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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bloomingdale’s is puttin’ on the Brits

Bloomingdale's

Bloomingdale’s is showing the Brits some love this month with a section on their website called “Puttin’ on the Brits.” They’re currently featuring more than 40 British brands, 14 pop-up shops, 60 in-store events and more!

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The 21 greatest moments in the life of a Londoner

You sound like you're from London

I like Buzzfeed.com’s list of the 21 greatest moments in the life of a Londoner. It makes me yearn to be back in the city a little bit (particularly the joys of number 1, 3 and 21).

“Downton Tabby”

Well, if you’ve ever felt like “Downton Abbey” is missing a bit of feline flair (and who hasn’t?), keep an eye out for “Downton Tabby” by Chris Kelly, which will be released Dec. 3.

If this cover is an indicator of the quality read that awaits, we are all in for a treat!

Downton Tabby

Dinner doodles

Placemart art by Marion Deuchars

I love the idea of this book by the U.K.’s Marion Deuchars. “Let’s Make Some Great Placemat Art” is the perfect antidote for any child who’s bored sitting in a restaurant waiting for dinner to arrive (and a godsend to parents)!

First world problem: Missing the Emmy Awards

Breaking Bad

Congrats to “Breaking Bad” for winning Best Drama. Sure wish that I could’ve seen it!

Waaaaah! I can’t believe I missed the Emmy Awards yesterday. Not only did I miss them, they weren’t even on my radar. I had no idea they were happening yesterday until I went online and spotted some headlines – the top being that the U.K.’s Damian Lewis from “Homeland” didn’t get the big prize.

Cue the sad trombone.

All I could do was live vicariously through The Mirror’s play-by-play account of the evening. And sieve through the Red Carpet photos on Huffington Post. Le sigh.

When a technical glitch gives you a Hitler mustache …

Nigel Farage

I did laugh at this: A pixelation glitch at BBC Studios gave Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, a Hitler mustache today, while he was on the channel talking about the need to limit immigration.

This comes after Farage was accused by a former teacher of singing Hitler youth songs while in school. Coincidence?

The BBC said in a statement “The big screen is owned by MediaCity UK, not the BBC. The fault has been reported to them and they are working to rectify it as soon as possible.”

Infographic: A look at British brekkie

Sorry for my lack of posts! This has been a ridiculously busy week!!

I wanted to share this great infographic about breakfast in the U.K., created by Thistle Hotels! It makes me hungry for breakfast right now!

Full English breakfast

Thanks to Lillie for sending!

Cauliflower bake with hazelnut crunch crust

A few months ago, we got “The Little Paris Kitchen” cookbook by Rachel Khoo and after a long summer of not feeling terribly interested in spending time in the kitchen, I’ve finally gotten around to cooking from it – Cauliflower bake with hazelnut crunch crust.

I like the simplicity of her recipes and the French flair (Khoo is a Brit who now lives in Paris and adds some Britishness to her French dishes). It’s seasonal, fresh and easy and the results speak for themselves – my cauliflower bake was gone in a day and it was a great recipe to get the kids to eat their veggies.

If you haven’t seen Khoo’s show before, it’s currently on the Cooking Channel in the states, showing every Friday at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Cauliflower bake with hazelnut crunch crust

3 lbs heads cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets
1/3 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 slice of extra crunchy toast, roughly chopped

Mornay sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, slightly warmed
1/4 onion, skin removed
1 clove
1 bay leaf
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
7 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (can also use Comte or Parmesan)

To begin with, steam the cauliflower in a colander fitted inside a pan. Steam for around 15 minutes so the cauliflower still has some bite left in it.

Cauliflower Bake

For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Add the flour and stir hard until a smooth paste is achieved. Take off the heat and leave for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk, mixing all the time. Place it back on the heat and add the clove, bay leaf and leek. Simmer for 10 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove the leek, bay leaf and clove. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower Bake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the cheese into the warm sauce, saving a bit to sprinkle on top. Mix the cauliflower into the sauce and give it a good stir. Pour into a baking tin.

Cauliflower Bake

Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and top with the crushed hazelnuts and broken up pieces of toast. Bake for 20 minutes and then place under the broiler for a few minutes to get a golden and bubbling crust.

We dug in so quickly after I took it out of the oven that I later realized that I had forgotten to take a photo of this golden brown and bubbling goodness! Trust me when I say it looked and tasted divine!

Quintessentially British print

Quintessentially British

Love this print I found on Pinterest, hand-lettered by the U.K.’s Debbie Kendall from The Enlightened Hound. There’s only one print left on her site in a handmade frame for £95.

Losing a friend

Cat likes muffin

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” – Colette

Yesterday, our cat Poppy passed away after 11 years of life. It’s never easy to lose a pet, but I didn’t expect how much I would really miss the tap-tap-tap of her paws on our floors or the nightly ritual of seeing her leaning into my daughter’s room, quietly listening to a bedtime story, straight out of a scene in “Amelie.” I imagine that she is gleefully bouncing on bedsheets right now somewhere in cat heaven.

R.I.P. Poppy.