Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bread and Honey

I've had my share of NYC bagels when I spent a semester in New York, and even a few Montreal bagels from home. Each has its own unique style and now I get to add Albany bagels to that list. What's an Albany bagel? Just stop by Bread and Honey on Madison Avenue and taste for yourself. Bagels here are made fresh on premise but it's not just about the bagels. It's a mecca for all your carb-related needs--from loaves of fresh bread to pretzels, scones and sandwiches, and on occasion bread pudding made with Bake For You cookies! But the bagels here are the stars of the bakery.

Get to Bread and Honey early though, favorites run out fast. Lucky for us late sleepers, a couple of Everything bagels were still waiting for us. You're going to want a schmear of bacon scallion or smoked salmon cream cheese to accompany these jewels. No need for toasting, they shine own their own especially if you can get one still warm from the oven . It's not as thick and dense as the New York bagels I've come across but still sizable. There is a nice toothy bite to this Albany bagel with an unbelievable crunchy, crusty exterior and chewy soft innard that isn't too fluffy or doughy. It also has a great balance of toppings for an everything bagel, including chunks of salt which I haven't found as prominent on other everything bagels, if any really. The bagels from the chains just don't hold a candle to the ones at Bread and Honey. Even the cream cheese tastes better. You can actually taste the smokiness from the bacon one and the there's plenty of briny salmon bits in the lox one. One of each cream cheese is the way to go.

You can also add a cup of homemade soup for a light lunch. We happen to come on a day when turkey barley was on the menu. It was a cold, grey day and a cup of soup was just what we needed. I've never come across this combo before but this stew-like soup was so comforting with chunks of carrots, potatoes, and ground turkey. I never cook with tarragon and am not familiar with its flavor but a touch of this herb added a different and welcomed dimension of flavor. All it was missing was a touch of salt and pepper. 

We also got a sample of sourdough bread too and knew we had to take a loaf home. It had a beautiful crust and lovely chew. We knew it would be great bread to make grilled cheeses for dinner. It's refreshing to see so much thought go into a well-made, simple product and you can taste the love and care. We've stopped by at least three times now. Albany is so lucky to have a new bakery like Bread and Honey. Cheers to more Albany bagels!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's Go Dippin'

It's summer picnic season which means bring a dish to share time. Stumped on what to bring to a pot luck? Try this tomato basil dip and let the raving begin. Everyone will be asking you for the recipe and it's stupidly simple. I'm terrible at following recipes but here's the gist of this mind-blowingly good dip: 

- Whip two blocks of cream cheese with 1/2 cup-ish of sour cream until fluffy
- Spread cream cheese mixture onto base of a large serving dish (or two disposable round cake pans for easy take and serve)
- Dice a pint of cherry tomatoes or 3-4 large ripe tomatoes into a bowl and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for a few minutes to let juices drain. 
- Spread tomatoes (leaving juices behind) over layer of cream cheese
- Chiffonade fresh basil leaves (2-3 bunches pending your taste) and sprinkle over tomatoes
- Drizzle with a balsamic glaze (reduce a cup or so of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and let cool til it thickens)

That's it! Not only does this dip look beautiful, but guests will rave over how good it is. It's fresh summer flavors all in a creamy delicious dip! Enjoy! -R