Lobster Eggs Benedict – Ceia Restaurant and Bar, Newburyport, MA

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Just a few weekends ago I had such a fantastic brunch at Ceia Restaurant and Bar.

What was I doing way up in Newburyport?

I was getting to meet Carrie and Liz!!!!!!!

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I have been talking to Carrie for ages and ages on social media, but have never met, although we live a little more an hour apart. Carrie introduced me to Liz when she invited me to brunch. So much fun.

Liz picked Ceia Restuarant and Bar for our brunch as we decided to meet in the middle of all of us. Liz lives nearby and enjoys going there for drinks and dinner so it sounded like a great pick. And it was!

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Carrie ordered a Kobe Burger ($16). It’s a burger on a buttered focaccia bun and topped off with Serrano ham, manchego cheese, and a slice of tomato. All of their sandwiches are served with Duckfat fries. OMG! I snagged some and they were fantastic. It was the first time I had Duckfat fries, and I’m hooked now. Plus, they serve a house-made ketchup that is sweet, smokey, and creamy. One of the best homemade ketchups that I’ve ever had.

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Liz stuck with the breakfast dishes and ordered the pancakes ($13). The pancakes were studded with black walnuts and thinly chopped pear, and served with with fresh maple syrup. The pancakes were cooked in Candy Cap Oil, which is actually oil infused with forged mushrooms, but has a maple flavor to it. Pretty cool.

Carrie ordered a mimosa and I ordered a Bloody Mary as our brunch bevies. The Bloody Mary was good, but I felt it it was missing something, spicy maybe? Plus, I thought it was ‘weak’. Similarly, Carrie thought her mimosa was too.

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I had considered ordering the Shirred Eggs entree but when I saw they had a Lobster Benedict ($18) I just knew it was the thing I couldn’t resist.  I mean how could I?!?

Poached Lobster, poached eggs, and a thick slice of Tomato set atop an English Muffin. And then a Spicy Hollandaise was drizzled on top.  Then some dressed arugula was piled on top all of that.

It all just sounded too good.

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 And it really, really was so good.

The serving of the lobster was generous and cooked perfectly. As well, the poached eggs were just about perfect. The addition of the tomato and arugula was enjoyable as they added to the flavor and texture of the dish. The arugula added a bit of a pop to it all. The only disappointing element of the dish were the English Muffins. It seemed that they had forgotten to be toasted, or if they were it was done so lightly that the insides still seemed doughy. Yes, I could have requested new English muffins but I didn’t as I didn’t feel that I missed out on the overall experience of the dish but leaving them to the side. Plus, there still was a great side of hash browns to be enjoyed.

The side of potatoes were amazing. I loved how crunchy they were. They were a great vehicle for the ketchup that was served along side of them. That ketchup was unreal. I typically notice a heavy molasses or vinegar taste in homemade ketchups but this didn’t have either distinct flavor. It was a great consistency and well balanced.

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Brunch with great food and great company is always fantastic. I can’t wait to meet up with Carrie and Liz again. And I highly suggest going to Ceia in Newburyport to satisfy your eggs benedict craving.

Rating

English Muffin- 13/20 pts

Lobster and Tomato- 20/20 pts

Poached Egg- 23/25 pts

Spicy Hollandaise- 24/25 pts

Homefries and ketchup- 9/10 pts

 

Total: 89/100 pts

Ceia Restaurant and Bar

38 State Street

Newburyport, MA 01950

978.358.8112

 

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Our 2015 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Day 7 & Disembarking Recap

We took a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise on the Vision of the Seas to visit the Western Caribbean for my 30th birthday/pre-wedding honeymoon. We visited Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, Georgetown in Grand Cayman, and Belize City in Belize, sandwiched between 2 days at sea cruising.

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{Friday- Day at Sea}

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While it would have been so nice to have been able to sleep in, it was always so enjoyable to watch the sun rise over the Gulf of Mexico.

We headed right over to the Windjammer Cafe when it opened at 7am. We did our usual divide and conquer with us grabbing plates of food on our way to the table to have things at the ready for Autumn to eat. And then we’d take turns getting whatever else we need for ourselves, like omelets.

As a birthday gift to me, Price sent me off to the Spa for a massage while Autumn napped. I had seen a flyer earlier in the week for a special package called “Top to Toe Heaven”. It was a 75-minute package that included a Full Body Ginger and Lime Exfoliation, Full Body Swedish Massage, Foot and Ankle Massage, and a Scalp Massage. Some of the prices for things in the spa can be really expensive (manicures!) but this was a real deal for $149, down from $291.

The spa is located at the aft (back) of the boat, just off the Serenity Pool. The waiting room overlooks the back of the boat so you have a clear view out to watch the wake of the ship while sipping on some chilled lemon water. My room also had a great view but I didn’t enjoy it very much with my head down in the passage table. At least I really enjoyed my massage. Pure bliss!!

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After my massage we went to lunch in the Aquarius Dining Room. Autumn loved the olive studded rolls they served but I decided that I much more preferred to eat lunch at the Windjammer Cafe. I liked the lovely service that was provided by the waiters and waitresses but I much more preferred the selection at the Windjammer Cafe. While they had a great salad bar, I found that the meals they served were similar to the Cafe, but just slightly off. For example, the sliders I had enjoyed on Thursday were served in Aquarius dining room on Friday, but without the aioli, which really made the sliders.

We headed to the Nursery after lunch so that Autumn could enjoy the Open Play time that afternoon. We then left her there for some time so that both Price and I could enjoy some time by the pool. It really worked well for all of us as Autumn got to nap and play at the nursery and we got to enjoy some fun in the sun!

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We spent some time packing up all our stuff just before dinner. This allowed us to sort the the clothes we wouldn’t need for that night and next morning into the big suitcase. We left it outside of our room later that night so that it would be round up by the ship staff to be unloaded into the Port of Tampa building the following morning. Packing up the night before you leave can make the morning of departure much more efficient and smoother.

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We had a lovely last dinner together in the Aquarius dining room.  It was bittersweet as we had to say ‘good-bye’ to our amazing servers. They really made the dinner experience with Autumn so amazing.

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Dinner was great, but so was the sunset.

I took a walk after dinner while Price stayed with a sleeping Autumn in the room. I caught the end of the cruise celebration put on by the cruise crew in the Centrum (7.45pm). Representatives from every country that the staff participate in The International Parade of Flags. Every country is announced and they wave flags while there there is fun music playing. It was so cute. I loved every second of it.

{Disembarking}

Autumn must have been super excited about getting on dry land again as she was up bright and early to start her day. How early? 3.30 in the morning!! No Joke. Her abnormally early waking hours while on the cruise was compounded that morning with the time change back to East Coast time. Ugh!

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Thankfully the 24 Hour Windjammer Cafe Coffee Bar was well stocked!!

We hit the cafe as soon as it opened to avoid the crush of people having breakfast before the trip was over. I was going to miss all those options!

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Oh, nice nap eh?

Thankfully, everyone was busy with breakfast or doing last minute packing in their rooms so I could walk loop after loop around the 5th and 6th decks while Autumn snoozed.

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We had to wait in our designated area outside the theater on Deck 5 until we were cleared to disembark the ship.

Thankfully the process was painless as we followed the crowds, grabbed out big suitcase, and joined the (well organized) line to get through customs. They estimated the processing taking 45+ minutes but it took us less than half the time. So easy.

And then all we had to do was wait for my dad to come to pick us up.

We were all worn out from the cruise but it was so worth the vacation and experience. It was a good feeling. Tired but relaxed. We felt accomplished that we visited every port. And very full from all the great food. It was so special that we brought Autumn on her first cruise and I got to celebrate my 30th birthday while on vacation. The Royal Caribbean experience was a blast. We can’t wait for our next cruise!

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Check out my other cruise recaps!

Our 2014 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Days 1 & 2 Recap

Our 2014 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Days 3 & 4 Recap

Our 2014 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Days 5, 6 Recap

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Brownie Waffle Sundae

Brownie Waffle Sundae

I really believe that we all need to give each other a break more often.

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I had a rough week last week. Too busy. Too rough around the edges. Just too much. I was glad to be going away for a long weekend trip to see my best friend. Shoot, I’ve missed her so damn much since I last saw her at Christmas 2013. But it meant for a crazy week busting my butt to get things done for a design presentation on Friday.

So when things went *BOOM* on Thursday afternoon. I wanted to run into the bathroom and cry. But I didn’t, not because I was being strong or anything, but because I didn’t have the time.

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We found out that I made a mistake on a project I have been working on. A dumb mistake. A mistake I normally wouldn’t make. But I did. I looked back at my time sheet and emails that week and figured out what happened. Not to make an excuse but to see how I let something so dumb slip through my fingers.

It had my nerves frazzled all weekend. It was the thing going on in the back of my head while we walked all over the city, drank amazing drinks, ate delicious food, and talked of the future. I didn’t sleep well, and it wasn’t just because of the time change.

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It’s costing my company $6K to fix. What a mistake. UGH!!!!! In the grand scheme of cosmic (or even company) things it isn’t such a big deal but it has me all torn up. And I’m sure that it will for a really long time. I won’t make the same mistake again, I’ll be sure of it, but it still really stinks right now.

And that is why I think we all need to be nice to others. Give them a reassuring nod or wink when they look defeated. Hold the door open for them. Buy someone a coffee. Just think of when you have felt crappy and you needed a pick me up.

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So that is why I made this Brownie Waffle Sundae. It’s the perfect pick me up for a crummy day. Or better yet, it’s a better way to end a great day.

Breakfast is always great for dinner. But breakfast for dessert is even better. I swear.

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I used Krusteaz’s Gluten Free Brownie mix as I love Krusteaz’s mixes. I don’t use mixes often but they honestly are my go-to breakfast and dessert mixes for me. The brownie mix is a winner for gluten free folks. Plus, there have chocolate chips in it, which get the best sort of melty when baked in the waffle iron.

Enjoy the mashup of #BreakfastNight with #WaffleWednesday with this dessert. Or just eat it for dinner. I won’t judge!

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Brownie Waffle Sundae

Makes 4-8 Sundaes, depends on your waffle iron & your sharing

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Brownie Mix, plus ingredients needed according to box
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 pint ice cream, I suggest vanilla
  • sauces such as hot fudge or caramel
  • whipped cream
  • other toppings like sprinkles, nuts, fresh fruit, and maraschino cherries

Process

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Make the brownie batter according to the directions on the box. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit.
  3. Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop out 1/4- 1/3 Cup batter into the waffle iron. Cook until the steam has stopped coming out from the sides of the waffle iron.
  4. Plate your waffles and add a scoop onto each waffle. Top off with all your favorite goodies! Enjoy :-)

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Krusteaz has provided me with all sorts of fun mixes to create waffle recipes in a collaboration of their #BreakfastNight and my #WaffleWednesday. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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3.19-23: Seattle Weekend Recap

{Thursday Night}

cab to Logan | $17 salad from Legal | flight to Seattle | Emily and Aldo picked me up | hanging out and catching up | bed at 1.15 (4.15!)

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{Friday}

up ‘early’ at 6.30 | blog stuffs | photo editing | coffees | get ready | shopping and eating at Pike Place | walk downtown | public library | pioneer square | happy hour drinks | more shopping | bus and monorail ride home | tacos for dinner | hang out | bed

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{Saturday}

 up early | get ready | brunch | walk through Queen Anne | cupcake & donut snacks | Kerry Park overlook | regroup at the apartment | Seattle Instagram meetup at Discovery Point Park | go to the dog park in Magnolia | dinner at Revel in Freepoint | Molly Moo’s ice cream | hang out | SNL | bed

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{Sunday}

slept in a bit more | got ready | Car 2 Go to Freemont | Freemont Sunday Market | Gas Works Park | lunch | Whole Foods | back to the apartment | dress pictures | hang out | walk to Belltown | dinner at Steelhead Diner | walk back to the apartment | pack up & hang out | bed

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{Monday}

 up early | breakfast and coffee | Emily dropped me off at the airport | Beecher’s mac and cheese | flight home | taxi home | shower | bed

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Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins- Secret Recipe Club

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Muffins make me super happy.

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They are really so good. Just delightful. A great way to start your day. Or have as an afternoon snack. Taking the time to bake them up on the weekend just signifies taking the time to treat yourself. Plus, they make your house smell so good. That smell should be a candle. Well, it probably already is.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

We haven’t been eating muffins as much as before as we have been following a more Paleo- friendly diet, but that hasn’t stopped me from making them. We bring them to work or Autumn’s daycare. Sharing is caring.

But the thing I love most about muffins now is that Autumn and I get to make them together. She really wants to be involved when I am in the kitchen. I’ve found that baking works pretty well as there are no sharp knives. Yeah, knives don’t really work with tiny toddler hands. But she likes when I count out the Tablespoons or Cups of ingredients. and he LOVES cracking eggs. Seriously loves to crack eggs. She loves when I make crustless quiche as she can crack a dozen eggs.

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So when it came to picking the recipe for month’s Secret Recipe Club post I knew I would have to check out all the baking related recipes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories so I could keep Autumn envovled. And Karen has so so many awesome recipes. I enjoyed browsing through all of Karen’s bread recipes as her recipe annex is quite extensive and they all looked so good. I have bookmarked so many recipes like her Chocolate Walnut BabkaOvernight White Bread, and Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

While bread would have been delicious to make I wanted to make something that Autumn could really help with. So I turned back to her well organized recipe index to find another recipe. I saw these Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins and knew they would be a great muffin and something manageable to involve a toddler.

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These muffins are a real breakfast treat as they have 2 kinds of chocolate in the batter. But some days you just need a treat. But the banana makes them healthy, right? ha! The recipe calls for the addition of sour cream to the batter, but I didn’t have that on hand and knew I wouldn’t use the rest of the container, so I used Greek yogurt. I thought the taste and texture of the muffins so I think the ingredient swap worked just fine.

I also added chocolate chips to the tops of the muffins as you can’t have too many chocolate chips. That’s a fact.

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I really suggest that you whip up a batch of these Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins for, or even with, the ones you love. Thanks for such a good recipe Karen!! So yummy!

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Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/3 Dutch process unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup mashed banana (about 2 medium previously frozen bananas)
  • 1/3 Cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous 1/2 C dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 60 more chips for the top of the muffins

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the banana and sour cream/yogurt until smooth.
  4. Add the egg, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture and chocolate chips until just combined.
  6. Portion evenly into the muffin wrappers. Add 5 chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.
  7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 2 minutes, and then on a wire rack.

Slightly Adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts this month!

And be sure to check out my 3 years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Posted in Baking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments