I swear I feel like all the posts that I’ve written lately mention something about the crazy weather that we’ve been having in Texas. Last weekend we were below freezing, then we got up into the 80s this past week and then over the weekend we were in the 40s. I feel like Texas is going through her teenage years and being super emotional!
Other than the crazy weather this past weekend, we had a pretty wonderful and chill weekend with our friends at their new lake house. We got to explore a new town in Texas and just enjoyed some time together since it’s been a few months since we saw each other. I’m linking up with Biana for a little weekending by the numbers!
542 miles driven.
5 hours of Sharp Objects that we listened to on our road trip. Chris is now hooked and I can’t wait to finish listening to it with him!
45 degrees that the temperature never rose above.
12 types of wines tasted at a winery in the town square. Katie and I each did a tasting of 6 wines and then we both shared our tasting so we got to try as much as possible!
12 games of Scategories played.
12 times that I lost at Scategories.
4 long quarters of the Texans game that we watched, only to see them lose.
7 stores that I went into and resisted buying anything for no spend January.
6 different types of spices that I did buy at an olive oil store, because seasoning is a necessity, right…
1 amazing margarita that was drank.
3 different types of cuisine that we ate this weekend.
1 German restaurant that reminded us of our trip to Germany to a T, where we had the most perfect pretzel and beer!
1 beautiful lake house that our friends own that we got to visit.
3 very lazy dogs that slept the weekend away.
2 great friends that we got to visit for a wonderful weekend at the lake.
1 amazing weekend at the lake that I can’t wait to go back for another visit!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you definitely know how much Chris and I love to eat and how much we love to experience food in the cities that we visit. One of the best ways to experience a city is through its food, and a great way to taste a wide variety of foods that a city has to offer is through a food tour.
My friend Kayla went with us during our last trip to NYC, and during a couple of her previous trips she had gone a food tour of Greenwich Village with Foods Of NY Tours. She literally couldn’t stop talking about how amazing all of the food was and how awesome the tour guides were, so we decided that we should do one of those tours during our trip. We didn’t want to go on the same tour that she’d already taken and we wanted to explore a new part of the city that we didn’t know very well, so we decided that the Chelsea Market & Meatpacking District Tour would be the perfect option for us!
Chelsea Market started off as the factory of the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) where they created the Oreo Cookie in the heart of the Meatpacking District before it was turned into one of the largest and most visited local markets in the world. Today Chelsea Market is home to more than 35 vendors who sell anything and everything, from cooking salts, produce, cheeses, desserts, and cooking instruments. You could literally walk into Chelsea Market and get all the ingredients you needed for dinner, plus the cooking instruments you needed, and then lunch as well! It’s definitely a vibrant market in the heart of one of the most up and coming neighborhoods in NYC, which is why we were so excited for this tour!
We were on the 10:00 tour, and after an early morning of exploring the city, we were very excited and hungry and ready for our tour to start! Our tour met up inside the market, and after we were introduced to our tour guide we made our way through the very crowded market to our first stop on our tour.
While I was definitely not expecting to have dessert first, who doesn’t love it when they get to eat dessert first. Eleni’s New York is a Gourmet Bakery that is not only known for their cupcakes but their cookies as well. We tried the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttercream frosting, and it was the perfect bite of something sweet to start off our food tour.
Once we were all finished, we headed to the next stop on our tour, Dickson’s Farmstead Meats. Like a lot of the stores in Chelsea Market, Dickson’s is a local butcher for the people of the neighborhood and they’re also known for their house made charcuterie. They source their meats from local farmers and strive to use every part of the animal, which is pretty cool.
We moved away from dessert during this stop of the trip and tried a beef tartare. If you don’t know beef tartare is a finely chopped raw beef, so it has to be very fresh so you don’t get sick. I personally really loved the beef tartare that we had, and would have loved to try out some of their homemade charcuterie, but unfortunately it was time to move on to our next stop.
The next stop on our tour was actually a partially seated tour in an Italian grocery store that specializes in imported Italian products and baked goods. They actually weren’t open when we were there, but we made our way to the back of the store to the bakery for our tasting.
They had made a huge crostata for all of us to share with fresh zucchini and eggs. To me I couldn’t tell the difference between the crostata and a quiche, but it was very delicious. We each had a slice, but there was more than enough for us to even more than one slice!
By this time in our tour it was getting to be around lunchtime and Chelsea Market was getting very crowded, so we made our way very slowly to the next stop on our tour and probably my favorite stop of the whole trip, Lucy’s Whey Artisanal Cheeses. Y’all all know how much I love some good cheese, and man oh man did Lucy’s have some good cheese!
Known for providing local sourced cheese from local farmers, we got to try one of their famous cheddar cheeses, and it was absolutely perfect! The cheese was perfectly crystalized and when there were a few pieces leftover, I couldn’t say no to another piece or two for myself!
Our second tasting at Lucy’s Whey was a grilled cheese that wasn’t any ordinary grilled cheese. It was made with that perfect cheddar cheese and a fig jam as well. I’m pretty sure that there were a few pieces left of this one as well, and I couldn’t help myself!
To be frank, nothing was ever going to live up to how delicious Lucy’s Whey was, but our next stop certainly made a valiant effort. Tuck Shop is an Australian company that specializes in Australian pies, which is a meat filled pastry that you can hold in your hand.
We got to try a mini beef pie and a kale salad, and it was very delicious! I’m not a very big fan of kale, but the salad was very good and the hand pie was so delicious! I for sure would have wanted to try other types of the pie, but at this point I was definitely starting to feel full.
Our last stop in Chelsea Market before we made our way outside to enjoy the Highline and explore a little bit of the Meatpacking District was Sarabeth’s Bakery. Known for their homemade biscuits and jams, Sarabeth’s main bakery and jam manufacturing facility is located right in the middle of Chelsea Market.
We each got to try two biscuits with two different types of jams. I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m very particular about my biscuits and don’t really think that anywhere other than the South can make good biscuits. I can fully admit when I’m wrong though, like I did in Portland, and Sarabeth’s biscuits are the bomb.com! The biscuits and the jam were perfect!
The High Line & The Meatpacking District
At this point we were all getting very full, so a nice walk was exactly what we needed. We headed out of Chelsea Market and took some time to walk around the High Line and the Meatpacking District. During our trip to NYC a couple of years ago, we took a walk along The High Line and it quickly became one of my favorite parts of NYC. It’s amazing how they were able to turn an old and historic part of the city that wasn’t being used into a beautiful park that will be used for many generations to come. Not to mention, the view is pretty spectacular!
During our walk our tour guide gave us a lot of the history of this part of the city. The Meatpacking District was once exactly that, a part of the city that was filled with slaughterhouses to get fresh meat to the city. The district slowly fell into disarray, but about 20 years ago that all started to change. Major fashion houses and boutiques started to move into the area, quickly turning the Meatpacking District into one of the premier neighborhoods in NYC.
If you ever watched Sex And The City, you remember when Samantha moved into the Meatpacking District and she was dealing with all of the prostitutes, that was right around when the neighborhood was starting to change. Now, the Meatpacking District is filled with all sorts of high end restaurants, bars, and stores, and it’s definitely a beautiful place to visit, especially since the District still maintains some of its original cobblestone streets.
After our walk through the neighborhood, it was time for our last stop of our tour, Cappone’s Salumeria. An Italian Specialities shop, we got to try a delicious sandwich that was filled with the most delicious cuts of meats. I didn’t know if it would be possible to fit one more thing in our very full bellies, but that sandwich was too good to pass up! It was the perfect way to end our tour!
So basically, we loved our tour with Foods Of NY Tours. They did such a great job of not only showing us some of the great food that Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District have to offer, but they also did such a good job of giving us the history of the area as well. I immediately fell in love with this part of NYC and can’t wait to visit them again.
If you’re ever visiting NYC, definitely make sure to check them out. They have several different tours throughout the city across multiple neighborhoods, and at $54/person, it’s definitely a great price to be guaranteed a very full and happy tummy! I hope that you’ll check them out next time you’re visiting The Big Apple!
Have you ever visited Chelsea Market? Have you done a food tour in New York City?
Happy Bookish Tuesday everybody! Not only is it another Show Us Your Books day with Steph and Jana, but it’s also book club day for me at the office, and we’re talking about one of the books that I read this month. Overall, December wasn’t the best reading month for me as far as number of books goes with the holidays and all of the parties and social events that go along with them, which means that I’m really far behind in the SCWBC16. Hopefully January will be better, but here’s all of the books that I read in December.
I’ve heard people ranting and raving about this book for quite a while, so when I was picking categories for the SCWBC16, this just seemed like the perfect pick, plus my mom had it on her audible account which was nice too.
The Nest follows the four Plum children who are all looking forward to the day that the youngest Melanie turns 40 and they’ll have access to the huge nest egg that was set aside for them. When the oldest Plum gets into an accident and their mother uses “The Nest” to help get him out of trouble, the rest of the siblings are left wondering what they are going to do when the don’t have the money they’ve been counting on their whole lives to bail them out of their individual financial problems.
I literally didn’t like anybody in this entire book, which is the reason why I don’t think that I cared for this book that much. All of them were so incredibly selfish and only cared about themselves and nobody else in their family. I also seriously can’t fathom how people could put all of their eggs in one basket and think that they’re guaranteed some sort of money in the future. That’s literally never the case! The book obviously did have some redeeming qualities about it, but I just wish that I would have liked the characters more.
This is the book that we’ll be discussing tonight at book club, but also the book that we’ll be discussing later on this month for the Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club, so this review will be kind of brief.
When young Daniel discovers a book called The Shadow Of The Wind in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he quickly falls in love with the story and wants to discover even more books by the mysterious author Julian Carax. Throughout the next years of his life, all sorts of mysterious things begin to happen to him, and they all seem to center around Carax. Will Daniel be able to solve the mystery of The Shadow Of The Wind and Julian Carax?
Seriously, what can I even begin to say about this book? I loved pretty much every single thing about this book, from the setting in beautiful gothic Barcelona, to the mysterious storyline, to the beautiful setting, The Shadow Of The Wind was perfect! This book did take me a while to read because of the details, but once I hit the middle of the book I pretty much couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read The Shadow Of The Wind go and pick it up, like right now!
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
There’s this quote from The Da Vinci Code that says, “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”
And if you think about it, that quote is 100% on the mark, and true. You kind of get to hear about the side that loses, but the side that wins is the side that gets to have their views and opinions put on the right side of history.
The Secret Book of Kings deals with exactly just that and describes the story of a young man in ancient Israel who finds out that he’s the great grandson of King Saul, who was the King before King David who killed Goliath. Under the rule of King Solomon, that information is extremely dangerous, and with the help from his grandmother and her advisor he’s set on the path to become King of Israel.
I went to a Christian high school so we had studied the Bible and some of the stories of David and Solomon in class. What I think that I found most interesting was how every story in the Bible, just like in history, is up to different interpretations based on who won. It was interesting to read about how others viewed King David, King Solomon, and King Saul. I have to admit this book also made me want to break open the Bible again and refresh myself on some history!
You don’t have to know the whole history of the Israelites in order to enjoy this book though. The story eventually spells it all out for you. If you enjoy palace intrigue and a fight for power, definitely consider picking this book up.
And that’s all I read for this month. I had a kind of a miss, but the other two were definite hits! I’m definitely not doing too well with the SCWBC16, but so far this month I’ve read two books which is definitely a step in the right direction!
What books have you read lately? Are you participating in any book challenges this year?
40 points:Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book— Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Jamie. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 40 points! No partial points will be awarded.) Grey by E.L. James (576 pages) Mary, Mary by James Patterson (413 pages).