Please Pass the Recipe

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In My Kitchen Feb 2019

This February instalment of In My Kitchen is a snapshot of how January shaped up for me after revealing my New Years resolutions.

During January I’ve made much better use of my cookbooks.  I cooked three recipes from Claudia Roden’s “The Food of Spain,” one from  “Maggie Beer’s Kitchen” and one from “Sirocco’ by Sarina Ghayour. I’ve also remade five recipes from these pages, recipes that deserved to be made much more frequently. *I’ve added links below. I spent two days just messing around in the kitchen for the love of it. I added to my freezer chicken stock, prawn head broth and shortcrust pastry lined tart tins to use someday when my energy wanes. 

making apricot and vanilla bean jam

making apricot and vanilla bean jam

In My Kitchen it’s hard to resist the lure of summer fruit for jam making. Small batches made with berries and a few different stone fruits will get us through the year. Early in the month I made a pot of apricot and vanilla bean jam.

summertime salads

summertime salads

In My Kitchen it’s summer. Brisbane endures endless days of high temperatures and oppressive humidity. Even with air conditioning and ceiling fans running 24/7, salads are our accompaniment of choice. To keep the salads interesting I’ve charred red peppers, marinated mushrooms and pickled beets to avoid basic boring salads made hurriedly when my energy is flagging. I also cut and cubed a loaf of 2 day old bread ready for panzanella or croutons . 

sourdough baking

sourdough baking

Each week In My Kitchen I bake sourdough bread. As well as my everyday spelt bread, during January, I made my first batch of ciabatta.  They were okay but there was plenty of room for improvement. I also tried making crumpets with discarded starter. We found the taste of the bicarbonate soda (baking soda)  added to create the holes overwhelmingly awful so there will be no more crumpets made in my kitchen unless I can nut out a way to get rise and aeration without using bicarb. Sourdough pizzas on the other hand are THE best!

In My Kitchen I was forced to spring clean the pantry after discovering weevils in the muesli grains. I  have also had an ongoing battle with moths,  I blame the climate, so all my dry goods are already in well sealed containers, but still I felt compelled to clean the shelves with white vinegar and examine every storage container for infestation. I now have a very tidy pantry.

In My Kitchen I have this wonderful Meredith Sheep Milk Yoghurt from Victoria. Once left to drain for 6 hours, it makes a wonderful dip for baby cucumbers. For its curiosity value I also have a jar of locally produced Summerland marinated camel’s milk feta. It’s mild flavour and clean creamy mouth feel are a pleasant surprise, in fact it’s downright delicious. Both camel and sheep milk are suitable for those who are lactose intolerant so for me they are great alternative dairy sources.

I’m linking this post to the monthly worldwide roundup of food bloggers who reveal what’s been happening in their part of the world. In My Kitchen is hosted by the lovely Sherry @ Sherryspickings blog. Follow the link to take a culinary tour around the globe.

*Radicchio, orange and date salad

Hot smoked salmon salad with lemon salad cream

Parsnip Skordalia

Nasi Goreng

Chilli chicken with peanuts

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

30 comments on “In My Kitchen Feb 2019

  1. Shari from GoodFoodWeek
    February 16, 2019

    Wow – the spelt bread looked amazing. I really want to get into baking when baby number four arrives.

    Like

  2. The Napoli Alert
    February 6, 2019

    Wow you have been busy. I’m familiar with the January Brisbane humidity, having often been there for work – I understand your pain!

    Like

  3. Lisa
    February 4, 2019

    Those apricots look delicious. I struggled with apricots this year – they were either very good or very bad. It put me off buying as much as I usually would. No jam for us here. I hope the recent rains signal an end to this heat. I know it’s Summer, but this is just crazy hot and not in a good way. Your bread looks delicious – I’ve never tried to make sourdough crumpets but I’ve had good success with using my discard to make english muffins.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2019

      Muffins are on my list of sourdough bakes to try but I rarely have discard, one day…yes we could do with a break in the weather, it’s relentless

      Like

  4. jrrose80
    February 4, 2019

    The feta sounds particularly interesting – my eldest son is crazy about feta, I wonder if he’d like camel’s milk feta?! The salads look delicious and now I’m craving one for meatless Monday. =)

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2019

      The camel feta is mild and creamy, I think your son would love it. I recently saw Summerland Camel Feta in a local organic shop, maybe they have a stockist list on their webpage. Salad, salad and more salad in our relentless heat

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherry
    February 3, 2019

    hi sandra
    thanks for joining in with IMK. i’ve had a pizza dough recipe that uses baking soda and no matter what i do, it just tastes salty and blaaagh. i gave up on it:) Yum to Persian fetta and good on you for all the bread making. Apricot jam – yep a winner! i haven’t suffered any weevils lately. i do keep some flour in the fridge and everything is in tightly sealed containers. then again i don’t really care about them too much. i’ve often baked with flour with added weevil protein. they disappear when you cook them anyway! cheers sherry

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2019

      Hi Sherry, firstly, twice in the last couple of days I have commented on your post and it’s just off into the ether. I have the same issue with Mae’s posts, grrrr. Just letting you know I did try. I don’t think I could knowingly consume weevils infested grains, makes me shudder just thinking about it. I’ve frozen the last lot of grainy stuff I’ve brought into the house, lets see if the 3 days frozen kills the blighters before they hatch

      Like

      • Sherry
        February 4, 2019

        yes it’s so annoying about comments flying off. i often comment on blogs and they just disappear. i have to do it 3 or 4 times and maybe one will appear! doesn’t seem to matter if it’s wordpress or blogger or a domain. i’m getting worried about google+ being deleted soon. i hope this doesn’t affect my blog!!

        Like

  6. tiffinbitesized
    February 3, 2019

    I have Claudia Roden’s Food of Italy. I don’t always cook from it but it is my go to starting point for the authentic version of any recipe. Let’s hope there’s an end to this heat soon. I have never experienced a summer where it can be so dry one day and so humid the next. I suppose the upside is the dough proves quickly! I have a recipe on my blog for sourdough crackers using discarded starter that is foolproof.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 4, 2019

      Nice to meet another Roden devotee, I think her erudite work is a little lost amongst the fashionable full page glossies popular today. I’m trying to find the sweet spot with bread proofing times, struggling a bit in this crazy weather. I’ve looked at loads of SD cracker recipes but so far haven’t tried them. I’ll check out your recipe when I take the plunge.

      Like

  7. talkavino
    February 2, 2019

    Sandra, truth be told, sourdough bread is not my thing – but I’m ready to eat your pictures right off the screen. And another revelation – don’t know if I can apply this statement to all, but for sure I suck as a foodie here in the USA – I don’t think this is my fault though – sheep’s milk yogurt? Camel’s milk Feta? I never saw anything like that in any of the surrounding stores…

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2019

      The camel milk feta stopped me in my tracks. I bought it, after tasting, from the maker at our Farmers Market. Sheep buffalo camel and goat dairying are niche businesses here but they all make excellent products.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those apricots look wonderful – I don’t tend to eat enough jam but love to stew apricots. We’ve been eating lots of salads too. And I love your sourdough – i have always wanted to try crumpets – what a shame about the bicarb. But at least you have pizza!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2019

      Mr P just declared that batch of apricot jam my best ever, it has to be the quality of the fruit. Sourdough pizza rocks

      Like

  9. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    February 1, 2019

    An impressive January Sandra! I’m really struggling with the timing of baking bread at the moment as there doesn’t seem any good time of day to have the oven on full blast, plus the dough keeps over-rising in the heat 😦

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2019

      Yes baking is a challenge in the heat, I’m heavily reliant on the fridge. I’m up early to do the weekly bake

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Francesca
    February 1, 2019

    All so tempting and delicious, I’m moving in! Your ciabatta look very god to me. And thanks for all your hints on cookbooks. I’ve since joined the Melbourne City Library, a gold mine of all the books you have recommended over the years. So I’m taking a little spell from cooking and reading about food instead.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 2, 2019

      I’m binging on cookbooks from the library too and some I’m reluctant to return. The ciabatta tasted good but were a bit dense.

      Like

  11. Eha
    February 1, 2019

    You make me feel ashamed I have not made more use of my plethora of cookery books piled on every flat surface in my home ! No air-con and the past month’s temps daresay have something to do with it. Love your salads: have just fished out some dates to add gravitas to tonight’s 🙂 ! Am postponing going back to the kitchen as methinks my 15-year-old fridge said good-bye during the night and my purse does not want to know . . .

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 1, 2019

      Even with air-con my time in the kitchen is planned to take minimise use of heat. Hope the fridge is OK, these things always happen at the worst time

      Like

  12. Mae
    February 1, 2019

    Resolving to try more recipes is a good idea, and I love Claudia Roden.

    All those salads look wonderful. I would love them even though we are on the opposite end of the climate dislocation: last night we broke records for the LOW temperature of this date, and I spent a while today thawing pipes in a crawl space. What a crazy world!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 1, 2019

      Oh dear, I can only imagine the extreme cold. You’re right, it IS a crazy world. Keep warm…

      Like

  13. Claudia
    February 1, 2019

    I love that you are trying new things this new year! I also have decided to try at least one new recipe every week. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but with hubby on night shift and me on day, meeting for meals becomes nearly impossible. Tonight it’s homemade Polish mushroom soup and homemade rye bread!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 1, 2019

      Sometimes we need a bit of a jolt to get out of a rut. I love the sound of mushroom soup with rye bread, hope you are warm where you are, we keep hearing on the news about the extreme cold in the US

      Like

  14. chef mimi
    February 1, 2019

    The apricot jam sounds really lovely! Happy February!

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2019 by in Cooking, Food, In My Kitchen, recipes and tagged , , .
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