Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clio - Ken Oringer's Fine Dining Establishment!

For Christmas each year my mother makes a reservation at a fancier restaurant in town.  In years past we have gone to L'EspalierMarket, and Aujourd'hui (now closed).  We have tried to go to a couple of the nicer Barbara Lynch restaurants, but getting reservations can be tough during the holidays.  This year we decided to go to a restaurant that seems to fly under the radar a bit - Clio.  While it is the brain child of Ken Oringer, his other restaurants seem to steal more of the spotlight than this cozy fine dining establishment tucked into the Eliot Hotel.  Between the pedigree of Oringer and the recommendation of one of co workers who knows her way around fine dining in Boston, I knew this was a good selection for our fancy holiday meal.

Upon arrival at Clio, Nick and I met my mom and brother in the bar area, grabbed a drink and got settled while our table was prepared and we checked our coats.  Nick was convinced to order the freshly made egg nog that was truly delicious.  It was filling, but good enough to order a second glass.

Egg Nog
While my brother and mother went for glasses of wine, I chose a cocktail that was garnished with a bit of toasted coconut - how could I resist?!

Cocktail with toasted coconut.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On-My-Own Lamb Dish At Home!

I am someone who loves lamb.  When I go out to eat, if there is lamb on the menu I will probably end up ordering it.  Lamb is a dish my mom cooked a bit when I growing up, and to this day it remains one of my requests for special occasion holiday dinners.  While I do not have much experience cooking lamb, I did make some lamb meatballs, but then got some help from the Tri Lamb Group when they gave me a kit to make lamb pizza.  Eventually I had to take off the training wheels and just go for it, or else I would never get out of using basic ground lamb (not that there's anything wrong with ground lamb!).

Dinner is Ready!
So, off I went to Whole Foods, where I bit the bullet and bought some lamb.  I meant to buy a rack of lamb with 6 chops, but ended up asked for 6 lamb chops instead and did not realize what I had done until I arrived home - whoops!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Save the Dates - A Guest's First Taste of the Wedding

Once Nick and I had the venue and the date settled we had to start planning everything else.  While we were on the hunt for a photographer, band, florist and loads of other things, we were also trying to figure out what to do for the Save the Dates, which are traditionally sent out about 6 months before the date of the wedding.  Seeing as our wedding was a busy holiday weekend, we knew had to stick to that timeline.

Original Cards
Picking out Save the Dates was a lot of pressure in my opinion - its the first taste of the wedding you give your guests.  That, and the first major decision you make that guests see!  My friends have had some good save the dates: magnets, vintage postcards, riddles and the like.  Not wanting to copy them we tried to go a different route.  Then we felt like we were walking into into a kitschy trap.

So after coming up with a few ideas, Nick and I decided to take a trip down Charles Street to Rugg Road to see what, if any, ideas they had to offer.  While looking around we happened upon some really fun Boston themed notecards.  When we asked the store clerks if they made these note-cards into postcards, they said the best thing to do would be to contact the company - they were local and great to work with.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bacon Bourbon Brownies - Perfect Football Snack

Recently I had seen these bacon bourbon brownies floating around the internet.  It being the AFC Championship Game this weekend, I figured it was the perfect time to put these to the test.  Really, how else could you make a brownie better for football viewing?

Bacon Bourbon Brownie
Jen from Beantown Baker had some great recommendations when she attempted this recipe so I decided to take some of her suggestions and see what happened.  I wanted to take my go-to brownie recipe and adapt it to the fun football (read - manly) additions.  I would recommend that you take your favorite recipe and do the same, it's such an easy adaptation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wedding Planning - Where to start?!?

When Nick and I got engaged it was so exciting and so much fun!  After a few weeks (maybe even days) people are done congratulating you and start asking about the wedding particulars.  It can all be a little overwhelming to say the least - I mean, I was just happy to be engaged at that point.  So after about 2 weeks of engaged bliss Nick and I decided to work on a date so that we could give people some answers.  For better or worse, I actually did not have much of a clue as to what I wanted for my own wedding.  There were certain things I knew I did not want (such as sit down dinner), and I had already vicariously planned a couple of weddings when I was helping close friends with theirs, but when it came to my own I was at a bit of a loss.

Willowdale Estate
We figured we could be pretty flexible, and a wedding date (and most everything else) was going to be venue dependent, and a part of us (me) really thought about doing a destination wedding.  However, when push came to shove, the thought of planning a wedding long distance did not sit well.  Further complicating issues was that neither of us wanted to have our reception at a hotel: Nick plans a lot of events for work at hotels, and he didn't want the wedding to feel like another conference.  In Boston, finding a location that is not a hotel, that holds enough people and is a reasonable price is somewhat difficult.  So, as a first step, we decided to do the "tour de North Shore" (where both Nick and I are from) to see if we could find something we liked that was within the budget and work from there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Officially a Mrs.!

Its been quite some time since I have posted because I have been busy - you know, getting married and enjoying a lovely honeymoon in the Maldives and Dubai.  Needless to say, I have tons of posts on all sorts of wedding fun as well as the honeymoon.  Both flew by and I am so not ready to head back to work today.

Here are a few teaser photos.  More to come....

Almost ready to walk down the aisle
First photo as an officially married couple!
The view from our hotel villa in the Maldives (it was amazing!)

Neighboring Palapa
And one of many sunset photos...

I can not wait to give full recaps on everything, but somehow I need to get back to life in the real world - right now that is VERY tough!
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