Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 1 – 2 Louisville, Kentucky

Hello from America!!! Woohoo...yes I am on holiday for a week!








First stop is Louisville Kentucky for the Breeders Cup event – the horse racing event that happens once a year and they stage it at different states every year. This year is it in Kentucky, land of southern fried chicken! Unfortunately I didn’t see much of Kentucky at all as it was very much flying in from NY to attend the event and flying back to NY asap for the shopping. Nothing is close by where we stayed (typical sprawling city where you need a car to get anywhere) so I only saw the University of Louisville stadium from outside (huge) and couple of drive-in diners ($1 dollar burger sounds tempting!)

It was a cold cold day - don't be deceived by the sunglasses! Yes the sun is shinning but the cold is biting.....8 hours outdoor sitting on a metal bench, feels like sitting in a fridge. And they are still selling cold beer! Mad but business is still brisk!




Some of Scott wins for the day. A tradition his dad and uncle has which is to take a picture of their winning horse (from the program) to celebrate. By the last picture, he and his uncle is looking blue (from the cold)!

Proof that we were out for that long - even the sun has gone down!

That's it from Kentucky!



Woohoo...New York Baby....Sing it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We ended up at Barrafina after the Affordable Art Fair for a very early dinner. I have heard only good things about Barrafina but the queue for a seat is also legendary which has put us off visiting the restaurant. But since we were wondering around Soho at 6pm (early from my point of view for dinner on a Saturday!) we decided to give it a go. OK the queue is still there...but only 2 couples ahead of us. What we have...

Barrafina 2
Pimientos de Padron - tasty (but not spicy?) with a nice hint of saltiness but not sure it is worth the £4.60?

Barrafina 6
Grilled Quail with Al-i-Oli - oh this from the first bite! The quail is just about cook which makes the meat so tender and juicy

Barrafina 5
Chipirones (deep fried octopus) - great texture between the crispiness of the batter and the silky fresh octopus

Barrafina 4
Barrafina 4
Baby Gem Salad with Anchovies and Smoked Pancetta - This was recommended by the waitress and it is so-so for me but Scott likes it. I am just not a big fan of whole anchovies per se but chopped and added to pasta sauce is a different matter

Barrafina 1
Chorizo + potatoes + watercress

Barrafina 3
Prawn and Piquillo Pepper Tortilla - Just cooked tortilla so the egg is not chewy.yum

It was an enjoyable dinner with a great buzz but the place is intimate enough to enjoy dinner for 2 without bumping elbows even though we are all sitting at the bar. But I am undecided if it is better than Boca de Lupo. I had good memories there as I brought Scott there for his birthday dinner so maybe it is hard to compete in that sense.

Affordable Art Fair


Battersea Power Station
I wish someone would revamp the Battersea Power Station into something has the potential to be something amazing instead of being a derelict building

South of the Thames river is not somewhere we go much in London...I know this is a generalisation but being an out-an-out North of the river girl, I never see the need to venture beyond Waterloo / London Bridge (public transport seems to stop pretty much after Waterloo/London Bridge). But today we went to Battersea Park to attend the Affordable Art Fair (which involved taking a tube to Victoria then a 'proper' train to Battersea...see what I mean about ease of getting to the south of the river?) Anyway back to the fair....things I love and I remember to take a picture of!

Affordable Art Fair 5
I think this is a painting....I like the different colours on each ducks...Definately a Scottish influence

Affordable Art Fair 4

Affordable Art Fair 3
I love this cheeky art called 'Make love not war' where the artist uses plastic soldiers to create the heart shape. A very easy (and cheap) idea to copy

Affordable Art Fair 2

How clever and cute is this! Dressed fashioned using maps. They hit a sweet spot for me by using the maps (secret love of mine)

Affordable Art Fair 1
Cute...Paper cut butterflies, creating the 3-d image

Lunch (apple pie + a mini choc biscuit thingy) was a little random as we got up really late and had 'breakfast' at 12 then after 2 hrs of looking at arts solidly we got delusional, got a print (next post maybe) and head off for a sugar fix.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Arran Victories Potatoes










We harvested our last batch of potatoes, our most successful batch. Highly recommend Arran Victories potato variety for next year again. The purple hue is a delight to find against the dark soil. It was roasted tonight as part of Scott's roast duck with orange and marmalade main course for Jasmine's last meal at our flat. She was the camera-woman hence the no show on any of the pictures! There will be more farewell dinners coming up next week so I am sure her picture will crop up sometime soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday chow

hangover breakfast in bed

Breakfast in bed by Scott as I had a sore head! Chipolatas, very eggy scramble egg and tattie scones which is the highlight - fried mashed potato , Scotland's answer to America's hash brown (both have a special place in my hearty tummy)

We were on a mission to build a new hallway wardrobe door today (current door has past its beauty date), made the trek to Homebase, bought the necessary pieces of wood, got home and measured up against the current door and its 8 cm too wide! This is the story of our DIY experiences is never quite as straightforward / few hour job as we always think it is. Often, it takes longer, bought the wrong bit, bought not enough of the right bit, etc etc... On this occasion, Scott measured the door at 60.8cm but in his hungover state he wrote down 68cm - don't ask!

We had to rescue this rubbish day - in comes chocolate + salted caramel tart

choc + salted caramel tart


I was on dessert duty so this is made by moi! We tend to go all out for Sunday dinner, even if it's just the 2 of us. No scrimping on dessert for us 2 gluttons - we love our sugar!

This is one of those recipes that ask for egg yolks only which leaves the egg whites with one and only one purpose - meringues! Never let egg whites go to waste! Whisk whisk whisk, add loads of sugar and you get meringue! I added some cocoa powder to this batch to give it a light choc hue. Perfect with berries compote for another day dessert or for a naughty snack, on its own! Crispy outside and goey inside, often I spend the next hour with vigorous tongue action (no one can see this!) trying to get to the tiny bits of sticky sugar between my teeth

tau yeu bak!
Check out what Scott cooked for dinner!!! Tau Yew Bak stewed for a good few hours for melt in your mouth pork!

Tau Yew Bak served on vietnamese red rice with sambal good

Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple and Cucumber Chutney

This would be my last chutney post (thank god?) based on produces from my garden. The garden is winding down now as the cold slowly sets in. Leaves are turning a lovely shade of red and falling (rake rake rake!). We have savoy cabbages, late winter potatoes, too much overgrown salad leaves, few carrots and the odd herbs still going. boo...

As predicted, we have a glut of cucumbers at the end of the season. I am a fan of cucumber but even this is too much to eat in a day/week! Cucumber chutney as a second life? why not?

ok so this is a recipe I followed from the jam and chutney recipe book Scott gave me for Christmas last year (yea yea, rock and roll presents baby!) and according to the author "one of their favourite chutney"
I have high hopes! Let's begin...

Apple and cucumber chutney 1
Ok first up chop up a million onions (1 kg).This involved lots of tears because I can’t find my ‘onion (swimming) goggles’. I like my chutney chunky hence the size of the onions…it has nothing to do with me crying and not being able to see! I am a ‘chunky’ fan….chunky country soup? Yes mam! Chunky branson pickles? They read my mind! Fruit juice with bits (not exactly chunky but you get my point)? Yes…makes me feel I am getting my money worth! Chunky thighs? Err…not quite!

Apple and cucumber chutney 2
Ok back to the chopping…in goes the apples – chunky

Apple and cucumber chutney 3
Then the cucumbers, also chunky. Lots of chop action going on - good for the bicep! This reminds me I need to get a bigger pot...

Apple and cucumber chutney 4
Add all the other ingredients and do the usual stir stir for a good few hours…even longer for this as cucumbers are ‘watery’

Apple and cucumber chutney 5
Woof down spare ribs dinner (not shown as it was messy and sticky fingers +camera doesn’t go) in between then pour into hot sterilized jars, heated using the new oven! DONE!