Boston

McDonald’s In The Kitchen, Fairsted Kitchen that is.

A Surprise From McDonald’s at Fairsted Kitchen

 

When I got the invitation to Fairsted Kitchen, it was a given that I would say yes. Every time I drive by it, I remind myself that we need to have dinner there, then I get home and life happens and I forget, again, at least until the next time I drive by.  And when I saw that McDonald’s was hosting and Executive Chef Stephanie Cmar (yes, foodie friends, of Bravo’s Top Chef and of Stacked Donuts fame), was going to cook only with McD’s ingredients, I was intrigued. How would this work? What would the menu look like? And most importantly…Would there be fries?!

Photo credit: Debbie Grubstein

 

And not only were there fries – there was a bar of fries!  Everyone talked, laughed and nibbled as we circled the table and there were lots of stories because…fries. And I was so excited that the charming and twinkle lighted exterior of Fairsted Kitchen was a perfect preview to the lovely space within –  warm wood tables, lovely vintage mismatched china, and a welcoming staff. What a wonderful antidote to a cold and rainy night.

Dinner was, as expected, fantastic. And made only from ingredients that would be used in a McDonald’s kitchen. The first up: chicken croquettes with cilantro lime sauce, cucumber, peanut salad, and wilted romaine puree and our hosts explained that the fresh produce was the same used in McDonald’s premium salads and McWraps.  I learned that McD’s sources from local distributors when possible.

Next up, gnocchi made with actual McDonald’s french fries that were put through a meat grinder. Wow, super clever Stephanie Cmar! The Bolognese made with sausage and 100% ground beef, was delicious! I also learned that McD’s uses 100% beef that is ground, then formed into patties and flash frozen, and made with no additives or preservatives. Good to know.

Dessert was seriously the biggest doughnut I have ever seen. It’s okay though, years of training had prepared me for the challenge and I was undaunted. Doughnuts with Cranberry and Salted Caramel made by Stephanie (McD’s uses USDA grade A fresh eggs and North American grown whole wheat flour).

 

Served with a perfect cup of coffee (from McCafe) and made with 100 percent Arabica coffee beans. I loved McDonald’s coffee when it was Newman’s Own and I love it now, too. A great price for great coffee.

Stephanie Cmar Fairsted Kitchen McDonald's In the Kitchen

Photos* were taken by Debbie Grubstein, friend, food blogger extraordinaire, and all around wonderful person. Thanks, Deb!

*except the coffee cup so you can see why Deb is good to have around!

This post was sponsored by McDonald’s. All opinions are, and always will be, my own. Thank you!

 

Just Add Cooking – the rest is covered

Do you know that feeling when you get a package? It’s great, right? What’s even better is when the package is filled with fresh, local ingredients for three whole dinners!  Love this new way of getting healthy food on the table. Not every week – heck, not every day – is the same and sometimes, usually, I am stretched to come up with healthy meals that I can make under an hour that everyone will like.  So while I am a tiny bit of a control freak, I also am pretty fresh out of ideas for dinner. Just Add Cooking came at just the right time.

Three meals, prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes, and the ingredients delivered to your door. Bye bye Control Freak. Hello, Just Add Cooking.

 

My lovely Just Add Cooking box had the ingredients for

Coq au Vin

Chana Saag

Fish Soup with Aioli

 

Everything was fresh, delicious, easy to prepare (and true to the projected cooking times which is the best). Having the exact ingredients and amount of ingredients was nothing short of a miracle (if you are my neighbor you have probably gotten a missing ingredient call from me). Can’t wait to try owner of Moody’s and an amazing chef, Joshua Smith’s take on Corned Beef and Cabbage. Yum.

Just Add Cooking is offering boxes starting at $39 for a 2-person, 3-meal box (normally $69) and $69 for a 4-person, 3-meal box (normally $109). This is for the first box for new customers and the price will be automatically applied to their first purchase if they visit http://www.justaddcooking.com and register by clicking “Get Cooking.”  So got try it out. Your dinners will be happier for it.
  • Just Add Cooking is based in Boston and the ingredients are locally sourced, using local farmers, vendors and purveyors and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
  • Delivery area is throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
  • There are seven recipes to choose from each week. Typically there is a poultry, seafood, pork and beef option along with 3 vegetarian options.
  • You make a selection by 12 pm on Wed and get delivery on Sunday or Monday depending on your area.
  • There are also designated gluten-free meals, which have been evaluated by a dietitian and are clearly labeled as such.
  • Because Just Add Cooking sources locally, they pack and deliver (via courier) the same day. No FedEx means less packaging (packaging is minimal and everything but the freezer bag is biodegradable). This process also helps ensure freshness and involves lower food miles the ingredients have to travel.
  • All recipes are developed by an in-house chef and all recipes are tested to ensure they are accessible to home chefs. This means the time printed on the recipe (usually around 30  minutes) is the true cooking time.JAC Open Box picture
Check out Just Add Cooking
on
Disclainer: I was not compensated for this post but did receive a Just Add Cooking box to facilitate this review. All opinions are =, and always will be, my own.

Happy to have one less errand or two…#onelesserrand

Happy to have one less errand or two…or twenty. Thanks to Google Express. #onelesserrand

I recently attended a blogger dinner to learn about Google Express and I am so glad I did! First of all it was all kinds of gorgeous, and great to connect with old friends and make new ones – I learned some photo tips, too. The dinner was held at Serafina in Boston which I have been longing to try – it’s wonderful – food, ambiance, service.

View More: http://brianamoore.pass.us/google-express-boston

 

So, what’s so great about #GoogleExpress? Well, do you like going to the store for paper towels, detergent or office supplies? Me neither. Google Express features same day delivery from local area stores with no delivery fee (if your order is over $15) and there is a free three month trial that I am using like mad. In my area, the stores include Stop & Shop, CostCo, Staples, PetSmart, Ulta Beauty, Barnes & Noble and Kohl’s. We have had cleaning supplies, paper goods, office and school supplies and beauty products, and even an airbed (perfect timing, we had guests coming to stay and no air bed). Try it for three months free, you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Love the convenience, the cost (same price for items as in store), you can link your loyalty cards from stores like Staples and Stop & Shop to Google Express. I’ve used it three times and was happy with every delivery. School supplies? Delivered? (Staples, you know I love you but I cannot handle the back to school craziness). Yes, please.

I did receive a gift card to Google Express for the purpose of review. All opinions remain my own.

 

Think It Up! Staples Donates to Local Area Schools

Thank you, Staples, for making me like you even more. Truth be told you had me, years ago, with this ad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz56prGBiS8
It’s not enough that you are our go to for all things school and office, but now this?

Staples and Joe Kelly Support Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest Teachers with Think It Up™

Joe Kelly, Kirk Saville

Staples announced that it has funded 214 local classroom projects in the Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest communities, as part of its recent pledge (in the amount of $10 million) to Think it Up™, a new national initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is looking to start a new movement in support of students, teachers and schools, by creating a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America. This fall, Think It Up, in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, will look to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in classrooms across the country.

Red Sox Pitcher and Think It Up ambassador Joe Kelly attended the announcement in support of Boston’s students and teachers. “It’s great knowing this generous donation will help make meaningful learning projects happen in classrooms throughout the Boston area, thanks to Think It Up, DonorsChoose.org, and Staples’ commitment to supporting students,” Kelly said.

DonorsChoose.org  was founded in 2000, and has helped fund more than 236,000 classroom projects for teachers and helped more than 14 million students. Today, in the Greater Boston area, Staples fully funded every project on DonorsChoose.org in Boston Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools and MetroWest communities. More than $204,000 was donated to help 173 teachers fulfill classroom needs and helped 14,063 students across 85 schools in the Greater Boston area.

“We’re thrilled to fund all of the projects in the Boston, Cambridge and Metrowest communities and to work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Think It Up initiative and DonorsChoose.org to ensure classrooms have the supplies and resources they need,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “Through our Staples for Students program, we’re proud to build on our rich history of supporting education with our $10 million pledge to Think It Up that will make a difference in America’s classrooms.”

I know a few teachers (I’m even related to a few) so I know it’s true that teachers spend their own money for their classrooms so this is an especially important initiative.

How can you help? Support Think It Up, you can donate a dollar at a Staples store or visit http://www.thinkitup.org to learn more.

I did receive a gift card from Staples (oh, happy day) which I plan on using immediately. Thank you, Staples. All opinions are, and always will be, my own, and my love for that ad is for always.

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