everyday vita: thanksgiving

 This year, my family and I spent Thanksgiving in Newport, Rhode Island, my dad’s hometown. 

the feast.

The journey got off to a great start.  We were an hour early for our flight (unlike last time where we literally ran through the gate).  Even better, there was a brand new Pinkberry in the terminal. I’m not the biggest fan of Arby’s and Panda Express (airport staples), so this frosty, coconut-mango goodness put me in a great mood!

I was carrying two pumpkin chocolate chip loaves, a loaf of orange cranberry bread (recipe coming soon!), a huge Ziploc of cornbread cubes (for my apple cornbread stuffing), and a big panettone (also for my stuffing.  Just for the record, panettone works wonders in stuffing — those sweet, citrus-y notes of panettone along with apples, cranberries and heavy cream are to die for.

Thank you TSA for not taking my baked goods from me.

Soon after we landed in Newport and said our hellos, the cooking commenced.

I made Julia Child’s simple cranberry sauce. (even though my dad insisted on buying the canned stuff as well).  In my opinion, freshly popped cranberries with citrus zest will always win over the stuff that still has can rings on it… but to each his own ;).

Instead of mashed potatoes, I whipped up some rosemary roasted potatoes.  With crunchy, oven-fried edges and smooth insides, these were addictive.
I made white cheddar biscuits in my grandma’s cast iron skillet.  I felt like a strong independent pioneer woman making her own skillet biscuits on the old frontier.  Except not, because I was in my grandmother’s kitchen with a space heater wearing my fuzzy Christmas socks and listening to Macklemore. Oh well, we can pretend…
My dad made the turkey, isn’t it festive? Look at that shiny glaze! Looks like it jumped out of Martha Stewart to me– nice job daddy!

But these sweet potatoes stole the show.  I made Ruth Chris’ sweet potato casserole, and it was an all around hit.  Make this for your next holiday gathering… or dinner tonight. You’ll thank me. 
Then I whipped up some fresh whipped cream to go with the pies.  Pies don’t Instagram very well… so no pictures. I made my crunchy, custardy tart with apples, and the simplest pumpkin pie in the world.  I had the leftover whipped cream with coffee the next morning.  Not coffee with whipped cream, whipped cream with coffee. Oh yeah. 😉

I did take some breaks from the kitchen to walk around Newport.  The silhouette of St. Georges (my dad’s high school) looked so gorgeous and purple at sunset.

I walked past Rosecliff mansion. Funny because we are reading the Great Gatsby in school at the moment. Party at Gatsbys?

When I woke up on the next morning, this little guy was perched outside my window.  He literally sat there staring at me for an entire 20 minutes. (don’t judge me for staring back the entire time… no wonder I almost didn’t finish packing).

Hope you all had wonderful, cozy Thanksgivings!
Get psyched for Christmas cookie season!

With love,
Erica

boudin bakery

I have just successfully completed my first week of school, and have been spending some time reminiscing on some of my summer memories. Today, I want to share with you all one of the coolest places I went this summer, hope you enjoy!

I am a total nerd when it comes to bread.

We were down on the Fisheman’s Wharf, a.k.a the tourist mecca of San Francisco. My mom wanted to go back to the hotel, my dad wanted to poke around the kite shops. But I decided to drag my entire family on a tour of Boudin sourdough bakery.

pouring soup into bread bowls

This place was loaded with cool stuff (even my reluctant parents found it interesting. There were little metal baskets that would float around the huge space on a conveyer belt — delivering fresh sourdough loaves to the restaurant and bakery. (if you don’t find floating loaves of bread cool, we need to talk.)

The museum is full of the history of the San Francisco sourdough, with tons of artifacts such as an ancient whisk and 19th century bread bags. (oh how I wish we visited these kinds of museums in school…)

“In 1849, the Boudin family struck
culinary gold. Wild yeasts in the San Francisco air had imparted a
unique tang to their traditional French bread, giving rise to ‘San
Francisco sourdough French bread.’



The science section was even cooler. They explained everything from where the pockets in pita bread come from, to the ratio of ingredients in their famous sourdough recipe. Oh, and they had free samples!

My favorite part of the museum was the virtual quiz which determined what type of bread best fits your personality. It was surprisingly accurate — I got dusted wheat.

If you ever find yourself in the city by the bay, be sure to check out Boudin bakery!

With love,
Erica