We have great news! On May 20th, we brought home a little bundle of joy, an 8 weeks-old female Dalmatian called Star. Full name is Ziggy Star Barker, a play with David Bowie and Star Baker. She is feisty, sweet, and the boys accepted either very enthusiastically (Prince) or kind of reluctantly (you know who). We are thrilled to have her join our home!

Ziggy Star Barker, born March 25th, 2023 in Eldora, Iowa – Rosais Acres LLC Dalmatians and Quarter Horses

This is a little video of her meeting the boys…

The Kingdom of Tatarrax



Stay tuned for future adventures with our furry friends!


In My Kitchen posts are hosted by Sherry, from  Sherry’s Pickings. Please visit her site to see whateverybody else is sharing this month. I join four times each year, on the first day of January, April, July and October. If you are a food blogger, considering taking part of this fun event. It is chance to share those little things you bought or received as gifts and that make your life in the kitchen easier. 

Starting with gifts…. quite a few to share!

From the husband, a brand new, bigger and better air-fryer! I am totally in love with this one, the #1 recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. Instant Vortex Plus Air-Fryer. A total game-changer when it comes to air-frying, compared to our old Lolita, which we bought in 2017 (check it out here).

From our friends Lorne and Wasu, several gifts for cookie making, but I am highlighting this one because this is one amazing set of food safe pens. They are all double-sided with a thin and a brush type point, and the set comes with a gold and a silver pen, absolutely fantastic quality. I’ve been using them A LOT.

From my folks in Brazil, a series of cow-thingies. It is part of a family joke. Two kitchen drying cloths and a tea cup. The yellow embroidery was made by my sister Norma, too cute for words!

This is a gift that the husband gave to himself, as he is the barista in our place. When we were at my niece Raquel’s home in Brazil, she and her husband Celso would use this special steamer that Phil totally fell in love with. So he got one and I tell you, it makes the most amazing foam. Ordering info here.

From a colleague from our department, a fantastic apron he bought in India during a recent visit… isn’t that the coolest apron?

In our kitchen…

Pistachio Flour, great for many concoctions, from shortbread cookies to macarons, and cakes. Smells amazing!

In our kitchen…

I have a weak spot for spice mixes, and this one was brough to my attention in a recent episode of Girl Meets Farm. She used it in a carrot cake and I was sold. Check her recipe here, and stay tuned because I shall make it soon! It is also wonderful in sourdough bread, as you will learn in the very near future.

In our kitchen…

I can never resist color. Yet another gentle suggestion from my friend Gary, who told me I needed to have them (ordering info here). I don’t discuss with friends. I follow their advice. His fault. Obviously.

In our kitchen…

As far as unusual cookie cutters, this might take first prize. It is a beetle! It so happened because a friend of mine dared me cookie some beetles. And that’s what I did! I REALLY do not discuss with friends. Cookie cutter available here.

In our kitchen…

These are the original Oreo type cookies. Phil is the one who brought them to my attention, as he remembers them vividly from his childhood days. They are less sweet, more intense in the chocolate flavor, and are also firmer in texture. I have been using them to make chocolate-covered concoctions such as those blogged about recently (see post here).

In our kitchen….

Crystallized Ginger pieces. These are luscious. Of al the brands I’ve tried, these are by far the best. If you are going to use them in cookies, you’ll need to cut in smaller pieces but the flavor you get from them is superior to anything else out there. Click here to order some.

In our kitchen…

Fat-free cocoa powder (ordering info here), my absolute favorite to bake macarons and to make chocolate Royal icing, as you can see here and here.




We don’t really know what happened to him. In his place, a fierce, huge, powerful pup showed up, out of nowhere!

With so much energy and curiosity, we followed the advice of some friends and got a little puzzle for Prince to play with. He was quite intrigued to say the least…

The puzzle has two levels. The dog can get the goodies from the outside doors, and once that is empty, he can bang on the top to release some more. Prince got the first level figured out quite quickly, but when Oscar had his chance to play, he surprised us by getting to the second level right away, as you can see in this short video:

We don’t know if Prince would get to that in a few more rounds of play because thanks to Oscar’s excessive enthusiasm, the toy did not last long enough. A moment of silence. Please and thank you.

The fierce pup has a strange adoration for shoes….

Incredible resilience in tug-of-war games….

And the uncanny ability to generate chaos in all areas of our home, aka His Kingdom…


Well, Osky… The Annoying One has quite a few things going for him…

He is very liberal with his hugs and kisses…

He enjoys watching the shows we love….

He is a great help with my baking…


Tries hard to keep up with his parent’s day job!


And look how amazing he is at the golf course!

Finally, who could possibly resist those head tilts?

All things considered, we think you can learn to live with His Royal Annoyance…
There is room and love for everybody in this kingdom…


I close this post with a little call from the past. We miss them. We are glad they were part of our pack, but we do miss them still. They were special in so many ways. I could never quite put into words my bond with Buck. I guess it will stay like that. Something only me and that little being were fully aware of. And BogeyQT. How could we ever forget him?


That’s all for now, folks! We’ll be back for the Summer chapter of In Prince’s Kingdom!


ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2022

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2021

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2020

FOUR YEARS AGO:  In My Kitchen, April 2019

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2018

SIX YEARS AGO: First Monday Favorite

SEVEN YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2016

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Spring has Sprung with Suzanne Goin

NINE YEARS AGO: Chai Brownies

TEN YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

TWELVE YEARS AGO: The Real Vodka Sauce

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO: Spring Rolls on a Spring Day


We are thrilled to introduce you to our new family member, Prince Freckles. Prince was born on June 12th, and joined our home 24 hours ago. Having a puppy is like falling in love with a special someone. Everything makes you smile, fills your heart with joy, and you cannot quite understand how you’ve lived your life without that being as part of it. We are absolutely smitten by this bundle of energy. His heart-shaped nose, his delicate black spots very similar to those of our dear BogeyQT. In less than 24 hours he learned to go down the two steps from kitchen to TV room, which scared him beyond belief at first. He almost did a full body flip the first time, and how we wish we had captured it on video! The images are already so many, as I type this post they fly through my mind and I cannot stop smiling. We needed him. And he is here. Welcome to the Bewitching Kitchen, Little Prince!




It’s been three long months since I last invited you for a virtual tour of our kitchen, the event initiated by Celia and now hosted by Lizzy from Bizzy Lizzy Good Things. So, tighten your seat belts, because there are lots of goodies to talk about…

Starting with gifts…

I am not sure this qualifies as a gift, but I will go with it. I entered a drawing over at Lisa is Cooking a couple of months ago, and to my absolute delight, I won!  It is a gorgeous, oval-shaped All-Clad pan, perfect to sear and cook fish.  It is so beautiful, I smile every time I look at it…  Not only it works great for its intended purpose, but I’ve used it to sear halloumi cheese. O.M.G. Wait for a blog post on that one…

panThank you so much, Lisa!  Love the pan….

From our dear friend Ines…


A classic cookbook from the one and only Dorie Greenspan… A must-have for sure, I know I would be getting it at some point. Resistance would be futile. But now I don’t need to. HA!

From our friends Denise and Hélio, shipped all the way from England…

The best chocolate in the world! Valrhona, in different levels of cocoa, to match your mood… or your recipe!  Such a thoughtful gift… The only problem is preventing “someone” from devouring one bar or two when I’m not paying attention.

From C & C, the coolest couple in L.A.


A set of soapstone vodka drinking glasses. Phil loves Chopin vodka, and they also sent a huge bottle. The glasses are from a company I like a lot, Uncommon Goods. Check them out, they have very unique things.

From my sister Norma, back in Brazil….


A gourmet mustard, infused with a very special Brazilian fruit, called “jabuticaba.”  I love the fruit, and the mustard is superb!  It has a delicate touch of sweetness, and the taste is quite unique.


From my niece Raquel back in Brazil…


A beautifully crafted box for my teas!  The top mimics the pattern of the sidewalks in Rio de Janeiro, every Brazilian recognizes that pattern… Looks like waves…  And now my teas are in perfect order!

From my perfect match…

Two more coffee mugs from our favorite pottery artist, Mary Rose Young…  He keeps searching on ebay, and I keep welcoming them in our kitchen…

My Christmas gift to myself… just because….

This little teapot has a thermometer on the lid, and you can brew each type of tea (green, herbal, black) at the optimal temperature. It is very stylish, and works like a charm…. I am in love!



In our kitchen…


A few exotic ingredients I got over at the Oriental market we have in town. For the most part inspired by a couple of cookbooks I am in love with: The Saffron Tales and Taste of Persia. I got black chickpeas, culinary grade rose petals (swoon), pomegranate seeds powder (how could I resist?) and a couple of spices that are very important in Middle Eastern cuisine: angelica powder and advieh (Persian spice mix). Can hardly wait to play with them all…

In our kitchen…

‘ve heard a lot of good things about this store called “The Spice Lab.” But their stuff is very expensive. The other day I stopped at Tuesday Morning in town, and was surprised to find this big bottle of Himalayan salt for sale, very cheap. It has black pepper in it. Sprinkled on top of flank steak cooked medium-rare it is to die for.

In our kitchen…


These are some tasty crackers! Served with home-made hummus it is a garbanzo bean feast for your taste buds… Love it. I think they have several kinds, I’ve seen it plain and this one with black olives. Salty, quite addictive. If you have a chance to grab a bag, go for it.

In our kitchen…


A new (to me) grain that I bought after my friend Elaine raved about it. Still waiting to try my first recipe for it, I am sure it’s something I’ll love. You can use it as you would farro, for instance, in stews, as a risotto type prep, or even cold in salads. Stay tuned.

In our kitchen…


Holiday napkins… How could I resist these? Look at that doggie! Poise and elegance, just like our pups… Well, maybe not quite…

In our kitchen…


A red platter found at Marshalls. It was love at first sight. They had it with a reduced price tag, I paid 5 bucks for it, if you can believe it. It is so festive, perfect for the holiday season, but I will be of course using it all year-long.

In our kitchen…

Butterscotch extract. Yes, you read it correctly. This heaven in a bottle exists. One word for you, macarons. Are you smiling yet?

In our kitchen…


Four perfectly round low-carb Ricotta, Lemon & Lavender pancakes, a recipe I was very excited to try on a Saturday after a nice, albeit a bit chilly morning run. Oh, you only see an empty plate? What’s up with that, you may ask?

Full disclosure: Said pancakes were left unattended for 3 and a half minutes while I went upstairs to grab my phone to take a picture of them. I should add they were in the center of the island, a spot that we considered safe from canine paws. We were proven wrong. A certain dalmatian that attends by the name of Bogey Quit That managed to push the plate with his nose (at least that’s what we think), all the way to the edge of the countertop, to very efficiently wolf them down.  And then you wonder why my hair gets a bit more gray each month (sigh).

Finally, very recently in our kitchen…


Great friends reunited, even if only for a few hours…


Due to a lengthy series of canine-induced grievances, I seriously considered banning the four-legged creatures from showing up in this segment of In My Kitchen. But then…

oskypeter11Sir, you seem like such a nice man…
Could you please convince Mom to let us say hello to her readers? 

Reluctantly, then… I complied.


I have nothing to add. Still hurts me to remember.

Oscar cannot reach countertops and to be honest, he doesn’t care that much about food, which is pretty odd. But he causes grievances in other ways… like trying to dig his way to China from our backyard, forcing his humans to halt dinner preparation and deal with the muddy mess.



Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about!

Buck managed to hurt his front paw helping his brother in his path to China, so we put some booties on his paws to prevent him from licking the antibiotic ointment off. He was not thrilled.


His first attempts at walking with those booties were hilarious, poor thing, but he got used to them in a few minutes. Check it out here.

Giving Bogey a bath is a workout in itself, because to dry him, you gotta catch him first. Sounds a lot easier than it is… Glad I was not the one in charge!
bogeybathHe does look great once he is squeaky clean!

Oscar insists that he cleans up better than his brother.


But Buck is putting up a fight for the pole position…

I will let you be the judge of it, not taking sides!

Bogey has been bad lately. Really bad. From eating a bar of soap, to snatching my special pancakes, but the worst, the worst I shall tell you later. Never in a million years, we could imagine… well, I’ll stop here. You will have to wait for it.



Now, if you want to see three dogs on their very best behavior, all it takes is a sirloin steak, cooked medium rare, and Phil going at it with a knife.


That’s all, folks!  We all wish you a wonderful 2017!

We promise to be back with more cooking, more bread baking, more canine grievances, and throw in some cake baking to keep the adrenaline high…


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ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen: Happy New Year!

TWO YEARS AGO: And another year starts…

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen: January 2014

FOUR YEARS AGO: Tacos with Pork in Green Sauce

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Maui New Year!

SIX YEARS AGO: Natural Beauty

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Sunflower Seed Rye