Monthly Archives: February 2010

A New Obsession

Photo: Flickr/colormepink

Jessica Alpert

One of the beauties of Twitter is the super swift ability to discover new people and new obsessions (*sigh*).

As I boned up on my foodie/Twitter contacts, I quickly learned about Stephanie O’Dea and her slow-cook kingdom.  Of course I had to buy her book.

Basically, Stephanie made this insane (forgive me, but it’s true) New Years Resolution for 2008 to use her slow-cooker EVERY DAY.

Every. Single. Day.

The result was her entertaining blog and yes, a book deal.  My cousin converted me to the concept of the slow cooker and I bought a hybrid rice-cooker/slow cook version a few months after I got married.   I’ve used it a handful of times and already feel like such a rock star.  My husband cannot believe the gorgeousness of the food that comes out of that machine…and it usually only takes me about 20 minutes to make it happen (and 6-8 hours to wait afterwards).

I received Stephanie’s book a few days ago and decided to try out my first recipe last night: Maple Dijon Chicken.   It smells amazing but the true test arrives tonight at dinner.   I’ll keep you posted.

From You Our Listeners


Photo: Rosenkaal/Wikimedia

 Abby Conway  (newly on board at PRK)

Falling in love with…
“I don’t care who you are and how much you think you don’t like brussels sprouts; if you tried these, you would fall in love.” By the looks of it, Sues from We Are Not Martha is right. Her recipe for brussel sprouts  with bacon, ponzu (a citrus flavored sauce), fried garlic and bonito flakes, which she got from Chef Lee over at FoodBuzz, looks like it could get even the pickiest eaters asking for more (although, as she points out, the bacon probably helps). Sues notes that you can alter the recipe anyway you’d like, depending on whether or not you can find all the ingredients. Either way, it looks worth a try. 

Homemade what?
If you like your fair share of homemade sweets (I do), you probably go through a lot of vanilla extract. Nayiri of ran into the same problem and decided to take a whack at making it herself . “Seriously, it seems utterly ridiculous to write a “recipe” for it…” She’s right, but we’re grateful. In just one simple step, no more, no less, you’ve got homemade vanilla extract. The hardest part just may be the waiting: it takes about 2 weeks before you can use it. Yep, patience is a virtue. 

Get Organized
Sick of getting home from the grocery store to find that you still had last week’s lettuce in the crisper AND you forgot to get orange juice? Tina at Trading Up Downtown has the supermarket game plan for you. She posted a seven step guide  to help you save time and money. Any shopper, from the super-organized to the budget conscious, can find great tips on how to minimize double purchases and never forget another item at the store.

332.8 lbs

Photo: Flickr/clared23

Jessica Alpert

This past weekend, the man behind Drinks are on Me, Dale Cruse, invited the public to watch him lose over one hundred pounds. Seriously.  Dale is a dedicated member of our PRK blogger community and I was so moved by his  openness and honesty; I thought his inaugural post would be a great way to start off the week.

Dale has a great sense of humor and is taking on this challenge with grace.   Here at PRK, we love our food…there’s no denying it.  Even so, we all know that healthy eating and healthy living is the best way to enjoy (a long) life.    Check out first entry on Dale’s weight-loss bonanza below….

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of being fat. I’m sick of not being able to find pants that fit. I’m sick of buying XXXL shirts. I’m sick of shopping at Casual Male. I’m sick of women who look at me with disappointment. I’m sick of a lot of things.

So starting today I take my battle with weight public. I might be one of the most outgoing but private people you know. I talk about a lot of things but there are some things I just don’t discuss. How much weight I’ve gained over the years has been one of them, but that ends now. Here’s the scoop: When I finished U.S. Army Basic Training in 1995, I weighed 189lbs. Currently I’m around 332lbs. There you go. I just admitted I’ve gained around 140lbs in less than 15 years. Disgusting, isn’t it?

Now I’m facing weight loss surgery. I’m opting for the LapBand and my surgery is currently scheduled for May 5. I need to keep losing weight between now and then and I need to secure my insurance situation. This site has always been a retelling of what I like to put in my mouth so starting today that includes more than just booze – that means EVERYTHING.

You’re going to see more posts, including photos of just about everything I stick in my gaping maw. Why am I doing this? Simple: I need your help. I need a group of people keeping me focused on my weight loss goal. I need you. Let us begin.

 READ the latest post HERE

Thursday Tidbits


Photo: sweetpea&bokchoi/ Flickr

Emma Jacobs

Best of the New
The Boston Globe has published its Best of the New: Food list. From Newburyport and Lynn to Quincy and Pembroke, there are lots of choices, many in the Boston-Brookline-Cambridge-Somerville area. ‘Tried any? Share your thoughts!

Whole Foods Program Links Employee Discounts to Health Indicators
In a letter to employees last month, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey announced a new program offering greater food discounts to employees who score well on a variety of health indicators, including blood pressure and body mass index (BMI). Mackey, who opposes a government-led health care overhaul, explained the initiative as an effort to cut Whole Foods’ health care costs and empower employees to live more healthful lives. The program is voluntary, but has raised red flags among advocates for the overweight, plus the chain’s own customers and employees.

No More Candy
On the theme of making ‘good’ decisions for others–in this case, minors–in the name of good health, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a bill last week that would allow the state to ban high-calorie soda and unhealthy snacks from both elementary and high schools. The latest of several stalled versions, this measure heads next to the Massachusetts Senate for a vote.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Need some comfort? Trying to survive? Boston Food Diary says pasta and meatballs are the “ultimate cold weather food.” The Food Examiner recommends ice cream (that’s love from Inman Square’s own Christina’s, above).  

North Attleborough Winter Farmers’ Market
Get what you need to survive at the Farmers’ Market at Attleboro Farm and Garden, North Attleborough. It’s held Sundays afternoon, 12-4pm, complete with band, and will run through March. If Saturdays suit you better, don’t forget to head to the Farmers’ Market at Russell’s Garden Center, Wayland. February 6th is Wool Day at Russell’s, with several New England Wool Producers offering their wares.

Catcher in the Rye….Bread?
The New York Times’ Diner’s Journal started hunting for references to food and drink in the works of late great author J.D. Salinger. There’s the chicken sandwich Franny orders, and never touches, on her doomed date in Franny and Zooey, for one.  But bread?

If Only Fish Could Speak

Photo: Flickr/Chris Frailey

Jessica Alpert

This week on Radio Boston, we’re taking a closer look at Cape Wind.  Yesterday Ken Salazar, U.S. Interior Secretary, toured the prospective site located five miles off the Cape and met with members of of the Aquinnah (Tribe of Gay Head) and Mashpee Wampanoag tribe as well as others in favor of and opposed to the wind farm.

I’ve been reading volumes regarding the project: letters, blogs, documentaries, documents, studies, proposals.  It’s endless.  One huge issue is the wind farm’s possible effects on wildlife, most notably the fishing industry.  I’m still knee-deep in the reading but this Friday, we’ll surely ask both parties about this issue.

In the meantime, take a look at these perspectives from Cape Wind Associates and the Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership.  Cape Wind supporters claim the wind turbines won’t affect fisherman or fisheries while opponents claim the project could effectively kill an entire industry. What are your thoughts? Are fisheries even a concern for you? Is this project still on your radar?

Chocolate And Wine: A How 2.

Photo: Courtesy of how2heroes

Jessica Alpert

There’s an aroma wafting over from Central Square (at least in my mind).  Read about this upcoming February 9th event and start salivating.  Immediately.

WHO: Lynne Viera, how2heroes/Maureen Rubino, Central Bottle/Stacey Daley, Central Bottle

WHAT:  A dessert and wine event just in time for Valentines.

DETAILS: Desserts prepared by how2heroes and wines paired by Central Bottle. Savory Venetian bites by Stacey Daley (Resident Chef of Central Bottle)

WHEN: Tuesday, February 9th: 6-8pm

WHERE: Central Bottle, 196 Massachusetts Avenue/Cambridge (MBTA: Red Line to Central Square)

TEASER: Mini Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes + Noval Fine Ruby Port, Portugal

TICKETS: $10.00 at the door, baby.

Photo: Courtesy of how2heroes

New England Wine Quartet

Happy Monday to all. You’re almost through the day so why not treat yourself with a little dinner, a little drink, or maybe a little take-out?

Stop Whining…

 Ashmont Grill starts its Monday Night Wine Club TONIGHT with a quartet of wines from New England including varieties from Newport Vineyards and Westport Rivers.   Pair each wine with a beautiful course (remember: four courses = $30.00) and stick around for trivia night at 9pm.  Dinner starts at 6:30pm.

Grab Some Grub And Help Haiti

You’re busy, you’re rushed, and your people will be hungry (i.e. the roomates, the family, the partners, the poker club….).  Whole Foods-Symphony has a great deal tonight: grab some yummy creole grilled fish with rice and beans for $9.99 and all the proceeds will go directly to Partners in Health’s efforts in Haiti.

Don’t Forget The Doggies

I’ll never get the images of dogs and cats left behind by Katrina.  It still makes me well up as I sit here and type.  Just think of the devastation in Haiti.  Or if you cannot bear to picture it, at least try and do something about it.  The Franklin Cafe in the South End is giving you a way to enjoy Haiti’s delicious rum (Barbancourt)…and help at the same time.  Starting today until the end of the week, sales of Haitian Rum Punch will go directly to International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) work in Haiti. For a hopeful (and remarkable) radio piece about Katrina’s animals, listen to THIS.