November – In My Kitchen

I can easily spend an hour in a new grocery store or anywhere food related. Exploring farmer’s markets, spice shops, cheese shops, wine shops, or other foodie places is one of travels greatest joys. I’m lucky that my husband is curious and likes to go along, he has the patience of a saint as I poke around and ask questions. Don’t you think that trying out a new ingredient is an adventure and sensory joy?

Following are a few new things I’ve found and brought into my kitchen during the last month.

Urumqui Lamb Rub from Oaktown Spice

Oaktown Spice Shop is a spice store at 530 Grand Avenue in Oakland, CA. They have an amazing variety of spices and house made spice mixes. The folks in this small store are knowledgable about how to use them, they provide recipes, and it’s fun to chat with them. When I was there we exchanged several cooking ideas. It’s a great place to get holiday gifts for your foodie friends. This Urumqi Lamb Rub is hand-mixed, a combination of garlic, cumin, pepper, chili and ginger. I plan to use it this weekend with slow cooked lamb shanks with yogurt. Stay tuned for the recipe on another post if it turns out like I think it will and my mind-tastebuds say it will.


This is fresh turmeric root. I grated it to use in the roasted squash soup (Halloween Soup). It made my hands yellow, but was delicious. I hadn’t realized how quickly ground turmeric lost it’s scent and flavor.

I soaked the peel of Meyer lemons (from my backyard tree) in vodka for making Lemoncello. The peels have been soaking for a month and will be bottled the end of this week, to be stocked in the freezer for the holidays. I like to serve a tiny glass of Lemoncello after dinner as a digestif. It also makes a great gift.

SalinityI found this salt from Salinity in Ashland, OR. It’s flavored with Blue Cheese from the Rogue Valley. They recommended using it as a finishing salt on a butternut squash soup. I’m looking forward to trying it.

These vegetable wraps (called GemWraps) came from in a store in Ft. Bragg, CA. They are made entirely from fruits and veggies, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. There are several different kinds, this one is mango chipotle but I also bought tomato and BBQ. You use them to make sushi like wraps for a zero carb, gluten free lunch or snack. I made a wrap with chicken, cheese, onion and avocado. I used some fresh goat cheese (called Laychee) from Penny Royal in Boonville, CA, and Chipotle Pineapple Chicken from Bruce Aidells. 

I made a batch of hot green chili spread. It was gone in a few days and I plan to make more. Sure didn’t last long!

Hot Green Chili Spread

Hot Green Chili Spread

And lastly, do you have any favorite flavor combinations? Have you ever tried avocado and soy sauce? Yummy!

avocado and soy sauce

Avocado and soy sauce


What’s new in your kitchen?


This has also been linked to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, the November edition of “In My Kitchen”. Check out the link for some fascinating posts about what is going on in other kitchens around the world.

23 thoughts on “November – In My Kitchen

  1. I too can spend ages in food stores. Unfortunately my family are not quite so patient so it is better to go alone. You have some very intriguing finds in your kitchen. Are those wraps essentially like a fruit & vegetable leathers, or is there more to it than that? I have become a huge fan of fresh turmeric this year. I love to now keep a knob in my freezer.

    Thanks for the peek into your kitchen.

    • Hello Tania,
      Yes, you are correct, they are like fruit and vegetable leathers. In truth, they don’t have a whole lot of flavor but serve as a vehicle. Good idea to put mine in the freezer, this is the first time I’ve seen them in the store and I was surprised how flavorful they were (before now only being familiar with the ground turmeric you find in stores).

      It has been a pleasure seeing what is in other kitchens around the world. Thank you.

  2. You do have a lot of lovely purchases in your kitchen. The wrap sounds really good and I need to try avocado with soy sauce. I do hope you share your slow-cooked lamb shank recipe. Lamb shanks are an absolute favourite of mine in the cooler months xx

  3. What an interesting selection of products Liz! I’m another one who’s often thought about making limoncello, but never got around to it! By the way, my mother grows turmeric too, and it’s lovely sliced into freshly brewed chai….

  4. I love visiting food shops (of any kind – grocery, spice, souk, market) when travelling or even if it’s in a part of London that I don’t frequent. I must say that your Limoncello has me very envious and reading your comments about how fresh and strong the turmeric root is has me putting that tuber on my shopping list! Thanks for the look inside your kitchen!

    • I bottled the Limoncello this week and am letting it sit in the freezer for a few days to “settle”. If it turns out to be good, I’ll post the recipe. This is the fourth time I’ve made it and, although the batches are all gone, it isn’t perfect to my taste yet. What a bunch of boozy friends I have! They enjoyed it even in non-perfection.

  5. Thanks for playing! I wish I had fresh turmeric – maybe I’ll need to try planting some! And those Gem Wraps are intriguing – are they basically a soft fruit leather? I’m definitely going to try avo and soy sauce next time, thanks for the tip! 🙂

    • They are basically a vegetable leather (similar to the more common fruit ones). Very low in calories and carbs. Good for after the holidays!

      Soy sauce seems to perk up all kinds of things, you might want to try it mixed with mayo as a dip or sauce for green beans. It’s another combination which is much more impressive than the parts alone.

  6. Welcome to IMK, thank you for letting us look inside yours. That blue cheese salt sounds absolutely amazing! Would you know if they would deliver to Australia by any chance? How was the lamb rub? Those flavours sound delicious 🙂 And avocado & soy is something I haven’t tried before, but may try it on your suggestion. Lovely meeting you, see you next month for IMK

    • I’m very sad that the chilis are not available any longer, it’s a short season. Next year I will buy tons and freeze the sauce. My son loved it and was eating from the jar with a spoon!

      You are right, turmeric has wonderful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. And the fresh is much tastier than the stuff you buy in jars.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting, it is such fun to hear from fellow bloggers.

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