I am excited to join my friend Celia in her super-fun series “In My Kitchen“.  Stop by her site to look at what’s happening on kitchens out there in the blogosphere.

I start my virtual tour with gifts. As usual, I am the lucky recipient of wonderful gifts from special friends… At our last dinner party, we were surprised with a beautiful package!


composite1Inside, a set of two beautiful Le Creuset baking dishes, to match the sexy-red atmosphere of our Supernova!  Such a thoughtful gift, thank you V & K!

But, they did not stop there!  Just a few hours before this post was supposed to go live our friend V. surprised us with another red-hot gift to color our kitchen! The most beautiful Poinsettia ever… The photo doesn’t do it justice, it is a bit too dark already,   but I wanted to include it in this post. Too beautiful to pass…


From France, a very interesting ingredient found by the same friend who provided me with saffron, Ras-el-Hanout and vanilla beans. What can I say? I have a special talent to pick generous friends.  Powdered cepes mushrooms.  He had the opportunity of enjoying a dish prepared by a French chef using this delicacy, and went into an expedition to get some, then shared it with me.  I can hardly wait to put it to use, it smells AMAZING.

From Phil, two cute bottles of sprinkles.  He felt sorry for me because I saw some sprinkles that would be perfect for a recipe I wanted to make, but did not buy them.  When I went back to Marshalls a couple of days later,  they were gone.  These are different, but will work just fine… stay tuned…


In our kitchen…. Just in time for holiday season, 6 pounds of a favorite coffee, Peet’s…   Our day doesn’t start until we sit down to enjoy an early morning cappuccino!


In our kitchen…  a beautiful pasta bowl that I found on ebay.  A little larger than I anticipated, but it should come in handy in case we serve pasta for 22 guests and their pets.  😉


In our kitchen… a stainless steel rack for small appliances and special baking dishes.  After searching for options that would not make us go broke, we ordered the same type of racks we have in the lab, from Global Industrial.  The shelves can be customized according to our needs.  Perfect to lodge the microwave.

In our kitchen… from Bed Bath and Beyond, napkins that are stain-resistant and don’t need to be ironed.  I was skeptical when I bought a set of two just to try. I went back and got a few more. They have a soft, nice texture, and do wash very well.

In our kitchen… a delicious tea. I featured this brand before at IMK with their chamomile saffron blend. This one also contains pomegranate. I am addicted. Caffeine-free, soothing, I go through at least three cups during the day.

In our kitchen… a product I haven’t tried yet. I was intrigued by this Mexican canned yuca root, and decided to buy one can.  In Brazil we can find frozen, cooked manioc root, but here in the US it is not common.  Maybe this canned version could work as a starting point for “madioca frita” which we love so much!

Note added in January 2014:  I just tested it, and unfortunately it doesn’t work well for “mandioca frita”.  The canned product has too much moisture and I made a fantastic mess on the stove trying to fry it.  The best way to enjoy this is by simply warming them with a little butter, salt and pepper.  If you want “mandioca frita”, better cook the root from scratch… 
In our kitchen…  one of Phil’s favorite lunch items: an Ak-Mak cracker spread with a small amount of almond butter, and loaded – and I mean LOADED – with whole walnuts.  That might explain why the bag of walnuts I bought at Trader Joe’s and was hoping to use in a special recipe is almost empty.  😉

In our kitchen… some racks to organize our cabinets a little better. Also bought at Bed Bath and Beyond, you can imagine that those folks at the store are starting to address me by my first name…   “Hi, Sally, nice to see you AGAIN!”   😉

cabinet1cabinet2 Not to worry, the cabinets won’t be this empty for too long.  We still have a few boxes in the basement with dishes and baking stuff stored during the hellnovation.  One step at a time, we move on…

And now, a message from our faithful canine friends, obviously a very important part of our kitchen!

Buck says that the allegations of him sticking the nose into a bag of peanuts are preposterous.  What on Earth could possibly have caused such unfair treatment?

Osky says he loves his Mom more than any  bag of peanuts.  In fact, while she is watching TV, he turns his back to the tube so he can watch her instead…   Too sweet for words!


Chief wants to set the record straight. He expects peanuts handed to him, and thinks his brother’s sappy demeanor is a shame. The senior Jack Russell’s main mission in life is to find a sunny spot in the house to lay down and snooze. Two months shy of his 15th Birthday, we believe he’d owned that right.  😉


I hope you enjoyed this month’s walk through our kitchen… 

ONE YEAR AGO: Sourdough Mini-Rolls

TWO YEARS AGO: Do you eat your books?

THREE YEARS AGO: Mediterranean Skewers

FOUR YEARS AGO Fettuccine with Shrimp, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes