Category Archives: food

That is BOGUS!!!

I don’t think of myself as a particularly Zen person. My jaw is usually tense, I talk to myself on public transportation, and most of my experiences with social media cause more harm then good. (I live in fear of the day when Zuckerberg goes rogue and lets everyone see who has looked at their Facebook profile in the past year. On that day I will be permanently re-locating to a sewer in Nicaragua.) But despite these facts, I occasionally find myself experiencing bliss. And since bliss is pretty awesome and glow-ey, I will now let you in on my secret: I eat a lot of pickles, and I watch Tommy Heinsohn call Celtics games.

Let’s start with pickles. I love pickles so much. I always forget how much I love them until I have them in my house, as I do right now. They are truly the fridge equivalent of a joyful dog greeting you at the door when you come home—so salty and tasty and crunchy and wet! They make a sandwich so good and crisp I could cry!  Plus, pickles are very low in calories. I just discovered this. Like, tonight. And I would love pickles regardless, but the fact that you could eat an entire jar in one sitting and not have to feel all “uhhh-Blake-Lively-would-nevvvver-do-that-why-am-I-watching-NewGirl-in-a-velour-bathrobe-from-2002-with-a-jar-of-pickles-in-my-lap” makes them somehow even more amazing.

Bring this photo to the MoMa!!

Then there’s Tommy Heinsohn. Tommy Heinsohn is a New England treasure. If he is not a part of your life, he should be.

He’s loud, he’s seventy-eight (photos above ain’t recent, but to fabulous to not show), and he’s a true BALLER in every sense of the word. (Eight NBA titles: check. Oil paints for a hobby: check.) In my mind, the sound of his voice and the force of his love for the hometeam are the epitome of whatever a juice fast or the word OM is supposed to do.  I’m convinced the clip below could possibly knock-out the entire anti-depressant market in one fell swoop if doctors prescribed hourly listening. If ever in need of a pick-me-up after a horrific ride on the Green Line during rush hour, I suggest two Clausen’s pickles and the video below on repeat.

xo

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I want to bathe with you in the sea.

Tonight when I was shopping at the supermarket (grocery store? do other people say supermarket?), and there were like fifty million other people there buying their chicken and slices of cheese and over-priced cereal and I was a bit like “uh, I have a head cold why is EVERYONE and their grandmother buying food right now” and hurling tomatoes and corn chips into my basket. Ten minutes later I passed a woman in the yogurt section squawking into her cell phone, “of course, the whole universe happens to be at the store at the same time as me” and I was like, can that woman hear herself? She sounds ridiculous!

And then this song came on the loudspeakers while I was checking out. I’m pretty sure it was a sign from Myra Kraft that she loves me.

(Don’t tell me you hate this song. Everyone secretly loves this song.)

And yet…I really hope my cool British neighbors didn’t just hear me listening to it again. Twice.

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Resolutions for 2012

1) Eat more pudding.

(I had some pudding on January 1st, by accident. Very pleased to have rediscovered that pudding is SO GOOD.)

2) Watch more TV. (I don’t really watch TV, and it makes me feel boring at lunch. I’ve heard the show below is good though?)

3) Call my grandparents once a week, casually run into Tom Brady and Gisele while buying a bag of spinach, run away to Mexico with Tina Fey for the weekend and….

BLOG MORE!! Hooray!!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful New Years, and is looking forward to a great 2012, filled with endless news about our hard-working politicians ripping each other to shreds!!!

xo

Caroline

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The waitress at Red Bones was a vegetarian…?

Awhile back now, my friend Leandra came to visit me from NYC. Leandra and I lived in the same apartment senior year of college. Most of my memories of that time in our lives are traumatic: they involve staring into the empty bottoms of jumbo-sized bag of Stacey’s Pita Chips, watching instructional dance videos to Soulja Boy as thesis’ sit neglected on our desks, and asking Lee for her soothsaying advice whenever I received a text message at two in the morning that said something really hard to decipher, like, “u awake.”

But what does it mean, Lee? Does the absence of a question mark in this text mean that he wants to take me out to a romantic dinner tomorrow night and ask me about the meaning of human existence?

I don’t know, Care…maybe, but, uh, did you eat all the hummus again? I really need some hummus….

So yes, I was very excited about her trip. It’s always fun to be around a friend who you can sit next to in silence while eating Fruity Pebbles and feel perfectly happy. Also, Leandra is a pretty major foodie (foodie; what a stupid word) and lover of treats—she works at Serious Eats (major cool food website) and writes a blog about, you guessed it, FOOD—so I knew the trip was going to be wonderful in general, because it gave me a great excuse to get off my ‘arse and explore the city a bit. And like a ten-year-old saving up for her second Puppy Surprise (yeah, I still played with Barbies until I was a junior in high school), I had a stash of cash hidden beneath a pile of old tank-tops in my bureau, just to make sure I could fully enjoy our weekend together when she came. Did somebody say egg benedicts and manicures!! I say no to nothing!!

We had a ball. It was like the First Wives Club movie all weekend long, when they’re all wearing white power suits and dancing on the tops of chairs. Leandra wrote all about it on her blog here. (Take a loook.) We began our trip by hitting up Beacon Hill for breakfast and manicures on Saturday (I enjoy me some Town Nails in the basement off of Charles Street: minus points for all their US Weekly’s being five years old; bonus point for the manicures being faaaaabulous), followed by lunch and treats in the North End, followed by my inaugural trip to Red Bones in Somerville (my boyfriend’s version of DisneyLand), followed by another inaugural trip, this time to Flour, in the South End. (So many inaugurations in one weekend! I even wore this hat the entire time!) And because I had spent all week mentally preparing for the trip, I was able to put down food with Leandra like we did in our glory days of college, when every trip we took to the dining hall turned into a competitive eating contest. (“Well, I mean, do you want to go home and eat Doritos or are you going to get fro-yo?” “Fro-yo, duh, and I’m going to mix Cap’ N’ Crunch, granola and hot fudge in it.” “Well, I’m going to do the same, and then I’m going to eat a Belgian waffle.” “Fine.” “Fine.”) So yeah, it was amazing. But due to the situation at Monica’s and Modern Pastry pre-Red Bones, I couldn’t muster up the courage to order ribs by myself, and Lee and I had to split a plate of pulled-pork together. But it was some pretty good pulled-pork. (According to my boyfriend, eating anything besides a small breakfast at least eight hours before entering Red Bones is a “rookie mistake,” and we had sort of blown it. And, yes, he really talks like that. During the Final Four, I think I heard him say “punch their ticket to the big dance” about twelve times in one night.) But it’s fine. I’m clearly just going to have to go back.

Which brings me to Flour. The only thing I knew about the place was from my life-changing experience with Ms. Chang’s home-made oreos, but I knew Leandra couldn’t leave Boston without trying one. And I was confident the rest of Flour’s food would live up to the hype. And it did. The three of us got there around eleven a.m. on Sunday. The place was way too crowded, but I suppose that’s part of the Flour experience, and the extra time in line gave us plenty of minutes to oogle at cinnamon buns and over-order. Here are some photos I took at the shop below. They capture the deliciousness of the donuts and OREO COOOOOKIES; Leandra’s infectious energy and beauty (in her blog post, she conveniently left out the fact that the men at Monica’s started hitting on her the moment we entered the sub shop on Saturday. I go in that place all the time and attempt lame banter about the Bruins as I purchase goat cheese, and am routinely shot down with awkward silences and “take your sub and get outta here” looks. But they took one glance at Lee’s sexy Italian style, heard that throaty Long Island voice, and she was already getting the credit card look-over, followed by “So, uh, where you from Leandra?” and “Come back in and visit us soon, Leandra.” I was like, ‘Come back and visit us soon, Leandra‘? I always visit you guys! It’s over!) Anyhow, I digress. Here are the photos, and, also, my boyfriend’s dimple. (Thankfully, he still likes me, even if Leandra and I made it over to Ernesto’s a measly two hours after our Flour trip…)

Do yourself a favor and try really hard to eat one of these oreos before the day ends.

Next stop: making Leandra come back so we can try Toscanini’s ice cream. I’ve never had it before….

xo

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Cafe Nuovo, binge-eating, and Libya.

The North End is known for its Italian Restaurants, its tourists and its cheese shops. It’s known for pizza and espresso, pastry places like Mike’s and Modern, and old ladies with shopping bags and swollen feet. It’s not really known for having great breakfast. But when I woke up this morning, I had sore legs and a crabby-mood headache, and I made the executive-decision that only one thing was going to cut it: fresh coffee, and someone else making me eggs. (Okay, that’s two things. Math is over-rated.)

I’ll rewind a bit. Yesterday I had a very long (aka fourteen hour) day at my unpaid internship, followed by work tonight at the restaurant, straight through Monday. Wah, wah, wah, someone call the WHAMBULENCE, I know, but I really just needed to get out of my apartment and relax a bit before my shift today. And I guess I feel slightly guilty going out to eat by myself. It seems very Sofia Coppola to me. Like I needed new gladiator sandals and a pale blue mole-skin—and maybe also a directing career and a fortune—just to do it. Shockingly, I still somehow managed to get out the door.

And thankfully there was somewhere to go, since Salem Street now has Cafe Nuovo, a restaurant that as of now still serves only breakfast and brunch food. Which is fine, because they’re very good at it. I’ve been there three times since I moved here in December, and I have to say, me likey a lot. Big fan. It’s incredibly reasonable (5.99 (!) for two eggs any style, with delicious scali toast and very good home fries), they have good coffee, and the waitresses are nice. Hmm, what else…it gets great light in the morning. Good banana bread and orange juice, too. And it’s nice to eat alone at.

Of course, going out to eat today was really stupid of me, after the debacle of what happened last night. I was working an event that had a lot of food, which meant a lot of left-overs and harried face-stuffing while running dishes, and I got an up-close-and-personal reminder of why I was fifteen pounds heavier in college. (Let’s just say a buffet dining hall + stress isn’t good for anyone’s arm tone.) It was a night where it seemed completely normal to me that I was mixing shrimp cocktail with Popeyes fried chicken, followed by mini chocolate eclairs and roasted red pepper crostini, topped off with coffee-oreo JP Licks, and then a nice glugging of ginger-ale, with a side of macaroni and cheese and tiramisu to finish things off. (This all occurred in the span of twenty minutes.) I should probably be juice-fasting for the next 48 hours, or cayenne peppering, or whatever it is that Beyonce does to get “healthy” fast, but sometimes you just need to order an omlette with peppers and cheese and watch SportsCenter on mute, even if you’re still full from the night before. (And probably will be for the next month.)

But the North End really is lucky to have this spot. I sat there peacefully, drinking my fresh-squeezed orange juice, texting my boyfriend, and attempting to read an article on Libya, which is always fun first thing in the morning. (Whenever I come home to a new New Yorker at night, I always crawl into bed, read the celebrity profile (this week Jane Fonda—why is Klute SO GOOD?), read the movie reviews and other pop-culture-ey things (great article on the Pioneer woman blog), browse the comics and snort a little bit, and then throw the thing on the floor in exhaustion, feeling incredibly guilty that I have by-passed all the poems and in-depth articles on the numerous wars going on in this world, and chosen, instead, to sleep. (Does anyone else read those things last….or never?)) But it is what is. And I don’t like how little I comprehend of that stuff. (That stuff? Uh….) The question is, of course, what comprehending any of it does, anyhow. It’s strange to read about rebel armies, and the deaths, and the desert, while looking out a window at laughing old men and food trucks slowly lumbering by and feeling like you live in a very peaceful part of a very peaceful city in a very peaceful nation. But I’m going to finish the article now, most likely with a window on Wikipedia open, so I can understand what the hell the reporter’s talking about. And hopefully I don’t fall asleep from my idiocy, or from being too full.

xo

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Flowahs on the trees!

I went to the Borders on Boylston the other day. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two months, you’re probably aware that it’s closing AND EVERYTHING MUST GO INCLUDING ALL FURNITURE AND LIGHT FIXTURES AND OVER-PRICED COFFEE TABLE BOOKS ABOUT GLORIA VANDERBILT! *sign for sale as well.

And it was quite the sad sight, that place. I had a lot of fond memories at the Borders on Boylston, mostly of looking at piles of fashion magazines for hours and then walking out without purchasing anything. Still, seeing that behemoth of a shiny red and rich bookstore reduced to it’s most shameful scraps and desperate pleas—a true graveyard of American Pie 3 DVDs and fishing magazines on sale for 80% off—well, it’s enough to make any book-store lover choke up a little bit. It felt more like I was wandering around a Building Nineteen, complete with the requisite needs-to-shower crazy person elbowing you in the stomach so she can snatch the last Anne Geddes calendar out of your hands, then a classy place you once went to to get coffee and browse cookbooks and feel all in-a-bubble and smart. Kindle schmindle, I say!

But I was more focused on the mega-sale of all mega-sales that day, and not so much on e-reader politics or why Borders had decided to go bankrupt all of a sudden. Instead, I was determined to leave the store with a library-changing purchase, and for next to nothing, if possible. The signs had infiltrated my brain. Of course, I was too late. Notoriously late on the uptake, (I just discovered that song “Home” by Edward Sharpe, like, last week) most of the gems had been pillaged out of Borders weeks ago. And the sections that I looked in—history and food and health and memoir—were complete wastelands of Tai Chi for dummies and Scott Brown’s smiling mug. Feeling totally dejected by the lack of Ina Garten’s cookbooks available for eight dollars, I made a last-ditch stop at the humor bin before exiting. “Why hasn’t Tina Fey’s memoir arrived yet??”, I moaned, out loud, to no one in particular. Finally, two books caught my attention: Nora “otherwise known as God” Ephron’s I Remember Nothing, and Samantha Bee’s I Know You Are But What Am I? Hurray for the ladies! I pulled them both down, sat cross-legged on the floor like a six-year-old, hummed Beyoncé, and began to decide which one to rescue and bring home.

Now, I’m a big fan of Her Highness Ephron’s, and I loved her last book, I Feel Bad About My Neck,  immensely. (Why I relate so much to a woman pushing seventy who writes mostly about her fear of death and distaste of wrinkles, I do not know.) But on this occasion, I felt myself gravitating more towards Ms. Bee, and it wasn’t just because her book’s cover was a lovely hot pink, and thus would make not only fun reading material, but a great accessory for spring. (Bright colors are very in, FYI.) It was because her book was cheaper. And also, unlike Nora’s, her book was the only one left in the ENTIRE Borders, so I felt like I was kind of a bad-ass in getting my paws on it. Then there was the fact that literally every essay in Nora’s book was about the fact that she was old and dying and forgetting everything she ever knew about her life, and you can only take that ‘ish so far in your twenties before your friends start fleeing you in public for being such a morbid jack-ass. So I went hip and happy and bought Samantha’s book, and so far, it’s quite enjoyable—it’s like eating witty cotton-candy before bed every night. Super Jon-Stewarty yum! However, there was something in Nora’s book that I caught during my tear-filled Border’s floor-reading, and that I’ve been thinking about it ever since; it wasn’t even an essay of hers, but a list of all the things Nora will miss about earth when she’s gone. (Ha! Crazzzy, right!) Don’t worry, though. Instead of thinking all doom-and-gloomy like her—old people are sooo dramatic sometimes—seeing that list just made me think about spring instead (it’s been on my brain as of late) and about how much I love it, and also, how much I like making lists.

So, in honor of Nora, here’s a list about spring.

(Also, please buy someone a book for a present next time you buy a present. If all the bookstores in the world close I WILL GO NUTS and start breaking people’s kindles on the T.)

What I love about spring

Seeing girls tanning by the Charles in bikinis when it’s still only 52 degrees out
Men wearing shorts and flip-flops when it’s still only 52 degrees out and possibly hailing later
Sam Summer
Beer in general
More excuses to eat ice-cream/gelato/pinkberry
The swan boats
Pedicures having a meaning again
Cropped jeans/pedal-pushers/capris
Smelling someone’s grill as you’re walking down the street to home
First trip to Fenway
Celtics playoffs
Bruins playoffs
The Marathon
Saying F the T and walking the whole way there cause iiiit’s sunnnny ouuuut!
Little kids climbing all over the duck statues
Crying because you realize you can’t find your expensive sunglasses from last year
One day all of a sudden the tree branches having stuff on them
Happy dogs
Smiling people
The smell of grass
The smell of mulch
Lemonade and sparkling water
Roof decks
Actually enjoying a shower again
Your roommate’s boyfriend making home-made crab cakes
All those awkward engaged couples taking their save-the-date photos in the park
First meal of the year eaten outside
Very cold white wine
Would you like some more white wine?
Buying the super-cheap flowers for sale at the MGH stop and putting them in your IKEA vase at home and pretending you’re Gloria Vanderbilt
Easter candy
Cape Cod Potato Chips
Drinking Diet Coke out of a can while sitting on the grass and fantasizing about summer
Listening to this song while emptying the dishwasher with the windows open.

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Holy Home-made Oreo.

Last night, I went to a see a musical at The Boston Conservatory called “Baby.” (Free shows in Boston performed by really talented people: hidden gem alert!!) My co-worker, Ansley, is a student there, and she was one of the leads in “Baby.” And, surprise, she was totally fantastic, as was the whole cast. (Ansley has a Disney princess voice, and really blue eyes, and I may now have to ask her to sing me to sleep doing all the “Little Mermaid” songs one night.) However, shockingly enough, the show titled “Baby” was about having babies—or trying and not being able to: GAH—and it was REALLY TERRIFYING AT TIMES. (It’s one thing to see a “deep” play that freaks you out about this stuff, or just something really scary and depressing in general,but when people are singing and dancing and snapping in your face about it, you’re like woah woah woah whatever happened to taking a load off at night and seeing something totally mindless like “Macbeth”?) And yet, the show was great, and everything worked out perfectly in the end. (Duh.) I definitely look forward to seeing more shows at BoCo, and encourage you to venture on over there as well.

AND THEN, the night got even better. When I got home from the theatuh with OptimistFreak, my other roommate Mike Tomlin (seen below)

had left the following note on our kitchen-counter: “Left over from my co-workers baby shower: home-made Oreos from Flour bakery.”

(They’re so beautiful, right?)

We had to eat them right away, even with our coats still on. And it was pretty life-changing, I’m not going to lie. Yes, I know everyone and their mother already knows that Joanne Chang is the cat’s pajamas and puts crack in all her baked-goods and FLOUR is the greatest place on earth and she makes all Bostonians super proud with her national success, but somehow I had yet to ever taste any of her food…And OH MY GOD those oreos were the greatest things I’ve ever had. (EVER—I was practically crying in a ball on my kitchen floor as I swallowed my last bite.) I can not wait to go to FLOUR soon. (Meaning today.) (But to which location?? And what should I wear???). I will battle off the heathen crowds banging at the door, eat a gourmet sandwich and a pile of cookies, and make like everyone else in the world as I take iPhone pictures of everything in site. Sounds glorious, right?

(I am so thankful Mike Tomlin is a good sharer, and also that her co-worker got pregnant and had a shower. Yay for “Baby” and babies!)

Happy Tuesday

xo

(Photo of life-changing oreos from penandfork.com)

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Coolidge Corner My Soul

Tomorrow is my roommate OptimistFreak’s twenty-fifth birthday. As this is an important milestone for her, and because she is a huge ham, we have turned the entire week into a her-themed celebration, which has been really nice, actually. (I feel like I have a very full calendar for the next few days, as opposed to my usual plans of: go home, eat Annie’s with some peas added to avoid contracting scurvy, pretend to read new non-ficition book about Iraq War, pass out.) And to get things rolling before the floats parade through the city this weekend, I took OF out to for an early birthday lunch yesterday, at The Regal Beagle, in Brookline.

This place has been around for over a year now, but I just heard about it recently from my boss and friend (is that allowed?) Sheila, who gave it a glowing recommendation and told me that their grilled cheese and soup combo was the best she’d ever had, and that the place was really cute, too. (It was a pretty easy sell. I was practically running down Beacon Street the moment she whispered, “huge grilled cheese” at me.) Also, Sheila reminds me of an Iranian Sophia Loren, dresses in a palette of dusty pinks and greys, and generally makes me sort of ga-ga with her amazing hair and ballet flat/boyfriend-jean collection, so I pretty much would do anything she told me to.

Sure enough, the Beags did not disappoint. IT WAS HA-MAZING, and the kind of place I wish Boston had more of: really, really good food, great atmosphere, wonderful service, and a not terribly expensive menu. For example, the appetizer that we split—bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola cheese—was only five dollars. (FIVE DOLLAHS!) I mean, sure, it wasn’t huge, but it had, like, seven levels of THIS IS GOOD enjoyment, and did I mention that the dates were wrapped in bacon and then stuffed with gorgonzola cheese? Worth the trip alone right there. The decor was also very charming, I thought, if not a little too much in-your-face hipsterish, though hipster gastro-pub is simply how the cookie crumbles these days, and I not-so secretly like all that stuff. If the food is as good as it is here, give me all the dark-wood accents and interesting wallpaper and ironic touches that a girl can get!

But back to the food: for our meal, OptimistFreak and I really branched out: we both got the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. The grilled cheese was giant as promised, and made with carmalized onions and grainy fancy mustard; the soup was creamy and full of flavor. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of our meal until it was all over—clearly I was not meant to write a food blog…

So, yeah, the Beags rocked. I can’t wait to go back for dinner in a bit and try something new. And not to sound like a cheerleader on speed or anything, but I totally love Coolidge Corner!!!! I mean, SIGN ME UP!!! I want to be in that hood one day: you got a huge Trader Joe’s that sells wine (boo the one on Boylston), the Coolidge Corner Cinema, the Brookline Booksmith (top ten greatest places on earth), and now this place? All adds up to a very wonderful part of our city, indeed.

Happy Birthday to my roommate, who is beautiful inside and out!

xo

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Hey, OMG you guys…it’s snowing AGAIN!

When this happens for like the 47th time since Christmas, there is only one thing you can really do: stay in, make breakfast for dinner, and watch the pilot of The Office.


My roomie, making bacon and pancakes.

Though I give Season 1 a thumbs-up, this endless snow…..NO THANK YOU.
(Actually, I don’t have a car so who am I kidding; it’s great!)

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