I have previously addressed my love of Porter Square, Cambridge. However, I don't always have the time to meander around the wonderful stores so sometimes a pit-stop is all I can pull off. It is hard to resist checking out the goodies at Stellabella Toys. Aside from Magic Beans, it is truly my favorite. It has an endless array of toys that encourage creativity and imagination with minimal electronics while still being fun. The greatest strength is the music and art, building and manipulatives, science and nature toys. They have music classes for free and helpful service. I am never able to leave empty handed. They also have branches in Burlington and Inman Squre.
I had eaten previously at Qing Dao Garden and really enjoyed the authentic food. However, both Chowhounders and the Boston Globe addressed their dumplings and I knew I had to return. So, first, I sat and ate a meal of 3 delights dumplings---pork, shrimp and leek. These are ethereal heaven. It is one of the only local restaurants where the dumplings are handmade. It makes all the difference. The dough is chewy and provides the perfect foil for the incredibly juicy inside. As the waitress explained, they flash freeze them each day and then boil them just long enough to cook the pork through, but preserve the moistness inside. My husband doesn't eat pork, so we also tried the spinach and tofu. These are also delicious, and, of course, much healthier. The best news, though, is that you can buy a bag of these gems (they offer 6 varieties in total) to take home. They are only about $15.00 for 50 and you can't beat them for a healthy, delicious last minute meal. Boil them in water and serve with soy sauce, or throw them into chicken stock for a soup.