Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dim Sum is Still Fun at Green Tea

For the first time I took my two sons, solo, to Dim Sum at Green Tea in Newton.  We had been talking about Chinese New Year throughout the week and decided it was time to celebrate. Forgetting that our best friends, Kami of The Fence and Seth of Dadventures in Beantown had abandoned us moved to Brooklyn, I ordered, I kid you not, 10 different items!  My older son devoured a freshly cooked pile of chicken wings.  He also dove into the lo mein. And my other son (already a foodie!), loved the rest as much as I did. We ate green dumplings, full of spinach. We shared tapioca dumplings filled with mung bean custard. We enjoyed creamy bowls of tofu in ginger syrup. We shared shrimp dumplings and roast pork buns.  We only passed on the Chinese crullers that tasted of old oil.  It wasn't the same as the last time we were there with our BFFs...but we enjoyed it just the same.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why You Should Go to a Winter Farmers Market

Because there aren't just potatoes. There are 10 different types of potatoes! (Along with purple carrots, watermelon radishes, fresh eggs, just created olive oil, newly ground cornmeal and locally raised pork.)  I've been visiting the Wayland Farmers Market this winter. But if memories of last year are still reality, the Somerville Winter Market and Rhode Island/Providence/Pawtucket Market are also gems.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Uni, Umami and Art

The deCordova Biennial was a festival of exciting and creative artists. Each of the featured artists offered a diverse selection of mediums, from quilting, to wood, animation to beautiful prints. True, my sister-in-law is one of the co-curators of the exhibit, but trust me-it is that good.  The reality is that the deCordova is a great place to  visit anytime.  And after you are inspired at the deCordova, stop at another Lincoln gem: AKA Bistro. I wrote about AKA when it first opened almost 2 years ago. I was optimistic about the combination of Chef Chung (who had created one of my most memorable meals at the Uni Sushi Bar) and Christian Touche.  This time my mother loved her salad from the French side of the menu, while I strayed over to the Japanese side. Three dishes from Chef Chung and I was as smitten, if not more so, than in my previous visit.  Each plate was artful in its design and taste. The Suzuki consisted of hybrid striped bass, mango kosho, umeboshi, red shiso seasoning.  Chef Chung also suggested trying the delicate kampachi or amberjack.  Finally, the Chef was generous enough to send out one other treat: fresh uni (sea urchin) sitting on homemade tofu and topped with a wonderful sauce.  The deCordova and AKA are a perfect duo and easily worth a trip to Lincoln.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Edamame, ketchup, marshmallow cupcakes anyone? Yup!

The snow has arrived. And I do adore watching my sons bundle up in layers of winter clothes, barely able to contain themselves at the soon to be snow balls and snow angels outside. However, as the dark comes early, or when it is just a sleet storm, there are just so many pillow forts and recycled box castles that we can make.  So, recently, inspired by our reading of Roald Dahl's book George's Marvellous Medicine we decided to cook. Or rather, my sons "cooked."
I loaded up muffin tins with aged spices, beans, rice, marshmallows, shriveled old edamame, and any other goodies that hid in the corners of my pantry. I gave them each a cupful of flour. They were in charge of finding measuring cups, mixing spoons and bowls. Then they designed their recipes. It was over an hour of sheer pleasure. They mixed. They measured. They readjusted. They decorated.
And, in the most classic of moments, one of my sons actually, yes, tasted the creation! (I promise no raw eggs were used!)  They chose the oven temperature and time (with my guidance) and checked the items for doneness. Needless to say, I just don't think a recipe is necessary!