“If he can afford the price of the ticket, the nomad comes and goes with the seasons of his desire."

Monday, October 18, 2010

A summer in photos

video
This is what we've been up to during our hiatus.What can we say....summer is too much fun to be inside bloggin' away!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fried Clams and Pine Mouth

So we have a big food confession : we LOVE LOVE LOVE fried clams. 

The little nuggets of deep fried funky bellies and chewy necks rise a craving in the two of us that leads to adventures off the beaten track in search of places that serve the best, the most, the lauded. We understand how people find these little guys disgusting and gross--they are deep fried sacks of full of seafood funk with some kind of chewy bit attached. But we'll drive miles and pay excruciating prices just to satisfy our craving.

We were utterly psyched on a recent visit to the Cape to discover that there were a wealth of fried seafood joints that had "The Best of..." attached to themselves. Unfortunately three days before we were to make our pilgrimage to try the best clams the Cape had to offer sudden tragedy struck Luke - he had gotten (came down with??) the DREADED PINE MOUTH!



PINE MOUTH???? You might be asking yourself "what is this ridiculous thing??" Let us relate Luke's experience.... One Friday morning Luke woke up and realized that anything he ate tasted so horribly bitter and terrible that he couldn't complete eating it. Thinking that maybe he had just had one to many Campari and grapefruits the night before, he went about his day. Saturday morning he woke up with the same taste in his mouth and fearing that his palette would be a barren bitter wasteland forever (gasp!). And so he consulted the most knowledgable thing he knew: Google. After entering "bitter mouth" into the search engine he came to realize that he had come down with the infliction known as pine mouth. This strange condition was some reaction to pine nuts from China that seemed to happen at random to many people across the globe (listen to the story at npr  http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/07/02/128273771/pinenuts-may-be-to-blame-for-that-bitter-atertaste ). Realizing that he had consumed pine nuts in the past few days he was one of the unlucky people to be inflicted with the random curse of PINE MOUTH ( and then continued to say it a lot. It's kind of fun to say ....pine mouth )------> Go ahead, SAY IT!!
                                           

With high hopes the pine mouth would subside right in time for the fried clam feast we stopped at the place said to have some of the best clams on our way to Provincetown : Kreme n' Cone. Weird name, we know...but boy did they deliver! The morsels were plump, lightly coated in batter and tasted fresh as ever. Although Michele felt absolutely horrible for Luke given that eating fried clams are a passion they share: she got twice as many when Luke realized the pine mouth ruined the delectable flavor. With an average cost of $20/pint there was NO WAY even one would be wasted. (and of course we didn't order less than a pint even knowing Luke may not be able to eat them)!

I'm not sure where/when in life we both acquired such high standards for fried clams..but we have yet to taste THE BEST. The search continues and probably will not end anytime soon. 
Here are a list of where to find some of the most memorable fried treats to date ... please feel free to share any suggestions as we know there are plenty of other regions we have yet to explore!

Carrie's Restaurant- Providence R.I
Flo's Clamshack- Newport R.I
Horton's - East Providence R.I
Kreme n' Cone- West Dennis M.A
The Clam Shack- Kennebunkport M.E
Monahan's - Narragansett R.I






Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flawless Banana Bread!

If you've got some rotten bananas hangin' round the kitchen catching the eye of some very hungry (and very annoying) fruit flies.....check your pantry for these supplies and wow your friends and loved ones with this fool proof and ultra tasty quick bread! 

What you'll need:

1 c. sugar
1 stick butter (room temp)
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas ( I choose to use atleast 4)
1 tbl. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

*pre-heat oven to 325' and grease your loaf pan
*cream together butter and sugar & add eggs in one at a time, beating well
*in small bowl, mash bananas with fork & add in milk + cinnamon
*in separate bowl, add remaining dry ingredients
*add banana mixture to creamed mixture until blended-then add in dry ingredients until flour is completely dissolved
*pour into prepared pan,cook about an hour(check with toothpick) and let cool for 15 minutes (if you can wait!!)

I prefer to add LOADS of walnuts -and sometimes dark chocolate chips- to my mixture, and I'm sure you could really add whatever your heart desires..pepitas or raisins seem like good choices as well!

p.s. sorry to all you vegans out there for missing out on this deliciousness!!!!


THE BOUNTY OF SUMMER

CSA MADNESS!!!

Arriving in our CSA from Big Train Farm this week was the most luscious array of heirlooms- covering the entire spectrum of the rainbow. Although the bounty mainly consisted of deliciously plump tomatoes ranging from purple to yellow, there were a few accompaniments such as Delicata squash, shallots-a-plenty and one amazing looking watermelon. During our summer hiatus we gave up on blogging and put on our thinking caps and oven mitts in order to make full use of the just a few too many pounds of local organic produce we were blessed to have on our table each week.

We know, we know....."but documentation of this would have made for some good blog posts". 
We admit it. There's just no good excuse here. We know next year to get a half share as opposed to a whole so we have time to write.







http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/grow-local-big-train-farm-tomatoes/ (Check out this local write-up discussing the tomatoes we have been blessed with this month!)




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CALDO VERDE!!!

Although we officially set the clocks forward a few days ago and it has been rather warm lately...this crazy amount of rain we've been getting has been making it feel like winter all over again! To me this meant that  soup or stew must be made immediately to combat this dreary forecast. Luckily, our fridge was chock full of carrots, celery and fresh herbs that were on their way out and ready to be made into stock.
So the soup du jour decided upon was Portuguese Kale soup.
This is a soup that not only carries so many memories of childhood, but is also a celebration of where we come from. Although Luke and I aren't necessarily Portuguese via bloodline (we think), both of us have grown up with very strong influences of Azorean cuisine through neighbors and friends. Not to mention, you can find an amazing amount of Portuguese restaurants and bakeries throughout all of R.I. and Southern M.A. and Providence is  conveniently located perfectly in the middle.







As always, serve with some buttered Portuguese white bread and some Vinho Verde!
*To make my own version of this soup which I thought was more authentic than ones suggested by Rachel Ray and the rest of the so-so recipes I found when browsing the internet:
  I sauteed the onion, garlic and chourico ( I prefer Michael's or Amaral's which are local out of Fall River/New Bedford) in a dutch oven until the casing was a bit browned and the onions were translucent. I then added a finely diced potato and about 2 cups of both red and dark red kidney beans to the saute, after a minute or two I added in my freshly made stock and let boil for about 10 minutes. I reduced to a simmer and added in about 3/4 lb. of fresh kale.
S&P to taste, as always.
Fresh, comforting, simple and satisfying!!
!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NEW ART, NEW ART

A few of Michele's new pieces
More images and info are located in the page 'ARTPROGRESS\michele'
click on the tab located next to the 'home' and 'visual candies' pages at the top of the website, or just click on the link above.

here's a preview:









Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting WIRED with IPAs


IPA's are one of our favorite beers. Add more alchohol and hops and you get a bigger badder version of the beer. So for the first beer tasting we thought we would do an imperial/double IPA tasting. We thought it would be fun to taste the beers and then relate it to a character in the HBO show 'The Wire' because we are obsessed with the show right now and devouring the third season. For those that haven't had the opportunity to watch the greatness that is 'The Wire', it is a crime drama based in the gritty streets of Baltimore that follows everyone from the low-level drug dealer to the Mayor and their relationship to crime in the city. We tried the beers with our roommate J. who is not only an expert in beer consumption but also a fellow 'Wire' fan. So without any further ado here are some reviews and our opinions about which beer we think correspond with each character.........


 Stoudts Double IPA - 10 % abv. Using Warrior hops to create a pretty balanced bottle conditioned double IPA. Michele described it as "honey bitter apples" . Someone else described it as a "creamsicle soaked in hops". For such a strong beer the alchohol is well hidden and makes a good beer.

Omar "The Robin-Hood". The street warrior that holds a sweet side just as much as he'll put a shotgun in your face. You want him on your side but wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. Humorous with it's own galavanting way; the street warrior of the ipa's we tasted.



Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA- 10% abv.  A beer we've tried before but thought we'd try again in this tasting- and it did not dissapoint.  Hops, alchohol and spiciness were all apparent and not a bad thing.  J. remarked how it was the lightest of the beers we've tested. Also very crisp and clean tasting as Michele said it was a "kiss of bitterness".


Lieutenant Daniels- The no nonsense boss for McNulty and co. Likes to get in people's face just like the bitterness and crispness the leviathan does. Daniels is short and to the point like the hops and the bitterness in the beer. Plus they both have ridiculous abs, trust me.


Stone Ruination IPA 7.7 % abv. Another IPA classic that we have all tasted before. A classic "big" IPA with all the usual characteristics; nice hops, nice biterness.  J. said the beer was intoxicating. And Luke felt it was big and brash with a bitter finish. Even though it wasn't as good as Michele remembered it, still a a quality IPA.



Stringer Bell- The smooth on the outside gangster with a harsh tough inside. He's looking to win you over and if not- fuck you up, which this beer could definitely accomplish. Watch out for their arrogant logical outside- they're dangerous.



McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA- 8.5% abv. A new IPA for all of us. A more malty IPA then were used to which added a little more sweetness. Someone described it as "fuck'n wierd". Also has a strong aftertaste that was bearable. The price was right for the bomber ($5.70) but not the best of the bunch.
Jimmy McNulty- The drunk detective that despite his alchoholism manges to still be "good police". Kind of like this beer. Despite it's faults and muddiness still manages to be good beer. Plus both are Irish, what can we say it was easy.


Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA- 9 % abv. Made with some hybrid hop by the name of Simcoe this IPA ends up tasting the most un-IPA in the bunch. It seems that the beer is a little murky and doesn't know quite what it wants to be there's strong malt presence, and someone mentioned that it tasted like carmel candy apples.


Kima Greggs- The kick-ass lesbian cop on the wire. Kima creates a hybrid character slowly morphing into a dark grumbly old man while still remaining a likable character. A little musty and sweet like the beer but packs a punch that they don't want to mess around with.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Beef Heart

So my vegetarian-sister-roomate-prankster got me a beef heart from the farmer's market for V-day a few weeks ago. Having no real clue how to cook it or even what it looks like I consulted the biggest cookbook ever-> the interweb. It seemed that there were only two ways to cook it; rare after marinating it, or braise it and cook the shit out of it. Since it was a cold rainy day I decided to go with braising.
The most interesting/gross aspect of the process was prepping the heart. You have to take all sorts of arteries and silverskin to get it ready to cook. After I cleaned it I attempted to stuff it with a mixture of sauteed pancetta and mushrooms (stolen from some recipie on the web). Neither the suffing nor the act of stuffing worked very well but I decided to stick with braising it in a mixture of red wine and stock even though the outcome was obvious-it would soon fall apart.



After cooking it for about two hours it was ready. I cooked the gravy down and served it with some sauteed green beans, mashed potatoes and some pickled radishes I had made. The beef heart, well...it left a lot to be desired. The texture was a little off putting (kind of like some week old sponge cake). While the flavor wasn't bad, a slight iron taste lingered from it (which actually worked well with the pickles).

In hindsight I might have cooked it a little to high and too long. I probably should have tried broiling it med rare, at least that way  On a bright spot we had a good wine- an Italian Primitivo. Primitivo is the Italian version of the wine most of us know as Zinfandel. Like Zinfandel, it is a nice big juicy red that was quite tasty and easy on the palette. So i doubt beef heart well make it in the regular rotation but it was fun to try.....

Monday, February 22, 2010

video

Traveling the back alleys through Melbourne I was psyched with what a thriving street art scene I saw. I've enjoyed graffiti since I was youngster drawing goofy tags and silly characters in black books that was why it was cool to see so much in Melbourne. It seemed that you couldn't go down a dark street without coming across some piece of graffiti. The street artists, for the most part, in the area took their craft and responsibility very seriously and it showed considering how their pieces worked in the place they painted it . Unlike most graffiti you see where most graffiti consists of random bad bombing all over other people's horrible bombs, Melbourne featured a variety of characters, stencils, scenes, and styles that complemented each other and worked within the surrounding environment. Many people have issues with graffiti claiming that it's a criminal act in which shouldn't be considered art at all. I would argue that done in a creative manner in the right position (not on some mom and pop store window) it becomes a unique medium that can transform an outside canvas into a worthwhile artistic expression.

Here's a few different street artists that I really enjoy. Feel free to share if you have any favorites.

http://www.banksy.co.uk/ - A British street artist that does interesting politically charged stencils.

http://www.lost.art.br/osgemeos_01.htm - A pair of Brazilian artists that make quirky characters.

http://www.xmarkjenkinsx.com/outside.html - An installation street artists. makes dummies that really interact with their space.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_art - wikipedia site that has a good gallery and some other info and stuff

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lord Hobo & the Stones


On our recent overnight stay in Cambridge, this was the last stop before hitting 93 South and heading home the next day. Dimly lit with a red glow hitting the outside brick, we knew we had found Lord Hobo even with no sign visible to the eye. Greeted by a host holding back some very lush red velvet draperies, we entered into the very austere red and black dining room and took our seats at a minimalist designed raised table. We had read in 'The Dig' earlier that day that there was a Stone beer tasting going on (20 Different kinds on draught!) so although we usually get lost when driving in Boston, we found our way to this table with ease.

We decided on the charcuterie plate of the night, which consisted of foie gras, pheasant terrine, head cheese, and chicken liver pate, some tasty baguette, and a single cornichon (we were under the impression there would be more pickles and veg....), all for only $10! Because we were still hungry we also got an order of moules frites (which came with a tasty side of garlic aioli) which satisfied our hunger as we sipped on our flight of new Stone brews. As expected a few of the beers we tried struck chords in our taste buds...namely the 2009 Double Dry Hopped Double Bastard , Levitation Ale (hoppy, although wimpy abv. of 4.4%), and Arrogant Bastard aged in bourbon barrels. It's unbelievable how many different kinds of Arrogant Bastards exist out there! As for non-Stone choices, Green Flash hop head red and Lost Abbey devotion (belgian style pale ale) deliciously hit the spot while we waited for the truck that was carrying the other 10 kegs of Stone we hadn't tried to arrive.
STONE website
Beer Advocate Article on Event

Valentine's Day B-fast


Luke had to work this Valentine's Day, but I didn't put it past him to do something super special for me before he had to leave for the dinner shift at 4. I staggered downstairs with my eyes half open into the kitchen- where a dozen roses, a mimosa (or bottle of champagne just for me, rather), a plate of mango and kiwi, and a Lobster-Bacon-Asparagus eggs benny awaited me! Our first Valentine's Day together 2 years ago he made me a dinner with all of my favorite flavors of the moment (lamb, mint chutney,other deliciousness), so it's no surprise that he found a new way to incorporate all of my faves into some earlier fare for the occasion! I am one lucky lady, one dang full lucky lady.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Saving those bills $$$$$

Restaurant.com just may be my unexpected new best friend. Although limited in selection and quite standard, there are still some gems to be found amongst the mundane chains. Looking online the other day I found that the the gift certificates that were already cheap for we now going for 80% off the discounted price! Let's face it. Winter is cold. There is not much going on, and you want to be inside a heated building in which you are not paying the bill to heat. Quick fix: go out to eat. There are no winter blues that can combat the amazing effects of a few yummy cocktails and a tasty morsel at your disposal. So here's the booty i acquired during this amazing deal:
Rue De L'Espoir $25 G.C. for $2.50!
Julian's $25 G.C. for $3.00!
United BBQ $10 G.C. for $0.80!
Pho Paradise $10 G.C. for $0.80!

Total: $7.10

I swear I don't work for restaurant.com! This deal is just too awesome to pass up! There are also $50 G.C.'s for $4, so I may have to pay another visit before the deal expires!! 


*SIDENOTE- As Luke works in the food industry as a server, he offers another opinion about this crazy cheap madness. Many not-so-generous people out there do not tip well when leaving these printed out coupons, and the restaurants/servers miss out on a lot of cash money$$$$(Although he can't complain after a great night out using one of these coupons!) What can we say, it's a love hate thing..but totally worth it all the while.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Megalopolis Snow" and some braised pork belly...


Expecting some crazy 20 inch snow storm that may force hibernation for days -we wanted some delicious comfort food that would keep us nice and full. So we decided to braise some pork belly. Full of luscious fat and some oh-so-tender swine, it seemed like the perfect food to keep us sustained and survive the upcoming blizzard of 2010. We had got the pork belly at the Pawtucket's winter farmer's market the week before and seemed like the perfect day to attempt to cook it since we thought there was going to be nothing to do (but go sledding).

We sit patiently, waiting hours for fat to render and snow to fall, all while sipping on some delicious '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. AH! Life is grand!

p.s. We only got 3 wimpy inches of snow, hardly enough to make driving difficult. Good thing our bellies were full of pork belly and apple/onion slaw, otherwise the meteorologists would have had a few more enemies to deal with.