Monday, September 22, 2014

London Vacation with all them Foodie Highlights!


That first week back after vacation is always the hardest. You've just finished a slice of that rich and famous lifestyle and the taste is still lingering as you return to your everyday routine. You post some pictures to your social media, share the stories of your trip with friends and family, and start easing yourself ever-so-gingerly back into reality. 

Fast forward just over a month back, and your trip feels like it was a year ago! That's where I am today. The last five weeks have been a blur of getting back into the routine of work (a particularly busy time at work, I might add), plus squeezing in a few final road trips before the inevitable end of summer.

Before I forget all of the fabulous tasty bits and highlights from our trip, I wanted to share them in a quick recap. There was so much awesome to see and eat, I could've spent the entire summer in London and still not have experienced it all.

Day 1: Started with the perfection that was this americano. Just what the doctor ordered after a 5 hour sleepless, red-eye flight, arriving 3:00AM Newfoundland time or 6:30AM London time! *yawn* lol


Day 1 was pretty low key, we did some touristing about, checked out some scenery and soaked in all the glory that is London.





Day 1 also brought my first encounter with carnitas. Yum!

Burrito from Tortilla

Day 2 was our 3 year wedding anniversary and a busy, jam-packed day! We visited Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the guards (which did not happen), Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and the Natural History Museum.









We ate supper at the Skylon Grill. The food was great, but the noise-level was nuts! lol So much for a romantic meal - we yelled the entire time and after 3 requests, I never did get my drink! But again, the food was good, so it wasn't a total loss ;)

I tried pate for the first time and really enjoyed it. Specifically, it was a chicken and duck liver pate with dried fruit chutney and toasted sourdough bread. The rest of the meal was great too - I had butternut squash and sage ravioli with mushrooms and toasted pine nuts (omgyum), while Nick enjoyed himself a giant slab of steak with paprika butter and spuds.



And because it was our anniversary, we just had to have dessert ;) I opted for a dark chocolate mousse with salted peanut praline and Nick enjoyed a Bailey's Creme Brulee. So smance.



Day 3 was an early rise, but well worth it! We did an inner circle tour of Stonehenge and visited Lacock and Bath.
Our first shot of Stonehenge in the morning mist and only our tour on site. Words cannot describe.

Our food highlight of the day was breakfast at the George Inn in Lacock. There we enjoyed a traditional English breakfast and some gorgeous scenery.





In Bath, we enjoyed the most delicious gelato with a view :) Plus a trip to the Roman Baths.



Day 4 was our East End Food Tour!! I contemplated doing a separate post for this but decided I might as well put it all in here. All I can say is that it was fantastic. We ate a lot! Learned a lot! and had the opportunity to stroll around one of the most exciting parts of town. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a true taste of the city. We had the nicest, most enthusiastic guide and ate such good food! Definitely an experience.

As I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone who plans to take the tour, I've included just a few snaps from our day.

We stopped at Androuet London for cheese sampling... so much fun! I should also note, we made a return visit post-tour to bring some of the cheesy deliciousness back home with us! :) B'ys were so nice and you could tell they truly loved the product they were selling!


We stopped into Aladin on Brick Lane for a curry sampling - veg/mild, lamb/medium and chicken/hot :) Such a great spot.


We taste-tested a salt beef sandwich on a delightfully chewy and delicious boiled bagel!


And one of my favorite stops was at a small pub for bread pudding and custard. Amazing!

We also had the opportunity to compare our Newfoundland Fish and Chips to London's fish and chips. I gotta say, their fish was just as delicious - they even used cod which I wasn't expecting... or at least they did at Poppies. We tried some mushy peas too and it wasn't half bad ;)


The remainder of our day included a trip to Bond in Motion (amazing!) and Covent Gardens markets.


Day 5 consisted of a second failed attempt at seeing the changing of the guards, a visit to 221 Bakers Street and M16 headquarters... no big deal. Nothing exciting to report on a food front on this day.













         






Day 6 brought another exciting English tradition I had been looking forward to since booking the trip - high tea! It was our first day of 'London Rain' but our umbrella's kept us dry. We visited the Royal Observatory, straddled the prime meridian and popped over to the Queen's House for our tea.




High tea was incredible. We had a gorgeous view of the observatory, plus a fabulous spread of treats including clotted cream! (Side note: Clotted Cream is actually available in Newfoundland at Coleman's!!!)

We hopped a clipper back to the city and visited the clink prison. Then headed to Piccadilly circus to finish our souvenir shopping and feast at Inamo, one of the coolest restaurants I've been in to date!



Day 7 was another awesome day, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Borough market was partially open for lunch when we walked through. I can't imagine the day we would have had if the full market was available, we bought and sampled enough as it was! ;) We also checked out Shakespeare's Globe, London Bridge and London Tower and finished our day at Covent Garden for some paella (another food first).



We were sad to leave, it was such a great trip! Thanks for the time London, hope we see you again some day soon!

xoxo





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fried Cod Tongues with Scrunchions


I sometimes wonder, if I didn't grow up eating cod tongues, would I dare try them today? I honestly have my doubts, but I'm glad I did because cod tongues are now what I reference each time I come across a new and odd sounding food. I always think, well... if I like cod tongues, then maybe *insert odd sounding food here* will be good too?

Anywho, since I like to keep all my favourite recipes together on this blog, and since the food fishery is now officially open for the next 3 weeks, I thought I would share this quick and easy recipe for fried tongues. If you've never tried them, they're highly delicious - be adventurous!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baked Brie with Figs & Honey



Don't you love it when you walk into the grocery store for 1 thing and come out with 1 cartload? Yeah me neither, well at least my bank account doesn't like it, I'm usually pretty smitten with all my new goodies. In any case, that happened to me a couple of weeks back as I popped into Sobey's for a few last minute ingredients for supper, when all of a sudden I spied FRESH FIGS!! You don't even understand how excited I was... well actually in my mind I was freaking out, while on the exterior I was playing it cool, as to not draw attention to the rare and limited find!

Needless to say, my few items turned into my few items plus 6 precious little figs, crusty bread, double-creme brie and pure happiness. So again, I must reiterate, if you are a fig fan like me, please run, not walk to your nearest grocery store and scour those refrigerated produce racks, they won't be in season forever!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry and Cake Kebobs



In contrast to my last post, where I shared a hearty and comforting chowder for those chilly evenings, I now bring to you a light and airy treat perfect for those hot summer days. Strawberry and Cake kebobs combine tasty bites of strawberries, and fluffy, oh-so-tasty bits of angel food cake with your favourite topping. You don't even need the topping if you don't want it, but come off it, who wouldn't want a drizzling of chocolate or caramel or honey, even?

Now I can't take full credit for these beauties, as I spied them on Pinterest several months back, but I just had to try them for myself! They require very little effort to make, and to be honest as I was chopping my store-bought cake and strawberries, and taking all the shortcuts, I felt as though I was hosting my own episode of Nigella Express! Such a simple but delicious treat.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fish Chowder

I was wondering about the timeliness of this post, as Fish Chowder is more of a wintery/cold, dreary-day type meal, but then I looked at the forecast for the coming week, and remembered where I live, and decided I was good to go. After all, I got married in August (typically one of the better months in Newfoundland) only to face rain, drizzle, wind and 5 degree temperatures... so really this hearty and oh-so-satisfying, soul-warming chowder is great any time of year.

It's also really easy, and pretty quick to make.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quick & Easy Homemade Pizza Crust



I'll be honest, any time the word yeast pops up in a recipe, I immediately move on. In my mind, yeast translates to waiting around, and if you lack patience - which I always do when I'm hungry - 'waiting around' isn't an option.

Lucky for me, the hubby has a bit more patience, and decided to whip up this crust one night for supper. I was shocked at how easy it was to make, anddddd the fact that it only takes 20 minutes. I mean really, it'll take you that long to prep the toppings! For this recipe recap, I topped our pizza with pesto, chicken, mini heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, shallots and mozzarella - but the possibilities are endless. Definitely one of the best tasting crusts I've had. Apparently, 'yeast' isn't such a bad word after-all!

FYI this is yet another delicious recipe, courtesy of the Looneyspoons!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Food Infatuation Turns 2!

Photo Credit

Yesterday My Food Infatuation turned 2! And there has been quite a bit of blogging happening over the last 730 or so days! To date I've had nearly 90,000 views on over 130 posts, and I've been very busy on social media. In addition to my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, I've created my first two YouTube videos and a Google+ account. Still really enjoying the blogging-life and looking forward to keeping it going for a third year!

Once again, thanks to all my followers and supporters. Keep the comments and shares coming, and stay tuned for lots of new recipes and foodie fun! ;)

xo,
Food Diva


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fee, Fie, Faux, Fried Chicken



If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe, your search stops here - Fee Fi Faux Fried Chicken is wicked! There's a bit of work involved, and you will have to get your hands dirty, but that's half the fun! Definitely adding this recipe to my favourites. Serve this Looneyspoons recipe up with some corn-on-the-cob and homemade scalloped potatoes (The Greater Scalloped Potater) and you'll be loving life.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fudgy Brownie Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle




































Last year for my sister's birthday, I put together quite the elaborate fondant cake that included as many things as I could think of, that she enjoyed. This year, I decided to take a different route and opted instead to focus on her favourite dessert - brownies! For as long as I can remember she has loved brownies, and for her, the richer the better. I swear if she put her mind to it, she could polish off an entire pan by herself, though unlike me she has control, so maybe not ;) In any case, since it was her birthday, and birthdays require cake, I decided to mix up the usual presentation and give her a true brownie cake.

To counteract all the sweet, I added some salted caramel drizzle to the top - it definitely could have used more salt to pair with the cake, or maybe it just needed more drizzle? Ether way, the leftover salted caramel is phenomenal on ice cream! You can find the recipe here on Food Wishes.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Molasses Tart


If you've never experienced a freshly baked Molasses Tart filled with jammed, wild Newfoundland berries, you don't know what you're missing! Hands down one of my all time favourite desserts. I'm not sure where the recipe originated - probably a G.F.S. Cookbook somewhere along the way - all I know is that my mom has been making these tarts for as long as I can remember.

A few weeks back I decided to give the recipe a go, myself. One thing I've learned about family recipes (or at least my family's recipes), is that you must always call the person who gave you the recipe, the first time you attempt to make it - trust me on this! Guaranteed, time and time again, there will be tweaks and adjustments in their head that haven't quite made it to the original recipe you've copied. I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I've prepared one of my mom's recipes only to have it turn out completely different, then discover when chatting after the fact, that I should have...  doubled the sauce portion, halved the dough recipe, left out such and such ingredient, included such and such ingredient (listed nowhere in the recipe), baked for only half the time, or 3/4's of the time, or way longer... all actual examples I've encountered over the past few years. It's laughable at this point, and I know now to give her a call, butttt it can still be frustrating if I forget, or if I can't get ahold of her when I'm making it.

Note: This recipe yields 4 tarts - mom typically halves the recipe and prepares 2, but I prepped the full amount - I'm always wary about having enough crust for double crusted pies, so I figured I would make it all and use the leftovers in my mini cupcake tray to make mini tarts!