The Lovely Drawer: Peach & Lavender Cobbler

Before moving to Oxford,
my job in Dallas was selling paper.

Really nice, fancy letterpress paper.

We had pretty books of invitations 
to lavish weddings & bar mitzvahs 
that stores could use to show their customers
what our work looked like
and what options they had to customize these 
to make them perfect for this event.

In the back of the book,
clients could sift through envelope liner options,
row after row of different typefaces,
and of course- ink colors!

We had all of our ink colors 
lined up and, there, where the soft purple sat,
was a small swatch labeled "lavendar."

"Lavendar," in case you aren't familiar,
is a mispelling of the gorgeous provencal flower, "lavender."

I still cringe thinking about that typo...
and the return address that was from "Greenwitch, Connecticut."

My spelling & grammar needs had to eventually deal with it
and wait for the book to be corrected at the next reprinting...

but fortunately,
I can eat one of these YUMMY peach & lavender cobblers immediately.

Welcome back, Teri of The Lovely Drawer
(and my in-real-life friend)
for her monthly recipe of British goodness. 

We are always glad to have you here at AK!

*    *   *

Hello again and here is something sweet and yummy to get your taste buds excited. 

I always use this cobbler topping recipe as it's definitely my favourite. 
Perhaps it's the buttermilk that makes it taste so delicious and cakey! 

You may notice in this recipe the topping serves 6. 
Call me greedy but I like a generous hat on my fruit and so I've used it for 4. 

I decided to try making a peach version but adding a twist to the flavour.

 Enter lavender.

 I wasn't entirely sure these two flavours would go together
 but it was definitely worth the risk.

 You can use tinned or fresh peaches.
 I'm of the opinion that peaches are one of the few foods
 that are totally acceptable from a tin so go for it!

Peach & Lavender Cobbler

Here's what you'll need:
For the topping...
140g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g butter
25g caster sugar
150ml buttermilk
1 tbsp demerara sugar
A sprinkling of cinnamon 

For the filling:
2 410g cans of tinned peaches (sieved) or 800g fresh (stoned and cut into slices if fresh)
25g caster sugar
1 tbsp of honey
1 tsp dried lavender (de-stemmed)

Serves 4. 
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. 

1) Firstly simmer the peaches in a pan with 25g of the caster sugar, the honey and the lavender for about 5 mins, until all the ingredients combine. Set aside to cool.

2) Then sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.

3) Then rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs and stir in the caster sugar.

4) Mix in the buttermilk to give a soft, sticky mixture.

5) Spoon the cooled peaches into the 4 ramekins, distributing evenly and then spoon on the cobbler. 

6) Sprinkle with demerara sugar and cinnamon and cook for 25 mins or until golden brown.

7) Serve warm with a scoop of  ice-cream and a sprinkle of icing sugar on each.

 *   *   *

So... who's having me over tonight
so that I can eat some of this gorgeous, yummy goodness?

Any takers? :)

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Take Note: Fall Is Here.

While autumn may be a few degrees away 
from my friends back home, 
it arrived here in London earlier this week.

The summer slid away quietly
as the air got simultaneously crisp.


Even Viola is ready for the cool weather! 

After getting rid of all of my summer clothes
last summer in a fit of jaded angst against British weather,
warm weather was a bit awkward for me.

Also, remaining baby weight looks better under a coat.

{It's been proven by scientists.}

The bottom line is:
I'm glad to usher in the cooler weather
and get cozy.

While I'm all about coats,
I also love the hibernation
that comes along with the cooler weather.

I'm feeling heavy on the black & leopard...
oh man, it just feels perfect 
to slip on something a little dark + glam
and head out in the cold air.

Get ready, North America...
Autumn will be there before you know it!

Pack Your Bags: Lanzarote (Canary Islands)

A long, long time ago
(like the Autumn 2010)...

Tyler & I were two young bucks
freshly moved across the pond
to ye Olde England
and were making it our job
to see as many places as physically possible.

One weekend, 
I had a work break
coincide with a gap 
in his classes.

It was a Tuesday
and on Thursday
we would have 4 days off.

So I went online and found the cheapest
tickets to a place we had never been:

I had no idea where that was.

I had to google it.

It showed up on google as a tiny island
in the Canary Islands...
which sit off the side of Africa 
down below Spain & Portugal.


We booked our flights
(you can find some great cut-price tickets to Lanzarote),
found an affordable hotel
(we stayed at the Hotel Hesperia),
and, not knowing what to expect,
showed up to one of the most random
and yet fun trips we have ever taken.

After 2 days of lounging around the resort,
we decided to rent a car on our last day
and sat out on an adventure 
that we still talk about all the time.

It was magical day
cruising around the island
chasing the sun 
and just enjoying being alive and in love.

The odd terrain of the land,
the dramatic beaches, 
the vineyards growing up in lava fields,
the spontaneous camel rides that we came across
(and, duh, totally did)...

... all of it was so fun.

That's how we travel.

Taking our time to slow down,
but ready for adventure at any turn.

And, man,
it has filled up our live
 with some full hearts and magical moments.

*  *  *

I love these "polaroid" snaps I took while we were there-
I hope you will, too!

*  *  *

If travelling to Lanzarote sounds like a dream,
make sure to check out Monarch Airlines 
for great flight deals 
to amazing vacation destinations.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy
*this post was sponsored by Monarch Airlines.

The Prince Bonaparte Rules the World

At times, 
I can be slightly dramatic.

I've neem known to mae some fairly bold claims in my day.

I can't help it. 

I feel the moment. 

And last night,
I was really feeling it
when we were at 
the posh neighborhood pub,
and trying their sticky toffee pudding.

Listen to me, friends:
I eat a lot of dessert... a lot.

After countless bowls of this national treat,
I can confidently say:

This sticky toffee pudding is the best I have had.

While Napolean never achieved his dreams 
of world dominance,
The Prince Bonaparte has dominated all others
in this special recipe.

In case you think Sticky Toffee Pudding is,
as the name implies, a pudding like we know in America,
well, you're wrong.

"Pudding" is a term that just means dessert.

For example,
the classic Christmas "figgy pudding" 
that we all blindly reference in carols & plays
 is not a gelatinous clumpy mess, but a cake.

I know, it's confusing...
but don't worry about it.

Back to the matter at hand:

The cake is just perfect,
the caramel pool it sits in is just right...
and the clotted cream ice cream on top
makes the whole experience heavenly.

If you're searching for a serving of this famous cake
on your trip the England,
don't go anywhere else
other than Notting Hill.

And don't even think about sharing-
you'll be starting a war
that even Napolean would have avoided.

* * *

80 Chepstow Road
London W2 5BE

020 7313 9491

*image original to Aspiring Kennedy

My Notting Hill: Daylesford Organic

Daylesford Organic is another repeat offender
that frequents my instagrams.

It's literally a 2 minute walk from my house
and it's such a great place to meet up with friends,
as it offers great food 
for pretty much every time of the day.

Plus, the coffee isn't any more expensive
than I would pay at Starbucks,
so it's perfect for a quick catch up.

The food, that's grown & raised, on their
organic farm in Gloucestershire,
is another story.

It's pricey,
but it's healthy
and the quality is hard to beat.

You get what you pay for.

And what you're paying for 
is freaking delicious.

I love their pearl barley risotto,
their raw slaw salad,
and most every one of their quiches.

Also, their bakewell tart 
is what made first love bakewell tarts.

It marries almonds, cake & jam
together just right...

And if you're fancy 
and like almond, soy, etc
in your coffee....
they've got you covered.

Oh, and of course-
there's a cute market 
to bring home any jams, juices, farm fresh eggs
or high quality cuts of meat
that you may so desire.

to your Notting Hill bucket list.

And who knows, 
you might see a celeb or two 
while you're there. :)

208-211 Westbourne Grove
Notting Hill W11 2RH


Take a peek at my other favorite places
to go & eat in Notting Hill here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Style Me (Mini): Little Picks with Big Appeal.

While I was pregnant with two girls,
I only ever bought one of anything.

For some reason, 
the idea of matching wasn't my thing.

I went more for "coordinated."

With everything that happened,
it ended up that Viola has a ton of clothes...
and, fortunately, we didn't have a ton of duplicates
to have to cry over deal with.

I like to think 
that Viola is honoring her sissy 
by wearing them well.

Tyler & I always say
that we honestly don't know
if our hearts could have taken
looking at double this cuteness everyday.

Can you even imagine?

I do all the time...


And now to downshift from the emotional to the everyday
so quickly you may get whiplash
- because that's what grieving actually feels like-
here are some awesome baby clothes.

Like, really really awesome things
that I would love to scoop up for Viola
to wear this fall.

I can just tell that autumn & a spring in Paris
are going to look good on her.

Hopefully, her mom remembers to keep it fresh, too.

To A Tea: BRGR.Co (Say What?)


At a burger joint?


Sometimes, my friends,
you gotta shake things up.

And speaking of shakes,
this tea included a mini shake...
so I had no choice but to try it immediately.

is a cute place in Soho
that has often intrigued me,
but I'd typically always been heading to another room
when I saw it,
so never had a good excuse to try it out.

Fortunately, my friend Grace
forwarded me an email about their 
version of "Afternoon Tea."

After reading of sliders (chicken, lobster & cheeseburgers!),
mini pots of fries, 
cheesecake, donuts, the aforementioned miniature vanilla shake,
iced tea (because what "tea" would be complete without it)
and a glass of prosecco
all for £17,
I realized this was my moment to check it out.

So off we went.

The staff was so friendly
and sat us 30 minutes before our reservation.

Food came out quickly
and was super good.

I was a big fan of the sliders, the fries, the donut, the tea...

well, I guess we could say
I pretty much liked everything.

Viola even had her first high chair experience...
giving her convenient access to swiping at food.

Obviously, I watched her grab at the cheesecake and fries
with true motherly pride.

So yeah, add this place to your list.

Whether it's for the "afternoon tea"
or just for a good bite
while your strolling Soho or shopping on Oxford Street.

It's a good one.

And the regular menu looks pretty awesome, too. 

Check it out!


Not your cup of tea?

Check out some of my other favorite places for tea here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Fall Travel Advice- Going Once, Going Twice...

A recent travel consult in Dallas over some of Breadwinner's Coconut Pie

Hey People!

Just a quick update-
I have a few slots left for September travel consults.

These are becoming one of my favorite things,
but my time is limited...

If you have a trip approaching,
book a session now!

Whether you want to talk big picture
(where to go & how long to stay?),
need advice on how to get from country to country
(train? car? plane?),
or need help creating a tailored daily itinerary,

I got you covered.

We can either skype through the options
or meet over coffee (if you're in London).

But don't wait too long!

My time is limited 
now that the semester has started,
so I would recommend booking now 
before spaces are gone.

Your friendly travel freak,

Travel Consultations

Pack Your Bags: Icelandic Super Jeeps

We are back in Reykjavic
after several days out on the road.

Literally, we slept out in a hut last night
after spending the past two days crawling around
the mountains of Iceland in these bad boys.

Icelandic SuperJeeps 
are the biggest cars you have ever seen.

Like monster trucks, but bigger, and practical.

(Not just for rolling over other cars? Why is that?)

Though you spend most of your time 
going up the steepest inclines you've never imagined
on snowy volcanos and summits,

you also get to go to some rugged non-snow destinations, too.

Like Haifoss- which means the "high waterfall."

My breath was taken away 
when I walked around the edge 
to reveal the canyon below.

Literally, I got so excited
I started yelling at Tyler 
and running around the edge
like a yellow lab upon finding
a squirrel sneaking under the fence.

If you come to Iceland,
check out getting a super jeep.

We take one up Hekla (the snoozing volcano)
and out to Landmannalaugur
for a night at the hut.

We use Iceland Explorers to book our trips
and they do an amazing job!

*Note: You can drive many places by yourself in Iceland,
however- to reach some places (Landmannalaugur & Thorsmock), 
you'll need professional drivers
on professional vehicles!

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy
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