It’s time for another virtual tour around our kitchen, following the ever-growing crowd of bloggers who participate in the event launched by my dear Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  As usual, I like to start my posts with gifts, and they are very special this time!

Marky’s Caviar, a gift from one of our graduate students when he came back from his trip to visit his family

By far the best caviar we ever tasted… smooth, very delicately flavored, not at all fishy. Perfect texture, a real delicacy!

From another graduate student in our lab, a special sweet brought all the way from India, called  Ladoo. Many types of ladoo are common in India, this one is a Boondi Ladoo, made with lentils, in a complicated process that results in total Nirvana. Trust me, this is the stuff that makes you think you took off on a magic carpet.  I wish I was brave enough to try to make it from scratch. The shiny covering is edible silver. It is not too sweet, with a subtle taste of saffron. I could eat these every day…


The vacuum sealer we had for over 10 year died a painful and loud death a month ago. My beloved husband gave me a new one so I can go on with my sous-vide adventures without a glitch.


And now, la pièce de resistance… From a reader of my blog, who insists on remaining nameless, I received a package by mail. Inside, a bottle of white truffle oil, a nice truffle shaver, and… ready for this?  A huge fresh black truffle, carefully packed in rice.  Ok, go ahead and hate me, I know you want to.  Never in a million years I would imagine such a special gift. Thank you, my secret friend! Of course, I’ll share with all of you soon my culinary adventures with this amazing ingredient.


In our kitchen…

BreadbasketA plastic bread proofing basket, I haven’t used it yet, but I learned from Karen that this type of plastic banetton works very well. The bright orange color is like a burst of sunshine in our kitchen, making me forget the frozen tundra outside. That is a good thing.

In our kitchen…


A new pan to bake individual type brownies. Got it at, it’s very sturdy. I used it to make a Brazilian delicacy that should be in the blog soon. Stay tuned.

In our kitchen…
A bottle of coconut aminos, a product that can be used exactly as soy sauce, but it has less sodium, and is soy and gluten-free, in other words, a Paleo-friendly ingredient.

In our kitchen….

avocadoOilI’ve been flirting with avocado oil forever, finally went for it.  Very flavorful, but not heavy at all. Drizzled on top of tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado slices for a Mex version of Caprese, it is delicious.  It makes great salad dressings too.

In our kitchen…


As you might remember from a recent guest post, we didn’t have the right cookie cutters to make heart-shaped Linzer cookies.  As Valentine’s products started to show up at our grocery store, I stumbled upon this little box, and of course, had to bring it home. We see Linzer cookies re-visiting our kitchen in the near future!

In our kitchen….


Raw honey, which means it is obtained straight from the beehive with very little processing afterward. One of the things I’ve been trying is taking a teaspoon before bedtime to see if it improves my sleeping. For some people, it stabilizes blood sugar during the night, which is one of the most common reasons for waking up many hours before sunrise…

In our kitchen…

A new product by Penzeys Spices, Roasted Garlic powder. I was placing an order for two of their blends that we use a lot, Southwest Seasoning and Pasta Sprinkle, and the website advertised this newly introduced product.  I decided to give it a try.  Very flavorful, not too potent, just right.

In our kitchen…

Another product I’ve been flirting with forever, vanilla paste.  Looking forward to using it soon. It smells terrific!

In our kitchen…


A bottle of almond butter with coconut in it.  I have a recipe in mind for this one, it starts with a C and it ends with OOKIE.  Can you guess it?

In our kitchen….

AlmondMilkI know that a respectable food blogger makes her or his own almond milk.  Not happening in my world anytime soon. I’ve been trying all sorts of brands, and this is so far my favorite, it seems to be the one closest to homemade, as far as addition of extra ingredients is concerned. Very nice almond flavor,  smooth texture.  Love it!

In our kitchen….Pure Irish Butter… A special product that is much better than the regular brands sold at the grocery store.  Plus, the wrapping is adorable… Recommended by Dorothy, from Shockingly Delicious.

And now, it’s time that we allow our adorable four-legged friends to say hello and share their views on the beginning of a new year…

Chief is in heaven because he got a new bed.. Come to think of it, by the time this post goes live, he will be just a couple of days shy of his 16th Birthday!  Sweet Sixteen…
Super fluffy, probably feels very comfy on his aging body.  Perfect for his afternoon nap. His morning nap. And his evening nap. He does get some serious competition, though…


He also got a special gift from Aunt Cindy,  a pair of booties that are helping him a lot, as our wood floor is too slippery for his arthritic legs.

Thank you, Aunt Cindy!

Oscar is a bit jealous of all the attention his brother is getting, but he knows that Mom cannot resist his begging eyes, and will end up giving him the cookie she is holding behind her back.

OskyCookieMay I have that cookie now, Mom?

Thank you… now I’m ready for a belly rub, it helps me digest that cookie…



Buck and his favorite activity: chewing a tennis ball until it’s totally bald. A ball used to last a couple of days, but now he can be done with it in a few hours. (sigh)

BuckPuffynoseWhat do you mean “you are ruining this ball?”


My second favorite activity is to relax with Mom by the fireplace when it’s too cold to go outside. See how handsome I am? Not only that, but I am also conquering some of my fears, as you can see in a short video by clicking here.



That’s all for now, folks!  We’ll see you again soon… in the mean time, enjoy Mom’s cooking…

Celia, thanks for hosting this fun event!  For my readers: if you want to take a virtual tour of kitchens all over the world, visit Celia’s site and look at the list of posts on her right side bar.

ONE YEAR AGO: Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

TWO YEARS AGO: Green Olive, Walnuts and Pomegranate Salad

THREE YEARS AGO: Romanian Flatbreads

FOUR YEARS AGO: Ziti with Artichokes and Meyer Lemon Sauce

FIVE YEARS AGO: Blasted Broccoli, Stove-top version


46 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: FEBRUARY 2015

  1. Whoa Sally, so many goodies in your kitchen this month! I think my favourites, apart from the puppies, are the Boondi Ladoo (yum) and the Linzer cookie set! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen, and happy cooking!


  2. Caviar, black truffles and pure Irish butter … that’s some pretty nifty goodies. Chief’s yawning little face is adorable. Of course Oscar and Buck are adorable too. 🙂 Why is Buck afraid of the wood at the bottom of the door?


    • Buck is afraid of fetching his ball if it goes behind that piece of wood, or behind electrical cords, it seems that anything “odd” between him and the ball is intimidating. He will stand there staring, after a while will give a little bark to call my attention, pretty funny.

      the piece of wood he can face with some encouragement, but electrical cords, no way!


  3. OK – I cannot help but be blind to everything shown after those shots of truffle and truffle oil came into play . . . . our brief truffle season beginning in a few months and I really only have to travel some 40-50 kms to ‘get there’ and join one of the autumnal groups: perchance you have encouraged me to make a few moves!! Buck;s video really is quite unusual . . . well, in the end he did make it, but what on earth began that fear . . . 🙂 ?


    • Not sure what goes on in his little mind, that Buck. Chief is his half brother, and has always been afraid of electrical cords if they are between him and his toy – never had a problem with the piece of wood, which we keep there as an extra lock for the sliding doors at night. I don’t think Buck was every threatened with a wood, he was abused in different ways, poor thing. Just tied outside for his whole life. No petting, no loving ,no attention. A bowl with water and food nearby.


  4. ah cute doggies. i love everything in your kitchen! that almond milk looks fab. I have made my own macadamia milk, and i am thinking of trying soy milk as i found an easy recipe. and wow how wonderful to get a truffle as a gift. you must let us know if the honey makes a diff. to your sleep patterns. i have terrible insomnia too.


  5. Looks like you received some delicious gifts! I enjoy the Penzy’s pasta sprinkles as well, just used it last night in a cous cous one pot meal. I saw the new garlic advertised and am tempted to get it as well.


    • We use the pasta sprinkle so much! Our croutons get a little sprinkle before getting toasted, I use it on salads, as a seasoning for meatballs, meatloaves, it’s such a nice blend of spices! And the Southwest goes perfectly with roasted butternut squash…


  6. Whaaa? You’re darn tootin’ we’re jealous! That’s quite the mysterious reader gift Sally… and an actual truffle packed in rice? Incroyable. So thoughtful. I had my first mushroom oil only a few years ago and I could not believe how distinctively flavored it was. Not just gimmickry – this stuff is real GOOD.

    Happy 16th Birthday Chief – what a big day! Those booties are the cutest. Where would our doggies be without their tennis balls? 😀


    • Thanks, Kelly! Tomorrow is Chief’s big day… not sure he will appreciate it, but a bath will be part of his celebrations…. 😉 And some human food, bien sur!

      yes that reader surprised me indeed – and it’s not even someone who comments. I get feedback from that person exclusively by email… go figure!


    • Well, unfortunately I’m afraid you won’t be too thrilled…. chicken, and beef were involved…. although you could use the sauce I made for the meat to top different things. Stay tuned… 😉


  7. I don’t know where to start or what to do — come hang out in that kitchen and enjoy all those goodies or cuddle and play with the dogs. It’s all too much! We have a bottle of white truffle oil but not a REAL ACTUAL truffle! Now and again we will put a few drops of the truffle oil in the melted butter we drizzle over our popcorn on Netflix and popcorn night. Last week we made a Giada recipe Truffled Mushroom Mac and Cheese that also used the oil and that we should probably never make again. Love your kitchen tours!


  8. I have Singing Dog Vanilla Extract and also one of their lip balms. I bought it at a food show but I’m not actually sure if it’s available in Australia any more. I love that baneton – I’m going to have to look out for one. Buck continues to be hilarious. cheers Fiona xx


  9. My goodness, all the loot in your kitchen makes me wonder if you have a storage garage off your kitchen. I bought Singing Dog Vanilla at the same show that Fiona did. Buck is very brave indeed.


    • We have a basement, and there is where all the baking sheets and stuff I don’t use often goes – ice cream machine, pressure cooker, baking pans, my stove top smoker (which is a shame I never use). It helps a lot with storage, if you don’t mind going up and down to get it.


  10. I love these posts and look forward to them! When I saw the orange banneton I went “ooh, I have that!” and then saw you mentioned me! I love mine very much AND it can be cleaned in the dishwasher! I spray it with oil, and then coat it with a mixture of flour and rice flour. P.S. I love vanilla bean paste too and always have it in my house.


    • I was hoping you would see the post! awesome you have the same size, then. I think they are color coded… I haven’t used it yet, I am going on a wild adventure today baking a gluten-free bread. Is Sally going nuts? Well, she might. She is using pecan flour, so that’s nuts enough


  11. Oh my goodness so much going on in your kitchen… I am way too jealous of that truffle to ever comment again!!! 🙂 LOL no really, how exciting for you 🙂 enjoy! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Liz xx


  12. The doggy booties are just adorable!!!! Love those! But seriously, you had me at the truffle. I could barely see anything after that or remember anything before it. I LOVE truffle. It’s ridiculous the power that flavor has over me. We purchased a black truffle at the holidays last year and it was worth every stinking penny. Unfortunately I ended up with a wicked head cold at the same time, so can’t say that I got to really fully enjoy it, but still. Oh, so, good. Mmmmm. I’m drooling just thinking of it. Can’t wait to see what you did with it. 🙂


  13. Lots of wonderful goodies in your kitchen this month! I just love your orange bread proofer. And yes I’m a wee bit jealous that you got such lovely truffle produce from a very special friend, you are very lucky to have such a beautiful friend – looking forward to your wonderful recipe used for the fresh truffle! See you next month for IMK


  14. Sally, I’m hoping my late arrival to your IMK post still finds you (and your beloved pups) in good health. They’re adorable.. as are you! Hoping you’re enjoying that Kerry Gold… truffles (swoon)… and caviar (double swoon.) Goodness! For many years, I’ve been meaning to make ladoo, too… thanks for the shove in the right direction.


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