In My Kitchen ~ October 2018

Thanks to the International Dateline, it’s October in Australia when it’s still September in Oklahoma. Since October is my favorite month I thought, “Why not revel in it ahead of schedule?” I love having an extra day to play.

In My Kitchen… chocolate covered espresso beans from Nuts.com keep me happy — and peppy. (Limit 2-3 per day.) I often joke that my blood type is “C” for chocolate and caffeine.

In My Kitchen… heartwarming side dishes such as German Potato Salad have begun to grace our table now that the weather has finally turned cooler. The oval baking dish once belonged to my Grandma. Never mind that it’s still in the upper 80’s yet — in Oklahoma, that is cooler weather.

Orange Marmalde Toast

In My Kitchen… this Orange Marmalade from France (discovered at a local grocer’s of all places!) is not too tart, not too sweet. “Juuust right” as Goldilocks once declared. I love it on toast or straight out of the jar — especially with a good cup of coffee.

In My Kitchen… is another Grandma treasure. I brought her antique coffee grinder home with me over two years ago, but it’s been languishing in a cupboard ever since for lack of a sturdy place to mount it. (Such are the joys of living in a house with paper-thin walls…)

The other night while I was at choir rehearsal, The Man Of Few Words decided to surprise me by fashioning an “adapter” for it: a rustic-looking chunk of wood from one of his many projects. Imagine my gratitude — and huge wave of sentimentality — for his thoughtfulness.

Coffee has never tasted so sublime.

In My Kitchen… October is officially here and I’m ready to celebrate every moment… ahead of time.

In My Kitchen is a monthly gathering hostessed by Sherry Mackay of  Sherry’s Pickings, who happens to live in Australia and who cordially invites kitchen-lovers around the world to share their food, frolics, and finds. Click on her website above to access the link-up whether you wish to participate or just take a look-see!

Enjoying slightly cooler weather,

~ Kim

Chocolate Musings

Emergency Chocolate

Writing is chocolate for the soul.

I penned those words nearly ten years ago and I still abide by them.

(Hope you can zoom in on the instructions on my Emergency stash — now an empty box — but hey, some things are worth keeping, including decade old words.)

Lakegirl mug

Now that I’m officially a Lakegirl (woohoo!) I’ve had time to reflect on life and how I’m living it.

Make every day count. Do what makes you happy!

But, serve others with JOY — even if it’s via a random post — or chocolate. ;)

Enjoying LIFE at the lake,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ August 2018

Oklahoma rocks

Greetings from Oklahoma, at long last. It’s been awhile since I’ve played in this forum and I’m tickled to be here. I’m also looking forward to catching up with you!

In My Kitchen… I’m celebrating the continuity of daily life. Simple things like setting up the coffeemaker for The Man of Few Words’ 4:15 a.m. wake-up call or planning meals for his return at the end of the day bring me profound JOY. Some may consider that mundane, but I’m reveling in the “routine-ness” of it all after being at the mercy of my phone for the past five years and/or living out of a suitcase for months on end. I’m finally home.

Canister set

In My Kitchen… a few essentials found their way into my repertoire, such as this stainless steel canister set — another thrift store bargain — brand new in the box! Previously I would’ve filled them with flour and sugar, etc., but these are destined to store rice: arborio, basmati, brown, and jasmine. (I keep my coveted wild rice stash in the freezer to preserve its “nuttiness.” You can take the girl out of Minnesota, lol…)

I also invested in a lethal-looking vegetable cleaver in hopes of bringing my knife skills up to “chef speed” someday, but right now preserving my piano playin’ fingers is a higher priority. I love looking at it though. Gorgeous! (Michael Symon, please help?)

In My Kitchen… healthy food is also a priority. I came home packing extra pounds (argh) and I’m determined to shed them a.s.a.p! Thank goodness for the generous gardeners willing to share their produce. Next year I hope to be among the givers instead of receivers, but I’m grateful for the thoughtful folks who do. (Thanks, Rosie!) In the meantime, I enjoyed every bite of this Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomato.

Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomato.JPG

Earlier on FB (during an infrequent attempt to let y’all know I was still alive & kickin’) I mentioned my “Crunchy Chicken Salad.” I promise to post that recipe soon! This was just your basic tuna, mayo, celery, and onion concoction — but oh, soooo good in a homegrown red ripe tomato.

Butterfly butter dish_01.JPG

In My Kitchen… is this beautiful butterfly butter dish — a surprise gift from my son. Tom drove me home from Minnesota and stayed for a few weeks, during which time we attended a grand opening of a friend’s store. (Sparkle & Rust in Stigler, Oklahoma — YAY, Cyanne!) What a delightful venue. I’ll be back…

Speaking of being back, I’m thrilled to be In My Kitchen again, in more ways than one. Many thanks to Sherry’s Pickings for hostessing this world-wide roundup. Always a pleasure to join you, my dear! If you’d like to see more or post your own adventures, please click on the link above.

Enjoying being home and being “me”,

~ Kim

Life is like a…

Bowl Full of Cherries 1

Apologies for another post hot on the heels of my last one, but I felt the need to write. (Also, cherries were on sale at Wally World and I couldn’t pass up that bargain yesterday or the “photo op” this morning.) Thanks for bearing with me.

For some reason, corny phrases have inundated my mind lately trying to make sense of the senseless. Perhaps the better term is axiom, adage, analogy, or aphorism…? (Gotta love alliteration.) The term idiom also came to mind.

Whatever definition trips your literary trigger, look it up and apply it to your world! Phrases like those have been a constant source of inspiration and consolation in mine for nigh on fifty years — that’s over a half-century, folks — experience and English class can’t be all wrong! They helped me define my “reality” through words.

Even if you don’t know (or care) what they mean, you have the power to make an impact on others on the planet by writing what you “feel.” Keep it up. And…

Don’t be shy!

Let the world know your heart. (Today, mine felt like a bowl full of cherries.)

Bowl Full of Cherries 2

Enjoying new perspectives via half-century old literary definitions, 

~  Kim

Think Warm Thoughts

Frost 1

When The Man Of Few Words ‘n’ I moved here a decade ago (during the summer), I was looking forward to a respite from the bone-chilling winters I’d previously experienced in Minnesota. New terrain, new seasons to assimilate.

Plus, I knew how to dress warmly.

Surprise, surprise… that winter Oklahoma had record-breaking lows.

Fast forward to 2018. I’ve officially become a weather wimp. Whenever our temps dip below 60º (15.5º C for my Southern hemisphere pals) I’m cold! I’m talkin’: put on a heavy sweater and socks — possibly a pair of ear muffs or a stocking hat (inside) — and throw on two more blankets at night.

Oklahoma hypothermia!

My hardier ancestors would be chagrined.

Frost 2 Lake View

Above is a photo out our frozen front door, but I still find frost beautiful. 

Every season has highs and lows, no matter what the temperature is (inside or out) and/or how many blankets you have to pile on.

Think warm thoughts and experience the JOY of transition.

Enjoying the unprecedented cold front… and hopefully 70º on Sunday, 

~ Kim

Sporadic, But Still Inspired

View 2

I never imagined there’d be so many interruptions when I first set out to “blog.” Back in 2011 my plan was to scope out tasty things to cook (and eat!) and share them regularly —  with scenic photos and miscellaneous thoughts to distract you in between lapses. So far I seem to be doing pretty well on the lapses. But, I’m still inspired!

Adapting has become a way of life. Living. Cooking. Eating. Every day is different, and today has been nothing short of glorious.

I feel blessed to state that.

It was “too cold” (for those of you who live in my former home State, 50º — I’ve officially become an Okie, lol)  to open windows and finish painting the kitchen, so I concentrated on stove-top pursuits instead. Beef Stew. Polenta made with homemade chicken stock and a whole lotta love. 50 minutes of stirring beats 50º in my book any day.

I also practiced piano, cleaned the bathroom, started a letter to my pen pal (that’s the beauty of letter-writing; an immediate response isn’t required and interruptions are par for the course), and took photos of my progress. (Distraction is my middle name, lol.)

The light in the next photo knocked my socks off. I love California Olive Ranch EVOO! California Olive Ranch EVOO

Mid-afternoon I treated myself to a heart-warming glass of Australian Cabernet — a gift from a friend — and thought how wonderfully it’ll go with tonight’s dinner. (Thank you.) Sneak peak of my kitchen paint color, too — aptly named: “Autumn Fog.”

Coonawarra Cabernet

Nothing else much to report from the lake, other than wind and waves typical for this time of year. As I said, glorious.

Enjoying what’s left of October,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ May 2017

Iris 1

In My Kitchen… April showers bring May flowers, or so they say. Pictured above is one of “my” irises. Can’t take credit for nurturing ’em; they magically appear every year. I’m thankful for spontaneous beauty! Below is a photo of last weekend’s rainfall. (Pay no attention to the weeds in my flower beds, lol.)Wheelbarrow

This is NOTHING compared to last month’s devastating tropical storms “Down Under”. Hope y’all are doing okay, xo! In the meantime it’s been wet here, too — and my lavender is lovin’ it.

Lavender

So do my “Okie orchids” below, or whatever they’re called. (Horticulture is not my forté.) I love seeing their sassy lil’ blossoms in our back yard (with apologies for re-posting a somewhat gratuitous website/logo photo from a few years back, but I wanted to show you a “close up”) — unfortunately, we’ve been under a wind advisory lately and it’s difficult taking flower photos when they’re waving about wildly. 70 mph gusts… that’d be 112 km/hour for you waaaay Southern folks, whoosh… welcome to Oklahoma.

In My Kitchen… is a photographic potpourri reflecting “life”. A hodgepodge reflecting every given moment — or my latest thrift store find. (Inspiration is where you find it!) Claim it and move on. Make your life your own!

Cobalt rimmed pitcher 2

This cobalt rimmed pitcher is a prime example. (It holds at least a gallon of H2O!) Here’s to staying hydrated this summer… and hello, Lizformer hostess of IMK. ;) BTW, for more fun and culinary adventures, please visit Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings for this month’s kitchen inspirations, posted by cooks from around the world. (Thank you ALL!) Sherry graciously took over the helm of In My Kitchen and the fun continues. Take a peek!

Side Table

In My Kitchen… (or the corner of our dining room) is a 1940’s side table that houses my camera case, purse, and hopefully a “lake-themed” fish sculpture or art piece soon. (Or maybe I need to create my own?) I acquired it after a recent much needed “girls’ day out” and had FUN in the process. The craftsmanship is phenomenal and the camaraderie far exceeded that.

Magazines

In My Kitchen… are my latest issues of Milk Street Magazine ala Christopher Kimball, formerly of America’s Test Kitchen, and Cook’s Illustrated. My late Sis used to subscribe to the latter and I learned tons from it (and from her); the former is a new publication that delights my palate and culinary curiosity. Even if I can’t EAT it, I can read about it!

This past year has been one of refining/honing down my dietary limitations. Let’s add soy, tree nuts, eggs, and corn to my allergen list, shall we?! Besides wheat and dairy — basically, everything I ever loved to cook with and EAT, aarrgghh — every “allergen” on the back of labels seems to have an adverse affect on me. Not sure what’s up with that (or why), but I still eat WELL thanks to “scratch” cooking and a plethora of IMK inspiration worldwide. For that, I’m eternally grateful!

Sorry this is a tad lengthy. Such are the vagaries of posting infrequently. Once a month? I had a larger (and/or more frequent/regular) vision for this space when I started. Will try to do better in May. YAY for new months beginning on a Monday — do you revel when that happens, too? — and for IMK inspirations from near and afar. Thanks, Sherry!

Enjoying Life On The Lake despite my “limitations”, 

~ Kim