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Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

The Anglers Resort — 660 Mediterranean Kitchen

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2009 at 12:00 am

I love walking into a restaurant and feeling like I’m at home — or even better, walking into someone’s home for a nice home cooked meal. The newly redone 660 Mediterranean Kitchen, located in the Anglers Boutique Hotel, felt like home in many ways. The ambiance was warm and relaxing — the setting/ atmosphere also added to that feeling — we sat in a beautiful “dining room” like room in booths.

I thought I’d run through some of the strongest dishes we had and some I’d suggest passing over:

Strengths:

– Fattoush Salad — Romaine, Kalmata, Pita, Preserved Lemon, Feta, Onion, and Tomato

– “Caesar Salad” Reinvented — Romaine halves, Olive Oil Bread Crumbs, Lemon Shavings, and Parmigiano

– Red Wine Poached Pappardelle– Short Rib Ragu, Crispy Sage, Parmigiano

Some weaker dishes:

Seafood Cioppino — Saffron, Orange Zest, White Wine, Tomatoes, Grilled Bread –– the dish was lackluster to say the least; I received about two pieces of shrimp, no scallops, and a lot of calamari. I’ll pass thanks. It also didn’t include the bread which HAS to be given in broth based stew like dinners — otherwise, there is no point in ordering them

– Tuna Tiradito — Sliced Raw with Florida Cirtus, Shallot, Chive, White Truffle Oil- My dad liked it however the portion size was measly to say the least — I don’t mind smaller richer dishes, but I didn’t taste the truffle oil which could have helped make the itty bitty portion size richer

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Fontainebleau Hotel I Don’t Get You

In Uncategorized on December 25, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Here’s what happened — after dinner at Seniora Martinez last evening, my parents thought it would be fun to stop by the “happening and recently renovated” Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. While this hotel was on my “To Do List” a year ago — I have to report, I was BEYOND disappointed with what I came across. The only salvation of my adventure was the EXTRA STIFF Vodka Tonic at Bleau bar.

Here were my MAJOR issues with the newly redone hotel, in no order:

1) I would estimate, roughly, that 90% of the guests in the hotel did not speak English — and I’m generally quite bad with my calculations. Just an FYI.


2) In order to find your way around this oddly shaped pod of a hotel, you needed interactive computerized maps that signaled to you where you were, and where en route the elevators were.

3) In the “hot lounge/lobby bar” located in the center of the hotel if you can even call it that — there were MORE children running around, swiveling around on the Art Deco chairs than there were adults! I am NOT lying to you folks — I would say it was approximately 11pm too which adds to the confusion in my book… Maybe they’re still on international time?


4) I was given the “eye” at LEAST five times in an hour duration — by both men and women. I’m sorry — when I meander around my hotel I don’t get stared at which until this point in time I didn’t really appreciate. This isn’t a catwalk this is a hallway of a hotel – STOP STARTING, ok great thanks.

5) There is NO COHESION WHATSOEVER to the various parts of the hotel — If you consider 400 plastic beach chairs paired next to luxurious cabanas, an all glass extremely modern gym, a Rat Pack inspired lobby, and high end chain boutiques cohesive? Then perhaps style and design isn’t my forte. I could be wrong but none of it fit together in my eyes — what were they thinking? Let’s take all the “hot style trends of 08 and 09” and throw them into one oddly configured, oddly styled hotel? NO THANKS… I will continue to reside down the street.

Food Network Stars — Those I Love and Those I Hate

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Food Network Chefs I Can’t Get Enough Of….

Guy Fieri – where do I even really begin with Guy? I love.. love… LOVE… Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Anyone that has come across me over the years knows my obsession with him and with the show. HOW the hell he’s not already due for a Gastric Bypass is beyond me but god blessed him with great genes that enable him to eat the world’s best comfort food… every day of his life. What a rough life right?

Paula Deen- Can I sit here and say I try out her godforsaken recipes? No, No I cannot. But what I can say is that she’s completely comfortable with herself and proud of her artery clogging/ truly Southern recipes and dishes. If any of you have been longtime readers of my blog you know I made a post one time about “Paula Deen Trying to Kill Us” – better known as P.D.I.T.T.K.U — anyway, I think if she were to cut her butter requirements in 75th’s? I’d be willing to try some of her recipes… Love her cooky self regardless.

The Neely’s- WHAT AN ADORABLE COUPLE – I envy their loving relationship more than the “homecook” food they produce on the show. The reason they’re on my list is because they’re newbies but are so adorable and have great chemistry together on the air that can’t be “directed”.

Ina Garten- Is it bad to say I have a HUGE girl crush on Ina? I grew up spending my summers in the Hamptons — aka I grew up with Barefoot Contessa within walking distance. She is an inspiration and should be given tenure on the Food Network as of…. right this instant.


Food Network Stars That Need To Be Exiled

Rachel Ray- I KNOW I am not alone on this one… everything about her drives me nuts still, after all of the years I’ve been a Food Network fan. She talks too much, uses slang that no one thinks is “cutesy” and wears jeans and snug sweaters FAR too “snug” for her physique. It’s time you and the hubby relocate to France, buy some berets, and order some croissants and be done with us Americans.

Emeril Lagasse- GAG ME WITH ONE OF HIS SPOONS PLEASE. Emeril, you’re not quirky, nor are you really interactive with the audience that is told when to clap on command to your “BAM!” usage. It was funny I’m sure when it began in like….. 97′ but now it’s overdone and just because you sprinkle Paprika on Fish does NOT automatically mean I will be excited to try your recipes.

Sandra Lee- I don’t get her…. I just don’t get her. She takes bowls of Cool Whip, plops the contents in bowl, and “decorates” the sides of the bowl with Nilla Wafers and I’m expected to swoon over her recipes? I don’t think so. I understand that everything is “Semi Home Made” but it just doesn’t do it for me…. I think either you’re going to spend the 30 minutes in the kitchen making an easy home made pasta, or you’re going to buy a pre-made cake. Don’t waste 30 minutes of your time making something that looks like a child in Kindergarden made it during recess.

Post 390 Review

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

There are a few places in Boston that I’ve come to love and go back to year after year. While sometimes they disappoint and other times they wow me, I still go back — regardless. Some of my favorite restaurants in Boston are as follows: Hammersley Bistro, Davio’s, Avila, Mistral, Grill 23 & Bar, and Sunset Cantina/Brown Sugar (Boston University hangouts/guilty pleasures).

While I rarely branch out to unknown territory, I had to try Post 390 — after all of the odd ads found in Boston Mag/ Improper Bostonian as well as the buzz my friends/ co workers have made about the new restaurant. After a lovely yet warm/sleepy version of The Nutcracker with my mom on Thursday night, we made our way to Post for a late 10pm dinner at Post.

I didn’t think I’d ever be in agreement with the Boston Globe Food Reviews, but I have to admit, they’re quite spot on with their Post review.

Post’s perks: Location, vibrant bar scene, great late night spot, solid Roasted Lemon Chicken and Shrimp Linguine entrees


Post’s downfalls: Extremely rushed service, lackluster if that appetizers (i.e. steer clear of the Caesar Salads and French Onion Soup), buzzing environment that distracts from any chance of a “relaxing/enjoyable” meal


Overall, I’d suggest you go to Post if:

1) You’re on a first date … and not interested in hearing what your date has to say

2) You want a “quick bite” either before or after a night out — and not looking for a quiet ambiance

3) You’re 25-30, female, and looking for a young professional hookup

Post 390

406 Stuart St.(Clarendon St.)

Boston, MA 02116

(617) 399-0015

http://www.post390restaurant.com

Ode To The Whoopie Pie

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2009 at 4:37 am

A year back, I was in a local grocery store at home and came upon these two large “Nilla wafer” like cookies with vanilla frosting wedged in between. My inner fat kid came out, and I had to purchase one… within two minutes the cake was gone. I wanted to know more about these delicious treats. I soon came to find out these were known as“Whoopie Pie’s” it was only a matter of months before these pies, which were big back in the Retro Days, made a big time comeback in 2009.



New York Times picked up on the trend and wrote a NYT Food & Wine article on the reinvented dessert treat entitled, “Whoopie! Cookie, Pie, or Cake, It’s Having Its Moment”. They mention the cakes root’s within the context of the story then go on to discuss the modern day bakery shops throughout the US that have taken hold of the trend and found ways to re-invent the once outdated dessert. “Labadie’s Bakery, in Lewiston, Me., which sells whoopie pies as big as 16 inches across, claims to have sold them since 1925.” They also mention the very popular Magnolia Bakery’s best selling Maple-Cream Icing Sandwiched between Brown Sugar cakes.

Within the past few months, bloggers across the country have taken the notion of the traditional “chocolate cake/vanilla icing” Whoopie Pie’s and radically altered the dessert. From Pumpkin Spiced Pies to Peanut Butter, the variations seem to be never ending. These desserts, which usually run from anywhere between $3-6 depending on the bakery/ recipe’s ingredients are sure fire bets for holiday time favorites.

Gourmet’s 2003 (they were clearly ahead of the time) traditional Whoopie Pie Recipe:

For cakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg

For filling

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.

Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

Make filling:
Beat together butter, confectioners sugar, marshmallow, and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Assemble pies:
Spread a rounded tablespoon filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes.

Celebrity Sports Couples- Hits and Misses

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

So the Tiger Woods Scandal prompted me to think more about the various celebrity sports players and their significant others. I will tackle the Tiger relationship first and then weave of celebrity sports couples that have been hits as well as those that have clearly been misses.

Exhibit A- Here’s the thing with this relationship. She’s DROP DEAD, and he looks somewhat deranged. No offense to anyone who finds him aesthetically pleasing. I do not. While he is a MULTI millionaire golf prodigy, I don’t think he had any right cheating on his wife — let alone with multiple women.

Exhibit B- Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly- Well, I hate John Mayer immensely, therefore, I had to hate Minka when they dated. Now that she’s moved on and I like her character on Friday Night Lights, I give this relationship two thumbs up.

Exhibit C- Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo- I really don’t even know where to BEGIN with this situation.  Dear Jess, he NEVER liked you… He thought you’d be a cute blonde to have as arm candy for a hot minute. That’s about it. In every photo, he was staring at ANY THING else in the vicinity, except for you. In addition, you became known as his “Bad Luck Charm”. Why are you so suprised it ended? I’m not.

Exhibit D- A Rod and Kate Hudson– Kate has the ODDEST choice in men, I cannot figure her out. She goes from liking men with longer hair than hers, to non funny comedians such as Dax whatever his last name is, to A ROD? Once a cheater, always a cheater in my mind. But in all honesty — maybe she just needs some brown sugar lovin?

Exhibit E- Hillary Duff and Mike Comrie- Hm… do I like him more than Joel Madden? Yes, Yes I do. I like Hillary better sans the “faux punk rock Disney look” she tried to pull for a few years. I don’t know if this one’s a brain trust, seeing as that the hockey men I know aren’t but hey, I’m sure he treats her well. He got her a Mercedes last year for her birthday – I’d like one too Mike, Ok? Great thanks.

Beauty Products I Swear By

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I’m a tomboy at heart, however, I do have products I have used for YEARS and swear by. While I require a whopping 20 minutes (including a shower) to get ready at night, these products are ALWAYS staples in my bathroom. Thought I’d share.

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE DEFRIZZ SERUM

I use this on my hair before I blow dry and after I towel dry it. It helps to smooth my hair while I’m drying it as opposed to having a huge frizzy mane after I “attempt” to do my hair. B&B products are amazing — their “Rich” Shampoo and Conditioner are great picks too.

AVEENO ULTRA- CALMING DAILY MOISTURIZER

I have INCREDIBLY sensitive skin so I need the most BASIC, least fragrant daily moisturizer for my face to keep it from not becoming irritated. I’ve used Aveeno for years and have NO complaints — fore warning, it is a bit pricey. At $17 dollars a bottle, I suggest you trying someone else’s before hand if you’re not sure whether or not you’d like to purchase one for yourself.

ROSE BUD SALVE BALM

I use this on my hands, and on my lips — it has multi functions which is what I love about it. The perfume aspect is GREAT — wonderful non invasive scent. It also is a wonderful lip balm to throw in your bag. At $6 you can’t really go wrong.

AUSSIE’S 3 MINUTE MIRACLE HAIR TREATMENT

OMG I have to gush about Aussie– trust me I’ve used every high end hair product under the sun but Aussie shows every brand up, with each and every product I try. It is UNREAL how effective and INEXPENSIVE their products are. I can’t get over it. GO BUY THIS NOW for creamy hair.

CHANEL NAIL POLISH

It’s SO worth the price for a nice bottle of nail polish — while there are some great inexpensive options such as Sally Hansen’s Quick Dry Nail Polish, I suggest you splurge and get a nice bottle.

FREDRIC FEKKAI SHEA BUTTER HAIR MASK

I’ve been a client of Fekkai since I was old enough to get my hair cut and this product has been a staple of Fredric’s since he opened his hair salons. Get it now. Sephora offers a lot of great Fekkai products.

Smitten Kitchen Recipes I MUST Try

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2009 at 4:32 am

I love Smitten Kitchen Food Blog.. it must be in my top 10, without a doubt. Here are a few photos and titles of recipes I will be trying within the next month I am home and scratching my head with what to do with myself…. NO more papers or exams, at home, AKA I will be baking and cooking immensely. GET READY TO SALIVATE…

BRAISED BALSAMIC BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA

Thank you for combining two of my ABSOLUTE favorites… Balsamic Reduction and Brussel Sprouts — I’m sure these are so highly addictive. My mentality with sprouts are as such… they’re a VERY healthy veggie, regardless of the amount of butter you may or may not lather on top!

HAMANTASCHENS

We used to make these Passover Treats at my day school, except mine looked NOTHING like these, nor did they taste as good I’m sure. I love the fruit filling in the center and the never ending options for the fruit filling.

SUMMER PEA AND ROASTED RED PEPPER PASTA SALAD

I am such a sucker for pasta salads — I love heating them up with a quick chicken dish, or even having it cold with some Feta sprinkled on top… This one specifically caught my eye for its incorporation of peas and orchiette pasta, YUM.

ASPARAGUS, ARTICHOKE, AND SHIITAKE RISOTTO

Risotto + Artichokes + Mushrooms + Asparagus = WHY are you asking any questions? GO MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW. You literally cannot NOT like this dish. I guarantee it.

THE BEST BIRTHDAY CAKE

My family isn’t big on getting or making me birthday cakes, but I assure you — If I wanted one, they’d buy or make me one… depending on my own preferences. While I HATE chocolate itself, and prefer white ‘fake’ chocolate, I would love a crisp and clean yellow cake with chocolate icing and mutli colored “sprinkles”.

CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE AND STRAWBERRY COULIS

Whenever I go out for dinners, my typical after dinner order is as follows: a nonfat cappuccino and any dessert that incorporates cake and strawberries and whipped cream. While this dish is lacking the whipped cream, the cream cheese incorporated into the pound cake is a good runner up.