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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

 

Davids Tea 12Last week I was invited to preview the new holiday collection at Davids Tea. They have a location right in Downtown Crossing where you can not only pick up some tea, but grab a cup to go. I personally recommend the eggnog latte and plan to go back one morning and try the matcha latte (I didn’t want to be up all night so I went with the eggnog latter instead).

Davids Tea 14I’m a novice when it comes to tea, so it was great to be able to go in and have the great people there tell me everything I need to know!

Davids Tea 1Along the back wall they have tons of tea – did you know that there is such a thing as kosher tea? DAVIDsTEA also has fair trade and organic tea! They have caffeinated teas and decaffeinated (something for everyone) – the teas are naturally decaffeinated, they don’t decaffeinate their teas that already have caffeine. You can buy the tea loose from the cans by weight or in tins like the ones below.

Davids Tea 13They have pre-filled tins of their most popular flavors for $14.50

Davids Tea 11How great are these seasonal cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes? Also on the table are the new candles that come in delicious scents like Blueberry Jam, Forever Nuts and Santa’s Secret ($19.50). On the far right are the tea filled mittens: the red is Santa’s Secret, the blue is egg nog and the green (not pictured) is sleigh ride tea filled ($9.50).

Davids Tea 2In addition to tea, the store carries a great selection of travel mugs, tea sets, accessories and delicious treats. Above are the chocolate covered pretzels ($14.50) and the pop perfections ($14.50)

Davids Tea 3They have fun little gift sets, perfect for the tea lover in your life. (Top left) The 12 teas of Christmas ($29.50); (top right) The 8 days of Tea ($19.50); (bottom) The Christmas Morning Collection ($19.50),The Green Collection ($19.50) The Nutcracker Collection ($19.50), The Black Tea Collection ($19.50)

Davids Tea 10I had the opportunity to check out a bunch of great teas! What is great about DAVIDsTEA is that if you can’t get into the store, all the things you need to know are on their website. You can find out how much tea to use per cup, water temperature and steeping time (along with allergen information). The eggnog is a green rooibos tea with white chocolate chips, with meringue powder.

Davids Tea 9Sleigh Ride (back for a limited time) has the flavors of apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple, papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds , and popped rice.

Davids Tea 8Cocomint Cream (a new flavor) has apple, coconut, sweet blackberry leaves, peppermint, spearmint, and natural coconut flavoring.

Davids Tea 7Bubbie’s Baklava (I just love the name!!) is oolong tea, with roasted chicory root, pineapple, papaya, cinnamon, walnuts, apple, ginger, roasted almonds, cardamom, rose pepper, pistachios, and rose blossom.

Davids Tea 6I had a chance to sample the chocolate macaroon flavor: it’s black tea, with toasted coconut, coconut, pecans, cacao nibs, and rock cane sugar.

Davids Tea 5The organic vanilla chai is a black tea, flavored with cinnamon, licorice root, ginger, vanilla. With natural vanilla and cream flavoring.

Davids Tea 4How cute is this? Santa’s Secret is a black tea, with peppermint and cute candy cane sprinkles.

DAVIDsTEA

Downtown Crossing – 298 Washington Street, Boston, MA

http://www.davidstea.com

DavidsTea on Urbanspoon

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The Good Ones 33Guests gathered Sunday afternoon for a Good Ones Power Hour at South Boston Yoga. Everyone was decked out in their 80’s workout attire for an hour long yoga session followed by an hour of conversation and healthy treats. (Left) Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of The Good Ones; (top right) original artwork by Jennifer Brooke, Co-founder of The Good Ones; (bottom right)  Alexandra Hynes, Partner and Co-founder at 44 Communications (left) and Jennifer Brooke (right).

The Good Ones 31David Vendetti led the yoga class to the best beats of the 80’s: The Bangles, a-ha and Madonna to name a few. David brings a great energy to the class – he is an amazing teacher.

The Good Ones 9

Jordan Pollard, Senior Consultant at Magenic.

The Good Ones 38(Left) Katy Dugan, Associate at Bingham McCutchen; (right) Molly Siegel, Owner of Athlete by Design.

The Good Ones 35(L-R) Carolyn Kim, Josh Levy, Brian Sullivan and Lauren Moreau, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Forrester Research.

The Good Ones 36(Top left) Gabrielle Bouquet; (top right) Janet Wu, Reporter for Channel 7 News; (bottom) Hillary Bucklin, Co-founder of Awake Boston.

The Good Ones 20Sheila Erimez, Art Director at Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The Good Ones 25The talented Hannah Christianson rocked out with live covers of 80’s hits.

The Good Ones 34Everyone loves their Motto! (Left)Melissa Choi; (top right) Kristina Tsipouras, founder of Zoos Tea and Soulshine; (bottom right) Lavanyai Dieu.

The Good Ones 4Soulshine was displaying some of their merchandise at the event.

The Good Ones 39(Left) Christina Kotseas, personal assistant; (right) Melissa Choi and Chris Gagnon, Owner of Cross Cycle Fitness.

The Good Ones 32(Left) Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of  The Good Ones with Jeff Venuti, New England Field Marketing Manager at Hint Water; (top right) Rebecca Ferrel, owner of The Ripe Stuff (left) with Abby Hueber (right) ;  (bottom right) Kate Weiler, Co-founder of DRINKmaple (left) with Jeff Venuti (right).

For an invitation to the next event, submit your personality snapshot online: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

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IMG_7660While we were in NY at Smorgasburg, we stumbled upon Vendome Macaron. Their super bright and bold desserts caught our eye. Vendome can recreate any color you would like for your special order ($10). We tried the French vanilla bean, strawberry, nutella, pumpkin pie, Italian pistachio and lemon meringue pie. The first bite into the crispy, crunchy shell proved that the macarons were light as air.

Did you know that macarons are naturally gluten free? They’re made with almond flour and Vendome uses Kosher coloring that is plant based.

So who are the ladies behind these macarons? Adriana Troli, Executive Pastry Chef; Betzabeth Toledo, Chef de Cuisine; and Taryn Garcia, President and Pastry Chef. Adriana, a protégé of Christian Le Squer’s 3 Star Michelin Restaurant, Ledoyan in Paris, France. Adriana comes from Caracas, Venezuela and has a Bachelors in Law from The Catholic University in Caracas. She began her career as a Private Chef to famed artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez in Paris, France. Betza, apprenticed to empresario and Celebrity television Chef, Sumito Estevez.  Under Chef Estevez, Betza learned the newest cooking and pastry methods from Venezuela’s top chef.  Taryn began her career as a food stylist working on Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa”, and Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food”. After studying at France’s premier culinary school, “Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française: Gregoire Ferrandi”. Chef Taryn went on to train with Chef Arnaud Larher, recipient of France’s most coveted artisan award  (MOF) Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

Vendome Macaron

http://www.vendomemacaronnyc.com/

You can find Vendome macarons at Smorgasburg on Saturdays and Sundays, at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Cafe SnACKS Fifth Floor and at Bacchus at 409-411 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

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IMG_5075While we were waiting for our table at Momofuku Noodle Bar, we decided to take a walk over to the Milk Bar a few blocks away. Dessert before dinner? You bet. So we try the cereal milk shake which was tasty, not quite as sweet as I thought it would taste – more like cornflakes, less like sugary milk.

IMG_5105And how could you  pass up the birthday cake truffles (3 for $4.35)? Can’t make it to NY? You can make them at home. Follow this recipe from their website.

Momofuku Milk Bar

251 E. 13th Street, New York, NY

http://milkbarstore.com/

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

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imag1201Some posts get away from me. This post on the Farm House Tap and Grill would be one of them. We went to Vermont in the summer for a long weekend vacation and this post never made it to getting published with all the rest. We went on a great sailboat ride on Lake Champlain – a 2 hour ride was $40 per person and we could bring our own food and booze.

imag1193 Some of us (I won’t name names) were still hungry after the boat ride, so we headed over to the  Farm House – a restaurant just up the street. A gentleman on the boat ride said that he went there a few nights earlier and had one of the best meals (read: onion rings) of his life.

imag1195Crispy Onion Rings ($7.95) served with horseradish aioli. They were good – thick and cripy, but were they life changing? Not for us.

imag1197House Mac ‘N Cheese ($15.95) came with local cheeses, caramelized onions, and herb bread crumbs. A really rich and creamy dish – I couldn’t finish it in one sitting.

imag1199Vermont Heritage Grazers Pork Burger ($16.95) served with Cabot cheddar, a sunny side up farm egg, and coleslaw. A big hit at the table, because really, who doesn’t love a burger with a fried egg on top!?!

imag1198Farmhouse Meatloaf ($23.95) LaPlatte Farm beef & VT Heritage Grazers pork, whipped potatoes, roasted local veggies, mushroom gravy was a big hit. The dish really reminded us of fall. The meatloaf was flavorful and the local veggies made you feel ok about consuming that much meat.

imag1196The 20-Hour Beef Shoulder ($26.95) braised dry aged LaPlatte Farm beef shoulder, arugula, Nitty Gritty polenta, shaved fennel, salsa verde.

Service was a little on the scattered side – the restaurant was packed even though it was later in the evening (we had to wait an hour to be seated).

The Farmhouse Tap and Grill

160 Bank Street, Burlington, VT

http://www.farmhousetg.com

Farmhouse Tap and Grill on Urbanspoon

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imag1695I haven’t been to this area since I was in college, heading out to Great Scott for “Ladies 80’s Night”. My friend told me that we should check out Shaghai Gate because the food was excellent and so were the prices.  Parking was a bit difficult at the meters on the street, so take public transportation if you can. We ordered the sauteed rice cake with chicken, pork and shrimp ($9.50). I’ve never had rice cake noodles in this shape before, but really liked the texture of them. The meat was a little sparse in this dish but I loved the sauce.

imag1694My friend went with the good old standby, General Gao’s chicken ($10.95). The dish was light with just a little bit of sweetness to it. At the end of the meal we felt full and had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. Service was a bit spotty at moments, so perhaps next time we try take out.

Shanghai Gate

204 Harvard Ave., Brighton, MA

http://shanghaigateboston.com/

Shanghai Gate on Urbanspoon

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woods hole inn 7I was invited down to Woods Hole to have dinner at Quick’s Hole Tavern and then spend the night at the Woods Hole Inn. See my post on dinner here. While I have been summering down in Falmouth for over a decade now, I have to admit that I never knew there was a charming B&B right in Woods Hole. So excited to have the opportunity to check this place out!

woods hole inn 8The inn is conveniently located right across from the ferry that takes you over to Martha’s Vineyard – a prime location in the summer months. The inn offers complimentary breakfast with your stay, as well as free wifi and free parking. The front desk is open from 9am-7pm, and should you plan to arrive outside of those times, you can contact the hotel and make arrangements.

woods hole inn 1We stayed in room 11 – a “premium king” room that goes for $355 in season. The room features a king sized bed and a spacious private bath. Let’s talk about the luxury linens on the bed, they were super soft!

woods hole inn 2The decor is just charming and the room is spacious. Some rooms even have their own private balconies. It was pretty quiet as it was off season (we had to drive to Falmouth to find a bar that was open), the area is bustling in the summer!  While the Cape in the summer is beautiful, I think my favorite time to head there is in the fall!

woods hole inn 3The inn now offers in room massage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons in select guest rooms ($95 per 45 minute session).

woods hole inn 4The rain shower was a nice feature in the bathroom. Again, the decor was simple and elegant – there was a great attention to detail, right down to the coordinating starfish soaps.

woods hole inn 5The inn features Gilchrist and Soames products.

woods hole inn 6Since I came in late and left very early, I didn’t have a chance to meet any of the staff at the inn. I was able to chat at bit at dinner with Beth Colt, owner of the inn and the Quick’s Hole restaurants, and she is just lovely. So head on down to the Cape and stay at the inn or have a great meal at Quick’s Hole – you won’t be disappointed!

Have you stayed at the Woods Hole Inn or eaten at the Quick’s Hole restaurants? Let me know, I’d love to hear about your experience!

 Woods Hole Inn

28 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA

http://woodsholeinn.com/

Disclaimer: My room at the Woods Hole Inn was provided to me at no cost. All opinions are my own.

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imag1547Pastoral opened in April of this year, the big draw being the wood fired oven. I’ve heard the space called “industrial farmhouse” which seems to be fitting. They have a great communal high top table near the kitchen, great for groups!

imag1548We started off with the wood fired garlic knot ($7.50) drizzled with olive oil.

imag1550The pizzas are personal sized – probably the diameter of a large dinner plate. The pepperoni ($15) with fresh mozzarella and crushed tomatoes. I love the crust on the pizza. They offer all the pizzas on the menu as a gluten free option for an additional $2.

imag1551The fennel sausage ($16) with buffalo mozzarella and fromage blanc was delicious with a little kick to it.

imag1552Pasta comes in full and half portions, I had a half portion of the ricotta dumplings ($14) that came with lobster and corn. The dumplings were light as air and the corn gave the dish a little bit of a sweetness to that I really enjoyed.

imag1555I also had a half portion of the mezzi rigatoni ($11) with bolognese sauce. Good, but it was no Sportello.

imag1558For dessert we went with the buttermilk chocolate chip cookies that we served warm. They were amazing.

imag1559And the nutella pizza sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with fresh berries. The fresh berries helped with the richness of the nutella – very decadent! All in all a great casual meal out with friends with good food and good service.

Pastoral

345 Congress Street, Boston, MA

http://pastoralfortpoint.com/

$5 validated parking after 5pm at the 17 Farnsworth Street garage

Pastoral on Urbanspoon

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imag1682I recently spent the weekend in NYC and met up with my co-worker (and fellow foodie) Cathleen for dinner. She suggested that at some point during the weekend to head to NOLITA and try out Morganstern’s Finest Ice Cream.

imag1681A modern take on the classic ice cream shop, Morganstern’s serves up some of the most delicious small batch ice cream I’ve had in a while. They have eclectic flavors like burnt honey vanilla, Szechuan peppercorn chocolate, green tea pistachio, banana curry, fernet black walnut, and raspberry aperol sobet to name a few.

imag1678The peanut butter picoso’s was rich – a bold flavor without being over the top. Morganstern’s does not use eggs in their ice cream and they use relatively low sugar and low butterfat. So what is their secret? All natural ingredients and fine attention to detail when they are making the ice cream.

IMAG1680I had the peppermint vanilla, not to be confused with that oh so sweet pink peppermint ice cream or candy. I like to think of it as peppermint ice cream for adults! The ice cream is…sophisticated.

There is plenty of seating inside, whether at the counter or at the bench along the wall, as well as a bench outside if the weather permits.

Morganstern’s

2 Rivington Street, New York, NY

http://www.morgensternsnyc.com/

Morganstern's on Urbanspoon

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imag1530Row 34 opened in late 2013 in the Fort Point neighborhood and has been on fire ever since. The restaurant is part of a group that runs Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Hawthorne and the upcoming Row 34 Portsmouth, New Hampshire. My friend Conor was moving back to Texas and we wanted to try this place out before he left.

imag1532We opted for a one of everything kind of meal, it was all about sharing. I ordered the shrimp buccatini, the pasta was perfectly al dente and the shrimp were enormous.

imag1533We also had a warm buttered lobster roll ($25) that did not disappoint. Additionally you can order the lobster roll in the traditional creamy style.

imag1534And the onslaught of appetizers ($7) continues: the 242 fries, cornbread with maple butter and the corn with bacon. I think the corn side was my favorite – it felt light but had some really bold flavors.

imag1535Pictured again, the fries (which were a little too thick cut for my liking) and the corn with the addition of the old bay onion rings ($7) which were stringy think and delicious.

imag1536The steamers were also a big hit at our table – the extra bread was key to finishing up all of that good broth! Service was on point for the night, and even though it was late on a Sunday night, the place was packed! To make a reservation, check them out on Reserve.

Row 34

383 Congress Street, Boston, MA

http://row34.com/

Row 34 on Urbanspoon

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