Pia's Profile

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October 2014 Openings and Closings

Details on the moral turpitude?

Oct 23, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

El Diez Food Truck

Pictures are on their website: http://www.eldiez.us/gallery-3/ (click on "Starters"

)

Although the beef filling that I got looked a little different -- it was looser, with visible pieces of red (chile?) pepper.

Both the chicken and beef empanadas had small pieces of onion and pepper mixed into the filling. I think the beef empanada has small pieces of hard-boiled egg too (or at least something resembling hard-cooked egg white). The chicken empanada has lots of whole (pitted) green olives. Both were juicier than the ones I make at home, which makes them a little messy to eat.

Both empanadas were great. My only complaint was the wait -- I arrived after 1 and it took a full half-hour from getting on line (5 people ahead of me) to getting my food. Maybe the baked empanadas would be faster? By default they give you the fried ones, and they hand them to you right out of the fryer.

Oct 17, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Rainbow cookies, in the North End (Boston)

Modern is my favorite. Once I got them from Modern, Mike's, and Maria's to do a side-by-side comparison. I would rate them Modern, Maria's, Mike's, but they're all good.

Get some extra for yourself, they're delicious!

Oct 16, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Half hour pudding.

Look for "pudding cake." I didn't have luck googling for pumpkin pudding cake -- the ones I found were just moist cakes -- but here's an example of a chocolate pudding cake: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

and here's a lemon: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/le...

Oct 08, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Flour Bakery

I'm not hating on Flour, although I don't love everything there, but in answer to your question (I'm assuming you're talking about sweet stuff since there's a consensus here that the savory menu items are good at Flour):
South End - Madeleine
Fort Point - now that Sportello bakery counter is closed, Flour is the best option; Bee's Knees next door is an alternative
Central - Petsi Pies for muffins/scones and Darwin's for Lakota Bakery cookies are good alternatives

Oct 03, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

I was disappointed when I heard about the change, but on a recent visit I found that the limited dinner menu still offered inventive and delicious food -- just fewer choices. That was OK with me and didn't really affect my dining experience.

Oct 03, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

35 minute dinner party prep

Skip the marinara, very briefly saute some garlic and chopped tomatoes and toss that with the ravioli, arugula, and parmesan.

If you're going to Trader Joe's anyway, swap out the cannoli for their pumpkin cheesecake, and drizzle storebought caramel sauce on top.

Oct 02, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking
2

The new Rosebud, Davis Square

Great review! The menu really is all over the place -- char siu, cavatelli, duck confit flatbread, nachos with a potato chip base instead of tortilla chips. But it all sounds tasty (and they should borrow your description of the Rachel for their menu, I bet orders would double). Do you think it's kid-friendly, or is it more of an adult place?

Oct 02, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Flour Bakery

I agree with this completely.

Here's what I think is great at Flour:
- Bread
- Bite-size tarts

Very good:
- Sandwiches
- Stuffed bread
- Most baked goods, especially cookies and brioche-based baked goods

OK to good:
- Soup
- Salads (they tend to be overdressed)
- Cake (I find the frostings too sweet and heavy)
- Sticky buns - too sweet for me
- Bread pudding and trifle

Oct 02, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

What are you baking these days? September 2014, part 2! [old]

Me too. Crust from the Flour Bakery cookbook, filling a hybrid -- 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3T flour, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, lime juice (didn't have lemon) and a good pinch of cardamom, my secret apple pie ingredient. My 3-year old went on an apple-picking field trip this week and begged all week for us to make apple pie. We spent all day making it, and I let him do as much as possible including rolling out the dough. Then when dessert time rolled around, he just ate the ice cream. Anyway, the pie was delicious and my husband wouldn't let me bring any to the neighbors.

Sep 28, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Most difficult ingredient ever!

I love MickiYam's ideas. You could also chop them finely and incorporate them into a crust for some sort of sweet/savory tart.

Sep 25, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Beer of the Month Clubs delivered to Massachusetts

Not what you asked, but here is an alternative: Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont has a fantastic selection and the people there are very nice and knowledgeable. They also allow mixed 6-packs. You could get a few 6-packs so he could taste a lot of different beers. (Or if you're doing the "beer of the month" and you want something to hand him on the day of your anniversary, you could supplement the club subscription with that.)

Sep 22, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Can you freeze barfi and other Indian sweets?

Anything in syrup (rasgullas/chum chum) won't freeze well. Sandesh can normally be frozen. If it has a firm texture and it doesn't have a lot of liquid it should be OK.

Sep 21, 2014
Pia in General Topics

Buy a Chicken Pot pie or 8

I tried the one from Centerville Pies and didn't like it at all. The chicken was tough and dry.

But who knows, maybe I got a bad one; anyway, they sell these and a variety of Centerville Pies frozen at Kay's in Watertown, on Bigelow Ave. off Mount Auburn Street.

Sep 08, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Overthinking

I'm with you. No matter how many times this happens, I never seen to learn my lesson. Last week I made a nice pot of lentil vegetable soup. Squeezed some lemon in, perfect. But maybe it would be even better with a little more lemon juice? No. It just tasted sour.

Sep 05, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Easy home cooking?

Here's what I made tonight:
- Boil a pot of water
- Put in pasta
- Put in precooked chicken sausages so they cook for 8 min
- Put in broccoli for the last minute

Worked out great -- everything cooked in one pot, almost no prep.

Sep 04, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking
1

Easy home cooking?

Congratulations on not eating fast food in a month! With 4 kids, very impressive. Here are some easy meals that will feed a large family:

- Spaghetti and meatballs; you can either make a huge batch of meatballs and freeze most of them for future meals, or I think there's no shame in buying pre-made frozen ones. Meatballs and sauce can go in the crockpot, or you can bake the meatballs in the oven and toss everything with sauce.

- Quiche or frittata. Cheap and easy, and healthy and wholesome too. Frittata doesn't require a crust, for quiche you can use premade crust if homemade is too daunting. Cook up whatever veggies you have (onions, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, spinach are good), add some optional meat (like sausage, ham, or bacon), whisk eggs and pour them over.

- Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs + jar of salsa + crock pot. Serve over rice or as tacos with corn tortillas.

- Meatloaf with ground turkey. Finely chopped (or food-processed) mushrooms, onions, and carrots are good add-ins.

- Pasta with garlic, spinach, white beans, and grated cheese.

- Pasta bake: whatever veggies you have, whatever cheese you have, tomato sauce, throw together and bake.

- Fish (salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, roast at 400 for 10 minutes per inch thickness) or fishsticks + salad.

I have a kid who hates cooked vegetables, so I usually chop up some carrots, peppers, or cucumbers as a side vegetable. Roasted vegetables are good too. Or in the freezer section of the grocery store, you can buy bags of veggies that you throw right in the microwave to steam them, and when they're done you can mix in butter and herbs, or premade pesto, or salt and pepper or whatever you want.

Sep 04, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking
1

Buy a Chicken Pot pie or 8

I love the pot pies at Petsi Pies. My favorite pot pie ever. But they're pricey -- a 10 inch pies costs $25 -- so maybe not the best if you need 8. Also, it's a good idea to call ahead and check if they have them.

Sep 04, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

ISO the best noodle for lo mein

I came in to suggest Russo's too. Yellow, chewy noodles. These are fresh noodles.

Aug 31, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

New Half Sour Pickles at my local Market Basket.

Star Market on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge also has pickles from Farm Ridge Foods, but they are packaged differently. Good stuff, I like them more than Grillo's which was my previous favorite.

Aug 31, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

DIrty Family Secrets

When both my kids were tiny, they would happily eat slices of butter by themselves (when they could get them). And I guess it's basically the same as extra-creamy cheese.

Aug 28, 2014
Pia in General Topics

Rolled Cookie Recipe for Favors

Cute idea! Rolled cookies aren't my strength either. If I were in your position, I would bake a sheet of cookies (one big rectangle), cut out rounds with a 2-inch round cookie cutter, and roll the sides in something pretty (like colored sugar crystals) to disguise that you cut them out. Then put the prints on top.

Aug 25, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

Hamersley's is closing??!! How did I miss that? I somehow just assumed it would always be there...

Anyway, on topic, get over your dislike of Cambridge and you will greatly expand your options. Each restaurant is different, there is no unified "dining scene" and the people eating in Cambridge are more or less the same as the ones eating in the rest of greater Boston.

Aug 20, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

any thoughts on L'Andana?

I've only been there once, but felt the exact same way. Food was good, but to me the ambiance was chain-restaurant-like.

Aug 20, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area

Clueless cook with parents dropping by (long)

Looks beautiful and I'm sure your parents loved that you went to so much effort for them! I would be so touched if my kids put so much thought into cooking a meal for me. (They're still little and would probably burn down the house in the process.) I like your breakfast platter idea -- simple but perfect.

Aug 11, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Peaches are SO wonderful right now...

Do you have a recipe you'd be willing to share? I have never heard of this, but it sounds great! Googling produces a number of recipes that are all pretty different from each other, so a tried and true one would be great.

Aug 08, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Peaches are SO wonderful right now...

I've made this with amaretto and vanilla instead of cinnamon and rum... really good! Broiling works too, with a little sugar sprinkled on top.

Aug 08, 2014
Pia in Home Cooking

Dear New York: San Francisco's Haute Dog Will Crush Your Cronuts

Cute name. This is basically a large pig in a blanket, which is one of the most delicious foods ever invented. Subtract the beet chips and it's less "haute," but still sounds like a great idea.

Jul 23, 2014
Pia in Features

Which is the best vanilla ice cream?

I agree! I thought I was the only one. I bought two gallons of it (Costco...) and to me it tastes like they dumped in way too much vanilla extract.

Jul 18, 2014
Pia in General Topics
1

Day in Boston - where to eat Italian? Other suggestions?

If you're not looking for a sit-down meal, get takeout from Casa Razdora, and sit and eat it in the park in nearby Post Office Square.

Jul 13, 2014
Pia in Greater Boston Area
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