Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Fried-Day! (June edition)

Another high cholesterol inducing Fried-Day is finally here! Whoop whoop!

Nah, that's not the treat of the month. Dollars simply aren't eligible for Fried-Days...they don't have a high enough fat and calorie content.

But what does have both of those (and more) is yet another treat brought to you by the masterminds at the Big E, home of the previously celebrated deep fried butter and Oreos

A deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

classic PB&J, too - none of them gourmet versions what with their whole grain bread, hand-ground peanut butter, and homemade jam. Nope, if you're gonna go trashy, you gotta stay true to them roots. White bread, smooth hydrogenated peanut butter, and sloppy gloppy jelly. Ohhhh yeahhhhh!

Tell me about your ideal PB&J!

Click HERE for some more Fried-Day sins!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MassachusEATS in Vermont!

Well, I'm back - fresh off of a couple of days in Vermont with my favorite babe! :)

We stayed at the Sunset Bed & Breakfast on Main Street in Burlington. Nancy (the owner) was so pleasant, the house was very cozy, and we had a prime location - smack dab between both the waterfront and Church Street. If you need a place to stay while in town, it is worth checking Sunset out! 

Each day, we had a tour lined up. Sunday found us on a five hour German beer tour! We quaffed about 20 different brews, tried some fabulous German sausages and schnitzel, and met some cool people. 

On Monday, we stopped by the Ben & Jerry's factory for a quick tour and to snag some cold treats. The sample of the day was a Waterbury exclusive: Strawberry Bliss - strawberry ice cream with white chocolate bits and a fudge swirl.

Before heading home on Tuesday, we swung by the Cabot Cheese factory for another tour and a few too many samples! I was in cheese heaven.

Aside from all the eating and drinking on the tours, we somehow found plenty of time to try out many local restaurants and bars. Rich truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates...cheesy flatbread from American Flatbread...enormous crepes from The Skinny Pancake...and one of the best breakfasts I've had in a long time at Penny Cluse Cafe.

Not to worry, full reviews coming on the tours and some of the restaurants. ;)
Stay hungry!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Odds 'n' Ends

Just a few quickie updates that I wanted to throw out there:

#1: This weekend is the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party! Three days of some of the world's best barbecue is happening over at City Hall Plaza in Boston. Entry tickets are $10 [plus the cost of food], so head on over and check it out. You know where I'll be! 

(If you can't get there, definitely check back here at MassachusEATS for a recap.)

#2: I'm heading up to Vermont for a few days of mini-vacation! My babe and I have some fun stuff planned, including a German brew tour! I'll be sure to keep you all posted on any tasty treats I find in my travels. ;)

#3: If you get bored or lonely while I'm gone (kidding!), then check out one of my favorite websites - Scandybars. I've been reading the site since the beginning and today happens to be their one year anniversary!

I hope you all have a great weekend and see ya in a few days!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIAW #20 and Make It: Unbelievable Chicken

I can't believe this is my twentieth time participating in What I Ate Wednesday! I know that's not much compared to some of you - or, obviously, compared to the fabulous WIAW creator, Jenn - but I like to celebrate stuff...and this is certainly as good as anything to cheer about. ;)

Make sure to stop by the WIAW party and check out all the good eats!

Breakfast: Egg whites; English muffin w/ PB and chia seeds; Black Velvet apricots

The Black Velvet apricots were sort of like a cross between an apricot and a plum. Plus, they were so cute and tiny that I couldn't resist buying them! 

Lunch: Burger w/ cheese; salad

Nothing fancy here, since it was thrown together on a whim before work one day. I usually pack a lunch the night before but sometimes get a bit lazy. Then, while rushing around the next morning, I'm kicking myself for not taking that extra 5 minutes the night before. The procrastinator in me lives on.

Dinner: Unbelievable Chicken skewers; Wild and Brown Rice Salad

Yes, that is the title of the chicken and yes, they lived up to their name! The marinade was excellent - very full of flavor and would even make a great salad dressing. I snagged the recipe on a cooking forum I belong to and am now forever indebted to the original poster. This will definitely be in my summer grilling rotation. Meanwhile, the rice salad was pretty decent but not earth shattering. Certainly a solid weeknight side dish. If anyone is interested, here's the link.

Unbelievable Chicken

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons prepared coarse-ground mustard
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil [I used ~3 1/2 tablespoons]
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves [I cut mine into large chunks]

1. In a large glass bowl, mix the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Place chicken in the mixture; cover and marinate 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. [At this point, I threaded my chicken chunks onto skewers.]
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the prepared grill, and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Discard marinade. [Honestly, I didn't time how long my chicken skewers took - I just go by eye.]

And since this month's WIAW theme was all about sensible snacking, I'm going to share a couple of my latest snack attacks. I don't have a pic but I'm totally obsessed with cuke slices topped with the chipotle flavored Laughing Cow! And....

Raspberries, kiwi, and tangerine fruit salad

Sprouted multi-grain toast & almond butter w/ roasted flaxseeds

Greek yogurt, especially this flavor!

Okay, so I had to sneak in one unhealthier don't mind, right? ;)

Happy WIAW friends! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beer, cheese, and chocolate!

(Jeez, where can I sign up for Blogging Titles 101?)

A couple Saturdays ago, my babe and I went to a fundraiser for the Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL), an organization that aids homeless animals in Rhode Island. I love animals, especially dogs, so this was something I was more than happy to support! Owners could get their pets micro-chipped for cheap, snag a pet goodie bag, and enjoy some live music. 

I am currently petless unfortunately, so you might wonder why I was there. Well, a portion of the event was called Pints for Paws, a local craft beer tasting. Makes more sense now, doesn't it? ;)

I tried almost twenty different beers, from a whole host of local breweries. Many of which were brews I've wanted to try but was a bit gun shy on purchasing a 6-pack, when I wasn't sure if I'd be into it. My hands-down favorite was Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. It was fantastic! (Haha, upon looking it up, it was the only non-local beer there.)

Of course, after quaffing many refreshing beverages, one gets hungry. Luckily, two RI food trucks were on hand to stop our grumbling tummies!

Poco Loco is "the best damn taco truck in town." However, I can't vouch for that since I didn't have a chance to try their tacos. My heart was stolen by a quesadilla - the Chorizadilla, to be exact. Oh my lord, I am drooling just thinking about it. Chorizo & potato hash, Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, and corn salsa. Oh, and mine also included bacon could add bacon to anything and why wouldn't I take em up on that offer?! My newest mission in life is to follow this truck around and eat this daily. Or, at the very least, to somehow make a fabulous rendition at home.

Fancheezical was also there, with a delicious array of grilled cheeses. Seriously, is there anything better than a toasty grilled cheese? Whether you snag one of their original sandwiches or build your own, I guarantee you'll be a happy camper. We gobbled up The Hill: Tuscan bread topped with melty provolone & asiago cheeses, fresh pesto, and tomatoes. Mmmmm!

Right before leaving the event, we noticed that a little cart had just shown up. PVD Pops, a pudding pop stand! One of my favorite summertime treats is a fudgcicle so, naturally, I had to get one. They are made in small batches, right in Providence, using local cream/milk. Super creamy and tasty!

One fabulous day! :)

What is your favorite food truck?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Make It: Chocolate Chip-Oreo Cookies

The past week or so, I've been going through my fridge and pantry in an effort to use up some of the ingredients that have been languishing around awhile, taking up precious real estate. On the tip top shelf of my pantry, I came across the leftover Oreos from the cookies n cream popcorn a few weeks ago... 

Cookies meet popcorn

And I got to thinking, "Sure, I could just eat these straight up" but I had the day off and was just bumming around the house. I decided that baking would be a worthy use of my time! I hadn't made cookies in quite awhile and conveniently had half a bag of mini chocolate chips just chilling out in the pantry, so I set to work making a batch of Chocolate Chip-Oreo Cookies.

Cookies meet...cookies

Woah, double cookies! What does this mean?! [ That one's for you, babe ;) ] Read on to find out!

Chocolate Chip-Oreo Cookies
makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips [Totally use whatever amount you want or even bigger chips - anything goes!]
15 Oreos, coarsely crushed 

1. Preheat oven to 325*F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. [Alternatively, grease sheets.]
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In second bowl, melt the butter. Cream in both sugars until well mixed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until creamy. Beat in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.
4. Add the chips and crushed Oreos and mix well.
5. Using heaping tablespoonfuls, drop the dough onto the sheets.
6. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
7. Cool on sheets 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Let cool completely...or don't, because they are hella good when warm!

What're you still reading this post for? Get in the kitchen! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIAW #19

Well, it might be called What I Ate Wednesday but I'm gonna be sharing my Sunday noms with you guys this week. It was a bit different of a Sunday since my babe and I were out 'n' about all day long and so we ate every meal out. That certainly doesn't happen often! Especially because, as you'll see, I have a hard time keeping it healthy when I'm out to eat. Oops.

But! We also didn't snack at all (shocking, I know) so I can't really follow this month's theme. Next week, I'll share some of my healthy snacks...and a healthier WIAW...with yas. ;)

Breakfast: Kielbasa & American cheese omelette; home fries; English muffin w/ butter; glass of OJ

We started our morning off at the Bristol Square Cafe in Walpole. My brother works here but was off on Sunday, so no cookin' from him. :( If you're ever in the area, grab a quick bite here! Really awesome breakfast & lunch and great prices.

Lunch: “Joe” Mamma’s Steak Wrap; French fries

Before I say anything else, look at my fries. This is the way to do fries, people! #happydance  The steak in my wrap was pretty bomb, too! Peppers, onions, and mushrooms rounded out the sandwich. This is from Joe Sent Me in Waltham...grab yourself a seat on the back patio in the nice weather.

Dinner: Baby back ribs (in Dixie Kiss sauce); mac n cheese; BBQ baked beans; cornbread

YUM! I am definitely a ribs girl...messy food always tastes the best. If you wanna find out more about this meal and where it's from, check out my latest review post!

You're turn! I'm off to stalk some blogs. Have a terrific day! :)

How do you spell it: omelet or omelette?
While we're on the subject, what about: gray or grey?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Restaurant Roundup: Firefly's Bodacious Bar-B-Que

After hearing rave reviews on the Phantom Gourmet, I finally got my first taste of Firefly's Bodacious Bar-B-Que a couple of months ago at - fittingly - a Phantom Gourmet event. We were treated to pulled pork sliders, sweet potato-pecan pudding, and their own cucumber salad. And was it ever good! Since then, I've been dying to check out the restaurant and see what other tasty dishes I could dig into...

Framingham location

Whew, what a task that ended up being. The menu is full of tempting dishes and it was pretty hard to narrow it down. In the end, I decided I had to go with the baby back ribs! I ordered a 1/2 slab platter of ribs with mac n cheese, BBQ baked beans, and a hunk of cornbread. Hey, go big or go home, right? ;)


Upon ordering, you'll be asked which sauce you'd like. There's five options, so pick wisely! I topped my ribs with their Dixie Kiss sauce and they were finger lickin' good. If you aren't good at making decisions though, Firefly's offers a free condiments bar and all 5 of the sauces are there to sample, as well.

Beelzebar was pretty good, too.

Ooh, and for the spicy heat lover, be sure to check out their hot sauce wall. There are several shelves of varying heat levels and hilarious bottles - enjoy deciding which to use. For the true daredevil, sign their waver form and shake some Mad Dog 666 onto your meal!

Pick your poison.

Feelin' hot, hot hot!

Lucky for me, I was out to dinner with my babe so I could steal some bites of his dinner. (Of course I shared, too!) He got the Jamaican Jerk Chicken with an ear of corn, the amazing sweet potato-pecan pudding, and cornbread.

The salsa made this!

The chicken was SO good, especially with the pineapple salsa on top. And it irritates me that I cannot find jerk chicken recipe like this one online. Most of the ones I've made are more "dirty tasting" with lots of allspice and thyme. Anyone care to share theirs??

Firefly's awesome cucumber salad.

Bacon hot sauce?! 

We were far too full to entertain the idea of dessert, but don't let that stop you! The I Want S'More Cake sounds fabulous. In fact, it is definitely on my radar for my next visit...after I snag the Candy Lacquered Bacon & Pineapple pizza. :D

Firefly's is located at 235 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham MA (next to Stop & Shop) and 350 East Main Street, Marlborough MA.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WIAW #18

Happy Wednesday everyone! This is gonna be a short and sweet WIAW post for me today so apologies in advance. :)

Breakfast: Egg whites; sprouted multi-grain toast w/ PB&J and chia seeds; raspberries

Loving this multi-grain sprouted bread that I picked up at Trader Joe's last week - it toasts up fabulously.

Snack: Nakd Cocoa Loco bar

While I liked the banana bread flavor a hair better, these Nakd bars are pretty awesome. They're made with all natural and real ingredients - no crap in em! I won these in Marisa's British foods giveaway and am now hoping I can track them down in a store near me. *crossing my fingers*

Lunch: Spinach Salad w/ all sorts of yummies; marinated chicken [unpictured]

I spotted this RecipeGirl recipe on Pinterest and immediately pinned it. And I'm ever so glad that I did! There was so much going on in it - spinach, fresh corn, sweet tomatoes, creamy avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts - that it made quite the interesting salad. I ate my chicken on the side, rather than in it - I didn't think that the salad dressing and my marinated chicken would work well together. ;)

Snack: Fruit salad; spoonful of natural peanut butter

Cherries, blueberries, and grapes, oh my! Sometimes the simplest snacks are the very best.

Dinner: Cobb Salad with all the good stuff [unpictured]

My best friend and I were going to go to Bar Louie for their $1 burger night tonight, but the place was paaaacked. So, we ended up over at Red Robin...with a couple of salads. Lol :) Guess I was in a big salad mood today, huh?

Have a great Wednesday WIAWers!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Winner, Winner, British Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, I got an unexpected email from Marisa at The College Cuisiner, telling me that I'd won her giveaway! I was pretty pumped because I rarely win anything...not giveaways, not raffles, not the lottery, nothin'.

A bit later, a package of fun British treats showed up on my doorstep! :)

Alongside some Earl Gray tea and Cadbury hot chocolate (chocolate!), the Nakd bars especially called out to me because of their short and all-natural ingredient list. Everything in the bars is raw and found in nature; they even list the ingredient percentage breakdown, which was neat.

The banana bread flavor tasted great and had a wonderful soft texture. I can't wait to rip into the cocoa loco one! I've gotta look in the stores around here and see if I can track these bars down... And how interesting does that apple & sultana flapjack bar sound?! [Sultanas are a kind of white grape - thanks Wikipedia!]

The package also included the cutest - and sweetest! - card and Simon Hope's cookbook, Entertaining with Friends: Vegetarian Recipes for All Occasions. I'm always excited to check out new cookbooks, so I started thumbing through it right away. 

The book has lots of different recipes and menus, so it will totally come in handy for parties. I definitely want to make both the Rellenos and the Sesame & Potato Croquettes soon. So,be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some of these recipes!

Thanks again, Marisa! :D

Make sure to stop by Marisa's blog at The College Cuisiner!