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Friday, May 2, 2014

In My Kitchen, May 2014

April disappeared in a whirl of autumn sunshine, school holidays, overdue housework, Easter, wood oven cooking and visitors.  So here we are again taking a virtual wander around my kitchen.  If only we could share a coffee and something sweet!

Normally, when I bake with chocolate I don’t buy the fanciest chocolate but I don’t buy the cheapest either.   Last time I baked a batch of chocolate chip biscuits I broke a block of dark Spencer Cocoa chocolate into the mix.  Now I am not sure I can ever look at supermarket cooking chocolate in the same way. 


Home grown limes, freshly pressed olive oil from our trees and eggs from our hard working chooks.  These ingredients went into lime and olive oil muffins loosely based on this recipe.  This cake was a perfect way to celebrate our annual olive harvest and oil pressing.


Broccoli.  Growing in my garden one minute only to be hacked down, woodchop style by my boy and immediately added to our dinner.  These moments are pure joy.


Ribs from a freshly slaughtered sheep sizzling in our wood oven.  These are best enjoyed outdoors with a cold beer preferably wearing grubby farm clothes.


I have been saving the recipe for these sesame bars for years and I have finally given them a road test.  These substantial chunks are full of coconut, tahini, seeds, honey, nuts, dried fruit and puffed rice all topped off with dark chocolate.  They are very filling and make a great mid-afternoon treat.



What are you cooking or growing?

Do you bake with fancy chocolate?

Is your kitchen busy?

Each month my friend Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts this kitchen tour and we get a glimpse into interesting kitchens from all over the world.  Please call in and say hello. 

54 comments :

  1. G'day! ABSOLUTELY gorgeous photos Jane and LOVE your ribs!!!
    I feel like coming through the screen, um, borrowing one of your cookies...as would be so worth it to get my hand slapped lol they look great!
    Thanks for this month's kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

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    1. Your comments are always so cheerful Joanne, thank you so much.

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  2. Those ribs look great - we love them in my house, but sadly they are store bought. And your broccoli looks amazing...mine got decimated by bugs before it even got going!

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    1. Thanks Mel, bugs love broccoli don't they?

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  3. funny you should ask the fancy chocolate question. Not often, but I'm keen to buy a big bag for baking. And mostly for chocolate custard. Love that you make your own olive oil.

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    1. Chocolate custard sounds like such a good idea Mel! Thanks for calling in.

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  4. I don't often buy chocolate as it often doesn't last long enough to make it to baking but I try to buy a fair trade, 70% cocoa one when I do.
    The biscuits you baked look delicious. What recipe do you use?
    x

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    1. Thanks Zara, I use a recipe from one of Donna Hay's earliest books: Marie Claire Cooking. An oldie but a goodie :)

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  5. Sigh. I do bake with expensive chocolate - I use Callebaut, Amedei or Valrhona - and it's a slippery road that there's no coming back from. I don't think I could buy Nestle choc bits again. I was tempted to bake with fancy butter the other day, but stopped myself - that's just too dangerous a route to go down, I reckon. :)

    Always so enjoy having a cup of tea with you in your kitchen - I know it's usually a busy place, but it always feels so peaceful when I visit. Love love love the broccoli - we still don't have any to eat in our garden, and I'm missing it greatly.

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    1. Those names, Callebaut, Amedei and Valrhona, they even sound delicious don't they? I hear you on the butter issue. I usually use Western Star but I find myself lingering in the fancier butter section. Perhaps I am not alone in spending time browsing butter?

      That broccoli was just lucky really Celia...the tiny plant survived under a piece of shade cloth all summer and is now enjoying the cooler weather. Thanks for calling in x

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    2. Ah ok. I'll get off Pete's case about the broccoli then. (I already said, "Jane has broccoli in her garden!! Why don't we have any?" :)) I'm playing with a new shortbread recipe, and I found myself thinking the other day..."ooh, imagine how good this would taste with PEPE SAYA butter..."...then I gave myself a shake and got over it.. :)

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  6. My kitchen has been so busy that my partner, bless her, decided I needed a break from it and has cooked up not one, but two slow cooker meals this weekend (the second is being put on right now). A delicious soup last night and coq au vin tonight. Yum. It's a real treat to be cooked for too.
    Oh, your own olive oil. I have a glorious olive tree that fruited with just three olives last year and seems to have not fruited at all this year, though it put on an enormous weight of new leaf. What am I doing wrong?

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    1. Hello Katie. Your partner sounds very thoughtful! It is a treat to have someone else cook isn't it.

      I have very limited technical knowledge on olive trees but I do know that they tend to have an 'off' year. Some of our trees were loaded with fruit while another tree growing right next to it is completely bare. For this reason is it probably lucky we are not making a living from our olives!

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  7. I love seeing what's cooking in your kitchen Jane. My kind of food. Every. Single. Time.

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    1. You are kind Brydie...thanks for calling in x

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  8. Gorgeous pics as per usual. Your broccoli looks amazing. :)

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    1. PS Your new look blog is very impressive!

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  9. Hi Jane... what a lovely round up once again... and such beautiful photos too! I am buying large bags of decent chocolate online too, it really does make a different. Love those ribs, I bet they are succulent and so so fresh! Happy cooking my friend.

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    1. Thanks as always Lizzy, happy cooking to you too!

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  10. Oh my goodness - those bars look supberb! The lamb ribs would be great over that fire and they are quite on trend as fars as ribs go at present. Pork = out. Lamb or Beef short = in! Thanks for the round up Jane.

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    1. Thanks Fiona, I am also reading that on the interwebs. Lamb and beef have actually always been 'in' at our place! Have a great week and thanks for the Twitter kindness also :)

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  11. Oh Jane, what an expressive and productive month you have achieved. So many beautiful home grown products and wonderful stories. Thankyou, very inspiring.

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    1. Oh thank you Sarah. You are the loveliest friend x

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  12. Jane, everything looks delicious. We didn't get many olives at all this year. I think it was too dry and the ones we got were snatched early by the bloody birds. Those sesame bars look fabulous. Have you posted the recipe for them? I am very interested.

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    1. Thanks Glenda. I always feel funny about posting recipes that are not my own, but I will happily email it to you!

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  13. i just love it that everything is home made and home produced jane..x

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    1. Thanks Jane, rather the same story in your kitchen I know x

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  14. Your muffins sound the perfect way to celebrate the olive oil harvest. I cook with Callebaut (Celia's influence) but buying them bulk works out cheaper than buying bars of supermarket chocolate.
    I'm drinking a cup of coffee while I read this and pretending that I'm sitting with you in your kitchen eating one of your sesame bars. Or muffin. Or anything from above.

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    1. I would blame Celia too Anne...in the nicest possible way of course! Thanks for calling in as always.

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  15. Those ribs look AMAZING…..do you baste them at all or just eat 'as is' once bbqed? And love the sound of your sesame bars too….I love looking in your kitchen. Beautiful photos and heavenly produce. Love reading your blog…..very inspiring and real country cooking xxx

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    1. Thank you for your generous comment Kylie. We usually just eat the ribs 'as is', maybe with a little salt and pepper. Happy cooking to you.

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  16. I love your wood oven, but the very first picture, with all your retro kitchen ware made me drool.

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    1. Thanks so much Francesca, drooling is perfectly appropriate when it comes to chocolate chip biscuits I think!

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  17. what a delicious post. home grown limes! i'm lime green with envy :-)
    i just wish i could do as much baking as you. bakign for one tends to reduce the need o bake loads of biscuit and slices and so on. yum!

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    1. Thank you as always e. Limes are the only citrus I have been able to grow successfully. I am thinking about a batch of Indian lime pickle...any ideas or thoughts or recipes? I probably bake too many sweet things, most of it goes to the freezer to be rationed out when we have visitors, farm workers or special occasions!

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  18. Hi Jane, must be wonderful to have your own homegrown limes. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  19. Aaannndd, now I'm hungry ;) Wonderful food, as always - and yep, life's too short for cheap choccie, even in biscuits!

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    1. Thanks so much Becs, love your comments!

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  20. Thanks for the muffin suggestion. I am trying to find uses for the bucket of limes in my kitchen at the moment. So jealous of your broccoli. I had to resort to buying it this morning at the market.

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    1. Thanks Tania...happy cooking with your limes. I am investigating Indian style lime pickle recipes at the moment.

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  21. Yum! Those bars look so fabulous and I'm so delighted to see your broccoli growing so well. I'm yet to have a broccoli harvest, but I'm crossing my fingers they might work this year. xx

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    1. Thanks for calling in Sophie, you are kind x

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  22. Your kitchen is always full of so many warm and comforting things - and that olive oil, so impressed every year! xx

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  23. I hope I can grow olives one day and not have to buy olive oil.
    I have been planting garlic, picking greek figs, and eating Autumn raspberries :)

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    1. Oh I would love some Greek figs! Thanks for calling in :)

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  24. Jane, freshly pressed olive oil sounds like a taste treat I'll have to indulge in one day. Such a lovely post! The photo of the ribs sizzling over an open fire was near and dear to my heart, too... flavor in the making! Any chance you'll share the recipe for your sesame bars? (And apologies if I missed it... just catching up on blog reading.) Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kim, l emailed the recipe to you...I hope it found you.

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  25. Those chocolate chip biscuits look just divine, and the limes are absolutely beautiful. Not sure which I would prefer the most ;) I'm very jealous of your broccoli though. I've only ever tried to grow broccoli once, but the possums demolished it to the base of the plant.

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    1. Thanks Glenda, we are lucky to not have possums in our part of the world!

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  26. your photos have an amazing atmospheric quality and also a mouth watering come-hither quality. Love your cookies and your slice and am so impressed at you pressing your own olive oil

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    1. Thank you Johanna, you are very kind!

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane