Sunday, 20 May 2012

Who said us veggies enjoy eating rabbit food?

This week mr. bluebirdcage and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. F.I.V.E. Crazy to think that so much has happened in the seven years since we first met at the gig in Memphis. Gotta love merch boys.

We celebrated the day as we normally would on any other - with a curry takeaway and a movie - knowing that on Saturday we'd be road tripping to Brighton, set to a soundtrack of Wavves & the Young Veins, for a stroll along the tourist-filled promenade and dinner at our favourite veggie restaurant - Terre a Terre.

Dining at Terre a Terre has become somewhat of a tradition for the hubs & I ever since they made our deliciously moist and overly chocolatey vegan wedding party cake. Surrounded in dark chocolate straws and dotted with seasonal berries and edible flowers, we were stunned by the quality of that vegan cake (something that so many people get wrong).

We made the decision to try out Terra a Terre's cuisine asap…and boy are we happy we did! This is not your average veg restaurant. It is an award winning veg restaurant with immaculate dish presentation and mouthwatering flavours that excite your taste buds. Who said us veggies enjoy eating rabbit food?

Spoilt for choice, and determined not to stick with my go-to choice of Rosti Revisited (the drool-worthy dish I eat EVERY time I go there) it was hard to decide to eat! In the end, this is what made its way to the table…

Virgin Grapefruit Mojito: Enough said.

Terre a Tapas Plate (for two) - Five dishes from around the menu: 

From front to back:
- Stacked fried corn cakes with avocado & lime dressing and a sweet chilli sauce
- Miso potato boulangères under a bed of beanshoots, mustard greens, and a black bean tamari glaze
- Falafel on a bed of humus topped with swirled chillis

 From front to back:
- Crisp flatbreads with an aubergine dip, sided with a spice dusted puree of edamame beans
- Smoked sesame tofu on a bed of sea greens, crispy strips and sweet cashews (not usually a fan of tofu - this stuff was the bees knees!)

Truffle Pea Rosti (for the hubs):
Crispy potato rosti topped with pan-seared lemon pepper asparagus, creamy sheep's cheese, mushy peas and a truffle pea sauce. (A new addition to the menu & variation of my favourite rosti-revisited - absolutely scrumptious.)

Better Batter and Lemony Yemeni Relish (for me!):
Eat your heart out vegetarian 'fish and chips.' Battered buttermilk soaked halloumi sided with fat chips, a minty pea hash topped with vodka soaked tomatoes, and a lemon based relish topped with pickled quails egg.

The Chocohollic - Four mouth watering chocolate puddings on one plate (stuffed on all the above, we dared to share):

From left to right:
- Chocolate & hazelnut tart with salt caramel glaze drizzled with espresso lacquer
 - Mini chocolate meringue on a bed of cinnamon cream and strawberries
- Banana custard fritters with a thick shot of chocolate for dipping (I downed it in one)
- Chocolate truffle cake with a gooey chocolate sorbet and fresh berries

Even the most head strong carnivores can't resist this stuff.
Until next time…

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Things I've learned from country music television

My eight year old self spent many a night falling asleep to CMT set to a thirty minute timer. The likes of Yoakam, Tillis & Brooks crooning me to sleep with their country twang.

When I uprooted from Germany to North Dakota, the kids poked fun at my lack of knowledge on the MTV generation (somewhat ironically, if you've ever been to the endless fields of wheat that occupy that state). Embarrassed, I left my country roots in order to fit in with the crowd.

Twenty years down the line, I realise unashamedly that CMT has taught me so much:

[1] Marty Stewart's pearl encrusted & embroidered coats are enough to inspire Balmain's fall'12 collection.

[2] I can thank Pam Tillis for my love of tattoos.

[3] The Judds were cutting edge - building bridges of love…in 3D. (Yes, I had this video on vhs and watched it on numerous occasion; white paper glasses with those blue & red perspex windows perched on the tip of my nose.) 

[4] Dwight Yoakam - What can I say? Those tight leather trousers. That hat. Those moves…

aww sookie.

I'm realising the longer I live in the UK, the more my roots start to show...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

last summer's trek to the holy land
Until next time...

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Harry Potter Tour:

These babies came in the post today. Watch this spot.

secrets will be revealed

Rolled Denim & Hair Kerchiefs:

While talking on Skype with the pops, he poked fun at today's attire saying that I could be an extra in a Dexys Midnight Runners video. I guess he's right…though I was really goin for 1950's house cleaner. (Raises fists into air pumping them in unison.) 

Crumbly Goodness:

Admittedly, I'm a blueberry muffin addict. Every Tuesday & Thursday morning I find myself at costa coffee purchasing one of those crumble topped bad boys and side it with a medium caramel latte (another addiction I unashamedly have). It's on these days I walk a bit faster to work just so I can peel off that brown paper packaging and pop that first bite into my mouth. 

On a mission to find the perfect crumble topping I stumbled upon this recipe, which I've adapted below to double the batch!


3c all purpose flour
1c caster sugar
1tsp salt
3tsp baking powder
1/2c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2/3c milk 
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2c caster sugar
1/3c all purpose flour
1/4c melted butter
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the muffins:
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, salt & baking powder. Next use a hand held mixer (or your trusty kitchenaid) to blend in the vegetable oil, eggs, milk & lemon juice. Lastly, fold in the blueberries.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers and spoon the batter into each until 2/3rds full. Set aside. (The mixture makes approx 14 muffins)

For the crumble topping:
Pop the butter in the microwave until melted (This only takes 15 seconds or so. If it's in there too long, you might just have to clean up a bubbly butter explosion!). Use a fork to blend in the sugar, flour and cinnamon until the mixture becomes pebbly. Then use your fingers to crumble the topping over your muffin batter.

Pop those bad boys into the oven at 180C for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Verdict: I have fallen victim to some very stodgy muffins before, but these turn out extremely light and airy. In contrast, the crumble gives it just the right amount of crunch.The spiciness of the cinnamon mixes really well with the tartness of the blueberries. 

I brought the entire batch (aside from the two mr. bluebirdcage snuck in the night) into work and they were gone in minutes. I'll definitely be baking these again.

Until next time...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Rainy Days

A little birdie told me that Memphis reached a sizzling 92 degrees this past week. Meanwhile the hosepipe ban carries on in a very drizzly London. Some days it seems I'm the only one walking through the rain with a smile on my face. Surrounded by overturned brollies and slightly panicked faces, I just twist my hair up into a headkerchief, snuggle up in an oversized knit scarf, and let ipod shuffle work her wonders. 

Mini mix tape for a rainy day:
Flying Lotus - Massage Situation
Joy Division - Shadowplay
Desire - Under Your Spell

This damp bank holiday morning was spent wandering a canal boat fair down Warwick Avenue way, sipping endless cuppas, & scoring delicious food stall treats down on the south bank all with the lovely Ninopaulito

An enjoyable rainy day in pictures...

sipping coffee under cover

river dwellers

steam punks

 one man bands

lunch of cheddar & pepper quiche, bombay potato filo wrap, and a cheese & spinach filo wedge. all for a fiver!


If this isn't enough to bring you outside on a rainy day, then I can't help ya. At least you can always stay in and bake!

Until next time.