Honey and
food and travel

Sunday, 31 August 2014

5 Things

Oh hello there little corner of the internet. 

I have missed you rather a lot. Tucked up in my pyjamas back in almost autumnal East London feeling a little blue, but also a little happy to be home.

A week away in Puglia which will be recounted soon was full of silence and sun. No internet for a week is good for the soul. It must be done more often.

5 happy moments from a heavenly week:

1. Salty, sandy skin
2. Burrata
3. Sunshine
4. Ricotta
5. Beaches at sunset

I'm going to miss those long, lazy days, the early evenings when the whole scenery turns golden.

Apologies in advance if this space is a little chaotic over the coming week. There's too much to catch up on and to much to say and show.


Friday, 22 August 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

1. Two breezy, busy days in Edinburgh
4. Tarator
5. Stretching

And one unhappy evening in A&E and the following day in bed.

Hope you have a fabulous holiday. I'm off to Italy for some sunshine. Ciao for now!


Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Gardener's Cottage

We snuck away to Edinburgh for a bit of festival fun over the weekend. Days were packed full of shows, coffee, walking, cake, photos and food.

The foodie highlight was a Monday lunch at the Gardener's Cottage. Maman and papa were so excited to take us to this place. This was reassurance enough that it was going to be the perfect Monday afternoon.

We turned off the main road and snuck up a garden path. The chef was in the garden, planning a menu for the evening. One thing for sure: the food here was seasonal and fresh. From the garden to my plate. Expected in the countryside. A wonderful discovery in the city centre.

Bread and butter and carrot & ricotta dip with a glass of warming red when we had stepped through the door, away from the Edinburgh chill.

Industrial metal lights hang over long tables, the kitchen spills into the main room, a magical private room sits next door, and the loo is hidden through the kitchen (perfect for us nosey people). 

I'd heard wonderful things about the lobster (T had had it a few days before), so that was my decision made. As if I needed an excuse to order a Scottish lobster. B went for deer with potato dumplings and maman some barbecued leeks.

Everything took a little while to appear, but it was beautiful when it did. Not rustic farmhouse cooking. Prettily presented, balanced, thought-through plates for happy, hungry faces.

Just because we couldn't resist, we delved into a beautiful summer tart. I think the colours and height in this picture tell you enough.

Highlight: the beautiful garden.
Lowlight: very slow.

The Gardener's Cottage, 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Raw Duck

Raw Duck was another one that was stuck on my list of places to go for far too long. Although, this wasn't entirely my fault: there was a restaurant disaster and the whole place fell in a hole. This put my visit off for a while until it was resurrected.

The original site was abandoned and a new site created, far away from the threats of diggers and drills. I only peaked my head into the original Raw Duck, but that was enough to tell me that this new site is an entirely different venture. An open, light, airy, white, plant-filled space with long concrete tables, wooden sharing tables, white lights, walls filled with pickling and fermenting fruit and vegetables, vast wine racks, and the ever-trendy open kitchen.

There is a slightly funny smell to the place, but I guess that's the result of lots of kimchi hanging around in the same space for an extended period of time.

We traipsed through the rain on a miserable weekday evening to find an almost empty restaurant. The rain was keeping people hidden away in their homes, making the restaurant quiet and echoey. We were grateful for the music.

What was to come was a mixture of ferments, pickles, and fabulous combinations. Several plates shared, and a couple of glasses of natural wine. Which I am yet to fully understand. Let's start, shall we?

Miso carrots. The most underwhelming dish of the evening. The miso had made the carrots soggy. I love miso, but I don't really want a carrot which has just been dunked in it for far too long. Thanks.

Labneh, dukkah and olive oil. Stunning. Superb simplicity.

Malenca, iceberg and buttermilk dressing. A little too citrusy pour moi, it threw the whole plate of balance a little, but almost, almost there.

Buttermilk fried chicken & fermented soy & chilli sauce. The buttermilk fried chicken seems to be a competitive environment these days. And this one fares very well. Not greasy, but crispy with tender chicken and plenty of dark, umami-rich soy.

Salt cod & pea fritters, cucumber, curry leaves & sumac. The star of the show. Those curry leaves were brilliant.

Grilled aubergines, miso, ponzu, green onion and sesame. Now this is how to cook with miso. One I will be trying my hardest to recreate at home. 

Bellies were full, wine wasn't quite finished, and the rain had ceased, so we left for home without pudding or tea. We'd had enough pickles, ferments, drinking vinegars, and rather unfriendly service by this point. But not for ever. It's back on my list to go for breakfast or brunch. Let's hope for no more building works to completely ruin this plan before then.

Highlight: Pretty plates.
Lowlight: Funny smell.

Raw Duck, 197 Richmond Road, London, E8 3NJ

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Nigella Lawson: Baklava Muffins

7am, Saturday morning. B and I hopped on a train to Edinburgh.

I hate starting holidays on the wrong foot, so we settled in to our seats armed with breakfast. An old family weekend favourite: baklava muffins.

I read on one blog somewhere that these were more cake than muffin. That that made them more like pudding. I disagree. They are breakfast. What makes them even more definitely breakfast is that they are even better and richer and sweeter and nuttier with a spread of butter and a drizzle of honey.

One four and a half our train journey and multiple muffins later and we arrived in Edinburgh. It's cold up here.

The recipe can be found in Nigella's How To Be a Domestic Goddess, which I'm sure is somewhere on your bookshelf. If not, you're in luck, as someone's published it here.

Friday, 15 August 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

2. Nectarines
3. Cool nights
4. Holiday planning
5. Peppermint tea


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Miso Brownies

Since this article about miso in desserts appeared in the Wall Street Journal in May, miso has popped up all over the blogosphere in cakes, ice-cream, cheesecakes, cookies... All this suits me perfectly as my job is miso-centric. And yet, given that my job is miso-centric, it took me far too long to doing any baking with miso in. A miso ice-cream experiment was so delicious that I now appear to be on a bit of a roll.

This miso brownie recipe was taken directly from the original article on the Wall Street Journal. Miso adds the saltiness adored by everyone in the salted-caramel craze, but also brings a super squidgy, luxurious texture, with a smooth butteriness thrown in too, just for good measure. Miso is pretty magic. 

I'm not going to lie: these brownies aren't as good as these ones I made a few weeks ago. They're different. Interesting. But in a good way. They may be better described as a take on a chocolate fudge cake, rather than a chocolate brownie. Hopefully that will help you manage your expectations! Salty, sweet, rich, and bouncy. Perfect with a drizzle of salted caramel, to add to that lusted after salty miso-ness even more.

The recipe can be found here - let me know if you try any of the others! I'd love to hear how you get on baking with miso!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Street Feast

I have been meaning to go to Street Feast for a long time. As in, a couple of years. That's a long time. I'm definitely not one of those bloggers who is ahead of all the trends and writing about places that don't even know they are going to exist yet.

But eventually I got there. And we got there a bit late. So they had run out of a few things. I told myself that it doesn't matter and we'll go back. That will probably take me another few years.

Tucked away in Dalston, you pay your £3 and enter into a huge not-really-outdoors-but-prentending-to-be space. Fire pits smoke around all over the place, long tables and benches and stools are filled with people, and it smells wonderful. I suppose it would, given that they've taken the best of London's street food and put it in one place. 

We did a lap, trying to decide where to start. We ended up back where we started. C and I went for B.O.B.'s lobster; B and T went to Smoke Stack. They'd run out of ribs. That was sad. So B went for pulled pork and T headed over to Busan BBQ for a burger with a Korean twist. Yum. Lobster mac and cheese for C and I. All this meant we didn't have to talk and could just umm and ahhh until everything had gone.

The boys scuttled off and returned with two pizzas. No complaining. Pizza Pilgrims perfection.

Many hours afterwards were whiled away in The Gin Store. (There was no keeping us away from there for very long). Martinis and Gin with tonic and other delicious concoctions. I have every intention of repeating this evening. There's too many other wonderful looking things there to not go back. Just keep an eye on this space for a few more years.

Highlight: Too much of everything good.
Lowlight: Some good stuff runs out.

Street Feast, Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, E8 3DU.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

David Lebovitz: Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Granola

This is another one of those recipes that I've had bookmarked for far too long. Maman and I had planned to make it one weekend at home, but we'd been rather over-ambitious with our planning and so that never happened. After an excess of eating on Friday, the thought of baking a cake seemed far too self-indulgent, and granola seemed like a much more balanced, healthy option. Even if it was going to be filled with chocolate chips, peanut butter and honey. I can keep telling myself that it's an acceptable breakfast. Don't you dare tell me I'm wrong.

David Lebovitz describes this as snacking material. The perfect thing to grab a handful of every time you come in close proximity of the kitchen. Sweet with a hint of saltiness, paired with some greek yoghurt, fruit, and a big cup of coffee, this made for a perfect Sunday morning breakfast. To be snacked on for the rest of the day.

The recipe can be found here. If I were you I'd add even more chocolate than is prescribed. And I don't think a splodge of nutella melted in would go amiss either...

Friday, 8 August 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

1. A cup of tea watching people singing on the canal
2. Sushi
3. Cookbooks
4. Tea at Forge & Co
5. Peaches


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Smitten Kitchen: Blueberry Crumb Cake

B and I are both religious readers of Deb's blog, Smitten Kitchen. B often asks if I've read her blog post today, just to make sure I have, and that I've noted that that is a recipe to be made this week. 

This is how it went with the blueberry crumb cake which she published on Thursday and I baked on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Lots of brownie points from B for that kind of turnaround. I think he'd like it if one day I came home and I wasn't me, I was Deb, but I think he'll have to keep dreaming for that to happen, and I'll have to keep fighting my inferiority complex by baking cakes and other Smitten Kitchen treats. That's the way to B's heart.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Blueberry, coconut, dark chocolate cookies

I have hundreds of recipes bookmarked in my browser at any one time. I bookmark pages like it's going out of fashion. My problem is that I eat with my eyes, and I know I won't remember where I found something if I don't save it there and then, and that will only lead to a tantrum.

These blueberry, coconut, dark chocolate cookies had been saved for a little while, and glared at me every time I scrolled through searching for something else. For some reason, Friday evening was the right time to make them (getting off work half an hour early may have been why).

B has repeatedly described these cookies as fluffy (as another one disappeared from the tin). They're light and airy and bouncy, full of oats, chunks of melting chocolate, and because I switched dried blueberries for fresh ones, bursting little bubbles of sweetness, with a hint of coconut just to mix things up a bit. Come Saturday night, they had all gone.

The recipe can be found here, on the fantastically named 'I am a food blog'.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

August's to-do list

1. Edinburgh Festival
2. Sunbathe
3. Ice-cream
4. Pasta in Puglia
5. Long weekend breakfasts

Friday, 1 August 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

1. B's return
2. Cocktails with a view
3. Florescent nails
4. Coffee and toast breakfasts
5. Canal walks

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