Today was spent visiting Stillmans at the Turkey Farm in Hardwick, MA. A few of us farmer's market assistants spent the afternoon at the farm.
Kate, the owner/farm girl/mom of an almost four year old, is in the middle of lamb-ing season.
Baby lambs are born every day and at all hours of the day.
Adult rams - one is named Bernie, and he likes to misbehave.
A visual look at food trucks and trailers in Austin, TX.
What's a little brunch before watching the Academy Awards? A group of Boston Brunchers visited the catering machine known as Bakers' Best, a catering company located in Needham. Michael Baker, founder and owner, started his business due to a poorly constructed turkey sandwich eaten during a business trip. That was 28 years ago.
Today, Bakers' Best focuses it's business on corporate accounts, special events, charities, and schools. The company has nearly 120 employees; the hallmark of the culture is their people. Many employees stay with the company for five, ten, or even 15 years. Diane Wilson, director of sales, leads a team of 13 who work seven days a week. During the brunch, a sales member was at her desk taking orders. In the catering world, work never sleeps.
pastry basket: Meyer lemon blueberry scones, jelly donut muffins, cinnamon buns, sweet potato biscuits, and lavender butter
Here is the menu Chef Phyllis created for the group:
challah french toast • assorted toppings and Vermont maple syrup
A special thanks to Michael Baker, Adam Klein, Erin, and Boston Brunchers for putting this complimentary event together.
I recently joined a small group of Boston Bruncher bloggers to have lunch and conversation with the noted and published author Crescent Dragonwagon. The setting was Ducali, a casual Italian restaurant in the North End. Crescent's publisher, Workman, graciously sent each blogger a copy of her latest cookbook, Bean by Bean. The book is divided into chapters by season and includes everything from appetizers to desserts (yes, beans can be used in sweet preparations). She gives helpful hints for bean storage, soaking, and the always interesting historical background of bean varieties. Conversation with Crescent and her husband, David (an accomplished writer and photographer) ranged from her thoughts on creative writing to starting a writer's colony in Arkansas to her favorite beans,
Bean by Bean was a book four years in the making. Crescent is no stranger to the lengthy writing process as she has published 50 books in her career. She has a children's book called All the Awake Animals coming out in the Fall of 2012. To Crescent, "the best part of writing is the writing". She encouraged writers (especially young writers) to write across genres, Another key takeaway was to find your voice in every story. Crescent leads creative writing workshops that encourages writers to do just that.
Our first course was carciofi (broiled artichoke) served with homemade garlic aioli.
We tried three pizzas, all vegetarian.Spinaci fresh mozzarella, garlic and spinach, topped with black pepper and Romano cheese.
The rugola, a mozzarella topped with arugula, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. The chunks of cheese were salty and irresistible especially with the drops of truffle oil.
Grilled eggplant, mushroom, zucchini and mozzarella topped with fresh goat cheese.
So many granola recipes, and not enough time to recipe test all of them. What makes this recipe crunchy and delicious is the extra virgin olive oil. The maple syrup lends a sweetness along with the brown sugar. The pieces of fruit add pops of color. Granola can be stored in an air tight jar on the counter or in the freezer. My new favorite container is this Weck jar - will try not to buy them by the dozen.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup silvered almonds
1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not pancake syrup please)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup each of dried cherries, dried apricots, raisins
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a small to medium size baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, light brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to mix.
Add the olive and canola oils and maple syrup, and stir well. Spread the mixture evenly on the lined sheet pan. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is toasted, about 45 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven, and season with more salt (if needed). Cool completely on a wire rack. Add the dried fruits and stir.
Store in an airtight container.
These cookies are a hit. Expect an empty plate so be prepared to snag a cookie before sharing with your next party. A Meyer lemon (cross between an orange and a lemon) is the aromatic choice with intense and fragrant juice and zest. Rosemary is equally pleasing, but thyme is another option. Use a middle of the road extra virgin olive oil since this ingredient isn't the start of the show, but a key understudy.Rosemary + Lemon + Olive Oil Cookies
Steamed mussels might be the easiest one pot dinner possible. A little wine, some tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil go into a Dutch oven or stock pot large enough to hold the mussels. After a few minutes of simmering, the mussels are open and ready to soak up the sauce. French fries are a traditional side accompaniment. But, so is a Belgian beer.
PS: this piece of paper should accompany the bag of mussels; it is usually attached to the bag. The paper tells the harvest location, harvest date, type of shellfish, and shipping date. It also tells the name of the seafood distributor and where the shellfish was sold. I bought these mussels from a farmer's market.
yield: one (entree) or two (first course)
Spending a Monday morning at brunch isn't a typical occurrence, but when a holiday falls on a Monday, making brunch plans is a nice option. Boston Brunchers organized a day time road trip to Ceia Kitchen and Bar in Newburyport, MA. Ceia opened in the summer of 2011 and has received high praise from local and national media.
Friday the 13th lunch:Salami from South End Formaggio