Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween

I want to carve a union jack o’ lantern! Next year! Photo credit: New Ravenna Mosaics

Can you believe it’s Halloween already? I’ve been looking forward to this day for so long (we bought costumes back in mid-September) and yet I always feel rushed to prepare.

Anyway, this year I’ve kept it mercifully simple. Bought a giant bag of candy at Target, which promises 180 pieces (okay, now there’s more like 160 pieces, but never mind…), which should hopefully be enough. We’ve decorated the house a bit (complete with orange twinkle lights) and we’ve carved our pumpkins early! (and knock on wood, they haven’t collapsed from mold.)

Even more fun? Our family is dressing up this year, Peter Pan-themed! J.M. Barrie would be so proud. I shall be Tiger Lily!

Have a lovely and safe Halloween, all!

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Best of British infographic

I spotted this infographic on Pinterest and thought it was worth sharing! Have a happy Tuesday!

Gap’s London Tote

I just spotted this city tote on Gap.com. 100% cotton canvas with a sweet design of London on the front for $19.95. They also do Paris, San Francisco and New York! What a stylish way to carry home groceries!

OPI’s SkyFall collection

I seriously am a sucker for these types of movie tie-in promotions. I realize it’s sheer marketing, but can’t help myself. Behold the new OPI nail polish line inspired by the new James Bond “SkyFall” film.

Why call it “red,” when you can call it “Die Another Day”? Am I right? Personally, I’m partial to the deep green silverness of “Live and Let Die.” What do you think?

British at heart

I spotted this online and love the retro vibe and cultural references! It’s available as a T-shirt via this link.

Brits and the Triple D

With my British sister-in-law in town these past few days, we’ve been eating out a fair bit. Today she led us to Dad’s Kitchen in Sacramento, which I’ve driven past a million times but never tried.

The reason for her pick? It was on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Yes, Brits get Guy Fieri on the Food Network UK channel and she’s taught me a thing or two about the Triple D. She knew about this website Flavortownusa.com, which maps out all of the eateries that have been featured on the show. She and her husband have been to a few across the U.S. on previous visits and have yet to be disappointed.

Dad’s Kitchen was good. We ordered Dad’s Burger and The Hot Blonde (both which were featured on the show), along with fries and jumbo onion rings, drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction and a shred of parmesan.

And as we left, our waiter told us that they’ve already served two Brits today…

The way to say shhh…

My sister-in-law is visiting us for a few days from England – and am getting lots of good blog material!

Here’s something I didn’t know:

In England, kids are taught to do this in class when teachers want them to be quiet:

In the U.S., we do this:

See the subtle turn of the finger? Fascinating!

Pearls of wisdom from 4-year-old Brit

Have you seen this video on YouTube?

I love the worldly wise advice given by this 4-year old sage. “You’re nearly 3, you should toughen up a bit,” says Delilah O’Donoghue from Balsall Common to her 2-year-old brother Gabriel.

It’s making the headlines here in the U.S. and the U.K. and has already been viewed more than 3,280,000 times! Check it out!

Toad in the hole

When fall begins to assert itself, we love nothing more than a comforting dish like Toad in the Hole. We made some last week, just as the weather started to cool.

Don’t worry. No toads were harmed in the making of this meal. The origins of Toad in the Hole are here.

If you’ve ever had a Bullock’s popover (does anyone remember the department store Bullock’s and their delicious popovers, which were basically Yorkshire puddings?), imagine this done big, studded with British bangers (translation: sausages). My husband uses the Yorkshire pudding recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Feast cookbook as the base for the Toad in the Hole:

1 1/3 cups 2% milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Packet of British bangers

Whisk the milk, eggs and salt well and let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the flour and let stand again until you need it. Cook at 450 degrees. Put the muffin tin in the oven to heat up for a good 10-15 minutes, with vegetable oil at the bottom. Add British bangers (we cut ours in half). When the pan and oil has been heated, pour in the yorkshire pudding batter and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they have puffed up gloriously.

Britwear from Club Monaco

Club Monaco has jumped on the British bandwagon, with their men’s outerwear fall line.

Take, for instance, the military snorkel jacket (seen here in the photo). It features black watch tartan, quilted lining, corduroy detailing and is made with waxed British millerain cotton. Perfect for a walk in the Scottish highlands!

Other items include hacking vests, wool peacoats and an impressive range of Barbour brand coats. Tally ho!