In My Kitchen – February 2017

Can you believe it’s already February?!  The time is just flying by despite some of the days dragging.  It was a strange month in our kitchen.  For nearly two weeks I was on a very restricted diet or clear liquids so the cooking and baking was a little slow.  Don’t get me wrong, the guys didn’t starve.  It just wasn’t my most creative work!

In my kitchen this month I started this new meal journal.  I write down what we have for every family dinner, not the recipe, just what we ate.  I also note how well it was received (or not so well in the case of Jack and Sean eating polenta).

Dinner Journal

For Christmas I received this huge pastry board.  It’s been great for kneading pullman loaf bread dough.  Recently I’ve also used it to knead and roll some sweet rolls.  I like how it hangs over the edge so it doesn’t slide when your kneading.

Pastry Board

Speaking of sweet rolls, here are the mocha swirls featured on the pastry board.  Also some raspberry buns.  The dough recipe is from Julia Turshen’s Small Victories.

sweet rolls

Valentine’s Day is an important family day for us.  It was my sister’s birthday so as a family we always went out for her birthday dinner.  For me it’s still a family day and as such it requires special dishes!   I couldn’t resist these heart plates and mugs when I saw them in the Crate and Barrel catalog.

Valentine Dishes

I also have some new Lodge cast iron pans.  This large oval enamel cast iron dutch oven is fantastic.  I use it for roast chicken, soups, stews, meatballs in sauce and my sourdough can bake in it too.

Lodge Dutch Oven

I didn’t necessarily need this cast iron skillet, but I couldn’t resist.  It’s their annual commemorative skillet and 10% of all sales were going to funds set up for the forest fire victims in Tennessee.  Besides, I use this skillet enough to justify it!

Lodge Skillet

That about sums up what’s been happening in our kitchen.  Thanks again to Liz for hosting this monthly linkup.  Pop on by Liz’s Good Things and find links to see what’s happening in kitchens across the globe.

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37 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2017

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things

    Hi Gretchen, happy February to you (and happy new year, too). Your mocha swirls look divine, and I love that pastry board. Wow! Thank you for the very kind shout out. Happy cooking xx

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The pastry board is indeed fantastic! The only problem is storing it when not in use. I don’t heat up my Dutch oven first before baking bread though I’ve thought about trying it just to see the difference. Maybe next time.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys were certainly thrilled to come home from school and have sweet rolls! They walked in the door and immediately said “what’s that I smell?” Even they could manage to share a few since it made more than enough!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Now that the boys know I can make sweet rolls there have been many requests! They’ll need to learn moderation, don’t we all. I love all of my cast iron. I have two enameled pans that I use quite a bit. Thanks for popping by Sandra.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I’m am feeling better, thanks Deb. Slowly reintroducing fruits and veg which makes me happy. The journal is entertaining, especially when meals are a huge success or when we get funny faces as the boys choke down something they don’t like!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Lately I only use cast iron skillets. This time of year is also ideal for slow roasting and stewing in Dutch ovens. The rolls were incredibly delicious, wishing I had some to go with a cup of tea this afternoon.

      Reply
  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    LOVE your cast iron skillet, although I’d be tempted to hang it on a wall, bottom side out! And I have a pastry board just like yours, but stupidly forgot to measure the sink before I bought it, so it doesn’t fit…hahaha. Enjoy your journal, I have great fun with mine! xxx

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      It is tempting to hang the skillet! I am definitely enjoying the paste board, too bad yours doesn’t fit. I can see how though, mine is pretty big! The journal has been fun, thanks for the inspiration Celia.

      Reply
  3. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    “I didn’t necessarily need this cast iron skillet, but I couldn’t resist” Haha!!!! You know all about my kitchen ‘stuff’ the removal men commented on – this is how I got there 🙂
    I’m surprised at the boys reaction to polenta? Maybe it was too boring for them!

    Reply
  4. tiffinbitesized

    I’ve never seen a fundraising skillet – what a great idea. They marble slab with the edge is a very clever idea. That’s something that’s been designed by a real cook for real cooks. I hope your journal one day records the boys enjoying polenta – which I adore.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Lodge makes a commemorative skillet every year. I think this was the first year they have used a percentage of sales for a charity. The pastry board is made of wood and absolutely fantastic. At least one of the boys adores polenta, maybe over the years the other two will come around!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Yeah, it was a bit of Lodge love last month! I just couldn’t resist the skillet and use it often. I’m sure you board does the trick, even if it isn’t the most gorgeous. You made it and that’s what matters. I’ve got some diy projects planned, now to find the time for them.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The pastry board is also great for kneading yeast breads. That’s actually more of what I use it for. I’m thrill d to finally be eating normal again, though still not full on fruit and veg. I’m slowly adding them in, resisting the urge to a them all the time!

      Reply
  5. sherry

    i am in love with that cast iron pan and that lovely skillet. and that pastry board is amazing. hope you are getting better now. i hesitate to ask but has your sister passed away? it seems so from the way you mentioned her birthday. sorry to hear if so. love the cups, and the buns!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I am finally feeling “normal” again, only to find out my dad is having triple bypass surgery tomorrow. The pastry board is great and I’m a sucker for cast iron. Yes my sister died, way back in 1982. Boy am I getting old.

      Reply
  6. Maggie

    Hi Gretchen! I just love your mugs and plates. So adorable. What a cool cast iron skillet as well.Hope you and the boys are keeping well? Hope your dad is doing okay, too? He is in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      So far I’m still keeping up the dinner journal, despite our crazy schedule since I started it! I am loving the pastry board and hope to have more time to use it soon.

      Reply

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