In My Kitchen – March 2016

Fruit and veg from Yamba in my kitchen
Such an amazing haul of delicious fresh produce!

Can it really be March already? We’ve had a busy few months of entertaining and being entertained – I love our very social summer months. We managed a brief getaway to visit cousins near Maclean, in northern New South Wales, where we spent an idyllic few days on their houseboat on the Clarence River. They have a couple of acres where they grow a lot of their own fruit and veg, and we came away armed with this wonderful haul, including watermelons, capsicums, sweeter-than-sweet corn and some amazing tomatoes that are a cross between Grosse Lisse and Black Russian. There’s nothing better than homegrown, is there?

Dessert made with Gourmet May's crepe in my kitchen
A quick dessert: Poached strawberries with a crepe, a scoop of vanilla icecream and some chocolate sprinkled on top. How easy is that?

Gourmet May's crepes in my kitchenLooking to make a quick dessert, we found these Crispy Rolled Crepes lurking in the pantry and thought they would go beautifully with some strawberries that we had lightly poached. I was sent a sample of these Gourmet May’s crepes and was pleasantly surprised at how flaky, buttery and utterly delicious they were. They come in traditional, toasted coconut and French almond flavours, and are available in gourmet delis and fine food stores.

Sugared almonds in my kitchen
Party favours from a special birthday celebration.

In my kitchen are these delightful party favours – little bags of sugar-coated almonds – what a treat! We were given them at our neighbours’ birthday celebration, which had a 1920s/Gatsby theme.

Flowers in my kitchen
These flowers are so pretty, wouldn’t you agree?

These flowers from some of the lovely folk we’ve entertained lasted a good few weeks – I was amazed by their longevity. Flowers rarely last long in our semi-tropical climate. We’ve been doing so much entertaining lately that we’ve dubbed our apartment “Café 507”.

Despite the number of meals we’ve been turning out, the pantry remains well-stocked thanks to some goodies that have been to us to sample. French-born Sydney chef, David Bitton, sent three of his limited edition products to celebrate 15 years in business for his Bitton brand. His Tarragon and White Wine Mustard, Citrus Honey with Sea Salt, and Spiced Mayonnaise are quality products that add an exotic touch to dishes. David suggests coating a rack of lamb with the mustard, dressing prawn cocktail with the spiced mayonnaise and drizzling the honey over goat’s cheese on lavosh. He sells his products through 500 stores across Australia, and you can buy them at his café in Alexandria, Sydney, which sadly I’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting (though my other half has – envy…)

We were also sent these beautifully packaged King Oscar mackerel fillets, which come from the pristine icy waters around Norway. They’re a rich source of protein and Omega 3, and they’re great on bruschetta or in salads or pasta.

We loved cooking with this Maleny Black Angus Beef, 100% grass-fed beef produced by Sue and Mark Menkens on their farm in the Blackall Ranges. They deliver direct to South-East Queensland residents and kindly dropped off an esky with a couple of steaks for us to try. The meat was rich and flavoursome, juicy and tender. Yum!

Hamper in my kitchen

Our pantry has also been given a boost with this hamper given to us for Christmas by my lovely niece. It had loads of delicious goodies including tea, strawberry and cumquat jam, sauces, chocolate brownies and melting moments. Most of these have already been eagerly devoured!

I’m sharing this post with Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef, who has taken over from Celia in hosting In My Kitchen. Maureen is going through some tough times so I’m particularly grateful to her for sharing the kitchen love.

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