In My Kitchen – February 2016

Is the first month of the year really over already? In some ways it flew by and in others it dragged a little. I suppose that means it’s time for another In My Kitchen post.  Thanks again to Maureen for hosting this wonderful monthly get together.  As always it has been rather busy in our kitchen. This time around I’m not starting off with new kitchen items or food, but with my two budding sous chefs.

All three boys have always been by my side in the kitchen. They help, they eat while I try to cook….they are a constant in my kitchen. To help them along with their cooking skills I decided to let each of them have their own brunch. They would get to plan it and help cook.

Jack was first. For his meal he picked cauliflower crusted quiche (bacon, cheddar and broccoli) and a fruit crisp with crushed snickerdoodles on top (thanks Celia for the idea). Let’s just say it was pretty popular and Jack did well helping prepare the meal. He also enjoyed bossing his brothers around since he was the head child chef! The lesson on opening a bottle of bubbly was also a hit, especially when the cork hit the light fixture.

JacksBrunch

Next it was Ewan’s turn to plan and help cook a brunch.  He waffled back and forth between a grits dish or deviled eggs.  In the end he chose deviled eggs with shrimp, mango and blackberry kabobs and orange cardamon cinnamon rolls.  He also had a great time.  He follows directions much better than Jack!  Sean helped as well and Jack a little too.  Ewan also loved his bubbly lesson!

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Now onto new items in my kitchen.  First off I have some elderflower syrup from an IKEA trip earlier in the month.  The boys had a long weekend so I decided a trip to IKEA was in order.  We went to the gym first thing in the morning and left after that.   It’s a little less than two hours to get there so we headed to the cafeteria as soon as we arrived, my poor pigs were hungry after all!

Once they had lunch I dropped them off at the play area and was thrilled there was room available.  I managed to do all my shopping, pay and load the car and still have six minutes of time left (you get one hour of childcare).  The elderflower syrup is the reason I went.  Josh tends to consume a lot of St. Germaine because he loves the flavor.  This way he can still get the flavor and it’s cheaper.  Don’t get me wrong, we still drink St. Germaine!

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Also this month I have some sprouted spelt flour and amaranth.  I’ve finally started experimenting with my sourdough and am enjoying it.  Right now I’m using half bread flour and half spelt flour.  Then I toss in a hand full of amaranth.  It reminds me of the breads I used to get at bakeries when I lived in Germany and Austria.

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This month I also have two new Bee’s Wraps from my Mighty Fix shipment.  These are a substitute for plastic wrap.  Made of cloth and beeswax you can now wrap food naturally with a sustainable product.  If only the large was big enough to fit on my huge bowl of sourdough when proofing….

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Finally I have new kids’ tools in the kitchen.  Early in the month I took Jack with me when I was running errands.  He wanted everything at World Market, it was like a kid begging for everything in a candy store!  In a weak moment I finally caved on a couple items, at least I know he will use them.  He liked the section with everything that was mini, he kept saying “it’s so cute, can I have it”!  So he got some silicone pinch bowls, he also picked out a set of ceramic animal measuring cups.  Finally, when Josh was ordering some electronic supplies from China the store he ordered from had EVERYTHING, especially kitchen gadgets.  I let Jack pick out these Bento forks which the kids love.  I may have gotten a few items too, next month you may see them…

KidsTools

It’s been another fun month in my kitchen.  With all these new goodies we’ve been baking and experimenting with spelt.  The experimentation continues next month.  Sean has his turn planning and making brunch this weekend (we’re calling it brunch because he melted down when I tried to call it breakfast…it will be a brunch meal just at breakfast time so Josh has more time in his workshop).  With all their helping in the kitchen the boys just may get their own blog that they’ve been begging to have!  Don’t forget to pop on by Orgasmic Chef to see what is happening in kitchens across the globe.

 

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42 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2016

    1. Gretchen Post author

      World Market is dangerous when you have kids that want everything too. I can barely co tell myself, let alone the boys too! Weekends are proving to be the best time to let them help in the kitchen, it’s been lots of fun.

      Reply
  1. ChgoJohn

    Ah, yes. Ikea, the Promised Land. It’s about a 90 minute drive for me to get there so it is a special event when I do. I do enjoy it, though. World Market, however, is relatively close and I’m a frequent visitor. Really like the idea of those plastic wrap substitutes. I’m going to look for them. I would love to say goodbye to plastic wrap. I think it’s great that you’ve allowed your boys into the kitchen. Mom made sure my brother and I could cook and I’ll be forever thank. If and when they start a blog, I’ll be first in line to subscribe. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I’ll let you know when they start their blog! The do crack me up with their ideas! World Market is a dangerous place, especially when I have kids who want everything too. We almost enable each other. Sean is very excited to plan his brunch this weekend, though all he has decided so far is the sweet treat. Go figure!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      World Market is lots of fun too. Jack wanted nearly everything there! I have to tame myself there, it is t easy when I have to tame him too! I am looking forward to Sean’s brunch lesson this weekend.

      Reply
  2. mae

    I always love the tiny but functional kids’ utensils at my local hardware store, but so far I have resisted buying them. I’m a sucker for miniatures! Great that your kids are learning to cook!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Reply
  3. theninjabaker

    Your children eat very well! Great idea to sprinkle snickerdoodles for a fruit crisp…Thank you for the inspiration to include bento accessories in my next In My Kitchen…I’m intrigued by your comment also about the Austrian bakeries and the use of amaranth…I’ve got a big bag used for gluten-free baking…Again, #inspired to dive back into the bread baking =)

    Reply
  4. ladyredspecs

    Nice peek into your kitchen Gretchen. Ikea can be an ordeal or like a fun day out. They were 5 minutes from me when we were in Melbourne. I soon learned when the quiet times were so I could avoid the checkout queues. That elderflower cordial is very refreshing in this heat. I love seeing your boys in the kitchen, much better than gadgets

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Luckily we hit IKEA at a relatively quiet time. I enjoy finding the time to actually teach the boys in the kitchen and a weekend brunch is perfect for it. Nobody is rushed, other than of course the fact that they are always hungry! Looking forward to Sean’s lesson this weekend, all he has planned so far is the dessert of course.

      Reply
  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I wish my mother had encouraged us to cook with her when I was growing up. It was too much bother for her so I had to watch from afar. My grandmother used to let me make bread with her every week and maybe that’s where my love of cooking and baking comes from. You’re a good mother!!

    I haven’t been to IKEA for years and living way up here, it’s not going to happen anytime soon but I do have envy. 🙂

    The snickerdoodle topping is a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing your kitchen and your boys with us this month and being part of In My Kitchen, you’re all terrific!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Next month you’ll be seeing Sean in my kitchen! I can’t say I remember my mom teaching me exactly but I certainly learned many of her go to family recipes by watching. Home economics classes were my favorite, mandatory for boys and girls starting in 5th grade. It is fun when I actually have the time to help them along and teach them to cook and weekend brunches are perfect for that! IKEA is certainly fun, luckily the boys were in the playroom while I shopped or there would have been a lot more in my cart!

      Reply
  6. fergie51

    Love it! The boys look like they are having a ball. Great work getting them onto opening bubbly, handy skill indeed. I love the mini kid things, might look at them myself! I wonder if our Ikea have that elderflower, I have developed quite a taste for it. Cheers, Maree 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Definitely check IKEA for the elderflower, it’s fantastic! We have a tree and are hoping to make our own syrup this year. The boys are very enthusiastic in the kitchen and it’s been fun watching them grow.

      Reply
  7. My Kitchen Stories

    Gosh you are an amazing Mother. i wish you were mine. They are going to be very fine men you are raising. Good luck with all of your bread and the next brunch. i look forward to hearing about that too x

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys certainly do love helping in the kitchen and it is nice to take the time to actually give them lessons too. I’m sure their future wives will appreciate it, I know I love having a husband that can cook and bake! Sean and I are looking forward to his turn this weekend.

      Reply
  8. lazymomcooking

    I can see the boys have so much fun! Love this post 🙂

    Please visit and follow my blog (www.lazymomcooking.wordpress.com) or my Instagram (lazymom_cooking) for some recipe ideas 🙂

    Reply
  9. shaken

    An awesome post, love that your boys are in the kitchen helping out with the cooking. I love the bento forks, I am curious to see what you do with the amaranth. I have some in my kitchen staring at me.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys absolutely love helping in the kitchen. So far all I’ve done with the amaranth is out it in spelt sourdough. I’ll have to come up with some more ideas.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      They certainly love to help in the kitchen. Brunch is their favorite meal so that was a natural choice. Sean looks forward to his brunch soon, he missed it this last weekend since he was sick.

      Reply
  10. Moya

    Love that you include your boys in the kitchen activities and love their little dishes. I have some bee’s wrap too, a really cool product 🙂

    Reply
  11. Maggie

    I LOVE the boys’ brunches! It sounds like it was fantastic and I believe you can never be too early letting a child do something in the kitchen! I love cooking with my niece and nephew 🙂 My mom used to give us a week in summer where each of us would cook meals for our entire family (9). Within reason, my mom let us us do whatever our hearts desired and our brains could cook up! Money sometimes was an issue but it was great fun and taught us a lot!

    I am really interested in Jack’s cauliflower crusted quiche and Ewan’s deviled eggs! Very fancy 😉

    The rest of your kitchen, looks amazing as always! I do love elderflower cordial, so that sounds right up my alley! Also, the kids’ new kitchen tools are adorable! So sweet!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys are loving their brunch cooking lessons. Poor Sean was so distraught he missed his since he got sick! We will make it up soon and share his meal as well. They do get creative in their planning and just need a little help. They love finding new utensils,when we are shopping, I even forgot to post a couple. Thanks for popping by!

      Reply
      1. Maggie

        Oh, no! Poor Sean! I can imagine his heartbreak! Can’t wait to see his contribution! 🙂 You’ve very welcome – always glad to stop by!

  12. missfoodfairy

    Love the sound of your spelt & amaranth bread Gretchen, may I ask what’s the difference between sprouted spelt flour & normal/whole spelt flour? I’m just starting to play with new flours for bread & cake making so I’d love hints & tips please 🙂 Love all your cute pinch & measuring bowls – I can never have enough either! Lots of fun for #IMK x

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I couldn’t really tell a difference between the sprouted spelt and regular spelt flours as far as taste goes. I’m pretty much using the regular spelt now since it is much easier to find, online anyway. I’m now playing around with adding various nuts and seeds to the bread as well. As for the measuring cups, I can never have enough either. Somehow the one I need is always dirty!

      Reply

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