books, art, culture, and other things I love

Category: Food

Ina Garten to the rescue!

Two weeks ago, my friend A. and I were all set to go see Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame) speak in Boston. I had bought the tickets over the summer, and they were paper tickets (which is not the norm these days). A day or two before, I was searching my computer for saved PDF ticket files, and that’s when I remembered they were paper. The problem was, I couldn’t find them. True (and awful) story. By the time I realized that the tickets were not going to materialize, I also learned that the event was sold out. UGH!

Now why am I sharing this story? Because I offer it as Exhibit A as to how my day-to-day has gotten super busy–so much so, that I am having trouble keeping track of things. Even some important things–like dinner! (I may have eaten popcorn for mine last night.) That said, even though I may have missed seeing Ina Garten in person, I *did* get a copy of her new cookbook, Make It Ahead, and I am loving it so far.

Not sure what the plural of Patitsio is, but either way these do look doubly good!

Not sure what the plural of Patitsio is, but either way, these do look doubly good!

This week, I used her recipe for Patitsio and made two batches–one of which I will freeze. It is easy to make, though a bit time consuming, but it can be done in stages if needed. One tip: though each batch calls for a 28-oz can of tomatoes, I would recommend adding an extra 14 oz. to each batch to give it a bit more tomato flavor and to add some additional moisture. Also, if you are not a fan of lamb, you can certainly double up on the ground beef instead.

The book has lots of great recipes that you can prepare in advance of a dinner party or family celebration–or even just a regular old workweek when you have lots of obligations and need to have some hearty meals at the ready.


The perfect snack for a rainy Monday evening.

Right now I am tearing through a book a friend recommended this morning and having a pre-dinner snack. I thought I would pass it on, as it is one of my favorite combinations–the snack items themselves (as well as reading while snacking!).
photoThe cheese is called Caciotta Al Tartufo and if you like truffles, you will love this. Trader Joe’s has a good version, but it is available at most large grocery stores and specialty shops. I enjoy it with Breton crackers and slices of Honeycrisp Apple. (Optional: if the workday is over, add a splash of dry white wine to your glass as an accompaniment!)

The Weekender: The Best Egg Sandwich in Boston.

I am not sure what it is, but I love a good egg sandwich. Now, I am not talking about the kind of prefab microwaved sandwich on offer at a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts, but a made-to-order creation. Simple is good–some of the best egg sandwiches I’ve had have come from no-name Korean delis in NYC. Until I tried the Classic Egg Sandwich at The Plate, that is.

The Plate is owned by the delightful Suzanne Lombardi, who founded the Dancing Deer Baking Company (the molasses clove cookies were always my favorite). This latest venture is a small cafe offering breakfast, lunch, and bakery items.

Though there is much on the menu to compete, for me, there is nothing like the egg sandwich. Made on homemade English muffins with arugula, a tomato couli, cheese, and an over-easy (cage free!) egg, it is simply devine.

The Plate is located in Milton Village–a neighborhood that overlaps with Dorchester’s Lower Mills. It is right across from the Central Ave T stop, or visitors will find ample street parking. It is worth the trip from anywhere in the Boston area. Egg sandwiches are served all day on Sundays, so try it today!
The Plate. 27 Central Avenue, Milton, MA. Closed Mondays.