In My Kitchen ~ December 2019

Happy Holidays everybody! Welcome to In My Kitchen (winter edition.) Couldn’t help but festoon my baker’s rack to celebrate the Season and the fabulous bunch of friends I’ve met from all over the world thanks to “IMK.” For a glimpse of their gadgets, goodies, and global adventures, click on our congeinal hostess’s link: Sherry’s PickingsWhether you peek or participate you’ll find a warm welcome.

In My Kitchen… I’m pretty set with cooking implements, other than a serving plate or two. (The better to entertain with, my dears.) Lately I’ve been focusing on ingredients — some for me, some to share with friends — and some The Man Of Few Words keeps sneaking! He’s been very polite about asking (and asking) until I finally told him to “have at it.” Let’s just say I’m a good sport about sharing my chocolate and/or blueberry fig bars, plus the fact he prefers them over his usual snacks is a testament to how good they are, not to mention good for him. Shhh…

It’s doubtful he’ll tuck into my Decaf Ginger Peach Tea, Pad Thai Rice Noodles, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, or Sriracha sauce (heaven forbid!) but I recently noticed that “my” Sicilian Orange Marmalade has disappeared by the spoonful every time I hear the toaster pop up. Good thing I have jars of Fig Tangerine and Wild Berry (not pictured) on reserve. True love comes in new flavors and sharing is part of the plan. What a blessing to inadvertently introduce someone to a “new” way of enjoying life simply by restocking the pantry to suit me.

And sharing.

In My Kitchen… is the sweetest lil’ teapot. Okay, it probably qualifies as a gadget, but I knew I had to have it the minute I saw it. No more running to the big tea kettle on the stove to refill another cuppa while reading or watching TV. (Some days I feel more ambitious than others.) Nestled in the cute polka dot “bowl cozy” — a gift from my cousin Jeanne, previously pictured — it offers immediate recliner-side relief from the cares of this world. Is there anything more soothing than a cup o’ tea? (And homemade, hand-made love?)

In My Kitchen… is one of my favorite plates. I’m sure I’ve shown it to you before, but it bears repeating: Promise. Peace. Possibilities. Patience. Words to live by.

Words I LOVE and have lived by most of my adult life — even when somebody is sneaking my snacks. :) Happy Holidays!

Enjoying The Reason For The Season,

~ 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

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. ;)

Solar Hugs

Nutmeg Honey Butter

I love those golden, glowing days of midwinter when sunlight streams through the windows, embracing you in warmth.

Solar hugs, so to speak.

– – – – –

That was the beginning of my post before our furnace gave out (sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.), leaving me wondering why the thing wasn’t kicking in overnight. (!)

Thankfully, the “intro” still applies.

Handmade quilts (thanks, Sis) and Oklahoma’s moderate temps sustained us until the coffee was ready.  Never mind that it’s supposed to get down to 27° tonight — a temporary cold spell — I’m savoring the gorgeous sunlight that streamed through our windows this morning.

Warmth is a state of mind and I can’t help but feel cozy.

Definition of irony:  We bought a wood-burning stove this weekend.  It’s still sitting in the driveway. :)

– – – – –

Getting on with things, I love fruitcake almost as much as I love solar hugs.  (Please don’t stop reading.)

For those of you who despise the much-maligned holiday treat (especially if you’re petrifying it into a doorstop at this late date), this isn’t a tortured how-to.  My favorite fruitcake recipe can be found in Christopher Kimball’s The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook — a sunny-looking tome, if you’re so inclined.

What I do want to share is Nutmeg Honey Butter.

Golden orbs of goodness…

Golden Orbs of Goodness

Sunshine in truffle form. :)

Sunlight Truffles

Nutmeg Honey Butter

1/4 lb. quality butter, chilled  (I used Hope Butter)

2 tsp. honey

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Using a small scoop, shape butter into truffle-sized balls.

Place on a decorative plate.

Drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serve on bread, pancakes, waffles, or yes… the dreaded fruitcake.

Fruit Cake with Nutmeg Honey Butter

Here’s to sunshine and warmth in midwinter, especially when your alternative heat source has yet to be installed.

(I’m calling the furnace guy tomorrow.)

Enjoying solar hugs,

~ Kimby