In my kitchen – December 2013

The Christmas tree

Chocolate

Time for my last In My Kitchen post of the year can you believe it? Let’s get straight into it… first up in my kitchen I have my first attempt at homemade chocolates. I followed Celia’s instructions and was a little bit proud of my first go. I made them with the intention of gifting them but I’ve been enjoying one every night after dinner.

Dumpling maker

In my kitchen is a dumpling press that I got at the Good Food and Wine Show. I love dumplings but never make them because I find them so fiddly. This little gadget makes it so easy. I made these for dad’s Birthday dinner and they were a hit.

Clean pantry

In my kitchen is my nice and organised pantry. Oh how I love it. Every time I open it I sigh. This week I’m stocking up on all the staples like canned goods, pasta, rice etc in prep for the holidays and bubba arriving and I’m rather excited to have somewhere to put everything.

Mango

In my kitchen are two mangos – the first of the season for us. I was very excited to see them on last week’s list for my mixed organic fruit and vege box. I haven’t cut into them yet but I can’t wait. I really love mango but I’ll admit, they drive me nuts to cut.

I’m not very good at it and I hate that there seems like there’s so much waste. On our honeymoon I had mango every morning because you got to select a mango from the buffet and hand it to the chef then it would appear a few minutes later sliced up ready-to-eat on a plate. I wish someone would do that for me at home.

Sourdough rolls

In my kitchen (actually in the freezer now) are some small sourdough loaves. I know it’s not re-inventing the wheel but I had the brilliant idea to divide a batch into 4 smaller loaves so whenever we want a little bread with dinner, the perfect portion is ready to go.

Christmas cupcake stand

In my kitchen is a Christmas cupcake stand and packet of Christmas cupcake toppers. I must have bought these with the intention of using them last year because I found them in with the decorations. I have an idea for a recipe and hopefully I get around to making it before Christmas.

Homemade pesto

In my kitchen is a container of homemade pesto with basil from the garden. I was so excited to have enough basil finally. It doesn’t make a lot of pesto but it’s definitely good stuff. One big bunch made about the same amount as a pot or jar you’d buy at the supermarket.

Ham

In my kitchen is ham, a lot of ham. We had it for dinner after putting the tree up on Sunday and then had it again on Monday night it was so good. I’ll be slicing up the whole thing and freezing it in serves for meals, sandwiches and pizzas over the next few months.

Jars for Christmas presents

In my kitchen is my latest purchase of bottles and jars ready for homemade Christmas goodies. If you’re looking to buy some I highly recommend Glass Bottles Direct. They have a great range at reasonable prices.

The Christmas tree

So technically this doesn’t fit in my kitchen but you’ll often find me and the growing bump there and the tree is right in front of the kitchen and I’m loving seeing it every time I look up from the bench. A few of you have asked for a real bump shot so this is for you. This was at 30 weeks on Sunday. Not long to go now!

What about you? What’s in your kitchen this month?

Don’t forget to visit Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to peek in other bloggers’ kitchens.

Also don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Queen baking pack, $150 kitchenware voucher or gourmet cheese hamper.

28 Comments

  • Mary @ beyondjelly

    Reply Reply December 12, 2013

    I have to admit… I looked at the photo of your chocolates and was lamenting to myself that ‘everyone’ seems to know how to make them but me… And then read that they were your first go. Well done! You should be proud – they look great!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 12, 2013

      You can do it to Mary! Just check out Celia’s tutorial – she’s a great teacher!

  • Joanne T Ferguson

    Reply Reply December 11, 2013

    G’day Claire! Your are GLOWING with a halo, true!
    Love the dumpling press and congrats re your first attempt at chockies…in the New Year also inspired by Celia….is on my list to do! Happy Holidays!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Celia’s In My Kitchen

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 11, 2013

      Aww thanks Jo! Good luck with your chocolate experiments!

  • Kim | a little lunch

    Reply Reply December 9, 2013

    Claire, your dumplings and pesto and chocolates (and ham and sourdough bread and well-organized pantry…) caught my eye, but the photo of you and your baby “bump” was like a beautiful bow on top of a gift. You’re positively radiant! Lovely… simply lovely. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas — and maybe a mango-cutting chef in your Christmas stocking? 😉

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 9, 2013

      You’re so sweet Kim! A very Merry Christmas to you. Ooh yes I may have to ask Santa!

  • celia

    Reply Reply December 8, 2013

    Claire, the best thing in the kitchen ever is you and your baby bump! You’re looking so well! I’m so glad your chocolates were a hit and your sourdough looks better every time you post a photo! I’m off to find a dumpling maker now – what a good idea! xx

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 8, 2013

      Aww shucks! Thank you. I think it is getting better. Starting to master the basic loaves now I need to move on to something a little more creative I think. x

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog

    Reply Reply December 7, 2013

    You have so many goodies in your IMK post Claire! Love your dumplings press, what a great idea! I’m a bit of a sucker for kitchen gimmicks, hubby doesn’t think I need any more in the cupboards, but of course he isn’t the one using them now is he?!!
    Homemade pesto is just the best, you cant get better than home grown basil straight from the backyard!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 8, 2013

      You can never have too many kitchen cupboards! I’m really liking the dumpling press so far. Will have to get a bit creative and see what else I can make with it.

  • What a delightful little surprise at the end of the post seeing you in front of the tree. Lovely. I had my first mango last week. Every time I have that first one it’s like being transported back to childhood! Enjoy your last baby free Christmas Clare xx

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 7, 2013

      Thanks Fiona! I just ate the mango. Oh boy was it good! x

  • Hotly Spiced

    Reply Reply December 7, 2013

    You’re looking great, Claire and I love your pretty tree. We haven’t bought ours yet as I don’t want it to die on my before the big day. I love a real tree because they put such a lovely Christmasy scent all through the home. Congrats on your first attempt with the chocolates – looks like you did extremely well. I must look up the place where you buy your jars xx

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 7, 2013

      Charlie I would love the smell of a real tree! The jar place is fantastic. They have such a great range and really not expensive. x

  • The Life of Clare

    Reply Reply December 7, 2013

    You are glowing! What wonderful things are happening in your kitchen! I love the dumpling maker, I’d heard mixed reviews about them, but now I might have to give one a go.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 7, 2013

      Thanks Clare! I’ve made dumplings twice since I bought it so that’s a pretty good run so far. You can make little pies and all sorts of things so I thought it would be good for kiddies too.

  • I was so excited that you have a photograph of the two of you.. Claire, you look so beautiful! You’re absolutely glowing! When is your due date? What an exciting time, I remember nesting and having everything ready to go for the big day. You will be such an amazing mom, your wee baby is going to adore you and your hubs. And now.. I’m off to organize my pantry, you’ve inspired me!xx

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 7, 2013

      Aww thank you Barbara! Due date is Feb 9 so not long to go now. I hope so! Have fun with the pantry x

  • Jess

    Reply Reply December 6, 2013

    You look great!!!! Love the bump picture!! And that dumpling press is genius. I love keeping a stock of dumplings in the freezer for quick dinners, but it does take so long to fold them all. This is definitely a purchase I need to seriously consider….

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 6, 2013

      I didn’t know you could freeze them great tip Jess. Thank you! Bump is getting bigger by the minute!

  • Wow it’s great to see how your pregnancy is progressing. When is the due date? 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 6, 2013

      February 9. Not long to go now!

  • Danielle

    Reply Reply December 6, 2013

    Gorgeous photo of you + bump + tree! Top effort on the choc making too, yum!

  • My Kitchen Stories

    Reply Reply December 6, 2013

    Wow Claire it’s very close now. How exciting. I always find bits and pieces of things I bought to make something with but ran out of time…my life!. It is such a satisfying feeling to make something out of your garden produce.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 6, 2013

      I’m glad I’m not the only one Tania!

  • Claire, you are so beautiful! Even with a baby bump, you’re gorgeous, inside and out. I think it’s terrific that you are having the best time being pregnant. The last weeks are a real (seriously) pain in the ass but you’ll get through them brilliantly and you’ll have the most beautiful baby. I know your mother must be pacing in anticipation.

    Your tree is lovely. I haven’t even started yet! So much going on getting my MIL into dementia care. Ugh.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 6, 2013

      Aww shucks Maureen you’re too sweet! Yes let’s see how the next few weeks go! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate xx

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