Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Travel and Babies and Life, Oh My!

BABIES! So this semester at school has been uber-busy and uber-exciting. I am just finishing up my pediatrics and maternity rotations. What is is about babies that make every woman a baby-loving, clock-ticking crazy lady? I find it impossible to hold a newborn and not feel immense love towards it (not in a creepy, I am going to take your baby way, but rather more of a oh my god, this is so amazing feeling).

Before the start of the semester I was able to go home to visit my family over the holidays, then visited my boyfriend's family in the Dominican Republic. I had already met most of them, but had not spent much time with his father or that side of the family. So Carlos, the caring boyfriend that he is, throws me in the front of their SUV with his serious-seeming, bad ass corporate lawyer father (I do not really have a concept of what that entails, it just sounds important, you know?) . Luckily, my fears abated when his father popped in the sound track to Mamma Mia and started singing.

Summing up the trip: lots of Spanish, saw a baseball/pelota game-go Escogido!-, went to Playa Rincon and played in the waves, saw a roasted whole pig, ate a lot and celebrated New Year's.

Then in February my friends Bethany and Tony got married. Zipped home (by that I mean flew) for a quick Valentine's weekend wedding. Saw friends, parents, ate some good Thai. (You can read more about that here.

Probably the most amazing group of women you could hope to know! I could tell you more, but I might start crying or sound annoying 'cuz I do tend to brag about my friends.

I also went to Las Vegas over my spring break! To answer you
r question, no I didn't get married! Although I am sad to say that I was unable to convince strangers to get married so that I may stand up at their wedding, nor did I meet high rollers while in a cute cocktail dress, blow on their dice only to have them win thousands and give me a $1,000 chip. Isn't that supposed to happen if you go to Vegas? So disappointing.

What could have been the perfect culinary trip turned into a random ass
ortment of tacos, hot dogs....yeah, you get the picture. Went to the Hoover Dam (cue lots of corny jokes with "damn" as a some sort of adjective), saw Red Rock Canyon-beautiful, Madam Toussaint's wax museum, the Bellagio Fountains, the Great Salt Lake, played some slots, won some money, lost more money and had a romantically wonderful time.

On a scary ledge at Red Rock Canyon. Where we may have seen a squirrel eating another animal (what can I saw-it's the Wild Wild West).

Tacos in old Las Vegas-north of the strip.

Unbelievably done-up midnight snacks at Pink's Hot Dogs outside of Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.

And that pretty much sums up the last three months :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things: Clear Flour Bread Bakery

My first installment of "A Few of My Favorite Things" is a place near and dear to me. Clear Flour Bread is located just out of Coolidge Corner and has a stand at the Coolidge Farmer's Market during the summer/fall months.

While I have tried a number of their items, their ciabatta holds a special place in my heart. I adore a good, crusty bread-and for 2.50 a loaf, this is a steal!

So you have this great bread, now what? You can purchase a good cheese and have a wine and cheese night, slice the length-wise (between the top & bottom flat ends) forming the perfect sandwich bread or slice the loaf in half and stuff each have with your favorite fixins' and stick in the oven or panini press for a crunchy delight!

In addition to bread, they often sell croissants, cookies, scones, tarts, cakes, cheese from a local farm and a ton of other items! (Go there yourself to see the full selection, or check them out online to see their daily offerings).

They are located at 178 Thorndike Street, off the Packard's Corner stop on the "B" line, Coolidge Corner on the "C" or at Coolidge Road if taking the 66. Those lucky enough to have a car, I envy you and suggest you look up driving directions (written in an envious tone).

Store hours are 8-8 M-F and 9-7 on the weekends.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa and Arrabbiata

Last week, as part of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program, I received 2 new complimentary Bertolli sauces, Arrabbiata and Four Cheese Rosa. The sauce's were packaged in a fancy schmancy black box that evokes a high end liquor container.

I had recently discovered Bertolli's pasta sauces, having purchased the Cabernet as well as the Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil varieties of Marinara, so I was psyched to try out some new flavors.

I decided to serve the 4 Cheese Rosa with Barilla Plus Pasta (one of my new favorite items-I am totally into the idea of adding Omega 3's to my favorite foods) and sauteed and chopped broccoli rabe with garlic. The bitter green was balanced nicely by the salty, sweet and creamy cheese sauce. I ended up eating the sauce for each subsequent lunch until I ran out.

I have not tried the Arrabbiata yet, but plan to serve it with grilled shrimp over linguine-I'll let you know how it is!