Brunch on the Towne

My goodness, it has been a packed couple of months. So much has been going on! Travel for work, travel…travel…and more travel.

Anyway, so let’s talk brunch. It is one of my favorite things. Ever. I mean, where can you combine all the carby goodness of the most important meal of the day with a solid cocktail?! I’m not really a “breakfast” person, per say, but I LOVE breakfast foods. Just not in the 6-9am timeslot.

Not that long ago, I was able to attend a brunch at Towne Stove and Spirits in Back Bay with a bunch of other awesome people (bloggers, Yelpers, and all around great people) courtesy of Boston Brunchers, and I have to tell you I was super impressed. I’d only been to Towne for drinks before (they do those well, too), and I hadn’t ever set foot beyond the bar. I’d never set foot in the restaurant section, let alone know they have an absolutely stunning upstairs!!

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Our group got there at 11, and was seated at a huge round table (perfect for getting to know each other and scoping out what other people put on their plates!). Minus another couple, we were the only ones there (the brunch starts at 11 so we beat the crowds) so we all rushed to get some pictures in of the untouched buffets….yes, plural. They have EVERYTHING. There were carving stations, hot stations with HUGE cast iron skillets full of eggs benedict, potatoes, salmon…yum!!…an omelet station, a raw bar (yes, I helped myself to plenty of oysters), a dessert bar (we’ll come back to that), fruit selections, and – saving the best for last – a HUGE cheese bar.

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Towne was kind enough to pour us all a little prosecco and we sat down, plates full, to sip and stuff ourselves with tons of amazingness (I never said I’d be breaking out the SAT vocab here…). My first round was mostly raw and cheese bar items. Humboldt Fog and Brie spread with honeycomb… to my face.  Maybe cheese and oysters don’t seem like a natural pairing, but pshhh. Whatever. It was delicious. Round two included a waffle, eggs benedict and various other carbohydrates. Priorities.

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We all ended on the dessert bar. Ate a little bit of everything. However, the consensus was the the chocolate chip bread pudding won brunch. And rightly so. It was delicious…warm, buttery, gooey and just seriously sinful. Oy. I think I gained 5lbs just thinking about it.

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So yes, it was really delicious – however, the buffet, at $38 per guest ($14 for kids under 12) is not necessarily realistic for everyone. It was a fantastic treat (would be great for special occasions!), and if you’re considering it, I’d absolutely recommend it. I definitely ate $38 worth of food…probably in oysters and cheese alone. haha

Disclaimer: I received brunch free of charge as part of the Boston Brunchers, with the exception of gratuity. As always, all opinions are my own.

Cheese & Crackers

We allll know that I have a profound love of cheese. I’ve always loved it – but my trip to Paris in 2008 really is what put me over the edge. My brother even joked with me that if I ever have a daughter…I need to name her Brie. hah! Which…honestly, is not a name that I oppose.

… I even bonded with a complete stranger over his cheese plate last night. hah! Cheese…bringing people together in 2011. 🙂 While – no – this was no love connection, it was nice to make a new friend.

That being said – fruit and cheese has been on my mind as of late. I think it was seeing cheddar and strawberry jam on Katie‘s blog, and of course, Kath‘s cheese and jam sandwiches are something that pop into my mind every now and then.

So this week…with Trader Joe’s goat’s milk brie sitting in my fridge – along with Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread…I knew I needed to take action.

In came the following goodies:

  • 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita
  • 1 oz of TJ’s Goat’s Milk Brie
  • 1 Tbsp of Crofter’s
  • 10 oz. of chopped walnuts

Assemble like a pizza and shove it in the oven until the bread is toasty, the cheese is melted and the walnuts are roasty.

The result?

Sort of like cheese & crackers…. but better.

Way. Way. Better.

xoxo

Pesto Pizza

Ahh – so a lovely rule of thumb when you go on vacation is clean out your fridge!! After all, nothing is more pleasant than returning from the trip of a lifetime to sour milk and rotten produce.

With a vacation looming for me – don’t worry, I’ll let you in on it soon enough! If you’ve been a blog reader for a while now, you might be able to guess based on past vacations – I’ve been doing my best to use up the most perishable of items in my fridge….

Greens are one of those lil’ items. Spinach goes bad in the blink of an eye – one moment, the bag is full of lush, beautiful leaves…the next a slimy mess.

In an effort to save the greens, I decided that a makeshift spinach pesto needed to be a part of my life!

Enter: 1 clove of garlic, a palmful of walnuts that have graced the bottom shelf of my fridge for a bit too long now, a dash of hot red pepper, and enough spinach for me. I didn’t make a huge batch. Oh, and I didn’t have parmesan so that didn’t make it in there – though it’d be wonderful!

Annihilate those ingredients prior to drizzling in just enough oil to bring it together.

Final Product: Garlicy. Green. Glorious.

I probably ended up with about 1/3 to a little less than a 1/2 cup of pesto.

Now came the question of what to do with it?!

The remnants of a wheel of Trader Joe’s goat cheese brie was calling to me from my fridge, and a ball of pizza whole wheat dough had been thawing in there, too.

Time for pesto pizza!!

Rolled the dough out as thin as I could get it, and docked it with a fork and then par-baked it to try and stave off sogginess.

I then smeared on a generous amount of the pesto, and dotted it with about an ounce of brie – yes, rind and all. I love it.

Then back into the oven it went.

Awesome.

Seriously.

A great combination of the crunchy crust, the melted brie, and the garlicy pesto.

Oh, I will make this again in a heartbeat…or once my fridge is restocked post-vacation. Until then, the remainder of this pesto is tucked away in my freezer…we’ll see how it does! 🙂

Grilled Cheezus

There’s just something about having brie in the house…

Sure, I normally had some sort of cheese (string, shredded, sliced…), but brie is a game changer.

Last night, I came home from work, tired and ready to just curl up on the couch – and I decided that the perfect company would be grilled cheese (grilled cheezus?? — Glee reference, for those who don’t watch…or remember)...

click.for.source.

….nahhh……but a spicy, spinach and brie grilled cheese!

I’ve always kind of wondered – how many ingredients can you add to a grilled cheese before … it’s not just a grilled cheese anymore?

Anyway – with brie evenly distributed (and nibbled on), sprinkled with spicy, red pepper and black pepper, and blanked by spinach…the toasting began.

Ahhh – golden goodness. There’s just something so amazing about the contrast between the crunchy bread and the ooey, gooey brie.

If I had bacon it would have gone on there, too…

  • What’s your favorite way to do grilled cheese (or “cheese”)?

I’m a sucker for tomato and bacon…

Also!! News! The Big City, Lil Kitchen is now on FB!

Join the fun! haha But seriously…

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Smothered

First and foremost – a word of warning…finals are upon us (well, preparations for them has begun).

Work has been pretty much smothering me for the last few weeks…and it’ll continue til the very end! haha

However, smothering has such a negative connotation….let’s take a peek at some of my favorite smothering sauces and spreads. Positivity here, people! Positivity!

 

ahhh-may-zing. yes. dinosaurs and bbq totally work.

Tonight, Dinosaur BBQ was slathered over a sweet potato that disappeared too quickly…hence, no picture.

Crofters – N. American chosen for it’s use of cranberries, and used on Thanksgiving.

 

Smothering the brie.

 

Brie and Jam post their sauna in the oven.

 

  • What about you? Favorite spreads? Sauces? Dressings?

A Series of Random Events

Hey loves – life has taken me away from this again…not in a bad way though. I have been living, and realizing that not every little, tiny (insignificant) thing needs to be posted . Not to say that this post is monumental. haha

Sitting back and looking at the last few months, and how hectic my life has been, I truly begin to see why blogging became sporadic. Also – I’ve been in front of a computer a lot for my job – which is new to me, and so at the end of the day..coming home to sit in front of the computer just isn’t always appealing. That’s not to say I don’t think of blogging or how great a meal would look…but some days it was just a little too much.

My schedule will soon change again – so I’m hoping to fill this blog with wonderful food, things, people, events, and adventures. Plus, maybe a giveaway is in the works … mwahahaha.

Much like my posting schedule – this post is raaaaandom.

1. I tried the new goat’s milk brie from Trader Joe’s – heaven. Brie is quite possibly my favorite cheese (but it’s so hard to choose, I love them all). Cheese is my one dairy must – I could do almond milk, no eggs, etc…but cheese… Cheese is an obsession for me (much like coffee haha…more on that later.)

Ooey Gooey Goodness

2. I tried the apple pie flavor of Lara for the first time…as always, not disappointed! 🙂 I have yet to see their newest flavors on the shelves here in Boston…I want peanut butter chocolate chip so much!!

3. I’ve been obsessed with Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan Clusters Cereal – it rocks my world.

4. “Easy” really has been the name of the game. I’ve eaten far too many premade wraps…though they were surprisingly delicious.

5. I’m reorganizing and redecorating my apartment (my [bank acount’s] savior, Christmas Tree Shops!). This is a little taste:

New storage (thank, God!!!)

((Sidenote: Thanks, Mom, for listening to me vent, and helping me with ideas. LOVE YOU!))

6. Finally, la pièce de résistance à la Starbucks:

Months and months ago – I saw Kath using her french press and I’ve wanted one since…recently, it popped into my mind again, and I decided it was time to take the (reasonably priced) plunge.

I have yet to use it, but you can be sure that I’ll let you know how I like it! Plus, it’s pretty right? haha

I hope you all had absolutely fabulous weekends!!! What’s new?? Catch me up! 🙂