Boden’s Birthday Cake

Today’s post is special because it is one cake recipe done two ways. The first way is a traditional Victoria Sandwich cake and the second way is a checkerboard cake with chocolate frosting that I made to celebrate the birth of my nephew. That’s right, I have a nephew!

On Saturday night Aaron and Katy (Ryan’s twin brother and his wife) emailed they were going to the hospital. I was jumping up and down in the street with excitement. Then Sunday Ryan and I woke up with an email and a photo of their son Boden! It’s their first kid, and our first nephew. We are an uncle and aunt for the first time!

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Pecan Banana Bread

DSCN2199I know green banana bread isn’t for everyone, so if you want something a little more normal here is a recipe for a regular banana bread. I like this recipe because it’s flavorful, moist, and it’s pretty close to healthy. It’s also not as sweet as some banana breads because the only added sweetener is a little honey and apple juice. Don’t get it twisted, it’s not purely healthy because there is a lot of butter.

To figure out how much butter I need, I used my scale. I’ve wanted a digital scale for awhile and I finally bought myself one soon after I moved to London. It was on clearance at a nearby department store and I thought, “this is a sign, I’m finally going to get it.” And it’s been totally worth it! All my UK recipes are in grams and this helps measure them. It also helps me convert my US recipes more easily. For example, I know that 1 tbsp of butter equals about 14g but what the heck does that look like? Now I don’t have to eyeball it, I can measure it! It’s awesome. And yes, I know I’m a bit dorky for getting excited about measurements.  Continue reading

Confetti Cookies

I feel a little guilty that it’s been over a week since I’ve posted, but the truth is I haven’t been cooking much. Since I’ve been back I’ve gone out, I’ve had pb&j, grilled cheese, and teriyaki chickpeas. Ryan, on the other hand, has been killing it. He sent me beautiful pictures of the ingredients for pasta, homemade tomato sauce, and cheesy garlic bread. Cheesy garlic bread! I wanted it. It looked gooey and buttery and amazing. Also, he is having great adventures. He recently went to Greenwich and saw the Naval Museum and Royal Observatory. The pictures are impressive – check them out below. Gorgeous architecture, amazing painted ceilings, and beautiful scenery!

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

noviceOur flat is starting to feel more like a home! On Friday, I baked peanut butter cookies and it made the apartment smell wonderful. Baking, the yummy smells, and having home made food made the apartment feel more like mine. We’re also starting to get settled by putting our knickknacks out and decorating our place.

We can finally start decorating because on Saturday, our landlord came and furnished our apartment! Yes, to answer your unspoken question, we’d been living in our apartment for a week without furniture. Now, it’s starting to feel more like a real place to live because we can put things away and actually sit and relax other places besides the air mattress.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSCN0681Sometimes a person needs a cookie. And after this weekend, I really needed one. Ryan and I went on a long road trip, we went to a wedding, I cried over missing our friends, I took Ryan to the airport, I watched scary TV, and I got pumped and started packing for London. See? I needed a cookie. Let me tell you about it.

This weekend Ryan was in his friend Tommy’s wedding in Atlanta. We left on Thursday and stayed overnight with our friends who live in North Carolina.  They just moved into a beautiful new house with the most amazing kitchen. (To digress a bit, their kitchen is truly a dream kitchen with a huge fridge, two ovens, and a beautiful gigantic island. I wish I had taken pictures).  Anyway, it was wonderful to see them, their new home, and to catch up. We parted and I was so sad to leave them. I asked Ryan if when we come back if we could be their neighbors (and so I could have an awesome kitchen too). Continue reading

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Caramelized Apple Topping

DSCN0703Apparently there aren’t pancakes in London.

Last week a few of Ryan’s soon-to-be British coworkers were in town spending a few days in the D.C. office. We went out to dinner with them one night and we started discussing the things Ryan and I might miss once we cross the pond. We said baseball and Mexican food. They said we could watch cricket and that there is Mexican food in London but it’s not as good as stateside. They also said the hot wings aren’t as good (sigh, add that to my D.C. bucket list). And they said we wouldn’t be able to find American style pancakes.

Well that’s fine, but “can’t I make them at home?” I asked. They said no. We couldn’t get a straight answer as to why I couldn’t make them at home. We’ll see if I can figure out the answer once I’m there. But until then, I need to make sure I eat pancakes. Continue reading

Flan

Happy Three Kings Day! If you’re not familiar with Three Kings Day, it’s also called the Epiphany and you can read about it here. To summarize though, Three Kings Day is the 12th day of Christmas and it’s when the three kings (or wise men) found Jesus and brought him the gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It’s a holiday celebrated by lots of different cultures, especially in Latin America.

DSCN0358To celebrate this year, I decided to have a dinner party for 10 people in our tiny apartment. I invited three of my former coworkers, their significant others, my parents, and my brother. It was a tight fit (Charlotte and Craig had to bring chairs and a table), it was a little hot (I had to open the sliding door), and we used every single dish we own – but it was a blast and I’m so glad to have thrown a little party to catch up with friends and family. Continue reading