Skip to content

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Remember when you used to go to birthday parties and you’d get a Hoodsie cup for dessert? I always ate the vanilla side first and then reluctantly ate the chocolate. And those wooden ‘spoons’? Yeah. Well, good news, there’s some new players in town that will make you say Hoodsie who? Ok, so maybe still get some for the little kids, but step it up a notch for the adults who are going to be there.

Little G Ice Cream is the product of Grace Connor, a 17 year old (yeah, just think about what YOU were doing at 17…). She makes “super premium” ice cream in small batches that are inspired by classic desserts. Oh, and Oprah’s a big fan. So what are her flavors (well they change, but there are always a ton of flavors to choose from)

  • Hot Chocolate creamy chocolate ice cream + homemade marshmallow fluff swirl
  • Triple Cookie Dough Vanilla bean ice cream + chocolate chip cookie dough chunks + double chocolate chip cookie dough chunks + sugar cookie dough chunks
  • Snack Attack vanilla ice cream +a caramelized mixture of pretzels, potato chips, and Ritz crackesr + M&Ms + Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chocolate Milk and Cookies chocolate ice cream + chocolate chip cookie dough chunks + chocolate sandwich cookie pieces
  • Marshmallow Crispy Treat vanilla bean ice cream + homemade marshmallow crispy cereal treat chunks
  • Coffee Toffee Caramel coffee ice cream + chocolate covered toffee chunks + salted caramel swirl
  • Confetti Birthday Cake vanilla ice cream + yellow funfetti cake pieces + pink vanilla buttercream frosting swirl
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup chocolate ice cream + peanut butter caramel swirl + peanut butter cups
  • Movie Night buttered popcorn ice cream with a mixture of the best chocolate, peanut butter, nougat and caramel candies
  • Cowboy Cookie – brown butter brown sugar ice cream with oatmeal cookie dough, toasted coconut, mini chocolate chips, and peanut butter swirl
  • Peanut Butter Cup Marshmallow – peanut butter ice cream with homemade marshmallow swirl and mini peanut butter cups
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly – Peanut Butter ice cream with homemade raspberry jam swirl and honey roasted peanuts
  • Maple Oatmeal Cookie Dough – maple ice cream with oatmeal cookie dough and candied walnuts

Let me tell you, there is no skimping on toppings here. You almost forget that you’re eating ice cream it is so jammed packed with goodies. You can order Little G online and have it shipped to your house or pick some up at places like Whole Foods, Brothers Marketplace, Brookline Grown, Formaggio Kitchen or Fells Market.

Next up, Vice Cream. Founder Dan Schorr, a cancer survivor, decided to pour himself into things that made him happy and worked on perfecting his new ice cream. These cleverly named ice creams are creamy and delicious. I love “afternoon delight” because to has all of my favorite goodies in it – cookie dough, caramel, and truffles! Good news, you can find Vice at most Star Markets. Not at your local shop, head over to their website and check out their “where to buy” section. Here are some of the flavors:

  • MINTED
    YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A BALLER TO ENJOY OUR NEWEST FLAVOR. FEATURING STACKS ON STACKS OF MINT-CHOCOLATE COINS AND COOKIE CRUMBLES DECADENTLY MIXED WITH CREAMY MINT ICE CREAM. IT’S A WISE INVESTMENT
  • TOFFEE WIFE
    RICH PEANUT BUTTER ICE CREAM MIXED WITH CHOPPED TOFFEE BARS, PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH AND A TOFFEE RIPPLE.  OUR TOFFEE WIFE IS AS SWEET AS CAN BE, BUT MORE THAN A LITTLE NUTTY.
  • L’ORANGE A TROIS
    BORED WITH YOUR TIRED, OLD VANILLA?  TRY EXPERIMENTING WITH A LITTLE L’ORANGE A TROIS.  RICH, CREAMY VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH ORANGE RIPPLE AND A HEDONISTIC THREE-WAY OF DARK, WHITE AND MILK CHOCOLATE CHUNKS. NO JUDGMENTS.
  • AFTERNOON DELIGHT
    CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE FOR ULTRA-CREAMY VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH CHUNKS OF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH, SALTED CARAMEL TRUFFLES, AND THICK SWIRLS OF CHOCOLATE FUDGE AND CARAMEL. IT’S WHAT “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGNS WERE MEANT FOR.
  • HIGHER GROUNDS
    DARK ROAST COFFEE ICE CREAM INTERLACED WITH SWIRLS OF MOCHA FUDGE, CRUNCHY CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUMBLES AND PILLOWS OF SWEET ESPRESSO. OH, AND IT’S CURRENTLY LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.
  • BOURBON MASH
    OUR BOURBON MASH IS AN INTOXICATING BLEND OF ULTRA-CREAMY VANILLA ICE CREAM AND HEARTY CHUNKS OF CHOCOLATE, ALL TOPPED OFF WITH A HEAVY POUR OF BOURBON-CARAMEL SAUCE. NOT ALL BOURBON HAS TO BE NEAT.
  • CHOC OF SHAME
    RICH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH MOUTHFULS OF CHEWY BROWNIE DOUGH GENEROUSLY FLECKED WITH DARK CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS.  IT’S REALLY MORE OF A CHOCOLATE STRIDE OF PRIDE, BUT THAT NAME WOULDN’T FIT ON THE CONTAINER.
  • BREAKFAST IN BED
    SAY GOOD MORNING TO SWEET MAPLE ICE CREAM WITH GENEROUS CHUNKS OF STICKY BUN DOUGH, PECAN PRALINE AND JUST A TOUCH OF CREAM CHEESE. JUST TRY NOT TO GET ANY ON THE SHEETS.

Love your local ice cream shop? Have them hand pack a pint for you. New City Microcreamery in Hudson is one of my favorite spots. They use liquid nitrogen to make their ice cream and their flavors rotate. So when I find a flavor that I love, I have them pack me a pint so I can keep the love affair going at home. Currently on my list of favorites is baklava and blackberry.

Tags: , ,

Let’s be honest, 1 year olds don’t need party favors, but it is nice to have guests leave a party with a little something. La Doce is Boston’s first online boutique to offer Brazilian birgadeiros. They say they are a cross between a truffle and a caramel – these confections just melt in your mouth!

Each box is made to order in Westborough, MA and they are hand delivered in the metro Boston area next day! They can also be shipped if you aren’t in the area. Husband and wife team Bruno and Laura Alves are the brains behind La Doce. Laura started making brigadeiros for school events and soon people we requesting them for events. Using a family recipe, Laura and Bruno are bringing these delicious Brazilian treats to the masses!

Boxes come in two sizes, the 4 piece (perfect for party favors) for $10 and a 12 piece size (pictured above) for $25.

La Doce brigadeiros come in five flavors: Milk Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Sprinkles, Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs, Dark Chocolate with Sliced Almonds, Pistachio with Chopped Pistachios and Coconut with Shredded Coconut. 

For more information, or to order, check out their website: www.byladoce.com

Disclaimer: I was given a sample of La Doce brigadeiros for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Tags: , , , ,

Located in Cambridge, a short walk from the Davis Square T station, is Spindler Confections, a local artisan candy shop.

They have a nice selection of chocolates, salted caramels, nut caramels, pate de fruits and brittles.

Did you know that they have classes? Class 1 is called Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! and you learn the basics of tempering chocolate, making fillings and capping molds. You get to take home the chocolates that you helped create! The second class they offer is called Crazy for Caramel where you learn how to make caramel from scratch. For safety purposes, the cooking portion is strictly a demo, but you’ll go home with about $25 worth of caramel! The caramel class is $50 per person and the chocolate class is $75 per person.

Now, about the subject at hand – party favors. Spindler offers customizable party favors – prices start at $2.25 for a 2 piece box.

I love the caramel pretzels but decided to try something new this time. I went with the six piece milk and dark assortment of nut butter cups.

Not pictured, I also picked up two white chocolate pistachio nut butter cups. I may or may not have eaten them so quickly I forgot to take a photo. These would be an excellent choice for a party favor, for a birthday party, wedding, or your next big event.

Spindler Confections

2257 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

http://spindlerconfections.com

Closed Mondays

Tags: , ,

It’s so fun to be turning 1!! The Go Local Boston gals and I put together a fun party for my little one who has a birthday right around the corner. If you’re looking for a traditional cake, The Icing on the Cake is one of my top choices. Located in Newton, TIOTC is in their 29th year of business. They did our wedding cake, which was amazing. The cake designs are beautiful and they can create a custom cake (or cupcakes) for your event. 8″ round cakes, that feed around 10-15, start at $45. This cake, with pale pink rosettes, was a perfect centerpiece for our party.

We paired the cake with a sparkler #1 candle from Greentail Table. Greentail has a large selection of housewares and textiles. I literally want EVERYTHING in the store.

The candle in action!

Sparklers not your thing? Here’s another fun way to top your cake – picked this up in the dollar bins at Target!

Other places to get great cakes:

  • Party Favors in Brookline – they do custom cakes, but also have cakes (and cupcakes) ready to go in the shop
  • Blackbird Doughnuts in the South End – Chef Anna Perna makes a doughnut cake, 5″ wide, made with doughnut layers and berry jam. For $26 you can get one for your next event, covered in vanilla buttercream or the seasonal buttercream (which is strawberry at the moment). Hey, if Adele loves it, you will too!
  • AJ Cakes in Marlborough – for those of you out in Metro West, Ashley is your girl. She makes custom cakes, cookies and cupcakes.Do  yourself a favor and pick up a cinnamon roll for yourself while your in there for the ride home…
  • For those of you farther out west, try The Crown Bakery and Cafe in Worcester – Our girl Kim swears by the princess cake, but they can whip you up any number of options, they’ve been around for 55 years!

Here’s the birthday girl going after that first taste of cake!

Traditional cakes not your thing? Try an ice cream cake from New City Microcreamery in Hudson. I love New City for their liquid nitrogen ice cream and eccentric toppings. Now, they offer cakes, starting at $25. Choose from three popular flavors:

Strawberries and Cream: Yellow Cake, Strawberry ice cream, whipped cream icing.
Birthday Cake: Funfetti cake, Cake batter ice cream, whipped Icing, rainbow sprinkles.
Double Chocolate: Chocolate Cake, Chocolate ice cream, brownie crumble, chocolate icing.

Pop on to their website, you can order it right online, pick your flavor and pick your size (6″, 8″ or 10″) – BOOM, you’re done. You can make a fully customized cake starting at $35.

We had the strawberries and cream cake – I love strawberry ice cream and the cake was very light and fresh. Pick one up today!

Let’s talk party favors. Before I had kids, I went to some first birthday parties. When you don’t have kids and you get invited to a 1st birthday party, you can probably think of a million things that you’d rather be doing. I love the idea of party favors for the adults at a kids party – make the non parents happy and put out some single serve bubbly and fun party straws. We thought the LaMarca proseccos were a good choice and paired them with fun paper straws from Target.

Bubbly not your thing? The Francis Ford Coppola winery puts out these cute Sofia mini cans. The Sofia Blanc de Blancs come in fun pink cans with their own straw for sipping. Those without kids will thank you. And even if you do have kids, you might want to grab one of these 😉

Now that the adults are happy, how about the kids? How adorable are these sappy cups that Leah found from Francesca’s. Party favors at 1st birthdays aren’t really necessary, but fun for guests to walk away with a little something.

Succulents are so in these days, how about these cuties from Niche in Cambridge? Leah likes to pair these with $5 gift cards for the kids – I like that idea too! I think I’ll steal it. Because you know that those kids don’t need cheap plastic toys or more candy…

Let’s throw in something a little sophisticated shall we? I’ll start off with these amazing unicorn macarons from Maca Boston. Tamy is my go to gal for macarons – not only does she make adorable characters, but they TASTE DELICIOUS! They are so fresh – these ones are filled with fruity pebble buttercream – so fun!! We shot them on top of Hammond’s cotton candy from Brothers Marketplace, because…what kid doesn’t love cotton candy! Oh, and by the way, she also makes MACARON CAKES!!!!!

Another option for party favors, not just for a 1st birthday, but for any event, are La Doce brigadeiros. These Brazilian handmade truffles come in this 4 pack size ($10), perfect for a favor, or a larger size of 15 ($35). They are made locally and are HAND DELIVERED! Yay!!

Stay tuned all this week for fun party themed posts!

Thanks to the following companies who provided the products for this post: La Doce, Brothers Marketplace, Maca Boston, New City Microcreamery and The Icing on the Cake

Tags: ,

I’m have to admit that Mother’s Day totally snuck up on me. Maybe my head has been in the sand, but all of the sudden I turned around and oh wait, Mother’s Day is THIS WEEKEND!! So, I checked in with my gal pals from Go Local Boston and we put together a few ideas for Sunday! For a quick and easy meal, we decided on Tequila Lime Chicken. This is an easy recipe, Ina Garten’s actually, and it came out AMAZING. Really tender and flavorful. We paired it with a little pea soup, and I love it served in mismatched mugs.

Brother’s Marketplace in Weston is really my go to place these days. I can pick up almost everything I need in one place. It only looks like I spent hours slaving in the kitchen preparing. Let them do all the work while you sit on the couch eating the Mother’s Day chocolates you bought for yourself. For our shoot, we picked up a few items for a killer cheese board, some flowers and of course a little bubbly. Those delicious desserts are from Praliné in Belmont. Try to just buy one tart, I dare you! They also make some delicious macarons, so pick some of those up for good measure. Need to wrap your gifts and pick up a card? Check out Bottle Branch. Elizabeth creates these amazing botanical note cards, stickers and gift tags. These items just stepped up your gift giving game! Looking to add in a little fun? Have you checked out the gifts at Sense and Humor? I love the “World’s Okayest Mom” mug.

So let’s talk cheese plates. This one has my favorite cheese on it, Cobb Hill’s Ascutney Mountain, along side of Consider Bardwell’s Dorset, and a little Great Hill Blue Cheese to round out the plate. Ascutney Mountain is an Alpine style cheese made with raw farmstead Jersey cow milk that has a sweet and nutty flavor. Dorset is a washed rind, raw Jersey cow cheese that is ripe! It has a rich, buttery texture. Great Hill is based in Western Massachusetts and is full flavored. Leah loves sour cherry, so the Divinia sour cherry spread was a perfect choice. It’s bold and sweet, perfect on this cheese plate but could easily be added to pastry or spread on your favorite sandwich. Effie’s oatcakes are one of my favorite snacks. I eat them straight out of the bag, but they are perfect for a cheese plate. They are made locally in Hyde Park and have a sweet nutty flavor to them. I always like different textures on my cheese plates, so we included Copper Kettle’s Cranberry Welsh Cakes that are made locally in Westwood. For bubbles, I love the 90+ Cellars Prosecco, and for those who aren’t drinking, the Laurel Hill Sparkling Cider is a great choice.

Need a gift for mom? Have you heard about La Doce? Husband and wife team Laura and Bruno Alves just launched their brigadeiro company. These Brazilian chocolates are made from 100% cacao, organic condensed milk and organic butter. They come in five flavors: milk chocolate with milk chocolate sprinkles, dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, dark chocolate with sliced almonds, pistachio and coconut. You can buy them online and they will HAND DELIVER the next day! Talk about fresh. The consistency of these chocolates is amazing, they just melt in your mouth. I love the chocolate with chocolate sprinkles, but the pistachio was a close second. A box of 4 is $10 and a box of 12 is $25. And at 80-100 calories per piece, I’m not ashamed that I polished this box off before Mother’s Day even came.

How can it be Mother’s Day without flowers? These beauties are from Brother’s Marketplace, designed buy the talented Ali Papa. She’s self taught and is killing it over in Weston. Stop by and say hello!

What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

Tags:

Located in Cambridge, Mix It serves a mix of Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Korean food. They have noodles, rice, soups, salads and sushi to boot. The restaurant has great light at the tables in the front by the windows – we will certainly be back when the weather gets a little warmer! Can’t make it in to the restaurant? Did I mention that they have free delivery (and you can use the promo code: SPRING17 when you order online to get 10% off).

Did you know that Mix It just recently won the Best High End Sushi category on Boston’s A-List? They came in 2nd for Best Asian Fusion too! How have I never heard of this place before?

I  have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I saw how large the menu was. How could they possibly have this many items (think Cheesecake Factory sized menu) and still put out good food? EVERYTHING that we had was delicious, and they were all so different, so hats off to the chef! All the dishes that we had were delicious and here’s the thing, they were light. We had a HUGE lunch, but I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t need to be rolled out of there! The plating was impressive, each dish was a work of art, and the service was top notch.

The fresh rolls ($6.95) were calling our name! They came filled with tofu, lettuce, carrots, bean sprouts, sweet basil and thin rice noodles. The house sauce with peanuts added loads of flavor, which we loved.

Avocados are popular, so of course we needed to try the avocado salad ($8.95) (hey, we needed a break from avocado toast). It certainly doesn’t look like your run of the mill salad, and yet is still refreshingly light and tasty.

When you break it open, there is a mixture of kanikama, cucumber, avocado, tobiko all mixed in a light mayo sauce and topped with a tempura crunch. The crunch was what put this salad at the top of the list for me.

The plating on the tuna tartare ($15.95) was impressive. Fresh cubes of sushi grade tuna is layered with tobiko, mango juice and fresh avocado. Again, a really nice, light dish that was refreshing. The tuna was very fresh.

The duck isn’t on the menu yet, but we were lucky enough to sample it. If you’ve never tried duck before, this dish is very approachable, with familiar flavors. We loved the spicy jalapeño in the sauce!

Mother’s day is just around the corner. Who needs a bouquet of flowers? I’d much rather have these sushi roses 😉

If you’ve never had kimchi, you’re in for a real treat. Again, a totally approachable dish, because you already know the flavors of fried rice. The pickled kimchi not only packs a good crunch, but also a little heat. We added shrimp to ours – this could certainly be enough for a main meal!

The Mongolian beef is one of Mix It’s most popular dishes. The meat is stir fried in a wok and cooked with onions, bell peppers and scallions. The Mongolian sauce is light but packed with flavor.

Noodle bowls – can’t get enough of them!! You pick your broth, pick your noodle type and toppings and then decide if you want add ons. For broth, you have your choice of tom yum, lemongrass, chicken broth, coconut curry or mushroom. We pick tom yum: classic mild sweet and sour broth with be a sprouts, scallions cilantro and peanuts. Noodle choices include: pho, vermicelli, yellow soba, thin egg noodles, udon, or ramen. Of course we go for the ramen, was that ever even a question? We added chicken for our topping and chose bok choy and a hard boiled egg for extras. Perfect comfort food for a cold, rainy day, but also perfect and light enough for a sunny spring lunch.

I love a good lunch special. Mix It’s lunch special is offered Monday – Friday from 11:30am – 4:00pm. We chose the chicken teriyaki bento (a steal for $9.95), which came with an appetizer, soup, salad, rice and an orange. First, I need all  my rice to now come in this pyramid shape. Secondly…ALL.THE.FOOD!

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to have lunch at Mix It. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Mix It

1678 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

www.mixitrestaurant.com

Tags: , , ,

Are you breathing a sigh of relief that Passover is over? Have you been counting the days until you could throw out that cardboard matzo that was sitting on your counter? Well move over old fashioned matzo, there’s a new game in town. I paired up with the Matzo Project and put together some fun recipes to make you rethink matzo – and maybe even have it year round (gasp!!). What first caught my eye was the packaging: super cute with a grandmother on the front, asking, “Would it kill you to try something new?”. What kept my interest was the taste. Not like the cardboard matzo I know, more like a cracker, with FLAVOR!!  The Matzo Project makes salted and everything flavored matzo and then matzo chips (!!) in salted, everything and cinnamon sugar (whaaatttt?!). They’re vegan, nut free, dairy free and all natural. Oh, and they’re kosher, just not kosher for passover.

When I do anything recipe related, I pair up with Leah, my go-to gal in the kitchen. We decided to make a few fun things – first up, stuffed mushrooms. Totally familiar dish made better with The Matzo Project’s everything matzo chips.

This recipe is so simple, in fact there is no exact recipe (or maybe there is but you’ll have to ask Leah). De-stem mushrooms and place in baking dish. Sautee onions. Grate Parmesan cheese and chop up some fresh herbs (whatever kind you like). Grind up a bag of everything matzo chips and mix together with cheese, onions and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. BAM!

I could tell you that we went all fancy with this next recipe, but we didn’t. Everyone loves a good dip – onion dip especially, but you don’t want to admit that you could eat it all in one sitting.

1 package of Lipton onion soup mix. 16oz of sour cream. Sauteed onions to make people think that it wasn’t made from a soup mix. Pair with The Matzo Project’s salted matzo crackers – because they can stand up to this sturdy dip.

Our take on French Onion Soup. Make it into a dip. You can use the above recipe and then add gruyere on top – broil it off in the oven until the cheese is nice and bubbly. With French Onion Soup you normally get that nice big slice of bread, but we opted for a lighter version, and paired it with some of the salted matzo.

I’ve been going to a lot of brunches lately, and one of the things that is pretty popular on the menu is a French Toast with corn flakes or frosted flakes. I love the crunch that the cereal adds, so we decided to do our own take on French Toast. I did an easy baked French Toast recipe with blueberries and then we finished it off with some cinnamon sugar matzo crackers on top. Here’s the recipe:

1 loaf of challah (I use OMG challah – it’s a nice consistency for the French Toast)

8 eggs

2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon on cinnamon

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 pint blueberries (or any berry of your choosing)

Directions:

Cube challah and add to baking dish. Set aside. Mix together milk, cream, eggs and spices. Pour mix over challah, add berries and cover. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. In a separate skillet, heat up butter and crunched up cinnamon sugar chips. Sautee until browned and add over cooked French Toast.

So we have finished our meal, make sure that you save room for dessert!

I don’t know about you, but ice cream, over the top ice cream, has been all over my Instagram feed. We decided to use the cinnamon sugar chips on our ice cream cones and see how it would turn out. Leah says, “let’s make ice cream cones with chocolate magic shell”. I’m like, “ok I’ll pick some up from the store”. Leah, “….ummmm, no…we’ll make it”. Here’s the recipe we used, super simple and we used Lindt chocolate – so you know it came out super tasty! We paired batch dark chocolate mexican chile and roasted almonds ice cream with our magic chocolate shell, candied nuts and crushed up cinnamon sugar matzo chips. The cinnamon from the chips paired well with the chocolate and spice!

And we ended the afternoon fun with hazelnut gelato, magic chocolate shell, chopped hazelnuts and cinnamon sugar matzo chips. I think we can consider this day a success!

Want to try out some of The Matzo Project products? Check out their website here. Are you in Boston? If you dare brave the crowds at Eataly, you can pick some up there!

Tags: ,

Spring is finally here!! I have already committed to storing away my winter clothes, so no doubt it will snow in May! So it means dining on patios, open toed shoes, maxi dresses and my favorite, picnics! Not a fan of the outdoors? You could easily do this on a porch (skip the bugs) or throw a blanket down on the floor and transform your living room into the perfect little picnic spot for date night in. Leah and I teamed up with Willow Tree Farm to create some fun ideas to add to your basket, using their delicious chicken salad that comes in flavors like: buffalo chicken salad, premium white meat chicken salad, cranberry walnut chicken salad, sriracha chicken salad and avocado chicken salad.

So if you are going completely gluten free, this recipe is for you. I love lettuce wraps, yes, even the ones at PF Changs. Leah and I thought that we would do a fun take on lettuce wraps (not just a scoop of chicken salad in a lettuce cup) and added in Fox Point Pickling Company’s dill carrots for that extra little zing and that big crunch. Just grab a small head of iceberg lettuce and start peeling off those layers – added bonus, there’s little cleanup to do here!

What’s all over Pinterest? Ball jar meals. So Leah and I took the buffalo chicken salad (that has a nice little kick to it) and added in some layers of black beans, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and micro greens. Eat straight from the jar or bring along a bowl to pour it into. Tie up a small baguette in wax paper to complete this meal. We made our own lemonade for the daytime version of this meal:

1 3/4 cup of white sugar

8 cups of water

1 1/2 cups of lemon juice

Directions:

Combine 1 cup of water with the white sugar in a saucepan. Bring up to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Plate in refrigerator until chilled.

Squeeze lemons to make 1 1/2 cups of juice. In a large container, mix together lemon juice, chilled simple syrup and 7 cups of water.

For the evening version of this meal (or even the afternoon 😉 ) pair with a single serve rosé (bonus if you can find one with a straw!).

Everyone loves Mexican, why not try this: corn salsa from Trader Joe’s, black beans, jack cheese, buffalo chicken salad and an olive tapenade to top it off. Serve with a side of your favorite corn chips. So easy to travel with you could even bring it to work for lunch with you during the week!

How much avocado toast can you have? Why not try the new avocado chicken salad from Willow Tree, it is made with avocado mayonnaise and is sweetened up with cranberries. The salad itself is gluten free, even though we served it up on this crusty baguette. We simply paired this chicken salad with some micro greens and pickled carrots. We garnished with some pickles we picked up on the North Fork from Sep’s Farm and a cute fruit salad.

What’s your go to meal for a picnic? And share with me some of your favorite spots!

Disclaimer: I was provided samples of Willow Tree chicken salad for this post. All opinions are my own.

Tags: , , ,

Pressed Cafe recently opened it’s second location in Burlington (their other locations in Nashua, NH). I am always looking for new lunch spots, so I was excited to meet up with some friends here. I love everything about this space: the tin ceilings, the wooden tables, the industrial style lighting and the exposed brick. This place gets pretty crowded during lunchtime, so I recommend getting there a little early to grab a seat. You order at the counter and they bring your order to your table when it’s ready. This is such a great fast casual restaurant, with a little bit of everything, so everyone, even the kids will find something they like. Kid’s items include: mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, turkey and cheese and ham and cheese (served with a kids drink and your choice of apple, banana or chips). Yay for some healthy options for kids!

Everything on the menu sounds delicious, it was hard to me to choose. I had the mac and cheese with pulled pork (a favorite dish of mine) but here are some other items you can expect to find at Pressed Cafe:

Fresh smoothies in flavors like peanut butter power, strawberry sunset, wakie wakie (dairy free!!) or the green monster

Frozen drinks like a limon-nana or a frozen espresso hurricane

Pressed raw juice in flavors like: carrot cake, citrus energy c, v10 or the detox

Breakfast is served all day:  try the spicy Green burrito or the Maine lobster burrito. Have a breakfast sandwich or a smoked salmon bagel. They have organic steel cut oatmeal and acai bowls.

Power bowls full of quinoa or grown up mac and cheese with things like short rib, bbq chicken, spicy buffalo chicken or lobster.

There is a never ending list of paninis, salads and soups to choose from if you are hoping for a lighter lunch.

So stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they are open 7 days a week from 6am – 10pm! Bonus points because it is close to the mall, a really great Nordstrom Rack and the H Mart is literally around the corner!!

Pressed Cafe

200 District Ave., Burlington

http://www.pressedcafe.com/

pressed cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tags: , , , ,

While shopping at TJ Maxx and Home Goods in Bedford (yup, will travel for a good TJ Maxx…), we were working up an appetite. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Red Heat Tavern nearby as we were driving around. I had been to the Wilmington location and had a great experience, so I knew this would be a good choice. The restaurant is enormous so even though they had a decent lunch crowd, we didn’t feel like we were on top of other customers. I had my son with me, so we had to be at a family friendly place (bonus that they also have great food for adults).

I love their kid’s menu. Choose your meal: chicken fingers, hot dog and cheese in a tortilla, hamburger, grilled cheese, mac and cheese or a quesadilla (that definitely covers ALL the bases). Then you get a choice of three of the following sides: cucumbers, celery carrots and hummus, apple sauce, fruit kabob, French fries, onion strings, apple slices with peanut butter, tortilla chips, kettle potato chips, seasonal veggies or a frozen vanilla yogurt. I love that they have some healthy options in there (along side of the French fries). You can get one dipper: ranch, honey mustard, salsa, bbq sauce or sour cream. Top it all off with a drink: apple juice, cranberry, soda, chocolate milk or regular milk – all for $6.95.

We were there on a Monday, so it was create your own mac and cheese day (for me, not the kid). For $14.95 you start with cavatapi and their 5 cheese mac sauce (you can get gluten free rotini) and one of the following: fried chicken, pulled pork ,Kayem dog, chili, grilled mesquite chicken, or meatloaf. Mix in, or drizzle sauce on top: buffalo, chipotle bbq, honey bbq, ranch, blue cheese, brown bbq gravy, white gravy or beurre blanc. Mix in mesquite pepper and onions, smoked bacon, charred tomatoes, spinach, cherry pepper, fresh jalapeños, roasted red peppers, arugula or blue cheese crumbles. Top that all off with fried onion strings, fritos, fried egg or cornbread crumbs. Ummm…yes to everything!! I had mine with pulled pork and fritos and man, was it delicious. Trust me on the fritos part…

The roasted cauliflower side was tasty, made me feel not so bad about housing that mac and cheese (there was plenty to take home too). We also had the steakhouse salad (pictured above), $16.95, with coal fired beef steak tips, cut and marinated in house, applewood smoked bacon, Creole potato chips, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, house made croutons and a smoked blue cheese dressing. You can double your steak for $5.95 more. I love the steak tips here, and the wings here are not to be missed (boneless or bone in, mesquite marinated chicken wings made two ways: Buffalo style with smoked blue cheese dressing or sweet Thai style with sriracha aioli).

Red Heat Tavern Bedford

152 Great Road, Bedford, MA

http://redheattavern.com/

Red Heat Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tags: , , ,

  • The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015
  • A Little Bit About a Lot of Things