Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sweet Sunday in Chesnut Hill Square

Two Sundays ago (was it that long ago?) I got to hang out with a fun group of Boston Brunchers in Chestnut Hill Square. I was pretty excited when I saw Renee post this event because (a) I miss Sweetgreen and (b) this was the only weekend I was home this summer.

It was a very sweet Sunday, because I got up in the morning and ate a cookie before I went for my run... 

We started out with a walk through Chestnut Hill/Newton from the TrueRunner store. Everyone was able to test out new New Balances (those laces!!) and a TomTom watch. I admittedly had some trouble with the TomTom technology - my watch experience is pretty much just start/stop/lap, so I was a little out of my tech element here.

Our walk helped work up the appetite AND took us past Tom Brady's house. Apparently he and Bill Belichick live next door to each other, which is adorable. 

Post-hike, we trekked across the parking lot to sweetgreen, where Rachel (who was rocking all purple, love it!) had us set up with salads, peach gazpacho and blueberry basil lemonade. I chose the Spicy Sabzi which has organic baby spinach + shredded kale with spicy quinoa, spicy broccoli, carrots, raw beets, basil, sprouts and roasted tofu; topped with a carrot chili vinaigrette and a squeeze of sriracha". Mmm, sriracha. 

This one was spicy, but like most of the sweetgreen salads I've had, tasty and absolutely packed with veggies. 

Sweetgreen launched in a teeny tiny shop just down the block from where I went to grad school, and they have a very cool community focused mission that includes local farmers and local music. And kale. I only wish there was a sweetgreen a little closer to my house.

In keeping with the sweet theme, we walked over to Sweet cupcakes for some sugar and whimsical treats. Note the cupcake ferris wheel. The cupcakes were moist and had a really good balance of frosting to cake. (Which in my world means a lot of frosting.) I tried the lemon and the chocolate, with a preference for the lemon which was very light. Then we started gazing over the flavors (so many flavors) and tried the Honey Blackberry which has local(ish) honey and blackberry jam and the Caramel Macchiato. The Caramel Macchiato I drooled over a little. Then I tasted it and drooled some more - this cupcake mixes caramel, espresso, and a little cinnamon and was a coffee cupcake dream.

I won't lie. I went home and slipped into a sugar coma for a little while... 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Old Bay Crispix Mix

Holy OMG Batman. This Crispix mix is out of control. I always dreamed of making Crispix Mix (yes, really) and never got around to it. I have been eating too much of it for breakfast most days, and since I finally found the spice to end all other spices Old Bay at the grocery, I've been dreaming of making an Old Bay Crispix Mix.
Finally, in honor of March Madness, I got my act together and made this delicious treat. Be very careful with this stuff. In fact, you probably shouldn't share it. No one else appreciates it as much as you do.

Old Bay Crispix Mix - adapted from MD Kitchen

  • Two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Three tablespoons Old Bay spice mix
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (about two tablespoons)
  • One stick of butter
  • Eight cups Crispix cereal
  • Two cups Goldfish crackers
  • Two cups unsalted pretzels
  • One cup unsalted peanuts
  • Optional - hot sauce (we don't have any), garlic (mine's sprouted)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine in Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice.
  3. Combine Crispix, Goldfish crackers, pretzel twists, and peanuts. Spread out ingredients in two baking sheets or pyrex pans.
  4. Melt butter.
  5. Mix butter with Worcestershire mix and pour over  dry ingredients. Stir gently to coat completely.
  6. Bake in the oven for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and transfer to cool on baking sheets. Mix will crisp up as it cools.
  8. Eat, as soon as it's ready. Share only if you're feeling really nice today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stacked Donuts Pop Up

Boston-based Top Chef competitor Stephanie Cmar has been popping up around Boston on the weekends with her Stacked Donuts. I've heard good things on twitter, blogs, and other internets, so when eventbrite posted that she was doing a pop up in Somerville on Saturday, I added it to my calendar immediately.

I am coping with a running injury, so first I had to waste 30 minutes going back and forth to the gym (and erging - why doesn't that hurt), then I hopped in the car and headed to KITCHENiNC in Union Square.
I was greeted by this colorful sign, reminding me that maybe a running injury isn't so bad if donuts. 

Stephanie had a samoa (the one in front) and ginger-lemongrass donut. I asked what they were but obviously needed one of each. The ginger was my favorite of the two, but that may be a personal preference for ginger-flavored things which seems to exceed that for things with coconut. These were beautifully lick your fingers sticky and light and puffy. I'm not a regular donut eater, but this was a delicious treat.

If you've been in my kitchen, you know I have a serious apron collection. Stephanie was wearing this adorable donut apron. Maybe I should find one covered in pies?

I'm pretty sure that donut is the new cupcake. This I am 100% okay with.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Puritan & Company Brunch with The Boston Brunchers

Last weekend I got to see the Boston Brunchers again, this time at Puritan & Company. I was very excited to get to Puritan & Company for brunch. We've been there for dinner a handful of times and I was always impressed! Chef Will Gilson has an amazing twitter avatar cooks from a traditional New England perspective and has created this charming and busy restaurant in Inman Square.

Below is the brunch and drinks menu. This brunch menu is a little meat heavy but has a few veggie egg dishes and sourdough griddlecakes as well. And the pastries. The pastries...

A cocktail called the concatenation? Excel geek here almost ordered it, except I do not like anise. Darn. Instead I got one of the brunch cocktails, the Park Avenue - along with 3/4 of the table I'd say. This was one strong brunch drink. It's a good thing I didn't get a beer while watching the basketball game right after this or anything. 

Holy pastries Batman! We had a Boston Cream donut, cherry blondies, banana bread, lemon cornmeal muffin, a dulce de leche and coconut danish, and a savory twist with ham and cheese. Wow. Everything here was phenomenal. The blondies were really complex and the texture of the muffin was awesome. The table's favorite was the danish, although I leaned toward banana bread, because banana bread.

Below are a few of the dishes the Brunchers tried:
Steak & Eggs
Broccoli & Cheddar Scramble
Copa Ham Breakfast Sandwich
Corned Beef Hash

Did you notice how beautiful those eggs are? Those are real farm fresh eggs and man are they delicious. I had the broccoli and cheddar scramble, which was all things eggs are supposed to be, and cheesy. I've recently realized that broccoli may be my favorite vegetable, so this was an added plus to the scramble (and we were all a little sad though that the quiche was sold out by the time we arrived).

Puritan & Company is now on my list of brunch recommends, though if you like Parker House rolls, make sure you stop in for dinner too!

Per usual, brunch was provided free to our group, but opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Where We Eat

I had the opportunity lately to do a lot of restaurant eating. This is not necessarily a good thing (for my wallet), but it has been a fun experience exploring and tasting new things. As is often the case, I usually forget to take pictures of what I'm eating.

Day 1 of husband's birthday trilogy. Spoke was a very welcome addition to the Davis Square neighborhood and we venture there often. The wine and drinks menu is not extensive, but it's well curated and the servers are super knowledgeable about what's on tap/in the bottle. The food menu is great, lots of options which change pretty regularly (though often mildly, which is nice to be able to come back for a dish and try it in a new way) and are designed to be shared around your table. My one complaint (now that they've started doing a late night menu!) is that the restaurant is small and the kitchen ventilation is eh - so sorry you guys, I tend to specifically put on clothes that need washing anyway when I come here!

Day 2 of the birthday trilogy. We finally got a table here after repeated OpenTable failures last minute attempts. The food was good and drinks were pretty good as well, although beer menu listed to craft over themed (Turkish). Unfortunately, our service that night was definitely off and we could see that for whatever reason, things were just coming out to us realllllllly slow. Worth the wait was the octopus. Plus, there was fried cheese, so again, food was lovely - another great place for sharing. And they have a pretty neat way of doing dim sum-esque specials. We'll have to try again, maybe when it's not so busy.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Day 3 of birthday-mageddon, in which I seriously consider not eating for a few meals.... We had a big group at Kirkland Tap & Trotter for dinner. Drinks of all kinds were flowing as were the appetizers. We ordered one of each hot appetizer and a few others, then everyone got an entree and then - why did we do this - ordered dessert. The grilled salmon head was awesome as was the octopus and hummus (hmm, sensing an octopus trend here?). I went with one of the specials for dinner (a bronzino maybe?) and then about half the table ordered the oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. The staff were also super awesome because we had a celiac in our group - they served plates very clearly saying you can or can't eat that, and made substitutions where they could.

"Hey, I know, let's check out Trade." Something came up, reschedule.
"Guests in town, let's go to Trade." Actually, they're staying with friends and would rather eat in a different neighborhood.
"It's my last day of work, let's ccelebrate." Well, there's going to be a big snowstorm, so we're closed.
SERIOUSLY. YOU GUYS. I thought I was doomed to never make it to this restaurant. Ever. And I'd walked past it so many times and thought great things about Jody Adams, and then every. single. time. Something came up. Well, jokes on you (who?), I finally ate at Trade!
Finally, finally, finally, I made a reservation and ate at Trade! (YAY.) I had the spicy broccoli pizza, because it's no secret I love broccoli, and a side of spicy bok choy. And a lot of water! This is such a good post-work spot, that I'm a little jealous of people who are working in that neighborhood, although safer for me to not be drawn back to it every day on my way home.

A few more delicious restaurant updates coming soon - with pictures!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Birthdays Galore!

Or just one birthday, that we celebrated for three days! Why? Because we could we had friends visiting, made big dinner plans, etc.
But more importantly, I made red velvet cupcakes. This is new - brand new. I'm not a huge red velvet fan, but the husband is, and he requested red velvet (not brownie ice cream cake, sadness), so I scoured the internet far and wide, and came to the conclusion that most red velvet cakes are the same. But since this baking maven has never steered me wrong, I followed her lead.
What a lead it was! (Admittedly, I made plain old cream cheese frosting.) These red velvet tasted almost like full-on chocolate cake and they were awful pretty (bright red) to boot!

Take a look at the before shot:

And the after:

Yum. Good decision husband!

In other news, Brad Pitt is loving our sunny staircase. 
So lazy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi Day

Is it not our favorite day, here in the night kitchen?
It's Pi Day of course! A holiday combining pi and math, who could say no? (Not me.)
For previous pie posts, go here:
My favorite pie is the apple rosemary:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Flashback: November 2013

Oh November. Back when the days were warm(er) and you could actually see the ground! As a result of Thanksgiving, I did a lot of cooking and eating in November. I also finally got out of Albany and down to Brooklyn for work. 

Soft Pretzels! (Told you I loved them.)

This is Albany: 

This is Brooklyn: 

I made apple rosemary pies OBVIOUSLY.

We also ended up with three different homemade cranberry sauces at Thanksgiving. Mom made her traditional food processor cranberry orange (which I'm not keen on), but I knew she was making it, so I made my own sauce. Turned out, she also made a regular sauce.

Turns out we're all about 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon:

We finally made it into Renee's for breakfast:

And if you're a cat, I strongly advise against this:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Flashback: December 2013

Oh December, we had no idea that three months later it would still be cold and miserable and snowy!

We held our annual dinner party. This is a photo of the test recipe, found in Real Simple ( and legitimately, real simple.

My college had a Yule Log happy hour - I tossed this sprig of holly into the "fire" aka a basket at the bar we were at whose fireplace wasn't working.

Clearly, I made these lemon cookies for Christmas, along with gingerbread and some almond sugar cookies.

My brother gave me this lobster for Christmas. What was inside? Well a set of lobster crackers of course!

Ever see this house just of the Davis Square path? I can't even imagine what they're electric bill is like in December!