Food

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!

 

A Cool Bowling Day

A Cool Bowling Day

Bowling Day at Kings in Boston

#Blogkings

Last week, on one of those hot and humid Boston days (you know the ones where you don’t even want to be poolside because it’s so hot? Yes, one of those), we went to a Blogger Bowling Party at Kings in Boston.  It was cool, as in air-conditioned, with an even cooler retro decor (you know I love that). It’s so cool that JT  (yes, Justin Timberlake) had been there just days before (Brush with stardom? That may be as close as I ever get).

And I have a small confession to make. I was on a bowling league in high school (yes, I’m that cool). Yes, it was candle-pin (Massachusetts, you know), and I was the worst player on the team, but we had fun and I still like to bowl. I’m not any better at it than I was then, but now enthusiasm counts for a lot more – plus no one is really keeping score, well, at least I wasn’t. So when my technique was criticized by my team mates (hey, I was winning with that cross kind of throwing bowling move and definitely not keeping score) as possibly mortally embarrassing (yes, my children were on my team), I changed it up and tried to bowl “the right way” (whatever that means), even though it meant I started to roll gutter balls. Where were the gutter guards for my lane? I probably could have used the nifty guide they have for the littlest bowlers, too.

We’ve been bowling at the Kings in Dedham (in Legacy Place) many times, but this was our first time at the Boston location (Note – All locations welcome all ages but it’s just for over 21 in evenings – see Kings for details) and it was super fun.  After a fantastic lunch (a great menu – salads, fruit and cheese platter, hummus and, of course, the classic chicken wings, pigs in a blanket and pizza – all delicious) and a couple of games, we were ready to brave the heat again. We walked to the Bodega (the super cool sneaker store) to check that out (again, so cool), and by the time we hiked back to the garage we were really missing our cool air-conditioned digs at Kings.

Thank you to Kings and everyone who joined the party – What a fun day!

Disclosure: My family and I bowled and had food and drinks courtesy of Kings. Oh, and they validated parking, too. I did park in the garage next to Kings but next time I would park in the Prudential Garage – it’s a quick walk to Kings and the Shops at the Prudential validate parking, too, and it’s less expensive. Now I’ve gone and shared my favorite Boston parking spot.

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Blogger Bash NYC was a Blast!

Blogger Bash NYC #BBNYC

As wordless as I’m ever going to be. Pics today, words tomorrow. A huge thank you to these hard-working individuals of Blogger Bash NYC – Charlene DeLoach, Joey Fortman, Laurie Schacht, Stephanie Glover, Ali Mierzejewski and Marissa DiBartolo.

capability mom #nycfood #BBNYC

 

 

 

 

.capability mom #BBNYC #bloganthropy awardscapability mom #BBNYC #Sweet Suite14capabilitymom #Sweetsuite14 #BBNYC BloggerBashNYC MZWALLACE

A Very Creative Crudite

A Very Creative Crudite by Crudite Creations

crudite creations at capabilitymom.com images on fotor.com
collage editing skills with a lot of help from from fotor.com

While we occasionally entertain, I am not as calm a hostess for large scale gatherings (my ability to time when the various foods will be done needs, um, work) as I would like to be, but I’ve learned some coping mechanisms, and I’m willing to share.

First, outsource what you can. I put my husband on beer, and my sister (who is a lovely and knowledgeable wine broker – her company info here), on, well, wine. We did end up having some things catered (I made salads because even I can time those).

There are terrific local resources that can help you pull it off, too. I had not one but two family gatherings in the past month, and was beyond happy with the results. For amazing cakes, baked goods and, for our casual family gathering, sandwiches and salads, I went to one of my favorites, L’Aroma Cafe. Go here for more information – everything is delicious and the gluten free cake was a huge hit, and they are fantastic at accommodating dietary restrictions (there were quite a few).

Now, having said all this, I’m not usually one to cater things (born and raised to be frugal), but sometimes I want a little something special, and this vegetable arrangement from Crudite Creations is exactly my speed. It’s a local (Newton) based company that delivers stunning centerpiece worthy arrangements of vegetables and way more attractively presented than my knife skills would allow. It is gorgeous, delicious, local and fun.

Also, fear not, the arrangement comes in a sturdy cooler bag with an ice pack if you’re not home. I missed the delivery by about 10 minutes and what a lovely surprise to find on my doorstep! I had run out of events to host (phew), so I brought this to a neighbor’s garden party. Wow, was I ever popular!

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The owner of Crudite Creations, Lauren Brooks, is an artist who makes arrangements that are almost too pretty to eat. The arrangement came with two delicious dips, a white bean dip was light (and was virtually inhaled), and a lovely, creamy hummus. I was asked repeatedly if I made it, and managed to tell the truth every time (despite being a desperate Martha Stewart wannabe and this would have given me total cred. But lying is wrong, just wrong).

Find Crudite Creations on Facebook and Twitter or on their website here or learn a bit more about them on NewTV here.

Stephen Fales, Photographer
Photo by Stephen Fales

 

 

I couldn’t possible take credit for this photo, either. It’s by the talented Stephen Fales. Contact him for photography gigs at sfales56@hotmail.com.

 

Capability:Mom received a medium bouquet for the purpose of this review. All opinions and writing are, as always, entirely my own.

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