A Food & Travel Blog

In My Kitchen – December 2015

04/12/2015 | By

Some special treats in my last In My Kitchen roundup for 2015.

in my kitchen december

This is the final IMK roundup for 2015 and I’m very pleased to say that I’ve only missed one all year – and that was because I was in Italy, nowhere near my kitchen! I’d like to thank my dear friend Celia, of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, who coordinates an ever-growing community of  international participating food bloggers for this. You can check out everyone on the list over on her site.

In my kitchen this month are – you guessed it – more food books. These two wonderful editions are from South Australia’s own Wakefield Press.  The first is “Enjoyed For Generations”, the history of Adelaide’s Haigh’s Chocolates, written by food historian Barbara Santich. Haigh’s are celebrating their centenary this year and is Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker. This book tells their story from it’s beginnings, four generations ago.

The second book, “Calendar of Cakes” is from another much loved South Australian institution – the South Australian Country Women’s Association and offers a cake for every week of the year, with extras for special occasions. Cake. What’s not to love?

In My Kitchen cherries

This bowl of fat, dark, juicy cherries from Ashton in the Adelaide Hills is the first of the season in my kitchen. Cherries, summer and Christmas – they’re inseparable in my book.

In My kitchen Ashton Valley juice

Also from Ashton is this delicious sparkling Apple and Pineapple juice from Ashton Valley Fresh. I paid a visit to this company’s orchards and packing premises last week and was utterly blown away by the extraordinary quality of their produce and their state-of-the-art plant. This juice and the cherries above were a gift from them. The juice is delightfully refreshing and perfect for the coming hot weather. Actually, I’m pretty sure it would be even better with a shot of gin on a really hot day.

Olive oil from Cobram Estate

In my kitchen is a selection of these excellent olive oils from Cobram Estate.  I was invited to an olive oil tasting and breakfast with the delightful folk from Cobram Estate last week, when they were in town sharing the story of their product and the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.

They were really preaching to the choir when it comes to me, as I’ve cooked exclusively with extra virgin olive oil for many years and am well aware of the many EVOO health benefits. These include high levels of antioxidants which help prevent and slow down cell damage and aging, high levels of heart-healthy fats assisting in cardiac function, lots of good cholesterol which helps reduce artery disease and the anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO.

Of course I use it because it tastes fantastic. I usually shy away from buying my EVOO from supermarkets, but was thrilled to learn that Cobram Estate EVOO’s are Australian owned, fresh, cold pressed AND available in my local Foodland – so it’s all good!

In My Kitchen are Aldi Christmas products

I was very excited to receive this absolutely gorgeous hamper of Christmas goodies from Aldi Australia. Aldi produce a high quality range of their own branded goods, including these Christmas specialties from their Specially Selected range. They are not yet available here in South Australia, so I’m getting a sneak preview but, as I wrote about a few weeks back, they are opening four new stores here on 3 February 2016 when everyone can check out their products. I’m especially looking forward to trying the Premium Vintage Christmas Pudding which was a Bronze award-winner at the 2015 Sydney Fine Food show.

earrings in my kitchen

Also in my kitchen, dangling decoratively from my ears, are these very gorgeous red Swarovski crystal earrings sent to me by Celia – simply because she is the kindest, most generous person on the interwebz. Hands down.



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  1. Jennifer @Milk and Honey

    What great goodies from Aldi. I was involved in a taste testing of Christmas Puds a few years ago, and Adli’s won hand down.

  2. celia

    Ah woman, you make me blush! It was a tiny thing, but I’m so glad you like them! Those cherries look divine, as does that beautiful bowl they’re in! Much love to you this festive season! xxx

  3. Liz Posmyk (Good Things)

    Love, love, love all the Aldi products… wait till you taste the fudge! Cobram is among my favourite oils too… and aren’t those earrings just beautiful! xx

  4. Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas

    I’m glad to hear about Cobram as I just bought a large 3l container for general use in my kitchen 🙂 I am so looking forward to Alidi arriving in WA, more so thanks to the goodies you keep sharing. I couldn’t agree with you more about Celia’s generosity. Those earrings are beautiful. She is so very clever.

  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Your earrings are gorgeous! I love Cobram Estate olive oils and have used them for years. I bought some cherries from the market last week and they taste like cardboard. I hope we get better ones before Christmas. 🙂

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    We really love Cobram oils and use them all the time. And I can’t wait until we are completely awash with cherries!

  7. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef

    I love ro have some of those cherries and the sparkling apple juice . We have a good sparkling apple juice here in nothern California.

  8. Napoli Restaurant Alert

    I’m a big fan of Cobram as well, have recently converted after years of buying Italian and Spanish oil!

  9. Amanda

    I wouldn’t buy imported olive oils any more – not since I read a book about olive oil fraud. We produce very fine oil right here in Australia.

  10. Gretchen

    It all looks so lovely. The apple and pineapple juice would indeed be great with a shot of gin. I am having summer produce reading all the Southern Hemisphere IMK posts, those cherries look so delicious! Celia is simply the best and those earrings are gorgeous.

  11. Hotly Spiced

    How lovely to receive those earrings from Celia. She is a very special person and like you say, extremely generous. I love the look of your Aldi hamper – lots of treats there. And I agree, cherries and Christmas go hand in hand xx

  12. Ania @ milktoastandhoney.co.uk

    Gorgeous goodies in your kitchen this month but the bowl of cherries wins my heart. As do the matching earrings from Celia – coincidence in the colour match? And Aldi hamper looks divine. Happy December x

  13. Maree

    We know it’s nearly Christmas when such beautiful cherries are available. That bowl looks stunning too! I too am an ardent Cobram estate EVOO fan, love the new nifty little pourer that is on the bottle, now that I have worked out how to refill it. What is it with so many of us IMKers also being partial to a splash of gin in our drinks? Beautiful earrings and yes, Celia is indeed the most generous of people.

  14. Helen | Grab Your Fork

    What gorgeous ear-rings. They reminded me of plump cherries as soon as I saw them!

  15. Say Little Hen

    It’s lovely to discover your blog through IMK. Your kitchen is brimming with goodness – those cherries look delicious.
    Cobram Estate oil is great – I’m been using theirs for years.

    Sarah x

  16. Nagi@RecipeTinEats

    I can’t get my eyes off that bowl of cherries. Looks so delicious!