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    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
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Craven Maven guest post on Cellar Door Magazine Blog

cellar door guest post

Check out my guest post on the blog of stylin’ UK magazine Cellar Door. I correlate three gorgeous RTW outfits from the Spring 2011 runways with three equally mouth watering dishes. A veritable starter, mains and dessert!

Many thanks to the lovely ladies of Cellar Door for featuring my article!

screengrab via cellardoor

Guest Blog for the Cravenmaven!

Guest Blog

Do you like to eat? Do you friends tell you you talk about food too much? Do you cook food enough for a small village and share it with your friends cos you only have one mouth and ‘so’ much time? Know a kewl restaurant in your area that no one knows about? Seen a kitchen that is just worth talking about?

Then I am looking for you!

I will be going away {again} and am looking for guest bloggers to help keep the food love flowing on this here blog while I travel.

If you fancy writing a guest post – send me an email! If you have a completely new, yet food related idea you would like to propose then let me know! Are you a big time foodie blogger that feels like ‘slumming it’ on a small food nerd blog like mine? I got great feedback about the last round of guest bloggers that graced these pages. Maybe next time it could be yours!

I will need submissions by end of day July 21st!

image from krim krams

Guest Post: the Renaissance Chocolate Chip Cookie

renaissance cookie

This post is by my dear friend Liz – a brilliant photographer, adventurous cook and newly converted football fan..

– – – – –

This is the Renaissance Chocolate Chip Cookie.

It is named after a tiny, now-defunct coffee shop where I worked as a teenager, during my brief sojourn in a small southern town. Its creator was a trained and talented chef (though he really didn’t like to work for a living), who imparted the recipe to me after deciding that I would likely use the powers of this deceptively simple cookie for mischief rather than good.

Though my friends, my hometown, and my experiences have all changed several times throughout the course of the decade that followed, one of the few things that have come with me everywhere is the greasy sheet of paper containing this recipe. Mind you, the cookie has changed too. It has undergone rebirth after rebirth, evolving into something new but familiar with each ingredient variance.

renaissance cookie

I can remember the time I first used liquor instead of vanilla extract (all I had in my first NYC apartment). Or the time I turned them a hue more than slightly past golden brown, being too busy talking to a young man to check on them (much to his amusement and my own chagrin). There was the time I ground the oats into flour by hand (during one of the near-daily power outages I experienced while living in the Dominican Republic). And of course, the joy of watching them wolfed down by cookie-loving friends and family. There are moments and memories tied up in this recipe far too numerous to mention.

Now I’m baking up a batch to take to a friend’s house, this time using agave sweetener in place of brown sugar. With every alteration, every baking sheet I pull from the oven teaches me how something can change with time, circumstance, even mood.

And the Renaissance Cookie is born again.

all images by liz

note: Thanks Liz! And thanks to all of this weeks guest posters. I will be back next week to tell you about my craven adventures while on holiday! cm

Guest Post: Afternoon Tea with Coquette & Dove


Hi folks, my name’s Kate, I usually blog over on Coquette & Dove, but I couldn’t resist Saer’s invitation to pop in while she’s away to share something foodie & fashion with you all.

I’m a British girl through and through, from my English Rose complexion right down to my lily white legs! And if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that it’s always time for tea. From my first cup in the morning, to my last cup before turning in, nothing can soothe, refresh & revive the way a good cuppa can.

Of course, a cup of tea in your favourite mug, tucked up in your armchair, nose in a book is one way to enjoy your brew, but surely the best way is afternoon tea? A gaggle of your best girls, frocks, teapots and baked goodies on old vintage plates. It’s a wonderful way to while away the afternoon, and if you’ve something to celebrate, then a bottle or two of Prosecco (so much more modest & ladylike than champagne!) will help things go with a little sparkle.

In my family, we take afternoon tea very seriously. What should (and should not) be on the menu, should the sandwiches be fingers or triangles, should the cake be chocolate or fruit? Afternoon tea is when we get very British about things. And so, dear readers, I offer you the definitive guide to a British afternoon tea!


Now then, a few finger wagging notes…

Cucumber sandwiches – the crusts must be off, the bread must be white and there must be nothing but thinly sliced cucumber and salted butter within. Anything else is sacrilege.

My sister puts truffle oil in her egg mayonnaise sandwiches, and a modest amount of cress, elevating thus them to a state of pure perfection.

When it comes to scones, you cannot, repeat, cannot buy them. No sir. They must be made by hand, and served while still warm from the oven. And once a scone has cooled to room temperature it’s shelf life is over.

I know. I sound like some kind of scone whackadoodle. But them’s the rules folks.

And just in case you think that I’m some Martha Stewart wannabe on crack, whipping up batches of scones in the blink of an eye, you’d be right (apart from the crack bit). Because I use this idiot proof recipe.

Cake. What a minefield! I will confess that I have yet to be convinced of the point of fruit cake. I just. don’t. get it. And since chocolate cake is far & away the best kind of cake, why not make it extra great by baking one with a pint of Guinness in. Yummy. This recipe is the one our family has been baking for over 15 years and my sister even had it as her wedding cake! You can’t fail.

I wont insult you any further by telling you how to make ham sandwiches or jam tarts, but I will say that if you can find genuine clotted cream, the kind with a crust (I know, cream with a crust, gross) then you will not be sorry.

Tea is a no brainer. It should be loose leaf and made in a pot, Harrods Afternoon Blend is delicious, and a nice Earl grey would also go down well, especially in warmer weather. And don’t forget to warm the pot, stir 3 times each way, put milk in the cup first, and only let one woman pour from the pot or someone will end up pregnant. But y’all know that.

Last, but by no means least, it’s imperative that everyone dresses the part. Imagine going to all that effort to provide a lady like spread only to have someone turn up in jeans…

Time for Tea Outfit

{ Shoes // Dress // Necklace // Clutch // Hat // Watch }

And there you have it folks! Tea time the way it should be.

scone image from candy pop, clothing mood board images from respective stores linked

cm note: Thanks Kate!! This post made me want to get my mums reliable scone recipe all over again.. check back tomorrow for the last in this weeks series of guests posts!!

Guest Post: Chic Melbourne serves you up the good stuff

Melbourne - what a beautiful city

melbourne, australia

( Please welcome my Aussie mate Dave to this weeks pool of guest posters. A serious food lover, fantastic photographer and excellent writer ).

You don’t know me. My name is David and I am a friend of the famous and ever delightful Craven Maven. This is my first guest post for her, so I’d better give you the down low on myself before I waffle away.

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I love to travel, biking, photography, writing and cooking. I am also the guy who offers the last tasty morsel at a dinner party, but deep inside hopes that the other person will say “No thanks” so I can eat it myself (just being honest).

I met the Craven Maven through mutual friends in NYC in 2009. We quickly found that we both had a real love of all things tasty and creative.

Though I was born and bred in Australia, my decendancy has roots in Mauritius, Seychelles and Eastern Europe with a little German and French thrown in the mix. You can only imagine the culinary delights spread out on the table when the extended family gathered together. Add Melbourne’s melting pot of cultures, sports obsession and style and you find the source of my creative fascinations.

With this in mind, I thought it appropriate to give you a brief run down on my city as a gastronomical travel destination.

Melbourne is fashionable, eclectic and eccentric. It’s a multicultural city gifted with more than just a sampling of the world’s great cuisines. It is flooded with high quality cafes and restaurants, so you’re always guaranteed to find something appealing to your palate. In fact, there are more restaurants in Melbourne than days of the year!

Chinatown and New Quay
chinatown (top), new quay, (bottom)

If you travel a little out of the city you can further explore the variety of Melbourne’s specialist eating destinations. Richmond offers cheap and cheerful Vietnamese dishes, Lygon Street serves up Italian classics, Fitzroy is where you go for tantalising Spanish tapas and Indian, Chinatown prepares tasty dumplings, and New Quay‘s offers fusion cuisine by the water.

Little creatures and spice market
little creatures, (top and middle images), spice market (bottom)

“Coffee anyone?” Drinking coffee is more than a ritual for Melbournians. Rooted in European heritage, cafes line the cobblestone laneways, filling with air with the aroma of roasting coffee beans. You can also people watch in the lively laneway cafés and bars, handpick a bottle wine at the latest über-chic hangout like Spice Market or enjoy tea in the calm and rustic surroundings of a nineteenth-century hotel. If a more casual affair is to your liking, you can sink a few beers with friends, listen to live music or play some pool in one of Melbourne’s pubs like Little Creatures.

Koko Black
Koko Black’s sweet treats

For the sweet tooth, you can’t pass on KokoBlack. Watch the chocolatiers as they work with couverture to create an array of decadent creations, from hand-crafted chocolates to jewel coloured lollies. Alternatively sink your teeth into some gelato or a delightful pastry from Brunetti‘s.

Here are some of my favourite hot spots:

Gingerboy and emerald peacock
ginger boy (top), emerald peacock (bottom)

Gingerboy – Singaporean, Cantonese and Thai cuisine served in a darkly sexy and very cool environment
Brunetti – A truly authentic roman pasticceria
Emerald Peacock – A retro dining, cocktail bar and sophisticated rooftop lounge

Movida and meccah
moVida (top), meccah bar (bottom)

KokoBlack – An intense chocolate expereince
MoVida – Tapas and wine bar
Meccah Bar – Stylish Middle Eastern cuisine

As you can see, with all these options, it can be hard to make a choice. If you find yourself in Oz, come and experience Melbourne. You won’t be disapointed.

In the future I plan to share reflections on food and travel that will leave you salivating and ready to pack your bags. So until next time, bon apetit and hooroo (Australian for goodbye).

all images via establishments listed

cm note: This is great stuff! It makes me want to do a gastro-tour of melbourne!

Guest post: Rockaway Taco

Rockaway Taco

(Today’s guest post is by Sherry, from one of my favourite blogs Pork&Chocolate. She also occasionally writes foodie based posts for the dwellstudio blog.)

Summer has arrived, and for me that means days at the beach followed by a stop at Rockaway Taco. The local hotspot, their fish tacos are a perfect after-beach snack – light and tasty.

Fish Taco

The fish has a great crispy coating and is topped with creamy guacamole, shredded cabbage, radishes and cilantro.

Spicy Cucumbers

I also love the spicy cucumbers, sliced up and topped with chili flakes and lime – both hot and cool at the same time.

Mint Limeade

The mint limeade is so refreshing after a day in the sun, and a great balance to the spicy cucumbers. Can’t wait for the next beach day!

all images by sherry