Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let's play catch up

So I've been a bad blogger - haven't been on for awhile... Here are some photos to catch you up on what's been going on:

I've made crêpes a few times the past couple of months :)

Beautiful fall....

...complete with a beautiful mocha :)

A Ramos Gin Fizz - so tasty!

Yes, this tree is *in* my office building on the 4th floor 

More fall

And more fall...

And still more fall :)

I went to a local pub to watch the Carrier Classic (UNC's opening game of the season) with the Alumni Group

Christmas lights!

One of my new favorite food trucks - it's over near Chinatown

Chicken sandwich with chicken chips (they take the skin and dry it out so it's crispy like bacon)

BBQ pork taco - only $3 and it's AMAZING

Can't make a morning much better than this - mocha + free Christmas song

There's an app for that! You point your phone at the characters on your coffee cup and then it animates them!

PETER PAN!!!!!!!

Inside - I found out shortly after this picture was taken that photos are against the was such a gorgeous and fun set! The white screen on the top went 360 degrees and projected scenes like the characters were flying through the air or swimming in the water - too cool!

Skyping with the fam on Thanksgiving - aren't they gorgeous?!

On a walk with Adanna around Harvard Square

Thought of you, Dad, when I saw this beauty :)

Diesel cafe - bar none the best mocha I've ever tasted

Aldo and Cullen - the birthday boys!

Probably one of my favorite pictures ever... I call it 'The Confused Birthday Unicorn"

This is the 30 foot Christmas tree on the Macy's roof

My first experience with escargot (nope, didn't have it in all that time I was in France, believe it or not!).... I went with Daron to a fondue restaurant that featured a 10-course tasting menu and this was one of the courses... I only ended up having one escargot - you just have to not think about it while you're chewing...ick.

Daron went out to Best Buy on Black Friday and found the ENTIRE Friends series for only $9/season!!!! I got them all... :-D

There was a tree lighting ceremony in the Boston Commons and this is the actual lighting (complete with fireworks)

Sunset over the city - love it here :)

My EP family went to Sunday Brunch at East by Northeast and it was a Dim Sum Brunch. First course - edamame with a lime sauce and scallions

Scallion pancake sandwich, fried egg, house cured pancetta, and an apple butter dipping sauce 

Rice noodle hash, potatoes, fresh garlic sausage, egg, butternut squash, sweet bean sauce

Aww we're so cute - Kyla (1 year at Connect), Erik (EP graduate), me (6 months at Connect), and Adam (1.5 months at Connect)

We were walking back from brunch and happened upon a travel agency (did you know they still have those?) complete with model airplanes, faded flags from countries around the world, a computer that looked like it was straight from 1995, and - get ready for this - a typewriter! This place looked like it was from the wrong decade and it was great!

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake I get when I go home for Christmas...but only if I'm good! ;-) Dad made this and it looks SPECTACULAR!

Christmas baking!

I quadrupled the recipe.... French Breakfast Muffins!

Finished product!

So yep, that's a sampling of the fun stuff I've been up to for the past month. I can't wait to go home for Christmas!!!!!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Food Hall of Fame

Today was Celebration Dinner with my EP Challenge group - Kyla, Laurence, Cullen, and Radek.

You all know I love food. Like...a lot. But I can't even begin to describe the pure elation and joy I experienced while dining at L'Espalier. This meal has got to be in my Top 3 Best Meals of All Time. Ok Top 2. The pictures say it all...

We started out with these little nibbles brought to us on a stone slate. On the left is a cheese puff...but not just any cheese puff. This cheese puff was golden and flaky... This cheese puff was fresh from the oven but not so hot that it burned your mouth. This cheese puff was filled with a crumbly goat cheese (if that texture is possible to create - it was done here). On the right is a dehydrated bagel (had no idea you could do this) with amazing flavors on top (couldn't tell you what they were to save my'll discover that throughout the rest of the post).

The restaurant was on the 2nd floor of the building, so you can see out the background the view of Boylston Street. We ordered a lovely Spanish Zinfandel and in the little bulb glass is fresh apple cider that accompanied the nibbles shown above. Real candles, too - not those fake electric ones that are made to seem like candles. 

Lobster bisque shooter with a piece of lobster on a crisp came next...

And then my first course. Official menu description:

Coddled Farmer’s egg with Prosciutto di Parma, broccoli 
puree, Apple Street Farm pickled peppers; Vermont 

A close up of the foam and broccoli and flower (sigh of happiness here)

Main course. Official description: 

Pineland Farms prime beef sirloin with potato gratin, 
bone marrow and feuille de brick envelope; parsley root 

We decided to share all 5 desserts...good choice. 

Green apple soft mousse sphere with saffron 
coconut, coconut cake, calvados caviar,                    
and tarragon ice cream

I couldn't try this one because of the banana, but it looked delicious. It was brought to the table with the chocolate cylinder intact and once the waiter described the dish, he took a knife to break the shell and let the flavors spill out onto the plate. Description: 

Chocolate banana macadamia bread pudding with 
crème anglaise, and milk chocolate sorbet

My second favorite dessert. The foam on top of the cake was spectacular!

Carrot cake with pumpkin mousse, black currant 
mascarpone, and ricotta ice cream 

My absolute *favorite*:

Milk chocolate caramel soufflé with caramel 
financier, and Gianduja ice cream

The most whimsical: 

Compressed Asian pear with white chocolate,           
tonka bean meringue, bergamot custard,            
and Earl Grey ice cream 

And to complete the night, as we walked out the door, they gave us each a parting gift....attached to a coupon for 20% off my next lunch visit! And you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be taking advantage of that...

The service was phenomenal - where do I begin to describe the minute details of the service I experienced??? The waiters helped seat us by pulling out our chairs and pushing them in under us. When someone left the table a waiter came to fold their napkin and place it back on the table. Our wine glasses were constantly refilled (but not overly so) until the bottle was finished. I was escorted to the ladies room. Cullen had table side service to assemble his main course of Wild Scottish Partridge. They noticed that Radek didn't like the lobster bisque shooter and so they brought him a substitute without being asked. In between courses a server came out to scoop the crumbs off the table using what looked like a silver serving dish that had been cut in half. All of the dishes were described flawlessly... The bread kept coming (the pretzel roll was delicious!)....

I really couldn't ask for a better celebratory dinner with my EPC group. What a spectacular way to end this Quarterly Challenge!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last of Mom and Benjamin's Visit

So these are the last little bit from Mom and Benjamin's visit... We had so much fun! It was great weather, good food, awesome things to do.... I can't wait for their next visit! :)

Haha silly baby brother :)

Crème Brûlée...'nough said

QUICHE - so light and fluffy!

Roasted lamb with goat cheese and tomato chutney 

All from Flour Baker!

Haha look at the awesome payphones in Chinatown!

Who could that be???

Why hello there Benjamin :)

Mom's turn!

So excited to get to play at the park 

Beacon Hill

The Bay

What a gorgeous city! (That's George Washington)

Love the fall colors :)

Can't get enough of it!

I love the going from red to green

Old building

More fall colors :)

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