|Happy Birthday Flowers!|
|...and Happy Spring Flowers!|
After dinner, we walked down to Toad, a tiny bar across from Porter Station that has live music 7 days a week, cheap cocktails and a really fun atmosphere. Lucky for us, there was a really great bluegrass band playing on Friday.
Saturday, we went down to the Boston Athenaeum for an Edward Gorey Exhibit. What a strange, creepy place. It gave off a secret society-vibe. But the exhibit was incredible.
|there's a chance I might never come out..|
Afterward, we grabbed some greasy pizza for lunch, and a delicious and fairly traded coffee from Equal Exchange. I had a mocha au late and Sanne had a spicy hot chocolate. Mmm. Josh even made some art in my drink!
|see the resemblance?|
Then it was on to the North End to figure out what was for dinner. There are some fantastic little shops down on the North End with really fresh ingredients. Last April, my mom and I went on a culinary tour of the nieghborhood and discovered some great places. Definitely one of my favorites is Salumeria. I get their monthly newsletter which tells about new recipes on the website, deals and specials, and tastings. After wandering around the store, drooling for a few minutes, we decided to do an Italian dinner, Italian-style. An herbed focaccia bread with oil & vinegar for dipping, an antipasto platter, and a simple spaghetti and tomato sauce.
At home, Alyssanne started the desert while I started the sauce. On the Culinary Tour last year, I learned from Chef Raymond that simple is good when your making tomato sauce. Normally, I would use twice as many ingredients. But this simple sauce was very flavorful and satisfying.
- 3 tablespoons Olio Carli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can La Bella San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Mutti tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 leaves of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Stir.
Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper, and half the basil.
Saute over medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
Turn off heat, and add the remaining olive oil and basil.
For snacking purposes, we brought home an herbed Focaccia bread, some Pecorino, smoked prosciutto, and herbed Mediterranean olives.
|my soup & sandwich plates are perfect for this!|
|from one of my favorite places...|
|Eileen's spot-on suggestion|
|this needs no caption|
But wait-- there's more!
Sunday morning, Elizabeth and Sabrina joined us for a Big Breakfast of mimosas, sourdough french toast, Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette dressing, Jimmy Dean sausage, scrambled eggs and hash browns. Everything was really good... but does anyone have any tips for breakfast potatoes? I haven't quite mastered them.
|Big Breakfast means using all 4 burners at once|
|Seriously, try this.|
So, as you can see, we had a pretty great weekend. I can't wait for the next birthday!
What are some of your birthday traditions? Who wants to start an Italian night? Any hidden Boston treasures/secrets you want to share?