settingrad2foodI was given a GATHER Journal in December, then bought 2 more to give as Christmas gifts, and just tonight made my first recipe: smoky black lentils & radicchio. It was, like, better than anything I’ve made in a long time. I didn’t really make a new year’s resolution, but am trying to be more patient and focused, and this includes kitchen behaviour. You’ll want GATHER if you like one or more of the following: paper, print, books, the smell of ink, photography, unpretentiousness, eating, and/or cooking. I’m not even going to list the recipe like I usually do because you need to just go out and get it. Next up is the Black Velvet—a champagne and Guinness cocktail—or maybe the tea eggs with bone broth. Find a copy and happy new year. Bon appetit!


Summer’s in full swing here and ever since the Olympics came and went, it’s been one celebratory night after another. Enter summertime adult bevvies. K is best at making cocktails. I drink ’em, I just always add too much of this or too much of that. But when I found Smitten Kitchen’s super easy recipe for a blackberry gin fizz, I happened to have strawberries and well, now I’m practically a bartender with this version.

INGREDIENTS// 1/4 cup fresh strawberries / 2 tablespoons sugar / 1/2 cup gin / 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes) / Club soda / 2 sprigs sweet basil or 2 thin lime wedges (for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS// Halve strawberries. Purée strawberries and sugar with a blender until liquified. (I didn’t do this next step, but for those who cannot have seeds, strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve or tea strainer into two tall or collins-style glasses; discard seeds in sieve.) Divide gin and lime juice between glasses and stir to combine. Add ice to glasses then top each with soda and a sprig of basil or wedge of lime. Give ’em a quick stir. Sit in the sun and enjoy. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Since living in the UK where salt and cider vinegar crisps taste worlds better than back home, we have also cooked more potatoes than ever before and last night was no exception. It was a quick meal of BOLTs—bacon, onion, lettuce, and tomato—and this easy accompaniment was rather yummy.

INGREDIENTS//  3 potatoes, sliced lengthwise to 1/4-inch thickness / 2 cups white or malt vinegar / extra virgin olive oil / kosher salt / pepper

INSTRUCTIONS//  In a small pot, combine the potato slices and vinegar. Bring to boil, then simmer 8–10 minutes. Let cool in the liquid for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to broiler setting with rack about 6 inches below heat source. After 30 minutes, drain potatoes well and pat dry with paper towels. Place potato slices onto a baking sheet, sprinkle generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in single layer and broil until browned on top, about 7 minutes. Then flip the slices and broil until browned again, 7 minutes. Serves 2-3. Adapted from Martha, sort of.

Happy Independence Day, America! Enjoy your day swimming and eating grilled everything. I baked this cake for my [British] workmates, hotdogs indoors didn’t seem as appealing. Literally nicked the recipe from one of my favourite food blogs Smitten Kitchen, except I halved all the sugar, no need for it. And my cake topper is made from miscellaneous found materials, if you must know. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam—happy July 4th, home sweet home!
(Of course I just sang that out loud while I typed it.)

The weather in London has been insanely beautiful the last couple of weeks, so we’re short on blog posts, but I’ve been making cakes and pies to welcome summertime. So if you need something patriotic for Memorial Day back home today, or for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee festivities next week, this strawberry upside down cake is a goodie. The original recipe called for blackberries, but they weren’t available, so use what’s local, what you can find.

INGREDIENTS//  2 1/2 cups (12 oz) strawberries, halved / 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar / 1 cup
all-purpose flour / 1/2 tsp baking soda / 1/4 tsp salt / 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened / 1 large egg,
at room temperature / 1 tsp vanilla extract / 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS//  Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 175°C/350°F. Butter an 8×2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with two rounds of parchment paper, then butter top piece of parchment. Dust pan with flour, knocking out excess. Arrange strawberries in one layer in pan. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of sugar. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer (paddle attachment) at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 batches, scraping down sides of bowl between batches, mixing until just incorporated. Spoon batter evenly over berries, smoothing top. Bake until top is golden and a wooden toothpick comes out clean from center—about 35–40 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around sides of pan, invert a large plate over pan, and, using pot holders to hold plate and pan tightly together, flip cake onto plate. Peel off parchment and serve with vanilla ice cream. Adapted from Gourmet.

It’s true, you can definitely bake a loaf of banana bread with just one banana (not 3.5) and it tastes perfect. I (M) made this the other day in the California sunshine. Drew, I forgot to save you a piece.

INGREDIENTS//  Scant cup all-purpose flour / 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda / 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon / 1/4 tsp salt / 1/4 cup sugar / 1 egg / 1/4 cup olive oil / 1 banana, very ripe, mashed / 1 Tbsp sour cream / 1/2 tsp vanilla extract / generous sprinkling of wheatgerm

INSTRUCTIONS//  Set oven to 175°C / 350°F. Line bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, plus wheatgerm. Pour into lined loaf pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes—top should be golden and knife come out clean from loaf center. Adapted from Flour Bakery, Boston, Mass., USA.

Appropriately so, as I’m in my hometown and K’s mom is cooking for him in London, I will share all the yummy recipes that made me the chubbette I am. Last week Mother and I made my very favourite Pennsylvania Dutch meal—chicken pot pie. The name originally comes from the old German term bot boi which was some sort of thick chicken stew and we Dutchies bastardized everything, so this is no different. Regardless, it is darn delicious and a winter must-make. Also made here, a salad of romaine lettuce with hot bacon dressing. “Kumm esse!” is how you should call everyone to the table.

INGREDIENTS//  BROTH: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts / 2 quarts water / small onion, chopped / 2 chicken bullion cubes / fresh parsley / salt & pepper / dash poultry seasoning / 5 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed / DOUGH: 2 cups flour / 4 tsp. baking powder / 1/2 tsp. salt / 2 Tbsp. butter / 8 Tbsp. milk / 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS// Wash chicken and add to water. Add onion, bullion cubes, parsley, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Simmer for 45 mins to an hour. Add potatoes, simmer 25 minutes more. Remove chicken, cut in small, stringy pieces and return to pot. To make dough, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter. Add egg and milk to make dough soft. Roll out on floured board about 1/8-inch thick and cut into 1-1/2-inch squares. Let dry a bit. Add dough to pot, make sure you stir it a lot, and gently simmer for about 30 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls, pour apple cider vinegar over individual servings before consuming. Makes enough for maybe 6 people, and the leftovers taste even better.

HOMEMADE HOT BACON DRESSING//  If you’re not local or can’t cook, WosWit sells online here.
8 slices bacon, fried hard, broken into crumbs / 1/2 c. sugar / 1 Tbsp. cornstarch / dash salt / 2 eggs, beaten / scant 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar / 1-1/2 cups milk. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and boil to desired thickness, stirring constantly. Also recommended on spinach or dandelion.