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In My Kitchen… August 2015

After a few freezing weeks by Brisbane standards, normal transmission has resumed with highs in the low 20’s. Just how we like it. August in Brisbane means the Exhibition or ‘the Ekka‘. The Ekka is the Royal Queensland Show, running across 2 weeks. It is like a State Fair with plenty of agricultural displays, animal shows, food and craft competitions and of course, rides. It’s generally very windy in August in Brisbane so you hear people saying ‘It’s windy, the Ekka must be here’ and at other times of the year referring to a very windy day as being ‘Like at the Ekka.’ Celia from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial continues to host IMK, a fantastic virtual get together of cooks from all over the world.

In my kitchen…

IMK Baking Paper

…is this giant roll of baking paper. Very soon my office will be moving from the outer limits of the Valley and back into the CBD. Huzzah! One thing (and probably the only thing) I will miss, is Aldi, which is directly opposite where I am currently. So handy at lunch time when you need to waste your money on things you don’t need. One thing I was certain I would need at some point in the future was more baking paper which is why I bought this enormous 90m roll. All for under a tenner. Bye bye Aldi, hello chemist, post office, David Jones.


In my kitchen…

IMK Coffee Beans

…are coffee beans. Lots of coffee beans! I was lucky enough to attend the Brisbane Times Good Food Awards in July. Key sponsor, Vittoria, showered us with coffee beans upon departure from the event. Well, they gave us a kilo of coffee beans. Always welcome. I also attended another event where there was a small bag of beans as a gift. Though probably not really a gift when you’ve paid to attend the event but more a return on investment. I was very happy to receive all of this coffee but it did pose an issue….


In my kitchen…

IMK Coffee Grinder

…is a new coffee grinder. Only days before I received the first bag of beans, my trusty Breville coffee and spice grinder died. I was grinding some cardamom when sparks started shooting out at the base. Spectacular but a little dodgy. My coffee grinder had served me well for the past 20+ years so I looked for a Breville replacement. The new models received mixed reviews so whilst I did further research, I held off. In a totally unrelated search on eBay, a Bodum coffee grinder turned up in the results. It caught my eye because of the price. The store turned out to be Peter’s of Kensington and for some reason, the purple grinders were half price. I would have preferred red but for $20 less, I was hardly going quibble. I ground my first batch of beans last night and though it operates slightly differently to the Breville, I think it will settle in and we’ll be able to work together nicely.


In my kitchen…

IMK Grape Jelly

…is Grape Jelly from Maggie Beer’s Pheasant Farm in the Barossa Valley. For use on any number of savoury and sweet dishes, this was an exclusive that could only be purchased at the Farm. Like I need a reason…


In my kitchen….

IMK Pumpkin Loaf

…was this Spicy Pumpkin Loaf. The recipe is courtesy of Glenda from Passion Fruit Garden. I don’t have a surplus of pumpkin like Glenda does but I did have a lot of walnuts that I needed to shell and either freeze or do something with. This recipe was just so quick and easy and the results were well received. A second loaf has been made and frozen for when baking won’t be possible.


And finally (finally!) in my kitchen…

IMK Empty Cupboard

…are some empty cupboards. Work starts mid month on the slab for our new dining room. I have been slowly packing since January so now we are down to the things that are in use every day. All my lovely op shop and vintage wares are packed away until after the build. I miss them sometimes, particularly when I need a pretty plate or glass but they will be back in their rightful place soon enough.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for a few different IMKs in the coming months as the kitchen becomes a building site.

38 comments… add one
  • Mandy July 31, 2015, 9:03 pm

    How exciting to be doing renovations – looking forward to seeing the changes. I must say purple wouldn’t have been my first choice either but like you say for the saving, you can get used to it.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Fiona Ryan August 1, 2015, 9:58 am

      Yes – the day is nearly here! This weekend I’m solo so it should be about writing, eating, drinking and living the single girl’s life but it is in fact about packing.

  • Glenda August 1, 2015, 1:47 am

    Hi Fiona
    The fact that the coffee grinder came up in an unrelated search is all about cookies. They record what you search for and send you ads for that item. I love the purple, it would be my colour of choice 🙂 So many people (including my extended family) have made that cake and all love it. It is so easy to make.

    • Fiona Ryan August 1, 2015, 10:00 am

      I’m loving your pumpkin sized adventures Glenda. That pumpkin sourdough looked amazing too. How do people in the UK and US live without real pumpkin in their lives?

  • Jennifer @MilkandHoney August 1, 2015, 8:19 pm

    I laughed hard at the “waste your money on things you don’t need” Aldi reference. Never a truer word spoken (or typed). And a adore a fruity loaf that can be sliced generously and buttered even more generously. Good luck with the move.

    • Fiona Ryan August 1, 2015, 10:37 pm

      Meanwhile, I’m packing and downsizing and donating It’s two sides of the coin isn’t it?!

  • Joanne T Ferguson August 1, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Maggie beer grape jelly! I didn’t know she did grape jelly, so thank you for highlighting that Fiona! I don’t think anyone can have too much baking paper! Thanks for your lovely IMK post today too!

  • Kim | a little lunch August 1, 2015, 10:46 pm

    Fiona, seeing sparks shooting out of any kitchen device (especially one you’re operating with your hands) must have been exciting indeed! Glad you found a replacement — and your stash of coffee beans will provide many needed breaks during remodeling — preferably with a slice of that pumpkin walnut bread. 🙂

  • Napoli Restaurant Alert August 3, 2015, 11:54 am

    Ah, but there is a Big W in the Brisbane CBD which is awesome to have handy, wish we had one in the Sydney CBD

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2015, 8:13 pm

      Yes there is and I can’t wait! I think rental prices in Sydney CBD may be a bit rich in price for Big W’s budget.

  • EllaDee August 3, 2015, 2:35 pm

    I laughed… I would have said purple, fine, any colour except red! My 29 year old Oscar chopped retired itself in similar fashion, and the replacement Sunbeam reviews weren’t up to scratch either. I’ve become accustomed to the new shiny Cuisinart but I doubt it’s lifespan will match its predecessor.
    Grape jelly is so versatile, with cheese on biccies, swirled in cake mix or dolloped into a braise. I buy it from the local Grubers Winery near our house at Taylors Arm on the Mid-North Coast of NSW 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan August 11, 2015, 9:38 pm

      And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I just made some apple jelly so now we have jelly coming out of our ears!

  • Gretchen August 4, 2015, 4:02 am

    The pumpkin loaf looks delicious. I just roasted and puréed our first pumpkin from the garden and made muffins. The rest is in the freezer for some future use, hoping to have even more pumpkins in the fall. How lucky to have so much coffee, though I only lime coffee with Bailey’s Irish cream in it. Smells great, just not my kind of drink. Must be exciting for a renovation, at least once it’s all finished!

    • Fiona Ryan August 11, 2015, 9:39 pm

      Very exciting to be renovating, particularly since the builder is starting tomorrow, 4 days early!

  • Ania @ milktoastandhoney.co.uk August 4, 2015, 4:05 am

    Hi Fiona, how exciting for you! I love the look of that pumpkin loaf – only this morning I was thinking about a local pumpkin festival which takes place in October and dreaming about incorporating them into a cake. Sorted! x

  • Cassandra August 4, 2015, 6:33 am

    Great reminder that I need to purchase a coffee/espresso grinder!

  • Misky August 4, 2015, 7:29 pm

    That pumpkin loaf looks like a wonderful afternoon treat!

    • Fiona Ryan August 11, 2015, 9:43 pm

      Indeed, it was delicious. Hop on over to Glenda’s blog for the recipe.

  • Veganopoulous August 4, 2015, 9:48 pm

    I was in Aldi today also wasting money on stuff I don’t need!!!

    • Fiona Ryan August 8, 2015, 9:10 am

      Yeah – you can never have too much rubbish from Aldi!

  • Jan (A gluttonous wife) August 5, 2015, 2:23 pm

    I just love Aldi!! 🙂 but I’m sure David Jones and the chemist will do the trick!! Must try that spicy pumpkin loaf, I love anything sweet with nuts in it. Cheers Jan x

  • Kari @ bite-sized thoughts August 6, 2015, 3:27 am

    The spicy pumpkin loaf sounds delicious! I love the new coffee grinder too.

    • Fiona Ryan August 8, 2015, 9:08 am

      It’s stashed in the freezer now for when we have no oven (the loaf that is – not the grinder!)

  • sherry from sherrys pickings August 6, 2015, 1:45 pm

    love that purple coffee grinder. and the pumpkin loaf looks great. i can smell it from here.:) wow that’s a whopping amount of baking paper. get baking …

    • Fiona Ryan August 8, 2015, 9:03 am

      I must say that I’ll be looking forward to breaking the seal on that baking paper!

  • Jan Rhoades August 7, 2015, 10:26 am

    The coffee grinder search soundsinteresting. I still have one (Breville too I think) from way back. My one nightmare however, is that one day I will turn on my true and trusty Bamix and it gives up the ghost. If/when sparks fly from it I will be devestated. A wedding present in 1982 so I guess I won’t be able to complain…but I will.

    • Fiona Ryan August 8, 2015, 9:01 am

      My stick blender (which I call a bamix but is in fact a Black and Decker) is also on the way out. 25+ years – they just don’t make them like they used to….

  • Lisa August 10, 2015, 1:25 pm

    I love it when I get to work in the city – far too many shopping delights. Aldi is also dangerous, so I don’t know which I’d prefer. That loaf looks amazing… I have neither pumpkin nor walnuts in surplus but I want a loaf now too 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan August 11, 2015, 9:44 pm

      The loaf was great and so quick. Worth giving a go. Glenda’s blog has the recipe.

  • Cate August 11, 2015, 10:49 pm

    oh wow pumpkin loaf! I miss pumpkins, very rare here! Such beautiful photos -Cate from IMK

    • Fiona Ryan August 12, 2015, 7:45 am

      Yeah – what’s the go with everyone in Europe thinking pumpkins are pig food? They don’t don’t what they’re missing out on!

  • SeattleDee August 14, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Oooh, that Spicy Pumpkin Loaf looks scrumptious – and I don’t even like pumpkin all that much! Good luck with the remodel adventure, and keep smiling.

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