In My Kitchen – March 2014

I can’t say that I’m sorry to see February go away.  As Celia reminds us that it’s time to post our In My Kitchen for March I can’t help but hold out hope for some warm weather.  Be sure to swing by Celia’s kitchen this month – she’s made some scrumptious Cuban bread that I wouldn’t mind having right now.

Up until last night, about all I had in my kitchen was candles, rows of flashlights, and battery powered lanterns. We were supposed to get hammered with another fierce snowstorm, predicted to drop about a foot of snow on us and disrupt things with high winds. I think we may have lucked out though with the storm passing just south of us, leaving maybe just a few inches here. I did put away the flashlights and lanterns but I always have some candles out. These Swarovski crystal candle holders are my favorites and a gift from my husband many years ago. I love how they look like melting ice.

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I was so happy to finally find an egg separator at Target a couple weeks ago.  I lost one that I’d had for years and couldn’t find another so grabbed this when I spotted it in the gadget aisle.  I’ve been doing the back & forth with the 2 egg shells to separate yolks from whites and usually ended up making a mess and picking bits of shells out.

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It really came in handy for this Chocolate Raspberry Mousse from the Max Brenner cookbook that I won.  You know I would have had a terrible mess separating 10 eggs.

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Speaking of gadgets…remember my last post of the garlic chicken?  This is my handy little garlic zoom zoomer.  You lift the top, pop in the garlic and pretend you’re zooming a little race car around the counter while sharp little blades mince the garlic.  When you’re done playing, you’ve got minced garlic.  I also love my little garlic pot that I’ve had forever.

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Speaking of cookbooks – this one wasn’t free but close enough.  I found this huge Bon Appetit cookbook at a place called Ocean State Joblot yesterday for just $7.99.  You never know what you’ll find at that store but it’s guaranteed that you won’t leave empty handed.

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As I was looking through the recipes last night I found one for a sausage, red bell pepper, and onion calzones.  I’ve got to get moving and get the pizza dough started so I’ll have them for tonight.  Which brings me to one item that has been a back saver for me – this 30″ high counter stool which is just the perfect height to work sitting at the counter zooming the garlic zoomer around or kneading dough for the calzones.

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Under my feet is an unhappy pup who has two ear infections and needs drops in her ears twice a day.  Do you see that bottle of drops?  Right now she’s distracted by the treats she’s snarfing up but as soon as she looks up she’ll be outta here.  I don’t know how she clamps down those ears on me, but trying to get the drops in has been a challenge.

IMG_1354Finally, after I get the dough rising, and have chased Lola around the house with the ear drops, I’ve got homework to do.  I finally signed up for a class to learn how to operate my camera.  I really wasn’t that sure about paying to take the class because the pre-requisite was to read my manual.  Honestly!  If I wanted to read the manual, why would I take the class?  After downloading over 80 pages (the manual doesn’t come with the camera!), I decided that I’ll skim the pages, maybe make a few notes in the margins and pretend that I’ve been studying for months…

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50 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – March 2014

  1. Your candle holders are beautiful and how special that your hubby bought them for you. 🙂 A gadget aisle, now that sounds like my kind of aisle. Bet you find loads of fun things to place with in the kitchen. You have just reminded me that I too had a garlic pot but alas it has gone awol on me. Hmm, chocolate mousse, lovely. I have a Tupperware egg separator which I have never used. Had I known, I could have sent you my one. Sorry. Wish I had a stool to sit on in my kitchen – maybe in my dream kitchen one day and poor pup with her ear infection. It’s so horrible when they sick. I’m sure she will feel better knowing the weather is going to be warming up soon, oh, hang on, I forgot she loves digging her nose in the snow. You are going to love your camera course. If there is anything I can help you with, please let me know. I am no pro but I am sure I can help you with a few things.
    Have a beautiful week Diane.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • That’s funny that you have an egg separator from Tupperware – Tupperware seems to be a hot topic this month. So you must do the ol’ egg shell back & forth thing to separate the yolks…I’ve been doing it for years but every now & then I’d miss and oh what a mess it makes!
      I love that stool! We’re still looking for counter stools with backs for the long side of the island but it needs a shorter height for comfortable eating (for people who are taller than I am, which is just about everybody over the age of 12). In addition to coffee pots, my stool for the end was another return event & my dear husband had to bring a couple back before I found one that was juuussst right for ol’ goldilocks’ butt.
      I will probably have more questions after my class & really appreciate having a resource. You know your way around a camera much better than I do. I’ve had this camera for over a year now & mostly just use the auto setting. I’d really love to know what all of these other things do….but I’m ready – I bought a new notebook, I’ve got my cute Jo camera bag that my daughter bought me for Christmas, got a backup battery – hey, I’m all set.

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  2. Well, you sure covered a lot of topics here, Diane. Those glimpses of your kitchen are just beautiful.. Be ready.. nicer weather.. time for lunch. Well, you don’ t have to cook, I mean go out.
    Oh, I’m liking the garlic toy. I would imagine separating 10 eggs.. something is bound to go wrong by the 4th one. Not that that has happened to me.. Just sayin. Mousse looks great. So fancy. Poor Lola with her ears. Always something my girlfriend over there. Good luck on the camera class. I only know my basics of my Canon, too. Let me know how it goes. We didn’t get any snow at all this time.. so happy.

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    • And to think that I wasn’t going to post because I didn’t think I had anything to show this month! Then I got snapping and well, one thing led to another. I was going for a gadget theme but then got caught up in my new cookbook which meant I had to show off my stool for kneading the dough….hey Judy, what can I say – I got carried away! Yup, that 4th egg is usually the killer.
      As for Lola – how does she know when I’m going to put those drops in her ears? Seriously, the first time I had them in my pocket & all I did was sit down beside her, patting her head & as soon as I reached in my pocket, she was gone.

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  3. OMG I am jealous of that egg separator, I swear, my hand always smells like egg after I bake! And swarovski candles? That is so classy 😀
    Aww I hope your gorgeous Lola feels better after you have chased her!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  4. I like that toy for garlic. Where did you find it? My grandsons would have a wonderful time chopping garlic!!!
    The storm missed us, too- I had even gotten in some emergency foods- darn- we’ll have to eat it anyway! 🙂
    I love your stool- every kitchen should have a cooking stool, in my opinion!
    Thanks for sharing! I hope your calzones turned out to be a hit!

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  5. A fun post, Diane. Love the idea of whirling garlic around a counter top to dice it. Glad to hear the storm passed you by. We were at the northern end and only got 5 inches or so. As you well know, that’s nothing compared to what could have been. I just hope that’s the last of it.
    I know all about those accursed ear drops! My Max had a string of ear infections and we determined he was allergic to his food. I swapped out that brand and the ear infections stopped. Now, I’m not suggesting that Lola is allergic. If, however, this ear infection comes back repeatedly, it’s something to talk to the vet about.

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    • I imagine if I got another garlic zoomer my husband & I could have races around the island.
      I’m glad to hear that you didn’t get totally hammered by this storm but isn’t it funny how we just shrug off 5″ as “eh – no big deal”?
      Thank you for the tip about the food allergy. You know somewhere I think I had that in some brain cells but I hadn’t thought of it until you mentioned it. The vet did take a culture and if the drops haven’t cleared it up this time, then she’s had good luck with this new concoction that is compounded based on the results f the culture. Sort or an ointment that she injects & you leave there (No drops!). I think I may have to try some new recipes for Lola though – can’t hurt right?

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  6. G’day Dianne and thanks for your entertaining post today! I did have to laugh about that “thing” called the manual! lol Your four legged one is a cutie!
    Thank you for this month’s kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

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    • Manuals! When I was a consultant for a software company we used to get so annoyed when clients would call for the simplest question rather than read the manual 🙂
      Lola is a cutie – when she’s not stealing food off the counters! Do you know she swiped a half stick of butter the other day? Now why would she even want butter?

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  7. Glad you missed the storm. I love your garlic mincer, though I think I might get carried away and end up eating garlic with everything. I need to go on a camera course – though I don’t have a big complicated camera, I use it on automatic settings far too much. Mind you, reading the manual would probably help. Do let us know how you get on.

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    • you know Anne, I was thinking that if you kind of zone out while playing with the garlic car that you could end up with garlic mush instead of mince:)
      I’ve been using the automatic setting on this camera almost exclusively because I just don’t understand all of these other features. Hopefully I’ll be able to learn to use them. It’s just that a lot of times I want to grab a quick picture & don’t have time to figure out any more than turn it on, point, shoot.

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  8. Poor little Lola. You know my little Buddy is the same way about having his ears cleaned. How do they clamp their ears shut? I love your new kitchen so much and love that marble countertop that would be beautiful to make bread on or really anything because it is so beautiful.

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    • I could see how it would be tough to get into Buddy’s ears even if he didn’t clamp shut on you but for heaven’s sakes ! Look at those craters on Lola – you’d think I couldn’t miss. The cleaning is a nightmare & I could be in there up to my elbows. My vet did have a recommendation to use baby wipes with aloe for cleaning so I’ll have to see if that goes better than the gauze.
      You know I just rolled out dough for calzones on that marble island last night & it was great!

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  9. Hey Diane, I have a stool in my kitchen too. Mine is because I have a buggered ankle which swells up terribly if I stand on it too long. My stool has wheels so I can zoom up and down the kitchen with ease 🙂

    I love your Lola so much. Pierre (my in house chef) has a Bernese mountain dog too so I showed him your photo of Lola in the snow. He was very concerned for her welfare 🙂

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    • Oh man, you’ve got wheels on yours? How cool is that! This stool is the only reason why I’m even able to cook these days. I’m waiting to go in for a hip transplant & haven’t been able to stand or sit for very long without having to lie down.
      That Lola is my constant companion but please reassure Pierre that being out in the snow is her idea of a good time. To get her to come in I have to cook up something like bacon or open a block of parmesan cheese – that gets her in fast. So does Pierre have his Berner with him? And tell me again – how did you end up with an in house French chef? I need details on this Glenda…I’m going to be laid up for 1-2 months after surgery & this is sounding pretty good to me.

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  10. I’m inclined to agree with you – if you were going to read the manual, why are they charging you for the class? I’m quite taken with your garlic zoomer – now if only they could invent one that would peel it first, THEN mince it for us, they’d have my money. I bought an egg separator a while back, but I don’t use it – I know this sounds like showing off, but our eggs are so fresh that the separator won’t work – they just sit together in a blob on the lip. I now crack my eggs into a bowl, and scoop out the yolks with my fingers. Messy, but it works! 🙂

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    • Well, as it turned out I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t read the manual last night. But, the class was great & a lot of fun. Somehow she managed to turn all that gobbled gook in the manual into something we could all understand.
      I think I knew that really fresh eggs don’t want to separate but I never thought about having to use my hands to grab the yolk. Doesn’t even work with the back & forth with the egg shell? You are so lucky to have such fresh eggs at your fingertips. Baking a cake? come on girls…let’s lay one for Celia.

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      • Don’t laugh – I’ve been known to stand outside the chook dome and beseech the girls to lay. And I use my hands (fingers) to scoop out the yolk – it’s much easier than back and forth with the shell, as I don’t crack the yolk that way. Also, I can get a clean yolk out and leave all the white! 🙂

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      • What do you mean don’t laugh? What else can I do Celia, you crack me up! I better not put up the recipe for the chocolate raspberry mousse I just made – it would stress your girls out too much.

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  11. It’s so nice to meet you through Celia’s blog:) You must be living near my part of the world to have a storm like that?? I can’t wait for this winter to end! I love all of your gadgets, I think my mom has the exact same garlic jar at our cottage at the lake! Your poor puppy, it’s so hard because they don’t understand! My Bella just got spayed.. so she’s been living in a “onesie” outfit she surely doesn’t like!

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    • I’m in Massachusetts, just west of Boston so I should see spring a little before you but this winter has been harsh. I hate when an animal’s not feeling well. I had to refashion a jumbo T shirt for Lola when she was neutered & you would think I hog tied her – quite the actress when she wants to be.

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  12. My dogs need drops for ear infections too and it’s impossible to get them in. Not sure why anti-biotics aren’t prescribed as per humans. It would be a lot easier!

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    • I agree but I guess it’s probably a more direct approach, although challenging. At least my vet has this new approach where she took a culture of the mess in her ears & when I bring Lola back in another week, if it’s not cleared up they compound a special ointment that gets injected into the ears & that’s it…no more chasing.

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      • Oh not at all Sally – I talk about all kinds of things, not just food & my pup’s featured in a lot of other posts. The only problem w/the compounded ointment is that it takes a week for the culture to come back & the vet didn’t want to keep Lola in pain waiting for that which is why we’re doing the drops for now. One other thing that she mentioned that she thinks works well is cleaning the ear with baby wipes with aloe. A little more gentle on the ear.

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  13. The storm missed us too but it is snowing right now. I’m looking forward to above freezing temps this weekend to start melting the snow. Thats when you should light the candles in your beautiful crystal candle holders that do indeed look like melting snow. I hope you enjoy your camera class…it is all the technical terms that get me. The manuals might as well be written in another language.

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    • The class was great! And, I wasn’t the only one who said they fell asleep trying to read the manual. She took us through all the basics & actually explained things with examples that made sense. Cracked me up because she was explaining about getting closer to a subject & using the standard wide angle of the lens vs. moving back & using the zoom (tip- if you use the zoom, much better picture of the person). But she started out by saying “I’ll give you a tip on how to make your mother in law look really awful in a picture”. Everyone took notes.

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  14. Mh you got me at that garlic pot so cute – is there really something to reading manuals? Who does that nowadays? I never got around to read the manual of the boyfriend’s camera, when it doesn’t “work” I just let him take the pictures : DD

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    • I love that little garlic pot too even though it’s a little banged up & stained.
      As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t read the manual & the people who said they did couldn’t figure it out. Plus I spend a bundle on the camera & it didn’t even come with a manual – I had to download it on my printer.
      But it was a great class & she made it so much easier to understand. I guess I need to see examples & have someone watching me while I try to do some of this stuff. One of my biggest problems is getting out of all these crazy menus – where the heck am I and why can’t I just take a picture?

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  15. Ooh! Now that’s a gadget I DO want for my kitchen … a garlic zoom zoomer! You make it sound fun too. I mince my garlic by hand using a Santoku knife. It’s good chopping practice and although I love garlic I don’t like garlic smell lingering on my finger nails after chopping.

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    • That’s the way I am with onions – I don’t mind the smell as I’m cooking but oh man, once the meal is over I can’t stand the smell in the house or on my clothes. I’m going hunting for a good onion chopper.

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  16. I’ve had so many random joyful thoughts about this post, such as: your dog is the cutest! I want one of those garlic things! mousse is magical! I’m a wee bit jealous of your camera! Sorry to be so sporadic, but I assure you it’s all sincere. Thanks for another enjoyable post, Diane!

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    • That’s perfectly understandable since my post was kind of a rambler:). I wasn’t sure that I’d do an IMK post this month because I didn’t think I had anything but then as I started takes pictures, one thing led to another. My camera class was so much fun and I got so much cleared up that the manual did a poor job of. Now if I can put it into practice.

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  17. Awhile back I chewed up my person’s egg separator that she’d had for years and she had a hard time finding another one. And tell Lola I just had an ear infection and had to get medicine in my ear. No fun. My person says to have lots of fun with your camera. She’s having fun with hers. She took a long class at the local community college.

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  18. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you dropped some brand names in this post (Swarovski and Target). Not to mention, you show a photo of prescription pet medicine — which is a little on the haute taute side. 😉 I hope all is well and, FYI: I’m subscribing again to your blog. For whatever reason, I’m not receiving notifications of your blog posts on my Apple MacBook Pro via my 50mb Internet connection.

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    • Adam I absolutely did name drop shamelessly! I should have made some sort of disclaimer that I wasn’t being paid by Otomax though.
      I’m glad you’re re-subscribing (the subscription fee is very reasonable) but I’d be willing to bet that your Apple MacBook Pro is playing games with you. When you changed your blog site & I tried to log in with my brand new 4th generation IPad, it kept taking me to a crossword puzzle. Now, don’t take offense, because I love your blog but I have to say I did have to do the crossword before reading your posts.

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      • If it was the NY Times Crossword, I understand completely. I used to do those (only completed a couple) with my Montblanc Meisterstuck — since I would never do a crossword with a pencil. Just know that, when you read my recipes, they were likely mixed with (either) my KitchenAid or Vitamix. The photos were all shot with my Nikon D90. Just sayin’… 😉

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  19. Diane, I’m glad to hear the storm passed you by — sounds like you were well prepared just in case. I enjoy having candles glowing, too, and your candle holders are beauties! Hope your pup is over that double-ear infection by now (I’m just now getting ’round to commenting… where has March gone?) And, what a fantastic fun gadget — a garlic zoomer! Never heard of it… need one!

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    • Kim, I really think, just maybe that we’re going to get some melting in the next couple of days. It will be so good to see bare ground even if it is just brown. Alas, poor Lola had one ear that was still hot so the vet injected this special compounded medication in there – gets it way down inside & that’s it – no more drops for me to put in. Another week & she should be able to get rid of the goop.

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  20. Poor little puppy! LOL! What torture for you AND her….you are so sophisticated with those gadgets…my my..an egg seperating device? Don’t you wish you’d have thought of that one? Kinda like Scoops? We go to the Mexican restaurant for 20 years, drip sauce on our shirts while eating a flat chip, and wonder why oh why did we not invent that darn Scoop?!!?!? Makes perfect sense…

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    • We had to go to Plan B with this compounded ointment injected into Lola’s ear. That seems to be working AND I don’t have to do a thing. There’s so many things I wish I’d thought of first. My husband worked with a guy who’s wife got so frustrated with his messy tools in the basement that she created these cut outs of various tools with the proper pegs to hang them. Huge success once a friend convinced her to market the idea. $$$$$$$

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