Please Pass the Recipe

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In My Kitchen October 2015

It’s good to return to regular posting and to contribute to the In My Kitchen forum after a few months off. Link back to the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what’s happening in the kitchens of food bloggers worldwide.

After we set the date for our relocation from Melbourne to Brisbane for September 1st, I went into a cooking frenzy to empty out the pantry. The removalist firmly stipulated that no open containers of liquids would be packed as spillage would invalidate any insurance claim. Turns out it wasn’t liquid we had to worry about. Fourteen small original works of art need to be reframed because the packer deemed a single sheet of paper between each, sufficient padding for the 2000km trip. The road vibration led to scratching where hanging screws rubbed against the frame behind.

Most of the boxes are unpacked now, our new grandson is very late arriving and Brisbane is beginning to feel like home.

Sadly I’m a bit disappointed with my  “new” kitchen. Mind you, I was very spoiled by my personalized space before. This kitchen is very badly designed and I’m holding it solely responsible for my cooking mojo being at an all time low.

cramped pantry

The pantry storage has restricted access. Finding things on the deep shelves of the black laminate lined cupboard means shifting everything for access and using a torch. It’s like peering into a cave with a burning match! And speaking of matches, the heat produced by the gas burners is akin to a single match. It’s perfect for poaching if you have the patience to wait for your stock to boil and really it’s just as well because the exhaust doesn’t extract any cooking odours at all.  The main work area is large enough but it’s dangerously under illuminated and the shelves and drawers below are sagging under the weight of my cookware and crockery. This is not a cook’s kitchen, it’s a builder’s kitchen, cheap, under-specced and and not even showy! There will be a total kitchen renovation in the not too distant future.

Before I left Melbourne my inner squirrel forced me to stock up on walnuts and add some fresh cold pressed walnut oil from Victoria’s High Countryto my oil collection which travelled north in our car. The fresh nutty flavour of this oil is a delicious complement to lightly steamed local asparagus.


I love the flavour of horseradish but the fresh root is not easy to find so discovering Saskia Beer’s preserved horseradish in a jar at a local store is a bonus, now I can have horseradish all year round. I love it’s bite and adding it to vinaigrette to dress potato salad adds a ton of zing.


Avocadoes, strawberries, bananas and pineapples are much less costly in Brisbane. I’m eating avocado smash for breakfast, guacamole for lunch, avo in our salad for dinner. Fruit smoothies featuring bananas and berries with almond milk or coconut water are our current afternoon tea choice.


Our first visit to the closest “Farmers” Market resulted in beautiful free range eggs, potted living herbs, wild, line caught barramundi for half the price asked in Melbourne and some terrific organic produce. I was delighted to find locally made Labneh packed in chilli, garlic and rosemary oil. It’s absolutely delicious spread on crackers and topped with cucumber.


I was alarmed to see the unfettered use of plastic bags at the market and seeing organic eggs in a plastic carton really left me wondering!!!


I’m going to Canberra for the Eat Drink Blog Conference mid October, for a weekend of inspiration with other Aussie food bloggers. I’m looking forward to meeting online friends and making new contacts. On my kitchen bench, hot off the press, are my introduction cards. The whole process of creating the artwork, uploading to the online print shop and their delivery was seamless, prompt and economical. This is a free plug for MOO. More about the conference after it’s done and dusted.


During October, as well as welcoming my grandson and attending the EYB conference, I have plans to create a vertical herb garden on my balcony and dedicate all but a small seating space to an edible garden in containers. Hopefully too, my motivation to cook will improve.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

47 comments on “In My Kitchen October 2015

  1. dunelight
    November 10, 2015

    This is odd..for some reason..I had always thought you ‘looked’ like you were from the Upper Midwest, say, Minnesota, U.S.A. Then I saw your autumn asparagus recipe post and was confused. OZ..now I get it! I hope you enjoy and prosper in your new home!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 10, 2015

      Just goes to show you can’t judge by appearances 😉 Aussies are inclined to play fast and loose with the English language, sorry for the confusion..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. calmkate
    October 11, 2015

    Hi Sandra, welcome to the Sunshine state – I’m a bit further north and not a foody at all. But do enjoy some foody friends who appreciate my sincere gratitude for their delicious treats when I visit.
    Am new to blogging, this month, so as you sort your kitchen I try to negotiate widgets, tags and categories … never was keen on labels and now they seem to dominate. Good luck and please let me know when there is a more local gathering?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 11, 2015

      Hi Kate, welcome to blogland. We’re adjusting to life in the Sunshine State pretty quickly. The food blog is my primary site, but I also have a photo blog, thirdpersontravel and I try to take part in the weekly challenges time permitting. If I can be any help as you negotiate WP, just ask😀

      Like

  3. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    October 9, 2015

    Glad to hear the move’s all done Sandra, and well done on already getting out and foraging all those local goodies 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you at EDB!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 9, 2015

      One week to go to EYB, I’ve been so busy hardly even given it any thought. Yes it will be good to meet up face to face.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. missfoodfairy
    October 8, 2015

    Congratulations on your new home in Brisbane and hopefully your new grandchild has graced your arms recently – cooking will come back all in good time 🙂 Be kind to yourself. Where can I get me some of that horseradish? I find most jars I’ve bought in the past loose their intensity – does this one stay strong in flavour? I’ll keep my eyes open for it. Take care and enjoy everything that comes your way x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 8, 2015

      So far so good with Saskia Beer’s horseradish. maybe the essential ingredient has it in stock. It’s been a hectic few weeks since arriving in Brissy, made even busier by the birth of our sweet little grandson.

      Liked by 1 person

      • missfoodfairy
        October 9, 2015

        Congratulations Sandra on your beautiful new grandson. I’ll be sure to check out Essential Ingredient thank you 🙂

        Like

  5. welcome to brisbane sandra. for some reason i thought you had moved to cairns! i will see you at the conference soon. it is coming up so soon. did you get any hail last week during the storm? we only had very small stuff.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      Thanks Sherry, it’s been a busy time for us since we arrived in Brissy, hopefully there are quieter times ahead. We avoided the worst of the weather last week, plenty of rain but no hail. I’m looking forward to EYB, meeting fellow bloggers, hoping to learn a thing or two

      Like

  6. Moya
    October 6, 2015

    You move looks so neat and tidy, pity about the damage to the art work. I am sure you will get your cooking mojo back soon and moving in itself is said to be very stressful. Some beautiful ingredients in your kitchen and love the walnut oil 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      The movers were a cut above and I say that despite the damage. We’re slowly resuming normality….

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey
    October 6, 2015

    Phew Sandra, what a start! But at least you get to make a change and have your kitchen the way you want it to be soon. Still, many lovely things you have and I just love the how healthy you are being with al that fruit despite loosing your cooking mojo! I’m sure blogger’s conference will help. Happy October

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      Thanks Ania, hoping to get lots of tips from the blogger conference..

      Like

  8. SeattleDee
    October 5, 2015

    From packing box challenges to packed pantry issues, you have had quite a month! Hopefully the food blogger gathering will add some fun to Oct/Nov – enjoy!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2015

      I have Dee, but life is slowly settling down again. Thanks for visiting

      Like

  9. fergie51
    October 4, 2015

    I love the order of those stacked boxes. Cook books, alcohol, coffee machine…. Glad you have your priorities sorted. Sing out for any nightmare kitchen survival tips, I’ve got 1000’s now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa
    October 4, 2015

    Welcome to Brisbane! I love the sound of your walnut oil on steamed asparagus.

    Sorry to hear about the kitchen woes. A good kitchen is so important… we are considering renovations soon and a new kitchen will be on the agenda… it’s dizzying thinking of the possibilities!

    Lots of lovely, fresh things in your kitchen. I too am loving the avocados at the moment. Mount Tambourine and surrounds is lovely for fresh avocados if you fancy a drive 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2015

      The trouble is, I’m spoiled. My last kitchen was designed by me to suit the way I like to work. I now have to start again. Macadamia oil is delicious on asaparagus too..

      Like

  11. Kirsty
    October 4, 2015

    Happy new kitchen planning Sandra! Its so lovely to plan one yourself, and make it functional to how you use it. Look for all the neat space saving ideas (like vertical storage for cupcake pans and chopping boards, and of course all the wonderful drawer inserts for spices and cutlery/doohickies). Cheers, Kirsty

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2015

      Thanks Kirsty, yes some research into the latest storage ideas will help refine the plans for the kitchen. Pinterest is helping heaps

      Like

  12. Kim Bultman
    October 3, 2015

    Sandra, walnut oil on steamed asparagus… mmmm. (I feel the same way about your avocados 3x a day!) Hope you get your mojo back soon — it’s hard to feel inspired when everything is different (and cramped) but it looks like you’ve made the best of it for now. Hope you have a great time (and find fresh inspiration) at the bloggers conference! A friend of mine made some of those MOO cards and they’re dandy.

    Like

  13. Jennifer @Milk and Honey
    October 2, 2015

    Your pantry might not be ideal, but it’s still less cramped than mine. I’m in need of a reno as well. Will look forward to seeing yours progress. Nothing like a bad kitchen to put you off your cooking game. Good luck.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 3, 2015

      Thanks Jennifer, may we soon have spacious organized pantries

      Like

  14. Mel Kettle
    October 2, 2015

    Welcome to Brisbane! Let me know if you feel like catching up for a coffee sometime, once you’ve settled in a bit. We renoed our kitchen a few years ago – pantry is still a nightmare (but less so) but the rest is awesome. Very happy to recommend our kitchen guy, and have you over to look at it. Love your MOO cards and your herbs – beware of pesky possums.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2015

      Thanks Mel, we’re settling in, everyone is incredibly friendly! Might just take you up on your kitchen reno recommendation. It’s hard to know where to begin when you don’t have a social network. I’ll be in touch…

      Like

  15. NapoliRestaurantAlert
    October 2, 2015

    Well other than the pantry it seems you have made a good move – lots of lovely produce and at a good price!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2015

      Thanks and yes it was a good move, having fun exploring the local foodie places..

      Like

  16. Liz - Good Things
    October 2, 2015

    Wow Sandra, that’s a big move! But you look to be settling in now. Enjoy your new home and happy cooking, once you can get in there xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2015

      Thanks Liz, we are settling, once I tame the kitchen it will feel like home…

      Like

  17. Congratulations on the big move, Sandra! Yes, I can see a big kitchen reno in your future too, how exciting! 🙂 I hope the movers paid for your reframing! And thanks for the info about Moo – I’d heard about them before but it’s nice to know they produce such a professional product!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2015

      Thanks Celia, just waiting for an insurance claim to be approved so we can proceed with the framing, hope they don’t take too long!

      Like

  18. Glenda
    October 2, 2015

    Eeeek That pantry is very full 🙂 Looks like you have settled in well Sandra. All the best to Leah and the bub. I hope all goes well.

    Like

  19. Gretchen
    October 1, 2015

    I have the same problem with my pantry. I lose things in the back because it is so difficult to get back there! That’s why hubby is finally working on a new pantry for me. The herbs looks lovely, I’m sure it will be a wonderful balcony addition. As for the grandson, have fun, the wait is obviously worth it. My first was 8 days late and finally the doctor had to force him out since he was over 10 pounds! He was pumpkin size in time for his birthday right before Halloween!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 1, 2015

      Bubs now 12 days late, everyone is beginning to get impatient, especially the mother! The pantry is a nightmare after the perfect setup I moved from, at least I can put my personal touch on this kitchen.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. cheergerm
    October 1, 2015

    Cards – gorgeous, your foodie finds – fabulous, kitchen – not right yet but will be and the best bit is the image of an ‘inner squirrel’. Hilarious. Have a fab time at the conference!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 1, 2015

      Thanks Cheery, i have a thing for everything walnut and will miss my supply from Victoria’s high country, hence the squirrel….

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Francesca
    October 1, 2015

    I sympathise with your kitchen issues. Mine, although large, was also designed for a non cook. Other than installing a new llve stove, I haven’t renovated, knowing that a kitchen reno is the most costly thing you can do. Bear this in mind.
    Your pantry looks bad, I must say.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 1, 2015

      We knew we’d have to do some work when we bought a renovators delight but hopefully we can repeat our excellent experience in Richmond with a skilled reasonably priced cabinet maker. I’m a bit concerned about the gas flow, not sure if it’s the stove, the building or Brisbane. We need to figure that out before deciding on a cooker

      Like

  22. The Hungry Mum
    October 1, 2015

    welcome back 🙂 Will have to keep an out for that horseradish in a jar, bet I could use it in so many ways.

    Like

  23. Gather and Graze
    October 1, 2015

    A poorly laid out kitchen can definitely put a dampener on one’s cooking mojo Sandra. Great to hear though that a kitchen reno is on the way in the not too distant future. Lovely ingredients in your kitchen though as usual and look forward to receiving one of your special cards in a couple of weeks time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      October 1, 2015

      We bought in Brisbane recognizing work needed to be done, but at least we have the opportunity to increase the capital value. Sadly until then, the work flow is all over the place and cooking is a chore.

      Like

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2015 by in Food.
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