Tag Archives: food

A Pretty Good Day

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Last week was half term here in England, which means schools were out and London was very crowded.

Most of the museums have special events on during half term for all the little ones. We decided to go to the National Gallery, which had on an Imaginary Worlds Family Festival.

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The last time we came to the National Gallery with Josh was about a year ago and was clearly not a great place to bring a one year old.

But now that he’s a bit older he seemed to enjoy it, and I especially loved looking at paintings with him and listening to him tell me about what he thought was happening in them.

My personal favourite was when upon seeing Seurat’s Bathers at Asnieres, Josh was very concerned that the boy in the river had lost his dog and was calling out for him, though the dog didn’t seem to look too concerned to me.

We had a great time though looking at the paintings and doing some of the children’s events like listening to a pop up orchestra.

The fun didn’t stop either when we left the gallery, as we even managed to see a somewhat creepy puppet show happening in Trafalgar Square.

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And of course we had lunch, which was possibly the highlight of the day when we found a new Mexican place on the Strand.

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And dessert.

Dessert was pretty good too.

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Yup. It was a pretty good day.

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Mason Jar Salads

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I have been procrastinating so long on writing this particular post, which is ironic given that it’s all about being more organised.

Tim has been really busy with work lately and I have been trying to manage meals at our house a bit better.

This usually involves one night at the start of the week, after Josh is in bed, sitting down and planning out all the meals for the week, then making a grocery list.

It’s annoying and a hassle sometimes, but it really has helped me to organise a bit more.

I’ve become so organised in fact, that most nights I will usually even make our lunches for the next day.

This has been aided immensely by the idea of putting salads in mason jars; yet another Pinterest discovery. It says that as long as the dressing and lettuce aren’t touching, the salads will stay fresh for up to a week.

I haven’t yet tried out this ‘stay fresh for a week’ hypothesis, but that’s hardly been necessary, as usually by the time I am done adding the toppings to the salad, I don’t have room for the lettuce and end up putting the lettuce in its own jar.

Either way, it’s pretty nice to have lunch all sorted when I get home. It also doesn’t hurt that they are in these cute mason jars.

So, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite ones, it being such great salad weather here in England.

Here they are in no particular order…

20121108-185535.jpgCaprese Salad

  • basil pesto, thinned out with a little olive oil;
  • pre-cooked chicken pieces;
  • cherry tomatoes, either halved or quartered;
  • cubed mozzarella;
  • fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped; and
  • lettuce, in a second jar.
  • 20121108-190123.jpgAsian Style Salad

  • Asian style salad dressing;
  • pre-cooked chicken pieces;
  • mandarin orange slices;
  • lettuce; and
  • sliced almonds.
  • 20121108-190558.jpgGoat Cheese and Strawberry Salad

  • dressing (probably a vinaigrette would work well here);
  • pre-cooked chicken pieces;
  • crumbled soft goat’s cheese;
  • strawberries;
  • sliced toasted almonds; and
  • lettuce, in a second jar.
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    Feta and Avocado Salad

  • dressing;
  • pre-cooked chicken;
  • cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered;
  • crumbled feta cheese;
  • corn;
  • toasted pine nuts;
  • avocado; and
  • lettuce, in a second jar.
  • You can see from the picture above, I waited until the morning to slice the avocado to keep it from turning brown.

    It sure looked nicer in a bowl then it did in the mason jar though.

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    Waldorf Style Salad

  • dressing;
  • pre-cooked chicken pieces;
  • sliced celery;
  • apples, cubed or chopped;
  • toasted almonds; and
  • lettuce, in a second jar.
  • You can probably see now why I’ve been putting off writing this post.

    There are endless possibilities.

    These are just a few of the ones I’ve enjoyed but maybe you all have more ideas you’d like to share?

    I’m always looking for some nice, quick lunch ideas, as I mentioned earlier, it being such nice salad weather and all.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to scrape the ice off my windscreen.

    Happy eating!

    Landscapes and Service Stations

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    This weekend, despite the rainy weather, we decided to get out and explore a bit more.

    England is full of these gardens/parks/etc. where people pay money to go in and walk around enjoying nature for a few hours.

    Usually in the rain.

    You can see then, how as a Californian, it took a while for me to get used to this idea of paying money to go walk around in a forest, cold, wet and miserable.

    But Josh seems to enjoy it and it gives me a chance to play around with my camera, so there you have it.

    On Saturday, we went to Painshill Park, an 18th century English landscape park.

    There were lots of beautiful landscapes.

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    And, unfortunately, lots of rain.

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    I might have been disappointed if that had been the main reason we had gone.

    But it wasn’t.

    We had heard that there was a Mexican place to eat at in a motorway service station on the way to Painshill Park.

    For all of you back in America who don’t know what a motorway service station is, think of those truck stops we have along the freeway, out in the middle of nowhere, where people stop to use the restroom.

    That’s it.

    That’s where we ate for lunch.

    But what a lunch it was!

    There is little to no Mexican food in England, and here, at this motorway service station, was something straight out of Chipotle.

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    They even had churros!

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    It’s not weird to eat at a service station several times a week, right?

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    Lazy Weekends and Curiously Easy Recipes

    It was such a nice, relaxing weekend here.

    The weather has been warm and sunny and most of our Saturday was spent just lying on a picnic blanket in the grass, staring up at a blue sky. 20120909-210028.jpg
    I’ve really been trying to get back into writing every day, not on this blog, but rather on other bits and pieces I’ve been working on. And, for the most part, I have been and am really happy about that.

    I know it means I haven’t been putting up as many photos of Josh lately, to which Grandma says she feels out of touch and I am sorry for that. But as she pointed out, it’s only 11 weeks till we get to see her in person. Just enough time for her to brush up on all the Cars names, though she already seem to have them all down!

    I assure you, I will still keep updating the blog, though probably only once a week or so. Hope that’s ok.

    In the meantime, to go with my relaxing weekend, I wanted to share an easy recipe for Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats.

    I was looking for a quick and easy treat to make this weekend and stumbled upon these.

    Making these took all of about five minutes and only required three ingredients.

  • 5 cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, or as it’s called here in the UK, Curiously Cinnamon;
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows; and
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, or 70 grams for those in the UK.
  • All you do is melt the butter in a large pan on the stove.

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    When it has melted, add the marshmallows.

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    Stir them on a low/medium heat until they have melted and are a smooth consistency.

    Then grab your cereal.

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    Isn’t that the funniest name for a cereal? Maybe because in my head I say it in a British accent.

    Turn off the heat and pour them into the pan, stirring to coat the cereal.

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    Once they’re coated, pour them into a pan and let them set till they are ready to eat. I actually ended up putting ours in the refrigerator for an hour or so before we cut them up and they turned out just fine.

    Better than fine.

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    They were curiously delicious.

    Homemade Bagel Fail

    Tim was gone all day today, running a golf tournament, so it was Josh and I on our own once more.

    We had a nice morning playing around the house and even managed to work in some finger painting.

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    Josh really seems to love finger painting and at one point, stopped painting on the paper, and decided to use his tummy instead! Who needs paper anyway when you have a cute little baby tummy to use right?!

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    The weather was a bit nicer this afternoon, so we went outside to play.

    Spring is definitely here and Josh had fun looking at all the new flowers blooming.

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    In between playing, I had my first attempt at making homemade bagels.

    It didn’t go well.

    I have really been missing all the delicious bagels available in America, especially strawberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese! I have been looking for ages for a strawberry bagel recipe and am surprised there aren’t more on the internet. But I did eventually find one, found here at Nutrition in a Peanut Shell.

    I really don’t know where it all went wrong, but mine defineintly don’t look like the ones in the picture. And I’m usually pretty good at cooking, so I’m stumped. I mean, I followed all the directions, but maybe sometimes things just don’t work for whatever reason. It’ll probably take me a few more try’s to eventually learn how to make a bagel.

    Either way, no one ever seems to post photos of when a recipe just didn’t work out, until today…. enjoy!

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