I think I probably need to go on a fast for the next three weeks after all of the delicious food Ben and I enjoyed all weekend! Sadly, I have very few food photos to share, but I’ll do my best to describe.
First, Friday night started with a birthday dinner for my dear friend, Amanda at Elephant Walk in Cambridge. They also have locations in Boston and Waltham and their food is SO GOOD. Their menu is totally unique, serving Traditional and Original Cambodian and French food. They also have extensive options for both my friends that are vegan and those that need to eat gluten-free. I love going out to eat where you don’t see the same old options and can try some new foods, don’t you? I ordered from the Traditional Cambodian menu, the Trey Tuk Peng Pah, crispy Asian grouper served in a tangy broth of fresh tomatoes, garlic, rice vinegar, and fish sauce, served with rice. I ate every last bit!
Somehow I managed to take zero pics of the birthday girl, so here is one from her birthday last year along with our friend Cynthia.
Happy Birthday Amanda!
I did manage to get a couple of the kiddies. Baby Eli & Ben…
Loving Leah’s costume! Leah, do they have that in my size?
And a picture attempt with all three, Isaac, Leah & Eli…clearly getting close to bedtime (mine included).
Saturday afternoon Ben and I stopped by our friend Tania’s party to check out her new home. We had dinner plans with some friends from our church a little later on so we knew we couldn’t stuff ourselves, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to not sample at least some of the selection at this party. All homemade; sangria, brisket, fish chowder and more, yum!
Now, you might have read that and thought, wow that is an awesome dinner. Well it definitely was awesome and definitely was enough for dinner, but then it was time for “dinner #2”.
Dinner included a few couples from our church and we had a super fun time all getting to know each other. So, probably would have been strange to pull my camera out at dinner, but I wish I had! The food was amazing and so precisely and exquisitely prepared and presented. The presentation definitely could have rivaled any restaurant out there. Dinner began with arugula, fresh figs, a balsamic reduction and bacon wrapped dates with a light gorgonzola filling. I could have eaten plates and plates of this alone, but good thing I didn’t since this was only the beginning of the meal. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the cheeses served before this.
Next a delicious thick and creamy butternut squash soup with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Yes, every drop was finished! Followed by a plate of handmade fresh pumpkin ravioli with sage butter. (I’m going to pretend the veggie wrap I just ate was really another serving of those, I’m dreaming…). For the main event, adorable packets of super fresh cod in a white wine, lemon sauce, homemade sweet potato gnocchi and perfectly tender and crisp at the same time, asparagus spears. The finale, blackberries in a cream sauce. I just don’t even know what to say, everything was so amazing, now do you know why I selected the title for this post?
You would think on Sunday Ben and I would have skipped eating altogether, but no, that is not correct. We met our friends Nate and Jaime out to brunch at Masa in Boston for an excellent Southwestern brunch. Although I indicated recently that Ben and I are spice wimps, we do enjoy our Mexican/Southwestern food. Latin Bellini and Watermelon Habanero Margarita for me along with the Santa Fe Eggs Benedict. Yum!
Since the temperatures have finally reflected the appropriate crisp weather expected for fall I thought it was finally time to make a giant pot of my friend, Jaime’s Chicken Soup. Some for Sunday night dinner and the rest for Ben’s lunch of the week. This is something you want to make all fall, winter long when you have a few cozy hours at home.
What did you eat this weekend? Anyone out there able to outdo the plethora of food listed here?
Jaime’s Chicken Soup
- Whole Chicken (3-4lbs)
- About 3 onions
- 6 carrots or so
- 6 celery stalks or so
- A few garlic cloves, crushed
- Bay leaf
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Lots of Kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- Grain of your choice (my fave is barley)
Take about half the onions, carrots and celery, roughly chop into large chunks and throw into a large pot. Add the whole chicken, crushed garlic cloves, bay leaf, handfuls of fresh thyme and rosemary (not necessary to chop) and shakes of kosher salt. Fill the pot with water until all is covered. Bring to a boil, turn down to a constant simmer until the chicken is cooked through and easily shreds (normally around 1 1/2 hrs or so).
Meanwhile, dice or chop the rest of the veggies and strip the leaves from another handful of thyme. Cook your grain of choice separately while the soup is boiling. It is key to do this separately and add at the end, otherwise it will soak up all of your delicious chicken broth.
Once the chicken is done, toss everything (except the broth and chicken of course). Shred all of the chicken meat and add this back to the pot of broth. Sautee the chopped veggies in a little bit of olive oil until softened and add to the pot. Add in salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves to taste, along with the cooked grains. Bring back to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes (or you could just skip this last bit of cooking time and eat it right away like we did). Enjoy!