Recipe: Double Berry Almond Breakfast Cookies

Double Berry Almond Breakfast Cookies cooling on a rack.

Back in 2008, I posed the question, “Cupcake or muffin?” Is the only real difference that one we eat for breakfast or a snack and the other is dessert? Muffins sometimes have glaze, which is basically frosting.

Calorically there is not much difference either. I agree with a recent Vox article stating that we need to get real about our American breakfasts. They are basically dessert.  Although an article found in Essence may help assuage our collective guilt.  Eating dessert for breakfast may help us lose weight. Let’s go with that one!

If you ever think that I will discourage dessert, then you are sadly happily mistaken. I have a healthy (cough, cough) breakfast cookie recipe for you. It’s been a while since I blogged a recipe, so the time is right.

The only reason that I found this recipe is because another one of my favorite magazines abruptly stopped publicationMore Magazine. It was a great magazine. Stylish, intelligent and thoughtful. Oh well. Seems that doesn’t sell. I still miss Whole Living. *sigh*

But I digress. For the remainder of my More subscription, I was given Shape Magazine. It’s not bad, but not a true replacement. Anyway, I did find this breakfast cookie recipe. It’s sweet, but uses maple syrup instead of sugar. I added honey and made a number of other changes based on the ingredients that I had at home, my particular tastes and knowing my oven.

As I always say, a recipe is just a starting point. Adapt away! Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think.

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Double Berry Almond Breakfast Cookies (Adapted from recipe on Shape Magazine)
(Makes a dozen)


  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1  1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup cranberries (halved)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp. orange peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium to large bowl combine ingredients. Mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to put batter on baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes. Remove cookies and let cool on a rack. Enjoy!


Where Are You Drinking Your Coffee?


Are you drinking your coffee at home? Maybe you’re sipping your café au lait at a cozy neighborhood café? Like Caffeé Nero for instance.


I visited their South End location on Tremont Street last year and am just getting around to writing about it now. It’s a cute little spot. I really enjoyed it and had intended to return.


I’ll make it back there or to one of their other locations at some point. Have you been? Besides coffee they have plenty of sweets too.


I was reminded of Caffeé Nero after reading a Boston Globe article this morning. Apparently Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks had lower sales than expected this past week.

The writer wondered if it was because of higher prices or a bad national mood. Then further speculated.

The question now, she added, is where are people buying their coffee instead. “Are they driving people to McDonald’s, Cumberland Farms, or Speedway?”

Maybe the answer is simple. We have so many better alternatives.




Now on Craving Boston: Sakonnet Farm in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island

Sakonnett Farm in Rhode Island
Last week I mentioned that on the drive back from Connecticut, I visited Tiverton, Rhode Island for a Craving Boston article. Well, the article is up now!

Sakonnett Farm in Rhode Island

I hope you’ll go take a look and read about Sakonnet Farm. I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning more.

Summer 2016: Free Yoga Classes in Boston

A sepia image showing one of many free yoga classes in Boston.

Looking for free yoga classes in Boston? You’ve come to the right place.

Memorial Day weekend may be the the unofficial start of summer. The summer solstice is the official start of summer. But for me, once the 4th of July rolls around, then it’s truly summer. So here we are! In the heart of summer. Bring on the picnics, barbecues, trips to the beach and of course, lots of outdoor free yoga classes in Boston! This year class locations expand beyond the Boston area to the South Coast and includes Fairhaven.

While the listing of free yoga classes is year-round now, one for each season, this is the 5th Annual listing of free yoga classes for the summer. Remember there are Meetups in the area to try out. Hands To Heart Center Yoga – Yoga for the People provides free yoga classes for people living with poverty and trauma in Boston. Check out their website and Twitter for class schedules.

There are also free yoga classes being offered by a new group called Breathe Boston. They offer individual or group yoga and meditation classes.  You can sign up for classes at their location or have them come to you for a private class in your own home.

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Here are some general suggestions for those of you who may be new to taking free yoga classes in Boston that are outdoors. All classes listed here are free or donation based.

Sometimes mats and props might be available to you, but don’t count on it. If they are available, there may not be enough for everyone. So bringing your own mat, water, towel, etc., is the general rule.

blue sky behind clouds

Double check if the weather is bad. Usually the Facebook page and/or website will give an update if the class will be cancelled. Sometimes classes are brought indoors instead.

Most outdoor summer classes start in June or July and are over by the end of September.

Based on my sources, most classes take place on the days listed, but there can be gaps in the schedule for certain weeks, so you may want to double check first before you go. Also, most classes last for an hour, but when I am not sure, I do not put an end time.

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The Free Yoga Boston Community on Facebook is updated most everyday and more than 1000 have “Liked” the page.  Thank you! Check each day for all sorts of yoga news in addition to free yoga classes in Boston.

Sign up for the Free Yoga Boston email list! When you are on the email list, you will be the first to know about changes and updates to this schedule.

Every once in a while, when I learn about one-off special yoga classes and/or related events that might interest you, I will send an email to keep you in the know about free yoga classes in Boston.

A collage of two pictures, a duck on the left standing on gravely ground, on the right a duck in water.

If you know of other free or donation based classes in the Boston area that are missing from this list or are on the list, but need correction, please let me know.

This “Big List” is always a work in progress. There will be updates, so if you have not signed up for the email list, keep checking back. Namaste!

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P.O. Fitness Classes ~ Yoga Flow
Norman B. Leventhal Park (Financial District, Boston)
5:30pm – 6:30pm

This all levels class will strengthen the body, unwind the mind and uplift the spirit.  Join us to breathe, move, stretch and relax in the sunshine. Start your week off with self-care to feel balanced and refreshed. Check the Facebook page for updates and cancellations.


Sunrise Yoga on the Dock
Community Boating Docks (21 David G. Mugar Way, Boston)
6:30am – 7:30am

Anne Marie Costantino will help you begin your day with a supportive, gentle vinyasa flow that focuses on building postures from the ground up and exploring modifications. Anne Marie teaches an alignment-focused, slow flow style of yoga. With a focus on the breath, she guides students step-by-step into a pose and offers many modifications, making it a safe environment for practitioners of every level. These free yoga classes in Boston are offered in partnership with Athleta on Newbury Street through August. Class location is between MGH T stop and the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade and no parking is available. Please bring your own mat!

Yoga in the Park
Fitness in Cushman Park (Cushman Park, Green Street, Fairhaven)
8:30am – 9:30am

Kripalu certified yoga instructor Jeff Costa is helping the South Coast community keep fit and stay healthy with free yoga classes through August 23rd. Bring a mat and note that classes are weather permitting. See the Facebook page for updates.

Seaport Sweat
Yoga with Jenna Hill (85 Northern Avenue, Boston)
9:30am – 10:30am

The Seaport District recently added several types of fitness classes next to District Hall, including yoga. The classes started in August and go through October. You must register for the class before attending.

Yoga Classes at Boston Medical Center
Moakley Building (830 Harrison Avenue, Boston)
6pm – 7:15pm

These yoga classes are not just during the summer and are open to community members in addition to BMC patients and staff. They are held indoors and part of the Program for Integrative Medicine & Health Care Disparities. Take the elevator or stairs down to the basement. The classes are free, but there is a suggested donation of $5.00. Currently there is a flyer online [click here], but it is old. If the online flyer is updated, I will link to it here.

Patagonia Practice
Patagonia (346 Newbury Street, Boston)
7:30pm – 8:30pm

Join Yoga Hub Founder Ali Singer, for an all-levels flow yoga class sponsored by Patagonia.


Prenatal Yoga
Whittier Wellness & Fitness Club (1290 Tremont Street, Roxbury)
9:30am – 10:30am

Connect with your unborn baby at these prenatal classes, which are open to the public. You don’t have to be a club member to attend. From what I can tell, classes are held indoors and will be year-round.

Happy Hour Yoga
North End Park (corner of Cross and Hanover St, Boston)
5:30pm – 6:30pm

Join Yoga Hub Founder Ali Singer for a healthy way to celebrate the end of your work day with good-vibes and vinyasa yoga outdoors on the grass.

Sunset Yoga
The Esplanade (Fiedler Field – Arthur Fiedler Memorial Head, Boston)

Challenge your mind and body while enjoying beautiful river views. Registration is required. You can pre-register on the website (scroll down to the form) or register at the event. Class instructor is Sara Divello. Please bring a mat. Enjoy refreshments provided by Polar Beverages, CLIF and Stop & Shop. Classes are free, but donations are welcome! To receive up to date alerts for class cancellations or changes, text HFF15 to #51555. Classes go through early September.

FIT on the Garden *New*
Prudential Center (South Garden, Boston)
6pm – 7pm

MoveWith is the first teacher-centric fitness community that leverages the power of social sweat to get more people moving and loving it! Some of Boston’s best yoga and pilates  instructors will be teaching classes through September 28th. You need to register before attending each class.


Yoga Classes at Boston Medical Center
Moakley Building (830 Harrison Avenue, Boston)
4:30pm – 6pm

These yoga classes are not just during the summer and are open to community members in addition to BMC patients and staff. They are held indoors and part of the Program for Integrative Medicine & Health Care Disparities. Take the elevator or stairs down to the basement. The classes are free, but there is a suggested donation of $5.00. Currently there is a flyer online [click here], but it is old. The Thursday class starts at 4:30pm. If the online flyer is updated, I will link to it here.

FREE Summer Yoga
Boston Common Frog Pond (Downtown Boston)
6pm – 7:15pm

Power vinyasa flow classes will take place through September 1st (except for July 14th) and is for students of all levels. Challenge yourself. Release stress. Expand energy and tap into the beauty of trees, grass, and water  at Boston’s most historic park. Sessions are held on the lawn adjacent to the Frog Pond Carousel.  Weather related cancellations will be posted on the Frog Pond Facebook page by 4:30pm on the day of class.

P.O. Fitness Classes ~ Yoga Bootcamp
Norman B. Leventhal Park (Financial District, Boston)
5:30pm – 6:30pm

Yoga bootcamp will guide participants through a challenging vinyasa flow, building extra strength through bodyweight movements. Come to break a sweat, but leave feeling relaxed and centered. Check the Facebook page for updates and cancellations.


Seaport Sweat
Yoga with Jenna Hill (85 Northern Avenue, Boston)
12pm – 1pm

The Seaport District recently added several types of fitness classes next to District Hall, including yoga. The classes started in August and go through October. You must register for the class before attending.

Lunchtime Yoga
Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center (Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, Boston)
12:15pm – 1pm

Now through September 2nd, enjoy all-levels free yoga classes in Boston with South Boston Yoga. Change up your lunch hour with a 45-minute yoga class. Bring your own mat and practice right on the grassy lawn. Space is limited, so get there early!


Sunrise Yoga
Anthem Entertainment (Charles River Bistro, Boston)
8am – 9am

Master your downward facing dog this summer with Smooth Vinyasa instructor, Mike Massey! The group will meet at the Charles River Bistro, located directly across from the DCR Hatch Shell at 8am and walk to Fiedler Field as a group. Please bring your  own yoga mat. Participants will receive 50% off of Jazz Brunch at The Charles River Bistro following class.

Riverfront Yoga
Baxter Riverfront Park Amphitheater (100 Great River Road, Somerville)
9am – 10am

Relax and restore along the Mystic River with free yoga classes offered to you by Assembly Row and Some.Yoga Studio. You must register each week for one of the 100 spots available. If the class fills up, wait list sign up begins at 8:30am on Saturday for any available spots. Anyone not checked in by 8:55am forfeits their spot and class starts promptly at 9am. Also check the Facebook page for updates.

Yoga in Franklin Park
Schoolmaster Hill (Roxbury/Dorchester, Boston)
9:15am – 10:15am

Breathe, enjoy, activate your body and mind with an all levels yoga. Classes organized by Linda the Wellness Warrior, who will teach with guest yoga instructors throughout September 17th.  Look for signs directing you from the main park road. Parking in the small gravel lot across from the Schoolmaster Hill path and the golf course. If it rains, class will be cancelled, so check the Facebook page for updates. Classes are free, but $5 is a suggested donation to support Yoga For The People. The class location will change to the Valley Gates Parking Lot for September classes.

Summer Stretch
The Liberty Hotel (Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston)

Back in 2009, The Liberty was one of the first hotels in Boston, or anyplace in the area for that matter, to start offering free yoga classes in the summer. They set the trend and still offer free classes in collaboration with Equinox. Guests of the hotel and members of the community are welcome to take the class for free. Classes are year round. In the summer, classes are outside in the courtyard. In the cooler months, they are indoors. Check with the concierge to find the exact class location, since it appears to change.

Island Yoga
Boston Harbor Islands (Spectacle Island, Boston)
10:15am – 11:45am

Join Ciara Clark for another summer of yoga and all-levels free yoga classes in Boston on Spectacle Island. Unless you have your own boat, you will be taking a ferry. The 9:30 ferry is recommended, then meet at the  Spectacle Island Visitor Center. Space is limited, so advance registration is recommended. Even still, get there early! You might want to make a day of it and go swimming or have a picnic. Just 15 minutes from downtown Boston, Spectacle Island is the highest point in the harbor, with spectacular views of the city and other islands. While the classes are free, you will have to pay to take the ferry.


Vinyasa Yoga
Winthrop Square/Minot Rose Garden (St. Paul St. and Freeman St., Brookline)
8am – 9am

Classes take place through August 28th. Coolidge Corner Yoga and The Brookline Departments of Health and Parks and Open Space will be co-hosting a free all-levels Vinyasa flow in front of the rose garden. Sign up for classes on the yoga studio website and get updates on their Facebook page.

Adult Yoga Program
Powderhouse Park (Next to the old mill, Somerville)
9am – 10am

Practice under the Somerville sun with yoga instructor Caity Colleen for an all levels fun Vinyasa yoga class. Sign up on the website. Reiki assists and invigorating essential oils will be provided during Savasana. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes. Classes take place through September 4th, except for July 31st. If there is bad weather, class will be cancelled, so check the Facebook page.

Donation Hatha Yoga
Arnold Arboretum near Dawson Pond (Jamaica Plain, Boston)
9am – 10am

Classes are provided by Branching Out Yoga, which is the brainchild of Jennifer Maniates.  She offers these free yoga classes in Boston on the first and third Sundays of the month. Check the Facebook page for updates.

Yoga on The Green
The Street (Chestnut Hill)
10am – 11am

All levels of experience are welcome at these classes offered by lululemon. Mats are available too!

Island Yoga
Boston Harbor Islands (Grape Island, Boston)
11:30am – 12:30am

Enjoy a gentle yoga class overlooking the Boston Harbor with classes taught by yoga instructors from Open Doors Studios through September 4th. Bring your own mat or towel and meet at the dock on Grape Island. Island yoga is first come, first serve. Bring your own yoga mat and towel. The 11am ferry from Hingham Shipyard will arrive at Grape Island right on time for the class. Walk-ups are available on a limited basis. Register to ensure your spot in the class!

Brewery Yoga
Night Shift Brewing (87 Santilli Highway, Everett)
11am – 12pm

These yoga classes take place at the brewery every so often. Take a look at their event calendar for confirmation and sign up! Kat O’Leary from CorePower Yoga teaches the vinyasa classes.

Yoga 101
Pop Allston (89 Brighton Ave., Boston)
1:30pm – 2:30pm

Join Yoga Hub Founder Ali Singer for this donation based class, so you can learn yoga fundamentals to start and grow your practice. Suggested cash donation is $10.00. Classes are now through August 21st.

Family Yoga
Pinebank Promontory (Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain)
2pm – 3pm

Join Yoga Hub Founder Ali Singer for an all-ages yoga flow. Beginners are welcome!

Free Yoga Class
North Point Park (Cambridge)
5pm – 6pm

As part of CRC’s Sunday Parkland Games, Karma Yoga Studio offers an hour long yoga class.

Yoga For Runners
Boston Marathon adidas Runbase (855 Boylston Street, Boston)

These free yoga classes in Boston are vinyasa flow, and are on select Sundays are customized to bring balance to overworked muscles used when running. All levels of yoga experience are welcome, but you may need to register each week.










The Resurgence of the Ice Cream Sandwich

Stack of ice cream sandwiches on a plate.

The ice cream sandwich never totally disappeared from the dessert scene. Vanilla ice cream between a chocolate cakey wafer is a classic American childhood summer treat.

It was good, but not that exciting. We grew up and the novelty wore off. But things have changed.  There’s been a lot of innovation since we were kids.

A few months ago, I tried Stop & Shop’s Limoncello flavor and became rather obsessed with them. They are so good! But they are around for a limited time only. Sadly, I couldn’t find them the last time that I looked.

Ciao Bella makes Gelato Squares in flavors like Key Lime Graham and Sea Salt Caramel. A cold, creamy treat for those of us who have not seen our teen years in a while. Actually, some teens and younger might like these too.

Now for those of us in Massachusetts especially, Hood ice cream takes us back to our childhoods. Hood has stepped up their game with some new limited time only flavors as well.

Pictured above is S’mores. Which I ate right after photographing. Because it was melting. I couldn’t be wasteful could I?! 😋

I also bought the Cookies ‘n Cream, but haven’t tried them yet. Looking forward to it! July is National Ice Cream Month and we are now in the heart of summer. I’m looking forward to trying out more variations. Especially since it’s in the food blogger job description — that I just made up!

Today is also National Ice Cream Day, so you can get going on your summer consumption too!