IN MY KITCHEN: APRIL 2020

Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here. A video summarizing important tips can be found here

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. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I like to start this type of post with gifts, and there are quite a few to share (including the orchid from the picture, a gift from our good friends Lorne and Wasu, the last people we had over at our home before social isolation).

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


From our dear friends from California, Marie Louise and Rocky, dried persimmon slices from a farmers market they visit weekly. These are just amazing, soft, sweet but not overly so. We loved them… diced and served with yogurt and some cereal or even to nibble before going to bed with a cup of tea. Delicious

From my friend Nancy, a fantastic patissier from Canada, a double gift: a pyramid-shaped silicone mold and a miracle-cloth that does wonders to clean countertops. She knows me well… The mold is so cool, I envision plenty of desserts using it.

 

From my friend Margie, who also coached me when I made Springerlee cookies for the first time (still need to blog about that!), these gorgeous wooden molds, carefully crafted. Aren’t they works of art?  I can tell you one thing, I won’t be waiting for the holiday season to bake a batch.

From Phil, the Ebay Scavenger Extraordinaire, two plates from Anthropologie, which I believe have my name all over them…  He always surprises me with the coolest stuff.

From Carlos, my tent-baker friend… a gorgeous Bundt pan. Carlos recently moved and decided to reduce his number of baking gadgets, so I gladly took this beauty out of his hands. I love the design, and already have one particular cake in my mind to put this baby to use.  Thank you, Carlos!

Now, let me go over a few things that you might enjoy and were recent acquisitions to the Bewitching Kitchen

In our kitchen…

A little cookie cutter set with a bit of an unusual shape, I have a specific bake in mind for them, but it will have to wait until this coronavirus nightmare passes by.

In our kitchen…

A herb-stripper. At first I was not sure if I would like it and use it, but I tell you, it’s pretty amazing, particularly for thyme, but also works very well for parsley. You just get the proper opening size and run them through. Leaves get nicely removed, and you are left with the stem to discard, compost or save to use in stocks.

In our kitchen…

Pistachio butter. This stuff is very very good. I know I can make my own, and have done so for bakes in the past, but this saves a lot of extra work and it’s by far the best I’ve tasted of all commercial products I tried.


In our kitchen…


Speaking of pistachios… I show you one typical lunch from the man I married. He calls it a gourmet toast. I call it the reason why I need to buy pistachio paste, because no matter how many bags of pistachios I buy, they are always almost empty when I need them (sigh).

In our kitchen…

I put Nancy’s gift to use, in a very simple way, just tempered white chocolate, dyed it pink and poured into the mold, which I painted with gold luster dust.  Instead of a complicated filling, I just mixed slightly warmed up Nutella with some sprinkles and added a tiny amount to each cavity. Of course this was not a real bonbon, the chocolate shell is very thick, it was more like a bar of chocolate with filling, but I must say it turned out very delicious.

In our kitchen…

Virginia Gourmet peanuts… My gosh, these are amazing!  Phil found them at Marshalls, and he immediately went back to the store and bought one more can (they are huge). They are the best peanuts ever.  Not sure what they mean by “hand cooked”, but whatever they did, I embrace it.

In our kitchen…

or should I say in our basement?

A lot of organization took place. We have the same metal shelves in our lab, they are sturdy and neat. I got a lot of plastic containers to store stuff and also made a complete inventory of what we have. Feels good.


I have now lists of baking gadgets, baking ingredients, silicone molds in a document in the computer. Oddly enough, it all started before the coronavirus hit.

In our kitchen…

We win some, we lose some. I fell in love with this teacup and bought it. Yes, it looks beautiful, and it does work wonders to brew using loose tea. However, the design makes it pretty obvious why classic tea cups have…. handles!  It is simply impossible to hold the cup because it gets unbearably hot. So it’s frustrating that if I use it to brew tea, I then need to pour the tea into a proper tea cup so I can sip it. No bueno.

In our kitchen…

On the subject of tea, this White Ambrosia a recent passion of mine. I learned about it not too long ago in a magazine called Tea Time, and ordered some to try. I love it, and intend to use it in baking in the near future.

In our kitchen…

We made Fiori di Sicilia flavored sugar cookies for our grand daughter’s 5th Bday… and included a few that depicted some of the pups… BogeyQuitThat, Buck and Fendi (one of their pups).

In our kitchen…


Polycarbonate chocolate molds. As  we face isolation, one of the things I decided was to learn a new skill, and making bonbons seemed like a good idea. I will share my adventures with you soon.

This pandemic is turning everyone’s life upside down. We are all scared and with good reason. Staying at home is what we can and must do to contain the spread of this nasty virus. Home we are, and some furry friends seem quite ok with this Sunday-Day that never ends. Let’s see what they’ve been up to….


The year started with the celebration of BogeyQT™ 11th Bday. He got special goodies and a festive hat, which we think complemented well his elegantly black spotted handsomeness…

As we were admiring the photos and deciding which one should be kept to share with his huge crowd of fans (I know nobody reads this piece because of my chocolate molds), Oscar had different ideas.


So you got a sissy hat for the Big Annoying One. Pitiful. Here, get a load of my displeasure with it. First I stole it, then I dealt with it properly. And since we are talking about annoying situations…. me and brother have another grievance to share with OUR readers…


FAKE NEWS!!!! These accusations have no basis in reality. I do love sushi and may or may not have inhaled a couple of pieces, but prefer concoctions with a higher amount of sugar, like freshly baked banana bread.

We have to admit that this big boy enjoys food. Any food. His tombstone could read: “He died doing what he loved most, wolfing down a bowl of chow”

Both Oscar and Buck think they got a lot more class and beauty….


Although we all know some sides of Osky’s persona that leave a lot to be desired as far as beauty is concerned….


That is his personal favorite position to sleep, just looking at him my neck hurts.

The pups have a final message for all of you….

And above all…

This too shall pass…. 

I hope to see you in 3 months for another In My Kitchen tour. I hope the world will be a better place then. I hope nights in which I wake up afraid of dying will be fewer and fewer. I hope we don’t lose loved ones. I hope you don’t either. I hope. I will always hope for the light in the end of the tunnel.  Until then, be vigilant. Be safe. Stay home.

ONE YEAR AGO:  In My Kitchen, April 2019

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2018

THREE YEARS AGO: First Monday Favorite

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2016

FIVE YEARS AGO: Spring has Sprung with Suzanne Goin

SIX YEARS AGO: Chai Brownies

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

NINE YEARS AGO: The Real Vodka Sauce

TEN YEARS AGO: Spring Rolls on a Spring Day