Easy Appetizer

Now that the holidays are upon us I thought I would share more tips on how to make life easier during this time. I am all about a stress free December!  I thought I would start by sharing the quick and delicious appetizer I made for Thanksgiving. It is quick, easy, tasty and looks nice.

I bought Trader Joe’s rosemary raisin crisps, brie cheese and Trader Joe’s Chianti hard salami.  The rosemary raisin crisps go so well with the brie cheese. The sweetness of the raisin brings out more tasty yumminess of the cheese.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving week and have a fantastic week! xoxo

How To Set A Table

I decided this year to make an extra effort to have a nice table set up for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, when it came to setting the utensils and glasses I was completely clueless. I tried to mentally visualize all the countless formal dinners and weddings I have attended, but the image wouldn’t come to me. I broke down and did a google search and found this fabulous site that explains how to set a table in an easy fuss free way. Click here to check it out.

This was my end result. I tweaked it a bit since we won’t be having soup and some of the place setting are children’s. Here are my adult setting and my younger child setting.

The water-glass you see on the left is part of the adult setting and no I will not be serving the children wine in their little wine goblets. They will be having sparkling apple cider.

I hope this helps anyone that needs a little guidance like I did. I wish you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I hope it is filled with good company, good food and laughter.  xoxo

My Boston Culinary and Spirits Adventure

This past weekend I went to visit my good friend Kris. I was looking for a low-key fun weekend, away from mommy hood. Kris was a fabulous host because she delivered what I asked for. I honestly just wanted to spend quality time with a good friend. If we could add some yummy food and drinks to that I would be completely satisfied.

I arrived on Friday just in time for dinner and drinks. We went to The Border Cafe (after we had shared some Skinnygirl margaritas at home) in Cambridge for a delicious dinner. We started off with their yummo classic frozen margaritas. What I loved is that they were not that sweet. It was the perfect combination of tart and sweet. For dinner I ordered the chimichurri steak with a side of delicious black beans and rice. The steak was cooked perfectly. You all know much I love chimichurri. Their traditional chimichurri is very bold.  It was so delicious I ate the entire little bowl they gave me. My advice for you on this dish is that a little chimichurri goes a long way. If you eat too much it will stay with you longer than you wish.

After dinner we walked a few blocks up to Cuchi Cuchi. It is a bar and small plates restaurant.  When you step into the door you are taken back in time to the roaring 20s. The decor is amazing. All the staff is also dressed from that era, which is a very nice touch.

They are known for their large and unique cocktail menu. All their drinks are made with fresh muddled fruit. I decided to order Kris’ favorite drink, which is a mango mojito. It is probably one of the freshest and strongest drink I have had in a long time. Cuchi Cuchi definitely has a heavy hand. It is a popular spot because, the bar and dinning area was full.

We spent the next morning piddling around Kris’ apartment and recovering from our margarita and mango mojito haze. Later in the afternoon we went to The Phantom Gourmet Wine Festival. For those of you that don’t know The Phantom Gourmet is big deal for foodies in the Boston area. It is a show that showcases local restaurants and food shops.

The Wine Phest was in the South End of the Boston at the Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama). 30 different wines from all over the world were showcased and 10 of the Phantom’s favorite foods. My favorite food was the chowder from the Cabby Shack.  There were a lot of good wines. I found myself returning to the Barefoot wines. I have always been a fan of their wines. They are not only good but VERY affordable. I apologize that I didn’t take any pictures. We were always holding a wine glass :)!

After the Wine Phest, Kris and I walked around the South End and found ourselves at probably my favorite restaurant of all time Giacomo’s. On all my previous visits we had gone to the North End location.

There was a good 1 hour wait so we found ourselves at this cute bar next door called Anchovies. We enjoyed yet another glass of wine and chatted away. The atmosphere was very relaxed. I saw a lot of delicious looking food come out of the kitchen. I can see myself returning on another visit.  When it was finally time to sit and eat at Giacomo’s we were so excited to be seated at the bar and watch the chefs cook. We started out with a small plate of fried calamari. Holy deliciousness, there are no words to really describe how good it is. Go and try yourselves. After much decision-making (all the specials sounded divine) I decided on the fruitti di mare with fra diavolo sauce over linguine. Kris decided on a salmon.

We had plans on going out to a piano bar after, but after this meal I could barely move. My gracious host agreed to my request to go back home and watch TV on the couch. I definitely can not hang like I used to in my younger days.

Coming home after dinner was the best decision we could have made because our Sunday ended up being very productive. We got out the door earlier than the previous day. We went to the gym for a quick workout and then headed (We walked. Having never lived in an urban environment I didn’t realize how much walking is involved. It was great though and so much healthier for you!) to downtown Boston for lunch and some shopping.

Here are some pictures from our walk

I was in the mood for a burger so Kris suggested we try 5 Napkin Burger. I had the Bacon Cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and a pumpkin ale. It really hit the spot. The burger was cooked perfectly. It was the perfect size too.  You really do need 5 napkins, because it is such a juicy burger. The sweet potato fries were nice and thick and were not greasy. They went well with my pumpkin ale.

After a couple of hours of shopping we decided to take a break and have a pitcher of margaritas at Cactus Club. We had mojito margaritas on the rocks. What I loved is that they were not sweet at all. They were very refreshing and a perfect way to end the afternoon.  We also snacked on chips and salsa. They have some amazing pico de gallo.

After a cab ride back to Brookline we decided to have dinner at Otto Pizza. We had a bit of a wait, but we enjoyed some good beer while we waited.  We decided on their chicken pizza with basil. What I liked about this pizza is that the crust is on the thinner side and all the ingredients were very fresh. I  also had a very delicious house salad.  This was a perfect ending to a wonderful weekend away. I cannot wait until I visit again! Thank you Kris and Brian for you lovely hospitality!