The holidays are always crazy whether you’re shopping, going to reunions or just trying to catch up with old friends. I met one of my oldest friends out for lunch at the Cottage on a Saturday afternoon. They open at 11:30 and quickly fill up. For some reason I spaced and thought you could have brunch on Saturdays ( they only offer brunch on Sundays) so imagine going in thinking you’re going to order eggs but you end up getting a burger instead. The burger was recognized in Boston’s 25 Best Burgers in 2012. The burger is good, the brioche bun is lightly toasted and buttered but still remains soft. The 8oz prime beef patty is topped with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion.
The mahi tacos sum up what the Cottage is all about – fresh, bright, California inspired food. The tacos come with guacamole, napa cabbage, pico de gallo, cottage baja sauce, corn tortillas, papaya salsa. This is a great dish bursting with flavor. The service was good, our waiter was friendly and attentive at the beginning of the meal, but was quick to drop the check and disappear.
47 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA
On a weekday night, I have a major craving for ramen. Wait, every day I have a craving for ramen…so I grab one of my friends and we head over to my current favorite ramen spot, Myung Dong 1st Ave for so ramen and k-pop.
Don’t have a clue what k-pop is? Check out this video, it was playing while we ate.
And the ramen just hits the spot. The broth is spicy and makes your lips tingle. I get the dduk ramen with rice cakes, and man does this hit the spot. This place is usually pretty empty on the week days but on the weekends it is mobbed. There are only 2 other tables seated when we arrive.
Myung Dong 1st Ave
90 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA
You may have seen Green bean in Copley on Stuart Street in the mornings. Now, they are serving lunch in Government Center on Thursdays! We get there and they guy on the truck immediately recognizes and greets my two coworkers who live on Green Bean’s coffee in the morning. They offer organic and fair trade coffee and how cool is it that their truck is solar powered?
The wind is whipping around us as we decide what we want to order. My first thought is waffle, for sure. But then my inner adult screams, that’s not a responsible lunch. Boo! So I opt for the Eastie – Turkey, avocado, bacon, tomato, cheese & chipotle aioli on Texas toast.
The sandwich was pretty tasty, although I wish there were a different kind of cheese on the sandwich, just to kick it up another notch. Really excited to try their breakfast items and of course, a waffle! Find them at breakfast at Stuart Street.
Green Bean Mobile Cafe
Our service is quick and the food is ok (nothing to write home about but certainly edible). Note that on the menu the pictures say that they are just examples of what the food looks like, not the actual thing. (odd?) The breakfast sandwich was decent, they only had plain bagels.
The price is right here, an affordable breakfast in Midtown for sure. The food could have used a bit more flavoring – the eggs and the potatoes didn’t taste much like anything. Would I seek this place out for breakfast, probably not, but it would certainly do in a pinch.
910 7th Ave
(between 57th St & 58th St)
New York, NY 10019
Going somewhere tomorrow and at a loss at what to bring? My company just had it’s fist annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner and man do we have some talented people! Here are some of the things that they brought, and I can say with certainty that every single one of these dishes was delicious!
Jill made Pumpkin Doughnuts with Sour Cream Icing
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sour cream icing:
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
orange sprinkles (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil two 6-compartment doughnut pans* (or use 1 pan and bake in batches). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
3. Spoon ¼ cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over the doughnuts. Scatter on the sprinkles, if desired. Let set before serving.
1 cup chopped leeks (white & light green part only)
4 cups corn kernels
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups half & half
8 oz shredded jack cheese, or jack cheddar blend
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 2 quart ovenproof dish. Heat some oil in heavy skillet and saute leeks until softened, about 2 minutes. Then add corn and cook about 3 minutes more. Remove from head and add in salt, nutmeg, and cayenne. Set aside in a large bowl whisk eggs and half & half to blend, stir in corn mixture and cheese and transfer to baking dish. Bake until a knife inserted into middle comes out clean, and top is slightly browned, about 35-45 minutes. let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm (can be prepared a day ahead of time, just cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in a 350 degree over for 25 minutes or longer.)
Melinda made a Broccoli Casserole
1 package frozen petite broccoli florets (or regular florets chopped), cooked according to package instructions
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup mayo
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp pepper and salt
½ cup grated cheddar cheese (plus addtl for topping)
1 bag stuffing mix (I like using chicken-flavored Pepperidge Farm, but others work just fine)
1 stick butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the frozen broccoli according to package instructions, typically microwaved for 3-5 minutes. Combine the mayo, mushroom soup, red onion, beaten eggs, broccoli and cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper. Stir to combine and pour into a casserole dish (8×8 or similar). Sprinkle additional cheese on top to lightly cover. Melt the stick of butter and pour over the stuffing mix in a separate bowl. Depending on the size of your casserole dish, you’ll likely not need to use the whole bag (10-12 oz) of stuffing to cover the top in a thin layer. I typically use ¾ of the bag, so start with less and as you mix in the butter you’ll have to eyeball how much more you’ll want to add. Spread the stuffing mix over the top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!
This stuffing was delicious!
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
1 pound good-quality day-old white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 250°. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and set aside. Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool; transfer to a very large bowl.
Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and celery. Stir often until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread; stir in herbs, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in 1 1/4 cups broth and toss gently. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1 1/4 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Add to bread mixture; fold gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; let cool. Cover; chill.
Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).
Sarah made Soul Sweet Taters
4 whole Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
2 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Pecans
1/2 cup Flour
3/4 sticks Butter
Wash 4 medium sweet potatoes and bake them in a 375-degree oven until fork tender, about 30-35 minutes. When they are finished cooking slice them open and scrape out the flesh into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of (regular granulated) sugar, 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of salt. With a potato masher, mash them up just enough—you don’t want to be perfectly smooth. Now, in a separate bowl, add 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup pecans, chopped (that means measure a cup of pecans, then chop them), ½ cup flour, and ¾ stick of butter. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until thoroughly combined.
Spread the sweet potato mixture into a regular baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Check out this Pumpkin Dream Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it form the oven.)
For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Mike made cranberry nut bread
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).
Victoria made a peanut butter pie
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.
And I made a pumpkin gingerbread trifle!
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 5.1-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
1 12-ounce box Ginger Snaps
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, spices, pudding mix and a good splash of water (about 1/4 cup). Using an electric mixer, beat everything together until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
To assemble, layer the cookies and pudding mixture in a serving dish (or several individual dishes) in whatever fashion you like. Cover the puddings with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours (you want the ginger snaps to soften up from sitting in the pudding mixture).
Top with some ground cinnamon or more whipped cream if you like, and serve cold.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?
A friend/coworker of mine just got married. He’s an avid pickler and an amazing cook/baker. Of course my wedding present was going to be food related! I picked the happy couple up a Le Creuset French Oven in the beautiful Marseille color and I also found this great food subscription service, Mantry.
Olive and Sinclair chocolate that comes from Nashville
Check out the Ancho Chicken Rub from Just Cook.
Check out Mantry’s website here.
The lights are dim and this place has a good vibe the minute you walk in the door. It’s warm and inviting, a great place to meet friends and have a relaxing night out filled with great food and inventive cocktails.
“New to Harvard Square in the spring of 2012, PARK is the neighborhood restaurant and bar of today: a vibrant destination for friends, family and acquaintances to linger over lively conversation, playful plates and thoughtful drinks. With a menu full of spirited interpretations on New American classics from Chef Mark Goldberg and an inspired selection of international spirits, wine and beer, guests feel at home in PARK’s rustic-meets-luxe subterranean space accented by soft leather couches & armchairs, bookshelves stocked with vintage titles, reclaimed wood tables, and an impressive collection of artwork and photography from the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
Let’s get to it! Drinks to start! The Old Cuban ($10) Barbancourt Rhum, Lime, Mint, Angostura Bitters, Cava. Delicious!! Light, and a little sweet. They have some really great cocktail choices here. And if you’re not sure what you’ll like, the waiters here are knowledgeable and can explain the flavor profiles of all the drinks you’re thinking about.
For dinner, I had the pumpkin barley risotto ($17) Seared mushrooms, parmesan, watercress & apple salad. Love the presentation of the dish, there were great flavors and textures throughout this dish. And while I usually don’t do salad, the apples gave a nice sweetness to the dish. I really enjoyed this!
This is a total stick to your ribs dish. I loved every bite I had of this. It had a really nice flavor profile and was very filling. The crust is almost as important as the filling, and I think they just nailed this dish!
Apple Upside-down Cake ($7) served with apple butter and cinnamon ice cream. Pretty darn delicious. The cake was light and not overly sweet and I loved the cinnamon ice cream. Great meal over all, we left feeling stuffed to the gills with delicious food. I would go back for another meal in a heartbeat!
59 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Park offers FREE PARKING Sunday–Wednesday with dinner purchase and $2 off Thursday–Saturday at the Harvard Square Parking Garage.
While I made these for Halloween and called them “Frankenstein Brownies”, you could make them any time of year. I mixed up a box brownie mix, following the directions on the box. I spooned just enough mix onto the baking cup to cover the bottom.
Check out how AMAZING these came out! The oreos, when baked, take on this great cake like texture and the peanut butter just adds to the decadence of this dessert. People at the office were fighting over these (I didn’t make one for everyone as we had SO many treats over Halloween week)!
The desserts here are hit or miss. While these were ok, there is one dessert here that I measure all others to. See my previous review here.
Osteria la Cevitta
133 Main Street, Falmouth, MA