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Happy (gluten-free) Pancake Day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Pancake Day yesterday!

Gluten-free crepesWe took a slightly different route this year – still flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants to make crepes on a school night, but this year, we threw in the added challenge of making a gluten-free version.

We followed our tried-and-tested recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, with a couple of tweaks. We replaced the flour with Cup4Cup, Thomas Keller’s stellar gluten-free flour, and added more milk to thin out the batter. The end result was a crepe that was so pitch perfect, you would never in a million years guess that it was gluten-free, which is really the goal, right?

Kids topped it with lemon and sugar, and then on round two, spread it with Nocciolata, an organic hazelnut spread with cocoa and milk, and were in dessert heaven.

As for me, I went au natural, scoffing it straight sans spread and it was delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Gluten-free Crepes

250 g (2 C) flour (gluten-free like Cup4Cup or all-purpose)
3 eggs
1/4 L (1 C) milk
100 g (1/3 C) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 L (1 C) still water
butter for cooking, and an assortment of toppings

In a large mixing-bowl, roughly combine the flour and eggs. Whisk in the milk, adding it slowly to avoid lumps. Add in the sugar, vanilla, oil and rum (if using), and whisk to combine thoroughly. Whisk in the water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Take the bowl of batter out of the fridge, and give it a whisk to “revive” it. Put a thick-bottomed, low-rimmed frying pan over high heat. Wait until it gets very hot (hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle). Melt a dab of butter in it, and spread the butter evenly in the pan with a wadded paper towel (watch your fingers).

Ladle a little batter in the pan (just enough to cover the pan thinly, we are not making pancakes here), and move the pan around so the batter forms an even disk. Wait until the edges of the crêpe start to pull slightly away from the sides of the pan, peek underneath, and flip the crêpe with a spatula when it is nice and golden. Cook for a few more seconds (the second side cooks much faster) and serve immediately, topped/stuffed/rolled/spread with the sweet condiment of your choice.

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Does a British Person Actually Like You?

Does a British Person Actually Like Me

Yep, pretty much, right? Thanks to Overheard in Waitrose for this gem.

Vanderpump (does) rule

Vanderpump Rules

I’ve been in a funk since the election and with the inauguration and this hot mess of the past week in the news, only one show cheers me up: Vanderpump Rules.

I discovered it on Hulu last fall and after a couple of episodes, I was hooked. Somehow the over-the-top antics of this twenty-something restaurant staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur restaurant in West Hollywood was just what I needed. It’s soapy and silly and reality TV at its best when you just need a light mental break from the heaviness of life. It’s the visual equivalent of a sweet, bubbly, decidedly pink cocktail.

If you don’t know Lisa Vanderpump, she is the very British owner of three L.A. hot spots – Villa Blanca, Sur and Pump. She is grounded and funny and smart, despite her millions, a wonderfully accomplished restaurant head, a confidant and voice of reason with her young staff, and she is so delightedly British and likable.

This past weekend, I finally finished Season 4! If you haven’t watched it, give Vanderpump Rules a try!

Marks & Spencer’s Christmas advert

Following my post yesterday about John Lewis’s Christmas advert, I present an alternative take on the Christmas advert with Marks & Spencer‘s latest.

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Poppy power

Barbara Windsor with poppy

Barbara Windsor with poppy

While Sky News wouldn’t be my pick in any normal circumstances, it was the only app providing live election coverage on my Apple TV on Tuesday night, and so I went with it.

Aside from seeing the uncomfortable and then nauseated expressions of British journalists suddenly realizing that the unthinkable was happening, I couldn’t help but notice the poppies that everyone was wearing.

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True colors

It’s been four months since Brexit.

Four months since Britain made the terrible decision to leave the European Union.

It hit me hard.

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Overheard from the Posh Mums of North London

In case you were ever wondering what you were missing by NOT being a posh mum in North London’s borough of Highgate, there is a Twitter account, @HighgateMums, that pulls the lid off of the conversation amongst the ladies who brunch.

Here are just a few gems:

Highgate Mums

* “Sweetheart, I don’t blame the Art teacher for scolding you. This piece is devastatingly lacklustre.”
* “My girl’s in the lowest tier, but I’m convinced she’s being used to be an aspirational focus for her less-abled classmates.”
* “Darling, don’t scrape your chair. It makes your presence over-known.”
* “School hours are designed for the convenience of the teachers and pupils and frankly nobody else. Nobody else AT ALL.”
* “Her first words were ‘shoes’ and ‘brioche’.”
* “I know she’s mine, but she’s an appalling painter. Her use of greens is one of the few saving graces.”

SMH. Amazing.

Taylor Swift + Chris Martin = ?

Taylor Swift kissing Tom Hiddleston

Once you go Brit, you never go back.

Or so it seems for Taylor Swift. I’ve been amused this week to hear that Tom Hiddleston is the latest in her string of British boyfriends (Calvin Harris, and before him, infamously Harry Styles).

I kind of wished she had waited a heartbeat and considered dating Chris Martin, Coldplay’s front man, who seems to be smitten with American women (famously married to Gwyneth Paltrow, then seen dating Jennifer Lawrence and possibly Heather Graham). It could very well be a match made in heaven. I can see it now. She’ll giggle as he talks about the “loo” and fixes her a cup of tea (okay … maybe not in that order). He’ll love her “garage” and “aluminum foil” and meatloaf, but we may need to wait it out. He appears to be quite content with his current wildcard girlfriend Annabelle Wallis, who hails from Portugal of all places.

Give it time. I’m quite certain the stars will align and he’ll be back on the market looking for an American girlfriend, around the same time that Taylor Swift grows tired of Tom Hiddleston’s dad dancing.

Tom Hiddleston dancing

I give it three months.

Scottish Ginphographic

Impressive, Scotland. Very impressive!

Gin Guide - Scotland

Thanks to 5pm.co.uk for reminding me of what I’ve missed out on (I think Hendrick’s is the only one that I’ve tried…)

Princess Charlotte’s balcony debut

Oh, Princess Charlotte is a cutie. I loved these photos of the Royal Family taken on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Saturday’s annual Trooping the Colour in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday.

  (Photo by Zak Hussein - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

(Photo by Zak Hussein – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)


 (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)