Monday, 1 June 2015

In My Kitchen - June 2015

June has arrived, and with it brings winter... and a snowy BANG! Temperatures in and around Canberra have plummeted and lashings of snow abound in nearby towns. Minus 5 degrees forecast for us for the next few days, so some frosty mornings are ahead.

Cold nights... call for comforting foods. I can't wait to cook up these dried fruits. Directions are to simmer in a little water and brown sugar, then serve with cream.


In my kitchen... is a new pan. This one, a cast iron pan, and its fantastic for cooking steak.


For my cookbook collection... are new books. The waffle recipes will go a treat in my waffle maker, the 'sniff swirl & slurp' will hopefully expand my knowledge about wine, the Lodge cast iron cookbook will definitely get a work out with my new pan, and lastly the 'At my Mother's knee' is a beautiful book with stories and recipes from celebrities and their families. The photography in it is just wonderful, and the pages are done in a scrapbooking style. It would make a wonderful present.  


After recently visiting my parents-in-law in Toowoomba, Qld, we came back with a bucket load of macadamias.  They grow them in their backyard. I think I have perfected the right amount of effort to use with the hammer to hit them just once to open. I have cracked about 20 so far... probably 250 to go!!


In my kitchen... is a pewter Chinese wine set I picked up for a bargain at the local trash 'n' treasure Sunday market. Such wonderful craftsmanship. The Shou Xing, the god of longevity is holding a peach, a sign of longevity, and there is a peach leaf on each of the cups. 


In my kitchen... is a late (!) Christmas present from my sister in law who lives in Plano, Texas. Its a Yolk Fish, and he's a cutie pie. He's used to pick out the yolk from a cracked egg. 


A new chocolate bar has gone on sale in Australia, and it is distinctly Australian! Cadbury teamed their dairy milk chocolate with salted caramel and Vegemite.  Yep, Vegemite. I like it! It is sweet from the caramel, and the Vegemite gives it a umami like taste that lingers after the piece has gone. 


Speaking of confectionery... a recent trip to a new USA Candy store scored me some Tabasco chocolate. I think I'll have a some milk on hand, just in case I need a little cooling off when I taste it! 


Last sweet thing, I promise... a delicious rum and raisin caramel fudge. So, so glad I got the small tub! It was divine. 


Thanks for taking a little peek into my kitchen. What's happening in your kitchen this month?

Join in the fun of the IMK blog series, brought to you by the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Ciao,
Kirsty


32 comments:

  1. One of the many things I miss about Australia is the macadamias still in the shell. Virtually impossible to get here in Canada. You can keep the vegemite chocolate bar though ;)

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    1. Hi Bernice, I'd love to ship some nuts over to you, but that might break a tonne of agricultural laws!! They are such a lovely nut, very mild but such a distinguished flavour.
      OK, we'll keep the chocolate. I wonder if it will live on beyond being a 'limited' flavour?
      Thanks for stopping by, K

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    1. Hi Josephine, I haven't seen Yolkie in the shops here, but then again I haven't hunted for him. I searched and found him on some online stores. Good luck in tracking him down!

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  3. I love a cast iron pan. I have actually retrieved an old one from the camping equipment as I thought it was wasted, just languishing in the box. It seems macadamias are the theme of this month's IMK. This is the second post I've spotted about cracking them. We have a Bonk Nutcracker – so simple but never fails. Perfect for macadamias but will do all nuts. May seem a little pricey but you won't hit your toe with the hammer on the garage floor (personal experience…) http://www.nutworks.com.au/shop/nut-crackers/bonk-nutcracker-420g I know people are divided on the Vegemite chocolate but it tasted Ok to me.

    Always interesting to see what's happening. xxx

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    1. Lovely to hear you have resurrected a cast iron pan. They are such a statement piece in ones cooking arsenal. You know, I think I may have to get me a Bonk as it will make shelling this lot a breeze rather than a hammer splitting chore! Thanks for the heads up.
      Ouch! I hope your toe is better :)
      Cheers, K

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  4. Kirsty, I love a bit of trash and treasure- what a great find! Wow, snow in Canberra- now I won't complain about the temperatures here!

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    1. I just couldn't pass this guy up Francesca, he was a real find.
      Yep, Canberra seems to have got the brunt of Winter this year.

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  5. Hi Kristy, loved your link up with Fig jam and lime cordial. It's always nice to see what other Canberrans are picking up. Shari from www.goodfoodweek.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi there Shari! I hope your are keeping warm in this currently Canberra wintery blast! I'll have to pop over and check out your blog :)
      Cheers, Kirsty

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  6. Wow, that Chinese wine set is unusual... love the haul of macadamias x

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    1. Thanks Liz, he's quite heavy too. As for the macadamias I have a tonne of ideas floating around in my head for them, so I best get cracking! cheers, K

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  7. Interesting chocolate flavours :) Unusual wine set but lovely to have. Lots of lovely macadamias... they say it is one of the hardest nuts to crack... wonder how long it took you to crack them all :)

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    1. Moya, I have only cracked a few of them so far!! just enough for a batch of scones, and some to snack on. I haven't tackled the rest yet!!

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  8. Lovely post! What great wine book title, certainly no wine snobbery in that one. Just starting to appreciate waffles, they really are not the awful things mum tried to serve up from the packet in the freezer at all! What sort of maker do you use? Did you get your lodge pan locally or online? I love their cookware but hard to source unless from USA. Macadamias, not only great to eat but make great chinese checker pieces :)

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    1. I know! aren't waffles just the best! I too had the frozen rectangles growing up and was put off. Last year we picked up a small Breville Waffle maker at Peter's of Kensington. It makes heart shaped ones, and does NOT like to be overfilled. I've learnt by trial and error, but have found some great recipes so far, many more in this new book. As for my Lodge pan, I bought this at Cooking Coordinates at the Belconnen Markets in Canberra. Too many tempting kitchen goodies in that store!
      Chinese checkers you say, great recycling idea for the nut shells.
      Thanks for stopping by, K

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  9. Kirsty, I've never seen a yolk fish! What a cute gadget. Your Lodge cast iron skillet will become a favorite pan for more than just steaks -- bet their cookbook is full of tasty ideas! I love Lodge cast iron... and chocolate... and rum raisin fudge... and... :)

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    1. Hi Kim, the cast iron pan is indeed getting more of a workout, and its great, I love it. The cookbook has a tonne of great ideas. Thanks for stopping by this month, cheers K, xx

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  10. I love a good cast iron pan and you had me at your Chinese wine set! Lovely! I love macadamia nuts as they were my dad's favorites!
    Thank you also for this month's kitchen view!

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    1. Thanks for stopping in Joanne. I found a local seller of a decent nut cracker (its called the BONK). Hopefully when I call tomorrow he still has it for sale! I need something sturdier to crack all these nuts. I fear my DIY hammer and pliers cracking tool-set won't cut it for all these babies.

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  11. Oh how cute is your little pewter man!! And the macadamias - I share you pain, Kirsty! We're getting through a couple a day here too.. :) The fruit compote mix sounds divine! xx

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    1. Thanks Celia! I just love the craftsmanship that went into the wine set. It is adorable, and quite heavy! I don't think I'll ever use it, just keep it in the cabinet and admire its beauty.
      Taking advantage of the public holiday, I've spent today going through the IMK posts from across the globe. Well done on such a lovely series.

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  12. Fab things happening here Kirsty...Would love some of your macadamias - not so sure on the Vegemite chocolate though. Cheers, Jan x

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    1. Yeah the Vegemite chocolate is still kicking about. I think the novelty wore off exactly 1 week later. Yesterday I picked up a fab nut cracker on gumtree (the BONK one) and its working a treat to crack these babies!!! :)

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  13. Macadamias are our go-to nut but I buy them from http://www.macnuts.com.au/ without the shells! Our neighbours in the country have a tree but the black cockatoos eat them before they are even ripe, we get a few from time to time on the ground.
    I can't even think about Vegemite chocolate... it's meant to be slathered on toast with butter!
    :) EllaDee

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  14. Hi Kirsty! I'm envious of those macadamia nuts and the yolk fish is just too cut and funny. Thanks for the peek! :)

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    1. Thanks Emily! Hubby has been cracking quite a few of them, now we have BONK nut cracker. It works a treat. Now... I just have to have some creative ideas to use up all these nuts!!! :)

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  15. Wow! That wine set is a real find. He's gorgeous!
    I don't eat eggs myself but I'm tempted to get a yolk fish and crack a few simply for the amusement value!
    I'm a big fan of macadamias, they're well worth the cracking effort!
    By the way, I sort of liked the Vegemite chocolate... it was like a yummy salted caramel I think :)

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    1. Thanks for the comments Lisa! The yolkfish is pretty amusing. My sister in law got it for me, for the 'barfing' value it holds in ejecting egg yolks!! She's a riot and so is my yolkie! cheers, K

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  16. ohi love macadamias, especially in baking. Love the chinese cups and pewter, it's a great month for IMK!

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    1. Hiya Cate! I've added to the macadamias with fresh walnuts now. Fresh nuts are always better! so much flavour. I can't believe its nearly time for another month's IMK. Thanks for peeking into my humble kitchen. Cheers, Kirsty xx

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