sharing

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 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!

IMG_8767

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.

Social Media & You taught by Melanie Graham at NewTV

social media nd you, NewTV, Melanie Graham,

If you are a fan of Melanie Graham, the first and wonderful Newton Patch editor, (her Five Things You Need to Know posts were the best and she is super nice IRL*), and you want to know how to use Social Media for good (not evil), you’ll sign up for her class at NewTV.  Melanie is currently the Digital Content and Social Media Producer for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and has been teaching this class at NewTV since 2011. So learn to better promote yourself and your projects and get a handle on Twitter (pun intended).

Social Media & You

The internet opens up a world of resources for you to better promote yourself and your projects. This course introduces to you some of the wide variety of options, from Facebook to Twitter, and how to best use them.

Instructor: Melanie Graham of Dana-Farber

Location: 23 Needham Street, Newton MA 02461 

Time: January 27 • 7pm

Fee: $25.00

To register for Social Media & You, please click here.social media nd you, NewTV, Melanie Graham,

*In Real Life (if you had to look at this then you need this class)

 What is NewTV?
NewTV is a non-profit Newton-based organization dedicated to providing the diverse Newton community with a platform for opinions, news and local information not generally available from commercial or public media.  NewTV also offers training, a media facility and content distribution while supporting the First Amendment right to free speech of the Newton community.

Where is NewTV?

The headquarters of NewTV and the TV production studio facilities are located at 19-23 Needham Street in Newton Highlands.

The facility is at the top of the hill of a private road called Easy Street, which runs off Needham Street between National Lumber and National Tire & Battery (NTB). From 128 North or South, take the Needham Street Exit 19A and follow Needham Street North past the Avalon Apartments. Make a left onto Easy Street. From Newton Centre and points North, take Centre Street past Route 9/Boylston Street, onto Winchester Street, then go right at the traffic signal onto Needham Street. Easy Street is the first right past National Lumber.

Who can use NewTV?
Residents of the City of Newton, members of Newton-based non-profit organizations, employees of Newton businesses and City of Newton employees are eligible to use NewTV.  This includes free use of TV production equipment and facilities, cable TV channel time and training in TV production, media literacy and Internet access.  Anyone wishing to use NewTV facilities must become a member of NewTV for a small annual fee (Really, it’s $25).

Finding Kind on Indieflix – Try it

As a blogger, I get a lot of emails from companies; many of them are nice, some are self-serving (you know who you are), and some are flat out awesome on all levels. This is one of the awesome ones. Finding Kind is a documentary about female bullying that takes a clear look at how girls treat one another and how we can effect real change.

Check out the trailer here.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woZTiMgWYDo’%5D

About Finding Kind

In February 2009, two young women, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson joined forces having both been affected by female bullying throughout their youth and decided to create change by giving females a platform to speak out about this universal experience. What began as an idea for a documentary about girl-against-girl bullying, ultimately became Kind Campaign, an internationally recognized movement, documentary, and school assembly program based on the powerful belief in KINDness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.”

Indieflix has been behind this film from the start – I am late in getting the word out. Love Indieflix on so many levels – as a viewer of films and as a parent of a potential film student. You can sign up through Facebook and try it for a week for free. Indieflix has offered ten (10) 2 month subscriptions to giveaway. Check out the Rafflecopter below.

About IndieFlix

IndieFlix is a community of independent filmmakers and fans. Through its membership-based streaming service, IndieFlix helps filmmakers translate artistic vision into commercial success, and gives film lovers access to high quality independent films not otherwise available. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film. Co-founded by filmmaker Scilla Andreen, CEO of IndieFlix

Finding Kind:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

  • Unlimited streaming of movies from festivals around the world
  • Features, shorts, docs, and web series on your PC, Mac, Xbox, Roku, & Mobile
  • Good karma for supporting indie filmmakers
  • $6.99/month for all-you-can-eat indies

Indieflix:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Per FTC regulations I would like to disclose that I was given a complimentary three month subscription to Indieflix (in other words, if I’m not posting as much – it’s because I’m watching great films on Indieflix :-). In further news, evidently filmmaker Lauren Parsekian just married Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 2 3 7

%d bloggers like this: