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a weekend in food

February 7, 2011

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Joanne Chang and Flour Bakery. J got me the new (fabulous!) cookbook for Christmas, and last week I finally had time to try a recipe! Here’s a snap shot of my first attempt at the chocolate chip cookies. All I had on hand for chocolate was toll house chips, but they seemed to work okay. I considered posting the recipe here, but I’m going to encourage you to go pick up the cookbook instead. Or at least drop by Flour and try some of the real deal. If you’re a Bostonian and you haven’t been yet … well … where have you been?

Friday night we went with a few friends to Red Bones in Davis Square. Let me tell you, it was well worth the 2 hour wait (and they don’t take reservations, so plan ahead!) If you haven’t been yet, I should warn you that eating at Red Bones is an experience. The tables are packed together, it’s loud and very bright. But really, who eats BBQ in leather banquettes and mood lighting? Aside from the heaping mounds of BBQ you’re sure to order, you’ve got to try the fried pickles. Healthy? no. Delicious? yes.

The portions are giant, so I would reccomend splitting an entree. We all did, and we were still stuffed!

Saturday I finally had a chance to stop by the Somerville Winter Farmers market. I had never been to a farmer’s market in the winter, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect … but I loved it! We didn’t get to stay for long, but will defintely be back. I picked up some anadama bread and a cider donut (YUM!) from Great Cape Baking Company and a few green peppers from Enterprise Farm. If you’re in the Davis Square area it’s well worth the trip over to the Armory. If you can leave your car at home, definitely do – parking was a bit of a pain. The market is open 10 to 2pm on Saturdays, and is located at 191 Highland Ave in Somerville.

And then there was the superbowl! Two kinds of chili, corn bread, chips, guacamole, chocolate chip cookies … I wish I had pictures but we ate it all too fast!

How was your weekend? Any food adventures or great new recipes?

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blogger inspiration

February 2, 2011

I am always collecting recipes, and I’m infamous for making something that we both love and then promptly misplacing the recipe. This the little trick I picked up from Fun and Fearless in Beantown, though, is one that I’m sure I’ll hang onto:

One of my favorite go-to dinners is ground turkey burgers – they’re easy and quick! And while a lean turkey burger is a healthier option than a beef burger, it never hurts to squeeze in an extra vegetable. I think Michelle’s suggestion is brilliant – why not dice up some zucchini and fold it into the meat before forming the patties?

The taste didn’t change at all, the texture was similar, but you’ve got an extra vegetable in there before you even start in on your side salad.

And if you play by my rules, committing to an extra vegetable means you’ve earned little extra dessert, too: )

enjoy!

a word about lasagna

January 23, 2011

I made a lasagna realization last week:

A great lasagna doesn’t have to be smothered in ricotta.

Forgive me Italian chefs everywhere, but for those of us who can’t stomach the dairy, this is a life changing realization. I was really missing one of my favorite comfort foods! I hadn’t bothered to try it before because I assumed that the end result would be dry crunchy noodles layered in a casserole dish. A little extra sauce and a generous sprinkling of parmesan later though, and I’ve never been so happy to admit I was wrong. Aged cheeses seem to agree with me just fine, so parmesan was a great solution. If you can’t take that, then experiment with your favorite dairy free cheese. You’ll be glad you did!

Dairy free and delicious: ground chicken, zucchini, and summer squash lasagna topped with Cabot's (dairy free)50% Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

The January Dinner of the Dumbwaiter Supper Club

January 23, 2011

After a hiatus over the holidays, we were all excited to get back together for another Dumbwaiter Supper Club dinner. Here were this month’s clues:

Clue #1: The Green Mile?! What does that mean???

 

Luke 22:7-23

Clue #2: Hmmm, okay. It’s starting to come together ….

 

Clue #3: GOT IT!

 

If you didn’t guess it yet, the theme was your interpretation of a last supper. Jason and I took it two different ways. I went with “Death by Chocolate” by combing two of my favorite things: bacon and fudge. It sounds crazy, but trust me, the savory and sweet was fantastic:

Jason’s interpretation was one of his favorite dishes: buffalo chicken dip with a ton of Frank’s Red Hot. It was very spicy … and delicious!

 

The winning dish this month was Cait’s take on tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. She made mini Parmesan cups, and filled them with tomato soup thickened with cream cheese. Each little bite was like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup all in one – the ultimate mini comfort food!

 

And here are the rest of the dishes. We started out as pretty good cooks (if I do say so myself) but every month we do this the bar gets set higher! Every dish was amazing, and we all left too full to move.

Jon’s Dish: Poutine

 

Matt’s dish: Breakfast Casserole

 

Julia’s dish: Fresh pasta and homemade red sauce with homemade meatballs and sausage

 

WOW. I can’t believe we ate all that … and then ate again today! Since Cait’s dish won she’ll be hosting our dinner next month. We’re already looking forward to her clues!

Restaurant Review: Foundry on Elm

January 16, 2011

Jason and I were looking to celebrate big moves in both of our careers this month (!) on Friday, but we were too tired to venture all the way into Boston. Lucky for us, Foundry on Elm has moved into the neighborhood! Billed as the “upscale” option in Davis Square, we had been wanting to try it for awhile. The only negative comment I had heard what that the lights were too bright (fair enough, who wants to eat under the glare of harsh lighting?), but when we walked in I could tell that management had gotten the message, too – the lighting was pleasantly dim, but not dark.

We had made a reservation, but somehow ended up being seating just about in the kitchen door. Not ideal, but it was busy and we were starving, so we decided to stay put.

see? not kidding. IN the door. It was fun to see the action though!

 

We were starving, so we decided to start with the fried calamari appetizer (our favorite app!). It came out quickly, but was incredibly salty. No complaints from us – we loved the salt (and the sauce that was served on the side – a basil aioli?) but if you don’t love salt as much as we do, you might want to try something else.

Our entrees (steak frites and grilled salmon) came out pretty quickly too, though the steak was very undercooked. We mentioned it to the waiter, who went and got the manager! The steak was whisked away and came back in no time, cooked perfectly. We were impressed, and very much appreciated the attentive service! Both entrees were fantastic – I would recommend either!

 

If you (or your wallet) aren’t up for the big entrees, the menu offers burgers and flatbreads, too. Plenty of options! All in all? Great service, great food … we’ll definitely be back!

don’t “beet” yourself up about it

January 12, 2011

Beets, like brussel sprouts, are an unloved vegetable. It doesn’t have to be that way!

1. Wash the beets

2. Wrap them individually, loosely in tin foil

3. Roast at 350 for 60 minutes

4. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool

5. Slice off one end, and push the skin off.

That’s it! Here’s what I did with them:

enjoy!

Redemption

January 12, 2011

Everyday Food fans, rejoice. We tested out another recipe last night from this month’s issue and it was a success! We followed this one exactly, and just loved it. The only note I have for you here is that there is definitely a lot of mise en place required for this recipe, so make sure you leave plenty of time for prep!

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans

1 c. long grain white rice
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 in pieces
2 bell peppers (we used red and white), seeded and diced large
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2 in piece of ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps roasted peanuts (optional – we left these out)

Cook rice according to the package. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set aside. Next, prep your vegetables.

In a large skillet, heat oil on high. Add chicken, peppers, and green beans and cook. Stir frequently, until vegetables soften – this should take about 5 minutes. Then add the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Stir frequently, for four more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Whisk the soy sauce mixture again, and add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce thickens. EDF says about 3 minutes – we kept it shorter for a thinner sauce. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve the stir fry over rice.

enjoy!