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.
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.
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.
It wasn’t really lunch, and it wasn’t really dinner, so we ordered homemade potato chips and onion dip. SO GOOD.
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!
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.
Artichokes take forever to eat, but they are so incredibly meaty and delicious!
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!