Spring is in the Air

I have been hearing rumors and even seen some photos shared on facebook that there is snow in Minnesota. I’m hoping that it might have melted by the time I come. Spring is in the air here in my kitchen. The cranes have returned and can be seen flying over the house and feeding in the field in the back and dancing their mating ritual. Their call could not be called beautiful as it is a raw sound just as the cold spring breeze often feels quite biting even if the sun is starting to warm the ground. But the call means spring has arrived.

cranes2In my kitchen are spring green sprouts that carry the promise of summer and bounty. This gentleman has been regularly visiting our yard and one morning was stepping regally on the patio right outside of the kitchen.


In my kitchen April

Our kitchen is really never a place of just cooking and eating. It is a place to spend time together. Some of our kids are quite into crafts and since we had leftover paint from the piñata project from the previous week they were looking for a way to use it up. Someone suggested painting shoe boxes. I agreed that it might be a good idea and actually look cute in their rooms. It would be a place to keep their treasures. You know, the diamond rock found in the driveway or favorite sticker that really isn’t sticky anymore or a frayed friendship bracelet that keeps falling off but cannot be thrown away.  Often when one is enthusiastic about something, there is soon a few more involved as well and a total of seven boxes were made, some pink and some black. So this week in my kitchen we made treasure boxes.

painting boxesOf course we need to eat in the midst of all of the other activities. We had wokked chicken and vegetables and Tahini noodles. The Tahini noodles have become a favorite with the kids. The Tahini sauce received its inspiration from a post by REMcooks.

tahini noodles
Chicken Wok with Tahini noodles

This dish perhaps mixes the flavors of cuisines, but it worked and was quite tasty.

Tahini noodles
6 circles (300g) of whole wheat noodles (I used Blue Dragon)

2 heaping tablespoons of Tahini sauce
clove of garlic minced
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 dl / 1/4 c olive oil
black pepper
I mixed the tahini sauce with my immersion mixer until it was smooth. Set aside and place a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. While waiting for the water to boil prepare the chicken wok

Chicken wok Indian style

3 chicken breasts
1 onion
1/2 leek chopped (I used frozen leek from a friend’s garden)
20 g/0.7 oz fresh or frozen kale finely chopped with the tough stalk removed
20 g/0.7 fresh or frozen spinach, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
olive oil
NoMu Indian spice mix (includes: coriander, chili, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, caraway, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom oil)

Pour the olive oil on the pan along with the chicken breasts, garlic, onions, and leek. Cook at low to medium heat for about five minutes and turn the chicken over and continue cooking until the chicken is done. Add in the rest of the vegetables and remove the chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Return back into the wok pan and mix.

By this time the water will have boiled. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and drain. Mix the tahini sauce with the noodles and combine with the chicken wok. Add a drizzle of olive oil.

tahini noodles3In my kitchen in April are butterflies…in my tummy. It won’t be long and I will be flying to go visit dear family and friends in the USA. My blog might not have as regular posts for a couple of weeks but I will post pictures and thoughts of the trip on my facebook page. Click on the link below to follow if you wish. And as usual I will be accompied with my littlest one. The photo below is from one of my previous trips.

flyingReally, it doesn’t matter if there is snow still on the ground in Minnesota. It will be nice to see you all.


This post is part of Celia’s In My Kitchen series. Check out her blog for links to kitchens all around the world.


  1. I love your pasta and chicken recipe, the tahini sauce sounds delicious. How wonderful that you are coming to the US, can wait for posts. Wish you were coming to NYC, would love to meet!

  2. Without question, the kitchen is the most used room and to me is what makes a house feel home. Enjoy your visit, and I hope there’s a hint of spring in Minnesota.

  3. What an interesting sounding recipe. It won’t matter if there’s snow at home, the warmth of your family will be what is important. Have a great time.

  4. Beautiful photos…delicious food…and a lovely story (I feel the same way about my kitchen)! Great idea with the shoe boxes too. My children had “treasure boxes” when they were small and loved them! Enjoy your trip to see family…the snow has left in Michigan and I hope Minnesota is relieved of it soon too 🙂

      1. I thought you were coming here also. It is warming up a little more each day – just for you! I hope you have the opportunity to see some beautiful sites, eat delicious food and of course, enjoy and treasure your time with family!

  5. Have a wonderful trip! I loved seeing the cranes and the pheasant (is that what he was?). And your wok tahini noodles sound intriguing – I like every single ingredient used, but never thought to use them together! Thanks for the idea! 🙂

    1. I’ve made the dish quite regularly during the past few months and while it does not clearly belong to any particular cuisine we have enjoyed it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and hosting IMK.

  6. What a lovely post Laila. I often think of you and your blog at the change of seasons as we live at such opposite ends of the world. Daylight saving has finished here and the days are growing shorter though they will never be as dark as your winter days. How thrilling to visit your family – they will notice such changes in your little one. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you. We really do live on the opposite ends of the world. Someday I will make a trip to your end! Our days are growing longer and longer and if your wake up in the wee hours the morning sky is already growing light.

  7. I know you will enjoy your trip…it is wonderful when families can get together from across the many miles that separate them.

  8. I’ve never used tahini with pasta and your dish sounds quite tasty. I wouldn’t worry about the snow. You will be spending time with your family. A little snow won’t be able to spoil what promises to be a lovely visit. Have a wonderful time. Buon viaggio!

    1. I had never either, but during the past few months it has become a favorite and it really rounds out the flavor. I’m not that worried about the snow either and I think it has just about disappeared! 🙂

  9. Wow, love your handsome gentleman caller. Is he a pheasant? Oh, we love a bit of shoebox painting too – and it’s a great way to discourage kids from leaving treasures in their pockets or schoolbags (recent finds: stinking cuttlefish bones & deceased insects)… *shudder*
    Love your cross-cultural dinner, and the idea of tossing tahini sauce through noodles. YUM! Great combination of veggies and spices. Definitely pinning to try later.
    Wishing you and your little one a wonderful holiday.

    1. Yes, he is a pheasant and our yard happens to be in his territory. The border of the neighbor’s lot is where the territory of the next pheasant starts and occasionally in the morning they fluff their feathers at each other and call out loudly. And Yes I agree, the treasure boxes are a better place than pockets…I once found bird claws in my son’s treasure box. They were old and dry and left over after some hunting trip. 😉

    1. Thank you! I have really enjoyed the wildlife and birds…you can follow the seasons through their migration cycles. It is the same pair of cranes that have come already for several years and it is a sure sign of spring when they arrive.

  10. Such beautiful photos! Is that a pheasant? We don’t get either cranes or pheasants wild around here.

  11. You’re coming to the US! How fun!! :). Family road trip to Arizona where the only snow is at the top of big mountains!! :). Enjoy your trip!!!!

  12. I love this pasta. It looks sooo delicious. Thanks for sharing. Have a great time in the USA. Check out surreyKitchen.com. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future. Emma xx

  13. Nice pasta dish. I’m going to try it on my visiting granddaughters this week. It’s nice to have a recipe that doesn’t require cheese. (My partner isn’t able to tolerate it.) PS about the shoe boxes. It’s brought back memories for me. We used to paint them too and furnish them with doll’s furniture. Sometimes we’d add a second story. A lot of creative activity happening every school holidays.

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