Thursday, February 26, 2015

8 Awesome Clam Chowders to Devour This Winter

If you're from Boston like me, you know we love our New England Clam Chow-daaahhh. A staple in most Boston restaurants and homes across New England, we enjoy chowder all year long. But since this winter has been extra chilly and some of my readers are outside of the New England area, I thought I'd share some tasty chowders that will help you brave the cold (as I escape to Las Vegas). Here are eight awesome clam chowders you need to try!

1. New England Clam Chowder

2. Manhattan Clam Chowder

3. Rhode Island Clam Chowder (who knew?)

4. Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

5. Cauliflower Chowder

6. Late Summer Corn And Lobster French Onion Chowder With Gruyère Toasties (umm, yes please!)

7. Potato Corn and Bacon Chowder

8. Smoked Salmon Chowder

Smoked Salmon Chowder by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Get a bowl full and warm-up with these chowders to devour! (And if you're a true New Englander, you know the classic will still be your favorite)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Monogram Maven

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Our favorite day of the week is here and we plan on sharing some expert knowledge on incorporating a memorable monogram into your wedding details. It is an easy way to add a personalized touch that will stand the test of time. From the bride’s attire to the reception décor, here are 10 classic ways to use your monogram on your wedding day!

Start off the trend by featuring your monogram on your wedding invitations

Adorable wedding timeline for #bridesmaids {Natalie Franke Photography}

Add it as a header to any wedding information on display

A little treat for those #dancing feet - we LOVE when couples treat their #guests to flip flops {Natalie Franke Photography}

Fancy up your cocktail napkins with your signature monogram

Does it get better? #Striped straws, #nautical napkins, and pink #hydrangeas this look! {Natalie Franke Photography}

Without a doubt, personalize your cake with it

Beautiful! Love a classic white #cake with floral accents <3 {Natalie Franke Photography}

Stitch it into your wedding veil for a very special personal touch

Monogrammed Veil

Jazz up your bouquet with it featuring some beading or bling

Bridal Bouquet With Pearl Pin Monogram

Have it on display as you enter the wedding ceremony

Floral Wreaths With Monograms on Doors

Or hanging by the alter

Vintage doors from the bride's great grandparents home, circa 1856, made a beautiful alter for this rustic, chic wedding!

Decorate the bride and groom chairs with your monogram for an elegant detail

Monogram Chair Decor

Let everyone join in on the fun with it featured on your reception lawn games

Everyone loves a little wedding #cornhole - great way to entertain guests! {Natalie Franke Photography}

Don't just stop at these 10 ideas. There's so many more opportunities to incorporate your monogram; from the groom's cufflinks to the centerpieces, the possibilities are endless. Let your creativity flow as you devour the monogram details of your wedding day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Five Free Things To Do In Las Vegas

In a few days, I will be traveling to Las Vegas for work and staying for a mini-vacation. We've already got some big things planned like seeing Britney and zip-lining across the strip from the Rio Hotel. So far, everything we are doing costs a good chunk of change, so I figured I'd research some free attractions and share them with you all! Here are five free things to do in Las Vegas you can bet on being fun!

Fremont Street Experience: Located in Downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience offers free nightly shows featuring 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of amazing sound. The show is often paired with free concerts and other special events. It's a modern twist on old-school Vegas. The show starts every hour on the hour from 7 p.m. to midnight. On the east end of the street, walk through the outdoor Neon Museum, which hosts some of the old hotels' neon signs.


Fountains of Bellagio: More than a thousand fountains at the Bellagio dance to music ranging from Pavarotti to Sinatra. Sold as the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived, this free show is sure to amaze you. Each performance is unique in its expression and interpretation and ranges from opera to classical to Broadway tunes. Depending on time of day, the show starts every 15 or 30 minutes in front of the casino.

Image result for bellagio fountain show

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat: Appropriately enough, the Flamingo resort is home to a flock of live Chilean Flamingos. These birds, along with a collection of other feathered friends, hang out in the hotel's very own wildlife habitat, or the closest thing to it on The Las Vegas Strip. There are also swans, ducks, koi and turtles relaxing by the waterfalls and the tropical foliage.

Flamingo-Las Vegas-Property-Amenities-2

Steetmosphere at The Venetian: Part of the charm of Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo is the “Streetmosphere” created by an international roster of classically trained singers, actors and musicians. Daily performances in St. Mark’s Square add an unexpected element of entertainment to the shopping experience and embellish the center’s unique and vibrant atmosphere. The Living Statues amaze guests with their immovable poses, while Artiste del Arte, a troupe of talented musicians, wander the center’s cobbled streets and serenade shoppers beneath the evening sky. On any given day, there are approximately 30 small performances that unexpectedly delight and entertain shoppers.

Silverton Aquarium: The Silverton's huge, 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium is home to more than 4,000 tropical fish—and several "mermaids." Watch one of the interactive feeding shows at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily, and don’t miss the mermaid swims on Thursdays between 2:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays between 2:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.; and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

I can't wait to devour the details of these fun and free attractions and I hope you can too! Definitely research things to do free of charge before any trip you take. Free is always fun! Viva Las Vegas!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Did Someone Say Dessert?

We've come across a sweet new dessert for any occasion. Light and crisp, cute and colorful, Meringue Kisses are all the rage and we recommend you feature them at your next event! These delightful desserts are fun and easy to make. On Lauren Conrad's latest blog, Jenny Han, author of To All The Boys I've Loved Before, shares her favorite meringue recipe that will have your guests giving rave reviews.

Jenny Han’s favorite Meringue Kisses
Recipe from the Meringue Girls Cookbook

The meringue to sugar ratio is simple. It’s 1 part egg whites to 2 parts sugar. Note: a large egg white weighs 30 g. Use 60 g of superfine sugar per egg white. Remember: Eggs vary in size so make sure to weigh your whites.

Edible Obsession: Book Club Meringue Kisses

Ingredients for 1 batch:
  • 300 g superfine sugar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 150 g egg whites (roughly 5 eggs)
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F.
  2. Use parchment paper to line a rimmed baking sheet. Pour in the sugar and bake for about 5 minutes. Once the edges of the sugar are just beginning to melt, you’re all set. This helps the sugar dissolve in the egg whites faster and create a glossy, stable mixture.
  3. While you’re melting the sugar in the oven, pour the egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer. Tip: double check that the bowl and whisk attachment are not greased. Begin whisking on low speed until you see small bubbles form. Increase the whisking speed to high until the egg whites form stiff peaks and the bowl can be flipped upside down without any of the egg whites falling out. You don’t want the egg whites to take on a cotton-woolly appearance—that means they’ve been over-whisked.
  4. Now that the whites are stiff, begin whisking again at high speed and add one big tablespoonful of hot sugar after another to the bowl. Make sure the whites form stiff peaks after each tablespoon.
  5. Once you’ve added all the sugar, whisk on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes. If you can feel the gritty sugar when you rub the mixture between your fingers, continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved. You’ll be able to tell when the mixture is smooth and the bowl feels cooler. The meringue will be thickening at this stage. It’s ready to use when it forms a smooth, shiny peak on the tip of your upturned finger.

Edible Obsession: Book Club Meringue Kisses

  • Traditional flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and nuts.
  • Here are a bunch of more daring ideas: hazelnut, lavender, coconut, passion fruit, cinnamon, hot cross bun, pistachio and rose water, green tea, strawberry and black pepper, ginger, manuka honey, raspberry, vanilla bean, and chai.

Edible Obsession: Book Club Meringue Kisses

Striping & Piping Instructions:
  1. Flip your piping bag (use one with a 7/8 inch diameter) inside out, and invert the bag over a bottle so it holds itself up. Use natural food coloring and a paintbrush to paint wide stripes from the tip of your piping bag to about midway down. Then roll the bag so the painted side is the inside.
  2. Spoon your meringue mixture into the piping bag. Twist the top of the bag to push the mixture to the bottom. You don’t want any air bubbles. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Position the piping bag upright with your dominant hand holding the twisted top in place and your other hand placed halfway down the bag. The top hand supplies the pressure and the lower hand controls the flow of the mixture.
  4. Squeeze the bag to create kisses with a base of about 2 inches. Form a peak at the top of the kiss by lifting the bag and releasing some pressure. Space the kisses about 3/4 inch apart on the parchment paper. One batch makes about 35 kisses.
  5. Preheat your oven to 200°F. Once heated, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Make sure to place your oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. When ready, your kisses should easily lift off the parchment paper with their bases intact. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
Edible Obsession: Book Club Meringue Kisses
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do and are able to devour the dessert details at your next event! SWAMK (sealed with a Meringue Kiss)
Edible Obsession: Book Club Meringue Kisses
Check out Meringue Girls for more tips and tricks on these sweet kisses!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Boston Urban Idiotorama 2015

Quite the name for an event, Urban Idiotorama is dubbed "Boston's Best Adventure Race". Featuring a costume contest, bar crawl, urban adventure and food drive, you can't possibly go wrong participating in the 2015 Idiotorama. The main part of the event, the race itself, is a parody of an Alaskan dog sled race but this event replaces the dogs with people (you and your friends) and uses shopping carts as sleds! You will also be happy to know that the race's purpose (other than making you laugh) is to support the Boston Medical Center Food Pantry.

You and your team of 4-6 friends will race from Lansdowne Pub to 4 other check points bars pushing your shopping cart. Stop at each check point for the required stay over, refreshments and games. Race back to Lansdowne to be the fastest, slowest, or team with the most spirit. Bringing the most food for the Boston Medical Center is also a way to win prizes and overall go home with great memories.

They're hoping that each team brings at least 50 pounds of food to the race, which will be collected and delivered to the BMC food pantry on the Monday after the race. The team with the most food wins fame, glory and awesome can (real can good cans) award medals. Please bring items from the BMC food pantry wish list below (“Normal” sized cans are the best for the BMC Food Pantry; Costco sized cans are not preferred).

BMC Food Pantry Wish list
Grains (Breads, Rice, Cereal Pasta)
  • Any cold and hot non-sugared cereals
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • All low fat, low sodium crackers
  • Graham Crackers
  • Any dried pasta (spaghetti and elbows preferred), Canned Pasta
  • Rice (1-2 lb. Bag)
  • Any dried beans / canned beans / baked beans
  • Infant rice cereal
Fruits and Vegetables
  • All canned fruits packed in juice or water
  • All canned vegetables
  • Dried fruits (Raisins preferred)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Pasta Sauce
  • All infant strained fruits and vegetables
Meats/Meat Substitutes
  • Premium chunk white canned chicken
  • Canned tuna packed in water
  • Canned sardines packed in water
  • Peanut Butter (regular and reduced fat)
  • Infant Strained Meat (chicken, beef etc)
  • Dry milk
  • Parmalat milk
  • Evaporated skim milk
  • Evaporated regular milk
  • Baby Formula (Enfamil with Iron preferred)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Reduced sugar and regular jelly
  • Spices (all varieties)
Mixed Foods
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • All soups
  • Beef Stew

The race is on Saturday, March 7th with Lansdowne Pub as the check in location. The race starts at approximately 11:00am. Plan on arriving between 10am – 10:30am to check in and get your race packet (and some food and liquid courage as needed). If you like urban races, scavenger hunts and supporting a great cause, you’ll love the Boston Urban Idiotorama. So be sure to tell your friends and sign up today! We'd love to see you get involved and devour the details of the 2015 Boston Urban Idiotorama.




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: What's Your Wedding Style?

For many lucky brides today, there is a multitude of wedding styles that can be incorporated into the big day. Styles vary from traditional to retro and rustic to bohemian. Once a bride has a style or a combination of styles in mind, they can express them through the venue, color, design, and much more. Details a bride incorporates from their own personality and lifestyle can fall into an array of categories but will be viewed by guests' eyes as their very own unique wedding style. Today, we are sharing some of our favorite styles that could represent any bride-to-be.

Elegant Country Style

Photography: Emily Delamater Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Emily Delamater Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Emily Delamater Photography -  Read More:

Nautical Style

Photography: Lauren Fair Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Lauren Fair Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Lauren Fair Photography -  Read More:

Glamour Style

Photography: Rebecca Arthurs -  Read More:

Photography: Rebecca Arthurs -  Read More:

Photography: Rebecca Arthurs -  Read More:

Vintage Style

Photography: Shannon Grant Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Shannon Grant Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Shannon Grant Photography -  Read More:

Rustic Style

Photography: Rupert Whiteley Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Rupert Whiteley Photography -  Read More:

Photography: Rupert Whiteley Photography -  Read More:

Preppy Style

Photography: Kat Harris -  Read More:

Photography: Kat Harris -  Read More:

Photography: Kat Harris -  Read More:

Not sure what your wedding style would be? Take this fun Wedding Style Quiz that will help you get an idea of what style best represents you. And don't worry about sticking to one style; a wedding is the perfect opportunity to color outside of the lines and staying true to yourself! Now devour the details and style yourself pretty!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How To: Stay Warm During Snowmageddon

Today is a double feature since I really took the day off yesterday. With more snow on its way for New Englanders, I felt it was only right to share some Snowmageddon meals that will warm your insides during the cold outside. A staple for any storm, these 15 featured foods will have you forgetting the blizzard in no time. Just make sure you get to the grocery store beforehand!

1. Chicken Chili: Served in a Mason jar, this cornbread-topped chili is an ideal handheld eat. Wrap yourself up in a blanket and take your place by the fire for the ultimate warming experience.

2. Green Chile and Chorizo Soup With Smokey Croutons: Smokey, spicy flavors factor heavily into this delicious soup.


3. Smokey Homemade Cheese Crackers: Nibble on these cheesy crackers solo or crumble them over your next bowlful of soup.


4. Smokey Gouda Mac + Cheese: Totally from scratch, this creamy mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food.


5. Smoked Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktail: Featuring an array of spices and smokey whiskey, this hot concoction will warm you (and your mug) right up.


6. Rustic Soup of Roasted Tomato, Chunky Smoked Bacon and Red Lentil: No ordinary tomato soup here — chunky veggies, bacon and lentils all add a significant amount of substance to each spoonful.


7. Smokey Minestrone With Tortellini Pesto: Good things happen when stuffed pasta and soup get together. Give this minestrone a go and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.


8. Chai Hot Toddy: Spiced tea and hot toddies are a match made in mixology heaven.


9. Baked Eggs With Potato Hash: Brunch is decadent enough as is, but enjoying it fireside just adds a little something extra to the experience. Combining eggs, potatoes and bacon in one dish, this hash makes it a cinch to cover all of your brunch bases in just a single bite.


10. Smokey Chickpea Bowl With Oozey Cheese (Vegan): There may be no meat or cheese involved in this burrito bowl, but it’s anything but wimpy. It packs a hearty, belly-warming punch into each helping.


11. Apple Bourbon Hand Pies With Whole Wheat Cinnamon Crust: We’re of the opinion that when it comes to fireside eats, the fewer utensils the better. These pastries allow you to have your hand pie and eat it too.


12. The Canyon Bistro’s French Onion Soup: The secret’s out. Making bistro-quality French onion soup at home is ridiculously simple.


13. Bourbon and Salted Caramel Popcorn: Between the toasty bourbon and salted caramel, this popcorn is meant for fireside munchies. Add a movie to the mix for an even more enhanced experience.


14. Butternut Squash Soup With Bacon, Goat Cheese and Pistachios: Now this is one indulgent bowlful of butternut squash soup. Between the bacon, goat cheese and heavy cream, this recipe will sway even the harshest of winter squash skeptics out there.


15. Thick and Spicy Hot Chocolate: This rich, intensely chocolatey mugful warmed by a hint of cinnamon and chili is where it’s at; save those cocoa packets for another day.


Now I'm hungry! If these 15 featured foods don't keep you warm, I don't know what will! I hope this post helps you devour the details of Snomageddon and block out the blizzard for good!