Boston Public Market

The Boston Food scene is just so cool. The Boston Public Market just opened and I was psyched to get a tour a bit early. It is the ONLY market of this kind in the country…all local…all indoor…all year round. It is so bright, beautiful, chic, and welcoming inside. Each vendor really has a distinct feeling and I loved that. It is brimming with produce, yet I only brought home some donuts. Next time! The tour had some good info, but was suuuper rushed. Let’s see what I remember.

Boston Public Market Sign

The displays are breathtaking, especially the produce, and the bakeries. Yum!
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market
Wolf Meadow Farm let us sample some ricotta with pepper jelly. Swoon. I know. How’d they know I loooove ricotta!? Their motto is import the cheese maker, not the cheese. They’ll advise you how to serve their cheese especially with other produce from the market!
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market

We saw the programming space called the Kitchen. I feel as though the name is lacking, but it is just amazing! There are cameras in the ceiling for live feeds on tv screens which will be perfect for demos. The programs will be varied which also will help them strive for varied price points. Community Servings is one of the partners leading classes!
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market
How fun is this, you can leave a cookbook and take a cookbook! There are book-plates for the inside to share your favorite item from it. I totally want to do this!
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market

One of the few non-edible items…bowls made from fallen trees! Peterman’s Boards & Bowls
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market
Lastly, one of the coolest things: a bee hive! That black glass paneled box is a beehive!
The Three Bite Rule - Boston Public Market
It is very cool and a great time for the local food scene in Boston. I loved the vibe and think it is just what we needed here. It sort of made me think of Reading Terminal in Philly, the Ferry Building in San Fran, Chelsea Market in NYC. So great!

Ella’s Wood Burning Oven

The fam went to Cape Cod again this year. Mr. J and I had a few days when the kennel had availability for the pups. The fam went last year too. I ate ice cream nightly and had perfect weather. It was awesome and we did not want to leave.

The first night there we went to Ella’s Wood Burning Oven just a few minutes away. It was so good and we looooved everything we got.

We started with squash blossoms. They were very filled with ricotta and basil, lightly fried and served with zucchini pesto. Soo good. They weren’t oily at all. The ratio of crispy blossom with ricotta was perfect. There was a gnocchi entree sort of version of this. I definitely would have had it if the table hadn’t shared this app.
We had an order of calimari that was cooked perfectly. Sometimes these get over cooked and chewy. I didn’t loooove the putanesca sauced served with it, but others did.
It was so hard to pick an entree and then there were a few specials.

I got a special pork chop. It came with homemade spaetzle, roasted red peppers, and zucchini pesto.  They cooked it perfectly…am I sensing a trend? It was juicy and tender. The spaetzle had more of the pesto which I loved.
Mr. J got a meat lasagna special with béchamel sauce. It had a bit less bechamel than he expected. He thought it was good, but maybe not his favorite ever. Maybe my lasagna edges theirs out!
Momma got the rainbow trout. It came with a fennel & potato confit and had lemon oregano vinaigrette over it and in it. It sounded really good and she chose it since she doesn’t cook rainbow trout at home.
Dad got the paparadelle with bolognese. They make the pasta in house and the sauce smelled amazing. He had his eye on this and we encouraged him since I was sure the sauce would be good!
Their desserts sounded really good, but I was hoping to digest enough to have some room for an ice cream walk. We loved this spot. I’m so glad we tried it. The pizzas sounded great (and looked delicious) but the next night was whole family pizza night at our fav neighborhood spot.

What I Ate: NH Getaway

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Mr. J’s bday present was a little getaway to New Hampshire. I’m so thankful not to travel for work anymore and I’m loving being home all summer. It is amazing. Being home has actually involved a few trips to Maine, a few days to Cape Cod, and possibly one more jaunt. I wasn’t sure NH was going to fit in. I bought it for Mr. J’s bday in June then didn’t schedule it for-ev-er. We explored nature and ate lots of good stuff.

We stayed in Jackson, NH which is a little town near North Conway, but without the insane traffic. The inn was cute and had a phenomenal porch.
Inn at Thorn Hill
On our way up to New Hampsire we figured we stop somewhere for lunch and it just so happened we’d pass one of the many locations of Portland Pie Company. My favorite pizza! Though, their service is pretty terrible, all the time the pizza was really good. We got one of their seasonal pies: chicken caesar salad pizza!
After checking in and poking around the inn, we explored the town and the area.
We got dinner at the Red Fox Pub. We were really tired by then and were very hungry. I got lobster mac & cheese. There was an impressive amount of lobster and I couldn’t come close to finishing it! Mr. J had wood grilled meatloaf so he was as happy as can be. That was only Friday!
Saturday we enjoyed breakfast on the porch of the inn and then checked out a tented art show, then we did a mini hike to some falls. It was breathtaking…also getting back up to the parking left me winded, so literally breathtaking. Mr. J adventured to some insane spots all in the name of photography. Luckily he didn’t end up in the drink!
We also popped into the LL Bean Outlet there where we found upright adirondack chairs. On sale. With an extra 30% off. Also using several LL Bean credits from our credit card. Scoooooore! We got two for less than the price of 1 normally. It was so meant to be! We didn’t have the pups so we got our new chairs into the car all assembled and never looked back. Just wait till I show you our beautiful yard projects with these snazzy new chairs by the firepit.

Dinner was part of our package to each have 3 courses at the inn. I started with clam chowder since it was 60-something degrees that day! For my entree, I chose duck over mushroom risotto with a chambord glaze. The duck and sauce were so good. The glaze was pretty sweet to it paired nicely with the salty risotto.
I didn’t exactly have room for dessert, but when on vacay! I had a chocolate hazelnut tart that was just amazing.
Sunday morning we decided to venture out for bagels. We had passed a little bagel joint the day before with a sign boasting home of the boissant croissant/bagel hybrid. Hands down, best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. I wish I brought boissants home. I was thinking it would be more like a bagel or more like a croissant, but I love both so I figured I’d bet set. It was such a wonderful mix of the two.
It was a nice little getaway. We wished it was warm enough to swim since the pool at the inn was cute but I’m still thankful for cool days. They were nice for walking around a lot. I hadn’t known if there’d be a lot for us to see/do but we had a great time wandering and not being at full pace.

Quebec Getaway

I’m baaaack! I took Monday off because


Mr. J and I went to Quebec for a long weekend. It was just what I wanted. Quebec is super cute and the food was fantasic. I very much appreciated getting to see the city without running ourselves ragged. Well, we could not have run. It was -15 degrees part of the time. I have a whole new appreciation for weather in the 20s and 30s. We enjoyed the old city and poked around between meals.

Quebec_fontWe were just across the square from Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in. the. world.

It just looks like the set of a musical. I felt like any moment I’d have to step aside for a horse-drawn carriage with the heroine singing a tune as she passed snow covered shop steps and lit trees next to ice sculptures. That didn’t happen. But this is for real though, this is what it looks like. So cute!

We ate some really great meals. The best one was at an adorable French bistro. I, of course, got duck confit. This one came with a citrus salad of herbs and more duck confit. Ahhh-mazing.

Mr. J got steak frites
The creme brûlée didn’t photograph well, but it was MAPLE creme brûlée which was every bit as good as it sounded.

On a more casual night we got burgers, a boozy milk shake, and coq au vin poutine!

Cheese curds are so interesting. I was thinking the texture would be too much for me, but it wasn’t. I found them to be sort of like fresh mozzarella. I don’t understand the squeak?

We had a half day our 3rd and final day, which was also my birthday. We started with pain au chocolat.

and croissant egg sandwiches for the best of both worlds.

Actually, another best that morning was that we got an extra coffee by accident! One bfast came with coffee so we added another. They gave us 2 and then the one came with the food. Jackpot! Happy birthday to me!

We took a quick ride (to defrost) over to the frozen waterfalls. Pretty spectacular. See that speck near the orange snow-fence? That’s a person. These falls are huuuge! I wasn’t sad that the 500-stairs up the side are closed for the snow. #nextime

It was a great getaway. I loved it. You should follow me on instagram. I went #happy, and I’m onto a new photo challenge, and I have a family birthday celebration this coming weekend. I’m a pretty lucky girl! (despite coming back to a clog in our sink drain/disposal and the pup having a seizure in our first few hours of sleep being home.)

Anniversary Dinner in Prague

Our last night in Prague was our 2nd wedding anniversary and the dinner couldn’t have been more perfect. We went to School Restaurant on a recommendation from a friend who raved about it. It was so great and exactly the right way to celebrate and end the trip.

While we settled into the menus and tried to decide on a wine that would be good for both entrees, we got some herbed butter and bread. I neglected to take any photos of the outside or interior, but the purple and lime decor on the table is my only example of how fresh and current this place looked!
I got the duck breast with polenta and red cabbage. I know, it seems like when I’m in Europe, I only eat duck. I just couldn’t pass on it since it is not as prevalent in the US. The duck was tender with crispy skin. The polenta was addicting and I actually loved the cabbage…never thought I’d even glimpse at cabbage with everything else on the plate but I liked the crunch. I did however, ignore the pan jus. To me, it didn’t add anything.
There was a salmon dish that looked amazing and a pork dish I would have liked, but I just wanted to do it up! Mr. J was on the fence too. We kind of decided that everything on the menu would be amazing.

Mr. J went with the veal cheeks. They were tender, doused in a red wine thyme sauce, and held within a mashed potato cup. He loved it.
Our adorable server led us away from a wine he thought would be too sweet. The one we ended up with was per-fect. He compared it to pinot noir and now Mr. J is seriously hooked. He has seen the light!

We figured dessert was totally necessary on our anniversary. Then as we tried to decide, the wine + Mr. J convinced me that maybe 2 desserts were in order; it was our last night and our anniversary, after all. I do always say ‘you can do whatever you want when you’re on vacation!’

We got strawberry dumplings. The Czech have dumplings for appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. Ours had whipped cream, strawberries, and strawberry creme fraiche.
The other was an apple strudel that came with pumpkin ice cream.
Ohh my goodness. I can’t believe we got 2 desserts that were fruit based. It was such an amazing night. We meandered back to the metro with stars in our eyes and smiles on our faces.

Lunching in Prague

Happy Columbus day! I’m happy for good ‘ole Chris, whether or not he actually discovered America. It means a holiday at my new job. It isn’t like I’m overwhelmed or overworked, but I won’t be getting any time off for the initial hire time period anyway so a long weekend is always fun.

Ok, last city of my trip, and 2nd to last vacay food post. You still with me from Paris here & here? Prague felt seriously different from Paris. Paris in one word is majestic. Prague in one word is charming…or Russian-esque…or old-world. That’s more than one word. It totally felt like what I imagine Germany, or Poland or Russia to be like. It was grittier and less perfect than Paris, but it has serious charm. It was Hitler-occupied early on in WWII so there was very little destruction.

The food and drink is suuuper affordable. Affordable as in, beer is cheaper than a glass of water at restaurants. The food feels really German or Austrian influenced. There is a lot of schnitzels in pork, veal, chicken. There are lots of potatoes, dumplings, and beer.

One of our favorite lunches was at a cute restaurant near the Lennon Wall and Charles Bridge. It is a popular tourist area but nothing was all that crowded. There was some patio seating (complete with blankets!) but inside seemed appealing to escape the chilly day.

Mr. J got a grilled bratwurst with horseradish.
It looked amazing!

I got one of their apps. It was a deep fried cheese they compare to French camembert. I saw it on menus daily so I figured it would be a good lunch. It was served with a sweet & tart cranberry sauce.
I loved it. The cranberry sauce was perfect. I needed the tart flavor to balance the decadent cheese.

Just you wait for the best meal of all. Our anniversary dinner was possibly the best meal of the whole trip!

Dinner in Paris to Feel Like a Local

Dining in Paris is priiiicy. I know we’d only be in Paris this time, but I still wouldn’t really enjoy a meal that would affect my ability to grocery shop and eat future meals. Maybe that is dramatic, but seriously, I didn’t want to break the bank. Twenty dollar dinners make adding wine and dessert gentler on the wallet. (Check out our first dinner there! and this is a fast-forward a few days later.)

It was kind of cold and rainy so I wanted something cozy and warm that included French wine. We found a super cute neighborhoody kind of place that felt like we were locals.

I got the cassoulet and loooved it. Dunking baguette hunks into the salty broth while sipping some wine was just what I envisioned. It was meaty and salty and perfect with the red wine.
The bacon was salty and the beans were the perfect consistency. There was pork sausage annnnd a duck leg. This is serious comfort food. It was also HUGE. Check out the dish compared to the fork. There was so much in there.

Mr. J got beef with roquefort sauce. He loves blue cheeses and definitely loves sauces. He thought the beef was good and the potatoes were an interesting in-between a chip and a potato slice. The beef was supposed to be medium rare. I don’t know that medium should have been in there…it was rare, for sure. I nabbed some green beans from his plate since I my dish was bean & meat focused.
We were super full. My meal was quite salty and something sweet seemed like the perfect end to the meal. The menu had us at creme brulee.
We love creme brulee and had it on the menu for a rehearsal dinner dessert option so it seemed quite fitting on our anniversary trip. Also, it is definitely not something we can make at home. It was creamy and the perfect sharing size.

Now, onward to Prague (with some recipes coming along too).

Lunching on the Go in Paris

Mr. J and I know how to pack in all the sites when on vacay. I’m glad we got to see so much of Paris but also weren’t at whirlwind speed. We tend to have slower more thought out dinners so lunch just depended where we were. These 2 were the most memorable lunches.

I love trying local drinks and snacks that we don’t have here. Europe totally gets the best Schweppes. Agrum is a citrus blend one that is ahhh-mazing. This one seemed really pink grapefruity to me. It was delicious. I got obsessed with a bitter lemon one in Croatia a few years ago. Sis even found me some online!
We stopped at a tiny place (and ordered completely in French!). It was perfect and gave us a little break from the rain to refuel and keep going. It also was quite the bargain which is hard to find in Paris.

I got a croque monsieur. The French totally know how to do grilled ham & cheese better than we do. So good. I love the soft cheese spread on top with shredded cheese melted on top of that!
paris_lunch_croque_590_390Think bread, cheese, ham, bread, cheese, cheese….and they’re not afraid of butter.

Mr. J got a baguette sandwich. I don’t remember what was in it, but he loved it. It was just what he envisioned.
Then on the last day in Paris, before we flew to Prague, we ate crepes…on the champs-elysees. How unbelievable is that? I think this is my most iconic meal ever. They came off a cute little car thing converted into a creperie.
We got 2 to share. One was savory with turkey & gruyere and the sweet one had nutella. Then we decided maybe we needed a croissant and pain au chocolat for the flight.
When in Paris, right? Next we head to Prague!

First Evening in Paris

I hope you like French food, because I have quite a few meals to share from my European adventure. A lot. I think some people might shy away or think they aren’t into French food. What’s not to like?  I mean, there’s lots of cheese, flavorful sauces, and it is the cooking base of techniques for so many chefs. I appreciate their use of butter and all the wine. Maybe the thought is that French cuisine is stuffy and super formal. It is expensive and meals are pretty leisurely but the food is soooo good and not all the crazy-out-of-the-box from items on menus everywhere.

I got a few recommendations before we left for the anniversary trip but we really ended up seeing what we could find once we were there depending on our timing and where we were when we got hungry. Getting a lay of the land was helpful for restaurant hunting without breaking the budget.
We arrived early morning and quickly went to see the Eiffel & Arc de Triomphe & Champs d’Elysees, etc. Jet lag caught up with us and we crashed late afternoon. Then we were rejuvenated and seeking dinner. We went to Bouillon Chartier after debating if it would be touristy or not. We decided it was not.
It was amazing. So cute and we loved every bite. It is tucked off the street and had a line of what seemed like native French-speakers. I took that as a good sign! I ordered completely in French and was quite proud of myself. I was able to ask if one of the wines listed would be enough for two of us. The server said yes. Turns out, it was a bottle. Oops. Metrics got me on that one! Mr. J discovered maybe he does like wine better than he thought. It was really great to share a bottle while indulging in a seemingly never-ending basket of bread.
I got the duck confit. I mean, come on. When in Paris! It was so good, and nothing I ever get at home. It was juicy and rich and perfect with some red wine.
Mr. J went with the steak frites which was a great intro into French restaurant cuisine!
It was a hopping spot. The line moved quickly and everyone willingly accepted the terms of the restaurant. They seat you and you may have others at your table. It isn’t quite communal, but there’s not much separation. The inside is bustling and the turnover is quick, though nobody seemed rushed. There is a sheet of paper on top of the table cloth where they write down your order. Later when you’re done, they add it up from the notes scribbled down.
It was a really fun first meal and we each were thoroughly pleased with our meals. It was a nice spot, the wine was divine, and it was wallet friendly while enjoying classic dishes. Loved it.

GO Burger NYC

Everytime I get back from NYC I say that I don’t go nearly enough. It is true, it is actually pretty close & easy to get to. Mr. J and I hopped a bus after work and were there in just a few hours. Enough time for a brief snooze and a movie on the laptop.

We got in and hung with S & E and their cute puppy Stella. Before we knew it, it was morning and the rest of the gang was arriving. When in NYC, we got bagels and devised our plan for the day. We picnicked and played in Central Park for a bit, did a beer tasting/sampling, got cupcakes and regrouped for dinner plans.

There was pretty much food & beverages all day. We took the dog for a walk along the East River to build up some space for dinner.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

I love that NYC has everything you’d ever want, and many many many locations of just what you want. We went to Go Burger and loved it.

I got the Mac & Cheeseburger. I mean, how could I not? When I saw that it had fried mac & cheese on top I really couldn’t look elsewhere. I thought about the salmon burger with pickled red onions & avocado but I just couldn’t.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

My Mac & Cheeseburger was a turkey burger topped with fried mac & cheese, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, and homemade ketchup. It was so good.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

Mr. J got the same, but on a beef burger. There were some BLT burgers, a smashed burger, and a turkey burger amongst our group too.

Sunday morning we squeezed in a jaunt through Central Park and may have had Pick a Bagel…again. I was thinking about why bagels aren’t as good other places and maybe that’s how it should be. Maybe I don’t need a whole-wheat-everything-bagel that good to be around the corner from me.

It was definitely a weekend of eating, drinking, and catching up with longtime friends. Exactly as life should be.