Friday, July 26, 2013

blueberry french 75.

When Alaina asked me to write a guest post for her blog So Alaina, I didn't hesitate. Her blog is one of my favorites in Boston, and even though we haven't met in person, I already feel like we're friends because we have so much in common. She asked me to create a cocktail for the post, so I took the opportunity to mix up a blueberry French 75. Two of them, in fact. And then I drank both, because, well, Todd doesn't like gin. And we wouldn't want to waste a good cocktail, would we?

Check out the full post here. Thanks again, Alaina!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tomorrow morning I'm stepping back behind the editor's desk. This will be my lunchtime view. More later. I must go pick out a first-day-of-work outfit.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cagematch: Shake Shack vs. Five Guys.

I've seen the Instagrams, the tweets, and read the articles about hours-long lines to get a sweet taste of Shake Shack. So when I found out that one recently opened in Chestnut Hill, I knew I had to get me some.

It's inevitable that I'll compare pretty much any fast food-ish burger place to my current favorite, D.C.-based Five Guys. I've simply never found a tastier burger at a better price.

Shake Shack definitely wins for ambiance, clever branding, menu selection, and of course, the shakes. All burgers just taste better when consumed with a strawberry milkshake. It's science.

But the burger itself? Five Guys still wins in my book. There's just something about their thin, juicy patties, buttery buns, and all of the toppings you can pile on. Shake Shack doesn't even put lettuce and tomato unless you ask (we learned the hard way). And then there's the price. Todd's double burger cost almost $8 without fries. Speaking of fries, Shake Shack serves a smallish portion of crinkle-cut fries in comparison to Five Guys' ridiculously overflowing brown bag of greasy goodness. Do I need an entire greasy bag of fries? No, but it's a nice gesture.

That said, I really liked Shake Shack and I will return. The food was good, it has a cool atmosphere, and the prices were still pretty reasonable. I just didn't experience the same level of fervid devotion as so many others apparently have.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

i scream.

Has anyone else been craving ice cream, like, every single day? Seriously, it's a problem.

It's also a serious problem that we have Cabot's, an old-fashioned diner/ice cream parlor just up the street from our house. I like to think the walk there burns some calories. But that's a lie when I'm eating monstrosities like this. (And yes, I ate the whole thing.)

Speaking of ice cream, some things I want to try:

Ritz cracker ice cream sandwiches.

Chocolate and salted caramel pudding pops. 

Giant ice cream sandwich.

Blueberry muffin ice cream.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

you are my lobster.

Hey friends, how was your holiday weekend? We spent the Fourth in the city, then headed to Newport for a few days, escaping Boston's hellish heat for a house overlooking the harbor — with air conditioning! Already I've learned not to take these things for granted.

We window-shopped on Thames Street, got sunburned at the beach, hiked part of Cliff Walk, and ate entirely too much good food — stuff like avocado fries and elote washed down with a pitcher of watermelon margs at Perro Salado (So. Good.) and this here lobster — my very first! — with clam chowder and a glass of crisp pinot gris.

I'll admit to being a little freaked out when this landed in front of me (especially when I broke it open to find eggs inside), but it was damn delicious. And now I know how to properly eat a lobster.

Pro tip: turn it around so it's not staring at you as you tear it limb from limb. You won't feel like quite such a barbarian.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

happy fourth: old hollywood style.

How are you celebrating America's birthday? We plan to wander around our historic city today, grab some al fresco dinner, then watch the fireworks over the Charles River — I've heard it's an impressive display.

Now, which outfit should I wear? I'm leaning toward Liz Taylor's Western-inspired ensemble...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

soda jerk.

I'm working on a round-up of summer books about drinking, and one of the books I'm featuring is True Brews by The Kitchn's Emma Christensen. It's a really useful guide to making everything from soda to cider to kombucha to wine, and it's got me excited to do some experimentation in the kitchen. I'm starting with soda because it seems surprisingly easy. And because a bourbon & ginger with homemade ginger ale sounds pretty darn tasty.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

marblehead, massachusetts.

Full disclosure: The only reason Marblehead was on my radar was because I heard that parts of Hocus Pocus were filmed there. A.k.a. one of the greatest movies of all time.

But then I found out that it's a lovely little town in its own right, and just a few miles north of Boston, so we decided to make the trek up this weekend. The Old Town is filled with cute shops and well-kept old houses that have plaques boasting their age and their original inhabitants' professions (i.e. Josiah Bartlett, Mariner, 1712). The gardens are perfectly manicured, with lush hydrangeas and roses complementing the homes' nautical color schemes. The place is almost painfully picturesque.

We grabbed a coffee and cookie at a little bakery and spent most of our time in Marblehead sitting quietly at various overlooks, watching the boats head in and out of the harbor. It doesn't get much more peaceful than that.