Naptime on the Road: Eating & Traveling with My Family
This is the second part of my Top 10 favorite things about the Pillsbury Bake-Off!
Over Veteran’s Day weekend I flew to Las Vegas to attend the Pillsbury Bake-Off at the Aria Resort & Casino. It was a weekend of firsts for me since I had never attended a Bake-Off and never been to Las Vegas. The thrill of hitting both in one fell swoop was so exciting! The entire weekend was a whirlwind of catching up with old friends, learning the history of the Bake-Off, rooting for contestants, and taking in the sights and sounds of Vegas. Every bit of it was so thrilling that I barely know how to begin sharing the experience. I’ve decided that listing my top 10 favorite things about the Bake-Off would be a great way to go. My list is in chronological order of the weekend. There were so many great parts!
I am a little sad that my year of exploring food trucks is almost over. I’ve discovered so many good ones in our area! During my exploration I’ve been trying all kinds of cuisines served from a variety of vehicles. There are some that serve up full meals like a restaurant, others that focus specifically on one dish, and still more that are exclusively for desserts (!) This month I found the Fryborg Food truck, a truck that really pulls off a neat trick. The chef takes ordinary french fries and elevate them to the extraordinary. What was once a side dish to a cheeseburger or sandwich, becomes a main course with all kinds of ingredients and variations.
Last weekend I took a little time off from unpacking to attend the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival. Part of my role as a Sargento flavor correspondent this year is to investigate popular new flavor trends that are changing the food scene. Specifically, I am documenting two topics: the current explosion of food trucks, and popularity of cooking with mushrooms. I’ve been having a blast diving into both subjects, sampling food trucks all over the area, and cooking with mushrooms any chance I get. At the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival I was particularly interested in attending the crispy taco demonstration by Richard Blais, and the Weeknights Meals with Sara Moulton.
A trip to the Taco Loco food truck!
Earlier this month we spent almost three weeks in Cooperstown and it was pure heaven. We stayed with my parents and spent as much time as possible enjoying their garden, all the wonderful restaurants, and, of course, swimming in Lake Otsego. I love lake living in the summer. It is so simple and refreshing. This year the water was a little cool due to the all cooler nights we had, but we totally loved it. Here is a peak at some of the fun summer things we did, including an update on our favorite spots from a few years ago:
At the end of July I snuck out to Martha’s Vineyard for two nights to visit my in-laws. There are so many great things to do on the island but we didn’t have a lot of time. One of the things we made a priority this year was a visit to the Art Cliff Food Truck. The Art Cliff Diner is an institution on Martha’s Vineyard. It has been there since the beginning of time and serves the best food ever. Okay, not quite the beginning of time, but it has been there since I remember. Since it isn’t open for dinner a few years ago it started the food truck to serve up a few popular diner-like eats with a smile.
Last week we had a heatwave of epic temperatures. It was one of those weeks I had no interest in turning on the oven. I could barely handle boiling water! So, the best solution, in my mind, was the hit the food truck scene at our nearby outdoor beer garden. Thankfully, the garden is full of awesome food choices. Since my kids were with me (it was only 5pm) I decided to let them choose and we landed on The Melt Mobile, the local grilled cheese food truck.
My year as a flavor correspondent exploring the food truck trend for Sargento has been a revelation. The food truck trend is clearly gaining traction across the country and the reason it is doing so is because a lot of the food they are serving is so good. I’ve eaten quite a range of food truck cuisine in my local area – crepes, pizza, lobster rolls and, now, meatballs – and the cooks really know what they are doing with their specialty. Also, food trucks are taking on all kinds of different forms. Last month I tracked down the Skinny Pines pizza truck and found it is actually a wood-burning pizza oven towed by a large van. This month I had to pleasure of finally indulging in The Local Meatball food truck only to discover that it is a Fiat pulling a portable meatball stand!
One of my favorite things about my year as a flavor correspondent for Sargento is discovering all of the amazing food trucks springing up within ten miles of my house. Turns out Southern Connecticut is a hot bed of food truck entrepreneurs. I LOVE it! To please my daughter, last week we decided to visit a truck popular with both adults and Kindergarten set – Skinny Pines Pizza. It was a Friday night and we were in the mood for an easy dinner that everyone would love.
If you even hint to me that there is a fresh lobster roll in my immediate vicnity I am there. Seriously, a good roll is one of my all-time favorite foods. Especially in the summer. So, when my husband came home last month and told me that the new LobsterCraft food truck was in the area for the afternoon I threw the kids the car put the pedal to the metal. No matter that it was the last snowstorm of the year (I hope!), I wanted me some fresh lobsta!
One of the many things I miss about living in New York City are the food trucks. They always served the most delicious cuisines and were the perfect spot for grabbing a quick lunch or dinner. I lived there during the food truck trend explosion and nearly every week an awesome new truck would burst on the scene. By the time we moved out of the city there were hundreds of trucks serving nearly every kind of food on the planet! I was never at a loss for something new to try. Luckily, it hasn’t taken too long for the food truck trend to spread to the suburbs. Our little town in Connecticut even has one food truck, Christophe’s Crepes. Christophe is a jolly frenchman who parks his truck outside our local library. My daughter and I eat there at least once a month. We usually combine it with a trip to return her library books. Here are some shots of our recent trip over the weekend: