Tag Archives: cocktails

Cakes or balls? You be the judge.

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The husband and I went out for a booze filled leisurely lunch the other day at a place I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It’s the sister restaurant to one of our favorites so I had high expectations.

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Right across the street from LL Beans in the busy village of Freeport…the Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro is always packed with a long wait to be seated. We thought showing up at 2:00 in the afternoon would afford us some elbow room, but no. There was a 45 minute wait for a table which made my husband take a direct route to the bar.

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My husband does not wait well. Or at all to be honest.

No matter, I started with a lovely cranberry sage margarita which though tasty, was served in a disappointingly small old fashioned glass.

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And if I ever wondered why I was having a hard time finding vintage beer, wine or whisky crates… one look behind this bar provided the answer.

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A spiced pear margarita was round two…. and was served alongside my crab “cake” appetizer. I ask you – how can a tiny round lump of crab ever be considered a cake? These balls were delicious, but at $23 were a bit of a pricey nibble.

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Lunch was a wonderful 4 mushroom funghi pizza for me and a shrimp scampi for the husband. His lunch portion contained 4 shrimp for $29. I’d hate to see the dinner.

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For me the best part was cocktail #3.

APPLE OF MY EYE
apple infused captain morgan white rum
lime juice * cinnamon simple *
white cranberry juice

Ooh la la! It might sound like a weird combination but it was alcoholic apple pie in a glass. Be still my heart!

For the husband this was the kicker –

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I don’t care for cheesecake, but it did sound divine.

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He said it was literally the best cheesecake he’s ever had… and that’s saying something because he loves the stuff.

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With tip, a $218 lunch.

Christ. That’s what I used to pay for two weeks worth of groceries when we got married. How times change..

🥺

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Things I saw today.

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I woke up this morning to one very relaxed cat.

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Went to a craft show where I didn’t buy anything but did have a few laughs.

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Lunch?

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It came with a flight of margaritas. Blood orange cranberry, traditional and passion fruit.

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It’s $500 more for the W.

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I’m not sure how I rated $2,035 change from a twenty dollar bill,… must be that new math. Sadly I was unsuccessful in procuring the change, no matter how many times I argued computers are never wrong.

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Lord Dudley Mountcatten and princely sums for liquid holiday cheer.

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We will start and end this post with photos of His Lordship.

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Seen here giving me the evil eye for lowering the blinds and blocking his morning sun.

I had a birthday recently… yay me, another trip around the sun and straight down the road to decrepitude.

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The husband told me to pick a place for dinner but I’d skipped lunch and decided we should go cocktail hopping early.

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Enter Royal River Grille, one of my favorite spots.

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We settled happily at the bar… but were presented with brunch menus since it was a Sunday. I’m not a breakfast person so the thought of scrambled eggs with my Cosmo at 4:00pm did not please me, not one little bit. Brunch until 5:00pm? Come on.

We decided to move on and got the check.

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With tip, $30.92 for a drink and a beer. What’s the world coming to?

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Next stop was Goodfire Brewery, a new place I’d been wanting to try. On arrival we discovered they were almost out of beer and only had three left on tap. Thankfully one was a blackberry currant sour, but at $9.50 per for the small pour and a virtually non existent menu, we paid $24 for two beers and moved on again.

We ended at a nice seafood place we hadn’t visited in a while and I had a lovely crab, shrimp and scallop lasagna which I didn’t photograph.

So we end with me another year older and a very innocent Lord Dudley Mountcatten.

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Well, maybe not that innocent.

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A restaurant post.

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Just down the road from the snowflake museum…

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We discovered a gem.

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Housed in an old inn, the restaurant/bar was warm and inviting.

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Most of the dining sections were full so we grabbed a high top near the empty bar.

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Seeing the empty bar made me wonder about the quality of libations….

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But a stellar blood orange cranberry gin fizz allayed my fears.

Of course this was Vermont, so some of the menu items put me off.

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A skillet full of kale? There wasn’t enough gin in the state to make me order that.

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Ditto the falafel, though the maple chicken didn’t sound bad.

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But the clam chowder was homemade, rich, creamy and full of fresh herbs so I started with that.. accompanied by the most amazing peach cornbread with orange whipped butter you’ve ever tasted. Ooh la la! I raved over them so much the waitress brought me extra of both to take home.

The beer? I thought you might notice that.

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I tried both of these.

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Because a girl gets thirsty when she eats salad.

😉

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We enjoyed this place so much we stayed long enough to order dessert. (Mainly because the husband found a fellow veteran to talk to… and you know how long that can take.)

Pumpkin cheesecake for him, Key lime pie for yours truly.

If you’re ever in the Jericho area of Vermont drop in. You won’t be sorry.

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Random tidbits.

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I have a friend who does a different type of Christmas tree every year. Some years it’s weird and funky, some years it’s traditional. This year I made a suggestion I wish she would have followed…

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She was not amused, but damn. That’s epic.

Every couple of years the lazy Susan cabinet in our kitchen goes off track…. and every few years my husband asks why we need so many cans.

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Someday I’ll have an answer.

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I need this in my life.

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Who needs pie when you have martinis?

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Isn’t it sweet my cat loves rocks as much as his human mother?

And finally, a Christmas tree for Mark who has an affinity for awkward pink birds….

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Lunch in the basement.

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When I think basement, I imagine dark corners, cobwebs and mouse turds. Clearly there was none of that here.

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How big is this resort?

It has its own post office.

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And a line of high end shops down the hallway. One of which I was forbidden to enter by my spouse…

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Did I mention the carpet?

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Trees, pine cones and woodland creatures. Very whimsical.

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Since we were visiting off season for lunch there were only two options, an upstairs restaurant offering small plates and tapas or downstairs which had a full menu. I think you know by now my husband is not a small plate kind of guy.

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Another cocktail? Don’t mind if I do.

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The menu was a bit smaller than I expected from such a big place, and as I scanned to the bottom I was seriously hoping my spouse would find something he wanted before he found the filet. Gulp!

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We elected to split a bowl of clam chowder to start and instead of bringing two spoons, they divided it in cute little square bowls. Very tasty.

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One shrimp scampi and a crabmeat sandwich later…

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We were replete and ready to continue exploring.

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Hats off to budget shoppers.

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For the first time in two years we’re venturing out of our Thanksgiving Covid bubble and spending the holiday with friends as was our tradition. It will be a small gathering with a large amount of love.

And food. As well as drink.

In that spirit… I went shopping yesterday for the ingredients to whip up my contributions to the feast. To say I had sticker shock is a gross understatement, and while I’ve been cringing at the checkout counter for a while now, this trip was solely to make three things which made the cost positively ridiculous.

Harvest sangria –

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And mind you, I already had the vodka.

Crabmeat toasties –

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Already had the mayo.

And a cappuccino mousse trifle.

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Already had the milk.

To assemble a drink, an appetizer and a dessert in 2022 without the items I already had at home?

$211.76.

Granted the fresh crabmeat is an indulgence at … are you ready? … $40 a pound. In Maine! Two pounds are pictured, which a few years ago cost me roughly half that. And sure, I could have brought cheese and crackers but everyone loves these and looks forward to them. Probably because they’re too cheap to ever make it themselves, but still.

On the flip side of my extravagance, I have a frugal girlfriend. Every year she challenges herself to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner for six people for under $30. She’s so proud of her ability to do this she lists her purchases on her Facebook page if anyone wants to follow her lead.

I thought this year, with its astronomically high food prices, she wouldn’t be able to do it.

I was wrong. And I’m including her post because she just impresses the Hell out of me.

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I’ve been asked by so many people if I was going to do a Thanksgiving on a shoestring post this year. Well, I did it. I’ll give a shopping list with prices, menu, and break down how I did it.
Turkey $6.14 (.47 #) 13# bird
1 1/2 # sweet potato .56
2# sweet onions .87
Celery $1.50
1# carrots .50
2.5# potatoes $1.00
Squash $1.00
Turnip $1.00
Fresh herbs $1.99
Graham crackers $1.25
1 large banana .40
1# flour .75
2 cups sugar $1.00
Canned whipped cream $2.50
1qt. milk $2.19
Butter $3.99
Vanilla pudding $1.49
Cranberries $1.00
Stuffing $2.49
Grand total $31.62

Thanksgiving menu
Roast turkey with stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Squash
Roasted Root Vegetables
Homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade gravy
Chai pie
Banana cream pie
Biscuits

This was probably the most challenging budget Thanksgiving Dinner. My goal was to keep it at or below $30.00. I could have done it if I went with with cheaper options, like margarine, instead of butter, but I refuse to skimp on quality. Another option was to get a loaf of bread for 1.29, at the off price bread store for stuffing, but $1.00 savings in the meal didn’t make sense when it cost more in gas to go get it. A lot of things, like potatoes, flour, and sugar I buy in bulk, but I used store prices for those items. By making things from scratch, like pie crust, biscuits, and cranberry sauce, you can save a lot of money. I got canned whipped cream, because whipping cream was sold out. The price is about the same. My menu is looking a little different this year as well. I talked to those who were coming for dinner, and we decided on two pies that we all liked. There’s no sense in baking a bunch of pies that aren’t going to be eaten. Six different side dishes aren’t necessary, so we decided what our favorites were. We grew our own Squash, turnip, and herbs, but I priced them for the dinner cost. This list can be tweaked to your personal liking. I didn’t include beverages, because we already have that stuff on hand. In the end, Thanksgiving dinner for 6 breaks down to $5.27 per person. That is, until I turn leftovers into more meals 😉………Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope this had helped 🙂

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Proof positive it is possible.

That’s also proof I’ll never do it myself, but hey… to each their own.

So however you celebrate Thanksgiving , or even if you don’t… I hope your day is filled with food, friends, family and fun.

Let the boozy goodness begin!

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The Cave at the Mount Washington resort

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The best thing about this basement… aside from the carpet?

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It had a genuine prohibition era speak easy…

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That you enter through a tunnel of rock! Be still my heart.

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Okay, I was extremely disappointed it didn’t open until 9:00pm when we’d be long gone, but still.

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It was a funky space.

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Burrowed in the ground, no windows, only one access port.

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They took their drinking in secret seriously.

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The bar itself was behind this locked gate but that didn’t stop me from sticking my nose… and camera… inside.

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No flash.

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Flash.

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How cool is that!

If you can, enlarge this article and read the middle and right hand columns for its history.

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I really hope we’re back in the area some night.

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Because I’d love to stroll through here with a martini in hand.

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Franconia Notch

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This is the road you have to drive if you visit the White Mountains.

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The Notch was famous for The Old Man in the Mountain, a natural stone outcropping that resembled a face. Sadly, it crumbled years ago but there’s a museum devoted to it at the Canon Mountain gondola sight where you can grab a glimpse.

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Peak foliage was long past when we drove through and everything looked very grey.

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But it’s still an impressive sight.

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And a huge tourist destination.

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This was the road the day we drove it. Below was the road two weeks before…

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There’s something to be said for traveling off season. No traffic jams for us.

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Not as colorful, but definitely smoother sailing.

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Never a dull moment…

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