Dinner At Chopps American Bar And Grill, Burlington, Mass.

I love venturing to Burlington to go to shopping. There's a freestanding Crate & Barrel, a West Elm, a Barnes & Noble, and tons of other favorite stores of mine in the Burlington Mall. With all that shopping, I usually end up wanting to grab a bite to eat too. For something a bit nicer and more substantial than a slice of pizza at the food court, down the road from the mall, now there's Chopps American Bar and Grill.

Chopps American Bar and Grill is located inside the Marriott and features a menu devised by chef David Verdo and consulting chef Daniel Bruce. Verdo has cooked at various restaurants in the Boston area and I've experienced Bruce's cooking before at Meritage. The background of these two chefs gave me high hopes for a meal at Chopps, and I was not disappointed.


10 Tips For Editing A Recipe

I edit recipes for a living. Well, really that's oversimplifying my job. But a huge part of what I do each day involves scrutinizing recipes -- making sure that all the parts are there, that what's on paper translates to what actually needs to happen, that they are consistent with any accompanying text/explanation, and that they adhere to house style and have no errors in content and grammar.

And I kind of love it. I get to read and think about food all day (not to mention eat it when there are recipe testings going on in the kitchen). I think that paying attention to all the little details when I'm editing has made me a better recipe writer, so I thought I'd share some of my tips for how to edit or review a recipe after you've written it. If you read through your recipe using the checklist below, you'll be in pretty good shape and your readers should be able to re-create your dish.


Dinner at Orta, Pembroke, Mass.

Orta, Pembroke, Mass.

Orta Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar, which takes its name from Italy's Lake Orta, features northern Italian cuisine crafted by chef Brett Williams, who spent time traveling in Italy, working as an apprentice to chef Jimmy Burke, and honing his skills at Stella before purchasing the restaurant in 2012.

Admittedly, Orta is a bit off the beaten track for me, but I always love trying new restaurants and couldn't pass up an opportunity to attend a media dinner at the restaurant. Williams ended up being called away to a last-minute event in New Jersey the night of our dinner, but his wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Cara, and Orta's sous chef were there to showcase what Orta has to offer.


Farro "Risotto" With Mushrooms, Asparagus, And Goat Cheese

Farro "risotto" with mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese

Before we start talking about this farro "risotto" with mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese, I realized there are some things some of you probably don't know about me. And it's time to come clean. First, I am obsessed with micro pigs -- mini pigs, teacup pigs, all of them. Seriously. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I just do a Google image search for them, and I instantly feel better. (Try it. The cuteness is almost unbearable.) If only Jeff would agree to getting one for a pet. I'm sure Gunner, our 90-pound chocolate lab, would love a micro pig for a companion.