Year: 2015

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Soft Baked Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Soft Baked Cookies

As Christmas approaches, we love to get into the kitchen and bake. Not only do we send care packages of baked goods to our family but we also love being in the kitchen together. There’s something fun about getting your hands into the dough, getting flower everywhere and oh yeah – the pay off of yummy, chewy, ooey, gooey Christmas cookies with your special someone. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best baker in the world. I like to refer to myself as a cook versus a baker. The reaction of flower with cornstarch, baking soda, eggs and sugar remains a mysterious science to me. I’ve had some real accidents in the kitchen. For example, this year I decided I was going to take on a new recipe of peppermint bark. Easy, right? Wrong! I forgot to put the peppermint extract in the first batch of chocolate, so I added a little extra in the second batch of white chocolate and ended up with something that felt like the minty middle …

Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Recipe

The Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Marshmallow Recipe that Fixed Everything

Have you ever started your date night with an argument? And then as soon as you resolve your argument, you sit in an hours worth of traffic only to surround yourself with screaming children, trampling crowds and parking lot wars? Let us tell you about our failed date, how we learned to survive the night of catastrophe and a hot chocolate recipe that fixed it all. If you’re from Rhode Island or Southern Massachusetts, it’s almost a guarantee that La Salette is part of your Christmas tradition. With more than 400,000 Christmas lights, the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts brings Christmas spirit to the southern New England area starting December 1st to January 1st every Saturday and Sunday. We thought it would be a peaceful moment to press pause on the holiday rush, enjoy the meaning of Christmas and savor a little time with each other. “Thought” would be the key word here. We were soon to be disappointed. With Eric back in school for his MBA and in the thick of finals, we …

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade - Mystic Connecticut

Christmas Date Ideas: Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Mystic, CT

We are really excited that we’re just three weeks away from my favorite holiday: Christmas. Ok, I should rephrase that. I am really, really excited. I tend to go a little overboard and my poor husband is caught in the wake. We made a deal that there would be no mention of Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. So naturally, the day after Thanksgiving, my husband woke up to a fully decorated house and two days after the turkey day, we were headed to a double date with some friends in Mystic, Connecticut to kick of Christmas festivities watching boats covered in bright little lights float down Mystic River. This is our second time heading to Mystic and as usual, we were enchanted by its charm and beautiful water fronts. Don’t be fooled by its small town feel though. When it comes time to celebrate fall and winter, they know how to do it right. From Clyde’s Cider Mill and corn mazes in the fall to their Holiday Boat Parade and Christmas tree lighting, there’s …

The Butcher Shop Restaurant Review, Boston MA

Date Night at the Butcher Shop?

We did it again. We’ve headed back into Boston for another date night. This time was a little more low key than the last but after a long week, those are always welcome. For this date night, we headed to The Butcher Shop. No, we didn’t go to an actual butcher shop to purchase meat for a date night. 1) I definitely did not feel like cooking (did you not catch my mention of a long week?) and 2) staring at dead animals is not my idea of romantic. The Butcher Shop is actually a highly rated restaurant in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. The food is a combo of French (my favorite) and Italian (my husbands favorite) so it was a perfect match for us. With the name The Butcher Shop, you can expect a lot of well cured, perfectly cut and cooked meat. It is not only a wine bar but also a fully functioning butcher shop. Have no fear though, the restaurant is artfully decorated with a slate wine bar and …

La Voile French Restaurant - Newbury Street, Boston

Date Night on Newbury Street, Boston

We finally spread our wings and made our way to the beautiful city of Boston for a date night. Although we love our little city of Providence, we wanted to do something with a different scene. We headed to Newbury Street for a night of exploring, roaming, sight seeing and ending the night with dinner and dessert at La Voile. One of the things that we don’t like about Boston is that parking is always a hassle: it costs too much, there’s never any street parking, or if there is street parking, there is a chance of getting a ticket. We know from experience unfortunately, as we’ve gotten many tickets in Boston. With this date we decided to try to centralize it into one area so we wouldn’t have to deal with the insanity of parking in Boston. Also, because we made such a long trek, we wanted to do something that was not just going to a restaurant but also seeing the sights and taking our time. Enter Newbury Street. Part of the Back Bay neighborhood, this …

Bruschetta Burger with Parmesan Garlic Fries and Aioli Sauce Recipe

Lunch Date Recipe: Bruschetta Burger with Parmesan Garlic Fries and Aioli Sauce

November is a time for thankfulness, final goodbyes to fall, turkey recipes and time with family. It’s also when football is in full swing and a fancy burger like our bruschetta burger, garlic and parmesan french fries and an aioli dipping sauce with a comfy couch and your significant other is in order. Now before you judge us and say “well, how can you combine the word football and date in one sentence?”, hear us out first. In our house, we take football very seriously. With Eric hailing from Seattle and being a die hard Seahawks fan and me being from the Golden State and rooting for my Forty Niners, things can get a little interesting with a division rivalry. Differences aside, we both love the sport and actually bonded when we were first dating over watching football games together on Sundays. We’d meet up after church at a Buffalo Wild Wings wearing our best team garb and flirt through poking fun at each others teams. So if you’re like us and you and your …

Halloween Iron Pour, Providence RI

Fall Date Ideas: Make Sparks Fly at the Halloween Iron Pour

The Halloween Iron Pour is not your usual cookie cutter date night idea but it is the perfect night out to celebrate the festivities of Halloween in Providence, Rhode Island. With 2,500 pounds of molten iron and fire, live music under the stars, vendors and food to browse and sample, your sure to make sparks fly. Literally. This year, the Iron Pour celebrated its ten year anniversary with a Monsters Versus City theme. We recommend bundling up for this event and wearing comfy shoes as it takes place outside on concrete. We also recommend arriving early as there is a large line to get in and you’ll want to steak out a good spot for the best view. Resist the urge to check out all of the vendors first – you’ll have plenty of time for that later. Grab your food and drinks and find a spot either along the ropes or the last row of the bleachers for best view without having to worry about anyone who is taller than you blocking the action …

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular | Roger Williams Park Zoo

Fall Date Ideas: Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O’Lantern Spectacular

One of the biggest Halloween traditions in Rhode Island is the Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O’Lantern Spectacular. People come from far and wide to marvel at pumpkin art that rivals great Greek sculptors. This is a great date idea if you’re looking for a place to stroll and take in the sights. It is almost like going to an art gallery that is outside, Halloween inspired and generally cold. Make sure to bring a sweater and hold your significant other close. It is important to note that this is a very popular event that will have a lot of people in attendance. Make sure to arrive earlier as opposed to later as you could end up in line for quite some time. Also keep in mind that weekdays are usually have lower attendance versus a weekend. You can also buy your tickets online to circumvent the long wait. Roger Williams Park Zoo is located in the southern end of Providence. The parking situation can be a bit tricky with the mob of pumpkin gazers …

Fall Date Ideas: Corn Maze and Cider Mill

Fall Date Ideas: Cider and Corn Mazes

It is fall and sadly it will be gone too soon as winter slowly marches towards us. However we’re not there yet so take heart that there are some great date nights to be had. We took advantage of our day off on Columbus Day and decided to go get some fresh pressed apple cider and adventure through a corn maze. For the seasoned New Englander this should be almost habitual, but for those of us that hail from other places, this was magical. We decided that we should get our fresh pressed apple cider first before going and spending hours wandering the corn maze. We took the recommendation of a friend and made the drive down to Mystic, CT where Clyde’s Cider House resides. This place does not take apple cider lightly and has been that way for over 100 years. This is a public service announcement: there is a healthy population of bees in this area and given that apples are full of sugar, wait to get your apple cider products and check …

Perfect Date Night Dinner: Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Portabella Mushrooms and Vegetable Gratin

Special Date Night Recipe: Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Portobella Mushrooms and Vegetable Gratin

Some nights call for dressing up, making reservations and going out for a movie. Others call for a quiet night together with no distractions, candlelight dinner and fun talking in the kitchen. Food always has a special way of bringing people together and creating conversation. As usual, we made our usual Saturday morning trek to the Lippett Park farmers market in Providence. First stop coffee to function like a normal human being, second stop Humble Pie for their mini pies to get rid of the hangry then off to mix and mingle, hem and ha over veggies and finally leave with a heavy bag of fresh produce loot. We grabbed the last of the summer squash as fall is finally here and we knew it wouldn’t be long until the root veggies make their 6 month appearance. I’m usually a fan of steak and potatoes, but this time we did something a little lighter and cough, cough healthier.  And like I said, who can turn down the last of the local summer vegetables? Easy Vegetable …

Fall Date Ideas: Apple Picking

Fall Date Ideas: Apple Picking

It’s that time of the year again! After a sweltering summer, it’s finally here. Sweater weather, apple cider and colorful foliage – hello fall! Apple picking is a must when it comes to fall activities and is also a great idea for a day date. It’s a little different than your typical go-out-for-dinner-date as it’s a fun outdoor activity together before the winter months settle in. You can also continue the date fun by making apple pies together after the picking has been done. Although we experienced our first fall in New England last year, we never actually made time to go apple picking. Boy, was that a mistake. Now that we know what to expect this year, we put apple picking on the top of our list. After much research and a valued recommendation from a local Rhody friend, we ended up driving out to Aquidneck Island to pick apples at Rocky Brook Orchard in Middleton, RI. Rocky Brook Orchard is a family run farm and specializes in the largest collection of apples types …

Best Places for Coffee in Providence RI

Best Coffee Shops in Providence RI

Coffee is an integral part of American life these days. Most of the time it provides the kick we all need in the morning to get our day started. While this may be the typical association with coffee, it can also be a great catalyst for a first date or a laid back date. We have scowered Providence to highlight some exceptional coffee shops that each bring their own flair to the joy that is coffee (for those that do not drink coffee, what is wrong with you? Just kidding, or am I???) New Harvest Coffee and Spirits (@nharvestcoffee) Located in the oldest indoor mall in America, this establishment has a very relaxed atmosphere with ample seating, wonderful coffee and pastries. They roast all of their own coffee and distribute it around Providence to various establishments so you can expect some killer quality. One of the stand out features about this coffee shop is that they offer a large selection of whiskey for those later hours when coffee might not be the drink of choice. …

Farewell Summer: Beavertail State Park Trail

We’ve gotten a boatload of recommendations from both our readers and Instagram followers to go hike the Beavertail Trail at the Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, RI. And we are so thankful for those recommendations because well, we’re now writing about our trip. It was that amazing! We are officially convinced that the Beavertail Trail is one of Rhode Island’s best kept secrets. Sorry Rhode Island if we’re outing you, but it’s too good not to share. We’ve had bad experiences with beaches out here. From the amount you have to pay to congested roads with license plates from all over New England all the way down to New Jersey to the non-existence of available parking. Yes I know, spoiled rotten Californian you say. But seriously, beach going is supposed to be fun and relaxing and my anxiety hits the roof anytime anyone mentions East Coast beaches in general. Beavertail, though not a long stretch of sandy beach, has large rocks to set up chairs on, grass areas for family picnics and yes, even small coves …

Personal Chef for the Night

Usually we write about some amazing restaurant that we’ve discovered in New England, an incredible recipe idea or helpful relationship advice. But not tonight! We’ve gone a little out of the box. Nay, we’ve left the box. There were flames (literally), entertainment and amazing food all from the comfort of our home. How is this possible from home you ask? Easy, a personal chef for the night. Enter Mr. Joe Choi, a professional chef with a flare for complex flavors in what seems like simple recipes. On tonight’s menu he prepared an eggplant caponata appetizer, pan seared scallops with oyster mushroom risotto and s’mores torched right in front of us on our very own dinning room table. He took over our quaint, little kitchen and worked culinary magic on our tiny stove. A personal chef seems like something only for the rich and famous. This couldn’t be further form the truth! Most personal chef’s curve their meal plan based off of your personal preference, dietary need and budget. Doing a quick search on yelp for …

A Spa Date for Two – Butter Day Spa in Providence

The past month has been one of the craziest months we’ve had in a while. I was in a pedestrian accident with a car (me being the pedestrian) and spent the end of July recuperating (don’t worry guys, I’m feeling a lot better and back to my busy little self again). Then my parents came to visit us from California and we spent the next three weeks playing tour guide and showing them all that Rhode Island has to offer. We also did a road trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine stopping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and of course perusing the food scene of Portland. Even though our guests were my parents and it was fun traveling all over beautiful New England, having visitors for three weeks can be exhausting – especially parents or in-laws in my husband’s case (if you missed last weeks post, check out “How to Survive the In-Laws“). So as soon as their flight left, we decided to treat ourselves to something special and relaxing. We didn’t want …