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In My Kitchen… February 2019

Bang! February is here. After a lovely six months off work, where we went on three different holidays (Europe, Thailand, Tasmania), I have started a new contract with the Qld Government. This means being super organised for lunches and dinners, rather than just wandering around the house and deciding on a whim, what to cook and eat. Luckily I’m a Project Manager by trade so I am super organised.

In my February kitchen…

freezer with door open showing labeled freezer draws

…is my well ordered freezer. You may be able to see that I have labeled the drawers. The idea is that this makes it easier for me to direct Mr Tiffin, when I ask him to pull something out. ‘Go to the meals drawer – I’m pretty sure it’s in there’. Well that’s the idea anyway. If a drawer is too full, it’s time to use up some of the items in the drawer rather than move them elsewhere. Well that’s the idea anyway.

In my kitchen (and freezer)…

carrot cafe muffins toped with walnut pieces sit on a mesh cooling rack

…are carrot cake muffins. Whilst we were in Tasmania, we had home exchange visitors from France in our house. They jetted off the day after we arrived back home and left a wide assortment of unusual items in the fridge including two bags of carrots. I generally only eat carrots raw and there’s only so many salads you can eat day after day. So, I whipped up a batch of carrot cake muffins and stashed them in the freezer. Of course, they are full of sugar and oil but at least I can control the amount and portion size. There is no cream cheese frosting so that mitigates things to some extent. One gets popped into our lunch boxes every other day.

In my kitchen…

stack of round plastic containers filled with muesli beside an aluminium storage container with a 'F' monogram

…is a stash of small takeaway containers filled with ontoasted muesli. I say muesli but we actually refer to it as ‘cardboard’ as that’s the flavour profile. Plain rolled oats, a few shreds of rolled bran and some sultanas. The brand we buy also has much despised (by me) banana chips. Every Sunday night I weigh out around 45g of muesli into each container, pick out the banana chips and stack the containers for the week ahead. Every weekday morning I grab a container, put in two largish spoons of yoghurt and maybe some berries if we have any, and head to work. At work I add a small amount of milk and mix it into something akin to wallpaper paste. By the time I get my coffee, water and say my morning hellos, the Bircher cardoard is ready to eat. I can’t say I love it, but it keeps me going until lunch. The aluminium cannister doesn’t have flour in it – too many moths in our neck of the woods. ‘F’ is for Fiona

In my kitchen…

750ml glass bottle of pagan peach and apple cider

…it’s not all work. Tasmania is famous for its cold weather fruit including apples. Where there are apples, there is cider. We brought back a limited edition bottle of this Peach Cider by Pagan Cider. I like my ciders dry but this one is somewhat sweeter. We bought it as an alternative to a dessert wine, which is far too sweet and sticky for our climate. This cider is akin to a Spumante and at 8%, lower in alcohol, so it won’t see us snoozing on a hot summer evening. We had a bottle of Quince cider, also from Pagan, but that is a distant memory now.

In my kitchen…

square crackers in a metal bowl observed from above

…are sourdough crackers made from leftover sourdough starter. It’s the eternal problems isn’t it? What to do with excess starter. Of course, it’s only flour and water but rather than waste it, I did some research and turned up this recipe. After false starts with pancakes and muffins that weren’t quite right, these crackers are perfect. Quick and easy to make with no overnight fermenting. I commend these delicious morsels to you! Recipe here

In my kitchen…

…my thoughts are of the my last day before I went back to work. I watched a fun movie on Netflix called ‘Today’s Special’. It the story of Samir, a chef who finds himself back at the family restaurant, helping out his parents. Along the way he meets some characters and learns a thing or two about the cuisine and culture of his heritage. Made in 2009, it’s quirky and upbeat. If you enjoy Indian or Pakistani food and feel good movies, you’ll enjoy this. As a bonus, it stars Madhur Jaffrey as Samir’s mother. I give it 4 Tiffins.

In my kitchen…

three green platic tupperware containers with yello starburst motif sit stacked on a bench

…are these throwback 1970’s Tupperware containers. Tiffins in another format, if you will. My mum was having a big clear out. I said no to a lot of containers but yes to these three large cake or biscuit containers. They were originally my Nanna’s and I remember getting milk arrowroot biscuits out of them. If my brother is reading this, he probably has similar memories of our visits to Invermore St. I just looked up her old house on Google Maps and it looks exactly the same as it did when we were kids! These will replace a couple of containers that are on their very last legs. Yes, they are plastic but they have a lot of life left in them. It’s important to me to use what’s available, rather than buying something new.

And that’s what’s happening in my kitchen this February. I suppose the theme is ‘back to work’, which by pure coincidence, is the first line of Sherry’s own IMK post this month. I encourage anyone with in an interest in food to join their own blog to the link up. It’s a great way to meet people from all across the globe. Follow the link here to join in!

28 comments… add one
  • Lyn Riddett February 3, 2019, 2:46 pm

    Than you, Tiffin – I loved reading this. I am going to share it with Seirah.

  • Lyn Riddett February 3, 2019, 2:47 pm

    OOPS! THANK not than”

  • bitemebypamtree February 3, 2019, 3:09 pm

    Quince cider! That is interesting. I am not going to have a glut of quinces this year but it would have been fun to trying making it. I have a lot of Tupperware containers that were my mother’s which I use for sugar, flour, etc. Like your sourdough crackers too.

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:29 am

      I don’t think I’ll ever be in the cider making business (vinegar maybe…) but I’m very happy to support a local business rather than Lion Nathan, who seem to own almost all brewing in Australia.

  • Shaheen February 3, 2019, 7:06 pm

    Wow, that is a super organised freezer. I consider myself organised for part of the week, but I admire that you are really organised in comparison, but Thursday we are lagging with what to make for eve meals and work lunches. I am v, intrigued by the quince cider – never knew such a thing existed. Those Tupperware containers are lovely and so much nicer that they have memories attached to them. Thanks for the sourdough crackers link – I will give them a go too.

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:25 am

      Oh we very much lag by the end of the week too Shaheen. It just dismisses the level of desperation. Mr Tiffin used to have Thursdays off which took the pressure of lunches (I generally had ‘tuck shop’) and dinners (as he cooked). Now the bugger has Tuesdays off. Far too early in the week for my liking.

  • sherry a mackay February 3, 2019, 9:24 pm

    how marvellous to have those tupperware containers, and with all those memories attached. i’m afraid my wicked stepmother ran off with all our mum’s things, so i only ended up with a glass bowl or two. you are certainly super organised. i try to be more so these days now that we have a fridge and freezer that actually work and which are easy to find things in. oh the trauma of our old one:) and the leaking gas… Love the look of the cider. clever little taswegians. i wonder what the guests had planned to do with all those carrots? good luck with your new contract. cheers sherry

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:23 am

      Yes, so many carrots! The cider is gone now but I did see smaller bottes of Pagan cherry at ‘Craft’ (Camp Hill but also one at Red Hill, Sherry) so grabbed a few bottles to enjoy. We Should set up a cafe called ‘Cider Bowl & the Wooden Spoon’.

  • Mae February 3, 2019, 10:10 pm

    Museli can also be good — too bad you are stuck with such a terrible version, especially the banana chips. I am 100% with you in hating bananas! We have had Ikea muesli and Trader Joe’s granola (same sort of thing) which can be quite delicious.

    That movie sounds good. Over here it’s on amazon prime rather than netflix, but I’ve made a note to myself to watch it. Thanks for the tip!

    best…mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:19 am

      Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of delicious mueslis and granolas around that I enjoy but there’s too much sugar and fat in most to have it as a day by day proposition.

  • jrrose80 February 4, 2019, 8:40 am

    I love your organized freezer – what a brilliant idea labeling the drawers. I only have 2 drawers in my freezer but we still have issues with things being misplaced. Labels might solve that! =)

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:16 am

      It’s by no means foolproof but it points me in the right direction. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Lisa February 4, 2019, 10:53 am

    Tupperware has such wonderful longevity. Those vintage versions have such nostalgia. Invermore St is not so far from me, how funny that the blogging world can be so small. I love your organised freezer… its fabulous, but impractical for me until my smalls can read 🙂

    I think that life is too short for cardboard breakfasts. And bananas (ew). Is making your own muesli an option?

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:15 am

      I sometimes think that life is too short for cardboard breakfasts but it’s also a very healthy option and I rarely need to top up before lunch. I am used to it now and it makes it easy when we travel as we just take the same bag of muesli with us wherever we go. So close indeed – I thought you were on the north side!

  • Sandra February 4, 2019, 5:06 pm

    House swapping is wonderful, we’ve just relisted after having a break for a few years, but we also had some odd things left behind by swappers. The most useful was two hospital trolley towels, the type warmed to put over patients coming out of surgery. Heaven only knows what they had used them for, but they make terrific drop cloths, dog blankets, protective wrap for furniture. Good luck with the new job

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:13 am

      Hospital towels – how very odd. Most recently our guests left behind a Bunnings shopping basket. I’m not sure if they thought it was complimentary. We love swaps and have done many but it’s hard to convince others of the benefit. That job will be over in the (slow) blink of an eye.

  • johanna @ green gourmet giraffe February 4, 2019, 10:12 pm

    You do sound very organised – I love your story of your muesli! I have felt very unorganised going back to work after 5 weeks holidays! I love your green tubs – they are very beautiful and the fact you can remember them from childhood shows that we don’t have to have plastic stuff that is so disposable if we do use plastic! And I want to try your sourdough crackers – I tried some others but failed – my ways to use sourdough when busy are a fastrack pizza with sourdough and yeast and also sourdough flatbreads but I really fancy having crackers in my repertoire – yours look great

    • Fiona Ryan February 9, 2019, 8:18 am

      I just made them again last night Johanna. I had some dried spring onions (another story) that I included and pressed sesame seeds on top, that were pushed further in as they went through the pasta roller. Is there a recipe for flatbreads on your site? I’d like to give them a go.

  • mae February 5, 2019, 10:23 pm

    Are google+ comments going away? I’m confused about this and I think you use them, so this is to check if they are still working. … mae

  • Beck @ Goldenpudding February 10, 2019, 3:57 pm

    I had to chuckle over your ‘bircher cardboard’ – you make it sound so appealing! 😉
    Pagan cider on the other hand is fabulous! We regularly get the cherry, and also have had a bottle of the quince which is so fabulous I’m sort of glad it’s a bit pricey or I’d probably drink it a bit too often 🙂
    I’m also with you on the organising work lunches, it’s the only way I ‘m sure to eat something nutritious, and I usually try to have something vegetarian to boost the veg intake…

    • Fiona Ryan February 16, 2019, 10:29 am

      Yes – definitely back away from the Bircher Cardboard. It’s a drag to make the lunches every day/night but I also work at the boring end of town with limited options. If I wanted to but tuck shop, I’d want something more appealing than some limp sushi tubes.

  • Shari from GoodFoodWeek February 16, 2019, 3:41 pm

    Wow – you’ve given me inspiration to get my freezer super organised in the lead up to baby number 4 arriving.

    • Fiona Ryan February 18, 2019, 3:25 pm

      Wow – number 4! You will need it. I find it hard enough with just the two of us but I know that you’re already super organised so I’m sure you’ll ace it. Congratulations and take care. xxx

  • eliotthecat February 19, 2019, 12:18 pm

    Pinned the cracker recipe. Thanks. Six months on holiday? That sounds heavenly.

    • Fiona Ryan February 23, 2019, 12:08 pm

      I made some last week where I sprinkled them with sesame seeds before rolling them. Very tasty.

  • Moya February 22, 2019, 4:01 pm

    Hi Fiona, gosh you are super organized I might just label the freezer like you have, at present I have nothing in the freezer because someone in the house did not close the door properly and of course everything got spoiled… so annoying when that happens. I remember tupperware… still have their hamburger press. Love the idea of using leftover sourdough for crackers.

    • Fiona Ryan February 23, 2019, 12:09 pm

      I try to be Moya. It’s still a challenge every week but I try to make out lives a little easier.

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