Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blue Apron

Blue Apron has arrived!! 

Blue Apron is an ingredient delivery service in which they deliver all of the ingredients needed to cook delicious meals. The fun part is that you just get exactly the amount of each ingredient so there is nothing randomly leftover. The box arrives with the food wrapped in ice packs so it can sit out while you are at work. It is fairly reasonablely priced and it is meant as a subscription service that you get each week (enough for 3 meals in 2-person or 4-person options). You can choose to skip weeks. I wouldn't do it on a regular basis but I like to do it every once in a while for inspiration and also to not have to to plan out dinners. Tonight's meal was Chicken Milanese with a Summer Corn, Cherry Tomato, and Cucumber Salad. It is very humid out so I thought this would be a good meal for tonight.

You bread and lightly fry the chicken breasts after dredging them in flour, mustard, and breadcrumbs. 

Then you toss the salad together. The salad was really good. It was made with opal basil (see the pretty purple?!), arugula, cucumber, sauteed corn, and tomatoes with a mustard vinaigrette. We weren't blown away by the meal but it was tasty. 

Last night, my husband went to Dunn Gaherin's, an Irish bar in Newton, to celebrate the engagement of two of our very good friends, Kristen and Mark! The food here is so good. I got a "Black and Blue" suggested by my friend Mara. It might have been off-menu actually. I'm so special.

It is a lovely concoction of blueberry beer and Guinness. Mine was clearly heavy on the Guinness. For dinner I had the New Irishman Burger which was covered in Irish Porter Cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. Yup. Also, I got regular fries but they have eggplant fries! Kristen ordered them so I tried one. I definitely have to get an order of those next time.

TGIAF (Thank god it's almost Friday!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Babbo and Hash

This blog post title probably means absolutely nothing to you, right? I promise it will in like, 2 minutes

Last night, my parents, husband, and I went to Mario Batali's new restaurant in the Seaport area of Boston. It is called Babbo Pizzeria and they serve all kinds of Italian-inspired food like pasta, pizza, etc. The entrees are not huge so you are able to pick from different parts of the menu to make yourself a meal. You could do it more small plates style or like we did, pick a couple of appetizers then have a pasta dish for an entree. 

We started off with some drinks (obviously) and I had an Aperol Spritz with Prosecco, Aperol, and orange. I just learned about this classic recently and it is a refreshing summer cocktail that isn't heavy.

Now, onto the food.

They gave us these crunch breadsticks in a package.

But for the appetizer, we split a Prosciutto and Arugula pizza

And Gnocco Fritto with Pancetta

I think the Gnocco Fritto was gnocchi dough right before it is chopped up and the rolls of dough are fried whole instead. It tasted like fried dough (or funnel cake? We New England-ahs say fried dough) without the sweetness according to my dad, almost Italian-aficianado. 

Um my main meal had TRUFFLES all over it. Umbrian truffles at that (Perugia, Umbria was where I studied abroad for a semester in college)! I also managed to pick the most expensive dish of the night, whoops. #noregrets. It was so creamy and truffle-y. Heaven!

We had to get dessert in honor of my mother's birthday.

I missed her actually blowing out the candles so she had to do an
instant replay, with no flame
I ended up with the Black & White which was milk chocolate chip gelato, creme fraiche gelato, hazelnut croccante, chocolate, and caramel crema. It was the perfect size, not huge.

I would definitely go back and try more dishes at Babbo! The pizza was amazing so I would love more of that. I also won't choose an expensive truffle dish next time.

Tonight I went more simple/healthy after last night's Babbo bash. I also got to use up some leftovers in my fridge/pantry.

I created a "Two Potato Hash" using a Yukon Gold potato and a sweet potato. I first cooked up some chorizo and put it aside. I sauteed garlic and onion and then added in previously cooked and chopped potatoes. I added the chorizo back in and put eggs on top. I meant to add in spinach too but who needs greens, right?

On the side, I made the Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad from Skinnytaste. This tasted like a very limey ceviche which was amazing and refreshing. I <3 leftovers for lunch.

I put the salad in the empty avocado shell. I'm so fancy.

This week I ordered Blue Apron!! It will come on Wednesday so fun stuff to come. 

Also, do you get the title now?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

So. Much. Food

You guys must think that all I do is eat, right?

Well, you are correct.

I promise I try to work-out regularly to combat this.

On Wednesday night, I made homemade vanilla ice cream with bananas foster. I tried to make it as "light" as possible. I just love real vanilla ice cream. I used a recipe from Cooking Light and it came out pretty good. I winged the bananas foster part. I melted butter and added a little bit of bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and to meld together. I then added in the sliced bananas and let them soften. Obviously not traditional but you still get the same taste (with less butter/alcohol/sugar). 

On Thursday, I played hooky and took the day off from work to go to the Cape with my husband's family. It ended up being the perfect beach day. We went to South Cape Beach in Mashpee but before getting there, we stopped for breakfast at the Dan'l Webster Inn in Sandwich. 

I ordered a spelt and stoneground wheat waffle with raspberry butter and whipped cream. It wasn't as fluffy as a typical waffle since it was made with whole wheat flour but that is what I liked about it, it felt more filling. I also didn't eat all of the butter/whipped cream since that clearly did not contribute to the healthy factor.

My husband had the Prime Rib Hash 

After spending a few hours at the beach, we headed to Woods Hole in Falmouth and had a late lunch at the Landfall Restaurant. This place had an awesome view of the water and there were tons of buoys that decorated the ceiling.

I ordered a Cape Cod Red beer and a turkey club sandwich with sweet potato fries.

Perfect ending to a perfect day. Later on we had to head to Assembly Row in Somerville where my husband works so we grabbed a pretzel and beer at the American Fresh Brewhouse which is owned by a local beer company, Slumbrew. It is a year-round beer garden. We went in the winter when it was covered by a tent but in the summer, they take the tent off so it is all outdoors. Awesome.

I ordered the Happy Sol beer which is a blood orange hefeweizen. The pretzels are so good and they make their own spicy, sweet mustard. 

Last night, we headed to my former figure skating coach's house (which is 1.5 miles away from us and we have been trying for 3+ years to get together. Sad.) to hang out with him and his husband. I made a Bourbon Peach Cobbler with homemade whipped cream to bring over.

The is probably the most butter that's ever been in this skillet. I sliced up 8 peaches and let them sit in sugar and bourbon. Then, they were sauteed in the butter for a few minutes. After that, I dropped tablespoons of dough on top and let it bake in the oven in the skillet.

It was amazing. I mean with 2 sticks of butter, it should be. I'm also super proud of this picture. Doesn't it look legit??

The secret to homemade whipped cream is to put the bowl into the freezer for at least 15 minutes before adding in the cream to whip. Sometimes I use my KitchenAid stand mixer and this time I used my Cuisinart hand blender with the whisk attachment. I added in some sugar, bourbon, and vanilla to flavor. I could eat this whole bowl.

We had such an awesome time at John and Paul's house. They have an absolutely beautiful garden, deck, and screened in porch. It was the perfect night for being outside. They served a lovely spread of 7 layer dip, bacon wrapped beef tenderloin (yup), yogurt dip, cheese, and crackers.

Oh and wine. Lots and lots of wine.

We watched the sun set from their deck. It was gorgeous. 

Tomorrow night, Tim and I are taking my mother out to dinner at Mario Batali's new restaurant in Boston, Babbo. Super excited for this!! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Sorry for the unintended blog break guys! The summer has been pretty busy or I just get annoyed with the food I cook and don't put it on here.

So here's a recap of some of meals I've cooked/things I've done recently. I made a Harissa Shrimp with Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend (the recipe called for couscous). I still have a jar of harissa left so I am trying to use it whenever possible. I also bought a 2 lb. bag of shrimp from Whole Foods for only like $13.00. Amazing. Therefore, I googled "harissa" and "shrimp" and got this recipe. Creative, I know. 

Then I made a Charred Lemon Piccata from Cooking Light with broccolini. And the broccolini had harissa on it. Of course. I just roasted them with olive oil and the harissa and I think some fig vinegar for a spicy and sweet effect.

We went for a walk around Castle Island in South Boston. 

On Friday, I went to the Quincy Farmer's Market and picked up some stuff for the week. I got heirloom tomatoes, different colored green beans (white, purple, and green), and lettuce.  I also bought bread from O'Brien's Bakery in Quincy. So..

I made a BLT with all nearly local ingredients! The only thing that wasn't local was bacon (although my mother recently made homemade bacon and I'm dying to try it) and the mayo. But I added harissa to the mayo so it was basically homemade and local.

We had this as a quick dinner before heading to New Hampshire for the weekend. While at O'Brien's, I couldn't resist and bought a minion and an ice cream cookie. Adorbs really.

See you soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Money, Money, Money

So basically my husband and I vowed not to go out to eat ever again (exaggeration) after this weekend because of the crazy amount of money we spent on last night's dinner. And then went out to brunch this morning. I know, terrible planning. We don't normally do that but we did. Oh well, you live and learn. Research for the food blog, amiright? Luckily, I have my meals planned to cook for the rest of the week. 

Last night my husband was feeling Mexican so we narrowed down restaurants upon research and picked Tico in Back Bay. So. Our reservations were around 7pm. It was EMPTY when we arrived which was a bit surprising. The decor was really cool, modern Mexican-themed. Our waitress was very sweet. They had Moscow Mules on draught IN MASON JARS so obviously we had to order those. 

Tico mostly had small plates divided into different sections (tacos, ceviche, a la plancha, etc.) and some main entrees. I have been to a lot of different tapas-style restaurants. But we feel like we have paid the most money we ever have for the least amount of food. The food was very high quality, really good but teenier than other small plates I've had in the past for a lot of money per plate. I don't think we realized how small the plates were until we got the food. We started with 4 small plates which normally we get us pretty full but the waitress hinted we would need more (which we did have to order more). I wouldn't necessarily return back to Tico for this reason. 

We had fried manchego with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. They were like grown-up (small) mozzarella sticks. So good but wished we had more.

After that, we had shrimp tacos with bacon and jalapenos.

This was followed by grilled chorizo with chimichurri. Now, there were 3 very small bites of the chorizo for $9. We figured we would each get a link at least. Nonetheless, they tasted amazing.

After that we had a ceviche with scallops with a spicy cilantro puree, pineapple salsa, chicharrones, and leek ash oil. The contrast of the chicharrones with the fresh scallops was very tasty but it was such a small amount for $17. I think there was maybe a total of 2 scallops chopped up in it. 

We are a bit spoiled because on our honeymoon in Belize, we went to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in San Pedro that served a giant bowl of shrimp ceviche with tortilla chips for like $5. It was amazingggg. But I digress.

Next up was fried calamari with tangerines, peppers, and black garlic aioli. Really good.

The tacos were tasty with homemade corn tortillas so we wanted to try a second one which was fried chicken with spicy buttermilk and fennel slaw. Really good! We liked it better than the shrimp tacos because they were unique.

Then we wanted to get dessert as we weren't all that full yet. This was a banana split with gelato and peanut butter mousse. Yup.

I don't ever want to bash restaurants on here at all. We had a good experience but felt we didn't get the best value for our food. 

This morning, we had brunch at Steel & Rye in Milton, one of our favorite restaurants. We have never had brunch here, only dinner, so we were super pumped to have this. The restaurant has a cool industrial and rustic feel. I love the decor.

I started off with a cocktail that was made with cold-brew coffee, tequila, and cacao. Tim's cocktail was a Bloody Mary with sambal oelek (a Thai spice paste) and jalapeno vodka. Both cocktails were awesome.

We split with a blueberry jam-filled donut covered in cinnamon and sugar.

I ordered a chicken and waffles with an andouille sausage gravy. This was amazing. The chicken was crunchy on the outside but extremely moist on the inside. I'm not a fried chicken fan but this was delicious.

I also ordered a side of homefries.

Tim had Anadama French Toast with walnuts and bourbon-maple syrup. This was also amazing. 

We swapped bites back and forth (and he ordered a last minute side of bacon). We have a rule that we are not allowed to order the same drinks or food so we can taste bites of each other's meal. My husband sticks to it more steadfastedly than I do. But in this case, it worked out great. We paid half the cost of the meal last night and got SO much more food in return.

I threw together a dinner for tonight. I had bought some chimichurri-marinated steak tips from Whole Foods so I put those onto my grill pan. I also bought purple cauliflower for fun and roasted it in the oven with garlic oil, salt, and pepper and sprinkled some lemon juice on the florets after they came out of the oven. I also put together a cucumber salad of cucumber, thinly sliced onion, greek yogurt, sugar, red wine vinegar, harissa, salt, and pepper. I let it sit in the refrigerator while I made the rest of the meal.

I also prepped a Greek salad and cherry pie overnight oats for the week. All good stuff. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It Smells Like Papa Gino's Again

It finally feels like summer! I mean it has on and off but it's actually hot and sunny today. I did some food shopping at Whole Foods this morning (I don't normally do my regular shopping here but I will every once in awhile. It really wasn't bad cost-wise today and I grabbed some random stuff that magically slipped into my shopping cart. Also, the Whole Foods in the South End has bulk spices which is awesome but I made a massive mess with garlic powder and my hands finally stopped smelling like garlic after a shower Sorry, this was a long tangent). I also checked out Quench Juicery, a newer juice bar in Quincy. There were a lot of options of juices, smoothies, bowls, and salads. A cute little place. I got the "C" turtle which was mango, apple, lime, grapefruit, orange, and mint. It was good! Tonight, the husband and I are heading into the city for dinner.

On Thursday, I met up with my college friends in Davis Square at a place called Five Horses Tavern. I had never heard of it but it was great! There were about 13 of us so we took up a large table in the middle of the bar. They had an awesome beer list which made it very difficult to choose what to drink. I got the Bomb-Mi Sandwich which was a riff on a bahn mi sandwich. It was crispy eggplant with jalapeno jelly, miso-tomato mousse, pickled daikon, carrots, mint, and cilantro on a baguette with tater tots on the side.

Sorry, there was a bite taken out of it. 

Last night, I made an Eggplant and Penne Bake from the SkinnyTaste cookbook. It was basically like a lasagna with penne and much easier to build. It was layered penne with marinara, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. I used eggplant that I had previously roasted and frozen so it worked out perfectly. Tim said it smelled like Papa Gino's again. I decided it's the oregano. 

I served the bake with a Vanilla Bourbon Cherry Smash (since I had a lot of cherries. And bourbon hanging around). I muddled cherries with bourbon, vanilla extract, angostura bitters, simple syrup, and lemon juice. I let that sit in the fridge while I finished dinner. I then topped it off with ice and seltzer water (it called for club soda but I only had seltzer water on hand).

Very refreshing. I have a love/hate relationship cherries. They are sooo good but pitting (de-pitting?) them is extremely annoying. And messy.