Boston Events for May

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First, where the heck did April go? Second, happy May! Third, what are you up to this month? Need some ideas? Eventbrite provided a listical of all the fun things to do in and around Boston this may.

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Some of the items that caught my eye:

May 13 7-9:30: Beer School and it’s FREE! By Slumbrew and Craft Beer Celler BEERSCHOOL, held at American Fresh Assembly Row

May 14 5:30 – 8:30 PM: First Literacy 26th Spelling Bee (I may not be going, but I love a good spelling bee. Fact: my favorite word is onomatopoeia)

May 16 1 – 7 PM: HarpoonFest

May 22 – 24: Boston Calling Music Festival 

May 23: Kteb and Stud Muffin’s Anniversary!

May 26 6:30 – 8:30 PM: Beer and Cheese with Night Shift Brewing

May 27 5 PM – 10 PM: Original Gravity Concert at Aeornaut Brewing Company

May 29 – May 30: American Craft Beer Fest

 

Jacob’s Creek introduces Two Lands

24 Apr Image courtesy of Jacob's Creek

On April 9, Jacob’s Creek hosted a digital wine tasting. No, there is no technology that allows you to drink through your device… yet. I was sent a bottle of the Chardonnay (2014), Pinot Grigio (2014), Shiraz (2013) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2013), and Jacob’s Creek broadcasted a wine tasting session via a video streaming service.

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Two gentleman, Bernard Hickin, chief winemaker of Australia’s Jacob’s Creek and Ehren Jordan, a boutique winemaker from Napa Valley (Failla Wines) joined forces to create Two Lands, which is described as “California Craftsmanship meets Australian Character.” The best of both worlds.

 

We started off by tasting the Pinot Grigio and right away, I could tell this would be my summer white of choice. It had great pear, apple and citrus flavors, but it wasn’t too sweet. To me, that is perfection. The Chardonnay had an elegance to it and had a great balance of fruit and oak with hints of vanilla, nutmeg and spice. Next up was the Cabernet Sauvignon, which had a good texture, was soft and had some current flavors. Erhen said he wanted to make a cab that tasted like a cab. He believed that American cabs got away from making a real cab and so he got out of the habit of drinking it, but now he wants to drink cab again because of his collaboration. They both agreed that this would pair well with a rib-eye steak. The Shiraz had an intensity to it, but had a softness because of the tannins, and it was full of fruit flavors – plum, red fruits. Some tasters also described it with the following words, “bacon, rosemary, mulberry, dark plum, black pepper with a cedar on finish.” You had me at bacon.

One thing that stood out to me was that Berndard and Ehren just wanted to make good wines that they would want to drink and they did this by doing less to the wines. They said that sometimes people try to add too much or do too much to a wine and they didn’t want to do that.

The wines were produced in a limited quantity and are only available in the U.S. For the whites, about 7,000 cases were shipped and for the reds about 10,000-12,000 cases were shipped. All four wines sell for under $15 a bottle and can be found across the country. We may or may not have seen the Cabernet Sauvignon at Wegmans this weekend for $10.

Blue sky delights in the Barossa last week.

A photo posted by Jacobs Creek Wine (@jacobscreekwine) on

 

We ended the wine tasting on a nice existential note. Ehren reflected on the surreality of the situation he was experiencing. He got on a plane in San Francisco, arrived in Australia a day later and knew that he was there to indulge in an extremely old craft, but was talking about it via live streaming video to people on the other side of the world, that were a day behind. Technology.

Follow Jacob’s Creek on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Thanks to Jacob’s Creek for letting me “attend” its wine tasting. Now go out and buy some Two Lands or better yet, come over this summer and we’ll enjoy a glass of Pinot Grigio together!

For tasting notes on each wine, please find the fact sheets below. (I apologize for not providing more detailed notes on the flavors. I do not claim to be a expert in wine tasting.)

Two Lands Cabernet

Two Lands Shiraz

Two Lands Pinot Grigio

Two Lands Chardonnay

National Grilled Cheese Month

23 Apr Image from All Recipes

April is National Grilled Cheese Month! I love grilled cheese. Add bacon and we have a serious situation on our hands. The other day in our cafeteria I ordered a grilled cheese with bacon and the guy next to me looked at me like I was 1. a genius and 2. like I had 10 heads. He said, “Did you just order a grilled cheese with bacon?” To him I said, “You’ve never had bacon on your grilled cheese? You should try it, it is life-changing.” He agreed that anything with bacon is infinitely better, and we went our separate ways. I am pretty sure he probably came back the next day and ordered a grilled cheese with bacon.

Image from All Recipes

Image from All Recipes

Anwyays, if you are looking for a few ways to up your grilled cheese game, check out some that I’ve tried in the past:

And if you are in the Boston area, or if you visit Boston, I implore you to seek out Roxy’s Grilled Cheese Food Truck.

Image from Roxy's Grilled Cheese

Image from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese

I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato…

23 Mar How cute is this little flower? (Photo from Amorino's FB page)

Scoop on the street- Amorino, a popular European café and gelateria is staking a claim in Boston – at 249 Newbury Street to be exact. The Newbury location is the first in the United States, and has more than 100 locations including cities such as Paris, London, Milan and Madrid.

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How do these sound? L’Inimitable (a Nutella-inspired hazelnut & chocolate), Mango Alfonso d’India (Indian Alfonso mango), and the Bronte Pistachio (Pistacchio Verde di Bronte PDO)… Yes, please. These are just a few of the up to 23 gourmet gelato flavors they have at a time and will also serve a flavor of the month!

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Photo: from Amorino’s Facebook page -https://www.facebook.com/AmorinoBoston/timeline

This month’s flavor:

Guests are served their gelato in a signature flower shape… pictured below. How cute!

How cute is this little flower? (Photo from Amorino's FB page)

Photo: from Amorino’s FB page

Café items include a selection of fine Italian coffees, ten flavors of hot chocolate, tea, fresh pastries and breakfast items, and, in the warmer months, granitas. Sweet items include beautifully crafted luxury chocolates, milk covered roasted almonds, and candied oranges dipped in chocolate. Did I mention the macarons? They have eight different flavors. I think I found our next dessert destination!

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Photo: from Amorino’s FB page

Talk about following your dreams… Amorino is owned and operated by  Léa Sasportes, a 28 year old former engineer who followed her passion for the industry from France to the United States one year ago. She fell in love with Newbury Street’s European feel and knew it needed to be the spot for Amorino’s first US location.

If you are available on Thursday at from 11 am to 2 pm, stop by and enjoy a complimentary small cup or cone! To become instantly hungry, follow Amorino on Facebook or on Twitter.

National Chip & Dip Day: March 23

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While my social feeds are filled with angry people regarding their March Madness brackets, I am excited to report to you a different kind of March Madness. On March 23, the nation celebrates National Chip & Dip Day! If you remember from my post on What I’m giving up for Lent, I said I wasn’t going to set myself up for failure and decided to leave chips off of the fried food list. Thank goodness because I LOVE chips and dip!

Favorite dip: french onion dip with ruffles.

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Second favorite: chips and (white) queso dip from Mexican restaurants.

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Third favorite: chips and guacamole.

Dos Caminos Guacamole

 

Like I said, I love chips and dip. Watching a sporting event on TV is an excuse for me to have some sort of chip & dip. Super Bowl… more like scooper bowl.

When I found out that Tostitos is giving one free dip to anyone in America named Chip, I got really excited! No, my name is not Chip, but my BFF’s dad’s name is Chip! That is exciting for him! Don’t believe me, check it out! www.EveryChipGetsADip.com 

To all you Chips out there, you’re awesome. Enjoy a free dip from Tostitos!

Happy National Chip & Dip Day!

Also, here’s a recipe for magic and my 4th favorite dip… Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Biermischgetränke – German for “beer-based mixed drinks”

18 Mar Shandy Do To You!

Impressed? You shouldn’t be. Wikipedia is a wealth of information…

I’d like to discuss a drink that I’ve had good and bad experiences with. Shandies. Shandies are more popular in western Europe than other parts of the world, but they’ve been making quite a fuss in the US over the past few years. When I first was told that a beer was mixed with lemonade, two things went through my head – gross and yum! I know very conflicting thoughts. Therefore, I had to try one. The first shandy I tried was a Narragansett Del’s Shandy. I’m going to tell you right now, I did not hate it. It was not gross. It was delightfully refreshing. Since then, I’ve tasted a few others and have not had the same experience. They’ve either been way too sweet or just didn’t mix well.

Shandy Do To You!

That was until I tried Traveler Beer Company’s Lemon Shandy, based out of Burlington, VT (so sort of local). It is a really good balance between the two. Traveler Beer Company has taken the European shandy and elevated it with natural ingredients and new flavors, brewing with real fruit, rather than mixing. It tastes fresh and it is refreshing. I can see it being my shandy of choice come the summer. If you are interested in trying it for yourself, check out where it is sold near you. And, the mascot, if you will, is a mustache!

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While perusing the Traveler Beer Company’s website, I came across a page promoting their Craft Brew Races & Costume Contest. Beer + costumes + running = yes please! Follow them on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Thanks to Stuntman PR and Traveler’s for sending me a few samples of this deliciousness.

 

 

 

Keeping Austin Weird!

13 Mar Keep Austin Weird

In October, I visited Austin for the first time. (Thanks to Matt and Ciri for getting married.) I loved it! It was just weird enough not to completely weird me out. I loved the food. I loved the heat. I loved the humidity.

The food. All we did while we were there was eat. Well, and celebrated a Holy Matrimony, but we still did a lot of eating… and dancing. This lovely plate of goodness below is from Juan in a Million. Once again, I love puns. This plate is simple – eggs, cheese, onion and bacon. Wrap it up in a tortilla and you have yourself a brepast burrito. And they give you two tortillas, but ask if you’d like more. Loved it! And finished it!

Don Juan – Eggs. Cheese. Bacon. Onion. Eat.

When we arrived the first day, we had a nice lunch with an old friend (friend for a long time, friend isn’t old) at Elizabeth Street Cafe – where Vietnamese cafe meets French bakery. We started with a french loaf of bread and a few different jams, and JAM it was good! I had the Kaffir Lime Fried Chicken Bahn Mi. It was fantastic. I thought the lime would be too much, but it was just enough, just a little hint. Stud Muffin had a big ole bowl of Pho. He ate it all and slurped it to the end! The wedding was held at the Pecan Grove, which is owned by Salt Lick BBQ, so we had some fantastic Texas BBQ for dinner. I ate so much that I had to dance it off. (pictures at end) I am so glad we got to experience Austin with such an awesome crew. We will definitely be back.

Give me them ribs. (Lisa Woods Photography)

Give me them ribs. (Lisa Woods Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An event that I have always wanted to attend is SXSW! It always seems like such an overwhelming experience, but so fun as well! One day, I will attend. Suaza Tequila sent over a few recipes for some SXSW-themed cocktails. I thought they sounded pretty good and wanted to share.

Keep Austin WeirdKeep Austin Weird

¾ part tamarind concentrate
2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 ¼ parts freshly squeezed lime juice
½ part simple syrup
½ part freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ part DeKuyper® Triple Sec
ice
1 stick cinnamon ( for garnish)
For the rim

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cayenne
½  tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Preparation: Mix sugar, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in a small bowl, then pour onto a saucer. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice onto a second saucer. Turn serving glass (martini glass or old fashioned) in lime juice to coat the outer rim. Then spin glass in cayenne mixture, rotating slowly to coat.

Add tamarind concentrate, tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, lemon juice, and Cointreau to mixing glass. Fill with ice and shake well, about 30 seconds. Strain into serving glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick if desired.

*We used tamarind concentrate, which comes as a thick liquid in a plastic jar. If you can only find tamarind blocks, don’t worry. Submerge an inch or so of the block in a few tablespoons of hot water for fifteen minutes. Mash to loosen, and discard any seeds or undissolved solids.

The AustiniteThe Austinite

1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ parts orange liqueur
2 parts Passion Fruit Jam
2 parts Club Soda
½ part Agave
1 part lime juice
Lime wedge(for garnish)
Chili-salt to rim
Preparation: In a shaker filled with ice combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice and prepared with a chili-salt rim. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Southwest Sunset Margarita

2 parts Sauza® Blue Reposado TequilaSouthwest Sunset Margarita
2 parts orange juice
2 dashes grenadine
Lemon wedge for garnish
Preparation: In a glass filled with ice, stir together orange juice and tequila. Pour the two dashes of grenadine down the side so that it settles to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

And if you don’t have all the fixings for these drinks, just pour some tequila in a glass and drink!

 

 

Single Ladies Dance Off with the Groom.  (Lisa Woods Photography)

Single Ladies Dance Off with the Groom. (Lisa Woods Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe Michael Jackson?

Maybe Michael Jackson? (Lisa Woods Photography)

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