Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Beer tour in Brussels

I was recently in Brussels for a weekend, where I decided it would be a good idea to embark on a beer-tasting session around St Gilles, being in Belgium and all. I have internally debated about whether I should put this post up, because, well, it might give the wrong impression of me as some kind of drunkard  blogging about a massive drinking session. But y'all know that I'm not, so here is my, erm, beer diary. Word for word. I have added a little post-session commentary in italics.

1. Jambe-de-Bois at Au Libre Air bar €3.40. Brewed in Brussels. 8%

Strong! Bitter, blonde. Sunlight filters through the murky honey-golden liquid and catches the light of tiny bubbles. A good start to a Brussels beer drinking session. Why does beer not taste like this in England (sorry devout English bitter drinkers....)

I remember that this was served to us, in a dingy punkish bar, by what looked like someone's dad in an effortlessly trendy well-worn grandpa jersey. How come Europeans are so cool?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Barbie Doll Cake

Late last year, I wrote a post about my trip to Bruges & Brussels, and mentioned how I found a shop window display of Barbie doll cakes. I reminisced about the cake my mama made for my 9th birthday, which was a Barbie ice cream cake, complete with sugared violets to decorate her dress. I have just acquired a picture of this cake (thank you Sue!) so that you can see for yourself what a beauty she was.

Isn't she lovely?

I can't wait to make one, if I ever have a daughter!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday Pancakes

Sunday brunch is a bit of a tradition in our household. Usually it consists of eggs (poached, scrambled or fried), on toast with beans and slow-roasted tomatoes, topped with Tabasco. Sometimes, though, we just don't seem to get the organisation done on a Saturday in terms of grocery shopping, and we have to get a little more creative. I like to claim to my boyfriend that I am an expert at conjuring up a decent brunch when we have nothing in the cupboard.

I wouldn't exactly say we had nothing in the cupboard this morning, but we were missing a key ingredient for eggs on toast; bread. So I thought about pancakes, knowing that I had half a tin of apricots in the fridge from last night's makeshift dessert of apricots with ricotta and honey. Pancakes it was, however, my next problem to solve was that we hardly had much milk - less than a cup. British and French style pancakes are of the thin-batter, roll-up variety, which requires a good amount of milk that, even thinned down with water, my milk was not going to stretch to. So, I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for American style thick stackable pancakes, which has a greater proportion of egg, and uses much less milk. Perfect.