Saturday, March 31, 2012

Flatbread Company

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that the possibility of this being a fairly long post that is filled to the brim with well, quite good.  I'm pretty excited about this one and I have a large file of pictures, so why not share them right?

As you may know, I decided back in January that at least once a month I was going to dine at a new restaurant in Boston and then tell you all of the wonderful things about it.  So, as usual I've waited until the last day of the month and here we are.  At least I'm predictable right?

The chosen one this month is Flatbread Company in Somerville, MA.  This place completely and gracefully fell into my lap.  Since my sweet little Kaitlin is in town, we knew that we had to take her candlepin bowling at some point during her visit for a true "Boston" experience.  We decided on Thursday night that we would take a shot at Sacco's in Davis Square, so I jumped on Yelp to find somewhere close for dinner.  Flatbread was at the tip top so I made a quick call to see if they took reservations.  This is when I discovered that Flatbread's was IN the bowling alley.  Talk about meant to be.  So, we moseyed on over to Davis Square and found Sacco's tucked away on a side street away from all of the hustle and bustle of the Square.  From the outside it looks a little dingy maybe even a little sketchy, but as soon as we stepped foot in the front door our whole world turned upside down.

The beautiful old bowling lanes were filled, the bar was overflowing, the tables were crunched together to feed as many hungry mouths as possible, and the mouthwatering smell of pizza was in the air.  Luckily, we called ahead and were able to get our table within 15 minutes.  We were promptly greeted by the waitress, drinks were ordered, and the menu was explained.  It was simple.  Fresh, delicious salads, well conceived pizza combinations, and then of course the desserts.  Let's look at pictures, yeah? (P.S.-they aren't the greatest pictures in the world...Sorry!)

Drinks first.  Of course I'm the only one not drinking beer with pizza.  Typical.  I had a Gin and Tonic with cucumber and mint.  And then several others at the table followed suit...Guess that beer wasn't so good after all was it?

That's right, all of their pizzas are made from farm fresh, local ingredients and then prepared in a wood-fired, clay oven pizza.

I had the "Veggie" Special.  Topped with oven roasted zucchini and squash, cherry tomatoes, red onion, herb ricotta, and parmesan.  It was to die for.  The herb ricotta base was unreal.

Obviously I was excited about it.  And since I didn't get a *good* picture of Kaston's pizza, you can see a corner of it in this photo.  He had the Cheese & Herb with grilled mushrooms.  That's right Kaston special ordered a pizza to have MUSHROOMS on it.  That's the last thing I ever expected him to order.

Ashley had Jimmy's Free-Range Chicken Pizza consisting of oven roasted chicken, black beans (which she omitted), cilantro, tomatoes, roasted corn, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, sour cream lime drizzle, and jalapenos.  Ay Ay Ay!


Nicholas crafted his own pizza with roasted red peppers and pepperoni.  I've never seen pepperonis this thick.  YUM.

And finally, Kaitlin ordered the "Carne" Special with chicken, bacon, red onion, arugula, and homemade ranch dressing.  It was a favorite at the table.

Let's not forget about the awesome crew that made those pizzas possible.  How about a round of applause for them? 

As soon as all of this food was brought to the table there were *gasps* and pure fear/joy that we would never be able to finish all of it.  BUT being the champions that we are...we didn't walk away with a single slice leftover.  It was THAT good.  

Now, I hate to put my favorites in order because I loved all of them but I'm going to do it anyways...

Favorites in order:
  1. Veggie Special
  2. Jimmy's Free Range Chicken
  3. Cheese, Herb, & Mushroom
  4. Carne Special
  5. Nick's Pepperoni and Red Peppers

Unfortunately there was still a several hour wait for bowling after dinner so we left these lovely professionals to it and headed to Lanes & Games in North Cambridge. We had an absolute blast and I'm sure we will be returning for a game or twelve sometime in the near future.

Conclusion: Call Sacco's.  Get your name on the list for bowling and dinner.  Get yourself and all of your friends to Davis Square via whatever means possible (plane, train, automobile), grab a drink at the bar while you wait for a table, pile into a booth when told to do so, order drinks, order pizza, swoon over delicious pizza, order more pizza, work it off with bowling, report back and tell me how much fun you had.  That shouldn't be too hard right?

Sacco's Bowl Haven and Flatbread Company
45 Day Street
Somerville, MA
Flatbread-11:30AM-11:30PM Sundays close at 10:30PM
Sacco's-9:00AM-Midnight Sundays close at 10:30PM

Visit Flatbread Company's Website {here}

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: Boozy Treats

Are you ready to hear a fun little fact?

Tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, my long anticipated 21st Birthday will finally be upon us!  Finally the sad weekends of being stuck at home alone (usually spent being the best roommate ever and making food for all of the drunkies to come home to) while everyone is out having a jolly ole' time is a thing of the past.  Finally.  Maybe I should consider enlisting a minor to take over this duty so I can also enjoy the same late night snacks...Hmm...Any takers?

Other than the big birthday celebration, I have another special treat coming my way this week.  Remember Kaitlin, my favorite ginger friend?  Well, her precious bum will be arriving on Wednesday evening for a long weekend of debauchery and fun.  And I can't even describe to you how excited I am.  It's going to be a glorious week.

That being said...I probably won't be making too many meals at home.  So instead of our regular Meal Plan Monday together, I've gathered up some delicious looking "boozy" treats from around the web in celebration of the big day.  Am I even allowed to celebrate my own birthday in this manner?  Is it too narcissistic?  Ah, well.  Now, there are a LOT of treats listed here and I don't want you to worry yourself about my health, so in contrast with my usual Meal Plan Monday's, I don't plan on eating all of these things this week.  Or this month.  Or in the next three months.  So don't worry about a sugar overdose.  Maybe in five months though...

Enjoy the treats, check out the links, and have a wonderful week!

Could these be anymore perfect for a summer picnic or BBQ?  I think not.
Cherry Apple Whiskey Sour "Poptails"

Mom...I know you're drooling.
Mudslide Pudding Shots
-from Bakers Royale 

Beer.  I'm not a fan of beer.  BUT I could be a fan of beer in cupcake form.  Especially with blueberry and lemon.  Mmm.
Blueberry Lemon Beer Cupcakes
-from She Knows

Glorious.  What genius came up with the idea to make cake flavored Vodka?
Boozy Birthday Cake Shots
-from Sweetapolita

AH. My Favorite booze.  Sounds incredibly dangerous.
Boozy Salted Caramel Milkshake
-from Our Food Shed

I truly liked these because of the wonderful alliteration in the name.  But they sound pretty scrumptious too.
Boozy Brown Butter Brownies with Bourbon

Ha.  I liked the name of these too.  It's kind of like picking out a bottle of wine because of a pretty label.  Probably not wise...but still fun.
Dirty Girl Scout Cookies

YUM.  Don't those look like the most perfectly textured cookies you've ever seen?  And I bet they taste better than they look.
Brandied Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a classic.  I wouldn't mind a rum apple pie either.
Rum Apple Cake
-from Food 52

Do you have any favorite "boozy" treats?  I want to hear all about them so leave me a comment!

And just in case...I'm going to give myself a little bit of a cushion by warning you that it is going to be a crazy week and while I have plans of presenting you with goodies, I don't want to make too many promises that I can't keep.  So cut me a little slack this week if I get a little lazy, alright? :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Olive Oil Almond Cake

Please raise your hand if you absolutely despise the DMV and would do almost anything to avoid going there for the rest of your life.  If both of your arms didn't shoot straight to the sky, you my friend are a crazy person.

In case you were wondering, I spent a large amount of my Friday afternoon at the lovely Chinatown branch DMV.  It is a downright wretched place.  No one is happy, it takes forever, and something is bound to go wrong while there.  Just a few hours there and all happiness and positive outlooks on life seem to be sucked right out of you.  For all of you Harry Potter fans the DMV can be easily related to the Dementors of Motor Vehicles.

The moment I stepped out of the door and drew in my first refreshing breath in hours, I decided I had to go home and bake immediately.  I needed something to return my happy levels to the right place.  Even though several other unfortunate things happened between the DMV and this cake coming out of the oven, ( camera having a major booboo and being unusable :( which, I fully blame on the DMV for sending it's raincloud around with anyone who visits for the remainder of the day.) this cake made everything completely worth it.  Which was a nearly impossible task.

All of those bad feelings melted away as soon as I took my first bite.  It was unbelievable.  The olive oil.  The almond flavors.  The slight hint of citrus.  The perfectly toasted almonds.  The brown butter glaze.  Mmmm.  I would almost commit to another day at the DMV just to have another slice. But...since I could just make another one, that seems highly unnecessary.

Kaston scoffed at the sound of an "olive oil" cake but then was found secretly devouring his second slice an hour later.  So don't make his mistake.  Bake this cake, toast some almonds, drizzle it with the most heavenly glaze on earth, eat a slice, share with your friends, and then eat another slice.

Olive Oil Almond Cake...
adapted from Sassy Radish

Makes: 1 9-inch round cake   Prep Time: 10 minutes   Bake Time: 30-40 minutes   Total Time: 40-50 minutes

{Print Me}

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • grated zest from 1/2 an orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
for the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk 
  • few drops fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or spring form pan and place a layer of wax paper in the bottom.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.
  3. Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk them lightly to break up the yolks.  Add the sugar and whisk it in for about 1 minute.  Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is a bit lighter in color and has thickened.  Whisk in the extracts and zest, followed by the orange juice.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk until everything is combined.  Continue whisking for about 30 seconds for a smooth batter.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes.  When the cake is done it will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and will spring back lightly when touched.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove from the pan and allow it to cool completely on the rack.
  7. While the cake cools, make the glaze by melting the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.  After it is completely melted, lower the heat and watch the butter carefully, stirring occasionally.  When the butter begins to turn a light tan color turn off the heat and let the butter sit for several minutes.
  8. While the butter cools, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl.  Whisk in milk until completely smooth, then slowly whisk in the butter.  Taste glaze and add a few drops of lemon juice to balance the sweetness.  Stir in toasted almonds.
  9. Pour glaze over cake and let it sit until the glaze is set.
  10. Enjoy! 

P.S. - A big THANK YOU goes out to Ashley from The Uniqueness of Being for all of her tremendous help with the new look of the blog.  Seriously, she's amazing.  You should go visit her blog and remind her of that.  And while we're talking about it...what do you think?!  Do you like the new look?  Hate it?  Leave me a comment with some feedback!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ginger Fried Rice

Guess what.  I cheated on my Meal Plan Monday.  Please don't tell her though, she might get upset.

I really couldn't help it.  It was gorgeously warm Monday afternoon and the thought of coming home to make a big pot of steaming hot soup just didn't seem right.  So I changed my mind and made this instead.  Big surprise there.

I was a little weary when I started making the dish but everything ended up coming together in the most wonderful way.  There were definitely some "Oooohs and Aaaaaahs" that escaped everyone's mouth as they took their first bite.  It was simply delicious.  So delicious in fact, that I am requesting that you make this soon.  And please for goodness sake don't skip out on the fried egg.  It makes the dish.  Got it?

Ginger Fried Rice...
Adapted from Mark Bittman/NYTimes and Jean-George Vongerichten

Makes: 4 servings   Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 cups day old rice at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel and salt lightly.
  2. Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil as well as the mushrooms and shallot.  Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Season lightly with salt.
  3. Raise heat to medium and add rice.  Cook, stirring well, until heated through.  Season to taste with salt.
  4. In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until the white is set but the yolk is still nice and runny.
  5. Divide rice among four dishes, top each with an egg, and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon seasame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.  Sprinkle with crispy garlic and ginger.
  6. Enjoy!

The crispy garlic and ginger was my favorite.  YUM.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday already?

Ahhhh man.

Mom, I don't *wanna* go to school!  Do I have to?

Fiiiiiiine.  I'll go.  But I'm not happy about it.

Does anyone else miss the time when there was a remote possibility you could get out of something if you pulled off the cute and pouty look just right?  Why doesn't that trick work in grown up world?  It's not fair.

I'm complaining here but really...I'm one happy camper.  Spring has sprung in Boston and it is glorious outside.  I took a late afternoon stroll around the neighborhood yesterday and the city was absolutely crawling with life.  Everyone had come out of hibernation to roll around in the grass or to grab a drink on an outdoor patio.  Now we can only hope Mr. Winter doesn't make an encore appearance.  He's tricky like that sometimes.

With that being said, this weeks meal plan is all about Spring.  And delicious vegetables.  Yum.  Happy Monday friends!


It seems silly that I just raved about how nice and warm it is outside and then I immediately tell you I'm going to make a hot know how much I love a good soup.  And this one is filled to the brim with my favorite veggies.  I couldn't help myself.
Spring Minestrone Soup


Put the word *Greek* in front of any dish and you'll win me over.  Really, it's that easy.  The only thing that could make these little pita pockets better is if I had my own garden to grow the cucumbers and tomatoes in....sigh.
Greek Steak Pita Pockets 


Men of our apartment...get ready to go weak at the knees.  According to their love affair with Trader Joe's frozen Asian cuisine, I think they are going to like this one.  Heck, they might even eat a few vegetables (if they get trapped under a piece of chicken).  
Stir-Fried Chicken and Rice with Spring Vegetables


I'm beyond thrilled to announce that on Thursday I'll be dining out because...I get to go see the Hunger Games several days early!  Ashley over at The Uniqueness of Being is super woman and got us tickets.  In order to save up an appetite for popcorn and possibly dinner at Sweet Cheeks I think I'll throw together this simple spring salad for lunch.  It looks delightful.
Spring Salad with Prosciutto and Grapefruit


I'll admit it...the amount of asparagus going on this week is obscene.  Or wonderful.  I like the second approach better since there is no such thing as too much asparagus in my book.  This dish screams Spring.  A light pasta with veggies, lemon, and cheese?  Yes, please.
Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta

 Spring means Farmers' Markets.  Which means fresh produce.  Which means I'm going to be in heaven very very soon.  They are still about a month away from starting up so, for now daydreaming of these things will have to do.

Citrus and Ginger Smoothie

Cherry Almond Crumble 

Spiced Plum Jam with Vanilla Bean
Ooooh.  Aaaah.  Guess who has a Williams-Sonoma Gift Card...This girl.  You can read about this lovely thing {here}.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Cake

According to my calculations, it was an absolute fluke that Kaston was not born on St. Patrick's Day.  He has curly somewhat "red" hair, he loves Guinness, he loves the marshmallows in Lucky Charms (who doesn't?), he loves Jameson, and he loves Ireland...but the list could go on and on.  In fact...he might just be a leprechaun.

And guess what?  That leprechaun has a BIRTHDAY today!  The big 2-2.  Getting old he is.  I was tempted to buy him a bag of Depends and some Denture Cream, but instead I decided to bake him a cake.  I'm sure he would have enjoyed either.

The timing of this cake worked quite perfectly you see...Kaston adores Guinness so it made sense to make him a cake with Guinness IN it, but also...this is the perfect St. Patty's Day treat.  Oh and did I mention I nabbed a bite of this thing and it's unbelievably delicious?  Like my new favorite chocolate cake delicious.  Which's not only for birthdays or St. Patty's's also for random Wednesday afternoons...or Monday nights, breakfast on Tuesdays, midday meal on Thursdays, late night snack on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays.  Nifty.

Chocolate Stout Cake...
adapted from Simply Recipes 

Makes: one 8 or 9-inch cake   Prep Time: 15 minutes   Bake Time: 40-50 minutes   Total Time: 1 hour

{Print Me}

  • 1 cup stout or porter beer (I used Guinness!)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
for the icing:
  • 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Gather the goods and preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease an 8 or 9 inch springform pan and place a layer of parchment in the bottom.
2. A perfectly poured Guinness in a measuring cup?  I should be a bartender.  In a saucepan combine beer and butter over medium high heat until butter is melted.
3. Whisk in cocoa and both sugars.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Set aside.
4. With a mixer combine sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until very well combined. 
5. Add egg mixture to butter/beer mixture and whisk together.
 6. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.  Pour into your prepared pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.
 7. While the cake is baking prepare the icing.  With a mixer beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat for another minute.  Slowly add powdered sugar until you end up with the sweetness and consistency that you want.
 8. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
 9. When the cake has cooled, spread frosting evenly over the top.
 10. And now you have a "perfectly poured" Guinness Cake!
11. Don't forget to pour yourself a Guinness before you dig in and enjoy!
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