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In and out of my kitchen

November 3, 2015

We’re selling some stuff we no longer need on a local online site. KP says to me “Shall we put those pots and pans on Dubizzle?” All the cheek that one. It’s true that my kitchen has seen less of me of late due to various tempting invites and a life-changing weekend away with friends to Oman (posting soon). However…

In my kitchen….

  • … is a white china measuring jug which a friend brought round when she came for supper. It was filled with flowers from her garden and I got a lovely surprise once I had to discard them. I love it.
  • … is a bottle of olive oil which came with a beautiful invite to an evening hosted by Noreen of Noni’s Place called Olives and Vines. It’s tonight; follow my Instagram feed for pics.
  • … not kidding myself that any crisps are healthy and unprocessed, but these beetroot chips from The Change Initiative make great bases for nibbles. The jalapeno version is good too especially topped with guacamole.
  • … my beloved KitchenAid is back from having a long overdue service. I made sour cream ice cream (recipe from Falling Cloudberries) for  thirteen friends who came round for supper. It was super simple to make with the attachment.
  • … lots of fruit from my Fruitful day order, delivered once a week. They target businesses to make sure there are healthy options available in the workplace but the small box they sent me as a sample was perfect for our use at home. KP’s ordered one for his office too. They use recycled materials for their packaging, the fruit is mainly sourced in the region and any excess fruit left over at the end of the week is donated to labourers in DIP.
  • … fresh, crisp, dry white wine with the salty tang of the sea. Grown on volcanic soil in Santorini with the vines trained into basket shapes to protect them from the wind; I try to keep a couple of bottles of Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko in my wine fridge.
  • … a beautiful reissue of a classic book on pasta by the legendary Anna Del Conte. First released in 1976, it’s genuinely timeless. Several recipes in there suitable for vegan teen which have gone down well.
  • local, organic veg is trickling in to the shops. Found stripy round courgettes at the Farmhouse and can’t wait for the farmers’ market which I hope will start again at the end of this month.
  • compostable, biodegradable bags and a funky recyclable stainless steel bottle from BioD – a great local company run by an Emirati entrepreneur dedicated to environmental issue. I bought these from Lamis at the Little Majlis pop up at the Change Initiative.
  • … I cooked for thirteen friends. Cocktail sausages and dips in the kitchen, followed by a huge moussaka with a salad. Pud was chocolate hazelnut torte, pears and sour cream ice cream with some chilli honey hazelnuts (recipe from Honey & Co) which were seriously addictive.  Cheese board finale, some lovely wines… and lovely friends.

Out of my kitchen

Eating out events keeping me out of my kitchen this month:

  • Can you have fondue without alcohol? The Melting Pot at Box Park is quite good fun with a crowd and they use non-boozey wine in it.
  • I love the new look terrace at Bussola complete with olive trees and storm lamps. The Italian Chef Marco makes great pasta and the wood-fired pizza oven means it’s still great for a mixed age group.
  • How brave of Qantas to invite us to a 5 star hotel and feed us economy meals in plastic trays. Love their ethos.
  • Meeta was back for another successful Foto Dubai with Dima and Russell from Lafayette Gourmet wowed all at the closing dinner…
  • …after which I crept off to a new night time beach club in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab called Beach Lounge. Ishita and I felt trendy and swanky; great place to take visitors to watch the sun go down.
  • I’m not a fan of huge brunch buffets so loved the option of a limited menu at Zuma where I drank the best cocktail I have ever had… in my life.
  • The monthly wine tasting dinner at Boca is a little gem. The theme was Languedoc-Roussillon (South of France) and the tapas style food and friendly atmosphere under expert guidance of Sophia the sommelier make this one to return to.
  • I joined the melee for the Bread Street Kitchen party at Atlantis and caught a glimpse of Gordon R who was mobbed. Hard to get a handle on the food but the fish and chips and Bloody Marys stood out.
  • Chef Stefan Karlsson is a charming man as well as running a Michelin starred restaurant in Sweden. As he hops over to Jebel Ali Resort once a year to take over the White Orchid kitchen, we were able to taste a delicious seven course Asian-Sweden fusion menu (trust me – it works).

Fave day time haunts at the moment are the new Jumeirah branch of Baker & Spice (I could move in) and the Surf Cafe. Tested out eggs Benedict at the charming Marimekko after the Dubai Instameet and at tranquil Frioul – more to follow about that. I also tried Common Grounds – the new Tom and Serg place – where I like the food but not the Mall lighting. Coffee at the Brew Cafe (small and perfectly formed in all senses), A 4 Space at Al Serkal and at the Change Initiative for the new Little Majlis market. Veggie teen is vegan for three months so we tried the new Jones the Grocer vegan menu – only one flaw… all their bread has butter in it so she couldn’t have any with her soup.

I grabbed a juice and a breaded chicken fillet sandwich from the Baker & Spice  stall at the Marina Souk and did a big part of my Christmas shopping from the lovely stalls. Seriously worth visiting – the next one is on 11th November (at the fisherman’s village in Umm Suqeim 1 near DOSC).

P.S. If you read BBC Good Food Magazine ME take a glance at the editorial panel and you’ll find me giving tips on eating out, with Darren Velvick, Tomas Reger and Kate Fisher. Plus this issue of Food E Mag is about which foods from home expats bring back in their suitcase.

And drink-centric events…

  • I had to celebrate the first ever Georgian wine day on 4th October – after all they have been making wine continuously for over 8000 years!
  • Getting to know the better wines of De Bortoli with winemaker Steve Webber at the lovely Taj Tower Hotel was fun if steamy and I will seek out the Dixons Creek Pinot Noir on menus in future.
  • Hakkasan know that matching wine with their Cantonese style menu can be tricky. In fact some food can make good wines taste awful. They do a taste test every single week to ensure new wines and new vintages go well with all their menu. I was lucky to be part of this panel for the second time with the lovely Christine Parkinson, the Group Head of Wine and Olivier Gasselin, Head of Wine ME and Asia.
  • The Juniper garden opened at The Croft – a euphemism as we are not allowed to say gin in print here! – and it was like a gin cocktail-making marathon for the bartenders. Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge from Plymouth gin was there and guided me in the art of making the perfect bone dry martini…
  • … then next week Clare Smith-Warner from Belvedere showed us how to make a range of vodka martinis at Catch (beautiful interiors, great food, excellent staff). Great fun.
  • The jewel in the crown of tasting this month was with Michel Chapoutier himself who led a tasting of wines at the Burj Al Arab. Chapoutier has more 100 Parker point wines than any other winery and we tasted the five 100 pointers from the 2010 vintage and others. Le Clos are selling a unique collection of 2010 six magnums of the 2010 vintage in silent auction.

I feel exhausted looking back on this month! For more… yes there’s more… join me on Instagram… you know my obsession…

If you are wondering what is in other kitchens around the globe, visit Celia’s page and follow the links in her side bar for this monthly event.  You can look back on past goodies in my kitchen here.

What’s in your kitchen this November?

  1. November 3, 2015 4:38 pm

    October was seriously full on by the look it, not sure If I should be envious, or relieved that it wasn’t me..

    • November 3, 2015 4:54 pm

      Honestly, it was only when I looked back on this month that I realised why I was slightly fatigued!

  2. November 3, 2015 5:15 pm

    Those beetroot chips look fantastic, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for those. Love all sorts of veggie crisps.

  3. glamorous glutton permalink
    November 4, 2015 12:38 am

    Wow, that was a pretty full on month. Sounds amazing. Love the photos. GG

  4. November 4, 2015 5:14 am

    Wonderful photographs but what a full month! I’m impressed at your energy! Can’t imagine why you haven’t had time to cook 😉

  5. November 4, 2015 12:05 pm

    Wow, what a busy and fun month! You always have so many fabulous things to share Sally.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. November 4, 2015 12:10 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful round up, Sally xxx

  7. November 4, 2015 12:48 pm

    I’m exhausted just looking at what you’ve been up to. Lots of lovely goodies in your busy kitchen.

  8. November 4, 2015 4:12 pm

    Oh I do love this, such a wonderful mixture of words and amazing images to gaze at enviously! In my kitchen this November… well, I think I’m going to attempt my first roast goose this year for St Martin’s day – a German tradition – but I’m feeling a bit nervous about it. Fingers crossed!!

  9. November 5, 2015 2:15 am

    What a lovely round up. I love your new china jug

  10. ramblingtart permalink
    November 5, 2015 7:39 am

    What a dizzyingly inspiring array of things and events. 🙂

  11. November 6, 2015 7:25 pm

    What a fun post! Great pics!

  12. November 7, 2015 10:05 am

    Wow – I’m surprised you have any time to do anything in your kitchen. Your dance card looks very full.
    My KitchenAid stand mixer is way overdue for a service, but I can’t bear to part with it.

  13. November 9, 2015 5:16 am

    I feel as if I need to rest just reading what you did in October! It all looks so wonderful.

  14. November 11, 2015 11:51 am

    Hey Sally! It was really lovely meeting you last weekend, hope to see you again on food events soon! 🙂 PS: I really really love your blog! 🙂

  15. November 13, 2015 1:35 am

    Goodness, you’ve been so busy! Loved looking through all the pics. That Dim sum looks wonderful.

  16. November 18, 2015 5:02 am

    I can see why there has been a suggestion that the pots & pans have been idle. What a busy month you have had. I’ve also had Bloody Marys in Campbell’s soup tins. Must be ‘a thing’. Lovely blue door…

  17. November 21, 2015 8:23 pm

    Sally, your photos were a visual treat (I looked at them in “large” slide show mode so I could read the descriptions too — that first fondue photo with the roses in the background was so beautiful and they just kept getting better and better, if that’s possible!) I can only imagine what a whirlwind tour your tastebuds have been on, but yay for doing it. Congrats on being featured in the magazine, too — very cool!

  18. November 22, 2015 8:25 pm

    Love your pics – looks like you are having so much fund and the food looks delicious !!! xoxo Katie

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