Canberra is renowned for having four distinct seasons and I'm always amazed at the cool nip in the air that greets us on the morning of the first of March every year. It's Autumn now – one of the best times in the nation's capital. The days are crisp and pleasantly balmy, while the nights are much cooler, meaning it's much easier to sleep. A welcome addition after our hot, dry summers.
As I mentioned in my last post about eating for silent reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux, there have been some changes in my kitchen of late. For health reasons, many of my favourite foods and beverages are off the agenda, at least for the time being, until I regain my wellbeing. So this month's In My Kitchen post has a combination of the foods I can tolerate, as well as some things that Peter can enjoy. I'll also share some exciting culinary news with you. So, let's take a peek at what's happening in my kitchen during March:
In my kitchen there are baby Royal Gala apples (pictured above), crisp and delicious, perfect eaten fresh from the hand or combined with pears in my morning juice shot.
There are green beans in my kitchen. One of my favourite greens, I love them simply steamed, or cooked with bacon and eschalot.
Exploring our local Asian grocery stores, Peter and I found this basil seed drink with honey from Thailand. It has an interesting, if not curious, flavour and texture. It also seems to be a beverage I can tolerate, and it soothes my throat.
Cauliflower is another of my favourite vegetables. Again, I really enjoy it lightly steamed, or in this gluten free cauliflower cheese dish. Peter loves it when I make sweet spiced potatoes with cauliflower and pumpkin.
The Lifeline ACT Book Fair was on recently and I couldn't resist adding a few new titles to my collection. The book by Emma Dean, A Homegrown Table, was a Christmas gift from Peter's brother and his partner.
Usually I would stuff my face with these white fleshed peaches... so juicy and fragrant. These are on the fruit bowl for my Peter. He loves combining them with apples in a morning smoothie.
Cheese is also off the menu for me for a little while, but I am very fond of this cheeseboard set, also a gift from Peter's brother and his partner. What a great idea this is.
These pomegranates were locally grown and when I saw them in our local Korean grocery store, I couldn't say no.
In Sydney last week, Peter discovered this fabulous spice emporium Green Valley Spices in Randwick. I took the opportunity to stock up on cinnamon sticks, mixed peppercorns, baharat, sumac and ras el hanout. All very reasonably priced!
Valencia oranges are in my kitchen. Peter juices them fresh for breakfast. I love the green tinge of sunburn.
Fresh Australian-grown berries have come down in price, so I've bought a few punnets to freeze for later in the year. To freeze them successfully, simply place the individual berries onto a tray lined with parchment, then snap freeze them before securing them in individual bags or freezer-safe containers.
And some exciting culinary news!
New to my kitchen is the Tefal Cuisine Companion, which has just been launched in Australia. It's a complete, multi-functional food processor and kitchen machine that can replace up to ten appliances.
To my delight and honour, I was one of the handful of cookery writers and bloggers selected from across Australia to become a founding member of the Cuisine Companion Club. As a founding member, I received a Tefal Cuisine Companion (RRP$1699) of my very own to play with, and was invited to attend an exclusive event at the Sydney Seafood School. At the event, attendees were introduced to the Cuisine Companion and were given the opportunity to put it to the test.
I look forward to showcasing the Cuisine Companion in coming months and sharing with you my cooking experiences with it from time to time. So far, I am truly impressed, particularly with its speed and precision. Indeed, I was able to give my old (reasonably new) food processor to my daughter, Lauren, at the weekend.
Now, please allow me to introduce you briefly to the Tefal #CuisineCompanion...
Tefal Cuisine Companion...
The Tefal Cuisine Companion is made in France and has been designed to be simple and intuitive to use, making cooking easily and pleasurable. With it's five attachments, it is capable of chopping, whipping, mixing, kneading, cooking, steaming, blending, stirring, emulsifying, whisking, searing, crushing, milling and precise heating. Better still, it has a dishwasher safe bowl, lid, steamer insert and attachments, so it's also easy to clean.
Wivina Chaneliere, Managing Director for Groupe SEB Australia, says: ‘We are excited to bring the Tefal Cuisine Companion to Australia. To encourage at home cooks of all levels of experience, Tefal has developed this new all-in-one wonder machine that will assist consumers to develop their culinary talents at home, day after day.'
The Cuisine Companion comes fully equipped with an intuitive and easy to use interface with six automatic functions. You simply put the ingredients into the bowl and select the program on the touch pad display. I'll be able to prepare and cook sauces; steam ingredients, such as vegetables and fish; make hot or cold soups and broths; slow-cook dishes; prepare pastries and dough, as well as cake batters; and prepare all kinds of desserts, including milkshakes.
Its bowl has a total capacity of 4.5 litres allowing portions for up to six people. And at the end of the cooking time, it automatically keeps food warm (depending on the program used). There's also a stainless steel steamer basket, that will come in handy for steaming everything from entrees to main courses and desserts. I think steamed puddings will be on the menu this winter!
A (slightly fuzzy and red-tinged iphone photograph) of self with my friend and fellow cook, Winston Chua from The Hungry Excavator, taken at the Sydney Seafood School for the Cuisine Companion VIP launch event, hosted by Tefal.
Every month I give you a peek of what's in my kitchen as part of a round up hosted by my friend, Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I'm joined by a growing community of cooks, food writers and bloggers from around the world. Pop in and say hello to Celia and our fellow cooks.
Now tell me, what's happening in your kitchen this month? Are you celebrating the change of seasons in your part of the world?
Join me as I share with you recipes for all seasons, postcards and morsels from my travels, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.