Tasty Burger (Harvard Square)

>>  Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Ask anyone who has the best burgers in Harvard Square and I guarantee you'll get different answers. It's a contentious topic, with different groups swearing by different burger places.

The most famous and historic burger is probably Mr. Bartley's, a family-owned burger place that has been open for over fifty years. In the summer, there always seems to be a line out the door. Many locals swear by Flat Patties, while other obsess about Shake Shack.

There are also several restaurants that serve pretty great burgers, like Alden & Harlow, whose burger made it into CNN's list of "10 Burgers you must eat this year", Russell House Tavern, who uses an English muffin bun, and many, many more.

Tasty Burger, a local favorite who first opened in the Fenway area, opened its first non-Boston restaurant in Harvard Square about two years ago. We'd heard some good things, but I still had never tried it. One recent Saturday, when Bryan said "I feel like a burger," I chose to try Tasty Burger partly because I'd never had it before.

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The Barking Crab

>>  Sunday, September 14, 2014

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This is an ongoing series covering the Seaport District in Boston, which includes both Fort Point and Fan Pier. Some previous posts from the area: Morton's Steak House, Legal Harborside, Row 34, Tavern Road, Sportello, and Menton.

Every day this past summer on my commute to work, I walked by these little tent-like buildings. While the surrounding waterfront area has been quickly ballooning with massive skyscrapers, ultra luxury condos (we're talking upwards of $10 million a unit for some of these), and constant construction, this little single story "shack" remains - just the same as it was twenty years ago when it began.

Although I'd been in the Fan Pier area for over half a year, it wasn't until late into the summer that I finally had a chance to try this lively seafood shack right on the water in Fan Pier.

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Happy (belated) Mid Autumn Festival! Snow Skin Mooncakes

>>  Tuesday, September 09, 2014

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Happy Belated Mid-Autumn Festival!

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two largest festivals that is celebrated in China every year. It's a time for people to celebrate the bountiful harvest from the summer, appreciate their loved ones, and gaze at the moon when it's at its biggest and brightest.

It always happens on the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar, which this year (2014) falls on September 8th (yesterday!). Typically, people celebrate by feasting, visiting family, and giving each other mooncakes.

What's a mooncake? A mooncake is traditionally a pastry (shaped a bit like a hockey puck) that is filled with lotus seed paste and optionally one (or more) salted egg yolks (meant to represent the moon). In more recent times, people have gotten pretty creative with mooncakes, and all different flavors and shapes have popped up, such as green tea (matcha) ones, snow-skin "mochi" ones, and even chocolate covered ice cream filled ones!

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East Somerville Foodie Crawl ticket winner is . . .

>>  Friday, September 05, 2014

OCTOPUS
Octopus dish at Sarma

Congratulations to Shannon G., who won two tickets to the upcoming East Somerville Foodie Crawl!

Shannon is a Boston based blogger and writes Tri To Cook, a reflection of her love of triathlons and cooking. Shannon chose Sarma as her restaurant of choice, which I fully agree is a great place to visit! My full write up about Sarma is here if you want to see more mouthwatering photos.

The East Somerville Foodie Crawl will be held on Tuesday, September 16th, featuring cuisine from many places around the world, like Haiti, Ethiopia, and El Salvador. You can buy tickets here ($20 regular; $15 for students) if you want to go.

Congrats Shannon!
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Dessert at Sarma

Disclaimer: these tickets were provided by the East Somerville Foodie Crawl

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Spicy Garlic Cashew Crusted Kale Chips

>>  Thursday, September 04, 2014

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I've been sort of on a kale chip kick lately.

It sort of came out of necessity. I've been receiving weekly deliveries of vegetables from my Siena Farms farm share, and kale regularly makes a showing. Although there are millions of ways to prepare kale, I like making chips because

1) it's easy;

2) Bryan really likes it; and

3) it's a great snack.
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Usually I go the easy route: coat a tray full of ripped kale leaves with a little bit of oil (having a mister is really helpful!), add just a bit of salt and pepper (not too much, cuz the leaves shrink!), and bake.

Earlier this year, Bryan brought home a bag of these really expensive store-bought raw kale chips from the Napa Farms Market at SFO. Even though the tiny bag cost $8 (!!), I fell in love with it and craved for more.
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An Example of a weekly farm share from Siena Farms - so colorful!

The ingredient list included cashews, nutritional yeast, and red bell peppers. A quick search online revealed recipes very similar to the ingredients on the package. I longed to try making that version at home, except I was too lazy to figure out what "nutritional yeast" was, and where I could get it. Apparently, it gives a "cheesy" flavor in a vegan-friendly way.

The other night, as I stared down yet another bunch of kale, I decided that it was finally time.

I was going to conquer the cashew-crusted kale chip . . . on my own terms.

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you can contact me at: jen[at]tinyurbankitchen[dot]com
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