Tag Archives: Foodie

Welcome to July!!!

Yes, I’m happy that it’s July, because that means I’m one month closer to being together again with my beloved BF.  Yes!  I must admit, I don’t take advantage of the glorious sunshine we have at the moment…..I find that I stay inside most of the time because it’s too hot out there.  And yet when it’s winter, I will have to stay inside, which I don’t care for.

But anyways, I think it’s time to roll out some pictures both foodie and non-foodie related.  So here they are!

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Bits and Bobs

I know it’s been ages since I’ve updated my blog here.  A lot has happened since I was in the UK.  My BF came out for a most amazing visit to see me in the US, since I live here now, and we had a most fantastic time together.  As he is finishing school and still working, he had to return home to England.  So now I am here in the States trying to find a job and hold out as best as I can until I see him again hopefully at Christmas.  I know especially when winter hits, it’ll be especially hard for me.  I don’t know if it’s because it makes my nights more lonely or because life seems a little bit more harsh during the winter time.  Winter by the way is my most hated season.  I require, if I can help it, a fair dose of sunshine now and again, something that winter does not provide enough of.

So in light of me being back in the States, things on the cooking front have been very slow and probably will continue to be so.  I’m so behind on posting pictures on here it’s not even funny, plus, I’m nearly at my uploading limit with Flickr, thus probably why you haven’t seen many new pics on there either.  But despite not cooking/baking nearly as much I did in the UK, and my BF having to return there, and not having a job at the moment, there is one thing that I am glad to have accomplished: getting a new cell phone.  I am also slowly but steadily making squares for a crocheted afghan–granny squares.  So I know I will be SO happy when I’ve completed it, which won’t be for a while.  But how many people do you know in this day and age still make blankets?  With their own two hands?  Uh, no one!  So I’m proud that I defy the odds!

Oh, on a foodie note, today I did visit a local dairy farm with my mom.  It was reminiscent of when I used to buy direct from the farmers/producers at the weekly village market.  We bought butter, ice cream, and a kraut burger (interestingly enough they had that and cinnamon rolls for sale–both of which I’d like to try).  They also sold beef/steaks, milk (of course) and cheese curds.  So I think I’d definitely on the occasional weekend pay another visit to this local dairy farm.  Do I think we need more places like this around here?  Heck yes I do!  But for now, I can only take what I can get.

Anyways, that’s all for now.  Just wanted to give a little update with me.  Hopefully I can get some more new pics on here soon so that my blog isn’t always 100% writing all the time.  Sometimes I like just looking at pictures because they can convey so much.

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The oven’s back in town!

Well I’m glad to report that the oven is back in action!  Yes!  So naturally, I’ve been hoarding a couple of recipes over the past week that involve the use of an oven.  So on Saturday, I was in the kitchen for a good part of the day.  I made a gluten free chocolate cake, some deliciously rich chocolate cookies, and even tried my hand at roasting chickpeas for a crunchy snack.  

It was indeed topped off as a food filled weekend when I went to the Christchurch Food and Wine Festival with my BF’s mom.  Oh it was a glorious couple of hours filled with tasting different kinds of olives, to munching on strawberries from France, and yes, even speaking French with the vendors!  I guess I still remember some French after all! Ha ha.  There was so much to take in and see and do and eat!  I bought some locally made biscotti from the New Forest, Italian corn and rice couscous, French forest honey, dried apples covered in cinnamon, Italian cookies, and a German sausage for my lunch!  My BF’s mom bought lots of goodies too for all of us to try–green olives stuffed with lemon, pâté, Italian cheese, and even a calzone.  It’s the season for asparagus and rhubarb right now, so we picked up a bunch of asparagus for some soup for tomorrow night’s dinner.  Tonight’s dinner will be some Sicilian stuffed rice balls and a ham and cheese calzone with a salad.  My BF’s mom grows various salad greens in her garden out back, so we’ll be picking our own salad for dinner.  You can’t get any fresher or more local than that!  Delicious!

There is something so inspiring and engaging about going to food festivals/markets like these.  I like seeing some fresh produce or fish and then thinking of a great meal to make with them.  I like meeting the people that are the faces behind the product and knowing that I’m supporting the local guys.   

Here’s some pictures I took at the market/festival with my mobile camera phone:

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Gotta catch up!

I seriously need to catch up on my blogging!  I’ve had so many thoughts and done so many things lately that I almost wonder where to begin.  Yesterday was such a lovely day and I do mean lovely sunny day that I walked to the nearby village and back.  I couldn’t resist a stop into the haberdashery shop for some more yarn (or wool as they call it here).  I bought a nice white one that was also on sale for £2.  I’ve only just recently completed making my second crocheted hat and I’m so happy with how it turned out!  Almost like a cool beret.  

It’s always so hard to remember all those little things that I see or get to experience here so that my loved ones back home can know what it’s like here.  But I always have to tell myself that they cannot know what it’s like here unless they visit it for themselves.  It is impossible for me to even try and capture all those little nuances and subtleties that make living here such an ongoing and new experience.  If I just took a moment and realized how far I’ve come in trying to learn about and assimilate myself into a new culture, I’d be blown away!  A few years ago, I never thought in a million years I’d be visiting Britain let alone working there or getting to use the local transportation.  

There is just sooooo much more to the world than you know of and that’s only something that can be realized through traveling.  Traveling, to me, has opened my eyes up to more things than I can ever describe or convey.  I only wish that everyone had the desire to travel because it can teach you so much about yourself and the world around you.  It can help you to learn about your loves and your fears in life and make you face them head on, atleast that’s what it’s done for me.

Now, in light of new experiences and traveling, I must share my time at the market today.  I’d never really been to a market and it was such a wonderful time!  I loved looking at all the fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, the flowers, the antiques, the jewelry, the books, and the delicious looking cakes and breads for sale.  My BF’s mom bought me the loveliest little brooch of a 1920’s lady’s silhouette.  I just can’t get over how much I love it, it’s just the daintiest little thing.  I also tried a Chelsea bun, which is like an English cinnamon roll without the cinnamon.  I thought it was tasty.  Here’s some of my pics from the market—to make the picture larger just click on it:

I just had a fun day just wandering around and seeing all of the sights and sounds and smells of the day.  Oh, and before I forget, I went to the movies last night with my BF and his mom, and we saw The Young Victoria, a movie about Queen Victoria.  I must say I really enjoyed it!  I like the music, the costumes, and the plot.  I don’t know when it’ll be released in the US as it was just released here in the UK, but wherever you are, you should really see it.  It sheds light on one of the greatest monarchs that’s ever lived and really showcased the power of love.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see it again soon.

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Festivities around the corner…

Well, it’s nearly my birthday.  Which I can’t believe is here again already and yet the year seems as if it’s done its paces.  Last night I went out to dinner with my BF and his family to a local restaurant to celebrate as my birthday this year falls on a weekday.  The restaurant itself is reminiscent of another time, another era.  It was once the actual printing room of the local newspaper and now calls itself of course The Print Room.  It also has an attached bar called the Ink Bar.  What struck me as I first walked into this place was its enormously high ceilings and black and white checkered flooring.  It also had chandeliers, dark colored woods, and very modern yet art deco influenced interior.  

We sat in a beveled glass and dark cherry wood booth.  There was an actual piano player in the corner to provide some live music.  Above us, the lightbulbs glow in glass boxes and the windows have red neon lights all around, again, lending itself to the feeling of being in a speakeasy.  The only thing that’s missing is an outfit inspired by Coco Chanel and a Studebaker to take you there.  This isn’t a place pretending to have art deco inspired details, it’s a place that actually has all it’s original windows and features.  That’s the great thing about England is its determined efforts to conserve its buildings with upmost care.    

For my starter I selected the pan fried scallops wrapped in pancetta and served with cress and a parsnip purée, which was all perfectly cooked.  For my main, I had an absolutely delicious sea bream en papillote with potatoes Lyonnaise.  Lastly, for dessert I selected a crème brûlée with raspberry mille feuille.  Now, it was a bit too tart and sour for me with the amount of raspberries served with it.  I was expecting the crème brûlée to be the star of the show.  It was however a clever take on it.  I washed this all done with a rosé wine spritzer.  

I think the only thing I would’ve changed was my dessert–my BF ordered a spin on the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination.  Also, I would’ve liked the prices to be a bit lower.  I felt that it was over priced for what it was, albeit good tasting food.  I’d certainly go here again, but just have to keep in mind what my budget is.  

I liked the genuine decor, the attentive staff, and it’s attention to detail with its food, which is after all, why you go out to celebrate something in the first place.  

Now tonight, as I’m feeling under the weather with a nasty cold, my wonderful BF is making us chicken soup again for dinner! Mmm…I could seriously eat it by the bucketful.  We also have some nice crusty French bread to go with it.  We’ve never made so many soups before until recently.  Once you have homemade soup, which are so easy to make, why wouldn’t you want to make it all the time?!  So homemade soups it is for us.  My loving BF has bought me some nice tissues to blow my nose with.  So off I go to tend to my nose and leave you with a recipe that we made the other night (minus the homemade chicken stock bit) and thoroughly enjoyed–we have a bay leaf tree outside as well as a thyme plant, so fresh herbs are never far away.  I think it’s the herbs that make this soup so good, well, and the yummy Manischewitz noodles…and the carrots and celery…..ok, well everything that goes in this soup is what makes it good!  Serve it with some fresh French bread and the occasional smear of butter, and you’ve got yourself a meal.  Enjoy!

soup

 See recipe here: Chicken Noodle

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Apple Cake and Other Stuff

Hello All.  

I thought I’d post some foodie pictures that I’ve taken lately along with a crafty one–so think of this post as a sort of hodge podge of miscellaneousness as my posts will be from time to time.

This is a Jewish Apple Cake I made recently.  Incredibly, it has 3-4 apples in it, and boy is it delicious!  Delicious being an understatement.  If you want the recipe, just post a comment stating so, and I’ll send it to you. *Cue drool*  

 

Apple Cake

Delicious Apple Cake o’ Goodness…It’s worth the effort every time.  Those of you who have tried it, you know who you are!  If I could have the knife skills of Jamie Oliver who can chop through 10 apples in two seconds while talking at the same time, than I’d have this cake done in no time flat.  Sadly, my chopping skills are a bit rudimentary, so it takes me quite a while.  But once the apples are prepared, than the rest of it is super easy!  

dsc027311

Our various mustard collection–American style, English, and Polish…yeah, I love mustard.  If I could, I’ve have a French one up there too. 

cheetos

Yes, you read right, ketchup flavored Cheetos!  My BF and I bought these at the local Polish store of all places…they tasted kind of like a Cheeto inspiration…but not quite doing the job but worth a try.  

scone

Scones with jam and clotted cream are the reason I live!  Nothing better with a cup of tea.  And incidentally, the reason that I came over to this country.  Just kidding.  This was however some of the best clotted cream I’ve ever had–it was from the New Forest and man oh man was it delicious!  Then again, with clotted cream you can’t really go wrong now can you?  What’s not to love about butter’s creamy English cousin that is in a class all its own?

hat

Sound the angels! I’ve complete my first crochet hat!  It took a couple of smaller attempts before I was able to figure out how to do it correctly.  Thanks to Threadbanger: How to crochet a hat .  If you scroll down on the Threadbanger page, you’ll find some written instructions which I found very useful.  I made it during a long afternoon.  It’s quicker than making a scarf, which usually takes me quite a while.  And now, the finished product!  Ta da!  

hat3

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Mmmm…Kit Kats…and other foodie thoughts

I didn’t know until recently that Kit Kats are of English origin.  They’re very popular here and I guess that’s why.  You can get cappuccino, mint, and orange flavored ones here.  The mint is my serious favorite!  I tried a lemon and white chocolate one when I was in Italy, and it was so good! It was like lemon cake.
 
I looked at Wikipedia, and here’s a list of some of the other crazy and wild Kit Kat flavors that you can get elsewhere.  Uh, Kit Kats are obviously popular in Japan for some reason…I find that the grilled corn flavor would be weird.  I mean, Kit Kat and corn?  It just doesn’t mix!  Another special one I came across on this list, brace yourself: SOY SAUCE.  Now Kit Kats and soy sauce REALLY don’t mix!   However,  I would give the pumpkin one a try; I love pumpkin.  
Courtesy of: Wikipedia
  • Kit Kat Caramel and Salt — Japan
  • Kit Kat Kinako (soybean flour) — Japan
  • Kit Kat Green Tea — Japan
  • Kit Kat Apple — Japan
  • Kit Kat Kiwifruit — Japan
  • Kit Kat Strawberry — Japan
  • Kit Kat Peach — Japan
  • Kit Kat Noisette (Hazelnut) — Germany
  • Kit Kat Cantaloupe; Japan
  • Kit Kat Pineapple; South Africa
  • Kit Kat Mango; Japan
  • Kit Kat Azuki (Red Bean); Japan
  • Kit Kat Caramel Macchiato; Japan 
  • Kit Kat Soy Sauce – “Tokyo Limited Edition” ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Yakimorokoshi – grilled corn; Japan (only in Hokkaido prefecture)
  • Kit Kat Jyagaimo – potato; Japan (only in Hokkaido prefecture)
  • Kit Kat Daigakuimo – candied sweet potato; Japan
  • Kit Kat Houjicha – Japanese roasted tea ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Apple ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Watermelon and Salt ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Pumpkin ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Edamame ; Japan
  • Kit Kat Banana; Canada

On another note, I thought I’d also include some of the crazy and weird and fun things I’ve recently discovered on the web–one of which being this cheeseburger bed.  I think I’d have nightmares about getting eaten if I were to sleep in this!  I mean, this is taking weird dreams to a whole other level.  I wonder if Ronald McDonald owns this bed…

Courtesy of: neatorama


I find this tea infuser funny and innovative.  It’s called Sharky Tea Infuser.  What do you think?  

Courtesy of: Design Boom

 

And lastly for today, a delicious looking recipe that I cannot wait to try!  I have had a soft spot in my heart for Matzo crackers ever since I was a little girl….and I have my grandparents to thank for that.  🙂  In fact, I have some in my pantry right now!  I usually eat them with soup or spread some laughing cow cheese on them with a slice or two of ham…but this recipe is taking them to a whole other level of goodness.

This recipe looks like so easy and versatile and makes you wonder why you didn’t come up with it first!  It just has a sense of homemade elegance about it.  If you do make this, please post a comment and let me know how it turned out!   Mmm….Chocolate and Matzo crackers……

Recipe and image is courtesy of: Martha Stewart

 

 

 A plain Passover staple can be turned into a sweet treat by coating it with chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit. For 11 pieces of matzos (about one box), you’ll need 11 ounces each of white and dark chocolate, 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted nuts, and 1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit or crystallized ginger. Brush one side of each piece of matzo with melted white or dark chocolate; drizzle remaining dark chocolate over white-chocolate-coated matzo and vice versa. Sprinkle with fruit and nuts. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 15 minutes. Break bark into pieces. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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