Archive | November, 2013

Better than Anything S’more Cake

28 Nov

So I just made Chef-In-Training’s Better than Anything Oreo Cake. It was such a big hit that I decided to try another one of her cake’s for my Thanksgiving potluck at work, the Better than Anything S’more cake.

IngredientsIngredients:

  • 1 (12.25 oz.) jar Smucker’s Marshmallow Topping
  • 1 (16 oz) jar caramel topping
  • 1 (8 oz) container cool whip thawed to room temperature
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers

Directions:

  1. Bake cake according to directions in a 9×13 pan.
  2. Let cake cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Poke holes in cake with the handle end of a wooden spoon.
  4. While cake is still warm, slowly pour over marshmallow topping over the top making sure some gets in all the holes of the cake.
  5. Next drizzle the caramel topping evenly over the cake slowly, making sure some gets in all the holes as well.
  6. Spread cool whip over the top evenly.
  7. Sprinkle top of cake with crushed graham crackers
  8. Store in fridge until ready to eat. Store any leftovers in fridge.

Better than Anything S'more Cake

Better than Anything S'more Cake

I’m Thankful

27 Nov

Thankful

Yesterday, my office had a potluck celebration to set us on the right foot for Thanksgiving. Reflecting on our wall art, I realized how blessed I am and that there are so many things I am thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my family, without which I would not be the person I am today.
  • I am thankful for my health.
  • I am thankful for the opportunities in my life that have come my way.
  • I am thankful for having met my best friend when I was 6 months old. Being an only child, it is nice to have someone you can call a sister.
  • I am thankful for all those making a difference in someone’s life. I have definitely experienced this and it is life-changing.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to have been able to return to Boston and start a new life.
  • I am thankful for new and old friends.
  • I am thankful for good food.

Boy oh boy was the food incredible. It was amazing to see such a great group of people come together and express themselves through food {says the food blogger,ha}. There were so many dishes and desserts, I don’t know how I didn’t gain 5 pounds. And, thank GOODNESS there is a day between yesterday and Thanksgiving. If not, my metabolism certainly wouldn’t be fast enough to kick off some of these divine but highly caloric plates.

Potluck Lunch

Potluck Dessert

Turkey Cupcakes

Wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Tatte Bakery & Cafe

26 Nov

Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Brighton

Last Saturday, it was definitely a struggle to get out of bed, after 12 hours of sleep {hard life, huh?}, but boy was it worth it. I met my friend Kate at Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Brighton. Tatte, the name of Tzurit Or’s grandmother, is truly a hidden gem. Tzurit Or is self-trained pastry chef from Israel. While she had a 12 year career as a film producer, Or switched to a first love: baking. This gives me hope for a potential switch after establishing myself in the marketing world!

Tatte Bakery & Cafe in BrightonWhen I walked in, I felt like I was transported back to my days on the Champs Élysées. The ornate chandelier mixed with the humble wooden furnishings of the 5-table shop was really distinct to the typical coffee shops in Boston.

Chocolate Meringue at Tatte Brighton

Tatte Bakery & Cafe Boston

Pastries at Tatte Bakery BrightonI was able to head and glance in the back; Cori and Kat were busy at work making pies and cookies. Apparently, it is the busiest week of the year, as Thanksgiving is rigt around the corner. When I asked about their favorite things about working in the kitchen, Cori stated that she loved shaping croissaints. That is an art I have not yet mastered but I think could be so cool!  I actually am taking a cronut class in January. {CANNOT WAIT} Kat mentioned her favorite item was their cranberry pistachio cookies. I will definitely have to try that the next time I’m in, which will be soon!

Fruit Tart at Tatte Brighton

This time when I was in, I had the fruit box with strawberries. It was a waffle with French pastry creme that was so authentic. I could eat spoons of just that.

Fruit Box at Tatte Bakery & Cafe in BrightonIt was a marvelous experience and I cannot wait to go back. Having gone onto their site, they will begin doing classes January 2014! I am definitely interested in taking one!

Q&A

25 Nov

Q&A with Elizabeth Halle

 

On location Shanghai, China

I have fallen in love with this virtual get-to-know-you form of “Tag, you’re it”. Not only is it a way to diversify form my usual food and recipe posts, but it allows me to give you an inside glimpse to some of my favorite things. (Cue Sound of Music). Smita over at Hogger & Co tagged me, and I was so excited to participate in this Q&A.

FAVORITE FLOWER?

Gardenias. There is something so beautiful about its simplicity. I had a gardenia bush at one of the houses I spent the majority of my life. Every time I smell a gardenia, I’m transported back to the days of my youth where I would run around  my backyard with no worries and would pick lychee berries. I would not switch those days for anything.

MOST  / LEAST ORGANIZED SPACE IN YOUR HOME?
MOST = Shockingly, my shoe collection.

LEAST = My kitchen tends to get messy as I am constantly cooking.

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU READ RECENTLY THAT REALLY MOVED YOU?
I love reading, but recently I’ve been on a business-oriented kick. Most recently, I read Malcom Gladwell’s David & Goliath. I have also become a big fan of Seth Godin’s work, currently reading The Icarus Deception.

WHAT DISH ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THANKSGIVING DINNER:

Stuffing. I could eat stuffing for daaaaays. Also, my family does apple pie but mainly we do “non-traditional” Thanksgiving to keep things interesting..I’m excited to introduce the Better than Anything Oreo cake this year.

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Every morning, I wake up and turn on my Nespresso.  It is my prized possession. In a matter of seconds, I can make a fabulous cappuccino.  There is no better way to start my morning.

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL?

I went to high school in Miami, Florida. Our PE incorporated canoeing and kayaking. I miss having a period of time in the day when I could go out onto Biscayne Bay and just reflect over some relaxing, but physical, activity.

MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT?

Most recently, Crystal Castles. Alice, the female counterpart, had broken her leg and in a cast still crowd-surfed! Talk about dedication. In the past (and also my first concert), RICKY MARTIN. Having him fly down from the top of the amphitheater of the Mandalay Bay was quite the spectacle for a 10 year old girl.

DOTS OR STRIPES?

I love both, but stripes for sure.  They definitely make me appear more slim and I do not mind that one bit!

HOW DO YOU UNWIND BEFORE BED?

A big mug of mint tea while reading a good book or watching my guilty pleasure (Criminal Minds).

Thanks for tagging me Smita!

I tag Danielle, Emily, Alex, and cannot forget my Miami side, shout out to Maria!

 

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

24 Nov

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

When it comes to brunch, I’m picky. I don’t eat eggs, AND dairy doesn’t sit well with me. Oh, and I don’t eat pork. Thus, the variety of egg concoctions, omelettes, bacon, sausage, etc I do not like to eat. When I am choosing a spot for brunch, I always look for options with pancakes, french toast, or lunch options. Towne Stove & Spirits fit the bill when it came to this criteria.

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsOur table.

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsThe fruit was fresh and delicious.

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsThere were an array of meats and cheeses.

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsOne of my favorite items: crab stick and cabbage slaw.

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsShrimp Cocktail.

Brunch at Towne Stove & SpiritsMany delicious dishes: Pan Seared Salmon with green kale & pine nuts, Bacon Benedict, Extreme Potatoes (so good), Rib Roast with potato hash.

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Brunch started off with prosecco and a cup of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the coffee was, as I am not a huge fan of drip coffee. (Definitely a cappuccino gal.)

Brunch at Towne Stove & Spirits

Cheers to a fabulous brunch. Brunch runs every Sunday from 11 am to 3pm.

$38.00 per guest (children under 12/$14.00)
900 Boylston Street
617-247-0400 reservation recommended

Featuring: (menu changes weekly)
·  Assorted Pastries
·  Breakfast Breads
·  Coffee Cakes
·  Cereals
·  Grilled Vegetable & Salad Station with weekly Salad Specials
·  Raw Bar Including Wellfleet Oysters & Jumbo Shrimp
·  Bagels, Salmon & Other Smoked Fishes
·  Selection of Cheeses, Pates & Terrines
·  Carved Meat of the Day
·  Three Hot Entrees (Fish, Meat or Poultry)
·  Including Vegetarian Pasta
·  Maple Bacon,
·  House Made Sausage
·  Grilled Ham
·  Made -to- Order Omelet Station
·  Made -to- Order Pancake Stations
·  Dessert Display

For everything that one enjoys, that price is so reasonable. I will definitely be coming back again. For those that want to try out Towne Stove & Spirits, I suggest heading in on Sunday, December 1st. Brunch guests that day will receive a free house-made candy bar (layers of handmade caramel and cookies dipped in milk chocolate) as a way to fuel up before hitting the town for some holiday shopping.

Note: Towne Stove and Spirits provided the Boston Brunchers this brunch free of charge. All opinions here are my own.

Towne Stove & Spirits on Urbanspoon

GIVEAWAY: Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

22 Nov

Boston Ballet Nutcracker

‘Tis the season to be jolly. (Too early to say that given that we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving? NEVER.) What better way to kick off the holiday season that with a pair of tickets to see the opening night of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The two tickets I am giving away are for Friday, November 29 at 7:30pm at the Boston Opera House.

Boston Ballet's Nutcracker

Boston Ballet's Nutcracker

Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio © Gene SchiavoneThe Nutcracker returns to the stage from November 29-December 29, 2013. This year’s production features the full company and over 250 Boston Ballet School students, along with the visionary designs of Robert Perdziola.

How to enter:

1) Leave a comment at the end of this post saying your favorite thing about the holidays.

2) Tweet about the giveaway: copy and paste – “I entered @ehellah’s @bostonballet giveaway! ” http://wp.me/p2mhPQ-U0 (optional)

The giveaway ends on Monday, November 25th at 5 pm EST. Good luck :)

John Singer Sargent Watercolors at the MFA

21 Nov

John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAEver since having had Mr. Rodriguez as my 9th grade Art History professor, a love for art and the story each artist left behind became engrained in me. There is something so timeless about art pieces in that they can transport you back to a completely different time and place, yet you’re standing in the present.

John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAThe last time I visited the Museum of Fine Arts, I was with two of my best friends, Jackie and Danielle, who now live in different cities and on a new path in their lives.  It is crazy to think that its been over 6 months since I was last here to see the Mario Testino exhibit. This time, I was lucky enough to get a full fledged tour of the classic painter, Jean Singer Sargent. Known for his watercolors, it is an exhibit that cannot be missed. We were really luck in that we had the curator herself, Erica Hirshler, walk us through her creation. What a treat to have the mind who envisioned the look and feel and placement of the pieces for ourselves for an hour.

Venice Collection at John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAThe gallery was arranged by theme and geography. As you entered, you were transported back to the olden days in Venice. Sargent called Venice his fountain of youth and oh what a dream it looked to be. I would love to be able to experience this beautiful city in person. Each piece shows Sargent moving through the city, from his gondola, as there was never anywhere solid from his water vantage point. I was able to feel the majestic nature of the Venice by merely standing and looking at the pieces he painted.

 John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAIn another room, it was amazing to see the distinction between Sargent’s incorporation of watercolor and oil, or lack thereof. Both were beautiful pieces but Sargent painted them in the same fashion: tipping up composition, no horizon line, and tension of view into space and pattern on surface. It was quite fascinating to see.

Erica telling us about  John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAIt was an absolute pleasure to hear Erica speak. Here is a photo of her doing her thing!  She detailed every nook and cranny of the intricacies of John Singer Sargent’s history and how the pieces evolved from Brooklyn Museum and MFA’s own collection. Everything was so well thought out, from the paint selection of each room, to the compilation of Sargent paintings to the placement of pieces that highlighted oil versus watercolor.  I wish I could walk through every exhibition with her!

The ladies at  John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at the MFAI cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon than with some new and old friends, Smita from Hogger & Co, Ana from Scavengenius, Elizabeth of Seagrass Studio, Alaina from So Alaina.

You really cannot miss this exhibition. It is truly one of a kind. John Singer Sargent’s Watercolors is on display until January 20, 2014. That date will be coming around the corner than you think, so get on over to the MFA for a fabulous day with art. If you’re strapped for cash, but want to get to the exhibit, the MFA offers voluntary contribution evenings on wednesdays after 4pm and Bank of America card holders are offered free admission on the first Saturday of the month, ahem, December 7th.

Thank you MFA for having us and Smita for organizing!