Ready for Easter?

In my family growing up,  Easter was a big deal. My mom made our Easter outfits (I know, pretty incredible), dresses in sprigged cotton and matching lining in the pastel wool coats. Yes, she made us coats. And new shoes and frilly ankle socks for me and my sisters, my brother got a new suit or new shirt and tie.  I particularly remember our footwear, especially the one year that white patent go go boots (to be clear, only we called them that), replaced the usual patent leather Mary Janes. Oh, we were mod.  I wish I could find a photo to show you the awesomeness.

There were Easter services, an excruciatingly painful time away from our candy, and we had awesome candy. Always an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs filled with candy, and peeps, because there must always be peeps, and a solid chocolate bunny. Bunnies were special, and if your bunny was touched, you knew it and if it was defiled, you could tell by the teeth marks left behind. Or was that just us? It took years of hurled accusations to realize that the cleanly cut off tail was certainly the handiwork of our father, who would stoop to steal a bit of Easter candy but never in such a base manner as to actually gnaw on the bunny, and he always used a sharp knife. We should have known.

When I had children of my own, the week before Easter we dyed eggs (always fun and messy), and Easter morning had an Easter egg hunt (my favorite thing), and I made up pretty baskets and stayed true to solid bunnies. And just in case you think this is picture perfect, it’s not. Here’s how it usually goes around here, the night before Easter, I dig out the plastic eggs from last year to fill with the candy I have managed not to eat, and I go to the present cabinet for the few non-edible gifts I stashed there over the past few weeks. Seat of my pants, people, seat of my pants.

My blogger/friend/cohort team that makes up @GoLocalBoston, all approach holiday preparation with a purpose – some of us are just better planners. And for Easter, with a quiet (okay, not quiet), certain, and thoughtful focus, we curated gorgeous gift baskets. Why do we do this? For you, dear reader.

In general, we got together because we all like to support local businesses, and we like each other, and we all really like sweets. So this was definitely not a bad gig. Most of my work involved unwrapping candy, arranging hard to wrangle lollipops, and bolting down most of the Cadbury mini-eggs (sorry, Debbie). As we took pictures of the beautiful items from local companies, we called out orders to each other, laughed, sampled candy, and talked about the work at hand, other business, food and families. What a fantastic group of women to work with, and as we are all slightly opinionated and not afraid to share our thoughts, some people might need a lie down after a session with us. We are funny, too. Just ask any of us.

So for this project, we started off with baskets in the following themes: Nautical, Spring, Sports, and Farm. If that’s not your style, simply grab your favorite from each, and mix and match.

Want to round out the baskets with non-food items? Ideas abound and some of our favorites include:

Sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, bouncy balls, a frisbee or two, stuffed animals, art supplies, markers, pens, or colored pencils with sketch pads or journals, picture books, twinkle lights, phone cords, portable phone chargers, a cute new case, ear phones, a tea cup or coffee mug and fill with small treats, or add a small flowering plant. Since there is no shortage of cute baskets, pails and other containers, just go to local drug store or market to find the just right sized basket.

 

Easter basket treats are not just for the kids any more – I’d love to bring one of these as a hostess gift or use as Easter brunch centerpieces or even make small baskets as party favors.

Want to learn more about these local lovelies who helped us fill these baskets? Check out Leah’s Life, A Little Bit About A Lot of Things, and Kim World.

Featured brands include:

A Dozen Eggs

Bisousweet

E Frances

eh chocolatier

Cardullo’s

Formaggio

Gray Mist

Harbor Sweets

la Burdick

Magic Beans

Pao de Brasil

Phillips Candy House

Pure Sugar Candy

Royce chocolates

Seacoast sweets

Spindler Confections

Wilson Farm

#Easter Capability Mom

Amd P.S. I steal their candy, too. Only I know better than to cut the tail off.

All about the Pi(e)

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary:

The mathematical value of π, or pi, begins “3.14…” so March 14 (3/14) is considered to be International Pi Day.

Pi is the English spelling of the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. It means “the symbol π denoting the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter,” and also means “the ratio itself : a transcendental number having a value rounded to eight decimal places of 3.14159265.” This means that the outside measurement of a circle is a little more than three times its width. This ratio is one of the most important constants in mathematics.

Pi is probably used to stand for this number because it is the first letter of the Greek word that is the origin of periphery. And don’t miss the weird and wonderful things they’re doing over on Twitter. Funny, creative and inventive. You’re welcome.

This variant form of cauliflower is the ultimate fractal vegetable. Its pattern is a natural representation of the Fibonacci or golden spiral, a logarithmic spiral where every quarter turn is farther from the origin by a factor of phi, the golden ratio.

So, I really want to give a shout out to math on Pi Day.  We use math every day, even when we don’t realize it. Now head over to Live Science to see some really cool math. And really, much as I  respect math, I respect that wonderful, versatile food choice, pie.  Sweet or savory, I am all about the pie. So when my intrepid blogger friends invited me to a pie photo morning/tasting (because who would go to just the photo shoot anyway?) –  I ran right out and grabbed some pies. Because more is more.

We fanned out across the city and suburbs in search of our favorite types of pie. Undaunted by the amount of research this would take, we were committed to our quest, and you reap the results of our labors. Why, yes, I did try most, but not all, of these delicious pies. It was an early release day or I would have, though. Pacing. Here’s the rundown. Honestly, the things I do for this blog.

Hi-Rise Bakery – This is one of my favorite places for everything – sandwiches, baked goods, bread and jams, and I every so often make the Vanilla Bean Loaf – we call it Vanilla Bread.  We sampled the lemon meringue – next time it might not make it home.

Leah brought some of her favorite pies from Petsi Pies and they were all inhaled.  I had heard of Petsi Pies but this was my first time and the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan may have been one of my tops favorite pies ever.

More Cambridge? Pemberton Farms Marketplace is a sweet grocery/bakery/garden center that has everything you could need plus pies from The Pie Guy’s – the key lime pie is off the hook. So when I head back for that particular confection, I’ll be picking up a few hostess gifts, some wine and a plant or two next time I go.

Craving a savory pie with a flaky out of this world crust? Look no further than  KO Catering & Pies in South Boston.  Mostly meat pies here but some veggies find their way in, and  a lovely veggie pie or the Classic Beef Pie will warm you right up. We were hosted to try these yummy hand pies and sample we did. Then we ordered a bunch to go – great for the freezer for an easy dinner you almost made.

And from Shoofly Pie Baking Company, an unbelievably delicious and pretty – no one wanted me to cut it but I did anyway – cherry pie. She delivers – yes, delivers pie to Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and Hyde Park. with a trial run in Brookline going on now. Hopefully Newton is next! I’m not going to lie, when Kelli handed me still warm from the oven cherry pie, I doubted that it would make it to our pie morning. Yet it did, and it was whole. I  know. All the will power.

Freshly baked, incredibly delicious pies from the Ever So Humble Pie Company can be found at both Volante Farms and Brothers Marketplace.

 

So what do we do? Go Local Boston is our hashtag. We find things, we share our finds.

Follow these blogs for more fun finds – pie and otherwise.

A Little Bit about a lot of Things

Kim World

Leah’s Life: Pearls and Oysters

Binge watching on Verizon Fios

We have had Verizon Fios since forever – okay, 11 years. I remember when we got it because during one particularity sad technology week here, we had only one antenna for two TVs. So when my oldest asked for the rabbit ears so they could watch PBS downstairs, I laughed, gave them to her, and went out that day for another set. And then I called Verizon.

Really. When we renovated our house – mostly the kitchen – all my husband wanted was a comfy chair and some sports channels. And we definitely have that covered with Fios.  Me and the kids? We like movies and some long running shows; binge watching is kind of a thing in our the family. How about you? Ever finish a show and wonder what to watch next? Me, too. But then I talk to some friends (or the kids) for suggestions. yes, I will share.

This Is Us

If you aren’t already watching this (no, you’re crying) then catch up here.  I promise not to talk about the upcoming episode until you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jane the Virgin has been a family favorite for a while but we can’t talk about it – we’re all in different places – No spoilers!

Also a huge fans of Crazy Ex Girlfriend – trust me, dark, witty, funny, sweet and with musical numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t gotten into Big Little Lies but I think it’s only a matter of time. Or Game of Thrones. That’s on my list. Definitely caught up and enjoying this season of Girls.

Need to watch those Oscar nominated movies you missed? Start with these available now on Fios.

And we have a family movie night planned to watch this:

Check to see if Verizon Fios is in your area here. Locally, Fios is rolling out in newly wired areas: Dorchester, West Roxbury, Roxbury and Roslindale.

And there’s a new way to get Fios, too.

 

Disclosure: I am working with a Verizon Fios team of bloggers to help get the word out about Fios coming to Boston. While I am being compensated for sharing, all opinions are, as always, my own. And yes, yes I do, watch a lot of tv. No judgement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunch Test Kitchen at Lincoln Tavern

 

Yes, I did brunch again. This time a group of bloggers headed to the Brunch Test Kitchen of the Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant in South Boston. Why, yes, I do get around, thank you. What exactly is a Brunch Test Kitchen? Well, Lincoln Tavern and Executive Chef Nicholas Dixon are behind this great idea – Fridays are test days for their brunch menu. It’s a rotating menu offered in addition to lunch menu (in case you’re not feeling the brunch, but it’s really good, so you just might), from 10 am to 3 pm, and essentially “winners” go on to star at the Sunday Brunch. Here are some who have made the leap: Nutella S’mores Pancakes, Fruity Pebble Pancakes, Fried Chicken & Cheddar Biscuits, and the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milkshake with rum – definitely grownup. So they give you three possible days to brunch.

What was our brunch like? Creative offerings, beautifully executed and presented. Brunch done well!

We ordered a Mionetto Prosecco adorably called a Bucket of Bubbles served with three juices – orange, grapefruit and apple cider. Our waitress suggested a mix of all three. Great choice.

I ordered the Chef’s Fruit Salad and it is a wonderful combination of fruits that left me feeling virtuous, and ready to dive into the short rib grilled cheese which I also ordered and immediately had to share with others because it was too good to keep all for myself.

The fun part about blogger get-togethers (aside from the open exchange of ideas, great conversations, laughter, and networking) is the unbelievable patience of the other diners to move, shift light, and photograph food. Some of these photos were taken on the bar or on the stage. We didn’t let anything get cold but we were pretty thorough.

We all ordered off the menu, and tried, well, really almost everything. Luckily, bloggers share which is part and parcel of a great meal for me, almost always. And for you, we tried both savory and sweet.

Savory: super crisp and pretty darn perfect fried calamari, a Philly cheese steak hot pocket (seriously great hot pocket), shrimp and grits skewers (we fought a little over this), and several of the yummy wood fired pizzas – smoked salmon pizza, breakfast pizza, and my favorite, the roasted onion and goat cheese pizza.

Sweet: Fruity Pebbles Pancakes (which are incredible and so pretty), also practically perfect butternut squash pancakes, and a seriously adorable and yummy Fluffernutter parfait. The coffee is wonderful, the cool water bottles stay on the table, and the service is warm, friendly and just the right amount of attentive.

 

Lincoln Tavern is absolutely enormous – a great space for large groups, and they have more private booths for a cozier experience, too.

 

Located at 425 West Broadway in South Boston. Street parking is available and there is also a good-sized lot across the street with 2-hour parking. I was lucky and snagged a spot right out front. This area has adorable stores nearby, too. Take a postprandial walk. It’s good for you and you’ll explore a really fun neighborhood. Happy Brunching!

Follow on Instagram @lincolnsouthbos

Latest Brunch Test Kitchen Menu PDF

Disclaimer: I was invited to this hosted blogger brunch at Lincoln Tavern. The meal and beverages were complimentary. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

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