Saturday, February 27, 2010

Recipe: Bleu Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Here's what I made for dinner tonight

It was ever so yummy - and very easy!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Ahh yes.

Big Papi reports to Spring Training (photo from

Baseball's coming, baby!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Adventures in Cooking - Part 3

Continuing with my cooking-fest, I've had this recipe for a while. A friend made it for a Christmas party I went to last December, and I've been itching to try it. So this past Sunday was rainy and oh-so-cold, and seemed a perfect time for some comfort food.

The recipe is for "Apricot-Glazed Pork Loin," and it was incredibly easy and good. You just put a rub on the pork, let it marinade for a while, then put it in a baking bag and roast for a while. I did make a few adaptations - I used a 1 1/2 pound tenderloin; I baked it for an extra 20 minutes to get it to the correct internal temperature.

The results? An easy, delicious entree - elegant, too, so it would be perfect for company.

And looking forward to a nice sandwich for lunch tomorrow!

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Adventures in Cooking - Part 2

One of my favorite cooking gurus is the Hungry Girl. Lisa Lillien runs a great site, full of tips for low-Points cooking, portion control, and just what to eat at various restaurants. For Valentine's Day, I decided to try her recipe for "Best of My Lava Chocolate Cake." It's basically a molten chocolate cake - one of those cakes that oozes out melted chocolate when you stick your fork in it. I'd watched "The Worst Cooks in America" tackle a recipe for it, with various degrees of success. I thought, if they could do it, so could I! The results:

You be the judge! (YUMMY!! and oh, so easy!)

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Adventures in Cooking - Part 1

I've been doing some experimenting in the kitchen of late. I'm not sure what has caused this - the cold, snowy weather; boredom with my usual repertoire; or repeated viewings of "Julie & Julia"! But on Super Bowl Sunday, I decided it was time to tackle Julia's famous Beef Bourguignon! I looked at several versions on the 'Net, but this one from "Good Morning America" seemed the most straightforward. So, after purchasing the ingredients which included a 1/2 lb of bacon

Three pounds of beef!

Tons of onions!

And an entire bottle of red wine.

(Seriously, how could anything that includes all of those things be bad!!)

It had to bake for 3-4 hours; towards the end, the house smelled divine - I couldn't wait to dig in!

The final step is sauteing some pearl onions, then adding them in.

Almost ready!

And voila!

Yes it took nearly all day - but it was Super Bowl Sunday, so what else was there to do. And, I must say, it was awesome! It also reheats really well - I even used the beef in a sandwich. I have two servings stashed in the freezer which I may use as a base for either Beef Pot Pie or Shepherd's Pie.

I'm always looking for something special for New Year's Eve dinner, and I think this is at the top of the list!

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Monday, February 08, 2010

I love this town

I know he's a Jersey boy, but Jon Bon Jovi could be singing about Boston as far as I'm concerned!


Friday, February 05, 2010

Exotic music and semi-exotic foods

Last night, I had one of my periodical evenings of refreshing my spirit. I had a ticket to the Symphony, and so treated myself to a nice meal first. I chose Niko's Southside Grill. The Niko of the title is, in fact, one of my former students - Nick purchased the restaurant in 2007 when it was known as just the Southside Grill. I hadn't been to Niko's in a while, and the local paper carried a story about their evolving menu recently that intrigued me. They've just added a wood burning oven, and Nick is making the restaurant over into a more "Greek" atmosphere.

They've added a bunch of "small plates" (hasn't everybody??) - and a few sounded yummy. But, it was a cold rainy night, so the site of soup on the menu was welcome. I had their tomato bisque - spiced up with basil - and it was quite good. As I said, perfect for this evening. For my main course, I went back and forth over several options - finally deciding on a lamb burger cooked in that new oven. Yum! Really well flavored and cooked just right. Add in the "Greek fries" - and it was a great twist on the old burger and fry combo.

Feeling full and warm, it was time to head to the Tivoli Theatre for the evening's performance. The conductor has decided to retire, and so we have had a series of guest conductors this year who are auditioning for the job. Tonight's guest was Mei-Ann Chen

Wow!! What an incredible performance. She was energetic, athletic, charismatic - and conducted without a score in front of her, totally from memory. The first act featured Dvorak's Carnival Overture (which is really loud and boisterous) and Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphis on Themes of Weber (which I'd never heard - kind of fun). But the piece de resistence was the second half: Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. It was magical - she coaxed the orchestra to a viruoso performance. As the last note faded, there was about 30 seconds of silence in the theater - finally broken with a shouted "Bravo" from the balcony. Then the place exploded in applause.

I would say that the evening made Ms. Chen a favorite for the job!

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Another gross, cold rainy day here. BUT - only one week until Truck Day!

In honor of both, here's a little crazy Papelbon magic - "Blame it on the Rain"

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Now I know that summer will come

When I opened my mailbox today, this is what I found. Ahhhh, it's coming. Red Sox, summer, fun....