Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Orange Sangria Sun

And the orange rose out of the glass like the sun bringing to light the gift of sweet sangria...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eggy & Cheesy

Morning eyes tired,
Need caffeine to get me wired.
My tummy is empty
It screams ‘please, feed me!”

Iced coffee’s in the fridge chilling,
Now I’ve got to find something filling.
No sweet morning treat will do,
No donuts, no bearclaws, no sugary goo

A breakfast on-the-go is needed,
I don’t have time to eat and be seated!
It’s egg & cheese time,
So salty, so cheesey, the most for my dime

Gone in just a few bites,
It was just right
Now I’m ready for the day
Starting out the egg & cheese way

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prosciutto, Peroni & Pizza

There’s so much constant motion in our lives, the energy is bound to bundle up and burst at some point.  And when it bursts and we find ourselves in a funk, the old-ish adage “food is love” proves itself to be so true.   To counter a recent bad day, I snapped into action and put together a simple Italian dinner for two – antipasto, salad, pizza, and Peroni.  When life is moving so fast around you, the best thing is to slow down, relax, and talk about anything that isn’t work or money or stress.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunday Dinner

This Sunday, I had dinner with friends both old and new.  The wonderful world of Facebook let me know that my new friend Ally is friends with my old friend Gretchen!  Mike and I went to Ally and Rusty's house (hosts of the first cookout of the season) to have Sunday dinner with Gretchen.  Unfortunately her fiancee and puppy couldn't make it, but hopefully next time they'll be able to come.

Due to an "accidental" trip to Foxwoods the night before, I was feeling a bit lethargic on Sunday.  My lack of energy turned my plans to bring over ingredients to cook something amazing with Ally into putting together black bean salsa and a feta, avocado, and tomato salad before I came. 

The two dishes I brought should be in every woman's summer recipe box - they are simple, inexpensive, and quick to put together.  Recipes are below.  But first... let's oogle some meat:

We had teriyaki chicken, mustard chicken, and pork tenderloin, all grilled masterfully.  I probably could have eaten every bit of meat that was cooked, but I held myself back.  My parents are going to be getting many requests for grilled pork over the summer (I'm "summering" in Tiverton, RI with them for July and August - dinner cooked for me every night when I get home, I can't wait!), I forgot how much I love it! 

Disclaimer: I wish I could go ahead and take credit for this gorgeous photography, but I am a horrible liar and I have to give credit to a seaman's catch.  Isn't it wonderful?!

Now onto two summer recipes...

Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans, drains & rinsed
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 can whole kernal corn
(fresh leftover corn from grilled corn on the cob would be perfect!)
1/2 red onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded & diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine (optional)
2 T sugar
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
The juice of 1 lime (or lemon)

Mix sugar, salt, olive oil, and lime/lemon juice separately. Pour mixture over the rest of the ingredients.  It's best to chill for at least an hour.  Serve with tortilla chips!

Tomato, Feta & Avocado Salad

2 containers of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, diced
1/2 lb feta
Olive Oil

Combine tomatoes and avocados.  Crumble in feta.  Top with a few generous swirls of olive oil. Salt & pepper to your liking.  Note: don't prepare this too far in advance.  The avocados will turn a bit grey when they're refrigerated (but they still taste good when it's leftover time).


Tuna Salad Wrap, Uninterrupted

Especially in the summer months, I try to get out for a true lunchbreak at least once a week.  Sometimes I'll eat first and then go for a walk or sit in the Common to read for 45 minutes, or I'll go sit at the bar somewhere (no beer I swear...) and order a quick meal.  Eating at the bar too often turns into a $15 lunch, and I'm not rich woman... there are times that tab could break the bank!

But, I discovered the perfect compromise: lunch at Boston Common Coffee Co. Typically, this is my breakfast spot.  I indulge myself in an iced mocha and a croissant every Friday, my little weekly treat to myself (okay, my one-of-many weekly treats).  Lunch here is great, you can order your meal "for here," and eat it at the large counter facing the windows.  It's the best of both worlds - lunch out without the tip!  Plus, it'll only run you about $7.

I've been wrapped up in my book lately, The Island, a story about 2 generations of sisters dealing with the blows of life on Tuckernuck, a small island off of Nantucket.  I'm always drawn to books that are set in areas familiar to me.  When the writer mentions places I've been to like Something Natural and the Chicken Box, I feel so much closer to the story.  Also, I'm going to Nantucket in September for my annual reunion with my girlfriends from home, so it makes me even more giddy for that trip (love you, rats!).  Because the 10 minutes of reading I do on the bus every morning isn't enough, I really wanted to get a good read in during my break.

This place is the best spot in Downtown Crossing to sit, relax, eat, and read read read.  I ordered my tuna wrap with a side of cold tortellini salad, grabbed a seat at the counter, and started to read.  My order number was called within a few minutes, and I took this beautiful plate back to my seat:

Lately I've been big into tuna salad wraps.  I've been craving one from Atlantic Bagel in Hingham but, poor me, I don't have a car to get me there.  Their tuna wrap is perfect: crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, diced pickles, and they make it on the same board they use for bagels so you get that leftover-bagel topping taste that I looove.  Boston Common Coffee Company makes a pretty good wrap, they don't have diced pickles, but I can't complain.  And you cannot go wrong with pasta salad, ever.  Maybe it was a little too much for one person at lunch, but, oops, I cleaned my plate anyway.

For 45 minutes, I ate and read, uninterrupted and happy as a clam. The food is good, the atmosphere is good, and, as they say in Tuckernuck, "life is good!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Monday, June 7, 2010

Dining Al Fresco

This past Saturday was a long, slow, easy day with a loose agenda to follow and just the right amount of sunshine to keep city adventures happy and bearable.  Initially heading out for a day of pitchers of beer and mozzarella sticks, our path was diverted by the less than punctual number 7 bus.  The decision to walk into the city morphed our cheap-eats cravings into the need to dine al fresco.  So, to the North End we walked, along the canal and then down Commercial street in search of a spot on the water.  We couldn't bear to do Tia's or American Joe's, so we veered off to check out the lunch menu at the Chart House.

After a short review of the lunch menu and a struggle against temptation, we harnessed our champagne tastes (ignoring our tap water budgets) and decided the better option would be to forgo our seaside lunch plan and head to the outdoor patio at Fiore instead.  Which, save for the group of painfully immature 30-somethings in their Nantucket reds sprawled across four patio tables shouting to each other about girls and drinking, turned out to be the right choice.

Now, you pretty much can't go wrong in the North End, so of course the food was delicious.  We started with an antipasto plate - an array of prosciutto, olive loaf, hard salami, a sharp cheese, sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts with a light coating of olive oil.  Recently I've really been into starting out the meal with an antipasto.  It satiates my appetite without leaving me feeling stuffed and too-full for the main dish.  Those Italians, they know what they're doing when it comes to food.  Ooo and the artichoke hearts were so tasty - luckily I'm the only one that likes them so I got to have my fill!

I can't help myself when I see a pitcher of sangria, so I had to get a glass.  It was fruity, sweet, and with just enough booze to give me a slight buzz just from one glass.  When I grow up, I want to keep a fresh pitcher of sangria in my kitchen at all times.

Then, we got a sausage, onion, and mozzarella pizza ("The best pizza in the city" according to Mike but don't tell Pizzeria Regina that!).   It really was delicious, even though it was a little soggy in the middle but I'm not complaining.  The sausage was sweet and possibly house-made, the mozzarella was fresh and the crust was the dry type that lends perfectly to sopping up the extra sauce and cheese.  There are few things I enjoy more in this little life I live than sitting at a bar with good company, pizza, and drinks.

We left with smiles on our faces and full bellies to continue our Saturday in the city on the cheap with beers and trivia games at The Point then to Atlantic Beer Garden for some more outdoor dining.  All in all, great and tasty Saturday!

Friday, June 4, 2010

All Hail Dunkin' Donuts

June 4th, 2010: Free Donut Day at Dunkin’ Donuts.  My choice: Jelly!

I love Dunkin' Donuts.  It’s where my mom and I would meet up with my grandfather when I was little, where we’d go for iced coffees when we ditched class in high school, the first place I’d go off the plane coming back from school in Arizona.  Dunkin’s cools us down in the summer, does its best to cure our hangovers with bacon, egg & cheese sangies, makes really good commercials.  Dunkin’ Donuts is more than a just a brand – it’s a feeling, it’s memories, it’s ours.  

I can't mention Dunkin's or jelly donuts in my post without a shout out to the amazingly talented Kelley Carey MacDonald... not only did she produce the wonder that is Molly MacDonald, she also paints (and sells!) the most adorable jelly donut paintings you could imagine!


Love you, mom!  

Thursday, June 3, 2010

something that makes me smile...