In My Kitchen – January 2024

Feast and munch, it’s the first of the month! I cannot believe we’ve just said goodbye to the first month of 2024. Even saying 2024 feels unreal like it should be a fantasy date in the future. Time flying by aside, I always look forward to the first of the month because it’s time to catch up with Sherry and friends for the In My Kitchen round up and this month is no exception.

I’ve been a regular at my favourite shop Country Traditionals – this month I added a pretty little sugar bowl and these cute set of cereal bowls to my collection. I’m totally obsessed.

Sticking with the blue and white theme, I picked up these beautiful bowls from TK Maxx. I just couldn’t resist! I’ve been after some asian style serving bowls for ages and am thrilled with these.

My dear friend Dionne gifted me this amazing mug for Christmas. The details on it is incredible, it looks exactly like Teddy Roosevelt and check out the little beer can. It’s too precious!

I also finally shared my recipe for my Easy Coffee Traybake. Like so many of my recipes these days, I’ve been making it on the regular since I came back to the UK, I just haven’t got around to blogging it!

looking down on a coffee traybake uncut covered with fudge icing and topped with walnut pieces

Earlier in the month, our friends Lucy and James invited us around to their new place for a meal. Fun fact: Lucy read one of my stories about moving back to the UK when she and James were planning to return from New Zealand to settle in Stamford. We caught up IRL once they got back and the rest is friendship history! I must say they set the bar very high in the dinner stakes, cooking up a storm from Ottolenghi’s Simple. I was totally influenced and borrowed a copy from the local library!

These days I’m a wannabe minimalist and try hard not to buy any new recipe books but might have to make an exception with Simple simply because there are so many things I want to make. We started with the easy but delicious orecchiette with chickpeas and za’atar – so, so good!

As we didn’t make it to the family festivities on Christmas Day, we went up north to see the fam bam and had a Christmas do-over in the middle of January. My sister-in-law seriously outdid herself with a slap up spread and I made another one of my Rocky Road Wreaths which went down a treat.

I made my roti for the first time since I got back to the UK. I can’t vouch for their authenticity but I can totally vouch for how yummy they are. We are always down for them!

Best of all, I got to use my tortilla warmer not new but new to this house… I got it years ago in Old Town in San Diego. I love it so and am thrilled to be reacquainted with it. It’s had quite the journey from San Diego to Australia and now to the UK!

There were a lot of rainy days in January but for once, I really couldn’t be faffed with any rain day baking. I did however, have a couple of brown bananas so I whipped up Gary’s Date, Walnut and Ginger Banana Bread. It’s a cracker of a recipe from my ex-colleague Gary who sadly has passed away since I posted this recipe. I think he’d be chuffed that I was still enjoying his recipe. Incidentally, it’s a great banana bread recipe for banana-phobes like David because it’s not too banana-y!

I’m definitely in my waste not, want not era although now I come to think of it I’ve never liked throwing food away. I had some tired looking zucchini in the fridge and upcycled them into brownies. I will have to blog the recipe – this is veggie smuggling at it’s sweetest!

When we moved to the UK, we couldn’t believe how recycling rules varied from place to place. In our town, we put all the recycling in the same big wheelie bin. We thought that bonkers but thems the rules… Until now that is! From Feburary, we have a separate wheelie bin for metals/plastics and paper/cardboard which I’m personally very excited about. Finally recycling that makes sense! I took the opportunity to buy another recycling bin for the kitchen so that we can keep the plastic and metal stuff separate from the paper materials because if the paper gets wet, the refuse collectors won’t take it. If you don’t follow the rules here, they leave you a naughty note on your wheelie bin. Can you imagine the shame of it?! LOL?

Wooden bench tops are super popular in kitchens in the UK – I don’t know why because to me, it feels thoroughly impractical. Anyhoo, we (and when I say we, I mean David) finally oiled our kitchen bench top – it needs to be done every 6 months or so – and it looks so good. We are loving the bench sick right now!

After falling off the wagon, we’re back all aboard the lunch box train. Even though we’re both at home, packing a lunch box makes me feel thoroughly organised plus it’s a great way to manage portion control and eat more fruit and veggies. This lunch box contains two of our favourites – Chicken Pesto Meatballs and a slice of Pesto and Cheddar Loaf – yum! We still go rogue at the weekend though…

So that’s all the news from my kitchen, I’d love to hear what’s been going down in yours? Did you have a delicious start to 2024? Tell me everything in the comments!

Linking up with Sherry for In My Kitchen