Summer is over. I know, it’s pathetic and makes me want to cry. On the bright side, though, it is time to invite you for a virtual tour of our kitchen. In My Kitchen is a fun tradition started by Celia and now hosted by Sherry, from  Sherry’s Pickings. Stop by their virtual spots to say hello…

I like to start by sharing the gifts that found their way into our kitchen…. This time I have only one, but super special. From my beloved, a paint sprayer! No, I am not re-decorating the kitchen, this one will be devoted to spraying chocolate. How cool is that?

If you’ve been around lately, you probably saw my first adventure with it. Stay tuned for more…

In our kitchen…

This could be considered a gift too. After all, I bought it, but Phil slaved away to install it for me. A rack. Born to hold nail polish, but evolved into something much better.

Finally all my food dyes and powder dusts are organized and very easy to work with. I still have some space left for food dye emergencies of the unexpected kind. Or maybe a nail polish or two…


In our kitchen…

Stuff we’ll definitely miss now that summer is over… Look at those cute eggs!  They had been laid just hours before we brought them home.

In our kitchen…

Jams from our favorite producer, Maury Island Farm. I’ve featured them before, and it was time to get some new flavors like Boysenberry (you will see a post using this jam very soon). Those berries have a very interesting story, if you like to read about them, click here (but come back to walk with me through our kitchen). We also got Seedless Raspberry (perfect for the filling of certain French cookies), and a Blackberry-Blueberry mix. They are all fantastic!

In our kitchen…

Aji-Amarillo sauce. This is a product from Peru, and I highly recommend you give it a try, in case you’ve never had it. The jar says “hot pepper”, but I actually find it pretty mild, very flavorful. I normally add it to marinades together with yogurt, and use it either in chicken breasts or pork tenderloin. Just last week I added some to my default turkey burger recipe and it was a nice move, trust me. The color is gorgeous, pure turmeric-like yellow.

In our kitchen…

Japanese goodies!

Can you tell I am slightly obsessed with all things Japan? The roasted green tea was not easy to find, but totally worth it. The roasting process not only reduces the caffeine level, but it makes the tea taste quite smooth. It has a brown-golden color instead of the usual light green, and a more assertive smell. I intend to use it in baking too, in fact the first time I heard about it was in one of my Japanese baking cookbooks.

The little vial next to it is a ground pepper called Sancho. Think about a Chinese Szechuan pepper (with that interesting numbing characteristic), married to lime zest. I sprinkle it over fried eggs, and also find it particularly good on grilled salmon.

The other two products are related to yuzu, a unique Japanese fruit with strong citric flavor. I was lucky to find those items in our Oriental store in town, but the owner told me they are not always available. Lucky, lucky me. The bottle of yuzu juice is quite small, so after I use it for a special dessert, I will freeze it in cubes for future adventures. The marmalade will find its way to my beloved’s Ak-Mak crackers and some special dessert concoctions I have in mind.

In our kitchen…

I cannot fight the passing of the seasons, so I embrace it instead. Aren’t those the cutest toppings for cupcakes? And, speaking of toppings, I’ve got a couple more for you…

Beware of this company: Fancy Sprinkles. You can break your baking budget if you do not exercise caution browsing their MANY products. You’ve been warned. I managed to escape with just these two. Can you guess what I used the one on the right for?

In our kitchen…

Amoretti is another company I found out about through Macaron-Obsessed folks on Facebook. Amoretti makes very concentrated, natural flavors, and bakers go crazy for them. Oddly enough, I did not use the mango essence for macarons (not yet, that is), but for a tropical-ish cake. Not to sound repetitive, I have to say “stay tuned.”

In our kitchen…

I am so in love with this one! It is a pistachio bowl with a clever design. You get the pistachios, and discard the shells in the lower compartment. Of course, you could use it for olives, peanuts, or anything that you want.Or forget the waste function and use the two bowls independently. They are made of high quality plastic, sturdy and cute.

In our kitchen…

A baking mat to roll out cookie dough, pie dough, marzipan, or even to knead bread dough. It is better than most around. I like its size (not too big, not too small), the fact that it shows measurements both in inches and centimeters, and the way it glues to the surface, no slipping around. I love it. It is amazing the number of nice gadgets I learn about from being around serious bakers on Facebook groups. When they recommend something, I pay attention. Same goes for Craftsy classes online. Great source of tips on the right tools for any job.

In our kitchen…

Another very interesting gadget, this time I saw it in a cookbook. It does a fantastic job to uniformly soak genoise cake layers. Of course, you can use a spoon, a silicone brush, but it is tedious and hard to judge if you are soaking one spot too much and ignoring another. This bottle showers a constant amount as you go over the layer of cake with it. A pleasure to use, and very efficient.

In our kitchen…

Sourdough bread… a regular appearance in our kitchen, particularly now that I’m using a superstar starter. Elaine’s Star is one powerful mix! This was a White Cheddar-Sundried Tomato loaf, absolutely delicious. I will share the details next month. 

In our kitchen…

Watermelon Sorbet, made by my beloved. In fact, after juicing a watermelon bigger than a newborn baby, he proceeded to make sorbet three evenings in a row. Watermelon-Banana (with a touch of Cointreau), Watermelon-Blackberry (with a touch of pepper vodka), and Watermelon-Strawberry (also with a smidgen of vodka).  He enjoyed it with diced up dried mango bits and a cookie. Happy man. The ice cream maker is now stored for its hibernation during the cold months ahead. Pass the Prozac Kleenex. I cannot help but get hysterical emotional.

Well, I must stop here and say goodbye, see you in 2019… It’s been great to… wait, wait… what’s all this annoying barking, and biting of my ankles?

Ah, the pups… Insistent to have their five minutes of fame on the blog.


Ok, ok, they can join the tour too. I start with a little video, to show you how “well-trained” they are. Not very easy to make three derelicts perform a trick on the same small space, but somehow Phil got it done. Of course, Buck does three roll-overs for every one his brothers attempt to do. That pup is always ready to show his skills, even before we give the command…

This summer was pretty awesome for the Magnificent Trio. They went for long walks with us almost every evening, to profit from the long days, and to say hello to their new best friends, the horses. Well, we’ll skip the bit about Buck trying to bite the nose of the biggest one. He is our little pot of honey…

We pass through many farms, and in one particular spot we like to stop and feed the largest group of horses around. I used to be terrified of horses, but you can see I’m much better now.

The pups get along well, for the most part, but there is quite a bit of posturing and rivalry between the resident alpha dog, aka Oscar For the Love of God Stop, and BogeyQT™.

Oscar lies on Bogey’s bed at every opportunity, and firmly believes “if it matches my fur, it is mine.”

BogeyQT™ fires back with sharp criticism of his brother’s looks: “You need to trim these eyebrows, you look ridiculous and dishevelled.”  This is what a pair of handsome dog’s eyes should look like:

Are you on drugs? Your eyes have a bald and desolate appearance! And allow me to point out that your nose is so big it does not fit in the photo.  Whereas mine… it is the definition of a well-proportioned canine body part. I could move back to Hollywood (where “I” was born), and make some serious cash in the movies.


Osky and BQT™ live in parallel realities. Literally, it seems…

Buck floats above all the non-sense, with his royal poise and dignity…

That, of course, rubs the brothers the wrong way…

And cannot even keep his nose clean. What a travesty!

But they all agree on one point: they live for the weekend!


Unfortunately, weekdays were not the worse to happen to them
since our last virtual tour…

Why? Oh, why???? We haven’t done anything wrong!

Or… have we?

Yes, we did have a work-related trip, and left them behind for a few days. But as usual, we came back to rescue them and resume our delicious routine…

That’s all for now, folks!  See you with in January 2019 for my next IMK… 

Thank you, Sherry for hosting! I invite my readers to stop by Sherry’s Pickings to take virtual tours of many kitchens around the world!

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, October 2017

TWO YEARS AGO: Little Bites of Paradise

THREE YEARS AGO: Coxinha de Galinha: A Brazilian Delicacy

FOUR YEARS AGO: Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp Skewers

FIVE YEARS AGO: A Simple Dinner

SIX YEARS AGO: Brown Butter Tomato Salad

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Spelt and Cornmeal Rolls

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Roasted Potato and Olive Focaccia

NINE YEARS AGO: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

31 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN: OCTOBER 2018

  1. Of course I clicked on for the little marauders, of course I did ! But yours being the second IMK I have read today methinks this is going to be a fabulous month ! An enviable learning curve for me . . . I am obsessed with food items Japanese also and always willing to learn about matters of interest from Peru . . . but was most taken by that bottle of ‘fall leaves’, what a charming idea . . . . ( Bogey: I can’t name you every time, Mom will get mad at me !)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bogey knows his fans too well, I am afraid. He is here, tail wagging, absolutely sure you clicked on the post JUST for him. Oscar, Buck, and his Mom can go lick their wounds, for all he cares 😉


    • como sabe, sao meus favoritos… acho que adoraria um dia escrever historias em quadrihos de cachorros, mas como nao sei desenhar absolutamente nada… fica no sonho mesmo


  2. I’ve been on to husband for a few years we need to go to Japan next year. You should come too. I’m going to meet a half Japanese friend if she can make it. We could have a foodie get together. She’s a musician too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Delightful précis of your delicious life, Sally. Thank you so much. I’m going to look for the Peruvian pepper sauce, and I’m going to get the pistachio bowl for my nutty husband. I found it on Amazon. You are a viral influencer, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • been baking up a storm, no doubt! And having so much fun, and learning a lot too – but no, not even close to quitting my day job – still, it’s nice to balance lab and kitchen – I can only bake on weekends, but that makes it more special too

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No, I did not go straight to the end to see the boys! Adore them as usual and also fell in love with that pistachio bowl. Lovely looking bread – I have just made a loaf of sourdough this morning and the house smelled fantastic when Nelson and I returned from our walk. Nothin quite like the small of freshly baked bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    • the rack turned out pretty handy, I have still a lot of space to add some stuff, but the shelfs are narrow, so that limits the kind of stuff we can put there. I do think my extracts can fit… coffee extract, rose, lavender.. you know, the stuff that we “need”


  5. Sallybr, I loved the idea of your Sancho sprinkled fried eggs and grilled salmon, as well as the multi-tasking pistachio bowl (was thinking olives… just brought home some with pits), and your trio of delightful pooches. Also looked up your chocolate spraying adventures — your mousse looked anything but “Vague” — what a “beaut!” Spray on. 😉 I’ll miss you until January, but no doubt your life will be filled with fun, food, and furry friends, xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three months go by so quickly, when I finish this type of post I feel kind of sad that it will take me a while to bring the pups back, but then I blink twice and… it’s time to do it again! 😉

      Glad you liked the mousse cake – it was by far my most exciting cooking project. Ever!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, your kitchen is turning into a visual artist’s studio… complete with robo chocolate spray and that fantastic rack to house all your color tools! Love it. Adore your dogs – and their shenanigans – great rollovers too, such a cute video. When there’s a biscuit involved Stella will roll (to the point of putting her shoulder out, lol). Those fall sprinkle leaves tho… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buck is the Rollover Pro, as you could tell… too cute! Yes, I’ve been baking a lot, well, every weekend for sure. It is just hard to decide what to do next, I have so many ‘projects’ to try, I get paralyzed with the choices…


  7. hi sally
    thanks for joining us all at IMK. Lovely to have you. and what marvellous things you have in your kitchen. that spray painter is a hoot, and the shelves are fab. we are just coming into a long, hot Summer. hopefully the drought will break for the poor old farmers whose stock is dying and crops non-existent. Love your pooches – so cute. Oh the glorious colours of the watermelon sorbets. I too like many others am a wee bit Japan-obsessed:) Funny isn’t it? I love that their food seems lighter even when a cheesecake or a mayo. And the fall leaves are very cute. the gadgets are great -not that i make sponges ever. Fab sourdough too. have a great festive season (I see you’re not IMK’ing till next year) cheers sherry x


  8. Ah, those puppy eyes! I do want the details of that sourdough loaf. I have my starter out now coming to room temp so I can make a loaf for the week. I never knew roasted green tea contained less caffeine. Thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • it is a sourdough with 500g total flour (450 white, 50 spelt) – 50 g starter at 100% hydration, then 60g sundried tomatoes, 60g cheddar.

      As to the roasted tea, I am not sure how much less caffeine there is, I can tell you I don’t feel a jolt of caffeine when I enjoy that tea, and I am pretty sensitive to it – it is not by any means caffeine free, though


  9. Your gadgets are very clever. I like the mat with the measurements, and the paint sprayer for kitchen use!

    Yuzu is making me curious — on the Great British Baking Show that just came to Netflix, it was a flavor for several of the bakes, and the judges seemed to like it. I love citrus so I want to try it.

    best… mae at


  10. It’s always a temptation to skip to the end to visit with your pups! I am amazed at the variety of new food items (and other things in your kitchen). The country is being internationalized, at least food wise. I can remember when my parents moved to Florida in the 60’s, there wasn’t an arugula leaf in sight for decades. Your baking is going professional, I don’t bake (not having any hungry graduate students around anymore…I used to send them to the UC Davis lab with my husband but he is retired now as well) so really enjoy all your marvelous creations in my imagination.


  11. Those eyes! My mum has a Maltese cross and if she wants anything or any sympathy, she just looks up through those eyebrows. Watermelon sorbet – something for us to look forward to. What different lives we lead. It’s so hot in Brisbane in summer that the best time to visit the Farmer’s Market is in winter, when it can see be 23c! Now, I’ll go and have a read about those berries.


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