Archive for the ‘Food Event’ Category

Day 1 – Shipley

On our recent trip to northern England our host and good friend, Kendra, mentioned to me that we should take a trip to the grocery store. I was so excited. I love grocery stores in a slightly obsessive way. Every time I go in a new one I have to look for hard to find items and check out how all my favorites are arranged.

We went to her local ASDA which is owned by Wal-mart. It’s really a lot like a Wal-mart on the surface except everything is green instead of blue.

Kendra pointed out the cards section. She’s an all-around-terrific-card-guru.

The big trend in English food is local, and I mean that a little differently than you think. It’s all about the region it comes from not necessarily which chicken is closest to you (regional pride really). Each package is labeled proudly on the front with Yorkshire sausage or Gloucester cheese. 70% of the products are labeled that way when it comes to fresh goods.

We wandered up and down the aisle looking for things that were particularly English.

Yorkshire Pudding

We bought a lot of things to try, but I got really excited about their birthday cakes. Like their eggs, they don’t refridgerate them, they sit out like a loaf of bread. Not only are they covered in an intense plastic-like frosting, they were all white cake with a strawberry jam in the middle.

So we bought one…

When we got back to Kendra’s flat we happened to park next to an ice cream truck. I love ice cream trucks, I mean really love them. I chase them like the Beatles, so to see an English one was thrilling. We decided then and there we must have ice cream with our birthday cake.

Kendra fixed us a lovely dinner of  “h”erbed scrambled eggs and potatoes. It was truly yummy and hit the spot after all the airplane food.

and unfortunately the much-anticipated  Animal birthday cake was not so yummy…


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Our dear friend Kendra moved to Shipley, a town in northern England,  just over a year ago. She told me something that was hard fathom: England does not have any canned pumpkin (or real edible pumpkins for that matter), thus no pumpkin pie.

I have to admit I was dumbfounded. Pumpkin is so apart of American culture, I just hadn’t considered not being part of everyone’s food world. Around late November, Kendra gets a hankering for pumpkin and  like other American’s living abroad, everyone around her isn’t aware of the most important food holiday of the year. Not only does this make it hard to celebrate Thanksgiving, it makes the need for pumpkin even stonger.

I could barely stand it. I had to remedy this pumpkin pie longing. So I shipped her some pumpkin…

… and eventually jumped on a plane to bake a beloved American Pie in the jolly old U.K.

The Youngs land. Our first tea in England! Manchester Airport


The plan: bake two pies so she had one for herself and one to take to work to introduce her British friends to sweet goodness of pumpkin pie. Then the baking began…


Then everything went horribly wrong…

I want to blame the jet lag, but I can’t. I accidentally wrote down evaporated milk instead of sweet and condensed milk, thus making the worst testing pumpkin pies ever. It was like we cut the top off the beloved vegetable and ate it with a spoon– no sugar added.

Ah, grand plans have a way of biting back sometimes and not all cooking is perfect. I did leave Kendra with extra crust in the freezer, a can of pumpkin and a promise to make her as much pumpkin pie as she can eat the next time we’re together.

Sigh. Here’s to all good baking plans gone bad!

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Tomato sauce is red, cheese is white…

Every year John and I order a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Johns to celebrate Valentines Day. This typically happens a couple of days before the holiday (we always go to our favorite restaurant Cascones on the actual day) and the past few years we’ve shared our cheesy valentine with friends.

This year Josh joined us for pizza-love and our current Friday night ritual, watching Twin Peaks.

Not the most Valentines Day themed show in the whole world, but Agent Cooper does love his pie!

What was your Valentine’s Day menu? Tell me about it! Comment or e-mail me at thepiesthatbind@gmail.com.




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Meals in pictures and video:

The Smithsonian.

Most of the food was named after American states or cities. I did eat K.C. baked beans.

Chinese at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show.

Wow, this pizza was good. So was the wine. That’s why I have no idea where I ate it.

The Good Stuff Eatery owned by Top Chef Contestant, but not winner, Spike.

Strange cheese-in-the-middle-veggie-burger at the Good Stuff.

At a restaurant owned by a Top Chef Master contestant and one of Oprah’s favorite chef’s I ate Oprah’s best friend Gayle’s favorite lemon pancakes.

(name drop, name drop, name drop)

We tend to eat in dark Italian restaurants when we travel.

At a well-known old restaurant and tourist trap.

Maryland Crab Cakes. They were worth the wait.

Bon Appetit from our nation’s capital!


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Our visit to D.C. was mainly driven by the desire to visit some famous chefs and, well, take in other important sites.

Our first stop: The Smithsonian. I had to visit important artifacts from two of my favorite ladies.

One of the great things about visiting Julia Child’s kitchen was getting to “step” into it. They have these wonderful plastic windows that allow you to be in Julia’s Cambridge kitchen. It was fun to see other tourists peeking in the kitchen with you.

I love Julia for so many reasons. I could go on and on and maybe I will one day if the mood strikes. You know they could make a movie about how super she is…

My other favorite gal is Amelia Earhart, not important to the cookery-bloggery (as Julia would say), but still. I touched her favorite plane…I KNOW, rebel, rebel!

We saw other non-edible food inspired art while we were at the Smithsonian.

All in all a good trip to America’s archive.

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My friend Megan and I decided to watch Julie and Julia together, so why not make dinner too. We put on pearls and cooked up The Ghost of Julia Child Menu from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Veganomicon. How would Julia feel about vegan food? I know you may find this hard to believe, but I think she would love it. Why? Because it is fearless, challenging, and Julia loved a good adventure especially when it came to her taste buds.

The Ghost of Julia Child’s Dinner Menu:

Sautéed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes


Homemade old world bread

Heart Shaped Apple Galettes

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes

Serves 4

2 lbs. white potatoes (3 average sized) scrubbed & sliced into 1/8″ thick disks
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast or flour (I highly recommend nutritional yeast for this)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Lightly grease a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish or ceramic casserole pan

2. Layer the potatoes in the pan, allowing them to slightly overlap. Lay them across the short way first, overlapping a little less than a half of each potato slice. In each subsequent row, overlap the potatoes by about one-quarter of each potato slice. It should look something like this:

3. Pour most of the vegetable broth over the potatoes, reserving about 3 tbsp. (no need to be exact). Pour the soymilk and drizzle the olive oil over potatoes, making sure to coat each one. If you need to use a little more than 1 tbsp., that’s ok.

4. Scatter the minced garlic over everything, then sprinkle 2 tbsp. of the nutritional yeast over all the potatoes. Drizzle the remaining vegetable broth- try not to wash all the nutritional yeast off the potatoes; you just want to get it moist, so drizzle slowly. Then sprinkle with the last tbsp. of nutritional yeast, the herbs, and the salt.

5. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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Every Wednesday is taco night at our house. Here are some of weeknight fiesta’s from the past few months.

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