Following Celia’s tradition at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  I share with you what’s been going on in our kitchen these busy days. It seems like yesterday, but in fact I published my first “In My Kitchen” almost one year ago!  Now, 11 months and 5 posts later, a bittersweet moment:  this will be the last one to come from our Okie home.  A new bewitching kitchen is waiting for us in the  “Little Apple“,  and I cannot wait to share it with you in the near future!

In my kitchen…
KIND, our favorite cereal bar! We tried it for the first time while living in Los Angeles, and were thrilled to find its many  flavors, all delicious, in a special store here in town.  They are moist and satisfying, with a perfect combination of flavors.  My favorite is the mango-macadamia, super tasty!

In my kitchen…We always have some type of dark chocolate hanging around.  Phil loves to nibble on a little piece with his coffee, and his passion for chocolate is highly contagious: I find myself more and more dependent of a small piece before going to bed.   This brand, Chocolove, is a new favorite, with a very smooth finish. To make it even better, it is a fair-trade product.

In my kitchen…
A bottle of sorghum  molasses. For a few months now, it seems to me that every cooking magazine I open has one or two recipes using sorghum.  I finally found it and brought it home.   Hopefully, when my life gets a little less frantic, I’ll be able to try one of the recipes in my “sorghum folder”.  😉   If you want to know more about it, click here.

In my kitchen…
A new way to shape a loaf of bread, following a braided method from “How to Make Bread”, from Emmanuel  Hadjiandreou.  This particular recipe is his multigrain bread, substantial but not too heavy.

In my kitchen…   So many gifts!
Two Korean wooden dolls, given to us by a former undergraduate student,  they live near our kitchen, and love to watch us cooking.  They get along quite well with their Brazilian clay friends, a gift from our friend (and amazing cook) Anita.

In my kitchen….
A very special gift from our graduate student Vy,  who was recently in New York and brought back a bag of chocolate disks from Jacques Torres.
Here is what they look like.  These babies make fantatic chocolate chip cookies,  I promise to post the recipe in the near future.    It will be worth the wait… 😉

In my kitchen….

Have you ever seen this amount of saffron? And I mean, great, authentic saffron!  Talk about a special gift!   I am lucky enough to have a friend who travels to Saudi Arabia once a year, and he surprised me with this incredible load of saffron.  When the box arrived, I could smell the saffron through the box and the double wrapping of paper!    And, if that wasn’t special enough, he also included in the package a bag of…
Ras El Hanout!  One of the few spices I didn’t have in my cabinet!  Am I lucky or what?  No doubt in my mind I have the most amazing friends!

and finally, in my kitchen….
A very well-behaved dog, who never begs for food, but makes sure his eyes are as sad as he can possibly make them while Phil and I are enjoying a nice dinner…   😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Goodbye L.A.  (one full year,and  a new goodbye on our horizon!)

TWO YEARS AGO: 7-6-5 Pork Tenderloin

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40 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN, JUNE 2012

  1. My redneck Arkansas hick trailer trash Government-cheese-and-‘possum eatin’ in-laws “graced” me with a jar of authentic Ozark sorghum last year during a visit to their outhouse/home. I can’t say that I find it the ambrosia they do, but it is interesting to substitute it for other liquid sweeteners sometimes. For instance I used it instead of honey in my favorite basic white American sandwich loaf a few months back. There was no difference in rise, crumb, etc., but the flavor was definitely more pronounced. Not unpleasant, but certainly distinct (and I felt immediately less educated after just one sandwich. Which, considering my profession, might actually be a boon).

    Ooo! When my equally hick wife came out to civilization (NJ) to be with me, one of the first places we went in the City was to Jacques Torres. It’s in the cartoonishly named “DUMBO” section of Brooklyn (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”). At the time ol’ Jacques had a FoodTV show featuring his artistic prowess with all things chocolate, and wifey practically creamed her jeans every time it came on. So down to DUMBO we went.

    It’s actually a tiny little shop, with a glass case or two displaying a dozen or so varieties of truffles and a bunch of hot chocolate mixes. Wifey was pretty disappointed, thinking as she did that we were gonna tour the Wonka factory. But that only lasted until the door at the back of the shop opened and a worker came in carrying a tray of fresh chili truffles. When those bay doors swung out we got a good look at the cavernous operations going on behind the scenes. It was massive, with conveyor belts and vats of tempering chocolate. The blast of smell was overwhelming. Wifey finally reached nirvana (and probably other things).

    Overall though…I still prefer Teucher’s I think. It’s also easier to get to, with two locations in Manhattan. If you ever visit BIG Manhattan I’ll drag you out there. Wear jeans with absorbent panels.


  2. My niece brought me a huge container of saffron, very similar to yours when she returned from Dubai. I used it in breads and rice and soup- ad now I need some more. It is very easy to be spoiled with the richness of a big box of saffron. Great post- I received a gift of sorghum molasses last year and have enjoyed the flavor in my sourdough rye bread.
    Thanks for sharing.


    • I will have to use the sorghum in my breads – good tip!

      My friend’s accounts of his experiences in Saudi Arabia are amazing, every time he goes I wait for his letters very anxiously – and I do believe he should consider writing a book about his travels around the world. He is a great writer, apart from being a top notch scientist and a great cook too!


  3. The “little apple!” I like that! Great stuff in your kitchen. I love the Korean and Brazilian figures. The kids would have so much fun playing with those…I can just hear their little imagined conversations now. 🙂 And that saffron is just too fun! So lucky! I can just imagine the deliciousness you’ll whip up with that. Looking forward to seeing the new bewitching kitchen. 🙂


  4. That is about $2000 worth of saffron! Wow. Kansas State, eh? Manhattan looks like a great college town. A good friend of mine went to school there and loved living there. I know you and Phil will make the most of your new digs and you’ll continue to regale us with tasty, humorous and heart-felt postings.


    • Paula, I’m THRILLED to see you here! Thanks so much, I have a very good vibe about our move, it was as I mentioned before, a tough decision to make, but… I am at peace with it, and really energized to jump on the work!


    • His name is Oscar… he was found lost in the streets of Hollywood while we were living in Los Angeles last year, and we rescued him. Oscar seemed like the perfect name… We also have two Jack Russels, Chief and Buck, every now and then they pop their paws into the blog and say hello… 😉


        • GLenda, in a way he rescued us too – we had just put our dalmatian to sleep the week before, and were both devastated. Chief was left all alone without his companion of over 10 years, and completely depressed. We won the jackpot when we found him…. he is a sweetie, and very attached to us


  5. Thank you for sharing the little treasures that make your kitchen a great place to cook. My compliments on the saffron and even more on the ras el hanout which I’ve heard about but never experienced. There are a number of middle eastern grocery stores around my house which I must explore one day soon.


  6. Thinking of you as you begin your new adventure!! happy days, happy times, happy trails..will be anxiously awaiting new posts!! All the best to you, Phil and those dear doggies. Barb


    • Thanks so much, Barb! Days are passing fast, tomorrow we drive back to Norman, stay there for a few days, and back here.. and back there… and… well, you get the picture 😉

      at the present time, I haven’t had a home cooked meal in almost a full week, and it’s killing me! gotta get home and COOK!


  7. Thank *goodness* you included a doggie picture (I was getting a little worried as I rounded the corner ;-)). Those eyes are pretty irresistible indeed. I always have dark chocolate lying around too. It’s part of the furniture at this point I think :). Is that really saffron?! I’ve never seen that quantity before… what a gift… I would be over the moon!


  8. Someday, my dear friend, you will have to travel to Istanbul, and visit the Spice Bazaar there! We came back from our trip there in 2000 with a quart-jar’s worth of saffron, and the same amount in sumac (used by the Turks in salads — not the poison kind that causes a rash!). Two years ago, one of Vlad’s colleagues went to Istanbul and brought us back another large quantity of saffron. It is, indeed, like gold in its value here — and a very little bit goes a very long way!


  9. Sorry have been a bad blog friend lately, finding it hard to keep up. Hope your move goes well to your new home. Loved all these treasures. best wishes, Jo


  10. Your lil pup sounds so innocent, she behave just like mine :). Ah, saffron … I just a gift from my sister, a little box of saffron from Spain. A nice way of braiding the loaf, I must copy it.


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