kitchen moments

tiramisu- cityhippyfarmgirl

That moment when the Tiramisu sits on the kitchen bench, finished and ready to eat. A satisfied moment when you think, yeah…that looks alright.

That moment when you are gifted some homemade pickled garlic. Thankful for generous friends and impressed that she had got a farmer to grow ten kilos of organic garlic just for her.

That moment when you know the starter is ripe and ready. It’s time to get doughy.

chocolate brownie- cityhippyfarmgirl That moment when you bite into a new concoction chocolate brownie, nod and smile a little. A chocolate brownie that was deadly simple to make and not disappointing at all to the taste buds, (with a few added surprises in there as well.)

api wrap- cityhippyfarmgirl

That moment when you see at your friend’s house a pretty nifty kitchen addition that you know you have to give a look into. Enter the ‘Apiwrap’– “…eco friendly and reusable kitchen wrap, perfect for storing food in the fridge or to go.” So what does this mean? It means a pretty rocking alternative to glad wrap people.

bitter almond aroma- cityhippyfarmgirl

And that moment of quiet inhalation of a tiny gifted pot of almondy goodness that no one else wants to know about. That is almond heaven right there, (all marzipan dislikers need not inhale.) Now what to make with you my pretty?

What’s happening in your kitchen at the moment?

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linking in with the lovely Celia for in my kitchen

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what’s shakin’ in my kitchen this month

raspberries

There has been a whole lot of things happening in my kitchen lately, which means a truck sized amount of dishes to balance that out.

There have been delicate raspberries to sit on top of a birthday cake. Little Monkey was keen on eating them before they got to the top of the cake and had to be repeatedly reminded that weren’t getting to the cake via his mouth.

hearts copy

Simple vanilla biscuits for Valentines Day.

summersalad1 copy

Surprisingly tasty seasonal salads, with a salute to summer.

cityhippyfarmgirl copy

A goody hamper very kindly given to me, full of ohhhh so many good things.

his and hers copy

On my kitchen table sat, his and her ice cream after a remarkably crappy day….yep, that really does make things a whole lot better. (Maggie Beer your ice cream is ridiculously deliciously delectable, making them in smaller containers was a wise, wise choice.)

cityhippyfarmgirl

New old kitchen tea towels. Excellent quality and someone has already broken them in for me, which means none of that not-soaking-up-moisture business when they are still new.little feet

And on my kitchen floor stands my little helper. Chubby fingers wrapping around my legs, while I cook and bake, as she sings me her baby song.

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What’s shakin’ in your kitchen?

Have a look at the lovely Celia’s kitchen for other kitchen happenings.

In my kitchen…

This week in my kitchen…

There is a whole lot of wonderful limes from my dad’s backyard tree. I’ve mentioned my love of the humble lime quite a few times, I never get tired of them. I’m thinking Coconut Lime Pie, Chicken Lime Pasta, Lime Cupcakes, Lime Marmalade… limes, limes, limes. (I’m trying not to think about caipiroska’s.)

Dark Almond chocolate for strength, patience and clarity. Works a treat… well for a little while anyway.

A new Italian cookbook. Won over at Not Quite Nigella, (which was a rather lovely surprise.)

Organic, spray free, local, seasonal fruit and vegetable box delivered to my kitchen door. Making life a little easier until I can get back to my farmers market lady.

Baking hotcross buns with a sleeping babe attached. It’s how all the bakers are doing it these days, (well ones with new babies anyway.)

Last year I did a few batches of hot cross buns. Trying to find the right recipe that worked for me. I still wanted to tweak it though, as didn’t feel it was quite ‘right’. This time I did part sourdough, part dried yeast… I’m getting there I think.

Hot Cross Buns

200g currants/raisins

200mls hot water

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

1 tsp dried yeast

250g sourdough starter

100g sugar (2/3 cup, more if you like them sweeter)

250mls milk

100g softened butter

11/2-2 tsp salt

4 1/2 cups flour (675g)

Soak the fruit in the hot water, leave for a couple of hours/ over night.  Mix all ingredients together, except for the salt. Autolyse period 20-45 minutes. Add the salt and mix again, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench to knead until you get a lovely smooth ball of dough. Pop the dough back into the bowl, plastic bag over the top and leave to prove.  A couple of proves and folds over the next few hours. Then out onto lightly floured surface again and divide into 16 or so portions. Roll into balls, or simply divide to get a more square shape. Pop them on a lined baking tray, cover and leave for another prove.

Crosses

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 water

Mix together and spoon into a piping bag just before they hit the oven.

Then bake at 210C for approximately 15-25 minutes, (until golden.)

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What’s happening in your kitchen this week?

Have a look over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for other kitchen happenings.

the kitchen fairy

In the black of the night,

the kitchen fairy is up.

Sleep hides from her, skulking like a shadow, somewhere near by, but not close enough.

Tiptoed footsteps to the kitchen, careful to avoid the creaks in the floorboards.

outside is silence, the black of night is at its most silent.

The household sleeps on,

as the kitchen fairy begins to weigh and chop. Silent in her cutting and quartering.

her thoughts scamper from one to another, but even they eventually stop and pause, once the rhythm of cooking has taken over.

A match is struck, pots turned on.

Her breath held, while a pot lid slips from her grasp. She needn’t worry, the household slumbers on.

With the smells of plums and vanilla teasing the sleeping nostrils, she knows only good dreams can come of that.

Outside, the night continues on in black.

The kitchen fairy’s eyes grow weary,

sleep has stepped out of her shadows, beckoning to her once again.

The pots are turned off, her work now is done.

The slowly greying dawn will show lined jars of vivid plum jam, and cooling racks of sourdough bread,

time for the kitchen fairy to rest.

Plum Jam

2.3 kilos of plums

500mls water

2 kilos of sugar

juice of 1 lime

crisis of confidence in the kitchen

I like experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it really pays off to experiment and find out what sort of deliciousness you can cook. However. Sometimes those end results scream go back to the kitchen and it’s grilled cheese sandwiches for you my friend.

A crisis of confidence in the kitchen that’s what I had recently. I think I got carried away… Other aspects of life were being challenging and I wanted the security and comfort of making something up and it being delicious. Sure, maybe I should have held back a little and tried not to do so many new things at once…but, I didn’t.

Date and Almond Sourdough Triangles– nope. Just didn’t work for me. They tried, I gave it a red hot go, but still nope.

Sourdough Pizza– not enough time to prove, so quite a dense base. It could be worked on though…there is hope for that one.

Chocolate Tangelo Cake– sweet mama, that was disgusting. All effort, no taste. Mr Chocolate even refused to eat that one. It even ended in the bin, it was so hideous…picture? God no.

Strawberry Scones, (top picture) I still think this could work (maybe) it’s just….I really do suck at scones.

Was I doomed to be a kitchen failure for ever?! Oh the horror!…

However, after a little pause. Some time to reflect, a little recalibration with a fried egg and salad my mojo snuck back.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart here we come.

* So whats the moral of the story? Playing in the kitchen is fun. Experiment, find out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be put off by burnt bread, raw biscuits, runny marmalade. Yes, they are annoying but you learn from them. Kitchen mistakes can quite often be salvageable and turned into something else. If you are running in to consecutive mistakes, just take a break and go back to the basics again.

And, above all…DO NOT make a Chocolate Tangelo Cake.

Plums Plums Plums….

 

What to do with a huge box of plums destined for the garbage as considered too ripe? Bring them home and make…

Plum Jam– not quite the same without the vanilla bean, but certainly passed the family test. My 18month old opened his mouth like a little bird, “more, more”.

Plum Crumble– the humble crumble is a staple in our household. Even though its been a regular on my cooking list for a really long time it still is a favourite. So versatile, use what ever you have got as long as some kind of fruit and butter goes in everything else is interchangeable.

Plum BBQ Sauce– not sure about this one yet, I haven’t made it before. The sort of thing you taste, let it roll around on your tongue a little, swallow and then you are still not sure so you try it again…

Plums stewed– straight into the freezer for another time.

Plum puree– also in to the freezer for food colour of a birthday cake at some stage.

I do get a certain sense of satisfaction making all these things from something that was just going to be tossed out. If I could only get more jars I would be making pots and pots more of jam. It is such a good thing to store in a cupboard or for a little present for someone.

Yogurt

I am the recent proud owner of a yogurt maker thanks to my sister. How I hadn’t discovered this little winner before I dont know. Its so easy! Buy a sachet from the super market, add water and leave for 8 hours.

So far I have only made the natural flavoured ones and just added my own flavours-

Apple/strawberry puree

Pear

Vanilla

I did add some pear jam from last week one night as well, super tasty!

So no more plastic tubs to buy, plus saving money. Also it passed the kid taste test. If my boys weren’t going to eat it, it wasn’t going to happen as they are the yogurt kings in this house. The yogurt maker makes a litre at a time. So at the moment I am making it twice a week. Not sure how long you would be able to keep it for in the fridge but I guess thats never going to be an issue for us as it is eaten in such large quantities.

Jams, Chutneys and Granola….

New to the blogging world. I thought I might start one, just to watch my own progression on living as sustainably as possible in an urban environment.  Finding out what works for me and my family and maybe achievable by others living  in a city environment.

Last week was  a busy one. The kitchen saw a flurry of activity in a few days. From a box of unwanted pears destined for the garbage emerged 9 jars of jam. One batch Lemon & Pear, and the other Lemon, Ginger & Pear. Really tasty! One pot of Mango Chutney, using some mangoes given to us from my father in laws neighbours tree. First time I have ever made chutney, and suitably impressed at how easy it was.

Yesterday I made Granola– So super easy to make. I came across this as my husband really likes to buy the stuff. The supermarket packet ones can be quite pricey and never seem to go very far, and after looking at the ingredients- “How hard can it be?” So wanting to make it a bit (a lot) healthier than the packet ones this is what I use.

quick oats

s/r flour

coconut oil

vanilla

cinnamon

optional extras- maple syrup, whole almonds, walnuts, desicated coconut, sultanas, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, seasame seeds, pepitas, honey. There are so many healthy and tasty flavours you can play around with. And if you really just want it to taste more like the packet stuff- just add sugar!

The trick is at the end is to add a little water and scrunch the mixture together with your hands, getting those tasty clusters together. Then whack it in the oven until toasted and golden colour (170C). Move the mixture round once while cooking, so it cooks evenly.

Its a really tasty breakfast cereal, good for a snack or even better for a present for some one.

 (Present idea– Put it in a lovely glass jar and a label.)