In My Kitchen – November 2014

How did we get to the second last month of the year so quickly!  Clearly there is truth in time passing quicker the older you get.

As always a big thank you to Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun monthly event.  It’s great fun peeking into so many beautiful and different kitchens each month.  Please remember Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

In my kitchen…

Are the most magnificent mini roses from our garden.  I bought 2 new rose bushes seeing as I killed our best rose bush when I transplanted it a couple of months ago.  My sadness of losing the other bush is quickly forgotten with these beautifully coloured roses.

Garden roses

In my kitchen…

Is millet.  For the life of me, I cannot remember who’s blog I saw millet on so my apologies for no link love.  I will post a millet and grape salad recipe next week.


In my kitchen…

I found 2 new varieties of Pete’s coffee pods, up to now I have only been able to find the Foreign Ground Brazil Single Origin.

Cofee pods

In my kitchen…

Is our new 56 litre LG Mirror Microwave.  Sorry it is not a picture of ours but I ran out of time so quickly got this one from the brochure.  I am not entirely convinced this new modern “metallic” look works for me as each item (fridge, dishwasher, washing machine etc) is a different shade of “silver” even within one brand so its’ awfully difficult to match items.  Bring back classic white which doesn’t date and matches everything.  I have two complaints about this new edition to our kitchen.  Even though I only use it to reheat and make the odd gravy, I still want to be able to see inside the unit when it is on – some genius thought about the aesthetics (not sure why you need a mirror on a microwave – possibly do your hair while heating lunch?) and not the functionality so you are left guessing when something is going to boil over!  It doesn’t have a kitchen timer either which was so handy on our old microwave.  My suggestion to you would be not to buy a mirror unit, unless you want to sit in front of it to do your hair or make-up.  I have also had many unsuccessful calls to LG, their service is shocking – they are useless!  Right rant over.

56l lg mirror micro

In my kitchen…

Are “Nigerian” from Lebanon ice cream powders.  Pete, like me, loves finding something different on the shelves in supermarkets and he came across these.  Albeit they are instant – mix powder with milk, he says they are really very nice.  I will report back on what I think.

Ice cream powder

In my kitchen…

Is the smallest tin of condensed milk I have seen – 78g.  Pete knows how I love small, what I call “nunu” things so when he found this he couldn’t resist buying it for me.

78g condensed milk

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up.


Microwave oven cooking and baking basics

A lot of us only use our microwave ovens for reheating and defrosting.  The following points will make using your microwave to it’s full potential much easier.



Microwave oven cooking and baking basics 

  • A good rule of thumb when cooking in the microwave oven is that 6 minutes per ½ kilogram will cook most foods including meat, poultry and fruit and vegetables. Seafood will take less time and reducing the power of your microwave will require longer cooking time.
  • About 20% of the cooking time takes place after the microwave oven turns off so remember that your food will continue cooking after you’ve removed it.
  • Arrange food in a dish so that the thicker part is on the outside and the thinner part inside for more even cooking.  Using a dish with a cone in the centre will also help distribute heat evenly.
  • Use shallow oval or round dishes for uniform and quicker distribution of heat as opposed to rectangular or square containers, which cause hot spots resulting in drying or hardening of foods.
  • If you cover “it” in a regular oven, cover “it” in the microwave too.
  • Microwave cooking increases the flavour of herbs, spices and salt; therefore, halve the amount of herbs, spices and salt specified.
  • Pierce the outer skins of potatoes and whole vegetables with a knife or a fork before cooking as the build up of pressure can make them explode.
  • Add cheese and other toppings near the end of cooking to keep the top from becoming tough or soggy.
  • Microwave cakes and biscuits will not brown so decorate them with icing, nuts and cherries.
  • When baking a cake, don’t fill the container more than half full as microwave cakes rise more than cakes baked in a conventional oven.
  • Make dough slightly stiffer than for conventional baking.
  • Don’t be afraid to open the microwave door to check your cooking or baking process.
  • Let foods with baking powder in them stand a few minutes before cooking to allow the leavening agents to work. 

Microwave oven conversions

Microwave cooking and heating instructions are usually given based on a 700W to a 750W microwave oven. They don’t however provide a guide for a higher or lower wattage microwave oven.

Hope this helps.


Microwave oven conversions

The times below are given in minutes and seconds using 100% power.