In Boston, Foodie Files, Places To Eat on
July 31, 2014

Row 34, Boston

Family dinners are my favorite, especially when we go out to eat. We recently tried this place in the Seaport District called Row 34.
 

Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we walked around for a bit. And I got to play tourist.
 

 

Despite having grown up around Boston, I’ve never really experienced the city. So this summer I’ve been taking every chance I can to play tourist. 
 

 

 
Recreate this look:
It didn’t take too long for us to be called back to the restaurant. As starving as we were, we hurried back as fast as we could.
 

 

The best way that I can describe being in Row 34 would be like being in a modern warehouse turned diner .
 
The decor and everything definitely had a modern feel. Sleek lines, lots of black, white, and grays.
 
 
But the kitchen was similar to a diner set up. The chef called out orders to the staff in the kitchen and passed them through just like the would if you were at a old school diner.

 

 

The coasters had cute little sayings on them.
 
We were seated right next to the wine fridge, so we got to check out all the labels before making our selections.
 
We sipped on some dranks and put in an appetizer of calamari (our family’s usual go to appetizer) and fried oysters.
 
My mom didn’t like the first beer she ordered. They were kind enough to let her sample some other flavors before she ordered another. 
 
BTW, they brew their own beers… Momma was craving a Sam Adams Summer and was so disappointed that they didn’t have it – but she forgot all about it by the time her second beer selection rolled around.

 

 Fried calamari, before it was devoured. 
 
Fried oysters, on a bed of french fries. 
This plate literally didn’t last two minutes at the table before it was gone.
 
 
We checked out the menus, but somehow we all ended up ordering the same thing.
Lobster rolls.
 

 

 

Since we’d devoured our appetizers within minutes of them arriving. We sat around moping until the food arrived. Look at all those hungry faces…
 
We didn’t have to wait too long….
 
Before we were presented with this:

 

 

Ethel’s Creamy Lobster Roll 

 

 

Warm Buttered Lobster Roll
 
Like I said, we all ordered lobster rolls.
 
My Dad and I got the classic Ethel’s Lobster Roll, while my Mom and my sister Maya went with the warm buttered lobster roll. 
 
If I had to pick a favorite, I would hands down pick the warm buttered lobster roll. I had a bite of my Mom’s and was begging her to switch with me. 
She didn’t.
 
That’s okay. As you can tell, I still enjoyed mine.
 
 
When dinner was over we went straight to dessert. My parents skipped out, but Maya and I ordered a fried peach pie to split.
 
 It arrived very quickly and came with a vanilla cream sauce.
 
 It was piping hot when we cut it open. It even sizzled when I poured the cream sauce on top!
 
Just look at how delicious that looks.  
 
Don’t believe me?
 Here’s your proof: I practically licked my plate clean.
Overall, dinner at Row 34 was yummy and a lot of fun, but a bit pricey. They call themselves the “workingman’s oyster bar” but let’s just say that if my parent’s didn’t pay for dinner, I would not be able to afford it myself (especially as a poor college student).
 
Honestly, you can find a lobster roll combo that’s just as good somewhere else like in Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston for much, much cheaper. So don’t order that unless you’ve got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket. They do offer a dish called the Shellfish Tower that has an assortment of seafood (oysters, clams, etc) for around 80 bucks. If you go with a group and split the check it could definitely be worth it.
 
Visit the Row 34 website here
Be sure to let me know if you go for a visit, and what you think!
 
 
In Foodie Files, Recipes on
July 18, 2014

Bacon Egg + Cheese Breakfast Melt

My two favorite things combined: Breakfast sandwhich crossed with grilled cheese. So delish!
breakfastmelt
 

Shopping List
Eggs (any way you like them)
Cheese
2 slices of bread
Butter
Bacon (optional, but highly recommended)
Skillet or panini press 
 
Okay, let’s get cracking…
 
Cook your eggs any way you like them. The first time I tried this recipe, I made it with scrambled eggs with spinach, but I’ve also made it with eggs over-medium. If you use scrambled eggs, don’t chop them up too much while they’re cooking because that can cause some issues later on when you’re trying to flip your sandwich.
 
My secret to fluffy eggs: a teaspoon of milk!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I strongly dislike microwave bacon… feels like cheating to me. I slap mine on a good ol’ fashion skillet and fry em up.
 
 
Once your eggs are cooked to your liking, butter your bread. We’re a strictly wheat bread only household but feel free to use whatever bread floats your boat.
 
 
Place your buttered bread on a hot skilled and start to assemble your sandwich. I put my cheese first, then eggs, then bacon, then another slice of cheese. But you can do it eggs-actly however you want to. Hehe. If you are using scrambled eggs, it might be best to use a panini press instead of a skillet to ensure that your sandwich doesn’t come apart.

 

 

 

 
If your using a skillet, once your bottom half is nice and toasty (carefully) flip your sandwich. This is the trickiest part. If you’re using scrabbled eggs, and they’re chopped up too much, you could lose some eggs out the side and mess up your sandwich. 🙁
 
Once both sides are cook, slice them in half and place on a plate to serve.
Look at that cheesy goodness.
 
Voila! Your toasty, cheesy, bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
So delicious. Serve with a tall glass of freshly squeeze orange juice and enjoy!
 
This recipe can be easily made vegetarian friendly by removing the bacon. I made one for my pescetarian sister (she doesn’t eat meat but does eat fish and seafood) with only cheese and she loved it. There were’t even a crumb left on the plate.
 
Let me know if you try this recipe and if there are any other breakfast recipes I should try out!
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading.
♥♥♥ 
 
 
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In Life on
July 15, 2014

Pensole Boston 2014

I haven’t seen my little sister for the last two weeks. She’s been working hard and pulling long hours at her summer internship.
 

The internship has finally come to an end and on Friday I got to see her present her final project.

Maya just graduated high school and is going to college in the fall for fashion design and merchandising. Out of 300 applicants, her and 24 other people were selected to be participants of the Pensole Boston internship program. My parents and I went to see her final presentation, which was held at Theatre 1 at the Revere Hotel in Boston.

 

The hotel is beautiful. We were only in the lobby and the auditorium but from what I could see it was very minimalist and had a modern feel to it.

When we first walked into the auditorium we were told that they were seating the back rows first. My mom was not having it. Her baby girl was presenting and she wanted to be front and center. We were going to go wait outside the auditorium to get better seats, but the director overhead us and recognized us as Maya’s family and we got to sit in the “reserved” section.

Needless to say we were quite happy about it.

 

We lounged on the plush chair and sipped on some drinks while we waited for the show to start.

 

 

 

 
Finally the interns walked into the room and I ran to the front row to snap a pic of my little sissy.
 
Oh so serious before her presentation.
 
Before we knew it the show was starting. Antonio Belizaire kicked off the show with a dance performance. He was amazing! I’ve never seen anyone move like that in person before… 
Here a gif of a couple pictures I managed to snap so you can see for yourself…
Okay… so my gif doesn’t do him any justice. If you get a chance to see him live, do yourself a favor and go. I promise you will be amazed, bonus points you will be supporting a young up and coming dancer.
 
Eventually D’Wayne Edwards, the creator of Pensole Boston came out to speak to us. 

 

He thanked the wonderful sponsors and mentors for all of their help.

And offered us some words of wisdom.

Finalllyyyy, he introduced the first team. Team 1. Maya’s team.
 
I sat anxiously at the edge of my seat waiting for her team to come out. 
The entire presentation was being judged by a panel of people. There would only be one winner out of the four teams presenting.
 
Team 1 was very professional. The first person introduced the project and the idea behind it. Each team member had a specific role and they went down the line describing their contribution to the project.

 

Before long, Maya was introduced. My heart swelled as my little sister (who usually always mumbling, unless she’s yelling at you) spoke with clear precision about her contribution as Team 1 designer.

 

She explained everything from the products used to the color scheme and it all tied together.

 

She described that the inspiration behind the shoe was the Bald Eagle which represents the journey from youth into adulthood. 
 
I don’t know anything about sneakers, and I may be biased, but I think that her team had the best concept. It was wonderfully executed and the shoe looked amazing and professional.
 
After she finished speaking, she got a rousing round of applause. 
 
The show went on. There were a few clips of the different interns during the entire process.
 
A snap of Maya on the big screen explaining how excited she is to start her internship. 
 

Another pic of Maya in the video on the big screen going over her presentation with her teammate!

 

City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stood to speak after the first team presented. He said some wonderful words about the program and what good it is doing for the community.
But he also expressed that we need to have more opportunities for city kids to succeed. More needs to be done for the 275 other applicants who didn’t get this opportunity.
 
I couldn’t agree with him more. While I was blessed enough to be enrolled in different programs to keep me occupied and learning while I was growing up, I know a lot of other people did not have that same opportunity. I am forever grateful for the experiences that I had growing up playing sports, and taking music lessons, but more has to be done so that other students can too. Programs like this help to direct our youth to become leaders. 
 

After his speech, Mayor Walsh was awarded with a token of appreciation. Not sure what it was, but something tells me it’s a paperweight inscribed with a meaningful quote.

Throughout the show, I was tweeting my thoughts and a few of the made it on to the promoter. I couldn’t help myself – I took a picture of a few of them.

 

If you’re interested in more of my ramblings, follow me on twitter!
 
The other teams presented…. I didn’t take any pictures of them. I was too busy gushing over how awesome of a job my little sister did. But her fellow interns all did amazing jobs. 

The show was closed out by Al’amin Cissi with a spoken word poem.

The poem was beautiful. It was all about following your dreams and realizing that no dream is impossible to reach. Very fitting for the occasion. 

At last, all of the interns gathered on the stage for the announcement of the winner.

 

 
My sister’s team didn’t win. The winner was an awesome concept that featured Boston MBTA map at the bottom of the shoe. It was a wonderful and creative concept. 
 
I still think Team 1 should’ve won, but regardless everyone did an amazing job. I don’t even know them and I’m proud of them.
 
My sister applied for this internship without having ever drawn a shoe design before. A lot of the interns are entering college and now have an idea of what to expect and some great experience under their belt because of the program. 
 
When the show was over, we were treated to some appetizers and the opportunity to view the teams sketches and idea boards.
 
I played paparazzi and followed Maya around everywhere to make sure I got all of the pictures she wanted. 

 

 

 

 

 

Maya (far right) and her teammates!

 

The final draft of the shoe, up close and personal.

 

 

Here are some of the other teams designs:

 

The winning design, a Boston themed designer shoe.

 

 

 The proud parentals.

Maya and program creator D’Wayne Edwards

 

Showing off her final design

 

Maya with one of the event judges

After the event was over, we went out to celebrate. Though the appetizers were delicious, it was dinnertime and we needed some food in our bellies.

Here are some shots of us at dinner at Legal’s Seafood to satisfy the foodie in you:

Proud big sissy. Can’t you tell?

Some Rhode Island style calamari

 Proud Mama raving about her daughter’s presentation.

Dad was proud too, but he was mostly hungry.

 

Mom and Dad split a seafood platter.
 
Maya ate some clam chowder that she refused to let me photograph.
 

And I got a surf and turf combo with lobster. The accidentally brought me shrimp. Oops. More food for the table to share.

“Stop taking pictures!” Never.

 

 

 Stuffed lobster.

Way more than I was expecting, but it was delicious regardless. I could’t finish it all in one sitting so this little fella came home with me in a doggy bag.

Overall it was a wonderful night. I was so happy to be invited to celebrate this amazing achievement with my little sister. I couldn’t be prouder of her.
If there was ever a doubt in my mind, there definitely isn’t one now. She will go on to do amazing things.

Just don’t forget that you promised to design my wedding dress, Maya! I’ll hold you to it 🙂 hehe

 
In Boston, Foodie Files, Places To Eat on
July 14, 2014

Rox Diner, Newton

So after my Dad’s birthday party my cousins Marley and Rachel slept over. It was just like old times. We woke up the next morning afternoon so worn out; the house and kitchen was a mess and we were exhausted… so we did what any reasonable person would do: went out in search for food.
 

Originally, I wanted to go to McKenna’s to get some granola french toast. But I guess they were closed for the 4th of July holiday weekend.
 
My cousin Rachel mentioned something about Rox Diner and I was desperate to eat anywhere that wasn’t iHop, so off we went.
 
When Rachel mentioned Rox Diner, she said that it was always busy and there was always a line down the block. Obviously that’s a good thing – that means the food is good. But sometimes if a restaurant is busy you feel rushed through your meal so that they can serve everyone else that’s waiting.
 
 
Thank the Lord when we got there it wasn’t crowded. At this point I was starving and ready to eat leftover birthday cake right out of the pan.
 
The first thing that I can tell you about Rox Diner is that its small. Like really small. The entire restaurant probably seats about 35 people. When we got there a booth opened up and we sat down famished and ready to eat.
 
The place is really simple. The decor was super cute; I would definitely decorate my own kitchen with some of the stuff they had in there. The atmosphere was very laid back – which is perfect for a lazy sunday.
 
 
 
First we ordered drinks. Orange juice and lemonade for the girls, and a mimosa for me. Then we got to looking at the menu.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We spend Brunch chatting about the party and gossiping about our family. Rachel just graduated high school and is heading off to college in a few months so we grilled her about that.
 
It was so great to catch up with my girls. I wish my sister Maya could’ve joined us – the whole crew would’ve been together again. But she’s been busy working away at her fancy internship. She has her final presentation coming up so we’ll probably go out to celebrate at least once before we all go our seperate ways in September.
 
Our food was out quickly! Which was awesome because we was already starved.
 
I ordered an omelette with bacon, cheese, onions, tomatoes and spinach. The combo comes with home fries and a side of buttered toast. 
 
I wasn’t too crazy about the home fries. But the omelette was to die for. Cooked to perfection. I’m drooling just thinking of it now. 
 
Rachel ordered the same combo, but chose just bacon and cheese for her omelette.
 
We both got sides of french toast.
 
Marley got a scrambled eggs with cheese combo. Hers came with bacon, sausage, home fries, buttered toast and pancakes.
 
Marley’s pancakes tasted exactly how her Mom makes them. They were sooo good.
 
 
Finally we’d cleared our plates and were all talked out. We were in a food coma and decided it was time to head back home.
 
We spent the rest of Sunday lounging on the couch, watching True Blood and eating leftover party food.
 
The prefect end to a perfect weekend.
 
 
In Life, Style on
July 13, 2014

Not-So-Suprise Birthday

Happy Birthday Daddy & America!
 
My Dad recently celebrated a huge birthday milestone, so I thought I’d surprise him with a huge surprise birthday party.
 

His birthday is at the beginning of July. We planned the party for 4th of July weekend – which I thought was perfect…. people would be taking time off of work anyways for the long weekend and it would be great for his family that would be traveling to get there.
 
4th of July was a bust. The rain ruined the entire day. Thankfully the next day, party day was wonderfully hot and sunny.
 
I had no idea what I was getting myself into… let’s just say that my Dad is not the easiest person in the world to suprise. First of all, he’s such a control freak. He is so nosy and constantly needs to know what’s going on with eveyone.
 
This party took me the better part of two months to plan. While he was away in Haiti in June, I was able to get out all the invites and remind everyone without him breathing down my neck, but somehow a few days before the party, he found out.

The party was a cook out – we grilled burgers and hot dogs and feasted on tons of Haitian food. Sorry, no #FoodPorn pictures, because nothing (besides the cake) lasted long enough for me to snap a pic.

 
Here are some shots of my family celebrating together (with a lil outfit of the day too):
Get ready for a million and one pictures…
 
 
 
Dress from Forever 21 // Shoes by Steve Madden // Necklace from H&M // Hat from H&M 
Feelin a lil’ leggy 😉
 
 
 
 
 
I love frolicking in my yard, hehe. 
My cousin Marley
Necklace from Forever 21
 
Clutch and Ring from Urban Outfitters
 
 
My cousin Rachel in all black
I wasn’t too happy that the wind was no cooperating with me to take this picture…

 

Finalllllly it settled down enough for me to take a decent shot that had both the Happy Birthday balloon and American flag balloon

 

But then a huge gust of wind almost blew away my hat and the balloons!
 
Recreate my look:

Marley and Rachel are my favorites to take pictures with. I love that I can just hang out and be silly around them. 
Okay that’s enough fashion stuff… back to the party….
I love the summertime because that’s when my Dad’s family tends to get together the most. His cousins are so hilarious and I love spending time with them. Some of his family travelled from New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey just to come and spend time and celebrate with him.
We had so much fun playing outside. But don’t take my word for it… see for yourself.
 
 
Baby cousin Amaya, 4th of July Baby
Izzy and Amaya
Umm, Daniel – That’s not how you hula hoop but ok.
My dad’s cousin Belony attempting to hula hoop
 
 
He figured out out he can do it better if he puts his drink down. 
 
 
 
 
 
I bought a ton of bubbles for the kids to play with and it was a hit. They loved it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The lovely ladies!
Of course, little Amaya had to do an outfit change.
 
 
My dad and his cousin!
 
Daddy hanging out with the guys.
 
Planning a suprise party is definately no easy feat. Especailly with a big family like mine. Between my Dad’s family, my Mom’s family and all of their friends, the guest list was over 100 people.
 
I wanted to do something really special for my Dad. You only turn 50 once and I felt I owed it to him after giving him a hard time in high school.
 
Birthday cake – we only do Haitian cakes at our parties. (It’s basically like pound cake, but with a lot more spices and sometimes if you’re extra good, they put a little rum in it too hehe)
I helped my aunt make this one. Story behind the cucumber: We could’t find the 0 candle so we improvised! 
 
My mom and dad dancing before cutting the cake -______-
 
Me, mortified and hardcore judging them lol.
 
Thank you speech before cutting the cake.
Of course, my Dad had to give a speech too 
Baby cousin Nya
Daddy’s Girl
 
I wasn’t joking when I said I had a big family… here are some shots with a few of my cousins and aunts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Grandma Ines busting a move on the dance floor! 
Everyone had to pull out their cameras and phones. This lady dropped her cane and was moving like no one had seen before.
As the evening was winding down, we had a serenade on the patio. My dad’s friends pulled out their guitar and sung some beautiful Haitian folk songs and French love songs. A group of us sat around and listened and sang along. 
 
 
 
 
My parent’s friend Lala. This woman is nearly 90 years old, but you would never be able to tell.  She wears heels, and was dancing like nobody’s business. New life goal: to be just like Lala when I’m 90.
 
 
The serenade was beautiful. I remember going to them with my parents when I was younger. I would usually fall asleep on the couch listening to the beautiful music. Listen for yourself:
 
 

Happy Birthday Daddy! Even though you ruined your own surprise, I hope you enjoyed the party! I love you!