Hot Apple Toddy

Apple Toddy

I have it on good authority that it’s started snowing today in London. As a kid I remember it snowing every year before things changed. Now in New York, you are guaranteed epic snowfalls on an annual basis; where epic = housebound blizzard.

While hot chocolate sufficed when I was a kid, as a grown up I’m all about the hot toddy. Any pub worth half it’s salt can make you a decent hot toddy – I remember one place actually sent their waiter out to buy some honey to make it right. But if you decide to make it at home, check out this recipe from readymade magazine for Spiced Apple Toddy.


* 1 baked apple
* 1.5 oz. Calvados Pays d’Auge (Busnel VSOP)
* 2 tsp. sugar { or honey }
* 3 oz. boiling water
* nutmeg


* Foil
* Muddler (or spoon)


1. To make the baked apple, peel, quarter, and core an apple (Braeburn or other seasonally appropriate variety). Dust apple quarters lightly with ground cinnamon and allspice. Wrap each quarter separately in foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. (To make slices to garnish glasses, cut another apple into ¼-inch slices and bake until just softened.)

2. Combine Calvados, apple, and sugar in a hot mug. Muddle apple (or mash it with a spoon), add boiling water, and stir until pulp dissolves. Lightly grate nutmeg on top.

Hope you enjoy!

image and recipe from readymade magazine


18th Century French Decadence

wildfox couture

Marie Antoinette’s alleged words ‘Let them eat cake’, revolutionised a country in turmoil – couple this with her decadent fashion and it’s no wonder that WildFox Couture has come out with a Marie Antoinette fashion spread that heavily features the element of food.

wildfox couture

The pictures are a little comical, faux decadent (teenage girls in wigs and t-shirts in a palatial West Coast home), and somewhat candid in style. I just love the fact that food is involved..

wildfox couture

Check out more at the wildfox couture blog.

images via ilovewildfox found via cellardoor/p>

Jamie Oliver’s fab new Iphone App..

jamies recipes

If you love to eat { which I suspect you do if you’re reading this blog }, and you have an Iphone or Ipod Touch then you will be glad to know that Jamie Oliver released his second Iphone app yesterday – Jamie’s Recipes. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?

I spent the better part of yesterday playing around with it and I must say of all the recipe apps i’ve tried, this one is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and practical.

To start with there are three videos – Jamie introducing you to the app, while standing in a bright light drool-worthy kitchen space, a lesson in knife skills that will save your pinky, { heaven knows I have had many a blood gushing knife incident in the kitchen in my lifetime..}, and a tutorial on how to place your chopping board. Jamie reassuringly walks you through this basics and get’s you set for what’s to come.

jamies recipesrecipes for free or downloadable packs for a fee

Next you have two options to select from – free recipes that come with the app or the option to download a ‘packet’ of ten recipes for $2.99. Recipe packets are varied, with categories such as ‘Brilliant Breakfast and Brunch’ to ’10 minute meals’ to ’20 minute vegetarian dishes’.

jamies recipesingredient listing that can be sent to a shopping list

Pictures of the finished product are incredibly well styled. Each comes with a summary of the dish, a list of what you will need in terms of both equipment and ingredients and a step by step ‘how-to’ guide with pictures. Then, and this is my favourite bit, with a quick click you can add all the ingredients to a shopping list for when you go to the supermarket.

jamies recipeshow-to directions

Last night, I found myself in bed, going through the Banoffee Banana Split recipe, adding it’s contents to my shopping list, then popping over to my Fresh Direct app and creating a request for the items to be delivered to my home..all from under my quilt!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have officially reached The Future.

This new app is so very easy to use, I highly recommend it and will be playing with it in the weeks and days to come. Let me know if you download it and make something delish!

images from

Barney’s foodie holiday

During winter, the windows of the various prominent NY department stores are an annual treat for many. People travel in from all over just to have a peek at the elaborate and flamboyant artistry that goes into creating a world and mood in a relatively small space. As a New Yorker, it’s easy to take the windows for granted and speed walk past them as tourists stroll at a snail pace ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

Barneys foodie holiday windowsthe female chef’s and personalities of the foodnetwork

This year however, I will have to make an exception as Barney’s windows commemorate a foodie holiday! I’m not going to lie the term ‘foodie’ sometimes makes me cringe, in large part due to the fact that I hear so many throwing it around, ‘Oh, i’m a foodie’ or ‘he knows where to eat as he IS a foodie’. Pfft. Whatev’s. My favourite foodie is Tracy Jordan in 30 Rock, ( as we discovered in the opening of season four ), because he looks like he’d eat just about anything, like deep fried turtle toes on a bun. Sheesh.

But I digress – the foodie culture isn’t all bad. People forming a snobbery about where the food comes from and how it is made, looking for ethical and healthy choices IS a good thing…just read the ingredient listing of most items in your supermarket – it can be scary. Doing your own cooking IS a good thing – controlling the content of salts, sugar, chemicals in your dish not to mention how relxaxing and therapeutic it can be.

barneys foodie holiday windowsthe male chef’s and personalities of the foodnetwork

Barney’s nod to the growing ‘foodie’ culture is of course, nothing short of glamorous…dah-ling! Many popular tv chef’s and personalities are honoured, Paul Dean, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain and more.

barneys foodie holiday
how cool is this illy ballgown??

Other windows make creative use of food packaging…I especially love the rather wonderful Illy coffee ballgown! So I will be toddling over to Barneys for a closer inspection before it get’s too cold!

{ thanks to liz for the heads up! }

images via zagat, habitually chic

Practical Conceptualism: Nacho Carbonell’s Crop Collection

crop collection

Nacho Carbonell’s work is always compelling. “I like to see objects as living organisms, imagining them coming alive and being able to surprise you with their behaviour” the Spanish born, Netherland based artist said; and his work titled Crop Collection reflects that concept well.

Intended to simulate a space inside a corn field – the crop collection consists of a group of port-hole styled, varying leg length boxes made from materials common to fields. The end result is an organic structure that fills a space without creating clutter.

It’s a concept art piece that could have practical application in the real word for those willing to accept the challenge. A sideboard, wall mounted shelves, a table – there are various things we use for storage in our kitchen. Regularly used objects reside at a height and accessibility that appeases us while lesser used but decorative things that we want seen as much as possible get relegated to the back of a shelf.

crop collection

Imagine a grouping of the Crop Collection to create a curated space of your nicest and most used kitchen pieces. It would probably look best against a bare wall (which I have in my somewhat galley kitchen ), and ideally against a shade that compliments the warm field maize tones. Or, if one’s kitchen was large enough – grouped in a space as some sort of structural art piece meets shelving system.

I can see it now – my moka in one crop box, a toaster in another, a smattering of vintage tea cups and saucers in the other and so on and so on. If only I had a nice large raw space kitchen to house these in. One can but dream!

images via nacho carbonell

Having Company – Anthro Style..

anthro's good companyIn this pic:
nifty napkins – $32 { for six } , nammoura dessert plates – $12 , rippled champagne flute – $14

The other day I came across this picture from the Anthropologie site that i’d bookmarked. I remember saving it for future viewing because I felt quite comforted by the atmosphere that emanated from it. This is by no means your typical table setting – it’s eclectically rustic { jute table cloth, wooden cheeseboard, fabric napkins }, juxtaposed against delicate prettiness, { rippled slender glasses, muted yet colourful plates }, in a room that appears to be lighted by a single light source, { subdued lighting is a fave of mine }.

I must say that this room looks more suited to the French or Italian countryside, and with that comes an almost overwhelming wave of gastro-memories. Apple tarts, cheeses and scallopped potatoes – all dishes that are in season now.

I hope that Anthro post more styled table settings in the future that reflect the season as well as this one does. Not to mention that its a great advert for their products!

image by anthropologie

The Beautiful Barbecoa

barbecoa B

Restaurants with interiors as compelling and beautiful as one’s plate are popping up all over. When the interior design vies for your attention as much as the cutlet in front of you it’s a place I know I want to be. Enter Jamie Oliver’s newest venture: Barbecoa.

I could go on about the plethora of grills and cooking methods that Barbecoa employs, { such as fire, smoke, charcoal and wood }, or even that they have an in-house butcher shop that provides efficiently butchered meats to the restaurant and sells local meat, poultry and game to the public. But really it’s ‘Our Jamie’, { in partnership with Adam Perry Lang of NY’s Daisy May fame }, so you know the eats can’t be far wrong.

Barbecoa interior

But for a minute have a gander at the sumptuous decor. The lighting design in this space is fantastic. From a medley of impressive light fixtures of varying wattage that look like they came from a sci-fi movie set to the variety of textures, { wood, metals, marble, concrete, leathers }, to the luxurious ‘lounge-ability’ of the pleated leather banquettes. The space doesn’t quite scream opulence, but rather whispers it rather hoarsely into your ear. It’s a treat; and it’s within reach.

barbecoa lights

The interior is to be credited to Tom Dixon, who is clearly evidenced to have a ‘thing’ for eye catching lighting and whatnot. His purposeful design is an array of nod’s and winks to the restaurant’s concept and location. The large pipe lights in the ceiling give a nod to the organ pipes of nearby St. Paul’s Cathedral, the cage banquettes structured like campfire seating. Cracked plaster walls invoke an Adobe environment – associated with good old fashion rustic cooking. It’s rather clever and definitely a place on my list for the next time I’m in London – if not for the eats, then definitely for the design.

images via we heart and barbecoa