Author: maven101

The Beauty of Puerto Rico lives on

I am from a small town in Puerto Rico called “Ceiba” (Say-bah) which is on the east coast about forty five minutes from San Juan. Locals are called “Los Come Sopa” or The Soup Eaters and while there isn’t a specific reason why they are called this, lore does say that since there was no local meat market they had to travel to find meat and supposedly ate soup a lot. (I love that my hometown has a food name, makes me wonder if this food stuff is in my genes 🙂 ) I love Ceiba, I have many memories there from when I did live there and over the years things of course have changed but I still felt the same way every time I went. Then Hurricane Maria happened this year and devastated the Island. I remember all the emotions in my head drowning out all the practicality because my grandparents and uncle were on the Island; I was worried. I didn’t speak to them for weeks and I remember finally being able …

Easy Apple Cider Overnight Oats

Some of you may know that I am particular about my apples. I like a crisp, tart fruit with a hint of sweetness and honestly, it’s not always easy to find this perfect flavor combination. But alas! Autumn Glory Apples fit this bill in every way. They boast a natural, sweet caramel and cinnamon flavor while remaining crispy regardless if you bake, roast, or cook them. This, of course, means that creating yummy and easy recipes is a walk in the park. I wanted to create a recipe that was easy to make; perfect for those of us always on the go and one that was still rich in flavor. Health is always important to me but I also never like to compromise on flavor; Autumn Glory Apples made it easy to keep the flavor profile I wanted, but also gave me a healthy recipe that I could enjoy at any time of the day. Apple cider is a New England favorite once fall hits and all the local farms have Apple Cider Donuts, Mulled …

Double Chin – Boston, MA

On a corner in Chinatown, Boston I was introduced to some of the best late night  food I have ever had. Double Chin is the name of this joint and not only do they  take “Asian Fusion” to a whole other level they do it in a fun, inviting environment that makes you want to stay all night. From Adult Capri “Funs” to a Strawberry Donut Bomb, literally every craving I could have possibly had was checked off in one trip. I am an adventurer, sometimes I just take random trips to Boston to eat… Plus I love Chinatown- the smell of the fresh baked goods oh yes and those Dumpling houses (that post will come later) 🙂 The second we walked in we were quickly ushered to the table. My mind went in a million different directions after taking just one look at their HUGE menu. I mean literally it was so large that whatever you want to eat will probably be on the menu. We decided on the following items for the two …

Stepping out in Style with Two Stylish Sisters

“Jewelry is like the perfect spice, it always compliments whats already there.” – Diane Von Furstenberg In a recent sit down with Aubrey & Nicole from Two Stylish Sisters I had the opportunity to revel in gorgeous, handmade jewelry and get to know them a bit more. Based in Massachusetts they have recently opened up a shop in Western Ave Studios a local spot for artists to come together and showcase their wares. It was a Sunday afternoon filled with laughter, good conversation and a glass of wine (or two) 🙂 They have set up their shop beautifully, with care to details such as vintage jewelry boxes that came from their grandmother or wooden pieces that were handmade by Aubrey’s husband that compliment the displayed pieces perfectly. From making sure their customers who come in are always made to feel welcome, to crafting their jewelry these two boss ladies have taken the meaning of “small business” to a new level, keep reading to hear what they had to say… Question: What inspires each of you? …

Apple-Pumpkin Bars

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (and Christmas right behind it) I wanted to share a recipe with you all that I delighted in making and will absolutely be a kicker in all your holiday functions.  I had the opportunity to attend a brunch with some other amazing Boston area (super talented) bloggers that was sponsored by Autumn Glory Apples and was hosted by fellow blogger Hunger Thirst Play. We all made different dishes featuring some pretty great apples and had a jolly old time. I decided to go with a sweet, slightly spicy dish in these bars. Often we see two components of this dish together but not all three and I loved how the kick from the gingersnap cookie crust just went so well with the caramelized apples. With apples, pumpkin and gingersnaps how can you go wrong? I hope you all will venture to make these and let me know what you think. Also check out the blog post that Hunger Thirst Play just posted up about our delicious brunch and a recipe for …

Lowell Fall Dining Guide 2017

It seems that the second Fall hits we all want soup, a nice warm drink and comforting food. Throughout the fall and winter in New England the flavors go between pumpkin to maple to peppermint to sage and any other myriad of seasonal combinations you want to make. In dining out, many restaurants come up with a fall/winter menu that complement the flavors of the season and this makes it super exciting for me as a food writer/blogger because I love trying new ways the flavors can be incorporated into new dishes. What makes the Canalway Cultural District a dining destination? The history in Lowell is rich and along with eating a great meal you can take in some of the surrounding sites such as the Whistler House Museum of Art, The New England Quilt Museum or the National Streetcar Museum. Because Lowell is a walkable city the restaurants and things to do around them make for a great day outing or a full weekend trip. Some great new restaurants have opened up recently and …

5th Annual Massachusetts Cheese Festival

I love cheese. It is the one thing I refuse to give up in my mostly healthy lifestyle because cheese is a universe of flavors with the ability to wake up the senses and make you experience things you haven’t before. 🙂 Huge shout out to my local cheese monger ( Mill City Cheesemongers). I say all of this to talk about my amazing experience at the 5th Annual Massachusetts Cheese Festival which took place a couple weekends ago and how much of an experience it was for me. This festival is run by the MA Cheese Guild (make sure  to check them out) and this year the festival was overflowing with people from all over who wanted to experience different cheeses, wines, classes and more. There was an incredible amount of things to do and every table I went to was engaging and informative. This bread was so good- sourdough based- Check out Nashoba Brook Bakery These were so unique and delicious: Westport Rivers Winery Refreshing and a bit fruity: Notch Brewing  The first …

Sofra Bakery & Cafe – Cambridge, MA

On a cozy corner in Cambridge there is a delightful cafe called Sofra Bakery & Cafe and I am in love. With  unique flavor combinations influenced by Greece, Lebanon & Turkey and a warm atmosphere, Sofra takes cafe dining to a different level. Everything I had from beverage to dessert was delightfully fresh and so delicious. They also sell ready made to go items such as meals, spices, jams and more. On their website they tell you the reasoning behind their name which I thought was so beautiful. In roaming around Turkey and asking people what “Sofra” meant to them it brought smiles to their faces- “Sofra” in Turkish means a picnic, a special table preparation of food or a small square kilim rug used for eating. Although small, we were still able to find a seat quickly after placing our order. Shout out to the gentleman  at the cash register who suggested beverages and gave us some insights on flavors. Everyone was super helpful even though it was incredibly busy when we went on …

Offbeet Compost – The Foundation Mixer

Collaborations between small businesses, myself &  The Foundation Mixer have been happening on a wider scale this year,  collaborations I am proud to be part of and keep learning from. Last week we all had the pleasure to not only learn about a local compost company but we were all introduced to sunrun a solar energy company who sponsored the event. Mandarin Asian Bistro was our wonderful host and provided snacks for us during the event. Check them out for live music on the weekends and great food and drinks. OffBeet Compost, founded by Kesiah Bascom is the edgy, eco-friendly type company I find myself loving more of every day. Along with Kesiah, Derrick Jamison, the Operations Manager of OffBeet provide composting capabilities to local business (including restaurants) and individuals. During this event we learned of the hard work and passion that goes behind a company like this, which in turn keeps our environment clean and recycles back what we don’t use for better sustainability. I look forward to learning more about how I can compost …

The Fern & The Feather – Humanity Style

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”  The celebration of new business adventures was what we came together to do last Thursday at Humanity Boutique in Downtown Lowell.  Melissa  of Bohemian Beads and Bangles and Rebekah of Rebekah Hope Design came together to create a brand called “The Fern & The Feather a new pop up at Humanity. With beautiful jewelry and softly scented candles the brand is reminiscent of boho style with a splash of femininity  and fun. This private event was the kick off of this beautiful brand and between the gorgeous displays, amazing women and delicious snacks & drinks we had a great time. Empowering one another to reach our goals and succeed at accomplishing the dreams we all have was a big part of this event. Rebekah and Melissa have been friends for an incredibly long time and this was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Ani, owner of Humanity provided an outlet for them to display their wares but …