Thursday, 4 January 2018

In My Kitchen: January 2018

"I know but cannot share it, my love is otherwise" said Dorothea McKeller in her iconic poem about Australia (My Country).  This is how I feel when I read about cold snowy Christmases.  My kitchen has been festive and summery with lots of salads, ice blocks in drinks, bright daylight and bare feet.

Above is a meal of leftover nut roast from Christmas dinner with vegies, coleslaw, olives and some leftover tomato bread.  This is typical of summer eating.  Quick and light.  I was quite impressed that with lots of leftovers, we managed to eat nut roast for dinner 7 days in a row.  That is quite some achievement!

Before Christmas I made chocolate almond self saucing puddings based on these puddings.  I made 4 bigger ones rather than 8 smaller ones.  It meant they took longer to cook and didn't have enough sauce.  We also could only eat half a pudding at a time.  And one pudding got lost in the back of the fridge.  Good but I think I need to give it another try.  At least I remembered the baking powder which I forgot the first time.

Sylvia was into gingerbread at Christmas so I made 3 batches in December.  Two for work and one for her class Christmas party.  But my recipe makes heaps so it seemed we always had some kicking around the kitchen.  I think there are still a couple of them somewhere in a box.

A few presents from work, including the flowers in the background.  As I have said before, I am lucky to work with a really lovely group of people!

We love trying new chutneys and relishes.  This tomato and smoky chipotle relish was not quite as spicy as E had expected but was mild enough for me.

Christmas meant lots of food and lots of photographing food.  Here is Sylvia with her ipad photographing shortbread.  Isn't she cute!

And here is our shortbread haul after Christmas.  Most are presents and a few were bought because they were on special.  In our house Christmas is a time for Walkers shortbread.  I haven't eaten much because I don't get into it like E and Sylvia.

My sister is visiting from Ireland and brought E this shamrock shortbread.  So gorgeous.

I finally got to the nursery to replace the failed broccoli plants with basil.  It is being covered with mesh cloth like the strawberries.  Which reminds me we have a few strawberries ripening and needing to be picked.

Sylvia was excited about the basil because she tells me it means she can have proper margherita pizza.  Says the girl who always picks her basil off pizza in restaurants!

We have been making lots of smoothies for breakfasts.  I am loving all the cheap summer fruit.  Raspberries at $3 a punnet.  Apricots for $5 or $6 a kilo and peaches $4 a kilo.  Sadly it wont last.  But meanwhile we have a bag of plums from my brother in laws tree (thanks John).  And I have discovered that a bag of frozen cranberries is helpful for smoothies.  When fruit gets quite ripe and sweet, a few cranberries helps the smoothie not to be ridiculously sweet.

And I can't resist showing you this personalised jar of vegemite for Sylvia which makes me smile.

We are off to the beach for a week tomorrow so posts will no doubt be thin on the ground.  Before we go, the Christmas tree is coming down so I can reclaim some space in our living room, Sylvia is off on a sleepover and I hope to swing by a shoe shop to get some school shoes on sale.  I'd love to think I had more blogging time while I have holidays all January but there is always so much to do on school holidays with Sylvia!  Meanwhile you can find more reading in my Reflections on 2017.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 10th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens. 


  1. Your kitchen is so full of really good things! I haven't made a connection between Walker's shortbread and Christmas; it's in stores all the time so I eat it when we feel like it. Have a great year in 2018.

    best... mae at


  2. My goodness so much shortbread, I do like the shamrock ones though and hope to give home made version a go come St Patricks day with my cookie cutter. The self saucing pudding looks amazing as individual portions.
    I think Sylvia will be asking for her own blog soon :) And like her very own named Vegemite jar, I have a marmite one!
    Enjoy your holiday, well deserved.

  3. "My kitchen has been festive and summery with lots of salads, ice blocks in drinks, bright daylight and bare feet." That sounds like a glorious way to spend "winter".
    Those chocolate puddings look so good! And so pretty and festive.
    Sylvia's iPad takes great pictures! I see a foodblogger in the making ;)
    I miss smoothies for breakfast. It's too cold here (although don't let my Canadian family hear that I said that). You should try adding your fresh basil to your smoothies - it's really delicious and refreshing.

  4. It looks like a nice mix of traditional Christmas and Australian summer in your kitchen - bringing back memories of past Australian Christmasses. I love the personalised Vegemite too, and am impressed at the nut roast run, even for you!

  5. We are doing breakfast smoothies as well, ideal in Summer! Happy new year.

  6. That nut roast looks great Johanna. Must find a good recipe for this as I haven't had one for years. Maybe it's on your blog somewhere. Happy New Year.

  7. Enjoy your time at the beach! Your choc almond puddings look absolutely delish. I am not much for shortbread either.

  8. I am shivering as I write this and it's supposed to be a "warm" day here (finally) at 50 F. I would love to run around barefoot! Soups and not salads for us! Happy New Year! That chipotle marinate sounds delicious.

  9. Nice stuff in your kitchen. I do love a good shortbread and I like how Sylvia is dedicated with the shortbread photography. I had a white Christmas in Finland and it's hard to imagine what a really hot one would be like, as I've never experienced it.

  10. hi johanna
    i am back from hols in melbourne so now have time to catch up on IMK posts. thanks heaps for joining in over the busy Xmas break. yes summer is fab with all the lovely fresh produce. cheers and happy new year! S x

  11. It all looks so wonderful. It's always cute when the kids start photography food too, mine do as well. All the shortbread, I could have fun!

  12. Happy New Year, I think Walkers shortbread is eaten around the world. I adore it and as you, really only indulge in the Christmas season. As always I wish I was in the season that I am not, mourning the absence of basil for another 5 months or so.


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