Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sugar Thursday

I'm trying to write this while tweaking out a little. I had to taste everything I made tonight (obviously) but as a result am coming down from a major sugar high. 
But, I regret nothing. NOTHING! 
It's all so tasty. totally trashy, but sometimes the best things are!

NYT cookies
If you haven't heard of the New York Times Cookie recipe then you are missing out. This article won the James Beard award a couple of years back for what they proposed was 'the perfect cookie recipe'. Having interviewed many bakers around the city they determined there are 4 things that are required to have the perfect cookie.
1) It needs to be 6" across. That way you have the crispy outer edge, gooey middle and a ring that combines the two
2) The dough needs to 'settle' for at least 36hrs. This lets the butter, eggs and flour to fully absorb. It gives the cookies a nice caramel-y taste and a all over consistent golden brown color. 
3) There needs to be a ratio of 40-60 chocolate-cookie. The chocolate should be dark and preferably in disks, that way, in every bite is some chocolaty goodness. 
4) Two Words: Sea.Salt. 


 I decided to take half the batch up a notch. By adding bacon. Yum! 
Chop up some cooked crispy bacon and mix it into your already made dough before you roll it in a ball and place it on the cookie sheet. 

Funfetti & Oreo cake. 

This is super complicated so bare with me for a sec. 
Take funfetti batter and pour half into the pan. Place Oreos at even intervals and then pour the remaining half of the funfetti dough over it. Bake as normal. 
Got it? Good.

Can you see the sink hole in the middle?

A beautiful sunrise in London this morning. 



Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lantana

New Zealanders seem to be taking over London! If you haven't tried Lantana for brunch yet I would highly recommend it, especially on a sunny morning like my friend and I got to do. 

The inside is light and airy and so is its food. They have lovely dill pancakes with smoked salmon, corn fritters with bacon, toasted banana bread and freshly squeezed juices. I have never been disappointed by their food which is always flavorful and never overbearing and heavy. 

It's the perfect place to sit in a sunny spot and linger over coffee and a newspaper. 
13, Charlotte Place W1T 1SN

Taken by Katrina

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jessie Ware

She has the most haunting voice. 


Jessie Ware- Wildest Moments

London Happenings #4: Ideas for Breakfast

What could be a better way of starting your day than over a little creative chit chat!
W Hotel in Leicester Square hosts breakfast while you get to sit back and listen to creative experts talking about their fields.Topics range from Talking Trends to Sonic Grafitti & Active Listening, all are lead by London creatives. 
Conscience of the working crowd they are held on a Sunday at 11am (10:30 for breakfast) and tickets are 25 pounds. 

here
See you there!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I Heart Chia

I picked up a pack of Chia Seeds at Trader Joe's before I headed back to the UK this past week and I'm so glad I did. These things are amazing!

I've started to make my own smoothies for breakfast each morning (and by started I mean the past 2 mornings-so going really well so far!). I've been putting a tablespoon in the mixture before I put it in the fridge to enjoy the next morning. 

Little did I know that this is actually a great thing to do because they turn into little gooey bubbles. It's like I'm drinking a mini bubble tea smoothie each morning which I LOVE. It also thickens the smoothie so even though I made it the night before with just banana, yogurt and milk, it's lusciously thick the next day. 

But the best part!? They are so good for you! They're rich in omega-3 (great for heart, digestion and joints), fibre and protein. When I have my smoothie at 9am I'm not hungry again till 12pm (this is actually a big deal for me because I'm normally hungry again at 10:30am). 

I think there are many more things I can make with them (including a type of Chia seed pudding) so I'm only just getting started!

here
Recipe to try them with: Strawberry smoothie with banana, lime and coconut milk
here

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

On Creativity

I've been thinking a lot about creativity recently-where inspiration hits, what makes someone creative, what is considered creative etc- so when I heard about Jonah Lehrer's book 'Imagine' I had to check it out.

If you've read 'Thinking Fast and Slow' then you'll love this book which, in my eyes, is an easier and more enjoyable read. I'm not normally one for non fiction but I couldn't put it down. Lehrer engages readers with anecdotes followed by clearly written arguments. More importantly he sucks you in with interesting subject matter. Creativity could come from defocusing your mind or living in a dense urban setting or the relaxing of regulations. 

Awkwardly, a couple of weeks ago Lehrer was been accused of making up some of his Dylan quotes in this book and I think the publisher has pulled it. HOWEVER, I think the basic premise of the book is still sound. Yes, okay maybe Dylan didn't say XYZ, that doesn't change the fact that the basic idea behind Dylan's creativity is correct. 

Following on- I found this interview with Jack White on where he get's his inspiration: hard work and a challenge. 

“Inspiration and work ethic – they ride right next to each other.” ~ Jack White

Found via. Brain Picker
(Check out the random body sleeping in the background!) 

If you have 27mins or have headphones, I'd also recommend Tim Brown on Serious Play. He claims creativity comes from loosing your inhibition and stop self-editing.   

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
here

Monday, 13 August 2012

Views from America

I've just come back from the most amazing holiday in Northern California and Seattle. These pictures make me want to go back!



Twinkle Cocktail 
Ingredients:
Elderflower Cordial (or liquor) + Vodka + Proseco = DELICIOUS! 


Delicious pastry from the local bakery, Twofish, in Sea Ranch. 


I finished off the whole trip back up in Seattle with a bike ride and visit to Red Hook Brewery. 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Custom Crazy Straws

How cool is this idea!



Go to Crazystraws.com to personalize your own. Limited to 5 letters or numbers. 
OOOhhhh the possibilities! 

Friday, 3 August 2012

USA!

I know I apologized last week but I'm going to have to apologize again! I haven't had one moment to be by my computer for the last two weeks and I'm heading to the west coast tomorrow so will be pretty silent for another week. BUT I hope to take some amazing pictures of the coast. So stay tuned!


here

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Back!

Yes, I did disappear for a bit. It's been a crazy week & a bit and couldn't find a single moment to sit down at the computer. But it was a fun crazy week & a bit. Let me regale you with what I've done! 


FIIIINNINALLY made it to Pitt Cue (or it's little truck on the south bank) and managed to try the pulled pork. 
It was pretty good, very good actually. But the best parts were the sides. Homemade pickles where you can still taste the cucumber heritage, fresh slaw to counterbalance the heavy pork and amazing fried shiitake mushroom. 
There were no lines at the truck so definitely a great way to get the Pitt Cue taste without the Pitt Cue wait. 


Oysters from Wright Brothers- a great place to stop and rest your feet at borough market. 
I learnt a little bit about this shellfish while there:


The colder the water, the bigger and fatter the oyster! 


I don't know why you wouldn't want the biggest, fattiest and juiciest oyster but apparently some people dont. NOT ME! 
I would highly recommend visiting Wright Brothers, getting the 'sample platter' with 3 different types of oysters (2 of each) and a pint of Guinness. Then, when you've tried that, just order an entire platter of the Lindisfarne. THEY'RE THE BEST. 




The rooftop at Selfridges- with the Daylesford cafe
Thank goodness for the Olympics. Central London has been pretty quiet this weekend and therefore managed to check out the rooftop at Selfridges without having to wait! 
A bit massively overpriced but atmospheric. Never managed to check out the mini golf but looked fun and people seem to be enjoying themselves. 
We shared a lovely bakewell tart that wasn't too sickly sweet but just perfectly satisfied my niggiling sweetooth craving. 
I was very envious of those who had decided to have the full traditional tea. They bring over small stacked open crates (like what you would store wholesale vegetables in) with bitesized sandwiches on whole seeded buns with fillings like smoked salmon or egg. On the second small crate was the scones. Not huge but they looked very moist and well made from where I sat. 
They were also selling jelly (or jello depending who you are) in molds by Bompas & Parr (they also designed the mini golf course). The jelly of the day for us was gin & violet. They were very small and therefore perfect as a little snack with your drink. 
They also serve wine up there so I imagine it would be an amazing place to get an afterwork drink while looking over London. 
Go enjoy the garden rooftop while playing mini golf and escaping mad Oxford St below!


Opening Ceremony at London Live in Hyde Park. SO proud to be a Londoner. Bring it on world! 
 The best cinnamon role from Nordic Bakery
Fried custard and courgette flowers from Brick Lane Market

Writing this all down really makes me realize how much my life revolves around food. 
Let me know if you try any of these places out!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

London Happenings #3: Supper Clubs

I love the idea of supper clubs. So secretive and private and full of surprises (or that's what I imagine them like, but my description sounds a bit like a boy with commitment issues). 
Here are just a few around London: 


White Room Supper Club
here
Run by a professional with a passion for food. It's about meeting new people and eating good food. Suggested donation is 35 pounds and it's BYOB. 


Italian Supper Club
I think they sum it up well-
The main ingredients of our events are food, wine and people - the first two must be Italian and the third one should simply have a big smile when they arrive and a bigger one when they leave.
Who doesn't want to go to an event described like that! Each event is at a different location and is capped at 30 people and costs 35 pounds including a wine pairing for each course. 


Saltoun Supper Club
Twice a week they turn a flat in Brixton into a restaurant for 16 people. They offer a set 4 course menu with a vegetarian option including homemade bread and treats. As is typical with supper clubs, BYOB. 
here
+65
Singapourian Supper Club that has been getting a lot of press. Their menus look adventurous and exciting and most importantly, delicious! 
here
The Secret Larder
North London supper club run by James Ramsden every other Thursday 
here
 I can't wait to try some of these out! Have any of you been to a supper club in London?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Summer Salad


Peach, mozzarella, fennel, roasted corn salad with shrimp. 


I'm pretty smug with coming up with this all by myself because it was good, really really good. Has exactly what it says on the box and is super easy. 


I grilled the peaches, sautéed the shrimp in some butter and garlic, grilled the corn on the cob and then tossed it in with some pea shoots, mint, chopped fennel, mozzarella, a little olive oil, balsamic and a touch of orange juice and orange zest. BAM- one of the best summer salads you'll have (if I do say ever-so-smugly myself).






This picture doesn't do it justice, you must go make this yourself. now. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Alice House

 Alice House is the perfect antidote to pub fatigue (which I currently have). 
It's large enough to not elbow people every time you lift your drink but not too big that it doesn't have a bustle. The atmosphere is great and the bar staff are really friendly and helpful, but the BEST part, and the most important part, is their drinks menu. 
Their cocktails are the perfect blend of Britishness (think gin, think cider, think elderflower) mixed with 'other' (think tequila, think rum, think champagne!). If your party is big enough they offer several of their signature cocktails in teapots (an increasingly common trend I'm finding). 









I was too quick to drink so didn't take enough time to actually write down what I had, but I can say they were some of the best cocktails I've had in the UK recently. The first had sparkling wine with Early Grey syrup (and a few other additions) and the other was a rhubarb based drink with tequila. 
Although I didn't try any their food looked pretty delicious too! When you're next in the North West London area, I would highly recommend a stop in. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Lost Crates

This is taking monthly cheese club to a whole new level. 


Subscribe to Lost Crates and get a curated designed-themed box each month. 
Choose from boxes based around 'Foodie' or 'Housewares' or curated boxes by Design Milk or Joy the Baker (you KNOW those are going to be good). If you can't choose then they offer a quiz which will help you figure out which box would best suit what you want. 
For $25 dollars for each delivery. I think this sounds like a really great idea!


here
here
here

London Happenings #2: Nice to Meet you

I think this sounds like the best idea ever.


On the Dalston Roof Park Art Wednesday, a website dedicated to exposing Londoners to creative ideas, products and experiences, is hosting Nice To Meet You (NTMY). For £30 you can get a ticket to this amazing monthly summer event which invites speakers to talk and musicians to perform about what excites and inspires them


here




This month's speaker is Ben Hammersley the editor of Wired UK and the band is Violet [Pixie Geldof]. 


As the event itself discribes-



"Leaders and innovators from the worlds of business, art, music, advertising and everything below, above and beyond will bed you in to tell you their tales and invite you to question their journeys and motives.
These delicate, immersive events, with the most expansive and progressive people on the planet are the first in a series of live opportunities for the AW community to come together, discuss and exchange the very visions, ambitions and opinions that make you the people we want to attend." here



How do I know this is an event after my own heart?! Because food is included in the ticket price and it looks amazing! 
Pulled Pork Burgers, Butternut Burger with Walnut Pesto and Date's A Hog (sherry soaked Medjool dates, stuffed with dolcelatte and wrapped in bacon). 


Go for the event but definitely stay for the food!
Buy Tickets Here 

Monday, 9 July 2012