Archive | August, 2011

Blondie’s Burgers – Provincetown

31 Aug

During our last stay at Cape Cod, we spent Saturday hanging out with friends in Provincetown (P-Town, for those not in the know). It’s become a tradition for a group of us to pick a weekend usually late in the summer to take the ferry to P-Town from Boston early in the morning and take the last one home. The past 2 years Hubs and I have taken it as an opportunity to spend the entire weekend there.

Last year, we ate lunch at Burger Queen, and I wasn’t too impressed with it. So this year we decided to have a late lunch at Blondie’s Burgers.

The yellow building certainly catches your attention, especially when it tells you what you can find inside.

Blondie’s, you had me at Creamy Dreamy Thick Shakes.

The menu is a healthy size, where you can chose from a hand full of burgers, hot dogs, fries, and of course delicious shakes.

After a bit, we decided to split a Slushie instead because we wanted to save room for dessert somewhere else. Sadly, the slushie was just a mixture of orange soda and ice, blended in a blender. While it was tasty, at around $3.50, you are better off skipping it and heading straight for the shakes.

I managed to sneak a sip of my mother in laws friend’s chocolate shake, and my fears of it being to heavy were thrown out of the window. Just the right amount of chocolate, ice cream, and milk shakey goodness. Will definitely be getting one of these next time!

For my main meal, I went with the burger special of the day, which was a Greek inspired burger consisting of 2 patties, sauteed onions, feta cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

I truly love burgers like this, with the extra small patties. They just seem to exude more juiciness than thicker burgers. They don’t have to cook as long, so they don’t get a rubbery exterior that thicker burgers get. Blondie’s gets it right by sticking most of the ingredients in the middle of the burger, and the feta cheese melted nicely into the burger.

We decided to share an order of their hand cut french fries, and we generously slathered them in malted vinegar. Other options include your standard ketchup, as well as mustard, salt, pepper and cumin. I saved a small handful of fries and doused them with cumin, as I love the stuff, but Hubby sadly does not.

These fries were excellent, crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. I particularly enjoyed the darker fries, as you can see 1 or 2 pictures above. Once we added a little extra salt to them, they were perfection.

Joe loves to get hot dogs for some reason (especially at burger centric places. I don’t really understand it). I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it but we got his with sauerkraut and mustard, and he looked like a happy camper munching on his hot dog.

Blondie’s was definitely a huge step up from Burger Queen and you are better off getting your burger fill at Blondie’s, where the smiles are brighter, the burgers are better, and the shakes are creamier.

Blondie's Burgers on Urbanspoon

Corn Pesto Pasta

29 Aug

So as I write this we are currently in the midst of the beginnings of Hurricane Irene. Hopefully by the time this post goes live, everything will be back to normal with not too much damage. One can hope at least!

But let’s not talk about such things as measly hurricane’s (you here my Irene?!? I AIN’T SCARED OF YOU) and let’s instead talk about this amazing corn pesto. Oh, you’ve never HEARD of corn pesto? Yeah, I didn’t either, until I saw Joanne post about it. We have been consistently getting beautiful and delicious and sweet corn from our CSA for the past couple of weeks and when I saw her post, I immediately knew what I was making for dinner.

As the pest whirred away in my food processor, I snuck a taste just before adding the beautiful concoction to my pasta. I’m pretty sure it took all my being to not consume the entire bowl. It was creamy, it was sweet, it was cheesy, it was AMAZING.

You pretty much need to go to your nearest farmer’s market, buy some fresh corn, and immediately make this dish. You will not be sorry. I promise. Scout’s honor (not that I’ve even been a scout, but you get the idea)

Corn Pesto Pasta
Adapted from Eats Well with Others, originally from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears of corn)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (I used a 3 cheese blend of Parmesan, Asiago & Romano cheese)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 4 tbsp
  • 1 package of your favorite pasta, cooked according to directions (I used brown rice shells)
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
Directions
 – In a medium saute pan on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil to pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes, until the garlic starts to brown. Add corn, salt, and pepper (to suit your tastes) and stir until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and put all but half a cup of the corn mixture into your food processor.

 – Add the cheese and pine nuts to the processor and turn on. While the food processor is going, slowly add in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Turn off the food processor and add in the remaining kernels. Using a spatula, mix everything together and set aside.

 – In the same saute pan add 2 tbsp olive oil to pan and then add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the arugula and stir to combine. Cook until arugula is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes more.

 – Once your pasta is cooked, drain pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot and add the corn pesto, arugula & onion mixture, and chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Thin the pasta to your liking with the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle more cheese on top if you like your plate extra cheesy.

OM Restaurant with Boston Brunchers

27 Aug

This past Saturday I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to dine with some fabulous Boston Brunchers for Brunch at OM Restaurant.

I have to admit, while I’ve certainly walked by OM many a times in my forays in Harvard Square, I never really considered dining there, nevermind eating brunch there. I actually didn’t even know they served brunch! Learn something knew everyday.

While we didn’t get to sit outside we did sit on the second floor right next to the windows which provided 1) ample light (they know their food bloggers!) and 2) provided a great view of Winthrop Square on the edge of Harvard Square.

I was immediately impressed with the brunch menu. Small, but it provided both breakfast (sweet and savory) and lunch thrown in. Everything on the menu looked great, and I really liked the Asian touches the menu had to offer.

We started off with a Lychee Bellini. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to go back to boring Peach or Orange Bellini’s because this was delicious! The lychee was wonderfully thick with small bits of lychee mixed with the champagne. It was a wonderful start to the meal.

The sweeter side of the menu looked absolutely to die for, but we all didn’t really want to have all that sweetness. Luckily our server understood our needs and we were able to sample the delicious chocolate and banana stuffed french toast served with maple syrup. The bread was nicely eggy, and the chocolate was amazing. I actually didn’t taste any bananas in the french toast, so I don’t know what was up with that.

We also decided to share an order of the Lemon Buttermilk Pancake which was served with the most amazing orange honey butter. I seriously just wanted an entire bowl of that butter. I generously slathered it all over my pancake quarter and ate it happily.

What made this pancake extra special was the lemon curd surprise found on the inside. I don’t know how on Earth they did this, but they managed to sandwich this amazing curd into the middle of the pancake. Slightly tangy and slightly sweet, it complimented the pancake perfectly. My only gripe with this dish? At $9.00, you only get 1 pancake. 1 Pancake!!! At least give me 2 pancakes!

While there were a couple of items that caught my eye, I ultimately went with the Duck Confit hash, which was served with 2 eggs any style (I copied Kathy and went poached) served with a Spicy Tomato Sauce. A couple things about this dish. The eggs were cooked PERFECTLY so when I stuck my fork in the yolk, it blessedly split open and covered the potatoes and the duck. Can you say Heaven? Second, the spicy tomato sauce? I’ll take an entire VAT of that please. It had just the right amount of kick to it and it added a perfect amount of flavor to the dish. There was also a generous amount of duck confit that literally melted in my mouth. I loved everything about this dish.

I was able to snag a few bites of Megan’s Biscuit, Egg, & Ham dish which was served with some of the best home fries EVAH. I’m really a hash brown kind of gal, and I always prefer if there is only the home fries option, that the potatoes are on the smaller side. I can’t stand huge chunks of potatoes. But that’s a rant for another day. Let’s concentrate on these babies. Perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Yeah, these were good. And the biscuit? It lovingly sandwiched some delicious eggs, cured ham, and the most unbelievable tomato jam I’ve tasted. Out.Of.This.World. The ham was so-so for me, it was definitely a little more salty than I would have liked. The biscuit was VERY heavy on the butter, dare I say maybe too much butter? It definitely had the flakiness of a great biscuit and it melted in my mouth, but I could tell there was nothing healthy about THAT biscuit.

While there were some minor misses, brunch at OM Restaurant was most definitely a home run. I would love to come back to try some of the other brunch items, and I’m also curious to return for dinner. A great time had by all, hanging with some fabulous bloggers and eating some delicious food. Definitely check out brunch at OM if you find yourself in Harvard Square!

Disclaimer: Brunch at OM Restaurant was provided at no cost to me (besides tip!) but all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the fact that it was free. It was really that good.

OM Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

25 Aug

So, um, I have a small confession to make…

It’s almost September and this past weekend was the first time I used my ice cream maker this summer.

I know, I know, feel free to berate and talk smack about me all you want. I mean, what kind of food blogger am I that I haven’t even so much as made homemade ice cream ONCE this summer.

Don’t worry though, it was clearly worth the wait. You see, I had a whole bushel (maybe bushel is not the word, what do you call a group of blueberries?) of ripe blueberries from our CSA that were just BEGGING to be turned into ice cream. But not just any boring kind of ice cream.

Blueberry sour cream ice cream. I’ve never actually made an ice cream with sour cream in it. I’m not even sure I’ve eaten ice cream that was made with sour cream. But I am a sour cream convert. Now, I like a good old-fashioned custard based ice cream, with the golden egg yolks and the like. But it takes a lot of work. And when it’s 8PM on a Friday night and you are trying to watch the season finale of Master Chef (***SPOILER ALERT*** Really, they picked Jennifer?!? I was totally gunning for Adrian. Actually, I was pissed when Christian lost because I wanted him to win because he was repping the whole Masshole image HARD. He clearly made us all proud. But seriously, Jennifer?!?!?! Dislike. Also, end rant) you just want to be able to throw everything in a blender, then throw it into your ice cream maker, and let it do its thing. Which is exactly what happens with this ice cream.

Now the original recipe calls for heavy cream and full fat sour cream but I subbed half and half and light sour cream and it still tasted plenty creamy. I also wanted a more lemon taste, so I added a lot more lemon juice and zest, so if you really want the blueberries to pop, then scale back on the lemon. Oh, and blueberry ice cream with chocolate sauce? Best.Idea.Ever.

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Blissfully Delicious

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups blueberries (I used fresh)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • grated zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice (use more or less depending on how much you want the lemon flavor to come out)
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1.5 cups light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
Directions
In a medium saucepan, bring the blueberries, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has been dissolved and the berries start to burst, about 3 minutes or so.
Let the mixture cool a bit and then transfer to your blender. Blend on high until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add the half and half. Blend to combine, then add the sour cream and blend again. Taste mixture and adjust the sugar and/or lemon as necessary.
Let the mixture cool completely in the fridge. I left my mixture in the blender because who wants to do extra dishes?
Once the mixture is cool add the rum and mix. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn per your ice cream makers instructions. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours before serving.

Breakfast at Eat @ Adrian’s

23 Aug

Two weekends ago Joe and I spent a long weekend at the Cape again. We spent that Saturday in P-Town (Provincetown for those who don’t know) with a group of friends, but Sunday was a day of spending time together and relaxing.

When I heard that the guys over at EAT Boston were taking over Adrian’s restaurant in Truro, I knew that I wanted to visit. We decided to have breakfast there on Sunday morning.

The breakfast menu was very simple, and the focus was on local, quality ingredients. The menu was small but contained a lot of interesting menu options.

We were able to sit on the back porch on this particularly balmy Sunday, and the view was not too shabby. Adrian’s is pretty much on the Truro/Provincetown line so if you walk out toward the edge of the property you can see all of P-Town in its glory.

The coffee brewed at Adrian’s is specially blended for the restaurant from locally roasted Beanstock coffee. It was strong and very flavorful. I may have had a little too much coffee.

As an appetizer so to speak, we decided to share a generously portioned slice of sour cream coffee cake. Served warm, it was moist and slightly tangy, and the ribbon of nuts and cinnamon melted in your mouth. The perfect start to breakfast.

Joe went with the cranberry pancakes served with real maple syrup and orange butter. As you can see, they did not skimp at all with the cranberries, which provided a nice tartness that went well with the citrus of the butter. Doused in maple syrup, it’s hard to mess something like this up.

For my meal, I went with the Swiss Eggs, which were two eggs poached on top of an English Muffin with a Romano cream sauce that was kicked up with a little cayenne pepper. Basically eggs benedict without the hollandaise and meat. It was also 1000x better than traditional eggs benedict. The eggs were perfectly poached, and the cream sauce complimented the eggs perfectly. Even though I love eggs benedict (poached eggs more like it) I’m usually not a huge fan of hollandaise. If the same goes for you, then I would highly recommend getting an order of Swiss eggs.

It’s ok though, I still got my meat portion in. Obviously when I see linguica on the menu, I cannot turn it down. This linguica was perfectly grilled, and was mild but still flavorful. They know what they are doing.

Sadly, the folks at EAT are only at Adrian’s for the remainder of the summer, so if you want to sample the delectable breakfast, lunch or dinner menu, you need to do it soon! Hopefully it is such a success that they will come back next summer ::fingers crossed:: If you find yourself in Truro in the next couple of weeks, make sure you check out Adrian’s!

Adrian's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bermuda – The Wedding

21 Aug

So obviously our main reason for visiting beautiful Bermuda was to see two of our dear friends get married!

Don’t they look so amazingly happy? Adorable.

The wedding took place at the beautiful Fairmont Southampton hotel.

If you like all-inclusive hotels, this is your place to stay. Boasting 8 different restaurants, a private beach, a pool, and everything else in between, if you are the type of vacationer that likes everything all in one place, this is your hotel. Joe and I aren’t those types of travelers, but even I was impressed by this hotel.

The ceremony was held on the Great Lawn, which overlooked the ocean. You could not have asked for a more beautiful location for the wedding. The ceremony was amazing, and the couple just glowed.

The reception was also held on the Great Lawn, just next to where the ceremony was.

Cocktail hour started off with an amazing pasta station. We had the choice of a couple different meats/seafood/veggies and even a couple different sauces. Made fresh right in front of us.

Joe and I decided to share a plate of the tortellini with fresh tomato sauce ans some cheese. It was a great start to the evening’s food.

 

The first course was a grilled portobello mushroom and mache lettuce, with herbed goat cheese, olive poached tomatoes with a Parmesan twist and balsamic and olive oil. Obviously if it has goat cheese I’m going to love it, and this was a really tasty and inventive salad. The Parmesan twist was light and crispy, and the cheese was smooth and creamy. I loved the poached tomatoes, they definitely melted in my mouth.

The second course was a pumpkin ravioli with creamed spinach and a mascarpone emulsion. I had seen this on the menu earlier and was afraid that the ravioli would weigh my stomach down, but was surprised when I bit into them how airy they were. I feel like most weddings have some kind of pumpkin ravioli concoction and they never turn out well, but this thankfully was one of the more excellent ravioli’s I’ve had.

For my main course, I went with the Bermuda Snapper, which was served with a shrimp and Ancho chili butter sauce, lobster and roasted garlic whipped potato and served with some red pepper and asparagus and red cabbage. Even though I was completely stuffed halfway through this meal, I kept on eating it because it was THAT amazing. The other option was grass fed beef short ribs, which also sounded amazing, but let’s be honest, I can get that back in the States. Bermuda Snapper? Not so much. While the meal looked heavy, it was not. Delicious.

The wedding cake was simple but elegant and was a white cake with raspberry filling in the middle. I was literally bursting out of my dress by the time dessert came along, but I still managed to grab a few bites of the cake. It was light and moist, and the raspberry filling was really yummy.



Dancing and singing and drinking ensued. I’m sorry I don’t have embarrassing photos to show you, but use your imagination.  Literally 10 minutes after the wedding ended, it started raining. Talk about perfect.

But wait, there’s more….

The next day, we were able to attend the morning after Brunch at Windows on the Sound. Now, I’ve been to MANY a brunch, even buffet style brunch, and let me tell you, I was MAJORLY impressed with the selection. There were your standard egg/omelette station. Then there was the waffle station. A yogurt station. Fresh fruit station. A smoothie station (WHAT?!?!) A selection of bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, cured meats, cheeses, cured fish, cream cheese, oatmeal, cream of wheat.
And then there was the food that was so clearly Bermudian….
Cod cakes in the forefront next to some baked cod on the side served with Bermudian onions and veggies. On the back and to the right are some johnny cakes. Next to those are some Portuguese malasadas (be still my Portuguese heart) and next to that is Cassava Pie.
Have you ever had Cassava Pie? It’s not really a pie. It’s got more of a bread pudding like consistency. Cassava itself is actually very toxic for people, and therefore it has to be baked for many hours. You would think that was comes out would not be appetizing, but you are wrong! It was served with some kind of chutney, and I really enjoyed it!
The buffet price is a total bargain at $29 which is a fantastic deal for all of the delicious food you can get. I didn’t even scratch the surface of how much amazing food they had. I didn’t even have dessert. Oh, did I also mention that they had 3 different types of whipped cream? Or that they served whole avocados along with avocado bread. Oh, they also had fried bananas. FRIED.BANANAS. Seriously, if you come to Bermuda, you MUST come to the Fairmont and Windows on the Sound and have this brunch. I’d go back to Bermuda just to have this brunch again. That’s how amazing it was.
So there you have it kids, our vacation in Bermuda. I hope I’ve made you want to visit this beautiful and remote island. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Boston, but it feels like you are half way across the world!

Bermuda – The History

16 Aug

So our whole vacation in Bermuda didn’t just involve laying out on the beach, going to a wedding and eating lots of delicious food but we also learned A TON about Bermuda that we had never known before.

City of Hamilton in Pembroke Parish

Let me share some little known facts about Bermuda:

  • Bermuda used to be a penal colony. Many English prisoners would be shipped off to Bermuda for a certain amount of time before they were then shipped over to Australia back in the day
  • During the Civil War, most of Bermuda sided with the South. Many runners came through Bermuda off loading precious materials to be used for the war
  • Many Azorean people immigrated to Bermuda during the 16th and 17th century. About 10% of the entire population of Bermuda has some Portuguese ancestry and the second language of Bermuda is Portuguese.
  • Bermuda is a UK territory, so they drive on the left side of the road. However, the British Pound is NOT accepted in Bermuda. Bermudian currency and American currency are interchangeable on Bermuda.
  • You cannot rent a car in Bermuda. Only residents of Bermuda are allowed to drive cars. You can however, ride a moped
  • Bermuda has only one city, Hamilton, not to be confused with Hamilton parish. The city of Hamilton is located in Pembroke parish
  • The main business of Bermuda is international finance. As you can imagine, many offshore transactions happen in Bermuda
  • Traditional Bermudian business attire consists of a jacket, tie, shirt, Bermuda shorts and knee high socks. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually not that bad looking.
  • All of the roofs in Bermuda are white and made out of limestone, and if you look closely, they all look the same. They are grooved so that the rain water drains and is collected in a tank. The limestone purifies the water and is used in the household since there is no fresh water in Bermuda.
You’ll be surprised to know that Bermuda is also home to St. George’s, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

St. George’s is a small town, but it is filled with history. The streets are quaint, and the houses are traditional Bermudian pastel colors.
St. George’s is also home to St. Peter’s Church, which is the oldest Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere. Buried in the graveyard is the graves of the Governor of Bermuda Sir Richard Sharples and his aide Captain Hugh Sayers who were both assassinated in 1973.
Also interesting to note, there’s an actual time capsule in St. George’s town hall. I believe the date it’s to be opened is 2021.
There is a small island that is reachable by a small bridge called Ordinance Island. Ordinance Island has a great view of the water from a small park on the edge, and there is also a replica of the Deliverance (pictures above). The Deliverance is the ship that Sir George Somers (who the town is named after) and his crew built after they were shipwrecked on Bermuda in order to continue on their journey to Virginia.
Later on in the week we headed over to the Royal Naval Dockyards, which is another popular tourist destination.
It’s called the Dockyards because *shockingly* ships dock there. There were 2 cruise ships docked at the Dockyard while we were there. However, it’s also called the Dockyards because it was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between the Civil War to the Cold War.
One of the main attractions of the Dockyards (besides swimming with dolphins) is the Commissioner’s House which is the home of the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
There are also goats on the grounds. Hubby and I were wondering what animal all those brown pellets belonged too.
One of the most amazing parts of the museum was a huge mural that encompassed this entire room which is known as the Hall of History Mural. It took 3.5 years to complete and it depicts the history of Bermuda. These pictures do NOT do it justice.
The detail that went into this mural was amazing. I could have seriously stared at it for hours, there was so much going on. But it was all so amazingly cohesive, the artist who did it (who is named Graham Foster) is seriously talented.
One of my other favorite parts of the museum was the room that connected the Azores (where my Mom was born) and Bermuda. I had no idea how much influence the Azores had on Bermuda, it was really amazing to see my heritage there.
Before we grabbed some lunch, we also checked out the Bermuda Craft Market. In case you are wondering just WHAT that fish is made out of, it’s basically made up of material that a bunch of people found in the ocean. Hence, the S.S. Stinky Fish.
I really liked the Craft Market, because there were items there that you could only get in Bermuda. While we were shopping in other areas, I was disappointed that many of the Bermudian items we found weren’t actually made in Bermuda. Not the case here! We picked up 2 lovely art prints and a cute Bermudian house ornament for my mother-in-law. It was difficult not to buy one of everything there.
Obviously we had to spend at least ONE day at the beach. We chose Horseshoe Bay Beach which was a short walk from the Fairmont Southampton. The beaches of Bermuda are certainly beautiful, and the water is the bluest I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’m a Cape Cod girl at heart, so I definitely prefer the Cape beaches. The sand is so incredibly fine (and yes, it is pink, although Horseshoe Bay isn’t as pink as some of the others) that it gets EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere.
I have to be honest, when we came to Bermuda I didn’t expect to learn so much history! It definitely shows that Bermuda is not just some pretty place with beautiful beaches, you will definitely learn a lot!
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