It’s been two months since my last In My Kitchen post. Time to invite you for another little virtual tour of our kitchen, as part of the fun event initiated by Celia, and now hosted by Lizzy from Good Things. I have quite a few gifts to share so let’s get this party started

Our friends Denise and Hélio came to visit us and showered us with gifts….


Straight from France, a bag of the most fragrant Herbes de Provence! One of our favorite spice mixes, we do not make croutons for our Caesar salad without a nice sprinkling….


Also from Provence, a sampling of gourmet salts. These are incredible!  Lavender salt, Hisbiscus, Curry, and sun-dried Tomatoes with Basil.  I eat a lot of fried eggs for lunch, and these salts are perfect to finish them, adding variety and fun.


Did they spoil us or what?  Gourmet mustards… my favorite, the tarragon version… spectacular on grilled salmon.


This super special tea, which made me do a happy dance all over the kitchen… It turns out I had just saved a recipe for a very intriguing type of ice cream and it called for Rooibos tea.  The blueberries in this one will only make that concoction better, if you ask me… Stay tuned.

In our kitchen…


Yes, it’s exactly what the label says. Pistachio paste. OMG. I put it to very good use, by the way. Filling for macarons. You will have to be patient, at some point I promise to share. The smell as you open the bottle is out of this world amazing. I think it might have aphrodisiac components in it. Beware.

In our kitchen….


Or should I say, from our garden… This humongous zucchini that escaped our radar. Are we the classical absent-minded scientists or what?  Anyway, I had no idea what to do with it, but it ended up as a delicious dinner.  On the blog soon.  Yes, you can call me a teaser…

In our kitchen…


Two ingredients that our grocery store now carries in a special spot dedicated to Italian and Spanish ingredients. Have I ever told you I love mortadella? I grew up fighting with my Dad for the last slice, so whenever I see the authentic product for sale, I get nostalgic.  One of my pet peeves is people comparing mortadella with Bologna. My blood boils, and I need to count backwards from 100 to calm down.  I then go into a lecture, as politely as possible to state that no, Bologna doesn’t even begin to compare to one of the greatest cold cuts in the known universe with its pieces of pistachio peeking at you. A few times we served it to friends and they go “It’s JUST like bologna, right?”  I can hear Phil taking a deep breath and whispering “oh, boy, here we go….” Hey, you can love Bologna, and we’ll still be friends, but if you tell me Mortadella is Bologna, be ready for my speech. The other ingredient, is of course prosciutto, the second best cold cut in the known universe. Nothing quite like it, although American speck is very tasty too. But it is NOT prosciutto. Got that?

In our kitchen….


You win some, you lose some. I bought these out of curiosity, as they are supposed to be very low in carbs. Well, the texture is barely ok, but the coconut taste too pronounced and taking the wrap into a sweet territory that I don’t find that great. After all, when wrapping a nice piece of chicken with Mexican spices all over it, I prefer a savory wrap.  I know some people love them, but I am not one of them.  Phil looked at my face when I took a bite and quickly grabbed a corn tortilla. He is a smart man. But he is taken, so don’t get any ideas.  I am small, but I will put up a fight you’ll never forget.

In our kitchen….


If you are going to get serious about macarons, might as well get the right tool for the job.  I found this Silpat at Marshalls for a bargain and decided to bring it home. The diameter of the circles might be just a tad too big, but I use the inner part of the line as my limit, and that’s ok. If I need to make three baking sheets, I simply lay a piece of parchment on top of the Silpat, pipe the batter, move the parchment away and lay another one.  The circles are quite visible through the paper.

In our kitchen…


Lavender extract. Also something I bought with macarons in mind, but have been using in many other recipes. Just a couple of drops will be enough, this stuff is very potent.

In our kitchen…


A slightly smaller jar to keep my starter in the fridge. I like the bigger size for refreshing the yeast, but prefer to keep a smaller amount hibernating in the fridge between feedings. This size is ideal, and I love the color of the lid. Found on

In our kitchen…


It’s the time for fall colors… I have something in mind for these sprinkles. Maybe a Halloween-friendly version of Brigadeiros? Another surprise find at Marshalls. Love that store!  You never know what you’ll find hiding deep in one of their shelves.

In our kitchen….


A can opener. Amazing how much I love this one. It turns out that when we had to drive all the way from Portland to Manhattan bringing Bogey, we needed to feed him his special diet, that involves a particular brand of canned dog food. As many Dalmatians, he had problems with kidney stones. Phil’s sister had quite a few of those cans stored in her garage, but of course we needed to be able to open them. We grabbed this opener from her kitchen. I am sure it is several years old, but it works better than any other opener we’ve ever had.

In our kitchen…


Little dog sculptures of The Fabulous Three! Maybe you should get to know their full names:
Oscar For the Love of God Stop
Bogey Quit That
Buck Don’t Snap Me

Speaking of that trio, it’s time to let them share their own adventures, but first….

Chief’s Stories


Many years ago, when we lived in Oklahoma, Phil trained the dogs to fetch the newspaper in the morning. Each day one of the dogs would fetch. Things were going pretty nicely, until a particular day in which Chief grabbed the newspaper, and just as Phil said “good job” he took away running around the neighborhood, newspaper firmly in his mouth. Phil was not pleased as he chased the little rascal, still in his pajamas and without any coffee in his system. Chief was fired from that job. Pits, our dalmatian, was the one in charge from that day on. Of course, Chief made it very clear he wasn’t happy with the new arrangement.  I caught this scene, and it’s hilarious the way Chief grabs the newspaper after Pits fetches it, as if saying, “here, I can do that too! Now pass me that darn cookie, and make it fast!”  At the very end he goes back at the plastic wrap, still a bit peeved. Undoubtedly, he had the strongest personality of any dog we ever met…


Buck and Oscar sit down to listen to Dad tell them they need to be nice to Bogey. His new brother has been through a lot and needs to feel welcome.


Buck seems totally fine with it, as the new brother meant he also got a new bed to rest his bones after a tough day of chasing squirrels and killing snakes.

Although he thinks nothing beats his good old bed, where he can relax in all his glory…


Oscar and Bogey get into canine disagreements every once in a while, but for the most part they get along ok.  One day I rolled out my mat to do my exercises and went upstairs to change. When I came back, to my surprise, they were both laying by the mat, as if waiting for me, and stayed there very well-behaved during my virtual torture session with Tony Horton.



Bogey is slowly adapting to a different life, spending his daytime outside with the two new brothers….


He clearly thinks he is a lap dog, and tries to prove it to his Dad at every chance he gets…




Of course, Bogey is not alone in being persuasive…


Sir, would you find it in your heart to give me
a little bit of whatever is left from your dinner with Mom?

I close this post with a little video. Bogey doesn’t like his paws touched, so “shaking” doesn’t come easily for him.
But, some progress is being made.

That’s all for now, folks… I hope you enjoyed this brief walk through our home… see you next time!



ONE YEAR AGO: Paleo Moussaka

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2014

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2013

FOUR YEARS AGO: Bourbon and Molasses Glazed Pork Tenderloin

FIVE YEARS AGO: Crimson and Cream Turkey Chili

SIX YEARS AGO: Taking a break from the nano-kitchen

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Chocolate Chip Cookies

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47 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: OCTOBER 2016

  1. Oh Sally – you post one of the best IMK lists I have ever read and THEN have the boys come on: what do you want – a two-page essay? OK: not looking at the boys [shhh! a special hug, Bogey!], what a glorious collection of goodies shown after you felt the need to go to confession !! The herbs, salts and mustards: am peagreen!!!!! That unbelievable zucchini: I thought only Texas put ownership laws on stuff as big as that – hope it was OK in the centre . . . and, on a very practical note – can’t quite see how that can opener works but it sure looks better than the one with which I wrestle . . . .


    • There is a little gray “switch” that when you release it, it opens the circular blades below – you position over the can and push down on it – the blades will close and lock down on the lid, no matter the diameter of the can. THen you roll the thing on the side until it moves all around the can. Push the lever to release it up, blades open, can is open too! Works incredibly well!


  2. I am not suppose to sit on my computer for at least another week, but I simply had to write today. Already dead tired from sorting, cleaning, labelling etc. etc. etc. my kitchen and larder out for the past 2 hours (the heat is rather getting at me) – I laughed my head off reading your trio’s antics. They are a cute handsome looking lot🙂 – big hugs to them – and the gifts for your kitchen from your friends –🙂🙂 and as Eha said above – “green is the colour of today”. Thanks for sharing all this with us – now I will go back for another sprint (if I only could use my right arm a bit better). Until soon!🙂


    • OMG, don’t hurt yourself… but, I am glad you commented! 😉 Yes, the pups keep us happy and on our toes. Bogey right now almost pushed me off my seat because he wants to eat (it’s early here)


  3. Hi Sally, thanks so much for the very kind shout out! And thank you for participating in IMK. Love, love, love Jack Russells. I had a little boy called Schnitzel. Sadly he developed a heart disease and died at the age of four. That zeppelin is something else… err, I mean zucchini. Thank you for the peek into your fabulous kitchen xx


  4. Hi Sally, what a huge zucchini, would have a hard time trying to pass that one through my sprializer. What lovely friends you have and love the gourmet salts and sack of French herbs. Love the sound of the blackcurrant mustard. Thank you for the peek into your kitchen🙂


    • GLad you enjoyed it… I thought about posting a photo of the four of us, but I decided not to. I would not do it without asking you and Helio if it would be ok, and by the time I thought about it the post was ready to go. At first I thought it would only be published in NOvember, but I managed to do it before the deadline, which is the 10th of each month….


  5. You have really nice friends! I didn’t realize that you now have 3 dogs, I thought it was 2. We also have 3 – it can get a little crazy at times. We inherited the third when my daughter had a baby and their little 9-pound dog absolutely didn’t like her. Like in a growling and biting kind of way. So I’m happy to save her from a life traumatized and scarred by a crazy little dog!


        • Three can be tough sometimes, but at least these three are not getting into fights. Oscar is VERY jealous, and acts like Mr Grumpy for the most part. Amazing how raw their emotions are. It is what it is, no pretending, no “fake smiles”…. kind of fun to witness it all…. But you know that very well too! 😉


          • Oh my, our two little 9 pounders have gotten into some vicious fights which, as you know well, are so scary. But then they can have fun playing on good days. By the way, keep the fight going on bologna! I do the same with velveeta. No, it’s not cheese.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. So much to love and comment on…I made notes so I didn’t forget anything!
    Lovely to see all of the goodies that Denise brought you, lucky lady 😀 Rooibos ice cream sounds interesting?!
    Pistachio paste…that stuff is lethal! I bought some to try once and just ate it all straight from the pot!
    I’m loving your little starter jar, and your doggie statues, but of course, the best bit, is all of your doggies photos and tales…and the image of Phil running round the neighbourhood in his pjs!!!!😀😀😀


  7. Sally, your beautiful bouquet of roses was a party-starter to be sure. Loved your vase, too, and how it echoed the flower color perfectly! I really like those lil’ “test tube” salts… your mustard stash (swoon)… and authentic Herbes de Provence (double swoon). Still chuckling over the innuendo re: your giant zucchini.😉 Then there’s the matter of your pups… delightul. If they tax your patience too much with their antics though, open that lavender extract and take a deep breath. Good for calming the soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great tip on the lavender! Now, do you know that I spilled some while making a cake the other day? I howled in pain (the stuff is not cheap) – but I caught the bottle and only a little bit was lost, poured right in the sink. Smelled amazing for a while, but I do not recommend doing it. Much better to just take a delicate sniff… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great blog entry! Perhaps the coconut wraps shoul be converted to dessert! Maybe spread a nice coat of Nutella then sliced bananas and chopped hazelnuts and roll or fold onto dessert plate alongside Dulce de Leche Ice Cream a drizzle of salted caramel and more hazelnuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for another fun and educational tour! LOVE mortadella. One of our favorite neighborhood casual get togethers is to have people bring a bottle of wine and serve piles of Italian cold cuts, cheeses and slices of fresh bread — and the mortadella seems to be the first to go! Prociutto crisped in the oven makes a great martini snack and folded onto a pick with a chunk of bosc pear is better than the traditional prociutto and melon, we think. I am having a devil of a time trying to get Blitz to bring in the morning paper. She is on red alert looking for rabbits and when I finally redirect her attention to the paper it gets quite a fast and rough ride back to the front door. Next time you’re passing through this way I’ll feed you mortadella and you train my dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Can’t get enough of those gorgeous dogs. So glad Bogey is settling in well and love the update of my favourite photo. That video of the paper fetchers is hilarious. We had a dog once who would fetch the paper – until he decided to bring us the neighbours’ papers as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What gorgeous fur babies you have. So sweet how the big one thinks he is a wee one. Love all the salts and mustards. I haven’t seen lavender extract before. I bet it is strong. Thank goodness most tins have a ring pull these days. Can openers are so useless most of the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I look forward to hearing what you do with that overgrown zucchini. I’ve never had much luck cooking them and they end up in the compost heap which is such a waste. There are some really nice new things in your kitchen. Herbs de Provence is one of my favorite seasonings. Thanks for posting IMK, I hope to be back next month. September was filled with travel and not much going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I love, love, love your ‘in my kitchen’ posts! Tell me, how did that zucchini manage to escape your attention do… It’s the size of your torso woman :O that vase suits the roses to perfection and I need me some lavender extract (new discovery). So happy to see the babies too (as always) and get an update on how your newest family member is settling… I love how Bogey shared his new toy, we can’t even get the humans to do that over here :d

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s say that less sharing is happening these days… Bogey has a very good temper, but has been claiming his space more and taking less grievance from Oscar – fun times… it gets a bit rowdy sometimes but we are all adjusting well…

      (had to laugh at the “size of your torso, woman” – yeah, pretty much!)


  14. Now, that’s the way to start an IMK post! Those roses are gorgeous, Sally. Your friends sure know how to pick gifts fro friends back home. What a collection of tasty goodies! This was a wonderful post, Sally, but you won my heart sharing your pups with us. Bogey looks like quite the addition to your family. Much like my Max, he thinks he’s still lap dog-sized and is a bit too eager for his rewards — and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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