It is now time to join Celia’s great blog party, her In My Kitchen series, in which bloggers all over the world offer a little peek into their favorite room in the house.  I like to start with gifts, so here they are.

From our dear friend SL, two bags of paprika brought from Slovakia.  You cannot imagine how strong they smell, they put any of the stuff we can buy here in the US into shame.  He gave me two kinds, one sweet, one hot.  Oh, yeah….



Same friend, another super special gift brought from his recent visit to Saudi Arabia (yes, he got me saffron too).  Vacuum-packed dates, absolutely amazing! He also offered a very nice recipe to put these dates to good use. I’ve been very protective of this bag, so that I don’t find it almost empty when I’m ready to bake.


From friends back in Oklahoma, a nice ceramic bottle to “freeze” vodka.  A gift they brought all the way from Ukraine for us. It lives in the freezer, holding your favorite brand of vodka.  When you feel like having a shot, grab the bottle and bring it to play.  I don’t do the vodka shot thing, but vodka lovers will appreciate how long this bottle keeps it at the proper temperature.


From Cindy, who has given me countless cooking-related gifts, one more for the collection: chestnut flour!  She found it at a market in Dallas, and was super kind to grab a bag for me. The order of the universe is now restored. No more shortage of this unique ingredient. Thank you, Cindy!


Finally, from Phil, two bottles of beautiful pearls of sugar, I guess that means he would like to have some cupcakes in the near future?   😉


In our kitchen….

A small colander I bought on impulse at the grocery store, in a sale special with each item for a buck or so.  I fell in love with the vibrant coral color, so I brought it home.  Now I cannot live without it, it is perfect to drain cans of beans, chickpeas, rinse berries, that sort of stuff.

In our kitchen…

Something I’ve been craving for ages!  I wanted to have salt and ground pepper ready to grab with a teaspoon or my fingers.  Searched left and right for the perfect size, but nothing seemed to fit my dreams, until I found these on Paula’s shop at Etsy (Paulova Ceramics).  You can custom order them in several different colors.  Paula shipped them from Portland quite quickly, by the way.  Just keep in mind that the base doesn’t come with it, mine was a support for some plastic containers. I am still amazed at how well they matched those bowls.   As if they were made for that purpose!


In our kitchen…

A spoon rest, found at Bed Bath and Beyond… I think it is a good match for the salt and pepper bowls…  It works double duty as a place to rest a couple of eggs waiting to be scrambled, avoiding the dangers of them falling off the countertop cliff.  Yes, that happened in a distant past. The experience was traumatic, to put it mildly.



In our kitchen….

A huge plastic box to finally add some sense of organization to the flours I bring home. It lives in our freezer in the garage.The list of flours go not only on the top of the box, but is also stored in my iPhone.  The goal? To prevent me from buying yet another bag of spelt flour, when two are sitting at home.  (sigh)


In our kitchen…

The pantry received some more special attention, it is not easy to see in the photo, but some clear plastic boxes are now holding items that belong together (baking stuff, dried fruits, extracts, etc).


Still on the pantry subject, you win some, you lose some.  I saw a tip on Food Network and jumped on the idea like Buck jumps on a snake (side note: last year he killed 8 snakes in our backyard, this year the first casualty happened a few days ago, he is incredibly fast!).  Anyway, the tip was to buy plastic magazine holders like you see in the photo, and use them to store canned stuff, laying on their sides.  Unable to find them anywhere, I went to, but the ones I got were too narrow for that purpose. Bummer!  At least they were very cheap, and are now holding…. cooking magazines!   😉


I was forced to put Plan B in action: soda can containers for the fridge from Bed Bath & Beyond.  More expensive than the magazine holders, but at least they sort of worked.  Not ideal, though. I would like some type of storage in which the cans would be easier to see. Of course, I am vertically challenged, and that adds complexity to this crucial issue.



 In our kitchen….

We love these crackers, from Doctor Kracker.  One of our former graduate students got us hooked on them (thanks, Chuck!).  They are crunchy, with the right amount of seeds and nuts without making you feel like an oversized parrot.  Truly delicious with cheese, with hummus, or naked. The crackers. Don’t be naughty…


In our kitchen….

Another impulse buy from Bed Bath and Beyond.  In my defense, it was on sale. Again in my defense, it had a photo of Ming Tsai on the box.  He endorsed this knife, saying it never needs sharpening, and no food will stick to it. Perfect for tomatoes and cheese.  Passed my test.  Ming would never lie to one of his most loyal admirers. HA!


In our kitchen….

Saved the best for last…. drum roll please…. intense drum roll….

A sous-vide gadget from ANOVA!!!!

This is the new toy in its inaugural use…  All you need is a tall saucepan that can hold the gadget on its side.  Anova will keep the water in constant circulation, at the perfect temperature you set it to.  Of course, the size of your pan limits the amount of stuff you can cook under sous-vide.  But any container that is heat-safe and food-safe will work.  I have a huge plastic bin that can be used for larger cuts of meat.  Stay tuned for my first recipe using Anova… Anova, Supernova, our kitchen is at the cutting edge!


Because I do my nails on the kitchen island, I feel it’s totally appropriate to talk manicure, and introduce a new kid on the block, a holographic nail polish (you cannot go wrong with that, obviously).  Anyway, the color changes quite dramatically depending on the ambient light, pretty cool.  I might have to investigate other colors, you know, just for the sake of scientific experimentation.


(click to enlarge)

I almost closed this post without canine appearances, but the pups threatened to go on a good-behavior strike.  So I reconsidered my decision, and invited them in…

Chief has been very tired these past weeks…
He says hello from his dreams, his ball keeping him company…



Buck playing his favorite game: You eat, I stare. 
I won’t move. I won’t blink.  



A small dog with a hearty appetite, he shares another one of his many 
food obsessions…



Oscar’s ego is a bit inflated since he was featured all by himself in a recent post. Maybe that’s why he took a few liberties and jumped on the sofa as I was trying to take his picture. The superstar is partial to close-ups now.



Oscar might think he is a superstar, but “I” am the only one who goes running with Mom & Dad. Whenever she sits down to put those funny looking shoes, I glue to her.
Ready, Mom? Let’s GO!


I don’ t run. I get pampered. Only special dogs get the Kansas-Summer-Shave.

Are we jealous already?


Jealous?  You must be kidding me!  You go ahead and stay laying on comfy carpets, I rather go golfing with Mom and Dad.  Who is special now?


Ok, let’s admit it. We are both equally spoiled. 


Hope to see you soon, folks! Until next time we leave you with Mom’s regular blogging…


ONE YEAR AGO:  Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

TWO YEARS AGO: Baked Coconut and “The Brazilian Kitchen”

THREE YEARS AGO: Honey-Glazed Chicken Legs

FOUR YEARS AGO: French-Style Rolls

55 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: JUNE 2014

  1. Love this. I will be over at yours for dinner when you decide to use(sparingly I would imagine) the dates! I once almost missed my flight out of Dubai as the display and variety of stuffed dates had me so hypnotised I just could’t let go and leave them there. What we would do for good food…..


    • The Anova thing is actually pretty small, that’s why I got it, once you are done, it could potentially fit in a drawer, but we are keeping it a shelf in the kitchen, together with other small appliances: scale, blender, microwave oven…


  2. There is nothing better than and organised kitchen… I’m a huge fan and also love to label everything as well! I’m so jealous of your of your Anova Supernova… I might just have to buy myself one of those 🙂


        • By the way, sorry that your comment took so long to be published, it was filed under spam and I almost missed it completely, as I emptied my spam folder this morning…. lucky me, I realized yours was a real comment! I have a hard time “getting” spammers – what do they gain by spamming a food blog????


    • I don’t have that many tupperware thingies, but that is a very good idea, also could work for small baking dishes like mini muffin tins, stuff like that… hummmm…. you opened my horizons! Thank you!


  3. I’ve seen those sous-vide machines and am curious to see how food turns out prepared in them so I can’t wait for that post! You do have the most gourmet spices and ingredients.. the flavors that paprika alone would give your recipes would be incredible I’m sure. I have trouble keeping track of my pantry items and made a list.. but I’ve long since forgotten but slowly, every so slowly, I’m trying to use up and empty it out. Such nonsense having 5 extra jars of jam in my pantry;) I’ve enjoyed visiting “In My Kitchen” today! xx


    • thanks for stopping by, Barbara! I will have a post on the sous vide pretty soon… I already cooked 3 different recipes, and they all turned out great. Only had problems with one recipe, but that is a story to be told some other time…


  4. What an amazing collection of goodies in your kitchen. I don’t know what to mention first so I’ll just pick a couple.

    I’m not a vodka drinker and a bit of a klutz so I’d keep the ceramic vodka keeper in my china cabinet for safety. We all have storage issues and as someone whose spice bottles have been known to fall off the shelves onto the draining dishes below, and chip or even break them, I sympathize and always look for good solutions in posts I see.

    The pretty coral colander is something I’d love to have for the colour and utility. I’d love to have salt and pepper bowls on my counter but I don’t have a lot of working room as it is. I’d probably use a couple of small flowered bowls for now before looking for something designed for the purpose. I have a blue silicon spoon rest on my stove which also doubles as an egg holder when making an occasional brunch of ham or bacon and eggs. Well, that’s about it though I could go on and on.

    A hug and belly rub to Chief, Buck and Oscar in parting.


    • Chief, Buck and Oscar say thank you for the hug and the belly rub… 😉

      yes, I hear you on the vodka bottle, I knocked the lid off a couple of times while searching for stuff in the freezer, but it did not break… Phil would be VERY unhappy… so fingers crossed!


    • Oh, those bags are all paprika, one sweet, one spicy. I did not take a picture of the saffron, but I admit that it’s probably almost as much! I know, I know, I am spoiled….


  5. What would this post be without your furry children? 🙂 They’re looking very healthy and happy! Where to begin with all your treasures, Sally! Love the little salt and pepper pots, and there is nothing like having really good paprika to play with! Your pantry is looking very organised too. Now, I’m off to read more about that amazing new Anova toy of yours..Oh, and you’re right of course, Ming would never lie to us.. 😉


    • Fond of Ming too, I see?

      isn’t he something?

      Celia, thanks so much for stopping by, I know how overwhelming it must be to say hello to every post as your IMK is so popular! Anyway, great to be a part of it!


  6. Wow!! So many lovely things in your kitchen, where do I start? I’m very jealous of your paprika. I use it quite a lot. Sweet, hot and smoked. I look forward to see how you use it. And your salt and pepper bowls. So cute!! I also look forward to hearing about your sous-vide adventures! Thank you for sharing.


    • Sous-vide cooking will be up next! I am soooo excited about it… I’ve made 5 recipes so far…. super nice gadget!

      I also love smoked paprika, use it all the time… great minds season alike!


  7. I love the look of the paprika. Such gorgeous colours. I am constantly trying to find a better system for storing everything so I don’t double (or triple) up. I have yet to find anything but your clean pantry makes me think i should start by doing that 🙂 Love the mini colander. Sometimes the smaller things are so useful aren’t they. And thank you for the look at the salt & pepper pots. I have been searching for a good salt pot for ages. Will take a look.


    • Organization is tricky, isn’t it? I think no system is ideal, and no matter what, it’s a constant struggle to fight entropy. But it can also be pretty fun and rewarding, those short phases of “apparent bliss” 😉


  8. How do you like the fivefinger shoes for running? Well, it likely won’t surprise you to hear that my favorite part of ‘in my kitchen’ are your charismatic furry creatures. Let’s play my favorite game: ‘you eat, I stare’ :O. Please give Chief a big hug for me; so sweet napping next to his ball. So does the holographic nail polish color change according to mood too? 😉 (remember mood rings?) or just light?


    • Oh, I could write a lot about the five fingers. I’ve been using it for a couple of years, but for runs that last a maximum of 30 minutes only. I’ve been flirting with some crazy running ideas, so wnen I go for a longer run I switch to a bare foot style shoe that doesn’t have the fingers – it is just a very thin material, the shoe fits like a sort of sock almost. The problem with the five fingers is that in runs longer than 30 minutes it can be uncomfortable, at least for me. :Last month I had this tiny rock go inside between the shoe and the top of my foot and I only realized after running – it cut the skin. No big deal, but it’s something that can happen. The best thing about barefoot running, in my opinion, is that the ankles get super strong. Before barefoot running I had some difficulty with the jumping exercises from P90X (the ones in one foot only), but now I don’t even feel them that much.

      the nail polish doesn’t seem to change with the mood, just my hand movement does… 😉 😉 😉


    • I had already seen your meatball sliders, too cute for words!

      yeah, some cupcakes will have to be baked – but I need some psychological preparation before I go for that project. It is a cake. It is dangerous.


  9. Wow oh wow Sally, you have such a haul there! Love those little salt and pepper dishes! And the update on the puppies!


  10. Sally, I’m admiring your color-coordinated nails! (I have to keep mine short due to piano playing.) That mini-colander looks “handy” if I do say so. 🙂 Also, I’d feed Buck unlimited sushi and CA rolls for catching snakes… good dog. (Oscar & Chief are adorable, too!) Would it be possible to find out the supplier for that vodka chilling jug (from your Oklahoma friends… I live in OK!) That’s a ‘cool’ IMK gadget!


    • Hello there, Kim! Well, I sent a quick email to my friends, and they replied, no good news, I am afraid:

      No, this vodka chiller is not a mass produced item. We bought it in an art shop in the Southern Ukraine. Perhaps it is possible to find a ceramic bottle in the US but it will not look the same.

      so there you have it, we are the owners of something super special!

      as to nails, I think piano playing is much nicer than long finger nails, so there you go! 😉


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