I hope that everyone had a wonderful National Ice Cream Day last Sunday! If you missed it and didn’t have any ice cream (shame on you!), don’t panic, July is National Ice Cream Month. You’ve got the rest of the month fulfill your duty to dig your spoon into that bowl or get your fingers sticky with an ice cream cone. If you’re inclined to make your own (and I believe everyone should give it a shot!) I strongly suggest you celebrate with this raspberry swirl and brownie ice cream.
About a week and a half after my knee surgery, my boss e-mailed me and, knowing we don’t have air conditioning in this sweltering heat, said she hoped I was making lots of ice cream. Eating it, sure, but making it? No. I was pretty darn lucky that Joseph had made that strawberry basil sorbet (which is so wonderful and so easy!) but making sweets isn’t really his domain and I was confined to the couch. But the more I thought about it, it just seemed critical that we make our own ice cream for National Ice Cream Day because anything less would be a downright disrespect to this oh so important day (yes, this is how my mind works). Luckily Joseph was game, so we plunked a chair for me in the kitchen and got to work armed with crutches (me) and a great attitude (Joseph). Continue reading
I had knee surgery just a few days ago and have been laid up, once again, depending entirely on Joseph for everything from a glass of water, to going to the pharmacy for my pain killers, to making each and every one of my meals. It’s been painfully hot here in Boston the last few days and he’s been running around doing all these things for me on top of his own work. Meanwhile, I’ve been sleeping really late every morning and then lying on the couch all day taking naps. Occasionally I wake up long enough to peruse the blogosphere and look at all the pretty food everyone’s been making. And since I can’t help grocery shop, cook, or clean up, I’ve been making suggestions to Joseph for what he could be making me. Fair trade right? What would he do without me?
When I saw this sorbet on Two Peas & Their Pod, I knew I had to have it. It’s my favorite drink, the strawberry basil mojito, in frozen dessert form! And it’s such a simple recipe! I suggested it to Joseph, but didn’t think he would really make it since A) he was already in the middle of making me the most incredible ribs ever (recipe coming as soon as I can get my percocet-addled mind to find it and write it up) and B) while I know that he has made sweets at some point in his life, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do it.
Now that I’ve given you a full overview of all the cocktails I drank while I was visiting Ohio (here, here, here, and don’t forget the DIY Cocktails giveaway!), I thought I would give you a little snapshot of the rest of my time in Columbus and Athens, OH because it was so much more fun than I thought it would be! After my sister and brother-in-law treated me to a lovely lunch at Rigsby’s Kitchen, they took me to Jeni’s Ice Cream. It. Was. Amazing. If you live anywhere in the Columbus vicinity, you have to check it out. My absolute favorite ice cream place in the world is Toscanini’s in Boston (if you weren’t aware, New Englanders take their ice cream very seriously), but Jeni’s gives them a run for their money.
Jeni’s is a little bit cheaper (you may need a small loan if you go to Tosci’s more than once a month), they make all their stuff from scratch, and they just have a fun, quirky sense of humor (just watch their video on their website). They have a number of standout year-round flavors, and the summer seasonals they were featuring when I was there are spectacular. The Salted Caramel, Buckeye State, and Bourbon Butter Pecan were my favorites of the signature flavors, but they also have some really interesting flavors like Bangkok Peanut. I truly loved all the seasonal flavors that I tried, but my favorites included Rhubarb Cardamom, Rockmill Golden Ale & Apricots, and Brambleberry Crisp. But don’t take my word for it, try them out for yourself! The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating and I think between my two visits, I tried at least two-thirds of the flavors. Don’t foresee a trip to Columbus anytime soon? I just found out Jeni has a cookbook that just came out and can’t wait to try it out! Continue reading
We finally had some decent weather this past weekend and I was absolutely desperate to get out of the house. We’d never been to New Bedford, a town hailed for being one of the most important whaling ports in the 19th Century, so we made the one hour drive down from Boston and checked out some sites that Joseph had picked out.
The highlight was definitely Margaret’s (actually across the river in Fairhaven), a small, unpretentious seafood restaurant that we picked based on strong Yelp reviews. It was packed but turnover was fast enough that it seemed that no one ever had to wait. They had yummy focaccia at the table waiting for us before we even sat down which is both delightful and dangerous for someone who loves bread as much as I do. We both got seafood plates that had slightly different content, but pretty much the same sauce. The food – especially the huge, sweet, and plump mussels – was delicious and the prices were friendly on the wallet. Simple food done well, amazing prices, awesome service. If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend stopping by.
We also stopped by Lydia’s, a Portuguese Bakery, for some somewhat unmemorable pastries. We knew nothing about Portuguese pastries and had no idea what to get, so that may have been the problem. Next we headed to Sid Wainer & Son, a specialty food wholesaler with a retail store open to the public where you can get a $300 jar of winter truffles and enough free food samples to constitute a small lunch. Make sure to bring a jacket if you want to peruse their well-stocked cheese room.
Next was Travessia Winery, an urban winery that sources most of their grapes from a vineyard in Massachusetts. The Pinot Grigio and the Chardonnay are well worth skipping, while the Vidal Blanc and especially the red blend Jester, whose grapes are sourced from California, are tastier. Mostly I was just glad that you saved $2 off the tasting by opting out of getting the “free” glass. Anyone want any winery wine glasses? We have enough to stock a small restaurant.