In Our Kitchen (and a Giveaway!)

Banana Ricotta and Honey on Toast

Making Cheese 2


Making Cordial

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms





Thanks to some annoying oven issues, the last couple of months have been a bit quiet in our kitchen. When we moved into this old house we discovered the stove that was here needed to be replaced, as the hotplates worked but the oven did not. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to replace it right away, so for most of last year we made do with the existing hotplates and a little bench top oven. Then we bought a new stove and we were so excited to get back to normal with cooking, until the gas plumber came to install it and we discovered the new stove was 7mm too wide to fit in the spot where the old one had been, and there wasn’t anywhere else it could go! We didn’t want to pay a fortune to have major structural work done on our kitchen as we hope to replace the whole thing sometime in the next few years, so for a while after we discovered our new stove wouldn’t fit (and we’d already had the old one removed) we had no stove at all while we tried to figure out what to do next. Eventually Reubs just took an electric planer to the cupboard next to the oven space and a hammer to the tiles on the wall beside it, and we jammed the stove in. It’s not pretty but it works, and we are finally back to preparing the nourishing, yummy food we love!

This weekend was particularly productive in our kitchen. Reubs had been talking about making cheese for months and yesterday he finally took the plunge. Using the Deluxe DIY Cheese Kit from Urban Cheesecraft (which was a birthday gift from a lovely friend) and the recipes in the Gourmet Farmer Deli Book he made a great big batch of feta and then used the leftover whey to make ricotta. Both cheeses turned out beautifully! Reubs had the first of his ricotta on toast with banana and honey. The feta is currently soaking in brine in the fridge, but we can’t wait to try it in few days time. While Reuben was working on his cheese, I made some amazing salads, scones and lemon cordial. I used the lemon cordial recipe from What Katie Ate for the first time, and turned it out particularly nicely. So perfect for a warm day.

We’ve also recently had a go at growing gourmet mushrooms! The lovely people at Fungi Culture sent us a Grow Your Own Pearl Oyster Mushroom Kit and it was so much fun to watch the mushrooms grow, then pick and cook them straight from the box. We really had no idea growing such lovely mushies could be so easy. Our mushrooms grew incredibly fast with very little effort and they were ridiculously good on sourdough toast with goats cheese. The really good news is we were also given a second mushroom kit to giveaway! We’ll be using the random number generator to choose the winner from the comments on this post, so if you’d like to have a go at growing your own gorgeous gourmet mushies, just leave us a little something in the comment section.

Grow Your OwnPeal Oyster Mushrooms

What’s been happening in your kitchen lately? Anyone out there had success with making cheese or growing mushrooms? We are thinking that now we’ve gotten started, we need to start experimenting with making some different types of cheese and growing some different varieties of mushrooms, so we’d love to hear your stories!

Katie x

PS Unfortunately, due to customs restrictions, we can only offer this giveaway to Australian readers. Sincere apologies to all our international friends!

Update: This competition is now closed.

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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97 Responses to “In Our Kitchen (and a Giveaway!)”

  1. Esha January 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    Banana, honey and ricotta on toast? My mouth is watering! Yum 🙂

  2. katja January 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    all of that food looks lovely! and the mushrooms are very intriguing!

  3. Brenda January 19, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    Lovely looking salads just what you need after the week of weather we have had! XxBrenda

  4. nadia January 19, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Looks delicious! Glad to see you guys posting again … Missed your posts.

  5. Myfanwy Hood January 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    My partner gave me a cheese making kit for Christmas and your lovely photos have motivated me to get on to it 🙂 The mushroom kits always look so good at Bunnings, etc so would love to win this competition.

  6. Skye January 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Mmmm. Cheese making, I’ve always wanted to try. Was it hard?

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      Not really Skye! Fiddly and a bit time consuming, but not hard. 🙂

  7. Sharni January 19, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Our oven was broken for about 3 months last year & when it was finally fixed we had an oven party! Homemade cheese sounds delicious 🙂

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      Hehe, we’ve actually joked about having an “oven warming” party!

  8. Koren January 20, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Isn’t Reuben a clever little cookie for his fix-it strategy? Love it. Also, I want to be eating everything in these pictures right away. Care to have them shipped over to Spain? Customs be darned! 🙂

  9. Hanna January 20, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    Ohhh it all looks so delish!! Inspired me to get back into my kitchen 🙂

  10. Jenny January 20, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    Yeah, liked to try that!

  11. Amanda January 20, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Wow, mushroom kit! would love to try. Very impressed by cheese making too.

  12. Alison January 20, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    I keep planning to try my hand set both cheese making and mushroom growing, this is just the inspiration I need to get started.

  13. becc January 20, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    Cooking is such a joy! We recently moved into a place where the oven has…pause for excitement. ..2 shelves!! It’s my favorite part of the home. Almost a guilty pleasure to bake a whole batch of cookies in 1 go!! Lol xx thank you for creating this wonderful community ♥

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      Thank YOU for being a part of it Becc! I know exactly how you feel about your oven. In the last couple of days I’ve baked scones and chocolate slice and made semi sundried tomatoes in ours. It is SO nice being about to cook full batches of things again!! x

  14. Becci Sundberg January 20, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    My boys love having toast like that but with cottage cheese. They are cottage cheese fiends! Must learn how to make it myself too.
    I used to have a mushroom box years ago. Was fabulous! They are much more expensive now but you do get heaps and we do use a fair bit. Maybe I’ll give one a go this year too.
    These were just ordinary button mushies.

  15. Melinda January 20, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Hi the mushrooms sound great and I don’t think I have ever tried pearl mushrooms and will look up the website. Really enjoy your blog from a young couples point of view, most young people have to have everything now and enjoy being heavy consumers

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      Thank you very much Melinda! x

  16. Rosemary January 20, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Have wanted to grow mushrooms for a long time. You have also inspired me to get into the kitchen and start experimenting.

  17. Mandy January 20, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Cheese making at home, sounds amazing! Is one of your salads quinoa? Also something I need to learn how to use. Lovely summer cooking in your kitchen 🙂

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:01 am #

      That salad is pearl couscous (my new favourite!) but I do often make salads with quinoa! I usually just cook it with stock in the ricecooker then throw it together with some roasted tomatoes, capsicums, onions and garlic, feta, balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. 🙂

  18. Abi Henderson January 20, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Love all these new things you two try, you’re definitely living the life.

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Aw, thanks Abi! We do try!! 🙂

  19. Jade January 20, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    Mushrooms, yummy!

  20. Clare January 20, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    I’m not very good at growing things, I’m a bit of a plant killer 🙁 But the mushrooms looks easy enough to grow, even for me!

  21. Kathy January 20, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    My sisters and I got a cheese making kit from Mum for Christmas and this Friday we are going to have a go at making cheese and can’t wait. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Yay Kathy!! Good luck with your cheese!! x

  22. Gillian, @look_mama January 20, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I made paneer cheese once. It was so good. Never made it again though I don’t know why. We eat heaps of feta so I might have to give that a go.

    The mushroom pic looks awesome. My brain couldn’t comprehend it for a second as it looks like some outer space kind of collage or something. I’ve only seen the button mushroom kits before.

    Good work everyone!

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      They are crazy aren’t they?! x

  23. Meg January 20, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Hi Katie and Reuben, well done on the cheese making effort. My partner has made feta and ricotta before, and the results were divine. And those mushies look amazing. I don’t think I should be looking at those photos at breakfast time – my porridge is a little dull in comparison to the mouth watering mushies on sourdough with goats cheese you mention! Enjoy the cooler weather this week.

  24. Brooke January 20, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Wow, that mushroom kit looks awesome. I just clicked on the link to buy one and saw they were sold out 🙁 Even more reason to comment and try to win a kit!! Well done guys, your food looks amazing!

  25. nicky January 20, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    I love the look of the ricotta on toast and I’ll love to win the mushroom kit too.

  26. rebecca January 20, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I would love to win a mushroom kit for our family. My 6 year old is always in the garden picking and eating our cherry tomatoes. Maybe I will get to eat some tomatoes if he is busy picking mushrooms!!!

  27. Bebe January 20, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    homegrown mushrooms…yum

  28. Julie Davies January 20, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    I would like to be in the mushroom draw too please. I also went to buy a kit from your link but they were sold out. I have always wanted to have a go at it. Reuben’s cheese looks impressive.

  29. Jenny January 20, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Oh, the homegrown mushrooms look really interesting!

    And I’m very envious of your cheese-making – I’ve only recently become unable to eat dairy, and so I’m restricted to staring longingly at all things cheese.

  30. Noelene January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Wow never thought I could have a go at making cheese ,think my preschoolers would love to watch mushrooms grow great ideas thank you .

  31. Suzanne January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Another fabulous HoH update and perfectly timed to counter Monday morning blues. Thank you!

    I have been thinking about making cheese myself! Cheese is my absolute favourite food and yet I know nothing about the process to make it. Our family farm has meat and vegies, with an orchard on the way. Cheese will be an excellent accompaniment.

    My Dad loves mushies so I shall research these kits you reference. Thanks for the tip.

    I need to make magic happen in my kitchen, like yours 🙂 Nomnomnom…

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      Your farm sounds wonderful Suzanne! x

  32. Africanaussie January 20, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I have made paneer and ricotta, but really want to try feta cheese! Gosh Ricotta and banana looks good – i will have to try that. I need to be convinced about growing mushrooms – somehow i cant believe the yields that people talk about, so please count me in on the giveaway.

  33. Michelle B January 20, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I love mushrooms! I lived in Ukraine for a few years where I went on a several mushroom gathering excursions, but definitely don’t trust myself to gather my own here! This would be so much fun to try. Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂

  34. Sharryn January 20, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Have wanted to try making cheese and the amount of Fetta we use this would be great thing to do. Also loving oyster mushrooms

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      We are huge feta eaters too Sharryn! So I’m very excited to be making our own! 🙂

  35. Blossom January 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I would love to have a go at growing some mushrooms

  36. Life With The Crew January 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    All of your food looks great. Sounds like you have been as busy in the kitchen as we have. I have started making my own cottage cheese ( and have plans to try one new cheese a month this year. I’ll have to add feta to the list.

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      Definitely give feta a go! It was fiddly but well worth it. Good luck on your cheese adventure! 🙂

  37. Kate January 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    What an inspiring post. I’ve just had lunch but now I’m hungry again!!

  38. Virginia January 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Cheese making and mushroom growing, you guys are amazing! I would love to give that mushroom kit a try xx

  39. Katherine January 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Hi Katie & Reuben

    Congratulations on your cheese and mushroom success! We’ve tried growing mushrooms in a box in a dark spot, as per instructions, but unfortunately with no success:( Yours ,however, look quite impressive!

  40. Julie January 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    I would so love to be around to sample some of your wares Katie! I’ve also wanted to have a go at cheese making, particularly some of the vegan cheeses. It’s been so hot lately though that cooking has been the last thing I’ve wanted to do! Growing mushrooms, definitely another thing on my to-do list.

    • Katie
      Katie January 21, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Yes, our kitchen was VERY quiet before the cool change came through over the weekend.The only things we could face last week when it was over 40°C were salad and popsicles! x

  41. Josie January 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Found your blog about a month ago. Very much enjoy hearing about your journey. Love the mushroom in a box idea. I think we will have to try it at some stage..

  42. Becky Kozak January 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Wow, so cool! I’ve always wanted to go to a mushroom farm and see all of the various types of fungi growing, but how cool would it be to have that in my kitchen?!

    Looks amazing, glad you got your stove up and running, I wouldn’t be able to live without mine!

    xx Becky

  43. Lillian January 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Yum, all those photos are very inspiring. And mushrooms! I’ve fallen off the cooking wagon recently, i think it’s time to get back on

  44. Alison January 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Two of my favourite things! Cheese and mushrooms. I am going to have to give these a try. 🙂

  45. Alex January 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Yum! Both the cheese and mushrooms look amazing!

  46. Megan January 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Oh those mushrooms look unreal!
    P.s. love your blog x

  47. Esther January 21, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Those mushies look so good, I thought they weren’t real! Amazing! Would love to have a go 🙂

  48. Callista January 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    So glad to hear you are both back in the kitchen and having a great time!
    We always talk about getting around to growing mushrooms but still haven’t committed.
    The kits look like a great way to get started! Any excuse for more sourdough to be baked in the house really haha!

  49. The Life of Clare January 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Such lovely things in your kitchen! What a shame about your oven! I’d love to try the mushroom kit.

  50. Stacey Shailer January 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Oh wow, those mushrooms look amazing!

  51. Karen hutchens January 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    The kits look great and something different

  52. Zara January 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Good on you for making that oven fit.
    We were lucky enough to get a few good crops of mushrooms sprouting from the mushroom compost we bought to fill our veg beds. Shop bought have nothing on homegrown mushies.

  53. Supers January 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Oh, I’d love to try growing mushrooms.
    Our veggie patch is currently very productive – lots of zucchini and cucumber but I love mushies!

  54. Nanna Chel January 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    I was looking at those mushrooms and was trying to work out if they were real or if it was a photo. I’m not sure if I have seen that type of mushroom before. You sure have been busy in the kitchen. Making cheese is on my ‘To Do’ list in 2014!

  55. Emma January 22, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    I didn’t realise growing mushrooms or making cheese was that easy! Or maybe you guys just make it look that way???

    My mouth is watering from just about every image in this post! So much good food.

  56. Laura January 22, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve been meaning to get myself a mushroom kit for a while, I’ve just been wondering where to get one from. I would love the chance to win yours, but otherwise I’ll go buy one from Fungi Culture anyway.

  57. Nicola James January 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Home grown mushrooms sound delicious and so easy to pick and prepare – yummy!

  58. Abby L January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Have been growing our own onions, carrots, tomatoes etc but never though of mushrooms – will have to try!

  59. Belinda Moxey January 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    What a great idea! I love growing things myself and seeing what I can make from them

  60. Leanne January 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    One ofthe thing I want to do is grow mushrooms, I put them in everything

  61. Heather Hopley January 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Mushroom kits are magic. I remember them from 20 years ago. They are actually boxes of excitement! Having mushrooms pop through the soil overnight is truly exciting for littlies.

  62. Ann M Sculley January 22, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    I love the cheese making kits ,I was lucky enough to get given one last year 🙂 Now just need some Mushrooms to go with it 🙂

  63. Marilyn Richardson January 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    Now isn’t this the way to get fresh mushies right at your door

  64. Kirsten W January 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Oh gosh. Now I am hungry!

  65. Amanda from Amanda's Mummy Jeans January 23, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Really cool xxx I have 3 small kids and they would love to watch mushrooms grow. I thought mushrooms took lots of room and never bothered trying them. We don’t really go out much and this is such a good way to teach children about where their food comes from- they love mushrooms in their spaghetti.What an awesome idea!

    Thanks for the opportunity xx

  66. Falon Downing January 23, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Nope, but I might just give it a go now!

  67. Sam January 23, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    What a busy kitchen! Last year we aimed to make all our own cheese, bread, pasta and beer, and try not to buy any of those things. Much nicer to eat things that you have been involved with!

    Can’t wait to see what other home-made goodies come from the humble house..

  68. Sharon Taylor January 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    Now a mushroom kit would be a project that the kids could do with multiple aspects…grow them, scour for mushroom recipes, cook them and then eat them. Mmm, sounds like a plan.

  69. Dana January 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Looks amazing guys! Love what you are doing with life xx

  70. Nicole Morris January 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    might actually get my kids eating mushrooms if they could grow their own

  71. Laura January 24, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    I often lack inspiration in the kitchen (partly due to a slightly pants oven too!) but reading your post has made me want to start making my own bread! There’s a project for the weekend 😀

  72. Kylie Bowers January 24, 2014 at 6:43 am #

    Wow what an inspiration! Love the way you Live!

  73. Laura Scriven January 24, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Homegrown tomatoes are simply the best,
    But those Mushies like simple – no stress!
    Growing away with little skill,
    That’ll hit the variety bill!

  74. elky January 24, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    yes i would like to have a go at growing mushrooms like this! please.

  75. Kate Rogers January 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    What a great idea, it would be so much fun for my kids to see how mushrooms grow and pick and cook fresh ones themselves!

  76. Vija January 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Would love to try and grow some mushrooms and try some cheesemaking. My kitchen exploits of late have been trying to make sour yeast less bread. Its heavy and filling. It’s simple but takes days.

  77. Jen January 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Keen to give mushroom-growing a second chance – for those trying, ‘hot’ tip is not to keep the box in the uninsulated shed during summer…

  78. Barbara Fehmel January 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    With such a hot summer in Victoria I am living on salads of all kinds with my Mushrooms cold, just love them cut up fresh on salads.

  79. Laura Biagini January 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    My heart dropped when I read that you finally bought a new stove and then it didn’t fit!!! Arghhhh!!! So glad you got it in there eventually 🙂
    Oh and the home-grown mushrooms sound fab!! I’ve only just developed a green thumb and have 30+ tomato plants growing in my back yard (first little tomato has just reared its head!) and 2 new sunflower plants which are my babies. Gardening definitely suits me 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome post x

  80. Glenda McDonnell January 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Just what I need, for my newest recipe, I’m longing to try it, but in the country, it’s up to luck, if the ingredients will be there, when I pop off to the shops to buy them !

  81. Courtney B January 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    I love cooked mushrooms! There is not a recipe that is not improved by adding mushies!

  82. Trish W January 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Ooh I love the look of the cous-cous salad!! And having a love affair with mushies lately, would love the chance to win!!

  83. Kate January 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    Oooooh… lovely pictures, and delicious looking mushrooms!

  84. Marion January 27, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I love the idea of growing my mushrooms. They look delicious.

  85. Erika April 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Oh my goodness Katie I have home spun, didn’t even know who made it as haven’t even had a chance to breath but I love your love birds and I will be making them(probably not as good) for my little girls room. you two are amazing,your blog(not sure if that’s what it’s called i’m not really in with things)should be called it’s a wonderful life.

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