Tag Archives: london

One-Pot Chicken Dinner with Apples and Butternut Squash

14 Oct

We actually had some cooler weather this week. Scratch that—we had cooler weather and RAIN. And I love a bit of rain, especially after 11 years of living in the UK, I’m happy when it rains here because it feels like it only happens for five minutes at a time. In England, jeez, it would literally rain non-stop for a month or more. I do think it actually rains more in Seattle than London, but I can’t tell you for sure—but that was a heck of a lot of rain.

And here it seems to only rain at night, which was irritating me this year. I like to be all cozy inside watching the rain on the windows, cup of tea in hand and, if I do go out, I break out the wellies and an umbrella. It’s hard to watch the rain in the dark, so I was very disappointed that the rain was so shy during the day. Which made Thursday morning’s events even more perplexing. Continue reading

Big Kitchen Happiness!

6 May

Another award! I love it!

This is a long overdue post, but I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart and tiny kitchen, Lucy’s Friendly Foods for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! This woman is an absolute angel, coming up with all sorts of allergy-free foods for her children, even down to packing them a lunch so that they can attend their friends’ parties without starving to death or having an allergy attack. Continue reading

Chive and Spinach Pesto

25 Mar

Quinoa pasta with chive-spinach pesto

When I lived in London, I was able to grow the following on a fifth-story balcony: blueberries, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, thyme and rosemary. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I had a 10′ x 12′ garden full of everything from corn to potatoes to zucchini. In my “backyard” in Laguna Beach? I can barely grow anything. I’m not sure why Laguna Beach has turned by green thumb brown, but I’m not happy.

But there’s one thing that grows like crazy in the back—chives. Continue reading

Adult Cupcakes with Stout and Chocolate

5 Feb

Sometimes, they're just too pretty to eat. That's a lie. No they're not. It just screams "Eat me!"

This one’s for my boys—Colin, Duncan and Alasdair—who came out to visit me just over a year ago while on a trip around California. Col and Dunk are two of my favorite people in the world, and Alasdair is right up there too. We got to know each other during my time in London; Colin and I would go to movies and dinner together while Dunk was off shooting another Channel 4 television programme. Yes, I spelled that the English way, thank you very much. Those are times I still cherish! When Dunc was in town we’d have dinner at each other’s houses or attend fabulous parties hosted by our various fabulous London friends, of whom I miss very much. Sigh…

I got to see Alasdair infrequently when he was in town from Switzerland, where he moved to be part of the World Health Organization. I think. All I know is that he is a doctor in great demand in places where AIDS is an epidemic. And on top of that he’s super fun.

Of course I had to invite them over for dinner, and because I’d been bragging so much about cupcakes, I made some for them. Cupcakes, until very recently, were not a popular treat over in the U.K. They are mainly an American thing, and when they do make them over there, they are small ones, mainly for children’s parties and they call them “fairy cakes“.

I like to call these “adult” or even “manly” cupcakes, because although they are small cakes with frosting on top, they have a flavor profile that caters to a more sophisticated palate. And The Husband says that the frosting tastes as good as his Nana used to make, and that’s good enough for me. Continue reading

It’s Snacktime, and South of the Border

15 Jan

The crumpet pan is perfect for cooking these taquito-type snacks, but a frying pan will work just as well.

Every once in a while, we get down to La Siesta in San Clemente, where they have the best carnitas we’ve found in Orange County. There might be better somewhere in Santa Ana, but the drive there is not so scenic, so we rarely go. We used to love their huevos rancheros, but it seems to have gone downhill—it seemed to do so right after our favorite waitress, Carmen, left the restaurant.

We miss Carmen. She was the best waitress ever! Remembered your name, made you feel welcome, would ask questions about your life. A light went out of the restaurant after Carmen left. I hope she’s happy and making some other restaurant very special somewhere!

La Siesta also has this amazing red salsa. It’s not a pico de gallo, but a real salsa, with some smoky chili in there that’s not a chipotle. We ALWAYS get some of this to go. It’s just too good on Continue reading

Yes, we like tacos. So sue us.

23 Jul

Are you bored yet? I hope not, because I’m really enjoying writing this blog! So, this is a few days late, as we had these on

Black bean tacos

It wasn't even Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday night, another veggie-dinner night. I was happy to find the tomatillos at Whole Foods, because I love a green salsa, even though The Husband usually doesn’t. But I knew if I made it from scratch I’d win him over. Which I did–he loved them, and especially the salsa. Which I must say, was quite good.

And non-vegans, please, add cheese to these tacos! We were on our cleanse, so no dairy, but they really deserved some nice cotija cheese crumbled on top. In SoCal, you can find this and other delicious Mexican cheese varieties in the cooler section near the processed cheese. I would recommend investing–it lasts for a while and is great in salads as a nice substitute for feta. Speaking of feta, those who do not live in SoCal, like my dear friend Gaby in London, should use feta on top of these tacos. Although cheddar would work in a pinch.

And Londoners, if you can’t find tomatillos, try Booths near St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have a stall at Borough Market, or at least they used to. (How I miss that market!) You can get jalapeños there too, but I’m not sure about serranos. Substitute a green Thai or Indian chili if you can’t find the Mexican variety.

So here we go with the recipe, with my notes, as usual! Continue reading