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Feast: 35 at Legal Oysteria

January 23, 2015

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Legal Seafood is a New England institution at this point, but their new addition in Charlestown, Legal Oysteria, is a different concept. Hipper, with a smaller, more current menu, and a bar area that caters to those interested in excellent dirty martinis, kusshi oysters, and lobster risotto teeming with tail meat. As it was also the location for my surprise 35th birthday dinner – a truly fantastic night – I can only give it rave reviews. Great service, cute back room for small parties so you don’t have to scream over the din in the very popular main area, and excellent food. Thank you LO, and thank you to all who celebrated with me!

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Merry Christmas and Early New Year

December 23, 2014

I had a grand plan this year, to bake mountains of cookies and pay really close attention and find one or two that were reliably good (read: that I could make without messing up). But then I got the flu, and all bets were off.

So in lieu of tons of Christmas cookies, I’m making an early new years resolution: to post at least once a week.

For now, here’s a link to a Christmas past – looking forward to sights similar to these in the next few days!

And, here are a few links to previous year’s recipes that would be good in a pinch, should you need last minute holiday appetizer ideas:

Fried Cheese with Lemon
Prosciutto Wrapped Greens
The Artichoke Appetizer

AND, here is a link to a great article by Frank Bruni. It’s about Thanksgiving, but is applies equally to Christmas, especially in my family. Thanks in advance Mom!

 

Food: Hot Chicken Salad

December 6, 2014

It should be criminal that I’ve had this blog for so long without mentioning my mom’s Hot Chicken Salad.  It’s a family favorite and, while it will never be considered “health food,” it is low in carbs/sugar and really delicious. It is best when topped with potato chips, but I didn’t have any on hand, so the below picture has some extra almonds sprinkled on top.

Hot Chicken Salad (serves 2-4) 4
Chicken Breasts (about 2 lbs)
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup mayo (maybe more, depends on how you like your chicken salad)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp tarragon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup celery, chopped
Potato chips for topping (wavy chips are best)

Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken breasts in a shallow pot, pour in chicken broth (make sure all chicken breasts are covered) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, heat until chicken is just cooked (it’s going in the oven later), 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness). Remove chicken from broth, set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix mayo, almonds, celery, lemon juice, tarragon, and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Dice chicken breasts and add to bowl, mix to combine. Spoon mixture into a baking dish, top with remaining cheese, plus extra almonds or potato chips (if you’d like). Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 30-40 minutes until hot.

This goes surprisingly well with the sweet potatoes I posted about recently – and they make it decidedly more healthy.

*Edit* Mom has reminded me that if you top this with chips, do NOT cover it with foil when you bake it- if you do, the chips will wilt!

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Italian Christmas Cookies, Revisited

December 3, 2014

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It’s Christmas! I love the holidays, and all of the food that comes with it. You may not remember the Italian Christmas Cookies I posted about years ago, but I do. Mainly because they are one of the few cookies I’ve made that were not a disaster (see: every other post I’ve made about cookies). I made these again this year, following my recipe, and they tasted good again! Win!* These cookies are dense and chewy, a texture I prefer to crispy. The dough will last in the fridge for a week, and so will the icing.

*I may have set off the fire alarm in the new kitchen while making these, but NOT because I burnt the cookies. New kitchen’s oven might be nicer, but the fire alarms are REAL assholes.

Happy Thanksgiving! Now Go Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon

November 26, 2014

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Happy Thanksgiving! In case you (like me) always find yourself surprised that this holiday has actually arrived, here is a stupidly simple recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less. As long as you have sweet potatoes, you already have the other ingredients in your house. Enjoy it, and make sure to save a plate for the empty seats this holiday season.

Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes – 1 lb per person (for the purposes of this recipe, 4 lbs)
1 cup whole milk (half and half or cream if you prefer)
1/2 cup room temperature butter, cut into pats (you can do this with less butter, but it’s Thanksgiving so chill out)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks of about the same size. Put the chunks in a big pot of water, boil the water, then turn the water down to high but not boiling. It shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes for the potatoes to be fork tender. Once they are, drain the potatoes and return to the pot.  Add 1/2 cup of the milk and all of the butter, mix with a hand mixer or a masher (I prefer a hand mixer with the beaters) – I like it pretty smooth with a few chunks, which just takes 20 second or so of mixing. Add salt and cinnamon, mix just to combine, taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add the rest of the milk. Add more salt and cinnamon to your taste. Voila!

Back in the (New) Kitchen

November 25, 2014

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Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!
Posts to this blog have been spotty at best over the past year (or more), so here’s a quick update/excuse:
Dave Copeland and I got married.
-I opened up the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, MA.
-We went on our honeymoon to Italy for 2 weeks (and ate our faces off).
-We bought a house, which MEANS we have a brand new kitchen for me to cook in!

In the foreground of today’s picture, you can see the table that my family had dinner on every night when my brother and I were growing up. The fact that it now lives in my house, and that I now get to serve dinner on it, is very special. Thanks to my mom and dad for keeping it in such good condition, and for giving it to us.

Here’s to many wonderful meals on our old table in our new kitchen!

 

Happy Halloween! (From, The Great Pumpkin)

October 30, 2014

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