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.

*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!  :)