Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sushi Steal

I’m pretty sure that anyone who has e-mail these days is aware of the terms “Groupon”, “LivingSocial”, “BuyWithMe” and so on. If you don’t, well get on it. I get a handful of deal offers from other similar sites too and a few weeks ago I scored a few saves to Beni Café in Quincy via Eversave. The deal was $7 for $15 worth of food and non-alcoholic drinks. But to make the deal even sweeter, Eversave gave a promo code for $5 off any save (due to the Bruins nabbing the Stanley Cup). In the end, $15 of sushi for $2?! Yes, please.


Beni Café is a pretty small restaurant. The décor is quite modern and really reminds me of a smoothie bar which works because they do in fact sell smoothies. I ordered my food for takeout and couldn’t resist adding a Thai Iced Tea to my meal. “With boba?” the man asked, “okay” I replied not really knowing what “boba” was or why I didn’t decline it. Oh well. But the tea was SO.GOOD. If you’ve never had a Thai Iced Tea I totally recommend trying one. It’s essentially tea with coconut milk and in my case, gelatinous floaties. To clarify, I didn’t not like the boba… I just thought they were weird. Anyone a fan of boba?


For food I ordered a sampler which had 2 pieces each of tuna, shrimp and salmon sashimi and a spicy tuna roll ($11.25). I also ordered a seaweed salad ($4). What you see here is about 1/3 of the seaweed salad and 1/2 of the sashimi. All for $2 (with the save)!!!



The sushi quality was quite good, the spicy tuna rolls weren’t the best I’d ever had but they were still pretty tasty. I loved the seaweed salad, I went back and finished the entire portion. With that said, if you are in the Quincy area and are looking for a place for get sushi takeout, I’d recommend checking it out!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All The Colors


Summer is finally here, well at least that’s what the calendar says. It seems like the weather hasn’t quite decided yet but hopefully soon warm weather will be here to stay. With that said, I did take advantage of the warm weather earlier this week to make a delicious “summer themed” dinner.


First up, a delicious fruit salsa.

I used:

  • 1/2 c mango chunks
  • 1/2 c pineapple tidbits
  • 1/4 c red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 c red onion, diced
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/4 c Boston Olive Oil Company coconut balsamic vinegar, reduced over heat to 1/8 c

I mixed all of the ingredients and chilled salsa for about 30 minutes before serving.


On the side, I made a Chili-Lime Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salad.

I used:

  • 2 c corn kernals
  • 1 c baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 T LeRoux Kitchen butter flavored olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice

In a grill pan, I heated up the olive oil and then cooked the corn until it started to brown. I added cayenne and lime juice and finally the heirloom tomatoes.


I grilled up a few chicken tenders in my grill pan and then served the chilled fruit salsa on top and the corn and heirloom tomato salad on the side. It was not only quick to prepare, but it was full of delicious summer flavors.

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Chacarero


“A Chacarero is a traditional Chilean Sandwich. It begins with homemade bread, that we bake fresh daily. The main ingredient is either tender grilled steak or chicken or both). Then with your main ingredient, we add steamed green beans, giving it that authentic Chilean touch, Muenster cheese and fresh tomatoes. To that we add an avocado spread, salt, pepper & our secret hot recipe to complete the sandwich. Of course any ingredient can be omitted, just let us know!”

The manfriend has been telling me about Chacarero for some time now. The exchange pretty much goes like this “we had Chacarero for lunch, it was soooo good. You should go there someday… when you don’t have to work, because they aren’t open on weekends.” Hmmph.

This time was different though, upon his return he handed me this crumpled paper bag and inside I found my first and certainly not last Chacarero sandwich.


A little bit closer, so you can read the mouth-watering description for yourself. (And see what remains of my self-done manicure… yes, that’s glitter. I have no shame.)


I reheated the sandwich in the toaster oven. I assure you it wasn’t burnt deeply toasted upon receipt, I just got distracted while it was heating up. To be honest, it didn’t compromise the taste of the sandwich one bit (I can say this because I ate the other half lightly toasted tonight). And yes, you read that right. This is only half of the sandwich. It’s literally the size of my head. Okay, maybe my head is a little bigger but I do have a good size dome.


You can see the layers of the sandwich in this photo. I’m drooling again.


And here, at last… isn’t it beautiful? Green beans on a sandwich is so unusual yet so awesome. They give each bite a nice crunch. Want. More. Now.

There are two locations in Boston (addresses on the bag). So if you work in the city, go get one and bring one to me too. Please and thank yas.

Have you ever had Chacarero? What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever had on a sandwich?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IPA Donuts with Coconut Butter


I’ve been itching to make donuts again since I made these.


I saw a recipe for Amber Ale Donuts on Craft Beer the other day and thought it sounded interesting… and brilliant.


I chose a bottle of Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA from the refrigerator. According to the Sam Adams website, the hops in this beer give it a “powerful citrus and earthy aroma”. Sounded good to me. The rest of the ingredients in the recipe are pretty much pantry staples so these didn’t take long at all to pop in the oven.

{IPA Donuts with Coconut Butter}

adapted from Chef Michelle's Amber Ale Donuts


  • 1 C minus 2 T AP Flour (my substitution for cake flour which I didn’t have)
  • 2 T Corn Starch
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 T melted butter, cooled
  • 3 oz. Latitude 48 IPA
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter and let cool. Sift all dry ingredients together into large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, beer, lemon juice and zest. Grease donut pan with butter or non-stick spray.

Pour liquid blend into dry mixture. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix or donuts will be tough. Fill each donut half full.

Bake in preheated oven for about 9 minutes. Donuts should not brown on top. Remove pan from oven and let cool.

Top with coconut butter when donuts are cool. Alternatively, you can roll donuts in powdered sugar while they are still warm.

*makes 6 large donuts


Thursday, June 16, 2011

When in need of comfort…


We turn to our friends. We turn to our family. We turn to delicious food.


The last couple of days I’ve been up in Maine wishing I could turn back time. And that comfort food could truly comfort in even the most difficult times.


Truth is, it can’t. But sharing delicious food with friends and family can comfort. So this is my plea to you to spend more time sharing delicious food and making memories with your family and friends. You can start by making this delicious dish:

{Tofu, Spinach, Carrots and Rice Noodles in a Peanut-Coconut Sauce}

  • 6 ounces rice noodles, cooked and drained
  • 3 c spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 block tofu, pressed to remove liquid and cubed
  • 1 t sesame oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 c light coconut milk
  • 3 T smooth peanut butter
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 5 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T grated ginger
  • 1/4 t chili flakes
  • 1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and combine. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until starting to brown. Add spinach and carrots. Continue to cook over heat until spinach has wilted.

Add sauce to tofu and vegetable mixture. Stir. Let sauce warm for a few minutes then pour tofu/vegetable/sauce mixture over rice noodles. Serve.

*yield about 4 servings

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry-Avocado Wheatberry Salad


A couple of weeks ago we were in the midst of a heatwave here in Boston. Turning the oven on to cook dinner was out of the question. Enter the cold salad. I’ve made many cold salads with quinoa and was interested in trying the wheatberries that I’ve had in the pantry for awhile. This salad came together pretty quickly using things I had in the refrigerator and was as refreshing as it was delicious.


{Strawberry-Avocado Wheatberry Salad}


  • 2 c uncooked wheatberries
  • 1 c fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 c crumbled feta
  • 1/4 pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh basil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 t honey
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 T cider vinegar

Start by putting wheatberries and 4 c of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer 30-40 minutes or until the wheatberries are cooked to your liking (I like them a bit chewy).

In a bowl, whisk together sugar, olive oil, honey, lemon juice and cider vinegar. Put aside.

In a small pan toast pecans over medium heat. This doesn’t take very long. Once they start to become fragrant give them another few minutes then remove from heat.

Once wheatberries are cooked, let cool for about 10 minutes. Add dressing to wheatberries then strawberries, avocado, pecans, basil and finally the feta.

Put entire salad in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.



Friday, June 10, 2011

First Friday


Today was my first Friday off this month (I have 4! Well technically 3 plus July 1st) and it was perfect.


I took the pup to the beach. Yes, he needs a haircut. But whatevs, he’s still awesome.


We stayed for about an hour. He was whining because I wouldn’t let him off his leash. He was really pushing it considering dogs aren’t even supposed to be on the beach after May 1st. Shhhh.


I like this one. Doesn’t it look like he’s looking at the water? I’m sure there was a plastic bag blowing in the wind or something.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fresh Caprese Summer Rolls


Fresh, fragrant basil. Juicy tomatoes. Creamy mozzarella. Nothing says “summer” like a Caprese salad.


I ate them everyday when in Italy. Okay, not everyday. I was there for 3 months. But I would have. If I wasn’t drinking bottles of chianti and eating bread dipped in buttery olive oil.


These are simple. Spring roll (rice paper) wrappers. Fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella. 18 year old balsamic for dipping.


I have thought about these every day since I made them. Make them. You will think about them every day after too. Bring them to a party, your fellow partygoers will hug you. No promises, but they should.


Inspiration here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pesto, Provolone & Egg Pizza


This is without a doubt the best pizza that has ever come out of my kitchen. It’s simple. It’s fresh. It uses few ingredients. And most importantly, it’s unlike any pizza I’ve made before. And by that I mean I’ve never had eggs on my pizza before.



My participation in Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program earned me the opportunity to receive a free dozen of Eggland's Best eggs. A coupon was delivered to my mailbox with the request that I produce an original recipe using the eggs. Though I don’t eat or make a ton of egg-based dishes, I was eager to come up with something.


When I decided to add the eggs to a pizza I realized I really didn’t want to make a pizza with a tomato sauce base. I remembered this pesto I recently picked up at the SOWA Open Market by Pestos With Panache. I figured it would make an excellent eggcellent (sorry) addition to my egg-topped pizza.


I started by making the pizza dough:

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 c very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting pizza stone

Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, undissolved yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir very warm water and olive oil into flour mixture. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Roll dough into ball. Shape to fit desired pan/pizza stone. Bake crust at 400 for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and top with:

  • 4 T pesto, spread in thin even layer
  • 5-6 slices of provolone cheese

Return to oven for another 8 minutes. Carefully remove again and crack 1 egg in each quadrant of the pizza (4 eggs total). VERY carefully return pizza to oven and cook for another 4 minutes until eggs are set. You could reduce this to just a couple of minutes if you like a runny egg.

Let pizza cool for a few minutes. Cut into 8 slices. Enjoy!