Category Archives: Food and Drink
[This post is a couple weeks removed from the event, but it’s still worth writing about nonetheless. Also, I promised beer at the end of my previous post, so here you go!]
A few weeks ago, The Boyfriend and I headed up to Portland, Maine, for the #MEBeerPier event, also called “Craft Beer Comes to Maine State Pier!”. I had never been to any type of beer fest, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I picked this festival because I love Maine, love craft beer, and The Boyfriend is interested in getting into the brewing industry, so I thought it would be good networking (right?).
As the name suggests, the entire event revolved around craft beer brewers, so we had the opportunity to sample a lot of beers that either aren’t available down by us, or that we just haven’t ventured out of our comfort zone to try. When we first arrived, we received our lunch ticket, map and tasting glass. The glass was about 8 ounces, and I figured they would give a 3-4 ounce pour for each sample. Boy, was I wrong:
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a lightweight. So after about 5 of these, I was losing steam. We ate some lunch, I *think* I had a sample or two more, and then I was down for the count. I ended up taking a seat in shade of the food tent while The Boyfriend meandered around a little more.
So what exactly did I sample? Well, lucky for you, I have a handy app called Untappd (find me as SandwichesAndBeer, if you like) where I recorded the samples I tasted – well, the ones I could find, anyway. Some of the breweries were really small, and not in the app yet. I was really in no condition to add them, so I have a partial list. For a full list of the breweries, you can check out this article by CraftBeer.com.
Here’s the list of beers I tried, along with any comments I made. All of these are recommended to try, if you can find them.
1. Shipyard Brewing Company – Summer Ale
I started out slow with this one – it was the only beer I had already drank before. I’m not really an ale person, but I decided to whet my whistle with this one. Giggity.
2. Sebago Brewing Company – Hefeweizen
My preferred beers are Belgian whites and Hefeweizens (I’m an unfiltered kind of gal – ask my friends), so of course I had to try this one. Pretty run of the mill, nothing exceptional. But it was delicious.
3. Sea Dog Brewing Company – Sunfish Wheat
This was really good – it was full bodied, which I would expect from a wheat, but also was surprisingly fruity. It was a favorite.
4. Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery – Dog Days Summer Wheat
Continuing the unfiltered path, I tried another wheat. They are so perfect for hot summer days to just kick back and relax with. I was pretty damn relaxed by this point.
5. Rising Tide Brewing Company – Spinnaker
I don’t remember this one, so I had to look it up. Surprise: it’s a wheat beer. ‘Nuf said.
6. Penobscot Bay Brewery – Wildfire Rauchbier
The comment I left on this one was “BACON!” This was a dark beer that is brewed with the essence of bacon – and it had a really great smoky flavor. I would definitely drink this again – but at a time when I hadn’t had five other samples before I tried this one.
7. Allagash Brewing Company – White
The one white I don’t like. It’s a little too crisp for me, for being a white.
Along with beer, there was plenty of food. The food served was German in nature – we had sausage, sauerkraut, and huge pretzels. There were also baked beans, but I skipped those. All of it was very tasty. My only con was that there wasn’t enough seating to eat, nor was there a lot of shade, hence why I ended up sitting on the ground in the food tent. If there were more chairs and tables underneath maybe two or three more tents, that would have been perfect.
Overall, it was a really great experience, definitely something I would do again. And if you get the chance, I would highly recommend you do it, too.
I was able to do it again – get a spot at a brunch with Boston Brunchers. This time, it was at Lineage in Brookline, MA. It’s always a good time when a sweltering summer day is cut with good company, good conversation, and great food. Lineage provided all of the above.
We were first brought out a round of Bloody Marys, which are a staple at brunch (at least for me). The drinks were well blended, with a spicy kick, but also a sweet finish. We were then told we would be brought out family-style servings of pancakes and French toast, and individual plates of Huevos Rancheros. We also ordered some spicy lobster tacos for the table.
I’m definitely not a seafood person, lobster especially (if those things were on land, they would be bugs), but the presentation was really awesome.
Next came our pancakes and French toast. The pancakes were made with ricotta, and had pockets of the cheese throughout, and were topped with fresh strawberries and cherries. The Pullman French toast was topped with white peaches and Thai basil. Smoked maple syrup came with both. I wish I could cook something that tasted (and looked) this good:
They even look cute on my plate! Wait – did I just call food cute? I just called food cute.
And last, but by far not the least, was our Huevos Rancheros. As The Boyfriend will tell you, I am not a very adventurous eater. Part of why I like these things is because I’m forced to try things I wouldn’t otherwise order – and also socialize. Food + Bloggers = Fun
But I digress. Anyway, I don’t normally (read: EVER) eat beans, of any kind. And I always order my eggs scrambled. So I was a little nervous when a huge plate of black beans and an over easy egg was put in front of me. However, there was enough steak on the plate to balance it out, so I gave it a whirl. And what a whirl it was. SO. MUCH. DELICIOUS.
I had a really great time, met some really cool girls (women? I still say girls), and ate some terrific food. I want to give a big shout out to Lineage for providing an amazing complimentary brunch spread, and to the Boston Brunchers for letting me have another opportunity to expand my food horizons!
I’ve always been somewhat of a foodie. A picky foodie, I’ll admit, but a foodie nonetheless. I love good cheese, good wine, great recipes, and a renewed love for truffle oil as of today.
Truffle oil is, I feel, still a little bit of an underground ingredient, but it’s gaining popularity. It’s generally high quality olive oil infused with either white or black truffles (read more about it here – I don’t have enough room to explain everything. Also, that would be boring). Sometimes there’s little pieces of truffle in it. Either way, it’s delicious. And a little pricey – but I’m willing to pay a little more for some liquid gold.
So what inspired this fanaticism for truffle oil so strong I wanted to dedicate an entire blog post to it? My food adventure today with The Boyfriend. It all started with the sentence, “Let’s make some gourmet grilled cheese.” It quickly grew into a delicious meal that was a labor of love.
We decided to make our own truffle french fries, and I was going to make truffle grilled cheese. As I said, truffle oil is a little pricey, and I ended up spending $11 on a small bottle. But a little goes a long way, and I am so glad I bought it.
I’ve made french fries before, which is pretty simple (deep skillet, olive oil, potatoes, heat – fry fry away), so we decided to replicate truffle french fries and add a little bit of liquid gold, parmesan and sea salt to our finished fried potatoes.
If you want the exact recipe, I don’t have it. I was really winging it on this one. I did, however, Google how much truffle oil to use on the fries initially, which was 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon, but I ended up using more than that. Here are the general steps I followed, in case you’re really interested:
- Place cooled fries in a large bowl.
- Drizzle with truffle oil (the amount I listed above is enough to start with). I liberally tested the taste and added a little more as I went.
- Toss fries to completely coat with oil.
- Add some grated parmesan. I used about a tablespoon to start with.
- Toss fries to coat with parm.
- Add some sea salt. We have a grinder, so I’m not really sure how much I used. To taste, I’d say. (I told you I was winging this)
- Now, the important part. Place the fries on a cookie or baking sheet, and pop them in the oven at 350 for about 5-10 minutes. You just want to warm them a little, not burn them.
- When you take the fries out, shake some more parm on them, a little more salt, and drizzle some more oil (if you’re an addict, like me) to finish.
What you get is an amazing symphony of flavors. But don’t worry! The truffle adventure does not stop there, no sir. I also made a grilled cheese with the oil of the gods. How, you say? Easy! Same way you would make any other grilled cheese, but instead of spreading butter on the outside of the bread, brush it with truffle oil. I swear to you, you will never go back to a regular grilled cheese again.
I topped it off with a glass of Dr. L Riesling, and I have not had a better meal in a very, very long time. Just look at this amazingness:
Do you have any recipes for truffle oil? I’d love to hear them!