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Archive for the ‘MISCELLANEOUS’ Category

Postcard Teas01

Postcard Teas02

Postcard Teas03

Postcard Teas04

Yesterday we went to The Tea House in Covent Garden to buy some jasmin tea but the type which we buy normally was sold out. Then we decided to go to Postcard Teas in Dering Street, next to Bond Street and near Oxford Circus, another tea shop which we heard about it before moving to London.

When you compare with The Tea House you find less variety of tea and tea accessories maybe in Postcard Teas but at least the jasmin tea we bought smells and taste really good. Another thing we liked very much about this little elegant shop -and which is missing a lot in The Tea House- , was the attitude and smiling face of the gentleman who helped us to choose our tea. If you are tea addict like us and if you are around Oxford Circus, don’t forget to say hello to Postcard Teas.

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Man Ray001

Today is another freezing day in our little kingdom but at least is super sunny. The sun is always a good reason to get out of the house in London and thats why we headed today, to the National Portrait Gallery for Man Ray exhibition, buying some tea in Covent Garden and coffee in Soho for home and visiting some bookshops in Charing Cross Road.

Man Ray is one the photographers we adore his works. We had a chance to see his photos first time in 1997 in a Man Ray exhibition opened in Madrid. This time came to the city where we live and we didn’t want to miss the chance.

Man Ray Portraits exhibition is the first major museum retrospective of the artist’s portrait works with over 150 vintage prints from the collections all over the world. The exhibition is a retrospective which brings together artist’s works during the period he lived in America and in Paris between 1916-1968.

Man Ray Portraits exhibition is open in London National Portrait Gallery until 27 May 2013.

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Hot cross buns01

Hot cross buns02

Hot cross buns03

We tasted first time the hot cross buns after moving to UK. We like their fluffy, sticky texture, cinnamonny smell and chewing the sultanas inside. Normally we buy them from Tesco but lately we found less guilt feeling version with less calories in Waitrose and they were as good as the others. We are not addict of hot cross buns but we like chewing them sometimes while  drinking our tea.

We were talking about learning to bake our homemade hot cross buns and today was the most appropriate time to learn this Easter classic normally eaten on Good Friday. After a quick search, we decided to try BBC Good Food’s recipe between four recipes we choosed before and spot on! Best hot cross buns recipe ever:

For the buns:

300ml full-fat milk , plus 2 tbsp more

50g butter

500g strong bread flour

1 tsp salt

75g caster sugar

1 tbsp sunflower oil

7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast

1 egg, beaten

75g sultanas

50g mixed peel

zest 1 orange

1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross:

75g plain flour , plus extra for dusting

For the glaze:

3 tbsp apricot jam

Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.

Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

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Promise01

Rosemary Branch Theatre is one of the our neighborhood theatres. Under the theatre there is also a theatre pub where some days is taking place live piano performance. This cozy, fifty seats theatre, is in five minutes walking distance to our home and has a special place in our hearts for being the first theatre we went in London.

Yesterday evening, we were there again, this time for watching the Promise, an American adaptation of Chechov’s Three Sister written by Sophie Angelson and directed by James Kemp. This is the story of Peters sisters who moved from New York to Nebraska in 1927. Now this is 1938 and the life is not so joyful as it was before…

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Peter and Alice01

“When Alice Liddell Hargreaves met Peter Llewellyn Davies at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan. In John Logan’s remarkable new play, enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bear the lives of these two extraordinary characters.”

Tonight, we watched Peter and Alice, a Michael Grandage Company play  written by John Logan and directed by Michael Grandage at the Noël Coward Theatre. When we first looked tickets for the play, all tickets were sold out. And then luckily, we found a couple of returned previleged tickets for this evening.

The play was great, the theatre was a impressive building, the actors’ performance was great. But having the chance of watching Dame Judi Dench in a London theatre was… Wooow! It was really amazing! What a unforgettable evening it was…

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Cottons Islington01

Cottons Islington02

Cottons Islington03

Cottons Islington04

Yesterday evening we went to Cottons Islington, a Caribbean restaurant in Exmouth Market and it was wonderful. The restaurant, the food, the coctails, the music, the service, everything was perfect.

Caribbean Masterchef 2011 Award winning head chef Andrew McIntosh’s each plate was delicious and well presented. Before our bottle of wine, we tried one of their coctails, The Jamaican Mule, a Caribbean classic of Appleton Special Rum, Angostura bitters, fresh lime and ginger beer.

Then as starters we had Callaloo aspargus and goat cheese tart, drizzled with sun blush tomato dressing and Cottons Caribbean mezze platter, salt fish fritter, plantain, Buffalo wings, ribs and garlic and ginger bread.

As mains we choosed their famous curry goat served with rice and peas and sautéed goat fish, in a light coconut lime leaf curry sauce, served with sea food rice. As dessert we tasted spiced pineapple tart with mango sorbet.

And for icing the cake we tasted one more coctail which called “Killer Dopi”. The info on the menu about this coctail made us to choose this one  for closing: This one’s only for the brave. Four different rums, apricot liqueur, Blue Curacao, orange, pineapple & fresh lime juice. Created to turn the living into a “Doppi” that’s Jamaican for Ghost.

Delicious!

Photos: Cottons Islington

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Roy Lichtenstein01

Steel freezing outside. But today we have been brave enough for having a walk toward the Tate Modern to visit Roy Lichtenstein exhibition. To avoid crowds and childrens we prefer to visit museums, galleries, etc. week days. But this time didn’t work. Because, the cartoon images were children magnet and the amount of running and shouting primary school groups unfortunately was making very difficult to enjoy the exhibition.

Anyway, the exhibiton was great and it was a great pleasure to see one of the American pop-art icons Lichtenstein’s works and to observe from a very close distance how incredibly he used the lines and dots.

After the exhibition we bought some books and magazines from the Tate Modern’s bookshop. Then we stopped at The Centre Page, a lovely old pub near St. Paul’s Cathedral for cold day energizer bangers and mash accompanied by a pint. Now it’s the time to have a tea at home and to enjoy our new books and magazines.

Lichtenstein Retrospective is open at London Tate Modern until 27 May 2013.

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Salep01

Salep is a typical Turkish hot beverage which we consume during cold winter days. Salep is named by it’s main ingredient, salep, which is a flour made by the tubers of a plant of  orchidaceae family which grows up in Anatolia.

For preparing salep, mix 30 g ground salep with 80 g granulated sugar in a pan. Add 1 litre milk while whisking.  Cook ower low heat until getting thick (like a cream soup), meanwhile keep whisking.

Put in a mug and serve with ground ginger and ground cinnamon.

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Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham FC

Looks like spring forgot to stop in London. Outside snow and freezing cold, at home fresh baked, fluffy yogurt dill biscuits with quince jam and cheese. Teapot full of  tea.

London weather! We are not afraid of you! (But if spring delays few more weeks, we will have few more excess kilos in our bodies).

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Cinnamon cookie01

Delicious teaside treat for cold London days. We tried Cafe Rengigül’s cinnamon cookie recipe first time when we were preparing christmas hampers for our neighbours in 2011. Since then we didn’t make.

Yesterday, we wanted something sweet for our tea time but we used last granulated sugar for something else few days ago.  Nearby supermarkets sell only cane sugar and for not going to farther one to buy beetroot sugar in this freezing day, we were searching our recipe file for another option.

Then we remembered these cinnamon cookies made by confectioner’s sugar and suddenly, super easy, five minutes make/half an hour bake cookies were  ready to eat!  Here is the english recipe:

2 egg yolks

150 g butter

285 g flour

65 g confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 g baking powder

5 g vanilin sugar

for sifting on the top

confectioner’s sugar and ground cinnamon

Mix egg yolks, confectioner’s sugar and butter.

Add sifted flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder, vanilin sugar and knead all together. It will be a no sticky, compact dough.

Take small wallnut size pieces and make small balls. Place them in a tray covered by grease proof baking paper.

Bake 30 minutes at 190°C in preheated owen. (Do not let them golden brown)

When the cookies get cold, sift the confectioner’s sugar and ground cinnamon mix on the top.

And eat and eat and eat…

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