Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chocolate Brunch at the Langham Hotel!

Recently I went to Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel for their famous chocolate brunch and it was completely amazing - chocolate lovers dream.  If you want to read more about my trip head on over to  Beantown Baker!  I am taking over for the day while Jen is having fun exploring Europe!

Chocolate Fountain and dipping choices

Cafe Fleuri on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mexican Pizza!

Sometimes I am not sure where inspiration comes from.  This recipe, however, started because I thought it would be a great idea to buy some pizza dough from Russo's in Watertown, which by the way is the most amazing place ever!  We rarely cook pizza at home, but we had recently visited Nick's grandfather, who is famous for his pizza, and I guess it got me thinking about attempting it at home myself.

The Ingredients
Wanting to switch things up a bit, I used the black beans we had in our cupboard and decided to try a Mexican Pizza.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vodka Class at ArtBar

Across the Charles River lies Cambridge, which can sometimes seem like the other side of the world to those of us who live in Boston.  However, it turns out that ArtBar at the Royal Sonesta is a quick 15 minute walk from Beacon Hill.  And, located right along the river, it's a beautiful spot.  The reason for our adventure was a surprise opening for Nick and I at the Vodka Cocktail Class at ArtBar.  I had tried to sign up two weeks earlier but they were booked solid, so I jumped at the opportunity.  

We arrived about 20 minutes early (we seriously thought the walk would take us longer!), so they brought us back to one of the best kept secrets - their huge patio, with fantastic views of Back Bay!  The bar back there is full service and there are plenty of tables.

View of Back Bay
Patio Bar

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake

Once again, after returning home from Dubai and with new spices in hand, I was on the lookout for recipes in which to use them.  I had used the hot paprika already, but had yet to use the lavender.  This had to change, and the Lavender Lemon Bundt Cake was the perfect inspiration!

Bundt Cake
It's been ages since I have made a cake - it's not something I tend to bake because I don't like to have it tempting me in my house (or my office!).  Something about this Lavender-Lemon bundt cake however, called to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

After the Maldivian Cooking Class, I was excited to put what I learned to good use and give a good curry dish a go.  Williams-Sonoma has great recipes (and needless to say I have been there quite a bit doing some registry close out!), and after a bit of searching I found this Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry that more than fit the bill.

My First Curry Dish
Recipe Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fins - New Sushi in Beacon Hill

Things have been pretty crazy in the world of In and Around Town, and while it may look as though I haven't been eating out much, I actually have and cannot wait to catch you up on all the fantastic places I have been.  First on the list: Fins Sushi and Grill, a new Sushi place on Beacon Hill.  Fins had been teasing the people on the Hill for quite some time - the signs were up and construction was underway, but it seemingly took forever to open!  While I love Zen, options are always good.

We were seated straight away after arriving, ordered a couple of beers upon sitting and then set to work reviewing the menu.

Asian Beers
To begin, as always, we ordered some edamame.  It was well cooked and salty - just the way I like it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Joanne Chang's Milky Way Tart

Everytime I flip through my copy of Joanne Chang's Flour cookbook I always stop on the Milky Way Tart.  I usually passed on it because a) we didn't own a tart pan, and b) it just seemed too difficult.  However, when we got a tart pan off our wedding registry, I decided to go for it, and ultimately it wasn't that hard and it came out really well!

Milky Way Tart
While I won't publish the recipe here, these are the simple steps I followed.  The full recipe is available on Leites Culinaria, but I'd encourage anyone to grab a copy of this great book if it's not already a part of your collection.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I Have Been Reading (including "50 Shades of Grey")

I have read a number of books since the beginning of year, but simply have not been writing reviews here.  Since I read every day on the T, I am always looking for book recommendations.  When I am looking for new books, I generally rely on recommendations and word-of-mouth.  I've also been known to go with buzz about new books or pick up ones that I know are being turned into movies.  I must admit, I love to say that I read the new "it" book ages ago (see Hunger Games).  This list really shows how eclectic my tastes are.

I blame this last type of recommendation for the reason I read the first book on my list.  I in no way blazed this trail - I fully jumped on the band wagon.  While I am totally embarrassed to admit it, I read 50 Shades of Grey.  For those who don't know, this is the story of a girl who is about to graduate from college and is very naive in the ways of the world (to put it delicately).  She falls madly in love with a filthy rich guy in his late 20's who happens to be obsessed with the dominant/submissive lifestyle.
Luckily I have my kindle, so people could not see what I was reading - that, and I held the book very close (I wanted to prevent people from reading over my shoulder).  This book is adult fiction, aka erotica, aka lady porn.  I blushed more than once while reading.  To be honest, the book bothered me because it is so poorly written, the characters are frustrating and it is just generally ridiculous.  While reading it I told myself I would not get sucked in and read the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy  So far I have held out (less than a week) but I am not sure it will hold.  I am too curious to see how they end up!  You have been warned - pick this book up at your own risk.  If you do decide to dive in, the Kindle certainly helps ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Asian-Style Short Ribs

One of the big gifts we received for our wedding was a slow cooker - a cooking tool I am not familiar with in the least!  From what I have heard, however, it can become an indispensable tool.  Luckily, when we were checking out in one of our many trips to Williams-Sonoma, we spotted this slow cooker cookbook at the checkout and thought it would be a helpful tool - not that we really needed another cookbook in our small apartment.

When looking at the recipes there were loads of delicious sounding ones, but when we stumbled across the Asian-Style Short Ribs, it seemed too good not to try.  One thing we quickly learned - short ribs are pricey!  The 6lbs required for the 6 servings (lunches that week) was about $45!  That is a lot of money for us to spend on a single ingredient, but we figured we could give it a shot just this once.

Short Ribs
To begin, Nick rubbed salt, pepper, and 5-spice powder into the ribs and brown all sides of them in the broiler - about 10 minutes on each side.  Meanwhile, he stirred together hoisin sauce, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, onion, ginger and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Camel Trek in the Desert!

Nick and I only had a day and a half in Dubai, but we made the most of our time, and after the Burj Khalifa and an afternoon at the Souks, we had seen a lot of the city.  Having just spent 10 magnificent nights in the Maldives, we did not really feel the need to spend much time exploring the beaches of Dubai - we wanted the city!  A few months before the honeymoon Nick saw an ad for Desert Safari Dubai in his office's elevator, and with dune crashing in 4 x 4's, camel rides, and a BBQ with native entertainment, it was an opportunity we really could not pass up!

Camel Rides!
At around 4:00pm we were picked up at our hotel by a representative of the group in a Land Cruiser and headed west.  What was interesting was that as we traveled kept thinking we were entering the desert, but then you would see a little community that looked straight out of Weeds (the first season) or Arrested Development!  There were also a few areas blocked off with billboards showing pictures of a brand new city to be completed within years - this place is just growing at a rapid pace.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Burj Khalifa - Dubai

When you think of Dubai (or one of the main reasons people even know of Dubai) you think immediately of the Burj Khalifa.  It was definitely on our must do list.  Luckily we ran into another couple in the Maldives who warned us to buy tickets early because they sell out in advance, so we jumped online and purchased ours for a Saturday morning.

On the observation deck of the Burj Kkalifa - with a camera (how I spent most of our time in Dubai)
The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world.  It stands at a staggering 2,723 feet with 163 habitable floors plus another 46 maintenance floors on top of that - needless to say it's huge!  To get to the entrance you actually have to walk through the Dubai Mall, giving you a nice view of the building you are about to explore.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chicken Paprikash, Take Two

Part of the reason we bought the hot paprika at the Souks in Dubai was because I feel like I see a lot of recipes that call for it, but it's not necessarily easy to find back home, so I wanted to bring some back to play with!  Funny thing is, when I searched for recipes calling for Hot Paprika the first one that I found was mine - go figure!  Rather than try something different, I decided that I'd give Chicken Paprikash a second go-around.

Chicken Paprikash
With the chicken paprikash being of Eastern European decent, I decided to serve it with spaetzle - turns out there is a pretty delicious box version!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...