In My Kitchen is a fun virtual event conceived by Celia, the hostess of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, a great food blog that goes beyond food and recipes. Way beyond. I’ve been a follower for a long time…  So what’s it all about? Bloggers from all over the world compose a post about what’s going on in their kitchens.  It is a monthly event, but I usually participate every 2 or 3 months.  I like to start talking about gifts, and here they are…

From a sweet couple, Virginia and Karl…. the sweetest of gifts!


I have a special project in my mind for this dulce de leche… a little involved and challenging, but maybe I can Zen myself into it.

From our friends from California, Deb and Jeff….


A beautifully wrapped gift, that once opened, revealed a gourmet item they bought in a recent trip to Portugal, home of my ancestors. Quite often sardines are packed in oil, these come with a perfectly smooth and delicious tomato base.

From our niece Carla…


Two tiny cute bottles of very special pepper, produced by Xingu indians from the North of Brazil. Red and white pepper, not too hot, but intensely flavored.  I was afraid the bottles would break in the plane, but they arrived in perfect condition…

From our niece Raquel…


A perfect little wooden board for our kitchen! I am sure it will help me during times of cake-baking…


In our kitchen….

green tomatoes
Green tomatoes harvested before the first frost (sad couple of words), now waiting in the kitchen, some might end up nicely red, but all will find their way into our meals one way or another…

In our kitchen….

Our latest addiction… mint tea!  This addiction started with a tip from our dear friend Denise who lives in England. If you feel any type of digestive discomfort after a meal, sip a cup of mint tea. It is almost magical, quite amazing how soothing it is…  Thank you, Denise!

In our kitchen…


A set of pinch bowls… I’ve always flirted with this type of small bowls that are often lined up in cooking shows and fancy cookbooks photos. They were on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond, and I brought them home. Take a look at how cute they look “in action.” Ingredients for a black pepper chicken curry, to be blogged about in the very near future. I promise.


In our kitchen…

sprinklesA bottle of shockingly pink sprinkles…  for a special recipe that was part of our Halloween party. Stay tuned…

In our kitchen…


Melting wafers to use for coating candy type concoctions.  Also used in a recipe for our Halloween party.  It was scary good…

In our kitchen….


Something very special brought by a friend from India to our Halloween party. These are banana chips, slightly salty and absolutely addictive!  Unfortunately they are not available in the US, they brought them from India just two days prior to our get together. Sad to inform that they are gone…  (sigh)

In our kitchen….


A coffee cup with my favorite actress of the past, Audrey Hepburn. If that doesn’t take your cappuccino to Tiffany’s level, nothing will…

In our kitchen…


Several bottles of Brazilian pinga (sugar cane distillate) brought from Brazil during our recent trip. Actually the second bottle to the left (Nega Fulô) we’ve had since the trip in 2014.  We could not find it this time, but brought a few bottles from different regions of the country. Caipirinhas, anyone?

In our kitchen…


Phil is always finding interesting jams and preserves to pump up his lunch.  Sour Cherry Preserves from Casa Giulia are on top of his favorites list right now.  He loves to take a Wasa bread or a nice cracker, spread peanut butter on top, add a smear of sour cherry preserves, and top it all with peanuts. Keeps him satisfied until dinner time.

Speaking of lunch: apparently, I am not always as lucky with my own preparations… Allow me to share. Apologies in advance…


A culinary disaster of epic proportions…  The monstrosity above was intended to be a spaghetti squash fritter nesting a sunny-side egg. The recipe is from a very reputable food blog, but the photo and description of its deliciousness on that site have little to do with my outcome.  Granted, I made it at lunch time in a complete hurry, but… don’t try this at home, folks. It was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever made, tasted almost as funky as it looked.  I posted it on my Facebook page and one of my friends remarked that it looked like a bird getting ready to fly. Too bad it did not fly away for real.  Oh, well… Keep calm, and go on cooking…


And now, it’s time to let our furry friends say hello.


Chief will be exactly 16 years and 9 months old when this post goes live. He still sleeps a lot, perhaps most of the time, either on his comfy soft bed or sometimes outside in some type of improvised bed designed by his brothers. He used to dig tunnels underneath fences and show up yards away on the other side, but cannot dig anymore with his weak arthritic legs. Clearly, his instinct to get comfy is unchanged by aging.


Hi, my name is Osky, and I made my Mom late for work because after five minutes outside I came back covered in burrs.  Mom says I am a big whiner and a sissy because of my crying as she cleaned me. She also said the neighbors would call the police thinking someone was being murdered in our home.  I agree with my Dad, Mom is the real Drama Queen around here.


What do you mean, GET OFF THE COUCH???? I am not sure I get it…  wanna play fetch?

Osky would never leave his brother sin by himself… the moment Dad went to the lab on a Saturday morning, he found his way into his favorite armchair… Obviously, Mom made him jump off after she took the picture. “No dogs on furniture” is a tightly enforced rule. Obviously.

Before I say goodbye, here is a video showing the pure joy of  Oscar and Buck when we finally picked them up from the kennel, after 16 long days away… Chief can be heard furiously barking in the background, as he knew we were there and wanted to come out too…

That’s all for now, folks!  Until next time, 


ONE YEAR AGO: Helen Fletcher’s Oatmeal Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, November 2013

THREE YEARS AGO: The Lab Move and New Beginnings

FOUR YEARS AGO: Honey-Oat Pain de Mie

FIVE YEARS AGO: Carrot and Leek Soup

SIX YEARS AGO: Chicken Parmigiana 101