Dîner en Blanc Boston 2017

Dîner en Blanc Boston

Today is the last day of summer, so it seems like perfect timing to write about a big event that capped off the summer seasonDîner en Blanc , which is French for dinner in white.

I wrote about this event back in 2015, but had never attended it. If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s basically a dinner where everyone dresses in white. Plus, the location is secret until a couple of hours prior.

When the location is emailed to the attendees, they gather up everything that they need for their dinner — tables, chairs, place settings, food, etc., and quickly go to the now revealed location. Then they set up their tables and have their meals.

Dîner en Blanc started in Paris nearly 30 years ago and events are held in cities all over the world with thousands of people attending each one.

Me dressed in all white for Dîner en Blanc Boston

This year I finally attended! A friend of mine happened to mention that she was on the waiting list and wanted to go. Since I was invited to go as media, I brought her along as my guest.

We had a great time! That’s me in my new white outfit! One of the perks of going as an invited guest was that we didn’t have to bring anything with us. We got to hang out in the comfy media lounge and enjoy sandwiches and champagne courtesy of Bon Me and Taittinger.

One of the best things about this event was the diversity of the crowd.

There were many people of color and people of all ages too. The range was probably from 20s to 60s. I feel like this doesn’t happen too often. It was nice to see, especially considering all that is happening in this country right now.

The Ring Fountain lit up and steamy at Dîner en Blanc Boston.

When the dinner started, it was light out. If you can’t tell where we are, it was at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The location was perfect. The weather was perfect. It was maybe mid 70s, so it was warm enough out even as the sun set.

We were near the Rings Fountain, which lit up and spewed steam and water. With everyone dressed in white and walking around, the effect was just magical. Dreamy. Enchanting. It’s hard to describe.

There was live music playing during dinner, with singer John Everett Martin featuring Bob Christopherson and Gregory Holt. Click here for some video that I took so you can see, listen and get a feel for the ambience. It was so very nice. Smooth and jazzy. Singing one of my favorite Sinatra tunes — Witchcraft.This couple dancing it up at Ring Fountain at Dîner en Blanc Boston.

After dinner the band left, then DJ Ryan Brown got everyone up and dancing. He played music that appealed to the whole crowd and everyone really seemed to have a good time. Including me! What a night!

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Disclosure: I attended the event as invited media. My guest and I were admitted free of charge.

Cook like a Tico: A Costa Rican Experience + Recipe

Cook Like a Tico food blogger event at Boston University.

It’s hard to believe that we’re in mid-October already! This post is a quick flashback to summer. June 29th to be precise. I attended a food blogger event at Boston University called Cook like a Tico: A Costa Rican Experience.

Tico” is a slang word that Costa Ricans use to describe themselves according to the Urban Dictionary. The word captures a care free outlook on life along with the saying “Pure Vida” meaning pure life.

That feeling is expressed in the food of Costa Rica and there is an emphasis on fresh local ingredients.


We helped with some of the simple food prep for our meal that was prepared by Chef Randy Siles of Hotel Tropico Latino.


The hotel’s website has quite a lot of information and gives more details about Chef Siles and his way of cooking.

Our chef Randy Siles, recently named the ambassador of the sustainable and healthy cuisine plan for Costa Rica, has a fusion style called “Author’s Cuisine,” which is a free-style way of cooking that lets him create original recipes from his imagination. Like an artist with a blank canvas, Siles skillfully creates gourmet art fusing flavors into delicious, fresh and healthy dishes that tantalize your taste buds.

I also noticed that the hotel has beach yoga and yoga retreats as well. With winter approaching, the thought of a warm getaway with great food and yoga sounds idyllic!


The squash and farro salad was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The fresh mint and basil really make the flavors pop. The crunch of the cashews, with the cucumbers and squash add to the wonderful texture. I can’t say enough about this dish, which is a meal in itself.

On top of the taste, you can tell by the ingredients that it’s good for you too. What more could we ask for?

I was given the recipe and hope to make it at some point. Unfortunately, the measurements need conversion for us North Americans. But I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Enjoy!

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Squash & Farro Salad


50 g squash (chopped)
250 g farro
40 ml of olive oil
1 large fennel bulb (chopped)
1 green cucumber (chopped)
40 g basil (chopped)
40 g mint (chopped)
100 g of cashews (chopped)
3 limes (in wedges)
2 orange units (peeled and chopped)
200 g of feta cheese
30 g coriander (chopped)
15 g microgreens


Rinse and drain farro. Place in a pot and add enough water or stock to cover. Bring to a boil; add salt to taste and 20 ml of olive oil and blend. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes. Once farro is cooked, just blend it with the rest of the ingredients and squeeze in the lime wedges for flavor.

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Disclosure: The meal was compliments of Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications and the Costa Rica Tourism Board in North America. Thank you!


Dîner en Blanc: Boston

Diner en Blanc Boston1Despite the rain and the big football game, this past Thursday evening, more than 1,500 people showed up for Boston’s annual Dîner en Blanc. I remember hearing about it a few years ago and being absolutely enchanted by the idea and the stunning photos.

Diner en Blanc woman and umbreallaHowever, I’ve never actually been to the event. I like the idea more in theory than in practice. You must dress up completely in white. I don’t have a suitable outfit for the occasion and would need to buy one to attend. It hasn’t been a priority purchase to happen.

Also, you need to be very spontaneous. The location of the dinner is a secret. You find out at the last minute and then quickly make your way there carrying all that you’ll need for your meal.

Diner en Blanc couple in rainI like a bit more of a heads up. But that’s just me. Lots of people in Boston and all over the world have a great time at this event. Luckily I was given some great pictures to share with you. It does look like a good time.Diner en Blanc group of women

Dîner en Blanc was started more than 27 years ago in Paris by François Pasquier with just a small group of friends. The Boston event took place at City Hall Plaza.

“Originally, we had planned for the dinner to be set up on the wide steps of the Plaza, with the band and DJ completely outside,” said Bryer Davis, co-host of Dîner en Blanc – Boston. “But as the weather worsened throughout the day, we knew we had to make a late call. Thanks to the incredibly helpful team at City Hall and our tireless volunteers, we moved last minute under the cover of the City Hall courtyard. It turned out to be the perfect spot for Dîner en Blanc and was better than we ever imagined!” The White Heat Swing Orchestra got the party started and welcomed guests as they arrived.

Then everyone started decorating their tables and setting up their elegant picnics, while enjoying wine and champagne. It looks like guests were quite creative with their table settings and enjoyed some very good food.
Dinner started with the traditional waving of the white napkin. Each guest received an LED sparkler, and the party twinkled with tiny lights as guests headed to the dance floor, where they danced to the musical stylings of DJ Nixx.

If you didn’t get to attend this year, there’s always next year. Just get your white outfit ready!

Diner en Blan two masked women

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© Images by: Vita Images and Jennifer Heffner Photography

To Kill A Mockingbird Read-A-Thon: Today at Barnes & Noble in Braintree

To Kill A Mockingbird book coverToday, Barnes & Noble in Braintree, will host a special To Kill a Mockingbird Read-A-Thon from 9am – 9pm, in celebration of tomorrow’s release of Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee.

If you’re on Twitter, celebrate the book by following the hashtags: #MockingbirdMonday and #GetPopCultured.

In light of the news of the past few months, and most recently the tragedy in Charleston, the objective of the Read-A-Thon is to provide a space for members of the community to gather, reflect and give voice Harper Lee’s classic, and timely novel on social justice.

By the way, despite a recent New York Times review of the new book that is shocking many fans of To Kill a Mockingbird, I still plan to read Go Set a Watchman.

Throughout the day, participating readers, including yours truly, will read passages from the book. A list of confirmed readers, and their scheduled reading times are below. I will be reading at 7:45pm.

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10:00 am: Virginia Polio, Executive Director,Braintree Community Youth Center

10:30 am: Terri Stano, Director, Thayer Public Library, Braintree

11:00 am: Joanne Tully, Vice President, Braintree Cooperative Bank

11:30 am: Jeannette Travaline, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Braintree Cooperative Bank

1:00 pm: Clayton Cheever, Assistant Director at Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy

1:45 pm: Meaghan Thompson, Library Director, Turner Free Library, Randolph

2:00 pm: Frank Schroth, Member of the Board of Trustees, Milton Public Library

2:15 pm: Will Adamczyk, Director, Milton Public Library

6:00 pm: Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan, Braintree

6:15 pm: Chazy Dowaliby, Editor, The Patriot Ledger, The Enterprise Newspapers

6:30 pm: Lori Earl, Quincy

7:00 pm: State Representative Tackey Chan, 2nd Norfolk District, Quincy,

7:15pm: State Senator John F. Keenan, Norfolk and Plymouth District

7:45 pm: Lisa Johnson, Attorney, Writer & Blogger, Quincy

8:00 pm: Alan Howarth, Poet, host of “For the Love of Words”

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The event is free and to open to the public. All ages are welcome, so stop by if you can!

If you have any questions, please contact Barnes & Noble, Braintree at 781.380.0914 or e-mail crm1989@bn.com. The location is 150 Granite Street, which is near South Shore Plaza.

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*Updated* 5/14/2016: With a new more liberal interpretation of my life list, I consider this #73. While I didn’t read a poem in public for a happy event, I did read a passage from a book for a happy event. Close enough! 😀

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Screenshot: Barnes & Noble

5th Annual Taste of Chocolate Festival in Harvard Square!

Harvard SquareIs the cold winter increasing your craving for chocolate?

This weekend, starting today, you can find all things chocolate at the Taste of Chocolate Festival. It looks like a really good time and cheap, since many samples are free!

Saturday, January 24th

Harvard Square Chocolate Sampling Event

From 1pm – 2pm

Deguglielmo Plaza (27 Brattle Street) will play host to an array of chocolaty samples from restaurants and shops from across Harvard Square. Bloco  Afro – Brazil , a local favorite, will be combining traditional Brazilian grooves like Samba , Funk, Rock, Jazz and even Hip Hop beats to get the party started! Make sure to come early!  This event is very popular and attracts hundreds of sweet tooths!  Restaurants and businesses who will be generously giving out chocolate samples.

For more information, take a look at the website.