Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

May 29, 2014

Lavender and Jada's cookbook review: Feed Me Now!

My brother is a big fan of Bill Granger's television show and his cookbooks, so I've decided to buy myself one as well. Feed me now is a wonderful book filled with recipes that are pretty easy to make due to the clear instructions. We chose to make Bill Granger's pizza recipe as a starter. We ate a slice each. I love eating cold pizza for lunch or as a midnight snack, so we made enough for both of us to eat again later. Then we made the roast beef with spelt salad and tapenade. For desert we tried the blueberry tea cake. Everything was delicious! 
There are quite many recipes in this book and both Jada and I want to try more. We had a lot of fun choosing what we were going to make and it took us a while to agree on the menu. I certainly want to taste one of the soups and I would love to make a breakfast, snack or lunch using this cookbook! Most of Bill Granger's dishes are really healthy and I like that. What I also appreciate about his way of cooking is that he's using many kinds of herbs, which is giving everything he creates a lot of flavor. For him eating is a social thing which is exactly the way I feel about it. I love having friends over for a meal or to prepare something together with Jada. The fun of creating something a loved one would appreciate is such a wonderful thing.

May 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Because we can't be together on Friday evenings anymore I'm now having regular Sunday morning breakfasts with Lizzy and Jenna. This time we met at Jenna's place. Calvin usually works on Sundays, so after staying the night at my place we both went our separate ways in the morning. Jenna made these fantastic German apple pancakes using a Williams-Sonoma recipe. She also ordered some of their fantastic cake supplies and is very much in love with them.
As I didn't know exactly what has happened between my friends I now heard their version. When they were hanging out with the four of them the atmosphere was tense and after a while Louise couldn't take it anymore and she snapped. Naomi and Louise are angry because they weren't supportive enough. They didn't call, they never offered any help and they kept ignoring the whole Garry situation. Unfortunately we all know Louise and Naomi are right. Jenna and Lizzy are feeling very sorry. They didn't know what to do, especially not after being so mean to Naomi when they thought she'd wrecked Louise's relationship, so they did nothing. They want things to be right again, but how can you undo something as big as that? I agree with Naomi and Louise and think they deserved something better. Still, I want to remain friends with Jenna and Lizzy very much and nobody seems to mind that I want to keep seeing all four of them.
We gave each other an update about our lives and our boyfriends and we kept the rest of our get together light and fun. They aren't surprised that things are going so well between Calvin and me. Apparently there always has been a noticeable chemistry between us. Dan has moved into Jenna's apartment, but we didn't get to see him, because he was filming somewhere. His stuff is all there though, so I could clearly notice his presence. Lizzy brought the invite to her engagement party. I can't believe she'll be getting married in a few months! I'm going to be a maid of honor together with Jenna. She's officially asked us and I'm so excited!

May 24, 2014

Friday Night with Naomi and Louise

I wore this Tiered Garden dress on Friday evening. It was time for another night with my friends. I missed last week, because I was helping out my uncle and aunt, but I try to spend every Friday I can with my group of kindergarten friends. The sad thing is though that we're now officially not a group anymore. Last Friday the four of them were together and there has been a big fall out between Naomi and Louise on one side and Jenna and Lizzy on the other. I don't want to choose between my friends and it seems like they're fine with that. Unfortunately no group evenings will take place again. So much has happened during the past couple of months, this was more or less inevitable, but it makes me really sad. Not only the fight itself, but also that nobody told me before tonight. I let Naomi and Louise know that I didn't appreciate it. They assured me it wasn't intentional, they didn't know how to tell me and wanted to do it personally. I hope I won't end up being the third wheel on both sides.
I still had a pretty good night. Naomi has made some new friends at her art course. One of them works at a vegetarian restaurant and she made reservations for the three of us. Her friend was our sever for the night and she's really nice. The food was delicious too and I didn't miss meat or fish at all. I loved it! Afterwards we stayed for a drink with the staff and they showed me around in the kitchen. The cook is a woman named Franka and she offered me a a personal vegetarian cooking class one night. I can't wait!

May 21, 2014

Lavender and Jada's Cook Book Review: Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond

Jada and I have chosen this cookbook for a very particular reason. It will be a story told in another post, but we wanted to do some gluten free baking and had to find the perfect recipes for that. I've checked out several cookbooks and ordered more than only this one to make sure I'd succeed in my mission.
This gluten free cookbook is amazing. The recipes are wonderful and whatever we tried it tasted delicious. We needed to make bread, cakes, quiches, small pancakes and waffles. There are many different recipes for all of them and we tried two varieties each. Everything tasted divine and we were so happy with this cookbook. It's a book I can recommend to anyone who has to or wants to eat gluten free. Baking without gluten can be heavy and like a ton of bricks in your stomach, but all these recipes were light and easy to digest. I can only say that I will highly recommend this cookbook, I think it's fantastic!

May 15, 2014

Lavender and Jada's cookbook reviews: The Free Range Cook


I love Annabel Langbein's television show, her website and her cookbooks! I'm a big fan of her creative dishes and when I told Jada I wanted to make a three course dinner from the The Free Range Cook she happily agreed. We were cooking at Jada's mansion again as her parents went out for dinner. They have an old fashioned Aga cooker and the kitchen is huge. Everything you might need is there. Cooking together in my kitchen is possible, but it's a lot less comfortable, so the mansion it is whenever it's possible.
We started with the roasted beet and rocket salad which is delicious and pretty easy to make. Then we chose to try the spicy chicken skewers. We decided to make the creamy Moroccan cucumber salad from the same page in the book. The summer is coming and I can never eat enough salads. For desert we had the chocolate cherry tiramisu which I made in advance. That was the highlight of the evening, it was absolutely wonderful! 
This cookbook has so many versatile recipes. There are also many gorgeous pictures of Annabel's beautiful home and the surroundings. Every recipe comes with clear instructions. I'm very happy with this fantastic cookbook!

May 14, 2014

A Surprise Visit from Calvin

I've already learned that Calvin never does what I expect him to do, so I wasn't surprised to find him on my bed in his pajamas yesterday morning. He came around half an hour before my alarm went off just because he wanted to see me. My heart completely melted to be honest. 
While I was in the shower he made me breakfast and not just any breakfast. He checked my blog's favorites and found this photo of coconut pancakes with berries & coconut whipped cream. It's a recipe from the blog coconut and berries and it was absolutely wonderful!
Calvin and I happily chatted for about half an hour and then we both had to leave. He dropped me off at work first, so we could be together for just a little bit longer. He briefly came inside as he wanted to meet the famous Edward. After they shook hands he gave me a kiss in front of everyone and left. I received a big round of applause from my colleagues which was slightly embarrassing, but funny. I never started work being so cheerful, what an excellent beginning of my day.

May 7, 2014

Lavender and Jada's Cook Book Reviews: The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

Because Sandy and Stella have temporarily left us, Jada and I are now on our own on Tuesday evenings. We've got a passion for food and cooking and from now on we're going to try a different cookbook every week. We've also agreed to put on beautiful dresses for the occasion which we of course won't wear during the cooking. From now on Jada and I will prepare the meals together, because we both enjoy being in the kitchen with someone else.
The photos in Rachel Khoo's cookbook are fantastic. They drag you into a wonderful Parisian atmosphere. It's a pleasure to just leaf through this book and dream of the most romantic city in the world. The recipes are mouth watering. First we made Asperges a la parisienne. Not a difficult dish to make and as Jada and I both love asparagus the choice was easily made. It was hard to choose our main course as The Little Paris Kitchen has so many brilliant options. We made Canard a l'Orangina, which was fantastic. Our desert was the classic Tarte Tatin. We had a lot of fun with this book and it made me fall in love with French cuisine all over again.

May 2, 2014

Tasting wine with Gina and Zoe

 Cote-Rotie is a red wine that I love
Thursday evening was all about good wine and great company. I went to a wine tasting and it was fabulous. Sometimes after work Gina, Zoe and I are going to a wine bar for a drink and when we found out there would be a wine tasting night we signed up immediately. I learned quite a lot about wines and it was very interesting actually. There were also hors d'oeuvres made by a local chef, both the snacks and the chef were very tasty. Zoe was the lucky lady of the evening as they're going on a date on Saturday. 
I can't say I didn't have a perfect evening as well. I was having a lot of fun with my friends and for a while I also chatted with an older gentleman who knows a lot about wine. I quite liked him and he gave me a business card to join one of his wine clubs. I might do that as I'd love to learn a bit more about my favorite drink.
Of course I couldn't have an evening of fun without running into someone. I still felt horrible about the Calvin incident. I sent Rian an e-mail to apologize, but he hadn't sent me a reply. When he saw me at the wine event he pretended not to see me at first, but then Gina who knew all about this stood up for me. I don't know exactly what she's told him, but Rian spoke to me again after that. We talked for about half an hour at the end of the evening and I really like him. Only I shouldn't because he is my teacher and it's not appropriate plus I think he might not be interested in me in that way. It's complicated. Exactly the way my love life always is, somehow I keep falling for the guys I can't have. 
I spent way too much money on wine which will be delivered in two weeks. I found some perfect reds and whites for a party I'm going to throw later this month.

A wonderful landscape dress from Modcloth

Apr 27, 2014

Cocktails with Friends on Friday

On Friday night I put on this great relaxing The Ragged Priest Dip Dye Oversized Jumper that I bought on Asos. Our group of five was complete again and this time we were at my place where we had a cocktail night. I love Fentimans which is such a good substitute for alcoholic drinks.

Of course we also made cocktails and this time I used recipes found on Gintime. It was so much fun to have a normal Girl's Night In on Friday, just like we used to. Things are pretty much all right between Naomi and Lizzy and we all had a wonderful time. Everyone stayed for the night and we stayed up really, really late talking and laughing. It was such a big relief, my group of friends might have been a bit damaged, but it is still intact.

Apr 23, 2014

Gluten Free Practice meal from Jada

 Finally I had another Tuesday dinner night with my friends. It was my turn to cook, but Jada asked me if we could prepare a meal together. She has a date this weekend and she's invited him to have dinner at her place (very romantic in her parents' mansion), but he doesn't eat gluten. Together we've tried Annabel Langbein's sake & ginger roasted salmon which we served with rice and for desert we had chocolate coconut macaroons using a recipe from Eating made Easy. The meal was absolutely delicious and I think that date is going to be wonderful.
Of course we exchanged our regular updates which means that we talked about Jada's date with Stephen. She met him at Stella's survival school. Jada's taking some courses there and he's one of the instructors. Very romantic, for Jada. I love being in love, but romance in the mud is a bridge too far for me. I'm still having survival day nightmares. I can't wait to meet him though as he's put the smile back on Jada's face. Sandy and Jason are happily living together and their plans to travel are coming along nicely. Just a few more weeks and they will be ready to leave and see the world. Stella's very secretive about her love life, she won't tell us anything, but I have the feeling something's going on.
 I managed to tell them about Ben without crying. They told me that maybe it's better this way, because he more or less created all the difficult times between the happy moments. Stella's told me to start dating again as soon as possible and miraculously she already has a plan for my first date as a new single too, only she hasn't told me any of the details... yet?

Apr 20, 2014

Hello Chocolate!

What is it with heartbreak that makes you want to eat loads and loads of chocolate? I like mine bio and love Bovetti and Jardin Bio. I've eaten so much chocolate during the past couple of days, but it never seemed to be too much. I needed it and still do. Maybe you can see to which country I went when you check out the chocolate I ate. I will dearly miss those bars now that I'm back home again. I took a few with me, but I'm sure they aren't going to last very long.

Apr 2, 2014

Dinner at Jada's mansion!

Yesterday was a regular Tuesday dinner night. At least that's what I thought. Jada's parents are on holiday at the moment, so she invited us to have dinner at her place. They live in a mansion and it's huge. Jada's parents are rich and apparently so is Jada when she's living under their roof. I never knew. They have several staff members, but Jada's mother loves cooking which is where Jada learned. I learned more things about her like her name is a mix of Jacqueline and Danielle. She showed us her room which is bigger than my apartment. There is a whirlpool in her bathroom and she has a luxurious shower. I couldn't believe my eyes. Still she thinks of herself as a pretty simple girl. I don't know about that, but she's very nice and she's a great cook. She usually makes something Asian and this time she made chicken and shrimp laksa using a We Heart Food recipe. For desert she made mango cheese cakes using a Swapna's Cuisine recipe. As usual the food was delicious and we stayed until midnight. 
The girls think I should stop seeing Ben if he keeps messing around with me. Maybe they're right, but I like him so much. I do know I've got to talk to him as soon as possible.

Mar 27, 2014

My favorite strawberry cakes and cupcakes

Chocolate-Strawberry Celebration Cake Recipe Taste of Home
Chocolate Sponge with Strawberries and Cream Cheese Icing Lovinghomemade
Strawberry White Chocolate Cupcakes yourcupofcake
Valentines Chocolate Cupcakes sweethartscakesandbakes

I was looking for a strawberry chocolate cake or cupcake recipe and decided to share my favorites with you. I don't know which one I'm going to try to make first yet, but my goal is to taste them all.

Mar 21, 2014

Eating grilled sandwiches and Strawberry Shortcake while having a serious talk

When I came home from the community center I had a little bit of time left to make this Fresh Berry Shortcake with spiced syrup using a recipe from Delish. Then Jenna, Louise and Lizzy arrived. I asked them to come over around dinner time. I had already eaten some gazpacho, but I wasn't a full meal. I used a recipe by Closetcooking to make some bacon guacamole grilled cheese sandwiches. The food tasted really great even though I had to be quick. Of course the food wasn't why I asked my friends to come over on a Thursday evening. I had to tell them about Naomi. 
I gave us a bit of a reprimand for jumping to conclusions too quickly and then I talked about Garry and what happened to our friend. I wanted to see Naomi today, but her mother asked if I could try again in a few days, because she wasn't ready. She's still in kind of a shock and it will take time for her to feel a bit better again. I paid special attention to Louise and later I gave her the number of the therapist because she was quite a mess. Jenna sent a text to Naomi and Louise wrote her an e-mail. The only one who didn't do anything was Lizzy. She sat frozen in her seat. When I asked her why she confessed that she'd been mean to Naomi when she ran into her the other day. That was a low thing to do and it will take more than a written message to make things right again. We agreed that I'm going to call Jonathan and I'm going to call her parents every day to see how she's doing. It wasn't a happy evening and some serious damage has been done to our group of friends because we were all so stupid to jump to conclusions without hearing Naomi's version of the story, but we'll get through. I only hope Naomi will as well...

Mar 19, 2014

Tuesday's friends and food asparagus night!

Jada wanted to cook for us again. We started by taking turns, but now the person who wants to cook just offers to do the cooking. Which means Stella will probably assist when Jada and Sandy are using her kitchen and won't cook a complete meal on her own again, because it isn't her thing. As we all love asparagus Jada made two dishes with this wonderful vegetable. She used a spring chicken asparagus soup recipe from Fresh Slowcooking and she made prosciutto and phyllo wrapped asparagus using a recipe from Menu Musings. Both were absolutely delicious. Jada's an executive secretary and they've asked her to prepare a fancy corporate lunch from time to time. The company is small and they pay her for the work, which is a win win situation as it saves them a lot of money otherwise spent on catering and Jada can use some extras as she's saving for a place of her own. 

I told them about Ben and about crying on my teacher's shoulder. Then I showed them the card and last but not least a text from Roy. My love life isn't a very happy one at the moment, but it's never been more interesting. 
Sandy and Jason are living among boxes and they're almost done packing. They don't have to do much about their new home. Everything is pretty new as it's been done only a few years ago. As Jason has two left hands that's for the best. Plus they need all their days off for traveling as they want to do that once more before starting a family. And then Stella told us her news, there are some vacant spots next weekend, so we can have our survival time with her. Possibly a whole weekend. I don't know if I can do that. I want to get out of it, but how?
We ended our dinner with a splendid yoghurt, blueberry and maple-pecan verrine made according to a recipe by Premiere Moisson. Of course we had lots of delicious drinks with our dinner and we all stayed until midnight. I asked Lizzy to look after Louise, so I could go home with a guilt free mind. 

Mar 18, 2014

Cherry Ice cream and Kelley Armstrong

For our reading group we've started The Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. It was a coincidence that we've all read the Otherworld and the Darkest Powers series and that the four of us all loved every single book of those series. Nolan's maybe the biggest fan of all of us. We started with our assignment, good students as we are, but finished as soon as we could to start the book talk. I can't believe how great it is to talk about books with people who have the same taste. I had such a lot of fun. I'm going to write a review of the first book now and then in the next few weeks we're going to read an discuss the others, which I will share on my blog then. 
There's nothing better than ice cream to go with book talk and I decided to make some myself. I used a great recipe from Evernew Recipes and was very pleased with the outcome. Louise stayed in her room during our meeting and I brought her some and borrowed her my copy of The Gathering as I'm pretty sure she will like it a lot as well.

Mar 17, 2014

Ben's nasty news

I made some lemonade iced tea using a recipe from My Recipes for when Ben would come over. It was strange to have him in my apartment when he was surely going to deliver bad news. I also had Louise as a guest still and asked her to stay in the bedroom, so Ben and I didn't have much privacy either. I was so nervous as I thought he was going to break up with me.
He told me Samuel was very upset when we came back from Disneyland. Apparently I was the reason as I wasn't his mother and we had fun which he felt horribly guilty about. He couldn't stop crying. Poor Samuel, it must be very hard for him to see both of his parents with someone else and he doesn't quite understand it yet. Ben does want to keep seeing me, but he wants me to stop seeing Samuel for a while. His mother also has someone new and they both decided that they will let him get used to having two separate families very slowly. That means no more library visits and father and son dates from now on. I understand, but I'm so sad as I'm going to miss him very much. I couldn't stop crying last night. I felt pretty stupid about it as Ben is still my boyfriend, but somehow it doesn't feel the same. Plus we have a lot less time together now. It was already quite limited and now it's just one single evening every two weeks. I don't know if I can do that. I'll just have to wait and see.

Mar 15, 2014

Comfort food for an upset group of friends

On Friday it's always friend's night. I always look forward to it and we often have annual events and things like that. Now when everybody arrived the atmosphere was gloom. I don't think we've ever been cross with one another before. Which is a miracle in a group with five women I suppose. So something was bound to happen. It did happen and how. Naomi stole Louise's boyfriend. Naomi is very pretty, but we've never felt threatened by it before. I tried to phone her today, but she didn't answer. I wanted to hear why she did it. She texted me that she isn't ready to speak to me and that I will hear from her whenever she will be. I thought that was kind of a strange reaction, but I'll just let her be. I can't believe she would throw away a lifetime of friendships over a man she's only just met. 
In the meantime we could all use some comfort food, so I searched the internet for good recipes again and found these. I made Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas using an Inspired Taste recipe. They were delicious, everybody loved them! As usual I made something with chocolate for desert. I figured Milky Ways would do the trick and I used Amanda Cupcake's Milky Way Bar Cupcake recipe. They were a great success. I bought some Mexican beer and port wine and all of this together seemed to do the trick. We managed to have a nice evening together, I think because we are all so close. Even though it was awkward it seemed to make Louise a bit happier. I know how much she liked Garry. There's a big suitcase standing in my guest room and I guess she'll be staying for a while. After so many drinks Lizzy and Jenna didn't go home that night either. The sleepover turned out to be very useful for my sister, but more about that tomorrow.

Mar 5, 2014

Stella's Delicious Dinner!

Stella wanted to cook for us all this week and she did such a good job. She used a recipe from Barbara Bakes for a farmers' market tomato and zucchini quiche which was delicious. Her desert was almost too pretty to eat. She made Lemon Meringue Pie bars using a recipe from Rook No. 17. As usual it was a great success and my Tuesday Evening Scrapbook is growing bit by bit. We were with four this time and had lots of fun. Stella loves her job. Sandy hopes Jason will ask her to marry him very soon (I have to call my brother and give him some hints as I have no idea if he's sensitive enough to even think about getting engaged). Jada's interview went really well and she got the job! I told them about my first day at school and about the plans to go to Disneyland. This time we didn't drink too much, because we all had to get up early today. It's great that Sandy joined us, I like spending time with my future sister in law. These dinners start to feel like family dinners and they almost are in a way. Next week it should have been my turn, but then I will be on holiday!

Mar 1, 2014

My secret Valentine! I know who one of them is!

I'm now the proud owner of this Ooh La La Giant Candy Jar by Sugarsin for sale at Not on the High Street .com. I was amazed as this jar has been given to me by a boy. A boy who sent me a secret Valentine's Day card. Now I know who the sender of the 'I admire you greatly' card is. He's a regular visitor of the library and his name is Jeremy. He's eight years old. His mother's name is Betty and she's actually very nice. I got the candy as a thank you for always reading him stories and making time to pick out new books with him. She invited me to tea which is very kind of her. I said yes, it's the least I can do to thank both Jeremy and Betty for their kindness. It was such fun to receive an anonymous card and the candy is very welcome as I have a sweet tooth. I could see Edward was impressed, so I offered him some candy. He refused though and told me I should savor my sweets and eat them all by myself as I earned them. 
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