We are a small, happy family of four. My husband, a baby, a dog and me. My husband works on a yacht. A large, luxury megayacht which tends to be based in some fairly fabulous places. The thing is, where the boat goes, we go! When she was was just eight weeks old our daughter, Coco, boarded her first trans-Atlantic flight and since then we haven't stopped. This is a blog of our rather unusual yet adventurous life. No two days are the same.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Best Burgers Yet!

What a fabulous week! The weather here has been amazing, nobody was ill and Angus was enjoying his last week of family-time before work goes a bit crazy for a couple of months. If you look at your calendars you will see that last Sunday was the 4th July. A fairly irrelevant day for us Brits but here in the US it is their celebration of independence. When in America and all that, it would be rude not to join in the fun! I made a batch of proper American Chocolate Brownies (they were good but a little sweet, the recipe needs tweaking and then I will share it) which went down a treat with both Coco and Angus, they even got to lick the spoon!

We were very honoured to be invited to join some friends for their 4th July BBQ. It felt so good to go to someones house and be part of some family and friend time. We were made so welcome and met some lovely people. Hopefully, I even managed to get a play date for Coco and a game of tennis or two for myself! The day finished in true 4th July style with a magnificent firework display over Newport Harbour. By this point I was actually wishing I was American! I love the fact they have so much pride in  their heritage and their country. "God bless America" is all I have to say!

The rest of the week has been filled with more swimming lessons (still a big hit), fitness classes, walks along Ocean Drive and Angus and I managed to get a proper night out. Yes, babysitter and all - I felt very grown up organizing a babysitter. We got all glammed up, I even wore a dress for the first time in goodness knows how long and I swapped my usual satchel-like handbag, which I rely on for all the paraphernalia that goes with being out and about with a baby, for a dinky little black number. The babysitter was on time, Coco went down like a dream and we hit the town! Our evening started at 40 Degrees North where we enjoyed the sunset whilst sipping Bellini's (no talk of children whatsoever) and then we moved on to a restaurant called 22 Bowens for dinner. OMG - probably one of the best meals I have had for a very long time. Mouthwatering steak with wild mushrooms and a leek mash. Simple but completely divine. The wine was equally amazing and we made it to probably about two thirds of the way through the main course before we even mentioned Coco. Not that we don't completely adore her but having an evening that was just about the two of us was pretty special. It did nearly break the bank but it was definitely worth it.

A quick Coco update though, I have one word for you - stairs. She has discovered them. Having previously paid them very little attention, on Monday morning she ventured in that direction and the next thing we knew she was half way up to the second floor. First time, straight to the top without hesitation. Then, of course, they were the best toy in the house. With an open-plan living space, there was no way of shutting her off from them so we have had to purchase a cage! Now she stands and looks forlornly at what was once such fun.

Yesterday, we shot straight off after work to our new favourite place - Gooseberry Beach. It is along Ocean Drive and enjoys still, calm waters thanks to natural rock breakers jutting out from the edge of the bay. There are gentle sand dunes with the impressive Newport Mansions as a backdrop. It really is pretty special. With picnic, brolly, swimmers and lots of suncream we enjoyed and idyllic couple of hours together before heading home to bed. Well, bed for Coco, run and Uncle Gabes for a BBQ for Angus and I. (The running is going well by the way, we are a bit stuck on two miles so need to start increasing our distance this week.)

Last night was the night I was going to go for the new and improved burger recipe. You may remember my being slightly put out that Donnie's burgers put mine to shame, but he had talked me through his methods so last night I gave them a go. All I can say is success! And - SO easy! None of this herbs, onion and egg that I had done previously, this is just pure meat. Good ground sirloin beef, salt and pepper. Go for quite a generous size and then really beat them into shape. I mean really hammer them. I didn't season them quite enough but they were still awesome. Thank you Donnie.

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