Wednesday, December 12, 2012

kitchen notes

Highlights and notes from my kitchen these past few weeks.

Mashed potatoes - because the old fashioned combination of potatoes, butter, cream and sea salt is comfort food at its best.

Roast chicken with thyme from the garden. We don't have chicken a lot as I always opt for the organic birds, and generally buy them whole, so I like to stretch it to other meals like sandwiches for lunch and I always save the bones for stock or soup. If time is short I pop the bones in the freezer for another day.

Salad of mixed greens and herbs from the garden with feta.  Dressed with a mustard and garlic vinaigrette.

After school coconut muffins made partly with rye flour, recipe here.

Proof that you can have a baked dinner without potatoes (I'd run out). Baked broccoli, baked pumpkin and plenty of Yorkshire pudding (muffin sized and pan sized). Gravy made from drippings (whisk in flour, salt and then water).

Hugh's Mum's Shepherd's Pie - I think I've blogged this before, and I know a few of you are already fans, but it is really very good and the perfect way to use up that leftover roast lamb.

Oricchiette pasta with a sauce of quickly fried tuna, garlic and oil. Topped with plenty of parmesan.

"Cheats milkshake" (no ice cream) seems to keep the kids happy - (a few spoonfuls of powdered chocolate drink, we use the Rupublica brand, mixed with a little water, plenty of full cream milk, dash of vanilla and maple syrup with a few ice cubes whizzed up in the blender ).

A quick dinner of fried rice (based very loosely on this version, I don't use the maggi seasoning, often leave out the meat, and use sherry instead of the wine) when I'm not sure what to cook, but dinner needs to be made now. Or if you boil up the rice early, you can rest assured that dinner is at least half made.

Sand Cake. You might have spotted it here too. This version was from my library copy of the CWA Classics Cookbook. A kind of cross between a sponge and a pound cake with the addition of sherry (again) both in the cake and icing. Like my mother I always keep a bottle of sherry in the pantry.

I once made a sand cake when I was 12. It was a dismal failure. This is how it should have tasted. I am tempted to add this rather substantial cookbook to my own library based on this recipe alone.

Have you been making or baking in the kitchen lately?
Any good recipes to share?


  1. Everything looks so good. It is making me very hungry but we have the plumber in our kitchen at the moment! Have been doing a few treats for Christmas - spiced peaches, fudge and steeped Christmas fruits. Have a great week Tania. x

  2. a m a z i n g! kitchen note love! and that perfect is the icing. you can come live with me anytime :) there is always such a wholesome homely goodness to everything you cook and i adore it. a week to go of work and then 6 weeks off. perhaps then i will be in the kitchen a little more. it's been pretty quiet around our home of late. more salads and fish and alot of fruit eating. our vegetable garden is thriving at the moment so i should be able to make use of those greens soon. enjoy your day tania. xo

  3. I think I will start packing my bags so that I can move in... I'll wash the dishes. :)

  4. thank you for the inspiration. I adore your blog, all the way from Ontario, Canada.

  5. Boy! It looks so yummy over at your house!! : )

  6. I think I'll give your milkshake a try for tomorrow's after-school snack!
    Hmmm...lots of Christmas cooking going on in our kitchen...but not for us (all to be gifted soon).

  7. Tania there's always such good food cooking in your kitchen. xx

  8. Roast dinners are a favourite around at my home. We usually have one once a week, unless it is really hot weather.
    I love the salad with fetta too. Nice food pictures!

  9. that chook looks sooo good!!. Mash tato is one of my fave tip is just before serving beat really fast with a wooden spoon, makes them extra the kids picnic on the floor. mine do this all the time with my tableclothes. Frankie calls it a nicnic. beutiful pics! going to try the tuna dish.
    Allison x

  10. I am always inspired by your kitchen posts much deliciousness to look at.
    So glad you too make gravy from's the only way I've ever know how to make it.

  11. Boy this post made me hungry! It all looks so good and cozy!

    I bought Matt a vintage potato masher for Christmas as he'd been saying he wanted one. Comfort food at it best, indeed!


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