Brookline

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!

 

Pantry in Brookline is gorgeous

 

 

Farm to table, great. Store to table, also great. Especially when it’s this store. Pantry is the newest and freshest way to grocery shop. The store is a beautiful place, warm and well-stocked with dinner plans for every taste. There’s also a carefully curated selection of cooking utensils and pans – the chef’s choice – gorgeously displayed and reasonably priced, too. Recent college grads? Empty nesters? Busy families? They’ve got you covered for dinner, anyway.

I decided to try the salmon since we all love it, and I needed a new way to prepare it. Okay, I was asked repeatedly to find a new way to prepare it and finally took the clue.

Here’s the recipe I made –  Salmon with Spinach Barley.

 

Delicious, different and on the table in under 40 minutes. The recipe card says 35 minutes which is pretty accurate, I’m always a bit pokey the first time I make something.

So the shopping was a joy, the prep was a breeze. And here’s the final dish. And they pair beer or wine options (and have them in the store) with every recipe. Brilliant.

I’m definitely voting Pantry as most likely to be a new favorite place for dinner. Why? The store is gorgeous, the food locally sourced, the recipes fantastic – easy to execute but sophisticated – and you choose your own fresh ingredients.

Pantry also will deliver the ingredients. Really. Door Dash and Caviar both deliver Pantry’s fresh ingredients – and you get a fresh, healthy meal that’s way better than the usual take out fare.

This super sweet shop is in Brookline at 1622 Beacon Street – easy to get to and great to stop by if you are driving home past it. On the T? Just jump off the Green Line, grab your dinner and head home!

Head on over to Leah’s Life to see what they thought of the Thanksgiving Turkey Roulade.

And thank you to Leah for the great photos and for being so much fun!

Happy dinner planning!

Disclosure:

I was not compensated for this post but was given the ingredients for the meal above to facilitate the review. I purchased the beer and wine myself, and some Justin’s peanut butter cups which did not make it home. Sorry, family. All opinions are, as always, my own.

 

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