Eat well - travel often

Month: December 2015

National Maple Syrup Day – 17th December

National Maple Syrup Day – 17th December

The 17th December is National Maple Syrup Day in the United States and Canada.  I for one plan to celebrate the sticky, amber deliciousness on that day and pay homage to the great idea that you start with a colourless liquid from a tree and […]

London: Pizza Buzz – restaurant review

London: Pizza Buzz – restaurant review

Pizza Buzz opened it’s first restaurant in Worship Street a few minutes walk from Moorgate Underground station in London. The idea of a pizza restaurant where you can sit in or take away is not new but the concept of building your own as you […]

It’s Taco Tuesday with Old El Paso

It’s Taco Tuesday with Old El Paso

We are all familiar with Old El Paso and their range of fajitas, burritos and enchiladas as well as their crispy tacos.

Well now enter the ‘Stand-n-Stuff’ tortillas.

You can prepare a filling of mince beef, sliced chicken or vegetables and spice it up with the seasoning pack included in the pack or simply buy the stand-n-stuff tortillas and get creative with your fillings.
At a recent event I attended we got familiar with the new shape and got our fillings ready. 

The new stand up shape makes filling easier and certainly eating a lot less messy!

As well as the new stand-n-stuff ‘Old El Paso’ still have their range of salsas, guacamole, sour cream and sachets of spice mixes.
When I took some to my daughter’s the little people didn’t want the taco mince deciding instead to have a tin of baked beans warmed up and then proceeded to stuff with their favourites and they then ate it all!
For a really speedy midweek meal or ‘taco Tuesday’ make your filling, get your lettuce shredded, tomatoes chopped and cheese grated and just let everyone help them selves! Perfect!

I was a guest of Old El Paso at this event which was held at my old favourite cooking school Food at 52.  I was not required to write a positive review and I was not paid to write.

St Albans: Travelling back in time

St Albans: Travelling back in time

As I travel back and forth into London on a regular basis I chug past the St Albans South Signal Box. Up until 1979 all trains passing through St Albans City station were controlled, announced and shepherded through by the staff in the signal box. […]

North Carolina: For What We Are About To Receive – Give Thanks

North Carolina: For What We Are About To Receive – Give Thanks

Whilst visiting my sister in North Carolina we had a family Thanksgiving Dinner the Sunday before the big day and then they went off to visit family in California this year for the actual Thanksgiving. Mr R and I stayed at my sister’s house in […]

North Carolina: Family Thanksgiving Dinner

North Carolina: Family Thanksgiving Dinner

I usually celebrate American Thanksgiving at home with my family in the UK however every now and again I am able to celebrate it in the states with my American family.

Mr R and I made the trip this year for the biggest and most important holiday on the American calendar. Thanksgiving is the holiday that most Americans try to get home for whereby Christmas they tend to stay where they are and phone home.  
This holiday celebrates when the pilgrims landed in what is now known as Massachusetts following a terrible sea crossing and bad first year they made some local friends with native  Americans who taught them how to survive by eating local wild animals and grow vegetables that they could keep throughout the winter.  At the end of this year the native Americans and the Pilgrims got together and shared a meal which would have consisted of turkey, venison, squash, pumpkins and corn.
President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 set the date for Thanksgiving as the 4th Thursday of November and that is the date we still celebrate it.
Today the traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of much the same but each family will have their own traditional dishes that have evolved over time.
My Thanksgiving meal would consist of turkey, stuffing, gravy, my homemade cranberry relish, peas and carrots, sweet potato with marshmallows (don’t say yuk until you have tried it), creamed sweetcorn with chilli, creamed onions, roast and mashed potatoes followed by pumpkin pie, apple pie and if I have time pecan pie.  I don’t usually have turkey again for Christmas as it falls just four weeks later.
Although we were in the United States for Thanksgiving this year the family would be travelling to California to visit my niece leaving Mr R and myself to look after the house and the dogs.  We will be having our own little Thanksgiving meal.
My sister cooked an early Thanksgiving dinner for the family as we would be apart over the holiday.
This year my sister’s spread was turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potato, roast sweet potato, cranberry jelly and cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, pumpkin bread and an apple bread as well as an array of dips and crisps to keep people going until dinner time.

Tummies full the other tradition is to sit back and watch the Thanksgiving Day football matches! 
This year Mr R and I had a quiet Thanksgiving meal with our turkey, roast potatoes, cornmeal stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweetcorn souffle as well as green vegetables.  It is a quiet meal and one with reflection on what we have to be thankful for over the past year and what we are thankful to look forward to for 2016.
I will be bringing home tablecloths, napkins and other table settings with me for next year – who wants to come to mine for Thanksgiving dinner next year?