ROASTED GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES WITH TAHINI SAUCE

When you need a side dish to impress, consider this one. Two simple veggies (contrasting colors is a must), joined with a delicious tahini-based sauce. Tahini, that component that makes so many recipes shine, does a great job here!

ZA’TAR ROASTED GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES WITH TAHINI SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

Cherry tomatoes (red or a mixture of colors)
Green beans, trimmed
about 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp za’tar (or to taste)
salt and pepper

for the sauce:
¼ cup tahini
juice and zest of 1 lemon
about 1/4 cup water (amount will vary according to your tahini)
drizzle of honey

to serve:
toasted sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 400°F. Coat the tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of za’tar. Place the tomatoes in a baking sheet in a single layer, large enough to hold them and the green beans later. Roast for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, coat the green beans with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining za’atar, salt and pepper to taste. Add to the tomatoes after they have been in the oven for 10 minutes. Roast all veggies together until the green beans are starting to brown (12 minutes or so longer).  As they roast, make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl, adjusting the amount of water to make it a nice drizzling consistency.

Transfer the roasted veggies to a serving platter, add the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Amounts are quite flexible for everything in this recipe, and I suggest you try the tahini sauce as you make it. Different brands, and also how well you are able to mix the tahini before measuring will have a big impact on the outcome. For my taste, lemon juice should be added with a heavy hand, but then a touch of honey mellows it beautifully. I almost added pomegranate molasses, but left that for a next adventure. When I brought it to the table,  I heard a “oh, wow!” from the husband. And as we enjoyed it with juicy chicken legs, life seemed almost normal. Which is as nice a feeling as one can have these days.

ONE YEAR AGO: Brazilian Pao de Queijo (re-blogged from the past)

TWO YEARS AGO: The Chignon

THREE YEARS AGO: Rack of Lamb Sous-Vide with Couscous Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO: Focaccia with Grapes, Roquefort and Truffled Honey

FIVE YEARS AGO: Moroccan Carrot Dip over Cucumber Slices

SIX YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Cilantro-Jalapeno “Hummus”

EIGHT YEARS AGO: A Moving Odyssey

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
 
Shrimp Moqueca

BISCOITINHOS DE CANELA

Free Portuguese lesson today on the blog: biscoitinhos de canela means little cinnamon cookies. The word “biscoito” means cookie (or biscuit if you are in the UK) and the addition of “inho” to the word immediately implies they are small.  And in this case, I believe also very cute. The recipe comes from Miuda’s bilingual blog (Russian and Portuguese), Verdade de Sabor. She is a professional baker with magical hands and a unique sense of style and elegance. I never miss her posts.
.
(say it like a native,

BISCOITINHOS DE CANELA
(from Verdade de Sabor)

170 g butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
40g eggs
a pinch of salt
80g powdered sugar
170g of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
gold dust and lemon extract for decoration (optional)

Beat the butter with the powdered sugar until it is white and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat. Sift the flour separately with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt and gradually add to the butter mixture. The dough will be thick, but still soft and flexible.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and fill small silicone molds. Hit the form on the table a few times to fill all the empty spaces. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours (or longer if desired).

Heat the oven to 350F.  Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Remove the frozen pieces from the molds and distribute on the baking sheet. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a rack.

Mix golden dust with lemon extract, and using a brush, paint the cookies to accentuate the design.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: Do you really need a mold to make those? Well, the cookie batter is soft, so if you want to do a more traditional roll out and cut, you would have to adjust and add more flour, which will change slightly their texture. Just keep that in mind. Miuda finished them with a coating of caramelized gold chocolate, covering just half of each “biscoitinho” but I did not want to risk the chocolate melting when I wrapped them, so I opted for a simple brushing with gold dust.  They are really delicious. As to the molds, I see myself using variations of this recipe, adding some cocoa next time, because I love the look the molds gave. The rectangular shape is nice but in the end I was pretty smitten by the slightly smaller, round one. The ones I used can be found here and they were sold in a set with those two together.

The cookies would be a nice addition to an afternoon tea party, if you are into that sort of thing. And don’t forget, you can have a party for you alone. Pamper yourself. You deserve it!

Miuda, thank you for another great recipe, I always look forward to your beautiful productions!

ONE YEAR AGO: Salmon Tacos

TWO YEARS AGO: The Chignon

THREE YEARS AGO: Rack of Lamb Sous-Vide with Couscous Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO: Focaccia with Grapes, Roquefort and Truffled Honey

FIVE YEARS AGO: Moroccan Carrot Dip over Cucumber Slices

SIX YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Cilantro-Jalapeno “Hummus”

EIGHT YEARS AGO: A Moving Odyssey

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
 
Shrimp Moqueca

11 YEARS, TIME FOR GOODBYE

I guess it was bound to happen, sooner or later. Eleven years of blogging and all of a sudden I am forced to witness crowds and crowds of readers abandoning me. It hurts, but I feared that this post could cause it. Tofu. Has she gone nuts? Yes, now that you mentioned, cashews are also partners in this crime. If you are leaving me, I am sorry to see you go, and beg you to re-consider. I swear to you, this was one of the best things I’ve made in the past few months, and even “I” cannot quite believe how much we enjoyed it.  Soooo, will you stay? There shall be macarons soon…

JEN’S CURRIED TOFU WITH PEAS AND CASHEWS
(slightly modified from Jennifer Guerrero’s blog

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 pound extra firm tofu
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups peas (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup cashews (lightly toasted)

optional:
poached chicken breasts, sliced thin

Slice the tofu in a checkerboard pattern and then right across its equator as you see in my composite picture after the recipe. Wrap in plenty of paper towels and put a heavy pan on it to drain while you do the rest of the preparation of the recipe.

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter with the soy sauce, then add the spices, honey and water. Toss with the drained tofu, coating nicely. Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray, tip the tofu on in a single layer,  and bake for 30 minutes, flipping them over at halftime.

Whisk together in a saucepan the vegetable broth and the cornstarch. Turn the heat to medium, and when the stock is simmering, add the tofu along with the peas and cashews. If using chicken, add it now.  Stir until it is all lightly thickened, and serve over rice or riced cauliflower.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I hope you stop by Jen’s blog to read her nice write-up about this recipe.  Interestingly, when I read her post about it, I had just bought some extra-firm tofu without any clear ideas of how to put it to use.  Serendipity. Don’t you love when that happens?

Now, I admit that I chickened out and added chicken (very sorry for this phrase, please don’t leave). I was unsure of how we would feel about the texture and taste of tofu, and decided that in case of a complete disaster, at least we could enjoy some animal protein with the peas and cashews. I used chicken breasts that I had previously cooked sous-vide, but you can poach it or saute with a bit of salt and pepper.

This was one amazing meal! It all works together nicely, the tofu gets a nice soaking with the spices and caramelizes a bit with the honey in that marinade. If you are vegetarian, you absolutely must make this. If you are not, you absolutely must make this, and go for the kill: omit the chicken. I guess that means going for the non-kill?  (very sorry for this phrase too, my apologies).

If you are anti-tofu, I hope this post will make you try it, just make sure you get the extra-firm. I know that tofu aficcionados like to use a special press to compact it before cooking, but I felt that the resulting texture was nice enough the way Jen recommended.

Jen, thank you so much for opening my cooking horizons, I love it…

ONE YEAR AGO: Salmon Tacos

TWO YEARS AGO: A Dream that did not come true

THREE YEARS AGO: Kaleidoscopic Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: Zucchini Noodles with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2015

SIX YEARS AGO: Sous-vide Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Butter

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Amazing Ribs for the 4th of July!

NINE YEARS AGO: Baby Back Ribs on the 4th of July

TEN YEARS AGO: Blueberry Muffins

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: A Pie for your 4th of July

 

4TH OF JULY INSPIRED BAKING

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

Just a couple of days ago I celebrated 11 years of my naturalization! It always gives me a smile the fact that it fell so close to such an important holiday. Today I share four bakes that celebrate the occasion: macarons, sugar cookies, red velvet brownies, and baked donuts. The common denominator? Sprinkles. I bet you are not surprised.

4th OF JULY MACARONS WITH CHOCOLATE COCONUT FILLING
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

For the shells:
200g  powdered sugar
115 g almond flour
115 g egg whites at room temperature (approx. 4 eggs)
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar
100 g granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste or extract
red, blue, purple and black food gel dye

for the chocolate-coconut ganache:  
180g cream of coconut
1/8 tsp salt
200g chocolate, cut in small pieces (II used 70% Lindt)

to decorate:
white non-pareils

Make the shells:
Line 3 heavy baking sheets with parchment/baking paper or Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar, and ground almonds in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal, about 12 pulses. Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small bowl or to a sheet of parchment/baking paper. Set aside.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are impeccably clean. Starting on medium speed, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until they look like light foam. The whites should not appear liquid. The foam will be light and should not have any structure.

Slowly rain in the granulated sugar in five additions, trying to aim the stream between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Turn the speed up to high. Continue to whip the meringue until it is soft and shiny. It should look like marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff). Add the vanilla. Whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to dull and the lines of the whisk are visible on the surface of the meringue. Check the peak. It should be firm. Transfer the whites to a medium bowl.

Fold in the ground almond/almond meal mixture in two increments. Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, using the flat side of a spatula. Scrape the mixture down to the center of the bowl. Repeat two or three times, then check to see if the mixture slides slowly down the side of the bowl.   Divide the batter in three parts, dye 1/3 red, dye 1/3 blue (using a mixture of blue, purple and black to get the tone of blue you like). Leave the final third white. Pour the three batters side by side over plastic wrap, enclose them wrapping the plastic around like a sausage. Drop the bag with the three colors inside a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip.  If you want to make a set of solid color, divide the batter to get a bigger amount of that color and place some of it in a separate piping bag.

Pipe rounds over Silpat or parchment paper in a half-sheet pan and then slam each sheet hard four to six times on the counter. Add sprinkles, if like.  Let the unbaked macarons dry until they look dull but not overly dry. Drying time depends on humidity. In a dry climate, the macarons can dry in 15 to 20 minutes; in a humid climate, it can take 35 to 40 minutes.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 300 F (150 C/130C Fan oven/Gas Mark 2). Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack. Check in 11 minutes. If the tops slide or move (independently of the ‘feet’ when you gently twist the top), then bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. Check one or two. If they move when gently touched, put them back in the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes until they don’t move when touched.   Let the macaroons cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  The macarons should release without sticking.

Make the ganache. Bring the coconut puree and salt to the boil in a small pan. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in a bowl. Stir well with a whisk until combined. Cover the ganache with plastic wrap touching the surface and leave at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Do not place in the fridge. Whip with a handheld blender for a minute or so to get a slightly thicker consistency for piping.

Match shells and add the filling (I used a piping bag cut open, no piping tip). Decorations for the small macarons were made with Candy Melts (white) and star-shaped sprinkles. Place the macarons in the fridge overnight to mature before enjoying or freezing them for later.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: For the tie-dye color effect, add the three batters to the same bag. The easiest way to do that is to open a large piece of plastic film on your countertop, lay the different colors in three large stripes, side by side. Roll the plastic wrap as a sausage and drop it inside a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip. That will make sure the colors get a random mixing as you pipe the shells. I reserved some blue batter to make smaller macarons, all blue. If you want the colors to be more separated, with clear margins (also a very cool effect), simply place them in three separate piping bags and drop them inside a larger one, after cutting their tips (easy to forget, don’t ask me how I know).

4th OF JULY CARDAMON-ORANGE COOKIES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

360 g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
215 g sugar
¼ tsp salt
227 g cup butter, cold and cut in pieces
1 egg
3/4 tsp Fiori di Sicilia extract
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 tsp cardamom

for the Royal Icing:
80 g egg whites
420 g powdered sugar
blue gel food dye

MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH. Heat oven to 350 F. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Add the orange zest to the sugar and rub it all with your hands to release the fragrant oils. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg, Fiori di Sicilia and cardamom, mix well. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.

Dough can be rolled right away in between sheets of parchment paper. Roll to about 1/4″ thick, and cut into shapes. I used large stars, small stars, and rectangles. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, freeze for 5 to 10 minutes. Bake for about 12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool to room temperature before icing.

MAKE THE ROYAL ICING: whisk the egg whites and powdered sugar using a KitchenAid type mixer until fully smooth. Adjust if needed with sugar or a little milk. Color half of it blue, keep the other half white. Make the small stars first, flooding them with white icing. Add the sprinkles before the icing sets. As they sit on a rack, flood the large stars with blue icing. Keep the very center empty, all you need is a little icing to glue the small star on top. Since it is going to be a bit heavy, if you flood the whole extension of the cookie, it will risk pressing is too much and running down the edges. Place the small star on top and allow them to dry overnight.

For the painted cookie effect, see this post.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This basic recipe for sugar cookies is the one I had planned to use in the Great American Baking Show. I’ve made it so many times now, that I don’t even need to look at the recipe anymore. It always works. My only advice for you is to use regular American butter, like the simple, humble Land-O-Lakes. That butter seems to be the best in terms of less spreading and less fat leaking during baking. And the cookies taste as good as those made with higher fancier brands. Come to think of it, if I had made it in the tent, who knows how they would turn out? I shiver to think.  😉

RED VELVET BROWNIE CAKE
(slightly modified from Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes)

300g semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
200g  butter
200g sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
150g all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2  tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
8 g red gel color (I used Americolor Super Red)

for icing:
300g powdered sugar
3 tbsp very hot water
squeeze of lemon juice
sprinkles

Heat the oven to 325 F.  Grease a  12 x 9 in pan tin and line with parchment paper. Sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt. Reserve. Gently melt the chocolate and the butter together.  Let it cool slightly and add the sugar, eggs, vanilla and red gel dye. Mix well until smooth and shiny.  Add the flour mixture, stir until no dry bits remain.

Pour the mixture into the pan and level the top. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until risen and a crust has formed on the surface. The middle should feel just firm when pressed with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the pan, then remove it.

Make the icing: Mix the powdered sugar, water and lemon juice together in a bowl to make a smooth paste, adjust consistency as needed. Spread over the cold cake and top with sprinkles. Cut in pieces to serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Pretty much everything I bake these days go for Common Table meals, and they need to be wrapped individually. I am always tweaking the recipes so that they bake as flat and uniformly as possible, and if they have some type of icing, it is not too soft. Crusting buttercream and powdered sugar-based icings are the best.  I tend to use less baking powder than the recipes call for, so feel free to up a little the amount (up to 2 + 1/2 tsp)  if you don’t mind a certain dome effect in the center of your cake. For this recipe a 13 x 9 will give a cake a bit too thin, if that’s the only size you have, perhaps a 10 inch square pan will work better.

4th OF JULY BAKED ORANGE DONUTS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

100g granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large orange
160 g cake flour, sifted
1 + ¼ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla paste

Spray your donut pans with a very light coating of baking spray. I used one mini donut pan and one regular size.  Heat oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl combine sugar and orange zest until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in sugar mixture.

Add buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla and stir until just combined. Add batter to a piping bag and fill each donut cup approximately one-half full.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.
Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing. Finish the donuts with melted Candy Melts and add sprinkles before it sets.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: I’ve made these donuts about a month ago using orange blossom water instead of vanilla paste, and to me they tasted a bit artificial. So this time I kept the orange theme exclusively in the zest. Maybe it depends on the brand of orange water you have. At any rate, they are very simple to prepare and have a nice texture. Fiori di Sicilia would probably be quite nice also, but I did not want to have two exact same flavors in the weekly bake. All these goodies were included in the same Common Table meal of July 3rd.

I hope you enjoyed this small collection of 4th of July bakes, and that you are having a nice weekend. Please stay vigilant, observe social distance, and wear a mask when outside. It is not a political issue, it is a matter of your health and that of those around you.

A mask is a sign that you care.

For a recent review on staying safe during this pandemic, visit this post.

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2019

TWO YEARS AGO: Brigadeiros for the 4th of July

THREE YEARS AGO: Kaleidoscopic Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: Zucchini Noodles with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2015

SIX YEARS AGO: Sous-vide Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Butter

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Amazing Ribs for the 4th of July!

NINE YEARS AGO: Baby Back Ribs on the 4th of July

TEN YEARS AGO: Blueberry Muffins

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: A Pie for your 4th of July

 

IN MY KITCHEN: JULY 2020


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. The idea is to share whatever you feel like. Things you’ve bought, gifts you’ve received, new gadgets, new ingredients, new cookbooks. And if you feel particularly generous, you could potentially share the post with your resident pups. It’s up to you. So, let me start with some gifts…

From my dear friend Heather, straight from her backyard in California

A huge box of Meyer Lemons!  She never even told me she was sending them and wow, it was a real sweet surprise…  I made a ton of stuff from these lemons, including a batch of preserved lemons (I have two still left).  Thank you, Heather!

From my friend Courtnie, straight from her New York kitchen….

Fermented hot sauces!  I had never even heard of fermenting ingredients to make a condiment and was blown away by the complexity of flavors. Even though the red one contains habaneros, the heat level is perfect, no need to call the firemen. I added them to marinades, made Shrimp Moqueca with the red one, and shake them over turkey burgers and many other food items right on my plate. Thank you, Courtnie!

From my forever husband….

A coffee cup from his favorite artist, Mary Rose Young. The pups were not amused, but we both got a kick out of it.

Still from my forever husband…. a labor of love


My Kitchen Aid was making horrific noises and jumping around as if possessed by The Devil Himself if I set a speed higher than 2. We went to Youtube University and found out there was quite likely a loose screw inside. My beloved fixed it for me. It is a messy job. You have no idea how much oil sits inside that machine.  But it now behaves as brand new!

From Rumi Spices….

As you may know, I never accept products to review, and this was no exception. I was contacted by Rumi Spices  because they wanted to use one of my recipes (a sourdough made with saffron) in their website, and I gave them permission. They sent me these two beautiful jars of spices as a thank you gift, and first I fell in love with their elegant design, but shortly after, the spices found a place in my heart also. Black Cumin and Berbere, I’ve been using them quite a bit lately. You can check their store here, if you are interested.

And now, let me show you a few things that I could not resist bringing into the Bewitching Kitchen since we last chatted about it.

In our kitchen…

A set of 12 special molds that work wonderfully well for things such as financiers. They are non-stick, very sturdy and well-made. I got them at amazon, click here for details.

In our kitchen…

A cast-iron loaf pan, which I used recently to make Nadiya’s Chicken Shawarma. I coated it with a little oil, had no issues using it. Have also used it for a loaf of bread with great results.  Available at amazon with a click here.

In our kitchen…

You win some, you lose some.  Never ordering again from this seller at amazon. I ordered this high quality white chocolate before the weather got too hot, and they guaranteed it would ship protected from heat. It arrived almost completely melted. I exchanged a couple of messages, they said that I should have ordered overnight delivery in dry ice because it was available as an option, but of course no one told me that would be a requirement to get the chocolate in good shape. I also tried to contact Caillebaut for help trying to temper it, and never got a single reply back.  Not. Happy. At. All.

In our kitchen…

One of the things that being in a certain tent did for me was develop a complete obsession with Mason Cash pottery. I found this one at ebay for a very good price, and could not resist it. It is amazing how they feel at the same time light and sturdy. Love it.

In our kitchen…

This might very well be my new passion. It is sweet, salty, and funky in equal amounts Funky in the best possible meaning of the term. You know, umami-like. I’ve been baking with it, and sometimes, late at night, when no one is paying attention, I might sneak a little taste, straight from the package.

In our kitchen…


Truly an impulse buy. I should not have. I am embarrassed, ashamed, I have no idea why I am smiling in the picture, braces and all. SHAME on BAKER. (But isn’t this rolling pin swoon-worthy?). Found this gem at etsy.com (search for embossed rolling pins and be ready to dream).

In our kitchen…

A few ceramic cupcake and cake stands (the pink one I’ve had for months), the others I found at Marshall’s, including the square stand which I’ve been flirting with for a while. What won’t I do for this blog?

In our kitchen…

This is really a life-saver for me. Since the beginning of this pandemic, Common Table meals changed their approach. No more sit-down dinner, they just distribute food for take-out delivery. So my contributions cannot be a single large cake or pie, or cookies in a box. I need to wrap each item individually. It means quite a bit of plastic wrap each week. This large roll works like a dream, the quality of the wrap is excellent, and the cutting mechanism perfect.  I am so glad I got it.

In our kitchen…

A very nice, relaxing tea, that was recommended in a post by my friend Karen. I love the inclusion of butterfly pea flower, as I can change the color of the tea from purple to slightly blue using a touch of lemon juice.

In our kitchen…

A set of simple syrups that you can use for drinks (alcoholic or not), as well as to flavor buttercream. I first heard about them from tent-baker Tanya, and placed my first order not too long ago. I have used the ginger-lime, still have to try the other two. They smell amazing! If you are interested, here is the link to the company.

In our kitchen…

I don’t remember sweet cherries and strawberries being as tasty as this year. Compensation of the universe for a certain plague? Who knows? But we’ve been enjoying them on a regular basis, and storing strawberries in the freezer for the future. The husband made those chocolate-covered strawberries to surprise me on Mother’s Day, and he is also the Resident Strawberry Sorbet Maker.  Yeah, I am just a very lucky woman.

Just outside of our kitchen….

We’ve started a project to build a little outdoor patio, and the husband put 99% of the effort into it, I am just helping a little bit (although shoveling rocks into a wheel barrel can take a toll on the human body).  We hope to have it ready around the 4th of July holiday. No, no get together with friends, but it will be nice to sit there the two of us enjoying a morning coffee.

Sooo, that is it for this month. As I mentioned before, In My Kitchen posts may or may not be shared with resident pups. The fact that they were very disrespectful to the layer of rocks that we had carefully constructed and leveled, made me put them in time out. I will spare you of the details, but it was a dirty business.
No blog post for any of you this month, pups!

Well, Bogey is not worried for good reason…

Yes, my friends… I could not possibly let the pups out of their five minutes of fame this month. Because it turns out today is a very special day.

My little forever puppy, Bucky Boy, turns 13 years young today! When I think that for the first five years of his life he had no name, he was tied to a tree outside almost permanently, had no toys, no idea of what it was to walk on a leash, how to walk through an open door, or up and down stairs… it just breaks my heart. We rescued him from hell, and I just wish that it could have happened when he was still a little puppy. But, better late than never. Happy Birthday, Buck!

For Birthday celebrations, we believe that elegance is key.
Bogey and Buck are naturals in that department.

Oscar? Well, let’s say Social Isolation came with issues….

We had no choice but to take matters into our own hands…

No worries, Bogey… You are un-trimmable!

And also very lovable…  although don’t let my sweet demeanor fool you….

Indeed, the pups sometimes don’t see eye to eye and they always make their feelings clear. A recent example comes to mind…

Well, that’s all for now… The pups want to wrap it up with a final message for their millions (cough, cough) of fans.

Stay positive, my friends!   

and don’t take yourself too seriously…

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, June 2019

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen – July 2018

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2017

FOUR YEARS AGO: Secret Recipe Club: Falafel and a Bonus Recipe

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chocolate Toffee Banana Bread

SIX YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, June 2014

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Baked Coconut and “The Brazilian Kitchen”

NINE YEARS AGO: Honey-Glazed Chicken Legs

TEN YEARS AGO: French-Style Rolls

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Chicken Breasts, Coffee, and Serendipity