Local Eats

Hops & Heat…

by agirlandhermutt on November 8, 2012

Hi friends! Boston had it’s first official snow and I am officially not prepared. Yesterday I was wearing a fleece jacket, no gloves, and not a hat to be found. I did some digging last night and I came up with two gloves that don’t match. Where did everything from last year go?! Is it not out of hibernation yet?

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Fortunately I had a friend to distract me from obsessing about my lack of organization with winter items. Last night I met up with my pal, Megan, for dinner at Hops n Scotch in Coolidge Corner.

I was hoping for a really cool bar feel with leather seats and dark lighting. It was kind of generic feeling in there instead.

This place is supposed to have a good beer and scotch menu, which it did. Unfortunately my first two beer picks were out. I was kind of annoyed at that point so I just ordered my regular (Dogfish Head 60 min) that I can get almost anywhere in Boston now.

We started off with the fried pickles. The dipping sauce was great but these pickles need some work. They were way to thin and most of the time it felt like I was just eating breading.

I decided to go the healthy route (*sarcasm alert!*) and order the grilled cheese. I had the choice of pimento cheese or cheddar. I love pimento and you never see that so I went for it. It was quite good! The red pepper soup was ok, but I mostly just used it as a dipping sauce for those fantastic homemade potato chips. All chips should be like these suckers. Amazing!

Hop n Scotch was fine, but it isn’t a place I would rush back to visit. I guess just a “meh” would describe it.

Meg and I caught up on all things fun in our lives and then had to brave the great outdoors again. On the way into the restaurant it was snowing and all kinds of gross, but on the way out it was doing that weird snow sideways thing. The one where no matter where you put your face you are getting pelted with little ice balls.

The older I get the less I like to drive at night. I have always hated driving in the snow. Combine the two and I’m a nervous wreck. I drove home kind of slowly because the roads weren’t salted and breathed a sigh of relief when I hit my house. Don’t worry. I wasn’t one of those idiots who drives 25 mph. I just took it easy when it got messy. Only one person honked and I think it is because he didn’t understand how a 4-way stop works.

If I thought driving in the snow was awful I must have forgotten how horrible it is to walk Korky in the snow. He put one paw down in the snow and then instantly scrambled over to me so I would pick him up. Kork weighs 23 lbs. He isn’t a handheld dog. I finally convinced him to get down and just try the snow and he would only put his front two paws down.

I admitted defeat and just walked around with him outside inside my coat until he was ready to go. I put him down. He did his business. We went back inside.

I found him snug as bug just 10 minutes later.

Once we were both inside I got all cozy with my (fake) fireplace and put on my new slippers. They kind of remind me of something Snooki would wear. I don’t mind that. They are just silly slippers from Target, but they make me really happy!

The snow and wind got pretty fierce out there and I couldn’t help but think and say a few prayers for the folks that are still dealing with Hurricane Sandy disasters. Mother Nature has not been kind to the East Coast so I’m hoping that we get a little reprieve soon.

Speaking of my fake fireplace, have I mentioned I am obsessed with fireplaces? I live in a very cute, but small, apartment that has no room for such silly things as a fireplace. For several years I enjoyed a cozy fire, complete with crackling noises, courtesy of a DVD that my parents bought me. You could play it in a loop to be a full fire or you could play each individual part of the fire. It was kind clever but not nearly as warm and inviting as the real thing.

Then last year my parents surprised me again with another fake fireplace, but this time a little more fun and lifelike. This certainly isn’t the best photo, but it gives you the idea.

This one looks more like an old stove, but plastic. You can’t tell and the first time I tried to pick it up I prepared to heave it but it was super light. It comes with a heater and real-like moving flames. Still kind of nerdy, but perfect for this apartment dweller.

Every now and then I start to think about owning a real fireplace, which if I am honest, seems like a lot of work. BUT! If I did own one I would want it to look like one of these. All of these photos are from my Pinterest “Home Sweet Home” board.

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Maybe it has something more to do with the surroundings than the fireplace itself?! If my house had views like this last one I wouldn’t care about some silly fireplace, right? One day!

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Stay warm and dry! See ya tomorrow!

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Weekend Recap: Local Love!

by agirlandhermutt on October 8, 2012

Hello! This weekend was all about staying local and enjoying all that Boston has to offer. The Boston Local Brewfest and the Boston Local Food Festival was on the agenda.

Folks…Fall officially made it to Boston this weekend!

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Friday night I rushed down to the courthouse on the waterfront for the 2nd Annual Craft Brewfest. Last year it was held the same day of the festival and there were two sesions. This year it was a few days before and covered the whole night. The courthouse location was really cool and had a few great views of the city.

The event started at 6:30 and when I got there at 6:35 it was already pretty busy. Last year was split into sessions so it made it a bit easier to get to the vendors quickly while this year there were quite a few lines to wait in for the more popular brewers. Just goes to show how popular the event is getting!

On our first round we picked a few breweries that I hadn’t tried much from and then the second round was to try our old favorites.

  

The winner beer for the night was Pandora from Idle Hands. I loved it!

The event also had a few food vendors including Fastachi (a nuts shop) and Batch (ice cream!). Surprisingly beer and ice cream are a nice combo.

Oh, and there were also belly dancers there. Yep. Belly Dancers.

After all the beer and just a few nibbles, we headed down to Legal Seafood Harborside. I had been once before to the 2nd and 3rd floor at this location, but never to the 1st which is more of a causal oyster bar/fish market style restaurant.

We started out with some non-beer drinks and a few oysters. The giant oysters are Merry oysters from Duxbury, Ma. They were delicious! Really briney flavor with a great sweetish finish.

Followed up with a round of calamari.

And ended with some good ol’ shrimp and pasta.

Beer and seafood make for the perfect Friday night! The city was so lovely and I was so glad that I was on the waterfront for a beautiful evening.

Saturday was dedicated to football, brunch and the movies. I saw Looper and I thought it was fantastic. I have a little crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Unfortunately I tend to call him Jonathan Taylor Thomas. That can be extremely confusing to people when I try to explain movies with JGL in them. Those triple names are hard!

Finally Sunday rolled around and it was time to hit up the Boston Local Food Festival. I look forward to this event all year! This year it was held on the The Greenway, which is a much larger space than past years and was also more in the city. More in the city=more foot traffic!

Although it was a bit overcast, it was the perfect day to walk around and discover some new eats and visit some old favorites. There were tons of vendors making items that we could watch and sample. I watched mozzarella be hand pulled, a lamb being broken down (kind of gross) and even maple cotton candy being made!

  

  

Of course there was some sampling. Favorites for the day included organic baked beans from Breakwind Farm. <—heh. clever name!

Also included, chocolate butter and ginger, lime, scallion butter from Seacoast Butters.

Don’t forget the amazing veggie somosa from Mela. I could have eaten a whole plateful of these!

In addition to all the great food and vendors, the festival also had some DIY segments and live music throughout the day. Watching little munchkins jam out to reggae music was just too cute for words.

By the end of the day I had visited each tent to check out the goods and was exhausted. It was so nice to be surrounded by folks who love Boston and its local restaurants and vendors as much as I do. This festival has grown so much over the past 3 years and I am looking forward to next year already!

Love ya Boston. 😉

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I hope you had a great weekend! See ya tomorrow!

Quick…name your favorite beer!

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Recipe: Spicy Cheesy Chicken & CSA Week 11

by agirlandhermutt on August 23, 2012

If Karen doesn’t return from vacation soon she might find me buried under a sea of vegetables. You think I’m kidding, but my CSA is slowly taking over my house.

On Tuesday I stopped by the farm to pick up our CSA share for Week 11. I walked in empty handed and I left with ARMFULS of vegetables. If you follow me onFacebook or Twitter (if you don’t, then get on that! no seriously. do it. 😉 ) then you got a glimpse of my tomato haul. ALL 10 POUNDS!

I only got through about 3 pounds of the 7 lbs for week 10 so far, so I officially have about 14 lbs of tomatoes. Good grief.

CSA Week 11 (Whole Share!)

-several lbs red potatoes
-1 eggplant
-4 cucumbers
-5 yellow & green squash
-2 heads lettuce
-1 bunch collard greens
-1 bunch dinosaur kale
-1 pint okra
-6 ears corn
-10 lbs tomatoes

This week I decided not to do the Pick-Your-Own. I had more than enough and decided to just leave more for the other shareholders. My fridge wouldn’t close if I picked more either!

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I was roasting and grilling up a bunch of the veggies from my haul for lunch and the weekend so I decided to make use of the oven being hot last night. You know, if the oven is already on I better take advantage of it. It doesn’t happen to often during the summer in a non-air conditioned house.

Spicy Cheesy Chicken with Grilled Green Beans & Roasted Potato Chips

I’m in love with the whole chicken rollatini dish and this was a play on that. The thinly sliced chicken breast make it so easy to “stuff” and get a nice mix of ingredients into the dish. I got my start from this recipe from Pinterest.

In the Mix:
-4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
-4 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle cheese (or any cream cheese)
-1/2 tbsp Lemon & Pepper seasoning
-1/2 tbsp garlic powder
-1/2 cup Wholly Guacamole Red Pepper Mango Salsa (or any other fruit salsa)
-1 bell pepper, chopped
-1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced

*Mix together cheese, seasoning, garlic powder, jalapeno, and 4 tbsp of the salsa in a bowl.

*Place about 2 tbsp of the cheese mixture at the top of each chicken breast and roll to close. Place seam side down in baking dish.

*Use the rest of the cheese mixture to run on top of the chicken rolls. Top with the chopped peppers.

*Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes uncovered. Pull out of oven and top each chicken breast with 1 tbsp of the salsa. Bake for 3-5 more minutes.

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For the potatoes (from my CSA) I just sliced them to be about 1/4 inch thick, sprayed them with a little cooking spray and sprinkled garlic powder and pepper all over them. I baked them in the oven with the chicken for the same amount of time.

The green beans were an experiment of cooking them on the grill. They were really good and I love the char the grill gives them! I just need to work on seasoning them a bit more.

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So a few more veggies are out of the fridge and I’m almost out of the potential hazard zone. I’m still juicing away and using the cucumbers in almost one of them. Not gonna lie. I’m over cucs. This weekend I have big plans to make salsa, tomato pie (thanks for the recipe Brandy!), gazpacho, and a few other tomatoey goodies. So hopefully by Sunday I’m down a few pounds. 😉

What is your favorite vegetable?! I’m a cauliflower girl all the way.

Have a great day! See ya tomorrow with a video!

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