In Maggie’s Kitchen: Irish Favorites, Simple Syrups, and Maine


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Time starts flying the very moment it gets pleasant outside. It’s only June but I need to add another ten dinner parties to my schedule before I miss summer altogether. I also want to share a few more bits and bites.

My Three Favorite Irish Things: Ireland holds so many special memories for me now and if you’re heading over there soon, here are three things I suggest you add to your Irish wish list.

  • Avoca Ireland: Don’t miss a visit to Avoca, Ireland’s most famous retail food gift hall. I went to three outposts across the country and always found something worth adding to my kitchen or my souvenir pile. Every dish was fresh, unique and delicious and some of my best meals were at Avoca.
  • Kilmahon House: This bed and breakfast is my favorite. Kilmahon House is an old beautiful home that used to belong to the Pearce family, of Simon Pearce fame, but it’s been completely renovated from the studs to glorious perfection. Afternoon tea and breakfast is a treat filled with delicious baked goods. This is the place to stay, people.
  • Ox Belfast: The duo behind the Belfast restaurant Ox closed their restaurant for an entire weekend to host a one-night pop-up restaurant at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in the southern part of the green isle. Lucky me, I got to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime meal. Belfast-born Stephen and Brittany-France-native Alain met while working at L’Arpège for Alain Passard and together, they make magic. We were all delighted and you bet I’m visiting them in Belfast on a return trip.


Strawberry-Fennel + Lavender-Lemon + Rose: These are the flavors of summer and thank goodness, we’ve worked with our friends at Royal Rose Syrups to put this trio of drink syrups together in a Maker Gift Collection. Use the strawberry-fennel in a good vodka cocktail. Drizzle the rose over a tea cake. Add a few dashes of the lavender-lemon to a fruit salad for Sunday brunch. Get the set and dazzle friends all season. You won’t find this combo of flavors anywhere else, folks, so get it here.

Lobster, Earth, and Wood-Fired: I’m spending the rest of this week at the Kennebunkport Festival for Food, Wine & Art up in southern Maine. The entire state is my happy place but this region is just so cozy and filled with some pretty amazing food. Follow along on Instagram to see images of lobster (of course), a dinner I’m so excited about at Earth at Hidden Pond and a big (sold out) wood-fired dinner on a local farm. After being so sick for the last two weeks, I’m ready for a few days away.

The Food Gift Love Cookbook: My publisher is sending off my cookbook to be printed this month. I’m excited to think it’s going to become a real book and anxious to finally hold a copy sometime this Fall. I’ll preview the cookbook once we launch the new website later this month. Before then, get ready, because I’m going to announce a new cookbook program next week that I think you’re going to want to know about, especially since there will be gifts involved. Gifts are good. Food gifts, the best.

I’ll see you soon! xo


Photos taken and styled by Maggie Battista.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.

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Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.