Thursday 25 November 2021

Dragon Fruit Muffins - (AKA Pitahaya Or Pitaya)

Dragon fruit?  I do believe dragon fruit is a cactus, indigenous to the Americas.  It can have white, pink or yellow flesh.  I used pink-fleshed chunks, fresh from the supermarket freezer :-)  And some dragon fruit powder, delightfully, iridescently pink.  The basic muffin recipe (by Suzanne Gibbs) is from an ancient recipe I cut from a New Idea magazine aeons ago.  It called for blueberries, but I wanted to change it up.  So here we are!

see the dragon fruit seeds?

I made these in the morning, before Mr P. and I (and our friend Mr. N.) were to give a talk at the local Historical Society, of which we are members.  This was a talk we had previously given at our other Hist. Soc.  Yes, we are in two!   This one was postponed 3 times (over 18 months) due to Covid, so we were happy to finally be able to present it. 

Hubby to the left of me; Mr. N. on the right

And that's Frank Corley on the very right.  We had a lot of fun giving this talk at the Windsor & Districts Historical Society.  The funny thing is when you type in Windsor Hist. Soc., the English one pops up, so you get people adding posts to that one.  Just a wee bit far away ...


250g. (2 cups) plain flour (wholemeal if you have it)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

2 tsp dragon fruit powder (optional)

1/2 tsp of nutmeg, and of cinnamon, and of salt

165g. (3/4 cup) demerara or raw sugar

45g. (1.6 oz) melted butter

180 mL (3/4 cup) buttermilk

1 cup frozen dragon fruit (150g.) - or blueberries or fruit of your choice

extra demerara and/or raw caster sugar to strew on top before baking


Sift the dry ingredients (EXCEPT the sugar) into a large mixing bowl, then whisk the sugar into the sifted mixture

Stir in the butter, buttermilk and fruit till just mixed - be gentle; you don't want to get the gluten into a frenzy

Spoon in the batter so your muffin holes (cups?) are three quarters full, then sprinkle on the extra sugar, if using

Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven 190C/375F for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden, have risen and smell deeeelicious 


My batter was very dry, so I ended up adding about 60 mL (3-4 tbs) extra milk; still a rather dry, lumpy batter but that's okay!

I made my own buttermilk as I didn't have any: 3/4 cup milk to 2.5 tsp of lemon juice (or use a mild vinegar).  Leave it sit for 10 minutes, then you will have a delightfully lumpy, curdled mixture ready for the baking

sift your dry ingredients (bar the sugar) 

make your buttermilk

introduce the wet to the dry

a pretty dry batter

whack 'em in the oven for 15-20 mins.

after 20 mins. baking

they didn't last long

not too sweet, moist and fruity

Sadly the pink batter turns into a caramel-coloured muffin.  'Twas delicious nonetheless.  I feel another batch coming on soon ...

© Sherry M.

Monday 15 November 2021

Pickled Cucumbers - The Quick And Easy Way

Pickles - the quick and easy Curtis Stone way.  Curtis, a well-known TV chef and food writer, lives in the U.S., but is originally an Aussie boy.  He writes a monthly column for the Coles supermarket magazine, and this was one of his latest recipes.  I figured I could put this together even with my wrecked ribcage, so I did - with just a few tweaks.  (All the optional items are my additions.)

Next time I will use the smaller amount of sugar, as it was too sweet for me, but see how you go ...  Curtis just blithely states to use 1 cup, but wow, that's very sweet.  I've had the pickles in my fridge for a week, but I'm getting through them like the clappers (an ancient British phrase, but I like to use it - tee hee).  Great on sandwiches, and good for your gut health.

ready to go into the fridge


5 Lebanese cucumbers (about 12-15cm/5-6 in) long

1 tbs sea salt

1/2-1 cup (110-220g.) of caster sugar

1 cup (250 mL) apple cider vinegar

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

10 black peppercorns (optional)

2 small red chillies (optional)

2 bay leaves (optional)

6 mountain pepper berries (optional)


Slice those cukes nice and thin, after topping and tailing of course :)

Place them into a sterilised jar (or 2) then add all the other ingredients

Give it a good swirl, leave on the kitchen bench for 3 days, swirling once a day, then into the fridge, where they will happily last for at least a week (or 2)


Lebanese cukes are those cute little ones, with dark-green skin

It's hot and humid here in Brisbane atm, so I only kept mine out for 2 nights

Curtis says to use a 450 mL/1 lb jar, but I only had 2 smaller ones

gather your ingredients

thinly slice those cukes

ready for the vinegar

vinegar in; ready for jarring

now to sit for 3 days

© Sherry M.

Monday 1 November 2021

In My Kitchen - November 2021

I'm heading out soon for my first haircut in? ...  how many months?  Can't recall:-)  My hair is a mess, just like my bones these days.  Maybe by Christmas, I'll be back to normal, with any luck.  Here's hoping.  Actually, I have started to feel a good bit better after 9 weeks!!

November you have come at us like a meteor or a comet or a freight train or something.  Where did the year go?  Eeeek; not possible that the Christmas prep (i.e. cards and gifts and food planning) is almost upon us.  

But anyways, here is my kitchen this month; a bit sad and wobbly like me, but still in there.  Mr P. has been doing most of the cooking lately.  Thank goodness for husbands who cook, and shop, and tuck you into bed when you can't even roll over.

In My Kitchen:


I love Dr. Annie Gray and I love Kathy Hipperson and I love Mrs. Crocombe.  You must watch her on Youtube - the English Heritage channel!  So delightful, so relaxing.  And that's my kitchen poster the books are lying on.  A friend requested one for her Christmas gift this year, so I do as I am asked :-)

and another cookbook

Desiree is my new food guru :-)  She is Canadian, has a wonderful smile, and she is an actual dietitian who knows her stuff.  I love her Instagram account too where she debunks all the junk, and tells you about the good stuff.

olive oil tasting

This is almost a curveball.  Cobram Estate who have olive groves in Australia and California are doing (have done by the time you read this) a Guiness Book of Records challenge for the biggest virtual olive oil tasting ever.  And we did it!  They had over 11,000 people for the virtual tasting.  Such fun.  And yes we did have actual olive oils to taste, as they sent out the kits weeks before.   

yep another wooden spoon

This is a sweet little skinny spoon carved out of walnut wood by Thea Conway.  Love her stuff, and love a wooden spoon.  But you know that already :-)

and there was medieval hummus

We love this stuff (aka Himmas Kassa), and eat it by the bucketful.  So tasty, my dear.  Full of spices and herbs, and nuts and preserved lemons.  So good on toast!  Somehow I managed to make it, broken rib and all.

love these!

I love these, but they are no longer on my eating list.  Since Mr P.'s health scare recently, we have cut down on delicious things like this.  He has lost 5 kilos already while I have only lost 2.5!  But as a friend said, "you haven't been doing anything physical because of the rib."  Anyway, it's not about losing weight as about keeping healthy.

That's it from my kitchen.  Now let's see yours, my friends.  Every being on this planet and on any others are welcome!  And here's the usual reminder, folks: IMK posts are about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  And a curveball is welcome - whatever you fancy; no need to be kitchen-related.  

The link is open from the first of the month to midnight on the thirteenth of the month.  Let me know if you need help with adding your post, or if you would like it added manually by me after the 13th (if you're running late). Here's how to join in:

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In My Kitchen:

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