Boston Local Food Festival – Featured Blogger

I was so thrilled to be asked back again this year to be part of the blogging team for the Boston Local Food Festival.

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This year’s festival takes place on Sunday, September 14, 2014 from 11:00am – 5:00pm on the Greenway. It is a great opportunity for local farms, restaurants and food vendors to showcase their products and services – they get over 100 vendors and exhibitors!

The Festival’s mission is to generate increased demand for local and sustainably produced food through education and promotion, support the growth and development of local farms and locally owned food-related businesses, increase the availability and access of healthy local food to urban communities, and to facilitate collaborations between local food farms, businesses, and public and non-profit organizations.

If you are looking for an opportunity to speak directly with the farmers or vendors, sample and take home some of their products, participate in workshops or watch live demonstrations on a wide variety of topics make sure to mark your calendar for September 14th!

I couldn’t be happier to be asked to work with Flour Bakery on my post for the festival. Joanne Chang is one of my favorite Boston chefs and I love to visit Flour to grab a tasty fresh baked pasty and a coffee.

Flour Logo

You can find my full post about Flour and what they are bringing to the Boston Local Food Festival here:

http://bostonlocalfoodfestival.com/2014/07/what-makes-this-flour-so-special-sticky-buns-for-starters/

“Anchors Aweigh!” at the Chatham Bars Inn

If you are from Massachusetts you are probably very familiar with Cape Cod. The 75 mile long peninsula is studded with quaint beach towns each with their own distinct personalities and activities.

One popular destination on the Cape is the town of Chatham. Located on what is called the “elbow” of the Cape it is surrounded by water on three sides. On one side you get the Atlantic Ocean and on the other is the quieter, warmer waters of the Nantucket Sound.

Chatham

Home of the Chatham Lighthouse (located on Lighthouse Beach), the Railroad Museum, the Attwood House Museum, as well as many shops and restaurants there is something for everyone who comes to visit.

If you are looking for THE place to stay in Chatham look no further than the Chatham Bars Inn. This luxury full service resort sits on 25 private acres of property and recently underwent a $100 million renovation.

2014 marks the Inn‘s 100th anniversary of the property, which was originally built as a semi-private hunting lodge back in 1914. They have won numerous awards including the prestigious Forbes Four-Star award and has been named one of the top resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Main Inn

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With plenty of restaurants, tennis courts, golf, spa treatments, and a 24-hour fitness center there is plenty to do on property. The Chatham Bars Inn is also a very popular wedding destination providing the perfect backdrop for a picturesque day.

Beach View

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CBI Exterior

However, I think the best activity offered on the resort is the boating. With a fleet of both power and sailboats guests can take part in public or privately charted cruises as well as sailing lessons, paddleboarding and kayaking.

In honor of the resorts 100th anniversary the Inn gifted themselves two new additions to their boating fleet: a 40′ sailboat named the Freedom 40 and a 38′ Shelter Island Runabout named Shooting Star.

Both boats hold six people.

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Shooting Star

The Shooting Star joins a fleet of four other power boats:

55’ Hinckley Motor Yacht - Five Star: Dubbed the “Queen of the Fleet” this boat available for private charter on a limited basis.

34’ Regulator Center Console - Starstruck: This ultimate sport fishing boat holds up to six passengers who are able to catch some of the freshest tuna and striped bass on the east coast as well as offshore big game and inshore light tackle fishing and featuring state-of-the-art fishing technology. This boat can be privately chartered for two-hour fishing trips and kid-friendly cruising.

29’ Custom Launch - Bartender: Holding 18 passengers the Bartender shuttles guests to North Beach Island during the day and Joe’s Beach Road Bar & Grille or Nauset Beach Club at night. Hop on board for a seal cruise around Chatham Harbor or a pirate cruise for the kiddos where they search for “stolen” treasure. Private cocktail cruises are offered as well.

21’ Parker Center Console - Lob Star: This boat makes daily afternoon trips to lobster traps were passengers can bait, haul and empty traps.

The Freedom 40 joins two other sailboats:

(2) 26′ Latitude Tandornes – Stars & Stripes and Midnight Star: Built in France these six passenger sail boats are available for day and sunset sails as well as sailing lessons.

Seals

If you are looking to have a relaxing resort vacation or a weekend full of activities the Chatham Bars Inn has got you covered!

For reservations or more information, please visit www.chathambarsinn.com or call (800) 527-4884.

Chatham Bars Inn
297 Shore Road
Chatham, MA 02633

508.945.0096

 

You can find the Chatham Bars Inn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

How Sweet’s Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet

 How Sweet It Is is my all-time favorite blog. Creator and writer Jessica has such unique recipes and I love her writing style. She inspires me because she is a self-taught home cook who has followed her passion for food and cooking and turned that into a successful blog and soon-to-be released cookbook titled Seriously Delish. I already pre-ordered my copy and can’t wait to see what city’s she will be visiting for book signings and events. Fingers crossed for Boston!

On top of Jessica‘s busy schedule she just announced on her blog that she and her husband will be expecting their first child this December. In honor of Jessica’s big announcement I made one of my favorite recipes of hers – Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet.

This recipe is great for the summer because you can use any fresh vegetables you find at your local grocery store or farmers market. I altered the recipe slightly using mozzarella instead of provolone because that is what I had in the fridge (but I have made the recipe with provolone here). I also highly recommend getting fresh corn and cutting it off the cob rather than using frozen.

If you haven’t tried a recipe with brown butter I advise you do so ASAP. It adds a great depth of flavor that you can’t get otherwise. Here is a link to Jessica‘s post on exactly how she browns her butter, with pictures!

Congrats to Jessica and her husband on the announcement of their December arrival as well as the release of Jessica‘s first cookbook on September 2nd!

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Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parsley (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne according to the package directions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 10-15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. If the vegetables begin to burn turn the heat down to low.

While the pasta and vegetables are cooking, heat a small sauce pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and whisk constantly until it is bubbly and brown bits appear on the bottom (approx. 5 minutes). Remove the butter from the heat and set aside.

Turn the heat off under the vegetables. Drain the pasta and add to the vegetable pan. Add the parmesan cheese and drizzle in the brown butter. Mix well then top with the mozzarella cheese.

Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mozzarella is bubbly.

Remove and garnish with parsley and extra parmesan cheese.

 

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Here is a picture from when I made this recipe with provolone cheese instead of mozzarella.

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Fettuccine with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and Sweet Peas

I have had a bunch of recipes for a cauliflower alfredo sauced pinned on Pinterest just waiting for a chance to test out. After reading a few different ones I knew I wanted to make one that had lots of garlic and nutmeg to give the sauce some flavor and depth.

Going completely no-carb is not an option for me, I love pasta too much. After two weeks of not having pasta AT ALL I was excited to make some. With penne or smaller shaped pasta I usually can taste a definite difference in the whole wheat or whole grain kinds but not with fettuccine or linguine. Since I have been trying to eat cleaner I am happy to find a whole grain option that I enjoy and doesn’t lack in quality of flavor.

While this dish wasn’t the prettiest to photograph I was really happy with how it turned out! It was full of flavor and not as heavy as a traditional alfredo sauce. I also liked that the sauce stayed in tact and did not turn oily when heating up leftovers.

This will definitely be added into my dinner rotation and I want to try out a cauliflower sauce risotto as well. It is such a good base sauce that can used for so many dishes – There is even a whole eCookbook written about it by the blog Pinch of Yum!

IMG_3629 Recipe adapted from Julia’s Album

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you could use Parmesan cheese as well).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 box of whole wheat fettuccine
  • Parsley (optional)

Clean and remove the cauliflower from the green leaves. Chop into fairly large pieces. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook for 30 minutes. Drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Boil and cook the fettuccine according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking you can add in the frozen peas.

Meanwhile, place the pot you cooked the cauliflower in back on the stove over a medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add the diced onion. Let saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the mined garlic and cook for another minute. Add the heavy cream and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously, until the cheese melts.

Remove from the heat.

Add the drained cauliflower back into the pot with with onions and garlic. Using an immersion blender, blend until creamy adding in the reserved pasta was back in as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with pepper and nutmeg. You can keep the sauce warm over a low heat on the stove if your pasta is not ready yet,

** If you do not have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or blender. 

Drain the fettuccine and peas and put back in the cooking pot. Pour the cauliflower sauce over the pasta and mix to combine. You can add more of the cooking water here if the sauce is still too thick.

Serve with more parmigiano-reggiano cheese and parsley (optional).IMG_3630

 

 

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Ranch Goat Cheese Dip

Normal people try to diet or eat healthy before summer.

That would be the smart thing to do.

Not me. I blame in on the extensive cold weather we had right up until  June. Cold weather makes me crave warm and hearty dishes while warm weather I am all about the salads and grilled meats and veggies.

Thanks a lot winter.

While I always try to eat healthy (I definitely have my splurge days every so often…hello  Sundays?) I decided to really crack down over the past two weeks. A friend of mine did a low carb diet the entire month of May and she looks fantastic. It was all the motivation I needed to make some simple changes to what I have been eating. I can honestly say after two weeks I already feel better and have a lot more energy.

While I can never cut out carbs completely since I love pasta too much, I have decided to go with a mix of low carb/clean eating dishes so there is plenty of variety. It is so easy to get bored when you don’t have options.

One of my coworkers had this dip at work last week. I tried some and loved it! I knew I had to make it ASAP. Not only is it tasty but it’s extremely easy to make and you don’t need many ingredients.

Serve it as a party appetizer or just snack on it at home with your favorite veggies or crackers!

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 WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 11oz of goat cheese (1 log)
  • 1.25 cups of plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani but you could also use sour cream)
  • 1 packet of Ranch seasoning mix
  • Additional garlic and onion powder if desired
  • Assorted vegetables  (I used baby carrots and cucumber)
  • Assorted crackers (optional)

 

Combine the goat cheese, greek yogurt and ranch seasoning in a food processor. Process until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Taste and add additional garlic and onion powder if needed.

Serve with assorted fresh vegetables and/or crackers.

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