Yorkshire Mr. Men

Yorkshire Mr. Men

Ah, I love the Mr. Men series. Mr. Tickle, Mr. Messy, Mr. Nosey. So iconic!

But this did make me laugh – well, why not a Yorkshire Mr. Men series, right?!

Basil, Pea and Pancetta Tart

Basil, Pea and Prosciutto Tart

Is this stock art? Sorry, but yes. We dived into the one we made minutes after taking it out of the oven, before thinking of taking a photo. But for the record, it did look this good.

This weekend, we had a lovely lunch at home with a friend that I haven’t seen in quite a while. I always love a good catch up – especially when it’s accompanied by some delish food!

We made a basil, pea and pancetta tart (and by “we,” I mean the royal “we,” in which my husband did all the cooking and I did the hard part of going to Whole Foods and purchasing the ingredients required.)

The recipe comes from BBC Good Food and will certainly join the summer tomato tart in our summer cooking repertoire (and by “our,” I mean the royal “our” in which I helpfully suggest delicious winning dishes, and my husband kindly does the cooking. Are you sensing a pattern?).

I’ve tweaked a bit of the recipe for American purposes but some of it was eyeballing and guesstimation while the royal “we” went along, and “we” did use scales for weight.

INGREDIENTS
284ml pot double cream
large bunch basil
1 pack shortcrust pastry (or make your own)
plain flour, for rolling out
175g frozen broad beans, defrosted and podded
1 bag frozen petits pois, defrosted
105g thinly sliced pancetta (we used cubed prosciutto instead)
3 eggs, plus 1 yolk
50g parmesan, finely grated, plus shavings to serve

Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan, then take off the heat and drop in half the bunch of basil, making sure all the leaves and stems are fully immersed. Leave to infuse for at least an hour. Transfer to a lidded container and chill once cool, if preparing the day before. Meanwhile, roll the pastry out on a floured surface to about the thickness of 2 x £1 coins and use to line a 23cm loose-bottom tart tin. Chill on a baking sheet until ready to use.

Blanch the broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 1 min. Add the peas, bring back to the boil for another min, then drain and cool quickly under the cold tap. Drain, then dry on kitchen paper. Set aside. Heat grill to medim and cook the pancetta until it is crisp and golden, setting aside on kitchen paper to absorb any fat. Can be prepared up to this stage a day ahead.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F and put a second baking sheet in the oven. Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans. Slide the tin onto the hot baking sheet and bake blind for 15 mins, then lift out the paper and beans and cook for 5 mins more, until the pastry feels sandy. Meanwhile, strain the cream through a sieve, pressing the basil against the mesh with a non-metallic spoon or spatula to extract as much of the flavour as possible.

Turn oven down to 300 degrees F. Beat the eggs into the cream, stir in the parmesan and season to taste. Tear the pancetta and sprinkle into the case, along with the peas and beans. Pour in the egg and cream mix. (You may have a little left, depending on the depth of your tin.) Bake for about 50 mins-1 hr or until the custard is just set in the middle. Serve warm or cold, topped with shavings of parmesan and the remaining basil leaves.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2006

When Nicky married James

nicky-hilton-logo_2015_7.0

@TheAllisonMelnick/Instagram

Lest anyone think for even a second that I’m somehow a fan of Nicky Hilton, let me start this blog post by saying no. no. no.

But when she married Brit’s James Rothschild in London this weekend… well, I had to at least look at the photos, right? From an Anglo-American perspective? You’re curious, too?

Here are some of the photos …

Nicky Hilton's wedding table

@ModaPatMedina/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@BarronHilton/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@WeLikeYouLove/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@JeffBeacher/Instagram

Now don’t we all feel better for having seen these?

Pop-In@Nordstrom: Liberty London

I’ve blogged about my love affair with Liberty London before. And so you can imagine my delight at seeing Liberty London’s home decor and giftables available stateside — at Nordstrom’s Pop-In Shop! Items range from gardening tools to stationery to clothing.

Here are also some other pieces that I have my eye on:

Floral print suitcase

Floral print suitcase, $95

Floral Print Charm Necklace, $30

Floral Print Charm Necklace, $30

Liberty Print Ballet Flat

Liberty Print Ballet Flat, $200

Liberty London will be at the Nordstrom Pop-In Shop until Aug. 2.

Happy July

Well, I apologize for the dormancy of the blog these past weeks. It’s been a whirlwind of activity in June. Let’s see … the kids got out of school, I had a birthday, our French friend’s teenage daughter came to stay with us for three weeks to learn English and experience a slice of Murica, we took a vacation in San Diego … whirlwind, I tell you.

But I’ve compiled my top 5 bits that I would have blogged had I eked out a little more time to do so:

1. Happy 65th birthday, NHS!

King's Cross, Wimbledon

Londoners could grab a deck chair to watch Wimbledon in Cubitt Square, King’s Cross.

2. Princess Charlotte’s christening. And more importantly, comedic riffs on Prince George’s outfit.

3. This transformation of Kings Cross in celebration of Wimbledon.

4. The U.S. Women’s World Cup win!

5. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, cursing the photographer, during the 75th anniversary event commemorating the Battle of Britain.

Peter Kay’s Car Share

Peter Kay's Car Share

Peter Kay and Sian Foulkes star in “Car Share.”

I’ve just discovered the funniest British TV comedy that I’ve seen in ages – “Car Share.” I’ve binge watched it this past week and it’s been so hilarious with heart and the greatest soundtrack to boot!

The story centers on Peter Kay and Sian Gibson, who have been randomly assigned to ride share every day to and from their job at a supermarket. They chat. They listen to a fictional radio station of classic tunes called Forever FM. They bicker. Think “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” meets “The Office.” There’s great banter and a little will-they-won’t-they tension that makes for great watching.

And I’m not alone – the new show has become BBC iPlayer’s most successful series to premiere as a box-set.

You can find episodes on YouTube – all six of them. Yep, that’s sadly all there is, but it has a great and complete ending with room for a second season.

Here’s the trailer …

Skort season

Boden Jersey Skort

Ah, I love a good skort. It’s literally the mullet (well, in the best possible sense of the word!) of the fashion world – skirt on the outside, shorts on the inside.

Boden has done a nice jersey skort ($32) this season that brings back childhood memories of summer. Sweet prints, easy to wear and requires no major ironing. Sizes range from kids 1 1/2 – 12.

Now if they could only make these for adults.

Boden Jersey Skort

Boden Jersey Skort

Paid family leave

I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day (even the UK mums who celebrated on an entirely different day in March!)

I loved and had to share this scathing piece that John Oliver did on “Last Week Tonight” about Mother’s Day and paid family leave in the U.S. America’s got to step it up.

Red Nose Day is coming to the US

I just spotted this commercial on NBC — Red Nose Day is coming stateside! May 21! I’m curious to see how something like this will work in the US. Red Nose Day will benefit 12 charities (like Save the Children, Boys & Girls Clubs and the United Way) to help kids out of poverty.

When you’re right about a princess …

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Presenting Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Well, I just have to gloat for a moment … I really can’t believe that I nailed two of the three names for the new princess!

Check out my prediction here – and voila! It’s official!

Exciting news and a lovely name for a gorgeous little girl!

(And you can get your own royal baby name generator – mine is Queen Tynnifer Mansfield! Very regal!)

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