Tag Archives: what we ate

Guac O’Clock & Other Meals on Swan’s Island, Maine

I’ll be real with you—I’ve been doing island things instead of baking.Like wading into the fuh-reezing Atlantic Ocean with three of the most fabulous women I know.And picking blackberries with my sister.But, I mean, we still have to eat. We might as well do it in style.Meals here on Swan’s Island are meticulously planned. Four years in though, we sort of know what we’re doing.

We have a meeting before we leave NYC. There’s an organized menu. There’s an itemized grocery list. There’s one harried/hilarious trip through the Hannaford in Ellsworth, Maine. And then there’s cooking every last meal, snack, and dessert we eat on this beautiful island.If it sounds like work to vacation here, that’s because it is. Fortunately for me, it’s the sort of work I love most. I mean, what’s to complain about when there’s daily Salsa O’Clock?And don’t forget Guac O’Clock. It’s very important when you are on vacation.It’s impossible to be grouchy in the morning when VJ makes you gluten-free vegan waffles……and blueberry muffins. The bacon was my contribution.There were Migas, too……and the Blueberry Baked Oatmeal I told you about on Wednesday.And cantaloupe. (Can you tell I am in love with the white prep table?)Lunches have been less curated, but this chickpea-centric spin on my favorite Jacques Pepin soup recipe really hit the spot on Sunday afternoon.And don’t forget extra-toasty grilled cheeses.Dinner is an event though. We’ve had a Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions, and some extra caramelly maple-roasted carrots.There was vegan cornbread, too. (My recipe, but with non-dairy milk + vinegar, vegan butter, aquafaba for egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup more cornmeal.)And Eliot made my crowd-favorite Everyday Cassoulet and some garlicky kale.Last night was taco night. Hooray for using up leftovers!Dessert has been plentiful. I mean, I’m here.I made a batch of Toasted Oat Graham Crackers,so naturally, there were s’mores.There have also been also S’moreos.And just straight-up toasted marshmallows.Also, lots and lots and lots of coffee. Arnab finally learned how to use the French press we bought him for Christmas. #adultingSo, as you can see, we have not starved. We have some produce to finish and a few things we’ll divvy up on our way back to New York, but we have, by and large, used everything we brought.I’m planning to do some last day of vacation baking today (all those blackberries!), but I may also just sit on a rock and watercolor.The day is young.

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Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Have you ever accidentally started a tradition? My little sister, Eliot, and I have—we’ve now spent three St. Patrick’s Days in a row together. Two years ago, she came to visit me. We rented a car and went to Maine last year. This past weekend, I took the bus up to Cambridge to visit her. I guess St. Patrick’s Day is just a thing we do together now (sans green beer).

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

At Fenway Park last fall.

When Eliot and I get together, we rarely have a concrete plan—our visits are mostly just finding ways to make each other laugh hysterically and deciding what to eat next. Since Eliot actually lives in Cambridge, we were able to make our own breakfasts and dinners (more about that here), but we went for brunch both days and even went out for pie!

Here are a few food-centric highlights from last weekend.

3 Little Figs {Somerville}

I was ravenous when I got to Eliot’s apartment early Saturday afternoon. She gave me a handful of cashews to keep me sane and then we walked over to 3 Little Figs, a little cafe and bakery in Somerville. We both got the Brunch Bowl, which involves all sorts of good vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, spinach), a poached egg, and flourishes of sesame, dried cherries, turmeric-tahini and ginger vinaigrette over a bed of quinoa. We both loved it so much that we’re going to try to recreate it at home! This meal was hearty without being too heavy—just what we needed to get through what ended up being a surprisingly busy afternoon.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We AteSister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Once we finished our meals, we got Honey Matcha Lattes to-go. They were just barely sweet—perfect for a little afternoon pick-me-up on our walk back to Cambridge.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

I will say that getting seating was sort of a pain, but it certainly wasn’t impossible. It’s sort of on the customer to eat in a timely fashion and move so someone else can have your table. With places like this, pay it forward is the name of the game.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Juliet {Somerville}

When deciding where to go to brunch on Sunday, we both looked at each other and said “Juliet.” It’s is one of my sister’s favorite spots and I can totally see why. The food is unfussy and delicious—I’ve never had anything there that wasn’t excellent. I tried their chilaquiles when I came up for Eliot’s birthday. This time around, I went with her suggestion: breakfast tacos. They come with an egg, potato, and cheese filling on corn tortillas. There’s a thin, but potent hot sauce too. They’re not Austin-style, but they are really good.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Eliot got scrambled eggs with greens, buttered toast, and some stupidly good dijon potato salad.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

The only drawback I can think of is that Juliet, like 3 Little Figs, has limited seating. We took two seats at the bar though and thoroughly enjoyed watching the open-style kitchen at work. The main attraction was watching someone prep a batch of buttermilk pannacotta. Don’t be surprised if you see something similar on here this spring.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Petsi Pies {Cambridge & Somerville}

Eliot mentioned Petsi Pies to me a few months ago and we put it on the “must try” list. We popped into the Putnam Street location on Sunday afternoon to split a slice on the way to the Harvard library. They had pecan pie available and some sort of fruit pie (apple, maybe?), but as soon as the cashier said “Chocolate Pecan Pie,” the other two ceased to be options. The filling was fudgy and not at all gloopy, and had just the right amount of chopped pecans. Oh, and there was a chocolate drizzle. I looooove a chocolate drizzle.

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

I wasn’t crazy about the crust, which was sort of hard and one-note in flavor. It was flaky though and held a crimp, so maybe I am being too critical. Or perhaps I am just spoiled with my own Cream Cheese Pie Dough. Regardless, I will definitely go back to Petsi Pies on my future trips. I’m already planning to recreate the chocolate pecan pie filling!

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

Have a great weekend, y’all! I’ll be back with new recipes next week ❤

Sister Weekend in Cambridge: What We Ate

24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate

It’s no secret that I love Maine. I first went in the summer of 2012 and haven’t missed a year since. If I ever decide to move out of New York, you can bet that’s where I’m headed. I’ll be the one running a pie shop out of an airstream trailer. Until then though, I’m just biding my time between road trips.

24 Hours in Maine: What We AteThis past weekend, I took an early bus up to Boston, met up with my little sister, Eliot, and rented a car. The plan was to drive up to our AirBNB in Portland, see what was happening there, and then take our time driving down the coastal highway back to Boston. When it comes to vacation, we do best without structure, so our only concrete plan was to eat as much great food as we could. I am here to tell you that we succeeded.

24 Hours in Maine: What We AteUnlike my usual trips, which are during the summer and up to an island with no restaurants or grocery stores, this trip was just days after a huge snowfall. Lots of things were shuttered until April, so in terms of finding things to do (and more importantly, things to eat), we just had to go with the flow. Here’s what we did.

Dinner: Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine

24 Hours in Maine: What We AteWe were only going to be on vacation for 24 hours, so we planned for our Friday night dinner to be our “big” meal. After scanning Yelp, we settled on Eventide Oyster Co. We ventured over around 8pm without a reservation. The place was packed, but the hostess was super friendly and gave us a place to stand and order drinks (a cider for her, a root beer for me). She said it would be about 45 minutes, but we got a table in thirty! Eventide specializes in small plates of fresh seafood (all local, of course) and recommends two per person. We ordered the Lobster Ceviche, Scallop Crudo, Fried Pollock, and Clam Chowder. Everything was great, but we both agreed that the Scallop Crudo and Fried Pollock were our favorites. I will say that both of us were too full for dessert after sharing four plates, so you might consider starting with three and adding another as necessary. After tax and tip, we got out of there for $70–not bad! If we’re ever back in Portland (and let’s be real, we will be back), we’ll definitely go to Eventide again.

Breakfast: Coffee by Design in Portland, Maine

24 Hours in Maine: What We AteWe got up early on Saturday morning, checked out of our AirBNB and went in search of coffee. We landed at Coffee by Design, a chain that started at the L.L. Bean flagship. We were greeted by a friendly barista who took us through the pastries they had to offer and gave us tips on where to find parking (hint: there is none). We got two large coffees, a sausage & goat cheese scone, and a potato-based chocolate cake doughnut from The Holy Donut. The scone was insane, as all things with breakfast sausage and goat cheese ought to be. I’ll be recreating it soon! The doughnut was good, but did have a distinct potato flavor that overshadowed the chocolate. A doughnut is a doughnut though, and neither of us had any issue finishing it.24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate

Snack: The Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine

24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate24 Hours in Maine: What We AteAfter breakfast, we found some parking near the water and decided to do a little looking around. We ended up in K. Collette, a high-end home goods store, where my sister bought the embroidered buffalo pillow of her dreams. While we were checking out, we got to talking with the cashier. It quickly came up that I am a baker, and she said we just had to get to The Standard Baking Co. down the block. It’s set back from the street behind a hotel parking lot, so if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it. That would be a shame. They specialize more in bread than sweets, but we made it out of there with an Apricot Galette and a Raspberry-Almond Galette. They’re made with a shortbread dough and filled with homemade preserves–perfect road snacks. The Standard Baking Co. was our last stop in Portland before we got on the coastal highway and headed south. Our buttery galettes were the perfect treat after our side trip to Cape Elizabeth. You can tell Eliot was into the Apricot version.24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate

Lunch: The Ramp Bar & Grill in Cape Porpoise, Maine

24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate24 Hours in Maine: What We AteNo trip to Maine is complete without a lobster roll, and after a couple of side trips to Biddeford and a seasonally-abandoned Old Orchard Beach and a lot of shenanigans, we were starving for one. We got off the highway in Kennebunkport hoping that literally anything was open. Just as we were hitting the end of the line and about to give up, we found the The Ramp Bar & Grill. It’s situated on Cape Porpoise and has an amazing view of the water. The restaurant is tiny and is covered top-to-bottom with New England sports and political memorabilia. We settled in among the year-round locals and ordered our lobster rolls. They came with housemade potato chips and a dill pickle, and were just what we needed to get through the rest of our trip. The lobster was tossed with butter and mayonnaise and served in a toasted bun–no surprises here. Neither of us care for mayonnaise, but we make an exception for lobster rolls.24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate

After lunch, we destroyed some perfectly beautiful untouched snow across from the public school in Kennebunkport and drove around a Franciscan Monastery between Kennebunk and Wells before getting back on I-95 and heading back to Boston. It was a quick trip, to be sure, but it was just right: uninterrupted sister time and lots of great food. If you ever find yourself in coastal Maine for 24 hours, this is the way to eat your way through it.24 Hours in Maine: What We Ate