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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

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My friend Lollie shares my obsession with doughnuts (OK, I have an obsession with all dessert…)- so we decided to meet up for a little “research”. Lollie, Leah and I headed over to Blackbird Doughnuts and picked up a few to try. Don’t worry, this was a working lunch meeting ūüėČ Now that I look at this photo, it looks like we pigged out on doughnuts, I swear, my box only had 4 inside…I love that the boxes are pizza boxes turned inside out!

IMG_5195The flavors are always changing and they will run you about $3 a piece. Here are the current flavors:

VANILLA GLAZE

CHOCOLATE SPRINKLE

LEMON DARK CHOCOLATE

WHITE PIZZA

COFFEE & BACON

CRANBERRY COBBLER

BLACK RASPBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE

PUMPKIN PIE BISMARCK

SUFGANIYOT

MAPLE PEANUT BUTTER

CHOCOLATE OLD FASHIONED CAKE

BLUEBERRY CAKE

IMG_5194Check out this beautiful blueberry doughnut!! The doughnuts are light and fluffy and they are sweet but not too sweet.

IMG_5193Blackbird is the city’s only artisanal doughnut shop that bakes on site. They sell coffee as well as make soft serve ice cream doughnut sandwiches (droooooool!!). Note that they don’t have seating inside the shop so you either need the willpower to make it home first or grab a seat on the benches outside and enjoy your doughnuts!

Blackbird Doughnuts

492 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

http://www.blackbirddoughnuts.com

Blackbird Doughnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_4483Parkside Market is a cute little place right on Main Street in Falmouth. They offer breakfast all day and lunch until 4pm. There are cafe tables inside and a few tables outside on the sidewalk.

IMG_4484Parkside has a nice assortment of sandwiches and lighter options if you’re just planning on stopping in for coffee and dessert. (Their desserts rotate daily!)

IMG_4486I¬† had the housemade egg salad ($8) on toasted wheat bread with lettuce and tomato. The egg salad was good, it wasn’t overpowered with mayo and had celery and onions mixed in. We didn’t get the handcut fries this time, but you definitely should if you decide to stop in! The breakfast here is delicious, I especially like the classic that comes with two eggs, any style, with toast and your choice of meat.¬† You order at the counter and the servers will bring you your food as it is made. Nice to have another option for lunch on Main Street. Breakfast will run between $7-$9 and sandwiches or salads can run between $7 and $12 (the exception being the options with lobster).

Parkside Market

281 Main Street, Falmouth, MA

http://parksidemarket.com/

Parkside Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_5486Bent’s Cookie Factory is well known among Milton residents for their delicious sandwiches and their broken cookies. Years ago, when I used to work in Milton, this place was my downfall. I was coming here multiple times a week for the Winter Valley sandwich and some cookies for dessert.

IMG_5482I was in the area and decided to stop by. The place has changed since the last time I was here, the company was bought in 2014 by Sean Christie and Chris Twyman.

IMG_5481Bent’s was originally known for its hardtack crackers and they are one of the last producers of them in the country. Bent’s supplied these water and flour crackers to the Union Army during the Civil War.

IMG_5483Sandwiches here are amazing. While the “Wildcat club” is very popular (oven roasted turkey, ham, muenster cheese, bacon, honey mustard, mayo, lettuce and tomato and toasted sourdough), I love the Winter Valley, which is hot corned beef, melted provolone and Russian dressing on toasted rye bread. While it wasn’t exactly how I remembered it, it was still pretty darn good.

IMG_5484We also tried out the cranberry walnut chicken salad in a wrap that was quite tasty. If you’re planning on heading in at peak lunch hour, I suggest calling in your order.

IMG_5485While Bent’s was know for their bags of broken cookies, the cookies these days are made in smaller batches, thus less bags of broken cookies – you may find one for sale on occasion.

Bent’s Cookie Factory

7 Pleasant Street, Milton, MA

http://www.bentscookiefactory.com/

Bents Cookie Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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IMG_6587We went to visit my brother in North Carolina and he took us to one of his favorite places for breakfast.¬† The Daily Grind is a great little coffee shop where you can grab a bite to eat and do a little work on your laptop – oh, and they have great coffee too. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by, my brothers photos are up on the wall – he’s a super talented photographer and has some amazing photos of Alaska printed on metal for sale.

IMG_6588While they offer some good options for people on the go – like pieces of fruit and bagels, they also make delicious omelettes. I had the Western, which was delicious, served with fresh fruit and toast.

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My brother told me that their specialty is crepes, so of course we went back to try them out! They offer both sweet and savory options for crepes, like smoked salmon, crab alfredo or their most popular, the California crepe, with all natural eggs, avocado, sundried tomatoes, turkey sausage, baby swiss, seasonal greens and creamy pesto.

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Of course we went for the sweet option – my brother’s go to crepe, the black and white ($9) with fresh seasonal berries, nutella, white chocolate, crushed biscuits and topped with whipped cream. So decadent and delicious! Between the thin crepes and the fresh fruit, I almost could trick myself into thinking that this was healthy (let’s not talk about all the chocolate and cookies haha).

The service is excellent, Mike the owner is usually around and he couldn’t be nicer. There is a ton of parking with both indoor an outdoor seating. Stop in and you’ll make this your new go to coffee stop!

Daily Grind

2000 Boulderstone Way, Cary, NC

http://dailygrindnc.com/

Daily Grind Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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On a day trip to Nantucket this fall, we spent the afternoon walking around the island. One stop was the Petticoat Row bakery, a cute little shop just off the beaten path.IMG_2816

With the summer season coming to a close, their cases were a bit more sparse than usual, but we still found some delicious things! They bake their bread daily and offer things like cookies, cupcakes, breakfast items and they even make custom cakes. We grabbed some coffee with our treats as well! It’s unfortunate that they don’t have seating inside the bakery, so we had to sit outside on one of the benches to enjoy our treats.

Petticoat Row Bakery

35 Centre St, Nantucket, MA

http://petticoatrowbakery.com

Petticoat Row Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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With the first day of winter this week and today being Christmas, I thought that this would be the perfect time to tell you about the Taj Boston‘s Fireplace suites. With the cold weather just around the corner, here’s the scoop on the coziest spot in town. The iconic hotel, located in the Back Bay, has 42 suites with wood burning fireplaces. The suites come with their own FIREPLACE BUTLER. Yup, you read that right. My only problem is that I’d probably just want to take the butler home (even though I don’t have a fire place – wait, scratch that, I’d just never leave the suite!) ¬†Guests can choose from the following 4 types of wood:

  • Birch Wood:Birch produces a strong heat and burns quickly, creating a warm and cozy interlude before an evening‚Äôs entertainment on the town
  • Cherry Wood:Fragrant and slow burning, the glowing colors from this fire will enhance your in-room dining experience
  • Oak Wood:A lightly scented, long-burning wood, oak produces a comforting, cozy warmth for a long winter‚Äôs night. It produces a comforting, cozy warmth and ambiance for a long winter‚Äôs night
  • Maple Wood:The sweet aroma of maple will fill the room with the ambiance of a country inn. It evokes the essence of a New England winter in the heart of Boston

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In addition to the Fireplace Suites, the Taj offers Fireside desserts and cocktails in the bar right off the lobby.¬†Pastry Chef Robert Alger has crafted a variety of sweets to please any palette. Shown above is the¬†Taj dark chocolate cake¬†‚Äď a composed cake of Valrhona Dulcey chocolate souffl√©, coffee mousse and chocolate mirror glaze with vanilla anglaise and crunch coffee ice cream.

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The Taj’s cheese plate was simple and yet satisfying.

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House dipped chocolate strawberries served over a cloud of white chocolate shavings.

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Warm caramel chocolate bread pudding¬†‚Äď cinnamon custard baked with croissants and milk chocolate with caramel and vanilla sauce.

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Homemade toasted s‚Äômores¬†‚Äď chocolate graham cookie filled with chocolate ganache and house made marshmallow, served with chocolate sauce.

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The Fireside cocktail list includes beverages such as:¬†The Classic¬†‚Äď half bottle of Perrier Jou√ęt Champagne,¬†Dark Velvet¬†‚Äď glass of Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Maison Rouge ‚Äď glass or bottle of 2008 Pinot Noir, Cuvaison, Napa, CA, and the¬†Slainte¬†‚Äď Hot Toddy with a warm blend of whisley, lemon, cloves, cinnamon and the Taj‚Äôs own roof top honey.

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A non alcoholic option is the Starry night¬†‚Äď hot chocolate with marshmallow and chocolate shavings (oh and that fresh made whipped cream is heavenly!).

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The suites are elegantly decorated with classic furnishings and 42 inch flat screen cvs, there’s even complimentary wifi.

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While guests relax in their rooms and cuddle up next to the fire, they can choose to make their own s’mores!! I can personally vouch for the coziness of these suites and there is nothing better than the smell of a wood burning fire!¬†The Taj is currently offering a¬†Suite Celebrations¬†promotion: when guests book one night at the best available rate they can delight in an¬†additional evening at 50% off¬†in addition to a¬†complimentary breakfast for two in the award winning Taj Caf√©. The promotion is good from now until April 2016, so you’ve got plenty of excuses to take a city stay-cation and check out the suites.

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As you can see, the suites have an amazing view of the swan boats, the city skyline and the Boston Common, even on a foggy day – the city looks amazing!

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! What are your favorite holiday traditions? Maybe you can start a new traditional and indulge in a suite at the Taj every year!

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to view the Fireplace Suite and sample the above desserts. All opinions are my own.

Taj Boston

15 Arlington Street, Boston, MA

Check out their website here.

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I had been wanting to try Babbo for some time, but wanted to wait for the hype to die down before heading in. The restaurant, that is located in Boston’s Seaport District, opened in April and has been serving up Mario Batali’s Italian cuisine to locals and tourists alike.

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The restaurant is enormous, with over 8,000 square feet of space. The open space features three bars, one for pizza, one for antipasti and one for cocktails.

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The restaurant features a wood burning stove that churns out delicious pizzas and pastas.

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I’m pretty sure I could have ordered one of everything on the menu. We restrained ourselves and started with the cheese plate. They come 3 for $11, 5 for $15 or 7 for $19. The accoutrements were cherries, apricots and truffle honey.

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We did the following cheeses: Piave VecchioCow, VEN; Parmigiano ReggianoCow, EMI; Provolone MandaroneCow, LOM. All hard cheeses with a sightly nutty flavor to them. Really delicious.

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All of the pasta dishes sounded delicious, pasta all Norma, spaghetti carbonara, squid ink cavatelli, and on and on. I ordered the gnocchi ai fruity di mare ($15). The dumplings were light as air. I was afraid that the spicy sauce might over power the gnocchi, but it was delicious. This is the first place I’ve seen gnocchi served with seafood, so I was really happy with my meal. And don’t let that sauce go to waste, use some bread to scoop up every last bit!

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Babbo is known for their pizzas, so of course we had to try one. We had the quattro formaggi ($13) that is topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina and grana. I love a good white pizza and this one hit the spot. The cheese blend was really nice and the crust was thin and both crispy and chewy.

What’s your go to Italian dish?

Babbo Pizzeria

11 Fan Pier Boulevard, Boston, MA

http://babbopizzeria.com/

Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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If I were young(er) and single, I would be hanging out at the Abbey every night. This restaurant, located in Brookline’s Washington Square neighborhood, was packed with tons of good looking guys drinking beer and snacking on small bites at the bar. We had to wait for a table, as the restaurant is pretty small. We hovered awkwardly over people sitting at the bar and drank some beers while we waited. We sat at the counter in front of the kitchen, bonus for us because it was warmer and we got to see all of the delicious food coming out. I started off with the BBQ chicken fried dumplings which were delicious.¬†I mean, like gobbled these down in two minutes delicious.

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If you read this blog, you know I love me some bolognese, but I usually like a very traditional one. This dish, however, is the exception. The bison bolognese is served with fresh linguini, piled high and topped with a healthy serving of grated Romano cheese. This bison isn’t gamey at all and these is a nice little kick to the sauce. I could seriously eat this for days. I took some of it home and it was even better on the second day!

Note that they don’t serve dessert here, so head next door to Emack and Bolio’s if you’re craving an after dinner sweet.

The Abbey

1657 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA

http://abbeyrestaurant.com/brookline/

The Abbey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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After lunch at the nearby Naco Taco, we decided to stop into Mariposa bakery. The chop is super cute with exposed brick walls and some great lighting from the large windows in the front. There are a bunch of tables inside, where you can enjoy your treats if you don’t have the willpower to make it home (trust me, it was tough).

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Because we hit them up after lunch, they were out of a few things. I was looking forward to their doughnuts I had been hearing so much about.

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Don’t worry, I settled on a turtle brownie. I was only going to try a little bite when I got home because I was going out to a media dinner that evening, but someone how one bite turned into eating the whole thing. I don’t even know how it happened. Well I know how it happened, but it was THAT good. So stop in for a tasty treat, maybe we will see each other there, you know I’m going back for a doughnut!!

Mariposa Bakery

424 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Check out Mariposa’s Facebook page here.

Mariposa Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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When we were in Salem for lunch at Turner’s Seafood, I had the chance to walk around a bit before heading over the the restaurant. ¬†I was craving something sweet so I stopped into Turtle Alley. The flagship store is located in Gloucester, the Salem location is their second store.

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The space is quite large. Even though there is a fair amount of product, the store feels a little sparse. They have all kinds of barks, chocolate covered everything and hand dipped truffles.

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All the chocolates are hand made. Of course I had to get some turtles, the cashew ones are my favorite! I picked up milk and white chocolate. In addition to cashew they also have pecan, macadamia, almond, cherry apricot, cranberry pecan, chipotle and  macadamia with coconut. They were delicious, you can taste the quality РI highly recommend stopping in.

Turtle Alley

177 Essex Street, Salem, MA

http://turtlealley.com

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