In My Kitchen ~ Spring 2019

In My Kitchen… this salad was SO tasty I want to eat it again soon. A new restaurant opened nearby and everybody raved about their food. Of course I had to go see for myself to “read their menu” (aka: I was hungry and ready for someone else to cook for me) but lately my dining out adventures have been limited by my food allergies. (Hold the croutons and cheese, please!)

Imagine my surprise and delight to find a perfectly grilled salmon filet atop a bed of crisp greens, red pepper strips, grape tomatoes, and black beans accompanied by a wonderful lime vinaigrette. The first thing I said after I got home was: “They sure know how to make a vinaigrette!” (So does Chef Mimi — more below.)

In the meantime I was thrilled to find a local eatery that respects my limitations. (More on that below, too.)

In My Kitchen… I’m ready to dive into Spring and yet another salad: Chef Mimi’s “favorite.” Yes, I realize that favorite recipes are subjective and oft relegated to the dubious best-ever category, but her sense of flavor and texture are spot on in my experience. Her recipe also included ingredients I had on hand, except for the red cabbage. I sorted that out of a “coleslaw kit” before I served it to The Man Of Few Words for supper. (Call it hands-on cooking — I’ve resorted to it more times than I can count when our local grocery store was out of a particular ingredient — and two meals out of one ain’t bad.)

FYI, I also substituted brown rice for the barley. Mimi said that was okay — use whatever combination works for you. DO try her vinaigrette though. It was tantalizing! Still enjoying the rest on spinach salads and such.

Click on the link above for her recipe.

In My Kitchen… my cousin Jeanne and her husband Ken (who’ve hosted me on my many treks to Minnesota) arrived for an overnight stay. She presented me with some “bowl cozies” to keep our soup and cereal  warm (or cold) courtesy of her quilting scraps, and a crocheted potholder, too. What a treat to be the recipient of such handmade love! We enjoyed catching up on the deck and munching on appetizers in front of the lake before I served supper. Thank you, xo!

In My Kitchen… is an Irish Apple Cake I’ve made many times. NOTE: the original recipe may have included a lil’ Irish (whisky instead of vanilla) but it’s just as good without the “heritage.” The crunchy top layer is a lovely prelude to the moist, spice-laden cake below and it keeps well and freezes well, too.

Irish Apple Cake (recipe courtesy of my friend, Denise W.)

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla (or whisky…)

2 c. diced peeled Granny Smith apples

1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (I used less because mine was freshly grated)

1 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8″ square baking pan. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat again. Add apples and nuts.

Combine dry ingredients; mix in with a wooden spoon. Mixture will be thick. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.

Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack, and cut into squares.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. (TMOFW says it’s “just right” plain. :)

Sherry MacKay of Sherry’s Pickings has more In My Kitchen adventures to connect your global hearts and kitchens ever since she took over from her predecessors — Celia, Maureen, and Liz. I’m grateful to all of them for the FUN and friendship — not to mention helping re-establish my kitchen four years ago — but, having said that…

I’ve finally decided that IMK fits best into my life quarterly rather than monthly. Welcome to the Spring edition! For now I have everything I need. It’s also Autumn “Down Under” (where Sherry hails from, as do many of the participants), but Spring has sprung here — and in my heart. I’ve put off too many writing deadlines during the past five years and hopefully you can see how colorful my life has become now. It’s time to make that leap of faith…

Whether you’re looking for food, flavor inspirations, or the latest kitchen gadgets, IMK is a reliable source. Thank you all! As for me, I’ll be back with more thoughts soon. Maybe in a letter? Meanwhile enjoy this glimpse of my surroundings, xo.

Enjoying salads, writing, and possibilities,

~ Kim

20 thoughts on “In My Kitchen ~ Spring 2019

  1. I am always looking for different recipes to make for our lunch box, so am booking Chef Mimi’s salad. it really does look good. The sky is amazing. My husband is planning to get up early on Good Friday and go off for a walk to catch the sunrise on camera. We leave work early 6.30 most morning and get a glimpse, but to be up even earlier – would be spectacular.

    Enjoy blogging at your own pace, it should be enjoyable not a chore x

    • Shaheen, we live at the bottom of “The Hill” so it’s rare to see the sun come up, even though the colors are reflected in the lake at times. But oh, those sunsets! I enjoy every one of them. Your husband’s Good Friday morning walk sounds peaceful and I hope he has a great photographic outing. Thanks for your encouragement about blogging, too — I’ll figure out “when” (and how often) sooner or later. :) By the way, your Shepherd’s Pie was delicious! xo

    • Tandy, we’re treated to a kaleidoscope of sunsets every evening — some are muted and others knock your socks off — but this one was a “Kodak moment.” So glad you enjoyed it! Have a great Autumn! xo

  2. Wow that last photo is spectacular (sunset? sunrise?). I have bookmarked that salad – looks just my sort of thing. Do you make one that lasts many days – I really love a salad that keeps me going a while. And I love that you have everything you need. I am buying much less stuff but still like IMK to share dishes not quite worthy of a post or just how the garden is going. But I think it is good to set your own pace

    • Johanna, I “recycled” that salad for several meals. The rest of the salmon went into a salmon salad sandwich (was thinking salmon patties next time), the black beans & red onions were added to a stuffed pepper filling, and the red pepper strips were minced into a hot artichoke dip. (Plus I ate greens for a few days!) Ironically after I wrote that, another kitchen gadget showed up. :) I love IMK, too, and I agree it’s become more of a sharing forum than “show and tell” — wonderful friends with interesting lives! I’ll be back after my break (maybe sooner?), but in the meantime, it was the pause I needed. Thank you SO much for your friendship & support! XO

    • You’re welcome, Tina! Tickled you enjoyed the salad and cake recipe. This week my hubby ate the last piece of cake out of the freezer (warmed up, of course) and said it tasted like I just made it. I love recipes like that! Thanks again.

  3. Hmmm… WordPress is being very unkind to me today. Another attempt! I like your bowl cosies and have some myself but have been using them to as layers between precious crockery. I’ve never used them to keep anything warm – it had never occurred to me. I’m glad you’ve found your blogging rhythm and a pace that suits you. xxx

    • Fiona, it could be the weather… everything from our TV channels to my computer connection has been affected by thunderstorms rumbling through. (Not sure about WP…) I like your idea to use bowl cozies for glassware storage. Now it’s my turn to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Thanks for your words of affirmation about my writing, too. I tend to march to the beat of a different drummer (lol) and I haven’t felt rhythmic for years. I like that a lot! xoxo

  4. hi kim
    what a beautiful view over the lake and such a gorgeous sunset (?) oh no i’m sorry to hear that you’ll only visit IMK quarterly but i know how busy everyone is these days. IMK encompasses many aspects of kitchen life, so that’s why i add photos of my kitchen etc. I think i would add more than a teaspoon of whiskey – tee hee thanks for joining in with IMK. cheers sherry

    • Sherry, I’ve been putting off writing for so long I don’t even know what I’m going to write about! But, it’s time to stretch my creative wings. (And, if you can’t tell by my “lengthy replies” writing is sorta in my blood, lol.) I love how IMK has evolved over the years — thanks for keeping it going! — and I admire the folks who contribute to it regularly. Wonderful stories and interesting lives, yours included! For me, quarterly seemed like the right number for now, but ya never know. :) BTW that’s a sunset from a few years back — still dealing with my new computer (arrgh) and that photo (once I found it) “matched” my frame of mind and color scheme. Thanks for noticing! xo

  5. Love those soup bowl cozies, dear! I’ve never had one; they look so useful for keeping food in the right temp. Thanks for sharing your kitchen stuff, dear! xoxo

  6. You crack me up. Glad you liked my favorite salad! It’s probably not my favorite. My fave is usually the one I’m eating at the moment!! But it’s fabulous. A beautiful view across the lake. Take care.

    • Smiling, Mimi! I also hear ya on eating the “favorite” salad of the moment. LOVE this time of year, Farmers Markets, fresh produce… swoon. Was thinking your vinaigrette would also taste great slathered on salmon fillets — maybe with some fresh dill on top? So many possibilities…

  7. Not needing many new things is a familiar thought from many of the IMK participants. Your new handmade cozies and potholder are wonderful in themselves. I’m definitely on the same page where there are more things that I need to DE-acquire than the opposite. So I try to write about something that is going on in my kitchen rather than just stuff…

    best,
    mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • You’re so right, Mae! IMKer’s are wonderful storytellers. I’ve enjoyed reading about everyone’s doings (yours, too) and I understand we’re all getting to that point re: gadgets. If it weren’t for IMK I’d have a lot less blog posts, too :) I’ve been SO inspired by the writing (hoping to do more of my own in the coming months) and all the friendships I’ve found there. Here’s to telling real stories about real lives — “stuff” or not. Keep up the great writing and thank you for being such a consistent “commentor!” xo

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