Ice Cream at Lick, Austin

Ice Cream at Lick, Austin

Zan’s cousin (who has a wonderful blog, by the way) recommended that Kiyo and I visit Lick, a unique ice cream shop, during our visit to Austin, Texas last year. I’m so glad we followed her advice, as this was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. The small shop was completely out-of-the-way for us, but we enjoyed the long walk and the bus ride back was all worth it.

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After sampling a few of their creative, unique flavors, I settled on two scoops:

  1. Scoop #1: Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey (fresh local thyme and Austin Honey Company honey pair perfectly with Austin’s own creamy Pure Luck goat cheese)
  2. Scoop #2: Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint (clean, crisp, garden mint flawlessly complements the slightly sweet, earthy flavor of roasted beets)

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On its website, Lick states: “To us, honest ice creams simply means we use only pure, whole ingredients. All of the milk and cream used to make our ice creams comes from a local dairy and as for everything else, we know where every ingredient originates… What doesn’t go into our ice creams is just as important as what does. We never use artificial colors or  flavors, high fructose corn syrup or preservatives…ever! Ice cream shouldn’t just taste good — we believe it should also be good. Unique ice cream flavors that come from only the finest ingredients (and nothing else) is what we’re all about.”

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Lunch at Duckfat, Portland

Duck Fat restaurant Portland Maine

The weather in NYC has been jumping around from sunny and 70-degrees, to windy and under-30 degrees, and I know I’m not alone when I say STOP TOYING WITH MY EMOTIONS AND GET ON WITH SUMMER!

With May less than two weeks away (where did April go!?) my friends and I are all FINALLY getting down to serious summer-planning business. Last summer we had the most magical weekend in Maine, so that’s highest on all our to-do lists. We stayed in our friend’s family’s summer-house, which is secluded on its own little island, complete with a hammock, tree-house, kayaks and flat rocks perfect for outdoor cooking and sunset-admiring. We arrived late on a Friday night and spent all of Saturday sprinting around on the dinghy, drinking boxed wine straight from the bag (see above), eating lobster rolls, saltwater taffy and fudge, swimming in the chilly water, and just generally enjoying the summer, the sun and each other’s company.

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We had to leave all too soon, the next afternoon, in order to get back to NYC in time for work Monday morning (we got in around 1 or 2 AM Sunday night, after a ten-hour drive, and I was at work by 9 AM Monday morning, but it was totally worth it!).

On our way out of Maine that Sunday, Maggie, our friend Tanner and I stopped in Portland for lunch at a restaurant I’d heard about (we’d already been on the windy roads for an hour by then): Duckfat.

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Duckfat is a small restaurant that calls itself a “sandwich shop” but serves much more than that: soups, salads, milkshakes, donuts, craft beverages and duck-fat-fried-French-fries, all made with locally sourced ingredients. They even make their own craft sodas, which I always love since I don’t really drink the artificial variety. I had the “All Maine Tonic,” with honey, maple, raw cider vinegar and chaga (keep reading to see more of their original beverages).

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Of course, our mouths were already watering just looking at the menu. Maggie and I decided to split two panini; here is the first.

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Paska [Russian Easter Bread], Minneapolis

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Usually Russian Orthodox Easter falls later than regular Easter, but this year, both fall on the same day: today! Last year I visited my family in Minnesota and my grandma and I made paska, traditional Russian Easter bread. I’ve made this every year since I can remember, and have always used her recipe, but never had the chance to make it with her so this felt truly special.

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Above is my recipe next to my grandma’s recipe card. My version I transcribed on my mom’s neon orange Apple iBook, back when using Microsoft Word was an exciting activity in and of itself. I still remember my grandma reading her recipe to me over the phone as I typed (and later probably obsessed over choosing just the right font).

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Unfortunately, I put this post off until the very last-minute because I just couldn’t find my recipe anywhere (I’m sure it’s around here somewhere, among the various paper piles of recipes and articles that I tend to accumulate). But if you’re interested in making your own version, there are plenty of great recipes online. My grandma’s will just have to remain a family secret!

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The “What I Ate Wednesday” That Never Was

random WIAW

Allow me explain the title of this post: often I begin to take pictures of what I eat, and then in the rush of the workday, I forget that I’m documenting for What I Ate Wednesday. These are the pictures from those fragmented days.

Above is a snack I ate pre-jog: watermelon radish on buttered semolina toast, with sea salt. This is one of the simplest yet most beautiful and delicious things I’ve made, and I highly recommend it. Just don’t tell anyone what it is until after they’ve taken a bite; Kiyo and Zan both thought it sounded gross, but when Kiyo tried it he loved it.

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This is beef gyoza that I picked up from Dean & Deluca after a doctor’s appointment, on my way back to the office. They weren’t as good as fresh dumplings, but they were still good for packaged food.

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The work lunch I’m loving most lately is stuffed bell peppers. I cooked up quinoa in vegetable broth (to give it extra flavor) and mixed in frozen kale. Then I stuffed it into a pepper and topped it off with pepper jack cheese. Cheap, easy and delicious!

NYC kebab

Mik and I stopped at a Turkish kebab place before an evening at the Comedy Cellar. This is my chicken kebab on super soft home bread, with lettuce, tomato and sauce. It was so good I almost ate the entire thing, and it was pretty big.

WIAW chocolate peanut butter hemp toast

Lastly, an early morning pre-yoga snack: toast with Peanut Butter & Co.’s chocolate peanut butter and hemp hearts.