Here I am to invite my readers for a virtual tour of our kitchen, following the party started by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial many years ago.  It is such a fun series of posts, lots of bloggers (including Celia herself) participate every single month, which I find quite amazing. I am more of a “every couple of months” kind of person. I like to start my tour with gifts, and I’ve got a few to show you…

From our friend Cindy, who came to visit and make macarons in the Bewitching Kitchen….  Yes, French macarons, which shall be on the blog soon. In fact, we had a great cooking weekend, with a surprise tour through Brazilian cooking. Stay tuned!


Cindy brought us three types of artisan chocolates from a small company in Nashville…  My favorite was the Salt & Pepper Buttermilk White, different from anything I’ve ever tasted, sweet and tangy, absolutely delicious. Phil’s favorite was the one with coffee bean, although we both also loved the chili and cinnamon. Coffee and chocolate. Cannot get much better than that, right? Thank you, Cindy, not only for the chocolates, but for driving all the way to The Little Apple to cook with me…

From Kristy (who blogs over at Eat, Play, Love), who came with her whole family for a short but fun visit on their way to Colorado…


A cutting board with a knife-friendly surface and beautiful design of olive branches… It is so beautiful, I have a hard time using it as a cutting board. Instead I place cheeses on top of it, for a stunning look. August was super busy in our kitchen, with so many distinguished guests!  I am sure most of my readers know Kristy’s blog and have seen her beautiful family cooking together. You absolutely MUST read their series of Chopped in which the girls compete against the boys. We had a blast with them, made small pizzas on the grill, and a breakfast of blueberry pancakes next morning before their departure.


Mr. N, Miss A, and their proud Daddy after breakfast. And here we are in the photo below, with Kristy and I in exercise clothes, because I asked her to help me out with the infamous Crane Pose which has eluded me for over 6 years.  One day I’ll get there. One day… (sigh). By the way, Miss A can do pull-ups in the bar like nobody’s business!  Very impressive! And she goes from Crane Pose to head stand as if it’s a natural movement for human beings. Don’t try that at home, folks…

BackyardShotPlease disregard my oddly twisted leg position. Not sure what happened there. Must have been something wrong with the alignment of the stars..

On with with the gifts…

From one of our graduate students….


The most amazing black caviar!  His Mom came for a visit and brought it from a special store in Pennsylvania where she lives. Phil and I shared it, fighting over the last bit. I made bread for the occasion. This stuff is pure gold. Black gold…  So smooth and mild!

From Phil, a surprise gift…


This cup was made by a British artist called Mary Rose Young. Years ago I found two matching cups at a Pier 1 store and brought them home. They became our special cups for the weekend cappuccino. Sure enough, yours truly, the one with fast careless fingers, broke one of them. Major bummer.  I searched everywhere for a replacement, with no luck.  One day Phil gets something in the mail and much to my amazement it was one of Mary Rose’s cups. He managed to find it on ebay.  He is the ultimate ebay-detective…  Ok, they are not matchy-matchy, but close enough. In fact, I think they make a beautiful pair… Compatible but unique, each in their own colorful way. I love her work!  You can check her pottery with a click here.


In our kitchen….


A new, kind of fancy  bread toy for me…  After reading rave reviews about it on a discussion group for artisan bread baking, I had one of those attacks of impulse buy and got this bread cloche at  The lure of Amazon Prime free shipping is hard to resist, particularly for an item that is so heavy. I love the red color, but that probably goes without saying…  😉

In our kitchen….


My first production using the bread cloche.  I made one of the recipes that came with it, a Black Olive Rosemary Rye Bread.  Simple formula, commercial yeast.  Perfect to cut in small squares, toast, and enjoy with that tasty caviar as you maybe noticed in the caviar photo above.

In our kitchen….


We are not brave enough to make sushi at home, it’s something we reserve for eating out, but whenever Phil finds great quality salmon for sale, he plays sushi-chef and we pretend we are in Tokyo.

In our kitchen….


This was one tricky ingredient to find.  I needed to use in a particular recipe that shall be blogged about soon. 99% of what you find in stores contains seeds, and it is more like a jam, not preserves. I was about to give up and order online, but finally found this gem at our town’s Hy-Vee.

In our kitchen….


We are quite fond of Wasa bread, but this type quickly became my favorite. Not easy to find, so whenever I spot it at the store, I grab a couple of boxes.  Light, crispy, great flavor, much milder than all other Wasa versions.

In our kitchen….


Small containers of chicken and vegetable broth.  I like the fact that they hold just 8oz, so for many recipes that’s all you’ll need. Open, use, call it a day. I must say though, that I get into intense eye-rolling mode every time I see the term “bone broth”, as if Paleo-afficionados “invented” it.  What’s wrong with calling them beef stock, or chicken stock like every single cook has done for decades? Noooo, let’s pretend it’s a totally different entity (triple sigh).

In our kitchen….


These are very small, appetizer type plates, I found them at Marshall’s.  They have a nice pattern and of course the bright yellow is impossible to resist…

In our kitchen….

FarmersMarketSmall tomatoes from the farmer’s market, yellow and red, juicy and sweet….

In our kitchen….
Drum roll please, these are FROM OUR BACKYARD!


I can hardly believe these tomatoes are from our own garden!  Thanks to Phil, who brought 4 small plants home in early June, and patiently took care of them.  I stayed as far away as possible to avoid doing them any harm. Aren’t they gorgeous?  And we also got great results with Serrano peppers…


And now, let’s hear it from the three furry friends who keep the Bewitching Kitchen (and its surroundings) as a very lively place… Well, maybe not always lively, as you can see in these shots.



Mom and Dad went for a trip to this strange place called Colorado and off to the kennel we went. It took forever, but one day they showed up and finally brought us back home. There is nothing better than a nice snooze in our comfy beds to celebrate life coming back to normal.   You can bet we are having wonderful dreams!


Now, of course,  our brother Oscar has his own interpretation of what a nice sleep involves.
We think he is a bit nuts.


You may think I’m nuts, but “I” am the Chosen One, the One Who Bonds with Daddy. So there!


Well, “I” am bonding with my Mom, even if it seems I’m asleep…
Note from Mom: this was really quite sweet.  I had to work from home one morning a couple of  weeks ago, and Buck’s routine was all changed. Instead of being outside with Oscar, he stayed in. The Real Chosen One, I suppose…  He had no problem adjusting to the change. Laid by my side and snored away happily for more than one hour!


Ok, I admit it. I’m not really bonding in this shot.
I am more photobombing, a skill I’ve been perfecting for years now.

Buck 1 x 0 Daddy, the photographer.

And to close this post, a couple of videos.

First we have Buck and his absolute passion for the hose and anything to do with water.  I would like you to notice in the background of the video, at the lower level of the backyard, a doghouse.  More on that after the video.

Anyway, while Buck is having all that fun, Oscar simply cannot get far enough from the action. He absolutely despises water, hoses, baths. Once the hose is shutdown, he peeks out, as if saying “is it safe to come out now?”  Priceless….


But he has his chance to get excited too. Twice a week we go jogging before lunch. The dogs somehow realize  it is “the day”, and start going nuts even before I do anything like changing into my running outfit or grabbing their leashes. I believe they do read minds, you know?

Well, that’s all for now, folks!  I hope you enjoyed the little tour of our kitchen, and please stop by Celia’s blog where you can get a virtual tour of many kitchens around the world…   See you next time!

ONE YEAR AGO: Sour Cherry Sorbet: A Labor of Love

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen – September 2013

THREE YEARS AGO: Raspberry Sorbet at Summer’s End

FOUR YEARS AGO: When three is better than two  (four years with Buck!)

FIVE YEARS AGO: Grating Tomatoes (and loving it!)

SIX YEARS AGO: A Peachy Salad for a Sunny Day

37 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: SEPTEMBER 2015

  1. As usual your kitchen post makes me drool with envy and appetite. Caviar and chocolate … and sushi. I DO make sushi at home and the salmon is perfectly sliced to put in my hand (temaki) or regular (maki) rolls. What a pretty cloche. Of course, I love red as well. And even though I’ve never made a rye loaf, I’m doing my bread baking bit with home made English muffins today.

    Love the 3 furry ones, especially Oscar hiding from water hose. Napping … it’s a GOOD thing.


  2. Too hard to choose from your kitchen [and home] this month – but since we are all individuals . . . the four-legged ‘boys’ have definite competition in Mr N and Miss A [sheesh they have grown since I last saw photo!] ; I’d probably choose your bread just a wee bit more than that gorgeous salmon and the tomatoes will have to fight it out with the peppers . . . . what a joyful post!!!!


    • Agree with you… it is amazing how fast they are growing… if you go in her blog and scroll backwards, it’s cool to see how little they were in the beginning… time does fly!


  3. I love that we actually were in your kitchen! We had such a wonderful visit!! We only wish it could have lasted longer. 🙂 The kids will enjoy the pictures and videos of the boys. Too adorable! And I can’t wait for the macaroons post and to see what you do with the raspberry preserves. Thank you again Sally and Phil! We miss you already.


  4. I am drooling over that chocolate…lucky you! You know, making sushi isn’t all that difficult. I bet you could do it easily. Also, I love your dogs they have a lot in common with mine; sleeping all day that is!


  5. Oh those little yellow plates are darling! We are lucky that we have a small Japanese store near us that is known for its fish and we can buy sashimi grade fish there, in small quantities so we can have a mix. We do love sashimi and sushi too!


  6. Love reading about the dogs as usual. Spot would be in the doghouse with Oscar, He is afraid of the hose – I think
    that before he was rescued someone may have threatened him with one – maybe to get him off their property.


    • Glad you enjoyed the virtual walk through our kitchen…. those chocolates were amazing, unfortunately they have been gone for a while now, we munched on little pieces quite often


  7. Oh my Goodness!! so happy to see this post (just don’t tell my husband I snuck into blogosphere land on a family dedicated long weekend 😉 how could I resist?) Sally, what a way to open with those gorgeous roses and you know how I feel about chocolate… but, I must say that my heart really started singing when I saw the photos of you and Phil with the Eat, Play, Love family. What a great visit that must have been… wish I could have been there craning with you lovely ladies 😀 so much fun. The cutting board… agreed, showpiece it is; beautiful. And well, you know how much I love seeing the photos of your pups… could they be more different? So cute!! xx (ps, love the colour and design on those appy plates).


    • I knew you would love to see the EPL family! I asked them permission to post photos, and was so glad they did not mind… Thank you for making an exception and stopping by on such a special weekend, and no worries, I won’t tell your husband. It’s in the vault! 😉


  8. Sally, your black olive & rosemary rye bread looks fantastic – do you have a recipe for that? I just bought some rye flour and yours sounds amazing – I would love to make it right away (I’m a bit excited!) I’m sure your gorgeous red cloche made it taste even better (love red too!) Kaluga caviar, you lucky lady – I’ve never had it but I heard it’s to die for. Great fresh produce from your garden too – love a good chilli and tomato. Thanks for sharing, see you next month #IMK


    • Hello there, can you drop me an email? I will send you the recipe, because it might take me a very long time to blog on it… Drop me a line at

      I know I could check your email address in my wordpress data, but I find that a bit intrusive and would rather get it straight from you 😉


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