Tag Archives: Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

A kitchen in January, mindful eating, a recipe for steamed egg custard

New Years Eve

January began with a quiet evening among friends, with blini, pizza bites, haloumi salad, ratatouille, and an Aussie barbecue, welcoming the new year. Do you like the view from our borrowed party pad? 🙂

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Markets

January is a time to restock after the Christmas holidays. Saturday morning, I went to the Eveleigh Markets followed by Paddy’s Markets in Chinatown. Here is part of the morning’s bounty. And, if you want a peek into other people’s kitchens, please visit the “In My Kitchen” posts hosted by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

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Cookbooks

January is a time to dive into cookbooks (that I bought, ie, non-sponsored), three in particular.

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Far away and in my kitchen

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Christmas and summer is well and truly upon us. Where did 2013 go?? Last week, it was still a teensy bit cool in the morning. Over the weekend, it became gloriously sunny, summery, and humid – like we are standing in a sticky warm bath. A time for sitting under a fountain, sipping Vietnamese iced coffee, or flocking to the beach.

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A long way from America

Last week, I received a very exciting parcel from Anne at Uni Homemaker. I had commented on her peanut butter pumpkin spice kiss cookies post that I couldn’t find pumpkin kisses in Sydney, and she promptly got in touch and sent some to me!

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I found much more than pumpkin kisses in the box, Anne had also sent butterscotch morsels, creme de menthe chips, and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. I sneaked a couple while taking photos. The pumpkin spice kisses tasted like mildly spiced gingerbread; the creme de menthe made me think of minty candy canes, and I can already see the Ghirardelli and butterscotch jazzing up some oatmeal bars and brownie bars that rotate through our kitchen.

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…and Anne’s box also had these colourful baking cups!

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Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial does a round-up of “in my kitchen” from fellow bloggers each month. When I saw Anne’s box of goodies, I knew they had to feature in this month’s round-up.

A broken oven and flood of jam 

Our old, creaky oven is officially on its last legs. The oven light went out, quietly, modestly, on the weekend. Currently, pastries, breads and cookies are going into a dark cavern of an oven, with only smell and sound to guide me.

*silent movie-style gesture of despair*

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There are some consolations. The lack of a good oven has encouraged me to discover jam and preserves. So far we have a sour cherry jam, which has been made into thumb print cookies (and survived the black cavern of an oven!), and a blood orange and carrot marmalade.

Here’s hoping the oven will be fixed before I flood the house with preserves and fermented things, like kimchi. Or even garum. I think Mr Gander would be keen to fix the oven before I moved onto garum. 

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Cookies plus fun: chocolate, sprinkles, and giantness

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Cookies almost need no introduction. Small package of cheerfulness that fit into one hand(ful), in varieties of soft, crunchy, chewy. If you’re like me, you can always find room for just one more.

I haven’t baked that many cookies for this blog. There always seems to be another more exotic and/or more challenging recipe to try, and new techniques to learn. But this week, it felt like a time for cookies. Just cookies.

Maybe it’s because I had been planning a dinner party menu for 11-12 people all week. There are so many ideas whizzing around my head, it’s hard to focus one idea and build a menu around it. Dan Hong’s mapo tofu, David Thompson’s laksa from scratch, that amazing macaroni pie from The Leopard, or fesenjan? What about nibbles? Should I make bread? Make pasta? And dessert??

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In the middle of this food ideas whirlpool, Mr Gander asked me to bake something for a meeting at his work. No wonder I turned to something simple, foolproof, something that says ‘happy place’.

Like Celia (of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial)’s Perfect Gooey Cookie Slab.

When I first read about the cookie slab on Celia’s blog, her description stuck in my mind: “the disproportionately high chocolate content vis-à-vis flour results in a crisp wafery crust over a molten and butterscotchy centre (which sets firm by the following day).” Swoon.

Instead of a slab, I tried making a giant cookie, and covered it in hundreds and thousands (sprinkles). Compared to some recent projects, this was a cinch to make. Into the oven the cookie dough went, and began to spread and grow…

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