Eat, Sarah, Eat

Exactly a week from today my plane takes off from the lovely city of Edinburgh and I will fly back across the pond to my awaiting family.  At breakfast this morning, my friend and I were reminiscing on how quickly the time in Scotland has flown by, and how grateful we have been for this wonderful experience.  Per usual, I started thinking about my travels based on my food adventures, so here is a list of the top things I ate while abroad.

Cheese and bread at IJ Mellis 

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Wine and cheese nights become a special dinner that my friends and I rallied behind.  We all would pitch in to create a beautiful spread.  Then would spend hours appreciating the food, wine, and good conversation.  We are having our last wine and cheese night today!

Tofu Teriyaki at Henderson’s Vegan Restaurant 

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Scotland might not have its fair share of health food, but I was able to find Henderson’s Restaurants in Edinburgh. Their fresh and nutritious food gave me a detox I needed a couple of times in the semester.

Danishes at Vedels Konditori 

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Honestly, I think the picture alone does this pastry justice.  If I could spend every breakfast eating this danish and latte I would.

Prince of Cambridge Scone at Gorgeous 

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There was nothing better than getting an afternoon tea and scone in between classes this semester.  Clotted cream was a game changer; a mix between butter and whipped cream to put on your scone alongside jam of course.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict at Patisserie Valerie

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Scotland’s smoked salmon demand is expected to drop very low after my departure.  I could not get enough of it! This was the best brunch meal I had.  Brioche bread topped with plenty of salmon, poached eggs, and ladled with hollandaise.

Biscoff (Cookie Butter) Tray Bake and Raspberry and Nutella Cake at Mimi’s Bakehouse 

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My sweet tooth was definitely satisfied abroad from all of the fabulous Scottish bakeries.  “Let them eat cake with a cup of tea” is my new mantra.

 

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Imma Make You Scream: Ice Cream Edition

Over the course of the summer I managed to eat a plethora of delicious treats, and this post will give you the break down.

Frozen Hoagies

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What started out as a food truck now has a brick and mortar location in Somerville, MA.  Frozen Hoagies offers many different ice cream and cookie combos.  I decided on the “The Hoagie” size, which equals two cookies and two scoops of ice cream.  I ordered the peanut butter cup cookies with cow tracks ice cream (vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl and peanut butter cups aka moose tracks) and of course… sprinkles.  It was MASSIVE.  The cookies were a little dry and cakey, but according to my little brother I like my cookies to be barely cooked, so that’s up for you to decide.  It was a really cute place and had indoor seating that my cousin and I took advantage of.

Scoop N Scootery

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If this is not the cutest sundae you have ever seen, then props to you.  My sister and I decided to try out Scoop N Scootery in Arlington after plans fell through.  Scoop N Scootery offers walk in store hours 3-7PM from Tuesday to Sunday.  But their delivery and pick up hours are 3PM-2 AM from Tuesday to Sunday.  We ordered pickup by going online and typing out our order on the website.  We then got a confirmation email with an estimated time of completion.

I ordered the Peanut Butter Bomb which had peanut butter cup ice cream, chopped Reeses, chocolate syrup, a peanut butter shell, and then I added whipped cream and Kit Kats.  The peanut butter shell was AMAZING.  It did not harden completely like a normal chocolate shell does, but it was creamy and rich.  The whipped cream was not your average Cool Whip and was perfectly light and airy.

Goose Rocks Dairy

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The Goose Rocks Dairy is my old stomping ground, and where I worked for five summers of my life.  I tell everyone that it was the best job I will ever have.  Although I have sampled every flavor, this time I ordered the Campfire Smores; toasted marshmallow ice cream with a graham cracker swirl, and chocolate chunks.  This is one of the dairy’s richest and sweetest ice creams.  My other favorite is Moose Tracks; vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl and peanut butter cups.  I ordered the kiddie size in a waffle cone… Be warned our serving size is larger than most!

Cabot’s 

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A traditional favorite, Cabot’s has been serving Newton-ites since 1969.  They serve all meals of the day, but dessert is what you should go for.  This is their “Hey you got chocolate on my peanut butter!” sundae.  Moose tracks ice cream with peanut butter sauce, peanut butter cups, and whipped cream. (If you haven’t noticed, I love chocolate and peanut butter).  Cabot’s not only serves up delicious and beautiful sundaes, but you feel like you are whisked away to another era.  It’s an old school sundae parlor that is the perfect place for a celebration or just another hot summer day.

Toscanini’s 

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Toscanini’s is a well known ice cream shop located in Cambridge, and its cousin is Rancatore’s.  One fateful night I walked in to discover they had FLUFF ice cream.

When I was little, I was addicted to fluff… I might still be addicted.  I would make the classic fluffernutter to bring to school (bread, peanut butter, and Fluff), put Fluff on ritz crackers as a snack, and put it in my hot chocolate instead of marshmallows (it’s a game changer try it).

This ice cream tasted exactly like Fluff and had the typically sweet gooey marshmallow flavor and texture.  Since it was so Fluff-y, when I ordered it a cone, the ice cream proceeded to dangerously slide off, so I quickly threw it in a cup to save it.  I hope they make this a standard flavor because it was so amazing.  The only thing that could have made it better was peanut butter, to make a fluffernutter sundae!

 

 

3 Layer Cookies

One of my friends has a food blog, We Like Two Cook, and she always raves about her Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  It is from The Best New Recipe Cookbook and I kid you not, it is amazing.  By melting the butter the cookies are denser and less cakey.  Exactly how I like them.  The key is not to over bake, so the cookies are soft and slightly gooey in the middle, with a crunchy browned outer edge.  I first tried them with white chocolate chips and dried blueberries, which were fantastic.  Here is that recipe.  Then I tried them with just semi-sweet chocolate chips.  And lastly, I made this version, a take off of seven layer bars.  7 Layer Bars are one of my favorite desserts to bake.  Coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, graham crackers, and sweetened condensed milk are the dominate flavors, and combine to form a gooey sweet mess.  Since I only incorporated the butterscotch, coconut, and semi sweet chocolate into the cookies, next time, I think I will try adding in crushed graham crackers, white chocolate chips, and maybe even a little bit of sweetened condensed milk.

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Servings: Makes about 24 large cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.  Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork.

2. Mix the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla.  Slowly add the dry ingredients.  Add in the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut.

3. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough into 1/3 cup balls.  Leave room between each because they will spread out.  Bake for around 12 minutes.  Remember not to over bake.  The cookies should have a golden brown color, with soft centers and firmer edges.  Before you place the cookies on a rack make sure they cool because they are delicate when warm.

7 Layer Bars

This is one of my favorite desserts because of its addictive sweetness and whenever I bake them I eat way more than I should.  Similar to these bars, you can substitute the ingredients easily as long as you keep the general proportions.  I followed Eagle Brand’s recipe but made a few adjustments.  These will be a crowd favorite every time and can be made in less than an hour! photo 7 Layer Bars 1/2 cups salted butter melted 2 packages graham crackers crushed into crumbs 2 cans sweetened condensed milk 2 cups butterscotch chips 2 cups white chocolate chips 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut Butter a brownie pan and set your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the graham crackers and butter together and press on the bottom of the pan.  Scatter the chips and coconut over the top.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk over to cover.  Bake until golden brown, around 30 minutes.  Let it cool if you have the patience because it makes it easier to cut.  However, they taste just as good warm and gooey!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

As my winter break was winding down to a close, I had a couple more baking trials to complete.  I recently tried the chocolate chip cookies my friend swore were the best she has ever made.  Correctly labeled Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies they were soft and chewy in the middle with a crunchy outer rim.  Head over to her blog, We Like to Cook to check them out!

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White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  I wish you all the best leading into 2015.  I made some of my dear friend’s White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies from We Like To Cook to start off the new year right.  I had just come back from an overnight in Maine, my favorite place in the world, and I wanted to make something to remind me of it.  These cookies are perfect in texture, thick and chewy, and great alongside a glass of cold milk.  The sweet creamy nature of the white chocolate was also a good companion to the somewhat tart dried blueberries.

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Check out her website to get the recipe!!!

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Puppy Chow

Around this time of year, it is crucial to find easy desserts to give to family and friends, that also taste delicious.  Puppy chow, also known as muddy buddies, is composed of a very few number of ingredients, and is addicting!  For those unfamiliar with the snack, it is usually Chex cereal covered with peanut butter and chocolate and then dusted with confectioners sugar.  I got the recipe from here, but substituted the M&M’s for pretzels.

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Puppy Chow (it makes A LOT)

14 cups Chex cereal or a similar variety

18 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

½ cup salted butter melted

1 cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3-4 cups of pretzels

4-5 Cups powdered sugar

Combine the pretzels and cereal in a 2 large bowls.  Melt the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate together in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

Drizzle half off the mixture onto one of the bowls and mix well to combine.  Place half of the confectioners sugar in a large paper bag and then put in the chocolate covered cereal.  Shake until the cereal is coated with the sugar.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.  Dig in!

Eat Chocolate: It’s Good for your Brain

Photo by James Yu

Photo by James Yu

Here’s another article I wrote for Spoon. It’s actually based off of a final project I did for my neurobiology class last year.

Chocoholics out there, you’re going to love this: chocolate has been proven to be beneficial for your brain and body. Chocolate’s numerous health benefits will make you love it even more than before, and better yet, they’ll give you a valid reason to indulge in even more sumptuous cocoa treats. So sit back, relax, and munch on some chocolate as Spoon breaks down the ways your sweet addiction may actually be helping your mind and body.

Please click here to view the actual article.

White Mountain Creamery

Across from the beautiful Boston College Campus lies a small ice cream store, White Mountain Creamery.  Open until 12 AM it serves as a late night eatery for many college students, myself included.  They make their ice cream in house and the owner has a wonderful presence by cheerfully greeting his customers.  Every day they have a list of traditional flavors and then a list of specials.  As a regular, I have to suggest the hot fudge.  White Mountain’s does not congeal when it hits the cold ice cream.  Instead it maintains a smooth consistency and it is amazing!!!

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Yesterday I decided to treat myself and ordered a small sundae.  Pumpkin ice cream topped with hot fudge, peanut butter topping (which was delicious as well), and peanut butter cups.  Don’t question the combination it works.  The pumpkin is a seasonal flavor so make sure to try it soon!  The peanut butter topping was not cloyingly thick and was not too sweet either, so it worked well with the hot fudge.  And alas, the peanut butter cups.  White Mountain cuts Reese’s into quarters providing massive pieces for the biggest chocolate peanut butter fans; I’m included in this round up of course!  This all came to a grand total of $6.30 BUT it was worth it and if you don’t go as crazy as me your ice cream will cost much less.  Definitely head over to White Mountain, no matter if it is cold outside, the hot fudge and peanut butter will warm you up.

http://www.whitemtncreamery.com

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

I recently made these cookies for a family cookout and they were a big hit.  Soft and chewy, they have a very strong chocolate flavor and the peanut butter is more of an undertone.  They flattened out more than on the original blog so I think next time I will either refrigerate the dough for longer than two hours, or put it in the freezer instead.

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Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies (makes two dozen)

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups Nutella

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Using a handheld mixer, combine the eggs, Nutella, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until they are creamed.  Then add the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.  The dough will be very oily and slick, but do not worry!

Make two tablespoon sized mounds of dough and place on a plate so you can chill them in the refrigerator.   I chilled mine for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your baking pans.  Place 8 cookies on a pan at a time and bake for 10 minutes.  Let the cookies cool for several minutes before you try and remove them from the pan because they are very delicate when warm.  Enjoy!

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