Thursday, January 1, 2015

In my kitchen - January 2015

I am linking this in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

2015. It really does feel amazing to write that. Happily, I'm beginning the year with plenty of good food and (as this post will show!) rather a lot of chocolate. With my birthday and Christmas both falling in December, this In My Kitchen post benefits from food treats galore.

First up, my Christmas chocolate, beautifully selected by Mr Bite. I have chocolate for all occasions, with a 55% cocoa 'luxury dark chocolate' block, an 85% cocoa Marks & Spencer's dark chocolate block, and some milkier and sweeter dairy free chocolate caramels. They are all excellent.


To complement the chocolate, I have two new packets of tea - a mixed assortment and a gorgeously fragrant aniseed, fennel and liquorice pack.



I also have a card and carob block from Sandra, courtesy of her giveaway before Christmas. I adore carob and her card was a lovely extra in the package.




Going back to products bought in December (but still, in large part, in my kitchen now), I had great fun using my birthday Planet Organic voucher from Mr Bite. 

Planet Organic purchases, part 1

Shown above are flavoured tofu and two raw vegan desserts from Inspiral: an amazingly fluffy raw chocolate mousse and a raw Christmas cake. The Christmas cake confirmed my growing belief that desserts I don't like in standard form, I rather love in raw vegan form. It had a coconut cream topping, plenty of dried fruit, and flavours of almond, vanilla and cherry.

Planet Organic purchases, part 2

Rounding out those items was a rather decadent selection of snacks, including several chocolate and/or carob products ranging from truffles to small bars to dark chocolate coated honeycomb. I also bought more coconut sugar and some black rice noodles, chosen for entertainment value. I put them to use last night with a satay sauce (pictured below), which we both enjoyed.


Satay flavoured black rice noodles

And just in case I didn't have enough chocolate (!), I also brought back two blocks from our northern trip, courtesy of the local Cumbrian supermarket, Booths. I thought it only right to support the local market, and tea flavoured dark chocolate seemed as good a way as any to do so.


It's perhaps just as well that around the chocolate and treats, I also have a large bag of kale, some cranberries, and plenty of apples.


Happy New Year all - and what is happening in your kitchen this month?!

45 comments:

  1. Mmh, that looks like a lot of good food in your kitchen right now. As a fellow chocolate addict I can attest there really never is too much of it. And this: "I thought it only right to support the local market" could have totally been me justifying the purchase of another bar, too.
    Seeing as it's the first of the month I can't tell what's going to happen in my kitchen yet. However, there will be a concerted effort of using up what's already in my pantry before buying new items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not alone in the chocolate loving stakes :-) And I admire your approach to using up your pantry before buying new things...I tend to just keep buying new things!

      Delete
  2. YUM!! I'm loving the chocolate!! :) Lovely things are in the kitchen!! Happy 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cailee! Happy 2015 to you too :-)

      Delete
  3. Happy New Year. Your kitchen is full of delicious treats. Love the fennel tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too - and thanks :)

      Delete
  4. All those chocolates, I am getting hungry! The teas also look lovely. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate + tea (+ a book) = perfection! Happy New Year to you too.

      Delete
  5. Hi there! You can't go wrong with all that chocolate! Happy cooking and happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Goodness that IS a lot of chocolate! (And that's coming from me! :)) They all sound fabulous though, especially the tea flavoured ones. And speaking of tea, how cute is the artwork on that box of mixed teas! Happy New Year and a belated happy birthday to you as well! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is confirmation of my chocolate decadence! Thanks Celia, and I do also love the artwork on the tea box.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. I hope it lasts me a while, otherwise I'm going to be quite embarrassed!

      Delete
  8. Your chocolate does look good, but I'm glad you finished with the Kale, cranberries and apples! Th ask for sharing :-) Liz xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love that you have a chocolate variety for every occasion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And probably a couple spare too ;)

      Delete
  10. That is an amazing amount of chocolate - we are going into heatwave mode when we need to cut down on the amount of chocolate around the house - but I would fancy some chocolate covered honeycomb and some of that tea flavoured chocolate. I love the tea assorted pack packaging. I am jealous of you being able to buy fresh cranberries - and amused that they feel they need to suggest how to use them on the packet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about my chocolate melting. It really would take up a substantial amount of fridge space at the moment!

      I too found the cranberry packaging funny - but then again, so many people seem to have them in cranberry sauce only, so perhaps they know what they're doing with giving advice!

      Delete
  11. Kari, that was a real blast from the past seeing your stock of carob! Back in the day we were all substituting carob for chocolate. Now we see plenty of chocolate in the health food stores along with the carob products. A much more balanced approach, I'd say! Would so love to visit Cumbria (and Booth's); it's where my mother's family is from. Yesterday I posted my very first In My Kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, how lovely that your mother is from that area :-) I hope you visit one day as it's a beautiful area. I grew up with carob being the 'health treat' too - I think that's where I got my taste for it, but as this post highlights, I have a chocolate taste as well!

      I'm heading over to see your IMK post - welcome to them :)

      Delete
  12. I must get my hands on that Jasmine Tea chocolate! Woah, how does it taste?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! And surprisingly like jasmine tea in chocolate - they managed it exactly :)

      Delete
  13. Wow - that's one aniseed flavoured tea! As for chocolate, one can simply never have enough. Well done for laying in quite a stock. Thanks for your festive tour. Cheers Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy New Year, you have so much chocolate in your kitchen this month! Hope you're making some beautiful dishes with it all ;) But you must taste before hand to make sure it's good enough, right! See you next month at IMK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just eating the chocolate straight up :D

      Delete
  15. That chocolate is certainly tempting!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those cranberries look good - they're such a gorgeous colour. I have lots of chocolate in my kitchen too - tis the season! And those teas come in great flavours too xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlie - it is really nice having cranberries readily available here! Australia needs to catch up :)

      Delete
  17. Happy New Year, Kari!! And happy belated birthday! You are one of my oldest blog friends, and I truly cherish our friendship! I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for you and Mr. Bite ;).
    So many delicious treats! I always get excited when you share your favorites as I discover foods I never even knew existed. I've had green tea flavored chocolate (Koreans love anything green tea..green tea ice cream, donuts, croissant, latte...) but never anything else. Now I'm curious as to what souchong tea tastes like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks so much Min - that means a lot and is very kind. I wish I could send you some of the souchong tea chocolate! It tastes kind of like a fragrant black tea diffused through the bar.

      Delete
  18. Oh as always I wish I could come over to your place to eat :) everything looks so good, esp the raw desserts!

    ReplyDelete
  19. well you can never have too much chocolate in the cupboard especially if it is very dark and/or full of nuts or liqueur cherries:) A friend came back from Sicily with that amazing green lemon chocolate they have there. i thought the colour and the flavour were out of this world. have a great 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to visit Sicily for another reason now ;) I hope your 2015 goes great too!

      Delete
  20. This post is a chocolate lovers paradise!

    We're huge Booths fans here although our closest store is over half an hour away by car, but my mother-in-law lives practically next door to one so you can guess where I head every time we visit her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, brilliant that you know Booths and have it sort of nearby. I was really impressed with the store and it was nice to discover a relatively local franchise.

      Delete
  21. Hi Kari, very nice post. Could you please help me? Could you tell me what the ingredients are in that fantastic looking Mark and Spencer Aniseed Fennel and Licorice tea? I can't find the ingredients anywhere online, I'd love to order it but there are things my husband can't have because of his lupus and acid reflux like citric acid and oranges. Thank you. and thanks for your wonderful blog.
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! I'd be very happy to help. I have finished this pack and don't have any at the moment, but am delighted to have an excuse to buy another one - and perhaps I can just take a photo of the ingredients for you next time I'm in an M&S. I'll send it through to you :)

      Delete
    2. So very kind of you, Kari. I really appreciate it. :)

      Delete

I genuinely appreciate all comments and the time taken to post them. Occasionally, I may need to restrict commenting to registered users in order to halt large volumes of spam. If that happens, I will lift the restriction within a week.

Want other ways to interact? Bite-sized thoughts is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bitesizedthoughts) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/bitesizethought).