First of all, I’d like to wish all my readers a wonderful New Year! To start things off on a great note, I join the virtual party started by Celia and now hosted by Maureen from The Orgasmic Chef, sharing a little bit of what goes on around one of the most important spots in any home: the kitchen!


I have quite a few gifts to share with you, starting with a wonderful surprise I got in the mail shipped all the way from Australia. Celia, the angel behind In My Kitchen sent me this gorgeous letter opener. It sits right by our cork wine screw board, because I always open my mail right there in the kitchen. I love it! Not only because I am fond of all things shiny, but because Celia made it herself.  THAT makes it ultra super special. Thank you, Celia!

From a friend from KSU, a batch of home-made macarons, wrapped in a beautiful package and delivered right to our door!  Can you spell lucky? Lucky Sally? Yeap. That just about sums it. They were beyond delicious, my favorite was the pink one filled with strawberry jam. Jam made from scratch, in case you are wondering.

From my stepson and his wife, C & C also known in the blog as “the coolest couple in LA”, a custom-made apron. Not just any apron, mind you. This is a Hedley & Bennett apron. Oh, my….. I can only hope I can make it justice. One thing is certain, I am not baking any cakes wearing it.

From my dear hubby, a new food processor was my Christmas gift!  My Cuisinart was 18 years old and started acting his age, almost failing on me as I was making hummus for one of our recent receptions. I love this 7-cup model from KitchenAid, very smooth to operate, the plastic bowl is quite sturdy. Made perfectly sliced potatoes for a gratin in seconds, allowing the mandoline to stay in the cabinet and my fingers stay unharmed.

Also from Phil, another find from his adventures on ebay, two cute coffee cups, mini-tiny size, perfect for a shot of espresso or what we call a “mini-ccino”.  From a favorite artist, Mary Rose Young. That woman loves color almost as much as I do…

Finally, from our dear friends from Brazil, Vanda and Claudio, a wonderful platter they brought with them all the way from São Paulo (as you read this we are having fun in the ski slopes of Silverthorne, hopefully with all the bones in correct alignment).




In our kitchen….


A new, shockingly red pie plate that was on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond last month. I have a hard time resisting things that are bright red, as you know by now….

In our kitchen…


Have you ever heard of a pie bird???? I had not until I saw this apple pie recipe from Alton Brown. I had to have one. The pie bird works by allowing steam to escape from the inside of the pie as it bakes. Plus, it looks simply adorable.  Here you can see its shape better.

After getting it, I found out you it can also be used in savory pies. Any pie that calls for slits cut on top can be instead made with the little bird in the center.

In our kitchen….


Since we are on the subject of pies, I finally upgraded from a bag of beans (which I’ve used for 6 years straight) to real pie weights. Also found on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Haven’t tried them yet, but intend to do so in the near future.

In our kitchen….


This is actually several months old, but for one reason or another I forgot to include in previous IMK posts. When I started watching America’s Test Kitchen on TV, I could not help but notice they use this pan all the time. It is their number one recommended non-stick pan and I must say it is awesome!  I don’t have enough adjectives for it, See it in action working on a batch of zucchini noodles…. This particular recipe won’t be in the blog until I tweak it a little, though.



In our kitchen….


Duck legs and rendered duck fat from d’Artagnan… for a duck confit made for Phil’s Birthday dinner… on the blog sometime in the near future, I promise! It was quite likely one of the best meals I cooked in 2015.

In our kitchen…


A very odd-looking egg… no idea what happened with this egg, in fact if anyone has an explanation for its wavy shell, please let me know in the comments.  I ended up discarding it, as when I broke it the egg yolk did not look quite right. Better safe than sorry.
In our kitchen….


A batch of Yorkshire pudding that was our side-dish at Christmas Eve… made by my dear husband, who also prepared a Mexican-Style Prime Rib Roast (already on the blog, click here for recipe).

In our kitchen….


A new cookbook!  How could I resist it, when it was written by John Amici, the man behind a blog I’ve been following for a long, long time? The book is just like John, classy and warm, and showcases authentic family recipes he’s been collecting over the years. You need it. Did you know that?  To order, click here.

And finally, in our kitchen…


Great friends! Great times! 


But, as usual, our pups are anxious to say hello….

Chief had a few health problems, so he prefers to be left alone to rest this month.  I am sure he will be back next time to join the fun…

Buck shows off his style and elegance in authentic holiday mode…


Whereas Oscar shows a slightly different concept of style and elegance….


And he definitely does not learn from his mistakes. Here he is covered in burrs, once again having to go through the complicated process of combing them off. Quite a bit of whining and complaining, as if Daddy was skinning him alive (eye roll to the ceiling).


But, of course, we all know how vocal Oscar can be….




That’s all for now, folks! More to come as the New Year moves along!



ONE YEAR AGO: And another year starts…

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen: January 2014

THREE YEAR AGO: Tacos with Pork in Green Sauce

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Maui New Year!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Natural Beauty

SIX YEARS AGO: Sunflower Seed Rye

47 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  1. I totally love these posts! Apron = cute. New food processor = jealous. Coffee cups = adorbs. Pie bird = I bought one when I read Alton Brown’s apple pie recipe but have never had the nerve to actually make it! Even bought the pan. Maybe 2016 will be my year! Duck legs and fat = where did you get that?? Need!! Egg = weird. I’d have tossed it too. Pie weights = love mine. Nonstick pan = oh goodness, now I “need” another pan. Doggie = adorable as always. To you = Happy new year. xoxo.


  2. I always hate to see the end of your posts because they always make me smile or fill me with a bit of good hearted envy and this post is no different. I know when I start seeing the dogs, My fun is nearly over. I have a white pie bird and the same pie weights. I need to point my husband to this post because my 20 year old Cuisinart has already sort-of died. The on-off button no longer works so to make it work I have to flip the power switch at the wall. (our power points have on-off buttons too) I definitely need a new one. I have a Thermomix but I like a food processor I can see what’s going on.

    Thanks so much for joining in In My Kitchen for my first time. xxoo


    • I could not skip this month, your first…. no way! 😉

      I know Thermomix is a fantastic machine, but I do believe there is some stuff the food processor does such a perfect job – I like to have it available


  3. Happy New Year Sally! I love these posts and always look forward to seeing the dogs.
    Sorry Chief isn’t feeling so good. Sadly I lost my dear Spot in Nov ….just getting round to thinking of getting another rescue.


    • Sorry to hear about Spot…. We thought Chief was not going to make it pass November, but he recovered once again. Tough puppy that one. Headed to his 17th Birthday….


  4. The happiest, most interesting and productive of New Years . . . may as many matters go ‘your way’ as possible. Fabulous and varied January list: love the unusualness of the letter opener sent by Celia. Naturally and as usual ’tis hard to ‘beat’ the furry family members . . . as long as he is not miserable hope that Chief has a little more time to be with you . . . [and tho’ I don’t usually bake, actually have a piebird in a gleaming white . . .


    • At the end of my working day have just indulged in 10 luxurious minutes of visiting d’Artagnan – oh, I wish!! What a fabulous artesan choice – I would want to buy half the shop!! And it may be very expensive for the US, but with our specialist prices here the goods seem quite affordable on occasion . . . lucky you, am looking forwards to the post!


      • Yeah, d’Artagnan is amazing! I hope to have the post still in January, so stay tuned! Chief is not miserable, he was for a little while and we thought it was the end, but… that tough boy is like a Phoenix…. 😉


  5. this post was a really good one! I just ordered my own Hedley & Bennett apron – inspired by your post, I’d been meaning to but couldn’t remember the name – thanks for the link. One of my upcoming projects is duck confit – I’m going to try it poached in olive oil. Best to the furry ones. Good job on all… happy New Year’s.


    • Glad you managed to find the apron thought my post, how cool! I made duck confit twice in the past, both times mixing a bit of duck fat with olive oil, but you can definitely use olive oil exclusively if you want, I think Emeril Lagasse does it that way, if I remember correctly

      Happy New Year, Kath!


  6. Happy New Year dear Sally! You are absolutely rocking the Hedley & Bennett apron but to do it full justice I think it should be covered in flour (and maybe a bit of chocolate too) so I see some cake baking in your future😀. The holiday scarf on Buck with his head cocked just so… priceless (meanwhile, thought the egg was a stress ball! now there’s a kitchen concept😉 — smooches all around x ♥


    • 🙂 The egg as a stress ball, now THAT’s a daring gadget! Love it!

      I think I shall wait a little on the flour and chocolate, but who knows? maybe 2006 is the year of the cake? You’d think?


  7. I do enjoy reading these IMK posts, Sally, and it was incredibly kind o you to mention our cookbook in your post. Thank you very much! I, too, have those non-stick pans and they perform every bit as good as was claimed. Happy to hear that Chief has rebounded. It’s hard to watch one of our four-legged family members not doing well. Max wasn’t well for much of the past week, although he’s all right now. What a relief! Love the apron, too. I’ve thought about getting myself some sort of apron but at this point, with the vast majority of my shirts splattered beyond repair, it would be like closing the barn doors after the horses have run off.
    I hope that 2016 is filled with peace and joy for you and your loved ones, Sally.


  8. Happy New Year Sally. I must say that I’m a bit of a fan of red too – I just love your red pie dish. Anything red, its hard to turn away🙂 Seriously, you need to wear your new apron when your baking, it needs to be loved and appreciated, sitting in a drawer won’t do that apron justice! Enjoy baking in your new apron, you deserve it🙂 Lots of goodies in you kitchen this month #IMK


  9. What a fun peek in your kitchen. Loving the apron, every time I saw Holiday Baking Championship I kept thinking I really “need” to get one! I remember seeing the pie bird but haven’t gotten one, yet…


  10. Happy New Year Sally. Love your apron. If I wear an apron, I never splash anything. If I don’t wear an apron, I’m covered in food from head to foot! I’ve never actually used a pie bird, but they make sense. It’s so pretty, I think it’s worth it to use one, just for looks alone.🙂


  11. Happy New Year Sally! Beautiful post – I too cannot resist red things🙂 Pie birds were new to me until I moved to England – have a look at an old English nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence. Cute doggies xx


  12. Sally, what a treat to peek into your kitchen… Happy New Year to you, too. From your “bewitching” & beautiful bouquet at the outset, to your beguiling pups at the end (with good friends and good food in between), it looks as though you’ve started the New Year out right!


        • well, at least cross country skiing has a lower chance of injuries… my episode hugging a tree was a tad scary, but still fun. No branches were harmed, and my legs are intact. The pride? not so much 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yikes… nothing like an up close and personal encounter with a tree! My Sis was a cross-country enthusiast (hoped to join her this winte, but…) I guess I’m better off (and safer, lol!) in my writing nook. Glad you fared ok… tell pride to take a hike! (Or hug a tree…🙂


  13. perhaps the pie bird is an English thing? they are very common here in australia too. love your red things, and pie weights are used often in my kitchen. so useful.. that is a lovely letter opener that celia has made for you. so pretty. lucky you to get a new processor. i got a new red blender so I can once again make my breakfast smoothies. what gorgeous fur babies you have there.. so cute. Happy 2016!


  14. What a special letter opener and love the sparkle it has to brighten everyday life. The pie bird is certainly cute and I could imagine that my children would be fascinated with any pie that would have such a neat thing sitting on top of it. The food processor looks extremely handy!


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