Chic

What a Treat – Muji on Newbury Street

When visiting NYC, I stumbled upon the Muji Store in Times Square and I was transfixed. The quiet, tidy and calm interior was in such stark contrast to the street outside. And everything was so well curated – all super practical, yet beautiful items. Household goods, clothing, no brand names. Just gorgeous, functional items. I was smitten. And I’m not alone. There are legions of loyal Muji fans, and luckily for us, they just opened a shop on Newbury Street in Boston. So whether you already love Muji or have never heard of it, check it out.

Photos courtesy of Sharon Schindler (@SchindlerPhotos), who I talked into going to the opening, and who takes much better photos than I do. Thanks, Sharon!

 

Muji Website

Sharon Schindler Photography

 

 

Brothers Market – My new go-to

Seriously, if you follow me at all. you know I’m all about the food. I like to find it, buy it, prepare it, and, yes, eat it. I also like to make a gift of it.  And Brothers Market is a place where the people like their food even more than I do. They care about the best sourcing, pricing and the best quality products and they want to know what people want – so, we as the consumers, get all the benefit of their hyper focused work. Already a win. Then you get to the store (any of their stores), and it is warm, welcoming and inviting – just like everyone who works there. I have seen every employee pitch in during a rush – people from all different departments and all areas of responsibility in the store, man the registers or gift wrap station or bag groceries.

I have been to hosted blogger events in both Medfield and the newly renovated Weston Market.  Their stores have great food, customer service, and my fave, coffee bars with great seating. We were there to sample some of their delicious prepared food – I know, tough work if you can get it.

This Butternut Squash recipe is easily a new family favorite. Make it for your family, bring it as a side dish, for your next pot luck. You will be very popular. I should know. I use food to make friends all the time.

 

 

 

Trade Up Your Night at Trade Boston

img_7392Happily, I was invited to a hosted Parent’s Night Out at Trade (Boston), a wonderful restaurant on Atlantic Ave, and since the chef/owner is Jody Adams, I knew I was in for a treat, actually, many delicious treats. And we, the parents, star researchers that we all are, sampled most of the items on the menu. You are welcome. I also had a stint at their lively Patio Party with Dave Dudek and had snacks before dinner (and even some dessert – hand made oreos that were too good to pass up) where I imagined I still worked in town and got to stop for drinks on my way home. I don’t but, hey, it could happen. If I did work in town, Trade would be at least a weekly stop in. This food is seriously wonderful. What did we try? It would be easier to list what we didn’t try. But I’m up for the challenge.

The brushetta – just dig in, worth the small mess you might make. And I did make a mess but the architect and landscape architect I befriended – partially because they were charming and friendly and maybe a little bit because they were standing in front of all the food – covered for me and then we ate some kind of puffed up fried shrimp that were incredible. Sadly I didn’t get as far as the oyster bar…there’s always next time though! Then Dave and I saw our group and moved inside for more food!

And more starters – all exceptional – a perfect buttermilk fried quail, squash and sweet potato pancakes (two separate dishes in case you were wondering), and falafel pancakes, and chicken meatballs in a tomato vinaigrette. Yes, all that and more. As in a few flat breads like the mushroom and fig, the Tasso ham and smoked gouda, and the lamb sausage with eggplant.

Not yet daunted and excited to try more of this beautifully prepared and presented food, we pressed on to the entrees: a perfectly prepared salmon with shredded kale salad, an wonderful roasted half chicken with fried potatoes, lemon aioli and charred romaine, and steak with arugula, french fries and baked rigatoni with spicy lamb ragu.

The menu is fantastic, and the entire staff is charming. We were seated next to the cool wine vault and we got to chat with Chef de Cuisine Cory Seeker. Great place with a great atmosphere and a perfect place for any get together – date night, a private party or just drinks (and apps!) after work, or parents night out! Valet parking available or there is a garage right next door – super easy, super fun night out.

Partners in Fun

 

#momsnightout at TRADE. Babysitters across the board…bartender, keep ’em comin!!

A photo posted by tradeboston (@tradeboston) on

 On Instagram:

redshutters

davedudek

ohbabyboston

kimworld

mamamyung

umommy

kristinadanahy

and me, capabilitymom

540 Atlantic Avenue, Boston MA 02210

(617) 451-1234

Mon – Thu: 11:30am – 11:00pm, Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 12:00am

Sun: 5:30pm-10:00pm

 

Gather Chocolate – A delicious and sustainable treat

Gather Chocolate from Harbor Sweets

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Harbor Sweets, a local chocolate maker, is introducing a small batch chocolate line called Gather that not only features honey but helps to protect honeybees. I recently was sent a sample and have to say I was really impressed. And I know chocolate. So, dark chocolate with a note of local wildflower honey…yum.  Almost better than eating these delectable bites is knowing that a portion of sales will be donated to the Pollinator Partnership, a 501c3 NGO that educates and advocates best beekeeping practices for honeybee protection.
What did I sample? Well, as you can imagine, I did have to share, but managed to secure a fair number for myself. Inside the sweet honeycomb shaped box were three truffles: Caramelized Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Sour Cherry, with three covered dark chocolates: Cashew Caramel, Coconut Cluster and Sesame Crunch.
Reports from the chocolate sharing family – you are welcome, family – Delicious and where can we get more?
Lucky for me, two of my favorite shops in Newton carry them – Just Next Door and Marty’s Liquors – hey, they have food, too, you know. There is even a handy store locator on the Harbor Sweets site. Can’t get to the store? That’s okay, it’s easy to order online. These delish Gather chocolates are my new go-to hostess gift. Thanks Harbor Sweets!Gather shot (2)
About Harbor Sweets® – An American chocolate tradition since 1973, Harbor Sweets produces handcrafted artisan chocolates from its original historic red brick building in Salem, Massachusetts. It uses only the finest and freshest ingredients to make its delicious chocolates including its iconic Sweet Sloops®, first created by Founder Ben Strohecker.  It has been recognized for years as one of the top women led businesses in Massachusetts.
From Harbor Sweets:
Gather’s launch with its purpose-driven mission comes on the heels of a USDA Report in which pesticides and parasites are cited as causing an alarming 44% loss of honeybee colonization in just one year. This is the second highest annual loss reported in the past 10 years worldwide. Honeybee pollinators add more than $15 billion to America’s agricultural economy and are critical to the entire agricultural eco-system. 

So, check out a local company making a great product and doing good at the same time.
Harbor Sweets
Twitter: @harborsweets
Facebook: HarborSweets
Instagram: HarborSweetsHandmadeChocolates
IMG_7240Disclosure:
I did not receive compensation for this post but did receive a sample of the chocolates to facilitate this review.

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