Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pizza & Beer at Stone Hearth

Hope you’re all having a relaxing Sunday night!  I don’t know why I always wait until now to post when I could have done it earlier…but then again I think I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.  Sunday night homework anyone??

Last week was crazy busy!!  I participated in my 3rd Flashmob Thursday night at the State Room in Boston for a charity event hosted by Kevin Youkilis of  the Boston Red Sox. 

There were late rehearsals on Tuesday and Wednesday with the actual event on Thursday.  Throw in a blogger event Wednesday evening before rehearsal and I was one tired girl by Friday! 

In case you’re curious… 

I’m in the pinkish sequin dress splitting center in the beginning.  Space was tight, and I kind of think it’s hilarious we all blanked at one point in the beginning while up on the damn stage.  Never once in rehearsal did that happen, but what can you do…besides keep going.  We were all really squished for the other dances too but it was SO FUN!!  Plus we were able to enjoy this very nice event a bit before and after we performed. 

Moving on…back to Wednesday!

I was invited to, what sounded like, a delicious and fun event at the new Stone Hearth Pizza location in Allston!


I was even more excited to learn it was a stand alone building with a parking lot and I wouldn’t have to deal with trying to park in Allston center.

There was a nice big group of us bloggers, and we were seated at a long table ready to dive into some appetizers, salads, pizza, and dessert.  All of this delicious food was also accompanied by some fantastic beer from Clown Shoes. 


A representative from Pete & Gerry’s eggs was also there to tell us about their eggs and one of our desserts was made specially with Pete & Gerry’s eggs!


Centerpieces of heirloom eggs


When I arrived, some appetizers were just being brought to the table. 

We sampled their Parmesan Flatbread (thin chewy flavorful cheesy!)


Cheddar Covered Olives (loved these!!)

These were so different!  A salty olive covered in a cheese coating and baked.  They had a nice little kick to them as well. 

And we had all three varieties of their Meatball Poppers


Basically, they are their housemade meatballs (made with locally raised beef) stuffed with mozzarella cheese!   

They came with signature tomato sauce, spicy tomato sauce, and also creamy roasted onion and herb sauce


I loved them all!  I’m a sucker for a good meatball, especially when I can order them as an appetizer.  The tomato sauces were delicious, and the herb sauce ones reminded me of beef stroganoff…YUM!

To accompany these appetizers, we all sampled some Clown Shoes  Clementine.  I’ve tried some of Clown Shoes’ beers before, and this is one of my favorites.  I love how refreshing white ale’s are. 



Next, there were 4 beautiful salads brought over to the table.


I didn’t get photos of them all, but the one above is the Spinach and Avocado which also has red onion and lightly dressed. 


This salad had romaine, pears, shredded celeriac, and walnuts.  Loved the flavor combinations on this one! 

There was also a classic Caesar salad, and an Arugula and Portobello salad. 

Our next beer was another that I knew I liked…Tramp Stamp!


They have some really funny names for their beers! 


Tramp Stamp is a Belgian Style IPA.  I’m usually not crazy about IPA’s (some are much too bitter for my liking), but I do love Belgian Style ales, and I really like this one as well.  It’s citrusy and refreshing but a bit more bite than the Clementine.   I believe I heard this uses some West Coast hops, and after our trip to San Fran in November I know I like West Coast style IPA’s much better than other IPA’s. 

Pizza time.

 Farm Fresh Garlic oil, cherry tomatoes, charred red/yellow peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, fresh mozzarella, and topped with a salad of arugula, red onion and prosciutto


Bacon & Blue Garlic oil, julienned zucchini/squash blend,
mozzarella/provolone blend, smoked bacon, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, and finished with fresh basil


The Divine Goddess Our healthful version of a white pizza. Garlic oil, topped with a mixture of fresh spinach, broccoli, local ricotta cheese and finished with our cheese blend and a pinch of parmesan


This was their current special, and also probably my favorite of the night, it had leeks, maple sausage, gouda, kale, and cilantro.  I didn’t really taste the cilantro but that’s ok because it was AMAZING.  The best part was how the pieces of kale got all crispy on top.  This is making me so hungry right now!

We also tried The Bean:  Garlic oil, white bean spread, fresh mozzarella, sautéed red onion topped with a spinach, red onion, and pesto salad

I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza with bean spread on it, but I loved this. 

I actually really loved them ALL!!  The crust was super thin and chewy, the vegetables and other toppings were SO fresh, they weren’t overly inundated with cheese, didn’t leave my hands greasy, and the flavor combinations were unique and delicious!

I was lucky that Shannon agreed to go half-sies with me on all the slices so we could try them all without getting too full!

Best Plan Ever.  The Bacon and Blue was a close second favorite, by the way. 


The last two beers we tried were the Brown Angel, American Brown Ale, and the Supa Hero! 

The Brown Angel was smooth, slightly sweet and went down nice and easy.  The Supa Hero, on the other hand, was more of the type of IPA that’s a little too bitter for me!  Good flavor, but I only had a few sips. 



Stone Hearth Pizza has partnered with Pete & Gerry’s by providing a delicious Custard for a Cause dessert.  Stone Hearth will serve a seasonal custard dessert using Pete and Gerry’s eggs, and all proceeds go to a local charity called Community Servings.  Community Servings prepares, packages, and delivers fresh meals for people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.   

Our custard was served with organic maple syrup from Schoolyard Sugarbush and walnuts. 

I was a BIG fan of the custard…love the creaminess and the flavors. 

The other dessert was Sweet Potato gelato!!  We had to guess the flavor, and it was so subtle at first I had NO idea…but as soon as I heard sweet potato, I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth.  Normally I’d love it, but I think I’ve OD’d on the sweet potatoes lately…my taste buds need a little break…I know, I didn’t think it was possible either!!

A BIG Thanks to Stone Hearth Pizza, Clown Shoes Beer, and Pete & Gerry’s!!  It was a fun, relaxing evening with some awesome pizza and beer, and even some trivia to keep us on our toes.   I can’t wait to come back so I can try all the different pizzas on the menu, they all sound incredible! 

This meal was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Is January really almost over???  How did that happen?!! 

How are those resolutions going??  Honestly I didn’t really make any…and I’m totally OK with that ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pie Day Winner

Hey did you know today was National Pie Day??  When I first heard about this the geek side of me thought…no it’s not!  That’s on March 14th! (you know…3/14…3.14..pi).  At least I wasn’t the only one at work who thought that anyways.  But no, it’s just regular pie day.

My office actually celebrates this delicious day!  Employees make pies and we invite clients, colleagues, and other people in our building to come have pie. 

I don’t have photos, but I spent part of my weekend like this…





Oh yeah…caramel.  You know what that means… Milky Way Tart!! 

(photo from first time I made it)

Everyone also got to vote for their favorite and…I WON!!  Honestly I was NOT expecting this, and I’ll tell you why.  First, as delicious as this is, the one way I’ll ever make it again is if I make mini tartlette’s.  The filling NEVER firms up! It chilled overnight, and again for 6 hours at work!  But as soon as you cut into it, the filling starts to basically melt out. Still tastes awesome, but not a pretty sight.  People kept commenting about it… “oooh that looks like a messy one” or the numerous people who asked if it was ice cream…  Frustrating, but apparently they still liked it!!

Happy Monday to me!  I won a gift certificate to a popular lunch spot down the street from the office.  

Another Happy Monday moment came when I walked in the door after Crossfit…



We had some steak to cook up and I asked Brian to grill it while I was at Crossfit.  I was pleasantly surprised to see he went above and beyond!


His famous homefries


steamed carrots


and even some wine!

I added some arugula with olive oil and red wine vinegar to get some greens on my plate



Simple yet delicious!     

  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!!  I had a blast up in Portsmouth, NH with my good friends as we celebrated one of their 30th birthdays!  Fun to be back at the old stomping grounds (we were roomies at UNH)



This Coffee Milk Stout from Portsmouth Brewery was delish


So was my shrimp fajita dish from dinner at Agave


So fresh and colorful!! 

There was also late night pizza and an AWESOME breakfast at Colby’s.

Fun was had by all. 

Alright, Monday’s already down…only 4 to go for this week!  It’s a busy one so I hope it flies by!  I’m even doing another flashmob this week!!  This was kind of a last minute one, and also at a private event but it should be a blast as usual.

Do you bring in baked goods to work?  Ever won a food contest??  This was my first! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shepherd's Pie & Exercise while Sick

You know how I was just saying that the good thing about paying a lot for Crossfit is that it makes me not want to miss a workout??  Well that plan gets slightly derailed when you get sick!!

I hate colds!  They’re never bad enough to really stay home from work (well this time it came on Friday afternoon, so lucky me had my whole weekend to get through the “worst”), but you also feel just fatigued enough to not want to do anything else. 

I’m also not going to push myself and risk getting sicker just for the sake of burning calories, but still…it’s just aggravating. 

I made it to Crossfit last night, and luckily the workout was on the “milder” side, but I’m still extra tired today…AND missed out on a fun dinner with some of my favorite local bloggers at the new Hawthorne in Boston…double bummer! 

So, how sick is too sick to workout??  I can usually just tell by my body but you hear all sorts of things…

Things I’ve heard:

  • if it’s only above the neck it should be okay to workout.  As in, if your only congested in your nose, not your chest. 
  • Lots of strength training is bad because when you work your muscles you make small tears in them, then your immune system kicks in to repair.  If your sick, then this takes your immune system away from your illness and onto your muscles.
  • “sweat it out”

I’m sure there’s more, but those are the main ones that come to mind.  How do you decide?? 

Even though I’m sure I missed a fabulous dinner out tonight, I still had a delicious meal at home!

I made this version of Shepherds pie almost exactly 3 years ago!!  I still remember how much I liked it and have been meaning to make it since then.  I can’t believe it’s taken me THREE YEARS to re-make this dish!


It’s made with ground turkey and the topping is mashed sweet potatoes!



Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherds Pie
adapted from 

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes (about 3 med size)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (not necessary to thaw)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup water (or beef stock)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Cook sweet potatoes however you want.  I peeled, chopped, and boiled them.  You could also steam, or roast them whole then remove the flesh from the skin.  Mash the cooked sweet potatoes with 1T butter, and a little salt and pepper if desired.

Pre-heat oven to 350

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat then add turkey.   Break apart the turkey and cook until the meat is cooked through.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and fennel.  Sauté for 1 minute.  Then add the 1 1/2 cups beef broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes to cook the vegetables.  Add peas and thyme. 

Combine the flour, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl.  Mix until there are no more lumps from the flour.  Bring the heat back up to med, and slowly pour in the flour mixture while stirring the pan.  Bring back to a boil and cook for another 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens.  It does not need to be very thick.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour mixture into a medium size casserole dish.  Preferable one that is deep.  My pan was about 10”x7.5” and 2” deep.  I wouldn’t of had enough sweet potatoes for anything bigger. 

Spread the sweet potatoes over the filling.  Bake for 20 minutes. 



I enjoyed mine served over a bed of baby spinach for some extra greens!IMG_3063

I love the sort of sweet/salty combo going on here.  Delicious healthy comfort food.


Also had an Emergen-C spritzer with dinner ;)


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sweet and Savory Pancakes {paleo}

I experimented with a couple pancake recipes this weekend, both of which would fall under the “paleo” category.  Of course then I went a head and had maple syrup on the sweet ones, and cheese on the savory ones…but really, who wouldn’t? 

First on Saturday, I made some Almond-Coconut pancakes!


Almond Coconut Pancakes
serves 2
  • 1 cup Almond Flour (or Almond Meal works too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or unsweetened coconut, I actually had some organic unsweetened defatted coconut that I used)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3-3/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk (I used vanilla flavored unsweetened Almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine almond flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together to combine.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs with a fork then add almond milk, coconut oil, and honey.  Mix to combine, then add wet ingredients to dry.  Stir until mixture is combined.  If your batter is looking too thick, or thickens upon standing, add a little milk until it's pancake batter consistency!

Heat a griddle or skillet over med heat.  Use coconut oil or grassfed butter to grease the pan.  Once the pan is hot, add batter in desired size, cook until edges look done then flip.  Adjust heat while cooking incase the pan gets too hot.  Cook 2-3 more minutes or until pancakes look done. 

Serve as desired! 

Like I said we had real maple syrup, banana sliced, and Brian had butter on his (I’ve never been a fan of butter on pancakes). 

These were light, and had a nice subtle coconut flavor to them!  Really delicious.  I’m think next time I might add 1/4 tsp almond extract to really make the almond flavor come out as well. 

Brian loved them too, and he could care less about them being Paleo/low carb.


My savory pancake recipe was a true experiment, as I’ve never made anything like them before.  
I was flying solo this morning, Brian had gone up to NH for a friend’s b-day Sat night-Sunday, I stayed home with my new cold that came about Friday :/

I was hungry but had no idea what I was in the mood for.  Then I spotted a leftover, fully cooked sweet potato from the other night!  I also wanted an egg, and maybe something with cheese and hot sauce. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve made potato pancakes but I do remember egg was the binder.  I guess this would be more like a mashed (sweet) potato pancake!

Savory Sweet Potato Pancake
serves 1
  • 1 small cooked sweet potato
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • hot sauce (to you’re liking)
  • 1/4 tsp dried garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1-2 tsp butter
  • optional: cheddar or gouda (or your favorite) cheese, about 1 slice or a few small slices if it’s cut from a large chunk.
Cut your cooked sweet potato in half then scrap out all the flesh into a small mixing bowl.  Mash with a fork to get rid of any big lumps.  Add the beaten egg, hot sauce (I did about 4-5 shakes, wish I did more!), and garlic (I used Garlic Gold).  At this point you could really add any other seasonings you might want! 

Heat a small skillet over med-high heat, melt some butter in the pan, just enough to have a nice coating on the bottom.  Once the pan is good and hot, make 2 equal size pancakes with your batter.  Cook 3-5 min per side until cooked through and golden browned. 

Add cheese on one half and place other pancake on top.


Serve with sour cream if you like!  I actually added some more hot sauce on top too.
I really loved these!  I think next time I’d grate the cheese and add it right into the batter. 
If I had to eat them without the cheese or sour cream, I’d like some sliced tomato with them to add a cool refreshing contrast to the pancake. 


For a breakfast “dessert” I had some blueberries and banana


In other news, I have an important decision to make.  I ordered some new sneakers for Crossfit and of course it’s down to the colors ;)


My initial favorite was the pink/green, but I’m actually leading towards the purple/orange ones!  Thoughts?  I’m picking one by the time I go to Crossfit tomorrow night!
And for fun, and Outfit post!

IMG_2197   IMG_2199

One of these days I’ll take a nice "fashion” shot, outdoors with the wind blowing in my hair and the sun casting a nice glow on my skin. 
But for now, it’s iphone in the office bathroom…  yeah. 
This outfit was revolved around that blue skirt…love that skirt.
  • blue pencil skirt – Ann Taylor
  • grey cardigan – Old Navy
  • magenta shirt (which you can’t see) – Banana Republic
  • mustard scarf – Target
  • grey/yellow/gold t-strap heals – Seychelles from Nordstrom
If you have tomorrow off…lucky you!  I’ll be heading back to work like normal.  At least traffic will be a lot better.

Time for some frozen yogurt and then getting to bed early!  I hope :)

What’s your favorite thing to put in or on pancakes???  Maple syrup…all the way, the real stuff of course.  I look for any excuse to put maple syrup on anything!!  (except savory pancakes that is)