplyDelete