It is our first winter in our “new” home. A few people warned me that old houses are cold, and yes, indeed they are. But we have the fireplace running – plenty of chopped wood was left for us – and will wear an extra layer of clothing, and we’ll be fine. Our currently cosily dimensioned kitchen is always warm from whatever is bubbling on the cooktop or baking in the oven.
In my kitchen are some winter blooms, they are everywhere in the garden, cold be damned.
I picked up one of the Dutch ovens at Aldi at their recent sale. For $30, it’s a pretty great knock off of the Le Crueset equivalent at a fraction of the price. I road tested it with this cauliflower risotto (sans the cream) it works really well!
Also new to the Napoli kitchen are these whisks. I’ve been looking for this style of whisk for ages, and trips to a couple of kitchen stores proved fruitless. Then Liz from Spades, Spatulas and Spoons , who had also been on the hunt, mentioned she found some on Amazon – click click click and here they are.
The other day the Marito was passing one of the Italian delis in Concord we regularly go to and he bought home a 1kg tub of fresh ricotta. He said when he was growing up every time his mother bought one she would use some of it in a quiche. I hardly ever make quiches, but took the hint and whipped up this one with ricotta, leek, and asparagus. It was very tasty and plenty left to take to work for lunch the next day.
I had a very funny conversation with Mamma Rosa recently when she was over and munching on one of my morning coffee biscuits. Here’s the translated version. Mamma Rosa: “what’s your recipe for these biscuits?”. Me (confused): “um, Ma, its your recipe”. Mamma Rosa: “but how many eggs and how much sugar do you use?”. Me: “Ma, whatever you wrote down for me!”. Mamma Rosa (exasperated): “But why do yours always come out better than mine!”. I must hold on to this small victory, as I don’t think I make anything better than Mamma Rosa. Give me another thirty years or so.
While my biscuits come out feather light, scones are something I struggle with. Every so often I give them another go. They weren’t too bad but are still not as light and fluffy as I would like them to be. I am not sure what the secret is…..
I love all things Pryex. A while ago, I bought these Pryex bowls with a lid. They are ideal for when I am feeding my starter through the day (which is best done in glass) before preparing dough for bread, rather than going through plastic wrap.
The boys, the carnivore progeny of my vegacquarian Marito, recently each received this Laguiole steak knife set as a gift. They were in heaven!
I am loving this zucchini and spinach pasta dish from Adam Liaw, which I’ve made a few times now using wholemeal pasta. I double the spinach quantity and do the zucchini in extra virgin olive oil rather than butter. Green is good.
Hope you are surviving the winter, and that my northern hemisphere readers are enjoying the sun!