Our Killer Californian Clam Chowder Cheat Sheet

As most of my recipes (and my wife, who likes Jamie-Oliveresque, precise instructions, keeps reminding me), the following is not strictly speaking a proper recipe, more like a cheat sheet that mentions main ingredients that have worked well in the past, both mandatory and optional, and basic cooking procedure. I’ve been to San Francisco in March 2003 on a business trip. This is when I had my first clam chowder experience at Fisherman’s Wharf (I hadn’t even had anything similar before, like a thick, white, creamy, European-style clam or mussel soup or something) and I immediately fell in love and have been experimenting with various recipes ever since (not claiming to be an expert, though, far from it, and definitely not a purist, so: purists, please do not be offended by the liberties I’m taking). Ingredients (4 persons) 100g to 300g jar of high-quality, ideally whole/un-chopped, large canned clams (weight […]

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Folk – the best breakfast in Windermere

During our last visit to Windermere, we enjoyed a lovely brunch at Folk, right in the bustling centre of Bowness-on-Windermere. Bowness and the town of Windermere are one single municipal area, even though each town still has its own recognisable town centre, roughly 2km (25mins walk) from each other. Bowness is basically the harbour of Windermere and it is here that the fun outdoor activities have their starting point and most of the social life takes place. Folk is squeezed into a quiet, tiny, centuries-old alleyway just off the main street, about two minutes’ walk from the lakeshore. There was one couple in front of us in the queue, and after less than five minutes we were led to our table on the top floor. The ambience of the café is very pleasant, with a lot of wood and light. While the menu is extremely limited and only contains eight […]

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Emperor Franz Joseph’s favourite Schmankerl: Kaiserschmarrn – Our Keto-friendly Recipe

One of the greatest joys of going on a skiing holiday to Austria is all the lovely food: Germknoedel, strudel, schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Landtmann Cake, Käsekrainer, and… most importantly: Kaiserschmarrn, or Emperor’s Mess. During our last such trip in mid-February, earlier this year, I must have enjoyed this dish on at least four occasions, even though we were only in the country for a long weekend. Locals often label it as a main, but let’s be honest, it’s really more of a dessert or something you have between meals. It’s not just me, right? The dish takes its name from Austrian emperor (“Kaiser”) Franz Joseph I, who was as fond of this shredded pancake as I am. Princess-aficionados probably know the man better as Sisi’s husband.     Franz Josef was a popular emperor who ruled peacefully for nearly half a century, while everyone else was at war with each other. […]

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Breakfast at the Buttery, Brockenhurst

On one of our recent stays in the New Forest, our bed & breakfast did not offer proper breakfast, just muesli and yogurt, so we ventured into nearby Brockenhurst to the Buttery, a cheap and cheerful English café in the very centre of town, and one of the few places around that serve breakfast from 9am on weekends. After short deliberation we decided to order 2x Full English for me (£6.85 each, all those recent outdoor activities stirred my appetite enormously), scrambled eggs with fried mushrooms for Ms B (£4.95), two large cappuccinos (£3.00 each), orange juice (£2.60 each) and two sparkling waters (£2.50 each). The waiter arrived quickly to pick up the order, but told us that the waiting time might be significant. We asked what significant meant and he said roughly 15 to 20 minutes. We agreed to stay. After 25 minutes our dishes finally arrived (the coffee […]

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Our Go-To Place in Fort William: Crannog

We had been to Crannog before, and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, great service, and fabulous seafood, so during our last visit to town we made sure that we had a reservation. The restaurant sits on a wood and steel platform above the waters of the Loch Linnhe and has a lovely, rustic vibe of upmarket log cabin, despite no shortage in modern amenities. After short deliberation we decided to go for two of the three specials of the day. Ms B opted for mackerel pate (£6.85) and a whole sea bass (£26.65), I chose crab timbale for starters (£8.95) and pork belly with scallops and blood pudding as main (£26.50). It was a very busy evening, so the starters took a fairly long time to arrive, but we didn’t mind too much, chatting about the plans we had to climb Ben Nevis the following day and sipping our white wine […]

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