one more for 2013

One more craft show, that is!  I know I know, I said the last one would be my last one for the year but this one came up and I couldn’t resist the urge to join in, especially because it is at Gather Here!   So mark your calendar for Sunday, December 8th and stop by to say hello if you’re in the neighborhood.  I’ll be there along with Zooguu, Made in Lowell, Kim O’Brien, and the Orange Owl from 12 to 7 pm.


Of course with it taking place at a yarn and fabric store, I’ll have some new crafty themed card designs available along with the Christmas-y and holiday-y ones.  Hope to see you there!


market (boston)

We celebrated our second anniversary last Tuesday by having dinner at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Market restaurant in downtown Boston. It’s in the lobby of the new W hotel on Stuart Street so it was easy to take the red line to Park Street from Harvard Square.

It had been so long since we’ve been in that part (the theatre district) of town so we didn’t even realize that a W hotel had opened up there. I have to say, the W is probably my favorite chain of hotels, especially after we stayed at one in Seattle. The lobby of this one is really cool and so modern. They have a lounge area with big leather couches surrounded by sheer drapes. It would be a really nice place to hang out in after work for drinks some time.

The first thing that we both noticed and commented on after being seated inside the restaurant was the decor, more specifically the use of wood on the walls and on the ceiling. The atmosphere and ambience in Market is relaxed yet chic and refined. The decor was simple yet interesting at the same time. They had these cool rock vases holding daisies on each table. The rocks are real, believe it or not, with a hole drilled into them so they can hold water and the flowers.

We decided to get a half bottle of wine and enjoyed the St. Supery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. It was a really nice cabernet and went well with all of the food we had that night. (Note to self: definitely need to visit their winery during our next California trip.)

They had delicious sourdough bread for us to enjoy before our food arrived, which was a good thing because we were both pretty hungry. We shared the sea scallop appetizer dish and could not get over how delicious each morsel was. Seriously! I think we both could’ve eaten ten more plates of it all night. It’s served with caramelized cauliflower and a caper-raisin emulsion.

I explained to our waitress that I am allergic to cracked red pepper and bell peppers. She came back to our table to let us know that the sauce for the scallops contained cayenne pepper so the chef put it on the side for us. I have to give them two thumbs up for this because I’ve had several experiences where wait staff and/or kitchen staff don’t know/realize/remember what spices come from bell peppers. Things like paprika and Old Bay seasoning. The biggest one is whenever I order a burger and tell them to hold the tomato because of that allergy, yet 9 times out of 10, the waiter will bring me ketchup for my fries.

I had the lobster entree for dinner, and wow! Talk about a fantastic plate! I usually don’t order lobster at a restaurant because, let’s face it, it’s usually quite boring if it’s served with just butter. This was served with butter fried garlic over sauteed spinach and some julienned ginger. It normally has dried chili on it but they were omitted due to my food allergies. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the presentation of the dish was for at least a couple of minutes, and then I couldn’t stop talking about how delicious it was.

But my husband probably didn’t hear very much of my ooohing and ahhhing because he was quite mesmerized by the grilled lamb chops that he ordered. They were served with a smoked chili glaze with King Oyster mushrooms and broccoli rabe. And he got them medium rare. He’s not the type of person that likes to eat with his hands but believe me, he was using them to get every last piece of meat off the bones by the end of our meal – they were that delicious!

I have to say that that was one of our best dining experiences ever. The portions were surprisingly larger than we had expected for such a nice restaurant in the city, and the flavors were just unbelievable. We regrettably didn’t get dessert here, so that can be our excuse for going back for another night out. 🙂 I would highly recommend Market for a romantic dinner and for celebrating special occasions. It would also be a great place to sit at the bar and enjoy one of their pizzas or appetizers.

100 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116

h mart in burlington, ma

Photo from the H Mart website

A couple of weekends ago, I was on the hunt for merlot colored cardstock for one of my customers’ wedding invitations (which I’ve learned, is quite difficult to find … so if any of you consider going into the cardstock making business, here’s a suggestion for you!) so we drove up to Ink About It in Westford. And since we were way out there already, I convinced Tony to take me to the new H Mart Asian grocery store in Burlington afterwards.

First of all, let me just preface this by saying that you could call us crazy. Crazy as in “who the heck would dare go to an Asian grocery store on a weekend?!” We should’ve known at the moment when the police officer standing in the middle of a street was diverting traffic (us) to go around the way to get into the parking lot that we were in for some pretty intense crowdedness (is that a word?). We were quite lucky to find a parking spot, which is good because I think my husband was going to shoot me for suggesting the idea in the first place.

And then we walked in. And wow. So much to take in. A bakery on the right. A wall of rice bags. A gigantic produce section. A food court where they have Korean, Japanese, Thai food and more to choose from.

I really liked the cute little outfits the women were wearing in the bakery … and of course, they’re green!

A wall o’ rice!

There was a wall of kimchee. A wall of those cool little side dishes that you get at a Korean restaurant. Tons of fresh seafood options. And lots of meat!

I know that these grocery stores are quite common in places like California, but they are few and far between aroudn here so I apologize for my over-the-top reaction. Oh and now I remember that I did have a purpose for going to H Mart (not just to annoy my husband – ha!): I needed to get the mochiko (rice flour) and matcha (green tea) in order to make Matcha Mochi cupcakes for the cupcake throwdown competition at work (another post!).

Mochiko. Check. Matcha. Check. Let’s see, what else did we leave with? A container of those little soy black beans (Kongjaban) that Tony loves. Two packages of curry after trying a sample. Two packages of small rice cakes shaped like little balls. A package of thinly sliced bulgoki meat. Some really big mushrooms that I can’t believe I didn’t write down the name of. And more that I can’t remember now.

That night, I ended up using a bag of the rice cakes to try and recreate the curry dish that Tony sampled at the store. It turned out a little too soupy for his tastes (I’ll have to use less water next time). I put some cod, those forgotten mushrooms, and snap peas in it too.

And my dinner was essentially a rice cake soup that started off as boiling water that was used to cook them in, and I added an egg, a couple of anchovies (for flavor), and mushrooms. It was quite delicious actually … I love the texture of the rice cakes.

I’m not sure that we’ll go back to H Mart any time soon (errr, at least I think I’d have to go alone or without my husband for sure) but it was a pretty neat experience. I think the markets I’ve been to with my mom in California are a tad bit better because their “fast food” sections had things like dim sum and sushi for almost nothing. But then again, the Matcha Mochi cupcakes turned out so great so I may need to head back for more mochiko at some point (the Korean store near our apartment doesn’t carry it … such a shame!). 😉