Most of our time lately has been devoted to our cookbooks, especially with our deadlines and timelines pretty similar, it's total crunch time now, just a little longer to go and then we'll have books! We did, however, eek out just enough time to sneak away to Portland, ME to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. We stayed in a lovely hotel room with a balcony view where could see the tip of the ocean. The air smelled like the sea and it was so healing and relaxing, a very welcome break from our current, hectic schedule. We celebrated by drinking champagne and eating cheese on our patio and then we bounced around the city for the rest of our time, eating and just taking it in. Among all of the places we ate, here were some of our favorites that, should you find yourself in the Portland, ME area, I'd recommend:
Central Provisions: We had a couple of really great bites here and we would have liked to eat more, but had gotten full. Fun and lively atmosphere and the chef/owner used to be at Uni, right here in Boston. I particularly enjoyed the buratta cheese with black garlic and green strawberries and the smoked carrots, with house made goat cheese.
Nosh: Really fun snacks. We enjoyed the smoked pulled chicken frito nacho board, which literally came in a long wooden trough, and we also had the pretzel crusted cheese curds with pepperoni marinara sauce, because how do you turn down ordering an item like that?
Eventide: I don't eat seafood but Richard said that oysters here were some of the best he's ever had. I can tell you that the Bloody Mary's were outstanding.
Portland Hunt and Alpine Club: We went here twice, the cocktails were just that good.
Piccolo: Just before leaving town, we stopped here for brunch and we both enjoyed the carbonara and the oh so cute atmosphere.
Earth: Not in Portland but just a jump over to Kennebunkport and well worth the trip. It's tough to find, literally down a dirt road seemingly in the middle of nowhere but a very memorable meal. The house made buratta was unlike anything I've ever had before, soft on the outside but with a lusciously creamy center that didn't explode into a watery mess like buratta can, but it maintained it's shape.
And now, it's back to reality and back to it.
You may have noticed that there have been fewer and fewer recipes on here. This is only temporary as it seems that any time that I have to spend on recipes are all going in the cookbook. The cookbook! Let's talk more about that. As of today, I have submitted half of the recipes, writing and photos to my editor and it's hard to resist the temptation to pause for a moment and celebrate this milestone but the fact of the matter is that there is still another half to be developed, written and photographed, all by the third week in July (!!). But then, at that point, it's in! Then the celebrating can begin. There will be work to do after that for sure, but at that point, the work will be submitted and then we can celebrate.
I saw, for the first time, a mock-up of the book last week. It was so surreal and exciting to see all of my work transformed into something that was starting to resemble a book! Up until this point the recipes were on one long word document and the photos lived in a shared photo account, but now it's starting to take shape and the whole process is getting more and more real. Richard and Sam's book is going really well too. It's totally different from mine in every way and while it's been an overload of work on our part, it's been so wonderful to be a part of pulling that together too.
Back to my recipe testing....I've got a small window of time today to develop another bread recipe for the book. More later, can't wait for you all to see it!