Friday, December 27, 2013

Nespresso Pixie Winner!

I hope you are all having a fantastic holiday season!!!  Thank you all so much for letting me in on your favorite aspects of the holiday and what makes it a "tasteful" one.  Through I have found the winner of the Nespresso Pixie Steel Prize pack!!!  Jessica- we will get it sent out to you- I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy my Nespresso!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Del Terruno Free Range Beef

This year we, here in Boston, learned a lot about the word "community".  We learned what it meant to be come together as one, to help out those who needed it and to work towards a common goal.  In the months following the bombings there were several fund raisers that were held to benefit the victims, with the intent that every piece of the profits go to the OneFund.  One of these benefits was the Boston Bites Back, a culinary event held at Fenway where Boston's best chefs came together to cook, and the residents of this city came to eat.  The intention here was to raise $1 million for the One Fund, and this meant that the chefs, while serving up inspired dishes, also must be economical with their products to make sure that as much of the profit went to the One Fund- Holliston based Del Terruno Free Range Beef company stepped in to help out- donating 100lbs of beef strip loin to the event.  An incredible donation by any standard.
Del Terruno Free Range Beef is sourced from cows who feast on fresh grass twelve months a year in Uruguay.  The cattle is never fed or treated with any type of antibiotics, animal by products or growth hormones.  This results in an incredible flavored beef.  The taste is clean allowing the true flavor of beef to be present and much leaner than ordinary beef.  This actual results in better health benefits as well.  Del Terruno beef is high in anti oxidants and beta carotene, as well as having higher levels of CLA's which have been tied to helping to fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

I had the honor of receiving samples of the product- a ribeye and a pound of their ground beef.

I started off with the ribeye which I feasted on as a celebration of kicking off a week of vacation one friday evening.  I am always amazed by the difference in the favor of grass fed free range beef.  Where average beef has a rich flavor from fat marbling throughout the cut, this had concentrated fat on the outside of the cut only creating a much leaner, lighter flavor.  However the beef itself was still tender and juicy just as you want in a good steak.  I loved this as a reward to hard work week and a way to kick off a week of fun and relaxation.

A few days later I made burgers.  Isn't there just something about a good juicy burger?  Honestly, every time I have one, whether it's during a summer bbq or at a fancy sit down restaurant or even in the comfort of my own home with snow falling outside, I am immediately brought to the relaxation and ease of a summer day.  The indulgent flavor of the beef, sandwiched between two pieces of bread, no matter the variety, it is just the ultimate finger food.  Del Turruno's beef brought all of that to life for me.  A full patty, juicy from the perfect amount of fat, with its natural grassy flavors enhanced with just a little salt and pepper.   Just as with the steak, this had a tremendously clean taste, while still satisfying that indulgent vibe that a burger does.

Del Terruno Free Range beef is quality, plain and simple.  Its flavor is pure, and every cut satisfies that meat craving without leaving you heavy and weighed down.  Their products can be found at:

Abba Restaurant – Orleans, MA

Alchemy Restaurant – Edgartown, MA

Atlantic Fish & Chop House –Edgartown, MA

Atria Restaurant – Edgartown, MA

Ceres Bistro – Worcester, MA

Détente – Edgartown, MA

L’etoile Restaurant – Edgartown, MA

Ferreti’s Market – Brewster, MA

Marty’s Fine Wines, Gourment Foods & Spirits – Newton, MA

Noon Hill Grill – Medfield, MA

Sweet Life Café – Oak Bluffs, MA

Taranta – Boston, MA

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reader Feedback: Falling in Love with My New Nespresso!

This past summer I had the incredibly joy to host my very first Nespresso give away.  The winner of the Pixie machine with Aeroccino+ was so delighted to have won, that he immediately offered to write a post about his experience with the machines after he'd gotten in a few months of use.  I immediately accepted that offer knowing that he'd love the machines.  This past weekend I received his thoughts and couldn't wait to share them with you!

"So after I won the Nespresso Pixie Steel Prize Package (Thank you to
Photo courtesy of A Drucker
Nespresso and A Boston Food Diary), I told Fiona that I would like to write a guest blog post as a thank you and talk a little about my Nespresso experience.  What can I say, it has been nothing short of amazing.  In the past whenever I would travel and stay in a hotel with a Nespresso machine I would become super giddy, and then immediately make about 4 coffees.  Maybe not the best idea, but man did I enjoy it.  Now that I have my own, I don’t feel like I need to drink as many as I can at one time, but rather I take the time to savor and enjoy each of my drinks.

After using my Nespresso for a few months now I have come to appreciate a few key things about it.  First, I know exactly what I am going get each and every time I turn it on, an amazing cup of coffee at the push of a button.  There are also so many different choices as far as flavors go that almost anybody will be able to find a style they enjoy.  I myself like very bold, strong flavored coffee, and after trying a few different types I have settled on the Kazaar blend as my favorite.  It packs quite an intense flavor into its little capsule, but I absolutely love it.
The second thing I love about my Nespresso machine is the milk frother.  It really is amazing!  It is so much fun to press a button and then a few seconds later have my choice of either hot or cold milk foam.  (Its also great for entertaining as everyone who sees this thing in action is wowed).  Now, you might ask the logical question of what is one to do with all this milk foam.  I have finally learned how to make a great cappuccino. When I first started making my own coffee, all I had was coffee with a little milk in it.   Now however lattes, cappuccinos you name it, no problem!
In short, I now get a perfect cup of coffee anytime I want one, in an incredibly short amount of time.  In addition to making just regular coffee, with the milk frother I can now make all types of more complex coffee beverages with ease.  I really do love my Nespresso machine!"

I LOVED reading that- because it's exactly how I feel about my Nespresso!  One simple touch and I'm enjoying lattes and cappuccino's like a pro!  Lucky for all of you- we have another give away of the exact same machine going on right now!  Check it out:

HoneyBaked Ham Winner!

Good morning all!

I have to say- I LOVED reading through all of your favorite holiday party snacks!  Every single one made me incredibly hungry and gave me tons of ideas about what to bring to my upcoming gatherings! has picked a winner for the HoneyBaked Ham gift card- and it is Erica T!  Erica- Ill send you a quick email shortly

Thanks again all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Tasteful Nespresso Holiday - and a Give Away!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...or is it?  Don't get me wrong - this is by far my favorite time of the year.  I love snow.  I love the merry decorations that make this city even more gorgeous.  I love the change in peoples attitudes, as though there really is magic out there and we're all looking for it.  However, I often find that this season is so rushed, it's so hectic and hurried with shopping, and end of year projects, and parties and friends in from out of town that we tend to miss the most wonderful parts of this season- the enjoyment of it.
I got to hit the ski slopes early this year, so early that I was one of very few people there so I capitalized on the empty mountain to practice, work on my form, try to get as parallel as possible- and then I realized that I was missing it.  I was missing the gorgeousness of the scene around me- the views of mountaintops as far as I

could see, snow covered trees, and the gentle quiet.  So I stopped.  I looked around and appreciated.  I feel that during this hectic time, we all need a little reminder to do the same- stop, breathe and realize the beauty of everything around us.  I'm waxing a bit poetic here, but I think it's the perfect time to stop and smell the roses- or the fireplace burning - as the case may be.

This really is the time of the year to take a moment though.  It's the time to sit back and enjoy everything that you can be grateful for- whether it be family, friends, a place to rest your feet...

So here's what I'm thinking.  Nespresso, in their infinite wisdom, is looking to concentrate this year on a Tasteful Holiday.  To me, that is taking those moments to step back and enjoy every second that I can.  To smell the evergreens, to bask in the glow of candles, to munch down sugar cookies and sip eggnog, and to enjoy every moment that I can with those I love, near and far.  I truly want to taste every second, every inch of every every day as this season progresses.

I'd love to hear what makes for a Tasteful Holiday in your book?  Is it finding that choice gift that you just know will make the recipient smile?  Is it strolling through a snowy street?  Is it listening to carols?  Figure skating on a frozen pond?  Leave me a comment with what makes for a Tasteful Holiday to you and Ill enter you to win a brand new Pixie Steel machine, and an Aeroccino to help you enjoy that holiday season.  Please be 18 years of age or older, live in the continental US and leave me an email address that I can contact you through!  Deadline for entries is Monday, December 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nespresso UMilk Give Away Winner!

And the winner is....

In the number one position- Richard!  Richard Ill be contacting you soon!

HoneyBaked Ham Giveaway

Ever since I was a kid I remember HoneyBaked Hams at friends holiday parties.  I relished the salty ham and the crispy sweet exterior, often eating far more than my fair share.  I am not alone in these memories.  For over  40 years, HoneyBaked Hams has been a staple on holiday tables, with their crowning glory of their hams, and a variety of side dishes.  These additions make being the perfect host look effortless.

In honor of the holiday season, HoneyBaked Hams would like to offer a reader of A Boston Food Diary a $100.00 gift card to make all of your entertaining needs easier and more relaxed.  

Please leave me a comment on this post describing your favorite holiday party snack, and an email address so I'm able to contact you.  Contest ends on December 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST. Entrants should be over the age of 18, and legal US residents.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bavarian Sliders with Kayem Minis

I can't lie, one of my favorite packages to receive in the mail is the Box O' Meat from Kayem Foods.  As the official hot dog provider for both the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, they definitely evoke a feeling of fandom from me, and with their natural casings creating a perfect snap in their dogs, my fan feeling grows even more.

We are, of course, in the midst of the holiday season and as such Kayem sent over a Box O' Meat with a recipe to check out for upcoming holiday parties and football viewing gatherings.  I ended up enjoying the recipe far more than I had anticipated (as I helped myself to seconds).  They had selected the Bavarian Sliders for me to check out and with the mix of a salty pretzel roll, tangy sauerkraut, tender mini franks and nutty Jarlesberg Cheese, these little guys were addictive!  They are a perfect addition to a football party to keep one hand available for high fives and the other filled with a delicious snack.

Bavarian Sliders with Kayem Minis
Serves 12
Prep and Cook Time:  20 Minutes

24          Kayem Minis Beef Cocktail Franks
2½ tbsp  butter, unsalted
1½ cups  sauerkraut, low sodium
¼ cup     white wine (optional)
4 oz        Jarlsberg Cheese, thinly sliced and cut into 1 ½ square pieces
1 tbsp     Dijon mustard
12          Soft pretzel mini buns, sliced in half

Preheat broiler
Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in a small sauté pan and lightly brown the cocktail minis over medium heat.  In a separate pan, heat the sauerkraut with the wine.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and brush the tops and bottoms of the pretzel buns.  Place on a baking sheet and lightly brown under the broiler.  Note:  watch carefully so they don't burn.
To assemble, brush pretzel bottoms with Dijon mustard.  Top with sauerkraut, 2 minis each and a slice of cheese.  Place under the broiler, allowing the cheese to melt and bubble.
Finish with the pretzel bun tops and serve immediately!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Win a Nespresso UMilk!

Have you visited the Nespresso Boutique on Newbury Street lately?  A couple of months ago they re opened a newly redesigned space.  The new space allows us to shop the full Nespresso line of machines, try out their newest or oldest crus, and purchase our favorite coffees, as well as now giving us the opportunity to order one of their delicious coffee drinks, and a full menu of delicious breakfast and lunch items.  If you haven't yet paid them a visit, I urge you to soon.  Whether you own a machine or not, the boutique presents itself as a bit of an oasis, like giant sigh of relief hits you as you enter the store.  The whole experience is relaxing, and indulgent. 

As lucky as we are to have a Nespresso Boutique here in Boston, Nespresso's ultimate goal is to help us all achieve the same feeling of relaxation and indulgence within our own homes.  Their machines are designed to fit any decor, any space and each is designed to produce the perfect cup every time you use it.   In honor of this holiday season, when, lets face it, we all need a little more decadence in our lives, Nespresso has offered to send a reader of A Boston Food Diary a brand new UMilk machine!  

Photo courtesy of Nespresso USA
Combining the space efficient design of the U Machine with an Aerocinno machine, the UMilk makes the perfect espresso, latte and cappucino over and over again- the best way to wake up after that holiday party or end your favorite meal. 

To enter, please leave me a comment describing your favorite way to relax during this busy time, as well as your name and email address.  The contest will run until 5:00 pm EST on Monday, December 9, 2013.  Please be 18 years of age or older, and a legal US resident to enter.

Restaurant Reviews: A dead art?

Last December I declared 2023 the year I would return to food writing.  It was a bold statement (even now as I look at my last published dat...