Bakery Crawl in Portland, Maine

A Nibble Here, A Nibble There, A Little Nibble Everywhere

I’ve mentioned before that I’m very fortunate to have children living in “Foodie” destinations and Portland, Maine is no exception. On a recent visit to see our daughter, Rebecca, we did a Bakery Crawl- how perfect is that! We hit 6 bakeries – all wonderful in their own way. Who knew that in a city of 68,000 we would find so many great places and I’m sure there are more to discover in future visits.

Are you ready to go on the Crawl with me? Let me share with you the highlights!

First stop, right around the corner from Rebecca’s home is The Holy Donut

They have a great selection of interesting flavors- my personal favorite is the chocolate with sea salt and Rebecca is partial to the gluten free lemon poppy seed.

Next on the list was the Standard Baking Company.


The Standard Baking Company specializes in artisan breads and classic pastries. The baguette has a wonderful crust and I also sampled an apricot almond galette- a rich almond pastry filled with apricot jam- delish!!

Third up was Aurora Provisions ( a name close to my heart), a place perfect for a great cup of coffee and a small bite. Try the cinnamon bread puffs- you won’t be sorry!


It was a great sunny (but cold) day in Portland so we visited the Lighthouse and then hopped a ferry and took a 4 mile walk around Peak’s Island. That made me feel justified in continuing “The Crawl”- wouldn’t you feel the same?


So, back in town, it was on  to Tandem Coffee and Bakery, Tandem is in a converted garage- so fun to see re-purposed buildings!

We sampled two very interesting flavored classics- a banana bread with black sesame and a shortbread cookie but made with rye flour and also rolled in black sesame seeds. You know something’s special when the flavors remain with you long after you’ve eaten it. So stay tuned for a future post when I recreate the rye shortbread for you.

Four down and the last two to go.

Two Fat Cats Bakery, , offers homestyle american cookies, cakes, and pies. They are famous for their Whoopie Pies and rightly so!


And finally- a short drive to South Portland brought us to Scratch Baking Company,

What a way to end our day…the aromas of freshly baked breads surround you as you walk through the door. Stuffed to the gills we decided to make our purchases and save them for breakfast the next day. The whole wheat sour dough English muffins are simply the best! I’m going to put in a special request to have some brought to me on Rebecca’s next visit home.

So that ended our Bakery Crawl adventure- but I’m so looking forward to returning and sampling more!


The Best Kept Secret of Walpole, Massachusetts

Farmer and The Dell

We’re so lucky- all our children live in places that have great foodie options!

Our daughter, Elyse, and her husband, Rob, live in Walpole, Massachusetts . Walpole is a charming and quaint New England village just a hop, skip and a jump from Boston.

However, there’s no need to travel to the city for great food. Walpole has much to offer, but hands down our favorite place to go is Farmer in the Dell.

Farmer in the Dell makes great homemade meals and desserts to either eat in or take out. Offerings include Breakfast sandwiches on biscuits, homemade flatbreads, great salads, soups, the best coffee around and wonderful desserts and baked goods!

One wintry evening we had dinner there- the Sweet Potato Chili with Quinoa was excellent and I kept thinking about it after I returned home to New York.

Here’s my version of it- it’s very easy to make and soul warming on a chilly winter’s eve!


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Quinoa


1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 tsp chili powder or to taste

1 tsp salt


2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed (my preference is always the Asian sweet potatoes)

2 cups cooked black beans  (rinsed and drained if using canned)

1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed well

4 cups vegetable broth

cilantro for garnish


In a large pot, saute the onions for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, jalapeno and chili powder and continue cooking over low heat for another 5 -10 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir often.

Add the sweet potatoes, 3 cups of broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add the beans and the quinoa and more broth if needed.

Return the chili to a boil and cover the pan but leave the lid ajar.

Cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the quinoa is cooked.

Serve with fresh cilantro.

And enjoy!

Makes 4 hearty servings



Chillin’ in Brooklyn

When I decided I wanted to enter the world of food blogging, I met my daughter Carolyn at her home in Williamsburg to work on creating Vegan Except Dessert. But of course, who can work on an empty stomach?

So, we headed north one block to the famous Brooklyn Smorgasburg.

Brooklyn Smorgasburg
Brooklyn Smorgasburg

What a treat- dozens and dozens of food vendors! Lots of vegan choices and we ate our way through it all- yum!!

My two favorites were:

The Epic Banh Mi sandwich from Regal Vegan . I was too busy gobbling it up to get a photo ( soooo sorry). They make a fabulous lentil and walnut spread that is great on sandwiches or just crackers for a snack.  Check their website to see where you might get it.

Regal Vegan
Regal Vegan


The Phatty Beet Burger from Chickpea and Olive. The Chickpea and Olive crew, Daniel Strong and Danielle Ricciardi are good friends of my co-worker, April. So, I knew to look out for their booth- and I’m very glad I did! VERY interesting and VERY tasty!

Chickpea and Olive
Chickpea and Olive

What a great way to start my new project! Can’t wait to go back !

Seeing Pope Francis – September 25, 2015

Yesterday my sister, Angela, and I gamely headed with 80,000 others to Central Park to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

Yikes you might say- but it was a testament to the goodness of the participants and the greatness of New York that the day went off without a hitch!

My sister, Angela, savoring the bread at Bar Boulud
My sister, Angela, savoring the bread at Bar Boulud

To prepare for the hours of standing, Angela and I had a wonderful lunch at Bar Boulud- food for our bodies while waiting for food for our souls.

Since I eat mainly vegan, I chose the gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, spinach and pine nuts…absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try my hand at this at home.

While we weren’t as fortunate as our mother and brother in seeing the Pope up close,  we were witness to the rainbow that appeared over us while waiting for the Pope-mobile!

See the rainbow?
See the rainbow?

A symbol of peace and fraternity- how appropriate for Pope Francis’ visit.

Pope Francis smiling at our mom as she blew him a kiss!
Pope Francis smiling at our mom as she blew him a kiss!
Waiting for the Pope Pasta
I call this: Waiting for the Pope Pasta

Food Memories- France- September 2014

Toulon Farmers' Market
Toulon Farmers’ Market

Another amazing experience! Celebrating a special birthday of one my French cousins in her hometown of Toulon. It was a magical day- feasting from noon till night!

And then, the next day a stop at the bountiful Toulon market to gather honey, jams and lavender.

Then on to Paris!  Food, wine and CHOCOLATE!!

Macarons too!
Macarons too!
Sampling at Maison du Chocolat
Sampling at Maison du Chocolat

Food Memories -Assisi – September, 2013

2013-09-28 12.49.00

Two years ago, my husband and I were fortunate to spend a week in Assisi celebrating the anniversary of my life long friend, Lisa and her husband, Ray.  We walked the cobblestone streets, savored the best pasta imaginable, sang arias in the courtyards and generally just lived the moment. The pastry shops all had windows brimming with the most beautiful dolce…Just thinking about it has my mouth watering!!2013-09-28 21.26.29