Wednesday, August 31, 2011

City Girl Cafe - Inman Square

I've had this place on my 'to-go' list for a while now and finally made it there at the end of July with my friend to kick off her post-bar celebratory weekend! We both really liked it here - cute atmosphere, local feel, great food, unique menu options, and on top of all that, great prices! They offer brunch, lunch and dinner - so I hope to be heading back soon to try more of their dishes out!

City Girl Caffe
204 Hampshire St (Inman Square), Cambridge

Monday, August 29, 2011

Perfect Summer Salad with Chickpea Burgers!

When my friend and I decided to cook dinner in one night a few weeks ago we decided on trying out a recipe for chickpea burgers. I thought a little summer salad would be a good side, so I came up with this mixture of ingredients to highlight some of the fresh basil from my porch! It was a great refreshing salad to put together but it's best served soon after you make it - so don't make too far in advance.

Tomato Basil Corn Salad
1/2 TB white wine vinegar
1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper
1 ear of corn (cut off, not cooked)
2-3 tomatoes
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2 TB green pepper, chopped
lots of fresh basil!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Get out of your Salad rut!

Sometimes salads can get boring if you make the same kind over and over again - so I decided to try out a couple new ideas that I've seen at restaurants a couple times. Once is a nice filling salad and the other is a bit lighter, but both are perfect for a dinner party first course when you're trying to impress!

Roasted Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Pears (halved)
Goat Cheese
Lemon Juice
Toasted Walnuts
Greens (Butter Lettuce mix)
Apple Juice (baste the pears)
Brown Sugar
Red Onion
Dried Cranberries

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles!

With a summer work party on the horizon and a busy few days before, I knew I needed to make something that would last for a few days since I couldn't bake the night before. Cookies are great in this sort of situation because you can make the batter and freeze that, or you can even make the cookies and freeze them as soon as they cool - that way they're perfectly fresh when you bring them to your party a few days later! Rather than the traditional chocolate chip I was thinking that a cinnamon chocolate chip cookie would taste good and found the idea for this chocolate chip snickerdoodle! If I may say so myself, I think they came out great - lots of compliments from coworkers and they weren't too time consuming, which is always a plus.

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon to roll in

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let's Talk About Food Festival @ MOS

More than a month ago I stopped by this great event organized by the Museum of Science as a part of their Let's Talk About Food Series. A big shout out goes out to Lisa and her team from the MOS - as it turns out, the team I used to intern with at the MOS was running the event. Their goal was to bring together people to celebrate food, health, cooking and science - all along the Cambridge Parkway and the Charles. I planned to just swing by and look around, but ended up staying for a good four hours. Due to the rainy day the turnout wasn't great - but it meant that I got great front row seats and lots of face time with exhibitors. They had a big tent set up with the main stage - where various local celebrity chefs presented different dishes and sessions, in addition to a long line of exhibitors running all along the Charles. The Museum of Science was also marketing their new exhibit - Around the World in 80 Diets, which I'm hoping to check out next.
I arrived just in time to see Jody Adams (of Rialto in Cambridge) present her session on cooking with lobster - and the program listed a special guest, who turned out to be Deval Patrick! I was a big fan of Adams on Masterchef on Bravo, so this was so fun for me to watch. She talked about her new restaurant coming - called Trade (at Atlantic and Congress in South Boston), and the importance of cooking within the season. They introduced Governor Patrick as a secret foodie who likes to be the cook at home for his family. Just like me, he talked about going to farmers market, seeing what looks good and then cooking what he finds! He even joked that he often catches his State Troopers on his security team watching the Food Network. They showed us how to split a lobster for their recipe - a Lobster Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette sounded delicious - with tarragon, lemon and orange zest, olive oil, dijon mustard, vinegar, grilled corn, scallion.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Choc Chip Waffles

I'm a total sucker for breakfast and on weekends in particular I like splurging on a breakfast that takes a little longer to make since I don't usually have the time before work. At the same time, sometimes breakfast can be heavy so I this was my attempt at making a healthier waffle. You might be thinking - chocolate chips, that's not heathy, but, if you use dark chocolate and not a lot, it's okay! Everything in moderation, right?

Whole Wheat Banana Choc Chip Waffles
1 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup ground almonds and oatmeal (3-4 TB each)
1/2 TB ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp brown sugar
1 egg and 1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice (plus enough milk to = 1 cup liquid)
1 TB oil
1 TB chocolate chips
1/2 banana, sliced thin

For most waffle or pancake recipes the usual process is to mix all of the dry ingredients and then mix all of the wet ingredients, then combine the two just until mixed. This recipe is no different.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mexican in South Boston

It's a good thing I waited to write this post about Papagyo because since I went for the first time I've been back a second time! The space is where Achilles Project used to be - a restaurant I never quite understood. Because I used to work in this area I tend to get back there a little more than the usual person - there's not much else in the area, though the harborwalk is nearby and that's a great walk to take after being full from dinner!

283 Summer Street, South Boston
The restaurant space itself is rather large - plenty of room, with both high top options by the bar and big wooden tables perfect for groups of 10+. The walls are painted really bright colors with lots of paintings on the wall to fit in with the mexican theme of the restaurant. They call themselves a "mexican kitchen and tequila bar," and I think that totally fits the bill. The service was a little slow but the food itself comes out really quickly. They have a great drink menu with lots of interesting options and the margaritas are served in giant glasses more like goblets! I've tried the traditional margarita (strong!) and the peach mojito - both delicious. The food prices are pretty inexpensive, and the drinks are reasonable if not on the slightly steeper end but remember you're getting quality and quantity here.

After a recommendation by a friend, two of us decided on the fish tacos. The other two got the shrimp and avocado salad, and one of the enchiladas dishes.
The other big draw here is the guacamole! They make it right at your table and you can choose how spicy or mild you'd like it - for $8.95 it's a little steep but it's a really big portion that will get you right through dinner. The fish tacos came with 3 tacos, but I almost wish it had come with 2 tacos and a side of beans and rice rather than eating the same 3 tacos and that's it. I did like that the fish wasn't fried though, which you often find with fish tacos. I also tried the Verde Enchiladas, which were a tiny bit spicy for my taste but still yummy. I love tomatillos - so whenever I see anything with those at a mexican restaurant I'm tempted even if it says spicy right on the description.
The second time I came here was actually for a bachelorette party, which worked out great. They have this great hightop group table called their 'tequila table' because it's surrounded by 2 walls of tequila bottles. It's reserved in two hour blocks so be sure to call pretty far in advance for a weekend night. Just going with a friend or a couple friends? As I mentioned earlier, this place is pretty big and draws an after-work crowd, so I wouldn't worry about having too long of a wait. Definitely recommend checking this place out, especially if you work or live near the South Station/Fort Point area!