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Afternoon Tea at Claridge's Tea Room

Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s

Claridge’s Hotel is a 5 star hotel and one of the oldest Hotels in London.  It’s only proper that they also serve up one of the oldest English Traditions – Afternoon Tea.  Claridge’s has been upholding the Afternoon Tea tradition for 150 years.

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Afternoon Tea in England

Afternoon Tea in England is a long standing tradition that dates back to 1840 a.d. which was introduced by the Dutchess of Bedford. What started out as a way to fend off hunger until dinner time became an English tradition. Every place that serves afternoon tea has it’s own flair.  Many restaurants will serve afternoon tea on the weekends only, some will have a small dedicated menu. Tea rooms on the other hand have a pretty set order of Afternoon Tea.  It has been my experience that every afternoon tea starts with finger sandwiches and end with scones and clotted cream. Many Tea Rooms have a variety of teas to choose from.  Here are a few places that I recommend.

Claridge’s Tea Room

Brook Street, Mayfair, London

W1K 4HR

Betty Bumbles Vintage Tea Room

30 Market Square St. Neots, UK

PE19 2AF

Sandringham Cafe & Restaurant

Sandringham Palace, UK

PE35 6EH

St. Ermin Hotel Tea Lounge

Caxton St. Westminister London, UK

SW1H 0QW

Peacocks Tearoom

65 Waterside Ely, UK

CB7 4AU

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A hop across the pond

Hello fellow bloggers, family, friends, followers and soon to be framilowers…(Friend, Family, Follower, Blogger) it has been awhile since I have written but for good reason. My family recently made a HUGE move! We moved to England! Exciting right? Well to be honest it was both exciting and scary. For starters I was without 99% of my kitchen for over a month. I literally had 2 pots to pans and 3 plastic spoons to work with. Now don’t get me wrong, a good cook can make magic happen in the most dire of circumstances. I had a pantry and freezer full of food that I was determined to get rid of…big expectations with mediocre ambition. Most nights it was just easier to eat out and it gave me more blogging material. As soon as I get settled I’ll be back to being you more experiences from Europe. I look forward to this foodie adventure.

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October 28th is National Chocolate Day!

I hope it’s your cheat day because it’s National Chocolate Day. Chocolate is like a multi purpose tool. It’s an aphrodisiac, a PMS notifier, a food staple. I mean the list could go on and on. I plan on consuming as much chocolate as I can because National Chocolate Day deserves to be honored.

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Gelato Love

I love, love, love ice cream. Did I mention I love ice cream? So if I love it so much… what is with this Gelato business? My husband came home one day with a carton of Talenti Gelato and I was hooked. It became our Sunday ritual. A carton of Talenti and The Walking Dead. We have eaten about 50 cartons easily and I may feature a review of each flavor later. I was completely surprised this past Sunday when in walks my husband with a new type of Gelato

Gelarto

Why is heaven in a plastic container? I literally had to shut the container and put or away. I was about 3 spoonfuls away from gluttony with this one… It’s sinfully delicious so much so you don’t want to stop eating it. This Gelato is unique because it is soft and smooth almost creamy. The flavor I had was a cheesecake di fragola. It tasted so fresh almost if it had just been made and you could literally feel the strawberry seeds (a welcome sign that it isn’t just strawberry flavored). Lastly, it’s authentic… it is literally made in Italy and shipped to the US. The only downside is that it is about 6 dollars for a pint and trust me a pint isn’t enough of this goodness. But don’t think for one second that 6 dollars will keep me away from my new obsession.
I’m looking forward to trying new flavors and even promoting new flavors on my blog after I’ve tasted them.. wink…wink. If you are one of my followers try it at least once. It’s gluten free, vegetarian friendly and amazing. Let me know what you think.

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Beating Beets

Yesterday I cooked something I’ve never cooked before.  In fact out of all the vegetables, it was 1 of 3 I steered clear of : Radishes, Cauliflower (which I now love) and Beets. I was shopping for dinner and I came across the beets only this time they were spiralized.  How can you resist spiral veggies?  I went for it and threw them in my cart besides, they were only $2 so it wouldn’t be too much of a waste if I hated them.
I got home with literally no direction for cooking these beets.  I tasted a piece…. blaaah just as I remembered not so tasty.  Should I make a beet salad, cook them, throw them out?  I decided to roast them and drizzle them with balsamic reduction based on a recipe I found.
I had to get a little creative with the rest of dinner.  I cooked some corn on the cob and cut the kernels off (something I’ve been dying to do).  Then I added the corn (about 1.5 cups) to a pan of sauteed onions and got a nice char on them.  Next I added some diced red pepper and let it cook.  Then I added shrimp and minced garlic.  I added about 2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro and lastly two handfuls of baby spinach leaves. Once that cooked down I added in the roasted beets.  I splashed a little more balsamic reduction over the plate and voila! I had created a new meal. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it as did I, beets and all.
Here’s a picture of the finished product.
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I beat my fear of beets!

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Grocery Games

It’s Wednesday afternoon and I turn from cartoons to food network hoping to gain some inspiration for my next blog. What do you know,  I got it.  Guy’s Grocery Games was on.  If you’ve never seen the show it is a competition where chefs compete to win a chance at $20,000.  This isn’t a straight up cooking competition, its full of challenges.  There are lots of twists and turns such as items you can’t use or limit on the items you can use.   Not to mention actually cooking with a time limit.  It got me thinking could I do such a challenge?
I’m going to head over to Publix and challenge myself.  What I love about Publix is the buy 1 get one free deals, the fresh fruits and vegetables and the daily meals.  Shopping at Publix really is a pleasure.

I think I know the store pretty well so i should do pretty good with a 5 minute challenge to make a meal. Comment below with what I should make. I’m going to record it and what I cook and add it to the blog.
 
Stay tuned….

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Poached

Eggs Benedict has to be one of my favs for breakfast.  I thought making breakfast was easy, you know scramble some eggs, fry some bacon, flip a few pancakes – Voila!  I’ve always been able to cook exactly what I wanted to eat.  This held true until the morning I decided making Eggs Benedict would be a good idea.  I knew the basic composition of Eggs Benedict and I also knew that the eggs were poached.  Perhaps the reason I ordered them so much when I ate out is because I didn’t know how to poach an egg.   So there I stood in my kitchen, master plan in mind with no place to start.
Google!  It’s so much faster than a cook book.  I googled “how to poach an egg”  and what do you know instructions came up.  I clicked through a few links to find the easiest method.  I mean let’s be honest here I’m a novice at this egg poaching thing, why would I try to do it like a pro.  So the instructions were to fill a pan with water, bring it to a semi boil and then swirl it around with a whisk. Once the water is going at a good rate, you gently lay the cracked egg in the middle of the swirl.  The idea is that the swirl will prevent the egg white from spreading.  Cover the skillet for 5-6 minutes and you are done.  Let me just say, the directions are nothing like real life Lol.  I successfully poached two eggs and made my Eggs Benedict but I immediately went on the search for an egg poaching gadget.
For my Eggs Benedict dish I toasted an English Muffin, sautéed asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms in a skillet.  I topped the english muffin with prosciutto then the poached egg.  Next I layered the sautéed vegetables, a sour cream sauce and finished with minced cilantro.  I will post the recipe and all ingredients in the recipe section.  This is a dish I definitely will make again and again until it is absolute perfection.  And now I can have Eggs Benedict whenever I’d like.
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MettleFork

This is it, i actually did it. I’ve gone from a food picture taking fanatic to blogger. It wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made after all this is uncharted territory for me. The concept sounded dope in my mind but getting it out for the world to see well that was its own struggle. I questioned if this was truly what I wanted to do I mean I even struggled with the name for my blog. After a four day stent with the thesaurus, numerous calls to my mother-in-law, and brain storming with my husband I came up with MettleFork. Mettle is a play on the word Metal but it is actually a word that describes me – bold, brave, adventurous, tenacious… the list goes on and on. Mettle also describes the type of food I want to eat whether in a restaurant or my kitchen. So here I am officially a blogger ready to take on this adventure fork first. There is a saying that says life begins at the end of your comfort zone but I believe it begins at the end of my fork. Food is life both figuratively and literally and I’m stepping out of my comfort zone.
Forks Up!
– Carlina
Owner of mettlefork.com
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