Fabulous Healthy Dinners

I don’t have to cook much so I can’t take credit for these amazing dishes.  Follow my instagram @Dawn_Melissa for more healthy dishes.

salmon
Salmon, Pak choy, Kale, avocado
grilled chicken
Grilled chicken & roasted veggies
stir fry
Steak stir fry
Mackerel
Mackerel, Sweet potatoes, Kale

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.  I recently had a delicious homemade brunch of toast, beans, avocado, scrambled egg whites and – get this- meatfree sausage.  I didn’t get to take any pics but trust me it was delicious.  So yum.  Sooooo yum!!!

I think I’m starting to love food again.

Pancakes from Scratch!

I guess being in London has brought out my adventurous side.

I got up this morning and made pancakes from scratch.  And they totally tasted amazing!

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Back home I rarely made pancakes and when I did I used the pancake mix.  I never made anything from scratch.  Occasionally I would try a new recipe here and there.  Once or twice I made flourless banana pancakes which came out OK.  But this is the first time I actually felt like making something from scratch.  This was the first time I ever made pancakes without using the the pancake mix that you can buy at the grocery store.  I know there are some chefs or home cooks out there rolling their eyes like, “what? pancake mix? how barbaric!” but what can I say, I liked my instant pancakes as a kid.

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Anyway, I had a nice yummy breakfast of pancakes and sausage.  The Brits over here would be grossed out by the combination but I’m sure most of you Americans know what I’m talking about.

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Pancakes and sausage, baby!  Yum!

London: Fitting In

The menu was written in chalk on a large board as we entered the cafe. The sun was brilliant.  The park was packed with other people all eager to brunch with friends and loved ones.

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We were having brunch by the lake in Victoria Park and I couldn’t decide between the Banana pancakes with creme brioche and the Pavillion, which was the traditional English breakfast.

Always open to trying new things especially where food is concerned, I didn’t shy away from the English breakfast because of the beans or the random mushroom.  I’d never had beans for breakfast and mushrooms didn’t usually look like they’d just been plucked from the Earth and placed on my plate when I ate them.  But again, I was willing to give it a try.  Plus, the dish came with bacon.  And sausage.  I’m always up for bacon and sausage – especially sausage.  I love sausage.  So despite the beans and the mushroom, the traditional English breakfast was quite tempting.

However I was also drawn to the banana pancakes.  I love pancakes.  I don’t normally have banana with my pancakes but I love pancakes.  So I had to make a tough decision.  Or a compromise.  I realized I could have the pancakes with sausage.  That’s what I would normally have in America so it seemed simple enough to me.  I asked Andrea if he’d be willing to part with his sausage so that I could have the best of both worlds – Andrea was not willing to part with his sausage.  But when it was time to order he did ask if it was possible to order an extra sausage with the pancakes.

There was a bit of a pause after this inquiry.  The server kind of blinked at Andrea and said, “Sausage?  With the pancakes?”

Andrea nodded and the server blinked again.  But before we could all start to feel too awkward he shook it off and said, “Whatever you want mate.”  And proceeded to ring up our order.

Hilarious.

It never occurs to me that the things that seem perfectly normal to me coming from Los Angeles are actually quite strange to people in the UK.  I think it’s because when I go to London (or any place that’s not home) I’m immediately open to the new experiences I’m bound to have.  Nothing seems strange to me – it’s just new.  So I figure it’s the same way on the other side of the coin.

Nope.

I got quite a few comments about my sausage with pancake meal from my brunch mates.  I suppose that if/when I do move here I may have to abandon that food pairing if I want to fit in.  Ah but it’s a small price to pay to be part of a city as amazing and surprising as London.

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So far I made my first Primark purchase.
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Everything in Primark is considered cheap.  I guess Primark would be the Target or Walmart of the States.  Last year I visited a Primark but ran away immediately because it was way too crowded and I wasn’t in the right state of mind to actually do any shopping.  But this time I was with Andrea, which helped keep me calm and the few items that I purchased seemed to jump out at me from the racks.  It was a fairly simple shopping expedition.  And cheap…which is great considering my budget.

I’ve also been to Abbey Road.

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Oh my goodness what an adventure.  I’ll have a video of this posted on my Youtube Channel.  Do check it out when you can.  www.Youtube.com/DawnMelissaVlogs

I went to a super posh and hard-to-get-into club called Sketch.

Normally I avoid places like these like the plague – I’m just not a fan of high priced mediocre drinks and snooty attitudes.  But when you know someone who knows someone (in my case I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone…who knew someone) who could get you access…you don’t pass up the chance.  Sketch was awesome!  High priced drinks and all.  The best part was the bathrooms, which weren’t really rooms so much as sectioned off areas where there were individual, egg-shaped stalls.  Crazy.  I tried to get a picture but it didn’t work out.  Ah well.

This week I plan to visit some museums again.  I went to see an exhibit at the Barbican Centre called ‘Monument’.
Then I was at the Tate Modern for a bit- I’ll have to go back soon because Andrea’s roommate, Matteo, talked to me about a Rothko painting and it was so intriguing I decided I needed to go back.

And if possible I’d also like to do a campus visit.  Now I’m off to meet a fellow Youtuber in person for the first time.  So exciting.  Wish me luck!

By the way, the weather here has been amazing.  I can’t believe I actually walked around all day yesterday without a jacket.

Daily Prompt: Food Weekly

I don’t think I have many traditions. 

I mean, I do need to have cake on my birthday.  And whenever anything happens having to do with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt it requires a three-hour sit down with my college buddy to ‘dish’.  And whenever I feel the slightest bit sick I must have tea, soup and Bridget Jones’s Diary on hand. 

OK so I do have a few little traditions. 

But recently I got to witness a really cool tradition that made me want to start having more of my own.  My friend and his friends have a weekly (or monthly depending on schedules) dinner together.  Either at someone’s apartment or at a restaurant.  I don’t know much about the circumstances because I’ve only been present at two of these gatherings (once last year and now this year).  But from what I hear (and from what I’ve seen so far) it’s a lot of fun.  It really brings this group of people together and keeps them close despite the things like limited time that might threaten to pull them apart. 

Maybe it’s because they aren’t actors trying to become superstars (or maybe I’m just giving LA the side eye right now) but it seems like… Friendship (and good food) is a major priority among these folks.  No matter how busy they get with work and other relationships they can still carve out time for each other. 

And I think that’s so sweet it almost makes me tear up a little. 

Over the years I’ve heard so many people say things about their friendships – about how they could go months or years without speaking to someone they considered a bestie and when they do speak it’s like no time had passed at all.  They could pick right up where they left off.  They believed these types of friendships were “special” or “unique”.  After years of hearing that I think I actually started to believe it.  But this recent experience has given me pause.  I just don’t believe that with all the social networking apps and sites available to us including viber and whatsapp that there’s ever a reason to have a so-called bestie that you go months or years without speaking to.  It feels like you’re picking up right where you left of because you are picking up right where you left off.  If you’re not keeping in touch how is that friendship growing?  How could it be expected to move forward?  How are you getting to know each other as you both change and grow older?  

I said it before in the past but then let it go because it seemed to be the standard in LA to put your friends on the back burner and I grew weary of swimming against the tide.  But I still feel strongly about this.

Back burner friendships may work for some people but they don’t work for me.

I choose to believe that friendships don’t have to be something you catch up on like a TV show.  I choose to believe that friends can be just as important as family and that there’s always time for a quick hello or coffee or even a dinner gathering at someone’s house (or a restaurant) once a week (or month depending on schedules). 

I’ve witnessed it.  I know it exists.

So… I Guess it’s time to start a new tradition of my own.

Daily Prompt