Thursday, July 23, 2009

The daily mealArancini were eaten daily on our hols. Matteo holding his; I don't think I photographed mine as they were always consumed quickly.

They were usually eaten on the sun lounger while looking out to sea, hoping we wouldn't see or hear Bronnie shrieking from a jelly fish sting! She moaned about how no one offered to pee on her! (we were told they were not poisonous from day one - her scream sounded as if Jaws were attacking our delicate, parasol toting friend)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nutella heavenWe didn't have creeps with Nutella, I think they meant crepes (select signage in Sicily is hilarious), but we did have Nutella every morning for breakfast! How heavenly is that?

Chocolate hazelnut spread on fresh bread or crispy toast was the perfect start to our mornings. It was usually followed by a fresh cappuccino and a hunk of fresh watermelon that was most certainly the best watermelon I have ever had.

This hearty brekafast was needed as we had busy days ahead of us starting with the 5minute trek to the beach, the task of finding the perfect sun lounger (front row only!) and then going through a routine of swimming, sunsceen, gelato and then naps. This was what the morning Nutella was fueling. I do love Nutella and summer holidays!

Back in Londontown to grey, dreary weather and I saw people wearing coats this morning - how depressing? I will have Nutella for breakfast tomorrow and hope that I see some sun.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Island food needs tasting
Bye bye London Town for a week! I will chat to you soon bloggies, but I must depart this fair city for the Mediterranean ocean for a short while.

I will be eating and drinking on some lovely islands and examining some underwater creatures with my snorkel gear. Ciao, ciao for now! Will have some food adventures to share next week!

In the meantime, try this strawberry and balsamic vinegar recipe from the New York Times, it sounds amazing.

Strawberries With Balsamic Vinegar

Yield 4 to 6 servings

Time 15 minutes

Mark Bittman

Caleb Kenna for The New York Times

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar will not hold for any length of time. You can sugar the berries an hour or two before serving them, but no longer. Sprinkle on the vinegar and pepper, very judiciously, just before serving. Feel free to mix in some blackberries or blueberries for color; their addition is a striking one. The berries, of course, can be served solo, but for an even more elegant presentation, add a few crisp cookies or a slice of pound, sponge or angel food cake.

  • 1 quart strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 pint blackberries or blueberries, optional
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves for garnish, optional
  • 1. Toss strawberries and other berries, if using, with the 1/4 cup sugar, and let sit for 10 minutes or longer. Do not refrigerate.
  • 2. Sprinkle with the vinegar; toss gently, then taste and add more sugar or vinegar if necessary. Sprinkle with the pepper, toss again, and serve, garnished with the mint, if you like. Spoon into a glass or bowl, and serve next to cookies or a piece of cake.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The House The House, a yummy gastropub - 63-69 Canonbury Rd, Islington. Dee took this pic to make me jealous, looks divine. They had a lovely all day Sunday lunch there last weekend.

House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Don't go to: Carbon Bar - Marble Arch

Ok this week is rant week. Don't go to Carbon Bar because they have terrible customer service. It may be that they have one stupid waitress working there but it ruined our night there. Also, when you hire people should an establishment not train staff on general customer service skills and should they not come equipped with general common sense?

Scenario: I order a glass of the Cabernet Sauvignon wine on the menu - cost £7.00. Burger orders a cocktail - cost £9.00. Wine and cocktail come and bill arrives with it - strange as it was dead in there and we were hoping to run a tab since Mr. Frz was joining us. I briefly glance at the bill and my wine is £12. I ask why to our waitress and she says, they didn't have the wine I asked for so she gave me a glass of the 'reserve' wine.

I then asked why she didn't ask me and she started to accuse me that she thought it would be ok to substitute without telling me and that I didn't specify anyway which wine I wanted in the first place. Well a) if she wasn't sure in the first place why didn't she clarify, and b) you don't automatically give someone a premium wine if you don't ask them or tell them that the wine I ordered has ran out.

I could've bought a bottle or even been very shocked at the end of the night when I got my bill. Common sense lacking, non?

Anyhow as you can imagine there was no reasoning with this idiot and she was giving me attitude. Burger and I started with our reasoning to dumb ears and asked for the manager, who was nowhere to be found. I asked her to bring me another drink and change our bill -she huffed at this (again-not sure why, when this is her job!?) and some pseudo 18yr old manager came out to apologise and tell me the real manager was away.

So again to reiterate what D no.1 always says, there is a credit crunch happening at the moment, the place was dead and customers should be king, but I think lots of businesses are losing sight of this!

Mr. Frz came and we agreed that customer service is lacking in this city, had a few more cocktails, our waitress was not to be seen again near our table and then went on our way to another bar that didn't have moronic staff.
We were the only people in there. Maybe there was a reason for that!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In Chinatown you can...

Drink beer after hours, it is served in little green tea cups and comes out of a teapot! I can't recall the name of the place but I thought it was hilarious.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Don't go to Tamarai, Covent Garden!
The food is terrible and the service is even worse at Tamarai Restaurant on Drury Lane! I don't want to go into details as we went there for K-girl's hen night and it was a long time ago now but we were treated horribly by the wait staff and bouncer /manager. The food was disgusting, small portioned and the whole experience was utterly terrible.

It is a place for wannabes and those who think they are too cool. We begrudgingly paid our over inflated bill which was definitely not worth what we got, including the attitude. We tried to not pay the service charge and there was some fight about that not being possible. I stayed out of this evening's arguments (R did all the work) I just enjoyed watching and thought Momma Dolce would be proud of me for not getting involved. After a lot of wrangling, as I think they even charged us service on the alcohol tax?! we somehow manged to pay less service and finally left! The dessert

The main thing was that the bride-to-be had a good time and we ensured she didn't get into the pettiness of this horrible restaurant's manager. Just steer clear of this place as you will be greatly disappointed unless you like to spend money for bad food and bad service. I think this trumped my b-day disaster at Elysee Greek restaurant!
Deep fried crappy starters

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Glee Gum'Real gum' made with rainforest chicle, all natural. The only problem is that this Glee Gum, gives you no glee after a short while as the gum looses its flavour quickly. Glee Gum is made by what looks like a great family-owned company that thinks about the environment and sustainability of the rainforests. They have an interesting website which describes the process and has a gum making kit that you can buy for the kids. They are based in the US but were displaying their wares here at the Taste of London fair. I have enjoyed my 3 packs of gum so far, although they lose their taste fast I like the idea that they are all natural and are good for you. You can buy the gum in the US and Canada and in Toronto you can buy it at Whole Foods (my lunchtime favourite!). The people selling glee gum at the stand at Taste were absolutely wonderful!

Two facts from the Glee website:

  • Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from producing tears
  • Chewing gum burns around 11 calories per hour

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Fresh summer treat (and Happy Canada Day!)Amazingly crunchy and a nice complement to a salad or your favourite dish. It does splatter all over you when you peel it and it looks like a vampire has had a go at your neck. D&B thought I was attacked by that hottie from that Twilight movie - unfortunately that wasn't the case, but my stained neck and clothes were worth it. High in antioxidants too and very good for the bathing suit countdown diet.

From Wiki: Pomegranate juice provides about 16% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving, and is a good source of vitamin B (pantothenic acid), potassium and antioxidant polyphenols.

Get out there and have some maple syrup or some Canadian Beer today, there is also a big party in Trafalgar Square all day!