Last time I joined this fun party initiated by Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial was…  June 2012.  Almost a full year!  I wanted to compose a post about our kitchen once we changed a few things around, but the harsh reality is that our home in Oklahoma is still in the market (can you detect some anxiety?)  so all the changes we’d like to make in our new home are on hold.  But, that doesn’t prevent me from highlighting a few things we have around…

In our kitchen…  (click to enlarge any of the photos)

spicesFinally a drawer that can hold all our precious spices! Or… almost all!.  A few are in the lower level, bay leaves, whole star anise, cinnamon sticks… but most players live together in this huge drawer.

rollpaperThe best ever kitchen paper holder…  I love it!  Until now I had those flimsy thingies that promise to hold the roll while you pull a  sheet, but instead you’ll end up with is 5 ft of paper hanging between you and the roll, most of it on the floor… Frustrating.  Not anymore, though.  The Polder Single Tear  does the job. Cannot recommend it enough – and yes, I read a ton of reviews online before getting it.

In our kitchen….  many very special gifts!

JapaneseSpicemixFrom a couple of new friends from California, a Japanese spice mix, Nanami Togarashi, that contains chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed.  It adds quite a kick to a marinade, and it can also be used as a dry rub on chicken, fish, even vegetables.  Stay tuned for a special recipe coming soon…

BrazilianPepperFrom Ivan, my former husband (and great friend),  a collection of pepper sauces from Brazil, made by a company called “Bravo”  (= Angry).   It gives you an idea of the level of heat of these babies!  Some include habanero peppers, others are made exclusively from peppers native from Brazil.

chocsauceFrom my virtual friend Marilyn, a regular contributor at the discussion forum, a chocolate sauce that can also be spooned out while cold to roll as incredibly tasty truffles!   The concoction, which she calls “chocolate dyslexic sauce” has a funny story associated with it; click here to read it. After a lot of tweaking, her final recipe can be found  here. I wish Marilyn would start blogging,  she is a fantastic cook and a hoot to boot!

figsFrom David, that superb baker at The Fresh Loaf Forum, a bag of the most delicious dried figs we ever had! They are from a company called Sierra Nut House.  Since in my post about David’s sourdough recipe I mentioned having to use dates for not finding good quality figs, he shipped a bag for me… Am I lucky or what?   Even though someone repeatedly attacked the bag, I had more than enough to make two loaves of his fig and walnut bread.  Recipe as posted earlier here, just substitute better than dates. By a long shot.

macaroonsHome-made macaroons from a friend and colleague from KSU.  I often make long experiments involving repetitive and precise movements with radioactive iron.  Concentration is a must. Needless to say, by the time I’m done, I’m pretty exhausted.  Last week I crawled back to my office after one of these experiments, and found a cute little box with 5 perfect macaroons inside.  Again, am I lucky or what? They were amazing!  And… she shared the recipe. Now I wonder if I have what it takes to make a batch.  😉

PeanutScavengerIn our kitchen, Buck, the Peanut Scavenger Extraordinaire!  Whenever Phil starts shelling peanuts, Buck positions himself glued to him, and stares at the floor, ready to grab any piece of nut that might fly off.  He won’t blink, won’t look up, won’t make a sound.  Of course, every once in a while, peanuts are dropped “by accident”. Patience  does pay off.

and… in the room next door to the kitchen:

IMG_1698Chief, from the top of his more than 14 well-lived years, does what comes most naturally to him now…  Cuddles in a cozy corner, and dreams…..

… oblivious to his naughty young brother….

Well, I hope you liked the little glimpse of our home…  Visit Celia’s site to see what goes on in many kitchens around the blogosphere!

ONE YEAR AGO: Thrilling Moments (CROISSANTS!)

TWO YEARS AGO: Maple-Oatmeal Sourdough Bread

THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Trinity: coffee, mushrooms, and curry