Friday, November 6, 2015

What's in my kitchen, November 2015

Wow, it's November. The year is just that much closer to being over soon. Christmas is coming, the weather is heating up and it's starting to feel very much like Summer! If things continue the way they are, it's going to be a very hot, stormy season I think. Which will probably do fabulous things for the garden, but probably won't be as appealing for human (and animal) comfort levels. Already it's getting to be difficult to sleep - although possibly I could write this off to the fact that Jimmy likes to sleep curled up close to my head, with one of his fat little hands touching my face. If I dare to move away, he wakes, so I've had to get used to sleeping next to a warm babe for now.

October was a busy month, with my mother's group in full on baby birthday season, so weekends were busy attending parties (and throwing our own). This is the part of the year where we get busy with celebrations and parties as the lead up to Christmas gets earlier and earlier... in fact, my work Christmas party falls in the middle of November this year! Crazy, but at least it's a great season for fresh foods, gorgeous stone fruits and lots of festivities and catching up with people.

In my kitchen is...

Nuttelex made with coconut oil. I saw this while grocery shopping and had to get it. I'm a sucker for trying things that are a little bit different from the items I usually have at home. I was impressed with the absence of palm oil and the fact that a donation would be made to the Orangutan Foundation. It is smaller than my regular spread, and not really much of a change in flavour. Further research also suggests that it is just rebranded Sunburst spread (no advertising that fact anywhere on the package though!), so I probably won't purchase it again unless it was on sale.
 
In my kitchen is...
 
Another birthday cake. This time, it was for Jimmy, who turned one. I have a one year old! Gosh, it doesn't feel like a whole year, but to be fair, I have been in a bit of a sleep deprived fog. I kept it very simple for his cake. A plain chocolate cake (not vegan as it had our eggs and some milk in) and a chocolate 'butter'cream icing made with nuttelex (I forgot to buy proper butter but it still worked out). As the party was on Halloween weekend, I kept decorations simple with some coloured fondant cutouts on top and around the sides.
Easy to make, and I'm told, delicious. It certainly looked lovely, moist and cake-y inside.
In my kitchen is...
 
Ninja Vegan jelly from Aldi. Ninja Vegan is the term I use when something is sneakily vegan. I'm always super chuffed when that something is a food I would usually expect to contain animal bits.
I haven't had jelly in years due to gelatine, but when I was looking for something for Jimmy to snack on that I could easily pack into a bag for his carers when I don't have time to make my own jelly. I found these. They come in three flavours (there is also a strawberry version) and they are all thoughtfully labelled suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Yay!

In my kitchen is...
Fairy bread! I haven't had fairy bread in so long, but with it being Jimmy's first birthday party and our guests ranging from the not-even-at-solids stage through to the young at heart, I figured you couldn't go wrong with sprinkles on bread. It was store bought white bread at Mr Fork's insistence, as he said my sourdough was too gourmet for fairy bread. I was happy to indulge him, but I did use nuttelex instead so that the dairy allergy attendees could also indulge. It was a party hit, although I was criticised for being too stingy with the sprinkles.
 
In my kitchen is...
 
Halloween cupcakes. Well, if I'm going to be honest, there isn't anything really specifically Halloween-ish about these, except for the fact that they're in pumpkin cases with a little pumpkin toothpick in them. In fact, they're the recipe for my coconut bread baked in cupcake form. Quite a few of my friends have food intolerances, so these cater for the soy, dairy and egg free people.
 
In my kitchen is...
 
Lollypop spiders. A quirky little addition to the goodie bags at Jimmy's party. So easy and fun to make with Ellie as well. Take a lollypop, bend pipecleaners around to look like spider legs and then hot glue on some googly eyes. They turned out really well and were a bit of a hit. Also included in the bags was a box of Peppa Pig sultanas (I'd hoped the merchandise would encourage them to eat it!), a bottle of bubble mix, a chocolate pumpkin and a Halloween themed chocolate coin.
In my kitchen is...
 
Tomatoes from a friend's garden. Her plants got a pest infestation and had to go, but she harvested what she could first, and was kind enough to share some with me. Let me tell you, there is nothing like home grown tomatoes. Just look at the gorgeous colours on them (my favourite is that little one at the front that is almost a bit pink). Yes, they taste as good as they look too!
I am linking this post in with Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial's monthly In My Kitchen event. Go have a peek through other kitchens around the globe!

What's in your kitchen this month?

7 comments:

  1. I am interested in the nuttalex with no palm oil as I used it regularly until it recently became taboo with the palm oil - so now I buy it less and feeling less good about it (am curious what is your regular spread).

    I get annoyed that the jelly made up doesn't have gelatine but the powdered make it yourself jelly always seems to have gelatine - am sure I saw some without ages ago but when I go to buy it always has gelatine. Maybe the made up stuff can be messed with to be stable but it is harder with the powder to guarantee that.

    And love all Jimmy's birthday goodies - fairy bread and chocolate cake are a must in my book. And those spiders are really cute.

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    1. I should have mentioned that! I do use Nuttelex as my regular spread but like you, have been feeling less good about using it lately too. I'm always on the hunt for something else though.

      I agree about finding jelly without gelatine. I'm not a huge fan, but just the fact that I can't have it makes me want it sometimes. Like marshmallows. I know I can get agar jelly from Asian stores, but the consistency is different - chewier.

      I did have fun getting crafty and reliving some childhood favourites :)

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  2. Oh, fairy bread! Fond memories :) I love the Halloween products and that jelly - as you say, it's always such a pleasure to find those vegan products that are unexpectedly vegan!

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    Replies
    1. I think one of the best things about having children is I get to relive my childhood food and movie memories all over again :-)

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  3. Mr Fork is right - it must be shop bought white bread for Fairy Bread. If you're going to go trashy, may as well go the whole way! I love your term Ninja Vegan. Aldi in general are pretty good in catering to a range of dietary requirements. All of their chocolate is palm oil free also. Not vegan but at least there are no rain forests being destroyed!

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  4. Lisa, sorry for just getting 'round now to comment on your IMK post. Where has this month -- let alone YEAR -- gone, as you said. (And I don't have young ones keeping me busy or interrupting my sleep!) :) The term "mother love" kept coming to mind as I read through your post, xo. You'll never regret the time spent, even if sleep deprivation is barking at your heels -- it gets better. LOVED your terms Ninja Vegan and Fairy Bread... looks like you're a keen label reader, with a sense of fun, too! (FYI, I thought your sprinkles were just right!) Thanks for sharing your coconut bread recipe.

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  5. oh yes i love memories of fairy bread. it was always a thrill to have when a child. love the look of your cake. it looks very delicious. home grown tomatoes are the best especially sun warmed and fresh from the garden.

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