Thursday, March 7, 2013

The sun came out while it was cold. The sun goes away and it gets warm(er) and rainy.

England..... I facepalm over your weather. Now it may just be because there hasn't been any sun for at least half a year. Or maybe its because summer never existed in 2012. But whatever the reason I NEED SUN AND WARMTH NOW! As in right now. Please and thank you.
The flowers are just a tease.

Since the last post, I've been on a London adventure for a friend's birthday. Ben and I went up before the celebration and went on one of my London walking tours. So far, I've been on the Covent Gardens one. But a few Saturdays ago, we went on the Mayfair walking tour. I've never felt so poor (that's a lie, but I did feel ridiculously poor).
Along the way, we walked by the American Embassy
We also stopped to get some tea and cake
And if adventures through London wasn't awesome enough, we accidentally stumbled upon Chipotle. I have never been so happy to see a burrito in my life. That's how much I miss them. And now that Ben has been exposed to real Mexican food, Chipotle (which isn't real Mexican, but still quite good) was a nice surprise for both of us.
After our adventure, we headed to a Brazilian Club and enjoyed drinks and dancing for my friend's birthday. We had to leave early to grab the train back home. And I fell asleep on the train. I can no longer stay awake late. I am extremely old, but am completely fine with that.

Then I had work during the week. And work is.... you know... work. Its stressful and I've been especially busy. I was trying really hard to wrap up my imaging experiments in time to bring all of that data to the conference I'm leaving for on Sunday. And guess what- I did finish the experiment. At least, enough to get a pretty good poster out of it. I'll still need to finalize the work, and do more work on it before it is ready for publishing, but I've got a good portion of it done. And I'm so glad for that. I also had teaching this week and I find I'm enjoying it more and more as time goes on.

Last weekend, there was a lot of new Brighton experiences. Craft Beer Co. bar is just a few blocks from my flat, but I had never been there before Saturday. But WOW, I'm so sad I wasted time going to other places. They are more American brewery like than British pub like. And I seriously enjoy trying new and different beers instead of getting the same cheap beer on tap. And Craft Beer has some pretty amazing beers from all over the world. I also adventured to a pub that is a block away from me that cooks Caribbean food. And since we went on Sunday, they offered Jamaican Sunday roast. HOLY... OH MY.... AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH it was amazing. I can't even begin to explain how amazing it was. And now, every day since, I have craved the food. I have been missing such intense flavor and it was so refreshing to find it again.
We also went to a Home Show that had cooking exhibits and food stalls. I had some of the best cheese and salami of my life at those food stalls. And the cooking exhibit was quite interesting... but sadly just made me realize, even more, how badly I need a KitchenAid stand mixer in my life. And how long it will be until I'm able to afford one.

Besides that, time has been punctuated by good food (including trying new restaurants, cafes, and pubs), pub quizzes, and friends.

Here's what I've been eating:
Spicy Harissa Carrot Soup- This has barely anything in it, but is so amazingly good. I made the harissa myself, so maybe that's why it needed so little. The harissa has a lot of different spices and flavors, so the soup didn't need much more. Make it! Its super healthy and delicious.
Greek Pasta- This was really delicious as well, but far less healthy.
Rosemary Pork Loin with Roasted Vegetables- Ever since moving to England, I've really gotten into making roast dinners. And these veg were extra nice. I think its the sweet potato that makes it so amazing.
Roasted Vegetable Orzo- I used the leftover roasted vegetables. So really, I just mixed those vegetables with orzo that was cooked with chicken broth and white wine. Who knew pasta cooked in wine would be so delicious? Did everyone but me know about this??? I kind of wish I never found out. I try to avoid pasta. But its so much more delicious now that I know....
Spinach Artichoke Risotto- It has the word risotto in it. Does it really need an explanation?

Also- I'm completely naive when it comes to cuts of meat. I almost never buy beef because so many affordable cuts are tough and have little flavor. But I bought "frying steaks" and they are so good!!!! YAY! Finally a good cut of beef. Can anyone let me know- what are good beef cuts? I can always just go to a butcher, but I need to know the names of the cuts!

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