A glorious pictorial Maritime Road Tripping tour of Nova Scotia & New Brunswick via fishing villages, spectacular coastlines, seafood galore and libatious finds!
I know, my title is technically false. How can anyone overdose on lobster! I was so happy to devour luscious lobster in some form for 6 out of my 9 travel days. I would have to say instead I had to face lobster withdrawal once back to routine and reality!
The docks of the fishing village Peggy’s Cove NS
Today I plan on overdosing you on pictures! Very few wordy paragraphs, instead you will get loads of pictures with a quick commentary. Enjoy!
Let me take you on a boat ride…a picture tour of my recent trip while cruising through Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
It has been almost a 1 month already since I am back from a wonderful cruise holiday and I am still finding the return to reality and daily routine a torture. Do you ever feel that way once you get back from a vacation? I have yet to tire of looking at the pictures we took and I am thrilled to show you the best ones today.
Have you been on a cruise before? This was my first real cruise (I did a weird and tiny one with an adventure company years ago). I just loved the itinerary of my recent cruise: the boat left from Montego Bay, Jamaica and we had stops in: Santa Marta and Cartagena in Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
Finally my long promised post with clicks, stories and foods from my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana back in March 2014. Wow does life ever get in the way of goals. My friend Karen and I set off for on a 7-day vacation and a visit to our friend Raquel, who moved to New Orleans from Montreal this past summer.
This was my second time actually in the Big Easy but a good 10 years had elapsed since my first trip. I was really looking forward to my trip as the first one was a short blitz. I knew what foods I wanted to eat again…and try the ones I missed out the first time around. Still in 7 days on location I did not cover the whole list. So when is trip three going to be? Oh well not right away but let me reminisce a bit, this is but a sliver of all we did, ate, saw and experienced.
It’s been a while. How are you all? Sorry for my disappearance but I was sick with a very bad cold for over a week and I am still coughing now. I just finished a bronchitis a couple of weeks ago too. So I have not been commenting or anything lately but I am trying to get back to visiting everyone. To good health with the soon coming new year!
I am way overdue for a Vacation Eatz post, where I like to show you pictures from my photo albums (yes the printed kind) of past trips I have taken. And of course we’ll explore a dish local to that destination.
About 12 years ago I had one of the most wonderful trips of my life. Picture three ladies and rental mini van on a long road trip from Montreal to New Orleans and back. Now the trip was very focused on the journey, not just the destination. We had planned daily stops in Cleveland, Nashville, Memphis, the Smoky Mountains and New York City. But most of the trip was spent in the amazing city of New Orleans.
This road trip was definitely planned around food, even on our meager budget. Thankfully when in NOLA you will eat very well even if it is not fancy. We tried all the usual suspects: Gumbos, Jambalayas, Crocodile meat, Po Boys, Shrimp Etouffe and many other dishes. But a very special sandwich is one of my fondest epicurean moments: the Muffeletta.
Ah! the Muffeletta sandwich. I would never have thought a trip would have been so defined by a simple meal as a sandwich. We decided to give it a try after reading about the Muffeletta in our guidebook but we were not expecting much from the experience. When we saw the size…made from an entire round bread about 10 inches across…we were convinced we would be stuck with leftovers. The Muffeletta was served into 4 sliced portions. We had our quarter each and at the end we had a long discussion as to how we would divide the remaining piece equally in 3 and the next day we got another one for the road for our bayou and plantation expedition.
The muffeletta consists of a focaccia like bread sandwiching layers of marinated olive salad, capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese and provolone. Often it is slightly heated to soften the cheese. The sandwich was created by the local Italian immigrants as a quick lunch while working in the market. The real signature element is the Olive Salad. I was so taken by surprise by the intense flavors of this olive salad that it has embedded itself deeply in my memory. I actually found a photo with my friend Marie of the actual Muffeletta we ate.
As I was flipping through the pages of a copy the Taste of Treme cookbook, I came across an Olive Salad recipe and the memories came rushing back in. This fabulous cookbook is filled really fun stories, history notes, pictures and of course recipes from NOLA. The cookbook focuses on the gritty and racially mixed neighborhood of Treme, now famous from the television series of the same name which takes place in three months after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives and their homes. In Treme you will find the heart and soul of true Soul Food.
I am really a fan of NOLA Soul Food so I was thrilled to be sent a copy of this cookbook for review from Ulysses Press. All the classic NOLA dishes are here and many unexpected more. You will learn how to prepare Crawfish, Roux, Andouille sausage stews, exotic drinks like the Hurricane, and fabulous sweets like the Beignets from Cafe du Monde.
Above is a picture of Marie and I enjoying these beignets. Again when we each ordered a plate at first we thought the portion was to big and we would not finish or plates. Wrong! We devoured our dessert greedily. And we went back every day for more. Next to us a lovely building from the French Quarter.
I am sure this is not the last recipe you will read here about from this cookbook but choosing to make the Myesha’s Muffuletta Olive Salad for this post was a no brainer for me. Everyone one should have a jar of this salad at home at all times in their fridge. The only thing I changed was the quantity of olive oil. This recipe (and all version of) use a massive amount of olive oil in my opinion, I cut it by a third and it was perfect for me.
I served my Olive Salad in a lighter fashion: a half slice of a French Bagette and a lovely French cheese called Saint-Nectaire (hints of hazelnut and mushrooms) which I popped in the oven for a few minutes. And stay tuned for an upcoming post soon for a really fantastic cocktail recipe made with Absinthe. I love that stuff.
Trying to figure out how to summarize my food pics from my vacation was an overwhelming task. So much to share, it would have taken 12 posts and 85 pics minimum if done individually! I decided to condense stuff over a few posts instead, have brief descriptions and do photo collages. I hope you enjoy this Vacation Eatz series!
I do want to try my hand at some recipes or explore some of the food’s background once the Vacation Eatz series is done. We always say that but we end up with a zillion other projects. So I am writing it down now here and you, my reader, can hold me to it that way lol. They are not exotic recipes at all, more your traditional Southern American staples. But for me they are exotic as they are not part of my food habits. So recipes/explorations to come in the future are:
She Crab Soup
BBQ as in the NC pulled pork version (I know different sauces, I’ll pick one)
Now let’s start the trip. My first stop was Washington DC for a day and I slept 2 nights at a friend’s house in Alexandria Virginia. It was so awesome to catch up with her, it had been 7 years since we last saw each other. I kind of wish I had stayed there longer…it went by too fast.
When she suggested Maryland crab as being a must I was not going to argue with her lol. We took a walk in Old Town Alexandria (which is just too pretty) and went to The Warehouse Bar & Grill. I am warning you right away…not a cheap place lol. But hey it’s a vacation treat. The walls of the restaurant are covered in caricatures of patrons. No one famous, no idea who drew them…but it is a unique and cool decor.
I had the She Crab Soup and the All Lump Crabcakes plate. My heart stopped a bit at the price of the entree, $28.95, but you only live once. The soup was amazing and very filling, so much so I had little room for the main dish. I stuck to the crabcakes mostly which were awesome with nice big chunks of crab meat. The veggies were plain enough anyways. What is lump crab? Lump crab is the extra large portions of meat that come out of a crab body. In other words you get chunks of crab flesh…not just torn apart little pieces. In my research online for this it is apparently common for commercial crab to be pasteurized but connoisseurs say it is to be avoided.
My friend works in DC so I hopped in the car with her in the morning. I spent the morning seeing lots of outdoor stuff like the Lincoln Monument, the White House from afar, the Capitol, and more. Funny enough you can’t get near the White House without getting a reservation 6 months prior but Obama’s veggie garden is right by the street lol…it’s the pic in the middle. It was so hot though I decided to spend the afternoon in the Smithsonian Museums. But first I had to have lunch.
The Smithsonian neighborhood is not a restaurant hub area at all. But I asked the cashier in the American Art History to recommend a place. She suggested the cafeteria in the National Museum of the American Indian. The Mitsitam Native Foods Café was a great discovery portal into the indigenous cuisines of the Americas. It’s set up like a food court with 5 counters representing the different cuisines: Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains.
I ended up having an Indian Taco which was made with Buffalo Chili and a fried bread. This recipe I have already made at home and posted about it here. I also got for dessert a Guava tapioca pudding. Yes I like tapioca lol. I have to say for a museum cafeteria the food was good but again the bill !!!! 20$ for a taco, a dessert and a juice. Me thinks DC would not welcome a Cheap Ethnic Eatz group to well.
Tune in tomorrow for more of my DC foodie adventures with Julia Child’s kitchen, space food and Thai cuisine!