Honey and
Ricotta
a food journal

Friday, 16 December 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. Leftover pear & chocolate crumble.
2. Watching the Nets win!
3. Fine & Raw chocolate treats.
4. A hot, hot shower after a long, cold run.
5. Thursday night margarita.

3 things to read over the weekend:

1. The pineapple obsession continues with this pink one.
3. Once my current therapuetic needlework project is done, I think I should try this supersize version.

Have a beautiful, festive weekend friends!

X

Monday, 12 December 2016

The City Bakery's Hot Chocolate


As soon as the temperature drops in NYC, the line at City Bakery grows. All for one very good reason: the hot chocolate. Often voted the best in the city (I haven't tried enough other places to confirm this), on a cold, snowy December day, the queue snakes round the counter, and the man whizzing up the hot chocolate to order is getting messier and more hectic as the bundled up customers continue to stream in.



Never order anything bigger than a small — you really won't be able to finish it. And always pay the extra dollars for the marshmallow. It may seem excessive to pay that much for some spongey sugar to sit on top of your liquid chocolate, but it's totally not. The chocolate is rich, sweet, thick, and luxuriously smooth. The icing sugar coated marshmallow floats like the lightest, fluffiest snowball on the dense drink. It melts slowly, quickly covering you in a light dusting of sugar, and testing your hot chocolate drinking abilities as you try to eat it and drink the molten chocolate on the New York streets. On a cold East Coast winter day, this hot chocolate really is the best medicine.

The City Bakery, 3 W 18th Street, New York, NY 10011

Sunday, 11 December 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 working days:

1. Watching the Nets win! Finally!
2. Spicy, citrus-y curry laksa.
3. Early nights.
4. Walking through the Christmas trees on the sidewalk.
5. A new spoon sweater. 

3 things to read this Sunday evening:

1. Listen to (and read) this Garance Doré podcast for some women-in-food inspiration.
2. I'm assuming the Twin Peaks cookbook will make an appearance somewhere under this year's Christmas tree. 
3. Must bake this beautiful poached pear gingerbread cake very soon.

Sunken Hundred


Restaurants on Smith Street seem to either open and fizzle out into nothingness in under 5 minutes, or they open and are wildly popular and will be there for the forever future. Despite opening as the first 'Welsh' restaurant anyone in Brooklyn has ever heard of, Sunken Hundred has, since its first day of service earlier this year, managed to achieve the latter status. At 6.30 on a Friday it was already bustling, drinks were being poured, and food was whizzing out the kitchen.


And no, before you ask, the menu isn't just Welsh Rarebit, Glamorgan sausage, and Bara Brith (although they do make an appearance). It's filled with seafood, seaweed-tainted dishes, and warming (necessary both here and in the Welsh countryside), seasonal, vegetable-rich sides and salads. With a drinks order in (one huge glass of red wine, one beer, and one dark rye cocktail), we picked out all the non-shellfish foods on the menu (B is supposedly 'allergic'), and watched them all steadily appear on our table over the evening.


Croquettes were crisp and fishy and perfect dipped in a mustard sauce. Fish churros (described as the most 'Instagram-able' dish on the menu, so obviously we were sold) were genius: all the flavors and textures you want from classic fish and chips in one fried mouthful. A lamb pasty was how pasties should be, with crisp pastry and a flavorful interior — a far cry from the pasty scent which fills most British train stations. The squid was pretty and sweet, while the mushroom salad was earthy and autumnal, and the ffagodau (meatballs on minty peas) are what I'll be eating for the rest of winter


And obviously we ended with pan fried Bara Brith with rum and walnut ice cream. Twice. Because when a group of runners go out together, one dessert between three is simply not enough.


Sunken Hundred strikes the perfect balance between curated, carefully crafted food, comforting, homey dishes, a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and prices that mean this really can become a neighborhood local. 

Sunken Hundred, 276 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Saturday, 3 December 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. Snuggly jumper.
2. Butternut squash risotto.
3. New music.
4. Misty mornings in the park.
5. Weeknight negroni.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. Meditating while washing up is something I can get on board with.
2. Apparently Nestlé has invented a magical kind of sugar. It doesn't sound wise to me, but maybe I'm being to cynical.
3. Tokyo in the snow is so beautiful.

Rest well friends!

X

Friday, 2 December 2016

Marzipan & Sea Salt Mandel Bread


With advent calendars being opened every morning, a scarf wrapped round my neck every single day, and the evenings getting more and more depressingly dark, it's high time to embrace the holiday festivities. Whether this means Champagne and party dresses, mulled wine and mince pies, or bobble hats and blankets is up to you... But to me, it means an imminent trip home, hiding inside with a glass of wine every evening, and an endless supply of biscuits. Or cookies. Depending on what side of the ocean you're on. And Molly Yeh's mandel bread is just the ticket.

This biscotti-style treat is filled with chunks of marzipan and dark chocolate, sprinkled with sea salt, and cooked until crisp, with the slightest hint of softness in the center. Obviously brightly colored sprinkles are optional, unless you're me. And as an extra incentive to get in the kitchen, these sweet treats would make the best gift, whether it's for your host, your sister, or a little thank you to yourself. Let's get baking!

You can find the recipe here. And if you haven't got Molly Yeh's book yet, add it to your Christmas list now.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

5 Things & 3 More


It was a short week thanks to the interruption of Turkey Day, but it will still an exhausting one. Here are my 5 happy moments from the last 5 days:

1. Sharing Thanksgiving with wonderful friends.
2. A giant glass of red wine after a long, non-stop day in the office.
3. Spending time in the kitchen. Now that work is busy, cooking has become my therapy.
4. Beating all my running expectations in Thursday's Turkey Trot.
5. The colorful, love-filled post-its in Union Square Subway.

3 things to read on this lazy Sunday:

1. Ridiculing, and then admiring, the Moon Juice cookbook.
2. If you're not a runner, here's one more reason why you should be.
3. Do you talk to yourself out loud or in your head? Maybe this will help understand why you do. And don't worry, you're definitely not the only one.

Grand Army Bar


Grand Army Bar was one of the places on my New York summer bucket list that never got crossed off. So rather than going on a warm summer's night, where the windows are wide open, and cocktails are served in ceramic pineapples, we instead went on a cold November evening, where pineapples are swapped for elegant glasses filled with serious, smoky cocktails, and a roaring fire warms the room.

We sat at the oyster bar (despite skipping the oysters) and ordered one Smoking Gun for B (because he knows how to order a drink) and one Pineapple Primary for me (because I can't quite accept that it's winter yet). The Smoking Gun was as serious, smoky, and soothing as a drink made up of aged rum, pot still black rum, toasted cinnamon, whisky, and bitters should be. This is what I intend to sip by the fire all winter long. I just need to find a fire. And while the Pineapple Primary was initially disappointing due to the lack of pineapple serving vessel, it's fresh, slightly spiced, citrus-sour flavors more than made up for it. More fruity cocktails need to be topped with pepper tincture and pink peppercorns. We sipped our way to the bottom of the glasses, debated having another, and, it being the day after Thanksgiving, decided against it. A healthy, turkey-free dinner at home and early night beckoned.

Grand Army Bar, 366 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Saturday, 19 November 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. Fresh ginger tea.
2. Making it to yoga. And having a leg which has healed enough to actually do some poses.
4. Thanksgiving planning.
5. Pink morning skies.

3 things to read over the weekend:

2. Shine your inner light bright: it's getting dark and cold and the holidays are coming, so it's time to stand tall and be yourself.
3. I'll be eating these fried Brussels sprouts all winter long.

Happy weekend!

X

Friday, 18 November 2016

Creamy Cocoa and Sweet Potato Soup


When you work for a soup start-up, your life becomes more focused on soup than you could possibly imagine. Trying to think of something to make for dinner other than soup is like trying to win the final of a Spelling Bee. I dream about soup, write about soup, eat soup, and that Mighty Boosh song is stuck on a loop in my head. 

I'm not complaining — I'm just trying to convey the all-encompassing nature of soup start-up life. The fact that I get to spend two hours every Monday morning filming a Facebook Live of my boss making soup is a total dream. Writing about mindful eating and living every week is hugely refreshing after so many slideshows about tailgating. And it means I can eat delicious soups for lunch every day of the week.

In my second week on the job, we celebrated Halloween with this sweet dessert-style soup. Steamed sweet potatoes are mixed with cocoa, coconut milk, a dash of chili, and served over black rice. Yep, don't worry, I was skeptical too. But it's delicious. It's like rice pudding but with chocolate and natural sweetness and chewier, less jelly-like rice. I've been craving it ever since, and think it may have to make an appearance at the breakfast table on Sunday morning. It's so simple, can genuinely be made in 20 minutes (we proved that here), and will fuel your day with so much energy and goodness. Happy souping!

You can find the recipe here, but if you are a keen souper, buy Nicole's book here.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy moments from the last 6 working days

1. Weeknight dinner at Wildair.
2. Sunrise and sunset over the water on the North Fork.
3. Tagliatelle.
4. Sunrise and daylight on early morning runs.
5. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

3 things to read on this slow Sunday:

1. Fall-perfect baking inspiration, because all Sundays need cake.
2. Nicole of Splendid Spoon wrote some beautiful words about uniting and bridging the divides this election has revealed.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Apple Cider Cakes


Surrounded by falling leaves, crisp air, blue skies, and blustery winds, I caught sight of these adorable mini apple cider bundt cakes in the Sunday Suppers cookbook, and immediately knew what I would be baking that weekend.

These pretty bundtlettes are entirely vegan, made using apple sauce and apple cider instead of any milk or eggs, and your preferred oil instead of butter. Far from tasting like a healthy vegan-take on cake, these mini treats are almost unbelievably light, insanely fluffy, and are as comforting as your favorite, super soft winter scarf. Coated in cinnamon sugar (a fall essential), and eaten alongside a cup of spiced chai tea, you will have created the most wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. Apple pie and upstate apples provided by a thoughtful friend.
2. Being busy. It means I haven't had a moment to talk to y'all, but it sure is better than being bored.
3. Lasagna. B made a huge homemade lasagna on Sunday and we've bean eating through it all week.
4. Caring friends. I fell rather badly out running with the club on Thursday morning and have been showered with kind texts and emails checking on me ever since.
5. Savasana. This was just what I needed at the end of the working week.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. A complete guide of where to find the best pie in NYC.
3. Lauren Conrad's home surely embodies every girls' kitchen dreams.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Long Island Bar


"How come it took you over a year to visit one of the best, most highly-praised, most talked about bars in the city, which is only 5 blocks from your apartment?", is a question I'll never have a good answer to. "We never had the right occasion." Not true. "We didn't have any money." True, but that didn't stop us going out for a drink every now and again. "It never felt like the right time." Probably the closest. But in reality, there is no good answer. Sometimes, things just slip further and further down the must-do list until days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years. But finally, with the excuse of celebrating the final day at what was a less-than-happy job, we stepped foot inside The Long Island bar for the first time.

At 6pm on a Friday, we were (stupidly, in hindsight) concerned we may be the only people there. But it was already packed, so we grabbed one of the last booths and snuggled up in the warm, buzzing, welcoming, retro bar, packed with happy weekend-ing locals. 

We stuck with the classics (or twists on them), and spent the evening sipping on two totally perfect, wonderful examples of how fantastic cocktails can be (without being colorful, pretentious, or ridiculously over-priced). A white Negroni sbagliato for me and a whiskey soda with a shiso leaf  for B. They were both serious, but not too intimidatingly so, both balanced, both strong, and both capable of convincing us that we need to spend more time drinking fancy cocktails, especially on a Friday night at the Long Island Bar.

The Long Island Bar, 110 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Friday, 21 October 2016

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. B's butternut squash risotto.
2. The changing leaves on the trees in Prospect Park.
3. Ginger and turmeric tea.
4. A weekday negroni.
5. Marzipan biscotti with my coffee.

3 things to read over the weekend:

1. Trying to understand just how much the Great British Bake Off has changed the way the UK bakes.
2. Maybe it's not so disastrous that I've already had 5 jobs since leaving university... In defense of of being a job hopper.
3. Discussing politics with friends is always tricky, is it best to fight it out, or abstain from the topic completely?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Storm King Art Center


Taking a break from the endless eating and baking today, to share a few photos from our trip to Storm King Art Center. Last Sunday we caught a bus which drove us upstate (to the part on the far side of the Hudson), where the leaves are currently at their most stunning, the skies are blue, the air is clean, and there's so much space to breathe. This outdoor sculpture center is one of the most spectacular art galleries I have ever visited. Especially when the artworks blend and contrast with the rusting trees. And even more so when, just before we hopped on the coach to return to the city, golden hour strikes.



























Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553





Monday, 17 October 2016

al di la Trattoria


After many, many job applications, long periods of deep, dark silence, a handful of responses, some inspiring networking and meetings, challenging interviews, and finally an offer from the loveliest people working at a soup-er (sorry) wonderful company, we had some relieved 'I found a new job!' celebrating to do. Our initial idea was to follow our normal celebratory routine and head down the block to Rucola, but this excuse for fancier-than-normal meal out seemed too good to not pay a visit to al di la Trattoria, which has been sitting on my list of restaurants to visit for quite a while.


We walked up through Park Slope, planning, discussing, and jumping with excitement about my future life, until we reached the warm, cozy, vaguely disheveled (in a beautiful, European, curated way) restaurant. The specials were recited to us by our quietly charming waiter while we sipped on satisfyingly sizable glasses of Prosecco.

al di la was filled with a refreshing mixture of people. From local Park Slope families, to a very small birthday celebration, to one man sitting alone, quickly slurping through his giant plate of spaghetti, to couples young and old, to joyful groups of friends, everyone from all over the neighborhood was here with the joint mission of seek out some comforting Italian food, perhaps a glass (or two) of wine, and a couple of hours away from home.


We began with a grilled sardine (B is currently obsessed thanks to this tinned sardine experience in the summer) served on some fresh arugula, and a citrusy cavolo nero salad filled with giant croutons, huge shavings of Parmigiano, and a salty anchovy vinaigrette.


After being told we were over-ordering when we initially asked for two pastas, we reeled our pasta-obsession in to have only the tortelli di zucca. I love tortelli di zucca. If I could just eat one dinner for the whole of autumn, it would be this. Delicate parcels of pasta had been filled with sweet pumpkin and creamy mascarpone, and topped with crispy sage and grated parmesan. Pasta is the best.


But we weren't done yet. Next was the day's special which was genuinely all of B's favorite things on one plate. Creamy polenta formed the base, a glazed pork chop sat on top, and buttery Brussels sprouts, more Parmigiano, and a sprinkling of parsley were scattered over the whole plate. It was rich, fatty, salty, crispy here, super soft there, and a perfect example of how polenta really can be wonderful if it's made with enough butter and cheese.

We skipped on dessert (there was still funfetti cake at home), finished off the last few sips of Primitivo, and meandered home through the friendly streets of Park Slope.

al di la Trattoria, 248 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
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