Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Mum

Today I wish the happiest of birthdays to my beautiful mama. We celebrated with dinner at Bertuccis, followed by her favorite Carvel ice cream cake at home. She got some great gifts, like new Alex and Ani bracelets, slippers and a Sephora gift card. The best gift of all, though, was my sister announcing that she is officially licensed as a Registered Nurse in the state of Massachusetts!!! Happy Day all around!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Meal Planning

Meal planning is something that I am hot and cold with.  I have times when I am really good about picking out dishes, buying all the ingredients and sticking to the plan, then there are times when laziness wins and the plan goes out the window.  This past week, I made a plan and we stuck to it, so I thought I would share with you.  Do you have a meal plan this week?

One thing to note on our meal plans - breakfasts are usually grab and go; whatever we have time for is what we eat.  We stay fully stocked with yogurts, cereals and frozen fruits for smoothies.  Snacks are fresh fruits, nuts, and/or popcorn.

Lunch - can of Progresso Soup
Dinner - Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup by Skinnytaste - Left out the chicken and put in some extra veggies instead.

Image from

Lunch:  Leftover enchilada soup
Dinner:  Chicken, Asparagus and Potatoes (prepped on Monday to pop in the oven on Tuesday when I got home.  Used a drizzle of olive oil instead of all that butter, and asparagus instead of green beans.)

Photo from Julie's Eats & Treats

Lunch: Salad with leftover chicken, asparagus and potatoes
Dinner: I had to stay out for work, so hub had leftovers or something out of the freezer (we have frozen soups, meatballs, grilled chicken tenders, etc)

Lunch:  I had free lunch at work due to a client visit, Jake bought lunch

Image from Real Mom Kitchen

Lunch:  Fajita salads
Dinner:  Orzo Soup

Photo from 101 Cookbooks

Friday, February 22, 2013

Spring Fashion Covet

I know, I know it's February.   Even so, I can't help but love the new Alfa Top by Lilly Pulitzer, and I am dreaming of buying it for spring/summer in white.  It showed up on my Facebook feed and it was love at first sight.  That is all. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sweetheart Spin!

So, Elise at Healthworks is the best.  She has the most energy, plays the best music, gives the best workout, we love Elise

Elise decided to share the love during Healthwork's open house week (which coincided with Valentine's Week) by hosting a Sweetheart Spin on Saturday morning.  Sweetheart Spin meant that members could bring a guest- including men- to join in on the fun!  My poor husband has to listen to me rave about spin class every time I get home, so I was pumped to have an opportunity to share my favorite workout with him.

Jake pumped up, waiting for Spin to start
In typical fashion of classes by Elise, this one booked up almost instantaneously.  I checked the website multiple times a day hoping to get my name on the list, but no luck..

No luck until Saturday morning was snowy and window and generally gross out!  Jake and I bundled up, made the trek down to the gym and were happy to learn that a number of people wimped out, letting us get into the class!

"Before" shot - bikes set up and ready to go!
We got my favorite bikes in the back of the room near the windows and sweated for 45 minutes to Elise's playlist of love-themed songs.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  The highlight for me was hearing Jake say "yessssss" when he liked the song that came on, and watching him rock out for tap backs and jumps.  Elise had us matching up our pace with our partner at one point, which had Jake and I so pumped that we high-fived.  It was goofy and fun and a perfect way to start our day, and now Jake finally understands and appreciates why I come home from the gym looking like a drowned rat on Monday nights.  Have I mentioned how much I love Ride at Healthworks?!?!

"After" - sweaty and strong -rocked Sweetheart Spin together!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weekend Recap

Hope everyone had a fun weekend!  It was a long one for me here due to President's Day, and I am lucky to say that the hubs and I enjoyed every minute! What did you do last weekend?!

Saturday AM:  Sweetheart Spin at Healthworks with my hubby!  I'll give the full recap on the blog tomorrow!  We followed this with haircuts by the awesome Debbie at Zani Salon in Melrose (sorry no pics of those!)

Saturday PM:  Our friend Dustin's surprise 30th birthday party out at the Luxury Box in Leominster.  How come Boston doesn't have a hockey bar?!?!  We need one!

Sunday AM:  Brunch at Trident with friends visiting from Vermont, followed by really big Starbucks coffees for the snowy, windy walk home on Newbury!

Sunday PM:  North End adventure with two of our best friends, Jon and Jamie!  We had dinner at Antico Forno, got take-home sweets from Bova's, and sat down for coffee and desserts at Cafe Paradisio.  I got the Afocato with coffee gelato and Bailey's Irish Cream.

Monday AM:  To-do-list-writing with greek yogurt for breakfast.  Nothing beats a productive day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Flour Bakery in Back Bay

On Valentines morning, my team and I had to be in the office by 7:15AM for a 7:30 call that went until just before 10.  Needless to say, it was not the most romantic way to start the day, but the morning was saved by a post-call trip to the new Flour Bakery on Clarendon Street in the Back Bay!  My colleague wanted to pick up some desserts for her hunnie, so three of us took a little walk to help her pick them out.

A huge fan of the Flour Bakery in Fort Point, I couldn't wait to see the new location.  It's right behind the Back Bay T station, close to where the Hard Rock Cafe used to be.  I immediately fell in love with the decor; neutral wood, white and stainless steel made for a modern, yet comfortable space for enjoying breakfast, lunch or dessert.

The selection seemed a bit smaller than Fort Point, though that could have been due to less display space.  It was crowded and I didn't want to be too obnoxious taking forever with pictures and questions, but I did have enough time to fawn over the cases filled with sweets, especially these pastel-filled oreos, and giant tubs of ready-to-bake cookie dough.

My favorite find in the cafe (besides all of the sweets) was their unique artwork.  There was a large chalkboard that greeted customers, shared some weather facts and wished everyone a festive Happy Valentine's Day.  On the back walls, I found awesome framed images of little bubble people with funny sayings.  The best was two cute little people captioned with "Your perfume makes me gag."  We all know what that's like!  Too funny.

While I hadn't planned on getting anything to eat in preparation for a big dinner later that night, I just couldn't pass up trying the breakfast sandwich.  It was HUGE- egg, bacon, cheese, arugula, tomatoes and spicy dijon on a big, fat, chewy bun.  The dijon was way too spicy for me, I hadn't breathed that clearly in ages, but despite watery eyes from the spice, this sandwich was one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches ever.  It was fresh and filling, in fact I didn't eat again until dinner that evening.

Flour is one of my favorite bakeries in the city (accompanied by Lulu's and Bova's), and the new location did not disappoint.  I'm thrilled (and scared for my waistline) that it is so close to work!  If you're a fellow Flour-lover, what are you favorite things there?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope everyone has a beautiful, happy day full of love! Thank you to my sweet husband who sent these gorgeous peonies and hydrangea to work today, I love you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week of Health - 5 Free Days at Healthworks!

One of my sayings with my coworkers is "Week of health!"  We say this to inspire eachother to make healthy food choices during the week (read:  no more trips to the candy bowl) and also as a reminder to sign up for our favorite classes at the gym together.  Healthworks is a huge part of my weekly routine, and the routine of the girls I work with, and I am excited to invite my readers to join us this week for a free week of health!

During the month of February, Healthworks is offering a 5-day guest pass to anyone who wants to check out the club and enjoy some workouts.  In addition to the regular schedule at the gym, Healthworks will be offering "food, music, specialty Group Fitness Classes, Complimentary Small Group Training for you and a friend, shopping, pampering and so much more!"  Read more about the open house here.

If you want to join me in some serious calorie burns this week, or just check out one of the clubs on your own, print out this voucher and let them know that BostonSweetieBlog sent you.  If you use the voucher this week (Feb. 11 - 15) and end up joining the gym, you will get a $0 enrollment fee which is a great benefit, but you are welcome to use the voucher for any 5-day period in February.

I've raved about my favorite spin class on the blog before- Elise's Monday night or Saturday morning classes are definitely worth checking out and should be #1 on your list.  I also love/hate Tabata with Sean on Wednesday nights (love because it's an insanely good workout, hate because it's really, really hard), and HW Barre with Helene on Thursday nights.  If you've never tried a barre class, I'd highly recommend it.  It's a low-impact strength class that will show you some muscles you never even knew you had.

Healthworks is the best gym I've belonged to.  It's all women, super clean and spa-like, and just really, really nice.  If you are looking for a gym or have been curious about Healthworks, you should check it out this week.  It's free for 5 days, so why not, right?!  If you want to meet up at any classes, leave me a comment in the notes below and we'll make a plan!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Small Batch Baking - Mini Strawberry Cake

Happy Valentines Week, Sweets!

As Thursday quickly approaches, I wanted to share a treat for two that I tried out this weekend.  Mini-cake recipes are hard to come by, but perfect for Valentines Day when you and your sweetie want to share a little post-dinner bite.

This cake is completely from scratch and gets it's amazing strawberry flavor from a fresh strawberry puree.  It's frosted with a cream cheese meringue frosting which is an amazing pair.  The finished cake does take a little time; I made mine over two days and that worked out well.  The pink/strawberry theme makes it perfect for Valentines Day, but this cake would also be an excellent choice in the summer when strawberries are nice and fresh and in season.

Tastie!  Strawberry cake, strawberry cream filling, cream cheese meringue frosting...yup, this combo works!
I adapted this recipe from one I spotted on Pinterest, from Oven Love Blog.  That recipe makes a whole big cake, and mine makes a mini.  I had some serious trouble with the icing and getting it to come together, but the end result tasted great even though it didn't spread/set as nicely as I would have liked.

If you make one of these mini-cakes this week, tell me about it in the comments below!

Mini Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Meringue Buttercream


  • 12 - 14 very ripe strawberries
  • 1/8 cup milk (I used almond milk) at room temperature 
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature 
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/8 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened (not melted) 
  • Red food coloring (optional) 
  1.  Trim all the strawberries, slice and toss with a teaspoon of sugar, cover and let them sit at room temperature for an hour or two. 
  2. Place strawberries in a food processor and puree.
  3. Put a little bit more than 1/3 cup of the strawberry puree aside; this will flavor the cake.  The rest can be used for filling or another project.   
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8' x 8' square pyrex dish with cooking spray.
  5. In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix well until blended. 
  6. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Don't forget the sugar!  I did, and didn't realize it until I was just about to pour the batter into the dish!
  7. Keep beating at slow speed and add the butter.  Mix until combined and the batter resembles crumbs. 
  8. Now, pour in the liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until fully blended.
  9. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, give the bottom a good scoop, and if you'd like, add a few drops of food coloring to get a pretty red or pink color.  
  10. Pour the batter into the pyrex dish and even out the top.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Keep an eye on it, I checked it after 25 minutes, and I *think* I gave it another 10...but you should just watch it after 30 to be safe.  
  11. Let the cake cool completely in the dish.  
  12. Once cool, cut your cake into 4 equal parts.  
  13. Gently remove one part from the pan, top with a little filling (I mixed two heaping spoonfuls of frosting with my leftover strawberry puree) and stack up your other square pieces in the same way.  For my mini cake, I used three layers, and kept the 4th square as a giant tastie :)
  14. Once you have your layers filled and stacked, take out a bread knife and channel your inner cake boss.  Gently cut out a triangle from one of the corners to create a heart shape, like so (picture below).
  15. Frost and enjoy!
Square cake cut into 4's

Three stacked layers with triangle cut out to form a heart shape

For the frosting, grab the recipe from Oven Love Blog; I followed it exactly to have some leftover frosting.  As I mentioned, I had some trouble getting this to come together the way I think it was supposed to, but the taste with the cake is fabulous and very much worth it!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard Breakfast

Today is one of the best snowdays ever.  Starting around 11AM yesterday, Boston has been literally buried in snow.  The T (subway & bus system) is completely closed, and there's even a driving ban in the state- no driving at all unless you're essential personel.  Craziness!  Being snowed in called for a warm, comforting brunch, so B-hubs and I tag-teamed it to make these...

Bacon egg scramble-stuffed popovers!  Ahhhhh heaven.  I did the popovers, Jake did the egg scramble.  Popovers are one of my favorite things to bake.  They are a quick, 4-ingredient carb-y bun that is good with any meal, but we usually do them for breakfast.  They remind us of Jordan Pond up in Maine, which is the first place we tried popovers a few years back.  My in-laws gifted a popover pan to us, and we've been hooked ever since.

So far we've been in all day, enjoying brunch, blankets and catching up on episodes of Modern Family (I almost cried laughing at Lily's snarky comments from two weeks ago, does somebody need a WAMMM-bulance?!) This afternoon will probably bring us outside to check out how beautiful Boston looks under two feet of snow, then tonight we'll put on the snow pants and ski goggles and hike down to TD Garden for the Bruins game.  Faithful season ticket holders we are!

Here are some pictures from the blizzard so far.  For everyone in the area, I hope you are safe and warm!  For those who want to make some popovers, the recipe is at the bottom of this post.

7PM - Outside of Corner Tavern on Mass Ave (which was completely packed, by the way!) 
Quiet night on the roads

Looking out the window when I woke up
Happy weekend, all!

BostonSweetie's Popover Recipe - makes 6:


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Grease a popover pan, 6 custard cups, or 6 cups in a muffin tin
  • Gently beat the two eggs in a medium bowl - don't overbeat!  Then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Fill each cup about half way, evenly distributing the batter between the 6 cups
  • Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes. 
Don't open the oven while these are baking- they pop up with the steam and you don't want to mess up the temperature in the oven while they're trying to rise and pop.

Today was the first time I used a cup of almond milk instead of skim milk.  We switched milk types on the first of the year, and don't keep cow's milk in the house anymore.  They still tasted great, but definitely didn't rise/pop as much as they do with cow milk.

The great thing about popovers is that they are airy in the center and perfect for filling with anything!  This morning we filled them with butter and a scramble of eggs, bacon, peppers and onions.  We also love mixing butter and jam, or cream cheese and jam.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Best Cupcake Ever

I have a confession.  I call myself a "Sweetie" (rather than a foodie), and up until this week, I have never had a Crumbs cupcake.  I don't know how it never just didn't.

Until this week, that is!  I woke up and was having a bad morning.  It was day 3 of a mild, lingering headache, and one of the cats puked on my Ugg boot.  I was running late and dying for coffee and was basically a huge grump.  I was cutting through the back way of the Pru hoping to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, and on my way, saw this...

It was like I found Oz!  All of a sudden my grouchiness just melted away and I circled the booth grinning like a schoolgirl at 8:30 in the morning.  As I browsed the selection of massive cupcakes, I spotted my breakfast- Caramel Latte Cupcake.

I picked up three of these chocolate cake, espresso cream-filled, caramel and white chocolate-topped hunks of heaven and headed to the office.  My team and I started off what I coined as "Happy happy fat fat day" on the right foot (even though poor Steph could only eat the frosting, forgot to look for a gluten-free option!) with lots of sugar.  After a few bites in, I was in love...and after a few more bites when I found the espresso cream filling, I was obsessed.  This truly was the best cupcake I've EVER had, and I am psyched and scared that Crumbs is now just right across the street from my office.

What's your favorite Crumbs flavor?  I'll need a list for next time!

PS - how cute are these cake pops?  They're like cake push-up pops...Must grab one next time!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Input Needed - Superbowl Dessert?!

So for Superbowl Sunday, I'm bringing Buffalo Chicken Balls and a dessert-to-be-determined to our friend's viewing party.  I need some help choosing a winning dessert.  Here are some things I've been eyeing on Pinterest.  Out of the 5 treats below, which would you most want to see at your Superbowl gathering this weekend?!  PLEASE let me know in the comments below!

Option 1:  Magic Cookie Bars by Baked Perfection

So what'll it be?  Which one should I make?  Help me out and tell me which of the above looks the best in the comments below.  Thank you!!