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First Annual Blizzard Bash

If you’re like me, you love food, but especially love a good food festival. What about booze? I love that too. What do you get when you combine a food festival and booze?

Blizzard Bash!

We’re putting on this event to benefit the Barbara Lynch Foundation and we have chefs and bartenders flying in from all over North America to participate. I’ll be there working the silent auction. Andrew will be there in the VIP. Get your ticket now!

Friday, February 8th
First Annual Blizzard Bash at Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street | Fort Point
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. VIP Reception
7:30 – 10:30 p.m. General Admission

$375 VIP | $225 General Admission
VIP tickets include VIP Reception with chef Barbara Lynch and guest chefs Daniel Boulud, Mark Ladner, & Joseph Lenn  and admission to the late night The Industry Thing 

All proceeds benefit The Barbara Lynch Foundation and its first initiative, Meet the Worms!

To purchase tickets, please click here.

Participating Chefs
Daniel Boulud, Daniel, NYC
Mark Ladner, Del Posto, NYC
Joseph Lenn, Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Amis, Alla Spina, Philadelphia
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Susan Spicer, Bayona, New Orleans
Missy Robbins, A Voce, NYC
Ariane Daguin, D’Artagnan
Nancy Oakes, Boulevard, San Francisco
Matt Jennings, Farmstead, La Laiterie, Providence
Chris Cosentino, Incanto, Boccalone, San Francisco
Will Gilson, Puritan & Co., Cambridge
Jamie Bissonnette, Toro, Toro NYC, Coppa, Boston
Rachel Klein, Asana, Boston
Guillaume Sparks-Beaulé, Pullman, Montreal
Ed Brown, Restaurant Associates and Ed’s Chowder House, NYC
Gabriel Frasca, Nantucket
David Bazirgan, Fifth Floor, San Francisco
Tim & Nancy Cushman, O Ya, Boston
Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer, Canal House
Michael Serpa, Neptune Oyster, Boston
Louis DiBiccari, Tavern Road, Boston

Participating Bartenders
Ivy Mix, Clover Club, Brooklyn
Joaquin Simo, Pouring Ribbons, NYC
Misty Kalkofen, Brick & Mortar, Boston
Jackson Cannon, Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Hawthorne, Boston
John Lermayer, NYC
Josh Harris & Scott Baird, Bon VivantsTrick Dog, San Francisco
Scott Marshall, Savannah
Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland
John Gertsen, Drink, Boston
Erik Ellestad, Slanted Door Restaurants and Alembic Bar, San Francisco
Giuseppe Gonzalez, NYC
Dave Wondrich, NYC
Jon Santer, Prizefighter, San Francisco
Mike Ryan, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago
Bob Lindquist, Qupé Wines, Santa Barbara
Joy Richard, The Franklin Cafe and Citizen Public House, Boston
Veronique Dalle, Pullman, Montreal
Brother Cleve, Boston

With Special Guests
Follow the Honey
Best Bees
Formaggio Kitchen
Brian Gordon Vintage Collage
Pretty Things
Harpoon Brewery

Music & Entertainment Provided by
TJ Connelly
The official DJ of the Boston Red Sox

Wow, right?

I know.

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 and Ginger Molasses Cookies

As you may or may not know, during The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, you send cookies to three random food bloggers, and receive cookies from three random food bloggers. Fun, right?

I didn’t think that this year’s cookie swap could top last year’s, and I hate to make it seem like I’m playing favorites, but I am. This year’s batch was both creative and delicious, and appealed to two of my addictions: chipotle and toffee. How can you top that? I’m sorry, you can’t.

My cookies, packed and ready to go

My cookies, packed and ready to go

I sent Ginger Molasses Cookies to Madeline of Munching in the Mitten, Kasha of The FarmGirl Cooks, and Alissa of Sweet Tea and Sunshine. I hope you ladies enjoyed!

Ginger Molasses Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes

  • 2.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp white sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (if possible), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, then stir in water and molasses.
  3. Slowly begin to add the dry ingredients. Continue to add and mix a little at a time until all the dry mixture has been added into the wet mixture.
  4. Optional: Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. I found this made it easier to handle and shape.
  5. Shape dough into heaping tablespoon sized balls. Roll them so the edges are neat. Roll each ball around in the extra sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and lightly flatten.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes and allow to cool for a few minutes extra on the cookie sheet before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Now onto the cookies I received…

Continue reading

Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie

If you’re looking to mix it up in the dessert department this holiday season, this is the pie to do it with. The quince, pear, rosé wine all give this pie a very distinct, yet homey flavor. This pie is a labor of love, but it’s mainly wait time, and it’s definitely worth the wait.

photo 1 (1)Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie
Adapted from Saveur

  • 2 pie crusts
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, separated into seeds and husk
  • 2.5 lb quince, peeled, cored, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup rosé wine
  • 1.5-2 lb firm, tart pears (such as Bosc or Russet), cored, diced into 1/8 inch cubes
  • 1 cup unbleached cane sugar
  • Egg wash: egg yolks and splash of cream
  • Tools: 9-inch pie tin, cheesecloth
  1. Tie lemon zest, anise, cinnamon, and vanilla husk into cheesecloth to make a spice satchel.
  2. In heavy pot, over medium-low, combine quince, sugar, vanilla seeds, lemon juice, and wine. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Submerge spice satchel into the quince mixture.
  4. Bring to a hard simmer, then bring down to a bare simmer. Let simmer for 10 min uncovered, then cover and cook for 2-3 hours (I let mine go closer to 3 hours), until the quince is rosy, the consistency is jammy, and most of the moisture is absorbed (if you have excess liquid, just strain out). Don’t rush this process!!
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  6. Roll out pie crusts to 1/4 inch. Cut fun shapes out of 1 of the pie crusts if you want.
  7. Place uncut crust into bottom of 9-inch pie pan and fit snugly. Let the edges drape over the sides of the pan.
  8. Spoon a thin layer of the cooled quince mixture on the bottom of the pie tin, then cover with a thin layer of pears. Repeat these layers until the pan is close to full. You will likely have some leftover filling (put it on ice cream!).
  9. Place the second crust over the top of the mixture. Seal the edges and trim them back. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. If you have cutouts, attached them to the pie with the egg wash.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min, then for 40-45 min at 350 degrees (until crust is brown and the filling is bubbly). Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Gastronomes, Unite

Every day I feel myself falling a little farther into the world of food. I’m constantly milling around the restaurants, learning from the chefs, talking about recipes in the office. Seriously, is this real life? Living this (maybe) real life of mine has made me want to connect over food even more than I already do, so I can’t resist partaking in two really fun, social food activities: The Food Blogger Cookie Swap and Foodie Pen Pals.

Last year I participated in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap and had a blast. I made cookies and sent them to three other bloggers, and in turn received cookies from three other bloggers. Such a fun holiday experience! I wanted this experience to happen more often than just around the holidays, so luckily today I stumbled upon Foodie Pen Pals, where every month you send a box of goodies and receive a box of goodies from a pen pal. It sounds like it’ll be so much fun and it’ll really get my creative juices flowing when trying to think up what to send my pen pal.

If you’re thinking about signing up, DO IT! It’s a great way to meet new people in the blogging community, and meet other people who just love food.

The Butcher Shop

Despite my obvious bias, The Butcher Shop is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. There’s just something about the bold red wines, rare meats, and the deep red and black interior that make me feel at home. Andrew and I shared this spectacular charcuterie platter this past afternoon. Nothing is more perfect than a chilly, windy fall day, charcuterie, and lambrusco. I guess that’s why I live in Boston.

Our charcuterie included mortadella, prosciutto di parma, spicy sopressata, rosette de lyon (our favorite), pâté de campagne, lamb rillettes, duck liver en croute. These types of meat may seem intimidating, but the next time you go somewhere with a charcuterie offering, ask for a mixed board. I promise once you try them you won’t shy away from ordering them ever again.

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Eggplant

I spent my day working out of The Butcher Shop in the South End today. We had a big photo shoot in the morning of some giant cuts of meat (i.e. ribeye, 2-inch thick filet mignon, rack of lamb) for a brochure for Savenor’s market. I love days like today where I get work done but don’t have to sit in an office.

While sitting at the window at TBS, I looked outside and saw all sorts of beautiful, fresh produce at Siena Farms, which is just next door. There was a big box of acorn squash out there just starting me in the face. I had to buy some. And I did. What resulted was an easy dinner that looks way fancier than it actually is. Perfect for impressing that special person in your life. Or yourself. You’re special too.

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Eggplant

Serves 2

  • 2 acorn squash, about 1 lb each
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 eggplant, small dice
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, small dice
  • Salt, pepper, herbs de provence
  • 3 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut top off each squash. The top should only be about an inch down from the top of the squash. You want the top to look like a little hat.
  3. Scoop out all of the seeds and threads and throw away.
  4. Place squash opening down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Having the squash opening down will allow it to steam itself.
  5. Melt butter and oil together. Saute onions over medium heat until translucent. Even longer if you want them to be more tender.
  6. Add eggplant to onions. Saute until eggplant is cooked through.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. I found this mix to be the best when a bit on the peppery side. It offsets the sweetness of the squash perfectly.
  8. In a medium sized bowl, mix cooked quinoa and eggplant/onion mixture.
  9. Take squash out of the oven, place on a place. Fill each squash with quinoa/eggplant/onion mixture.
  10. Serve with top of squash for effect (If that’s your kind of thing. It was mine. Squash Hat.)