Pinkberry in Boston, MA

joe's

Pinkberry
288 Newbury St.
New Orleans, LA

Newbury st

I love walking down Newbury St. in Boston. It’s fun to see how many stores they try to cram into one block (there’s a downstairs, a upstairs and a regular entrance all in the same area………there really is no organization to the numbers of the addresses on the blocks (like  in Philadelphia, one block is one set of hundreds).

something new

I figured since I wasn’t payin for my dessert, I would go all out. I got to try the new pumpkin flavor the guy behind the counter suggested some cinnamon on top which totally made it amazing. So I got the pumpkin w cinnamon, some peanut butter crunch (pulling out all the stops!), mochi and heath bar bits.

joe's

Joe got something like my usual creation from Pinkberry. The regular yogurt and all fruits (altho he did personalize it with the chocolate chips). The service here was very friendly and awesome at letting us sample the various yogurt flavors.

Pinkberry (Newbury St) on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Giada’s rigatoni with creamy mushroom sauce

so yummy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, (such as cremini, shiitake and button), cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking:

slicing up mushrooms

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.

garlic and shallots

Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes until all the liquid evaporates.

after the wine has cooked off

Add the stock and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until creamy.

nice and creamy

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

we only had bowtie pasta in the house

Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the chopped chives. Serve immediately.

so yummy

Yo Mama’s in New Orleans

peanut butter and bacon burger

Yo Mama’s
727 St. Peter
New Orleans, LA

the front

This bar has a prime location in the middle of the Quarter. Is it weird that so many bars were open on a Sunday morning? We got to lunch a bit early (like 11 AM) but I wanted to make sure we got seats. When we arrived, we were offered seats upstairs or downstairs, and when we went upstairs we couldn’t tell that it was daytime so we came back downstairs.

peanut butter and bacon burger

this burger has a ton of hype around town so I tried it. I will say that it is very creative to combine peanut butter and bacon. I just don’t know if it works with the texture of ground meat….But it was delicious.

loaded baked potato

I ordered the loaded baked potato which was pretty usual for a baked potato.

texas BBQ burger

Joe had the texas BBQ burger which did come out with a bunch of avocado on top. He had ordered his burger medium and it came out well done an super dry (even with the salsa on it).  He was not a fan of this burger….

mac and cheese

His came with mac and cheese on the side which was very bland and overcooked. I guess this place is alright for bar but not really for the food (*sorry to everyone who loves these burgers, I was just not wow-ed by them).

Yo Mama's Bar & Grill‎ on Urbanspoon

Teriyaki House in Orlando, FL

salt and pepper chicken

Teriyaki house
5600 W Colonial Dr
Ste 108
Orlando, FL 32808

the front

We actually extended our stay in Orlando just to eat at this place for lunch. When we came a little before lunch, every table (all 8) were taken because 3 huge chinese families were eating together. Unfortunately, we had walked in right after them and they had ordered a ton of dishes.  If we had known that when we placed our order, we would have to wait over an hour, we probably would’ve just hit the road.

Order Here

Everything is in Chinese and the owners barely speak English. I thought since my significant other speaks Chinese, that we’d be all set. But noooooo. We got there and he had no idea what to order. There was this one dish that I wanted but Joe didn’t know the name of it and a woman that had ordered before us looked at my picture of the food I wanted and she ordered for us.

stinky tofu

Joe said that this is a Taiwanese staple and it was delicious! The tofu def did not smell good but it was great for all the other senses. It was crispy, it was sweet, and it was delicious.

salt and pepper chicken

this was my favorite by far, the salt and pepper chicken came with its own dry dip (Joe said it’s a mixture of salt and black pepper). It was super crunchy (almost broke a tooth!) and the chicken flavor was enhanced by the dry dip.

mapo tofu

This was our attempt to eat healthy: mapo tofu. Even this dish is one of the well known chinese dishes, this was probably my least favorite.  The flavors just didn’t mesh well at all. And the soggy composition was just unpleasant after having so many other crispy and crunchy items.

twice cooked pork

Joe insisted on this dish. We both agreed it was pretty good and it came with a “Thousand year old egg” and Chinese sausage. The sausage was sooooooooooo good. I thought Joe wasn’t eating it so I reached over and ate half of it in one bite and he said “I was saving that!” Whoops. Anywho, awesome food for a great price, but you need to be able to read the menu cuz it’s in Chinese.

menu in chinese

Teriyaki House on Urbanspoon

Tacos Lupita in Haverhill, MA

"vegetarian burrito"

Tacos Lupita
194 River St
Haverhill, MA 01832

the front

I’m not too familiar with Haverhill but when I read about this place, I really wanted to check it out. Luckily for me, this restaurant is on the major street right off of HWY 495 which makes driving here really convenient. But I did drive right by it when I was looking it. The red sign blends in well with the brick. Street parking is a bit tough to find but there are a few 15 min spots right in front.

lots of choices

For vegetarians though, seek elsewehere. My mom usually goes for vegetarian burritos but the only option here was rice, beans, tomatoes and lettuce which is pretty disappointing for vegetarians. They also don’t have any seafood options for those of you who thought, well I am a vegetarian but I also eat fish.

"vegetarian burrito"

My brother and I got the steak burritos. The meats all looked great and there were so many juicy flavors: al pastor, steak, chicken, chorizo (pork sausage). This authentic mexican joint is a gem outside of Boston. This is great for those who don’t want to deal with the chaos that is Boston traffic and parking. The food is great and all the prices are under $10 per entree (the burritos were like $5!!). They also serve tacos (hard shell, soft shell), quesadilla, gorda (Mexican sandwich).

my extra spicy steak burrito

Tacos Lupita on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Julia Child’s Stuffed Eggplant

broiled eggplant

Julia Child’s Stuffed Eggplant
Ingredients:
3 eggplants
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound finely minced fresh mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 1/2 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter

  1. Stem the eggplants and halve them lengthwise.
  2. Cut striations 1″ apart in the flesh, going down to about 1/4″ above the skin.  Try very hard not to go through the skin.

    cutting up eggplant

  3. Preheat your broiler.
  4. Sprinkle the flesh with salt and lay the eggplants flesh-side down on the towel for half an hour.  This will help remove any bitterness in the eggplant.
  5. Gently squeeze the eggplant to remove any excess liquid.  Pat dry.
  6. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in the roasting dish.  Put about 1/8″ of water in the bottom of the dish and drizzle the eggplants with olive oil.
  7. Broil 10 – 15 minutes, until the flesh is moderately browned and tender.

    broiled eggplant

  8. Remove all but 1/4″ of the eggplant meat with a spoon and chop.  Place it in the mixing bowl.
  9. Heat the first 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet.
  10. Slowly cook the onions in the oil until tender but not browned.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add to the mixing bowl with the eggplant.
  12. Heat the 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet and add the mushrooms.  Saute until lightly browned and tender, 5 – 6 minutes.  Season to taste and add to the mixing bowl.
  13. Mash the cream cheese in the second bowl with the parsley.
  14. Add the basil, taste for seasoning and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
  15. All of these steps can be performed in advance.
  16. About 40 minutes before you are ready to serve the eggplants, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  17. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture from the mixing bowl.

    filling the eggplants

  18. Combine the bread crumbs and Jarlsberg and top the eggplants with the mixture.
  19. Roast 25 – 30 minutes to thoroughly heat and to brown the topping.
  20. Cut each half into two pieces and serve.

    delicious!