In My Kitchen – December 2016

It’s December, where on Earth did the time go?  I am nowhere near ready for Christmas and I don’t really care.  What gets done is great, if it doesn’t we will survive.  Every year it seems things get busier so this year amid the chaos we are going to enjoy the time we have.

With another month comes another In My Kitchen post.  This is a wonderful monthly roundup hosted by Liz over at her Good Thing’s blog.  Jump on over there and see what everyone is up to.

November was a whirlwind of a month as always, especially with Ewan’s birthday being two days before Thanksgiving.  The birthday boy was over the moon excited to have cioppino for his birthday dinner.  How many eight year olds do that?!  I made it with mussels, scallops, shrimp and cod.  He also had cupcakes for dessert.  Of the three boys, Ewan is the one that enjoys food the most, as well as eats the most.

ewanbirthday

Two days later it was Thanksgiving.  We went to my parent’s house for the long weekend so technically this is their kitchen!  Ewan helped make biscuits for breakfast.  Like I said, he is the foodie!  He was an awesome helper and so enthusiastic.  The biscuits were served with country ham, scrambled eggs and of course mimosas/sparkling juice. No dinner pictures, we were too busy eating and enjoying ourselves!

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Also this month I have a new cookbook.  I won Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies from Deb at Rainy Day Bites on Instagram.  The day the book arrived in the mail I took it to swim practice that night and drooled, a lot!  The recipes and photos all look fantastic and I look forward to lots of cookie baking this month.

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Early in the month I made this Russischer Zupfkuchen from Classic German Baking.  First I made the quark which was pretty easy and I’ll definitely be doing again.  I got “fancy” by shaping the chocolate pieces on top with a cookie cutter.  The boys were drooling over this one while it cooled.  They love a good afternoon tea and this was a hit.

russischerzupfkuchen

I found this pumpkin seed oil at Target and am excited to use it.  While we were in Austria over the summer I had a few dishes made using it and wanted to get some while we were there.  Unfortunately the timing never worked out, even though we were in the region where it is made.  I even spent a year in that region, Styria, as a junior in college! Perhaps it’s time to test my strudel skills with a savory strudel.

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I also got a new banneton proofing basket.  I have an oblong one and now I finally have a round one.  We’ve been enjoying the sourdough using this basket.

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Finally we have more kitchen updates.  Josh installed the other set of pantry doors.  We all love the pantry.  I’m still tweaking the organizing aspect.   The kitchen table in the foreground also got a new update, the top is now barn red.  Now I need to sand the chair seats and backs and paint them.  The new color also called for new napkins and napkin rings, or maybe I just wanted them!

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What’s happening in your kitchen?  Have you started your holiday baking yet?  I hope to get to that soon, really soon!  The boys do too, Christmas cookies here we come.  Pop on by Good Things and see the links to kitchens across the globe.

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20 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – December 2016

  1. ladyredspecs

    Your boys have grown like beanstalks Gretchen, you must be so proud of them all, but esp your little foodie. I’ve been thinking about a round bannetton too. Happy Christmas

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Oh how they’ve grown indeed! Jack is going to be taller than me before I know it. Jack has requested some cooking lessons over Christmas break so it’s time to get them cooking and baking soon. Thanks for peaking in our kitchen and Happy Holidays.

      Reply
  2. ChgoJohn

    I think that the older we get, the quicker the time flies, even more so when you’ve children in the house. And with one son a foodie, he’s going to keep you on your culinary toes every birthday. One day, you may look upon this cioppino birthday as “a simpler time”. 😀

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Oh they all keep me on my toes! I have to tone down their requests sometimes or we’d be having 5 course gourmet meals and I’d live in the kitchen preparing it all day.

      Reply
  3. Liz - Good Things

    Gretchen, you have been a busy mum… I do love following to see how your family is growing up! The Zupfkuchen sounds yummy! Thank you for the very kind shout out and the peek into your December kitchen. With warmest wishes. Liz xx

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The zulfkuchen was incredible. I’m definitely enjoying my German baking lately. The boys and their appetites keep me very busy, I try not o even think about the teenage years yet.

      Reply
  4. fergie51

    By golly, look at your boys compared to their pics on your blog page! How wonderful it is to see families preparing and sharing food together. The pantry is looking sensational and I love pumpkin seed oil, thanks for reminding me I have a bottle in the cupboard!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I know, they’ve grown so much! I look at the blog header photos often and keep thinking I need new ones. Maybe I’ll have time this Christmas to get some shots of them in the kitchen and update the header. I’m still thinking about how I want to use the pumpkin seed oil, what are your favorite recipes using it?

      Reply
  5. Amanda

    I’d love to know what you think of Dorrie’s Cookies – I’ve heard so much about it. And I’m intrigued by the pumpkin seed oil. What will you do with it?

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I just recently made the world peace cookies from Doris’s Cookies and they were fantastic. Not sure how I’ll use the pumpkin seed oil yet. I had it in a vegetable strudel with sauce in Salzburg, maybe I should experiment with a savory strudel.

      Reply
  6. tableofcolors

    LOVE kitchen updates 🙂 and that sourdough bread looks wonderful. I have a mold in my cupboard waiting to be used. And your quark looks delicious as do the biscuits by your son. Love when kids like to participate! So much fun 🙂 Happy Holidays!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The kids love helping in the kitchen. Of course that means they snack on veggies while I slice and sneak licks of cookie dough but it’s all fun in the end. The quark turned out great, good to know since it is hard to find here. Thanks for popping by.

      Reply
  7. Moya

    If it makes you feel any better I am not ready for Christmas either. Lovely family photos and plenty of happy memories and good food in your kitchen. Love pumpkin seed oil especially drizzled over risotto 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Oh I’ll have to drizzle some over our next risotto. I was going to try to make a lentil risotto in the pressure cooker soon and that would be a great finish.

      Reply
  8. sherry

    i love the red table top. so cheering. and the doors your hubby made are so clever. your cake looks very delicious too. hope you have a great xmas. cheers sherry

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      It is wonderful having a hubby who can build things! The red table top is great, now just to find the time to sand and paint the chairs, after Christmas. Happy Holidays Sherry!

      Reply
  9. shaheen

    Your pantry doors are so amazing, Wow! I have had pumpkin oil once, but you have me wanting to get some again to try as its been a while. have a lovely Christmas with your boys.

    Reply

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