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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

imag1512It was an unusually warm evening, so we decided to walk to Temazcal from our office.  The space is beautiful, with great water views. It was a little too chilly for eating outside, but they have a lovely patio.

The restaurant has two locations, one in the Seaport and the other in Lynnfield. Both restaurants feature an upscale atmosphere and over 200 types of tequila! What is fun about Temazcals’ website is that you can look at the menu and see recipes of all the dishes and prepare them for yourself at home!

imag1514The meal starts with chips and salsa.

imag1515And of course we started with the lobster guacamole ($16): lobster, avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, serrano chilies. Huge pieces of fresh lobster meat! I love guacamole, I could have eaten just this for dinner.

imag1520I had the short rib barbacoa fajitas ($22) with shredded braised short rib, pickled jalapenos, and agave glazed onions.

imag1521The fajitas come with refried beans, corn salsa and a cole slaw.

imag1522We also tried the grilled skirt steak tacos ($19) that came with marinated grilled skirt steak, roasted onion salsa, napa cabbage, picked serrano and radish and avocado, served on soft corn tortillas. A little messy to eat, but it came in a cute presentation and the flavors were really fresh.

imag1525The churros ($8) for dessert were light and delicious – they have a touch of sweetness and they are served warm.

imag1527And an odd choice, but we also went with the Key Lime Pie ($8) that was light as air and lip puckering tart (just the way I like it!).

Where is your favorite Mexican restaurant?

Temazcal

250 Northern Ave., Boston, MA

http://www.temazcalcantina.com/

Temazcal Tequila Cantina on Urbanspoon

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Taste Trekkers put on their second annual Food and Travel Expo at the Hotel Biltmore in Providence, RI on October 3-5. Friday was industry day, Saturday was foodie day and Sunday was the scavenger hunt around the city. Saturday morning was kicked off with a welcome from Seth Resler, followed by 10 minute talks (shown below) and a series of three breakout sessions.

Taste Trekkers 1Sam Poley, Director of Public Relations & Communications from Durham, North Carolina gave a great 10 minute talk about his city. Durham has a great farmers market and is being recognized as a great foodie destination. For more information on what Durham has to offer, check out the official visitor information website for Durham here.

Taste Trekkers 2Christopher Bakken talked about his adventures in Greece, and how the best meals were off the beaten path. You can read all about his adventures in his book Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table.

Taste Trekkers 3Jose Duarte, owner of Taranta, talked about his adventures in Peru. Other speakers included Lisa Gustavson, owner of Sojourner Tour Company, who talked about France and Richard Gutman, Director and Curator at the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Whales talked about culinary museums.

imag1565_1The first session was tasting single origin honey with Marina Marchese from Red Bee honey. We tasted 5 different kinds of honey: The alfalfa honey had a very grassy smell, the red currant honey was sweet like figs and had a molasses smell to it, the North Carolina Sourwood honey had a greenish tinge to it and had an acquired taste,  the buckwheat honey had a barn-like smell and was much darker in color, and the chestnut honey smelled like grapes. There was also a bit of honeycomb to try – it takes bees 2 years to make honeycomb (which is why it is so expensive at stores). While tasting, we learned a lot about bees, for example: did you know that honey bees only live 45 days? or that the females are the worker bees?

Taste Trekkers 4Next up was wine tasting in Spain with Tatiana Gana, co-founder of Gastro Tours.

Taste Trekkers 5We were able to taste a variety of wines and learn more about their origins. The wines were paired with manchego cheese, marcona almonds and mini baguettes (shown below).

imag1570The last session (not pictured) was a guide to Vermont food adventures with Tom Bivins, Executive Director at the Vermont Cheese Council. We watched a short video presentation and tried a variety of cheddar cheeses. Tom encouraged everyone to check out the Vermont Cheese Trail, where you can go and visit farms and cheese makers.

Taste Trekkers 7We headed to the Hope and Main tasting pavilion. My friend Ziggy was there, showcasing his delicious Fox Point pickles.

Taste Trekkers 6Watch out, those spicy dills are SPICY!!

Taste Trekkers 8To see a full list of exhibitors, please see the Taste Trekkers website here.

Taste Trekkers 9Uncle Truscott’s, run by husband and wife team Peter and Katie Kelly,  is also finding a home at Hope and Main. Their truffles are sinful, I especially loved the white chocolate truffles covered in bittersweet chocolate!! In addition to truffles they make this almond butter toffee that is TO-DIE-FOR…and I am patiently waiting for them to open their online shop!!

Taste Trekkers 10The Matunuck Oyster Bar and Farm was at the event shucking oysters.

Taste Trekkers 12To follow the conversation online, check out the hashtag #2014TTExpo.

Taste Trekkers 11Want to check out my Top 5 article for Taste Trekkers? Read it here.

Taste Trekkers 13La Creperie, a local Providence company had a long line for there brie and cranberry crepes.

Taste Trekkers 14My friend Ziggy told me not to miss the Biggest Little Popcorn Co. at the pavilion. Their English butter toffee popcorn comes in delicious flavors like Orangetine, Lemon Bliss, Lime Light, Mexican Vanilla, Hot Cinnamon, Sweet Masala Curry and Traditional Banana Toffee. Check out their website to purchase!

Taste Trekkers 15Other Hope and Main exhibitors included:

Acacia Café Food Truck & Kitchen

The Backyard Food Company

The CupCake Contessas

Essentially Coconut 

Laughing Gull Chocolates 

Matt’s Magic Brownies

Spicy Penguin

Two Gringos

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imag1543Mark and I went out for my birthday lunch at Wheelhouse. They had been on our radar for the past few months (they recently opened)…but you know how that lunch rut goes: you have 5 minutes to duck out to the closest place next to your office…. (or is that just me?) The good news is that they are also open for breakfast. Read: THEY HAVE WHIPPED HONEY BUTTER. Thrillist named it one of the 5 Breakfast Sandwiches You Need to Eat This Weekend.

imag1544All burgers are made to order and come with double patties. Mark had the “Boom goes the Dynamite”, a spicy burger, jack cheese with pickled onion and a garlicky jalapeño hot sauce. I think Mark was actually hoping for it to have been hotter!

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I had the “Fun Guy”, made with seared wild mushrooms with dijonaise (I went without) topped with gruyere cheese. We split a side of “smash fry”,  a delicious alternative to french fries. The burgers were on the smaller side, but the fact that they were double patty burgers made up for it. The burgers themselves were well seasoned and quite tasty. I would definitely go back to try breakfast or a different kind of burger.

Wheelhouse

63 Broad Street, Boston, MA
http://www.wheelhouseboston.com

Wheelhouse on Urbanspoon

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With the 70 degree weather we had this past week, it is easy to forget that the holidays are right around the corner. How do they sneak up on us (read: me) every year?! If you’ve stepped into a mall recently, you know, the holidays will soon be upon us.

Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? You want to get thoughtful gifts, but end up getting gift cards instead because you ran out of time? Are you trying to plan a holiday party in between conference calls at work? Here is where Christina comes in – she can tackle all of this for you and free up your day! See all of the services she provides here: Kotseas HOLIDAY

CK

I first met Christina at a party hosted by the Good Ones. Once you meet Christina, you can see right away why clients enjoy working with her. I was excited to sit down with Christina, it is always fun to interview people that you know. Looking forward to all of you getting to know Christina a little better!

How long have you been a personal assistant?
​My world as a personal assistant commenced the day after my last day with The Red Sox, which also happened to be the day after they won the 2013 World Series.  It was quite the goodbye.​

What made you want to go into business for yourself?
​I always grew up knowing I’d like to be my own boss one day.  Having had great mentors along the way allowed me to build the confidence to start something of my own.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? and what are your favorite jobs to tackle?
​It’s always a nice feeling knowing you’ve given someone more time in their day.  For some, it’s priceless.  My favorite jobs to tackle are organizational projects and personal shopping. For me, it’s the quintessential “Do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life.”

How has your previous work in the hospitality industry prepared you for working as a personal assistant?
​I’d say I’ve walked a unique path to what I consider success, but it’s more of a sprint.  If something doesn’t feel right, I move on. Quickly.  I’ve done that throughout the past 8 years to land where I am today.  It started with waitressing on the Cape just out of college, then into an Executive Assistant role for a Title Insurance Company in Boston.  Next, a one way ticket to Cali landed me a full-time Nanny position in San Francisco.  After a drive cross country with my parents (…in a motor home, with an abundance of wine…)  a Stewardess position on a private yacht along the East Coast was my next gig.  I finally worked my way back to Boston and became an Event Planner for The Boston Red Sox.  All of these life experiences have given me the opportunity to face just about every unique situation and/or request.

Who/what inspires you?
​My dad built his business from the ground up.  He has always been such a hard worker and I know that I’ve terrified him at times with my not-so-standard career path, but he always supports me and knows that I will land on my feet.​

Describe your personal style.
​It’s an ever-changing mix of both classic and edgy. It’s fun to work some trend into timeless pieces.​

With the holiday season coming up, what is your favorite part(s) of the season?
​I love to see the city transform into a winter snow globe.​The lit up trees along Newbury Street and Commonwealth Avenue are always something I look forward to.  That, along with some red wine, a fireplace, and perhaps a handsome someone to share it with never sounds like a bad idea either.  ​

You can find out more about Christina on her website: www.christinakotseas.com

imag1631This past Saturday I joined Blog and Tweet Boston at Del Frisco’s in Burlington. (See my previous review of Del Frisco’s in Fort Point here) It’s a great group and it’s always so fun meeting other foodies.

Del Friscos 1We started off with the ahi tacos ($15), Tuna Tartare with avocado and spicy citrus mayo.

Del Friscos 2

Next we tried three different kinds of flatbreads: the first, a wild mushroom flatbread ($13) made with fontina cheese, caramelized onions and topped with  baby arugula.

Del Friscos 3The second flatbread was the shaved Brussel spout flatbread ($13) that came topped with smoked bacon, caramelized onions & mozzarella – a huge table favorite!

Del Friscos 4And the final pizza was the roasted tomato flatbread ($12) made with fresh mozzarella and topped with basil.

Del Friscos 5Another favorite for the table was the cheesesteak eggrolls ($12.50), served with sweet & spicy chili sauce and honey mustard.

Del Friscos 6For our main course we had the grille prime cheeseburger ($13) that came with double patties, lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickle, sloppy sauce and served with a side of frites. First of all, how cute is that mini bottle of ketchup?!?! The burger was pretty good – the bun held up throughout the whole meal and the burger itself had all the classic flavors you would want.

Del Friscos 7For dessert, the adult milkshake ($11) made with Nocello Walnut Liquer, Creme de Cacao, Chocolate Liquer and vanilla ice cream.

Del Friscos 8The coconut cream pie was also served as dessert and was quite tasty. I was pleasantly surprised at how light it was. It wasn’t as sweet as some of those “typical” coconut desserts can be (which I tend to avoid), which made this dessert that much better for me.

Disclaimer: I attended this lunch with Blog and Tweet Boston. Del Frisco’s invited us to be their guest and provided a complimentary lunch. All opinions are my own.

Del Frisco’s Grille

92 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA

http://delfriscosgrille.com/burlington

Del Frisco's Grille on Urbanspoon

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 Marc Hall 3

Marc Hall Objekt is a lovely showroom located in the historic SOWA neighborhood. I stopped in during their open studios to give you a sneak peak at some of the fun things they have.

Marc Hall 4

I love the mini pumpkins.

Marc Hall 13

The showroom has a mix of things new and old. Marc recently returned from a trip to Paris where he picked up a lot of new items. Many of the pieces in the showroom come from Hall’s travels.

Marc Hall 14

Marc Hall create beautiful scapes for events – head to their website for photos.

Marc Hall 1

See some of Marc Hall’s pieces from events I have been to: Christofle Dinner at Liquid Art House and Ready to Bare Media Preview.

marc hall 2

Marc Hall has a space next door to the showroom that you can rent out for events.

Marc Hall 6

In addition to doing events, the team at Marc Hall also goes out to client’s homes for site visits to work on their homes and gardens.

Marc Hall 7

It is easy to fall in love with everything in the showroom, there are such great colors and textures, the sky is the limit when it comes to designing your space.

Marc Hall 8

Marc Hall was the creative director for events at Winston Flowers for 7 years before he opened up his own design firm in 2010.

Marc Hall 9

In addition to being a talented designer, Hall also has his own line of handcrafted vessels, furniture, and textiles which can also be found in his showroom.

Marc Hall 10

I met Sarah Anne DiNardo at the Christofle dinner at Liquid Art House. She has the kindest soul and is such a lovely girl. Not only is she a talented designer at Marc Hall but she is also an amazing tape artist.

Marc Hall 11

What is a tape artist? Sarah hand rolls masking tape into these wonderful sculptures. Check out the beautiful video describing her craft on her website.

Marc Hall 12

Sarah uses found antiques as the base of her tape sculptures. Each one is beautiful, unique and hand made.

Marc Hall

535 Albany Street, Boston, MA

http://marchalldesign.com/

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island creek 10Last week I attended a cookbook launch party at Island Creek Oyster Bar. Jeremy Sewall  has an impressive resume. He was nominated as a rising star chef by the James Beard Foundation, he opened Great Bay in 2003, opened his own restaurant, Lineage in Brookline, in 2006, collaborated on Eastern Standard in 2009, opened Island Creek Oyster Bar in 2010 and opened Row 34 in 2013.

island creek 9In Sewall’s new cookbook with partner Erin Byers Murray, they explore contemporary versions of New England Classics. Guests gathered for a book signing and light bites.

island creek 8While the raw bar and passed appetizers were delicious, these cider donuts stole the show for me. They came out from the kitchen warm and the glaze just melted in your mouth. I may have had two!

island creek 7The photos, taken by Michael Harlan Turkell, in the book are beautiful.

island creek 6Bites for the evening included lobster tacos and a toast topped with mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.

island creek 5The raw bar boasted colossal shrimp.

island creek 3CJ holding down the boat.

island creek 2The raw bar was impressive.

island creek 1They were shucking oysters all night long.

island creek 4Island Creek Oyster Bar is open for dinner Monday – Thursday 4pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 4pm-11:30pm and Sunday 10:30am-11pm.

Island Creek Oyster Bar

500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA

http://islandcreekoysterbar.com/

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Liquid Art House 1Liquid Art House had it’s media preview of their newest art collection “Ready to Bare” on October 7th. Artists featured in this exhibit included: Kerry Armstrong, Fanny Bucchiotty, Chris Cavallero, Giovanni Decunto, Rimantas Dichavicius, Izabella Kay, Heather McGrath, Josie Morway, Jordan Piantedosi, and Erin Shaw. Also included is an installation of live plant sculpture and lighting by designer Marc Hall (above). Guests were treated to a preview of the PostParty furniture collection designed by Michael Nedeau and Party By Design.

Liquid Art House 3Guests were also treated to a preview of the Postparty lounge in addition to a live art demo.

Liquid Art House 4Guests were offered light bites and whimsical desserts.

Liquid Art House 5How lovely are these French macarons?

Liquid Art House 2“Saudi anime ultra princess”, Artist: Jordan Piantedosi, Price: $4800. The Ready to Bare collection will be on display until January 5th.

Liquid Art House 7Beautiful hand glass blown pumpkins are on display made by Luke Adams, a local south end craftsman. All pieces are for sale.

Liquid Art House

100 Arlington Street, Boston, MA

http://www.liquidarthouse.com/

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Norwell Farms 5On October 3rd, guests came out in festive attire to attend Norwell Farm’s first farm to table benefit dinner.

Norwell Farms 1The main tent held the chefs and the band and the secondary tent had long tables for guests to take a load off and relax, while enjoying delicious food that came straight from the farm.

Norwell Farms 2The decor in the tent was just charming.

Norwell Farms 14And although it was drizzling outside, no one inside seemed to notice.

Norwell Farms 7They had a great band at the event, people danced the night away.

Norwell Farms 3Island Creek Oysters was at the event, shucking oysters all night long.

Norwell Farms 4Check out how beautiful they are!

Norwell Farms 6Robin King is the chef and owner of ORO and Tesoro in Scituate. He has worked in Breckenridge at Cafe Alpine and in Boston at Tosca and Mistral. King made shaved steak arepas over roasted poblano pepper salad with avocado puree and chimmichurri.

Norwell Farms 8Jamie Bissonnette is the chef and owner of Toro and Coppa. Bissonnette started his career in Europe before coming back to the states where he opened Eastern Standard and was later recruited to work at KO Prime. He was voted best chef of the northeast in 2014 by the James Beard Foundation and just released his cookbook, The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured Meats to Make and Serve at Home. Bissonnette made a vegetable paella featuring a variety of Norwell Farms seasonal produce.

Norwell Farms 9Stephen Sherman, chef at the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham, earned his degree at the Culinary Institute of America which led him to working at the two best restaurants in Basque County. Upon his return to the states, he took a positions at River Cafe and Union Square Tavern. He moved back to Boston to open  Bricco in the North End and joined the Aquitane group in January 2000.

Norwell Farms 10Sherman made two dishes, a butternut squash and apple bisque (above) paried with a grilled flatbread made with fresh ricotta and eggplant jam (see picture above bisque).

Norwell Farms 11 Adam Fuller runs Snappy Lobster, a locally owned and operated seafood business in Scituate. They source all of their lobster, fish and scallops from small independent fishermen. Fuller made  fried green tomatoes stuffed with chorizo and lobster served over lobster roe aioli.

Norwell Farms 12 Doug Rodrigues, chef at the Tip Tap Room, has worked in places like Tosca in Hingham, Saporito’s Florence Club Cafe in Hull, Clio and Sensing. Rodrigues joined the Tip Tap Room in the fall of 2013. Rodrigues made bagna cauda with shaved boar belly.

Norwell Farms 13The Bloomy Rind offered the following cheeses: Praire Breeze, a cheddar cow’s milk cheese from Milton Creamery in Iowa;  Coco Cardona, a semi firm goat’s milk cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin; Georgian Stilton, a blue cow’s milk chees from Form Farm in England; and Lille’ a brie cheese made from cow’s milk from Vermont Farmstead.

About Norwell Farms: In the fall of 2012, the Town of Norwell has granted Norwell Farms a license to operate a community farm on 7.34 acres at historic Jacobs Farm and an additional 1.5 acres at Barstow Field on River Street. Scott Franklin became the  Farm Manager in February 2013. Norwell Farms constructed a greenhouse next to the East Barn in Spring 2013. In Fall of 2014, the Town of Norwell voted $50,000 to help the Historic Commission and Norwell Farms rejuvenate historic Jacobs Farm. With these funds, we installed electricity to the East and West Barns and the greenhouse. We also dug a well and installed much needed irrigation for our fields! In Summer of 2014, Norwell Farms welcomed chickens back to Jacobs Farm and we renovated a historic chicken coop we discovered on the property.  Scott and his family now live in the farmhouse on the property.

Mission:

  • To feed our community fresh food grown on our farm in Norwell. We farm without the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers and are taking steps to achieve organic certification
  •  Educate and engage the community about sustainable, local agriculture, along with the environmental and historic aspects of Jacobs Farm
  • Increase access to and awareness about healthy food by at-risk populations
  • Protect, conserve and steward historic open space, natural habitat and farmland (focused on, but not limited to Jacobs Farm) for the benefit of the community.

Disclaimer: I attended this event as media and Norwell Farms gave me a complimentary ticket.

Norwell Farms
4 Jacobs Lane, Norwell, MA 02061
info@norwellfarms.org
781-733-9572

 

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IMG_4555Follow the Honey is a great store located in Harvard Square, owned and operated by Mary Canning.  They have an amazing variety of honey and honey related products. Some of the great features of the shop are their honey on tap and their bar where you can sample a variety of types of honey!

IMAG0466_1Follow the Honey was involved in the dinner I went to over the summer at Cuisine en Locale – see the recap here. I went to the shop on a hunt for Shira Melen’s special honey macarons – made exclusively for Follow the Honey. They did not disappoint – perfectly light and crisp with a hint of sweetness.. Check out my previous post on Shira’s macarons here.

Stop in today and pick up a jar of my favorite honey from Red Bee.

Follow the Honey

1132 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA (Harvard Square)

http://www.followthehoney.com/

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