Friday, March 30, 2007

Plastic bag ban

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approved legislation on Tuesday which, if passed, will ban San Francisco's supermarkets and chain pharmacies from using petroleum based plastic bags. Instead they will have a choice of corn-starch based plastic bags or recycled paper bags, both of which are recyclable.


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Thursday, March 29, 2007

What do the stairs smell like today?

There is a stairwell at work that I'm pretty convinced leads to Somewhere Else. Everytime I go into it, it smells of something different. The first week of last month the stairwell at various times smelt of decaying flesh, vanilla and roses. Today it smells of gun powder.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


If it's possible to be in love with a city, I think I'm in love with Paris. If I could speak French and sort a Visa, I'd move there in a flash (if Vaughn could overcome his vegetarianism, which was rather a hindrance for him in Paris). Beautiful city, lovely people, wonderful food, great wine, all round fabulous.

Photos are up on Flickr.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Going, going...

Lunchtime today saw me pouring over the Time Out guide to eating and drinking in Paris and a very handy little phrase book some friends lent us. Would you believe there is a restaurant with an all-souffle menu? Mmmmm souffle.

Paris, here we come!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring is sprung

The last few weeks have seen daffodils springing up in the most unlikely looking places in London. Add to this the sounds of birdsong and ice-cream vans, and it's looking like Spring has sprung. And it's very nice.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Winter fading

I left work at 5:30 today, and it was still light.

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More political luv

Reading Phillip Adam's column in The Australian is one of the highlights of my week. Especially this week.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rose creme caramel

I came across a recipe for rose petal flan today and fell for the idea immediately. I dropped into Waitrose on the way home to get some ramekins and got to cooking straight away when I got home (stopping briefly to put on some music - I can't cook without music). By the time Vaughn arrived home I was the very picture of domestic, apron and all.

Just a couple of hours later and my tummy is feeling very content. If I were a cat, I'd be purring. As it is, I'm struggling to find enough will power to not eat the second serving that's in the fridge.

Rose creme caramel

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp water

2 cups milk (I used semi-skimmed)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rose water

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.

Caramel: melt sugar and water over a medium heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and divide equally between ramekins, coating the bottom of each. Place ramekins in deep baking dish.

Custard: heat milk and sugar over a medium heat until sugar in melted and milk is warm to the touch. Do not let the milk boil. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Temper the egg mix with 1/2 cup or so of the warm milk mixture, whisking as you add the milk. Reduce heat under milk mixture to low then whisk in the egg mixture. Remove from the heat and add divide custurd equally between ramekins.

Pour enough water into the baking dish to come half way up the ramekins. Bake on middle shelf until custard is gently set in the middle, about 45 minutes. Chill until cold. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the custard then upturn on a plate.



Monday, March 05, 2007

Restaurant recommendation

I suffered a small heart break last week when I was told that the restaurant I had my heart set on for our anniversary dinner in Paris didn't cater for vegetarians. (I had to admire their stance. If only I'd made it a couple of years ago!) But I'm pleased to say that I didn't really consider the possibility of going without Vaughn for more than a couple of seconds.

I'm also pleased to say that I think I've found a good alternative, even if it doesn't have the same views. Now we have just four more nights to cater for while we're in Paris, and I'm seeking restaurant recommendations.

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