Peppery Lemon Tart

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me getting excited about moving into a new flat back in June. Amongst many other more serious reasons for wanting to be out of the old one, I had another more personal, somewhat frivolous reason: my new flat had a brand spanking new kitchen. OH, what a kitchen! It had a shiny glass hob, smooth stone counters, spacious and clean cabinets, and the mother of all kitchen amenities (in England at least)… a dishwasher. If you’re a reader in America, you might not realize why this is such a big deal. Well, one thing I’ve learned from living as a student in England is that most flats don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher. I’ve gotten used to hand-washing my dishes–perhaps a bit too much.

The last time I went home, my parents and I cooked a big roast meal together. I’m used to cleaning up around the house when I visit so that I’m more of a help than a burden. After dinner I started in washing the dishes, scrubbing hard at the pan that the roast potatoes had been in. After about 20 minutes my mom wandered back in from the living room. “What are you doing? We’re waiting on you to start the movie.”

“I’m washing the dishes, mom, I’ll be there in a minute.”

“You can just put them in the dishwasher, you know.”

I looked over at the dishwasher, directly to the right of the sink, underneath the heaving drying rack where I’d been precariously piling roast pans, utensils, plates, and pots. Yes, I’d gotten so used to hand-washing the dishes that I literally forgot my parents had such a thing as a dishwasher.

So, yes, I’m a bit excited to have a dishwasher for times when I’ve dirtied a lot of dishes. And baking is certainly one of those times! I’ve been using my kitchen quite a bit to cook and bake, with the hopes of putting more recipes on the blog. However, as I’m sure seasoned recipe bloggers will know, most recipes take a few tries and tests to get right for public consumption. I haven’t found the time for most of them; luckily, though, this lemon tart turned out pretty spiffy on my first try. See?

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Breakfast in the Sky

The only time I’ve been to Duck and Waffle was last November. My friend Robin from Gothenburg was passing through London on his way to ATP’s End of an Era festival. I promised him I would take him to one of the best brunch places in London; having not actually been to Duck and Waffle yet, this was a bit of a gamble. I was trusting the rave reviews of many friends and foodies on Twitter, as well as the fact that it has some pretty stunning views of London. Despite it being a typical gray November day, and despite us being stuck at a table in the middle of the room, we loved it. In the interest of not totally pigging out (and also because we were trying to be frugal at a very unfrugal restaurant) we ordered three dishes – one each to ourselves, with one to share. I scanned the menu again and again, wondering which mouthwatering dish to pick. It was clear that I would have to come back, possibly multiple times, to experience all the delights.

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Ginstock 2013

World Gin Day and Ginstock 2014 are just around the corner. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, and you may be wondering, “Should I buy one?” Hopefully, these pictures can give you a preview and whet your appetite for wetting your whistle with that most distinguished of spirits.

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