In My Kitchen ~ March 2017

In My Kitchen… my cookware collection grows one “find” or treasure at a time. Most of ’em pre-date me by 50 years, but I’m partial to oldies but goodies. ;)

The Guernsey Cooking Ware casserole above (circa 1900’s) was a fixture in my Grandma’s kitchen for baked beans or side dishes, plus it transferred easily from oven-to-table with its wooden-handled, woven-metal trivet. I made a Tater Tot “Hot Dish” in it recently (a Minnesota thang) and my hubby loved it. I loved using it.

In My Kitchen… is a Savory Jr. Roaster — spied and swiftly acquired. With its recessed underside providing indirect heat (thus avoiding the dreaded “dry” roast), Savory Roasters of every size were hailed by housewives from Maine to California circa 1910 as the preferred roaster. History here.

In My Kitchen… is another blessed find. A Descoware Dutch oven made in Belgium. Its sunny yellow color and size appealed to me immediately, so I brought it home and started researching.

Wonder of wonders, their company was subsequently bought by Le Creuset (swoon) and Julia Child featured Descoware on her show The French Chef. (Double swoon.)

In My Kitchen… is this marvelous copper-lid All Clad saucepan rescued at a local thrift shop. It took a bit o’ elbow grease to restore it to its former glory, but it was a steal for less than $10. (They retail for over $200 at Williams & Sonoma.) The copper core keeps finicky foods and sauces from sticking or scorching and it’s an absolute JOY to use. Plus, it “cleaned up nice” (a Southern thang).

Speaking of oldies but goodies, my blog is celebrating a birthday in March. Me, too. Can it really be six years? Going on sixty… next year?! Thanks for witnessing both. Truthfully, neither of us feels old…er.

As for good things, please stop by Liz Posmik ‘s blog for more In My Kitchen inspirations, or add your own culinary frolics by the 10th.

Enjoying oldies but goodies,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ February 2017

gather

In My Kitchen is the bamboo cutting board featured in this post. (This is the Full Monty, tee hee.) It’s turned out to be quite indispensable, for everything from last-minute herb chopping to slicing & zesting citrus, and more. Functional and FUN — and easy clean-up. Thanks again, Ally, xo!

Truthfully, I thought my kitchen was “stocked”. Or, maybe that’s the mindset I adopted out of necessity these past several years? I’m open to surprises! You never know when one gadget might make your life easier or cooking more inspired.

Thanks, IMK friends and dear friends for SO many innovations and ideas, xo.

funnel-2

In My Kitchen… is a Farberware funnel that matches my “accent” color.

Although I’m not entirely wild about plastic (I miss the beat-up metal funnel I had), the head space indicator has been convenient for measuring homemade stock… beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and shrimp… whatever’s simmering or freezer-bound for future meals. Plus, it’s dish-washer safe. Ditto on easy clean-up.

BTW, I love these “quilted” half-pint jars, too — an ongoing gift from my sister.

rolling-pin-art

In My Kitchen… is a marvelous marble rolling pin with an assortment of table linens (another gift from my aforementioned friend, Ally.) After trying to roll out holiday pie crusts with my wimpy wooden rolling pin, acquired in a hurry (“big box” store shall remain nameless), I informed The Man Of Few Words that I REALLY needed a more substantial one. Frankly, the other one couldn’t put a dent in a ping pong ball! His reply? “Get what you need.” (Gotta love that man.)

Hold out for what you NEED. Be patient, no need to rush things! (You’re clever enough to make do in the meantime.) The right tool will come along when it’s supposed to, and it’ll bless you — and others — if you don’t settle. (Go with your gut… you’ll know “when .”)

Lo and behold TMOFW’s sister & I visited an antique shop a few days afterwards. The first thing I spied when we walked in the door was this green and white marble beauty — with a “stand” no less — for a mere pittance, I might add. Some things are meant to be. YAY!

crystal-contrast-2

In My Kitchen… are two pieces of pressed-glassware with 100+ years of history.

The one in the front held many a pickle, deviled egg, and/or piece of Divinity or Penuche; the one behind housed myriad side dishes. Grandma’s, then Mom’s, now mine.

The “snowflake” design is reminiscent of my home state of Minnesota, but honestly I enjoy serving from them much more In My Kitchen in sunny, WARM Oklahoma. ;)

In My Kitchen… are a few dishes I tried during my “neck problem” phase. (Almost over.)

Great news! Went to the neurosurgeon on Monday; no surgery or injections needed, just continued chiropractic care and EXERCISE…. here’s to a buff 2017. (Hallelujah!)

Working out carefully is worth the effort, especially when there’s a good meal at the end o’ the day — or another spectacular sunset. Worth the wait! (As are the right tools.)

sunset-silhouettes

The glimpses above into my world and kitchen are courtesy of Liz Posmik as she resumes hostessing In My Kitchen following a hiatus during the “busy” season.

Check out the worldwide posts on her sidebar for further inspiration — or add your own by the 10th. Good times!

Enjoying every blessing In My Kitchen and otherwise — YOURS especially,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ November 2016

peach-roses-2

In My Kitchen are these peach roses, the third “spontaneous bouquet” to grace our dining room table in a month. The Man Of Few Words surprised me with the first two, and somehow this bundle of JOY ended up in my shopping cart…

I’m thankful to be in my kitchen again.

Celebrate your life!

nuts-com-stash

In My Kitchen is a crazy good assortment from Nuts.com.

The Veggie Chips (front and center) were entirely addictive; so were the Dark Chocolate Turbinado Sea Salt Almonds (movie treat), Ugandan coffee beans (morning treat), Polenta (dinnertime treat), and Dried Sour Cherries (anytime treat). As for their Thai Pineapple Sprouted Trail Mix, it was the perfect combo of “sweet and heat.” Treat yourself!

Thanks to Chef Mimi for sharing her enthusiasm for Nuts.com. I’m glad you did!

loveras-goat-cheese

In My Kitchen… is soft goat cheese from Lovera’s, just down the road in Krebs, Oklahoma. It’s my new “butter!” After trying to no avail to add dairy (the bovine kind) back into my diet, I finally found something to slather on everything from baked potatoes to Bruschetta. Or make this delectable spread.

Although I miss cream cheese, ice cream, heavy cream (basically anything with the word cream in it!) I’m ecstatic to have this to satisfy my creamy cravings.

Sometimes you outgrow old favorites only to discover new ones.

butter-colored-candle-plate

In My Kitchen… is a pale yellow antique plate that’s been in my family for nearly a century. (Sequestered in the back of a cupboard for almost as long…)

Canapés will be pretty served on it when it isn’t serving as a candle holder.

Get out your treasures and use ’em while you can!

lemon-honey-quince-paste

In My Kitchen… are creamed honey with lemon juice (for stirring into tea or making vinaigrette) and quince paste (aka membrillo). A recent issue of Bon Appétit said quince paste was a “trendy” ingredient, not that I follow trends. I discovered these at a Ross Dress For Less store in Muskogee!

You never know when the Universe will smile. :)

Thank you, Liz Posmyk of Good Things for hostessing In My Kitchen. For a fun tour of kitchens around the world visit Liz’s blog for the links or add your own by the 10th.

Enjoying Autumn-hued blessings,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ October 2016

ramekins-and-grater

In My Kitchen (at last) I’m HOME. (Hopefully for longer than I’ve been this year.)

My sister used to tease me that I liked anything “shiny, sparkly, pretty, ooooh, ahhhhh.” Guilty as charged. She and I amused many a shopkeeper with our audible admiration. “Shiny, sparkly, pretty, ooooh, ahhhhh” is FUN to say out loud… try it!

I do like baubles… In My Kitchen and otherwise. Especially when they combine form and function. Take this mini-grater (above) to zest citrus, shave grated cheese atop pasta & salads, and/or sliver garlic when I’m not in a “smashing” mood. (I’m soooo in need of TLC… so is my garlic.) You already know how I feel about ramekins., lol. :)  The more, the merrier!

antique-treasires

In My Kitchen… are antique treasures. (Grandma’s flour sifter, scoop, and the cutest lil’ salt & pepper shakers with their matching toothpick holder… not quite as “shiny” but I love their patina and memories.) Grandma had a mega-flour bin — a pull-out, tin-lined cupboard that accommodated a 50-pound bag of flour!

I loved watching her scoop “just the right amount” of flour (without measuring) and shaking her sifter to make homemade kolaches, cinnamon rolls, and bread.

As for the S & P shakers and toothpick holder, they were fixtures on her stove-top. Now, they’re fixtures on mine.

replacements

In My Kitchen are replacements… or rather, a flatware pattern that I liked so much thanks to a church friend who gifted us with a set of four after our fire (hate to bring that up again, but it’s been a reality I’m dealing with til 11/11/2016 when our insurance claim runs out.) Two years… can it be?! Basic utensils are overlooked.

I love ’em! (And my stove and fridge, thanks to YOU… gratitude and hugs.)

My culinary life, health, and HOPE wouldn’t be what it is without ’em!

In My Kitchen… are these aprons. Rick-racked trimmed ala Grandma. You have no idea how much these recent additions mean to me. (Or maybe you do.)

I’m SO grateful for replacements — “treasures” — IMK friends, xo! Hopin’ to get around to everybody’s posts in the next few days as time & unpacking allows.

Many thanks to Celia and Maureen (former hostesses of this monthly forum) and Liz, author of Good Things (our new hostess with the most-est) for sharing your immutable, affable IMK spirits as you adapt to LIFE. (Goodness, aren’t we all?) I love that about this place! Thanks for being “real.” If you’d like to read more IMK posts or share your own kitchen frolics, please contact Liz at the link above by the 10th.

Enjoying being In My Kitchen once again….

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ September 2016

In My Kitchen… I’m not in my kitchen.

Three weeks ago I was catapulted into care-taker mode again, and it’s likely I’ll be here equally as long or longer. (Sorry I can’t give any details, but I can tell you about the food.) Unfortunately I left in such an all-fired hurry that I forgot my camera!

Oh well… you know me and words. ;)

Today I made Wolfgang Puck’s Chicken Pot Pie. Imagine the slow-simmered aroma of chicken and veggies with a hint of thyme, graced with a glug of velvety heavy cream, topped with a butter-laden, Cheddar-studded crust that baked up SO golden King Midas would covet it. Oh my!

Then there was homemade pizza night. Pizza 1: Canadian bacon with diced fresh pineapple under a thick blanket of melted Mozzarella atop artisan herb flatbread. Pizza 2: Italian sausage, sliced Soppressata and grape tomatoes, torn fresh basil, and grated Pecorino Romano with garlic-herb goat cheese on a gluten-free crust. (That’d be mine, swoon…) BTW, I used Muir Glen Organic Tomato Herb Sauce on both (win/win) for lack of time to make my own.

Other tasty contenders were homemade sweet & sour pork with fried rice and “potato pancake” egg foo yung; whiskey & black pepper pork tenderloin with smashed Yukon gold potatoes; Gouda grilled cheese sandwiches; Windsor pork chops with mashed potatoes and creamed peas; cheese boards with fresh fruit, crackers & charcuterie, and repeated requests for poached eggs on toast.

Cooking has been therapeutic for all concerned. ;)

I’m looking forward to perusing more IMK escapades with photos on our hostess Maureen’s website following the summer hiatus. Come visit or join us by the 10th to discover a planet-full of kitchen fun! Home is where the heart (or stove) is, xo.

Enjoying cooking in temporary surroundings… again,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ May 2016

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In My Kitchen is a slightly wilted bouquet from my beloved, presented upon my arrival HOME over a week ago! (I try to make blessings last as long as possible.)

It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I can attest to that truth, especially after being away from hearth, home, hubby, and you (not necessarily in that order) for 3-1/2 months while I took care of my Mom in Minnesota. There was a lot to attend to — moving Mom to an assisted living apartment, cleaning and downsizing her home (60 years’ worth of “memorabilia”), and ultimately bringing part of it home to sort at my leisure… which is why my kitchen currently looks like this. (Sorry for the lighting; we’ve had a few storms blow through.)

But, that batch of chocolate chip cookie dough lurking between the “rubble” and the pile of dishes on the far side of my sink attest to the fact that I’m finally cooking and baking again, yay!

Kitchen Sweet Kitchen

In My Kitchen… is tilapia en papillote seasoned with Old Bay, freshly ground black pepper, tarragon, Vidalia onions, lemon slices, black olives, and capers, nestled on a bed of asparagus and julienned carrots. My grown-up “Happy Meal!”

It feels so good to cook again.

(And eat.)

Springtime Happy Meal

In My Kitchen… is a vintage cookie jar (rescued from the dusty recesses of a hutch at my Mom’s — I haven’t seen that thing since I was a kid) to store The Man Of Few Word’s treats in.

He even called it a real cookie jar — nice that he “noticed!”

And I obviously got that batch of cookies made. :)

Cookie Jar

Looking forward to perusing your kitchens, in between “sorting” and unpacking. Many thanks to Maureen at Orgasmic Chef for hostessing this monthly gathering of kitchen goodies world-wide. If you’d like to participate (or ogle), head over to her link above. It’s a LOT of fun and I’ve been sorely missing it — and you!

Enjoying week-old bouquets and being back In My Kitchen again,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ January 2016

Tea kettle

In My Kitchen… is the cutest lil’ tea kettle. (Makes me happy just looking at it!)

Normally I’m a coffee drinker, but I just can’t do java like I used to past 2:00 p.m. (or a.m.) and believe me, I’ve tried. This recent acquisition was prompted by a boatload of tea (a Christmas gift from a musical friend — thank you, Karen, xo) which I’ve been enjoying ever since…. especially since I got this.

Boiling water “ala saucepan” is no trouble (really), but tea-making and drinking just aren’t the same without a tea kettle. (Plus, I’ve missed “the whistle”… anybody?)

Stash of Tea

In My Kitchen… is an assortment of Stash Tea.

Simply wonderful flavorsherbal, caffeine-free, and/or otherwise — and great for mid-afternoon (or midnight) lulls. Ebeneezer Scrooge wasn’t the only one who suffered from whenever awakenings… but thankfully mine come without ghosts.

Nurture your creative “Spirit” — past, present, or future (or middle of the night) — and Happy 2016 everybody, xo!

Red platter with chocolates

In My Kitchen… is this cranberry-colored platter.

Most of my serving dishes are “basic” white, but every now and then a girl’s gotta play. As for the chocolates, they’re part of a future post (provided I don’t eat the evidence before then, ha!)

Good things come to those who wait, including cranberry-colored platters.

Cooling racks

In My Kitchen… are THREE professional grade cooling racks, woohoo! (Apologies… only two fit in the photo.)

I’ve been using one discount store cooling rack for over a year, juggling TMOFW’s baked goodies (and sometimes having to pry them from the aforementioned), but now I’m thrilled to be able to give his oven treats (and moi) a lil’ SPACE between batches. Repeat after me: NO stress ‘In My Kitchen’… NO stress ‘In My Kitchen’!

Sometimes even the most mundane item can be taken for granted, but please do me a favor and take a quick inventory — then thank God — and hug yourself  for every amenable blessing. Make it a point to INVEST in your cooking efforts in 2016 if you haven’t already — totally worth it — and YOU. (Get what you NEED!)

Red or Green Chili Cookbook

In My Kitchen… is yet another cookbook “gift.” (Thanks, Linda, xo!)

I LOVE spicy food (or perhaps the more apt term is HOT food?!) and I learned loads about what to look for in peppers, how to handle/prep/cook ’em, etc., from this gem of a cookbook. (Fantastic recipes as well!)

Remind me to head for New Mexico again soon, too… I love the landscape there.

In My Kitchen… is/was tangible evidence of the first time I could play “IMK” since the 1st of December (musical obligations, ‘n’ all)prompted by my friend Ally — plus a lil’ reciprocal lovin’ from TMOFW.

Gotta love friends and loved ones who cheer you on!

I don’t know who was more tickled… me with two dozen of each (red and yellow), or my hubby over Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. Somehow I think it was a win/win situation!

Pen holders

In My Kitchen… (and probably totally inconsequential, but it’s part of “who I am”) are these recently discovered/acquired pen holders.

I can never have enough pens (let alone storage for ’em) and these tickled my soul!

In the foreground is a “handmade in Greece with 24 karat gold etchings vessel” (purchased at our church thrift store for a dime — I love that place!) The other is an obscure (unknown origin) jade green pottery/pattern/piece reminiscent of ancient China. (Don’t care if its “authentic” or not — loved the shape and color — $2 at a local antique shop!) The better to write to you, my dears.

Forget Me Not Dove

Last, but not least, In My Kitchen… is my wish for you for the New Year: PEACE!

The dove (above) arrived in the mail with Christmas greetings infused with Forget Me Not seeds to replant later — an unexpected gift from Carol, a Pampered Chef consultant whom I’ve only “met” online (like many of you) who’s been instrumental and entirely helpful in re-stocking my my kitchen during the past year. (Again, like many of YOU!)  How nice, xo.

I feel so blessed… hopeful… thankful… and peaceful as we start 2016. Things are finally starting to look, feel, and COOK “normal” around here. (Yay!) Thanks, too, to Fiona (Tiffin) for the 2016 IMK calendar (LOVED IT!) and to Celia for the gorgeous Swarovski “angel” bookmark. (DITTO.) Hugs back!

This month’s In My Kitchen adventures are brought to you by Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef (same great fun, new hostess), with many thanks to Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for getting the proverbial ball rolling (and to Maureen for stepping up to the PLATE, literally.) Thanks, ALL … and Happy New Year!!!

Enjoying worldwide blessings and IMK always,

~ Kim