I know I’ve blogged about this local gem (Co-Pane) before so I won’t go on about it, but O and I met a couple of friends here who are visiting from London and they loved it. The pizza here is amazing – tonight I had a daily special of pizza topped with roasted cauliflower cheese – sounds odd but I assure you it was yummy. We will definitely be taking the family here for a casual, delicious supper when they land in December. I can’t wait.
Today O and I went to New Jersey, Hoboken, to visit a couple of friends who have recently had the most adorable baby boy. We met up by the river, with its stunning views of Manhattan and popped into a local haunt called Trinity for brunch. Afterwards we had a walk along the river and a bit of an explore of the High Street (which looks very like a British High Street). It was all very lovely and quiet (you could tell you’d left Manhattan) and full of families. A lovely day out.
With only two weeks left until the arrival of Baby Egan I’ve been trying to be productive and getting organised for when the chaos arrives. According to all of our lovely friends who have just become parents, the first few weeks are very, very tough with little time for anything including eating. One friend told me she regularly eats a spoonful of peanut butter for lunch as it’s all she has time for. Now although I love peanut butter as much as the next person I’m not sure I would be able to cope with this as one of my main meals of the day. With this in mind I have spent the last week in the kitchen rustling up delicious, nutritious food that I have frozen, ready to be re-heated when I’m having a particularly difficult day with the baby. I hoping this organisation pays off in a few weeks…
Today two of our lovely friends popped around for tea and cake. I rustled up some oatmeal and raisin ‘Hummingbird Bakery’ cookies which I served warm from the oven. They went down very well with a good old cup of ‘builders’ tea. I also served my favourite Belvoir Elderflower drink. It was so great to catch up on all of the Thanksgiving madness (They had been to Macy’s at 11pm the previous night to take advantage of Black Friday savings) and enjoy a taste of home. Afterwards O and I meandered down the road to Chelsea Market to start looking at the different stalls for Christmas – you have to order a lovely organic turkey early you know. We stopped off at the newly opened ‘Artichoke Pizza’ intending to have a quick slice. We ended up having a 24 inch (very good value) and taking half home in a doggy bag, enough for another meal: that’s the way to do it in NYC.
Today is traditionally when the shops break even and therefore, “go into the black”, hence the rather sinister name “Black Friday”. In reality this is a bit like Boxing Day at home, i.e., when all of the sales start. There are absolutely mad deals to be had if you don’t mind getting up at 4am to start your shopping. O and I had no intention of doing any of this, so instead took advantage of the long weekend and had a stroll around the lovely Nolita. After looking in various cool boutiques we had a tasty lunch at the newly opened and super stylish Tartinery. It’s basically a modern version of a traditional French Bistro and serves yummy soups, salads and the main event – Tartines (open sandwiches). With it’s very cool interior, service with a smile and delicious food, this is a must lunchtime visit.
The shops were closed, the streets were pretty much deserted and everyone had a smile for each other as they passed one another on the subway carrying bags of yummy treats and flowers to their various destinations. It actually felt like Christmas Day. This was our first Thanksgiving Day since moving to Manhattan and it didn’t disappoint. O and I crossed the bridge to Dumbo, Brooklyn where we gathered at a friend’s apartment with a merry old bunch of people. There was lots of yummy food, far too much wine (I did have a sneaky glass of Champagne), copious chat (we were all Brits celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time and kept comparing it to Christmas back home in an absolute good way) and huge, huge laughs – especially with the acting round of “Who’s in the bag?”. When it got to 11:30pm (we had all been there since 4pm) we thought we should all make a move to get back to the island…that was until the cheese course and my chutney appeared. Then, in true Christmas Day style we continued to fill our overfull bellies with more scrumptious delights, returning home a stone heavier! An absolutely blissful day, thank you, thank you Mel and Joe x
With our family all living in the UK, O and I were slightly worried that Baby Egan might not know or recognise who his actual extended family is (and there are quite a few members). In order to overcome this hurdle we decided to dedicate a whole wall of our apartment to photos of us and our family throughout the years, including some gems of our grandparent’s wedding day. I’ve always loved the idea of a photo wall, chicly displaying all of those special moments in one place. We went through hundreds of photos and decided on a select few, had them all professionally printed in different sizes, put them into gallery white frames and organised them in a haphazard, yet mathematically symmetrical way (a huge, huge challenge involving lots of measuring, calculations and the spirit level). It looks superb and personalises the big white space brilliantly. In fact never mind Baby Egan, O and I can’t help looking at it and smiling. We love our special family.
Since it’s now less than three weeks until the arrival of Baby Egan, O and I are taking full advantage of our last days as a couple. Last night we braved the cold, nipped out and ate at one of our favourite local restaurants ‘Trestle on Tenth’ where they have a special fondue night every Sunday during the winter. Now this is my idea of heaven. A whole meal based around cheese and bread. In their words: “Served in traditional Swiss style, guests can warm up with a bubbling blend of spicy Gruyère, nutty Emmentaler and creamy Vacherin cheeses served alongside speck, bündnerfleisch, steamed potatoes, cornichons and baguette. Paired with the Swiss wine of the grape variety Chasselas, black tea or shots of Kirschwasser – and some good company – itʼs the Swiss solution to keeping cozy this cold season.” There’s something incredibly romantic about snuggling up in a warm and cosily lit restaurant sharing a meal when the temperature is cold outside. A Swiss solution I love.
After nipping out in the local area for some shopping I came home to the most magnificent surprise… all of my lovely girl friends had secretly gathered (with the assistance of O) in our apartment and decorated it with banners and balloons, laid on the most delicious spread of cheese, cakes, brownies etc., wrapped the most beautiful presents and jumped out shouting “surprise” as I walked through the door. Surprised was exactly what I felt and also very, very emotional (there was a tear or two as you can imagine). Hours of eating, drinking and opening of beautiful gifts followed. I had the most delightful afternoon and feel truly blessed to have made such beautiful, generous friends. Thank you, thank you to you all.
Last night O and I had an impromptu visit from a friend whom we invited to stay for a spot of supper. Luckily I had rustled up a delicious meal from one of my favourite restaurants and cook book: Leon Ingredients and Recipes. I served their yummy and healthy super food salad (quinoa, broccoli, peas, sprouts, toasted seeds and feta), my favourite Leon dish; sweet potato falafel and homemade hummus and flat bread. This was one of those meals that you find absolutely delicious and you finish your plate feeling virtuous due to its health credentials. There were thumbs up all around and I’m guessing there might be a few more Friday night visits to come…