Category Archives: Food

January 4, 2016

#BostonPotluck : Apple Cider Sangria

cranberry apple cider sangria Boston potluck Champagne Thursday

One thing I want to do a little more of in this space is talk about food. I love to cook (and eat!), so I want to share a little bit about that here.

I partnered up with some awesome Boston bloggers to bring you a virtual potluck! There have been some great recipes from the group:

Follow along the potluck on social media with the hashtag #BostonPotluck!

I’m the final installment of this series, and I’m sharing with you a recipe for Apple Cider Sangria. I also had cranberries in my fridge (who doesn’t around the holidays?!), so I added them to the recipe and noted the optional changes.

When you’re playing hostess, there’s a lot to do. You can cross “bartender” off of your list by making a batch of this sangria for guests to help themselves to! Be forewarned: this recipe makes a LOT of sangria. continue reading

May 26, 2015

You Should Know: Trademark Tarts

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef prep

If you like things that taste good, you need to know about Justin Burke-Samson and his company, Trademark Tarts.

Justin stormed onto the culinary scene last year with his homemade poptarts. He, and friend Stephanie Cmar, partnered for a series of pop-ups featuring their baked goods. Their events were immediately popular, and would frequently sell out in under an hour.

When that series wrapped in the fall, everyone was asking what was next? For starters, Justin is expanding his offerings beyond his homemade tarts to incorporate a variety of baked goods, and most recently, savory items too

The pop-up scene is where Justin feels most at home, and his latest venture is sticking to these roots. His newest series of events is called Modern Gramma. It’s inspired by his late Gramma Carole, and the flavors of classic American recipes she prepared for him. He’s breathing new life into these flavors, and redefining the southern classics.

Doug and I attended his preview event, and got the first taste of what Modern Gramma is all about!

Troy Boston rooftop lounge

Troy Boston

We joined Justin at Troy Boston, a new apartment building in the South End. Very sleek and stylish space, if I do say so myself.

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On the menu for the night: An interpretation of a s’mores with an RC Cola reduction, a melon ball salad with grilled zest cake and sour cream semifreddo, and my favorite, an Ambrosia Church Cake.

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef prep

Plating the pina colada pastry cream. I could have swam in this- it was amazing.

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef

The final Ambrosia Church Cake presentation

reinvented s'mores Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef prep

Trademark Tarts reinvented s'mores dessert

He’s expanding the menu in an upcoming brunch event to include savory items. If you want in on the action, grab your tickets here. Don’t wait though; there aren’t too many left! The menu sounds great. The menu includes Maple Bacon Poptart (bourbon maple bacon jam, maple glaze), Cinnamon French Toast Salad (cinnamon toast croutons, pomegranate, bacon bits, maple vinaigrette), and California Egg in a Basket (avocado, pico de gallo, hasselback home fries) and more.

Follow Justin on Twitter and Instagram to see what he’s cooking and where’s he’ll be popping up next.

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January 15, 2015

Waffles + Pomegranate Bellinis

Jan 11 2015 - Waffles -  015

In November, I attended a blogger event sponsored by Wayfair. It was SO MUCH FUN and a great way to kick off the holiday season. The Wayfair office was decorated to the nines (not sure what else you’d expect from the mecca of all-things home decor). From the fireplace (yes, they have a fireplace in the office) to the mantles, from the bookshelves to the side tables- everything looked beautiful. They also had a giant tree with wrapped presents underneath, and the boxes were not empty! At the end of the event, they surprised us by letting us pick a gift from under that tree. continue reading

January 6, 2015

Seriously Amazing Banana Bread

I’m not ready for the holidays to be over yet. My system really loved the luxurious lifestyle of two four-day weekends in a row. I went to bed when I wanted to, I got up when I wanted to. I watched a horrifying amount of tv. And when the bananas on the counter became super brown, I made banana bread.

I didn’t have everything I needed for the recipe I found…so I adapted it to fit what I had on-hand. It wasn’t out of the oven yet before Doug and I were drooling.

Jan 02 2015 - Banana Bread - 001

Seriously Amazing Banana Bread

(adapted from Martha Stewart)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla, because that’s what was on hand!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. With an electric mixer (or with a spoon if you want to be super jacked and have lots of extra time on your hands), cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (It won’t look the same as white sugar + butter- that’s okay. Just cream until it’s fully incorporated, and make sure the butter isn’t melting against the side of the bowl!) Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, yogurt, and vanilla; mix to combine. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. You’re probably supposed to let it cool a bit, but good luck not diving in.

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I hate hate hate walnuts in my banana bread, but if that’s your thing, mix them in after the bananas and yogurt are incorporated. I think mini chocolate chips, a swirl of Nutella, or coconut shavings would be delicious add-ins too, but believe me when I say that the plain loaf was mind-blowing.

April 9, 2014

National Grilled Cheese Month: Week 1


April is one of my favorite months because it’s National Grilled Cheese Month!

Cheese: awesome. Melted cheese: more awesome. Melted cheese in between toasted bread: stuff that dreams are made of.

Grilled cheese is fairly basic, but… is it really? Butter or mayo on the outside of the bread? American cheese or cheddar cheese? Toasted in a pan with or without a pan pressing it down? I prefer my grilled cheeses pressed panini style, but Doug makes his open-faced in the toaster oven and assembles afterward.

For as “basic” as a grilled cheese seems, it’s really anything but.

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