Wandering Styles

A collection of my findings as an art, nature and fashion enthusiast.

Month: February, 2013

A Special Night Out

I’m a couple days behind on posting about Valentine’s, but I must say I had an exceptional evening with my boyfriend. Now, I know many people – especially my age – hate Valentine’s Day and personally, I’ve always been a little indifferent to it, but this year I decided to embrace it! I am so glad I did too! I decided to make my roommates, studio mates and friends goofy valentines to make their day. They were nothing fancy but it is always nice to get a little surprise when you least expect it. I also got my roommates some heart shaped cookies made by a local baker, because who doesn’t love treats?

Naturally, I went on a special date with my boyfriend as well. We usually like to go on dates but on a college budget we don’t treat ourselves too ofter. After a long day of classes and meetings we headed down to the North End for a 9:00 PM dinner. If you can make it till that long to eat, it is a much more relaxed and a quieter time to go to the North End. We strolled around seeing all the V-Day decorations and the water before we headed to the restaurant, La Galleria 33. I was particularly excited to try this place since I have never been there, and it was on Kitchen Nightmares, (so of course we were curious). 

Upon entering I was already impressed by the intimate yet accessible setting. The walls were exposed brick (a personal favorite of mine), the kitchen was open but not too noisy, and there were great hanging light bulbs. We were seated right by the window so we were able to enjoy the snowy view and our table had a single rose and candle adding to the intimacy. Not long after arriving we were greeted by our wonderful server offering us specials and beverages. Since it was a special occasion we ordered a bottle of a  California Pinot Grigio which was delicious, and just bitter enough for the wino I am. Like any great Italian restaurant we were served homemade bread with oil to hold us over until our entrees arrived.

The entrees were amazing, the perfect portion size to fill you up without overeating and were bursting with fresh flavors. I ordered the Linguini Vongole which had clams, white wine, lemon and garlic, and of course the pasta was homemade. It was delicious, for lack of better words. The pasta was perfect, the clams were fresh and the sauce was so flavorful and a perfect compliment to the clams. My boyfriend ordered the Penne Galleria, penne, veal, marinara, and parmesan cheese, also wonderful. The veal, which I don’t typically eat was cooked to perfection and and the pasta and sauce was a real Italian treat! While we were too full for dessert, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at La Galleria 33. They let us hang out chatting and finishing our wine with no rush at all, and one of the owners made an appearance asking how it was. I highly recommend this place to anyone who wants to enjoy Italian food with a great atmosphere, it is perfect for a special date night but also great for a night out with friends.

 

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Boston Became a Weekend Playground

This weekend has been absolutely wild for the East Coast. I’m sure many of you are all aware Blizzard Nemo came through the northeast and dropped over two feet of snow and seriously intense winds. I have not seen snow like this in years! Naturally, as a college student, when you get the notification the school is closing for two days due to a blizzard you are more than excited. But like most New Englanders that know the hype of storms I had some doubts about Nemo and was certainly proved wrong.

Nemo came on Friday morning looking far from threatening. My friends and I cooked a blizzard brunch to celebrate, I have to say a blizzard is the best reason for a big meal. We enjoyed copious amounts of coffee, eggs with cheese, peppers and caramelized onions, homemade fruit salad, bacon, sausage, avocado, some bagels and of course, locks. It was an epic start to the day. By Friday evening the blizzard was in full effect, I could not see out of any of my windows and all I could see was white. Like most people, I was curious as to what it was really like out there. So, at 1AM at the peak of the storm in Boston my roommates and I decided to take an adventure to the outdoors for some thrill. It was crazy! The street and sidewalks were not visible under the massive blanket of snow and it was well up to our knees. The best part though – we were not the only people who were outside enjoying the winter wonderland. It was as if everyone reverted back to their childhood snow adventures and people were in great moods! I have to say the highlight of that night was snowboarding down Mission Hill on the covered sidewalks, a goal of mine since I moved to Boston. It was highly entertaining and completely worth getting soaked for.

A brunch of champions

The proud moment I snowboarded down Mission Hill

Upon waking up Saturday morning and finding even more snow and all our tracks completely covered we all decided what better to do than play in the snow! Boston had transformed into a playground for all who were lucky enough to not shovel. Almost all the students of Mission Hill were walking about taking photos, sledding and building igloos. I have to say it has been one of most fun weekends I’ve had in a long time. My friends and I built an igloo largest enough for 8 people and did some sledding in an unconventional way. We all took a walk over to the park and were surprised to find tons of people sledding, skiing and snowboarding down the small hill. I never felt more like a city kid than when we had to jump a fence to get in on the festivities. Once in the park we decided to do a little sledding on my snowboard, we sat two people and enjoyed the ride – which was so funny. After some sledding I did a little snowboarding, as to make up for the fact that the weather cancelled my trip to Stowe, while it wasn’t the big mountain it was next best.

All and all it was a great weekend, but has now turned into a mess outside. It’s currently raining and all commuting students are forcing themselves out of the house to go to school. The winter wonderland now is icy and wet but thanks to Nemo, I and many others enjoyed an awesome weekend where we all felt like children again.

For those who aren’t New Englanders here’s a look of what Boston looked like Friday/Saturday, and of course some fun photos in there too.

Friday night 1AM

My backyard Saturday AM

Saturday afternoon

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My roommate and I sledding in the park on my snowboard

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Getting my snow fix

Everything Tastes Better Homemade

I cannot believe it is already February! January seemed to come and go before I could even adjust to the new year. With that being said I have finally gotten back into the swing of things again in Boston, that includes cooking. Like many people I fall into ruts with recipes I make, I have my go tos that are great but like all things they get old. So I decided it was time to do some money saving and branching out. Through one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere I found a link for homemade bagels. I had never attempted bagels before but decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised that it was easy and delicious! For anyone who loves bagels as much as myself, this is not only a great money saver, costing me $20 at most, but its fun and easy. Not to mention, the ingredients will last a pretty long time so you can get a few recipes out of it. Below are the ingredients needed and a summarized version of the recipe, again, click here for the original.

New York Styled Bagels:

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Toppings:

Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced garlic, minced onion, salt

1. Combine sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, do not stir, let it sit for five minutes. Then stir until dissolved.

2. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle for the yeast mixture.

3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well and begin mixing with your hands. Continue to add the rest of the water until dough is moist and firm, add the water in slowly.

4. On a floured countertop (use the bread flour still) kneed the dough for 10 minutes working in as much flour as your can until dough is firm.

I put my boyrfriend to work

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil to coat dough. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour. The dough will be much larger after then. Punch it down after an hour briefly and let it sit another 10 minutes.

6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a hard surface roll the dough into balls until it is a firm ball.

7. Coat a finger in flour and press into the middle of a ball to form the ring shape. Stretch the ring to about a 1/3 of the diameter (do not be alarmed when the hole shrinks throughout the process). Repeat for the 7 other dough balls and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.

8. Cover the dough with a damp dish cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 F.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to a slow roll. Place however many bagels you are comfortable with into the pot with a slotted spoon. The bagels will quickly rise to the top of the water. When they rise time them for 1-2 minutes on each side, I prefer two minutes for a chewier inside.

 

10. To add toppings (optional), create an egg wash using 1 egg and a little water. Brush the wash over one or two sides then add the toppings, the wash makes sure they stick in the oven.

11. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, bake the bagels in the oven for 20 minutes or until gold brown.

12. Cool on a wire rack or dig in!

They were delicious!!!!

 

 

Hope this recipe is useful to some of you, its great on a snowy day! Enjoy!