GUYS do you watch Ladies of London on Bravo? I never had much of an interest until last year when I finally watched my first season. It’s SO GOOD. Caroline Stanbury is the Lisa Vanderpump of London (which is v confusing, as Lisa is British too) and may very well be the BEST reality villain on Bravo. I LUFF HER. Unfortunately for us, she did not write this book. Little Marissa Hermer (her American accent sounds AWFUL next to all of these posh ladies, but not as bad as that blogger Julia or Juliette or whatever) did.
I also read the DEVASTATING news that Ladies of London has been cancelled. WTF?!?! I need to know if Caroline S. and her marvelously coiffed ex-sister-in-law (I told you it was GOOD) Sophie ever made up. Or if the Danish lady (also Caroline? Everyone on this show is named Juli-something or Caroline) is still being super weird across the pond.
Now because I came in late to the game on LoL, I had my girlfriend Jam Hands (whom I should point out, told me repeatedly to watch this show from the beginning) write me up a little bio about Marissa, as I don’t know much about her.
“Marissa recently moved to LA with her family which was her husband Matt’s idea. (editor’s note: glad to see she is still using the Ladies of London deal though, as this fucking cookbook came out like a month ago and is literally named “An American Girl in London.” FALSE, I say!) She became a lot more relatable this past season after a difficult birth and was a lot less icy to the other ladies. She would constantly school the real Brits on etiquette and of course, the Americans how to behave in general, which was annoying. Marissa does have a sense of humor though (she did seem to take a LOT of shots in the past season, which does warm my cold black heart a little bit) and throws a good party- she throws a 4th of July party every year that usually makes for an episode of arguments and drunken fights.”
Now that Jam Hands has schooled US on Marissa (she sounds 75% terrible and 25% great), onto the cookbook! Now I must say, this is by far the nicest looking cookbook of any Bravolebs I have reviewed. It has gorgeous photography (although there are SO many photos of Marissa holding produce in boatneck shirts in lieu of photos of the food, which is irritating. I know how to hold carrots, Marissa! I need to see what Spotted Dick is ACTUALLY supposed to look like!)
I decided to make Blueberry Chia Muffins first because she claims her kids love them and they don’t have a ton of sugar, like most muffins. My kid likes blueberries and I put these babies in Cars wrappers to try to trick him into thinking they are not a deceptively healthy dessert (he is wise for a two-year-old.) This cookbook is organized into times of day to eat and this little number fell in the breakfast to mid morning category. I made/ate these in the afternoon because YES, I am just that rebellious.
This was a pretty basic recipe and one that used oat flour instead of regular flour (which sounds like a giant PITA, but is actually just oatmeal ground to shit in a food processor) and chia seeds soaked in water vs. eggs. It’s very GOOP-lite.
Now, these are not bad per se, but they are not OMG AMAZEBALLS either. They are also not muffins, really. They are muffin-shaped health bars. Muffins do not have such a… wet texture. I will say, maple syrup instead of sugar definitely makes these WAY less sweet (and diabetes-inducing) than your average muffin, and I didn’t feel like I wanted to die after eating it (the way I normally do after eating a baseball sized banana walnut muffin that has approximately 458 g of trans fat and more calories than a ‘murrica sized movie popcorn with extra butter)
It took a LOT of coddling to get my kid to try these “muffins.” He is two and can already see straight through my bullshit. I gestured to the muffins on our counter and said “do you want to try one of these delicious blueberry muffins?” He looked at me blankly, pointed to the mini chocolate cupcakes next to them (goddammit, I am an idiot) and said “I will try one of those.” However, he did eventually eat about 2/3 of a muffin and declared that it tasted “like blueberries,” so I consider that a win. Cheers, Marissa!