Month: March 2014

Horseradish Carrots from Brasserie Jo

One of my favorite appetizer dishes from Brasserie Jo in Boston has to be the carrots they kindly serve as you are seated. They are tangy, spicy and crunchy…the trifecta of yum, and definitely unforgettable for their unconventional taste. Especially, along side their crunchy French bread.
Now I am hungry.  

Since we love these appetizers a whole bunch, we wanted to be able to make them and have them anytime we wanted.  So, here we gave a crack at making the dish after some research online. They came out great, and our kids thought they came out better than at the restaurant! Yes, better! This may be our new app to make for our family get togethers, like our annual Easter egg hunt in a few.

Enjoy!

Horseradish Carrots
1 lb of carrots, washed and peeled
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a cold water bath in a large bowl.

Cut carrots into sticks lengthwise; now, the sticks don’t have to be identical as that adds to the charm and rustic feel of this app.  Then submerge the cut carrots in the water bath.

Let them soak for roughly an hour.

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Drain the carrots then dry very well with a paper towel.

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In a bowl mix all the ingredients together; coating the carrots well.

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Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate for two hours.

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Done!

 

Saying Goodbye to the Star Wars, Where Science Meets Imagination Exhibit

Over 8.5 years ago, the Boston’s Museum of Science was part of a wonderful collaboration creating a traveling Star Wars exhibit that came to an end on Sunday, March 23, at San Jose’s Tech Museum; Star Wars, Where Science Meets Imagination.

Most of the group that gathered together for this farewell had not seen the exhibit in full for quite some time; for my husband, it had been since its departure from its originating location at the Museum of Science in Boston 8+ years ago.   They relived their hard work from almost a decade ago, with expressions upon their faces that showed an emotion as if it were all surreal.  I felt very privileged to be a part of this last walk through and farewell Sunday afternoon.  The emotions retelling this exhibit’s stories from inception were a buzz from each of them. Good, bad, but mostly funny. They were very lucky to have worked together on an exhibit that was widely popular like this was, imo.  In its 8.5+ year span of time, SWWSMI had traveled around the globe and was seen by over 3 million people. THREE MILLION! Which means some of you might have seen it!

The only downer was to see the exhibit in the San Jose space.  The exhibit was showcased in a very dark, spacious, almost airplane hanger quality area. To make it work in their eyes was to throw out the vision this team worked so hard on; it was all lack of order, not visually correct or things were not used in the right manner.  But other than that, it didn’t get this crew down.

 

Well, I am still adjusting back to time back here.  This is what I have to share with you guys.  I didn’t take many photos cause it was so dark in the Tech Museum’s space as I mentioned above, and without flash photography nothing came out so great. Honestly, it wasn’t as beautifully put together as it was in Boston; where it originated.  Seriously, if you got to see it at home, you were lucky! But it was what it was in Cali, and it was a great ending to this very personal exhibition.

 

If you want to read about the rest of our trip to San Fran/Denver, click here.

 

San Denvrisco

Hey Everyone,

Just got home from our trips to San Francisco and Denver and it feels so good to be home.  If I do not see an airplane (..or museum!) for a while, I will be good.  My husband had to go to Denver’s science museum for work, but added in San Francisco to bid adieu to an important exhibit he worked on. New Cities? No kids?  I AM THERE. ;p

San Francisco. What an amazing city; a new one for me. Though, I drove through only to go over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County on a stop before heading overseas years ago. So, I have never actually stayed or played in San Fran. This trip we stayed at a boutiquey hotel on the cusp of Chinatown; the Triton Hotel, a Kimpton.  Which we always love Kimpton’s cause of their quirky colorful interior design. The location was perfect, and San Francisco was amazing. I can only describe it as a hilly version of Boston on steroids mixed with a New Zealand community vibe. The views from all around were just beautiful. Even in the most remote spots, you could look around and find peaks of water at the ends of these massive hills. So picturesque. Wherever we walked, and we walked a ton, it was a buzz with super friendly people, too.

I.loved.SF.

DAY 1 – As soon as we landed, we ate at a local bar spot on Mason that I liked a tremendous amount, the Mikkeller Bar. If you ever go, get the l’il smokies, you won’t regret it!  We all had a great time. We all were my husband, two of his colleagues and myself.  As soon as we got there, we had to make a mad dash to a cocktail party in Pacific Heights.  Holy mega money up in that area!  The houses were absolutely spectacular.  The woman we were meeting with was a former Lucas Film/Pixar colleague.   I believe she worked directly for George Lucas at LF (not as an assistant but in their marketing department or something).  She worked with the Museum of Science’s creators 8 years ago on Star Wars, Where Science Meets Imagination.  I had only met her briefly then, I think.  Who remembers who I met then cause it was a big blur of pregnant brain (me) and super star exhibit designer (my husband) taking pregnant brain everywhere. I remember meeting Anthony Daniels..but I had already had our baby by then!  heh.  But I digress… What a sweet woman she is, and she hosted us to a nice evening of story telling, champagne, apps, and views around the city I am still reeling over.  She had this view of the bay from her roof deck that would make anyone envious! The views spanned from the Golden Gate Bridge all the way over to Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge. Arg! Amazing.

Kick ass way to start off San Fran don’t you think? (see why I had a hard time coming home!?)

DAY 2– The second day in the city we all grabbed breakfast locally then walked through Chinatown.  I love most cities’ Chinatown, but HOLY CRAP San Fran’s was so great!  We window shopped and saw things only seen in Chinatown ..like an elderly man in a suit writing graffiti.  So fantastic.   Then we walked through their red light district down to the water to check out the Exploratorium.  I had to mention the red light district cause it was hilariously awesome, and if you can walk through you must during the day, too. Or night, if that is your thing.

The Exploratorium recently moved to a pier along the water, and is the talk of the science museum world.  We met with one of our colleague’s former interns who worked there.  She was super sweet and took us on a tour..and got me in for free! heh.  The museum had an industrialized feel with an expansive main hall; it was all a bit chaotic for me with the amount of people inside.  We got a private tour of their exhibit’s shop, which was pretty cool.  Then we spent the rest of the time to venturing through on our own and walking the dockside. What a view! Holy San Francisco! (my tag line this trip)

Then afterward my husband and I branched off from our group to spend the rest of the afternoon walking the city. HOLY SAN FRANCISCO WALKING!  First, we headed toward Pier 39; I think the Exploratorium is Pier 15 or something. We walked through the shops of insanity, then we stumbled upon a nook where a raft of sea lions were hanging out.  It was amazing! In the midst of all this city and people there was solace for wildlife.  They were so sweet barking all over the place while basking in the sun. I was slightly envious. heh

This whole area is highly trafficked by tourists, which I need to mention was on my list of things to do in San Fran… BE A TOURIST.  We had a blast.   Then we visited the Musée Mécanique for some old school arcade fun. This place looks shady, and it does have a lot of spooky looking mechanical toys/game, but is so much fun. It is filled with real vintage penny machines, pinball machines, old timey peep shows, and photo booths.  There were some so vintage we were afraid to touch them. We spent a while in there just tooling around.

Then we moved onto Fisherman’s Wharf.  We ducked off the path to this great fish restaurant, Scoma’s, to enjoy some apps and wine overlooking the water. Right from there we took a walk along the water then headed towards Ghirardelli Marketplace.  The marketplace is literally dedicated to the chocolate company that there are two venues where they have chocolates and a sundae shop set up..that were both PACKED! Insanity, but so yummy.  After we hit this place up we walked a lot to Lombard Street, the crookedest street.  It was fun to see, but one of those things where the hype is better than the reality..know what I mean?  But, I am real glad we walked all that way to check it out.

That night we all got back together for dinner at the Tadich Grill.  A vintage seafood restaurant that hasn’t lost a beat with food, drinks or service. They do not take reservations! But we got so lucky to score four seats at the bar, which made our night fun.  The food was amazing, the waiter we had was awesome, and I left there wanting to go back again.  The waiter was the most fun for me though. Super old guy, whom we coined as Roger Sterling’s older brother. He had the New York accent, perfectly coiffed silver hair, that snarky sarcasm, and he had me laughing.. and swooning. haha I am so kidding!

Day 3–  This was the big event of the trip. Rent a car, grab our Lucas Film friend and head down to San Jose’s Tech Museum.  Why?  To walk through Star Wars and say goodbye, as it was the exhibit’s last day.  I wrote about it here. Also, here are some more pics aside from the San Jose portion.

I felt so at home in San Francisco, it really was hard for me to let it go.

Day 4– We parted ways with our museum family to hop on a plane for Denver. My first time ever in Colorado.  Big bummer is that it was only for one full day.  We spent our one night at the Hyatt, which was right in the university area over by the convention center. We scored big time with some nightlife near the university.  The best thing about traveling with my husband is that he researches every thing before hand, he knows what I like or I tell him a few details of where we are going, so all I have to do is show up and have fun. He.is.awesome.  We walked shopped, dined and drank, and had a blast. We talked a lot of the San Fran part of the trip cause we both had so much fun. 😦

Day 5– We explored the Denver science museum for the Maya Exhibit the morning of our departure, the whole reason for my husband’s trip. He had to work with the designer there as the Boston Museum of Science will be acquiring the exhibit soon. It was huge,  and though interesting, I was museumed out at this time. So I spent most of it perusing the exhibit, watching my husband talk, take photos and surveying the whole space for hours. Hours.  But it flew, and we got to spend some time going through the rest of the museum together.  What a museum, too. It was a great mix of education and Disneyesque learning.  What I mean is that they had this huge space to work with to build up the exhibits into an experience rather than just labels and artifacts.

Though our stay in Denver was short, I was left with a great vibe of their downtown and hope to get the chance to go back again. That goes for San Francisco for that matter.

Great trip.  🙂

 

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Hey Everyone,

Hope you are all doing fantastic.  This weekend flew! It was big time busy, but great overall. I’m ending it with making one of my all time favorite soups before getting cozy on the couch to catch tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead (I may be an addict, y’all).

Lentil soup is a wholesome and satisfying soup that is real simple to make if you haven’t ever tried before.  No matter if it is made the vegetarian way, like I am posting here, or not.  *If you prefer to make it non vegetarian, before placing the vegetables in the stock pot add in either a few cuts of bacon or pancetta. Cook it till browned, then follow the recipe along per instruction after the olive oil in line one.

Buon Appetito!

Lentil Soup

1 one pound bag of dry lentils, rinsed and drained (this will serve 8)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped (remember buy only organic celery!)
3 carrots, washed, peeled and chopped
2 dry bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cups of tepid water

In a large stockpot, over medium heat, heat up the olive oil.

Once hot, add the garlic, bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery, and cook (sweat) until the onions are translucent.

Add the lentils. Stir to combine the flavors.

Then add water and bring to a rolling boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to simmer until the lentils are tender- about 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

Done!

 

If needed, add additional water to the soup until the lentils are tender.

Communion Reception

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend with this mini preSpring heatwave. heh.

This May, we will be celebrating my oldest daughter’s First Holy Communion. Her communion is the first of her religious rites that she will remember for as long as she lives, and we have the honor of being a part of it. Also, making it more memorable.

Since the year has started, I have been on overdrive planning for this day, and the details have just started to gel. After a whole lot of researching and shopping trips, I am at a good place to talk about it with you.

The theme will be a Vintage Garden Party. We will open up our yard for a Spring garden get together decorated in cream and burlap accented with candles, lace, twine and celery colored ribbon. My daughter loves the theme, and all the details so far. <– major relief! Her opinion means so much, and I want her to have input.

Well, now you know I will be busy planning over the next month and a half. Just keep a look out for the Communion post after the party in May. It will be detailed with all the planning, crafting and party details.

Have a great night. I am off to do some late night work on the invitations!
Xoxoxo

Thought it would be funny to share 2 family photos of mine and my sisters’ of our big day.  My sisters will hate that I am sharing theirs, but look at how cute I was !!  Heh. Also, mine is just rotten, but I don’t mind sharing it!

Always the baby sistahhhh!

My family circa 1980 (I am the little one in front).

My family circa 1980 (I am the little one in front).


My big communion day.  Stop yer laughin'!

My big communion day. Stop yer laughin’!

Waking up Spring

Well, almost Spring.

The sun is shining on the remaining Winter snow.
It is sparkling like little gems running across the yard.

My brown eyes ache staring up at the pale sky.

My mind is a fog with thoughts of you.
Your smile. Your charm. Your warmth.

Faint memories.

For now, I fall back to inviting blankets.
Waiting on the sun to caress my face.

Wishing it was you.

Downtown’s Blowout Sale!

It ended up a pretty good Friday, though it started off rocky.  My husband inadvertently brought both sets of my car keys to work with him in town.  He did hurry back home to drop them off before 10AM…with a surprise hot latte delivery, too. :))

Later on, I took my lunch hour to check out the Downtown Andover Boutique Blowout sale.  It is a two-day annual shopping event where the local stores come together to have a major sale on their seasonal items.  Info of the event is in that link above. I had ventured over last year where I got some major deals; so, I couldn’t miss out this year.

During my stay shopping around and talking to people, I got some amazing deals; 2 beautiful knit hats at Nest for $10, a fun  black/nude lace dress from Madox for $16, and a vintage inspired utensil holder at Savoir Faire for $10!  Something new I noticed this year was the participating merchants wearing collaborating flourescent green tee shirts with LOCAL 01810 printed across the chest.  I inquired and learned that they created this group to keep Andover’s community awareness up on how vibrant the downtown area is and should continue to stay IF they continue to purchase locally. The ladies in green all seemed banded together to strengthen that groups’ value. At least I saw it.

It was a great event and there is still a lot of beautiful items being offered.  If you are local, there is still time today.   This event is taking place right now till 7PM in the old Town Hall on the second floor, then tomorrow at each shop until 5PM.  You cannot miss who the participants are as they each have a grouping of flourescent balloons in their store entryways.

HAPPY LOCAL SHOPPING!

**I hope they make those LOCAL 01810 tee shirts to sell.  It would raise a lot more awareness and I’d be proud to wear one. (.. if any of the stores happen to be reading this and decide to make them..I suggest a black fitted vneck tee with white lettering. I would wear it all the time!)