"Sinfully Sweet!" Handcrafted Dessert Harvest Review

Last week I was invited to Harvest to check out the "Sinfully Sweet" Handcrafted Dessert Review -- six courses of desserts prepared by pastry chef Brian Mercury. I happily skipped dinner and sat down at 6 p.m. to indulge in course after course of dessert.

Before we dined, Brian came out to give an overview of everything we would be eating, what components were on each plate, and how they were made. The desserts ranged from citrus to savory to cheese to chocolate and nuts, and each one was artfully arranged and crafted with care. It was quickly evident that a lot of thought had been given to each component.


Giveaway: Merci Chocolates And Champagne Flutes

It's award season! We've seen the Grammys and the Oscars are coming up! To help you celebrate award season, I'm giving away a Joy of Thank You Red Carpet Kit from Merci chocolates. Merci chocolates are European chocolates that come in an array of flavors, from dark mousse to coffee and cream to hazelnut-almond. The chocolate is rich and smooth, and the flavors are interesting and fun. The kit includes a box of Merci chocolates, four champagne flutes, four popcorn containers, and a list of tips to help you share meaningful thank yous and toasts.


NYC Eats: Otto And Eataly

Several Fridays ago, I left work early and boarded a Bolt bus to NYC with my friend Kathleen to celebrate her bachelorette. We were staying with our friend Michelle, who lives on the Upper East Side, and while the other ladies who'd be joining the bachelorette festivities weren't due to show up until the following afternoon, the three of us wanted to take advantage of a nice dinner out in the city. It didn't take long to decide on Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, one of Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich's restaurants.

With the timing of our bus and some snowy weather in the city, we didn't end up heading out to dinner until around 9:30. We put our names in for a table when we got to the restaurant and were handed a slip that resembled a train ticket with the destination of Capri. We gathered around a communal table and ordered drinks to pass the time while we waited for our table and watched the train board to see if it was ready. Every so often the train board would update with a new destination. It was such a fun way to let people know their tables were ready. I sipped a Sardinian iced tea while we waited.


Globe Review: Steel & Rye, Milton, Mass.

There's a new restaurant on my favorite restaurant list... and it's called Steel & Rye. I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and the food. Head over to the Globe to read my review! (Also available here.)

Sweet potato soup at Steel & Rye, Milton, Mass.


Popbar's Hot Chocolate On A Stick

About a month ago I got some fun treats to sample from Popbar. Popbar is a shop in New York that sells gelato on a stick as well as other goodies. Clearly, they couldn't send me gelato, so they sent me something even better at this time of year: Hot Chocolate on a Stick. I got two samples of dark Hot Chocolate on a Stick -- basically a block of chocolate on a Popsicle stick. (Other available flavors are milk chocolate and vanilla white chocolate.)


The Blizzard Of 2013

I hope everyone is safe and warm and enjoying the aftermath of Nemo. The storm gave me an excuse to hole up inside, cook comfort food, and sit by the fire and to just let go a little and spend some time with my boys.

On Friday afternoon when the snow was just starting to stick, Gunner got to frolic in the backyard with his frisbee. He loves the snow, but I don't think he had any idea what was coming.


Mini Hot Cocoa Cookies

Mini hot cocoa cookies

Today sounds like the perfect day to get snowed in! Cold, snowy weather always makes me wish we could just hibernate. Rather than brave the chilly temperatures and trudge through foot-high snow, I'd love to stay curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa in hand -- or nibbling on cookies that offer the rich, comforting flavors of hot cocoa. These cookies do just that.


New Chef And New Menu Items At The Salty Pig

I've been to The Salty Pig in Boston's Back Bay a few times since it opened back in 2011. I immediately loved the concept -- a warm, inviting space with a view of the kitchen and lots of cheese, salty meat, and pizza options. 

Since my last visit, Kevin O'Donnell became executive chef there. Kevin was a sous chef at Mario Batali's Del Posto and was also named "a new American tastemaker in Paris" for his work at L'Office. I was invited in to try a sampling of his new-to-the-menu dishes. How could I resist?


Buffalo Chicken Fried Ravioli

Buffalo chicken fried ravioli

These buffalo chicken fried ravioli were supposed to be buffalo chicken wontons, but apparently if you go looking for wonton wrappers the day before Super Bowl Sunday, even if you go to three different stores, you might not find any. For some reason, even though every store was out of wonton wrappers, they all seemed to have egg roll wraps, so I decided to improvise, having already bought everything else I needed to make some sort of buffalo chicken appetizer.


Giveaway: Sucré's King Cake And New Orleans Pecan Praline Coffee

King cake

Mardi Gras is just around the corner! And I have a king cake and some New Orleans' coffee to give away to help you celebrate! The king cake is traditionally associated with the beginning of Carnival Season, which starts on Twelfth Night and ends on Mardi Gras. There's usually a small plastic baby hidden inside the cake, and whoever finds it is supposed to have good fortune for the year.