May: The Best Of.

Hello everyone!

It’s so hard to believe that May is over. What a month! It’s been so busy hence the lack of blog posts however behind the scenes I have been busy working on some lovely blogs that I will be sharing with you all super duper soon! I’ve been working full time in my day job which obviously takes up most (if not all) of my time. I have also started back to personal training after my year off, I won’t go into detail as but if you are interested I am going to the lovely Shannon Reynolds at Scott McGarry Health and Fitness in Ahoghill.

So enough of the chat, on to the good stuff.

Best of the Noms

Okay, it’s no lie… I like my food! This month there were some eats that I just have to mention.

Our local coffee shop (Middletown) holds craft beer and supper night every so often and we were so incredibly lucky to bag some tickets for the latest one.

This time round it was a Thai themed cuisine with local craft beers paired with each course. Take a lookie at this for a menu!

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It reads well, but tasted even better.

Keep an eye out if you are from the local area for the next supper night… I might even see you there!

I had another lovely dinner on an evening out with our good friends Alison and Aidan (who have set a date for their wedding, all of the yays!). We went to The Barking Dog for dinner which was lovely but it was dessert and cocktails at Miel et Moi that really was the highlight of the evening!

Miel et Moi is a little licensed Patisserie on the Lisburn Road in Belfast that do yummy cocktails and even yummier patisserie. We got a little selection of goodies to share paired with a French Martini for me with everyone else opting for a G&T.

To be perfectly honest, I feel this the kind of place you would go with your girlfriends for a catch up and cake but the boys enjoyed it too (I think!).

Best of the Outfits

It hasn’t really been a month of dressing up really but I did love Alison’s and I’s outfits when we went out for dinner.

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Skirt: Miss Selfridge

Top: Topshop

Shoes Similar here

Bag: Christian Louboutin

Best of The Day Trips

Every May brings Balmoral Show and for those who aren’t familiar with Balmoral, it’s a huge agricultural show. I always look forward to it as I have been going to it with my Mum and Dad for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I participated in a number of Young Farmers competitions, mainly for floral art which is where my love of flowers sprung from I suppose!

It’s not all tractors and welly boots as I sense you drifting off… It’s jam packed full of local food, crafts, gardening ideas, entertainment and then some! In true noob form I didn’t take any photos, but take my word for it, it’s a great day out!

Best of the Pretty Things

As some of you may know I’m a brand rep for La De Da Living and I just cant get enough of their stuff. My favourite items this month are the hand stamped star and salad servers. You can get 15% off  on the La De Da Living website website with code ‘brandrep2’. Keep an eye out on my Instagram for more exciting pieces to come!

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I got a pretty print from Bill & Coo a while back but never got around to putting it into a frame. I did a little bit of shuffling about of prints and pictures this month and so here it is in all it’s glory! If you fancy a peep at Bill & Coo’s work work you can find it here!

Best of the Rest

I’m only going to mention this briefly as I spoken about it before but magazine in which my home was featured (eekkkk!) was published this month. If you fancy a look for yourself, it’s called Northern Ireland Homes and Lifestyle.

Thank you to everyone who tagged me in photos or sent me a snapchat with the mag and for all of the lovely comments I have received about it! Interiors are my passion so it was just lovely and humbling to be featured!

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That was May and so what has June in store I hear you ask? So far lots of plans with friends, hopefully some down time and no doubt a few surprises thrown in for good measure!

Have a great one you guys!

Much Love,

Judy xo

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The NYC Diaries: Where We Ate.

Kicking off my NYC Diaries, I thought I would start with food.

Okay, you can’t go to NYC without eating insanely crazy food. Seeing as this will probably be our last trip to NYC for a while, we decided to make the most of what the city had to offer!

Egg Shop, 151 Elizabeth St.

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As you can probably guess, eggs are speciality at Egg Shop. Located in the trendy Nolita (North of Little Italy) district, it’s squeezed nicely onto Elizabeth St with some other yummy places.

We found this little gem in our Cereal NYC guide, and I was made it a must do for the trip!

The interior was super cute, duck egg blue, greens and white. It felt fresh and had a great atmosphere. It seated probably around 20 at a push so I advise if you are going at weekends expect to wait for a little bit for a table.

I ordered a ‘Benedict’ with avocado on the side, Simon ‘The Beast’, which thinking back was quite a hilarious name. Of course there had to be sides too. They were the most delicious hash browns I have ever tasted in my life and fried chicken (the people next to us got this and we just had to :D). If you want to look at these items in more detail you can look at the menu.

I think this may have been one of my favourite meals, as I kept thinking about it on the flight home (lol).

 

Black Seed Bagel, 170 Elizabeth Street.

B Seed Bagel

I did say there were a few yummy places around Elizabeth Street, didn’t I? We didn’t visit the two places on the same day I promise. Located on the other part of Elizabeth St, you could throw a stone from Egg Shop to here.

Let me begin by saying, I have never had a bagel this good, and I probably never will again. This makes me sad.

These are hand rolled and wood baked bagels  with endless fillings and opportunities. I opted for a #9 Deli which translates in the real world as a Turkey with lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard on a poppyseed bagel. If you fancy perusing the options you can view the menu here.

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This place is super tiny, perfect for a grab and go sort of lunch but if you want somewhere to sit for hours this isn’t your spot.

Carnegie’s Deli, 7th Avenue at 55th St.

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Probably wouldn’t be my first choice, but Simon really wanted to try a “New York Sized” Deli Sandwich and deep down, I did too. It’s one of those things you just gotta do. When in Rome and all that. In a super busy part of the city, a leap from Central Park houses Carnegies. Famous for its crazy huge sandwiches and cheesecake, we thought we would give it a whirl. After queuing for about 30 minutes, we were seated and opted for a Reuben and a slice of fresh strawberry cheesecake washed down with homemade lemonade.

Needless to say we shared both and hailed a cab straight back to the hotel were we nursed the most intense food coma I have ever had in my life. It was actually a ‘Man Vs Food‘ sort of portion, one which my body is not accustomed to. A must do if you are after the real deal in deli sandwiches!

Laduree, Soho.

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After a long day shopping in Soho, theres nothing like kicking back in the most chic tea salon the world has to offer. Forever my favourite place in the world, I couldn’t go past without having some Earl Grey tea and a Rose and Raspberry Religieuse.

Like most Laduree tea houses, they are quite big and we didn’t have to wait at all for a table. We were there around 4pm, it perhaps was a little quieter. I have nothing else to say as it speaks for itself, utter perfection in patisserie form.

Burger and Lobster, Flatiron District, 39 West 19th St.

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I actually cannot believe I almost forgot this place (hence why it’s last on my list) as it was fantastic! We ate here on our first night, I think that’s why I forgot, pesky jet lag! I couldn’t get a picture of the outside as they were filming a movie, which was very exciting!

Not exclusively in NYC, Burger and Lobster are all over the place, if you are curious where, you can see here. It has a very hipster vibe and it serves local beer too which is quite cool.

Basically how it works is there’s 3 things on the menu.  As above there is a Whole Lobster, Lobster Roll and Burger with bacon and cheese. I went for the lobster roll, Simon for the whole lobster. Each main comes with fries and a salad for $20.

As well as these slices of delight we ate in soooo many other places including Don Antonios Pizza (best in Manhattan), Quality Meats (best steak in NYC), Five Guys and countless coffee shops which I just cant possibly squeeze into this post or it would explode, but if anyone was any more information on these places please let me know.

I hope you enjoyed some of my eating highlights of NYC, have you been to any of these places and is there anywhere you just couldn’t leave off your NYC eats list?

Much Love,

Judy xo

 

Simple Supper: Bacon and Mushroom Puff Pastry Tart.

Hey Frenchies!

A few of you were asking for the recipe for the yummy tart I posted on Instagram. You are all in for a treat as this is super easy. If anyone needs any more info let me know!

Recipe makes 4 tarts, serving 2.

  

To get started, preheat the oven to 200 degrees fan, 220 normal.

Leave your sheet of puff pastry out of the fridge to get to room temperature so it rolls out easier.

Meanwhile gather;

  • One small onion
  • One clove of garlic
  • Three rashers of bacon (if vegetarian you could substitute for asparagus)
  • Mushrooms- about 4 large ones for filling and two to decorate the top (I used forestiere mushrooms as they have more flavour and are of the season)
  • Half a tub of cream cheese approx 80g
  • Cheddar Cheese approx 50g
  • Parsley to garnish if you wish
  • Egg to glaze pastry

In a frying pan, lightly fry the bacon, onion, garlic and mushrooms (These should be all diced into very small into roughly the same sized pieces). When the onion has softened and bacon cooked, add your creamed cheese and stir. It will make a lovely sauce!

Taking your sheet of pastry which should roll out with ease, cut it into four rectangles and put on a baking tray. Add the mixture to each of the tarts leaving about 0.5cm at the edge.

Grate your cheese over each, and decorate with three slices of mushroom and add more cheese if preferred. Dab a little beaten egg around the edges so they go golden.

Pop into the preheated oven at 200 degrees fan for around 10 minutes, check on them and add more cheddar cheese if you wish and leave them in for another 5 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Serve warm with a salad of your choosing!

Enjoy!

Much Love,

Judy xo

Hello Fresh, Hello Yumminess.

Hey Frenchies I hope you are all well!

I wanted to let you all know how I got on with my first week of Hello Fresh! If you aren’t familiar with this service I will explain!

Hello Fresh! Is a ‘cook from scratch’  box that gets delivered to your door. The clever folk figure out exactly what you need for the menu each week and it comes wrapped to perfection and fresh as a daisy as they pack it very cleverly.

How did I find out about it? Well I stumbled across a discount code online and thought that I would give it a go. Also I find you get into a bit of a rut at times with cooking, and I thought it would be refreshing trying new meals!!

  
   

Basically this is everything in the box! Pretty cool yeah? If you follow me on Instagram you will know the menu but if not this is it!

  • Chermoula Chicken with chorizo lentils and roasted peppers
  • Duck steaks with spiced chickpeas, sweet potato and lemony yoghurt
  • Pan fried pork medallions, tarragon and potatoes.

The clever folk have devised these menus for simple, quick and delicious meals that are no problem making when you come home from a long day at work.

 

The chorizo and lentils.
  
The makings of chermoula chicken!
 
 
The super detailed and simple to follow cards.
 

I will now share how my meals turned out! Team effort with hubby of course 😊

 

Pan fried Duck steaks, chickpeas, sweet potato and lemon yoghurt.
  
Pork medallions, tarragon and potatoes.
  
Chermoula chicken with chorizo lentils and red pepper.
 
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience with Hello Fresh! I would highly recommend it and if you would like to find out more on their website!

If anyone would like £20 off their first box, leave your email in the comments and I will do the rest!

Much Love,

Judy xo

Simple Snacking.

Hey Frenchies! It is almost the weekend and that means treat time, YAY!

This is a healthier alternative to having a sticky bun whilst getting that much needed sweet hit that you need to get you through the day. These super simple Nut and Date bites take no time to make and can be taken in kids lunch boxes as well as your own.

What I need

Makes 10-15 balls, depending on size

– 1 cup of medjool dates

– 3/4 of a cup of cashews

– 3/4 of a cup of walnuts or any other nut (I used walnuts and hazelnuts and cashews)

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

– 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder/ Or cocoa powder if you don’t have any.

Here I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Cashew Nuts and Brazil Nuts.
Here I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Cashew Nuts and Brazil Nuts.

Method

In a food processor, tip in all of the nuts and blend until it resembles a coarse flour consistency.

Add in your dates (de-stoned!), coconut oil and cocoa powder.

Blend until it comes together like a pastry would, it should look like this…

It should loosely stick together, much like pastry.
It should loosely stick together, much like pastry.

Then roll it it your hand in bite sized balls, leave to chill in the fridge for a bit then enjoy!

Just try not to eat them all at once!
Just try not to eat them all at once!

Let me know if you try these little balls of yumminess! I am off to make a cup of tea and have a few of these!

Much Love,

Judy xo