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In My Kitchen… September 2014

Well here we are again my friends. In My Kitchen. September! Spring has most definitely sprung, the mercury is already rising and happily, there’s more daylight. At this time of year you start to think ‘yeah, I really like Summer’. In February when it’s 32c and 85% humidity, you start to re-think that bold statement. In My Kitchen is hosted by the inimitable Celia over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. It’s a real labour of love as she now loads over 50 posts of bloggers from around the world, showing us what’s in their kitchens.

In my September kitchen…

Organic Avocadoes

…are organic avocados. I came to work the other day and saw a box at either end of the floor, offering lots of small avocados. Turns out that someone in my team lives on the edge of some vacant land that is filled with untended avocado trees. These are rock hard and will no doubt all ripen on exactly the same day. It’s been so long since I’ve had a decent avocado so I am hopeful that soon enough I’ll be enjoying smashed avo and green Tabasco on toast for breakfast and guacamole with sundowners in the afternoon.


In my kitchen…

Blood Orange Case

…are oranges, oranges, oranges! Delicious blood oranges. Redbelly Citrus sent me a whole case of blood oranges to enjoy and cook with. An amazingly generous gift that was very welcome and sent me rushing to the recipe books. Redbelly’s oranges are grown in the Riverina where the climate and terroir is similar to Sicily, home of Arancia Rossa di Sicilia (Red Orange of Sicily). The early oranges have a distinctly savoury flavour to them, making them the perfect accompaniment for main meals as well as an ingredient in sweet treats. I’ve made some old favourites but have also tried some new recipes. I had my first go at making marmalade (recipe here) and it’s been a big success with the many family members I have been forcing it on to. I will be posting some of the more unusual recipes in the coming weeks.

Blood Orange Pots

The gift of fruit is not something you see these days. It’s probably viewed as old fashioned and I suspect most people would look askance if they were given a present of half a dozen perfect pears or juicy oranges. I can certainly understand how we have gotten to the place where fruit is not seen as treat or luxury. Having said that, I could not have been more thrilled when I received this surprise. You may not want to give your brother a bag of grapes for his milestone birthday but a few choice mangoes or a perfectly ripe pineapple or bowl of cherries would make a lovely housewarming gift or be a welcome addition to a cheese or fruit plate at a BBQ. I commend the thought to you.


In my kitchen…

Jackie 21st Trio

21 Today!

…was this checkerboard celebration cake. All gone now! Regular IMK readers may recall that a few months ago I made an ombre cake for my niece’s birthday. At the time I said it was likely I would also make one for her sister’s 21st and indeed, that’s exactly what eventuated. The ombre cake was a huge surprise when Kim cut into it so I wanted to make sure that Jackie’s 21st cake also had the ‘Wow’ factor. I was sweating on it looking OK when it was cut because when you’re constructing it, the outside bears no resemblance to the inside. It was very rustic in the size and ragged edges of the cubes but for a first attempt, I was once again pleased with the result. When Jackie cut the cake, I think she was expecting an ombre cake so she was very surprised to see the colourful checkerboard. Pinterest was once again a font of knowledge and pinspiration.


In my kitchen…

Oven Mitt

…is a new oven mitt. I can’t live without a double oven mitt and flog them mercilessly. There are always blow outs at the ends, food stains and a general down at heel look. Every now and then I see a double mitt on sale in my bite sized food adventures about town and am spurred into action to retire an old favourite. Sometimes they are beyond redemption and must be binned. Other times they go into the camping gear where they get a final beating before being put to pasture.


In my kitchen…

Sweet Swap

…are these delicious treats I received from A Cupcake Or Two and Create Bake Make as part of #TheSweetSwap I participated in. This simple concept generates a lot of fun amongst Australian Food, Parenting & Lifestyle Bloggers as well as raising money for charity along the way. There have been funny tweets about failed caramels, Facebook posts about melting marshmallows and a realisation for many just how great our Mums were, turning out lollies for the sweet stall at the school fete. My goodies included Salted Caramels w Fennel & Chilli (as good as they sound), Caramel Hazelnut Fudge and Caramel Tim Tam Rumballs (mostly eaten by the time I took the photo).

Butterscotch Brazils 1

I made Butterscotch Brazil Nuts for my recipients. The recipe is here. You can follow The Sweet Swap on FB so you know when it’s on again next year and can join in the fun. Whilst you’re there, please follow my blog page on FB too! The link is just over there to your right, towards the top of the sidebar.


In my kitchen…


…is my new KitchenAid hand mixer. A prize from the Food Bloggers Australia Writing Competition. Food Bloggers Australia is the only national community website for Australian food and beverage bloggers. Are you a member? There are certain conditions (such as being a resident of Australia) but is free to apply and gives you the nifty badge you can see on my sidebar. As to my wonderful mixer, I think I will have to wait a while to use it as I’m not going to be making and baking much over the coming months. Why?


Because in my kitchen…

Ticket to ride trio

are these tickets to ride! There are only a few weeks until Anthony and I head off on a holiday to the United States. You will note the classic publication ‘New York City on $5 a Day’, published in 1967, the year of TIFFIN. It has some great tips such as a night out on the town catching buses between destinations to enjoy the latest craze. ‘Discotechques’.  And there ares these fabulous places called automats when you can get a sandwich for 25c. Apparently they are ‘simply everywhere’. But be careful! They try to rip you off by charging up to $1.40 for a hot meal if you order from the counter rather than buying it out of the cabinet. Can you believe those price gougers?  Thank goodness I have this guide to the Big Apple. I’m sure it will come in very handy.

Dedicated as I am to TIFFIN, I am as equally dedicated to relaxing on my holiday so other than a few scheduled posts, things will be a bit quiet on the blog during October and November and I won’t be doing an IMK post. Don’t worry though….I will have suitcases worth of things to show off to you in December. If you want to see where I am or what I’m up too, search for #TiffinUSA on Twitter and Facebook.

22 comments… add one
  • Lizzy (Good Things) September 5, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Fabulous IMK post, Fiona…. congratulations again on your win! Well done. Bon voyage for your travels…. what an adventure!

    • Fiona Ryan September 6, 2014, 10:58 am

      Thanks Liz. Yes, it’s not long now until we go. A pleasant morning spent reading IMK posts and an afternoon of housework in preparation!

  • Shannan September 5, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Love IMK and I loooove that oven mitt! Have a great holiday x

    • Fiona Ryan September 6, 2014, 11:00 am

      Thanks Shannan – oven mitt courtesy of Freedom. Plenty of colours to choose from. Maybe we can catch up properly when I get back!

  • francesca September 5, 2014, 8:21 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your opening comments to your Imk post. On occasion, I see an abundant lemon crop going to waste on a tree.A box outside the gate, with a few bags and a sign saying please take a few, is the old way and good way of doing things. Have a wonderful trip Fiona and I look forward to your news on return. F x

    • Fiona Ryan September 6, 2014, 11:05 am

      Thanks for your encouragement. People are funny though – they’d rather see something go to waste than share it with others. It happens every year with mangoes. There are so many that no one is keen on buying them, even at a song but people would rather they rot than give them away. See you when I get back.

  • Tania @My Kitchen stories September 5, 2014, 11:51 pm

    I bet you too that all those avocados will ripen on the same day. So jealous of your trip. Have an amazing time and I look forward to your post in December

    • Fiona Ryan September 6, 2014, 11:06 am

      I think you’re right Tania. I had hoped to have them today, for breakfast but they’re not quite ready yet. Another few days? I’m sure the Dec post will be a bumper!

  • Jan Rhoades September 6, 2014, 8:35 am

    Those avos will probably ripen just as you board the plane for USA. Again, well done with the win but I’m thinking you will need to strengthen arm muscles in preparation for use.

    Hmm..let me look for some discarded oven mitts.

    • Fiona Ryan September 6, 2014, 11:08 am

      I was thinking the same thing. There’s a bit of yield but still a way to go.

  • Sam September 6, 2014, 11:36 am

    Great post. You’ve been busy. Hope to see you for a drink before you go. X

    • Fiona Ryan September 7, 2014, 3:47 pm

      I’ll be there baby! Trevor S will be visiting on that day so I’ll need a drink!

  • Joanne T Ferguson September 6, 2014, 1:11 pm

    G’day! Thanks for your post Tiffin that brightened my day!
    Always good to see what you and in your kitchen is up too also!
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Fiona Ryan September 8, 2014, 6:22 pm

      You’re welcome Joanne. Thanks for stopping by.

  • sherry from sherryspickings September 7, 2014, 6:59 pm

    fab things in your kitchen fiona. i hate seeing fruit go to waste on trees too so if possible i always grab it from the roadside or paddock. blood oranges are wondrous things- lucky you! nice getting the hand mixer- i had to replace my old one a while ago and i do miss my old old one (diff. brand) as the new one just doesnt seem to have the same grunt. love that patchwork cake! have fun in the US.

    • Fiona Ryan September 8, 2014, 6:18 pm

      My old mixer soldiers on. A Breville, it just keeps keeping on. The new one has a dough hook though, so that may be handy. The cake was a wonky thing of beauty.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 9, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Whoa, Fiona – the avocados and the citrus and the prize and finally those tickets. I’m beyond filled with envy. 🙂 It’s been a long time since I saw an automat. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan September 10, 2014, 9:45 am

      Ha ha – oh how I wish there was an automat to visit. I used to love seeing them in old movies. I Googled it and sadly, there are none in existence. There was one that tried to start up in 2007 but closed in 2009. Fast food has killed the original fast food!

  • celia September 11, 2014, 6:06 am

    You are such a great aunt! That cake is a real labour of love – I’m pushed to make layer cakes, let alone checkerboard ones! I’m sure your avos will ripen beautifully and how good of your workmate to collect and share them rather than letting them rot. And how cool is it to win a KitchenAid as a gift! Congratulations!

    Fi, have you ever considered using leather welding gloves as oven gloves? That’s what I use all the time – they get quite gross after a while, but they last really well and only cost about $10 a pair. The big advantage for me is a. moveable fingers and b. they don’t burst into flames when I leave them on top of the gas burner. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan September 12, 2014, 9:33 am

      I’m just so relieved it turned out at all. It could have been a real mess but she was very happy. I hadn’t thought of welding gloves. That’s a great idea and worth a go. Thanks for the tip.

  • Miss Food Fairy September 14, 2014, 9:05 pm

    I hope you have an amazing time in the US – be sure to take lots of amazing photos, maybe some with food 🙂 Very impressive cake by the way – I had better not show my nephew as he might want me to make that for his birthday! And I hope the avocados turned out perfect on your toast with tobacco. Thank you for sharing IMK

    • Fiona Ryan September 15, 2014, 12:53 pm

      I only have 4 days left of work, then #EDB14 Conference and then, I’m off! I ate the avocadoes on the weekend for breakfast and then also for a snack on the afternoon. They were so buttery – just perfect! Thanks for the visit Food Fairy.

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