In My Kitchen ~ March 2014

Mom's Mailbox

I dug that path to my Mom’s mailbox…

After 40 years of Minnesota winters, I should be used to this by now. I didn’t intend to go there in March — really I didn’t — especially after the winter they’ve had, and the ones I’ve become accustomed to in Oklahoma. But when your Mom is missin’ ya…

Here’s a slightly warmer view of where I spent my time this month:

In My Mom's Kitchen

Outside the weather may have been frightful, but the warmth inside was delightful! I learned to cook in this kitchen, and even though Mom’s latest “Space Shuttle” (as I call it) presented a number of challenges (!!!), I still managed to pull off her favorite Chicken Alfredo and a number of other goodies while I was there, including an Oscar “Girls’ Night In” soiree’ that tickled her soul.

(I’m talkin’ mini-croissant sammiches with maple roast turkey & medium-rare roast beef, homemade Bleu Cheese sauce, assorted olives & cheeses, and star-worthy fresh strawberries and chocolate truffles.)

Remind me to put in my bid for next year’s Oscar pre-and-post party nibbles…

Snowfall notwithstanding (it dumped a FOOT while I was there), I survived and thrived — and made it home again with a renewed perspective — the whole point of my trip, besides lots of HUGS! Sometimes all you need is a cozy nook with interesting books and favorite stuffed animals to feel appreciated and nurtured — plus a Mom who loves you being in her kitchen, no matter how lil’ or long you stay.

(Don’cha just love that lil’ Chef Bear?!)

Bookshelf

Last month I mentioned featuring a stellar Chocolate Hazelnut Cake on this month’s IMK post in anticipation of my birthday (in the oven as we speak…), but it requires a couple of hours/overnight chilling — and frankly I’ve had enough chilling (or sub-zero wind chills) to last me three winters! Stay tuned for next month’s IMK… :)

In the meantime — and for those of you who haven’t experienced SNOW — here’s a peek at the “real” winter I experienced recently with heartfelt accolades to those of you who put up with it from October to May! Tomorrow it’s supposed to be sunny and 70 in Oklahoma… just sayin’… and I’m soooo grateful to be HOME and warm again.

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Thank you, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for another opportunity to share what’s going on in my life and ’round the world!

Enjoying kitchen antics here and elsewhere,

~ Kim

P.S. The handsome young man alongside the drift at the end of the driveway is my son who treated me to a night on the town during my stay (never mind the snow-laden outdoor seating in the slide show…) and got me to where I needed to fly home the next day. Long live die-hard Minnesotans!

Birthday Cake

P.P.S.S. My cake just came out of oven in my SNOWFLAKE ramekins (when in Rome) and I’m truly looking forward to enjoying every glorious bite slathered in chocolate ganache — the best cure (and welcome home) for “cold” that I know. ;)

44 thoughts on “In My Kitchen ~ March 2014

  1. Welcome home and Happy Birthday! Love the snowy photos. It’s so beautiful to look at, but I’m very glad I don’t have to shovel it and drive in it anymore. (This Midwestern girl is in California to stay!) P.S. Your chocolate cake looks amazing.

    • Thanks, Shary! I guess we disprove the ol’ adage: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” (People — yes; weather — no siree!) Sounds like California agrees with you. :)

    • Thank you, Joanne! I’m sure everybody in MN would love to send you some of that snow. ;) Glad to hear it’s cooling down a bit there at last! Will be poking around your kitchen asap…

  2. Lovely snow pictures. As an ex midwest girl now in sunny Australia–thanks for the memory! Loved to play in the stuff as a kid but can’t imagine having to do mundane things like get to work through it. My mom loved me to come and bake bread in her kitchen.

    • That’s a lovely memory, too… baking bread for your Mom… thanks for sharing that, lizarees! I intended to go out and play while I was there, but the windchill was -40… days like that make kitchen time even more special. Thanks again!

  3. So do you say Minnesota like “Minnesooota?” lol! I can’t type the accent but I’m sure you know what I’m talkin’ bout. They do winters right! Wow, the snow! What a lovely time spent with your mother, warms my heart. <3

    • Veronica, I had to laugh — you’ve got the accent down perfectly! The first thing people noticed when I got home was how much more pronounced my “Minnesoooootan” was, lol. (After just a week!) It’ll take me another two years to get my drawl back… :)

    • Anne, it was “fun” to see, but a relief to leave it behind — I’m just not cut out for weather like that anymore. Truthfully, I’m tickled the snow is there and not here, too!

    • Pat, my earliest memories of cooking are of soup… lots and lots of soup… or homemade hot chocolate. :) I just about rolled on the floor laughing (ROTFL, as they say) over your comment and couldn’t agree more!

    • Thank you for the birthday wishes! Also, you totally understand what “winter” is, hailing from Wisconsin! I do miss snow at times, but not the frigid temps. Glad the photos brought back a blast from the past for you! Thanks again.

  4. What a wonderful slide show! MINUS THE SNOW! ;) So glad you were able to spend quality food time with your mom! I can’t believe I thought I missed your birthday! I had a mini panic moment! So Happy Early Birthday! Luv ya!

    • Awwww… thanks, Isabelle! It still hasn’t sunk in from last year that I’ve reached the age of “senior discounts” (LOL!!!) so no worries on “which day.” Or as you say… “It is what it is.” :) xo

  5. Oh yeah- Mom’s welcomes are worth the snow. And right now I’m a snow HATER!
    So great that you could spend some real time with your mom- and that you spent a lot of that time in her kitchen. Your cakes look fantastic- Happy Birthday!

    • Heidi, I told my Mom that I’m only coming during the warm months after this. (In MN, that’s pretty much July & August, lol!) I’m sure it’ll be more often than that, but yes ma’am, I am OVER snow, too!

    • Uru, the tricky part will be “unearthing” the cake from the ramekins, cute as they may be. I tested it out on the lil’ one… failed miserably… and ate the evidence. AHEM! Let’s just say we’ll see how it goes tomorrow! :) (And if all else fails, I’ll make another one in a springform pan per the original recipe…) Birthdays may only come once a year, but CAKE — dense, dark, chocolately cake — is worth repeating. :) Thanks, sweet friend!

  6. That’s definitely more snow than we’ve got here & yeah! it’s melting so that we’re maybe down to a foot deep in the back. You really had me squinting to try to find the mailbox though.
    You’re very welcome to come here for a Girls Night in if you want to cook like that.
    I love those snowflake ramekins! Of course what’s inside isn’t too shabby either. Welcome back.

  7. Oh, Kimmmeee, I love that you had the precious time w/Mama…there’s nothing like being w/her, pampering her, and sharing those sweet special moments like the Oscars…I mean, it’s life’s little pleasures. Now that was some fierce wicked snow, and I know you’re hankerin’ big time for the melt and the first littl’ crocuses to pop out! Welcome home, my luv, and I know Russ is grinning ear to ear knowing his best and only gal is home safe and sound! xoxo

    • Miss Ally, that visit truly was one of life’s lil’ pleasures, and so was coming home. (You’re soooo right about Russ!) Good to be there, good to be back — best of both. xo

  8. Happy Birthday Kim and many happy returns :) I can’t believe all the snow you are having, the weather is truly going crazy, we didn’t have a drop of it this year, and it already feels like spring here, hope it will be with you soon too!

  9. Happy Birthday–I hope I didn’t miss it. I told my daughters: “This is a REAL winter!” I have some daffies peeking and yesterday I saw a robin. Won’t be long. . .I can’t wait to be warm.

  10. Wish I were there, dear! S’pore is currently undergoing a dry spell now. It’s nice to experience four seasons once in a while. Love your chocolaty bakes! I wanna pop them into my mouth right now!!

    • Shirley, I hope S’pore’s dry spell ends soon, but not with toooo much rain. It’s been extreme all over the world, it seems. I loved your term “chocolatey bakes” :) — that made my lil’ cakes even more fun to eat! (Topped with ganache… oh yum.) Wish you were here, too! xo

  11. Kim, so COLD! I’m living in a place where we complain if it gets cold enough to put on socks. :) I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow up with all that snow. To me, it looks glorious, but I bet it’s hard work too. Your mum’s kitchen is wonderful – it must have been wonderful learning to cook in there, and to still be able to go back to it all these years later. I know you didn’t get back until just before the 10th, and that you put this post up just for me, so thank you darling.. xxx

    • Celia, it’s a pleasure and an honor to be included in the line up, and I enjoy your comments here and on everyone’s IMK posts… bless you for taking such good care of us all! (Plus I wanted to get those snow photos posted and off my computer, LOL!) You’re right, it was COLD — I wore two pairs of socks the whole time! Thanks for letting me jump in at the last hour — and thankfully Oklahoma is feeling balmy today. :)

  12. For this California girl (even in Tokyo area), we never had this much snow that I wouldn’t imagine how it’s like to live in such a heavy snow. What do you do with groceries (I guess you have two fridges?), work, school… I know people just live, but oh boy, it’s a lot of digging to get mails.. :D Love the snowflake ramekins… so beautiful. I know I can’t resist to buy once I see them. :) Thank you for sharing, it was a fun read. :)

    • Nami, I’ve been away from that kind of winter for nearly nine years now… it was a shock to go back to it! But, life was good… warm… and prepared. (My Mom still only has one fridge, but if worse comes to worst you can always put the perishables in a cooler outside if the power goes out — guaranteed not to spoil, LOL!) Thank you for the glimpse of your past, too. xo

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  14. Dear Kim.

    You would probably think I am crazy but I would love to spend a few winters in this kind of snow. I really love the cold and the thought of hearty stews wafting from the kitchen and sipping port by the log fire is romantic and enticing. I guess I will come to my sense when I have to start shovelling that path just to get to the mailbox! Sydney’s winters are so mild that I walk around in tshirt and shorts some days. We really cannot complain when there is an average of 320 sunny days in a year.

  15. Snow is always wonderful to look at but terrible hard to deal with. Thankfully it doesn’t snow here in Texas; but I enjoyed your snowy-white snaps…and the cozy kitchen :) Hope you are doing good these Springy days, dear Poetess. Love.

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