Author Archives: Lauren Patten

About Lauren Patten

Hi everyone! My name is Lauren. I’m a Boston girl who just returned after spending 4 months living in Barcelona. I’m currently in my senior year at Emmanuel College, where I study English. I love live music, traveling, and finding any excuse to go to the beach. Join me every Monday as I blog about my experiences abroad, local restaurants, and my cooking adventures!

Spicy Cocktails in San Francisco

 
While in San Francisco recently, a friend took me to a restaurant she loves, Pacific Catch. The restaurant is a San Francisco only chain, with six locations around the city. The drink she ordered was called a Spicy Pacific and was made using hot chilies. I wasn’t sure if a spicy cocktail sounded particularly appealing, but I trusted her judgement and ordered one for myself as well. The drink turned out to be awesome! Spicy and vodka are two words you normally wouldn’t use in a sentence together, but give this drink a try the next time you want to …

 

Adventures in Portland Ice Cream

 
This past week I returned from the West Coast, where I spent some time in Portland, Oregon. Portland has a reputation for being a weird city, and it certainly lives up to it. From people being obsessed with the pattern on the airport carpet (They sell it on t-shirts, stickers, and water bottles) to the graffiti that constantly appears on walls saying “Keep Portland Weird”, there’s no shortage of character to this city. With a city like this, the food is bound to be equally as unique. Salt and Straw is the perfect example of this. It’s a small ice …

 

A Tasty Barcelona Dish

Today I leave for the West Coast to visit some of the friends I made while studying abroad in Barcelona! I can’t wait to see them, but thinking about it makes me miss being in Barcelona. I dug up some of the recipes I had from a cooking class I took there so I can make some traditional Barcelona food in my own home. One of the foods I really enjoyed was the Chupito de Sopa de Tomate, a tomato soup shot. The dish is a form of gazpacho, a cold soup dish that is popular all over Spain, especially …

 

Vegetable Sautéing

With summer finally here, many vegetables are now in season. It’s a great time to buy them with a guarantee they’ll be fresh. But when the weather is hot, sometimes being in the kitchen and cooking is the last thing you want to do. Sautéing vegetables is a quick and easy way to cook a variety of vegetables without a lot of prep time or clean up. All you need is a pan, some vegetable oil, and a stove. Pour the oil into the pan and wait for it to heat up. Then distribute whatever vegetables you want into the …

 

Peanut Butter & Co.

 
As a kid, I put a slight variation on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich by eating mine with only the peanut butter. My love of peanut butter is most likely inherited from my dad, who could probably live off peanut butter if he had to. Last year I went grocery shopping with a friend and saw her pick up a brand of peanut butter I had never noticed.  I decided to grab a jar for myself because the flavors sounded amazing, and the packaging was unbelievably cute with a little monkey on the front. From then on, I …

 

Harpoon Fest

 
This past weekend I attended Harpoon Fest for the first time! Harpoon Fest is an annual festival held at the Harpoon Brewery in the Seaport district of Boston. There was perfect weather for it, and since it’s so close to the ocean, there was a nice breeze too. The festival is a way for you to taste the different kinds of beer that Harpoon makes. Beer isn’t usually my first choice (I’m usually a fruity drinks, margarita type), but it was fun to try something new.

My favorite kind ended up being the UFO White beer. It’s on the lighter side …

 

Venezia

 
This past weekend was my college graduation! It’s crazy how fast time goes by, but I’m excited to see what will come next in life! To celebrate, I went to Venezia, located right outside of Boston, in Dorchester. Although I live fairly close to the restaurant, this was my first time there. It has a beautiful location overlooking the waterfront with big glass windows lining the walls. 
For dinner, I got the chicken pizzaiola, and it was delicious. It was three big pieces of sautéed chicken covered in prosciutto and cheese with tomatoes on top, served with crispy angel hair pasta. …

 

Rum Swizzles

 
Can you believe that it’s almost May and it’s still 45 degrees out? I certainly can’t! On days like these, I wish I were somewhere warm and tropical, like Bermuda! Bermuda is one of my favorite places. I went there two years and had a blast. It’s a fairly small island, so there’s not much disconnect between the tourists and locals. One spot both groups like to hang out at is The Swizzle Inn. It’s one of the oldest and most well known pubs in Bermuda, and has a unique style of its own. The inside walls are covered in …

 

Avoiding Stress Eating

 
If you’re in college, your semester is probably almost over, which means lots of term papers, presentations, and finals. Lots of time spent inside, sitting down, working on things that might not always be the most interesting to you. For lots of people, that leads to mindless, stress eating. What do you do when you need to get the work done but would also like to avoid gaining five pounds in the process? Here are my tips!

Avoid anything that’s not already portioned out. If the whole bag of chips is in front of you, you will eat the whole bag …

 

Best Cookout Accessories

The weather in New England has finally started to get nice after a long, brutal winter. It won’t be long until you start receiving invites to those summer barbecues. But what if you’re the one throwing the barbecue? Here are five fun backyard accessories to wow your guests with at your next outdoor event.
Mini Golf For Your Pool

Take a break from the traditional pool games like volleyball to play something new. This game features a floating golf hole and 12 different colored golf balls so you and your guests can keep track of who’s winning. (Intheswim.com)

A Floating Cooler

Once guests are …