In My Kitchen NOVEMBER 2016

 

Really!? We’re in November already! Where did October go? It feels as if there’s never enough time in the day – is it just me or is anyone else feeling the same!? I’ve been a bit busy with some recipe testing but they either don’t taste right or they don’t photograph as I imagine it in my head, so it’s off to the drawing board again and sometimes again. Thank goodness for this time of month, the lovely Liz from Good Things hosts this wonderful kitchen party where inspiration is in abundance.

From My Kitchen window (above ↑) is a perfect day overlooking Albert Park Lake. Whenever the sun shines and there’s a slight breeze, the Albert Park Yacht Club heads out onto the water for a little sailing action. With the sun shining a bit more now, this should be happening quite often. Aren’t they cute little sail boats! #balconyview

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is my new (second hand) Bron Coucke mandoline, product of France. When I worked at the tennis in 2014, my head chef had one and he said it was the best on the market. I’ve been waiting for them to come on sale but they never do (I’ve seen them for $399 cheapest!) I then walked into an op-shop in Geelong and there it was, on sale for a bargain price of $6.45! Really?!! I’m not letting this go! I don’t think they had any idea what it was! I still need practice in slicing vegetables not fingers – I cut at least one finger every time I pull it out!

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is 100% Cassava flour, from Australia. It’s something I’m testing but I’m unsure what I’d like to cook, any ideas? Love to hear your thoughts or recipes, please leave your ideas in the comments below. Cassava flour isn’t tapioca flour. Read here for some more information.

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is The Weekend Cook cookbook I picked up from another op-shop. It’s all about forgetting the week that was and enjoying the most of your locally sourced food for some amazing cooked dishes for the weekend. Spend more time on making your food enjoyable as the weekend is when you’re able to relax and enjoy your time in the kitchen. I just love the photos in this cookbook, some lovely inspiration.

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is some couscous. I found this at a little cafe in Queenscliff. I love trying new brands of couscous but I’m not a fan of this one. It didn’t absorb the water properly so stayed gluggy, not a fan of gluggy couscous. Have you got a favourite brand of couscous you swear by? Share it in the comments below

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is Cleavers certified organic and free range beef sausages, which I found in Woolworths. I was in the mood for curried sausages, which is why I thought I’d try them. They’re now a regular on my shopping list. Looking forward to cooking them up on the BBQ next time.

In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is my birthday present from my parents-in-law, a Sunbeam spice and coffee grinder. I’ve always wanted one but hadn’t seen them around without being stupidly priced. I picked this baby up at Big W. What’s your favourite spice blend you like to make from scratch? Love to hear your spice blend recipes, please leave them in the comments below

And the last goodie In My Kitchen . . .

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. . . is Berenberg’s Australian tomato sauce. After hearing some “things” about Heinz ketchup, I needed to find a new alternative, that still tastes like sauce but not too high in sugar. I don’t mind it, it will take some time to get used to it as it’s nowhere near as sweet as the ketchup.

I promise, I will get to everyone this month. If I missed you last month I’m sorry I’ll make it up to you by visiting this month.

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44 thoughts on “In My Kitchen NOVEMBER 2016

  1. Hello Nicole, Oh I envy your lake view. Glad to see you bought the cassava flour. I grew up eating tapioca and love them so much both a savoury and dessert dish. That Sunbeam spice and coffee grinder is a brilliant idea – I must get one too.

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    1. Thank you Aida. I’m looking forward to trying some ideas I have with the cassava flour in the New Year. I am yet to use my spice grinder but can’t wait to freshly grind my spice mixes, instead of using the mortar & pestle xx

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  2. I wish I could you give you some inspiration for cassava flour, but sadly not. I’ve seen packets in the supermarket but yet have not braved it to take some home. The jar you have in the picture made me smile as I am recycling them for dried goods too. I love my mandolin so its good to ses a fellow IMK with one that is different.

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  3. so many things to love. that spice grinder is fab. and what a great view you have. very relaxing. and how about that mandoline? i have one but rarely use it. hubby says he can’t bear to watch me use it in case i cut my fingers off:)

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  4. Fab op shop find! I use my mandoline every day. Much of the safety involves cutting the vegies the right way in the first place. Herbie’s Spice Notes has a great selection of spice mixes, you’ll never buy pre prepared again. Nice view Nicole!

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    1. So there’s a trick to mandoline usage Sandra? How do you prepare the veggies first? Love any tips you can give 🙂 I’ll head over to Herbies now, thanks so much for the heads up. So wonderful to see you for #IMK xx

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      1. The vegies need to be trimmed so there are parallel flat surfaces, that way the guard will grip and not slip and the cut will be even and clean. Also important that the blade is razor sharp so that it doesn’t tear the food and pull it off the guard. I just sharpen mine on my knife steel. There will be a couple of screws to undo.

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      2. I have no problem with the blades being sharp, just ask a couple of my fingers 😉 I always cut my veggies to have a flat surface, my fingers need to learn to stay out of the way I think!

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  5. that is a great story about the mandoline – I have one but I am so hopeless with it that I haven’t really engaged with it – would love to hear any tips once you get your head around it. I love berenberg’s sauces – and I am curious about your spice grinder – I have never had one but like the sound of making a spice mix in it

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    1. Such a great grab with the mandoline Johanna, I’ll be sure to share the secret to using & keeping fingers once I figure it out 🙂 I have a mortar and pestle but I’ve needed a spice grinder for blends that use cinnamon. It’s lovely seeing you for #IMK xx

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  6. Nic, THAT’S the view from your kitchen window? How on earth do you ever get anything done? And that’s an unbelievable steal on your mandoline – so glad you managed to grab it after wanting one for so long. Hmmm…I could be getting muddled (sorry if I am) but don’t you have a view of a motor race track from your place as well?

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    1. I know Celia, we’re very lucky to see this every day and yes, the view is the Grand Prix track in March every year. I wrote about it in April IMK and my potato salad (2014). I sometimes get lost in the view and forget what I’m supposed to be doing in the kitchen 😉 So good to see you, hope you’re well xx #IMK

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  7. What a great op shop find with that mandoline. Careful with those fingers, you need them to keep cooking! Curious to see what you make with your cassava flour. I still don’t have a spice grinder, I trudge through with my mortar and pestle.

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    1. I love my mortar and pestle too Gretchen but sometimes, especially with cinnamon quills, pounding works out the biceps! I have a couple of ideas for the cassava flour, I just need to experiment & get all my other ingredients together, stay tuned 🙂 Fingers are good to keep for cooking, I’ll be sure to find a way to use my mandoline with care. Love having you here for #IMK xx

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    1. Thank you Liz, if I figure out how to use a mandoline without cutting yourself, I’ll be sure to let you know 🙂 We’re very spoilt with such a gorgeous view, thank you. It’s wonderful having you here for #IMK xx

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    1. Thank you Tandy, everyday when we look out the window, we think about how lucky we are for sure 🙂 Do you have a ketchup recipe by any chance, I’d love to make my own! I have found a new couscous now, will be up next month for #IMK. It’s wonderful having you here xx

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  8. Nicole, I’m having mandoline envy… what a FIND. (The cut fingers, not so much… I’ve always wanted a mandoline, but I make my living playing piano. 🙂 Your kitchen window view is spectacular, too! As for your request for spice blends, here’s one of my favorites (by Azlin Bloor of LinsFood.com):

    Garam Masala

    seeds of 10 cardamom pods
    1 black cardamom (can’t find these here, so I omit)
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
    1 Tablespoon cumin
    1 Tablespoon coriander
    2 inch (5 cm) piece cinnamon stick
    1 teaspoon cloves
    1 tiny piece of nutmeg
    (Optional extras):
    dried ginger
    organic dried rose petals
    mustard seeds
    fennel seeds

    Dry roast all ingredients in a frying pan on low heat for a couple of minutes. (You know it’s done when a strong, lovely aroma hits your nose, not a burnt one.) Transfer to a plate and let cool immediately. Blitz to a fine powder. Store in a clean jar in a cool place.

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    1. Thank you so much Kim, I’ve always wanted to make my own garam masala spice blend – I’m a bit excited now! Being a piano teacher/player would be enough for me to stay away from a mandolin too 🙂 It’s wonderful having you here for #IMK xx

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  9. Gorgeous view! You make me jealous, especially since it’s cold and rainy here! Congrats on your mandoline find but it looks positively lethal! I don’t own a mandoline but someday I will buy one – I hate cuts though so I’ve been putting it off.

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    1. Thank you Maggie, we haven’t had a lot of sunshiny days over Spring but hopefully we’ll be getting a few more in a row now heading into Summer. Mandonlines make slicing easier for sure, maybe I just have to get over the fear of cutting myself to make it successful but it’s so sharp! Lovely seeing you for #IMK xx

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      1. I understand that fear!! Lovely seeing you for #IMK. Hopefully you are getting better weather – we had snow earlier this week. It didn’t last but SNOW in November! Madness.

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    1. Thank you Marcellina, we are quite spoilt with such a beautiful view. I have a few ideas for the cassava flour as it’s a wonderful flour for people who can’t tolerate gluten. Stay tuned 🙂

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  10. Like you, I have big issues with my mandoline and only cut my little finger last week which still opens up and gushes. This French one is such a bargain and looks stunning too: I do hope you get the hang of it. Middle eastern couscous is the best stuff, from A! Bakery, or Bas foods in Brunswick. Though I always use a couscousier to finish it off. Shame about the fancy one you bought which wasn’t up to scratch. As for your view!!! How wonderful. I don’t think I could tear myself away from that spot. ( I used to work next door at a well known Girls high school- but never had tome to visit that gorgeous lake)

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    1. Don’t the cuts hurt like mad Francesca – and they just don’t stop bleeding! I will have a look at those two places for couscous thank you for the heads up. It’s a nice time at Albert Park Lake, I hope to get some photos of all the cygnets that are being born – I saw the first twins last week 🙂 Love seeing you for #IMK xx

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    1. We are definitely spoilt with our amazing view, we never get bored and wake up everyday feeling very lucky. I’m looking forward to trying a few things with the cassava flour, wish me luck Kari. Thanks for stopping by for #IMK xx

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  11. Love hearing about great op shop finds, good work! Those grinders do a great job on spices and herbs, I’m expecting mine to cark it very soon. Must get to Albert Park and try The Point restaurant, I’ve heard good things.

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    1. The Point is supposed to be lovely, very expensive I think but everyone says it’s amazing Maree. We can walk there in about 25 minutes 🙂 I just love a good find at the op-shops and I’m a bit excited to use my spice grinder, after I find a great spice blend to make. Lovely having you here for #IMK xx

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      1. Our nieces hubby is exec chef there so we would love to see what he creates. It does look stunning! Your mate Rick Stein has some wonderful curry blends worth trying, he does like it hot though! 🙂

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  12. Oh, that view again. Gorgeous! Thank you for the beautiful shout out. Love your mandoline (please use a guard!). Happy November lovely one xx

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