Friday, 2 March 2018

In My Kitchen - March 2018

I can't believe it is March and in some ways I am glad.  While January is the fun summer month, February is the one to grit our teeth and begin the year in earnest with back to school and back to work.  March finds us somewhat more settled (and even somewhat more unsettled as life continues to throw up challenges).  The past month has found me busier that ever and sadly that means less blogging energy than I would like but hanging in there.

Above is some goodies from the Coburg Farmers Market.  Apples and peaches are signs that summer fruit is giving way to autumn fruit.  We sliced up the raspberry and coconut cake and put it in the freezer for school lunches.  I loved the sourdough bread (as life is conspiring against my bread baking energy) and we were very impressed with the crumpets made in Brunswick by Holy Crumpet, which I had not seen before.

Another new find was the Kefir drink from The Good Seed.  It was refreshing in the barely sweetened way that Kombucha is.  I found out that I have been stunningly ignorant of kefir which I always thought was milk based.  This fermented fizzy water drink was really lovely.

Here is one of the Holy Crumpets with melted cheese.  They were so much nicer than the supermarket species.  In the background is a smoothie.  We have been drinking lots of smoothies for breakfasts.  This one managed to showcase all the ways of preserving fruit: refridgerated bananas, home made frozen plums (from my brother in law's tree), commercially frozen raspberries, tinned pineapple and stewed peaches.  It was delicious with some milk and chia seeds and ice blocks.

We have been making smoothies from whatever fruit needs using.  It has been great for quickly ripening stone fruit and some of the stewed fruit I have made.  I have even to the kitchen to find Sylvia making her own smoothie and washing the blender properly.  Sylvia asked me to take this photo of her smoothie with a cute straw and some milo cereal toppers.

It was Sylvia who requested I made cheeseymite scones when we went on a picnic with some friends at Rippon Lee.  It was great to visit one of Melbourne's grand homesteads as it has been quite some time.  It was also lovely to see our friends and their kids who have grown so much and were very amusing, especially the two year old with his pants constantly threatening to fall down.

As I have mentioned, life has been busy.  Even so it did not seem a big thing to make pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.  If only!  Sylvia and E were more interested in eating ice cream.  I was more interested in making chocolate sauce.  Pancakes were a low priority and I ended up taking a few banana oat pancakes out of the freezer to top with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Must do better next year!

I was pretty taken by Lorraine's raving about radiatore pasta and could not resist buying a packet.  She said it was great to hold the sauce.  Sylvia and I had fun with clicking the stripey sides together like lego building blocks.

My other pasta fun recently was making a big gnocchi bake based upon Wendy's bake of long ago.  i had grand plans of baking eggplant and pumpkin to cook into a tomato sauce and then baking it together with gnocchi under a layer of mozzarella.  Except my own let me down.  I really should have done it all on stovetop except roast vegies are so good. 

The eggplant and pumpkin almost made it before the oven gave up.  The mozzarella was browned under the grill.  And there wasn't enough gnocchi for all the sauce so we ended up cooking more pasta to serve it which made it go even further than I expected.  Luckily I really loved eating it.  But you can see why I have been baking less lately, given my dodgy oven.  I'll write a bit more about frying pizza soon.

One reason I made the pasta was to put lots of basil in the tomato sauce.  I have been pleased at how well my basil has grown (middle tub).  My parsley on the bottom tub seems to be regrown which is very pleasing.  Even my leeks have regrown over summer - they never seem big enough to use like shop leeks but they are good to chop up for a little oniony flavour in dishes.

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. Garofolo is a great brand of pasta, I also really like Molisana. Us Italians will tell you that the shape is very important depending on the recipe!

  2. Non-dairy kefir was new to me. I googled a bit, and all the definitions in dictionaries and wikis etc online say it's a fermented _dairy_ product. Most compare it to yogurt. Obviously, someone has decided to change it up! I wonder if they will prevail.

    Nice kitchen post! best... mae at

  3. Yes that’s interesting about kefir. I definitely thought it was a dairy based thing. Love your produce. Lucky to have fresh herbs. Smoothies are a great breakfast drink. So easy and good for you too. Thanks for joining in. Cheers sherry x

  4. Non dairy kefir is new to me, I have only seen the milk based ones. You are doing so well with your basil, its the one herb i fail to grow well. I have used radiatore pasta in the past and agree it is good for holding sauces in its grooves. I understand you being busy with work, hence lack of blogging, but its good to see you blog when you do. I want some cheesymite scones!

  5. I'm so excited that you bought the radiatore pasta Johanna! Have you cooked it yet? I bought another packet as I am so smitten with it :D

  6. I had also never heard of non-dairy kefir, was it fermented? Very interesting. Your smoothies look delicious and healthy. Yummy things in your kitchen.

  7. You guys are heading into cooler weather as ours is warming up. I'm dreaming of summer days already ;)
    That pink smoothie is gorgeous! Why do you refridgerate your bananas out of curiosity? What does it do for them.
    I feel like ice cream and chocolate sauce are pretty great actually haha.
    Oooh the radiatore pasta looks like such a fun shape!
    And I love your little backyard herb garden - you are most definitely a domestic goddess. You inspire me to try to do more things like this =)

  8. I am impressed at Sylvia making her own smoothie. The farmer's market yields all look very tasty and I am interested in the idea of a gnocchi bake - I've never tried or eaten one. Enjoy the cooler weather and more settled autumn routines.

  9. I bought a kit to make non-dairy kefir ages ago, and never quite got on with it (the making it, not the drinking it!) I love reading your blog and the parallel seasons - just as your autumn fruit is coming, we're seeing the first spring veggies.

  10. Great stuff. We're getting back into smoothies too (with spring and summer coming here). I'm ready for our FMs to open soon!

  11. That basil is looking very prolific! I am a big fan of peaches so I'm very happy to see them more in the shops. They've been delicious lately. That's a good idea about slices of raspberry/coconut loaf for lunches - I might add that back into the baking rotation as we haven't had any in awhile. I love the sound of the gnocchi bake... I love gnocchi and never considered baking it before.


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