Salmon Burgers with Basil Lime Aioli

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

When I was originally planning this post, I had intended to do both the squid ink brioche and burger recipes. But see, I’m not convinced that the brioche recipe is a winner yet. I might try doing it again with different ink (I bought one that was more of a paste, and another that was really liquid) and then see if I can make a good enough bun to justify the extra effort of making them. This recipe was a bit difficult to work with, and the resulting burger was a tad crumbly.

For now you can simply enjoy the look of black burger buns, and the recipe for these amazing salmon burgers.

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

I first had these burgers at a friend’s house, for a potluck BBQ dinner party. The only salmon burgers I had ever had prior to that, were just salmon steaks, not ground salmon. I’ve made these plenty of times now, and never deviate from the original recipe, because it’s just that good!
The sauce really makes it too… something about the combo of basil and lime really works with salmon. It also makes a mean dip for chips/fries! (more…)

Roasted Garlic No-Knead Bread: Troubleshooting Your Bread

Roasted garlic no-knead bread | Hello Victoria

Richard’s Aunt gave us this Le Creuset pot as a gift a few weeks back!

Originally, when I decided to make this bread, I wasn’t thinking I would photograph it in any way. After all, the whole no-knead bread thing had been done many times and was all over Pinterest. I didn’t think anyone would care to read another post about it. It’s why I have no pictures of the beginning of the recipe.

But then, I realized that despite the simplicity of this bread, there are still some ways in which people might have trouble; and I could help! Also, I can show you how to take this humble bread recipe, and jazz it up with additions! Like roasted garlic!!

Roasted garlic no-knead bread | Hello Victoria

The great thing about this recipe, besides how simple it is to whip up, is that its flavor opportunities are limited only by your imagination. My first bread I did plain, and then experimented with a lemon and rosemary bread, and now roasted garlic. Richard wants me to try caramelized onions next. Mmmm… perhaps one with dried figs and a balsamic reduction? (more…)

Modern Rosewood Media Cabinet (and Other Living Room Updates)

Modern rosewood media cabinet from Swoon Editions | Hello Victoria

We finally got some new furniture for our flat! Isn’t she beautiful?

Before moving to England, I googled some alternatives to IKEA for finding affordable furniture. As much as I love IKEA, it tends to have a “look” to it, don’t you think? Maybe that’s just me (because I know their products so well), but I didn’t want an entire place that said “IKEA”.

Modern rosewood media cabinet from Swoon Editions | Hello Victoria

fern, and wood planter from Flower & Glory // cement planter from the Red Mud Hut

I’ll definitely shop there (and already have for the flat), but I want to have furniture from all types of places and styles, so that our flat feels like a true representation of our eclectic tastes.
One of the shops that came up in my search was Swoon Editions. It’s an online store with a cool concept – ditch the store front, middle men, and everything else that jacks up the price of furniture, and just connect directly with the people who make it. All of their items are online only, which poses a bit of a problem – you might end up waiting months to receive a product you have never even seen in person! (more…)

Rhubarb and Blood Orange Semolina Cake

Rhubarb and blood orange semolina cake | Hello Victoria

In the early months of the year, the produce options can feel a bit limited. Berries are crazy expensive, stone fruits are even worse, and everything feels a bit dull. However, what some people don’t realize is that winter is citrus season!

Now is the time to experiment with blood oranges, grapefruit, bergamot lemons… etc. Not only is citrus in season, but here in England forced rhubarb is upon us! You might not be able to find it at every grocery store (mine didn’t have it), but Borough Market is currently in supply.

I’ve always loved rhubarb, even as a kid. I remember my mom picking my sister Bethany and I big pieces from her plant, and we would dip the ends in sugar and eat them. We were weird.

Rhubarb and blood orange semolina cake | Hello Victoria

But I digress… back to the recipe!

I’ve been getting tons of recipes and inspiration from Waitrose’s monthly magazine. It’s free for people who sign up for their Waitrose rewards card, and chock full of great recipes. I’ve made a lot so far, and haven’t had a bad one yet! (more…)

Perfecting Northern Irish Wheaten Bread

Northern Irish wheaten bread | Hello Victoria

Last year for Christmas, Richard and I spent a month traveling (side note – am I the only one who always tries to spell this travelling?) around the UK. We spent time in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and even drove through Scotland (albeit without stopping) while visiting his family! For some reason, one of the things we remember most is getting stuck in the wind and rain outside of our hotel beside the Giant’s Causeway after a fire broke out. Not exactly the most fun we’ve had, but the reward was worth it!

Giant's Causeway | Hello Victoria

Giant’s Causeway

We were in the middle of a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, when one of the dryers in the laundry caught fire, and we were told we had to go outside right away. Unfortunately it was in the middle of December, and of course we forgot to wear our winter coats to the dining room. After freezing outside for a while, we were brought into the nearby visitor center to wait until the firemen cleared the building. Luckily nothing was damaged.

Giant's Causeway | Hello Victoria

a few photos from our trip last winter

As we were checking out after breakfast, they asked us if we had managed to finish our meal before the fire. With the exception of a cup of tea or two, we had, but we asked them if they could do us a favor in lieu of the rest of our meal. Would they be willing to share their wheaten bread recipe with us? I doubted they would as restaurants/chefs aren’t normally known for that sort of thing, but lo and behold, the chef not only gave us the recipe, but a loaf of bread (still warm from the oven) to take with us! (more…)

Day Out in Belfast

Shopping in Belfast | Hello Victoria

Sorry, this post is kind of light on the photos (even though I brought my camera with me)!

Side Note – Does anyone else feel super awkward and embarrassed taking photos? It’s something I am working on, as I often look back and wish I had taken more photos… hopefully this blog can help me get over that! As Richard often reminds me “you are a tourist” – so I need to stop worrying about looking like one.

Last weekend was Richard’s birthday! I had asked the head baker at work if I could have that day off, and not only did he agree, but he offered to rig the schedule and give me a four day weekend!! The one thing Richard kept saying he wanted for his birthday, was to go home (to Northern Ireland). His sister Katherine still lives not too far from where he grew up, and he wanted to visit her and her husband, as well as see his wee nephew (who is growing so fast!).

So Saturday morning, we caught a flight to Belfast and spent much of the weekend simply relaxing and playing with his nephew. (Our previous weekend was spent doing much of the same with Richard’s Aunt. Apparently family oriented, stress-free weekends are our thing?)

On Monday, with Richard’s nephew at daycare, we decided to venture into Belfast and spend the afternoon doing a little shopping, lunch, and visit a couple of pubs. We started off just outside Victoria Square, as Richard wanted to buy some clothes for his nephew as a belated birthday gift. This area is mostly full of brand names and chain stores, but there were a couple of shops nearby on Ann street, that caught my eye. (more…)

Allotment Dreams

Allotment garden inspiration | Hello Victoria

allotment inspiration via

A few months ago, Richard and I became the proud owners of an allotment! We had been trying to grow some things at his brother’s place, but found that we rarely had the time to make the drive out there in order to tend to it.

After talking to a neighbor in our little building, he mentioned that he was part of an allotment garden just a 10 minute walk down the road, and that he thought there might be spots available! Turns out the space right beside his was available, and so we put in our request. Unfortunately, by the time we did so, it had been claimed by another person. However, we found out that three more plots were becoming available by the end of the year, and we could come take a look if we wanted.

Allotment garden inspiration | Hello Victoria

allotment inspiration via

In this instance, not getting the plot we asked for turned out to be a blessing in disguise! One of the three plots was even better than the first! Our new little garden has not just one, but four fruit trees already established! (It also has one tree that we have no idea what it is. It could be fruiting, or ornamental, but we won’t know until spring/summer.) (more…)

Loving Lately: Burled Wood

Burled wood frames | Hello Victoria

burled wood frame via

A few years back, in my first apartment, I made a large gallery wall using IKEA RIBBA black frames, and black and white photos. It was modern and striking – which suited my industrial-loft style apartment. In my last place, I switched to all white frames with colourful photographs and artwork. Still a gallery wall (bigger too) but again, using IKEA RIBBA frames. While I do look back on them fondly, there’s something too simple about the way they looked now. They never quite matched my eclectic style, and felt too much like I was copying someone else’s aesthetic.

Burled wood frames | Hello Victoria

the Framebridge ‘Cairo’ frame

In our current flat, I’m thinking I may forgo the gallery wall, and instead focus on larger scale art pieces, and a few small pairings. I’m hoping to use a combination of new modern frames (maybe even RIBBA?) as well as some antique ones. I fell in love with these burled wood frames from Framebridge a few months ago, but didn’t want to spend that kind of money on just a frame. Then, as luck would have it, I managed to find a couple of antique ones, just the right size for £10! After researching a bit, turns out I got quite a good deal, as burled wood is expensive…

Since then, I find myself noticing this material more and more, in all kinds of furniture. It has such great warmth, and visual interest. Who knows, perhaps I’ll find a cool piece of burled wood furniture in the coming months? (more…)

Hague Blue Bedroom

Bye bye bright and airy bedroom…

Painting the bedroom | Hello Victoria

Helloooooo drama!!

Hague Blue bedroom | Hello Victoria

While Richard was away for work, I decided to tackle painting the bedroom. As discussed in earlier posts about dark bedrooms, and my plans for this room, we had chosen to paint it Farrow + Ball’s Hague Blue (using Valspar paint) a few months before, and I am so glad about that decision. The paint has such a lovely teal-y green undertone to it, that makes it feel warmer (in my humble opinion) despite how dark it is.

Now painting without Richard meant lots of time spent on a ladder, with no one to see if I fell… but the worst part of doing it alone, was not having a vehicle! Unfortunately Richard took it with him when he left… not that it really mattered as I still haven’t learned to drive on the left side of the road! (more…)

Currently On My Wish List

I’m pretty sure that Richard would agree, I spend waaaay too much time on my phone, browsing stores. It’s not like I have the money to buy any of the things, but I often find myself saving pages and items for some mythical-future-influx-of-cash.

I figured that since I’m not going to buy any of these items anytime soon, perhaps I should share them with the world, and someone else might give them a good home.

First up we have Anthropologieoh how I love thee! I can’t help but stop in their stores every chance I get. Great stuff and such inspiring window displays!

spoon rest // barside bowl // textured indira cushions

I haven’t been looking much at their clothing lately, but that wood spoon rest would be amazing. We still don’t have one in the kitchen yet, and I like the warmth that wood brings. The marble bowl could be used for food, or organization, and those textured pillows would be so fun on our bed (along with some indigo accents)! However, I doubt Richard would be a fan of the tassel-y bits. (more…)