Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catalyst with the Brunchers

On Saturday while I was sitting in the car in the driveway listening to a fascinating episode of This American Life or some other NPR Saturday show, I got a message on twitter from Renee of Boston Brunchers asking if I could join a brunch at Catalyst the next day. Well. Yes! I was bummed I couldn't make it to either brunch in Davis Square, so I was happy to be able to join something on this side of the river.

Catalyst changes their menu weekly, which is awesome, although for me, this week's menu was a little meat heavy. Vegetarians, don't let that deter you (although dieters, maybe you should keep your distance, or at least come with very good restraint), because the other options were fantastic!

 When you walk into Catalyst, you see a nice big space, with a large chunky bar and a cute chicken on the chalkboard. One nice thing about being in Kendall Square is that it's kind of hip and fresh (compared to my usual haunts in Davis) - even the bathrooms were so cool. I snapped a photo of this light fixture that was hanging over the seating area with fireplace by the entrance. From our table we could also see into the kitchen where brunch was being made!

After two nights of beer, I was prepared not to have a cocktail and to just drink as much coffee as possible, but our waitress suggested the seasonal mimosa of the day, which was an apple cider mimosa. I don't think any of the 10 brunchers at the table said no to that. (And it was phenomenal. 110% worth it.)

We started with a plate of ENORMOUS chocolate scones, skillet coffee cake, and spicy maple syrup wings for the table. Seriously, those scones were as big as my head. I admit to being a scone snob, so I'm going to tell you about the coffee cake. I saw it come out of the kitchen to another table and I could tell that this was going to be insane. And it was. There must have been so. much. butter. It had a nice crunchy crust on top, and a good ratio of crust to cake. This would make a nice breakfast on its own. You should definitely come to Catalyst with a table full of sharers.

Last time I was at brunch (post wedding of the year), I got eggs, and I was just plain sad about it. So today I went for my one true love, panko french toast. Admittedly, panko french toast is not my true love, but french toast in general, yes please.

This was no ordinary french toast, you guys. It was a nice crispy sourdough bread, crusted in panko, and I'm pretty sure deep fried, then coated in cinnamon sugar, and served with a dollop of bourbon whipped butter. I'd suggest you share this with your brunch date. I could barely eat through half of it. So crazy good.

My table mate had a delicious looking poached egg. Word on the street too is that the homemade ketchup is outstanding. I can vouch for the honey mustard sauce that came with french fries.

When you're dining here, you notice the theme is this cute little rooster who shows up on everything - including the water for the table!
I had a fabulous time at Catalyst, and it's on the list of Kendall Square restaurants/bars to bring my husband back to. 

And brunch was free of charge & my opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Beer Bread (AKA facebook stalking for breakfast)

I came across this recipe on facebook a few weeks ago and I think I've made it about 4 times. There's currently a loaf in the oven, and I have fingers crossed it comes out ok. I accidentally on purpose added the beer to the flour before the pumpkin mixture. Don't do that. (Or maybe do, we haven't seen the outcome yet, but really, probably don't.)

The first time I made this, I thought it was too sweet. Super moist, but sweet. I'm pretty sure I didn't accidentally double the sugar, so I'll recommend using pumpkin from Whole Foods and not the reglar old Libby's brand.
The second time I was annoyed by the sugary sweetness, and upped the whole wheat, cut the sugar by half (?? It was the last of the brown sugar), and added walnuts and chocolate chips. As one would expect, the texture was off, though the flavor was not so bad.
Needless to say, I didn't do that twice, so third time came out quite nicely. Following directions FTW.
And now? Well, we'll see what comes out of the oven in an hour...

Also, I use Brooklyn Brewery's Post Road Pumpkin. It's appealing and not too aggressive for drinking.
As a pumpkin beer, I highly recommend Dogfish's Punkin. And if you like either of those, and don't like to drink candy, you should stay away from Southern Tier. It was the gooiest sweetest beer I've ever had. (Might have worked in this bread though.)

Apparently I don't have any pictures of this bread, so here's a double rainbow.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Well, it seems as if I went the whole summer without any blog posts. 

Here are five highlights:

1. There was a work trip to Hawaii. I learned to surf.

 2. Benson's ice cream. Post beer festival and trip to Ceia Newburyport. 

3. Trip to Montauk/reliving childhood beach days

 4. Famous kitteh is famous, #eastwooding. Followed by weekend in upstate New York.


5. Mass Brewers Fest

Also, my favorite birthday cake, and some words of wisdom.

Anyway, we've hit fall, and I Facebook recipe-stalked this awesome pumpkin beer bread. Many stars, rave reviews all around from the inlaws, and leftover beer to drink!