In My January Kitchen

January so far has been a stinker in terms of the weather here in Brisbane. We’ve been experiencing a heat wave which has resulted in a very low motivation to be cooking. Instead our foods have been salad based, relying on simple but flavoursome dishes that require little effort and equally small expended energy without compromising on taste. This has seen me delving into my cookbook shelf in search of some new and tasty combinations inspired by some of the awesome food books I’ve received as Christmas and birthday presents over the past few months.

Thus the first thing in my kitchen is this stack of new books to explore

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Included in this stack is Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries as I dive into this book hunting for inspiration for my contribution to The Cookbook Guru for the month of January.

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Without good knives salads can be hard work, so much of the delight in eating being the marriage of textures. An essential part of my kitchen is these global knives kept ever sharp by my other half as he delights in using them as much as me.

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As part of building delicious salads to fuel us in the heat we have a healthy supply of fresh herbs to hand supplemented by our struggling plants in the garden. For me herbs are what enhances a salad and takes it to another level and I’m having fun exploring with different combinations, the mainstays are always basil, coriander, mint and parsley. I tend to buy them from my favourite market as the portions are more generous and the herbs last a lot longer than the supermarket varieties.

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For snacking we are still working our way through this massive jar of burj snack mix that we picked up in a kilo bag from the macadamia factory on our recent holiday to the Sunshine Coast. Tasty, spicy and reasonably healthy it ticks the dietary boxes for our recent visitors over the Christmas break.

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In my kitchen is some brown old medicine and cordial bottles that I have converted with bar pourers into my cooking oil bottles, one EVOO and the other vegetable oil.

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And finally in my kitchen for the month of January is and well stocked fridge filled with interesting beers to keep us cool and intrigue the taste buds. We love to try new flavours, but are equally as likely to be seen buying our stalwart favs as well. My tip would be to try this Gluten free offering which Mum (aka ladyredspecs) recently introduced us too. It’s a really great and viable alternative for those who can’t consume wheat or need something gluten free and miss your beer.

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If you love what you’ve read here make sure you head over to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for the amazing collaboration that she puts together every month sharing with us kitchens from around the world. I love the insight they give me into the kitchens of the blogs I admire and it offers me some great ideas of products to try and inspiration for food I should try creating.

Happy cooking and happy eating everyone,

Leah

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35 Comments Add yours

  1. G’day Leah and Happy New Year for you and your family, true!
    I have my knives arranged like this and is a great thing to do!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view and commenting on my blog today brightened my day too! Thank you!
    Cheers! Joanne

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    1. Leah says:

      Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. lizzygoodthings says:

    Happy new year Leah and thank you for the peak into your kitchen! I love Tessa Kiros, that’s a new one to me… are you happy with it? It looks lovely.

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    1. Leah says:

      Thank you! I love this book of Tessa’s is beautiful and well worth finding to have an explore of. I love the blending of cuisines ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for visiting my kitchen.

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  3. i see we have the same donna hay book! can’t wait to use it! happy 2014!

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    1. Leah says:

      Lol, it’s gorgeous isn’t it! Happy new year ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Thank you for the peek into your kitchen and Happy New Year to you! I love your stack of cook books! They are always an enjoyment to flip through for inspiration even if not for a specific recipe. I love herbs as well and agree that they make a salad into something quite phenomenal.

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    1. Leah says:

      I’ve been very fortunate to be given some beautiful cook books as presents over the past few months and I’m really looking forward to exploring them. Happy New Year!

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  5. pallyme54 says:

    Hi Leah! I also just love collecting cookbooks – but don’t have any of those pictured! I was interested in your review of the beer photographed as I’ve recently been introduced to some craft beers with lovely floral overtones that I’m particularly enjoying. Happy New Year!

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    1. Leah says:

      Happy New Year! The bookshelf is beginning to groan a little under the collection I’m getting but I love using them for new idea’s and as a reference when I decide to try something new. What’s your favourite book?

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  6. Falling Cloudberries is one of my favorite Tessa Kiros books (after her first, Twelve). Lovely how she melds her varied family traditions – Scandinavian and Cypriot – together! The other cookbooks are new to me. I’ll have to do some investigating. Happy New Year!

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    1. Leah says:

      I’ve not heard of Twelve, I’ll have to go hunting for it. I agree I love her combination of cuisines. Happy New Year!

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      1. I talk about Twelve in one of my earlier posts: Cooking Tuscan, shortlink http://wp.me/p3Uj0i-2l

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      2. Leah says:

        Ah beautiful, thank you for the share. I love Italian food & have a few of Tessa’s books and like them all so I’ll hunt this one down ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Happy New Year! What a treasure trove of books…lucky you!

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    1. Leah says:

      Thank you! I’m a bit of a book person and everyone was very kind to fulfil this love for presents over the past year ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!

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  8. Hope 2014 is glorious, Leah, but in the short-term, I just hope the heat lets up a bit for you! Lovely books – I have that Tessa Kiros one, and quite like it, but I find the text quite faint and hard to read. I’ll be curious to hear what you think – I’ve always wondered if it was a printing issue in my copy. Beautiful knives, and you’ve done well to get a photo of your bhuja mix – it never lasts long enough in our house to take a pic! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Leah says:

      Thank you Celia. The text in my book isn’t too bad although the font isn’t the clearest to read. Maybe you did happen to get a dud copy ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  9. chef mimi says:

    That is a very nice assortment of Global knives! I only own one! And unfortunately, because of my kitchen, I have to keep all of them in a drawer. Oh well.
    I love the Cloudberries book. I think I bought it because it’s so pretty! Silly, I know. Now I have to go look into it again. Thanks for the inspiration, and for sharing!

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    1. Leah says:

      Thank you. We do love our knives and find that a good one makes a world of difference in our cooking.

      Make sure you do explore Falling Cloudberries again. I always feel like I’m reliving past travels and taking a trip down culinary memory lane when I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Sally says:

    The moussaka recipe in Falling Cloudberries is time consuming but absolutely delicious. Enjoyed peeping into your kitchen.

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    1. Leah says:

      Hi Sally, great tip on the moussaka, I’ll have to give it a go. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Misky says:

    I have those same knives. Do you use a stone for sharpening?

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    1. Leah says:

      Hi Misky, we have a special Global sharpening stone which I would suggest if you were to look at doing your own. Leah

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  12. Kim Bultman says:

    Leah, I enjoyed your thoughts on texture (and herbs) to elevate salads. I’ve also found that a stellar vinaigrette is crucial to the experience. Great set of knives!

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    1. Leah says:

      You’re so right Kim. Its about building layers of flavour and texture isn’t it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for commenting and dropping in to visit my kitchen

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  13. Oh I hear ya sister about that heat. It’s been a shocker. Thankfully we had that massive storm yesterday afternoon and things have cooled down. My garden has been struggling. Thanks for showing us around. I look forward to reading throughout 2014.

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  14. nancy@jamjnr says:

    That’s an impressive collection of cookbooks just for Christmas – lucky you. Loving your oil bottles Leah too. Happy New Year!

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  15. heidiannie says:

    I collected cookbooks for years and then found myself looking up recipes over the internet because it was so much easier to find and much easier on my arthritic wrists than getting out a stack of books. I still have the urge but find it possible to curb when I think of my wrists. Although I still love to get them as gifts!
    Love your knives – they look attractive and I love a sharp knife!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Leah says:

      Oh thank you for visiting. I would highly recommend a website called eat your books. You pay an annual membership but can list all your books onto it and create an index for yourself. Then all you have to do is search a recipe or ingredient and the website will bring up which books you own that have something relevant and if my memory serves me, even the page number. Might be a wonderful way to dig back into your books pain free ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. heidiannie says:

        Thank you- what a great service! I would love to keep using them without having to pull them all out to look for a recipe on every occasion!

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      2. Leah says:

        Good luck and I hope that its able to help.

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  16. I’m a big fan of Tessa Kiros too – aren’t her books gorgeous? I have a bit of herb envy – I didn’t make it to the markets today ๐Ÿ˜ฆ might have to try and get to one tomorrow

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    1. Leah says:

      oh thank you for your kind words. I have to say I’m really enjoying exploring Falling Cloudberries. I’ve had the book for a few years but not really given it the attention that it deserves. Hope you managed to get your herb stash, it makes such a difference in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I didn’t get there today either – we do have a great F&V shop near us that often has generous bunches of herbs (especially basil, coriander and parsley) at good prices (but not as cheap as the markets)

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