J is for Jarva Cakes | Delicious things come in small packages.

My daughter recently went through a microwaveable meal in a mug phase. Trust me, it’s a thing. You can google it. My daughter enjoyed finding and pinning mug meal recipes on Pinterest and then testing them out in our microwave. She was doing pizza in a mug fairly consistently for a few weeks. It was intriguing but not really something I thought about again once the phase receded… until Christmas.

As you can probably tell from earlier posts, our Christmas stockings are filled with lots of food treats. This year my husband surprised me with a locally made treat from Jarva Cakes. This woman run business is made up of a mother and her two daughters and was launched about four years ago. They create single serving treats that are so easy to make and instantly cure any sweet cravings you might be having. It’s a prepackaged mug meal.

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Lunch at Scratch Baking Company before hiking Willard Beach to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

It is a testament to the fact that we have so many amazing food places here in Maine that I had not yet made it to the Scratch Baking Company even though they have been around since 2004.  Of course, I had heard of them and knew that they got amazing reviews, but it was only this past month that I finally made my first visit.

My daughter was graciously standing in for my husband during a weekend hike as he was home sick with a cold and not up for it. The thing is my daughter does not like to hike. Not even a little bit. So, in order to convince her to join me I had to resort to the oldest of parenting strategies – bribery. I promised her a good meal if she came with me.

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Tasting our way through the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Hanging out at the Fork Food Lab grand opening was a festive experience. We were not alone in our excitement at checking out this new shared kitchen space. We arrived a little after six pm and the party was in full swing, along with a decent size line waiting to enter but fortunately things were moving quickly.

The perimeter of the parking area in front of Fork Food Labs was lined with tables where Fork Food Lab members were passing out samples of their tasty food creations. There were pockets of people huddled around the tables waiting for their turn to try the samples, as well as other sporadic lines. It was a little hard to know exactly where to go at times but it all worked out.

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Slab Frozolli Ice Cream Sandwich

Lunch at Slab in Portland Maine

Slab Portland Maine We had stopped by Slab once before during one of our PCRT Portland Beer Week Scavenger Hunts although technically it wasn’t one of the stops on our list.  But, that was awhile ago, and we were overdue to come back to actually spend some time. Finding ourselves with a few hours between dropping off and picking up the girls, we decided to head to Slab for lunch on a recent Saturday. I’m so glad we did!

Slab advertises itself as “Sicilian Street Food” which sounded interesting. We were looking for something casual and fun, and my husband always likes it when there’s a good craft beer offering. Slab delivered on all counts. It’s located in the old Portland Public Market Building. The restaurant has a nice, modern decor with high ceilings, and lots of light coming through the many windows. We settled into a cozy booth.

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