20 March 2016

In my kitchen



I love to cook, good food is really important to me.  If you are anything like me you spend a large amount of your life in the kitchen preparing good nourishing food to eat, so this is what has been going on in my kitchen this month.  If you would like to join in you would be most welcome, leave a link in the comments section.



It has been a really exiting month in my kitchen  so many things that I have been pondering over for a while have happened.  I am, by nature, a ponderer.  I don't rush into much, I think things through, do mountains of research which sometimes becomes displacement activity.  I have read many posts about water kefir grains, they sounded interesting and something that I thought might do me some good.  I had considered buying them but hadn't got any further than that.  I casually mentioned, in a conversation with a friend who had just been given some, that I had been thinking about giving them a go.  A few days later I had my own small jar of grains.  I knew that, like a small child they could not be ignored but I hadn't considered that I might end up with some quite so quickly.  I dived right in encouraged by my initial research which suggested that you can't really go wrong.  My grains are on their second batch of food and multiplying rather quickly, it will soon be my turn to pass some on, we are enjoying the first batch which is on it's second ferment and fizzing up well.


It wasn't just my kefir grains fermenting in my pantry this month.  These past few weeks I have felt like an alchemist in my kitchen mixing up weird and wonderful concoctions, never quite sure how they will turn out.  I have been wanting to make sauerkraut for years.  When I was fifteen I went on an exchange to Germany the family I stayed with made their own sauerkraut which they seemed to eat with every meal, I loved it so much they sent me home with a jar.  It is so simple to make that I cannot believe I haven't tried it before.  I love it and know that this small batch won't last long.


Breakfast is an important meal, probably the most important of the day, and yet it is the one I pay the least attention to.  I have been eating my own take on Bircher muesli for a few months now, long enough for me to no longer find it appetising.  I started making oatmeal pancakes again, soaking the first two ingredients over night.  They take a bit more organising as I make my own yogurt which always seems to unexpectedly run out.  I am sure I have yogurt eating fairies in my fridge.  I don't want to get fed up with these as well so I am on the hunt for a few more tasty recipes and switch between them.  What do you have for breakfast?


It's not just food I have been making in my kitchen this month.  I ran out of toothpaste and deodorant both of which I make myself. I have am using a different deodorant recipe to the one I previously posted and I don't seem to have shared my toothpaste one, I shall have to rectify that soon.  I have also made a few more beeswax food covers.  The first batch I made were mainly a gift for a friend, I only had a couple which wasn't enough.  When I posted about them several of you asked if they kept their shape when you cover food with them, I hope the photos above demonstrated how beautifully they do that!  They are covering my soaking pancake ingredients and the leftovers of a meal that I didn't have room in the fridge for!




I dont know whether it is the lighter evenings, the warmer days, or the increase in sunshine but I have cooked so many new, to me, recipes this month.  Each Thursday when I sit down to plan the meals for the week rather than the same old again, I have been reaching for the recipe books.  I also had a go at making one up when I couldn't find what I wanted in my books or online.  I fancied a burger/pattie with cashews and lentils, this is what I came up with

Cashew and Speckled Lentil Patties

1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight)
1 cup speckled lentils (soaked overnight)
1 onion '
2 garlic cloves
1 tbs hemp seeds - optional
1tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder

Preheat the over to 180°C/350°F
Fry the onion in your preferred choice of fat, when they are transparent add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
Add the lentils and stir to mix, add just enough water to cover and cook gently with the pan lid on.
Put your soaked cashews into a food processor and whizz, add the cooked lentils and the remaining ingredients and whizz.
The mixture will be very sloppy at this point and look rather unappetising!
Using both hands place handfuls of the mix on a baking tray and flatten slightly.  When all the mix has been shaped, wet your fingers slightly and smooth and shape the patties.  (the photo above shows the patties smoothed on the left and not on the right).
I made nine with mine, but you can make more or less depending on the size of each one.
Cook for about twenty minutes in the oven.

We enjoyed ours with a dressed green salad.

34 comments:

  1. What a productive month, it all sounds very interesting. we talk about making our own sauerkraut but haven't yet. Will you share your toothpaste abd deodorant recipes? I'd love to try making our own. Really impressed with all you did!

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    1. Thank you, I will share my toothpaste and deodorant recipe along with a few others I have yet to share. A post for April, I think!

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  2. some wonderful food in your kitchen this month. I've never tried sauerkraut, it sounds a bit terrifying, what's it like?

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    1. It's delicious and incredibly easy to make, I will share a how to next month.

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  3. Thank you for all the information. I'm going to look through my cookbooks this afternoon and see what they have for sauerkraut recipes.

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    1. You're welcome. Enjoy your sauerkraut.

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  4. Hello, and what a great read.
    You have been busy and productive ... I sometimes think there may be something about March that lends itself to this?

    All the best Jan

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    1. Maybe, although my kitchen is always a pretty busy place. It is where I spend a lot of my time.

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  5. You've been very productive in your kitchen this month, lots of new things which I haven't heard about or tried before. I reviewed a book on my old blog about fermenting vegetables, it had lots of sauerkraut recipes in it amongst other things but I haven't got round to trying anything yet.

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    1. You must give it a go, its delicious!

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  6. This is so weird... Last week I finally got my first kefir grains. The thing is kefir is a very popular drink in Russia and I was carving for it all these years because where I live right now they have no idea what is that. So, when I went to Mexico City the last weekend, I found a little cafe with the European/Russian food and tehy were serving kefir. I was so so happy. When we asked the lady who worked there where she got it, she told me she makes it herself and if we want she can share the grains with us. I was over the moon. This week I've made my first kefir. It was so easy - I just added fresh milk and left the jar in the cool dark place. Two days later I was enjoying kefir!! Pure magic :)

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    1. Your grains will be slightly different to mine the milk ones are whiter, I think? I cannot drink milk in any form so they are not something I thought it would be wise to try. I am glad that you are enjoying yours so much, they do seem to be more versatile than the water grains but time will tell......

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  7. I have no idea what kefir grains are! I eat all sorts of things for breakfast - porridge, cereal, scrambled egg on toast, kippers (on Sundays)and my favourite smoked salmon and scrambled egg! As we live out in the country and can be snowed in, over the winter we keep the freezer full, so at this time of year we start using everything up ...... it can be fun finding what is urking at the bottom and deciding what to make with it!

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    1. Pot luck from the freezer sounds like great fun, if you anything like me you will forget to label things you put in there!

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  8. All of your food sounds delicious, especially those patties at the end. Thank you for the recipe. I haven't done much fermenting, aside from the homebrewed beer we used to make (I'd like to do some of that again soon). I would like to learn more about fermented food. It really interests me. I'm going try unfermented pickles sometime soon, maybe a few kinds of veggies. I hope you're having a good weekend.

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    1. I love pickles too and regularly make them in the autumn. I hope you like them too.

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  9. I wish I liked to cook more, but the fact is I like fast cooking in my kitchen and I tend to go with the tried and true in my memory recipes. Lately I'm trying one new recipe a week. That works. I love those lentil patties!!!

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    1. We have to find what works for us don't we. We can't all enjoy everything or be good at everything. I like the idea of one new recipe a week tho' that sounds like the perfect way to try new things and learn new skills.

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  10. That all sounds amazing - I keep meaning to try to make sauerkraut because I liked it so much when we were in Germany last summer but I need a good recipe to persuade the rest of the family to tuck in too!

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    1. I am guessing they weren't sold in Germany too? I suspect it is one of those things that you can add flavourings to, I am going to try it with caraway seeds next as I love the taste of them.

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  11. Love all the goodness in your kitchen. I love fermenting, and there is always something fermenting away in my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe, will definitely be giving those a try.

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    1. How I wished we lived closer together, I would love to visit your kitchen. I am just getting started on fermenting, I am sure I could learn so much from being in your kitchen. Enjoy the patties.

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  12. Wow so many lovely things happening in your kitchen! I'll try to remember to join in next month if I have something interesting happening - will it always be on the 20th? :-)

    I struggle with breakfast a bit too, like you. Sometimes I have pancakes, sometimes rolled oats but mostly I just skip it altogether and end up ravenous by 10 or 11 o'clock. This is something I am trying to remedy though as I enjoy breakfast when I'm organised :-)

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    1. Thank you. It will on or around the 20th each month. In April I am thinking the 20th.

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  13. You've been cooking lots of delicious, healthy food in your kitchen this month. I especially like those patties and pancakes. I've never tried sauerkraut before but it reminds me of our achara which is made with papaya and other vegetables.

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    1. I suspect that all cultures will have a fermented speciality using ingredients that were local to the area. They will all be similar, yet not if that makes sense.

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  14. Your kitchen is my kind of place. I too love fermenting. And you have inspired me to make those food covers. I have the wax. All I need to do is find the time........

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    1. Time, that is not something we mamas have a lot of is it. If only we could go and cook some up........

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  15. Home made toothpaste sounds good, I'm really trying to cut down on plastic waste so this will help. I struggle with breakfast too, I end up with a bowl of cereal at my desk but I'm going to try overnight oats soon xx

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    1. Overnight oats are great, if you are going to cook them they cook up super quick much quicker than if you don't.

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  16. Water kefir seems to be the newest thing - I've now read about it several places. I love my kefir made with raw milk. I eat pancakes several mornings a week for breakfast - I make a big batch that lasts me for about 3 mornings. I use whatever I have on hand - squash, strawberries, oats, kefir, berries. I top mine with maple syrup, which I eat a lot of!

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    1. I can't have milk in any form so milk kefir is never going to work for me. I read about water kefir a few years ago but have not since. It's funny isn't it how you can read about the same thing over and over in a short space of time!

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  17. You have been very busy. I do enjoy cooking but my kitchen doesn't lend itself to spending a lot of time in. You really can't beat good, simple nutritious food. X

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  18. Sauerkraut looks amazing. I've been meaning to make more for months now, but everytime I buy cabbage we end up roasting it. :-) Thank you for the pancake and the patty recipe Both have been pinned. I need to get more creative in the kitchen again. I've let myself slack off a bit the last few months. But our routine is getting more consistant now. I'm looking forward to going on some new adventures.

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Hello......would love to hear from you :)