“Kindness is the No. 1 quality I look for in a man.” ~ Meghan Markle
“I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young. And so . . . I’m waiting to find the right person, someone who’s willing to take on the job.” ~ Prince Harry
Get your tiaras and top hats ready!
In just 3-1/2 days, HRH Prince Henry Charles Albert David will marry Rachel Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle!
There’s nothing like a royal wedding to quicken the pulse and lift the spirits. Oh, the history and pageantry! And who doesn’t love a fairy tale romance (they met on a blind date)?
This unconventional union shows the monarchy on a decidedly modern track: Prince Harry will not only be marrying a commoner, but an American actress — a divorcée of mixed race who is three years his senior. Such a thing would have been unthinkable in days of yore.
One can’t help but remember King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson, or Princess Margaret having to refuse Group Captain Peter Townsend’s proposal because as a divorced man he was deemed unsuitable by the Church of England.
How times have changed! It’s good to see more openness, inclusion and forward thinking. 🙂
I’ve been whetting my appetite for the big day by reading oodles of online articles, as well as Andrew Morton’s new book, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (Grand Central Publishing, 2018). I’d never watched her TV series, “Suits,” and did not follow her lifestyle blog “The Tig” (shuttered last year), so it’s been fascinating learning more about Meghan’s upbringing and accomplishments. Did you know that her penchant for both acting and activism stems from her childhood?
My main takeaways about Meghan thus far: ambitious, intelligent, independent, stylish, worldly, tenacious, poised, articulate. Marrying Prince Harry will be the role of a lifetime, played out on a vast world stage. She’s comfortable being in the spotlight, and like Princess Diana, is good at relating to others one on one.
She’s given up her acting career as well as her lifestyle brand to focus on humanitarian work. As a royal, she will have to remain politically neutral — which means she will largely have to step away from gender equality and women’s rights, issues she’s championed for much of her adult life. How ironic to be afforded the largest platform ever and to have to suppress one’s feminist voice. While she will be able to do extraordinary things, she has much to learn about royal protocol and the adjustments will be formidable.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cornelius has been most curious about . . . *you guessed it* . . . food! Since the wedding will be televised here on the East coast very early Saturday morning, he wondered what the bride and groom like to eat for breakfast. That way, he could try to eat the same thing. 🙂
Turns out we didn’t have to wonder or second guess, because we were able to ask Harry and Meghan in person. They miraculously appeared one fair afternoon in the mailbox (Cornelius must have magical powers)!
And . . . they were hungry and anxious to talk about breakfast. But holy paperness, they arrived in their underwear *covers eyes*.
Good thing crafty and resourceful Cornelius didn’t panic. He grabbed his scissors and clipped and snipped them some cutting edge outfits — cool threads any hotshot designer would be proud to show off. 🙂
Harry told us about his love of pizza, and that his fave breakfast is bacon and sausage sandwiches. He bragged about how he taught Royal Chef Darren McGrady the proper way to cook bacon when he was just eight — crisped in the microwave for a minute after broiling. He first had crispy bacon (that you can “snap”) on a trip to America with William and his mum.
At Disney World, William and Harry had peanut butter and jelly muffins. They loved them so much, they asked Chef M if he could make some for them. Chef was only too happy to oblige, even topping the muffins with bacon bits as an occasional treat.
As for Meghan, she’s a California girl who grew up with farm-to-table goodness; she liked growing her own veggies and admits to being spoiled by the wealth of California produce. Fresh and healthy food — “lean, clean and green” is her ongoing mantra, and she was able to indulge her love of cooking at The Tig with many delicious and wholesome recipes. Among her favorites: fish tacos, pasta, wine, sushi. Need we mention how pivotal her roast chicken was in snagging her prince?
If you have an Ina Garten-level roasted chicken recipe, it’s a game changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends.
The night of their engagement, Harry and Meghan were hanging out at Nottingham Cottage, staying in for a cozy homemade supper. After dinner Harry got down on one knee and proposed. That must have been some chicken (Chef McGrady confirms that he made roast chicken for the boys often)! Lesson to be learned: never underestimate the power of good food. 🙂
But what about breakfast? Meghan likes to jump-start her days with an açaí bowl, a vanilla cleanse shake or green juice. She’s big into juicing and apparently can’t be without her trusty Vitamix. She likes açaí bowls both for breakfast and as a post-workout snack. She recently shared her recipe at EyeSwoon.
Does this healthy eater have any guilty pleasures? Apparently she has a weakness for french fries and loves boxed macaroni and cheese! She likes to make Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese when cravings hit. I’m guessing Prince Harry is on board with these comfort foods as well, even though rumor has it that Meghan has Harry eating a much healthier diet these days.
After moving in with him, she apparently purged his pantry of junk food, and she’s weaning him off meat in favor of quinoa and kale. As part of his pre-wedding detox, he also quit smoking and has cut back on alcohol consumption.
Oh, the things we do for love!
So, come Saturday, why not channel Meghan and Harry by breakfasting on peanut butter and jelly muffins, and a cheery, nourishing açaí bowl? We blended a packet of Trader Joe’s frozen puréed açaí berries, a handful of frozen strawberries, half a banana, and some almond milk as per Meghan’s recipe.
We poured the thick mixture into our bowl (pre-chilled in the freezer), then added some granola, sliced banana, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries — but of course choice of toppings is entirely up to you (Meghan also suggests bee pollen, a drizzle of manuka honey and coconut flakes).
The PB&J muffins are simple to make (the recipe can be found in Chef McGrady’s new cookbook, The Royal Chef at Home: Easy Seasonal Entertaining (Bright Sky Press, 2017)), and also at his website. He suggests strawberry jam, but we used black raspberry. 🙂 We did tweak the recipe a bit, cutting back on sugar (since jams are sweet), and slightly reduced the suggested one tablespoon each of peanut butter and jam in the center of each muffin.
Of course we can’t have muffins or anything else without tea. Our choice: Harney & Son’s Royal Wedding Tea — a blend of Chinese Mutan White tea buds with almond, coconut and vanilla, and an abundance of pink rosebuds and petals. Quite a “regal tea to celebrate a glorious occasion.”
Since the muffins are a nod to Harry, and the açaí bowl, a nod to Meghan, why not top everything off with something that symbolizes them as a couple? Annie’s Mac and Cheese with bacon bits!!
Finally, a toast for the happy couple. Since the resident bears are all teetotalers, we’ll be raising our glasses with Trader Joe’s Lemon Elderflower soda instead of champagne. You might know that Harry and Meghan’s choice of wedding cake is Lemon Elderflower (to be baked by Meghan’s friend Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes).
We had a lot of fun with our special guests and even staged a wedding rehearsal before they left (the Queen was ever so friendly, and both William and Harry got on well with the Paddingtons). Mr. Cornelius officiated, of course.
Harry and Meghan seem genuinely in love and well “suited” to each other. They are poised to become the new philanthropic power couple. Meghan is quite an outspoken dynamo, a real go-getter, so it will be interesting to see if the “old guard” at Buckingham Palace will try to “reign” her in. 🙂
We wish Harry and Meghan every happiness on their wedding day and beyond. Can’t wait to see Meghan’s dress, Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the bridal party, and everyone else attending the ceremony.
What are you most looking forward to on Saturday?
Megan Markle's Açaí Bowl
- Blend one frozen açaí packet with 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, a handful of frozen berries.
- This should be thick so add almond milk sparingly as you go.
- Top with coconut flakes, fresh berries, sliced bananas, a drizzle of manuka honey, sprinkle of bee pollen (if you want), and serve immediately.
~ from EyeSwoon, as posted at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup strawberry jam (or any jam of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and mix well.
- In a second bowl, mix the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla paste. Add the dry ingredients to the milk/butter mixture and stir together. Divide the batter between the muffin tins and add 1/2-1 tablespoon of peanut butter followed by 1/2-1 tablespoon of jam to the center of each muffin.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until muffins are golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!
~ adapted from The Royal Chef at Home: Easy Seasonal Entertaining, by Darren McGrady (Bright Sky Press, 2017), as posted at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
ROYAL WEDDING: Harry and Meghan Paper Dolls
published by Random House, April 2018
Fun for ages 8+, 32 pp.
MEGHAN: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton
published by Grand Central Publishing, April 2018
Biography, 272 pp.
THE ROYAL CHEF AT HOME: Easy Seasonal Entertaining by Darren McGrady
published by Bright Sky Press, November 2017
Cookbook, 224 pp.
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**Copyright © 2018 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.