Since Brothers in Medfield is one of my all time favorite places to get delicious food anytime, when I was invited to a blogger lunch to celebrate Italy, I was immediately on board. Brothers is running a promotion through March 10th, Amiamo Italy, focusing on great prepared foods and products from Italy. The Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan are wonderful and among their top-sellers. I tested both (again, I’m so nice like that), and it’s easy to see why. Delicious! Brothers also has a great coffee bar, soda shop counter, and some seriously amazing prepared foods – and while they are featuring Italian foods this month, there are always amazing sandwiches, a hot bar with comfort food favorites, and the bakery. Don’t miss grabbing a coffee and sitting at the farmhouse table with some of their delicious baked goods. You’ll thank me later.
So a group of bloggers and people from the local media got to sample oh-so-much-delicious food! What a lovely group! We learned about how Brothers finds new products and had a lovely lunch with a tour of the store. Absolutely unabashedly love this place. Is there a possibility for a Brothers in Newton? I can only hope – and keep asking the wonderful management team.
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?!
Pineapple Mango Mocktail
There were fries!
Chicken Croquettes with Cilantro Lime Sauce, Cucumber and Peanut Salad, and Wilted Romaine Puree
Seriously, yum. McNugget get all grown up
Gnocchi with Sausage and Beef Bolognese
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.
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!
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
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.comand register by clicking “Get Cooking.” So got try it out. Your dinners will be happier for it.
JustAddCooking 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 truecooking time.
Some Much Needed Lifelong Learning with Learnivore
It was a long, cold winter – something I don’t have to tell those of you who stuck it out here (ahem, not you, Mom and Dad), and my daily routine of a good hour plus walk with our dog was disrupted. Okay, it stopped cold…if you’ll pardon the pun. The usual brisk walk became me in all my warmest gear as I begged, cried, and pleaded into the scarf that covered most of my face to my dog to just hurry up already so we could go back inside. It was not my finest hour, or hers, really.
Despite a few trips to the gym and some epic snow shoveling sessions, it was hard to stay on track, and I didn’t. At all. And with the nice weather upon us, I have no more excuses, just a habit of less exercise. So when the local social network company, Learnivore, offered a class for me to sample and review (any class), I immediately chose yoga. It’s been a while since I practiced daily, and I knew some individual attention would help motivate me.
The super easy to navigate Learnivore site (you can log in with Facebook or an email address) lets you explore classes that are set up under the fantastic headings of Athletics, Arts or Academics. It’s easy to narrow your search by geographic area, too. And each instructor has a profile page so you can read all about them before you even book a class. There were several options for yoga within 10 miles of my home, too. After reading a few profiles, I booked a yoga class with Christie R. – it was easy to communicate through Learnivore to set a time and date.
The morning of the class, one of my nieces dropped by (she is out of school for the year), and I invited her to join me in my class. After checking in with Christie, we were off to my first yoga class in a while. My niece is quite a few years younger than I am, and a terrific athlete to boot, so I was hoping she would distract Christie from my ineptitude. Maybe a little. I needn’t have worried.
Christie is warm and lovely with a wonderful manner, and was easily able to accommodate our two very different skill and ability levels, and somehow managed to keep us focused and on task (we lean to chatty, this niece and I). Christie’s home studio was equipped with blocks, bands and blankets to help with proper positioning, and I did so appreciate the care she takes to make sure each pose is thoughtfully and properly executed. Christie is an incredible instructor – kind, patient, caring and knowledgeable. What a great and gentle reintroduction to an activity I love and will definitely continue. I also noticed there are instructors for Track and Field – maybe now that I’m getting back in shape I’ll join a Master’s team, but first I might need a refresher class or two…
Are you a lifelong learner? Learnivore has classes for the whole family, too. Here’s a listing of the available classes:
All Air Sports Archery Baseball Basketball Bowling Boxing Camping & Hiking Caving & Canyoning Climbing Cricket CrossFit Cycle & Spin Dance – Athletic Diving Driving & Racing Equestrian Extreme Sports Fencing Field Hockey Fishing Fitness & Training Football Golf Gymnastics Hunting & Firearms Kayaking & Rafting Lacrosse Martial Arts Massage & Physical Therapy Nutrition Other – Athletics Paintball Parkour Pilates Poker & Cards Rowing Running & Endurance Sailing & Boating Self Defense Skateboarding Skating & Hockey Ski & Snow Sports Soccer Softball Surfing Survival & Orienteering Swimming Tennis & Racquet Sports Track & Field Triathlon Ultimate Frisbee Volleyball Water Sports Wrestling Yoga
All Beauty Brewing Circus Arts Craft Creative Writing Culinary Arts Dance Design Dramatic Arts Fashion Film Gardening Knitting Life Music – Brass Music – Composition & Arranging Music – General Music – Guitar Music – Low Strings Music – Other Music – Percussion Music – Piano Music – Viola & Violin Music – Voice Music – Woodwinds Other – Arts Photography Sewing Travel Visual Arts Wine & Spirits Woodworking
All Academic Writing Accounting Alternative Medicine Anthropology Archaeology Architecture Art History Astronomy Biological Sciences Business Chess Child Development Computer Science Economics Education Engineering Finance History Home School Journalism Languages – Chinese Languages – ESL Languages – French Languages – Other Languages – Spanish Law Literature Management & Leadership Marketing Mathematics Medicine Other – Academics Philosophy Physics & Chemistry Political Science Psychology Reading Mechanics Religion Social Sciences Speaking & Presentation Special Education Speech Sustainability Technology Test Prep
Check Learnivore out on your favorite social media platform.