Friday, July 25, 2008


We've been home for a week now since our trip to Boston and I now finally have a moment to talk a bit about it. The reason we went to Massachusuettes was to attend Nuno's cousin's wedding. It was so wonderful to travel for a wedding because we were able to enjoy so many new and different traditions, most notably the seafood. I can't go much further discussing New England without stressing how delicious the seafood was - we had crab, shrimp, clams, steamers, mussels, oysters and lobster - the best we've had in our lives. Nuno's family were so hospitable, I just can't say enough about how much I enjoyed their company. His cousins took us in their convertable to Newport Rhode Island where I had a chance to drive on Ocean Drive (the street that follows along the coast) on the most beautiful summer day. That moment had to be the best I've had this year - the wind, the ocean - it was remarkable.

After the wedding weekend we drove up to Boston and enjoyed the city for 3 days. We crammed in so much I'll spare the rambling and share a few special moments in photos.

Friday, July 18, 2008

shopping for the kitchen

I just got in from Boston yesterday and can't wait to share some stories and photos. It may take some time to get things organized around here so until then I wanted to share this link to the Niagara Culinary Trail.
I discovered this site from a brochure I picked up at Niagara College's Teaching Winery boutique. It lists all of Niagara's artisan markets, cafe's, bakeries, farms, wineries & local food shops all in one handy brochure. The website is just as great, I'm so pleased someone compiled and shared all that Niagara has to offer.

On our vacation to New England I really didn't shop a heck of a lot - there was just too much to do and see rather than shop at another Anthropologie. But I could not resist shopping for the kitchen. This is pretty much the total goods purchased in Boston (not including gifts).
A lobster cracker from Crate and Barrel (among other items) is a great souvenir to remind us of all the amazing seafood we enjoyed. As is Old Bay seasoning, which I've never seen sold in Canada or WNY so I snatched it up with glee. Various granola, chocolate and bars from Trader Joe's. A bottle of Mondavi wine and a Red Sox pez. It's not a cliche, everyone in Boston is OBSESSED with the Sox.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

canada day long weekend

The long weekend was super busy. And it wasn't the usual super busy that finds us committed to plans outside of Niagara on tight schedules that run us ragged. We were finally able to make our own plan and get out doing things we enjoy, all at our own pace - which was a great luxury. The weekend included hanging out in Allentown Buffalo, working out at the gym just a little bit longer, going out to the driving range, watching Wall•e and having girl time catch-up!

One thing I wanted to blog about was a new recipe we tried. This Cashew Chicken recipe is to die for:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable
oil, such as safflower
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3/4 cup raw cashews (4 ounces), toasted
White rice, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until
browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic and white parts of scallions. Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.

Add hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water; cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over white rice, if desired.

Serves 4.