In My Kitchen – April 2017

It was another busy month at our house so let’s just jump right in. I was home alone two weekends when the guys all went camping with the Cub Scouts. While the quiet was certainly enjoyable, all the cleaning and organizing wasn’t as fun. It needed to be done though and there was time to play as well.

One of those weekends I tackled our mountain of blood oranges. I zested most of them and made a large batch of arancello. It should be ready just in time for Mother’s Day! I then juiced the oranges and made a blood orange sangria. There was enough juice left to make some mocktails for the boys. The last of the blood oranges were made into a curd.

Blood Oranges

I also bought some lovely new pottery on Etsy.  I’ve been wanting some textured plates to use in my food photography and finally found what I’ve been looking for.  I also use them, I don’t believe in having it just for show!  I may have just ordered a few more plates from this potter in Poland

Kawa Ceramics

These beauties are from a potter in Turkey.  The cup and saucer are perfect for those days when I indulge in an afternoon treat.   It was incredibly dark and stormy when I took these photos so it doesn’t quite do them justice.

Ayse Sakarcan Ceramics

It was also a month of independence and cooking lessons for the boys.  Early in the month I made some scones in the evening and put them in the fridge.  With very detailed notes on the counter the boys had instructions how to bake them in the morning.  The tray was set up and instructions left for making coffee and tea.  All in all they did a fantastic job fixing and delivering breakfast in bed!!  Of course they did make themselves a big bowl of popcorn to eat while we were still upstairs and get crumbs all over the family room floor….

Breakfast In Bed

Then there was the cooking lesson for all of us.  For our Instagram cookbook club one of the challenges in March was a croquembouche.  I’ve never even made a cream puff!  With tips and tricks from others in the group and constant support I did it.  The boys and I are quite proud of our little tower.  They helped every step, thought I dipped the puffs in the hot caramel for them (no need for little burnt fingers)!

Croquembouche

Perhaps even more fun was eating it!  It was quite the family affair and fun was had by all.  Plus of course it was delicious, especially the orange cardamom cream filling.  Ewan really packed it away eating the most.  I swear that boy is a bottomless pit!

Croquembouche

That about sums up our month.  Pop on by Liz’s Bizzy Things to find links to other bloggers across the globe.  It’s always fun to peek into everyone’s kitchen!  Special thanks to Liz for hosting this monthly roundup of In My Kitchen posts.  She puts in a lot of hard work and this is her last month hosting as she’s a very busy woman.

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35 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April 2017

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things

    Hello there lovely! Happy April to you and thank you for the very kind shout out. I have loved hosting IMK, but we’re travelling extensively for the rest of the year, and internet access won’t be quite the same as home, hence I had to pass the baton. I’m loving all the goodies in your kitchen, especially the croquembouche (wow!), and the plates from Poland. Happy cooking xxx

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I just ordered more plates from the potter in Poland. I love her work. Maybe I should serve one of your polish recipes on them. Enjoy you travels.

      Reply
  2. Liz

    Wow, dedicated you are! Love that you made so many fun things with your blood oranges 🙂 Nom. We don’t see those often here in Minnesota. Your dishes are lovely and that croquembouche is incredible. You have three lucky young boys!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      This was the first year I recall actually readily seeing blood oranges here. First I got some at Trader Joe’s but then I saw some at Kroger and even Wal-Mart. Such fabulous cocktails and sangria! The croquembouche was fun and delicious, we were all happy that night!

      Reply
  3. sherry MacKay

    that croquembouche is glorious. you must be proud:) love all those beauteous blood oranges. the season is so short here you have to jump in and use them. love love that crockery. such lovely textures on the plates.

    Reply
  4. ladyredspecs

    Wow, top marks for the croquembouche Gretchen, it looks spectacular. I have a few textured plates, love yours, Blood orange envy here, a few months to go yet

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks! The croquembouche was a bit of work but definitely worth it. I was grilled to actually find blood oranges this year so had a good time making all sorts of things, especially the cocktails and sangria.

      Reply
  5. Maggie

    That croquembouche! WOWZERS! Gretchen, it looks and sounds amazing! Well done to you all. Now, can you just come over and make it for me?
    Loving the pottery – and it the dark and stormy weather didn’t do your pottery justice I can’t imagine how even more beautiful they must be!

    Happy IMK and Happy Easter! x

    Reply
  6. Shaheen

    Ah I am loving the blood oranges in your kitchen and the fact you made Curd with it, yum. I love your ceramics, so gorgeous and yes – I too believe in using not just showing them off. And that is one impressive Croquembouche!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Shaheen. The blood orange curd was delicious, though everyone seems to still like lemon best. The plates a wonderful and get used often, especially showing off the croquembouche.

      Reply
  7. Karen

    Nice job on the croquembouche. One of my girlfriends is planning her daughter’s wedding for her and she is going to have a huge croquembouche instead of a wedding cake.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      And that’s why thy have teams of pastry chefs, for those huge towers! My croquembouche was about as big as I would be willing to make one again by myself, maybe a little bigger.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The boys really enjoy helping in the kitchen. We are working on basic skills so they can do more on their own. The plates are gorgeous, they always cheer me up when I use them.

      Reply
  8. Kim Bultman

    Gretchen, that breakfast in bed will be a memory to treasure for years to come… loved how your boys stepped up to the plate, literally. (Lovely plates, too!) The orange cardamom cream filling in your croquembouche sounds fabulous and I loved your caramel “art” on top, too.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      It was a fantastic baking success to make the croquembouche! The boys ask every weekend if they can fix us breakfast in bed. We are slowly increasing the list of things they can fix.

      Reply
  9. Liz

    I have always wanted to make croquembouche. I have procrastinated for years. Now you’ve beaten to me, but I am truly inspired and I’m going to try harder to make it too. It looks awesome. Just like the one in my cookery book!

    Reply

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