Yep, we just had to go to the Elle Bookclub again. I love books and food, so when they put on a book club with Ruby from last years Great British Bakeoff, the promise of drinks and a copy of her new book, how can you not buy a ticket? The evening itself was so so, the venue was just too warm and they only served Baileys and some scary looking sweet canapes, which is not a favorite of mine. But I do like the book! It's a book with a lot of useful information and really nice recipes as well. You really feel like you learn something while you flip through the pages, and there are several things I would love to make. Most of all the lemon curd rolled "pavlova". It looks like a dream come true.
I really love Sunday nights, it's like the last moments of the weekend and you can do whatever you want without any guilt. Sounds good? I might have just had some chocolate cake, browsed eBay for random stuff and read some blogs. I'm even thinking of going to bed very very soon, although I like staying up as late as possible so that I don't miss out on any guilt free time. Tomorrow it's back to real life and real to do lists.
This week was.... long? Working from home is always a challenge, as motivating yourself is really something that is hard to do. Or is that just me? Little breaks must be had and the gym should be the first place I go, but local cafes and B&Q (I know, weird) are much more inviting, isn't that always so. At least there was time for the internet, a good friend.
Feel like finding out your typing speed? Check out this site.
This song. On repeat.
Mmmmm, fattoush salad is so good, maybe dinner on Sunday? And these for dessert. Why don't they sell them everywhere??
Ideally, I would like to get one of these prints for our hallway, but I think the $1000 price tag makes that pretty much a dream that won't come true. I also need to get myself to this doughnut shop as soon as possible.
This store is like a girls dream come true. Confetti? Always.
Autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of year and thinking about how much I like autumn made me think of what I love most right now and being a list-lover, I wrote it all down, as you do. So, what is making me happy?
Clean sheets, is it just me or is that clean sheets feeling pure bliss? Falling into a newly made up bed makes me sleep so much better. If I didn't find it so boring to change our sheets I would do it every day.
Hot chocolate, the drink of cold evenings and days filled with rain. At lest it should be. I am trying to cut down on dairy so I am currently drinking hot chocolate made with almond milk and yeah, it's not the same as the normal kind, but its not bad either.
Creative baking and cooking
Knitted sweaters and wool socks
Pictures of cute animals
The other part of New Orleans that was recommended to us was the Garden District, and going there ment taking a street car (yeee). Very different from The French Quarter, the Garden District is known for it's big houses and also for the cemetery. There were tour guides outside the cemetery, ready to guide you through the graves but we passed on that one.
We were desperately unlucky with the weather and 15 minutes after we got off the streetcar it started pouring down and we had to seek refuge in the first place we found, which was a bar. Where we sat for at least 30 minutes, decided we wanted to get going, went out into the rain, regretted it, and went into the first cafe we saw. Great start to the day really. At least everywhere had free wifi and we read the news and chatted while we drank our coffees.
And then hunger got to us and the rain started to subside so we went in search of vegetables. And instead we found Mexican. Now, I think this is my favourite cuisine, so I was happy. Have you ever been to a restaurant and it depresses you that you can't order the whole menu? That's how I felt at the Rum Shack. But we got some pulled pork nachos and a section of tacos and ate until we could not eat more. Portion size in the south are a challenge.
Deciding we had to walk off the nachos we went in a search for the streetcar again to get back to the French Quarter so we could walk really slowly by the river, but it was of course too warm and humid so we ended up in a shopping mall where we got started on the Christmas present shopping.
On our second day in New Orleans we decided it was appropriate to explore the French Quarter with a DIY walking tour. The lovely people in the tourist information (where we walked in to cool down in their air con for a couple of minutes) suggested we took a walk in the area and followed a map that outlied the sights. So we did. Although I would recommend doing this, be aware that you are just going to walk for hours to look at houses. They are beautiful and interesting, but it's still mostly houses.
After completing most of the walking tour we headed to the French Market, to see if there was anything we desperately needed to experience or purchase. It's the perfect place to try dee fried alligator if that is on your to do list.
Walking the market made us a bit hungry but I just couldn't stomach some of the local cuisine so we went to Johnny's Po'boys which is essentially a sandwich shop where you can also sit down. This place came highly rated on the internet and that warranted a meal there. Po'boys are "poor boys" and it is a sandwich that comes with one filling of your choice and if you want to you can also have it "dressed" with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Johnny's also serve up a lot of deep fried dishes and gumbo, you know, when I. New Orleans. We tried 2 different sandwiches and gumbo, and I have to say that the sandwich bread, although it did not look promising, was great! Crunchy crust, soft inside, filled with deep fried shrimp (I thought they were only fried as I spied the staff pan frying shrimp when ordering but no, of course they were deep fried) and "dressed". As always portions were quite big for us Europeans, but there was an option of wrapping up the leftovers to take with you for those who are so inclined. Which is also something we are unfamiliar with in Europe. The day I am asked if I want the rest of my dinner to go in a restaurant in London will be a very weird day indeed.
Image from Pinterest
Hello Friday, what a treat to see you. I am loving being back home, is that bad? Not that being away on holidays wasn't amazing, but there is something amazing about coming back home and just live all those weekdays, after all they are what life is mostly made of, right? Not that they can't be boring and that's when you go online to, yep, find some inspiration and cheer yourself up. I recommend Pinterest.
Love this, I want to plan a Crostini party! And a Halloween party with a sweets bar and this bat mobile! Get it?
Floorplans of famous TV apartments, wouldn't mind Carrie Bradshaw's place...
This is on my Christmas wishlist, sorry to get started on Christmas so early!
Wish I heard of cake pulling before we got married, would have so stolen this Southern tradition!
I wasn't aware that beignets were really a thing in New Orleans, but once the husband mentioned them they did sound a bit familiar. If I'm not wrong they are French doughnuts and the only place you should get them in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde. This place doesn't serve anything else really and they are known for their beignets and cafe au lait (half black chicory coffee, half hot milk). Which is exactly what I went for. I am exclusively into coffees that it will take you a bit of time to make, meaning they need to have steamed milk and a bit of elbow grease put into them. Not literally. But a black coffee or just a coffee with milk makes me a bit sad and I would rather just have water. A bit spoiled perhaps, but the amazing thing is I actually enjoyed the 50/50 coffee and milk mix. Who knew. And the beignets, well, what can you really say about deep fried dough buried beneath a mountain of powdered sugar? It's not going to be a bad review, is it? So yeah, it was good stuff. Maybe a bit heavy in the heat, but delicious nonetheless. Ahhhh, doughnuts. Love.
After a serious weekend of wedding celebrations (there was a mind blowing brunch that the brides parents house the day after the wedding where I managed to take only 2 pictures, and they are horrible) we headed off to the last part of our holiday (almost done guys, promise). We got on a another plane, and headed for New Orleans, Luisiana.
Neither myself or the husband had ever been to NOLA (=New Orleans, Luisiana), or most parts of the states for that matter, so we had no idea what to expect. I for one am pretty bad at checking out things like weather forecast, temperature and humidity when I travel, so I was in for a bit of an unpleasant shock. Black jeans and hot weather are not neseccarily friends but sometimes they just have to get along fine.
But let's get back to when we got to New Orleans and dropped our bags at the hotel and then went out in the French Quarter in a search for some food, preferably of the vegetable sort (I have never been so obsessed with eating enough vegetables as I was while on holiday in USA).
We dropped into one of the first places we came accross, called NOLA, and they had a table and looked promising so we gave it a try. It wasn't until a couple of days later we realised we had stumbled upon one of chef Emeril Lagasses restaurants. He is a big thing over there in the states, so it's time to be duly impressed by our visit to one of his restaurants. Look at us being all foodies even when we are in an unknown city.
Big name chef or not, I was sold the second I saw the words "chopped" and "salad" written on the menu. Normally I am all over a burger, which they also had, or a pizza or maybe a steak with fries. Yes, even for lunch. But it really had been days since I had seen a vegetable, so salad it was. And very finely chopped egg white is a bit weird, but the whole mix of things in a chopped salad is not a bad meal. Even a bit of chicken for protein, what more could you want? It's not something you often see on menus in Europe, but maybe it would be a nice addition? Or maybe I just love anything that is super finely chopped. The husband ordered confit duck pizza and I sneakily tried a small slice (weirdly enough he did not want to sample my salad) and gave it thumbs up. Crispy but also chevy base with shredded confit duck and rocket salad. Delicious.
After lunch we wandered a bit more in the French Quarter before the heat and humidity got to us and we had to retreat to our hotel and the soft caress of an airconditioned room with the addition of a ceiling fan. They are not joking around in NOLA. Funnily enough we watched a bit of The Food Network that afternoon and chef Emeril was showing off his skills. What are the odds.
After a quick bite at the airport in NYC we boarded a plane to Atlanta, Georgia, on our way to a wedding. One of my closest friends was getting married and we wanted to be there on her big day. Having never been to Georgia I wasn't sure what to expect really, but Reynolds Plantation was beautiful and the weather was not too hot or humid. The people were so friendly and lovely and the wedding was amazing. There were fireworks. Enough said.