April 2019 “In My Kitchen”

I often quote my favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, during this time of year:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

(Eliot can always be a bit dire and urgent.)

To bring a more hopeful and sunny outlook, perhaps I should just quote the old spring adage:

April showers bring May flowers.

It remains to be seen what April will bring for “In My Kitchen,” but here’s what showed up and happened last month.

First, there is orgeat syrup.

This stuff is fantastic in coffee (and hot chocolate) but I want to experiment with it a bit in baking.

Oh, and by the way, throw in some gin, pineapple juice, and lemon and it ain’t bad either.  (Check out the Royal Hawaiian cocktail.)

During February and March, I made a couple of work related trips—one to San Antonio and one to Chicago.   We ate at a lot of great places on both trips.  (Some had better views and atmosphere than food, but it all works out.)  If you want to read the reviews, skip to the bottom.   I was reacquainted with Sikil Pak at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill.  I am so going to remake this dish.  (At Frontera, Sikil Pak is served half-and-half with guacamole.  I could have eaten the entire appetizer by myself…along with the queso fundido.)

Menu cover from Frontera Grill in Chicago.

As far as things that I hope get to my kitchen….here’s a garden update.   There was a surprise, a volunteer tomato that I recently found growing in a pot in the green house.

The tomato is more valuable to me, so I roughly dug out the succulent that it had infringed upon and am now carefully awaiting the days I can move it outside.

Hopefully, I will have some cherry tomatoes in the kitchen sooner than later!  (I think it’s a black cherry variety.)

Besides wishing for fresh tomatoes from the garden in my kitchen (SOON), I was recently introduced to a new basil variety—Newton.I got a free package of seeds at a gardening lecture.  (I hope to post more about that later.)  It’s a fast growing large leaf basil with crinkled leaves.

Photo from Johnny’s Seeds

Just planted it last weekend.  I also have some Tulsi babies in the green house.

The Hubs created this snack mixture, mixing lemon yogurt  covered almonds with dark chocolate covered cranberries.   Weird but amazing!



Read Debra K.‘s review of Blue Man Group on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Frontera Grill on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of The Signature Room at the 95th on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Marriott Marquis Chicago on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Showroom Food Hall on Yelp


San Antonio

Read Debra K.‘s review of Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Hotel Emma on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Supper on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Stella Public House on Yelp

Read Debra K.‘s review of Blue Star Brewing on Yelp


“In My Kitchen” is hosted by Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings.

For all my “In My Kitchen” posts, click here.

14 comments to April 2019 “In My Kitchen”

  • Mae

    Mixing coated almonds and coated cranberries sounds delicious to me! I’ll keep it in mind next time I have a choice of that type of candy. Meanwhile, I’m jealous of your basil. It looks delicious and very healthy. Have a great April!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • What a pleasant surprise to have a tomato plant startup in your greenhouse. 🙂

  • I love a volunteer tomato. We had one growing in a put out the front and similarly, I was more interested in the tomatos than the plant it was in. Ha ha – I thoughts those almonds were olives. I have a grape schiacciata on my IMK that also looks like olives. I use have them on the brain.


    • Because we are thankful for anything that grows, we have a hodgepodge look to our garden and yard. If it comes up, it generally gets to stay. 🙂

  • Liz

    I definitely have tomato envy, as well as greenhouse envy. I tried growing tomatoes last year in half wine barrels but it is too cool and foggy during the summers. We have plenty of showers so far this month though. Loved you post.

    • Tomatoes are finicky souls. We had great luck last year with Black Cherry. I hope they’ll be kind and want to grow this summer.

  • Lots of good stuff in the kitchen. Your volunteer tomato looks very healthy. We still hoping for warmer nights here as well so that we can start planting. I’m going to try your husband’s little snack. Sounds yummy!

  • I am loving the idea of the Hawaiian Cocktail. Checking that link out soon.
    You have such a green thumb! I am jealous. Our tomatoes and basil never look as good as yours. Seriously, we have 4 acres of cleared land and if something can eat our plants, it will.

    • I always start out with a green thumb and then often things go awry! 🙂 I have a good start again and hope to be more dedicated this year with weeding and watering.

  • Debra, I loved your description of T.S. Eliot followed by your sunny outlook, orgeat syrup (had to Google it) and various “use” suggestions. Thank you! Also chased down your links and printed off your Deviled Egg Tacos with Sikil Pat, despite a promise to myself NOT to print off any more recipes until I make the several thousand waiting in the wings — but that one was too good to resist. BTW at Rick Bayless’ restaurant, does he mix the two together or serve them side by side? Either way, they sound fantastic and Queso Fundido is fun to say out loud three times. 🙂 Appreciated your restaurant reviews, too, and I think your hubby is onto something with his snack mix combo. xo

    • One must follow most of Eliot’s works with some sunniness (unless you’re reading Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.) At Frontera, the gauc and Sikil Pat were served side by side in the same serving dish. 🙂