Thursday, July 30, 2015

Highbrow/Lowbrow Boston

Today we have a guest post from my cousin, Isabel, who lives in Boston. Isabel says, "my favorite thing about the city is that you can find highbrow and lowbrow places everywhere." She's going to share a few of her favorites here:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grilled Artichokes

One of our favorite summer side dishes are grilled artichokes, and while they take a bit of time to cook, they're very easy prep-wise. Paired with a spicy aioli, they're a go-to for us all summer long.

To Prep:
Cut the artichokes in half length-wise and trim the stem. Cut out the wispy, feather-y part down by the artichoke heart and discard. Lay each artichoke half on tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (or whatever seasoning you like). Wrap each half in its tinfoil.

To Grill:
Grill the artichokes on medium heat for about 30 minutes. They should be soft and steamy when they're done - and hot! Unwrap them carefully.

For the Aioli:
Mix a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise in a dish with about a teaspoon (or more depending on how spicy you like) of Sriracha.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Summer Weekend in Steamboat

Have you ever been to Steamboat Springs? We're lucky enough to live here in the summers and I've grown to love it. There's a really relaxed, laid back vibe here (perfect for summer) and there is so much to do, for everyone. Here's what we'd recommend for a weekend in Steamboat:

Monday, July 20, 2015

5 Things to do in Venice

Today we have the third installment of five things to do in different Italian cities...and it's Venice!

1. Get lost. This will inevitably happen anyway and you just have to embrace it. Our favorite thing to do in Venice is to wander around, making our way through the tiny alleys to see what we see. It's how we've found some of our favorite bars and restaurants in Venice and how we stumbled on the best souvenirs.

2. Visit the fish market. It's right near the famous Rialto Bridge and it's definitely worth a wander through and a look (there's also a great vegetable market right nearby). Everyone shops here, from restaurant chefs to locals, to get the freshest fish of the day. Even if you're just visiting and aren't in the market for a giant branzino, it's a true Venetian experience worth having.

3. Take a boat ride. The best way to see Venice is from the water so make sure you get on a boat at least once during your trip. While gondola rides are great fun, they can often be pricey, so try the (much) less expensive vaporetto, which is sort of like a water bus.

4. Have a glass of wine at Do Mori. This is our favorite wine bar in all of Venice and it's been around for hundreds of years. They have a great wine list and a great cichetti (small snacks) selection to go with it. I don't think we've ever been to Venice without stopping here.

5. Eat spaghetti con vongole. This typical Venetian dish is my absolute favorite and, like visits to Do Mori, I've never been to Venice without having it at least once per trip (and usually more). It's good everywhere, but my personal favorite is at Trattoria da Bepi.

Are you traveling to Venice this summer? Here are our Venice favorites, with more bars, restaurants, hotels and sights to see....and our expat interview with Karen Henderson who is lucky enough to live in Venice full time!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lake Placid, NY

We just got back from two weeks (!!) of vacation where we visited lots of family and friends, ate delicious food and relaxed - by the beach (Maine) and on the lake (Lake Placid). Has anyone ever been to Lake Placid? It's one of our favorite places to visit and we're so lucky that Ryan's dad lives there, so we get to go every summer!

Here are a few of our favorite things to do and places to eat...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summertime Aperitvo

One thing that we picked up in Italy was the tradition of "aperitivo" which is that wonderful/fun/relaxing time of day when everyone stops working and meets friends or family for a drink. The drinks are always accompanied with snacks, which, in Italy, are usually things like olives, potato chips, peanuts, mortadella wrapped around bread sticks...

We haven't let go of the aperitivo tradition even though we're in Colorado for the summer - here are three aperitivo snacks we're loving this summer:

Kale chips! Recipe here.

Sweet potato fries with dipping sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and peel one or two sweet potatoes and cut them into a French fry shape. Spread out over a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (we like to add some truffle oil too!) and sprinkle with sea salt and a bit of paprika. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. If you need to crisp them up further, you can stick them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end. For the dipping sauce, mix a bit of mayonnaise with a teaspoon of Sriracha.

Roasted Cashews with Rosemary: Mix unsalted, raw cashews with olive oil, fresh rosemary and salt and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cashews become crunchy.

 And - our favorite summer drink, the Paloma!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Salad for 4th of July

Happy long weekend! What's everyone doing for the 4th of July (if you're in the USA)? We're heading to Maine tomorrow for the the meantime, here's a great summer salad if you're heading to a 4th of July BBQ this weekend:

Watermelon + Feta Salad
Serves 4

In a salad bowl, combine about 4 cups of arugula, 2 or 3 cups of chopped watermelon, about 1/2 cup of crumbled fresh feta cheese and a few chopped mint leaves. Drizzle olive oil and fresh squeezed lime juice over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

This is so refreshing for a hot summer day! We're taking the week off for vacation but we'll be back next Thursday with more recipes, travel tips and adventures.