Food Quotes to Inspire You

by Samantha Scott
( August 29th, 2014 )

Inspiration in the kitchen comes from many places. Fresh ingredients, old family recipes, film, literature, cooking shows, food photography...all provide wonderful ideas to help make cooking fun and exciting. For me watching the films “Chocolat” and “Julie and Julia” always make me want to cook. Here are some lovely food quotes from inspiring people to help get your creative juices flowing!

Garlic Painting by Laurel Sherrie

“To have a basic ingredient that can be prepared a million different ways is a beautiful thing.” -Alice Waters

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” -Maya Angelou

"Italian Sauce" Painting by Laurel Sherrie

“Food makes travel so exceptional, because you get to taste what it’s actually supposed to taste like. To eat the real Pad Thai or finally have a proper curry is something pretty amazing.” -Meghan Markle

“I love food, all food, everything about food. I enjoy going to the market and having what’s in front of me – what’s fresh, seasonal – tell me what I’m cooking.” -Tyler Florence

"Yellow Pears" Painting by Laurel Sherrie

“My extravagance is my garden – it’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure.” -Ina Garten

“Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.” -Anthony Bourdain

Artichokes&OliveOil450

What are some of your favorite food quotes that inspire you to cook?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Food Paintings by Laurel Sherrie, LaurelSherrie.com

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WanderFood Wednesday: Amazing Flavors at Purple Pig in Chicago

by Samantha Scott
( August 26th, 2014 )

Purple Pig Chicago

The Purple Pig in Chicago is an experience not to be missed. This restaurant came highly recommended to me and I’m so glad I went. Great atmosphere, delicious food, and in the heart of a city known for it’s food, it holds its own and then some. If you ever want to give your taste buds a real treat, you definitely need to go here.

Purple Pig is tapas style, so everything is arranged as small plates, designed to serve one to two people. They are very accommodating with the ordering process, which I found refreshing. Customers are encouraged to order on a rolling basis, and food comes out when it’s ready.

Fried Manchego Cheese at Purple Pig

There was a lot to choose from, all different types of flavors, plenty of vegetarian options, and a good amount of seafood. And then my eye lit upon what could be the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen: Fried Manchego Cheese. Let me say that again: FRIED MANCHEGO CHEESE. First of all, Manchego is probably one of the most delectable cheeses ever and if you fry something it automatically enters it into a whole other stratosphere of yum. This dish was paired with Membrillo, a divine jam made from quince fruit, and it was everything it sounds like and more.

Bone Marrow at Purple Pig

I then sampled one of their specialties: Roasted Bone Marrow with Herb Salad. If you’ve never had bone marrow before, it is well worth trying. A bit like a cross between butter and olive oil, spread over lightly toasted bread, it has a rich taste, something that hits you at the back of the palate. A true treat, I make a point to have it wherever I see it and I can safely say, this is one of the best I’ve had!

Charred Cauliflower at Purple Pig

Charred Cauliflower with Toasted Breadcrumbs followed, offering a nice freshness. The cauliflower was perfectly cooked, which, if you’ve ever tried cooking cauliflower or broccoli, or other such vegetables, you know can be tricky business. I liked the loose structure of the breadcrumbs, they added a great texture and didn’t make the cauliflower doughy, as breadcrumbs can often do.

Octopus at Purple Pig

Octopus with Green Beans, Fingerling Potatoes and Salsa Verde came next. Beautifully cooked with nice tangy flavors, it was the perfect in-between dish, complementing the heavier fried cheese and bone marrow and the lighter cauliflower perfectly.

Have you ever visited the Purple Pig in Chicago? What was your favorite dish?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credit


Purple Pig Entrance: Roberto Bolanos via Flickr

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WanderFood Wednesday: A Delicious Journey Through the Highway 1 Discovery Route, PART 2

by Samantha Scott
( August 19th, 2014 )

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

Part 2 of my journey through the Highway 1 Discovery Route began in the wonderful little town of Cambria. This ocean side town boasts a plethora of restaurants, gift shops and art galleries. I stayed at the fabulous Olallieberry Inn a charming B&B located right on Main St.

Olallieberry Inn in Cambria, CA

The house is old, celebrating its 140th year, and it creaks in all the right places, creating a truly unique vibe. Romantic, yet welcoming to solo and family travelers, it’s a comfortable spot with a great outdoor area, delicious breakfast (banana pancakes with olallieberry jam…need I say more?), and outstanding hospitality.

Olallieberry Inn Back Porch

A short walk from the inn brings you to the lovely Main St drag. I noticed as I drove out of town that there seem to be two main drags for shopping and restaurants. As my time was limited I only got to explore the first one. Cambria is definitely a big enough small town to warrant staying a few days!

Robin's Restaurant in Cambria, CA

I had dinner at Robin’s Restaurant, located just off Main St. Larger than it looks, with a beautiful garden area out back, which features live music on Sunday’s,  this fabulous restaurant offers an eclectic mix of choices, such as curries, and Spanish cuisine. World cuisine influences are sprinkled throughout the menu from appetizer to dessert, along with an equally eclectic wine list. Every Sunday, they feature a different local winery, which I thought was a wonderful touch.

Fried Artichoke at Robins in Cambria

I started with fried artichokes, paired with an unapologetically bold and spicy sauce, and this trend would continue throughout the meal, with the pork chop I had as my main course. Bold flavors sprang forward, making each bite exciting and delicious. The Ancho chile sauce tasted so unique: at once exhibiting new world BBQ characteristics and old world spice and smoothness. Like a nineteenth century American cowboy collided with the conquistadors of old Spain. Paired with a beautifully interesting chorizo cornbread stuffing which, aside from being amazing and way lighter than it sounds, also brilliantly blurred cuisine lines.

Goat Cheesecake at Robins Restaurant in Cambria

Finishing up, I couldn’t resist the sound of Goat Cheesecake. And I was most definitely not disappointed. This milky, creamy, flavorful cheesecake melts in your mouth as subtle flavors and aromas dance around your nose and mouth. It was the perfect way to finish a perfect meal.

Moonstone Beach Walk Wildlife

The following day I spent the morning strolling along the enchanting Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. This long stretch features beautiful views, plenty of places to walk down to the beach itself, and more ground squirrels than you can shake a stick at. It’s a wonderful place to view the changing colors along the coast as the morning fog lifts.

Stolo Family Vineyards

Not far from the town of Cambria is the wonderful Stolo Family Winery. Featuring a focused list of supreme, small lot wines, the winery boasts a beautiful tasting room, bright and airy, with high ceilings, local art for sale (including ceramic tiles by Laurel Sherrie!), and old photographs adorning the walls, bringing the history of the land right into present day.

Stolo Winery Tasting Room

As general manager Maria Stolo Bennetti described to me, the land was first owned by Italian dairy farmers and planted with a few vineyards which they tended in secret, making Grappa during prohibition. Today, those old vineyards are still very much in use, contributing to the production of the winery’s flagship varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Sebastian's Store in San Simeon, California

I rounded out my day with a stop at Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room, located in the historic Sebastian’s General Store in San Simeon. This fun tasting room offers a wide range of wines to try, and it’s hard not to be awed at the Hearst story. Definitely worth a stop, and the deli reportedly serves amazing sandwiches, although it is closed on Monday’s so beware of that!

A short ways up the road is one of the best viewing areas along the coast for elephant seals. These remarkable animals are part of the Stewardship Travel portion of Wine Coast Country’s 10 Destinations. Visitors can contribute to the preservation of this beautiful natural habitat if they wish, and this option is available every day of the year.

This ended my wonderful journey through the Highway 1 Discovery Route. What a beautiful area to visit, offering such a diverse group of activities and sights. Highly recommended; I was even there in peak tourist season and did not find that to be a deterring factor, which is saying something.

Do you have a favorite stop along the Discovery Route? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to share your stories in the comments below.

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha 

*While this itinerary, accommodations and meals were arranged and provided for me by WineCoastCountry.com and Mental Marketing for review purposes, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

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