It is time to invite you all for a walk around our kitchen. In My Kitchen posts started many years ago with Celia and is now hosted by Sherry, from  Sherry’s Pickings.   As you now know, I lied to you in my last IMK post. I did not have a professional trip to the UK, my trip was to take part of one of the greatest adventures of my life. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I like to start this type of post with gifts. And I would have to list here the cards, the messages, posts, the support, the love, that I’ve received from so many people (most never met me in real life) ever since the show aired last month. You know who you are, and I say thank you so much!

And now to the many gifts that landed in my kitchen in the past three months

From our dear friends Virginia and Karl, the coolest bowl in the universe, colorful the way I love!

From Phil, one more coffee cup for our collection, again… color, color, color!

From Vy, a former graduate student from our Oklahoma days…   a set of measuring spoons… do you see a pattern? My friends all know of my passion for colorful things….

From Ines, a former graduate student and forever friend who lives in New York, a kitchen cloth with the map of her city. She knows I am the most orientation-challenged person in the planet. That goes in my luggage on my next trip to New York.

From my niece Raquel, a shirt sent all the way from Brazil… I have no words. It is just perfect…. do you notice COLORS?

From our dear friend Peying, a gift for the pups, special dog treats that they adored. Made in our town by a baker who is actually the girlfriend of one of our faculty members. Small world. The pups love them!

From the moderators of a Facebook group “Great British Bake Off Fans”, I got a series of gifts for bread baking, that included this unique triangular banetton, a baguette couche, lame for scoring bread. It turns out they have a contest every month and I won the month of October with a certain Halloween cake.  I was still dealing (in secret) with the sadness of my sub-par performance in the tent, and getting the best bake of the month in that very group (when no one even imagined I was a contestant in the American show), was pretty nice. I think in many ways it started my recovery from serving a tornado-hit house to Paul and Sherry… 

From Christine, a dear virtual friend from the UK…. I never got Star Baker in the tent, but this spoon will be with me 4ever… thank you, Christine, such a sweet gesture! And she included a beautiful card with drawings of the 12 days of Christmas. Just adorable…

From Steven, a virtual friend of more than 20 years… he got together with a bunch of other virtual and “real life” friends and sent me this adorable little witch. I had flirted with her online but decided against buying it.  I almost passed out when I opened the box. Her name is Philomena, and she is my twin.  I intend to dress like her in our next Halloween party.

From Sophie, at Love Productions UK, a printout of my headshot from the Great American Baking Show… will save that forever, and how it does make me look forward to getting my braces off for good!  (end of Summer, that’s what I heard…)

From Phil, a Christmas gift that took my breath away….  A small chocolate tempering machine, that works with up to 1 pound of chocolate. Perfect! I put it to use the following day, of course, making my beloved husband a Birthday cake that turned out really nice (stay tuned).

And now, let’s move on with the Bewitching Kitchen tour…

In our kitchen…

Some goodies from a special grocery store in New York, called Kalustyan’s.  I’ve always dreamed of going there, and finally paid them a visit with Courtnie, my stepson’s girlfriend who knew I would have a great time in there. We spent hours exploring every little corner of the store, and those are the things I could not resist bringing home.

In our kitchen…

Passionfruit pulp, portioned in large muffin cups, ready for the freezer. It should last the whole winter, and of course I have plenty of culinary projects for them. Entremets? You bet.

In our kitchen…

I could not resist trying this little gadget that I found at Marshall’s. I really like the way it worked for soft-boiled eggs, the only drawback is that you need a lot of water to start with, but it made perfectly shaped and perfectly cooked eggs.  I like it a lot.

In our kitchen…

My first springerlee mold. I’ve always been fascinated by these cookies that have been around since the 1600’s.  Thanks to a lot of help from my friend Margie, I managed to make my first batch and they turned out delicious, even if some of them exploded a bit, which is apparently very common in the first 100 batches you bake.  A post about them will be on the blog soon.

In our kitchen…

A cameraman to interview yours truly for a news segment in our local news. They aired the news on the morning and evening of premiere, Dec 12th. Of course, they had no idea of the outcome, and it was fun to play star for a day… He left with a very big platter of cookies, by the way.

In our kitchen…

Feeble attempt at dealing with entropy and definitely owning too many baking gadgets. Icing tips and cookie cutters were organized in our basement. I try, my friends, I try.

In our kitchen…

My way of showing you why getting a scale matters. The other day I was making some cookies and the recipe called for 3 cups of flour. I grabbed the measuring cup shown in the third picture, and started adding flour, scraping the top, adding to my bowl. It so happened that I had the bowl on my scale, and was a bit shocked by how much flour went in with the first cup. Way too much. I know that 1 cup of flour is between 120 and 130g (depending on which source of info you trust, but that’s the ballpark). So I decided to measure their volume using water, that has a density of 1.  One cup of water weight 237.5 g.  Only the measuring cup by Hudson Essentials was really accurate.  So, my friend, if you don’t want to ruin your bakes, start using a scale. If recipes call for cups, convert them to grams or ounces or whatever you feel comfortable with. Get a scale that will work with different units of weigh, and you won’t ever have to worry about anything.

In our kitchen…

My first attempt at a macadonut! Pretty tricky to pipe neat circles, but as Sherry Yard would probably state, a little drizzle and sprinkles cover a multitude of sins. Flavor is Almond Buttercream. These were, by the way, the last macarons of this decade. Wow.

In our kitchen…

Cookies galore. I think in December Phil and I baked and decorated more cookies than we ever imagined we would. It was fun to do it together, he is getting pretty good at it, I  must say. The Santa is one of his many productions.


But, but… what is happening?

Oscar is not happy and quite vocal about it. Bogey left the kitchen with disgust. Oh, I see they are jealous because “Short Stuff” was featured. Short Stuff is the way they refer to their brother, who definitely deserves a lot more respect, being the Senior Dog he is.  Ok, ok, you can come out and play also…

I actually do not mind Short Stuff being in your fancy blog (insert canine eye-roll), ’cause I am badass. I am the Alpha Dog who rests his face on hard surfaces and takes burrs as Medals of Honor. I AM BAD ASS.

And this Bad Ass happened to find the tomato you tried to sneak by in my bowl of food. Am I a joke to you, Karen? How many times do I have to let you know I disapprove of tomatoes in any shape or form?  And since we are on the subject of annoying things…

Well, I might be slightly out of focus, but at least I don’t look like a Wookiee. Like “certain pups” in the vicinity…

And, I am the one who inspires Mom’s outfits…

Buck firmly  believes  that  matching  outfits  is  over-rated…. He  prefers  to  just snuggle…

I agree, let’s just play, no matter the outfit!

Although I would really like to play with “other toys”…

Because this one? I am done with…

That’s all for now, my friends!  I hope you enjoyed the first tour of the Bewitching Kitchen for 2020!  It’s been an amazing year, with many ups and many downs, I look forward to what this year will bring. My main goal is to improve my skills on areas of baking I am still not too comfortable with, including things I’ve never attempted like chocolate bonbons. The messiness of the process bothers me, but life is messy, right? So why not make bonbons?

Participating of the show, the whole process of getting ready for it made me realize anything is doable, especially if you can take your time and not be discouraged by failures. They are part of the learning process, and usually taste pretty darn good! We are our own worse critics. Although Paul Hollywood takes a close second!  HA!

ONE YEAR AGO: Happy 2019 In My Kitchen!

TWO YEARS AGO: Happy New Year In My Kitchen!

THREE YEARS AGO: Happy New Year In My Kitchen!

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen: Happy New Year!

FIVE YEARS AGO: And another year starts…

SIX YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen: January 2014

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Tacos with Pork in Green Sauce

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Maui New Year!

NINE YEARS AGO: Natural Beauty

TEN YEARS AGO: Sunflower Seed Rye




32 thoughts on “HAPPY 2020 IN MY KITCHEN!

  1. I’ve gotta get my wife a macaron shirt, if only so I can look at her and say “needs more filling”.

    Hey, great to know about the discrepancies between measuring cups! I personally just use my hand, as god intended, but if I ever decide to go high tech and get a set, I’m aiming for those Hudson Essentials. Thanks for posting that!

    As always, your “In My Kitchen” segment has made me very covetous, but it was a joy to read it anyway. You really are amazing. All the best to you and Phil and the flea taxis in 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year Sally!

    Thank you for the tour! Thoroughly enjoyed reading and seeing all the lovely gifts and of course, the furbabies!
    May 2020 bring you much happiness and successes in life and your baking!
    Nancy xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post! Happy New Year 2020! I have never not used a scale, probably because of my mother’s influence and old recipes, but it’s just common sense. Plus, remember in my first life I was a geologist, and a lab nerd. And I use mine for cooking, not fine baking and pastry making! I’m so glad you finally made it to Kalustyan’s. What a place. Even my husband enjoyed the couple of hours in there! I can’t wait to see the bonbons and other goodies you produce with your new chocolate tempering machine! Who knew?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, when I read these posts, I have something to say about everything, and can’t say it all because it is all way too hard to remember without writing down every thought as I read, lol. However…. that tempering machine!!! That man knows exactly what to get you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year to you both. I love peeking into your kitchen through your posts. What a gorgeous array of gifts – and I am going to HAVE to seek out a macaron shirt like that. It is fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hi sally
    happy new year to you. i have missed what’s been happening with you? were you on tv? was it in the UK? Love your colourful crockery. i too am a fan of pretty and colourful things in my kitchen and house. your dogs are adorable, but it looks like the tennis ball went the way of the dodo:-) what a fab tee shirt with all those macarons… i agree wholeheartedly re baking with scales. since i started blogging six years ago, i have spent a lot of time working out what cups equate to in my recipes! you simply have to use scales to be accurate. bet you will be happy when the braces come off. cheers and happy new year. sherry

    Liked by 1 person

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