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In My Kitchen Feb ’16

January has flown past with family visiting from interstate. Their visit didn’t stop me being in the kitchen though. With four extra mouths to feed and a couple of willing young helpers, it was chaos at times. Thanks to Maureen the Orgasmic Chef for hosting the wonderful In My Kitchen forum each month. See what’s happening the in the kitchen of bloggers from around the world here.

Hot smoked salmon salad with lemon salad cream

Hot smoked salmon salad with lemon salad cream

broccolini miso chicken salad

broccolini miso chicken salad

We’ve mainly been eating salads for the past few months. To avoid monotony I’ve been experimenting with some new and interesting dressings and different ways to cut the vegetables just to keep them interesting. Click on the photo links for the dressing recipes.

Peanut chilli sauce

Peanut chilli sauce

The razor sharp blade in my Japanese mandolin was beginning to dull, so my handyman son in law nutted out how to remove and sharpen the blade. Now it’s back in action finely slicing radishes, cucumber and carrots. Sadly sharpening the tiny julienne cutting blades wasn’t a success so I bought a julienne peeler as a prospective time saving replacement. It was just a cheapie and it’s very sharp but I find it clumsy and ineffective. I can do a better job with a good old fashioned cook’s knife, it just takes a lot longer.

I’ve been bemused by the frequent appearance of zoodles on various blogs and in recently acquired cookbooks. For the uninitiated, noodles are zucchini cut into spaghetti like lengths. Not one to miss being on trend I began to lust after a vegetable spiralizer. After checking out gadgets of varying sizes and mechanisms I bought a neat little Veggie Twister. The zucchinis you choose need to be just the right diameter, but it works a treat.

vegie spiralizer and julienne peeler

vegie spiralizer and julienne peeler

sturdy camera tripod

sturdy camera tripod

In My Kitchen is a brand spanking new high tech tripod for low light photography. Queensland doesn’t embrace daylight saving hours so it’s dark by 6pm in my kitchen, even in the height of summer. The tripod was a birthday gift from my darling man. I think he’s worth feeding…

I’m continuing to refine my spelt sourdough baking skills. My starter Lulu S is a sleepy head, but really gets going after a few feeds. My loaves are getting better and better. It really helped that my grandkids were eating almost an entire loaf each breakfast time so I was forced to bake every other day while they were here. The starter has ripened beautifully, to the point that I’ve just retired the wheat starter I kept for insurance to the dehydrator.

In My Kitchen I have brochures for cookers, rangehoods, fridges, sinks and tapware. I also have paint swatches and tile samples. They are the first stage in planning for a kitchen renovation. I need to upgrade everything except the dishwasher. I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for appliances, cabinet layouts and surface finishes. We renovated our Melbourne  kitchen in 2010 and I wasn’t entirely happy with my choices, that is, except for the Ilve stove and the Qasair range hood, so they are number one on my list again. I’ve been busy trawling Pinterest looking for ideas too. I think I have chosen my colour palette. I really like the natural driftwood like tones of silvery greys and weathered white with a burst of deep, deep midnight blue.

brochures for kitchen equipment

planning a new kitchen

 

 

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

46 comments on “In My Kitchen Feb ’16

  1. missfoodfairy
    February 24, 2016

    Looking forward to seeing your completed kitchen Sandra – I would love to do my kitchen as I would like to have it 🙂 Loving your new camera tripod too – awesome! When it’s warm all the time, all I feel like are salads too but it hasn’t really been hot in Melbourne for days on end so we haven’t had too many salads this summer. Wonderful goodies for #IMK xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 24, 2016

      The planning process seems so slow but we are inching closer to making decisions about the kitchen. One day you’ll have the kitchen you want..

      Like

  2. sherry from sherrys pickings
    February 17, 2016

    yes sandra i like the sound of your new kitchen colours. aren’t you glad we don’t have daylight saving here? by the end of the day we are just gasping for the sun to go down so are very thankful not to have it. zucchini noodles? interesting.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 17, 2016

      Having lived with daylight saving forever, I miss it….a lot. It does have it’s advantages.

      Like

  3. SeattleDee
    February 15, 2016

    We have enjoyed a few zoodle dishes but only when a young niece is doing veggie prep. Hand-twisted spiralizers are persnickety about the size of veggie they will handle and firmess is also an issue. My arthritic hands can’t deal with twisty gadgets and hard sweet potatoes, no matter how tempting the idea. I can’t wait to hear more/see more of the kitchen remodel. Enjoy the adventure and hang on tight to your sense of humor.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 17, 2016

      You’so so right about the spirallizer, just the past few weeks have made me realize it’s a gadget for young and nimble fingers. Mine are neither. 🙂

      Like

  4. Jhuls
    February 9, 2016

    I love that peanut dressing and that tripod, too. 😀

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 10, 2016

      Thanks Jhuls, The peanut dressing is good enough to eat with a spoon straight from the jar

      Like

  5. Love your color choices, what shade of blue did you choose? On our own we have decided on blue cabinets (I have picked the exact color) for the island and a very light grey for the wall cabinets and open shelves above. We still need a get a hood but have a Wolf range, new dishwasher and afraid get, all stainless steel.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 8, 2016

      Wow, sounds great. Really envious of your Wolf range, they are way way out of my price range, upward of $20K here but would love the huge heat output. I still have to work out the exact placement of colours, the kitchen is quite dark so need to be careful with the bold blue. I’m getting the fridges and dishwasher integrated as I’ve decided to use stainless bench tops and splashback in the intense work areas. Look forward to seeing your kitchen progress Liz

      Like

  6. Moya
    February 6, 2016

    We too have short days in winter and a tripod is very helpful… your looks very sturdy indeed and a lovely present from your man 🙂 Best of luck with all the renovations and look forward to some photos along the way. Have often thought about getting a spiralizer… they look really cool.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 7, 2016

      Spent most of the day thinking about the reno, we have a parade of designers this week. Hope they’re inspiring

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been meaning to get a spiralizer so your feedback is interesting, not sure I’ll bother now, everything from your kitchen looks delicious. We have just about finished our kitchen renovation – I hope to do a grand “reveal” for the next IMK. It seems to have taken forever. I’ve gone for a SMEG oven (we actually inherited it when we bought the house but I put SMEG in our other house and loved them. I’ve put in a composite stone benchtop, white two pak cupboards and a dark wood veneer for a bit of character. We got a Bosch integrated dishwasher and I’m loving my new tap but can’t remember the name of it. I got a Samsung double french door fridge which isn’t as big as it seems from the outside, I think my old F&P french door fitted more in (could be that I have to keep more in the fridge now that we are in NQ). I also built a butlers pantry and I used laminate on the bench tops in there. I look forward to seeing what you do.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 5, 2016

      Can’t wait to see your kitchen Vicki. I like your choices of finishes, I’m tending toward mixing it up a bit. I’m wrestling with choosing a fridge. Experience with the regular double door style puts me off that style, but I feel I need more rather than less refrigeration. I’ll look at French door options more closely. I’m planning a pantry too. What style door did you put on yours?

      Like

  8. Gretchen
    February 4, 2016

    I’ve wanted a veggie spiralizer for some time but never got one. The mandolin works for long julienne strips and that will do for me, can’t sacrifice more storage space for single tankers at this time. Your salad dressings all look fantastic, especially the creamy lemon. Love the new tripod! I am in the process of getting one as well, also want a new lens. We are in winter now and nearly everything I do is photographed by 3 in the afternoon for good lighting, thus more baked goods and less dinners! Or of course reheat at mealtime which gets old fast. Enjoy having the grandkids in the kitchen!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 5, 2016

      My new tripod is wonderful, although it’s yet to be involved in food photography. I’m a keen photographer so have a selection of lenses, each suited to a particular purpose. I don’t normally succumb to single use kitchen .gadgets but loving the zoodles

      Like

  9. Francesca
    February 4, 2016

    Is the vegie twister easy to use? I love the idea of using up some of the zucchini in this way. exciting to be planning a new kitchen- love the idea of a burst of midnight blue to go with washed out greys etc. would love to fix my kitchen – it is rather tired and the only down side of this house. Your food matches your new climate very well.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2016

      There are 2, no 3 frustrating things with the vegie twister. There is potential waste if you have to trim the diameter of the zucchini. If the zuccs are too skinny they don’t really make spaghetti shapes and then there is the unscrewing of the device to insert the next zucchini. My hands are not as adept as they once were, arthritis, but It’s an easy action.

      Like

  10. Gather and Graze
    February 4, 2016

    I’m excited for your kitchen reno Sandra – the colour choices sound really beautiful. We’ve been looking at the Qasair range hoods as well recently – they seem head and shoulders above the rest. I also have my heart set on a Falcon range cooker, for when the time comes to replace our ovens. Hope the process of selecting all the different fittings comes together smoothly and without too many headaches – can’t wait to see how it all turns out! M.xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2016

      I looked at Falcon ranges the other day Margot, I was quite impressed. I chose the Ilve last time based purely on heat output at the wok burner. It proved to be fantastic, but I didn’t look closely at Falcon. Maybe I should revisit. A plumber is coming to check our gas supply today and once he gives us an assurance that the gas in the kitchen has good flow then I’ll start to get serious about making a decision. The current gas jets struggle to boil water! Hope all is well with you and your family. X

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Claudia
    February 3, 2016

    Slowly but surely Im trying to turn my kitchen into Tuscan, brickish garden kinda thing. (Heh..). I have wanted a zoodle maker for a long time. Time to add it to my wish list along with a mandolin. Keep dreamimg…

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      The thing about dreams Claudia is they’re cheap! My dreams and reality are miles apart…

      Like

  12. EllaDee
    February 3, 2016

    I bought a vegie spiralizer when I was shopping for bits n’ pieces for the new-old kitchen, the G.O. doesn’t eat zucchini but he would beetroot & carrot salad spirals.
    I love the kitchen colour scheme you’ve selected, and although we’ve worked with what we had in the kitchen we added a stainless steel prep bench which we wouldn’t be without, and a tall mixer dual spray nozzle/tap that is useful for our deep stainless sinks-rainwater-no dishwasher situation but would be handy regardless, I think. Pics-details of both in my past couple of IMKs.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      I’d never considered a deep sink and tall mixer but my GO somehow splashes water from one end of the kitchen to the other so that idea is definitely food for thought. I think I’ve decided stainless steel for the food prep bench, glad you like yours. I remember seeing your bench but will peek again

      Like

      • EllaDee
        February 4, 2016

        Our double sink was an accident, it was an commercial item over-order at Brayco, the right size for our gap but the depth never discussed… it’s deep enough to that if you ever wanted to you could bath a toddler standing up!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. dishnthekitchen
    February 3, 2016

    Great IMK post! Good luck with the kitchen renos!

    Like

  14. Julia Benjamin
    February 3, 2016

    Thank you for the like so I could find your delightful blog. I am always looking new ideas in the kitchen. I look forward to reading more.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      You’re welcome Julie. While I predominantly blog about food I find my photo blog leads me to a variety of interesting places

      Liked by 1 person

  15. theninjabaker
    February 3, 2016

    How fantabulous that you are serving up summer salads with scrumptious dressings =) Very interested now in obtaining my own spiralizer for zucchini =) Congratulations on the acquisition of the tripod!

    Like

  16. Glenda
    February 3, 2016

    Sandra, it is funny you say an Ilve oven is the top of your list. I have a top of the range 90cm oven in Bridgetown and I wouldn’t recommend it at all. In a few years the door has come off needing new hinges and the connections to the bottom element have burnt out. I have read a lot of other people’s woes with Ilve ovens. It seems the hinges and bottom elements are common complaints. Maybe you were just lucky.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      Oh, sad to hear about your Ilve oven, that’s rotten luck. I loved the even, consistent and controllable, quick heat. I used it for 5 yrs without incident. Ant ideas what other brand I should consider?

      Like

      • Glenda
        February 3, 2016

        When I bought mine I asked everyone I knew and no one would recommend what they had. Maree (Around the Mulberry Tree) has just bought a Falcon. She is very excited by it.

        Like

  17. ChgoJohn
    February 3, 2016

    Yes,spiralizers have hit the big time. I bought one and tonight’s recipe will be a recipe using and I’ve a few more recipes on the schedule. I very much like the colors you’ve chosen for your new kitchen. Whatever else you decide, I’m sure you’re going to love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      It’s exciting planning the kitchen, not looking forward to the mess though. Hope you enjoyed your zoodles John

      Liked by 1 person

  18. mae
    February 2, 2016

    Single-purpose gadgets seem to please some people and frustrate others. Your experiments with spiralizers and other cutting devices are interesting. Good luck with your remodeling!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 3, 2016

      Hi Mae, thanks for visiting. I’m not a gadget person as a rule, the julienne peeler just reinforces that and the reality is I could live without zoodles too…

      Like

  19. Lisa @ cheergerm
    February 2, 2016

    Beautiful colour palette on the kitchen, how exciting! We put in Caesarstone in the last house and this house has it and I have been pretty happy with it. Are you considering Corian? Next time around I certainly want a slab of marble somewhere. I was just looking at a spiralizer the other day and pondering. Lovely kitchen roundup.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2016

      I’m pretty happy with the colours and at this stage I’m thinking part stainless steel, part Corian benches. I put Caesar stone in the last kitchen but was disappointed. It always seemed to have the greasies and needed polishing constantly

      Like

  20. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    February 2, 2016

    Colour for the new kitchen are very sophisticated and very good for a darker place. I think you’ve made excellent choices. I’ve also tried those veggie spiralisers (after seeing so many zoodles recipes out there), but not really impressed (particularly after slicing my fingers), though I do like courgette zoodle salad. Your spicy peanut dressing would be perfect for this. However, lemon salad cream sounds like something to die for.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2016

      The lemon salad cream is delicious and esp good on zoodles. Having fun with ideas for the kitchen…

      Liked by 1 person

  21. ardysez
    February 2, 2016

    I like your colour choices for your part of the world but I don’t envy you the actual renovation. We did ours about 6 years ago and I still feel slightly traumatised! I must say, though, I am still happy with most of the choices. We are limited here in Alice unless one has very deep pockets for freight on things like stone benchtops etc. I had a go at veggie spiralizers and was disappointed. I have decent knife skills so I just stick with that and the julienne slicer and I’m pretty happy. Gosh, 6pm is early for it to be dark in the summer, isn’t it? We don’t do daylight savings either but the sun is only just finished setting around 7.30 at the moment. Thanks for the roundup from your kitchen Sandra. Happy eating.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2016

      The kitchen is set back from the window in our open plan living, and we face NE, so sadly the kitchen is dark early. Loving the tripod in conjunction with remote control, although I am yet to use it for food. I put a stone benchtop in my last kitchen and found it very over rated, looking for an alternative for this kitchen. What finish did you use Ardys?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ardysez
        February 2, 2016

        We used laminate in the end. We have a large space and rammed earth walls so that any more hard surfaces would have been very noisy. I’m glad we did it but others who might eventually have other priorities may wonder why. My care factor for that eventuality is low 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2016 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , , , , .
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