My post this week is just going to be a little bit of this and that. Some things I love, some books, and a few eats. Definitely a quick read because I know you’re busy!
Whatever you are up to this holiday weekend, I hope it is filled with wonderful times with friends and family, and of course some delicious food.
Here we go, in no particular order.
I’m trying to drink only organic coffee these days and below is my current coffee of choice (when I can find it, usually at Roche Brothers). It is deep and dark, just as the name suggests and is produced up in the great state of Maine. I have also tried the Wicked French which is very nice, but I especially love the Wicked Italian. Completely delicious and also available online here. Local and organic – check. Give it a try if you are looking to switch up your coffee game, or just enjoy trying new brands…
Another food item I recently discovered was a cheese called Summer Snow, produced by Woodcock Farm Cheese Company in Weston, Vermont. My friend, Lela brought it to a little cocktail hour having purchased it at a farmer’s market up in Vermont. I subsequently called them to see where I might find it locally only to be told to call their distributor. In the meanwhile, I happened to be in Boston and stopped in to browse around Eataly. Low and behold, there it was, Summer Snow. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese that has a consistency that is somewhere between a brie and a chevre with a lovely tangy flavor. I am saving it for the weekend to serve with a bottle of rose, what else? Keep your eye out for it! (Post Script – I just took a look at a hashtag on Insta that suggests you may find Woodcock Farm cheeses at American Provisions in South Boston, Bacco’s Wine & Cheese in Back Bay and Leary’s Cheese Market in Newburyport and for my local peeps, I just found it at Verrill Farm!)…
(photo above from Woodcock Farm website)
My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Italy. One of the most memorable dishes I had was a pasta dish I had at a restaurant called La Paranza in Santa Margherita, Liguria. Trofie pasta was combined with homemade pesto sauce, potatoes and green beans. At the time, I thought it was so odd to combine pasta with potatoes, but it was sublime. Once you have it, you will agree that it totally works as the potatoes provide some creaminess and texture and do not dominate the dish at all.
I had some basil and arugula to use up so I made a pesto and happened to have the other ingredients on hand. Simple and delicious. I used 1/2 pound of bucatini pasta, 1/4 pound of green beans and 2 small red potatoes with about a cup give or take of pesto. I loosely based my proportions on a recipe from Marcella Hazan. I found this recipe from Mario Batali that is pretty similar that you can use if you would like to try it!
And speaking of Italy, I love Vietri Ceramics and have a special fondness for their Campagna collection. On our honeymoon, we paid a visit to my cousin, Eunice who lived in Florence. When we told her we were driving to the Amalfi coast, she insisted we drive to Vietri sul Mare where we would be sure to find any and all Italian pottery our hearts desired. Sure enough, almost 25 years later we are still using most of the Vietri pieces we bought and shipped home. While the last thing I truly need is another platter, I had seen some of the Vietri pottery with the rare octopus pattern on a cooking show and decided I needed to have it! Thankfully, there is a store near to me that sells lots of Vietri so it is my newest, favorite platter for appetizers. Perfect for summer!
Let’s talk about books. What are you reading? I would love to hear some recommendations in the comments! I just finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which was a quirky but enjoyable story about a woman in Scotland who is struggling to find her identity. Currently, I am reading Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, about a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard that leaves two survivors and lots of questions. A suspenseful beach read that I am really enjoying. Next up is a book recommended by my friend Deedo called Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg that is set in Rhode Island – perfect for me to take there in July! And then probably Out of Line, A Life Playing with Fire by Barbara Lynch. Summer doesn’t seem the time for heavy reading in my opinion 🙂
Let’s talk about Dig Inn, a restaurant concept that has lots of New York City locations, but has made its first stop outside the big Apple in Boston! Two locations have opened with a 3rd coming soon. I learned about it from the Instagram account TheNoGrainer, created by my friend Lucy’s daughter. The No Grainer, a lifestyle/wellness blog is written by Amylou and has lots of tips about how to live a healthy life. Check it out!
Anyway, I had to be in Boston this week and decided to check out the Dig Inn on Boylston Street. The whole concept behind Dig Inn is simply put as follows…
Dig Inn serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on “bowls”. When I arrived at the Boylston street location, the line was almost out the door but moved very quickly. Menus hang from a pole on the wall, allowing you to ponder the many offerings before it’s your turn to order. Start with either toasted quinoa, brown rice or greens, add two vegetables or salads prepared from scratch (sauteed broccoli with lemon, roasted sweet potatoes, cantaloupe & arugula, mixed kale-feta-tomato, etc.), choose a main (meatballs, grilled tofu, charred chicken thigh, herb roasted chicken breast, wild salmon, herb grilled steak) and, if you are a follower like I am, add half an avocado that is sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil…
Try to eat the whole thing (I did, big mistake) and not feel full for the rest of the day! There were several dressing options and I asked for two (like the young men in front of me did). I chose a rosemary vinaigrette and a sriracha dressing. I preferred the rosemary! Great concept and I imagine if you are living in the city, this could be your place for lunch and dinner given the variety! The marble tables and counters conveniently provide a nice backdrop for snapping photos 🙂
My only question to all these corporate “healthy” food concepts is do they not think that some of us in the suburbs would like one plopped near to us so we can also partake in some healthy lunch options on the regular? Maybe a Dig Inn “light” concept? I would frequent a place like this if it were near to me that’s for sure.
Need a new pair of sandals? I purchased this pair from Boston-based M. Gemi that manufactures its shoes in Italy and am in love. They are not meant to provide support so don’t wear them for long walks, but paired with a summer dress or a pair of white pants for a night out, they are lightweight, very comfortable and come in lots of colors. I chose a neutral because they are easy to wear with everything. This style ran true to size fyi. By the way, M. Gemi is getting ready to open its second store here in Boston (the first was a pop up in Soho I think I mentioned in one of my posts on New York)…
Before I sign off, I will share one more tip that came about from watching a video on Giada De Laurentiis’s website, Giadzy. She makes a homemade exfoliant using rice flour and olive oil so I gave it a try and love it. I also combine coconut flour with olive oil or coconut oil for an amazing scrub for the rest of my body! So easy, and super economical. Use about 3 tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons of oil.
Oh, there’s so much more to share but I told you this would be a quick read.
See you next week and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
One Year Ago: Sauteed Onion & Yogurt Dip (this is so yummy – bring it to a party this weekend!)
Two Years Ago: Spotlight on Your Pictures (your pictures of The Kitchen Scout recipes)
Three Years Ago: Peach & Blueberry Crumble with Quinoa-Oat Topping (Gluten Free) (also great for entertaining)
Thanks, Val, for another great post! Your links to blogs have been very helpful. I have to eliminate grains, sugar, and dairy from my diet, so with your suggestions I have discovered some new ones that have been helpful.