• July 2010
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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
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Favela Chic

Favela Cafe

I passed this place the other day and thought the sign looked quite nifty, (not to mention made me chuckle). I wonder if the food matches the decor…might have to pop by sometime soon and let you know.

pic taken using shakeitphoto for iphone


I went to the UK Anthro today, and now I want to get preggers so I can give them my firstborn in exchange for whatever I want..

..no lie.

First of all let me say, I know I am spoiled living in a City that has no less than 4 Anthro’s within a short train hop from each other, when many others live miles from an Anthro. I know this.

But while here in my home city I occasioned upon the Anthropologie on Regent Street that is all of 9 months old..(notice that? The gestation period of an human being..coincidence? ) and I had to take a minute to recover when I walked through the door. Why?

First off, it has HUGE, three, count them THREE sprawling – Brooklyn warehouse factory-esque sized floors. The visual display is of course, amazing and the staff dressed trendy yet not pretentious, whimsical and yet not twee. I spotted a few toy chandeliers knocking around, as mentioned many times on the Man Shops Globe series. Breathe craven…breathe!

The clothing selection had many of the items I’d spied in the US Anthro’s but a few items I did not ( a sustainable brand named People Tree anyone?) as well as household bathroom items I’d never seen before such as Mad et Lin who had a Geranaum candle that made me smile (price at 58GBP no less). I thought I had truly retail-died and gone to anthro-heaven for all the good purchases i’d made over the years. And then I stumbled across the basement..

Oh the basement.

Anthro UK Home

There were worn and weathered tables and crates piled high with plates, bowls and platters oh my! Have a look at the above amazing white chandelier that draped a table filled with from the deep and beast feast diningware – two of my FAVOURITE Anthro dining collections!

Although three floors the ceiling height is the height of the building as the staircase connecting all floors is in the centre of the building..letting the place flood in light and not feel as though you are in a store on Regents Street but more like in a quiet, spacious haven in the middle of nowhere.

Anthro houseware goods

There were displays that were insane pops of colour – mixing pattern and textures from the variety of aprons and tea towels on offer – all peppered with the work of Nathalie Lete. Her juvenile like drawings are charming as they come, they brought so much cheer to the space. This was the first time I had seen her Luscious Langoustine plate (see below left). The colours really popped and made me smile..( I just spied the plate on the US anthro site..but am yet to see it in store in NY!).

Anthro Lobster Plate

I was surprised to see two additional versions of the easy as pie dish. The above one, was my fave, encouraging you to ‘bake, make a tart’ – I know I wouldn’t be able to resist a daily reminder such as that.

Anthro rose plate

More Nathalie Lete on the left..the colour of the rose was extremely vivid in person, not at all how it is represented on the site (hmmm, some post production desaturation Anthro??). The plate on the right is the new Zinnia Thicket Dinnerware, I missed it in store in the US, so was glad to catch it here. Black diningware is spellbinding (no black magic puns intended!), and I noticed many people picking it up and seriously considering it…I can’t wait to visit the NY Anthro over and over to check it out.

Anthro UK seafarer plates

And finally more great from the deep stuff partnered with what looked like a brighter vibrant version of the celestial coasters..

I spotted a few items that were London store specific (as confirmed by a sales clerk – some of the products are from local UK artists), such as a very nifty ‘seasonal produce chart tea towel’ – I will be popping back to Anthro for more of my fill..and maybe to fill my bag and empty my wallet…or if I can find out how to have a baby in a few days, they might take that for payment instead?

One can dream.

all pictures taken using shakeitphoto

Brekkie from Mark’s

Brekkie by Marks n sparks

Brekkie today was one of my usual fruit and greek yogurt parfaits, but all ingredients were from Marks and Spencers. Apricots and Blueberries were on sale..and I nabbed the last container of greek yogurt (unsweetened)…the apriocts were perfectly ripe and soft while the blueberries plump and tart.

I drizzed the yogurt with some honey and tucked it. It was good…and rich and yet so different from what I have grown accustomed to.

pic made using shakeitphoto for iphone

Everything tastes better at home

healthy eating

Those who know me well, or at least know me in ‘RL’, know that I love to eat, yes, but I also love to exercise. I truly believe that it is this combination that is single handedly saving me from a life more …’larger’ shall we say.

That being said, I have been home, in London, all of three days and I have already made my way through chips, several chocolate bars, a packet of jam sandwich creams and lashings of salad cream (we just don’t get this in the states)..and it’s only day three! Hmm..either I have to scale back immensely or find a gym that will let me participate on a ‘per class’ basis.

Either way, it always strikes me as strange how things taste different in every country – take for example this morning, I had some raw almonds and they were nowhere near as ‘sweet’ as the ones I get at Trader Joes, and I trust that Traders almonds are ‘au naturel’. What gives? Different areas of harvesting, different proccessing maybe? I always thought a nut, was a nut, was a nut. But evidently not. And less sweet, is rather tasty..

I also find it chuckleworthy how ‘small’ the containers, bottles and what not of food and drink are – a stark difference of the ‘bigger is better’ mentality. In a few moments I’m heading off, to “Marks’s’ as I like to call it, that’s Marks and Spencer to the rest of you, hoping to get some inspiration for dinner – something veggie perhaps…and definitely something small..

Check out this little blurby about where Marks’s source their food…

pic from marks and sparks

Super Secret Craven..

super secret proj

Above are the makings of a super secret craven project. It combines elements of some of my most favourite things: the written word, MUJI, the element of surprise and of course food….more will be revealed over the upcoming weeks and months!

* cravenmaven is coming to you live from LONDON starting today…advance apologies for jet-lagged posts!!

Just can’t beet this..

Golden Beet goat cheese thyme dip

..well actually you can. As I kid I remember school dinners vividly – largely because for the most part, I actually LOVED them, but also because when there were things on the menu I hated, I hated them with a passion. Especially cooked beets. I really could never fathom why they were on the menu, I didn’t know ANY kid that ate them, ‘cept perhaps for that weird kid who had no friends and who had, in retrospect, a dubious home life.

The main reason I hated beetroot, was because it bled its colour all over whatever else was on your plate. I found it the height of veggie-rudeness and an invasion of the personal space of everything else on my plate (yeah, I wasn’t your *typical* kid..). So I protested and refused to eat them. It offended me, with its unsubtle nature.

Then a few months back I occasioned upon the ‘golden beet‘..I had never seen or heard of such a thing and for a moment wondered if it was the fodder of an April Fools day Joke. It was not.

So when I saw a recipe on C&D for Beet, Goat Cheese and thyme dip..I had to have a crack at it. Especially after finding golden beets at my local farmers market!

The ingredients are quite straightforward:

Roast beetroot, goat’s cheese and thyme dip

2 medium golden beets
About 175g of mild soft rindless goat’s cheese
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
Cloves of garlic (or if you run out {!!!} a healthy teaspoon of crushed garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


First clean and top n tail the beets..these ones were covered in soil so required a good scrub. Then collect your garlic and place all of the goods into an oven safe dish. Cover with foil and bake for an hour..(I highly recommend the Le Creuset roasters..I just got my hands on one and am finding every reason on earth to roast stuff!)

in the oven

Place the tightly foil wrapped roaster in the oven and bake for an hour at 200 degrees.

Cooked golden beets

Mmm look at these cooked beets! They smell heavenly and are soft all the way through the middle..look at how wonderfully golden they are, with amazing detailed lines. Peel the skin off the beets – it’s very easy at this stage. Then dice them…

Blend garlic thyme beets

Put the chopped beets into a blender (at this point you squeeze the garlic out of their skins and put in the blender), or if like me you overcooked the garlic (eeks), add a dollop of crushed garlic! Add the leaves of the 4 sprigs of thyme.

blend til smooth

Blend the mix until smooth. It will be a little rough looking but don’t worry…

goat cheese

Get your goat cheese..mmmmm.

add goat cheese to mix

Chop up the goat cheese and add it to the creamy beet and garlic mix. Sprinkle on some coarse salt and pepper – I prefer Australian pink salt…

blend smooth

Whizz Whizz Whizz in the blender until super smooth and creamy..

et voila

Pour into your favourite bowl and sprinkle on a few of the thyme leaves and you are done!

yummy on toast

I know it’s dip, but I couldn’t help but spread it on some fresh whole grain bread I recently picked up from the farmers market!! Give it a try this weekend and let me know how you like it!

all images using shakeitphoto for iphone

Plum Feta Salad – A break from the norm

Plum Feta Salad

Dear hearts, it’s a crazy time here at camp craven, preparing to travel and having just returned from travel – taking care of work, sanity , friends and more – there are hardly enough hours to sleep. So I apologise for the shortness of blog posts these past few days – that being said there is always time to eat!

The other day I was peckish, not hungry enough to eat a lunch lunch and craving something sweet yet tart. Thus a plum feta salad was born! I sliced and diced some lovely organic plums, while microwaving in a shot glass the following:

warm n tangy dressing:
3 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons of honey
2 drops of olive oil
Salt and pepper

I nuked the above for about 20 seconds (my microwave is super fast), and then poured it straight onto the chopped and sliced plums.

I then crumbled fresh feta on top and chowed down! It was so good…give it a try. Also check out Matt Armenidiz Ultimate Summer Salad on the Cooking Channel Blog!

pic by cravenmaven using shakeitphoto for iphone