Firebrand Saints

Firebrand Saints in Kendall Square is a reliable choice for a quick bite that’s going to leave you satisfied and without regrets. On Halloween night, we were lucky to stop by during a Pretty Things pint night (you get to keep the glass for each Pretty Things beer you order!). The service is always speedy and the food never disappoints!

Lamb & Sirloin Burger: spicy pickles, frisee & harissa aioli

Lamb & Sirloin Burger: spicy pickles, frisee & harissa aioli

Nuts about Fastachi

If you’re a nut lover, you must stop by Fastachi! After seeing the “salted walnuts in the shell” week after week at my local farmer’s market, I finally bought a bag. I was definitely skeptical, wondering whether or not the salt would get into the shell, but it does and the flavor is fantastic.


Artepicure – Brunch Class

IMG_0937Artepicure is a cooking school in Somerville, MA run by Mark DesLauriers. The classes are small, usually limited to 8 people and it’s BYOB if you please. My first experience at Artepicure was the French couples cooking class. I fell in love with the space immediately, the class was fun, and I left full and happy. The evening classes usually end pretty late (I don’t think I left the French cooking class until 11pm) so I decided to try the brunch class next in order to leave at a reasonable hour.

Course 1: Tomato and goat cheese tart

Course 2: Buttermilk biscuits with chipotle sausage gravy and Spanish frittata

Course 3: Belgian chocolate brownies with caramel sauce

Another awesome class! The biscuits we made were the best I’ve ever had and the secret is a flour with lower gluten content (White Lily makes one). Each time I learn new tips and tricks from Mark and cooking with strangers is always entertaining. Be prepared to cook, mingle, and most importantly EAT! You won’t be disappointed!

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Buttermilk biscuits with chipotle sausage gravy and Spanish frittata

Buttermilk biscuits with chipotle sausage gravy and Spanish frittata

Belgian chocolate brownies with caramel sauce

Belgian chocolate brownies with caramel sauce






Weekend in the Berkshires

IMG_0884It’s Saturday morning and we’re in the mood for donuts. Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe in Great Barrington – a mom and pop type place (they make their soup in a crock pot, no frills) and I am charmed by the woman behind the counter wearing donut earrings. The verdict, just okay. I am spoiled by living near one of the best donut shops ever (Union Square Donuts).

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cider (left) & Sea Salt Caramel (right)

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cider (left) & Sea Salt Caramel (right)

After breakfast we’re able to make it to the final thirty minutes of the farmer’s market. We scored two great items, Bug Hill Farm’s Rhubarb Rush syrup and R&G Cheese Makers’ Pumpkin Chevre (on a bagel, on a cupcake, just eat it!).  Baba Louie’s for lunch, the sourdough crust is tasty and worth trying for those that like thinner, crispier pizza.

Turkey Sausage and Pineapple

Turkey Sausage and Pineapple – Baba Louie’s

Later, we pop into the Lion’s Den Pub for a pint and then try our luck getting a table at Nudel in Lenox. The wait is over an hour, we cross the street to have a drinks and popcorn at Rumpy’s Tavern and see how long our stomachs can hold out.

Rumpy's Tavern - all decked out for Halloween

Rumpy’s Tavern – all decked out for Halloween

We’ll have to come back for Nudel, about an hour and a half later and we’re still waiting. Luckily, the bar at Brava has cleared. The food is decent and the bartenders are friendly and attentive. Some scallops and a cheese and charcuterie plate and I’m off to bed!

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops

Cheese and Charcuterie Plate

Cheese and Charcuterie Plate

Strip T’s – Watertown

Finally got to Strip T’s for dinner and I am excited to return for lunch! Though the food was delicious, the location, venue, and ambiance (I could barely hear my friends during the meal) didn’t match the prices (dinner prices, lunch is a different story).

photo (13)Wicked Small Caesar – ordered because I heard good things, it was good, but I’d try something else next time




photo (14)Tako Yaki – yum, definitely order if you go!




photo (12)Fried Lobster + Miso Stew – great broth, scrumptious lobster, turnips are not my fav




photo (11)Fried Ripe Plantains – tasty, liked the peanut crunch




photo (10)Sourdough Brioche Donut – sweet basil on my donut? Mind blown, so delicious!



B.T.’s Smokehouse – Sturbridge

photo (6)I don’t often visit Sturbridge, MA, but after eating at B.T.’s I might be back every weekend! Good barbecue is tough to come by in Massachusetts so I consider this place a true gem. Two more things that make B.T.’s great are the service (fast and friendly) and it’s b.y.o.b. (note to beer snobs: pack the cooler, the gas station next door has zero selection of brews).

photo (7)Brisket Reuben – cooked to perfection!



photo (9)Bison Burger – amazing, the kind of burger you refuse to put down until it’s gone



Chocolate Garbanzo Cupcakes

photo (5)These turned out better than expected! I made some adjustments to the original recipe. For the frosting, I combined sesame caramel from Sofra with Teddie’s chunky peanut butter with flax and topped them with a sprinkle of espresso sea salt from the Filling Station. The texture of the cake is very moist and crumbly. In the future, I might play around with the dry ingredients to create a lighter/fluffier consistency. Also, I didn’t get 12 cupcakes, more like 9.

Chocolate Garbanzo Cupcakes

1 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed well and drained)

1/3 cup almond milk

2 eggs

2 flax eggs (1 T flax and 3T water = 1 egg)

2 T olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

In all honesty, I made this in my Vitamix. I blended the wet ingredients and then added the dry ingredients and blended until the batter was smooth. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.



Southern Tier: Pumking



In the spirit of all things Autumn, I picked up this imperial pumpkin ale from Souther Tier. It pours nicely, with a golden orange and a wonderful transparency. It smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, perhaps a touch of brown sugar, clove, and of course pumpkin. (Think pumpkin pie in a bottle.) The mouth is incredibly smooth and creamy, for an ale, and the notes of spice and pumpkin carry over without the sweetness. A real treat for the Autumn months, but you won’t be sessioning this pumpkin beer with it’s complex character and high ABV.


8.6% ABV | 2-row & caramel malt | pureed pumpkin | magnum & sterling hops