Monday, 26 April 2010

what better way to start the day...

pastries and lattes in the sunshine: heavenly.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Could it be more perfect?!?

There are a few food related things that Jenny and I love:

1. Avocados (seriously delish... a nice exotic mixture of something between a fruit and a vegetable.

2. Pita bread (all the advantages of bread but super tasty and convenient for stuffing with food)

3. BBQ chicken (definitely one of the best things to do with chickens in general)

So you can imagine how excited we were when we opened Jamie's new cookbook and discovered a recipe with all three of our favourite things. To be honest I felt a bit annoyed bc its a super simple recipe and felt like I should have been able to come up with it myself if I had just thought about it. But then again, Im not a professional chef.

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks
4 pita breads
1 lemon cut into wedges, to serve

for the marinade:
a thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
a tablespoon paprika
a teaspoon chili powder
a teaspoon turmeric
a teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

for the avocado dip:
2 ripe avocados
a teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
1 fresh chili (finely chopped)
a small bunch of fresh coriander (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of a lemon
a splash of soya sauce (optional... but tasty)


Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and toss the chicken chunks in the marinade until everything is covered. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30mins (the longer the better).

Once the bbq is going (we use coal so it takes a while to get started) make the dip. De-stone and peel the avocados. Mash up the flesh with a fork or potato masher and then mix in the rest of the ingredients for the dip in a bowl.

Put the chicken bits on skewers and pop on the bbq for a few mins till cooked all the way through. Once done, add the chicken and dip to the pita breads (I recommend toasting them lightly just before you add the stuff).

Taste: 9/10
Price: 2/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Enjoy! xx

Friday, 23 April 2010

a really really good earthday...

so you might know that it was earth day yesterday and my birthday. what a special collaboration there... i remember that dawn (whose name i totally wanted when i was younger) from the babysitters club's birthday was also april 22nd and earth day (she was a total environmentalist: vegetarian, recycled, didn't drive... uh, even though she was like 12 in the books)... it was pretty stinking cool that i shared a birthday with her. anyway - yesterday was a perfect day. thanks so much to everyone who called, sent cards and hundred dollar bills in the mail (you know who you are) and wished me happy birthday. it really was such a special day and seriously ranks up there in the best birthdays ever. i just wanted to show you a few photos from the day... i've got more coming soon. so, kicking it off is a very excited girl sitting in university parks with a package that arrived specially for the special day.

freddy and i outside the fabulous gees (the best restaurant in oxford) after a seriously good lunch.

photo shooting it up in park town afterwards... i'm wearing some of my new birthday goodies that i got from my mama and papa (thanks mom & dad). (new bday goodies include the headband, sunglasses and dress)

gorgeous and delicious birthday cake that i got from the lovely girls i work with (i promised grace i would send her a piece in the post - since it was pink of course - whoops...). oh, and just so you know - my official nickname at work is jenny p from tennessee (said with a faux-exagerated american southern accent), hence the 'jenny p' on the cake. anyway, it seriously was a perfect day. thanks to everyone that made it so special.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

the big bang...

we went to the Big Bang for a friend's birthday a couple weeks ago. i'm not going to lie, i was less than thrilled about going. i'd gone once before a couple years ago and really wasn't impressed. we had to sit in the basement which was dark and not very pleasant plus the sausages were pretty dry and not very tasty. so this time when we went my expectations were seriously low and on the way there i was asking fred if we could get mcdonalds on the way home, you know, as a back up plan. as it turned out i was totally wrong about the place and was so impressed. we got to sit up stairs where it was lovely, light, and provided a great view to the funny people going in and out of bars across the street. plus we ordered the most amazing meal. i think it was called the whole hog? maybe that's not right - but basically it was one of each sausage on the menu (the picture above isn't even all the ones we got - there was more) and one of each type of mashed potato on the menu. we shared it between four of us and it was seriously seriously divine. my opinion of the big bang in oxford was radically transformed - now i love it - so long as i can find 3 people to drag along to share the whole hog with. it's the only thing to order when you go.

the barbie cake that was made for the birthday girl. yum. actually, we got a bit bored and decided to light her head on fire (after it was dismantled from the cake)... but i'll spare you the photos.

Monday, 19 April 2010

first BBQ of the summer...

although all this volcanic ash is reeking havoc on travelers it seems to be working in england's favour. once again we had a beautiful weekend. not only did we celebrate by having our first bbq of the year some slightly psycho boys also had their first dip in the english river (more on that at another time, i skipped out though - it looked a wee bit too cold for me). so chef jamie, err, i mean fred, whipped together some utterly delicious skewered chicken, vegetables and halumi delights for us all...

waiting patiently for the heat to start developing.

mmm... food.

the vegetarian edition for pauline - what a thoughtful cook.

cooking away.

fred had to go upstairs for some supplies and was a bit unsure about leaving the BBQ in other people's hands, so he had to check in on us.

but they were cooking away nicely and were absolutely delicious. so well done to freddy for kicking off BBQ season successfully!

and as for me? (aww you'll see) i made ice cream cookies for everyone - no pictures, sorry. was slightly overcome by the ravenous nature that develops between me and ice-cream.... oh, and we topped the night off by playing some just dance. although everyone was a bit hesitant in the beginning they all loved it. how could you not? it's pretty much the best wii game ever and the perfect ending to any good night.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Caesar Salad

So as you have probably noticed from our recent posts the weather is wonderful here at the moment. Unfortunately this is typical of England, where in April and May there are a few glorious weeks and then the weather turns dreary and cold and summer never really arrives except for a few days throughout the summer months. But shouldn't really complain as it is still lovely. However, it is always tricky to figure out what to eat for dinner when its warm. Hopefully there will be lots of bbqs and salads. So to usher the summer in I tested out this dish from jamie.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

4 whole chicken legs
1 loaf of ciabatta
3 sprigs of rosemary
olive oil
salt and pepper
12 slices of bacon or pancetta
1/4 of a clove of garlic
2 anchovy fillets
75g grated parmesan
1 tbsp creme fraiche
juice of 1 lemon
2 or 3 cos or romaine lutteuses


Preheat oven to 200 celsius. Place chicken legs in a snug fitting roasting tray with pieces of torn-up bread (thumb sized pieces). Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good mix with your hands and the lift chicken on to the top so its resting on the bread pieces. Put into oven for 45 mins. Take it out and add the bacon strips on top and put back in oven for another 15-20 mins.

For the dressing pound the garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in parmesan, creme fraiche, lemon juice and three times as much olive oil as lemon juice. Season dressing to taste. I like it a bit sweeter so honey or mayonnaise are good options to add. Perhaps a bit of mustard. Basically anything you like.

Once the whole chicken thing is done. Tear chicken off bone (after you allow it to cool slightly) and bacon into small pieces. Mix together with lettuce and add dressing. Delish!

Taste: 8/10
Difficulty: 2/10
Price: 2/10


Saturday, 10 April 2010

here comes the sun...

spring has officially sprung in england. it's unlikely to last long... but today we decided we'd better enjoy it while we can. we headed off to the university parks to soak up some sun, lounge around, and play some games.

trying to soak up some much needed vitamin d and colour...

rose, boules, clear skies... what more could you ask for?

freddy got to throw the first ball of the season.

mmm... seriously delicious platter of mini burgers, chips, pita bread, humous, and fried calamari (the vegetables were definitely the weakest link).

if only everyday could be this carefree and fun! oh, and we are both officially slightly sunburnt. i'm not going to lie though, i'm a little pleased.


Thursday, 8 April 2010

another cycling adventure...

last friday freddy and his friends decided to go on a cycling trip. they, of course, picked a very cold and rainy day to embark on this adventure. the weather didn't put them off though... after 2 hours of fiddling with their bikes and humm-ing and haa-ing they finally set off.

trying to decipher the map.

one of the members of they cycling team, Ben, had forgotten his helmet and so was trying to get mine to fit on his head... everyone was waiting for him, and eventually we reached the conclusion that a boys head is too big for a girls helmet - regardless of how hard you try to push it on.

Monday, 5 April 2010

90 tastes good...

we spent the weekend in wales celebrating easter and fred's great aunt nancy's 90th birthday. yes, that's right, 90th. this is fred's father's mother's oldest sister. got that? so the whole Inglis family (and the other branches) got together from all corners of the earth... Sweden, New York, Italy... everyone came to celebrate this joyous and most monumental occasion. we stayed at the beautiful Morgans Hotel in Swansea and enjoyed a gorgeously delicious lunch. it was such a lovely trip and we enjoyed such lovely company. thanks family inglis!


Roast beef with (massive) yorkshire pudding.

Vanilla creme brulee.

Strawberry cheesecake.

Auntie Nancy: the birthday girl herself - immaculately dressed, feisty, energetic, and so funny. By the end of the evening we were all struggling to stay awake and she didn't look phased in the slightest. Oh, if all of us can remain as positive and joyful as we grow older... she really is quite the inspiration. Happy birthday Aunt Nancy!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Vivi's Visit (the rest)

I know, I know... we promised to do this ages ago, but the stylecrusader/masters and PhD have been keeping us busy. Also with Picasa web albums sharing loads of photos is super easy and doesn't require the effort of blogging. But I promised to do this so here it is:

Here we are walking into town. After Vivi's Bday extravaganza we just hung out in oxford. Decided to go check out the Ashmolean (our new favourite place).

In the entrance to the museum. Also turns out that I'm related to Vivi... probably wont come to a shock to most of you reading this but I was surprised how similar our faces look!!! I mean we're not identical twins but you can see the resemblance.

I think Vivi enjoyed the museum but it definitely made us hungry.

Huh, these aren't quite in order, back in the museum, trying to take cool pics.

Ah, this is what I was trying to allude to earlier... the mission. Our favourite mexican place (the carnitas burrito is amazing... it is a life goal to be able to make a burrito that good... almost there just need better tortillas and pork). Also interesting to note that the Mission is one of our first posts we ever did on the blog, and will also feature prominently in our ultimate guide to oxford (a new idea we have had recently... not sure if we've mentioned it on the blog before).

On Vivi's last day it was just the brother and sister as Jenny had to work. Did the regular sightseeing tour (Christ Church, Hertford Bridge, old buildings, etc... I get pretty blase about the whole affair as I see it everyday).

A bit of amateur photography from yours truly. Jenny reckons she might be a better photographer than me because of the whole stylecrusader thing. I think I have my moments though.

It was a great visit, short but sweet (perhaps too short but some of us have to work for a living... fortunately not me). And we will see Vivi again this weekend (another reason to get this post done!). Next I promise I will try to post the hilarious vids of us dancing to the wii game.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

sunny at 7, raining at 11...

gorgeous blue sky in london today... i pulled the blinds open at Emerald's flat on portobello road and immediately woke up. we headed off to Brick Lane to people watch and check out the vintage shops.

my latte was decorated with a heart.

Emerald posing with some graffiti while wearing her fabulous new clogs.

so apparently retro cockneys wear plimsoles... ah, well better get some then.

rails of vintage dresses all for 22 quid... Emerald got that red one with the white swirly pattern. so cute.

Brick Lane and the surrounding area is covered in graffiti. it somehow manages to avoid looking trashy and outdated and instead just adds to the charm.

of course in traditional english style the clouds came in and it started pouring with rain... we took it as a sign that it was time to head off. but of course not before the wretched rain flipped emerald's umbrella inside out!