Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Christina's Homemade Ice Cream it is!  The second "new eatery" post of 2012!

Thank goodness for the leap year...otherwise I would have been a day late.

This month I chose to try out Christina's Ice Cream Shop in Inman Square.  Logical right?  Ice cream at the end of February.  Who eats ice cream in the summer anyways?  Not this girl.  (That is a complete lie.  Sorry.)

As I've told you many times before...I'm a sucker for sweets.  That being said, I obviously have been seeking out the best sweets in Boston since well...I decided I was moving here in late 2009.  And I can't tell you how many times I've read about Christina's.  Well I could, but it's far too many for it to have taken me this long to pop in for a visit.  Over and over I've heard that Christina's made the famous J.P. Licks look like a sham.  And while maybe I wouldn't go that far...I would tell you that it's won my vote for the best ice cream in far.

This was actually the second time Ashley (from The Uniqueness of Being) and I had stopped in.  The first time we were quickly turned away by the cash only sign, which of course we didn't have.  Other than a minor/life threatening encounter with some cinnamon we were really impressed with this little ice cream shop.  The flavors were unreal, the ice cream was incredibly light and not too dense, not too sweet, and quite refreshing even on a chilly night in Boston.  All in all it was just some darn good ice cream.

How about some pictures?

As soon as we entered we were greeted by this monstrous flavor board.  And they definitely aren't your average *chocolate* *vanilla* *strawberry* type flavors.  Look at those things.  Burnt Sugar?  Ginger Molasses? Adzuki Bean?

Next came the toppings bar.  In my opinion these weren't exactly necessary.  The ice cream flavors were far too interesting to dump anything else on top of it.  But...who can deny a little extra chocolate?

After long contemplation, I decided on the Burnt Sugar (left) and the Carrot Cake (right).  Goodness gracious.  The burnt sugar was this wonderful combination of an almost bitter/nutty taste with the luscious mix of sweet butter cream.  And the Carrot Cake was well...Carrot Cake.  BUT it had raisins and pecans mixed in...Mmm.

Ashley went for the Malted Vanilla (buried under the peanut butter cups in the back) and the Mexican Chocolate.  The Mexican Chocolate was delicious but...didn't work out so well for her since she's deathly allergic to cinnamon and apparently Mexican Chocolate = Pure Cinnamon.  Oops.  And the malted vanilla was probably the best *vanilla* I've ever tasted.  Take that Coldstone.

Crisis averted.  She went back for a scoop of the Green Tea to make up for the cinnamon dilemma.  Whew.  This one was so refreshing.  Not too sweet, which made for a nice palette cleanser while taste tasting the rest :)

Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yummmmmmm.

Green tea ice cream and a cute vintage dress.  She wins.


Favorite flavors in order:
1) Burnt Sugar
2) Green Tea
3) Carrot Cake
4) Malted Vanilla
5) Mexican Chocolate

I highly encourage everyone to go and devour as many flavors at Christina's as possible.  Then come back and let me know your favorites OR if you already have favorites I want to hear them!  Tell me what I missed (so I can go back and have more)!

Check out the website {here} OR avoid the torture and go get some.

Christina's Homemade Ice Cream
1255 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:30AM-10:30PM

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

As I was looking through my collection of recipes on my blog/on pinterest/in my handy dandy little recipe book I realized something...

I like everything.  I have the most eclectic collection of recipes that anyone could have (this is probably not true, I'm sure many others have me beat).  One minute I'll be looking at a cozy Lentil Stew thinking "Mmmm yes, I'll make this" and then I'll flip to the next page of Fried Chicken and Waffles and be like "Oh yes!  I must make this immediately!" and then the next page will be a Leg of Lamb with Nettles & Goat Cheese Pesto and once again, "Ooooh ahhh.  I don't know what nettles are but I want"

I don't think that this kind of hodge-podgery is even allowed.  Nor is the word "hodge-podgery" but I'm saying oh well on both accounts.  Food is food.  And I like it.  Unless it's McDonalds.  But then that's not food so it doesn't count.

So, as usual my Meal Plan Monday consists of a lot of really random recipes that just looked too darn good to pass up.  Hope you understand.


As I was scavenging through my handy dandy recipe book I found this lovely thing from my Momma's recipe collection (which I stole) and it looks like a winner.  I might even fancy it up a bit.

Chicken Stuffed Artichokes
-from Momma Bell's recipe collection


At this point it's come to be inevitable that I make turkey tacos at least once a week.  They are so darn good and quick to make.  BUT since I made them last night...I'm going to try to buzz through the week without making them again.  Instead I'm going to slide in one of Kaston's favorites.  I can't wait to see how these delicious looking things stack up for the fish taco connoisseur.

Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile and Cilantro Sauce


Little Ms. Ashley from The Uniqueness of Being has made her recipe request for the week.  And it's a good one.  I must say she really knows the way to my heart.  Food + Ireland.  We've been ooing and aahing over this dish at our favorite Irish pub and it's time to see if I can make anything comparable.  If's going in the trash and we are going to Goody's!

Shepherds Pie
-from Simply Recipes


As you might know, Thursdays usually mean leftovers.  So leftovers for dinner and...these for lunch.  I'll probably make them on a piece of pita or an english muffin.  YUM.

Vegetarian Mini Pizzas 
-from Green Kitchen Stories


I'm going to finish up the week with some yummy roasted vegetables and chicken.  Perfect way to tie it all together right?  Right.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Shallots and Rosemary
-from Martha Stewart's Food Everyday

The Bread Diaries:
I've been swooning over bread recipes lately...and these are just a few of my favorites.

Kale and Bacon Omelet in a Bread Bowl
-from Pink Parsley

Homemade Bagels
-from Smitten Kitchen

Masa Cornbread
-from Hungry Cravings

Soft Homemade Pretzels with Sweet Butter
-from A Beautiful Mess

P.S.- Don't forget that these pictures all belong to the sites of the original recipes!  Yummmmm.  Enjoy your week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Minny" Chocolate Pies

First things first...


Congratulations Suburban Prep!  You are the winner of the lovely Flour cookbook!  I will be getting in contact with you soon so I can send it your way!  I hope that you can enjoy it as much as I have.

For everyone else that entered...THANK YOU!  Seriously, you all made for a wonderful blog birthday.  I'm already counting down the days until the next one.

Now, as most of you know the Oscar's are tonight.  And I'm a little ashamed to say that unlike most years I have only seen a select few of the nominated films.  The ones I did see, I thoroughly enjoyed but I still don't have enough knowledge to give you my winning predictions.  However, if you're interested in some Oscar insight, check out Life Moves Pretty Fast's Oscar post {here}.  It's wonderful.  And she's wonderful.

So, in preparation for the Oscar bash tonight, I decided to make a little something from one of the films up for best picture....The Help.

Along with so many others, I was swept off my feet last year by The Help.  First the book, and then the movie.  Sigh.  I loved them both.  For those of you that have either seen or read The Help you may be a little concerned about the following recipe.  But have no fear.  I left out the *terrible awful*.  For those of you that missed this one...go read/watch The Help.  You'll understand.

"Minny" Chocolate Pies...
Adapted from: Cheeky Kitchen

Makes: 1 deep dish pie or 24 mini pies   Prep Time: 5 minutes   Bake Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 25 minutes

{Print Me}

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, melted until smooth
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2/3 cups evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 deep dish pie crust (or 4 premade pie crusts pressed into 24 muffin tins)
for the whipped cream:
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place brown sugar, melted chocolate chips, butter, vanilla, instant coffee, evaporated milk, eggs, flour, and salt into a mixer.  Mix until smooth, and then pour into deep dish crust, or 24 muffin tins.
  3. Transfer to oven and immediately turn down the heat to 325°.  Cook mini pies for 20 minutes, or until center of each pie has set.  Bake deep dish pie for 45-50 minutes, or until set.
  4. While pies are baking, beat heavy whipping cream with mixer until soft peaks form.  Add powdered sugar and beat until stiff.
  5. Remove pies from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, top with whipped cream and...
  6. Enjoy!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas

Usually I'm a "sweets" kind of girl.

I've got what they would call a sweet tooth.

Salty or sweet you ask?  Sweet.


But you know what?

Every once in a while a "sweets" kind of girl needs a "salty" snack.

So guess what...

I made one.

And I'm going to share it with you.

Awkward one sided conversation...complete.

Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas
...adapted from The Kitchn
Makes: 1 small bowl   Prep Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: 40-45 minutes   Total Time: 50 minutes

{Print Me}

  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon - 1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on how much you love salt)
  • chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spread chickpeas that have been drained, rinsed, and patted dry, onto the baking sheet in a single even layer.
  3. Roast chickpeas for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  4. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and cilantro in a medium bowl.
  5. When chickpeas are nice and crunchy (but not burnt!) remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.
  6. Transfer chickpeas to bowl and toss to coat.
  7. Enjoy! 

Update: Thank you to everyone who has entered the cookbook giveaway so far!  You are all wonderful and your comments have made my heart sing.  For those of you that haven't entered yet....I still think you're wonderful!  And if you want to enter click {here} to do so!  The giveaway closes tomorrow, February 25th, at midnight and I'll be announcing the winner on Sunday!  Good luck my little foodies!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cheesy Winter Squash Muffins

No time for chat today.  We are immediately going to talk about the delicious things pictured below.  I'm sure you're okay with that.

Yesterday evening I received a very excited text from the lovely Ms. Lauren telling me that she had just made the muffins from my Meal Plan Monday post and that they were to die for.  Naturally I had to make them immediately.  I don't have time to wait around for delicious things to make their way to my tummy.  And neither should you! 

And the results are in.  I completely agree with Lauren.  They are a perfectly cheesy, savory, squashy, treat for your tummy.  So thank you Lauren!

Feel free to play with the cheeses and savory ingredient combinations.  Lauren and I have been pondering future pairings such as: balsamic pear and blue cheese.  Uh, yes please.

I'll keep you posted on those.

For now....make these.

Cheesy Winter Squash Muffins
 Adapted from: Five and Spice

Makes: 12-15 muffins   Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 20 minutes (squash) + 20 minutes (muffins)   Total Time: 50 minutes

{Print Me}

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium winter squash (I used butternut), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  About 2 cups
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, washed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

1. Gather those ingredients.  Preheat oven to 425°

2. Cheeeeeese.  I loooove cheese!

3. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Make sure all the pieces are coated.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toss it into the oven for about 20 minutes.

4. While the squash is in the oven, whisk milk, eggs, and mustard.  Set aside.

5. After 20 minutes, stab a piece of squash to make sure it's tender and done.  Turn down the oven to 400° for the muffins.

6. In a large bowl combine 2/3 of the squash, the spinach, parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of goat cheese.  Pour egg/mustard mixture in and stir to combine.

7. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.

8. Stir with a spoon until well mixed.

9. Grease a muffin pan and fill with batter.

10. Sprinkle each muffin with black pepper and top with remaining goat cheese and squash.

11. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.

12. Annnnd they're done!

13. Break 'em open...

14. And enjoy!

P.S. - I served mine with a roasted veggie soup that I'll be sharing soon!

P.P.S- Don't forget to sign up for the cookbook giveaway!  You have 3 more days!  Click {here} to enter.  Good luck!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday!

Aren't Monday holidays the best?  There is something magical about having that one extra day to just lounge around and be lazy....or productive if you're that type.  And then the week following usually zooms past due to the late start.  It's wonderful, right?

In conclusion: Can we have a Monday holiday every week?  It only seems fair.

On another note, I would like to send a thank you out to all of you for making the blog's 1st birthday a great one!  If you haven't signed up to win the Flour cookbook yet you most definitely should!  You can either click back to the previous entry or click {here} to enter!  It ends this Saturday, February 25th so make sure you don't miss it!

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that the meals for this week are completely random and don't fit together in any sort of way.  It's possible that I was incredibly hungry when picking these everything sounded delicious.

Oh well right?

I fell in love with this recipe simply from reading the name.  And then I read the ingredients.  Swoon.

Honey Ginger Mahi Mahi
-from Culinography


One of Kaston's favorite soups is potato and leek (which you can find here).  Translate that into a pizza?  Talk about one happy camper.

Potato and Leek Pizza
-from Tartelette


My momma used to make spaghetti squash all the time back home and I had forgotten how much I love it until....I found this recipe.  I cannot wait to have this in front of my face.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms
-from Shutterbean 
By Thursday I can only assume our refrigerator will be stuffed full of leftovers.  But that's what Thursday is for, right?  I've been dying to try this "magical" vinaigrette.  So maybe I'll have it for lunch...maybe for dinner.  Who knows.  Who cares. 

Magical Vinaigrette  


I have a very good feeling that after 4 whole days without meat the boys will be whimpering.  So to avoid tears I'll have to whip this guy up.  And I'm not complaining.

Beer-Braised Beef with Onions

Other Goodies:

I sure wouldn't mind these coming out of my kitchen at some point this week.  They look and sound heavenly.

Cheesy Winter Squash Muffins

Uhhhhh hello mushroom grilled cheesy melty thing.  I want you?

Mushroom Grilled Cheese

And to keep myself from feeling completely guilty about that ooey gooey deliciousness above I thought I should probably throw in something green that retained some sort of nutritional value.  I say that like it's a bad thing...but that's not true.  This looks divine. 

"Absurdly Addictive" Asparagus
-from Food52
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