Insta-fridge

Like many people, my fridge door has always served as a prime place to display photos, but recently I noticed it was starting to look a little cluttered. So I was pleased to come across Sticky 9, a company that turns Instagram photos into fridge magnets.

Although they’re UK-based, worldwide shipping is free — plus the magnets arrived much quicker than expected.

Here they are.

inst fridge

What do you think? Have you found any other fun uses for your Instagram snaps?

 

In search of the perfect Bloody Mary

The perfect Bloody Mary I’ve long been a fan of the Caesar and when I first moved to London I was saddened to find that Clamato juice wasn’t readily available. I tried my first Bloody Mary in a vain attempt to satisfy my Caesar cravings and was sorely disappointed. Although the two drinks share many common ingredients – Worcester sauce, tabasco, vodka – they taste nothing alike.

When I finally accepted that I was unlikely to find a Caesar in London, I stopped comparing drinks and began to appreciate the Bloody Mary for all its tomato-y goodness. Over time, I grew to love them so much that I become somewhat of a connoisseur, making it my mission to find the best Bloody Mary in London.

And last week I think I found it. I was at the Dean Street Townhouse and tasted what was quite possibly the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had. Ice cold. Smooth. Zesty with just a hint of sweetness. It was perfect.

It will be several months before I’m back in London and able to visit Dean Street, so I decided to attempt my own version at home. A quick Google search turned up the Soho House ‘Detox Mary’ recipe, which included port in its list of ingredients. I’m partial to a glass of port now and again, so thought I’d try adding it to my otherwise pretty traditional, go-to Bloody Mary recipe.

The end result was delicious. The port added a touch of sweetness which contrasted nicely with the lemon and salt. It didn’t taste exactly like the drink I had last week, but I think it will be a perfect substitute until I can taste the real deal again soon.

INGREDIENTS 

1.5 oz vodka
Good quality tomato juice
1 handful of ice
Juice of 1/4 lemon, plus 1 wedge for garnish
Celery salt (or rimmer mix, like this)
A splash of port wine
3-4 drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste
3-4 drops Worcester sauce, to taste

DIRECTIONS 

2

Add ice, vodka, lemon juice, a pinch of celery salt, port wine and tomato juice to cocktail shaker. Gently shake until very cold – be careful not to shake too hard, no one wants foamy tomato juice!

3

Rim glass with lemon and celery salt/rimmer mix. Fill glass with ice and add strained tomato juice mixture.

Add a few drops of Tabasco and Worcester sauce to taste. Personally, I like it nice and spicy so always add lots of Tabasco. Mix thoroughly.

Dress with a wedge of lemon. I also chose to garnish with a pickled bean, but feel free to use any other pickled vegetable or a celery stick.

4

Take a sip and enjoy, but always remember it’s not supposed to taste like a Caesar!

 

Market fresh

It’s all too easy to fall into a boring lunch-time routine, especially during the winter months. But at least once a week I force myself to step away from my desk, brave the cold, and go for a wander around St. Lawrence Market. The lunch options are limitless — fresh bagelspulled pork sandwiches, bibimbap… and the list goes on.

Busters Sea Cove is a St. Lawrence Market staple that always has long queues of people waiting for a taste of fresh seafood and some of their delicious homemade ‘slaw.

Today, feeling sluggish after a long plane journey back from London, I decided to treat myself to a Buster’s grilled shrimp salad. At just over $15, it cost more than what I’d usually pay for lunch, but it was exactly what I needed after a week of excess. The shrimp was juicy, fresh and grilled to perfection, and was topped off with light, tangy (and very garlicky) vinaigrette.

 

shrimp salad

It was shaping up to be a pretty healthy lunch – that is, until I remembered that no trip to the market would be complete without a Portuguese custard tart from Eve’s Temptations. I highly recommend you buy one (or three) next time you visit the Market. Worth.Every.Calorie.

custard tart

Holiday detox starts next week…

Quick and comforting creamy pesto fettuccine

During busy weeks, I like to prepare meals that are quick and easy – and after a stressful day it’s all about comfort food. This creamy pesto fettuccine dish ticks each of these boxes.

Sure, when time permits, it’s nice to make your own pesto. But there are so many great quality pre-made pestos out there, why bother if you’re not feeling up to it? After a long day at work, cooking should be relaxing, not stressful, so I say take as many shortcuts as you need if it will make life a little easier.

This recipe will generously serve 4 people but can also be saved for up to 3 days.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6) 

4-6 bacon rashers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 white onion, finely sliced
6-8 heirloom (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
4-6 white mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow (or green or red) pepper, de-seeded and diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 can of butter beans
8 oz of whipping cream*
4-6 tablespoons of any good quality pesto
Handful of grated parmesan cheese
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
500 grams of fettuccine
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

* For a lower-fat version of this recipe, substitute the whipping cream for half-and-half or plain yoghurt, keeping in mind that the sauce will be thinner.

DIRECTIONS

Pesto fettuccine

Sauté the onion until soft and then add bacon, yellow pepper, and mushrooms. Continue to sauté until the bacon is crisp and all other ingredients are softened and slightly browned.

pesto fettuccine 2

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Be sure to completely submerge the pasta and stir often to avoid clumping.

While the pasta boils, add the pesto (I used Jamie Oliver’s red pepper and walnut pesto) and whipping cream to the sautéed ingredients. Leave everything to simmer for a few minutes until the cream thickens slightly. Add the tomatoes, beans, and lemon zest, and allow to simmer until the pasta is finished boiling.

creamy fettuccine
When the pasta is al dente, drain and combine with the sauce. Stir well to ensure that the pasta is evenly coated.

Serve with a generous helping of parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chilli flakes if you like your pasta with a kick.

IMG_2374wedding shot

Et voilà!

Boring walls be gone!

If you were to look in my closet, you’d quickly realize that I’m not a minimalist. My clothes tend to be patterned and printed in a variety of colours and textures.

But my walls are a whole different story. At the moment, every wall in my house is bare and boring, and totally not me.

The problem is that I vowed to take my time with our new house and not to rush into any major design decisions. So while I’m champing at the bit to inject a bit of fun into the décor with some amazing wallpaper (like this), the practical side of me knows it makes sense to wait until we have all of our furniture and can see how everything will come together.

Enter Urban Walls, the antidote for boring walls. Urban Walls is a Vancouver-based company that specializes in wall decals. Modern, stylish and, best of all, completely temporary! No commitment required.

I’m really digging these designs…

gold triangles

 

Check out their Etsy shop. Do you have a favourite?