J.P. Licks Customer Appreciation Day!
It’s Thanksgiving in April! As a “thank you” to customers…and to celebrate the Red Sox Home Opener, stop by any J.P. Licks on Monday, April 6 between noon and 9:00 p.m. for ice cream and fro-yo for $1/scoop. While not The Diva’s favorite, Brigham’s “Curse Reversed,” J.P. Licks has some fun flavors named after our hometown team: Peanut Beckett and...
A little foolin' around
Okay, yesterday’s post may have been a little April Fool’s hyperbole, but a girl can dream, right? On to business. For an upcoming series on the blog, I’m looking for people out there that have signed up for full and half shares of CSAs or farm shares for the Summer season (preferably local to MA, but I’ll take anywhere) and would be interested in participating in a little...
The Diva Heads to Primetime
Foodies, after many weeks of sporadic posts and blogger neglect, I’m finally able to tell you all about something very exciting in the works for The Diva of Dining. Thanks to some savvy networking, friends in high places and a lucky introduction, your Diva is soon to be headed to NYC to film a pilot for a new Food Network show! While I can’t give you a ton of information now (for fear...
First, there was Aquanet, then cometh pancake...
Not too long ago, The Diva’s daytime alter-ego and her office-mate — both strong advocates for a hearty breakfast — came across the mildly amusing demo video of a company peddling organic pancake batter. Organic pancake batter in a can, that is. Intrigued, The Diva and her office-mate launched on an expedition of sorts to find out exactly where one could find Batter Blaster,...
Not your same old bird.
The Diva understands that chicken is for many the go-to weeknight meal: its cheap, cooks fast and tastes like, well…chicken. But it can get boring very fast. The routine is the same: thaw out a breast or thigh, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake or grill until cooked. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, maybe a side of broccoli or Minute rice. Don’t deny it,...
Making food fun for the kiddies
The Diva doesn’t have any kids yet…but that doesn’t mean she’s ignorant to the struggles some parents have with getting the kiddies to eat their peas (and other foods). Enter, Constructive Eating’s bulldozer pusher, fork lift fork and front loader spoon! I think these are absolutely adorable, and it makes me wish there were more little tykes around for me to buy...
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Like clockwork, the changing fall leaves bring about this annual craving for butternut squash. Whether it’s mashed with brown sugar and butter or in these raviolis, I’ll take it any way I can get it. My recipe for butternut squash ravioli is stripped down, simple and no fuss. I cheat and use small wonton wrappers, but they are just as good – if not better – than using homemade pasta dough to make...
A chill in the air makes for good soup in the pot
The weather’s getting a little chilly up here in New England, so it’s time to break out a few of my favorite soup recipes by Giada de Laurentis. I don’t typically make a lot of Giada’s recipes, but there are some that, with a few of my own tweaks, have grown to be staples in my kitchen. Giada’s Italian Wedding Soup is a recipe that serves as a solid starting point for my...
Fun...and food at the Topsfield Fair
Last weekend kicked off the 190th annual Topsfield Fair, America’s oldest agricultural fair, which continues through Monday. While New England holds quite a few firsts in the American History department, it’s somewhat surprising that an agricultural festival in a small town on the North Shore of Massachusetts can trump the Midwest and South – in many ways the heartland of America’s farming...
The Diva explores The Omnivore's Hundred
Prompted by a call from my mother wondering why it hasn’t appeared on the blog yet, I figured its time to post my results for The Omnivore’s Hundred, a list of 100 foods “every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life,” courtesy of the blog Very Good Taste. For those of you who’d like to follow the bouncing ball and share the reaches of your...
The Diva bakes a cake...from scratch.
Inspired by Deb’s Project Wedding Cake undertaking over at Smitten Kitchen, I decided to try my hand at baking a cake from scratch for my mom’s birthday. Prior to this, I was Duncan Hines’ best friend and had never had even eaten good old baked-at-home scratch cake, let alone made one. Undeterred, I decided on vanilla cake with layers of dark chocolate ganache and raspberry curd...
Quick & Easy Panzanella
One of my favorite summer dishes is Panzanella, an Italian tomato salad that includes bread, fresh mozzarella cheese and really any variety of summer veggies you want. This is my summer staple for hot summer nights. This week, I couldn’t resist a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes that were at the Belmont Farmers’ Market. They were so sweet, I’m actually kind of surprised...
The Return of Chef Louie
If you missed out on making your Restaurant Week reservations and you’re still looking for some good eats this Thursday, head down to the Joshua Tree (formerly Tonic) at 1316 Commonwealth Ave in Brighton around 7 p.m. for the return of Chef Louie Night (formerly Iron Chef Louie). It’s the first Chef Louie Night in 2 years and is the last before Chef Louie Dibicarri takes the helm at...
Easy Weeknight Thai Lettuce Wraps
I’m frequently coming across recipes for Thai lettuce wraps (ala P.F. Chang’s) but always find myself disappointed when the ingredient list is a mile long and so involved that there’s just no way I’m going to tackle them for a weeknight meal. When Cooking Light printed a ridiculously easy and fast version in the current issue (August 2008) I simply had to share it, with...
New Look and Giveaway Winner!
Bear with me, folks, I’m attempting a little redesign! So, you may see some new functions and looks over the next few weeks as I bumble along and dust off my ancient graphic design and HTML skills. As always, suggestions and recommendations welcome. Now, onto the fun things…we have a giveaway winner! This month’s giveaway is an adorable apron and glove set courtesy of...
Farmers' Market Finds: White Peach Pie
I recently stopped into the weekly Farmers’ Market in Belmont and came across these beautiful little white peaches courtesy of Kimball Fruit Farm: They weren’t quite ready for eating, but would soften up nicely in a pie. A mini-pie that is, using my vintage Pyrex 6 inch pie plate…a perfect pie for two! I’ve scaled up my recipe for a full-sized pie. White Peach Pie For the...
It's Giveaway Time!
After a crazy food and baking-filled weekend complete with NO internet connection, I’ve got a backlog of photos, recipes and musings to collect and post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I’ve got a little treat for you all this week! I’m giving away a vintage-inspired apron courtesy of Carolyn’s Kitchen. Carolyn West’s sassy and saucy little aprons and coordinating...
Green Grocer Chic
If you’re like me, you get to the checkout line at the grocery store when suddenly it dawns on you that the pile of reusable grocery bags you conveniently stash in the car are, conveniently, still. in. the. car. Dilemma. Dilemma and, well, just plain bulky. If you’re like me, you grab a basket and seemingly shop for enough food to feed a family of 8, convincing myself that it will all...
Hands off the tomalley, people!
This week the FDA issued an advisory against the consumption of Maine Lobster tomalley due to dangerous levels of toxins that could lead to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). For clarity, tomalley is the “icky green stuff” in the body cavity of the lobster that acts as the liver and pancreas. Mmmm… For further clarity, I don’t know about you, but the liver of a...
Casting Call: Food Network
The Food Network is looking for America’s worst home cooks for a new show that pairs hapless culinary failures with some of the best chefs from around the country. So if you or someone you know is miserable in the kitchen (we’re talking burn-the-house-down miserable), sign up today! More information can be found here. Fabulous Feasting, The Diva.
Make Your Reservations!
As promised, dear readers, I deliver. Open Table is now accepting reservations for Boston’s 2008 Summer Restaurant Week participants. Go. Now! Make your reservations! I’m way ahead of you with 5, so go! Fabulous Feasting, The Diva.
Another Reason to Eat Your Broccoli, Boys
Last week, scientists from the Institute of Food Research in England announced findings that suggest that broccoli can provide protection against prostate cancer. Study results showed that men with a gene called GSTM1 react well to a diet of large quantities of cruciferous vegetables, and that the byproducts of glucosinolates (of which broccoli has ALOT) can block some signals — the...
Restaurant Week Boston, Summer 2008
Boston’s summertime Restaurant Week stint is on the calendar, though detailed information is still forthcoming. It will run two weeks in August, from the 10th - 15th and then again from the 17th - 22nd. Per usual, 3-course lunches and dinners at more than 200 of the Boston-area’s best restaurants will be priced $20.08 and $33.08 respectively. Stay tuned to The Diva for additional...
Sweet Balsamic Corn Salad
When it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking and certainly don’t feel like eating yet another green salad, I throw together a quick and easy corn salad that makes for a welcome change. The great thing about this salad is that its versatile. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the fridge during the summer months and you can make it with either fresh or leftover cooked...
A blast from the past: Jordan Marsh Blueberry...
Before we get to the good stuff, a brief history lesson. Jordan Marsh was a Boston-based department store founded in 1841 by Eben Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh. With the rise of retail conglomerates, Jordan Marsh became part of Allied Stores (1931) and then Federated Department Stores (1988), a move that renamed all stores, including the flagship store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing shopping...