Honey and
food and travel

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Butcher's Daughter

The line to get into Katz's Deli was snaking round the block. Russ & Daughters had a 2 hour wait. We couldn't get through the front door of the Egg Shop. Day 1 as tour guide for my visiting family was not going according to plan. 

We eventually found a table at The Butcher's Daughter: gorging on pastrami and carbs was a distant dream. I'd like to think that those who had just arrived expecting to gain a few pounds in 6 days were perhaps pleasantly surprised as we tucked into freshly made juices and raw, vegan salads.

The rain poured down outside as we pretended to be basking in the Californian sunshine: bright yellow chairs, vegetable-focused puns on the servers t-shirts, enamel bowls with a yellow rim, and naturally vivid colours in everything we ordered. A zingy purple juice was just the right side of earthy, and a crunchy kale salad doused with seeds, a light vinaigrette and a perfectly ripe avocado was just what this tired body needed before the Christmas feasting really began.

The Butcher's Daughter, 19 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

Monday, 28 December 2015

Bar Boulud

The night before Christmas Eve, we made our way through the pouring rain to admire the magical spinning, sparkles and snowflakes that filled the stage in New York City Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Centre. 

After watching the sugar plum fairy perform the most spectacular sequence, we were exhausted and starving, and so rushed across the road, jumping across the puddles, and then shaking ourselves off like soggy dogs in the entrance of Bar Boulud.

A beautiful bottle of wine was poured, followed by some cheese gougères which landed on our table and disappeared in a matter of seconds. Simple butter lettuce salads and a platter of charcuterie was nibbled away at as we discussed how ballerinas spin without getting dizzy, whether it would ever stop raining, and how delicious the Jambon de Paris was.

We all then went our separate ways: maman and papa had a rich and classic coq au vin; B with a perfectly juicy chicken breast; T ordered pan-seared scallops; and I had moules frites. Well, we shared the frites.

Classic French food, cooked flawlessly, carefully, and served with a smile, this late-night post-theatre dinner at Bar Boulud made the perfect pre-Christmas family treat.

Bar Boulud, 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Friday, 18 December 2015

5 Things & 3 More

5 happy things from a challenging week:

1. Running with friends
2. B's Mexican Lasagna invention
3. Our advent calendar finally arrived (thank you maman!)
4. Fairy lights on the Christmas tree
5. Counting down until my family arrive on Tuesday...

3 things to read, watch and listen to this weekend:

2. Serial is back. I'm not sure it's better than ever. But it's back.

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Easy Peasy Mince Pies

Despite the American love and obsession with pies, which range from wobbly pumpkin, to comforting apple, lattice-topped, crumble-topped, or bare and open, the British Christmas mince pie is something which has gone unnoticed in these fair lands.

With only two weeks to Christmas, our tree standing proudly in the middle of our apartment, Christmas tunes playing in the background, and a break from work desperately needed, I set about making a cheat's batch of mince pies.

I didn't stray from my usual path of following Dan Lepard's dark and rich mincemeat recipe, which, miraculously, can be started and ready for putting in pies in just a couple of hours, and Lily Vanilli's ever reliable sweet shortcrust pastry. When tea time rolled around, these star-topped mince pies had been dusted with icing sugar and were ready to be drizzled with cream and a dash of brandy. My favourite Christmas treat, and a nostalgic taste of home. Only our families were missing from a perfect December afternoon.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

5 Things & 3 More

5 happy moments from this week:

1. The lines of Christmas trees on Park Avenue.
2. Fancy drinks with friends old & new.
3. Fabulous pizza at Bruno.
4. Christmas music in the office.

3 things to read over this warm December weekend:

1. It's all sunshine and giggles in an interview with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
2. More and more Ample Hills ice-cream can only be a good thing.
3. Panettone French Toast is definitely going to be this year's Christmas breakfast staple.

Have a magical weekend! We're off to buy out first Christmas tree. I am so excited.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Bushwick Wanderings

We spent the better part of a rainy day strolling the streets of Bushwick, snapping away at all the art plastered to each and every wall, fueled by Roberta's pizza and topping up our energy levels with some pretty caffeine from the fabulously chic AP Café. With so much colour on all the building, Bushwick feels alive and active even on a grey December day.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

5 Things & 3 More

5 happy moments from this week:

1. Eating all the Honey & Co chocolate and pistachio cookies I baked at the weekend.
2. Getting rid of my cough.
3. B's spontaneous date night.
4. Finally, finally making it to a yoga class. 
5. That moment when the rain finally stopped.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. One day I will live in a French château and we'll have an olive harvest lunch too.
2. This bacon, egg and brussels carbonara will be gracing our dinner table one weeknight soon.
3. The story of Caitlin Doughty, an Artisanal Undertaker, really made me think.

Happy first weekend of December! Time to get these Christmas tunes playing!


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Fine & Raw Chocolate Factory

After lunching at Roberta's pizza I'd already been convinced that Bushwick was my new favourite New York 'hood. After devouring so many irresistible slices of pizza pie we walked round the corner to Fine & Raw's chocolate factory: if lunch hadn't been enough, this store ensured that Bushwick really had won me over.

All the chocolate made in this Bushwick factory is deemed 'raw' as the whole bean to bar process is completed under a set temperature. This, according to Daniel Sklaar, the owner and chief chocolatier, maintains the chocolate's essential, natural flavours which can be lost when over-heated and over-processed.

Fine & Raw's chocolates range from a silky smooth truffle chunky, to an exotic smoked sea salt bar, to delicate and beautiful handmade truffles: everyone will find their new favourite square of chocolate in this store. And the packaging will make sure you can't leave without at least a couple of different variations stowed away in your bag.

Next time I'll be going when I'm less full of pizza so I can make the most of their amazing smelling hot chocolate. And I'll be definitely be unable to leave the shop again without a pot of that chocolate dulce de leche - my Sunday morning waffles are feeling a little lonely without it.

Fine & Raw Chocolate, 288 Seigel Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Roberta's Pizza

There is no question that Roberta's pizza is the definition of a hipster haven. Drawing hungry people from far and wide to the definitely-still-up-and-coming neighbourhood of Bushwick, they're serving up the best pizza in Brooklyn -- perhaps even the best pizza in New York -- whilst also growing their own produce on a rooftop garden, making honey from their own bees which feed off their own plants, broadcasting all my favorite New York radio shows in their studio out the back, and baking their own bread.

12.30pm on Thanksgiving weekend and the place was already packed out. Being just 2 of us, we squeezed in to the only spaces left on a communal table. Larger parties were left to roam Bushwick until there would be space for them in 90 minutes. Maybe not ideal on a rainy Saturday, but definitely worth the wait. And there's plenty of wall art to discover on the streets around and about in that enforced free time.

It was our first visit so we stuck to the pizza. We admired the beautiful dishes that were ordered by the girls next to us, and vowed that next time we'd go with emptier stomachs to make space for some of them too.

2 perfectly charred pizzas soon arrived at our table. The Lil' Stinker was covered in tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, double garlic (unsure of what that means, but it tastes really good), onion and pepperoncini pepper. Perfectly spicy, a little bit sweet - an absolute winner. The other choice, the Good Girl, was covered in salty, crispy kale, pork sausage, taleggio, and more garlic. There is no better way to eat kale than when charred, doused in cheese, and folded up inside the crust of a blackened, chewy, handmade pizza. 

Roberta's has jumped right to the top of our favourite New York places: they won our hearts serving up the best pizzas this side of the Atlantic in the hippest of spaces. We'll be back for more very, very soon. 

Roberta's, 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11206

Saturday, 28 November 2015

5 Things & 3 More

5 happy things from Thanksgiving week:

1. Wednesday night ice-cream at Ample Hills. We had a mountain of ice-cream. It was amazing.
2. A Thanksgiving feast.
3. Commuting on an empty subway.
4. Bubbles.
5. Using our new made-with-our-own-hands pottery.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. Another reason to walk rather than take the subway in NYC.
2. Why it's okay that in my head Jennifer Lawrence really is Katniss Everdeen.
3. Freya took more stunning photos of her most recent trip to India.

Happy weekend! 


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Pure Thai Cookhouse

Last Friday evening we made our Broadway début. Before we took our seats to watch Keira, coincidentally, also make her Broadway début, playing the lead role in the bleakly intense story of Thérese Raquin, we needed some pre-theatre fodder to sustain us through the melodrama.

Our hopes of a comforting, nourishing bowl of Ippudo's ramen were dashed when we arrived at 5.45 to be told the wait would be at least 2 hours. My maths told me that that would mean we would be taking our first slurp as Keira was taking her first stomp across the stage. Not ideal. The back up plan was Pure Thai Cookhouse, just around the corner. There, the wait was 30 minutes i.e. just enough time for a glass of wine at Ardesia before two seats would be ready for us.

After a well spent half hour we wiggled in to our two seats at the slim wooden bar which runs down one side of this tiny Thai restaurant. The small open kitchen at the front is filled with woks, huge pots, and lots of people, cooking up an authentic storm in an authentic looking kitchen, for all the customers to see. If we had been outside, if it had been hot, and if we hadn't been surrounded by Americans, we could have been back at our favourite Bangkok restaurant, Jok's, which we reminisce about every time Thai food comes our way.

B sipped on a Chang beer, noting that it perhaps didn't taste quite as good when not drunk in situ. Luckily this wasn't the case for the food which was just as packed full of spices, crunch, and heat as it was when cooked by a man named Jok who has just one giant wok, and was eaten on a plastic chair in a street in the middle of a hectic Thai city.

The classic wok basil with chicken was fragrant with holy basil and garlic, the sauce soaked up by freshly steamed rice, the green beans adding colour and crispness to a warming bowl of comfort food. B selected the special of the day: thinly sliced steak with basil, omelette, and a good dose of chili. Every mouthful was quickly gobbled up. We resisted the sticky coconut rice for dessert and said a sad goodbye to the fantastically friendly, smiley, efficient waitress as we braced ourselves for the cold outside and a harrowing two and a half hours of Broadway theatre.

Pure Thai Cookhouse, 766 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

Saturday, 21 November 2015

5 Things & No More

It's been a week that was filled with work. And then also a cold. And lots of headaches. But there have been some happy moments amongst the stress:

1. Board games with B.
2. Ricola cough sweets.
3. Late afternoon hot apple juice.
4. Kamel's matcha baccio.
5. Making Christmas plans.

There hasn't been any time for reading this week, apart from keeping up with the tragic Paris news. I promise to have some things to share with you next Friday.

Have a magical weekend! x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Mid-November at Prospect Park Farmers' Market

My freedom of being unemployed was rather abruptly snatched away from me 2 weeks ago. I turned up on a Wednesday afternoon for an interview, and I have been in the office ever since. This seems to be how New York works: there's no pause, no time for reflection, it's one crazy rush from one thing to the next, with only enough time to grab a coffee to sustain you in between.

So I will no longer be spending my weekday mornings perusing the quiet, relaxed Farmers' Markets. Instead, I'll be following the crowds to the markets on a Saturday morning, fighting my way through to reach the stalls, standing in line waiting to pay, moving from stand to stand as quickly as possible to make sure I get my hands on one of those last butternut squash.

With cold hands wrapped around a hot apple cider (non-alcoholic for you confused Brits who think I've taken to drinking hot cider early on a Saturday November morning), I filled a bag with beautifully red apples. The small tags detailing the varietal origin, the taste, the best use for them are so amazing: we spent a little while discussing which ones would suit our plans best. This week, Winesap were selected for baking, and Candy Crisp were chosen for munching on on the way home. 

Long stems of sprouts remind you that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. We resisted for now but it won't be long before we're cooking these up until they're crisp and bright with hazelnuts and bacon.

Apples dominate nearly all the stands. The presence of apple related products continues to grow as the weeks go by: apple cider, apple sauce, apple butter, apple pies, toffee apples... It's hard to not just ignore everything else and eat your weight in apple by-products for the rest of the week.

Root vegetables in all the colours of the rainbow are piled into astoundingly tall towers. I'm always slightly fearful that if I pick up a bunch of beets the rest are going to come toppling down and bury me under the circular roots and long leaves.

The sugar snap peas looked like the perfect antidote to all the wintery-vegetables, but we questioned their seasonality and left them there for a less suspicious customer. As we were leaving B found an aubergine eggplant as big as his head (excuse the post-run outfit here!): who knew that this country created supersize vegetables as well as fizzy drinks sodas, burgers and steaks?

Prospect Park Greenmarket, Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11238
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