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

34 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN, APRIL 2013

  1. I loved this happy little visit to your kitchen and I greatly enjoyed the snapshots of the three dogs. If Oscar were French-speaking, on the last picture he would surely be saying “Cause toujours!”.


    • Yeaaaaah! I am baaaaaaaack! 😉 Indeed, I am very lucky to have a nice relationship with my ex, and he keeps in touch with my folks back home too, visits my Mom regularly.


    • Norman, OK – a college town where the University of Oklahoma is located. The home is close to campus but not too close – so the extra noise of game day doesn’t affect it. Perfect location, actually. Perfect kitchen… light, airy, beautiful, functional… oh, boy… I wish someone would fall in love with it – like TODAY! 😉


    • We are all very careful, and I wear a dosimeter that gets analyzed every month for exposure to radioisotopes. Eye protection, gloves, lead bricks, all safety measures in place. Plus, we don’t use huge amounts of radioactivity, just “enough” 😉


  2. I really enjoy your kitchen posts. I made the same bread with dried mission figs from the grocery store. I liked it quite a bit but was thinking of trying dates next time. Perhaps I will reconsider. I would like to try the chocolate sauce but as you know, I have no will power and would just eat it by the spoonful until it was gone!


    • You should definitely try it with dates, who knows? maybe you will like it better. They are two completely different breads, I did not expect them to be… very interesting.


  3. Lovely kitchen full of delicious goodies. My sad little (large) collection of spices isn’t anywhere near as organized between the 4 or 5 sizes of spice bottles resulting from 2 ‘sets’ of spices which have been relabelled to eliminate duplication and the squat dark dried yeast bottles and taller jam jars repurposed to hold spices. Some are still in the spice rack on the wall because I don’t have room for them in the cupboard … you still have to watch for the avalanche of falling spice jars when I go rooting around in the back. It’s risky for any dishes in the draining board underneath.

    Very cute doggies. Love how Oscar isn’t QUITE laughing in your face. You thought YOU were in charge … think again. 🙂

    I’m not even going to THINK about that chocolate sauce but I’ll keep an eye out for you macarons. I want to make them just once … I’ve never even tasted them to see if I like them but I DO like a challenge.


    • well, Oscar is special… I put a nice bed in the dog house yesterday because it was a bit cold. Phil said “are you sure he is not going to destroy it?” I said, no, he’s never destroyed this type of bed, only “the other kind”

      I come back home and of course, he ripped it open and its insides were all over the backyard. I thought of putting him up for sale. (sigh)


  4. I fear I may have broken a Commandment, Sally. I covet your spice drawer. You have me considering whether I really need the contents in each of mine. Hmmm …
    I wonder how many peanuts just happen to fall and reward Buck for his concentrated efforts? Better still, who could resist not dropping a couple, accidentally on purpose? This was a fun post, Sally. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your home’s heart.


    • That woman is incredibly talented, Joanne. She is a Professor in the Veterinary School and baking is one of her hobbies. A while ago she brought us a box of home made madeleines, another amazing production, worthy of a bakery in Paris…


  5. Hee hee Zeb does the same stare at floor trick, while Lulu rolls her lips and just tries to get in there first, it gets interesting when whatever it it misses her mouth and lands in the poodle curl jungle.. but..
    how lovely to see your kitchen and all your fabulous spices and your clever paper holder! I hope you get settled wherever it is you want to be, but in the meantime it looks as if there is lots of foodie love going your way xx


    • Aren’t dogs the best? I sometimes wish life had a portable hidden camera so we could just rewind some scenes and watch them again and again.. The dogs are an endless source of laughter… although sometimes they do drive us nuts, and it’s also not easy dealing with the aggression between Buck and Chief… but, we’ve been doing it for almost 2 full years…


  6. Has it really been that long since you’ve done one of these?! Wow – time flies! So sorry that your home hasn’t sold yet. We had the same issue when we moved from MN back here. It took one year and three days. At the time we were living with my in-laws until our home sold. Talk about stressful. I adore them, but still…two families living together and one trying to raise kids, it can be challenging at times. Fortunately we all still get along and heck, I’d even do it again! 😉 I hope your house sells soon Sally. And can I just tell you how much I LOVE your spice drawer! I totally need one of those!


    • One year with in-laws… not easy, I am sure..

      I hope our home sells, it’s something always worrying us in the back of our mind, the money we are spending,,, but, as my Dad used to say, money is paper. Nothing more than paper. Health and love matter more. We have no worries about either (knock on wood…)


  7. Ooh, I can feel the heat coming off those Brazilian pepper sauces from here Sally! So it’s figs over dates for you, is it? Love them both but must try in a loaf context… Love, love, love the sofa sequence and how sweet is Mr. Buck snuggling in for peanuts…I’m feeling a bit more like Chief myself today – rainy and thunderstorms – a perfect day for an afternoon nap! ;-).


    • Thunderstorms… we have one on Wednesday that was unreal! Started with heavy hail at 7am… what a way to start the day!

      Hope you are relaxing and taking it easy today…


  8. Awww, our little puppy mostly sleeps now too. He’s my first dog so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just figured when you’re that old, you probably just want to relax:) You’ve got quite a variety in your kitchen, Sally, I’ve love to see you make something with that Nanami Togarashi.. my gosh, the flavors sound fantastic! xx


  9. I think you could roll little balls of the chocolate and stuff them inside the dried figs! Yum…a classic combination of flavors with quality ingredients.


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