It’s been a while since we visited my kitchen. Fighting vertigo made it impossible to do much at all but I’m feeling better and ready to join all my friends doing “In My Kitchen” posts as part of a fun monthly adventure from Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. If you’d like to share what’s going on in your kitchen, write a post and link it up. I’ve made so many new friends doing these posts.
A while back I was sent this lovely Maureen gift from Kirsty Young at Make It, Bake it, Snap It. Kirsty is a food writer from Canberra and we met through Facebook. I was totally shocked when I opened the package. Isn’t it cute? For just a whisker of a second the thought flashed across my mind that if I got dementia I would remember my name.
If you’re in Australia, you know who Valli Little is but if you’re not, Valli is a food hero of mine. I’ve watched her cook a few times at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival up in Noosa and she’s the food editor at the ABC’s Delicious magazine. She’s also written several other cookbooks and one of my faves is Faking It: How to Cook Delicious Food Without Really Trying. Feel Good Food by Valli Little is available at all good book stores.
I received a package one day from France Gourmet, importers of fine French culinary products who are located in Brisbane. Eve asked if she could send me a few products to whet my appetite. As many of you know, both sets of grandparents came from French speaking Canada and their grandparents came from France. I had no choice but to love French peasant cooking. My maternal grandmother was a private chef for a while (before having 12 children) so she would have been familiar with products like these. She never cooked escargot for us!
France Gourmet sells French cheeses, croissants, foie gras, pates, fleur de sel, jams, appetisers, kitchen accessories and so much more. I could spend an afternoon and all my money at a place like this.
I was perusing the USA Foods website one day for my routine order for shortening, French Fried Onions and other things I miss and found a beer can chicken holder and it was under $10 so I bought it. I’ve used it 3 times already and the chicken was perfectly cooked. The first time I used root beer because *someone* drank the beer but the chicken was still perfectly cooked.
Smudge Eats, the publisher of the Flavours of series of books has launched their Queensland edition and they sent me one. It’s filled with recipes from around the state plus recommendations for many top restaurants. You can pick up a copy of Flavours of Queensland from their shop along with Flavours of Sydney and Flavours of Melbourne.
Their Second Flavours of Melbourne book in 2013 won the Best Culinary Travel Cookbook in Australia at the International Gourmand Awards. These folks do quality work.
Barilla, the pasta people, sent me several items in their gluten free range. I said I’d try it and I’ll admit that I was apprehensive. I’d tried some gluten free pasta once before that had been hand made and I thought it was awful so I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and opened my mouth.
I opened my eyes and said, “this is an anticlimax – I can’t tell it’s gluten free.”
Obviously that was their goal.
Well yes and what a good job they did. My friends Jan and David have been away in France, kicking it up with Jamie Schler from Life’s a Feast at her new hotel in Chinon and other places in France during the 2 months they were gone. Jan is gluten intolerant and when I posted the salad photo on Facebook she was over the moon and wanted to know where she could buy pasta she could eat. She can buy it at any Woolworth’s supermarket.
Jan and David are now back and they brought me these wonderful mustards from Dijon! Jan said when she went into a mustard shop she told the staff that she was familiar with Maille mustard and they said, “That’s a swear word around here!” She looked at them a bit funny and they said that Maille used to be in Dijon but it left there and its mustard is made in other parts of the world where labour is cheap and it’s no longer true Dijon mustard. So file that away for future reference. 🙂
Do you like matcha? I had some once that was really bitter and when I was asked to give this a try I hoped it was going to be good. Matcha tea boosts health, energy and concentration and that’s a good thing around here. The powder was beautifully green and soft and I immediately made some matcha ice cream which was a bit hit.
Matcha has taken the world by storm and for good reason. Drinking it as tea gives you more antioxidants, induces alertness and it tastes good. I made some matcha crepes and some green tea coconut fudge. I gave the Grace & Green company full marks. They sell all their products online too with free delivery on orders over $34.
Finally, here’s my friend Charlie decked out in his pink tie for #breastcancerawareness just before the campaign ended in October. To be honest, he was only interested in the liver treat I was holding.
Please visit some of the other folks who are listed on the right side of figjamandlimecordial.com. You’ll see outstanding things in their kitchens.
Lea Ann Brown says
Maureen, what is causing your vertigo?
Interesting news about Maille mustard. We can buy a couple of flavors of the well-known and admired Edmond Fallot mustard at a couple of food shops here, but it’s far more expensive than other brands.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
I saw France Gourmet somewhere the other day, (might have been instagram) and thought I really must check them out.
I love France, it is where I owned my first actual house and where I had hoped to spend my life cooking and writing. But life changes and now I am thousands of miles away in Australia, cooking and writing here instead!
But I still love my memories of France, especially dinners with my neighbours and Saturday aperitifs. Oh and raclette, which is possibly my favourite do-it-yourself meal ever!!!!
I bought my raclette machine over to Australia, sadly it went in the fire but I think to be honest after over 10 years of use it was starting to cry for retirement anyway!!!
You will have to let me know what the blackcurrant mustard tastes like, I have never seen that before (and my house was just south of Dijon!!!!) I am hoping it will be slightly sweet and then slightly spicy. Like a more sophisticated version of honey mustard??? But with a slight acidic twang. Oooooh I can almost taste it on chicken sandwiches!!!!
Love looking around your kitchen. Perhaps I will get around to joining in this month. (Fingers crossed it could be my last month in the rental kitchen???)
Best thing of this post? Knowing you are feeling better! That is awesome…
I actually like the gluten-free pasta from Barilla, I bought one box by mistake, cooked it and did not mind at all….
Charlie is adorable as ever! He’s got THE MOST expressive eyes!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! I love trying new and local products from the States, but especially from other countries! With the internet it is so convenient to find and have the products delivered to my door. Sometimes the simple addition of one takes a dish over the top! So happy to hear you are feeling better! We have a friend who has been suffering with vertigo and I’ve finally convinced him to go to the doctor (he’s getting more stubborn the older he gets – he just turned 80). Hope you continue to improve! 🙂
I’m glad your feeling better and my favorite picture is Charlie with a bow-tie. I love the idea of posting ” In My Kitchen ” and thinking of doing it myself.
Please do! I love peeking in everyone else’s kitchen. It gives an insight into her or his personality. 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Oh, Charlie is soooooooooooooo cute – a very smart bowtie:-)
Oh gosh! I had vertigo a few years ago and was totally incapacitated for serval days. I hope you are doing better!
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Oooooh, I have me some matcha on the way, I’ve not tasted it before, but hope it will do the things it says it does. A beer can chicken holder…. I need this in my life. 🙂 Barilla is the business, since dropping gluten from my diet, I was on the hunt for a substitute for those naughty eating nights, and I found them, it tasted great, not at all like gluten free pasta and lots of gluten free products. Looks like your kitchen is pippin’ this month.
Sending you healing and healthy vibes from the Berra. 🙂
Veronica (Roni) says
What an amazing array of interesting products in your kitchen this month Maureen.
And your pictures are gorgeous…xx
I’ll trade you my bottle of Coppola Claret for all the jars of mustard.
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Well it certainly looks as though you’re well and truly back in the saddle Maureen, and I’m very glad to see it.
Although you can have those snails all to yourself – they really don’t do it for me at all.
Chris Scheuer says
You’re kitchen is always so interesting. I didn’t know that about Maille, thanks for the tip. We’ll be in France next week so I’ll know what NOT to get. That Charlie would be the apple of my eye if he was my doggy, he is absolutely adorable!
Liz (Good Things) says
Maureen, love, so glad to hear that you are feeling better… a beautiful round up of good things… love Charlie in his pink bow tie! xx
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
The matcha is a beautiful color – still haven’t tried it yet! Love the mustards and of course Charlie!
Hi Maureen, Charlie looks so dapper in his pink bow tie, how adorable. You have so many wonderful things in your kitchen this month, love it!
I’m glad you’re feeling better. I have a mild form of vertigo … while driving through the Smoky Mountain range in Tennesse on the way to North Carolina, I couldn’t walk farther away from the car than the length of my arm (I had to keep touching the car) when my friends pulled over at a lookout. I though I was going to fall off the road.
Love the matcha. I spent a lot of money for some culinary grade matcha locally and it was a muddy green. Made for disappointing matcha crepes, madeleines and panna cotta. Charlie looks adorable in his pink tie even if the pose is form mercenary reasons. 🙂 The high school I was at last Friday had a Terry Fox run/walk (the entire school participated) for cancer awareness.
Sara |Belly Rumbles says
OMG how cute is Charlie!
I LOVE reading your “In my kitchen” posts!!! A little insight into your real life. Flavours of QLD is what caught my eye, though of course Matcha Tea is close to my heart! So glad it scored well in your books 😉 N x
*big smile* – in order of importance:
* Glad you are ‘steadier’
* Thank you for thinking Charlie just might wear the handsome pink bowtie . . . as a survivor I do appreciate!
* Tho’ by no means a ‘European’ cook I loved the ‘France Gourmet’ website: cannot see myself ‘not’ indulging 🙂 ! Snails: could eat them every day methinks 🙂 !!
Krista Bjorn says
Thank you so much for telling us about France Gourmet. It sounds like a marvelous place and I can’t wait to schedule a visit. 🙂
Vicki Bensinger says
What a fun post. I adore your little charlie and the way he’s looking up at you, even if it is for a liver treat.
I’m going to have to check my spam because I never get your posts anymore. I just noticed how many I’ve missed.
So glad your vertigo is better and you’re feeling more like yourself again. Take care.
I love Valli Little’s practical approach and often use her recipes. Glad you are feeling better!
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, it’s great to hear you’re feeling better! Your humor was sprinkled throughout this post, which made it even more delightful to oooh and ahhhh my way through it, xo. I didn’t know Barilla made GF pasta — pleased to learn it tastes good. Glad you’re back, kiddo — good things are happening in your kitchen! Charlie looks like a “Charles” when he’s all fancied up. 🙂
Oh my, your grandmother had 12 kids!!!! I wonder how she managed :). Loved and missed virtual tours in your kitchen.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Maureen – so glad you are feeling better! Barilla is pretty awesome – my daughter doesn’t know the difference either – whcih works great as she is a pasta lover with a gluten problem! I haven’t tried matcha yet – I know I need to jump on the bandwagon, but I’m usually the last one on!
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
So much in your kitchen this month! I particularly like that you will remember your name! That’s important. And pink is important, but since I know someone who has lung cancer and never smoked- well lung cancer is the leading cause of death in women and lots of folks don’t know that. Just thought I’d throw it out there cause it could use some attention, too! I love those escargots in a can!
Mary | LOVE the secret ingredient says
What a fun idea, you have quite a bounty there! And Charlie looks like a total sweetheart!
Vicky & Ruth- May I Have That Recipe says
Thank you for sharing all these new products and cook books! Everything looks delicious…looking forward to making some new purchases!
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
So glad to hear you are winning the battle against vertigo; need I say finally?
So of all the wonderfulness you shared the thing that got me the most? Maille is not really from France? Sobbing a bit, I do love their whole grain mustard but thought it was because it was truly some special French mustard seeds! Maybe I really am loving Chinese mustard?
I recently bought some whole grain mustard from Trader Joe’s and I love it too and it very specifically says ‘Made in France’ – unless that is code I’m making it my new normal.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
So glad to hear that you are continuing to feel better!! I enjoy these posts and really love the looks of those mustards. I’d be a little apprehensive on the canned snails, but i did try them once in s restaurant and thought they were pretty good!
Hotly Spiced says
I’m pleased to hear you’re feeling better, Maureen. I’m so sad to hear that about the Maille products. There is a Maille ‘store’ within the supermarket I go to and I think it’s only one of three in the world. I don’t like the sound of the products not being made in France. I love the GF Barilla range; you really can’t tell it’s GF – only in reheating leftovers can I tell as in that process, it doesn’t hold together as well. Never mind, we don’t usually have a lot of leftovers anyway. I love your ‘Maureen’ decoration – what a thoughtful gift. And Charlie is very cute and like my Rosie, will only pose for liver treats xx
Very happy to hear things are going better for you health wise. And wow so any interesting new goodies you have. I will have to say I am more partial to the french stuff being myself French Canadian lol. And yes I love match a lot, and baking with it.
When I was very little in Maine being called a Canuck was upsetting but by the time I was a teenager I was quite proud of it. 🙂
Very French post and such a cute dog. Glad that vertigo is going Maureen- doing those strange upside down exercises helps.
The Ninja Baker says
Reading your blog is always a delight, Maureen. Glad the vertigo situation is resolving. I was also happy to see your adorable Charlie promoting a great cause. And matcha! Premium matcha is sublime. And was used by samurai before battle. Last and not least, thank you for the intro to Make It, Bake It, Snap It. (It’s going on my wish list!)
Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish says
Maureen, first, I am so glad to hear you are feeling better! Love reading your “In My Kitchen” posts. What fun items you shared today. Lots of inspiration. I’d be apprehensive about gluten free pasta too, but sounds like success there.
Jan (A gluttonous wife) says
So much wonderful foodie things here Maureen!!! I particularly love the idea of the beer can chicken, never done it but would love to try it with ginger beer for an asian spin…not sure but it sounds good!!
As a fellow vertigo sufferer, you know I am so pleased to see your blog post and that you are feeling better – sending you a big hug.
Jennifer @Milk and Honey says
I am waiting (not very patiently) for my copy of Valli’s book to arrive through the post. It was a bonus offer with my recent subscription renewal for my Delicious mag. Your mustard collection looks gorgeous. We go through jars and jars of the stuff around here.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Glad to hear that you’re getting better Maureen. I have that same heart as a gift from my friend Belinda’s daughter (except obviously it has my name hehe-it would be weird if mine said Maureen) 🙂
I always think of you as Lorraine so it’s good that you have that name on the heart. 🙂
Bam's Kitchen says
Maureen so glad you were feeling a hair bit better to write up this post. Charlie is such a sweet boy, even if the only reason he is being well behaved is because your holding a special treat.
Maureen, Liver treats will do it every time 🙂
Except when he goes to the vet. He won’t eat a treat from the vet no matter how much she begs. No way. He just turns his head. If you stick needles in him and something up his butt, save your treats. 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling better and have returned to your kitchen. It certainly is filled with good things. I tried gluten free pasta a while back that was terrible. It is nice to know you liked Barilla.
Sugar et al. says
That’s great news Maureen that you are feeling better. So happy to hear that! I enjoyed the post as there were many products that were unknown to me. Best of all I loved Charlie in pink. Adorable!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Celia, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. Always love these peeks into your kitchen–and you! My husband’s father was French Canadian, not sure what generation came over from France. Your dog looks very dapper!
Ania @ milktoastandhoney.co.uk says
Awwww, Charlie, you cutie pie!!!! I love the mustard selection too 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
So glad you are feeling better, Maureen! I think Charlie in his tie is my favorite :).
Anyhow, best month ever. And your DOGGIE!!!! OMG so cute!
Those mustards look delightful!
What a lovely collection of mustards. Nice to know that Barilla makes a tasty GF pasta. Loving the pink bow tie on Charlie!
Kate @ Babaganosh.org says
It’s amazing how different matcha teas can taste totally different, right? I had a bag of matcha that I tried at first and it was just so so bitter. Then I had an opportunity to try another brand, this came in a much smaller container and was much more expensive, and it was SO GOOD – so much flavor without the bitterness.
Gourmet Getaways says
You have some great things in your kitchen this month!! Love the matcha and the escargot!
I hope your vertigo improves, so terrible, I have two friends that have been suffering with it off and on for years now!
Wishing you well
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
So many fun things in this post. What a lovely gift. Charlie looks so handsome in this bow tie. 🙂
SO good to hear you’re feeling better. Whew. LOVE all the tidbits in your post—so your friends met Jamie??? How lovely. And Charlie? He’s the sweetest!! xoxo
You certainly have a lot in your kitchen this week. Always fun having new cookbooks and that matcha kit – I’m jealous. 🙂 Big matcha lover here.
You have a lot of good things in your kitchen Maureen! Maille mutard is opening a great and chic shop in Bordeaux this week but you are right I think his mutard doesn’t came from Dijon! The amora one is the same we used to buy, it’s a nice one. But I prefer your littles ones, they looks very nice. I would like to write a post from my kitchen. Do you think I can write in french or is only in English?
Ps: Charlie looks so smart and even better if is for the good cause!
My Kitchen Stories says
So many good things. I love the matcha. As usual Charlie has stollen the show.
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
Awww that personalised plaque is so sweet! What a thoughtful gift!
sherry from sherrys pickings says
charlie is adorable as always. love all the goodies in your kitchen. 12 kids? oh my that sounds like hard work. i have been making my own mustard for years so i hardly ever buy any. such a shame so many brands are now made cheaply (and not as well) in asia – like Laguiole knives and Mason and Cash ceramics. the matcha powder looks just gloriously green. glad to hear you are feeling better these days.
Good to know about Maille!
I think we picked up some of those Edmond Fallot products when we were in France at the beginning of the year. Very good!