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We are embracing winter this year! If you’ve been reading/following me on social media, you might know that summer is far and away my favorite time of year, and I have a really hard time dealing with dark and cold.

Last winter and recently I have read articles on the Danish concept of hygge, the idea of coziness and a positive state of mind and mental well being. Hygge is about the feelings that come from creating a cozy space and positivity, and I am trying my best to keep this concept in mind.

After a very busy work week, we had a quiet Friday night in by the fire. Friday happened to be Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Christmas in Irish. This is celebrated as a day for women, who tend to do much of the Christmas shopping and cooking, to relax. And relax I did! My husband waited on me with our favorite Indian takeout as I sat with sparkling wine by the fire. We watched The Missing (so good!) and went to bed early.

sparkling wine by the fire  

With hours of cozy sleep under our belts, Saturday morning was full of energy, and we walked to our favorite Irish bakery, Greenhills Bakery in Adams Village for giant cups of tea and a shared chocolate croissant. Hearing Irish spoken in Boston is always a delight, and we soaked up the homey atmosphere before walking a bit more in the snow and deciding a proper brunch at Lucy’s, also in Adams Village, was necessary!

Greenhills Bakery

Look at that biscuit!

The food at Lucy’s is delicious, and with snow falling outside, there was such  cozy vibe inside. We lingered over our meals, not checking phones, just talking and watching the snow fall before venturing out for our beautiful winter wonderland walk home.

 Lucy's Dorchester

snow day

  After another quiet night in, we decided that Sunday should be for hiking at World’s End. We should have brought our snowshoes, but instead laughed and trudged through the drifts to get to high points, where we enjoyed amazing coastal views. It was SO fun.

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham

Hiking always works up an appetite, and especially when it’s snow hiking, so we headed to nearby Hingham Shipyard to try Trident Galley & Raw Bar. They had live music, an incredible brunch menu, and excellent service.

Trying to be a little healthy, we shared a beet salad and the short rib hash, which was a spot-on recommendation. It was amazing.

short rib hash

I love splitting plates like this; we were full but didn’t feel awful, and we got a taste of a couple of great dishes. The live music was a nice touch as well. Covers of old favorites, not-too-loud, and uplifting, it was a lovely addition to brunch.

 

Trident Hingham

 

Hingham Shipyard

After even MORE outdoor wandering at the Shipyard, we decided we needed a little bit more time outside, and stopped at the Milton Yacht Club on the way home to capture the setting sun and beautiful late afternoon winter light.

Milton Yacht Club 

I thawed out with a hot Epsom salt bath before pouring a glass of Navarra wine and whipping up Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup (with kale).

chicken bacon stew

It was the perfect weekend. I realize I can either hate this time of year or spend more time being grateful for all I have to get through it – food, shelter, warmth, love. I think if I can keep that focus, I can make it to spring!

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Tags: brunch, cooking, Dorchester, hiking, Hingham, Nature, New England, outdoors, recipes, snow, winter

The dog days of summer have meant very little cooking in these parts. There’s  been a lot of boat snacking and patio dining at our Dorchester favorites and many nights where some cheese and crackers made the meal. The one saving grace to our wallets and waistlines was our July Just Add Cooking week. As in past blog posts, Just Add Cooking kindly provided me with three meals to blog about. I’ve become a huge fan of the meals and local ingredients and just recently got a friend a gift card for a baby gift.

green gazpacho

It’s been HOT in Boston (and I am loving it), so two of my meal choices were cold meals, Gazpacho and Shrimp Ceviche and a super easy Chicken Caesar Salad.

I love ceviche but had never made it before, so I was a little nervous. As always, with the ingredients and instructions at the ready, Just Add Cooking made it simple. I absolutely loved the ceviche and gazpacho combo. It was well thought out and felt like air conditioning for the whole body. Plus it had a nice kick to it, always a bonus for me!

chicken caesar salad

The Caesar Salad was good, nothing out-of-the-ordinary, but a solid summer dinner that was delicious, made even more so by grilling the chicken. The recipe called for mushrooms, which I found a little odd for a Caesar salad, so I left them out and used them in something else. I like the guidance that Just Add Cooking provides but also the flexibility to make small changes here and there.

Our final meal of the week was the Italian Beef and Vegetable Sauté, which got a ton of flavor from sundried tomatoes. It was definitely more of a fall or winter meal, very comforting and rustic, and something I would definitely make again when it’s a little cooler. 

 

Italian Beef and Vegetable Saute

I am hoping the next few weeks are all out garden and farmers market eating, and then I am looking forward to getting on a cooking schedule that includes a week or two a month of Just Add Cooking. While I am enjoying the many weeks of summer left, I also know that fall will be busy!

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Tags: Boston blogger, cooking, Food, food blog, Just Add Cooking, summer

For past Just Add Cooking posts, click here, here, and here!

As part of my affiliate partnership with Just Add Cooking, I receive a portion of the payment for any new orders made using the code TRAVEL. I will be donating any referral fees I receive to Boston’s Forgotten Felines who are doing awesome work taking care of the many, many abandoned cats on the streets of Boston.

It’s no secret that I love Just Add Cooking, and as my three month partnership comes to an end, I know that I will be ordering at least once a month. Having everything portioned out perfectly for recipes and knowing what I am going to make for three dinners each week is the best. And Just Add Cooking sources ingredients locally from right here in New England.

My Just Add Cooking June Meals:

Jambalaya

jambalaya

Our first meal of the week was a delicious Jambalaya. I loved that this recipe was super easy and the rice went right into the pan with everything else to cook, making clean up easy as well. I loved the addition of cloves to the dish and the sour cream topping; the contrast of the two was really interesting and ended up making the meal for me. This made leftovers for two lunches in addition to a filling dinner, which is always a bonus for me. I hate figuring out work day lunches!

 

Chicken and Cauliflower

chicken and cauliflower

I accidentally filled my social calendar last week and was out for dinner a lot, so this second meal ended up being a couple of days of lunch. Working from home allows me the flexibility to sometimes cook during the day, and I love it!

This Chicken and Cauliflower Two Ways was the perfect veggie and protein meal and incorporated cauliflower both seared and mashed. I love mashed cauliflower as a veggie side, and this one included just the perfect amount of cream.  Bacon and chives brought this dish together, offering a lot of flavor without a ton of fat or salt.

 

Grilled Vegetables and Feta Pita

grilling   

The third dish of the week was Grilled Vegetables and Feta Pita which we ended up not being able to make until Friday. Luckily, all of the ingredients held up well, and we may have cheated and added flank steak. Staying home and grilling on a Friday night is my all time favorite way to spend summer Fridays, and this meal was perfect. It was super easy, and the ingredients were so flavorful, especially that feta!

Overall, I would definitely order and make these meals again. Thank you to Just Add Cooking for providing this delicious cooking experience for me!

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Tags: cooking, Food, food blogger, Just Add Cooking, recipes

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