Our trip to London in October was one I certainly will never forget. Traveling halfway around the world with my love, without any major plans beyond knowing where to stay, a list of restaurants as dishes I had to have and a few sights that were “musts” and not much more. Such a wonderful way to travel.
Staying in the Shoreditch neighborhood in London was the perfect place for us. The grit of a big city matched with the deeply rooted history of London, it was the perfect edgy urban vibe that we love! The streets of “The Ditch”, as locals call it, are lined with charming cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, beautiful street art tucked into the most unsuspecting corners – it’s got that cutting edge vibe that juxtaposes the proper bits of London, just so perfectly.
Being in London I was able to safely eat gluten-free easier than probably any other city I have ever visited and the food was incredible – I was stunned, not at all what I had expected nor remembered from my trip to the UK over 15 years ago. I plan to write up a post sharing some of my personal favorites from the Trip, but in the meantime I wanted to share my single most-favorite dish from all of my UK travels, shoot maybe all of my European travels, even.
Our massive fig tree is doing it’s due diligence and providing an ungodly amount of fruit for us, once again this year. So, it’s time to get creative and bring my best fig game. I’ve made plenty of sweet dessert things with figs over the years, but at my core I am a savory girl. I really love a good savory dish that highlights the rich, sweet flavor of this beautiful fruit.
These Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Fig Compote may seem like a fancy, fussy meal, but ready in just about 30 minutes means you could make this on a weeknight, even. Oooh, you fancy!
Something strange has happened in Southern California over the last couple of days…we had weather!! Yes, more than just sunshine and blue skies. We had violent and incredible thunderstorms lighting up the skies, pouring rain with the biggest rain drops you ever did see and heavy winds, bending those strong and sturdy palms, to and fro. It was incredible, chilly and so cozy. I miss days like this. When the skies open up and bathe us in this sweet and necessary rain, I am beyond grateful not only for the obvious, but also for the reminder and the excuse to slow down. I also find myself reminded of the importance of soul-warming, comfort food.
I have been making this comforting mushroom soup on and off throughout this winter. It’s so hearty, rich and earthy without being too heavy or indulgent. I also find that like most of my recipes, it’s also quite versatile. You can make it vegan by utilizing just the flavor of a beautiful mushroom broth and the meatiness of the varying mushrooms as the base, or you can, as we opted to here, add in some beautiful chicken stock and a little shredded dark meat chicken, for additional flavor and a source of protein for a complete meal.
Meal planning for busy weeks can be at times be a challenge, to say the least. Even for someone like me, which is kinda insane considering I like I think about food well over 3/4 of the day. It takes a lot to keep things fun, fresh and interesting, while being healthy, easy and swift. This is all especially important during the mid-week craziness.
If you are a regular reader of Tasty Yummies, you are always seeing the many, fun and unique ways that I prepare my vegetables, it is something I take great pride in, they truly inspire me. Since we eat meat sparingly around here, it’s not an every night thing, so I am always seeking simple ways to prepare different proteins that wow me, the way veggies can.
Truth be told, I never really understood the obsession with boneless skinless chicken breasts. So flavorless, so boring. Blah! Get yourself some (well-raised) chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in and my friends, that’s where all the flavor is at. You get some crispy skin and now we’re talking about succulent goodness. Let’s start a chicken revolution.