I Love Blogging

I love food, I love wine, I love to cook, I love events and eating out, and I love to write. You probably already knew that, considering the food and wine blog and all, but while steaming artichokes, chopping lemons, and photographing the whole process last night it hit me. Months ago, my focus was blog traffic, and it made me miserable. I spent so much time trying to figure out what other people wanted to read that I forgot what I wanted to write about.

Slowly, somewhere along the way, I rediscovered the joy in writing. It may have been in Sonoma or Napa or attending various wine tasting events or delicious dinners, or it may have just been in my own kitchen. All I know is that hello, I am happy to be here and ready to do more!

As you know, today begins the Eat from Home Challenge, an effort to save money, waste less packaging, eat healthier, and in general get my kitchen mojo back after the marathon. I appreciate all of the support you offered in this challenge which I actually think will be a little difficult. I love going out. I feel like it gives me something to look forward to during the week, and it is always a great option when you are too tired. Still, recommitting myself to my kitchen is a good thing, and I can’t wait to get creative.

With ingredients like these strawberries and artichokes that we picked up at Trader Joe’s, I think it will also be a delicious challenge.

artichokes

strawberries

 

Sunday was NOT part of the challenge, so we went to the Bin Ends Fine Wine Flea Market, a magical wine tasting event which usually houses 9-10 different tables with 5-7 different wines for tasting and ordering. I have found so many wines that I love this way. (past Bin Ends posts here and here)

I will post more on our wine purchases later, but I did fall in love with a new Italian Cabernet Franc and a delicioso sparkling wine made from the Malvasia grape. I am working on my grape Century Club membership (having tasted wine from at least 100 grapes), and I am about 70 into it and tried 2 new ones today. Not too shabby. Bin Ends is a great environment for this pursuit!

After Bin Ends, all I wanted were oysters. I have actually had an oyster craving since pre-marathon but thought it prudent to avoid raw seafood for a few days prior just in case.

We tried Barbara Lynch’s B & G Oyster in the South End, a mecca for all things oyster, but they were closed for a private event. Luckily, Eastern Standard saved the day.

It was a patio kind of day, and an Anchor Steam from San Francisco hit the spot.

anchor steam beer

silly husband

enjoying an anchor steam

We also had the cheese plate which included a Manchego, a Gorgonzola Picante, and a Brie cheese along with quince paste, candied bacon, and Nicoise olives.

cheese plate

image

It wasn’t really lunch, and it wasn’t really dinner, so we ordered homemade potato chips and onion dip. SO GOOD.

chips and dip

We also satisfied my Island Creek oyster craving with a dozen oysters complete with cocktail sauce and mignonette. Delicious and briny, they hit the spot! I could live on oysters!

Island Creek oysters

When I got home, I decided to dive into the artichokes that I bought, so I trimmed them, boiled them, and ate every last leaf and heart, some plain and some dipped in a mix of mayonnaise, lemon, and spicy mustard.

artichoke

Artichokes take forever to eat, but they are so incredibly meaty and delicious!

artichokes and lemon

We ended the night eating homemade pizza, guacamole, roasted veggies, and other treats at our friend Michael and Jill’s house. We popped open one of my birthday wines, a 1980 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, and once decanted and aerated, it was delicious! We were celebrating 2 engagements, a new job, a birthday, and the marathon, so a special wine was in order! :)

And here we are starting a brand new week full of possibilities and challenges! I hope you are all well rested and ready for the week and as excited about something as I am about blogging.

AND I hope you have entered my Cabot cheese giveaway! This giveaway closes on Wednesday, and it is too good to pass up!

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Tags: blogging, Boston, cheese, cooking, Dining out, events, Food, oysters, recipes, Restaurants, wine, wine tasting, writing

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet’s avatar

    I can’t agree with you more. I had deserted writing for years, and found the joy of it in blogging again. I can’t wait to see how you do with the challenge!

    Reply

  2. Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)’s avatar

    Blogging is great because it’s writing practice, even if you’re not making money from it. It’s a way to keep the talent fresh and force you to come up with creative, new things to talk about every day.

    Reply

  3. Meg @ Be Fit Be Full’s avatar

    I always thought I hated writing until I started blogging. I guess I just hated writing papers for school :) You’ve got some awesome photos in this post and I only drooled a few times :)

    Reply

  4. Daisy’s avatar

    I love how you used the whole artichoke! cool. Also – where the heck were my fancy cheeses when I got the cheese plate at ES? I think we ordered the wrong one! Looks like you guys had a great time on the patio.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      There was a cheese and cracker option and an artisan cheese plate, and we got the cheese plate. Yummy!

      Reply

    2. Lindsay Meyer’s avatar

      I need some of your energy for blogging, M! I have lost all motivation. Lately, it is about the last thing I want to do…

      But I’m glad that one of us is keeping up a good thing!

      PS. Your strawberry picture is absolutely succulent. Perfectly lit!

      Reply

    3. Emily @Cleanliness’s avatar

      Your blog post hit home, missy! I loved it! And agree with you wholeheartedly. Blogging is quite diverting. :-)

      Reply

    4. Citrus Quark’s avatar

      wow! how was the 1980 BV cab? That’s a really special botte of wine!

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        It was great! So much depth, and it changed so much from the time we opened it until we drank it about an hour later. We had been told 1980 was not a great year for CA wines, but this one did not disappoint!

        Reply

      2. Heather’s avatar

        I am so glad that you enjoying the blogging! I think a lot of times people blog for the sake of blogging and that gets BORING. I can read your passion in your words, and see how much you enjoy sharing what you do! I am happy we have made a connect in this blogworld, my friend!

        also – I am now OBSESSED with finding a birthday bottle of wine. Why did I never think about this until now!? Also – how do you feel about this idea…two of my best friends recently became mothers- i would love to purchase 2010 bottles and save them until the girls are 21 to gift them on their birthdays. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions on what kind of wines age the best in this situation? (i am fairly new to wine, myself. My knowledge is – “I like red.” )

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          Birthday wine is so fun! I think it is a great idea for you to buy 2010 bottles for the babies! Reds tend to age better, and I would be happy to help you with some research on what would age best. I don’t honestly know off the top of my head, but I love reading about wine! :)

          Reply

        2. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

          Hey! I just found your blog and the pictures of this post looked so good that I had to stop reading for a while :D what a cheese plate! YUM!

          Anyway, just wanted to say hi!

          Have a great week!

          Reply

        3. Sook’s avatar

          Isn’t blogging so fun? You sure write very well! :)

          Reply

        4. Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble’s avatar

          MMMmmmm… raw oysters are one of my favorites too! I don’t really trust raw oysters in the desert of Las vegas though! ;-)

          Reply

        5. Simply Life’s avatar

          If you have any hints about getting to the artichoke heart for cooking, I’d love to read that post! :) Glad to hear you’re loving the blog again!

          Reply

        6. Becky’s avatar

          Just found your blog and I love it! I also love to get down and dirty in the kitchen, but my cooking seems to have fallen by the wayside as my weekly mileage has gone up. Your “eat from home” challenge is great and may be just the inspiration I need :)

          Reply

        7. RunToTheFinsih’s avatar

          Ok I wasn’t totally sure how to eat an artichoke, so now I know!

          Reply

        8. Chef Dennis’s avatar

          what a great meal!! I do enjoy reading your posts….you can tell how much you enjoy writing you have a very well written blog!!

          Reply

        9. Holly’s avatar

          Megan- write what you love. Don’t worry about the rest of us! I had to stop following the “number” because it does, in fact, drive you crazy. You’re doing an awesome job, girl! Keep it up.

          Reply

          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            Thank you!! I am glad I am not alone in getting caught up in the numbers!

            Reply

          2. Kelly’s avatar

            I love blogging too and I’m glad you do because I love reading your blog. I am impressed with your eat at home challenge- I’m a big fan of restaurants, but I really only eat out 2 or 3 times a week- as my breakfasts and lunches and most dinners during the week are always at home. Still I look forward to my meals out, it’s kind of a social and fun thing for me :)

            Reply

          3. Jessie’s avatar

            I’m so impressed with your photos in this post, especially the artichoke and the strawberries. Gorgeous! I’m so glad that you’re committed to writing what YOU want to write about – that’s what makes this fun, and it’s always great to read the writing of someone who is genuine like you :) Can’t wait to see how your Challenge goes!

            Reply

          4. Physicschick’s avatar

            I can totally identify with you about losing track of why you started blogging. I’ve decided not to worry about anything but having fun and cooking. I really love blogging the whole process, even if it is just for a handful of readers. It’s mainly for me! :)

            Keep up the good work!

            Reply

          5. Kathy Gori’s avatar

            Loved reading your piece. We write for a living and so are in the house most of the day. I cook every day now because of my blog, plus I love to cook anyway, but my answer to getting out is we go for coffee every morning at our favorite local cafe. It gets us out and socializing with our friends, then back home to work. Good luck on getting back into your kitchen, it’s always hard after a bunch of fun. I was in the same situation last week after all the film festival fun.

            Reply

            1. traveleatlove’s avatar

              I would LOVE to write for a living! It sounds like you balance that work at home isolation well!

              Reply

            2. Linn @ Swedish home cooking’s avatar

              What an inspiring post you wrote. Keep up the good work, I know, it’s hard. I made an online cooking show to stay focused.

              Reply

              1. traveleatlove’s avatar

                That is amazing! I will definitely be checking out your cooking show!

                Reply

              2. Dinners & Dreams’s avatar

                I love this post. I can relate. All these food pictures are making me hungry!

                Nisrine

                Reply

                1. traveleatlove’s avatar

                  Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Your name is beautiful!

                  Reply

                2. lequan@luvtoeat’s avatar

                  Those were some great eats! I’ve been craving oysters for at least a week now but with little ones sometimes it’s hard to just get up and do what you want when you want. I love eating raw oysters with a squirt or two of Tabasco sauce.
                  You seem to know a lot about wine. All I know about wine is that I like to drink it but cannot remember their names for the life of me. Would love to learn more about wine but it seems like there’s so much to learn….yikes. I’ll definitely be taking lots of notes from you. Great blog! Keep writing what you want to write about and don’t worry too much about what you think others want to read.

                  Reply

                3. Carol Egbert’s avatar

                  It is important to remember that there are things more important than generating traffic. I’m getting back to graphic design that combines my writing, paintings and recipes, working on my first EBook.

                  Reply

                4. ashleigh’s avatar

                  Your produce looks so fresh and delicious! I have never been to eastern standard.. I should check it out on a nice day! Looks like you guys had fun enjoying the weather.

                  Reply

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