In My Kitchen September 2017

September…. time is flying and here we are with another round of the monthly “In My Kitchen” theme.  

In my kitchen…

Some gifts from Bali, cocoa powder and coffee luwak… the cat-like animal (on the side of the tin) is called a civet and responsible for making this coffee unique. These shy animals eat the cherries of the coffee plant and as they pass through their digestive system, enzymes remove some of the coffee beans acidity before they poop out the coffee beans fully intact. As a result, the coffee beans apparently make a smoother cup of coffee. Lots of controversy over how these civet cats are kept so good to check a reliable source if possible.

Tried a second ferment with kombucha, adding fresh apple juice and mint. Although the combination of flavors are refreshing, the effervescent part was missing and as you can see, flat as a pancake and not a bubble in sight. Oh well, better luck next time… apparently when kombucha is on the sweeter side it’s a good time to second ferment. Anyone with tips to share?

Started making milk kefir as a friend had some spare kefir grains to share. Kefir is a creamy yoghurt-like drink that tastes slightly sour  but when sweetened with a little honey makes a very refreshing probiotic drink. Wanting to make a simple kefir cheese, used the same method as when making labneh cheese. Straining the whey off through a tightly weaved cloth and formed the remaining soft curds into small balls. Placed them in olive oil with some fresh thyme, apparently they keep for months but not expecting them to last that long in our house. Next time will age the rounds of cheese for more flavor before adding to the olive oil. My kefir experiments are on going… anyone else love tinkering in the kitchen?

Up until a few years ago I was the only one in the family who loved beetroot. Glad I persevered… we all enjoy beetroot and when making sweet pickles I need to make up a large jar. We also love roast beetroot, beetroot juiced with apples or, enjoy beetroot with yogurt as a side.

When you need to remove pulp from tomatoes, as in these moussaka stuffed tomatoes, this handy tomato shark does the job.

Also in my kitchen, sprouted radishes that were quite bitter, the food saver is wonderful for keeping them fresh for a couple of days. Made a basic cottage cheese and incorporated some kefir during the process… I prefer a more robust cottage cheese but it was good none the less. As you can see, enjoyed on toasted brown bread with sweet pickled beetroot, dried tomatoes and sprouted radishes.

Muffins are so quick to make and not as sweets as other cakes… so here we have some blueberry ones.

The cauliflower looking blobs are kefir grains that contain beneficial yeasts and bacteria and like scoby’s and sourdough starters, need constant feeding to keep them alive.

The “In My Kitchen” monthly theme host is Sherry, from sherryspickings.blogspot.ie If you would like to know what’s cooking or see some kitchen treasures, head over to Sherry’s blog and check out all the other IMK participants.

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22 Comments

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Hi there Moya! Lots of goodies in your kitchen, as always. Love the kombucha, I’ve just made my first batch as well. I, too, am the only one in the household who enjoys beetroot. It’s so yummy and yet Peter cannot stand it. Happy September to you. x

  2. sherry M says:

    Kombucha is really the go at the moment isn’t it? I remember someone gave us the “mother” for one years ago but we killed it:) thanks so much for joining in IMK. and yum to beetroot – it is so good and pretty too. your cheesy little balls look excellent. cheers sherry

    • Moya says:

      Yes it seems so Sherry, at least all the family enjoy it too. The soft cheese balls went down a treat, just needed a little more salt for flavor 🙂

  3. Love beetroot and it wasn’t until recently that hubby began to appreciate the flavour. Here in Greece it is served cooked as a salad with its boil greens and topped with lashings of good green olive oil and fresh lemon juice. That tomato shark is a must have. Will need to keep an eye out for one.

    • Moya says:

      Ive never eaten the beetroot greens… might give it a try when the farmers market starts in a few months, the supermarkets cut the tops off… and most likely not as fresh 🙂

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    We were talking about that Balinese coffee the other day, how on earth didi someone discover that the coffee beans were still fit for consumption after having passed through the gut of a civet?? Really makes you wonder! I’m in the lookout for a tomato shark too

    • Moya says:

      I guess someone must have been studying the habits of the civet cat… and we all love an interesting story 🙂 Sandra I am sure you will find a tomato shark in a well stocked kitchen shop or try Amazon, hope you mange to find one… they are handy 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I’ve just started doing the kefir thing, too! No one else at home is interested, but I drink a glass of it every second day. It is quite sour, I sweeten it with maple syrup or strawberry sauce.

    • Moya says:

      Maybe try making a soft cheese with the kefir… the family might like that instead. I also used some when baking brown bread. We love to sweeten kefir with honey from our bees but the strawberry sauce sounds lovely too 🙂

  6. shaheen says:

    I have never heard of a civet and then you tell me about this Balinese coffee having been passed through civet – made me smile. I do like coffee, but don’t know if i’d be brave to try this. Thanks for coming by my blog via IMK

  7. Moya says:

    I haven’t ground the beans yet Tandy but I do remember when we first tasted luwak coffee in Bali some years back. We enjoyed the coffee but I guess the story makes it more special 🙂

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