Friday, December 30, 2011

So long, 2011...hello, 2012!

A new year is looming upon us!  How in the world did that happen?  I say it every year but this year I really mean it - 2011 went by crazy fast!  But what a fantastic year it was.  I had a blast making a couple changes in my life, embarking on a few new experiences and, of course, eating at a bunch of new lip smackin' good places.

With the best of intentions, I am planning on doing a better job at updating this blog.  Hopefully the world won't end because I have a ton of great restaurants to share and a slew of tasty recipes ready for other mouths to chow down on!

So, happy new year to all of you!  Cheers to 2012!

Some of my favorites from this year:

Braised ox-tail from Sandy's in St. Maarten

Chicago-style hot dog from Downtown Dogs in Chicago, IL

A 3-hour-old Bud Light straight from the finishing tank at 
the Budweiser factory in Merrimack, NH

Margherita pizza from Keste in New York City

Assorted (boozy!) truffles from Teuscher Chocolatier in Boston, MA

Stingy Jack's Pumpkin Wine (posted about here)

Delmonico Potatoes (posted about here)

Sticky Bun Pumpkin Muffins (posted about here)

Banana Beer Bread (recipe coming soon!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Restaurant Roundup: The Pour House

Truthfully, we ended up at The Pour House thanks to Google Maps.  While hanging around Boston one day, our original restaurant choice was - alas! - only serving brunch.  Not being in the brunching mood, I searched a minute on my phone and, based on the name alone, decided to check it out.  Still, we were a bit hesitant because, for some reason, the Google listing said it had a "Middle Eastern" theme to it.

(Photo credit: Yelp.com)

Well, I'm glad that we went anyway because that was very untrue.  (Not that I am hatin' on Middle Eastern cuisine at all.  We just weren't in the mood for it.)  The menu had a pretty typical set of options - burgers, sandwiches, wings - and a Mexican section.  Check out this insane mountain of nachos that we got!


In other words, my favorite kinds of bar food...and did I mention the beer?  PBR on draft!  I was psyched!  Somehow, I can't pry myself away from my cheap swill but Pour House does offer less crappy beer and they have a full bar (three, actually).  :)


On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is served until 3pm.  I haven't tried anything yet but all the passing plates looked yummy.  I am drooling over their Super Homefries - homefries grilled with bacon, sausage and cheddar and then covered with three eggs and toast. I can feel my arteries yelling at me already but everything yummy about breakfast on one plate?  Sounds too good to be true haha!

I was even more psyched when I noticed that the prices were damn cheap too.  Prices tend to be higher in the city, ya know?  If you wanna save even more money, check out their daily specials, such as half priced burgers on Saturday nights (6pm-10pm).  Oh, and the atmosphere was fun.  Lots of crazy shit hanging on the walls to look at, including graffiti.  All in all, the Pour House is definitely a great place to meet up with friends and hang out.  I wish I lived a bit closer.  ;)

The Pour House is located at 907 Boylston Street, Boston MA.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Local Product: Stingy Jack's Pumpkin Wine

Until recently, I wasn't the biggest fan of wine.  It wasn't until after I took a winery tour and enjoyed a tasting there that I found that I prefer sweeter white wines.  Once I hit upon this discovery, I'd been trolling the liquor store in search of wines that would suit my palate.  After quite a few great bottles, I hit upon this delicious elixir and have been hooked ever since.

I am talking about New Marlborough, Massachusetts' Les Trois Emme Winery's Stingy Jack's Pumpkin wine!  This was the season of all things pumpkin for me and this truly fit the bill.


Since I am a rather new "oenophile," please bear with my novice wine description haha.  This sweet fruit wine was not overly pumpkin-y (in my opinion) - it has a light and refreshing taste.  There are no heavy pumpkin pie spices, which is a perfect change from the usual heavily spiced pumpkin drinks and treats.

I have yet to try other Les Trois Emme wines, though I would like to visit their vineyard before they close up for the winter.  In that case, keep your eyes peeled for future product reviews!

(Note: The Les Trois Emme Winery did not endorse or in any way promote this blog post.  This is a product I personally use and enjoy.  All opinions are strictly my own.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Make It: Sticky Bun-Pumpkin Muffins

So, on Tuesday, a wonderful poster shared an amazing Southern Living recipe on a cooking forum I frequent.  As soon as I saw the post, I dashed into the kitchen and started baking up some...heaven.  Honestly, that is the only word coming to mind to accurately describe these.  My mom brought a few to work to share.  Her boss took a bite and immediately decided he was going to marry me.  Haha…a fairly good testimonial, I believe.

At any rate, you have probably skipped over the preceding lines in an effort to find out what the hell I was mooning over.

Sticky Bun-Pumpkin Muffins.

(My god do I need some work in taking good photos and setting the stage appropriately.  Ignore the splotches, please lol!)

I’ll let that sink in for a minute………

Seriously.

What a wonderful hybrid of two delicious treats…a genius mash-up, at that.  The flavors are very complimentary, the pumpkin creates a perfect crumb, and the pecans add that fabulous crunch.  Did I mention that the bottom holds a wonderful surprise?!


Give them a try to see for yourself and don’t say I didn’t tell you so.  Cuz I told you so.  ;)

Sticky Bun-Pumpkin Muffins
Original source: Southern Living 

2 cups pecan halves and pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2. Stir together melted butter and next 2 ingredients. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoonful butter mixture into each cup of 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, and top each with 1 rounded tablespoonful pecans.
3. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pumpkin, next 2 ingredients, and 2/3 cup water; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling three-fourths full. Place an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan on lower oven rack to catch any overflow.
5. Bake at 350° on middle oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert pan immediately to remove muffins, and arrange muffins on a wire rack. Spoon any topping remaining in muffin cups over muffins. Let cool 5 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make It: Delmonico Potatoes

Well, well, well...looks who's back!  These extended hiatuses really must stop - I need to get better about keeping up with blogging because I truly do enjoy it.

At any rate, during this past lull in posting, I tried all kinds of great recipes that I will be sharing here, as well as some new restaurant and local product reviews and other fun tasty tidbits.  Not only that but the holiday season is upon us and that means many more dishes will be churning out of my kitchen!

Now that I've tied up loose ends, I have a delicious recipe to share with you all!  Last night, my boyfriend and I made these wonderful Delmonico potatoes to enjoy alongside a honey-brown sugar glazed ham.


The potatoes get their name from the New York restaurant Delmonico's, which was the first full-service restaurant in the United States.  (According to my research, anyway!)  Variations abound on the Internet but the recipe we made comes from Cook's Country.  And, quite honestly, these were SO good that I don't plan on looking any further.

Truthfully, the potatoes are very similar to scalloped potatoes.  However, I think I prefer the Delmonico's because a great texture is created by using two different cuts of potato - both cubed and shredded.  Plenty of heavy cream (aided with a bit of chicken broth) provides an amazing consistency.  A helping of cheese only adds to this decadent dish - we used Romano to no ill effects, since we prefer it over Parmesan.


While these potatoes do take some time to make and they certainly aren't the healthiest of choices, I urge you to give them a try.  You won't regret it, even if your scale does!  ;)


Delmonico Potatoes
recipe from Cook's Country

Serves 8 to 10

We prefer the buttery flavor of Yukon Gold potatoes here, but all-purpose and red potatoes also work; do not use russets—their high starch content will make the casserole gluey. We had good results with Ore-Ida Country Style shredded hash brown potatoes, available in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed and patted dry with paper towels (see note) (Important!  Make sure they are very dry or they won't brown up)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (We used Romano.) 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 2 cups cream, 1 cup broth, Yukon Golds, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are translucent at edges and mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon zest and juice.
2. Transfer potato mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking dish and bake until bubbling around edges and surface is just golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shredded potatoes until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining cream, remaining broth, and ½ teaspoon pepper to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup cheese and 2 tablespoons chives.
3. Remove baking dish from oven and top with shredded potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and continue to bake until top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve.
Make Ahead: The recipe can be made through step 1. cooled completely, transferred to the baking dish, and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 day. To serve, proceed as directed in step 2, increasing baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I know, I know...

I totally suck.  I do alright keeping up for a few weeks and then...BOOM!  I fall off the blogging bandwagon. 

Anyways, no more excuses.  I am currently working on some new stuff for the site so it'll be back up with new content before you know it.  Stick with me?  Please?

In the meantime, I tweet daily - @massachusEATS

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Make It: Nectarine Galette

An old post of mine stated that I did not like fruit pies.  So, why on Earth did I decide it was a great idea to make a Nectarine Galette, which is essentially a rustic pie?  Wellllll, not only do I try to be a nice girlfriend (haha) but Real Simple's magazine photo was just gorgeous!  Don't mind my terrible version...I'm working on it.


Anyway, I fancied myself up to the challenge.  Though it didn't offer much of a challenge with only 3 main ingredients needed (they are assuming you have butter handy).  Seriously, 3.  Seemed pretty foolproof and, trust me, I did not want my first fruit pie making - and eating - to go awry or I would certainly never try it again. 

So, I make it and bake it.  Then, a bit nervously, I taste it.  Admittedly, after my first bite, I was still not too sure why fruit pies were anything to write home about but the galette grew on me!  (Especially after a dollop...okay, huge mound, of whipped cream!)  Slightly enhanced by a bit of butter and sugar, the flaky crust paired perfectly with the sweetness of the nectarines.  And, I didn't find the warm nectarines to be overly mushy - maybe because they are already a softer fruit?  I'm not sure but I do know that I went back for a second piece. 


Nectarine Galette
Real Simple magazine, July 2011

refrigerated rolled pie crust
thinly sliced nectarines or peaches
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar [I used coarse white sugar]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up


1. Heat oven to 375° F with the rack in the lowest position.
2. Place the pie crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leaving a 2-inch border, top with the nectarines or peaches. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the butter. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center, overlapping slightly and partially covering the fruit. Brush the dough with 2 teaspoons water and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

3. Bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden (tent with foil if the crust browns too quickly), 35 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Restaurant Roundup: Zaftigs Delicatessen

While I have yet to eat my way through their enormous menu, I couldn't resist the opportunity to talk about Zaftigs Delicatessen.


This Jewish-style deli has been a Brookline favorite ever since they opened 14 years ago...and for a very good reason.  Their menu is so expansive that you are guaranteed to find something that whets your appetite.  They have many of the customary Jewish deli foods, including Sweet Noodle Kugel, Chopped Liver, and - of course - piled high pastrami, corned beef, and beef tongue sandwiches.  [Wanna get really traditional?  Don't even think about ordering your pastrami on anything but rye bread and be sure to slather on plenty of spicy brown mustard!]  However, Zaftigs has a whole host of other menu choices for breakfast (which is served all day), lunch, and dinner. 

On my visit, we chowed on the towering chicken-stuffed Jax sandwich and a gooey and bacon-y grilled cheese!

                                     









Craving something sweet?  While there are plenty of desserts to choose from, there is also a tempting glass display case filled with cupcakes and other sweet treats.  Based on the frosting's looks alone, I chose this yellow cake cupcake and was not disappointed.


Sometimes, it is the little things that count in a restaurant setting.  Such as the complimentary bagel chips (yum!) or the unique artwork covering the walls inside and out or the offering of special Passover and catering menus.   

Zaftigs is located at 335 Harvard Street, Brookline MA.  A second location has recently opened at 1298 Worcester Street, Natick MA.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do women need their own brand of beer?

Me thinks a resounding NO!

I came across this article today and think it is incredibly ridiculous!  Personally speaking, I enjoy drinking beer for the taste and (the already multiple) varieties available.  The women I know that don't drink beer don't drink it because they don't like the taste, so I can't really see how "girly-fying" it will help that in that situation.  [It also annoys me that every so-called "manly" thing has to have a female equivalent...i.e., the stupid pink sports shirts.  But, that's another story for another time!]

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Make It: Mexican Bean Salad

Need a quick, easy, and healthy dish to throw together in this summer's heat?  Look no further than this delightful salad comprised of crisp veggies, three kinds of beans, and a whole heap of cilantro!

I found this Mexican Bean Salad on Allrecipes a few years back and it has been a summer staple ever since.  Do a little chopping, whisk up the dressing ingredients, toss everything together, and you've got yourself a refreshing summer salad.  [Don't mind the crappy picture quality.  It really is a gorgeous array of colors!]


It is colorful, healthy, flavor-packed, and, well, just make this a.s.a.p. and taste it for yourself.

Mexican Bean Salad
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (10oz) bag frozen corn kernels
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Few dashes hot sauce

1. In a big bowl, combine beans, bell peppers, frozen corn, and red onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, cilantro, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3. Pour dressing over the vegetables and mix well.  Chill and serve cold.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Local Product: Grillo's Pickles

Take it from me, a known pickle addict - some of the best pickles I have ever eaten are made here in Boston!  Grillo's Pickles have been around for a few years but are really just starting to make a name for themselves now.  I was introduced to these amazing spears at the Phantom Gourmet Food Fest in 2009 and have salivated over them ever since.


Funnily enough, Travis Grillo started selling his family's pickle recipe from the back of his car!  Next, he moved to Boston and sold them from a pickle cart...the first pickle cart in the world.  (You can still stop by the cart at Park Street T-stop.)  Now, Grillo's Pickles are much more accessible as Whole Foods began carrying the pickles in their refrigerated section.  Additionally, other stores are now beginning to stock Grillo's and the pickles can also be found in parts of Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and New York.


Grillo's have a wonderful crunch and a freshness that is uncommon in other pickles.  Check out the real hot peppers and dill above...it's no wonder that these are packed with pure flavor.  The hot variety is my favorite, though they do also make delicious dill spear.  Two new seasonal products have recently been added to the line: pickled green tomatoes and pickled carrots.  I'll have to get my hands on these puppies soon.  :)


Something else that I discovered about Grillo's and makes me love them even more?  You can buy Grillo's Pickles Converse high-tops!  *Hearts*

Check out Grillo's Pickles at Whole Foods or visit their website for a list of other retail locations.

(Note: Grillo's Pickles did not endorse or in any way promote this blog post.  This is a product I personally use and enjoy.  All opinions are strictly my own.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't You Just Love a Bargain?

Well, if you do, then head on down to Bar Louie on Tuesday nights - 5pm until close - and grab yourself a $1 burger.  Yes, $1.  One dollar.  ONE.

Sure, you could get a buck burger at McDonald's but you shouldn't....ever.  Especially not when this deal is around!  Bar Louie obviously has much higher quality burger, they are cooked to order, and you have a choice of cheeses (though cheese will run you about 50 cents more - oh, the humanity!) and other toppings.  Not to mention a great variety of other menu choices, a full bar, and a roof deck for those gorgeous summer nights.

Oh, and while you're there, snag yourself a $1 can of PBR to wash down that burger.  You sort of have to.  ;)

Bar Louie is located at 232 Patriot Place, Foxboro MA. 

Other locations can be found on the Bar Louie website.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Restaurant Roundup: Offshore Ale Company, Martha's Vineyard MA

Nothing seems to signal summer more than the start of tourist season here in Massachusetts.  Crowds flock to the Atlantic's shores to cool off and recharge......and eat, of course!  While spending a day on Martha's Vineyard, I caught dinner at The Offshore Ale Company.


This Zagat rated restaurant and brewing company has received many accolades over the years, including the vote for Best of the Vineyard from 2004 until 2009.  The restaurant seats many indoors though I recommend that you snag a seat on the hedge-lined patio.  Next, grab the beer menu and search out that perfect cold one.  May I also suggest that you grab some of the complimentary peanuts while waiting for your beer...and toss them shells on the floor.  :)


Offshore serves lunch (11:30a-3p), an afternoon pub menu (3-5p), and dinner (5p-close) so expect that the menu does vary at times.  However, the majority of the menu is typically available.  While there is the standard pub fare (think wings, calamari, burgers), there is also plenty of other choices.  Offshore offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, hearty dinner fare, and brick-oven pizzas....including a delicious sounding Roasted Duck Pizza I am dying to sink my teeth into! 

However, on my trip there, we grabbed a Caprese Salad with juicy chicken, colorful tomatoes, and thick slices of mozzarella (though, sadly, it seems not to be on the menu this year)...


...a Chicken Quesadilla absolutely stuffed with chicken, spinach, tomatoes, and gooey cheeses....


...and the Kettle of Steamed Mussels in a tomato-fennel broth.


Now that I've wiped the drool off of my keyboard, here are the extraneous details...

The Offshore Ale Company is open 7 days a week, year round, but do check on the closing time as it varies from season to season.  Swing by on a Tuesday or Wednesday for some live music!

Offshore Ale Company is located at 30 Kennebec Ave, Oak Bluffs, MA.

PS Thirsty for some of their brews but no vacation time in sight?  (Boo!)  No worries - Offshore Ale can also be found in some liquor stores and restaurants throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Make It: Fettuccine with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper

In need of a quick and easy dinner this summer but don't want to heat up your kitchen?  This dish fits the bill.  Minimal stove time, maximum summer flavors.  And, as an added bonus, it is a Cooking Light recipe...so you won't need to worry about fitting into that bathing suit.  ;)

Start by sauteing the garlic, parsley, and pepper.  Throw the saute into a quick creamy sauce (secret ingredient: pasta water...be sure to save some before draining!) and toss with the hot noodles.  Add a side salad and you're done! 

Obviously, in my picture, I used spaghetti rather than fettuccine and subbed in some basil instead of the parsley.  This dish is very versatile so use whatever you have on hand.  Throw in some grilled and diced up chicken for a shot of protein, mix in some summer squash, experiment with other spices, anything.  There's better things to do during these precious warm months than fretting over recipes!


Fettuccine with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper
Cooking Light March 2009

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 quarts water
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
12 ounces uncooked fettuccine

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or just until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Stir in parsley and pepper. Remove from heat.
Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Add pasta to pot; stir. Cover; return water to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes or until almost al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add hot pasta, reserved cooking water, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to garlic mixture. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes or until pasta is al dente, tossing to combine. Place 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 6 plates; drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon remaining oil.

Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: Calories: 293; Fat: 10.2g (Saturated fat: 1.5g)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's A Partyyyy!

Next weekend, take a bite out of summer when you visit the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party!  Taking place in Boston's City Hall Plaza, 6 BBQ masters from around the country - and one from Australia! - are grilling up meat for the masses.  Additionally, some of New England's finest are serving up side dishes, desserts, and drinks.  (Don't forget to stop by Wholly Cannoli's stand for one of their amazing Dynamite Sticks, a MassachusEATS favorite!)

When exactly is this delicious event taking place?  June 24th through 26th.  (Friday/Saturday from noon - 10pm; Sunday from noon - 7pm.)  Get there before 4 pm on Friday and entry is FREE!  Otherwise, tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the gate.  Once inside you must purchase the food and drinks but, with all the top-notch goodies around, who cares?!  Happy Summer! :D

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Let's retry this, shall we?

Alright, sooo I was very excited to get started on this blog initially.  And, I still am!  I think it will be a fun and worthwhile endeavor.  But...in the excitement of planning posts and desire to share so much, I feel as though I boxed myself in.   I am hoping that a slight overhaul (with a bit less OCD anal retentive-ness) will  allow me to get MassachusEATs back on track and where I want it to be. 

In the meantime, I started a Twitter where I share what is on my plate.  Please, follow me: @MassachusEATs

Anyway, bear with me and stay tuned!  :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Make It: Oatmeal Pecan Pie

Now, I am not a pie fan, to say the least.  The whole warm and mushy fruit thing scags me out!  Bleh.  Despite this aversion, a few years back, I somehow got roped into doing all the Thanksgiving pies.  Now, not being a pie eater, I went in blindly but was assured by all that they came out great.  Still, I kind of felt like I was missing out on my own creations, however "gross" they may be.

Upon flipping through the November 2006 issue of Cooking Light magazine, I stumbled across the recipe for Oatmeal Pecan Pie.  I couldn't get it out of my head and thought that it was possible that I just might like it since there was no mush factor to contend with. 

Am I ever glad that I forged ahead and made this!  Not only is it a cinch to whip together, the textured crunch of the oats and pecans meld wonderfully with the syrupy sweet syrup suspended throughout.  [I've been known to up the amount of pecans slightly, as well as keep some of the pieces on the larger size.]  The pie also keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.  And, the best part?  It is fairly light when compared to traditionally-made holiday pies! 




Oatmeal Pecan Pie
Cooking Light November 2006

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup regular oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 325°.
Roll dough into an 11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute.
Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield:  12 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
CALORIES 311 (33% from fat); FAT 11.3g (sat 3.5g,mono 5g,poly 2.6g); IRON 0.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 30mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51.4g; SODIUM 181mg; PROTEIN 3.2g; FIBER 1g

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Restaurant Roundup: Bangkok Cafe, Foxboro MA

In Foxboro's quiet Foxfield shopping plaza lies an unassuming storefront called Bangkok Cafe.  Once you step inside though, you are in for some flavorful Thai eats and very friendly service!



 
Both the original location in Foxboro and their second in Roslindale, MA have been the subject of local praise and awards in their respective communities.  With the emphasis on big flavors and many vegetables, it is easy to understand why the Roslindale location has even been selected for participation in Boston's BestBites, a program that promotes lighter and healthier options when dining out.

The atmosphere in Foxboro is quiet and relaxing, with a small number of tables and a calm presence.  Might I suggest starting off with a refreshing beverage while you browse their impressive menu?  Bangkok Cafe offers beer and wine, including Thai options Singha beer and Lotus White Wine, and has recently been bestowed with an upgraded liquor license that allows the service of liqueurs and cordials. 

Whet your appetite with a favorite appetizer of mine - Thai Rolls.  Deep fried until crispy, these spring rolls are filled with a finely chopped mixture of chicken, carrots, and vermicelli.  I particularly love the dipping sauces that come with their appetizers and the sweetly flavored sauce that comes with these are no exception.  Also tasty are the Golden Triangles, which are a similar but meatless option, and the Chicken and Beef Satays.



 
No visit to Bangkok Cafe is complete until I have some of their Tom Yum Soup.  In the light but spicy lemongrass broth floats your choice of chicken or shrimp, mushrooms, onions, scallions, and a large baby tomato.  It is a very simple soup but the broth is so delectable, I can't get enough.




With a wide range of lunch and dinner options, it can be a challenge to narrow down what to orderfor your entree.  A recent meal I ate was the Bangkok Basil with beef.  This dish is filled to the brim with bits of beef, mushrooms, peppers, onions, carrots, and basil leaves all served over white rice.  The sauce served over this was a deliciously spicy garlic chile sauce that soaked into the rice, giving the whole dish a fabulously fiery flavor.  Mmm, I am so looking forward to my leftovers!



 
Other main dishes I have tried include the creamy coconut milk sauté of Lemon Grass Chicken, Racha Trio (chicken, beef, and pork tossed all together with a variety of vegetables and a honey plum sauce), and  their spicy Red Curry.  Their Pad Thai has good flavor but I find it to be a tad sticky and dry for my own personal taste. 

Typically, I don't have room for their all homemade desserts but I have tried their ginger ice cream (ice creams not homemade) and it makes for a perfect palate cleanser to cap off a flavorful meal.  I have yet to be let down by the Bangkok Cafe and am glad to have such a wonderfully run and tasty Thai restaurant nearby.

Bangkok Cafe Foxboro is located at 369 Central Street and in Roslindale at 25 Poplar Street.

 
Notes:
*Dine-in, take-out, and catering available
*Major credit cards accepted
*Lunch served until 3pm

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome to MassachusEATS!

Welcome to MassachusEATS!  I’ve created this blog to tackle the myriad of ideas that have been floating around in my head for some time now…

First and foremost, this blog isn't aiming to rate or formally review any restaurants, a la Phantom Gourmet or the Boston Globe's Dining Out.  Nope!  What I hope this blog accomplishes is giving Massachusetts residents (and guests) ideas on where to go in the search for some grub.  I get pretty aggravated when I find myself starving and am four pages deep in Internet listings for places to chow.  I’d like MassachusEATS to become a one-stop spot for inspiration on where to go or what to eat.  Also, sometimes in the search for new, favorite places can get lost in the shuffle.  This is a handy way to “reintroduce” those establishments. 
I do want to point out that I currently live in Southern Massachusetts – Norfolk County, to be exact.  So, while I want to encompass as much of the state as I can (and will strive to do), many restaurant postings will be around my area.  Please don’t let this deter you from visiting the site as I have other fun postings in mind, such as Tasty Tuesday recipe postings (did I mention I also love cooking?); Travel Thursdays, where I will take you outside the borders of Massachusetts; and Fried Days (on, err…Fridays, hahah).
I have some great places and ideas to share with you!  But, I also hope that you will share your thoughts and insight we me as well!  Feel free to comment on posts or email me at massachuseats (at) gmail (dot) com .  Happy eating!  :)