Time to unplug!

4 Mar Cruzan_Zen

You know you live in an uber-connected world when someone sends you an email and tells you that this weekend (March 6-7) is celebrated as National Day of Unplugging. I’d like to think that I could put my phone down and not touch it for a full 24 hours, but I know that is a lie. So this weekend, I am going to try to unplug. I am only going to use my phone to text and for calls. I will not be posting on social media. I will not be obsessively be checking Instagram or Facebook. I will unplug and let goodness happen. To distract myself, I’ve ordered two 500 piece puzzles. I think that should keep me busy for a bit.

Our friends over at Cruzan Rum sent over a recipe for a drink to get you through the Unplugged weekend. And you know how much I love puns, so here it is:

1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Aged Light Rum
1/2 part White Vermouth
1/2 part Chamomile Syrup*
1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Egg White
Dash of Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake without ice to combine. Add ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with two drops of Bitters.

*Chamomile Syrup:
Steep two Chamomile Tea Bags in 8oz. Hot Water for 5 minutes to make double strength Tea.
Add 8oz. Sugar to Tea and stir until Sugar is dissolved.
Syrup will be good for one month.

Can you unplug this weekend? If you decide to unplug, let us now how it goes. And, before you unplug on Friday, here are some of the best videos and stories I’ve seen this week:

Apparently this pup does this when he is shown a toy.

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 are fantastic.


‘Love Has No Labels’ PSA is a beautiful ode to humanity

Hulk is awesome. Hulk, the dog, that is. 


Everything’s Comin’ up Beverly

1 Mar beverly-ma-city sign

When I first moved out of the city of Boston it was to Salem, MA. The Love Muffin and I had a fantastic apartment right near the walking mall on Essex Street and The Wharf. But as time went on, we realized a house was in our future and decided to settle one town farther North in Beverly, MA. Beverly is great. It’s on the water (we have multiple beaches), there is a cute downtown, we are a stones throw from Boston (30 minute train ride into North Station) and we are still close to all of the things we fell in love with in Salem (ahem, 62 Restaurant).

beverly-ma-city sign

There is a great art scene downtown with Monserrat College of Arts, Cabot Cinema and the Larcom Theater. I know you’re thinking, Cdog, this is great and all but what does this have to do with food?? Well, I’m getting there. The food scene in Beverly has changed for the better since we moved here five years ago. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing Beverly restaurants that have been around for a long time (you hear me, Nick’s Roast Beef, Super Sub, Anmol). However, in the last two years there have been some AMAZING places open up. These aren’t just fancy shmancy sit down restaurants (although there are some of those too).

Cabot Cinema

Are you looking for a hip (really good) hot dog stand? Beverly has it. 
Looking at you, Scotty Dog. This place is a Saturday lunch must (my recommendation: CFO Dog)

Are you looking for authentic Naples-style pizza? Beverly has it. 
Prides Piccola Napoletana is more than just your run of the mill pizza place. They have a special wood-fired pizza oven. Just one of four in the world, made in Naples, Italy (this is in Beverly guys!!!).

Are you looking for barrel-aged homemade cocktails, plus local eats? Beverly has it. 
Barrel House was one of the first restaurants that was new on Cabot Street a few years ago and they continue to turn out amazing food and drinks. And don’t think you can just walk in, this place is booked almost nightly. Whether you’re having one of their barrel aged cocktails (to.die.for.) or snacking on their version of poutine or eggs and bacon, coming to Barrel House won’t disappoint.

Are you looking for Mexican food? Beverly has it.
La Victoria Taqueria is the little sister to (now closed…cries) Celito Lindo. La Victoria serves up tasty tacos, quesadillas and (the hard to find in this next of the woods) tortas. The Love Muffin and I frequent this place and Miss C loves their black beans (beans beans beans).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

We have a disgustingly great coffee roasting company, Atomic Cafe Coffee Roasters and Cafe Gusto serves up coffee, gelato and Italian pastries (yes please!).

And not for nothing, but some of Salem’s finest have found out about the hidden gem of the North Shore. Funky gift shop Roost & Company is building out their second location in Beverly, set to open in the spring. And popular Salem burger joint, A&B Burger is trying to move their operation from Salem to Beverly. By Summer 2015, our downtown scene will be even better!

Cabot Street - Beverly, MA

So long story longer, if you’re in the Boston area and haven’t visited Beverly…what are you waiting for?

See you on Cabot Street!



I’m giving up…

1 Mar The struggle is real.

For Lent this year, I decided to give up fried food. I typically try something like swearing, but that doesn’t usually last more than an hour. Other years, I decide that I am just going to be a better person, but I mean I’m already nice, so I don’t know how to be better (sarcasm). This year, I needed to decide on something that I can control. So far, I have only slipped up once. I had a few munchkins last week. I forgot those bitches are fried. They were good, but fried. For those of you that know me, you know my LOVE for french fries and wings. It is going to be a rough stretch, but I can do it. I’ve also decided to not set myself up for a complete failure, so I let chips be off the list of fried food. But, if you see me with something fried in my hand, smack it away from me, please!


Stud Muffin gave up sweets and soda. I wish he had just decided on soda because now when we go out, I can’t order dessert. And I feel terrible for bringing anything sweet into the house. I mean, I need Easter candy! I guess I’ll have to hide those little Cadbury Mini Eggs of deliciousness. I will say, he has been really good. A few weeks ago, I went to the grocery store and had a moment of weakness and bought double-stuffed Oreos. First, there are still some left. Second, he hasn’t touched them since Ash Wednesday. #proud However, they are also still there because I can only eat them on the weekends. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t eat them for breakfast and I cannot eat chocolate past 3 p.m. because it keeps me up all night. So therefore, I can only eat them around lunch time on the weekends. I know, it is like I am a child. If I do decided to indulge, I twist it open as one would and then proceed to just eat the cream. Back to Lent…

This year, we are hosting Easter because we moved into our new house and my sister usually hosts everything else. We will gladly host, but I hope the family is good with french fries and buffalo wings for Easter dinner!

What are you giving up for Lent this year? How are you doing?

The struggle is real.

These tacos are making me pukey

27 Feb

Today, it is Friday. Today, we are blessed with a guest post by none other than @DennisF

I don’t have a lot of rules in life, but the ones I have are set in stone. Most of them were codified during the Millard Fillmore administration and, generally speaking, they have nothing to do with food. (I have many rules about drinking, but that’s a whole other thing.) But one of the food commandments reads thusly: Thou shalt not eat seafood unless thou art within sight of the sea.


I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in Las Vegas over the years, and have been lucky enough to defile some of the nicest restaurants in that city. One of the things I’ve noticed during these trips is that people who don’t regularly have access to seafood will lose their shit and order oysters or shrimp cocktail or, God help them, sushi. In the middle of the desert.

The DESERT, people. The desert.

The only fish that should be in the desert are the ones bellying up to poker tables at the Mirage.

Now, I’m well aware of the fact that Vegas restaurants fly their seafood in from the west coast every day and it’s allegedly super fresh and all that. But guess what: I’m from the east coast, busters. I can get fresher seafood than that by walking 500 yards to my town beach. GTFO with your “We fly this in daily from Pickachu Island” bullshit. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I also have zero time for upper GI distress and spending three hours in the bathroom on my flight home from Vegas. Which may or may not have happened. (Apologies, United 1651.)

So here’s the thing kids: Unless you can smell the salt air, order something that moos or quacks. And if the waitron tells you it was flown in that day and it’s the freshest seafood in the city, nod politely and order a salad.

Trust me.

For more awesome by Dennis see the following:

Eat It

Terrible Tuesdays: Mayonnaise

Shake Shack – 2 new locations coming to Boston

27 Feb Shake Shack

I have to admit, I have never been to a Shake Shack. I hope that this can change soon with the opening of two new locations in the Boston area. One will be added to Legacy Place in Dedham, which is convenient that my sister lives so close to there. The Legacy Place location will open on Sunday, March 1st. The second location will be at 234-246 Newbury Street, opening Monday, March 2nd.

Shake Shack Boston

Image from Shake Shack website

Anytime I hear about this place, it is always about how packed it is. I would like to think that is a testament to how good it is. Those that have been, can you confirm?

According Shake Shack’s press release: “In addition to all the Shake Shack classics, both the Newbury Street and Dedham Shacks will offer a selection of location-specific frozen custard concretes. The Dedham Shack’s selection will include Wicked Crunchie (vanilla frozen custard blended with salted caramel sauce, shattered sugar cookie cone, and banana) and Shack Attack (chocolate frozen custard blended with fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Mast Brothers Shake Shack dark chocolate chunks, and chocolate sprinkles), a classic Shack fan favorite that originated at Shake Shack’s flagship location in NYC’s Madison Square Park.  

The Newbury Shack menu will feature NewBERRY (Vanilla custard blended with strawberry jam, cheesecake blondie, and cinnamon sugar) as well as the aptly named Back Bay Blend(chocolate frozen custard blended with peanut butter sauce, chocolate toffee, and chocolate sprinkles).

The new Dedham Shack will quench shoppers’ thirst with draft root bear by Abita and seasonal Shack lemonades, while the Newbury Street Shack will feature an expanded beverage menu, including our exclusive Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister Ale, Shack White and Shack Red wines, and rotating seasonal draft beers.”

For more news and updates, follow Shake Shack on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

You guys want some cookies?

26 Feb Image from girlscouts.org

The time is upon us. National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend. Two words… Thin. Mints. I can’t buy them because 1. I would finish an entire box in a sitting and 2. Stud Muffin gave up sweets for Lent, and well, that would just be cruel. BUT, you can buy them and you can use this awesome Girl Scout Cookie Locator to find where they will be selling those little bites of heaven this weekend (Feb. 27 – March 1).

Image from girlscouts.org

Image from girlscouts.org

Fun fact – This year, approximately 200 million packages of Girl Scout cookies will be sold nationwide. And thanks to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts for letting us know about the National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Will you be stopping by a booth to grab some goodness? If you do, I will take deliveries – just don’t tell Stud Muffin.

September is National Bourbon Month!

11 Sep

National Guacamole Day is September 16 AND the whole month of September is celebrating bourbon! Guac and Bourbon in our household are two things dearly beloved.

I know very little about whisky and/or bourbon, but Stud Muffin is a fan and we both love learning all about whiskey and bourbon (and all beverages). When I got this email about a social platform called Distiller, I thought it was a great opportunity to blog about it. The app helps guide people through the whiskey discovery process. They’ve also recently released a few infographics that explain how whisky is made and thought you might like them too. The first one was about the mash process (below) and the second graphic is detailing the distillation process.

Check out the full series here.











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