16 Thoughts I had about food in America

FoodTeaLife has been more than a little quiet lately, I could blame wedding planning, career changes and time abroad but it’s mainly that I’ve also been busy researching and thinking a lot more about nutrition lately…but that’s a whole other blog post.

IMG_20170517_202330_resized_20170529_032515430 (1)

For now, I’ve just got back from America (a Californian road trip with a stop in Las Vegas) and of course, I thought about food a lot. The differences both positive and negative amused and intrigued me, so here goes…my thoughts about food while in America:-

  1. Coffee with cream in it?! What? That sounds SO ridiculously indulgent, yet it seems so everyday in the US. It seemed wrong but I have to say I soon got into it and kind of enjoyed it. Also, good coffee seems much more widespread over there. The UK has some catching up to to do on the good coffee front.
  2. On the other hand…the tea situation is pretty dire. No-one drinks it at breakfast like the Brits do and when you ask for milk you sometimes get hot milk, SO WRONG! Plus, why is it called ‘hot tea’, surely it’s just Tea or it’s iced tea? Tea is always hot unless otherwise stated isn’t it? I’m a tea fiend so this probably got me to me more than it should.tea solves
  3. Avocados, Avocados…Avocados everywhere! Woohoo! I LOVE avocados and ate one virtually every day whilst in the US, they’re grown in California so that may explain their abundance on menus. While avocados are pretty popular in the UK too, there are plenty of cafes that don’t offer some kind avo-centred dish, but happily this was not the case in the US.
avo toast

Breakfast of my dreams in LA, beautiful avocado toast!

4. Damn…the pies! Talk about pie porn! Sweet dessert pies, like Key Lime Pie were epic looking. The one slice I did have while out there was delicious.

5. Oooh so much amazing Mexican cuisine, so delicious and I’m in guacamole heaven…uh-oh, ate too many black beans, my tummy will not thank me for this.

6. Is In-N-Out Burger really that different to McDonald’s? I don’t get it.

burger

7. What exactly is a pound cake?

8. Wow sourdough is popular out here! Is that because all the other bread is sooo sweet? Either way I’m happy it’s an option.

9. The cheese situation is not great…what’s with all the liquid orange ‘cheese’? Yet the butter here is delicious…how does that work? Sort it out America. It made me realise just how spoilt for cheese choice we are in Europe.

10. Is bacon always crispy here? Would American’s be disgusted by the classic British Bacon Butty?

11. Ahh the international language of Subway, the same across the continents. I’m fluent in Subway and got a lovely fresh salad bowl whilst out on the road, on our way to Vegas. Although, American subway has banana peppers and fresh coriander in the salad options, we need these in UK (pretty sure my local branch doesn’t offer these).

sub

12. California’s got good wine.

13. Actual molten butter on popcorn….what?! I am a huge fan of popcorn (the lightly salted kind). It’s a cinema must for me. So when we went to ‘the movies’ in LA and I was offered buttered popcorn, it seemed like a classic American thing to try! It was good at first, but soon became not good (shouldn’t have got a large). What’s wrong with just sweet or salted?

14. Ooh Fever Tree mixers are out here too, how great (although there did not seem to be any in Vegas though). I always judge a bar or pub if it doesn’t have a good tonic like Fever Tree.

15. Dam nachos are epic out here!

16. Loving all the free and regular water top ups in restaurants, I can never get enough water, so this is amazing! The ‘soda’ tops ups are not so good though, have seen people drink two or three cokes with a lunch because of this…nobody needs that much sugar!

As you can see, I thought about food rather a lot. We had an absolutely amazing trip, full of adventures but right now I’m happy to be home in the land of good cups of tea and smaller portions.

I’m sure there’s plenty of things US visitors would find weird and wonderful about eating and drinking in the UK too (probably our tea obsession would factor highly!).

xXx

 

Cocktail Creations & Party Food

Happy bank holiday weekend everyone!

This latest post is somewhat inspired by my good friend Miss Penn’s recent birthday bash, where some very creative cocktails where enjoyed at The London Cocktail Club’s Goodge Street venue. Before I get on to that though I did promise to reference how good the pre-party food was. I am a firm believer that if you’re going to throw a party, there must be a good food offering too – crisps in a bowl doesn’t cut it! It’s just good manners and basic biology if you ask me. If alcohol is to be consumed over a long period of time, there must be sufficient food first. So to show you how it’s done here’s a picture of the spread at Miss Penn’s recent joint birthday soiree.

 

The mac and cheese was a winner with everyone

Not forgetting the ‘teal velvet cupcakes’ – yes that’s right…teal…you saw it here first people!

So with stomachs suitably filled with food, it was on to the cocktail portion of the evening. I sadly only stayed for one delicious drink (needed to be back down south again), but here’s a selection of the fabulous drinks we enjoyed.

Miss Pen enjoyed an earl grey infused cocktail – I approve!

The ‘At the Movies’ cocktail

My choice! Painkiller…a classic Caribbean rum cocktail that I have fond family memories of my mum enjoying over in the Virgin Isles!

Feeling inspired and with my sister’s birthday just around the corner, I got out my cocktail shaker and got to work on some cocktail creations of my own. The party was Mexican food themed and it was a hot summer’s evening so it called something fruit filled and zesty. In the end I settled on a long drink, which had took its base recipe from a good old fashion Cosmo, with a few added extras. I’m calling it a ‘Summer Cosmo’

The Summer Cosmo

It was delicious and enjoyed by all! I was frequently back and forth with the cocktail shaker whipping up fresh batches. If you’d like to try my Summer Cosmo too, the ingredients are as follows…

  • Absolut Citron Vodka (if you’ve only got normal vodka, just add lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice to the mix)
  • Juice of x2 limes
  • Cranberry & Raspberry Juice
  • Sanguinello (blood orange) Juice
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Crushed ice and chopped orange, lime, lemon and strawberries for the finishing touches

The ratio can be varied depending on the strength, I went for the Sanguinello and Cranberry as the strongest juice elements to give a red summery colour.

Enjoy – happy bank holiday drinking!