Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIAW #37

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


This year's pumpkin - Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko, one of my favorite movies. Photographing jack-o-lanterns is difficult!!


If you're looking for something spooky to whip up tonight, might I suggest a heapin' helpin' of Dirt? Don't forget the gummy worms! ;)

Well, for the last two days I've been on a cleaning binge. Huge fridge and pantry purging, weeding through my closet, and getting rid of all those piles of papers that seem to crop up ever so quickly. So, when I came across a couple pieces of tarnished jewelry, I was already on my A game. Problem was: I didn't have any jewelry cleaner...and I sure as heck wasn't running out into the rain just to get some. 

Instead, I queried good ol' Google for a solution and found one using items I already keep on hand - aluminum foil and baking soda. Throw in some boiling water and you got yourself some shiny silver! Click HERE for the super simple (and chemical-free!) directions.


Anyways, happy WIAW! I've got another yummy paleo-filled day of eats for you, including a couple of new found paleo approved products.

Breakfast: Egg whites with avocado and tomato


Lunch: Yep, that's my usual salad (the chicken is unpictured) and half an acorn squash with coconut butter, salt & pepper

Dinner: Turkey tacos (seasoned with homemade taco seasoning), served up on coconut wraps

I feel like every paleo substitute ever is made using coconuts haha. Anyways, I recently discovered these two new items:

Earth Balance's Coconut Spread and Improveat's Pure Wraps.

The coconut spread tastes great (not overly coconutty) and it melts just like dairy butter. I haven't used it in baking yet but will update the blog when I do. And the wraps are a pretty good substitute for "normal" wraps. They are very thin and have a slightly strange texture at first, but I quickly adjusted to them and am now a fan. They are made from only coconut meat, coconut water, and Himalayan salt. :)

Have a spooky day!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Instagram


Part of my 80s rocker costume for Sunday's Halloween wedding! So much fun :)

Follow me on Instagram: @massachusEATS

Monday, October 29, 2012

Make It: Dirt

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I've spent the better part of today hanging out in the kitchen! This is by no means a bad thing.


A paleo sausage-veggie soup is simmering away, an acorn squash was roasted, lunches are prepped for the week, and mini paleo pumpkin breads, sprinkled with pepitas, just came outta the oven.


Yep, its been a productive day in my jammies. But I figured it was time to take a cooking break and devote some attention to my blog! And I realized I hadn't even shared anything really Halloween-y, which is ridiculous considering it is the bestest holiday ever.

So, today I wanted to share my Dirt recipe. Because mine is the absolute best. Sorry for the brag but its true. No mere concoction of just pudding and Oreos here - mine is a bit more elaborate and ALL the more delicious.

I'll never forget the first time I was introduced to Dirt as a kid. Someone brought it to a party in a giant flower pot with a little trowel for serving. I decided to be a bit more meta and put my dirt in the dirt. ;)

Dirt

1 stick butter
1 large package Oreos, coarsely crushed
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 large box instant pudding (chocolate or vanilla)
Milk, amount according to pudding box

1. Melt butter and mix with half of the crushed Oreos. Press into a 9x13 pan to create a rough crust in the bottom.
2. Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half of the Cool Whip until smooth. Spread over the crust evenly.
3. Prepare pudding as directed on the box. Smooth over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
4. Spread remaining Cool Whip over the pudding layer. Sprinkle with remaining crushed Oreos. Don't forget the gummy worms! ;)

Okay, time to catch up on some reading. Hope everyone stays safe!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIAW #36

I was reading through an issue of Woman's World magazine and stumbled across an article about volunteering. Turns out, I'm part of the 73% of people who say "lack of time or money is holding us back from lending a hand." Unfortunately, that's an absolutely true statistic. Luckily, the article had some great ideas on how to help without needing bucket loads of cash or required lots of your time. One of my favorites was Charitii.com, which has been in operation since 2008.


On Charitii, you solve simple word puzzles and, for each correct answer given, a donation is given to your selected charity. There are different charities available through the site, including charity:water, Invisible Youth Network, The Nature Conservancy, The Oaktree Foundation, and the Philippine Aid Society. So, choose the one you'd like to donate to and answer away - super easy, right? While I still want to actually get out there and personally volunteer, by playing five minutes a day I'm still contributing something!

Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now and let's switch gear to the ever so wonderful What I Ate Wednesday!



I was rushing around trying to get ready for work so I threw my usual egg whites into a bowl with avocado and tomato chunks. Oh, and obviously a ton of black pepper...addicted to that stuff. A fruit leather thingamajig rounded off breakfast.


Roasted apples and baby Brussels sprouts made for a very different snack today. I like the baby Brussels better than the normal sized because they don't have that tough core. Plus, they're so little and cute!


I carnivored up my usual lunchtime salad with a buncha steak. Om nom!


This paleo-ized egg salad went great with another smaller (steak-less) salad at dinner. I pretty much made the egg salad the same way as paleo chicken salad, seen HERE.


"Ice cream" made with frozen bananas and strawberries was a nice post-dinner treat!

Enjoy your day and happy WIAW! :)
(Note: Charitii.com 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.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Instagram


An autumn view of the historic Charles River, taken at the South Natick Dam.

Follow me on Instagram: @massachuseats

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frank Pepe Pizzeria

This past Saturday night, my best friend and I went to Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for the Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson show. (Yeah, metal! \m/)


We already knew it was gonna be a great night...then we realized something: Mohegan is home to a Frank Pepe Pizzeria! As a veritable pizza addict, this was music to my ears. Frank Pepe is home to some of the best pizza I've ever eaten. And believe me when I say I eat a lot of the stuff.


Last October I visited the original New Haven, CT location and it was the first time I got my hands on a slice of Pepe's, after hearing my babe talk about how great it was. And let's just say that I was not disappointed. In fact, it was obsession after that first bite of Margherita. 

Whatta gorgeous pie!

Perfectly thin and crispy crust, slightly blackened in spots thanks to a giant coal-fired brick oven. Excellent tomato sauce that was neither too acidic nor too sweet. And you all already know my views on cheese. ;)

Where the magic happens.

So, needless to say, I was pretty psyched to enjoy a pre-show dinner here. We snagged ourselves an Original Tomato Pie with Mozzarella, a fancy-schmancy name for a cheese pizza. I'm one of those people who totally loves "burnt" food, so the crust was screaming my name. Obviously this was a super paleo meal. ;)

A little too excited for a slice before snapping a pic.

As one of the more famous and beloved pizza joints in the country, Frank Pepe is thought to be the originator of New Haven-style pizza. Seafood lovers will love their renowned specialty White Clam pizza. So be sure to stop by and try a slice of history! (Ha, pun definitely intended.)

The original Frank Pepe's is located at 157/163 Wooster Street, New Haven CT.
Find other locations HERE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beervana 2012

Last night my babe and I hit up Rhode Island's "Ultimate Craft Beer Fest" at Beervana 2012

Their mission? To enlighten & educate the community for the responsible appreciate of craft beer. Well, that was certainly possible with over 150 different kinds of craft brews available for tasting. 

Our mission? Try as many as possible! And while we made quite a dent, we unfortunately didn't try them all.

Sadly, I was a very bad blogger and didn't really take any pictures of the event or beers. You could say that I was a little bit preoccupied with getting my sampling glass refilled multiple times... ;)

The crowd.

A couple of new delicious finds were Brooklyn Brewery's Crochett Rouge Riesling, where you could totally taste the wine-y influence, and the Double White from Long Trail, which was very drinkable. There were a variety of sour beers there which was fun to try since I rarely pick them up - the Grey Sail Brewing Company's experimental sour pumpkin beer, "Gourdemyces", was my favorite of those. And a peach flavored brew from Belgium's Brasserie Dubuisson reminded me of peach schnapps...a bad thing for some but I was a fan. I also reaffirmed my view on porters - yuck, not for me!

In love with this shirt graphic - I'd love it as a poster!

The fest had a super fun vibe since everyone was such a jovial mood. Only about 1,000 tickets were sold so the large venue never felt too crowded and lines were fairly short. There were a couple of seminars for those extremely interested in learning more. There was a popcorn stand with spicy popcorn. Yep, you better believe that I hope to attend next year!

No, we didn't coordinate our shirts, like we were asked by a random dude.


Are you a fellow beer drinker? Check out "my tab" over on Untappd, the beer enthusiasts app!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Fried-Day! (October edition)

Apple picking and leaf peeping are two of the more ubiquitous New England-y "must do's" once fall rolls around. But do you know the third?

Why, noshing apple cider doughnuts, of course!

These little loves are from Honey Pot Hill in Stow, MA

Simply put, these adorably small cake doughnuts are amazing! Their batter is brimming with tangy apple cider and a host of autumn-y spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. After they're shaped, the doughnuts take a dip into the deep fryer where their slightly crunchy crust is formed, all the while keeping their insides airy and tender. 

Oh, and the best part is: after the doughnuts are drained, they're rolled around in cinnamon-sugar. True, you can get them plain but honestly, don't bother. If you're gonna be putting away a few doughnuts anyway, just go for broke and get them coated!

Om nom nom!

{ If you can't find apple cider doughnuts near you, have no fear! Make your own homemade ones with Smitten Kitchen's recipe HERE. }

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIAW #35

So there was a couple of days last week that my eating paleo kind of took a backseat. I had a feast at LOCO Tapas with my best friend one night...out for Mexican with my babe another evening...and a plateful of butternut squash ravioli washed down with a couple of Shipyards reminded me it was fall. Oh, and this behemoth DEFINITELY happened:


What??? Birthdays are a valid excuse, right? ;)

Anyway, so I've been trying to get back on track this week. It was certainly a delicious few cheat days but I think my body was more than happy that I started treating it right again!




Is this the new usual breakfast? In the course of doing these WIAW posts, I've come to realize that I totally get stuck on certain breakfasts for quite awhile. First it was oatmeal with cookie butter and banana. Next came eggs and avocados. Apparently it is now egg whites, a two-ingredient pancake, and fruit [blackberries, on this day]. Served up on this day with a cup of my new favorite tea: Bigelow Green Tea w/ Pomegranate.



Well, obviously I'm sticking with the usual lunch, too - always that same salad with cukes, tomatoes, and chicken. BUT...today I had something new with it! Paleo Pumpkin Risotto, found over on Clean Food, Creative Fitness. It was my first time making any kind of cauliflower rice and I thought that it came out pretty well. My next head of cauli is already earmarked for "fried rice."


Dinner ended up being much more amazing than I was anticipating...and much more than this picture shows. This paleo chicken and veggie stir-fry had the BEST sauce and was an excellent combo of chicken, carrots, zucchini, peppers, and asparagus, all topped off with tomatoes after cooking. I only wish that I had pineapple chunks and water chestnuts to throw in there. Ah well, next time...which is probably be sooner rather than later.
*In case you missed it, check out the funny food news post from yesterday!*
Happy WIAW everyone! Have a nice day! :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Funny food news

Like many people, I spend plenty of time surfin' around the internet. Much of that time is spent looking at food porn and recipes...and gaining ten pounds just by looking at all the sinful things I want to make. Curse you, calories!

Every so often, I'm distracted by a completely insane headline. Here are a couple of recent ones:

I think I could definitely come up with a few other purchases I'd make before buying up an expired jug of Mickey D's sauce...

...like this 14,740 pound salad. Hey babe, this makes your lunch salad (aka "The Pounder") look puny! ;P

The original Turducken - a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey - is definitely some genius gluttony at its finest! Then, someone shared this recipe on a cooking forum I belong to. I thought it was hilarious and actually pretty awesome with its twelve layers of cheeses, cured meats, nuts, fruits, and herbs. #dontjudge

Haha ohh world, you are ridiculously fabulous.

What funny food news have you seen lately?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And the winner is....

Last Thursday, I asked everyone to help pick my birthday cake. A BIG thank you to everyone that chimed in with their vote...and an even BIGGER one for all of the sweet birthday wishes! You all rock! :D

Without further ado, the cakey winner was Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body's Seven Layer S'mores Cake!

(Photo hers)

I was secretly hoping that this would be the winner! Just look at all of those fabulous layers. Not to mention that every possible flavor was present and accounted for in this monstrous ten pounder: brownie, chocolate chip cookie, cheesecake, graham crackers, marshmallow, and chocolate. Seriously, can you get any batter...ahem, better?!

I'm not a great cake froster - oh well.

The cake totally took hours to create but it was worth all of the time, effort, money spent on ingredients, and dirty dishes! 

Just some of the ingredients needed for this behemoth.

I pretty much followed all of the directions and recipes given on the original blogger's page, only changing a couple of things. My first change was baking all the individual layers in a 9x13 pan, since I didn't have two smaller springform pans. So I only ended up with one layer each of the brownie, cookie, and cheesecake rather than two. The cake was still impressively tall while being easier to cut into and having more to share.



Before I stacked my cake, I cut off the edges of the baked layers. (I ended up topping my cake off with the crumbled brownie and cookie crusts.) My other change was just in how I layered everything. Brownie, marshmallow, graham cracker, chocolate frosting, cookie, marshmallow, graham cracker, marshmallow, cheesecake, chocolate frosting for those keeping tabs. 

This amazing cake certainly isn't for the faint of heart. It is incredibly rich and filling. Not to mention full of calories, fat, and sugar. But we won't mention that because we all know birthday calories don't count! :)

Thanks again to everyone for voting...if I could send you all a piece, I totally would! <3

[Please visit Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body's post for the delicious recipe and directions.]

You'll be called a Cake Master - I guarantee it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Decisions, decisions

Today's the big day. My birthday!  

Seriously, being a Libra really makes decisions tough...ya know, what with having to carefully weigh and agonize over each and every option. If I could, I'd probably make ten desserts. But I can't be doing that...so I need your help deciding which birthday cake I should make! 


 Yes, I'm making my own cake. That way I can have exactly what I want...even if it isn't necessarily a cake in the end. Plus, I just love baking so why wouldn't I make my own. Especially because it doesn't have to be a paleo dessert cuz we all know nutrition and calories don't count on your birthday, right? ;)

Anyway, after consulting my bazillion pins on Pinterest, here are the contenders. Let me know in the comments which option you think I should whip up this weekend! (Recipes and sources are linked below each photo.)

Number 1:
Thyme For Food's Chocolate Butter Cake with Cookies & Cream Filling and Chocolate Buttercream

Number 2:
Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body's Seven Layer S'mores Cake

Number 3: 
Taste of Home's Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

Number 4:
Get Off Your Butt and...Bake's Hot Fudge Oreo Cupcakes [with ice cream in 'em]

Number 5:
Better Homes and Gardens's Marbled Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies

Apparently someone likes chocolate, huh?

Okay, vote away........

I'll be sure to post pics & a review of whatever ends up getting made. :)

Thanks for your opinions - I really do appreciate them! <3


Editing to add: The votes are in! See which treat helped me celebrate my day o' birth HERE.