Coconut Curry Mussels

coconut curry mussels

I have been craving mussels for weeks. It started when we were in Paris and I saw people eating a bowl full of mussels outside of a charming cafe. It continued after I was in Greenwich and we went out for fish and chips and I saw a server bring mussels to a nearby table. Every time I saw them they looked so good, but for some reason I wasn’t eating them! Why wasn’t I eating mussels?!

So, I took matters into my own hands and decided to make mussels at home. When Ryan and I lived in Arlington, VA we used to like a place called Fatty Shorty’s (it no longer exists). We would get green curry mussels with bread and sausages slathered with mustard and topped with onions. Although the place didn’t last long, we thought it was delicious and those mussels were the inspiration for making this recipe.  (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Duck & Waffle


Last week, while Charlotte and Craig were still here, the three of us went to have breakfast at Duck & Waffle. I had heard of this place before from friends, Time Out, and the Londoner and had badly wanted to try it. The restaurant is on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, it’s open 24/7, and bookings at normal hours are hard to come by. I was drawn by the promise of great views and good food, and luckily Charlotte and Craig were game to be dragged out of bed for a 7:15am breakfast reservation.  (more…)

Arnold Palmer (Half Lemonade – Half Iced Tea)

Arnold Palmer

Beginner ButtonRecently I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about eating outside. I’ve thought about having a birthday party picnic next month, I’ve reminisced about steak and pepper kabobs Ryan used to make on the grill, I’ve pined for chili cheese dogs at a Nats baseball game, and I’ve wished for a Leinenkugel summer shandy. The weather is nice, the sun has been out, and all I want to do is eat outside. Last week my friends and I sat outside at a pizzeria and in Greenwich we had a mini picnic, but still I want more summer flavor. (more…)

Raw Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad

A few years ago I went to a wine tasting thing at Whole Foods. It was a good deal. For something like $5, I got a glass, tastes of 5 different wines, 5 bites of complementing foods, and booklet listing the wines and recipes. It was fun to try new things with relatively low risk – and of course anything I liked I could purchase while in the store. My favorite thing was a delicious carrot salad, which I’ve thought about many times over the years. (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Greenwich

Group at Greenwich

The wonderful thing about having people visit is that it pushes me to get out and do the things that have been on my list, but I haven’t gotten around to actually doing. Greenwich is one of those places and I was delighted that Charlotte and Craig wanted to go there while in London. Even luckier we had gorgeous weather throughout the entire day. Charlotte, with the help of Rick Steve’s, planned our trip starting with a boat ride down the Thames (something else that had been on my to-do list). (more…)

Malted Chocolate Nougat

Malted Chocolate Nougat

Everyone, I’m so excited! My friend Charlotte is visiting!! She’s in London, ya’ll. She’s the first friend to visit us this year. I’ve taken two days off of work and am so excited to catch up and do some site seeing with her and her husband Craig. I’m going to visit places I haven’t seen before, revisit some old favorites, and hopefully have lots of new stories to share in future Tourist Tuesday posts. So, as you might be able to tell, I’m really excited to have a long weekend off here in London. To celebrate her arrival, I wanted to make something delicious – and I knew Malted Chocolate Nougat would be just the recipe to try.  (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: New River Walk


I have a bad habit. During the work week I don’t have a lot of access to natural light. I stare jealously at the sunshine that’s trying to peak through the cloudy skylights and wish I was outside. I savor my walk to and from the tube just because that’s the majority of the time I get outside. But then, on the weekend I’m tired and lazy and all I want to do is be un-showered in my pajamas at home. It’s a bad habit.

So this weekend, I was doing just that and relaxing when the sun shone through the window and mocked my lethargy. Go outside, said the voice in my head, weekday Mariel will be so mad if you squander this day. Fine, true, yes, let’s go outside, I said to myself. So I Googled “things to do in Islington,” because that’s the area where I live and I found the New River Walk. I put on my flip flops and went to enjoy the walk. Side note: flip flops was a terrible idea! It was the first time I’d worn them for the season and I wore them for a long walk and now my feet are all cut up. Sigh, rookie mistake. (more…)

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

There’s some differences between British and American words for foods. It’s easy to get used to the changes and say “rocket” instead of “arugula” or “courgette” vs “zucchini,” but the one I have a hard time with is biscuit. I just like cookie better. And recently my friend Sarah asked me to explain what “biscuit” means to me. So here’s what it means to me: it looks like a scone, but savory, buttery, and flakey; and it serves the same purpose as a Yorkshire pudding during Sunday lunch.  [If you’re not familiar with Yorkshire pudding, it’s a bready-like (well, made from a batter) side that you use to sop up gravy, meat, and sides.] (more…)

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Beginner ButtonI’m going to say something that will hurt my credibility with children everywhere. Here it is: I like broccoli. In fact, it’s my favorite vegetable. My go-to preparation for broccoli is to season it with Old Bay or garlic powder and then to steam it. But, if I’m honest that gets a bit boring sometimes so I have to find new ways to eat my vegetables. And that’s the thing, I like vegetables and I know I have to eat my vegetables, but I don’t always know how to do it in an exciting way that will make me want to eat my vegetables. That’s why I’m always doing green smoothies or baking it in to something(more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Paris, France

Eiffel Tower

Weekend in Paris? Yes please. Last weekend Ryan and I spent three great days in Paris with our friends Adam and Angie. It was glorious, and rainy, and beautiful, and busy. We walked a ton, we saw practically everything, ate a lot, and went to bed exhausted every night. There’s definitely more to be done in Paris, and you can spend more time, but if you’ve only got a weekend here’s a jam packed recap of what we did and saw. I’ve tried to include lots of pictures but you can also see more here on Flickr.  (more…)

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