Unpopular opinion here – you ready? I’m not a fan of Halloween. I know you’re thinking, ‘But what about adorable babies dressed up as a lamb, lumberjack, or Superman? How can you resist their cuteness?!’…
How much do you love lamb? For me, it is pretty much up there as one of the meals I would request if I was ever on death row. Rack of lamb, leg of lamb, lamb loin chop, lamb tartare – I love all of it. My favorite tasting event ever was the Boston Lamb Jam 2016, which brought together 20+ Boston area restaurants and 20+ breweries in one room to make my version of heaven. It’s a bit of a running joke amongst my family and coworkers, but I’m
maybe totally absolutely obsessed.
I’ve been sitting on this pizza recipe for over 7 months – kind of crazy am I right?! …
February is a rough month. Winters are hard in Boston in general. There’s snow and rain, freezing rain, bitter winds. And it’s LONG. Which makes February all the tougher. By the time we get to February, it’s been cold and gray and miserable for about 3 months. Personally, I’m of the belief that each season should be 3 months long, because 12 months in a year divided by 4 seasons = 3 months each.
Clearly I live in the wrong place for my math to be true.
Sure, we get a few freakily nice days, but when it can snow in October and April, it’s really hard to remember those. We’re not slowly easing out of winter into spring by the time February rolls around. Remember in 2015 when Boston broke the record for the most snowfall in one season? Winter was going ok until February dropped nearly 65″ of snow on us. And this is why we Bostonians hibernate through the month.
You know what makes everything better though? Pie.
You may or may not have guessed by now that we’re big beer fans (umm, Of Hops and Honey anyone?). Fun fact – beer has played a significant part in Randall and I’s relationship. He first noticed me at a party where I drank the beer he brought. (I don’t remember this, oops.) Our first “date” was volunteering at a beer and food tasting festival. (One of us definitely did not think of this as a date at the time – I wonder who that would be…) One of our first dates that we both agree was in fact a date was a Boston Brew Tour. The best present I’ve ever given Randall has been a Night Shift Barrel Society subscription. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
The rest, as they say, is history. Now, we seek out breweries everywhere we travel and the craft beer scene in town is a key deciding factor as to where we go on vacation. Asheville, Lexington, Philly, Burlington, Portsmouth, Providence… we may be those people when it comes to beer. Let’s not even get into how out of control our glassware collection is….
This is one of those crazy awesome ideas I had while lying in bed on a Sunday morning waiting for Randall to wake up. (Side note – aren’t light sleepers the worst?!) Technically, biscuits and gravy were already on the menu for breakfast. Which are already delicious in their own right without any jazzing up! But I’ve been known to get in trouble if left to my own devices for too long. I like to refer to this as having incredible ideas – the head dishwasher somehow disagrees. Funny how that happens ?
We used a homebrew imperial pumpkin stout for this – which was strong. The flavor of the beer shines through here. I might recommend something a bit lighter if you don’t want something quite so intense when first waking. But hey, you are putting beer in your breakfast, so…
Are you ready for the holidays? I’m happy to say, we…. are? With a week before Christmas, we have gifts for all but one person! (And we won’t see her until after Christmas, so definitely taking full advantage of those after-Christmas sales!) Granted, we did start planning in September because for us, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a blur. Between traveling to Pennsylvania to visit my family, negotiating the Christmas schedule, and planning trips for next year, I feel like life has definitely been a sprint recently. Oh, and one can’t forget the holiday parties. Last week I went to six in four days. Party game – on point. Eating healthy? That’ll come back into play for 2017….
Get set, because I’m about to lay down some earth-shattering, forever life-changing news to the rest of us Americans. You ready? Hummus, that delicious chickpea-tahini puree, popular at the snack table dip, is meant to be… hot.
(Ok, really, I’m not saying you can never eat hummus cold. It’s just… …
A few months ago, we attended an ‘Arabic Pies’ cooking class hosted by the local Center for Arabic Culture. Such fun, and what a throwback to living in Jordan! Today, I’m presenting variations on two of what we made there.
- Za’atar. As I’ve stated before, it’s pretty freaking fantastic. Granted, I may have slightly skewed standards. But you can put it on anything. Seriously, anything. But especially bread.
- Cheese. I didn’t feel like making a trip to the Armenian grocery store in the rain, so I used Queso Fresco. Previously, I’ve also tried a mix of goat and cheddar. Traditional, no but delicious yes ?!
These flatbread are super easy. And, unlike pita and naan, you can bake the whole batch at once – a huge win, especially when cooking for a crowd. I also view them as a great entree to Middle Eastern flavors because, who doesn’t like savory pies? …
Actually, scratch that, is there anyone that dislikes fall? Maybe because I live in New England where fall is beautiful and fleeting, but everyone I know loves fall. LOVES fall. It is by far our favorite time of the year. The foliage is vibrant, the air is crisp, and there are sweaters on sweaters on sweaters. I’m also lucky to work in a stunningly beautiful place… one that even organizes fall foliage tours around campus. (Side note – there have been approximately a zillion photo shoots outside my office in recent days. Engagement, baby, family – you name it. I think that qualifies us as most gorgeous campus ever.)
But the wretched thing about living in New England? Fall pops in to say “hi!” for about a month, and then disappears nearly as soon as you’ve realized it’s there. So you’ve got to jam in all of your fall activities in the span of a few short weeks. I’m happy to report that we managed to go apple picking this year, joining the absolute hordes who decided to escape Boston and do the same. Obligatory hayride, apple cider donuts and apple cider were of course included. ?…
Most people would call these muffins. Others (ahem, Randall) would call them little plum fairies. I’m more on the side of “delicious accidents that happen from leftovers”. Your choice really for what you go for.
I have this thing about wasting food. I can’t do it. And I can’t stand other people doing it. Which inevitably leads me into situations where I have a massive mound of food and I’m like, oh sh*t. Most catering companies are terrible at this. No one wants to get a reputation for not feeding people enough so that platter that “serves 5-10” will really serve closer to 15 people. Always. And that extra food will most likely get thrown out. Not given to the needy, not composted. Sometimes that’s fair – meat and dairy that have been sitting out for hours aren’t necessarily going to be safe to give someone else. But still, that means most of that food is going to get tossed out. Which sucks.
In my job, we cater a ton of events. …