One per person at participating locations while they last. Maybe I’ll see you in line!
Screenshot Image: Au Bon Pain Facebook Page
Amplify, was a food event put on by Branchfood to showcase innovative food businesses in Boston. This post has been a long time coming, since it took place back in early May. Time flies!
At Amplify, I met Helen Rennie, founder of Helen’s Kitchen Cooking School and later learned about New Grounds Food co-founder Johnny Fayad. For some fun reading, take a look at the You Pick Six interviews with both of them when you get a chance.
Other ideas (recipe creations) I had for a post never came together the way that I intended. But I really like several of the companies and want to make sure that I share some of my favorites. They are all local companies, so supporting them is a great way to buy local! I’ll go in order that they are displayed in the picture above.
+ + +
Veggie Fries are the result of a family trying to find a healthy, but similarly tasty and crispy alternative to frozen French fries. Along with potatoes, they mix in vegetables with herbs, spices and sea salt. Veggie Fries are “vegan, Non-GMO certified and free of the top 8 allergens including gluten, soy, dairy, and wheat.” I think they succeeded and very much enjoyed eating them.
Curio Spice Co. was founded by Claire Cheney. She travels the world sourcing directly “from farmers and producers, using the highest standards in organic and fair trade agriculture.” She has several unique blends, including one made with flowers. All the blends are made of freshly ground whole spices that are packaged in beautiful vintage style tins.
Minus the Moo makes lactose-free ice cream. It’s delicious! Even though it’s made with dairy, it’s safe for those who are lactose intolerant. It’s made with the lactase enzyme. Co-founder Katy Flannery is lactose intolerant herself and missed sharing ice cream with family and friends. She’s also a pediatric intensive care nurse, so she used her health science background to experiment with different recipes and formulations. The rest is ice cream history!
EHChocolatier makes handcrafted artisan chocolates. Elaine Hsieh and Catherine Sweeney met in 1999 when a mutual friend brought them together to make her wedding cake. They remained friends and opened their business in 2010. Their small batch chocolates are pretty little works of art that you can eat. A very special chocolate that you could put on your own pillow as a treat before you drift off to sleep.
Gutsey bars were created by Carrie Forbes with the traveler and commuter in mind who is looking for a nutritious snack. The bars “contain only good fats and organic ingredients. No GMO’s, no grains, no gluten and no added sugars.” The packaging is fun with state themed names — Maine The Way Bahs Should Be, New Hampshire Eat Clean Live Free and Boston Wicked Strong Bah. What New Englander can resist?
Fancy Pants Baking Co. make peanut and tree nut free cookies that are also Non-GMO Project Verified, 100% natural and certified kosher. They build their own cookie cutters by hand and their Instagram Feed will have you drooling over the many varieties of cookies with colorful frostings and shapes.
+ + +
Picture Credits: Collage created with images found on websites and/or social media accounts of companies mentioned.
Disclosure: As an event attendee, I tasted samples and was given free products to take home.
Didn’t make it to Italy this summer? Neither did I. But while dining at Novara recently, it felt like I was transported to Italy for a mini-vacation.
I took another mini-vacation in July when I was in Connecticut for a couple of days to see Maxwell in concert. The concert ticket price included Maxwell’s new CD blackSUMMERS’night, but you had to get it later via mail.
My friend received our CDs and asked if she should send mine or if we should get together. Get together of course! I suggested dinner at Novara and we enjoyed a wonderful summer night dining al fresco.
Starting off, the service was great. Full disclosure*, I was invited to visit Novara. However, I have been invited to visit other restaurants over the years and been shocked by less than stellar service and disorganization. Thankfully Novara’s staff was friendly, professional and organized.
My friend and I were both pleased with the delicious bread. Our cocktails were tasty, refreshing and strong.
Because the tables have umbrellas over them, it wasn’t even a problem. A perfect summer night.
For my meal, I had the Special, which was lobster gnocci. So good! My friend had zucchini parmesan. She loved hers too!
Like its sister restaurant, Novara has a wonderful menu. I love Italian food, so I basically wanted to eat everything. I noticed people picking up food to go, so the take-out menu is a great option as well. Of course I had dessert. The chocolate mousse was the perfect ending to my meal.
I definitely recommend Novara and will return. Having a good restaurant so close to home makes eating out easier. Parking was not a problem and it’s often an issue in Boston.
You have two opportunities (August 14 -19 & August 21 – 26) to participate. If you want to start adding restaurants to your list, start with Novara!
+ + +
Disclosure* Thank you to Novara for the complimentary dinner for two!
If you’re not here in the Bay State, it’s National Farmers Market Week as well. According to the USDA, there are over 8500 farmers markets across the country.
Here in Massachusetts, according to the press release, we have “approximately 248 summer and fall farmers’ markets and 40 winter farmers’ markets ….” There is an interactive map listing all the farmers market in the state, so you can find one near you.
Going to work I take the Red Line to South Station, so I pass the Dewey Square Farmers Market every Tuesday and Thursday. It couldn’t be any easier, so I have been buying fresh produce and flowers there on a regular basis. Also, on occasion, I stop by Hanson Farm in Bridgewater.
Maybe this week, I’ll buy something a bit different from the farmers market. What about you?
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 publication — More 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.
+ + +
Double Berry Almond Breakfast Cookies (Adapted from recipe on Shape Magazine)
(Makes a dozen)
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!