Jubilee

jubilee

The Cherry Bombe Jubilee was certainly the bomb! A full day surrounded by incredible women in a beautiful space talking about my favorite thing{s}. A special thank you to Farm & Fable for inviting me to tag along.

Hyline

I mean, look at this place. The High Line Hotel. A former Theological Seminary, apple orchard and cathedral all located on the west side of New York City on 10th Avenue. The Gothic brick reminded me of my days at Mount Holyoke. And while we weren’t able to secure a room for the night, I certainly know where I’ll be staying on my next jaunt to NYC.

The event itself began at 10:30 am with a kick-off by two of my favorite Brits Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley: sisters, home cooks, food lovers, health advocates and authors. Their newest cookbook Good + Simple was released in the states on Tuesday. Their fist is one of my favorites. I highly recommend it.

The sisters are full of energy and were the perfect start to the day. They shared their Top 10 list for creating a Good + Simple life:

  1. Follow your bliss.
  2. Dream and dream big.
  3. Grow slow and be ok with saying no.
  4. Get with your gut. Follow your intuition.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Detox your life.
  7. Fight for what you know is right. Love always gets you to where you want to go.
  8. Sleep more.
  9. Work with people greater than you.
  10. Make soup!

Don’t you agree this is a terrific list?!

The day continued with panel discussions on a wide range of topics, from how to be a boss, to farming, to the next wave of chefs in NYC. There were two incredible talks, one by Kat Kinsman on Feeding the Beast {a discussion on mental health issues in the restaurant industry} and one by Mimi Sheraton, the first female food critic for the New York Times discussing how it once was to be a woman in the restaurant business.

I was excited to learn of a late addition to the roster. Padma Lakshmi confirmed last week to do a reading from her new memoir, which I’m almost done with. A full Bo0k Club review will be on the site next week, I promise.

Jubilee concluded on a high note with the one and only Martha Stewart. Her greatest piece of advice “it’s hard to have it all but it’s very important to have as much of it as you can.” She talked about regrets of not having more children, her need to always drive in the front seat and her trick for the perfect scrambled eggs. And that trick will only cost you $5,000. Can you guess what it is?

Food

As you can imagine, one of the many highlights of the Jubilee was the food itself. Lunch bowls by Dig Inn, snacks created by some incredible female makers {including Amy Chaplin, Anita’s Yogurt, Eric McKenna, Fourt & Twenty Blackbirds, Hot Bread Kitchen, and Yossy Arefi}.

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I can’t wait for #CBJubilee 2017!

Photo credits: Photos 1, 3 and 4 (Cherry Bombe)

 

 

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In the Kitchen

Food

Is it really only Wednesday? I’m ready for the weekend!

Since making my award winning chili last week, I must be honest and say very little has happened in my kitchen. While catching up on my blog reading this am, I read this interesting piece on the five things in your kitchen you wouldn’t be caught without. So, I thought today I would add my five things to the list, which include:

  • A block of delicious cheese
  • Crackers (I could easily make a meal out of crackers and cheese)
  • Olive oil (I’m obsessed with Frankie’s 457 oil at the moment)
  • Eggs (I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner)
  • San Pellegrino (I think their glass bottle is one of the prettiest things on a table)

Do share yours too!

In the Kitchen

Chilli

Yesterday was my firm’s annual chili competition. And who doesn’t love a food competition?! I tell you, I’ve got a serious competitive streak when it comes to this stuff {explains my addiction to Top Chef, which is hours away}. After submitting my name, I knew the place to go for inspiration. Pinterest. My fountain of youth for all things, really. Knowing that I work with conservative, Type A’s, I knew I wanted to do something a little different. When I stumbled upon a buckwheat and chocolate chili, courtesy of heavenlynnhealthy.com, I knew I had found my winner. And while it wasn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, it certainly was delicious. I followed the recipe to a T but have made notes below on a few modifications I will make next time. And the good news… I took home the prize for Most Creative!

Bean and Buckwheat Chili with Dark Chocolate 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 fresh chili (next time I will use two… needed a little more heat)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 cup of buckwheat groans
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 cup  of walnuts
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 3 15 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar (next time I will do 1/4 cup… very strong vinegar taste)
  • ¼ cup of red wine
  • ½ regular bar of 70 – 80% dark chocolate

Directions

Start by chopping the onion, crushing the garlic and chopping the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Remove the seeds from the chili and roughly cut it into strings. Finely chop the walnuts.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, chili, cumin, paprika, oregano, and marjoram and sauté for a minute or two until fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn.

Add the chopped carrots, bell pepper, celery and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the buckwheat, beans, walnuts, canned tomatoes, tomato purée, water and salt and let it cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.

After 30 minutes, add apple cider vinegar and chocolate and stir for another 5 minutes. Add more salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

All in all, the recipe comes together in about an hour. I made it Monday night and served it on Wednesday and I think it really allowed it some time for the flavors to develop. I served it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime juice. With the left overs last night, I made a burrito with it and added in avocado. Yummy!

 

 

In the Kitchen

cookies of the world

This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to join a wonderful group of women at my friend’s charming South End shop for a cookie swap. And what fun we had. While searching for the perfect holiday cookie recipe, I came upon a Cookies of the World post on Food52 and decided on the homemade mint slices from Australia. I was sold on these as the author said these cookies are better than thin mints. I wasn’t sure such a thing existed!

The truth is in the pudding as these cookies were delicious and a huge hit not only at the cookie swap, but at my office and Kristen’s office. Do you need to bring a little something to a Christmas celebration, I suggest you try these!

Homemade Mint Slice Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling and the coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil {I used vegetable oil}

Directions

Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and continue beating until the egg is incorporated and the mixture lightens in color. Add the cocoa powder to the egg mixture and beat until there are no lumps. Finally, fold in the flour until it is all incorporated. You should expect the dough to be very soft.

Turn it out onto a piece of baking paper, roll it into a log about 1 1/2 inches thick, and wrap the dough. Place the log into the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

When the dough is finished chilling, take it out of the freezer and slice it into 1/2-inch pieces; you should get about 20 rounds. Place the cookies onto the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them to cool completely on the baking sheets.

To make the mint filling, simply stir together the powdered sugar, the peppermint extract, and 1 tablespoon of water {I used a little more than 1 tablespoon and used my hands to incorporate}. Take a scant teaspoon of the mint filling and use it to top each cookie, patting and smoothing it with your fingers so that it covers the top but stops shy of the edge of the cookie.

To coat the cookies, melt the chocolates and vegetable oil in a metal bowl over boiling water {my version of a double broiler}. Make sure the water is not touching the metal bowl. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, dip each cookie in the chocolate, coating it completely. To speed up the process on my second batch, I just dipped just the tops of each cookie and let them set.

Once complete, make sure to store cookies in the fridge. This will help the chocolate harden as well.

Image Credit: Food52

Join

xETN-KpK

A few weeks back, I volunteered at the Kendall Square EatUp. In addition to my time, I purchased a raffle box to give to this worthy organization. To my surprise, I won a yearly membership to Dinner Lab. I like to pride myself on being in-the-know about the Boston food scene but somehow, this one escaped me. Dinner Lab is a fascinating concept, which started in New Orleans. The founding team wanted to introduce their hometown to diverse cuisine and bring people together around the dinner table. Membership entitles you to an invite-only dinner, in a unique space (not a restaurant) by chefs who come from some of the world’s best restaurants. Pretty cool, right?

I received my first invite this week for a dinner on December 4th, which sadly I can’t make as we will be en route to NYC for the weekend. Take a look at the chef details below. Looks like I will be missing quite a night.

Capture

I am hopeful the next invite isn’t too far off. I should note that Dinner Lab is available in cities across the country. Traveling for work or planning a weekend getaway, sign up for your destination to find out if a Dinner Lab is available. A worthy culinary experience to join. Happy eating!

In the Kitchen

unnamed

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these past few weeks and can’t quite seem to kick it. I don’t know why but whenever I’m sick, I lose my appetite, which doesn’t help the whole getting better process. Last night I decided I needed a meal that felt like a big hug. And don’t you just agree that soup does that! I found this flu fighter soup on Pinterest and it has since become by go-to. Feeling under the weather? Give this a try. The broth will instantly make you feel better, I promise!

Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. Place chicken tenders in a large baking dish lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with spices. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken at the half way point.
  3. Once cooked, pull into small chunks using two forks and set aside.

For the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 very large onion, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Big pinch of salt
  • (1) 32 oz containers chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of pasta noodles (your choice)
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
 Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pan over a medium flame. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook – stirring occasionally – for 8-9 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and salt and cook for another minute before adding the bay leaf, water and chicken stock.
  3. Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, stir in noodles, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Stir in cooked chicken, dill, and lemon juice. Taste soup to adjust seasonings.

In the Kitchen

unnamed (1)

Apple picking really has become my favorite way to welcome fall. Last Sunday, K and I traveled to South Natick to meet up with my sister and her family to enjoy the day at Lookout Farm. And what a day we had: a train ride, camel ride, cider donuts and some of the most beautiful apple trees I’ve ever seen! With the help of my little pickers {my nephews}, we came back to the city with one giant bag of apples. Not wanting any to go to waste, I got myself into the kitchen to do some baking and thus far have made a cake and these muffins, which were super easy and super delicious.

Apple Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups peeled, cored and diced apples (about 3 apples)
  • Brown sugar for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture until combined. Note that the batter will be very thick.
  5. Add in diced apples and incorporate.
  6. Fill muffin liners to the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 22- 24 minutes.

Yield is about 18 muffins. Next time, I may add just a bit more cinnamon to the mix. Oh and if you’d like to know, the ceramic muffin pan and napkins are from Anthropologie.

In the Kitchen

unnamed (1)

57 weeks ago I posted the above photo on Instagram of one of my favorite soup, promising to share the recipe soon. Since today is the first day of fall, I thought today would be the perfect day. I’ve been making this soup for nearly 15 years now as it is super easy and super delicious. Plus, it has a pretty high wow factor.

French Fish Chowder

*slightly modified from New York Times recipe

  • 1 lb. cod fillets
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion {1 medium onion}
  • 1 cup chopped celery {usually about 3 stalks}
  • 1 cup diced red pepper {1 red pepper}
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. turmeric {an Indian spice with cancer fighting power}
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups of broth {fish, vegetable or chicken}
  • 1/2 cup orzo

Directions

  1. Cut fish into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan {I use my dutch over} and add onions, celery, red pepper and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add turmeric, wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, pepper flakes, broth, and season a little with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the orzo, stir well and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  5. Add in the fish and return soup to a boil. Remember to remove the bay leaf.

I like to finish the soup with about a tablespoon of cream and a dash of curry powder. I serve with grilled french bread rubbed with olive oil and garlic. I think the soup tastes better with a little time to rest so I tend to make the base ahead of time and just bring to a boil a few minutes before serving and then add the fish.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Bakeries {in Boston}

Boston Bakeries

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for bakeries. Anytime I’m planning a trip to a new place, I do my research to find the best local bakeries. Not only do I have a sweet tooth, but there is just something about a bakery/cafe vibe that captures me. With that, I thought I would share my favorite bakeries in Boston on this #tasytuesday.

We will start in Boston proper and go by neighborhood…

Tatte in Beacon Hill – Located on the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Street, this is Tatte’s fifth and newest location in Boston {and my personal favorite as it is a short walk from my apartment}. Breakfast is served daily till 11:30 am and favorites include the avocado tartine and the shakshuka, a traditional north african dish. For lunch, the grilled halloumi salad is where it’s at. Tatte’s attention to details make it an instagramers heaven. Just take a look at their feed. And good news, most of their locations have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Flour Bakery + Cafe in Back Bay, South End & Fort Point – Flour Bakery is what dreams are made of. Seriously. A trip to Boston isn’t complete without a visit to one of Joanne Chang’s delightful Flour locations. And good news, they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorites include their blueberry muffin, vegan chocolate cupcake, smoked turkey sandwich and greek salad. And to quench your thirst, they create a seasonal spritzer and specialty drink. This summer, their lemon-lime aid has been keeping me hydrated. Flour’s Back Bay location has plenty of seating and is also across the street from the Frieda Garcia park so great for kids too.

Canto 6 in Jamaica Plain – This rustic french bakery is the bee’s knees and has a loyal following of JP neighbors. And while it will take a little maneuvering to get to from downtown (Orange line outbound to Forrest Hills, get off at Green Street and walk two blocks towards Washington Street), I promise it is worth the trip. Their seasonal scones are some of the best and their sandwiches are the perfect accompaniment for a walk in the nearby Arboretum. Seating is limited.

Clear Flour Bread in Brookline – Specializing in classic french and italian breads, Clear Flour Bread is my go-to for you guessed it, bread. And while they offer some pastries {a delicious chocolate chip cookie}, there is no seating.

Cambridge Bakeries

Now, let’s cross the Charles…

Hi-Rise Bread Company in Harvard Square & Huron Village – I have my brother Travis to thank for introducing my to Hi-Rise. Similar to Flour, they have an impressive offering of pastries and mouth-watering sandwiches. Sometimes when I need an afternoon pick-me-up, I travel over to their Harvard Square location for a latte and a piece of their sinful vanilla bean loaf cake. It’s so good it was featured in former NYT food critic Amanda Hesser’s book Cooking for Mr. Latte. Their Huron Village location also has an impressive wine offering.

Sofra Bakery + Cafe in Cambridge/Watertown – Sofra is unlike any cafe experience in Boston with influences of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese delights in both decor and offerings. Their meze bar offerings are incredible (beet tzaziki is my favorite) and their chocolate earthquake cookies are just about the best thing I’ve even tried. Seating and parking are limited so I suggest going later in the day after the morning and lunch hour rush.

Forge Bakery in Union Square – When I’m craving a breakfast sandwich, I venture to Forge Bakery. Their simple egg sandwich on a homemade english muffin with avocado and sriracha hits the spot every single time. And in colder months, they make one of the most delicious hot chocolates I’ve ever tasted. Good news… plenty of seating and parking at Forge.

Bagelsaurus in Porter Square – I still remember the first taste of my very first NY bagel. Fifteen years later, no bagel could ever compare. That was until I discovered Bagelsaurus. Owner Mary Ting Hyatt’s bagels are simply the best and her offerings of bagel sandwiches are off-the-charts delicious. Might I suggest the t-rex? Bacon, almond butter, and banana. So good! I suggest greeting the staff at opening (7 am weekdays; 8 am weekends) as they sell-out quickly.

Loyal Nine Cafe in East Cambridge – The newest addition to the bakery scene, Loyal Nine Cafe has the most limited menu but one that is well worth the trip. Their coffee and lattes are served in pottery hand-made by the owner and their breakfast pastries (typically 3-5 to choose from) are delicious. We had the cinnamon roll Sunday morning and were quite happy. There is plenty of seating both indoor and out and since Loyal Nine is relatively new to the bakery scene in Boston, the pace is calm and perfect for a relaxing morning and/or afternoon.

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram as I go #outandaboutwithmay in Boston and check back tomorrow as I share my favorite shops in this beautiful city of mine!

New {in Boston}

boston

As last week got away from me {sorry for my silence}, I wanted to keep my promise and devote this week to all things Boston. Today, I thought I’d share with you all that is NEW in this city of mine.

To keep things easy, I thought I’d go neighborhood by neighborhood. First up, Fort Point.

Fort Point/New Waterfront/Innovation District

I use to fondly call Fort Point the land of Barbara Lynch as Congress Street was home to three of her restaurants (Sportello, Drink and Mention). In just a few short years, though, Fort Point has blossomed and is now included in what many are calling the Innovation District, which includes The Seaport and the Waterfront. Companies like EnerNOC and Vertex are relocating to this thriving district. Driving down Seaport Boulevard, you can’t help but notice the luxury condo towers popping up left and right. The growth is incredible. Even more incredible, the restaurants to join the scene. A few to note: Mario Batali’s Babbo Pizzeria, Gather, Committee, and Empire {sister restaurant to the Back Bay’s Red Lantern}. I haven’t been just yet but I hear Hotel Envoy is the place to go for an evening cocktail and the best views of the Boston skyline at their Lookout Rooftop Bar.

South Boston/Southie

With the development throughout the Seaport/Waterfront, it’s no coincidence that South Boston has become the neighborhood for young professionals to enter the real estate market. In a recent article, I noted that Southie currently has over forty projects in either the planning/approval stage, under construction or just opened phase. All this activity has led to the opening of some pretty legit neighborhood spots. American Provisions is my go-to for delicious sandwiches, wine, cheese and provisions for an afternoon picnic, LOCO Taqueria & Oyster Bar for a night out on the town {and celebrate #tacotuesday} and Neatly Nestled for a wonderful selection of home goods and last minute gift ideas. I hear if you are single, Lincoln Tavern is the place to go. And you must check out The Lawn on D, a first of its kind, outdoor interactive space {adult playground} with a unique art installation of  20 lighted oval swings, games galore {bocce, ping pong, corn hole} a sound stage and open-air bar. This place has certainly lifted Boston’s cool factor.

Ink Block

In between Southie, I-93 and the South End, use to live a little paper called The Herald. But since it moved to the waterfront, this warehouse zone of the South End has been relatively quiet with just a gas station, Medieval Times and the Pine Street Inn. But times are a changing. Today, Ink Block is a 6-acre development with three unique buildings and 315 apartments to help restore this once vibrant neighborhood. This has certainly helped to extend the sophistication and appeal of the South End. At the anchor of it all, is a Whole Foods Market, which makes me a happy girl as my apartment is about a 8 minute walk away. Add to that, a milk + honey spa, and Ink Block is moving to become the hub of the South End.

Downtown

When Filene’s closed their doors in early 2006, Downtown Crossing lost a bit of its luster and for the past ten years has been a place one passes through to and from the Financial District and the Boston Common. Thankfully this is changing. Millennium Tower, a luxury high-rise residential skyscraper is emerging from the former retail location. And while occupancy won’t begin until next summer, you can check out the development while visiting the first city location of Roche Brothers. Word on the street is that acclaimed chef Michael Mina will be opening a Boston location of his acclaimed Pabu restaurant. Is it 2016 yet?!?!

Also changing the face of Downtown Boston is the highly anticipated Boston Public Market, which since opening last month, has become my new favorite spot in Boston.

Fenway

Similar to the Innovation District, condo buildings are under construction all along the back of Fenway Park. Add to that, a Target and rumors of a Wegmans grocery store, and pretty soon you’ll never have to leave Fenway. And if you have out-of-town guests visiting, just have them book a room at the recently opened Verb Hotel. The pool scene alone makes me want to book a stay-cation here.

Cambridge/Somerville

There are many in Boston who refuse to cross the Charles River and venture over to Cambridge and Somerville. But let’s be honest… this is where the food revolution has taken off in Boston. Alden & Harlow, Sarma, Union Square Donuts, Loyal NineState Park, Spoke Wine Bar. You can’t go wrong! Planning a trip to Boston, I highly recommend crossing the Charles and taking in the food scene on the other side.

So there you have it… my take on all that is NEW in Boston. Planning a visit? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me with any questions. Happy to help!

Image Credit: Drawings of classic Boston icons by Swiss Cottage Designs via their blog.