Friday, August 27, 2010

MV - Whats all the hype about?!

I woke up this morning elated about my upcoming vacation to Martha's Vineyard and also because the weather today in Boston is PERFECT!  I thought that a great way to explain with you all why I am so happy is to share some pictures of MV over the past few years. Enjoy!!!

Flying Horses anyone?!
Always time to build a fort on MV
Best Friends enjoying another summer on MV!

Your first and last look of MV from the Ferry

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peaches, Pirates and Provincetown! Oh my!!

Over the course of last weekend I was lucky enough to experience everything from Restaurant Week to a museum that had real life PIRATE TREASURE!!! There are not many weekend where I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment, but this past weekend my friends I did!! 

So lets start at the beginning, Friday night I met my fabulous roomie and our good friend Karen for an a post work cocktail and dinner at Union Bar & Grille in the South End.  WHAT A MEAL!

From the service to the food I was a very very happy girl.  To start off the night I had a Blood Orange Manhattan  that would make Don Draper himself squeal with delight.  It was the perfect mix of Rye, Vermouth, Bitters and a perfect luxardo cherry! Sadly there is no picture (I am still getting used to taking pics of everything... sorry everyone!) So you will have to take my word that it was perfection.

Once seated we plotted and schemed who would order what to ensure we could taste as many of the wonderful options!  You can see the full menu here.  I went with the Chilled Local Peach & Golden Tomato Gazpacho as my first course.  I am going to let the next two photos tell you what I thought of it.....

I may or may not have licked the bowl...  I am just saying it was perfect! Sweet and tangy with the perfect bite from red onion.   I am still dreaming about it almost a week later!

For my entree I went with what I know and love Bluefish!  I know, not everyone is a fan of this heavier fish, but when cooked right it is such a perfect summer dish.  Here is the full description straight from the Union Menu: "Oven roasted cape bluefish with spicy watermelon pickle charred sweet onions, grilled summer corn and basmati rice pilaf"
This dark photo does not do this dish justice
For dessert we decided on the only practical solution when faced with 3 amazing desserts and 3 amazing ladies... We each order one!  Soon after our main entrees had been cleared and our wine refilled (did I mention we did a wine flight that came w/ each course...yup! HEAVEN) our adorable waiter brought us the following items:

As usual my photo does not convey the beauty we were presented... You are looking at a Strawberry Ice Cream Soda, Raspberry Spike Brownie and Bread & Butter pudding with roasted peaches and vanilla ice cream (yup more local peaches!)  They were all delicious but I have to admit that Erica's pudding was the winner dessert of the evening with the Ice Cream Soda a close runner up.  I could not have asked for better company or a more delicious Restaurant Week meal.  Union Bar & Grille truly brought their A game for this showcase.  They will be added to my list of favorite places to dine in the city!

Ok... now we must continue the weekends adventure and leave the city limits of Boston and escape to Eastham & Provincetown on Cape Cod.  I was lucky enough to get the invite from my second family (the lovely family of my BFF Heidi).  The plan was to relax, explore P-town and cook up a storm (did I mention Heidi is a trained Chef?! ) 

I arrived on the cape a few hours before everyone else so I took the oppurtunity to explore "1st Encounter" Beach in Eastham.  The beach is located on the Bay side of the cape and it was extreme low tide (which is perfect for this ocean loving nerd!).  Here are a few pics of my solo day at the beach
Snack time!
On my way back to meet up with the group I came across a random bit of New England History smack in the middle of Eastham....

How cool is that!?  Once settled at the cottage and after  I took the opportunity to snuggle with Baby Hannah who is a precious peanut at only 8 weeks old.  Good lord she is soo darn cute! We made our way into P-town for dinner.  We ended up at the quirkiest spot... It was called Nappy's.  The decor had everything from Christmas lights, Nordic shields and Christian stained glass windows... but the reason for our fist was the special for the evening.. The Portuguese Fisherman's Feast! 

Yes my friends... you are looking at a giant bowl of savory broth and seafood that included 1/2 lobster, mussels, clams, cod and linguica sausage.  I will let the next photo tell you what I thought of this dish....
It should be noted that for the Safety of others, never disturb a girl when she is armed with crackers and a lobster bib!

After an amazing meal and a fun time exploring the town we returned to crash at the cottage.  The next morning we awoke to a cloudy rainy day..  So what are a houseful of foodies to do?  Make a giant breakfast of course.  Since I was not fully caffeinated yet there are no pictures, but Heidi and Mary made us the most wonderful breakfast of TJ's pumpkin pancakes, scrambled eggs and perfectly crispy BACON (who can be gloomy on a rainy day when there is Bacon.. i say nobody!)

After a food induced nap we ventured back to P-town to explore the treasures at The Whydah Musuem This place was a great rainy day spot!  The museum goes over how the ship was found, what was onboard and all about the life of the actual pirates.  I highly recommend stopping here if you are ever in P-town.
Arrrggg.. Pirates!!

We finished off the rainy day with a giant dinner of Pork Schnitzel, Apple Raisin Sauce, noodles, snap peas and cauliflower.  It was the perfect ending to a great weekend and by the time we finished dinner I was able to tackle Rt 6 and Rt 3 with no traffic!

Thank you to everyone that made last weekend a very memorable weekend for 2010.  This weekend I am off to Martha's Vineyard for a whole week!!!  Several posts will be needed I am sure to capture this adventure!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A week in review...

As I prepare for a weekend of food bliss that will include Restaurant Week stops and a trip to the cape with the Whalen Clan I thought I would share with everyone my food adventures over the past week.  There were a food experiments, summer evening drinks with coworkers and a welcome home dinner for the roomie with my new Cuisinart Griddle thanks to RueLaLa

Instead of writing a super long post I am going to recap my week in town w/ pictures!  A special thanks to "The Spirit of Boston", Marc Harris Salon, Salumeria's in the North End and the Danversport Yacht Club for a great 7 days!

HC's Dirty 30th Party on the Spirit of Boston!
Summer in full bloom downtown
Giant Hammock installation in the Rose Kennedy Green way
Homemade Panini w/ Prosciutto & Burrata thanks to Salumeria's Deli

Incredible Grapenut Pudding at Danversport Yacht Club!
Ginger Soy Pork Burgers made at Casa Dorset
End result of burgers w/ TJs wild rice. nom nomm nomm

Amazing Hair cut from Anthony at Marc Harris!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and check back soon for a review on the Union Bar & Grill and what culinary wonders HC and I create on the Cape this weekend!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Why I love Boston in the Summer

I have a packed weekend of crazy fun planned that I will share with everyone later (think boats, Brazilian Blowout experiment thanks to GroupOn and perhaps a local BBQ at SoWa!) but I wanted to write a quick post about why I love where I live (especially in the summer months). 

Last night I had the pleasure of having a few cocktails with the fabulous MF at Kinsale Pub in Government Center.  On the way to the pub we walked through the North End which just so happened to be preparing for the Fishermans Feast this weekend.  The streets were packed with people enjoying food, cocktails and local goods from area shops. You would have thought you were winding the back streets of Rome! As we made our way out of the North End into Faneuil Hall there was a drum group playing with at least 50 people stopped listening and dancing with no concern for those around them.  It made me think how alive this city is and that even with no plans you can find yourself engulfed in new sites, sounds, flavors and experiences around every bend. At Kinsale we tried a new cocktail that was a mix of white grape juice and champagne!  So refreshing and perfect for the summer!  And being the classy ladies that we are, we paired our champagne with loaded nachos (complete w/ spinach and artichoke dip!) and Truffle Oil Tater Tots!  You may be thinking Beth.... "Nachos n' Champagne?!  Really.. but I promise you it was absolutely wonderful!
You know you are now craving these nachos!

mmm.....  Tater Tots!

From there we met up with the always uber cool Fritzy at Coogan's for trivia and people watching (the $1 drafts didn't hurt either).  I would like to congratulate the "Coogan Cougars" for their victory! Again, on a simple Thursday night we were able to experience old world Italy, an Irish Pub and Trivia  with new friends all within 10 blocks of each other. 

So where do you like head out in Boston or your city?  What amazing "hidden jewel" have you discovered when just exploring your neighborhood?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Pot Dinner!

For those of you out there that know me, have eaten with me or basically have ever spoken to me about food are aware of my deep true love for "One Pot" dinners.  Perhaps it came about from my dad who mixes everything together, my mother's love for Shepard's pie or the years after college trying to create a tasty dinner on a shoe string (ie: whatever is in the pantry) dinner.  Whatever the reason over the years I like to think that I have elevated the one pot meal from rice n' beans to more elaborate stews and risotto's that take a full Sunday to create. 

So it is no big leap to think that when I was faced this evening with a fridge full of leftover veggies and basmati rice from Indian Take out that the end result would be a simple Fried Rice straight out of "Better Homes and Garden- More from Your Wok" Cookbook.  This great and easy cookbook was past down from Mama Q a few years ago. It quickly has become a go-to cookbook in my kitchen.  (To push home how loved this cookbook is.. Mama Q purchased this book new in 1983!)

I gathered on the counter all the goodies for this quick and tasty meal: leftover rice, garlic, ginger, green onion, assorted veggies, frozen edamame and frozen shrimp.  A quick saute of all your ingredients in cooking oil and a mix of soy sauce/beaten egg and TADA!  Dinner is served!

A hearty bowl of this just as good as any local take out and was ready before it would even be delivered! Not to mention when it comes to clean up you only have one pot!  I am off to enjoy this delicious dinner.

Have a great night!

I am joning the blogging world!

Hey everyone,

So for the past 4 months or so I have discovered this amazing community online of bloggers.  Each day I sign on to my google reader and learn about new recipes, travel destinations and fitness routines.  Come to find out even some of my friends blog (who knew!). Every day that I read about these amazing men and women I thought to myself; I like to write, I LOVE to cook and at least some of my adventures thru the city and around the globe for work are interesting (at least to me they are).  So here I am blog world!  I am going to share with the world my adventures as I try new recipes at home, new places in and around Boston and some of my crazy stories as I travel the world chasing cargo ships from port to port!  I hope you enjoy it!!