Thursday, November 8, 2012

Battle of the Honeys: Cheap vs. Expensive

Did you know there's a difference between cheap, grocery store honey and expensive, posh honey (besides the price)?

I've never thought twice about grabbing "regular" honey off the shelf until I got a flu bug this week. Having left my Tesco-bought honey at work, I had no choice but to dig into the gorgeous bottle of John Mellis Scottish Blossom Honey that Adeline brought over the last time she came to stay. It felt like a waste to use it, but I was desperate and didn't want to leave the house in my pajamas (which I've been living in for the past few days).

Stirring a generous dollop into my Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea, I was surprised at how refined and smooth the honey tasted, compared to the kind I usually buy. It was sweet, without being saccharine and  irritating my throat, which Rowse can sometimes do. There's also an indescribable, "natural" taste to expensive honey, that lesser quality honeys don't seem to have.

Fortnum & Mason recently auctioned off a few of their famous "rooftop bee"-produced jars of honey, complete with honeycomb.

Even though I don't use honey that often, I think it might be one of those things I splurge on a little bit more in the future (maybe not enough to place a bid at a future F&M honey auction, though). The difference in taste is worth it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mac 'n Cheese: The Ultimate Comfort Food

I was sick this week with a flu-like bug, but luckily still had my appetite. The one thing I immediately craved on the first day I stayed home from work? Mac 'n cheese. I couldn't bring myself to make it in my achy, feverish state, so dragged myself to Tesco and bought their microwavable version, which wasn't bad at all. If you make it in the oven, the pasta on top gets all crusty and the cheese melts just so, which I absolutely love.

If I ate it on any other day, it'd just make me feel gross and fatty, but for some reason, when you're sick, macaroni and cheese feels just the opposite: nourishing, hearty, and good for you (I'm sure it's not). Too bad John doesn't eat cheese, otherwise I'd happily make Yumsugar's version for dinner at some point.

Another comfort food just sprang to mind when I was looking for mac 'n cheese recipes: Hamburger Helper, which is only available in the US (I think). It's basically just seasoning in the box that you add to ground beef, plus macaroni noodles. My mom would make it about once in a blue moon after an exhausting trip picking me up from ballet lessons late at night. It was always so good, I'd help myself to seconds and thirds.

What's your favorite comfort food to have when you're feeling under the weather?

Photo source

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Cake Time: John's Mince Pies

I know it's a bit early for Christmas, but doesn't the photo above just get you in the mood for tinsel and mistletoe? I'm not a huge fan of mince pies myself, but John slipped in the ingredients for making them in our most recent Ocado delivery. We had a fun afternoon (well, after I got over my initial negativity and grumpiness i.e. "It'll never work" - I know, I'm horrible and mean) cutting out different shapes from the pastry and decorating the pies. They turned out to be delicious.

Shortly after this picture was taken, John put on the Christmas carols. Still a little too early for those, methinks.
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