Honey and
food and travel

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Lily Vanilli's Nana's Scones

Dad's birthday. The annual celebration which involves days of discussion about what cake to make. Days of discussion because we can't just choose something on a whim. It has to be chocolate-free, orange-free, have as little as sugar as possible, icing-free... The list goes on. Last year we settled on this ginger cake. This year it was scones. Lily Vanilli's Nana's scones.

These light little circles, with a hint of caramel colour on top, were hidden under piles of thick cream and raspberry jam. A cup of tea or two and a birthday candle, and the post-Paddington cinema trip birthday tea ticked all the boxes.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Green Eggs and Ham

I do so like green eggs and ham.

Especially on Christmas day in the morning.

Maman glazed the ham in mustard, quince jelly and cloves. T fried the eggs with a sprinkle of chilli. Papa made some zingy green juice. We managed not to burn the toast. A Christmas breakfast success.

Friday, 26 December 2014

A Christmas Supper

The much discussed, debated, and deliberated Christmas meal receives so much more attention, thought and care than any other meal of the year. It's a wonder that we don't just crumble under the pressure we put upon ourselves.

But like every year, the effort and stress is all worth while. The full Christmas works is perfect, and already we are planning and plotting for next year.

Friday, 19 December 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week...

1. Brownies and miso caramel
2. Holiday time
3. Sushi rolling
4. Christmas tunes
5. Nutella


Monday, 15 December 2014

Thomasina Miers: Easy-Peasy-Not-Quite Christmas Cake

Some of us just aren't quite organised enough, and don't have quite enough spare time to bake a proper Christmas cake weeks in advance of Christmas itself. That weekend is just lost somewhere in the midst of the dark, cold weekends of early winter. 

So thank goodness for Thomasina Miers, who came to the rescue on one of these weekends when we 'should' have already baked a Christmas cake, with a recipe for a slightly lighter, super quick and easy not-quite Christmas cake.

Dried figs, raisins and apricots are cooked with red wine and brandy; butter and sugar is melted in; stirred with some flour and toasted almonds, and baked for 40 minutes. And ta-dah, a Christmas cake is ready in less than an afternoon. Easy-peasy: no planning, no organisation. Served with a dollop of crème fraîche and a drizzle of maple syrup, this beats any normal, heavy Christmas cake, this Deember.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

1. A family reunion at the Green Man and French Horn
2. Presents from Japan
3. Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
4. The Clove Club
5. Mince pie

And now it's time for a weekend of sleeping, hot chocolate, and present wrapping.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Lily Vanilli: Spicy Gingerbread

December. The month when every day should involve a hot chocolate accompanied by something sweet and full of spices.

For the next week in this household, the hot chocolate accompaniment will come in the form of Lily Vanilli's spicy gingerbread.

Packed full of fresh chilli, ginger, ground nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper and several other spice cupboard treasures, these golden little nuggets aren't for the faint hearted.

Piled up in a pretty box for Christmas gifts or iced to add a little more festive fun, baking these along to She & Him's Christmas tunes made for a splendid Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Honey & Co: Pita Bread

Last month we had the most wonderful meal at Honey & Co and, inevitably, left with a copy of the book.

Since then, every weekend I've had my head stuck in this book, umm-ing and aaah-ing about which recipe to cook this Saturday evening. And yesterday, the decision came from B: pita breads, please.

So on Saturday morning I stood by my Kitchen Aid as it made the dough for me. The poor baby struggled a little , rearing it's head in protestation and trying to flick the dough out the bowl. But it powered through and got there in the end. Well done Kitchen Aid. 

The dough was left to rise and a couple of hours later I came back: a big puffed up ball of future pitta breads was about to explode out the bowl. Success. 

Split into 10 lumps and rolled into balls before being left to do its thing for another 20 mins. Finally I rolled them out and put them in a scorching hot oven. 

Sitting down in front of the oven, staring through the door, Bake Off style, I watched them puff up into soft beautiful pillows. At this point they were removed from the oven and popped on a coupe of plates alongside a plate filled with beautiful aubergine, pomegranate and walnut rolls.

You'll have to buy the book to get this recipe, but this one from the wonderful Deb at Smitten Kitchen looks similar!

Friday, 5 December 2014

5 Things

We're in December! That's enough happiness to celebrate for one week. But here are 5 smaller things that made me smile this week...

1. Tomato soup & a cheese toastie from Goodhood Commune
2. Burning the advent candle in the morning and evening
4. Christmas present inspiration
5. Lunch with B

I am so relieved it's the weekend. I think I might just hide under my duvet for the next two days.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Yellow Table: Nutella Shortbread Brownies

The best surprise arrived on my desk last week. Having sat for a while puzzling over what I'd bought from America while I sent off a few more emails, I finally opened the package to a little gasp. The Yellow Table cookbook had finally arrived! I'd been following Anna's story since I'd caught site of her promo video on twitter many, many months ago. She set herself the ridiculous task of writing (and shooting) a cookbook in 100 days from her tiny New York flat. And then, she decided to crowdfund it when it was done. Her journey has been amazing, and so inspiring to watch. The result is a beautiful, thoughtful, cookbook, made with so much love.

I did my usual (terrible) trick of flicking straight to the sweet things at the back of the book. The title 'Nutella Shortbread Brownies' merited an instant bookmarking. To be baked the next day.

They Nutella shortbread brownies were devoured firstly round a table of yogis after a beautiful thanksgiving class, and then again on a Sunday evening with friends, an evening as happy as only is possible when sharing a meal with friends, around our white table, the heart of the home.
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