• KJ's Kitchen

    Cooking to a Latin beat

    Cooking can be hard work. Look around any busy home kitchen and it is not long before the dishes pile up! Take the Banana and Date cake I made yesterday. On two occasions I started with the wrong size bowl. Therefore, that added two more bowls to the washing up. It was a new recipe and it looked great when I put it in the oven. Before long, I heard my One&Only (O&O) calling out ‘your cake is falling all over the side of the loaf tin and dripping into the bottom of the oven!’ I removed it from the oven and placed a tray underneath the cake tin. Before…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Life Matters

    Cabin Fever and COVID-19

    Spending too much time alone or confined indoors can bring on cabin fever. The term cabin fever is not a medically diagnosed illness, however it is a recognised condition. The lockdown we are experiencing in our homes due to COVID-19, apart from going out for essential services, can bring on cabin fever. I believe most of us are aware of the importance of following the COVID-19 regulations, including social distancing, to keep us all safe from the virus. That is, apart from the young woman at the supermarket, when I asked my One & Only (O&O) to step back at the checkout, told me it was all a load of…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Life Day By Day

    The Power of Flour

    More people during the coronavirus lockdown have discovered the power of flour. There is so much you can do with flour. Now that people are spending more time at home they are experimenting in the kitchen and making their own bread, cakes, pasta, or pizza. If you have young children you can also use flour to make play dough. I made it for my son when he was young (he is now in his 40s)! The tactile experience of play dough is good for children. It enhances their fine motor skills, is very calming and develops their creative skills. It is an activity that grandparents could do with grandchildren, but…

  • KJ's Kitchen

    Cook from scratch at home

    It is a satisfying past-time, if you have the time, to cook from scratch at home. There is nothing like a home cooked meal. A meal that is made from scratch without all the preservatives, sugar and salt additives. You may have read my recent post when I wrote about looking for a frozen meal option for my 92-year-old mother. I put my One&Only (O&O) in the position of a “taste tester” as we tried a few at home (a meal to share at lunch) to see if any were suitable. Apart from one Indian Butter Chicken the meals were not tempting. Then we were not sure of the nutritional…

  • KJ's Kitchen

    KJ’s Pizzeria

    Every Sunday night you will find me in KJ’s pizzeria, also known as KJ’s kitchen. My O&O and I enjoy relaxing on a Sunday evening with home-made pizza and a glass of red wine. A home-made pizza is easy to make. If you are willing to spend a little time preparing your ingredients and putting it all together, it will take about 15-20 minutes.  If you make your own pizza base the preparation time is longer. You can buy pizza bases from the supermarket, but I like to make mine at home. My sister Christine and brother-in-law John (an Italian) who live in Far North Queensland also have a tradition…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Living with Chickens

    Bringing home the bacon

    What does “bringing home the bacon” mean? Does it mean going out buying and bringing home the bacon? It can mean that, but it is also an adage that been said over the centuries with an entirely different meaning. It means to earn a living for the family, that is, to provide the necessities of life. At our place, it is good to know we have the necessities of life, provided after a life of work! One of the necessities of life for me, is having bacon on hand. That is, not literally on my hand, but handy, like in the freezer! We freeze our bacon between sheets of “Go-Between”…

  • KJ's Kitchen

    Cooking with cilantro

    Cooking with cilantro is now one of my favourite things to do! But what is cilantro I hear you saying? Last week when making a curry I hurriedly went into the garden and picked what I thought was flat leaf parsley. We did have flat leaf parsley in the veggie garden however it disappeared under the boots of the workmen when we had the garden enclosed with wire (to keep out the birds and the brush turkeys). After a while it made its way through the soil, as did the cilantro. I really enjoy the smell and flavour that cilantro gives to a dish. I was admiring the aroma of…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Self-Sufficiency

    Possum or Quail for dinner?

    When you are planning your weekly meals do you have possum or quail for dinner? Those of you who are my “vintage” – a good age, like a good wine, will remember the TV Show The Beverley Hillbillies. Grandma Clampett’s favourite recipe was possum stew. At the time I could not imagine enjoying possum stew or pie for dinner! But times change and possums are on the menu, just like kangaroo and wallaby. Can you be a native animal lover and still eat wildlife? Can you enjoy a roast chicken dinner and yet still raise hens for eggs? What are the ethics of eating animals? Christine Korsgaard, the Arthur Kingsley Porter…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Live Simply to Simply Live

    Eating in or eating out

    What is your favourite thing to do – eating in or eating out? When I eat out it is not only about the food but about the ambience. In the winter I enjoy sitting near a fireplace and eating a meal. There are not many cafe’s or restaurants that have a fireplace. I do know of two in Toowoomba and when possible I like to dine near the fireplace. That is why so often in the winter I find we eat at home, near our fireplace. Eating out is popular with all age groups but there is an increase in the number of Millennials (those reaching young adulthood early in…

  • KJ's Kitchen

    The Hot Sandwich

    What is a hot sandwich? Is it a sandwich that is so great everyone wants one? Whatever way you like a sandwich and whatever filling you like, we are all familiar with the good ole sandwich. There are regular sandwiches that children like or maybe not – the vegemite and jam options. Then there are the ones we make ourselves and have at lunchtime either at home or work. I rather like the sandwiches we make for a picnic lunch or when travelling. A curried egg sandwich always seems to go over well with us. The trick is to keep the egg moist with mayonnaise or milk and butter. Ham,…