Thursday, June 28, 2012

I see the sun!

What do you do when you're working from home, the sun comes out and the temperature reaches 73*F? You sunbath on the balcony of course!

Taking business casual to another level
Don't be jealous folks. It's not gonna last. Forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms this afternoon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like riding a bike again...

Yesterday I finally braved London's traffic and rode into town. Maria has an extra bike she'd loaned me. I had forgotten exactly how much I love to cycle! My bum did too.

Maria led the way, showing me the best route with cycle lanes, less congestion and easiest-to-cross intersections. SoHo was our destination as I had shopping to do in Covent Garden. It's an easy 25 minute ride. 

Surprisingly my backpack was able to hold my new purchases - heels and wellies for this weekend's  wedding! Bonus - both were on sale because it's "The July Sales". Every store has items at 30 - 50% or more off! 

Yes Mom, I wore my helmet. There's too many crazies driving on the wrong side of the road. 

On the way home I was riding solo and even managed to take a longer scenic route via Abbey Road. We live close to the famed zebra crossing (crosswalk) where the iconic Beatles photo was taken. There are always tourists there waiting to get the perfect snapshot. 

With my restored cycling confidence, I rode to & from Bikram Yoga today. The 30 minute walk is only a 10 minute ride!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Diamond Jubilee

It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend. That means a "double bank holiday" or 4 day weekend with Monday and Tuesday off from work. The weather isn't cooperating but Britons will still celebrate. I'm headed down to the river to witness the flotilla - 1,000 boats parading with the Queen along the Thames. Festivities continue Monday and Tuesday. Will report more later...

Even the rickshaws have British spirit

Friday, June 1, 2012

Baking Frenzy!

Bake with Maria has been a busy place the last two weeks! I enjoy the role of freelance photographer with payment in baked goods.

A few of the highlights:

BREADS & SPREADS - Recipe testing for the new class. All delicious and all homemade (of course)! Pita, flatbread, hummus, tabbouleh and tzatziki.
Mediterranean breads and spreads
Puffy pita pockets
Chopping dill for the tzatziki

Hummus - my favorite!

FRENCH PASTRY - Amazing pastry chef, Pino Ficara, came from Paris to teach this course. 

Students made creme brulee, eclairs, creme puffs, napoleans and madeleines.


Pino creates a napolean.
Making eclairs and creme puffs
Better than any Parisian cafe 

Torching the creme brulee
A student's take home box.
After class, I gave it a try.

CROISSANTS - Another day, another French lesson from Pino Ficara. The lesson I learnt - exactly how much butter it takes to make a croissant. Let's just say you are much better off not knowing.

Pounding the dough
It's the Eiffel Tower! 
Creating the perfect croissant
See the layers of butter in the croissant dough? 
Rolling the pain au raisin
Pain au raisin

Pain au chocolate production
Flaky fresh croissants 


I love living in an international destination. It means visitors. And that means an excuse to try new cuisine.

Aunt Elaine was in London for a few days during her Great Gardens of England tour. We had a lovely dinner at a brilliant pub, The Abingdon, in South Kensington. It came highly recommended my friend and did not disappoint!

The national drink - Gin and Tonic
Gem salad in the bowl; Soft shell crab on the plate

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Requisite tourist picture

My good friend Katie's fiance, McKay, is stationed at an Air Force base outside of London. In town for a show prior to his deployment, we met up for dinner. As a proud Korean-American, McKay was thrilled to find a Korean restaurant in Victoria. 
Proud Americans
That's bibimbap in the stone bowls. The key is to let the rice at the very bottom continue to cook in the hot bowl. Then it's crispy and still warm at the end of your meal!
And it happened to be Memorial Day. Thanks for your service McKay!