Sunday, August 31, 2008

Raspberry Maxx

Raspberry goodness packed into a variety of different products. Pics from a street market in Amsterdam.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jam session
This lovely chap gave us the most in depth and detailed explanation of each of the jams he was selling - where they came from (the fruit all came from areas around Berlin), what they were made of and more. It was almost too much information! And, he had a million types so it was a long visit to this particular stall at the market in central Berlin.

The one funny comment he made was about one of the jams, I think it was a strawberry-rhubarb combination. He said this one was the best as the berries came from Sweden!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Street ArtI really liked this quote and the basil growing out of this old drinking fountain, a few metres away.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Strange German hot dog toppings

D enjoying his dog with some cheese that really looked like artificial marshmallows and some other toppings which I didn't bother to examine as it was a late night snack after a night out in Berlin. My hot dog which had lots and lots of onions, I think they were fried then roasted, which made them very crispy. My hot dog was also topped with cucumber, it was a good addition because I like cucumber, but very strange. Why sliced cucumber on top of a hot dog? And the crispy onions gave it such an odd texture.
OJ in the square

Cheeky oj makers in central Berlin, my memory fails me but I think it was in Postdamer Platz, where there is a weekly Saturday food market. For 1 Euro you got freshly squeezed orange juice which looked and smelled delicious but when you tasted it, it was extremely sour!

It took me about half an hour to finish a tiny glass as I thought my mouth would remain in a constant pucker but my travel partner drank theirs in one gulp! Was very happy I did not order the large glass.

The entertainment value was worth it, these boys were performing their oj squeezing with flare and were mucking around for the camera. The one shielding himself said his girlfriend gets jealous if other girls take pictures of him (?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

'Ich bin ein Berliner!' Yes I feel like a jelly doughnut today, had lots of great food and fun in Berlin over the weekend. Will post as soon as I can unpack and shut out the noise of the Notting Hill Carnival happening outside my window!

In Berlin they have this funny television tower which looks like the CN tower, except they love it more than Torontonians love the CN. It is on postcards, t-shirts, bar posters, graffiti, advertising and more. Our poor CN tower is left for tourists only, I think the city should make it cool like they do in Berlin - although everyone seems to be uber cool there - and very tall!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PICASSO, eat your art out.
Artist Ryan Alexiev has come up with a novel medium for creating his images of celebrities — breakfast cereal.

It’s what you might call snap, crackle and pop art.

Icons from Pamela Anderson to Larry King have been portrayed using hundreds of thousands of individual pieces of cereal . . . and they’re grrrrrreat!

He’s even created one of terror chief Osama bin Laden. To the casual observer, the painstaking mosaic of cheerios and other sugar-coated cereals might look like the work of someone doing a long stretch of porridge.

But Alexiev, who was born in Los Angeles and raised in Alaska by Bulgarian immigrants, is not just some corny flake. His latest exhibition — The Land Of A Million Cereals — in San Francisco, is said to be a comment on US consumerism and how central cereals are to the American constitution.

With more than 400 kinds on sale in the States, they should be getting enough fibre for Alexiev to stop worrying about their constitution. Alexiev’s sugar-coated materials have not only earned him a high profile exhibition. He could be on his way to his own art calorie.

Then he could hang a few of his works of breakfast art alongside examples from Francis Bacon and Edvard Munch. It is not clear how much Alexiev’s works cost to buy. But you can bet it won’t be a muesli few quid.

See more pics here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greek sweets

I do love coconut and the white balls were divine, it was like having a Ferrero Rocher Raffaello (white version) which is my favourite! All of the cookies were amazing from this little bakery in Greece.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Octopussy & the Beckham dream shatteredPics from the Greek restaurant where we had the cute Beckham-like waiter serving us fresh octopus and fresh smelt. We then saw the young waiter eating lunch on his break and it was vile, he was shoveling the food down like it was his last supper!

Face down, not swallowing and just stuffing the food down without breathing; not knowing how to use a knife and fork properly dropped the David Beckham fantasy quite quickly. At least the octopus was delicious and we got to watch the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and chat with the nice Papou who's son owned the restaurant, he is sitting in a special chair by the TV.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Greek fruit & veg market
Can British retailers take note. The food was so fresh and seemingly natural, not individually packaged and looking pale. The smell from this shop was fab.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Greek fish market
This fish vendor was lovely, although we communicated with very few words in the same language. The little fish in the wooden crate were served to us in the restaurant facing this fish market (our young waiter looked like David Beckham!) they were just fried in a simple flour batter and they were delicious with a simple squirt of lemon. I call these fish smelt and so did the menu, but this man was calling them something different, most likely their Greek name.

My Dad used to catch these when he went fishing, I think that is all he ever caught with the net, as when he used his fishing rod he only seemed to catch sea weed!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Honey at the Lanesborough
A pic of the Honey Monster at her bday celebrations at The Lanseborough Hotel. We had dinner at Apsleys which was extremely lovely. More to follow on our dining experience...

That's our nice Italian waiter she is cuddling up to!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Locals at a village pub in Norfolk are beating the credit crunch by bartering home-grown produce for pints.

The Pigs public house, in Edgefield, near Holt, encourages drinkers to contribute to its traditional food menu in return for free alcohol.

A sign placed inside the pub reads: "If you grow, breed, shoot or steal anything that may look at home on our menu, bring it in and let's do a deal."

Fresh fruit, fish, meat and vegetables have been traded for pints.

Meals or vouchers have also been exchanged for produce, depending on its size, quantity and quality.

Manager Cloe Wasey, 24, said the offer has been a success as people have started to feel the credit crunch.

Shot rabbits

Pints have been exchanged for a kilo of potatoes, three whole mackerel and a kilo of fresh fruit.

Locally shot rabbits, pheasants and pigeons have also been exchanged for beer.

Miss Wasey said: "We've been doing it for almost two years now but the success of it has only just recently started to boom with the credit crunch setting in.

Someone will say 'that rabbit tasted great' and we say 'here, meet the person who shot it
Manager Cloe Wasey

"People need to find different ways to go out and this helps.

"It's also great for us because we get produce at a good price, although we have high standards so the food we get in has to meet those.

"We find the home grown stuff is often much better than what we can get from the suppliers.

"When we get the good stuff, and it gets on to the specials board, it's brilliant.

"Someone will say 'that rabbit tasted great' and we say 'here, meet the person who shot it'.

"It's also a challenge for the chef to make the most of the ingredients."

Driver Derek Feast, 64, a regular in the pub, recently swapped some of the free range chicken eggs that he breeds, for a pint.

"I have a job where I earn the national minimum wage so this little bit of extra money helps me get out," he said.

"The odd penny here and there really helps."

Miss Wasey runs the pub with her business partner Tim Abbott, 24, who is head chef.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greek lunch
It is now officially winter in London!? It is very cold, wet and grey which is just the type of weather that is perfect for August, non?

This is what lunch consisted of last week - fresh, simple and delicious. The tomatoes were delicious and juicy, the bread was fresh and the Spanish chorizo (from Borough Market) was delicious. Along with the view from the boat, you couldn't have a more relaxing lunch.

Hopefully Mother Nature sends some sun our way -maybe she can take a little heat and sun from Greece, they had plenty. Gotta run and shut the windows as another downpour has just started!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bread for charity
If you head over to Mr. Fayed’s home (remember to skip the tacky Diana and Dodi memorial) you can get a little bit of home baked goodness starting in September. Hovis are going to be producing some authentic loaves, 1886 style. They will cost 1.05 but I think they should charge the 1886 prices, maybe 2p? (The Hard Rock CafĂ© did this one year and there were queues out the door! Great idea)

The name Hovis comes from a shortened version of the Latin ‘hominis vis’ meaning strength of man. Apparently there are many more health benefits in bread than we think, for all of you on those no carb diets.

Harrods will also be selling a little ‘Bake your Own Little Brown Loaf’ kit where you will get an original style baking tin, with some Hovis flour – you can then make these cute mini loaves wearing an old fashioned apron, just like your gran or great gran used to. How many of you have made home made bread lately – or ever? I tried in New Zealand, to impress the man, but it turned into a terrible disaster and we could’ve used it to fend off intruders.

A nice part of this Harrods activity is that all profits form these limited edition kits will go to Cancer Research UK. Go on, get to Harrods with your touristy friends and get a loaf and a limited edition kit.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dip and Dunk
Pictures above are the deliciously, divine creations made by Mr. Dunk for his birthday - all recipes came from the Ottolenghi cookbook.

From the Ottolenghi blog:

'The Cookbook is our first attempt at “summing up” Ottolenghi food for the home cook. The 140 recipes cover everything we do: our prominent salads and roast vegetable dishes, cold meat and fish, substantial main courses from our dinner menu in Islington, some of our wholesome breads and savoury pastries, and a good mixture of the sweets that distinctively adorn Ottolenghi’s windows. We encourage you to use this open window into our world.'

The food was divine!

Mr. D even got a lovely cake stand as a gift. Now that he is entering chef school that cake stand should be filled with new creations on a weekly basis. That is, after the 3 months of learning how to chop.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Enoteca Pinchiorri
Voted one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the world by Restaurant Magazine this year, Enoteca Pinchiorri is a stop not to be missed in Florence. The Michelin starred restaurant leaves one amazed at the creativity and talent of its chefs. The recent recruitment of pastry chef from the number one restaurant on the list, El Bulli in Spain, shows Enoteca’s dedication to be the best, not only in Florence but also in Italy and on the world circuit. We ordered the famous tasting menu and we were filled with awe at the continuous flow of delectable food served with the most exquisite wines. It was a feast fit for a king. Service was impeccable with up to four or five waiters attending our table at any one time, including a sommelier who gave us an after dinner tour of the spectacular wine cellar which is home to 10,000 bottles of wine. The gastronomic details were exceptional down to the extensive water menu and the five or six choices of salts, peppers and olive oils from Italy and around the world.

To be a part of the, Enoteca Pinchiorri must cover the four Cs in the Group’s charter, they are: character, charm, courtesy and cuisine. These are all met, if not exceeded by the restaurant. The attention and care given not only to the food but also to the guests makes Enoteca Pinchiorri a true delight.

Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Feolde started in the business in 1972 and have not given up their passion for perfection. They say they study the evolution of taste and their goal is to spread the culture of the best Italian food, wine and hospitality to the world. After a few hours feasting on our tasting menu and enjoying some of the finest wines from their cellar, I agree that they are not only meeting, but also exceeding their goals.
Mr. M enjoying his 7th or 8th glass of vintage wine which accompanied the tasting menu. I think we rolled out of there and then dashed off to the spa - it is a tough life sometimes!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sail away with meTaking a long weekend jaunt to the Greek islands. I am sure there will be lots of gyros, dolmas, olives, souvlakia and moussaka consumed. Will take lots of pics and sample as much Greek cuisine as possible, including a little Ouzo - Opa!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

DanielasBrunch at Danielas - the food is good and it is served up with some Southern Italian attitude. I think she is from Napoli or Calabria, definitely a hot blooded Italian.