Author Archives: Jamie

About Jamie

Hi! My name is Jamie and I am a Boston native, amateur baker, food nerd, macaron addict, globetrotter, and fitness enthusiast. Currently, I manage grants at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. I'll be blogging every Friday about my baking endeavors, food interests and travel, restaurant reviews, and reports on the latest food trends.

Restaurant Review: Anh Hong

Last weekend, I introduced my friends to 7 Courses of Beef and Fish at Anh Hong, a Vietnamese restaurant located in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. With beef and fish served 7 different ways, this is a unique Vietnamese food experience that is sure to be fun and delicious. Each 7 courses menu can feed 2-3 people for a set price.
 

Course #1: fish (left) and beef (right) sauteed in vinegar
 
Courses:

Sauteed beef or fish in vinegar, served with DIY spring roll ingredients (rice paper, fresh veggies, and vermicelli)
Sauteed beef or fish in butter, served with DIY spring roll ingredients
Beef or fish chilled …

 

Non-traditional Candy

In light of Halloween yesterday, this post is about some of my favorite non-traditional candy and chocolate. Although I do like my Snickers, Reese’s, Skittles, and Milky Way, I also enjoy confections that you don’t find in everyday convenient and grocery stores in the U.S.
I recently discovered a couple gourmet food stores in Boston: Bacco’s and Gourmet Boutique. Both shops sell typical gourmet foods such as wine, cheese, and charcuterie, but they also have a selection of imported sweets that are hard to find.
At Bacco’s, they sell Hammond’s chocolate bars in a variety of unique flavors such as red velvet …

 

Oyster Shucking

Last Saturday, I learned how to shuck oysters. Being a fan of oysters (both raw and cooked), I’m glad to have finally crossed it off my to-do list when I took shucking lessons at North End Fish Market in Boston (formerly called Mercato del Mare).
At NEFM, lessons are only offered on Saturday afternoons from 1-3pm, reservations are not required. Due to small space, the staff can teach groups of five people or smaller at each time. The lesson takes about 15 minutes, longer if you decide to shuck more oysters. You just pay what you shuck and eat. Last Saturday, …

 

Apple Picking

I always enjoy this time of year because it’s apple and pumpkin picking season. It’s a lovely tradition in New England, and the fun parts are spending quality time with your friends and family, and baking delicious treats with your picked fruits.
 
I went to Tougas Farm in Northboro about a month ago, when the season just started. There’s still time to visit before the month of October ends. I like this farm because it was very organized and well-run, there was a wide variety of apples available for picking, and they had the most delicious cider donuts, fresh kettlecorn popcorn, and …

 

Macaron Gifts

Since my first attempt at making French macarons, I’ve made them twice more – same recipe (from my trusty MacarOn Café recipe book), but I altered the appearance for special occasions.
 

Earlier this year, I made confetti macarons for my friend’s birthday gift and another friend’s graduation gift, which were coincidentally around the same time. As I was browsing Pinterest one day, I stumbled across beautiful confetti macarons from Style Sweet CA. I borrowed the decoration idea because what’s more festive than confetti? Especially for celebrations like graduations and birthdays. The only step in the macaron process was to put some sprinkles …

 

Restaurant Review: Sweetgreen

 
 
My friends work in the Back Bay/Copley area in Boston and have been raving about their new favorite lunch spot there, Sweetgreen, right across from the Boston Public Library. Sweetgreen serves fresh, made-to-order salads and wraps, using local and organic ingredients. What can be so great about a simple salad? I had to see and try it for myself.
During peak lunch hour, the lines are usually out the door, and one can expect to wait up to 20 minutes in line! Fortunately, I visited during an off-time and didn’t have to wait in line at all.
 
 
 

The menu is simple and …

 

Food Television

This week, I’ve been staying at home everyday, sick with a cold. That meant no going out to eat, no baking, and lots of rest, hot tea, and chicken noodle soup. Since I was stuck at home and not at work, I was able to watch some of my favorite food TV shows that play during normal business hours. Here are my top 5 shows on The Food Network.
 

 
Of course, I must mention Sweet Genius since I am obsessed with desserts. In each episode, there are four American premier pastry chefs competing in three timed challenges for the grand prize of $10,000. …

 

Pop-up Restaurant: The Spotted Tiger

 
I’m a fan of pop-up restaurants, ever since I tried Whisk in Boston – see my post here. The pop-up concept is all about different settings, very passionate young chefs, and a unique theme. On Labor Day, my foodie friends and I were very excited about dining at the newest pop-up in Boston, The Spotted Tiger. The location? The swanky Hawthorne bar in Kenmore Square. The Chefs? Tracy Chang of Guchi’s Midnight Ramen pop-up, Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden in Woburn, and Becca Arnold of Tavern Road in Boston. The theme? Chinese cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. By the way, The Hawthorne won …

 

Hummingbird Cupcakes

What is hummingbird cake? Before this week, I had never heard of this dessert until my coworker mentioned it. Hummingbird cake is a banana pineapple spiced cake, often served with cream cheese frosting. It’s a traditional Southern dessert since the mid 19th century (Wikipedia). I was intrigued because it’s supposed to taste like a cross between cake and banana bread. I decided to make a cupcake version with a recipe I found on Pinterest. It was delicious and I absolutely loved the dried pineapple flower – isn’t it so pretty?
 

 
Hummingbird Cupcakes recipe (yields 24 cupcakes):
Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 …

 

NY Eats

Last Friday, I visited the Big Apple for a day trip. The options for good eats in NYC are endless – so many, that it would probably take me years to blog about all the delicious restaurants, bakeries, food trucks that I’ve tried and would like to try. For today’s post, I’ll share with you some of my favorite dessert stops in the concrete jungle. No cronut visit, unfortunately.

 
 
My favorite place to get the best red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is Two Little Red Hens bakery on the Upper East Side. Yes, I truly think their red velvet reigns supreme …