LTK, Harpoon brewery tour and Picco

Yesterday was the last day of a very long weekend and it turned into an unexpected staycation due to pretty nice weather. Adam and I decided to go for a walk and explore areas of Boston we rarely end up at. This brought us to the Seaport district.

We realized that Harpoon brewery is in the area and decided to take their 3pm brewery tour. This left us with just enough time to grab a snack at a restaurant in the area. I suggested pizza and we both got excited. Unfortunately without any conventions at the time, most businesses/restaurants are closed, including Salvatore’s (a local pizza joint). With not too many options around, we settled on LTK (Legal Sea Food’s sister restaurant). The second the bar tender mentioned a bloody mary, I knew I really wanted one (yeah, smart choice, Elina, vodka before a beer tour ;) ).

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Then came out the super fresh rolls with a butter bean dip. The dip was not bad, but the roles were amazing. They tasted like they just came out of the oven! Yum :)

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For our “snack” Adam and I decided to spit the mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce. The chef made a special batch, sans onions, and I was very thankful for that. I could seriously drink that sauce straight out of the bowl! Instead I enjoyed it with the warm rolls (we asked for a few extra). :D

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Next up: Harpoon Brewery tour!!

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The tour was really fun! I loved learning about the process. We got to taste the wheat and barley used for brewing, as well as some pre-bottled IPA (it was cloudy, less carbonated and more alcoholic – still very good!). And then it was time for the beer tasting portion of the tour.

I started with the UFO (un-filtered offering) White. Harpoon started brewing this wheat beer 6 months ago, and it is now their 3rd best seller! [on the right is Adam's Harpoon Dark which I also tasted - yum!]

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This UFO White I really enjoyed! It had hints of orange which made it a little special. Next I asked for the Ginger Wheat from Harpoon’s 100 barrel series (they let their brewers brew whatever they want once every 3 months, make 100 barrels of it, and that’s it! Talk about limited edition…)

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It smelled like ginger but tasted quite lemony. Another good one!

Our tour guide/bartender mentioned that the Winter Warmer (has cloves and cinnamon) tastes like a gingerbread cookie, and combined with the hard Cider, tastes like apple pie. You know I had to test that theory ;)

Winter Warmer:

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Not quite a gingerbread cookie, but floral, fall flavors for sure. Combined with the Cider it tasted like candy to me (not apple pie). A little too sweet for my taste (I prefer the Cider on its own).

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The tour + tasting was really a blast! I probably drank less than a beer altogether (I didn’t drink the samples in their entirety) but was definitely feeling tipsy (I guess that bloody mary was pretty strong!). I rarely drink beer so I was surprised how much I enjoyed everything I tasted. I think I like to taste them more than actually drink them all night long (except for cider, that’s like apple juice :lol: ). Adam and I are definitely Harpoon fans now, and I know we’ll be more likely to order it next time we’re at a bar (the kegs are usually about a week old when they get delivered to a local bar – that’s some fresh beer!!).

Feeling good (read: feeling the effects of alcohol) with a pizza craving still unsatisfied, brought us to our favorite pizza place in Boston – PICCO (pizza and ice cream company).

I got the small margharita with chicken and mushrooms

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The dough is SO doughy and chewy, it tastes like heaven! The sauce has large tomato chunks (I like that over the smooth sauce) and the mozzarella is incredibly fresh. This pizza was to-die-for!

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Adam got their fresh smoked pepperoni as a topping. We swapped one slice. Also yummy! I like how the mini pepperoni got all crispy in the oven. Best.pizza.ever!

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We got home around 7:30; I promptly passed out on the couch around 8. I peeled myself off around 8:40 and got to bed, setting an alarm for bright and early, but that didn’t happen either. I slept for 11 hours and probably could have slept for another 11. I guess I was really tired!! Back to work now…..

Do you like being a tourist in your own city? Ever tried exploring new areas on a random Sunday afternoon? I highly recommend it! :mrgreen:

Welcome back dinner

My dad came back from Israel last night. He’s been gone for a month and my mom was out of town, so I decided to make a healthy dinner for the two of us. On the menu:

The salad was based on this recipe from Cooking Light. I used the recipe to make the candied walnuts and the dressing (using 2/3 of the oil) and then just mixed them organic greens, sliced pears and goat cheese. The goat cheese was a great addition. I think everything goes better with goat cheese with nearly no exceptions! :)

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My dad enjoyed the candied walnuts the most. I made some extra so you’ll see them in future posts over yogurt, salads and oats.

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The entree was another Cooking Light recipe (see it here). I had really high expectations for this one. The picture in the magazine just looks absolutely mouth watering. I bought some baby scallops ($10 cheaper/lb than the large sea scallops!) and they just wouldn’t brown. They kept on releasing water, which I was draining out over and over, and were making me nervous. At the end I pulled them out of the pan (over cooked scallops taste like rubber!) and proceeded with the recipe. The final result was pretty yummy (I cut the butter by 1/2 and you could still really taste it!) but not mind-blowingly amazing.

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Dad and I both enjoyed it :)

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I was pretty satisfied with dinner by this point, so my little almond cherry cluster was consumed about an hour later. This one was a hit with dad too! I’m making more next week for company. These guys are really great!!

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***

There were a few other eats earlier in the day that are worth mentioning:

This sandwich with dark meat turkey, cranberry sauce and laughing cow cheese on TJ’s whole wheat Tuscan bread was amazing! I seriously could not stop talking about it for hours! The soft yet chewy bread was definitely an important factor in this.

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Adam had a Chipotle craving so we went in. I was really hungry but also really wanted some leftover hot and sour soup we had at home. Apparently Chipotle now lets you purchase just one taco if you want it. It was perfect to tie me over until we got home! :D Chicken taco with hot sauce, tiny bit of sour cream and cheese + lettuce

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Chipotle uses all natural and mostly organic ingredients, including meats and dairy, so it’s one of the only fast food chains I actually like.

Who’s not ready for this long weekend to end?!

Thanksgiving leftovers get a new life

I mentioned that one of my Thanksgiving day “strategies” was to keep it to just one day of indulgences, which means no leftovers. Well, this wasn’t 100% true. White meat turkey and cranberry sauce I consider perfectly healthy eats, so today, each of them got to star in their own separate dish.

BREAKFAST

Banana oatmeal with PB&J + coffee

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The “J” was actually cranberry sauce from last night’s Thanksgiving dinner. I could really taste the dried cherries in it today. Delicious!!

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DINNER

For dinner, the turkey leftovers were transformed into Asian wontons, based on the tip from page 74 of the November 2009 Cooking Light issue. I made a mixture of minced turkey, ginger, mushrooms and soy sauce, then Adam stuffed them in Nasoya wonton skins and boiled them in some chicken broth for a few minutes. They were really delicious with TJ’s gyoza sauce (I had about 4 or 5)!

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We took the Asian theme a little further and decided to make some hot and sour soup. I followed this recipe from About.com, omitting the pork, the dry lili buds (what are these anyway?) and scallions, used dehydrated black trumpet mushrooms instead of black fungus, 2 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water, and a little more rice vinegar than the recipe called for (based on reviewers’ suggestions). I also finished it with 1 teaspoon of chili oil for the whole batch.

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This picture doesn’t look like much, but I really felt like I was in a Chinese restaurant, except I’m sure this was way healthier! It tasted very authentic.  The whole meal really hit the spot and took care of my Asian food craving that I didn’t even know I had. SO good! I can’t wait to have it again! :D

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DESSERT

Tonight’s dessert was not Turkey day inspired, but is my CEiMB entry for the week. This week we were allowed to pick our own Ellie Krieger recipe to feature, and I decided to finally make this recipe for cherry almond chocolate clusters my sister told me about nearly a year ago! Chocolate, roasted almonds and dried cherries are probably my 3 favorite things in the world, so I can’t believe it actually took me this long to make these. I’m glad I did, because both Adam and I thought they were incredible and I think will be a great treat to have around when that sweet tooth kicks into high gear.

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The key is to definitely use high quality chocolate (I used a mixture of organic Green & Black’s espresso chocolate and Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate) and I guarantee you’ll fall in love. They’re even pretty healthy (dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants!), as long as you can stop at just 1 ;) I’ve been a good girl so far.

I’m loving this super long weekend! What are your favorite ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers? I’m thinking there is a turkey sandwich and maybe cranberry sauce muffins in my future :)

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