Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Legal SeaFoods - South Shore Plaza - Braintree, MA

For dinner, my boyfriend and I went to the Legal Seafoods restaurant in South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA. We've been here a few times before, and I always get their fried calamari. This time, I wanted to try something different so for $9.99 I got their Thai Style Fried Calamari with pineapple and peanut. I personally don't like things too spicy, and I am aware that Thai Peanut sauce CAN be spicy, but this was too spicy (for me). It left my mouth burning, but obviously it will depend person to person. My biggest problem with it though, is that it really annoys me when people bother frying calamari if they're just going to drench it in sauce and make it soggy. Really, that defeats the purpose of frying for the crispiness. I figured they would have two dipping sauces, one pineapple and one thai peanut sauce, but it came out like this already soaked. I had the same experience with calamari somewhere else, but it was that bad that I don't even remember the restauran I had it in. :( So, this is just going into my pile of Restaurant Mistakes.
Our entree, however, was pretty good. For about $23 we split the Lobster and Crabmeat Ravioli with Vodka Tomato Sauce with Chickpea bread and Salad. The picture is only half of the entree, and my boyfriend had the other half on his plate. First bite of the ravioli and you can really taste the lobster. They also gave us the meat of two claws of a lobster. The vodka tomato sauce really brought the whole dish together. Overrall, I'd rate it a 3 out of 5. My boyfriend liked it more than I did.

50's Diner - Dedham, MA for Breakfast

50's Diner is a tiny little place hidden in the backroads of Dedham, MA right off of Rt.1. We almost didn't find it the first time we went there, and it was just one of many things we were going to learn. Another big thing we learned was to bring a lot of cash, because unfortunately they don't take credit or debit. Maybe it's because they work for pleasure, not business, therefore they don't really care. Or maybe they just aren't that smart. Either way they have really good breakfast, and my boyfriend can be the first person to say so...even though he's really annoyed that every time we go he wants to eat more but didn't bring enough cash. lol.
Their Chocolate Chip Belgian Waffle was delicious. Comes with delicous soft butter that feels like mousse and spreads perfectly, which I love, and a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar. It is the ultimate breakfast for anyone who loves chocolate. I do love chocolate, but I could only eat half of this because I overestimated myself and thought I could handle all the chocolate chips when I couldn't. Lesson learned and only costed $6.10. My boyfriend got eggs and corned beef hash which costed only $6.70 and it came with toast and potatoes.

My next breakfast adventure was the "Everything Omelette". Three eggs, milk, mushroom, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, onions, peppers, ham, and cheese all for only $8.60 and it comes with toast and potatoes. Unfortunatly the potatoes were a little burnt, but still yummy. I almost finished the entire omelette by myself lol. The waitress asked if I would have liked a smaller portion but then I knew I'd leave curious and maybe even hungry...silly me went with the large omelette was it was still pretty good. Had to put salt and pepper on it, the actual omelette itself was very plain. Overrall I'd give it a 2.5-5.

And before you go, for only $4.40 you can order one Chocolate Frappe with whipped cream. What you're looking at in the picture is ONE order of this delicious, extra thick dessert shake. That's right--you order one and they give you two. You could try to drink two all by yourself, but I know I can't. This cute little diner lives up to it's name. Good food at a good price in a really nice atmosphere. The decor is also very fun to look at when it's your first time there. :) This place is worth the trip, even if you don't live in Boston. Just remember to bring extra cash!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Yummy Croquette leftover recipe

Leftovers are awesome fried...then again anything is. For these croquettes, we just used leftover mashed potatoes and pork, blended it until combined, and then incorporate it with a bechamel sauce (recipe below) and added a lot of cheese as a thickening agent. Once it's at a consistency in which you can roll it like dough, you shape them into fat cylinders and then coat them alternating between egg and breadcrumb until it's coated thick enough so when you fry it, it has a crispy outter crust and the inside just OOZES out. :)

The recipe was really by eye since croquettes don't usually call for mashed potatoes, we just used them to get rid of them. The really cool thing about croquettes is that you can use anything you have leftover. Chicken, pork, ham, whatever tastes good to you. If you decide to make these with leftover mashed potatoes, just keep combining the cheese with it until it's to a thick consistency because if it's runny, it won't fry the way you need it to.

Here's the Bechamel Sauce, which is a creamy white sauce that is really good with croquettes. Following this recipe will be the basic potato croquette recipe :)

Bechamel Sauce

5 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted.

2. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden color about 6-7 mins.

3. While it's cooking, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil and then add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth.

4. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

Seasons with salt to taste.

Basic Potato Croquette Recipe

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
chopped green onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups mashed potatoes
A few eggs, or however many you need to coat it thick enough for frying
Bread Crumbs
Vegetable Oil, enough to fill pan 1/2-inch

Combine the mashed potatoes, flour, green onion, salt and pepper. If you're using the bechemel sauce like I did, add lots of cheese (any kind you like) to make it thicker. It tastes reaallly good with cheese, so I advise you use it.

Roll batter into fat cylinders and dip in the egg and breadcrumb, alternating so that you get a really thick coating.

Heat the oil in your pan to 375 degrees and put a few croquettes in at a time, don't overcrowd it. They are done once they are golden brown. Yum :) Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Easiest late night snack--only 2 ingredients.

It's midnight. You want chocolate, a cupcake, anything sweet and delicious. I was about to make cupcakes but honestly, I didn't want to work with 10 ingredients, preheat the oven, get out the mixer, etc. I also didn't want 16 boyfriend and I weren't going to eat them all.

Two things I love: Chocolate and peanut butter. Mmm mm. Poured a huge chunk of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a saucepan over the lowest heat until it was completely melted and poured it into a baking cup to get the shape of a peanut butter cup. Popped it into the fridge for a half hour until it was hardened but I personally like it to start melting in my mouth so usually you want to leave it in for an hour if you like it completely set. Then I topped it with peanut butter--I personally like chunky but you can obviously use creamy if you want. I could have layered it with more chocolate and stuck it in the fridge longer to have a traditional "peanut butter cup" but I had plenty of chocolate already and I wanted a snack quickly. :) Definitely beats peanut butter on a cracker.

I've also got some bite size chocolate hazelnut truffles in the fridge right now. All I did was take a tablespoon of Nutella, and about a teaspoon of heavy cream and quickly mixed it over low heat. I didn't melt it, I just wanted to get a thick, almost peanut butter like texture and quickly removed it to stick it in the fridge until it was at a colder temperature. Once it was cold, I broke it up and rolled into five little balls and dipped into the thickened and melted mixture of 1 tablespoon of Nutella and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

Let me tell you--working with chocolate is really fun. If you haven't tried it, start with something really easy like I did. Just don't burn it. :P

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You are all very wrong.

So wrong for teasing us with countless high quality wrong that it looks more delicious than it does even in real life. So wrong that all I can do is helplessly look and drool and very wrong that I have to go to the kitchen now. This is to you, cupcake ladies. I'll be back later.

So much lobster, so little you need to do to it

To make it delicious. I remembered what Rachael Ray always says,"Hold the Mayo" I really tried. Used only a dab to quickly coat the lobster, but not overpower it because the lobster still tastes awesome. The bread was just toasted with a little bit of butter. When I run out of lobster I'm going to really miss this late night snack luxury, because though we spent $250 on lobster for my birthday, it is nice to be able to go to the fridge 2 days later and find a container filled with lobster meat that I can use generously between two crispy pieces of bread. I wasn't picky with the quality of the picture because quite honestly I just wanted to hurry up and eat the damn thing. :)

Bar Harbor, Maine

Last month my boyfriend and I went to Maine starting from Portland, through Old Orchard Beach for a night (didn't get the OOB pictures up yet) and then into Bar Harbor for a few days. These photos are from our stay in Bar Harbor. Many of which were taken in Acadia National Park which had amazing and breathtaking views. We spent the entire day there and it's definitely the #1 attraction in Bar Harbor. TIP: Bring a map and do research on restaurants before you go, whether it be asking the locals or checking out TripAdvisor. This isn't one of those destinations where you figure out what you want to do when you get there on your own. Bar Harbor is very tiny, and there's lots of roads with nothingness so you need to know your way to the small spots that actually have things to do. Once you get to downtown Bar Harbor, there's plenty of places to eat, but you don't want to waste your time on mediocre food so ask around about the best places that fit what you're looking for. Fortunately, the couple at the Bed & Breakfast we stayed at immediately offered advice to us and since he was a chef we trusted that he knew what good food was. ;) Our favorite restaurant in Bar Harbor was Cafe This Way in downtown. The hype was all about Havana, but all the reviews didn't live up to what we expected at all. It was very flashy and cost a lot of cashy. ;) When it came to taste, it wasn't anything great. Then again, my boyfriend and I are very critical of food, and what many other people in the restaurant seem to be amazed by, we say "eh". Downtown Bar Harbor is a nice place to take a walk, visit small shops, and then eat an ice cream with a great view of the ocean. We went into an ice cream shop that I had heard about from Food Network, called Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium. They had all types of chocolate you could possible want as well as every single flavor of ice cream from the traditional vanilla to lobster....=X

We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast called Coach Stop Inn and it was wonderful. The bedrooms are cute, comfortable, and the entire atmosphere from the moment you get there is very old fashion. During breakfast we listened to Titanic as the owner, who was a chef, prepared our three course meal starting with his infamous Blueberry fritters followed by yogurt with berries. And for our third course we had pistachio stuffed french toast. My boyfriend was very surprised he liked it because he's not a huge fan of pistachios. Definitely a meal worth going back there for and the couple who owned and operated the place were as hospitable as can be. Enjoy the pictures. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007


Technorati Profile

Lobster Bisque...Mmmm

You might notice the huge chunks of lobster in this bisque...let's just say it would probably be the chunkiest lobster bisque you've ever had because it's part of the leftovers from 4 lobsters from my birthday party. This, of course, isn't all the lobster bisque we have. It's only a bowls worth but it isn't possible to take a spoonful without huge chunks of lobster in it. I feel very lucky. I don't have the exact recipe for this because I didn't make boyfriend's dad did. I will ask him but I do know it's made with lots of butter, milk, heavy cream, and a little bit of flour to thicken it up. That's all it really needs because it's obvious the most important part is the lobster. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Night in Boston

My boyfriend and I went to the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party at Boston City Hall Plaza. We could only eat from four of the ten rib stands, because once we had that much we were craving a cannoli since everyone was walking around eating one. The cannoli's were from "Wholly Cannoli" and immediately the "Dynamite" one stood out to me. It had caramel in it and a chocolate shell with nuts. It was delicious! (The one in the picture was actually the second one we bought lol). I visited the website and they have everything from cakes, pies, cookies, and cupcakes to baklava, cheesecake, whoopie pies, and cinammon buns.

When it came to the BBQ, we were deeply disappointed. My boyfriend loves ribs and we were very excited that Memphis and Texas BBQers were coming to Boston to let us try their ribs but unfortunately we were not impressed with anything we tried. Here's our personal reviews on each of the stands we ate at.

RedBones - Massachusetts

Wait for Food: About 3-4 minute line.

First Bite: Easy to bite into and fairly tender on the inside. Sweet flavor.

Overrall rating out of 5: 3

Willingham's - Memphis

Wait for Food: About 15 minute line.

First Bite: Tough meat, not flavored well. Needed to drench in BBQ sauce.

Overrall rating out of 5: 2

Rib-Bins BBQ - Pennsylvania

Wait for Food: 10-15 minute line.

First Bite: Very flavorful, fairly tender. Good amount of meat.

Overrall rating out of 5: 3

Cowboy's BBQ & Rib Co. - Texas

Wait for Food: Extremely long line. About 40 minutes.

First Bite: Very tender, a little bit spicy. Not much meat at all. Lots of fat.

Overrall rating out of 5: 4

Nonetheless, we did have a really good time, and we rode the ferris wheel which had a nice view. Here's some pics.. :)

Until next meal! :)

Devil's Sin Nutella Mousse Cake -- It's here!

So, my birthday was yesterday. I spent the night before making my cake but I wasn't sure how it would come out or if anyone would like it--but even by looking at it they were all impressed since I've never really made a cake like this before.

I did cheat though--I used everything prepared. The cake mix was by Pillsbury and I used two boxes of it, the coconut pecan frosting for the layer was store bought, and the Nutella of course came in a jar. But it was still the best cake I've ever had, and all the picky eaters at my birthday party absolutely loved it (even those who didn't like coconut or pecans), thought it was the moistest cake they've ever had, AND went for seconds. So it was a success.

Hopefully there's more left over because after talking about it I'm going to have to go eat some of it. But before I go, here's the recipe. You can definitely substitute the coconut pecan frosting in the middle layer for anything you want...but everyone was addicted to the Nutella mousse I made for the top of the cake--so if you want something delicious DO NOT REPLACE THE MOUSSE. ;)

Before you read the recipe, please keep in mind that I have a lot of respect for people who make their cakes from scratch, however, I have had those cakes plenty of times and this cake came out just as good as any cake I've ever had..if not better. It was decadent, moist, and nobody even believed the cake mix came out of a box. When I told them the only thing I did was put it in the oven and decorate it, they didnt even care. Oh, and I made the mousse..which was the star of the cake. So I can take some credit. If you are against using box cake mixes, feel free to just make your own Devils Cake mix from scratch.

Devil's Sin Nutella Mousse Cake Recipe

2 boxes of Pillsbury Devil's Cake Mix

6 Eggs (3 for each cake mix package)

1 Cup Vegetable Oil (1/2 Cup for each cake mix package)

2 1/2 Cups Water (1 1/4 Cups for each cake mix package)

1 jar of Betty Crocker Coconut Pecan Frosting (if you can't find this at your store, use any that you like or make your own with condensed milk, coconut, and small pecan pieces)

2 jars of Nutella (YES, two jars. Don't worry you'll have a little leftover for another day)

*If you need your cake immediately after, prepare mousse ahead of time. It will need about 4 hours in the refrigerator before it goes onto the cake.*

Nutella Mousse
I recommend you make double the mousse because it's that good. :)

1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup of Nutella
1/2 tub of Coolwhip (I used low fat version because it's not for the flavor, it's for the mousse texture)

Beat with electric mixer for a minute or two, then scrape the sides of mixing bowl to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Begin beating again for another minute or two or until small peaks form. Put in a container and refrigerate for 4 hours or until mousse-like and stiff.

When about to put it onto the cake, gently fold in about half a tub of coolwhip (equal amounts of coolwhip to nutella mousse) little at a time. Softly mix until the color is consistent and slab it onto the cake. :)

The Cake

1. Prepare your cake mixes as directed on box, and bake. That was easy.

2. Let cakes cool. Once cool, take one of the cakes and flip it upside down so the cake-rised side is down. Press down softly to make it more even.

3. Frost it good. ;)

3. Cut the rised side of the other cake off, to make it flat, and then place on top of the other cake making a layer.

4. Make sure your cake is completely cool, then gently and carefully spread Nutella (NOT the mousse, just Nutella in it's natural form) on the top and sides of the cake.

5. Lastly, and then you can eat it, spread a generous amount of mousse on the top (and sides if you want) of the cake.

I hope you enjoy. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I once made a Nutella cake. It was just a yellow cake mix with finely chopped nuts in the batter, and a jar of nutella melted with half a can of condensed milk and nuts as the frosting. I was too lazy to layer the cake, and it was delicious either way. I thought I was the first person to think of the brilliant Nutella cake, but apparently after googling it, everyone has already discovered how many amazing things you can use Nutella for.

My birthday is on Saturday and I'm going to make my own cake because I'm craving the Nutella again. I've been searching for Nutella frosting and Nutella mousse recipes for cakes. I saw that people have been using Nutella in the actual cake batter, so now I have a lot of options to think about. I'm THINKING that it's going to be a chocolate cake layered with a coconut pecan frosting I bought at the store and then topped with a Nutella mousse as the frosting. I'm going to make it tomorrow so hopefully it comes out good and I'll post pictures once I'm done. ;)