Cuisine - American, Places - Massachusetts, Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner at Eurostoves

Turkey dinner at EurostovesThere’s this really awesome cooking school/kitchenware store in North Beverly called Eurostoves. I recently went for a team-building exercise and our group put together a full turkey dinner for Thanksgiving in October.

We learned lots of tips to take the hassle out of the turkey day dinner – like make-ahead dishes to reduce the stress and just enjoy your wacky family. Recipes from the class included:

  • Turkey Brining and Apple Cider Gravy
  • Apple Celery and Smoked Ham Dressing
  • Mashed Potatoes with Sage and Cheddar
  • Marmalade Cinnamon Cranberry
  • Herbed Butternut Bisque (Almost like a dessert soup!)
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Citrus and Coriander
  • Creamed Mushrooms, Onions and Brussels Sprouts (OMG! This is how you get kids to eat brussel sprouts!!)
  • Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
  • Goat Cheese Toasts
  • Potato Broccoli Croquettes (See recipe below)
  • Autumn Trifle

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Cuisine - American, Places - Massachusetts

Review: The Scotty Dog – Beverly

The Scotty Dog exteriorWe recently left our apartment in Salem, Mass., for a place in Beverly, Mass., just a few minutes north. As we were moving, I noticed The Scotty Dog – a little place serving up Chicago-style hot dogs.

This hot dog stand opened earlier in 2011 on scenic Route 1A. It has a handful of parking spots for car hop service, plus several picnic tables and Adirondack chairs.

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Cuisine - Italian, Places - Massachusetts, Recipes, Shopping

Recipe: Garlic Scapes and Basil Pesto

A few weeks ago, we joined a CSA, or “Community Supported Agriculture,” with Farmer Dave’s based in Dracut, Mass. Each Monday, we pick up a share of fresh crops in Beverly, just a little hop from our place in Salem, Mass. The variety of veggies is different each week and depends on field conditions. For instance, this week we had beets, spinach, yellow and green zucchinis, fennel, Swiss chard, lettuce and more.

It’s more than enough produce for the two of us. It is also great since it makes us eat more healthy. We can get creative with our meals (I made some beet cupcakes with an orange cream cheese frosting from our second week’s crops), and we support local farmers.

We especially like the last part after watching documentaries like “Food Inc.,” which details how the government regulates the U.S. food supply. Plus, with the rising cost of fuel, those increases are then transferred to all of our food purchases. So, if we can buy locally, we save a little in the end by not buying produce from across the country or that is out of season. We always know what we have is fresh and local. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re supporting a local, small business, too.

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Cuisine - American, Dieting, Places - Boston, Places - Massachusetts, Places - New England, Recipes

Raw Food Diet: Faux Salmon Pate

I’m always investigating new diets and trends in foods. Recently, I learned about the Raw Food Diet, or Living Food Diet, where you eat mostly uncooked, unprocessed and organic foods. In the Raw Food Diet, you don’t cook your foods higher than 115 degrees F because many foods lose their nutritional values and essential enzymes at higher temps.

There are several different off-shoots of the Raw Food Diets – Raw Veganism, Raw Vegetarianism and Raw Animal Food Diets.

There are many benefits to eating a raw food diets, according to experts like Alissa Cohen, author of “Living on Live Food.” She writes:

When food is cooked at over 112 degrees (this temperature can be felt as warm to the touch) we destroy all of its enzymes. This is a problem because we need enzymes for every function in our body. To walk, to talk, to breathe and to move; life itself depends on them. As we age, our bodies natural source of enzymes becomes depleted and we need to replenish this source through the foods we eat. If we do not do this and we continue to eat cooked foods, then we eventually begin to use up our body’s enzyme reserves. Cooking makes it harder for our bodies to break up and digest the foods that we eat. This food then begins to get stored in our bodies as toxins; which can lead to all kinds of diseases and illness.

While I’m not on the Raw Food Diet, I am intrigued by it and its purported health benefits. There even is a raw food restaurant in nearby Beverly, Mass., called Rawbert’s Organic Garden Cafe. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. Menu items are made of quinoa, kale, flax, squash, and nuts. You can get pizzas, pastas, pies and more. I’m especially intrigued by their Nut Butter “Squash” Ravioli with beet ravioli shells, walnuts and cashew alfredo.

I don’t quite get all the science behind not cooking your foods to certain temperatures, but I really want to learn more about this interesting diet. So, I was really impressed when I found out one of my coworkers is on the Raw Vegan form of the diet. She was even planning on going to a raw food potluck but it was canceled so she had some leftovers of this Fake Salmon Pate made with nuts, red peppers, onions and olive oil.

Raw Salmon Pate

I didn’t really know what to expect. It looks exactly like a pate. (I won’t repeat what Brett said it looked like.) But, served with some whole grain crackers from Trader Joe’s, this faux pate was like a great, homemade hummus. It had lots of notes of the red peppers and it wasn’t gritty from the ground nuts. Even Brett thought that it tasted really good… and if you can fake the hubby out with something, that’s a true winner!

Here is a similar recipe that I found from Alissa Cohen’s cookbook in case you’d like to try it out yourself:

Mock Salmon Pate
from Alissa Cohen’s Book, Living on Live Foods

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large red sweet pepper
  • 1 large scallion
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Serving suggestions: This can be served on a plate as is, over a salad, rolled up in a green leaf, or spread on crackers.