Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ABCs of a Sailing Foodie

I saw this on one of my favorite blogs today (thanks Grace!) and thought I would do a little get-to-know your blogger post.  Enjoy!!!

A. Age:30 and loving it!

B. Bed size: Queen and I sleep smack in the middle of it surrounded by 6 pillows!

C. Chore you hate: dusting and scrubbing the tub (ewww soap scum!!)

D. Dogs: LOVE and would do almost anything to have an English Bulldog!!

Can you even stand it! How cute is he!!!!!!

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee and NECN Daily News

F. Favorite color: Ocean blue (shocking right...)

G. Gold or silver:Going against my Italian roots, I have to say Silver
Thanks but I will pass and stick with my silver thank you!

H. Height:5'9" (yup, i am a tall foodie!)

I. Instruments you play: Zero... attempted the violin as a kid to the dismay of my families ears (sorry about that guys!)

J. Job title:Marine Safety & Environmental Manager (to sum it up, I get to play on ships)

K. Kids: none right now, but do live to play with my niece and nephew!!!

L. Live: The DOT (Dorchester for you non New Englanders)

M. Mom’s name:Kimmy!

N. Nicknames: Chubs (what, i was a chubby baby!), Chumlee, Quita, Q, BQ

O. Overnight hospital stays:Thankfully none that I can remember (maybe? have to ask Kimmy...)

P. Pet peeve:People at work who dump old beverages into the sink and then never rinse the residue away... It is gross and your mom does not work here!

Q. Quote from a movie: Oh sooo many quotes!!  umm..... 
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.'" - Princess Bride

R. Right or left handed:Righty

S. Siblings:One older sister - Angela

T. Time you wake up:alarm goes off around 6ish..

U. Underwear: uh, what about it?

V. Vegetables you dislike:Cauliflower and not a huge fan of green beans or snap peas... all about the texture I guess...

W. What makes you run late:My hair!
Very similar to my hair after I attempt to blow dry it (I wish I was kidding!!!)

X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, and knees several times

Y. Yummy food you make: I love to make homemade sauce, mac n' cheese

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: ENGLISH BULLDOG!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Organizing to Oysters in one day!

So it has been awhile since my last post.  I have been busy getting motivated at work and also preparing for another weekend away!  This weekend I am heading up to Rangeley, Maine with friends for our annual ski trip.  I have never been to Rangeley but I am super excited to see everyone!

Yesterday I celebrated Presidents Day like any Type A foodie would and organized aprox 8 years of recipes that I have printed, written down, copied from my mom or ripped out of magazines.  I also had a small library of cooking magazines that I saved for one reason or another.

The goal of the day was to rip out what I wanted from those magazines and piles and organize them into a half way logical and readable personal cookbook.  What started with a seemingly innocent 1" binder turned into a giant 3" binder with still more to add!  I NEVER need to buy another cookbook again! (but will most likely because lets be honest who doesn't love a new cookbook?!)  Below is a montage of my insane and large collection of recipes and how I 3-hole punched them all into submission!
What appears to be a harmless collection of recipes...

The innocent 1" binder that thought it stood a chance!

My weapon of choice!

First we sort by meal type

In between my many cups of coffee and soothing paper cuts I managed to whip up this beauty!  Walnut Boule Bread!! Sooo delicious!!!

After my brain was thoroughly frazzled from 8+ hours of reading recipes we decided that trying to cook at the apt would be an epic fail.  Alaina and I decided to hitch a ride into Kenmore with the roomie.  She had book club so we decided to peruse the Barnes & Noble while she was there and then were going to meet at Island Creek Oyster Bar for dinner after.  (Best idea ever!!!)
dreaming of future vacations.....

 The Island Creek Oyster Bar is a place I have been DYING to go too!!! I was lucky enough to have a gift certificate to this hidden jewel thanks to the Fantastic Swag bag from the BFF Launch Party. I am happy to report that my experience last night did not disappoint!
Great environment, cool jazz music and lots of "salty" accessories

Yummy Westport River Blanc de Noir Wine (how artsy of me to take this pic!)
 This wine was a bit sweet but almost had a cider like aftertaste that paired perfectly with these little beauties!!!

Can you say Heaven on Ice?!?!?
 Going clockwise from the lemons, Alaina and I split these briny gems of the sea.  My only complaint is that I didn't ordered another 12!

East Coast:
  • Island Creek Oysters
  • Rocky Nooks
  • Pleasant Bays
West Coast:
  • Hog Islands
  • Hama Hama
  • Humboldt
They were all so amazing! Each tasted a bit differently but I highly recommend all of them!!   Instead of stuffing ourselves with a full entree we split a beet salad and the special "Mushroom Risotto with Lobster knuckles, brussel sprout leaves and crispy shallots. 
Beet salad with shaved cheese and pickled vegetables

Heavenly Risotto with a drizzle of balsamic that made the whole dish POP!
I can't begin to say enough about our dinner at ICB.  The waitstaff was attentive, funny and honest about what they loved and thought we should try.  Never did I feel like they were trying to hard.  The ingredients speak for themselves and the staff is their to ensure you get them at their freshest!

I will definitely be returning to ICB many many times and highly suggest you do the same!

What did you do for Presidents Day?  Remember, sharing is caring!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A weekend getaway recap

I am typing this while every muscle in my body screams in aching pain!  I think it is safe to say that I will not try to be the next Shawn White anytime soon.....Snowboarding and I just don't seem to get along....

OK, lets get back to the non-death causing activities of my weekend.  Once again, I was off to "da'burgh (Pittsburgh) to visit friends.  People! Who would have thought that the city known for its ravenous football fans and steel mills is also a town of delicious food and foodies?!  I know I said it during my last visit but honestly! This town knows food!!!
"He's her Lobsterrrr!!! ~Feebie from Friends!

Saturday was spent going from Brunch at Coca Cafe to various street side food vendors in an area of the city known as The Strip.  Brunch was amazing!  I foolishly left my camera and phone back at the house so I was sans photos on Saturday (sad Beth).  I wish I could share with you all pics of teh amazingly fresh carrot-ginger-orange juice and a veggie omelet that made me weep with happiness!  Oh and did I mention it came with homemade herbed foccacia bread?!  IT DID!!!

This section of PGH is great! We tried everything from homemade pierogie's to fresh beer from East End Brewing Company.  It was a wonderful afternoon of exploring!!!

Sunday we packed up and headed east to Seven Springs Ski Resort for a day of falling down a mountain snowboarding.  Lets just say that for a girl who is self-confessed a walking baby giraffe that I should have known this was going to end badly.....

Thankfully my cohorts refrained from taking pictures and videos of me falling again and again.  I have to say though, for as awkward and painful as it was I had a great time.  Especially when they left me at the lodge bar so they could get some actual board time in!

After a few beers laughing about my skills we headed back to the PGH for apps and dinner.  We stopped off (in full snow gear because that's how cool we are!) to Brgr for alcoholic milkshakes and burgers!

Now this was my first visit and except for a very rude hostess we had a great time!  The waitress, food and vibe of the place was great! The 4 of us split an order of onion rings with truffle oil cheese wiz and an order of fried pickle spears!! (HEAVEN!!).

I ordered the Spiked Float "Bourbon Cherry" which is Makers mark + cherry soda + dark chocolate ice cream = soda heaven!!  The boys ordered the Salted Caramel Milkshakes.  For my sandwich I was already feeling pretty full from my drink and apps so I went with the Tree Hugger burger = lentil + falafel burger, hot + sour cucumbers, tomato, red onion, goat’s milk yogurt. 

mmm Tree Hugger!
This burger had a ton of Greek flavors and was really crunchy!  It was just what I needed after a long day of attempting snowboarding! The boys each ordered the Button Buster Burger = braised beef short ribs, white cheddar cheese, bĂ©arnaise aioli, & crispy onions a top an angus burger!  Lets just say that they were not moving anywhere fast after that burger!!!

Salted Caramel Alcoholic Milkshake

Truffle Oil Cheese Whiz Onion Rings = BRILLIANT!!!

why hello there fried pickle!  Get in my belly!!!

Happy Chad! 

My lovely and STRONG Bourbon Cherry Soda!
All in all I had another fun and memorable weekend in 'daburgh!  This city is filled with so many amazing people, places and food experiences!  I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what is has to offer! (or where I can find a salad out there!)

What did you do this past weekend?  Anything crazy or new you would like to share with the group?

Monday, February 14, 2011

A bit of Aussie in Southie!

Good morning everyone,

I am currently sitting in Pittsburgh International Airport trying to ignore the fact that every muscle in my body aches and is bruised from my very entertaining attempt at snowboarding yesterday!(more on that later!)

One happy thought of returning to Boston however, is that I will be closer to my new love the "Aussie Meat Pie"!  KO Pies & Catering as recently opened in South Boston and after seeing them on Chronicle last week I knew I had to get down there ASAP!!!

Knowing on Friday that I had an evening of packing ahead of me, I decided that it was the perfect night for a take away dinner.  I stopped off at the cute location right on A street, just a few blocks from the Broadway T stop. When walking in you feel like you are instantly transported to Australia.  From the decor to the selection of imported Australian treats (tea, crackers and even Vegemite).

The smells of butter and savory meats cooking away was amazing!  I quickly went straight to the menu  (even though I had been perusing it all day at work).  I decided on one classic meat pie, garlic mash potatoes and a broccoli and cheese pastie for the roomie and I.

The staff was amazingly nice and were very helpful on helping me narrow down my choices.  Everything was ready in under 5 minutes and I was on my way.
It took all my willpower not to go face first into this before sharing with the roommate!

buttery, flaky and filled with the most amazing savory meaty filling!

Broccoli encased in a buttery crust? Yes please!!! 

A meal you eat with your hands! What could be better?

where did it go?
I can say that the only downside to this dinner was that we didn't order more!  Everything was exactly how you would imagine a proper meat pie to be.  flaky, buttery, seasoned juicy meat filling and never over greasy. The potatoes were creamy and wonderfully seasoned with garlic, salt & pepper.

I can foresee myself becoming a regular here very quickly (especially since it is on my return route for my Avon training walks).  You have to go here!  I am not kidding, whatever you have planned for dinner, lunch or even breakfast... CANCEL IT! and get to southie asap!!!!!

Go now!  Seriously!  Turn off the computer and head straight to 87 A St and meet Sam and the crew of KO Pies!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snowboarding Update!

Dear friends, family and followers....
This post come to you from the Foggy Goggle Tavern at Severn Springs Ski Resort outside Pittsbugh, Pa.

Being the foolish optimist hat I am I thought I would attempt snow boarding today....  Lets just say after it taking around 1 hour to make it down a green circle (with the most patient teacher EVER!!) I am confident in the fact that I am a summer girl to the core!

I  would glady trade in these boots for flip flops and an Offshore Ale while sitting by the harbor in a heart beat!

Now don't get me wrong.. I had a great time and managed to laugh at myself all the way down the mountain, but I think its safe to say I will not be buying a ski set anytime soon! I am off to drink a sweet cold Yuengling and wait for the boys to return  I am happy I tried and did not break anything!

Look for a post tomorrow on this trip in more detail!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend Getaway!

Hey there blogging world,

Today will be my last post until the beginning of next week.  I am off to Pittsburgh again this weekend!

While visiting friends I am going to attempt to go skiing after being off the slopes for more than 10 years! My last attempt at skiing left me w/ a busted knee and a clunky brace for many months.  Hoping this time around my baby giraffe like grace will take the weekend off so I can get back to enjoying some of this 70+ inches of snow we have here in the Northeast!

I am also looking forward to a day of local food shopping on the Strip in the downtown area of the 'burgh and filling the growlers with fresh beer!  Oh and Maple Bacon Donuts!  (yes the real reason I am going!!!)

What is on tap for your weekend?

Happy Friday and be safe!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Favorite Cookbooks

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a dinner with the members of the Boston Chapter of the Propeller Club (yes, I am a shipping dork who loves talking shop with old salty sailors! what's it to ya?! ) at Dolce Vita Ristorante in the North End neighborhood of Boston.

The atmosphere, food and 80 year old accordion player who sang to me most of the evening transported me back to my childhood in my large Italian family. For a moment I was convinced I could have been at a Sunday Dinner or Christmas Day at my great aunt Vee's house with family running around everywhere! Simple delicious cuisine, large family style portions and everyone talking so loud you have to yell to the person next to you.  

While devouring enjoying my antipasto and pasta course I started to think of my favorite Italian dishes and then to my favorite cookbooks (have I mentioned my brain is a freight train of random thoughts, going from one topic to the next in milliseconds? no... well it does!)

So today I thought I would share with you all my favorite cookbooks.  Some you should be able to search out on your own, others are treasured family cookbooks that I cannot share for fear of a whack w/ a wooden spoon from Grama Q :)

King Arthur's Cook Book
This cookbook was instrumental and getting me to start cooking as a young girl.  I remember trying to make scones and soda bread on a Saturday when I was 10 years old and my mom was at work.  I can't say that they came out all that well. 

However, having such a clear cut breakdown with stories from professional and avid cooks really helps talk you down from the baking ledge.  This book as been my go-to source for info on my baking challenges this past winter.  The simple tips are priceless and the recipes are tasty!!!

Better Homes & Garden Wok cookbook
This cookbook was first published in 1985 and besides ebay, I am not so sure where you would pick up this gem!  I was lucky enough to have my mom pass this cookbook down to me (actually except for the family cookbook below, all of these cookbooks came from my mom!  Thanks mom!!!)

This simple cookbook takes the art of stir frying and breaks it down so that anyone can make a yummy Asian style dinner in no time at all!

The Best of Shaker Cooking
Ok, so again I am going for an old school cookbook.. What can I say, the recipes are just timeless.  Real ingredients like butter and red meat!

This cookbook was created by the "Shakers" in Hancock, MA.  They are very old school Americana but I must admit that with this long nasty winter we have been having it is the perfect mix of comfort food!

Recipes like cornbread, beef stew and breakfast scones are just what a girl needs to get through a month with almost 70inches of snowfall! (you read that right, MA has had almost 70 inches of snow in January alone!)

Quitadamo Family Cookbook

Oh where to begin with this cookbook?  Several years ago my aunts convinced my grandmother (gorgeous lady on the right) to write down all her favorite recipes to share with the family. 

The result was a 3 ring binder FILLED with the recipes of my childhood.  From breads to holiday Italian cookies to the coveted Sauce & Meatball recipe this binder had it all! 

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have turned to this cookbook when in need of a quick dinner, a comforting meal to bring back my childhood.  This is also the cookbook I turned to when I decided to conquer Italian Christmas cookies on my own this past holiday season!  As with the other books

I have had ex-boyfriends try to snag a recipe here or there from this book, but honestly I am not even sure I would let my future husband (whoever the lucky man is) have a glimpse at this binder until at least our 5th anniversary!  These are treasured family secrets that I will hopefully pass along to my children and grandchildren someday.

Ok, so those are my favorite books (even though they are worn and weathered!).  What is your favorite recipe book or recipe site?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Its another cold winter day here in Boston.  I awoke completely ready to call into work just to avoid getting out from underneath my warm comfy blankets!
I am sure we all look this good when we wake up!

Alas, I got up, made some tea and dragged my frozen butt to work.  Now I am here thinking about what to write about between strategic planning and looking at upcoming vessel visits.  I thought since I don't have any tasty meals to share I would take some inspiration from my roommates most recent post and let you all in on some things that I am in love with lately.


Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
This handy multi-tasking tool has quickly become a go-to appliance in our apartment.  From grilling chicken and burgers to making delicious panini sandwiches this baby does it all.  I was lucky enough to get this online at RueLaLa but promise you that the $70 investment is well worth it!  Grilling in Feb in a 3rd floor walk up seems like a pipe dream but I have to say I have not had a bad experience yet!

My cowboy boots!
That is right people, this life long New Englander is utterly obsessed with Cowboy Boots!  These particular ones from Steve Madden are a perfect blend of riding boots (note the height and heel) and the look of a cowboy boot.

They fit over jeans and somehow manage to look good with a satin dress at the office as well as jeans on a Saturday.  I can honestly say I have been wearing these about 6 out of 7 days a week for the past 2 months!  They are comfy, stylish and waterproof!

I purchased these back in the summer online while they were on clearance. I admit waiting 3 months to wear them was killer but it was so worth the wait!  My only regret is I did not buy several pairs in various colors.  I will be very very sad when these finally have to go to pasture. (yes that was a cowboy pun! I am sooo funny!)

What can I say about this yogurt other than YUMMY!!!!  I will admit that this yogurt is pretty pricey but it is so thick and creamy and well just lovely!!!  I find it a little more economical to buy a large container that I can add to my oatmeal or dinners throughout the week. A large container runs around $4 and can usually last me the week. That is compared to the individual containers that average around $2.50 each!  I may not buy it every week, but it is such a treat when it is in the apartment!  

I fully admit that I am one of those girls who is totally and utterly obsessed with handbags. Big, small, canvas, leather, tote or hobo... I love them all.  Yet, recently I purchased a bag that seems to have answered many of the needs of this self confessed purse junky! 
My personal bag is an taupe/greyish color

This adjustable crossbody bag from B.Makowsky as an adjustable arm strap that allows you to go from a crossbody to a shoulder bag in a matter of seconds.  Being a city girl this bag is ideal for baseball games or a night out on the town.  It is not super huge, lays flat and yet still manages to fit my wallet, Digital SLR camera and phone!  

I love this bag so much that I now carry it exclusively when I travel and go out a night.  The only bag that trumps it is a large black tote I bring to work (fits laptop and files + camera!).  Otherwise if you see me out there is a good chance this is what will be draped across me!  I LURVE IT!!!
The blogging world seems to be obsessed with all types of nut butters and frankly I am ok with that!
These protein packed spreads are not only nutritious with good fats and proteins they are also delicious and extremely multifunctional!

From Justin's Nut Butters in numerous varieties to Sunflower Butter and even classic Peanut Butter these spreads can keep you satisified from breakfast to dessert.

Just some random items I mix with the various nut butters you ask?  Here you go: 
  • Oatmeal
  • Mixed with yogurt
  • Sandwich
  • On a sweet potato
  • In stirfry
  • Sliced fruit
  • On a bagel or crackers
  • Over ice cream
  • Marinade for chicken or other meat dish

The list could go on and on but you get the idea....

So what are you loving lately?

Remember sharing is caring!!!