In My Kitchen – March 2016

Spring is nearly here, can you feel it?  We survived February and I’m quite looking forward to a new month.  I wasn’t feeling up to full strength much of the month due to a cold that wouldn’t go away. Add in digestive issues and it just wasn’t a fun food month.  It was survival mode for a while, keep the boys fed and don’t fall asleep during the day! I’m finally feeling close to 100% and looking forward to another In My Kitchen roundup with our lovely hostess Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef.

In my kitchen, before I got sick Valentine’s weekend, I managed to whip up some gingerbread love shacks.  We didn’t get around to making gingerbread houses for Christmas so I figured some love shacks for Valentine’s Day would be perfect.  They were great, just the right size.  It’s a new cookie cutter, nice and small. Each house is pretty much a single serving, the boys were thrilled with these.

Love Shacks

This month Sean finally got his turn to plan and help cook brunch. He was beyond thrilled, and frankly the best helper. He followed directions and behaved well. He spotted a watermelon in the store and had to have it, one of his favorite fruits. Not exactly being  in season I didn’t want one, but alas it was his meal. We got some sausage and eggs at the farmer’s market and made those as well. His favorite though were fried biscuits.

I believe it was last summer the boys and I went to Biscuit Heads and had biscuit donuts.  They served them with lemon curd for a dipping sauce.  First Sean and I tried to stuff our biscuit donuts with pears from our trees, but I decided it was too much work!  Then we decided for Sean a chocolate dipping sauce would be perfect.  The biscuit donuts were the hit of the brunch and Sean was so incredibly proud it was adorable.

Sean's Brunch

A while back Josh was ordering electronic supplies from China. He made the mistake of letting me know the company had lots of kitchen goodies! Jack picked out these yogurt glasses. In this picture they are filled with butterscotch pudding.

Yogurt Jars

Earlier this month I finally got to the Indian market. I always mean to go more often and don’t. The trip was a success, I got the black mustard seeds I went for (recipe coming soon). I found plenty more including white and black sesame seeds, brown basmati rice, lychee juice (great for cocktails), some cookies Josh apparently likes a lot and more.

Indian Goodies

This past weekend Josh installed these floating shelves I ordered from Etsy.  I had them custom made to fill a small wall in the kitchen.  This is the wall where ages ago we had a phone hanging, then I had some framed photographs covering the phone jack.  When we recently painted the kitchen we patched the wall and I finally had room for a little more storage!  The jars on the bottom will stay, the boys use them everyday for their drinks.  The other two shelves I’m playing around still.  I pulled out everything that didn’t have a home yet and put it on the shelves.  It’s looking cluttered so I’ll change it up soon.

Floating Shelves

We went to a birthday party on the other side of town over the weekend.  That means a trip to Total Wine while we were close! I was there to get gin, plus of course anything else that looked good.  After trying a couple gin samples and speaking with an employee I  discovered this one by Hadley & Sons.  It’s made right here in South Carolina!  It’s fantastic,  we opened the bottle before I could even get a photo.

Gin

It’s that time of year again, in my kitchen I have seedlings growing on the table.  We start many of our plants indoors, the biggest ones being peppers and tomatoes.  I also have some eggplant, okra, broccoli, cauliflower…  I think the garden is going to get bigger this year.

Seedlings

And finally here is my electronic copy of The Clever Cookbook by Emilie Raffa.  You probably recognize her from her blog The Clever Carrot.  Her recipes are brilliant. We’ve already had the chicken pot pie (it was so popular I had to make it a second time and double it) and the chicken and broccoli stir fry.  She breaks her recipes down into simple steps and makes it doable for a weeknight meal.  It got me back on track to prepping larger quantities to make each night easier.

The Clever Cookbook

That sums up what’s in our kitchen.  What is in your kitchen?  Head on over to The Orgasmic Chef to see what is happening in kitchens across the globe.

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – March 2016

    1. Gretchen Post author

      I know, biscuit donuts are the best! I’ve been meaning to make them ever since we tried them about a year ago. I just don’t ever fry so Sean gave me the push I needed I guess.

      Reply
  1. anne54

    Wow! You are feeling sick and still manage to have all that happening in your kitchen! I love the idea of the boys taking turns with brunch. It is a great way to encourage them them be interested in being in the kitchen. And those glasses are adorable.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Unfortunately life goes on even when I don’t feel well. My here hungry boys and a hubby still need to be fed, though for several days it was whatever I could find and felt like throwing together! The boys are all asking when they get to plan their next meal, I love their enthusiasm.

      Reply
  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I’m very impressed by what you’ve got in your kitchen this month. I love those floating shelves and the cookbook is calling my name!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The cookbook is brilliant! I love how she makes a good home cooked meal quick and easy on a weekday. I’ve done many of her tips before, I just needed to be reminded to get my act together again! I truly love the new shelves, any extra storage space I can get is more than welcome. Now to just get them better organized.

      Reply
  3. mae

    Teaching your boys to cook seems like a lot of fun, especially engaging them in the planning and shopping. They’ll surely appreciate the knowledge as they grow up and go out on their own!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Mae. They certainly enjoy all the planning and helping. I look forward to the day when they can fix an entire meal by themselves!

      Reply
  4. anotherfoodieblogger

    I love both your new shelves and cookbook! And dang, look at how well your seedlings are doing! I did a boo-boo the other day with mine. I put my tomato plant seedlings outside to enjoy a 65 degree day, but then forgot about them. It got close to 30 degrees that night. They got “bit” but I think about 80 percent of them will pull through! We shall see. I planted more seeds just in case. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The cookbook is absolutely fantastic! I’m excited about the shelves, I desperately needed more storage space in the kitchen. Sorry to hear about your seedlings, at least most of them will survive. It’s only a few weeks until we usually plant them outside. I will start a few more tomatoes seedlings in a couple weeks, I like to have a couple plants that fruit after the others are done. Extend my season as long as I can!

      Reply
  5. ChgoJohn

    I think it a great idea that you’re giving each boy a chance to be chef for the day. I know you try to buy things in season, Gretchen, but the look in Sean’s eyes as he eats his watermelon is worth buying a melon out of season once in a while. It’s priceless. Those are some great looking shelves that you’ve installed, far better than an old phone hole. Yes, I know exactly what that look like. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      It definitely was not a wonderful watermelon, but Sean absolutely loved eating the end near the rind! Hopefully we will grow some good watermelons for him this summer. It is so fun watching them plan and help cook a meal, they are all so different in their methods yet all enjoy working in the kitchen. I’m thrilled to have the new shelves up, I definitely needed the extra storage space.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I am finally feeling about 100% and thrilled. The love shacks were indeed fun, definitely something we will do again. They would be great for a house warming party too now that I think about it.

      Reply
  6. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    I love how you include your boys in the kitchen and they obviously adore experimenting and exploring. I’m sure these are very special times for you. Going your love shacks – very clever.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys love he.ping in the kitchen. I’m trying to harness that love of food now and reap the benefits when they can cook for me! We will definitely make love shacks again next year.

      Reply
  7. fergie51

    Hope you are feeling better! Gingerbread love shacks, get out of here! Did you smash them? I’m yet to expand my gin horizons, being rather partial to Bombay Blue and not having access to boutique distilleries I might need to seek a trip to somewhere I can find them. Cheers, Maree

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      They boys would never let me smash the love shacks, they ate them! Since they were so small they were single serving sized and stayed fresh and tasty. I just recently discovered my love of gin and was happy to find a brand distiller nearby. Thanks for popping by Maree! Maybe next Christmas we’ll make a gingerbread to smash, it does sound like a fun tradition, especially one the boys would enjoy.

      Reply
  8. theninjabaker

    Where do I start? Sooooo wonderful that you are such a hands-on mom. Love that you made brunch with Sean. (And thank you for the intro to Biscuit Heads. I was thinking you were in Australia…but happy to know you’re in South Carolina, USA) Makes me happy, too, to think about Southern butterscotch pudding….And, congratulations on those floater shelves….#Inspired!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      If you’re ever near Asheville Biscuit Heads is a great place to eat. They have so many local honeys and jams, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. The boys certainly enjoy all things food so they are great with planning, shopping and helping cook.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      My boys have always been in the kitchen with me. First in a chair on the counter and then stealing food as I prep. It’s nice to see them be able to help more now.

      Reply
  9. thecompletebook

    I absolutely adore your shelves, a kitchen can never has too much storage. I would love more myself. You have reminded me that I need to start thinking about our winter vegetable patch plan.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I still need more storage in the kitchen, don’t we all?! Good luck with your winter garden. I am hoping to plant our garden next weekend if we finish prepping. We just took down a couple trees to make it bigger.

      Reply
  10. missfoodfairy

    Love all your seedlings getting ready to plant for lots of beautiful home grown produce Gretchen – I look forward to having a big veggie path one day 🙂 Love all your goodies from the Indian grocery store, I love getting all my spices from them too. Happy #IMK x

    Reply
  11. sherry from sherrys pickings

    i love the little gingerbread shacks. so cute. funny how gin is the in drink at the moment, here in australia too. seems to be hard to get brown mustard seeds lately; i have to hunt them down at the local spice shop. not sure why but the big stores just have less and less variety of anything these days. cute little jars you have there.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The love shacks were fun for the kids. The brown mustard seeds are a little more difficult to find here too, especially in a larger quantity. Thanks for popping by!

      Reply

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