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In My Kitchen… April 2014

In my April kitchen…

Paella Dish

…are Birthday goodies. I celebrated my birthday last month and got quite a haul. Highlights included a paella pan and jam funnel from my mum, a delicious bottle of Blood Orange, Guava and Mango White Balsamic from my friend Sam and a Lonely Planet book on the Great Cuisines of the World (mental note* Must reference for upcoming Eurovision celebrations), from friends Robert and Bronlynn. The book adds to the ever present ‘to read’ pile, many of which are too big to cart to work on the bus each day.  That paella is going to be a big undertaking so I’ll need to find a reason to make it as the quantity is rather large. I’ll be having a lot of fun with these lovely gifts and hope my friends and family can reap the rewards.



In my kitchen…


…is this autobiography by Tony Bilson. Also a birthday gift, from Steve and Cath, this is next on the ‘read on bus’ pile. Tony Bilson is a bit of a legend. He had a reputation for fine food at his restaurants Berowra Waters and Kinselas as well as his eponymous venture at Sydney’s Circular Quay. He trained some of Australia’s best chefs including Tetsuya Wakuda. Bilson’s was awarded 3 hats by the Good Food Guide but only six weeks later was closed, in liquidation. Insatiable was published just after this closing in 2011, the book no doubt finished before this sad event. It will be interesting to learn more about the man, his philosophy on food and perhaps an insight into how his empire collapsed.



In my kitchen…


…home grown chillis. A note on the table at work said ‘chillis from Carol’s garden – please help yourself’. And so I did.



In my kitchen…

Business Cards

…are new business cards with my new livery. I had a go at the standard cards but have gone back to these ones from Zazzle as they are lightweight, easy to tuck in a bag and are just a little bit different.


In my kitchen…

…are no goodies from my visit to Norfolk Island. Sure, I could have brought back coffee beans or maybe even some jam but in the end, I really didn’t need anything and what with my birthday presents, my pantry is heaving. Besides, I’m off to the US in September and will need plenty of room for that massive haul.



In my kitchen…

Sealing Rings

…are a set of sealing rings that are the wrong size! I bought these today to replace a ring that is starting to perish (you can see the lip has broken off). I  thought these would fit the jar I have but, no… I’ll need to take them back and swap them over.



In my kitchen…


…is this piece of fabric from Kenya. Oh how I love a good textile. Both times I’ve been to Bali (too) I’ve come home with arm loads of batik. They are perfect for table cloths and look great in my otherwise neutral toned kitchen/dining room. I’m sure you’ve seen them sneaking in as background in some of my photos. When I visited East Africa in 2007, my eyes were popping out on stalks with all of the colourful fabrics. I was able to buy a few pieces from local markets, this piece from Lake Victoria. Whilst they are not quite big enough to be table cloths, they deserve to see the light of day so I liberated this one from the cupboard for the backgrounds this month.

In My Kitchen is hosted on a monthly basis by one of Sydney’s Top Food Bloggers, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. It’s an opportunity for bloggers to talk about what’s happening in their kitchen and their lives and maybe include a few things that they haven’t had time to blog about. If you visit Celia’s blog, you can read about other In My Kitchen enthusiasts.

34 comments… add one
  • Sally - My Custard Pie April 5, 2014, 10:52 pm

    That’s a MASSIVE paella pan. How wonderful.

    • Fiona Ryan April 7, 2014, 11:48 am

      Yes it is. We have several public holidays coming up here including Easter and ANZAC Day so maybe I can trot it out. Now that you say that, I better go and check whether the pan will fit in move oven.

  • Lizzy (Good Things) April 6, 2014, 8:15 am

    Gah, isn’t it annoying when you have to take something back to the store! Love that blue in the fabric and such a pretty pattern! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen.

    • Fiona Ryan April 7, 2014, 10:08 am

      And I do wonder whether I will get back to the shop any time soon or they’ll just sit in the draw…

  • tableofcolors April 6, 2014, 5:18 pm

    What a fun piece of fabric…and so many goodies! Happy Birthday!

  • Jan Rhoades April 7, 2014, 8:48 am

    I have just included a piece of fabric you gave me from Africa, in a mystery quilt I’m making. And I can easily add borders to any of the fabrics you have if indeed you need more tablecloths.
    Count me in for the paella. I’ll supply the prawns!

    • Fiona Ryan April 7, 2014, 10:10 am

      It was tough for me to give up that piece as I loved them all but, they deserve to roam free like the herds on the savannah.

  • shaheen April 8, 2014, 11:51 pm

    Belated Birthday wishes, I envy your homegrown crop of chillies. I am looking forward to growing my own this year. And woaw that is one big paella pan!

    • Fiona Ryan April 9, 2014, 11:50 am

      Yes it’s huge! I’ll have to get a new kitchen to match! Thanks for visiting Shaheen. Hope to see you back sometime.

  • JJ - 84thand3rd April 11, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Oh those gifts and that fabric – fabulous! And a happy belated birthday 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 12, 2014, 12:06 pm

      I always tell everyone ‘No Christmas presents. Give to the Leukaemia Foundation’ so I think people feel the need to make up for it in March.

  • Kim | a little lunch April 12, 2014, 12:24 am

    Fiona, aren’t food-related birthday gifts the best? Very thoughtful. Your beautiful fabric did indeed make for a lovely background for your IMK treasures, too!

    • Fiona Ryan April 12, 2014, 12:07 pm

      Looking at those photos, they are very ‘blue’ which may have had something to do with the shade I was photographing in but i’m glad that fabric got to see the light (or shade) or day!

  • EllaDee April 12, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Cookbooks, books of any kind make the best birthday gifts. I also admired the Blood Orange, Guava and Mango White Balsamic which sent me on an online journey to source it coming up with the YIAH website which merits further investigation 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2014, 6:55 pm

      I have so many cookbooks – just so heard to get to them with so many blogs to read! Thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 12, 2014, 3:23 pm

    Fiona, that paella pan screams PARTY to me! I love that fabric too. I’ve always brought home souvenirs from wherever we travel but I’ve never been clever enough to think of fabric. I won’t forget again.

    I need new business cards. I must get on the stick and get that done this week.

    • Fiona Ryan April 14, 2014, 2:39 pm

      Fabric is perfect Maureen. Squashes into the smallest corners but, it is heavy!

  • Johanna GGG April 12, 2014, 8:38 pm

    what a lovely piece of cloth – I was admiring it in the photos and glad to hear more about it – and belated happy birthday – your reading sounds so interesting – what a shame these fascinating books are so hard to take on the bus – and I love the big paella pan – it is something I always think I should make but I don’t

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2014, 6:57 pm

      Hi GGG – yes, I think the paella will be a challenge. It’s like souffles – they have so much mystique and lore surrounding them. I’m sure I’ll have a crack though!

  • Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas April 14, 2014, 11:29 am

    March is the best month to be born in isn’t it 🙂 Happy Belated Birthday. That is a great jam funnel. I have a similar one, and I love the fact that it is so easy to throw in the dishwasher. I have a similar book problem. So many books & blogs, so little time. Love the business cards too. Very nice.

    • Fiona Ryan April 14, 2014, 2:39 pm

      It hadn’t even occurred to me to put the funnel in the dishasher…how easy. Yes, there’s a lot of Pisceans blogging about their birthdays on IMK this month. We are obviously ‘arty and sensitive’ types!

  • Joanne T Ferguson April 14, 2014, 8:37 pm

    G’day! Love your pan and look forward to the day we one day meet!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view too!!
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Fiona Ryan April 14, 2014, 9:51 pm

      Thanks Joanne. Have you done a post just on your cookie and biscuit cutters? It would be fun to read.

  • Mandy - The Complete Book April 14, 2014, 10:14 pm

    Ooo, I will have to commission my husband to buy me some fabric with his next trip to Kenya later this month.
    I so enjoy Celia’s IMK posts. It’s lovely meeting new people every month.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • Selma @ Selma's Table April 14, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Gosh – that Kenyan fabric is stunning! It had my attention all the way through the post! Also love your cards – always nice to be able to promote oneself in a professional manner! Looks like you had a great birthday too 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 15, 2014, 7:26 pm

      Thanks Selma. The cards are fun and so much easier than spelling out my blog address, which is a bit of a mouthful. Thanks for the follow on Twitter also.

  • The Life of Clare April 15, 2014, 7:25 am

    I love food related gifts! That pan is such a winner! Your business cards are the cutest!

    • Fiona Ryan April 15, 2014, 7:28 pm

      But I don’t have a personalised phone case do I? I’m sure I clicked on your blog when I was reading yesterday but I know I didn’t comment so I will have to rectify that right now. Cheers Clare and congrats again on your lovely boy (your tired mummy tweets are funny – at least to me they are!)

  • nancy@jamjnr April 15, 2014, 11:26 am

    I’m loving that fabric too, it deserves to be liberated from a drawer. Happy birthday for last month – there seems to have been a few in this months IMK.

    • Fiona Ryan April 15, 2014, 10:07 pm

      Thanks Nacy – yes, I noted many March birthdays too.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 15, 2014, 4:47 pm

    What stunning birthday gifts! I find it so frustrating when I buy the wrong size of something, only because of the effort it takes to return it. Have a super day 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 15, 2014, 10:06 pm

      Hi Tandy – yes, two weeks later they are still sitting on my table. I think we all know what that means…. bottom drawer!

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