Category Archives: Food
“Masterchef” Season 4 premiered tonight with a two-hour kickoff. Did you watch?
I DVR’ed it and will check it out this weekend. I haven’t watched any episodes of the American version – only the British version so am interested in the compare and contrast. Based on the clips I’ve seen, the U.S. version already feels more sensational, more “Hell’s Kitchen”-y, than the dignified BBC version.
I find it hard to even think of “Masterchef,” without conjuring up the old British “Masterchef” theme tune!
When we visited the U.K. last month, I discovered Marmite. Yep, the love-it-or-hate-it yeast extract is now my boo.
I had tried it about 10 years before and I fell strongly into the “hate” camp. But this time around? It blew my socks off with its unami goodness! Paired with buttered toast and a perfect dippy egg, it became my favorite breakfast.
I bought some to take home and have continued the love affair on this side of the Atlantic. If you’ve never tried it, pick up some at CostPlus World Market and let me know what you think!
Americans who are homesick for their favorite candies can get them delivered in the U.K. now, thanks to the Stateside Candy Company.
The selection is impressive, including Hershey’s and Twizzlers, Life Savers, Willy Wonka candies, salt water taffy, Mike and Ike’s, jumbo gummy bears and the list goes on and on! Grocery items like American cereals, pancake mixes, cookies, cake mixes and barbecue sauces are also offered. U.K. delivery charges start at £4.50.
When we visited my mother in law in Devon, she made a lovely pie for dessert and had some extra pastry. What did she do with it? She whipped up a batch of jam tarts!
The kids loved them. All you need is some pastry and a dollop of strawberry jam (or really any flavor you like). Easy peasy! Aren’t they pretty?
One of the highlights of our recent trip to England was celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Ode in Shaldon, which has been named UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The food was absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Service was friendly and helpful (owner Tim Bouget was lovely!). And all of this for a great price! Our wedding anniversary fell on a Wednesday and Ode features a reduced price menu on Wednesdays: three courses for 29 pounds! We added a couple of glasses of kir royale to start and a very pleasant French white wine to accompany our main courses.
I just spotted Olba’s Pastilles at my local Sprouts supermarket. Different packaging than the British version, but certainly the same herbal lozenges we all know and love when you’re feeling under the weather!
We spent a day in North Devon and had a pub lunch in the Duke of York Pub in the little village of Iddesleigh.
I was in pub heaven! The Duke of York is a 15th century pub that is the local for British author Michael Morpurgo, who got the seed of the idea to write the novel “War Horse” (which later became the blockbuster play and film) while in this very pub. More about this here!
It was homey and cozy and a little hobbit-like and included all of the things that I look for in a good pub:
Yesterday, I posted my first five Paris highlights. Today? Let’s post the remaining five, shall we?
6. Rue Montorgueil, a gorgeous market street with butcher shops, boulangeries, cafes, chocolateries, fish markets and so on and so forth! We walked from our apartment one bright morning and went to Cafe du Centre for a great basic breakfast (coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and croissant or baguette).
I also had the great privilege of visiting La Fermette, cheese capitol of the universe, also on Rue Montorgueil. We spotted it right away with the black and white cow above the storefront. Best item was their 30-month comte, which the seller warned me about, in case I couldn’t handle it. Oh, yeah, I could handle it! It was a delightful, nutty cheese and we bought a block of it. They also sold these plates of various cheeses for about 11 euros – really generous portions (we got one plate that was stellar – sadly, they weren’t labeled so it’s tough to know what cheese we had – but it had a good variety to suit every palate. A camembert, a blue cheese, a goat cheese, a Mimolette, etc.)
So many things we loved in Paris. Here’s the proverbial greatest hits over the four days we spent!
1. Love padlocks on all of the Paris bridges. They really are a stunning sight. Couples buy padlocks as a symbol of their love, add their initials and lock it to the bridge! And they say romance is dead?!