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!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pretzel Bites

The Superbowl was a big waste of time this year, but I found an awesome new sports snack recipe to make for it. I am a Big Fan of the soft pretzel, and occasionally make big soft pretzels, but came across this pretzel bites recipe on King Arthur Flour's blog: We had these with some strong mustard and they were gone in a flash. About as long as the Broncos had any hope of winning.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Bit of a Rut

We've moved (!!!) and our kitchen is still a work in progress. We're not redoing anything, just trying to unpack. Unfortunately, we're going from a kitchen with tons of cabinet space, to one with next to none! And the cabinets we have, well, they're like cabinets for ants (ha, 2 jokes in one). That is, they're very small - so small that we can't fit our silverware trays in the kitchen and are keeping them in the cupboards in the pantry. So small that the holder I bought for foil and plastic wrap and parchment just barely fits inside the cupboard door. So small that dear god where am I going to fit the kitchenaid!

Two, we haven't even made it to the grocery store yet. I've dragged some pantry items over and popped into the store for cereal, granola bars, half and half and cheese, but we're overdo for a grocery trip.

With all that said, breakfast and lunch are quite the routine: crispix for breakfast, pb&j for lunch, an orange, a granola bar, what I'm at home popcorn???

And dinner has been an exercise in take out. My gosh. We would go out to dinner occasionally (well 1-2 a week, usually on the weekend) and would order take out rarely, but I haven't cooked a meal in two weeks! (Practically, there was a plain pasta and broccoli night when we got back from vacation.

One afternoon we had Indian (which doubled for lunch the next day), then we had pizza, then salad from Whole Foods, then sub-optimal Italian.... I've been CRAVING Thai for weeks and Yelp tells me there might be something good nearby. Then I have dinner plans for the next two nights, so I can only hope and pray that by Sunday we have a functional kitchen and we've been to the grocery store so I can spend some time cooking.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Half bath (if that)

Suggestions on inexpensive ways to improve this funky little half bath? I'm thinking a full length mirror where the "medicine cabinet" is and maybe a linen chest behind the toilet. Or a garden?