On The Go

Life is a bit manic at present but I would not have it any other way. Last weekend, Matthew and I headed to Greenville, South Carolina for a change of pace. For those of you within driving distance, I highly recommend taking it in for a night. A charming, companionable, lovely city. The Main Street is most delightful and feeds directly into Falls Park. Be sure to take in the sights from the stunning Liberty Bridge. If timing proves fortuitous, you might even see some brake dancers as we did. I must admit, the music, moves and facial expressions made for spectacular entertainment. I have not laughed as so in a long time. For lunch, we enjoyed a deliciously calorie laden meal at the Green Room. They serve one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs so we were off to a solid start. I chose this locale based on CNN awarding them the best fries in the United States. They were excellent. Piping hot, salty and dusted in parmesan. The best in the whole of our country? I think not but they were quite delectable indeed. I still think Five Guys rules the roost in the category of pommes frites. Even over the duck fat fries we enjoyed for brunch at the Fat Radish over the holidays. While gadding about in the city, we came across two cool dudes serving shaved ice. The sun was shining so why not. Be sure to check out the The Nomadik Few for icy treats. We opted for the organic syrups. The pomegranate was invitingly tart alongside the sweet mango. With our treat in hand, we ventured to The Cooks Station to peruse kitchen wares in the West End Historic District. I can get lost in kitchen stores. The shop smelled glorious and on our way out, we were offered rhubarb tart directly from the oven. For afternoon libations, we headed over to American Grocery, sat the bar and took in the scene. If you are a fan of mixology, this is your place. The rest of the weekend raced on at mach speed as it usually does. We arrived home Sunday and for dinner I made a simple caprese salad served with a baguette from Reid's Fine Foods (best baguettes in Charlotte) and began unpacking to pack again.

As tradition will have it we flew to Boca Raton, Florida for the Easter holidays. Since the days of my folks living overseas, the Jewish Riviera is where we convene. As always, the long holiday weekend is marked by outstanding company, food and drink for Africa, quality beach time and the associated familial banter. The weather was absolutely dynamite this go around so we found ourselves on the beach every day. The water was unseasonably warm so we got to it. On our first day, the water was very calm and the water unusually transparent. This gave us much confidence as there were reports of blacktip shark migrations through Palm Beach. Matthew discovered two reefs and took the siblings out snorkeling. Everyone was uber busy in the gastronomy department as well. On our first night my father grilled nine pounds of beef and sausage, which was later followed by a spectacular assortment of Ben and Jerrys. I prepared broccoli rabe in a hot pan with garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. I am all about lemon zest on everything these days. On our second night, we had my mother's traditional butterflied lamb. It is incredibly tender as the lamb rests overnight in buttermilk and fresh rosemary. Big Teddy lends his Midas touch on the grill and voila. For the occasion, I whipped up a Greek yoghurt tzaziki with chopped cucumber, dill and mint. I also tried out a new roasted carrot recipe that included butter, toasted turmeric and cumin as well as raw honey. Another evening my mother roasted three beautiful organic birds for chicken pot pie that was served alongside brown basmati rice. Comfort food, albeit the healthy variant, at its best. Because we were on the Jewish Riviera, a customary breakfast of bagels, lox, schmear and capers was a given.

One evening during cocktail hour my sister Michelle hooked it up with her legendary Holy Guacamole. Additionally, I tried my hand at not one but two vegan recipes from Honestly Healthy. Natasha Corrett is the authority for alkaline eating. I wish I lived in London so that I could partake in her brunches, cooking classes, grocery tours and what have you. In short, she is the business. For dessert one evening I made a raw avocado mousse complete with fresh raspberries. No one could believe that avocado could lend such astonishing texture. It was scrumptious and finger licking good. On the morning of Good Friday, I set my alarm early to bake hot cross buns. These were made with spelt flour, cardamom, golden raisins and dried Turkish apricots. I served them with warm butter and Scottish raspberry jam. My Mom also hooked it up with her fresh squeezed blood orange juice. One afternoon Matthew and I ventured to Delray Beach. We enjoyed cocktails, sushi and a certain someone picked up a new #flomotion cap. While very cool, it is made out of wool so did not get a lot of use this go around. We also bought a bunch of pincushion proteas for my mother. A bit of cultural information here, the protea is the national flower of South Africa. As is Breyer custom, we enjoyed a marvelous Easter brunch in Palm Beach overlooking the Atlantic. As usual, we heaped our plates high with fruits from the sea including shrimp, oysters and crab claws and we enjoyed mimosas to wash it all down. No departure from Palm Beach International Airport is ever complete without a couple of cold ones, a bag of pretzels and some serious people watching prior to boarding our flight.

What with one trip behind us I have the next directly lined up. I am bound for the Big Apple tomorrow afternoon where I will be rolling solo for five days. Party of one? Yes please. When I moved to Germany at the age of 22, the idea of eating alone was terrifying. I did not know a soul in my city and when it was time to eat, I had no choice. My first six weeks in the city I was without kitchen. My first dinner in my new city was an ice cream cone on a park bench followed by a cigarette. While such a diet would not be sustainable long term, I had no choice but to bite the bullet and eat alone. As my companion, I either spent an obscene amount of money on an English magazine (because international press is always pricey overseas) or I would feign dialogue on my cell phone and prey with baited breath that no one would call thus ringing and disclosing my pretend chatter. I used to frequent an Italian trattoria on my block. I sat in a lovely little garden and could remain relatively inconspicuous. They knew I was foreign and new to the language as well as the city. Well, every time I walked through the door, the discomfort began. I would smile and request "ein Tisch fuer eins bitte" or "table for one please". The proprietor always made a habit of asking me to repeat this request. I don't know if he was blatantly f*cking with me but either way it was for the birds and further exacerbated the unpleasantly associated with dining alone. 

Fast forward 13 years. What with multiple solo business trips under my belt (bonjour Paris), I love party of one. The best part of party of one in NYC translates into scoring usually hard to come by tables because I will be sitting at the bar. Not the entire time though. I am tickled pink to rendezvous in Manhattan and Brooklyn with my best friends from UNC Chapel Hill days. There are a pair of other items on my list including sampling bone broth at Brodo in the East Village. I also plan to check out the new Gotham West Market. Our NYC digs are a stone's throw from Chelsea Market so I will attack that locale with vigor. I am also excited about checking out a spot very new to we Breyer's, Foragers, which is a market and restaurant hybrid. I will definitely be procuring my eggs and fresh pressed juices there. Other spots on my list include ABC Kitchen, Bar Primi, Lafayette for what I understand is the best salad nicoise in Manhattan since the closing of Pastis and despite the fact that I am on the South Beach Diet, I will be cheating one day and heading to Russ & Daughters for breakfast. My piece de resistance meal will be with bosom pals at Diner in Brooklyn on Thursday evening. Deliberating if I will order their world famous burger. Stay tuned. I also plan to go on morning runs, walk Central Park with my best friend and her handsome little son, visit with my sister, perhaps hit up a museum or two and enjoy the view in the evenings. Our flat offers spectacular views into other apartments and thus the lives of strangers. J'adore. I cordially invite you to follow my NYC adventures on Instagram @Eliz1167.

Random closing. Our Terminex man just left and on his way out the door asked Matthew what he is doing with such a tall girl. He likes tall women.  Apparently he is also a fan of my new short hair cut.  Bless him. 

Better Than You Know What Raw Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Honestly Healthy
Please note that I more than quadrupled the original recipe to cater to our numbers. The below will generously satisfy the sweet teeth of 8 adults.

Your Goodies

5 ripe avocados
5 TBS coconut oil
5 TBS water
10 TBS raw cacao powder
10 TBS agave syrup
4 TBS almond milk
2 TBS vanilla extract
1 punnet of fresh raspberries or strawberries

This Will Only Take A Second

1. Slowly melt your coconut oil in a hot pan and transfer to a blender (or food processor). Add the water and avocados. Blend until smooth.

2. Next add the raw cacao powder, agave syrup, almond milk vanilla extract. Dip your finger in and add more agave syrup if you want it sweeter.

3. Transfer to a pretty bowl and carefully place your berries on top. Bon appetit!

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