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When March rolls around, it seems like Boston’s event season starts to kick into full force. The December holidays usually bring work holiday parties, friend and family visits, and lots of travel here and there, at least for us. January and February are the post-holiday lull, and then March arrives. The weather is supposed to be better, there’s more daylight, and the invitations to charity events in Boston start to roll in. One of my favorite events that happens every March is Spoonful of Ginger, a benefit for Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative. Held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Spoonful of Ginger features chefs from around the Boston area serving up bites of Asian-inspired deliciousness.
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As you can imagine, the event space is gorgeous. I just adore visiting the MFA and could wander its halls for hours. Another thing I love about this event is that people get pretty dressed up. Who doesn’t love donning a dress and heels on a Monday night? I work in a pretty casual agency, and I am starting to make it my mission to dress up more often.

tuna tartare

Daisy and I made short work of our tasting, visiting the tables that were the least crowded first, and making our way to the others as the crowds dissipated. There were so many delicious bites, and I was full in no time. I could have easily parked myself at the Lotus Blossom table, where we feasted on mini lobster tacos and tuna tartare with truffle on crispy taro root, which is apparently beneficial to patients with diabetes.

Basho

Basho’s sushi boats were a hit with the crowds, and they reminded me that it’s been way too long since my last Basho sushi fix.

lobster bisque

I made my way back to Shojo’s table twice; Nick Lee’s  lobster bisque with truffle foam was warm, velvety, and perfect for the chilly gray March day.

 

Bao Boston

Crowds flocked to the Bao table for bao and the good energy the chef was putting forth. Looks like Bao will be a hit in Boston!

Empire Restaurant

Other favorites included these rolls from Empire. I’ll fully admit that I have a bit of thing against Empire because of their awful television commercial. I can’t stand when restaurants have commercials; it makes me not want to visit them. This sushi was out of this world though; I had at least two and longingly looked at the table each time I passed. We definitely ate well at Spoonful of Ginger; it was fun being able to taste food from many restaurants I have never even heard of. I clearly need to get out and about more often and to try some of the  lesser-known (to me) restaurants we encountered at this event.

dancers

To top it all off, Spoonful of Ginger offers some great music and entertainment, education about diabetes in Asian communities, and recognition of honorees each year. This year we heard from Ming Tsai, who shared that Boston celebrity chef Jasper White (also in attendance) is is hero for changing his own lifestyle when being diagnosed with diabetes. It all definitely made me think about my own eating habits and was a good reminder to cherish and take care of my health.

Do you have a favorite charity event? Do you think it’s weird that I avoid restaurants that have TV commercials? :)

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Tags: Boston, events, Food, fundraising, health, MFA, musums, Spoonful of Ginger, wine

With our Boston Marathon fundraiser coming up in just a few days, Marie and I have decided to open up the fabulous fundraising raffle to our friends and family who can’t actually be at the event in person. We have been really wowed by the generosity of the businesses that have donated great prizes. We have a combined $10,000 to raise for The ALLY Foundation with less than two months to go until Marathon Monday.

The event is going to be full of fun people, and we just found out that Double Cross Vodka has agreed to sponsor the first drink of the evening. I first tried their vodka in delicious cocktails at The Liberty Hotel, and I have been a fan since. The company does a lot for charity, especially The ALLY Foundation, and we are so happy to have their support.

If you can make it on Saturday, even just to say hi,  we would love to have you!

But if you can’t you are welcome to try your luck at some raffle prizes!

Buying a raffle ticket online is easy! Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $12. To “buy” one, visit my fundraising page, and in the comments put Raffle plus the name of the prize or prizes you would like to enter to win. At the event itself we will be putting out bowls at each item and asking people to drop their raffle tickets in the bowl with the item they want to win. We will simply add your raffle ticket to the bowl for you!

And here’s a little information about the companies and the prizes they have donated.

Savin Bar + Kitchen – This is a seriously fabulous business. Not only do we love their food and cocktails, but they have really provided a nice space for the people of Dorchester to go out at reasonable prices and high quality. Their owner has been so supportive and generous with letting us plan and host our Boston Marathon event at the restaurant, but they are also throwing in a private chef dinner for 6 for the raffle!

The ALLY Foundation - Our marathon charity is giving us a sail bag from Vineyard Vines ($90 value), chock full of goodies including two tickets to the party of the summer, The Flip Flop Regatta ($250 value)

Brugal Rum – We’ve been big fans of Brugal ever since trying it at The Urban Grape last year, and Brugal has been generous enough to offer us a gift basket of four rums: Blanco Especial, Anejo, Extra Viejo and 1888 along with a hat and shirt. ($175 value)

Cow & Crumb Baking Co. – Many thanks to Elizabeth for introducing me to Hilary, Cow & Crumb’s owner. If you were at the Boston Brunchers birthday party, you likely tried Cow & Crumb cookies from the gift bag and no doubt loved them. Hilary is donating two dozen fresh baked cookies to a lucky raffle winner!

Edgeware Ceramic Edge Gourmet Electric – Every chef or home cook knows the importance of sharp knives. Edgeware makes that happen with this state-of-the-art electric knife sharpener. I wish I could enter to win!

Karma Dawn Yoga – 90 minute private yoga class – Karma is a neighbor of ours, and she is an incredible yoga instructor who teaches at various places around Boston. She is a really lovely, warm, and healing presence. Whoever wins this prize is going to absolutely love it! If you’re looking for a great yoga instructor, check her schedule out: www.karmadawnyoga.com/schedule

Le Creuset Nonstick Shallow Fry Pan  – Le Creuset is pretty much my favorite cookware company ever. Their items are well-made, beautiful, and last forever and ever. This pan will be a great addition to any kitchen.

The Liberty Hotel – The Liberty Hotel is one of Boston’s swankiest places to sit back and people watch with a cocktail. Its architecture and décor, inspired by the property’s days as a prison, is worth the visit alone, and its restaurants, Alibi, Clink, and Scampo pretty much mean you never have to leave. The Liberty Hotel has donated one weekend night for us to raffle off at a value of

Nespresso Pixie espresso machine(in Titan), and Aeroccino Milk Foamer  – We absolutely love our Nespresso machine. The coffee is incredibly rich, high quality, the machine works perfectly every time, and it looks pretty cool on our counter too.

North River Outfitter – $100 gift card and Patagonia jacket ($99 value)

 

Stop & Shop – The kind people at Stop & Shop have donated a $100 gift card for us to raffle off. You can get pretty much any food or household cleaning item at Stop & Shop. They have a great selection, and this card will definitely make grocery shopping a treat.

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If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I ran the 2010 Boston Marathon on Team ALLY for The ALLY Foundation. If you missed it, check out my marathon recap; it is one of my proudest days :)

In the 10 months or so since I decided to join Team ALLY, the foundation’s work has become very important to me, and I jumped at the chance to buy tickets for their Pink for a Change Gala at Beacon Rock Mansion in Newport, RI.

The dress theme of the event was festive pink attire, and believe me, I stressed about what to wear. In the end, and at the last second on the day before, I found a dress that ended up being just perfect, if I do say so myself ;)

On the way to Newport we stopped at Travessia Urban Winery in New Bedford, MA for our wine club event and to catch the heartbreaking last 30 minutes of the US World Cup game. I’m still proud of how our team played, and when Americans catch on that soccer is way more athletic and interesting than our national pastime, we will have an even better team!

We arrived at Beacon Rock Mansion after driving through downtown Newport which is one of my favorite places to spend a summer day.

The mansion had a long driveway that eventually led to this view.

Newport Harbor

Beacon Rock Mansion  

Each side of the palatial home was flanked by harbor views for miles around, to the left, Sail Newport, straight ahead, Goat Island, and farther off, downtown Newport. We stopped for a photo op.

Newport Harbor

Newport Harbor Newport

And had another once inside

Pink for a Change Gala

The Beacon Rock Mansion was decorated simply for the event in The ALLY Foundation pink and green, and there were photos of Ally, her friends, and foundation supporters throughout the downstairs.

The ALLY Foundation

Part of the fundraising efforts for the evening was a silent auction, and I was so grateful when Cakebread Cellars responded to my request for a donation with this cookbook, apron, and hat. The ALLY Foundation included me as part of their Gala Committee, and I was glad to be able to help in some way.

Cakebread auction donation

The food for the event was FANTASTIC. It was cocktail party style eating, my favorite way to go, and there were passed hors d’œuvre like Kobe beef sliders, puffs filled with brie and jam, shrimp, clam cakes, spanakopita, and sushi rolls passed all evening long.

There was also a raw bar with a constant supply of delicious oysters, littleneck clams, shrimp, and lobster.

Newport raw bar

Littleneck Clams

Inside there was a station set up with crudite, cheese, and baskets of grilled bread with various spreads. Don’t worry, I spilled some amazing olive tapenade on my dress. You can’t take me anywhere. . .

chesse platter crudite

delicious food station

The party was fun and festive, and while rain threatened and I felt a few drops, it never poured, at least as long as we were there. Luckily, we got to spend the entire time outside, and we were entertained by a really great cover band, The Rolling Who?. I may have even danced a little.

 

Beacon Rock Mansion

I am so grateful that the weather held off, because it would have been a shame to have to miss views like these.

Beacon Rock Mansion

 Beacon Rock Mansion

Newport Harbor

All in all a very lovely evening was had by all, and I look forward to this event next year. If you live in the Boston area, The ALLY Foundation’s next event is their Flip Flop Regatta in Charlestown. It looks like quite the party, and I am hoping to attend.

I hope you all enjoy your Sunday. There will be more World Cup watching for us as well as wine tasting at Bin Ends Wine and some family visits. Our adorable nephews are visiting from Italy, and they are SO much fun!

Have a good day everyone!

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Tags: Food, fundraising, Newport, party, The ALLY Foundation, wine

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