Entry No. 59

The London Fog

FullSizeRender-2If you’re a serious tea fan, you’ve likely heard of the London Fog.  It’s an Earl Grey based tea served warm with steamed milk and a shot of vanilla syrup.  The drink originated in Vancouver, British Colombia and in Scotland, is known as a Vancouver Fog.  At Starbuck’s and other coffee shops, it’s often called an Earl Grey Latte.  Anyway, I had my first one in New York last month.  Actually, I had several of them.  I was surprised I enjoyed it so as, I’ve never been one for Earl Grey. The London Fog changed my mind.

FullSizeRenderThere are so many versions of this drink;  the Atlantic City Fog {replaces Earl Grey with Rose tea}, Nanaimo Mist {replaces vanilla syrup with almond syrup}, Savannah Fog {replaces vanilla syrup with lavender syrup} and the London Smog {a London Fog with an added shot of espresso} are among my favorites.  All of these drinks are made with steamed milk and if you don’t have a fancy machine for this, it’s fine.  I make my steamed milk here at home in a mini French Press. I found my mini press at Marshall’s a while ago, but here’s a link for one the same size as mine.

FullSizeRender-1To make steamed milk in a French Press, just warm the milk for about thirty {30} seconds in a microwave, don’t boil it, just warm it.  Then pump the milk in the press quickly for ten {10} seconds or less.  It’s that simple.  You can also warm milk in a jar in the microwave, then tightly secure the lid on the jar and shake it for a bit, vigorously, with the warm milk inside.  Either way will give you a nice, foamy topper for your London Fog. {recipe below}

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Entry No. 58

Tortellini Florentine Soup

{sigh} …it was wonderful.

Tortellini Florentine Soup {recipe below}

So, I’m on a soup kick lately. And it’s not just about trying new things or cooking love – I’m always hunting another way to use my Dutch Oven.  It’s likely my favorite piece of cookware,  mostly because my grandmother had one. Which, hands down,  was her prized possession in her kitchen.  I remember the day my grandfather brought it home to surprise her;  it was maroon, heavy, new and shiny.  She was so deeply touched and looking back as an adult, I can see he paid attention to the little things.  I watched her lovingly nurse so many stews etc. along for hours, on the back of her old gas stove in that ceramic pot.  So, cooking in mine brings back priceless and heartwarming memories.

IMG_3562Anyway, the soup.  This one’s a keeper as, my seven and three year-old girls truly enjoyed the broth and cheese tortellini. The baby spinach well, I bargained and it went down.  If you have little ones who are picky about “eating leaves”, maybe just stir a little spinach in theirs separately {or omit it all together} and drop the rest into the pot for the adults who can hack it. We spinach-lovers stick together.  **fist-bump**   {click below for recipe}

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Entry No. 49

Nana’s Potato Pancakes

Everyone in my home loves to eat Nana’s Potato Pancakes.  They’re easy to make and I have several fond memories of my grandmother cooking up a batch of these.  Usually, she’d make them after holiday dinner company had come and gone, leaving a few servings of mashed potatoes behind.  In this photo, I used about a cup of leftover mashed potatoes. They were garlic Parmesan flavor with a bit of mayo added.  Anyway, I added one egg to the cold potatoes and enough flour to give the potatoes a semi-thick, pancake batter consistency.  I browned them over medium heat with a bit of butter.  They take much longer than regular pancakes to cook fully and are not as forgiving if you flip them too soon; so worth the extra effort though. Serve them with a side of applesauce and you’ve got a delicious brunch or savory breakfast from yesteryear.