Life has been pretty busy.  I am shocked to realize that my last “In My Kitchen” post happened three months ago!  But, before 2011 says goodbye, I take you to a little virtual tour of what is happening in our kitchen,  again inspired by Celia, who started these virtual tours and got many bloggers following her lead.

In our kitchen….
My pressure cooker, that goes into reverse-hybernation during the warm months, but comes out to play in the Fall and Winter.  Cooking beans, potatoes (mashed potatoes in 15 minutes), soups, stews, even risotto.   Many people are afraid of pressure cookers, but nowadays they are very safe and easy to use.  Ours even has a cool timer attached to the lid, that counts down from the moment it reaches full pressure, beeping when the time is up.

A few goodies brought from Trader Joe’s during our short visit to Los Angeles last month.  Assorted dried mushrooms,  dried cranberries… Their Pound Plus dark chocolate bar is great for baking, although it’s hard to resist grabbing a little square here and there to nibble with a cup of capuccino.

And, speaking of capuccino,  as the weather turns cold and sometimes gray outside, we brought some color to our kitchen, with these fun cups to serve our first java of the day.

But when only a shot of pure espresso will bring us back to life, these cute cups we bought in an antique store in Germany many years ago are perfect to enjoy them.

A madeleine pan – a blog on madeleines will be up next year (it’s only a couple of weeks away 😉 – with a non-stick coating that helps these delicate little cakes come out easily after baking.   But, I don’t use it only for baking….

Their shape is perfect for laying a piece of plastic wrap on top, and spooning items to be frozen.  For instance, we love a particular brand of salsa (Victoria), but they only sell a huge bottle.  We simply spoon portions on the madeleine pan and freeze the tray.  After that, the portions are dropped in a zip lock container, and stored in the freezer.   The shape of the madeleine pan is perfect for this use, better than muffin tins.

My most recent acquisition, a Christmas gift I gave to myself: a bread proofing box!  It stores flat, but once you assemble it….

It turns into the perfect environment to proof starters and bread doughs, no matter how cold your kitchen is.  I am absolutely smitten with it!  Stay tuned for a post on my first bread made with it.

And, finally… not exactly in our kitchen, but in our dining room…
A chandelier we brought from Brazil after my Dad passed away.  It was in my parents living room, but my Mom moved out of that house and had to keep it stored in a box for years, waiting for a loving home.   Phil painstakingly assembled it last week,  looking at old photos to figure out how to do it.   I know my Dad would love to see it in our home.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour through our kitchen…   So, what’s happening in YOUR kitchen these days?

ONE YEAR AGO: Homemade Ravioli

TWO YEARS AGO: 100% Sourdough Rye

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