In My Kitchen – November 2023

Thank you Sherry for hosting In My Kitchen, a collection of posts focusing on what is new in kitchens around the world. You can read them all on Sherry’s Pickings.

Not a whole lot has been going on in my kitchen. October and November have been filled with travel. We stayed with friends in the California  gold country, then a reunion of our New Zealand gang at Donner Lake, then on to Mexico for a week long retreat with a girlfriend, and finally Utah to visit yet more friends at their lovely second home.

My contributions to the parties are usually wine and goat cheese from our local Anderson Valley (Mendocino County) wine region.

I did cook dinner one night for our Donner group.

Asian salad with brown rice noodles and peanut dressing

Asian salad with brown rice noodles and peanut dressing


The New Zealand gang minus Bob who took the picture

The New Zealand gang minus Bob who took the picture

The dogs didn’t go to New Zealand but had a wonderful time on the trails near Lake Tahoe where they were able to run off-leash. That’s me in the middle of the back row.

In my kitchen I have a selection of goat cheese from Pennyroyal Farm in Boonville, CA (in the Anderson Valley wine region). I belong to both their cheese and wine clubs. If you get a chance to visit, you shouldn’t miss this stop. They serve lunch in addition to wine and cheese tastings. Anderson Valley wineries feel like Napa and Sonoma 40 years ago, they are friendly and welcoming and you don’t need a reservation. Because the valley is cool, most wineries focus on white wines and pinot noir.

This quarter's cheese selection from Pennyroyal Farm

This quarter’s cheese selection from Pennyroyal Farm

In my kitchen I have this package of crisp red peppers. They added a nice crunch to our green salad.

Crispy Red Peppers

Crispy Red Peppers

In my kitchen I have a new chili paste. Sally at Bewitching Kitchen wrote about it recently in her blog post for Aji-Amarillo roasted chicken thighs. We eat a lot of chicken and I am always looking for new flavors. I know Amazon isn’t everyone’s favorite, but it allows me to purchase items that are not available in our rural outpost.

Aji Amarillo Chili Paste

Aji Amarillo Chili Paste

I am still trying more salad recipes from the cookbook Salad Freak. Last night I made this one with roasted Romanesco cauliflower, endive, roasted grapes and hazelnuts with a apple cider vinegar dressing. It was delicious. We had some cold roast chicken on the side.

Roast Romanesco cauliflower, grapes, endive salad

Roast Romanesco cauliflower, grapes, endive salad

I will try and post the recipe for you in the next few days.

I am finding it difficult to come up with recipes I haven’t already posted. There are a lot of them after so many years. If you are looking for something you can search the categories on the right side as you read the post. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with your phone, you won’t see it.

The New York Times published a recipe for fried rice with kimchi a few months ago. One of the commenters wrote that they made it with riced cauliflower. I decided to try it and it was very successful.

Fried Rice with kimchi

Fried rice with kimchi

I garnished it with fried shallots.

Gnocchi has appeared on our menu more frequently since I discovered that you can stir fry the fresh varieties without cooking them first. This time it was sauteed with turkey sausage.

Turkey sausage with fresh gnocchi

Turkey sausage with fresh gnocchi

It was delicious garnished with pomegranate seeds.


In my kitchen I have a new cookbook, a birthday present from my dear husband.

It is much more that a cookbook and I am enjoying reading about her life and thoughts about food.

From my kitchen I can see this lovely new vase, another gift for my birthday. This time from a lovely friend. I filled it with the last of this year’s dahlias.

Lastly I wanted to leave you with a couple of amazing sunsets. This one is from our last night in Utah. From our friends’ front porch looking out over the Capital Reef National Park.

And this strange cloud formation was seen from our car on the drive back to the bay area. I don’t think I have ever seen this particular type of cloud before.

It looks a bit like a spaceship or like the alien in the movie Nope by Jordan Peele.

22 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – November 2023

  1. You are my cooking inspiration, dear cousin. Love reading of your adventures and especially seeing your beautiful smile among your friends! Sending love from Texas always… M.

    • I have made that recipe for Asian salad several times, with and without meat, it is a hit every time. Thank you. I hope you were able to get back to sleep.

    • Hello Mimi, it is amazing the ingredients we are able to procure. I have friends who are writers though and they are not so enthusiastic.

  2. I love Amazon for all kinds of things, and your dogs are beautiful, especially the chocolate Border Collie, which we had one of until a couple of years ago. Lovely sunsets and beautiful photos. Your salads look delicious, it’s definitely salad season here now in Australia.

  3. Thank you for sharing the sunset! Just the happy I need right now. And you can send that cloud pic to Derek Van Dam from CNN and he will tell you more about it I am sure. You can send over a huge helping of that Asian salad please 🙂

  4. What great dishes and great ingredients. Those peppers sound like great snacks. Wacky clouds, indeed. Happy November!

  5. that cauli salad looks the business Liz:) I like the addition of hazelnuts. Those sunsets are lovely aren’t they? How wonderful to catch up with old friends too. Thanks for joining in. Hope your Nov. is great. cheers S.

  6. Your photos are beautiful especially the sunset. The food all looks really delicious and inviting. I know I would love that Asian peanut salad (do you have the recipe on your blog?). Amazon is my go to for everything because I live in a really high traffic area and why fight the traffic.

  7. What a fabulous couple months! Anderson Valley is very upcoming wine region-folks have tired of Napa and Sonoma and they are flocking to Anderson Valley. They are some beautiful wines produced.

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

    Velva-Evening With A Sandwich

  8. Those salads look amazing! And how beautiful are your dahlias?! I’ve never thought of buying food products from Amazon – now I’ll have to check out what they’ve got!

    • When you live in a rural community, there aren’t any specialty food markets. Amazon can be a life saver for creativity.

  9. That first salad looks amazing! Kimchi fried rice is my ultimately comfort meal whenever I have leftover rice I start thinking about it.. my favourite is topped with a fried egg and a big spoonful of chilli crisp, then snip some green onions all over the dish.. in fact I feel like eating it right now!

  10. You’ve inspired me to go with more hearty and meal type salads this coming summer… I’ve stocked up on some international condiments… I really like the look of the Aji-Amarillo chilli paste. Because my husband doesn’t eat savoury rice, it’s my go-home alone lunch, often stir-fried with kim-chi which he doesn’t eat either. A beautiful well-rounded post. Everything you’ve shared is wonderful. I visited Napa in 2000, I think I would like Anderson Valley.

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