In My Kitchen, January 2019

Happy New Year, dear friends and readers. We toasted the New Year with Bellini made from fresh peach juice and Prosecco. This cocktail tasted so healthy I could happily drink it for breakfast. Salute.

Peaches and three plums.

January is a busy month in my kitchen as the summer crops pour in through the back door. After 9 years in our current abode, most of our fruit trees are now in their prime. To date, I have picked 10 kilo of white peaches. Another few kilo remain while the Mariposa plums are beginning to flush. The zucchini are in full swing- I never tire of a good zucchini soup. Last night’s pizza included a topping of grilled zucchini ribbons and other assorted treasure.

Uncooked pizza. Grilled zucchini, red onion, a handful of shrimp, olive, anchovy, herbs
Same pizza, out of oven. Netflix and pizza night again?

Yesterday’s lunch, La Mouclade, is my favourite way to eat mussels. Melbourne has several mussel farms- one on Port Arlington and the other in Mt Martha. Mt Martha mussels grow in deep clean water and are an organic and sustainable seafood.

La Mouclade

Before Christmas I made heaps of cakes, breads and simple bowl meals. I intended to write brief posts on each of these but didn’t have time. The problem is, I love taking photos of food but rarely note down precise ingredients.

Rhubarb and almond cake.
Greek medley bowl
Paccheri with wild mushroom sauce
Favourite Chinese fish meal. Does it have a name? I lost the book.
Paccheri Napolitana
Paccheri close-up
Was meant to be included in my pasta della settimana series.

Some new Weck jars, found in Aldi, are perfect for making levain for sourdough. I baked like a banshee during December. A new favourite  is the cranberry and walnut bread, especially when toasted for breakfast. Fortunately I froze about 8 loaves of different varieties, giving me a little bread making breathing space this month.

This is the month when things move outside. Daisy liked this Pizza Bianca and was impressed with the taste of capers.

Lunch in the garden with Daisy. Pizza Bianca ( potato, mozza, capers, olives)

Thanks Sherry, at Sherry’s Pickings, for hosting this series. Once again, may I say that it’s a great way to focus on all that happens in the kitchen, the engine room of the home. May the domestic gods and goddesses shine on you all this month.

30 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, January 2019”

  1. Beautiful food photos! I would like to taste every dish you showed. Your busy kitchen is really an inspiration.
    Have a glorious New Year!

    best… mae at

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bellinis? Now you really are talking my tongue ! Think I’ll look at the next bus schedule from here and appear, cap in hand, for just any leftovers of the above ! Do all food loving Australians have their eye on similar dishes or are some of us just kind’of ‘different’ ? Could live on zucchini . . . oh, and when I get down, will you please take me shopping for your pastas . . . and just say ‘No, Eha, not that: take this one up country ‘ . . .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Shhh ! Must say 2019 seems to be beginning in a great way . . . oh, please your Victorian seafood also . . . . I faithfully promise to wash all the dishes and chop up the garlic . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just looking at those luscious peaches makes me long for summer. And, yum to Bellinis – one of my favourite ways to drink Prosecco. It’s a good plan to be prepared ahead of the holidays. Our freezer was also packed with goodies for the holidays – mostly one pot meals, breads and rolls, soup, etc, though we’ve made headway into the supplies. Liked the look of that Paccheri Napolitana, so I do hope you post it. That pizza bianca looks divine – must make that sometime – and I’m not surprised that Daisy was impressed. Happy New Year, Francesca!


  4. A kitchen I’d gladly step in. Your pizzas look so good. I’ve never had shrimp on pizza, but after looking at your veggie shrimp pizza, I might just make the plunge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love writing the recipes but hate the photographing. So many meals ass through our kitchen and I think ‘ugh – can’t be bothered!’. Please post the link to the zucchini soup if you have published it previously. I adore zucchini in any form. We are in Tassie for a few more days and home next week. Looking forward to sharing my own goodies then.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our meals might not be exactly the same… I dream of churning such beautiful dishes from scratch out of my kitchen and am working on it- but you continue to inspire me at critical times when my spirit lags and my feet are kitchen sore from standing and chopping… I know the results of forking a cold pickle from a jar onto a piece of homemade bread or atop homegrown tomatoes will be worth it and appreciate the privilege of hard work, home grown and made food on our plates. I thought I had commented on this post but realise now all I did was make pizzas after I read it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahha, I am s pleased I inspire you Dale, as you do me with your creativity and writing. Nothing better than a pickle on top of a tomato on top of homemade bread. What could be better?


  7. happy new year francesca! what a load of gorgeous food and produce you have here. i gulped when i saw that you had “shrimp” on your pizza. i am on a campaign to eradicate americanisms from good ol’ aussie speech so i shuddered when i saw that:=) yep zucchini soup is a fave of mine too. so quick and easy to make you don’t even need a recipe. i have just bought some gorgeous capers and caperberries online from a farm up the coast. they are usually out of stock so i was very lucky to get them before the restaurateurs snapped them all up. everything looks soooo delish on your post. thanks for joining us at IMK. cheers S x


    1. Happy New Year Sherry. I’m not fond of Americanisms either, though I think many Australians use the word shrimp to denote very small prawns, ( that word meaning little deriving from this) reserving the word prawn for the real thing. The term has English roots dating back to the middle ages, and was always used in the way I have. Of course in Melbourne, our word usage differs from that of Queensland, and we have different ways of labeling fish and so on. So no need for you to shudder. Throw a prawn on the BBQ, stir fried prawns, garlic prawns, but always shrimp for those tiny peeled pink things.
      Nice to get capers from up the coast- I rely on the salted ones from Italy.


      1. usually the local capers are sold out but i was lucky enough to get some this time. mmm maybe it’s a melbourne thing to say shrimp:-) i can’t say i’ve heard a queenslander say it – well maybe folks under 30 tee hee

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Francesca, your “before & after” pizza photos made my mouth water, as did your Pizza Bianca (I love capers), Paccheri pasta dishes, and authentic Bellini’s. (LOVE Prosecco and peaches, too.) I also could relate to your musings re: not writing down the recipes. In My Kitchen, meals happens with a pinch of this and a pinch of that added “on the fly” — not cookbook precise measurements. As long as your family is well-fed and you’re happy, that’s what matters. (But please keep describing your inspirations…) 🙂 Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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