Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish

I admit, there are days I’d like to close my eyes, wish for an amazing meal to appear and tah-dah! Dinner is served. But what if it was the other way around? What if by eating a dish you grant the wish of a child with a life-threatening condition? That’s just what Maggiano’s is doing to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Now through June 27th (yup, that’s less than a week away people), Maggiano’s will donate $1 from the sale of select menu items, offer a special Maggiano’s music CD, and sell wish stars in any denomination all benefiting Make-A-Wish. Also, for each new Like on the Maggiano’s Facebookpage, Maggiano’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish (up to $25,000).

I had the opportunity to sample some of the select menu items from the Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish menu at a recent Boston Parent Blogger event. Maggiano’s is known for its made-from-scratch menu items and the Make-A-Wish menu is no exception. Everything from the Shrimp, Crab and Avocado Lemonette to the Veal Meatball Bolognese was absolutely delicious. We also got to try some items from the regular menu and some pretty fantastic drinks and desserts.

Grilled Mahi Mahi & Shrimp, Caprese Salad, Fresh Berry Tiramisu were some items sampled

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Maggiano’s, and my recent visit was just as pleasant as the last time I was there. There was one thing that was different in that I had a 3-year old as my date this time. Maggiano’s is known for its family-style dining, so this is a great place to bring kids. They have an extensive kids menu and were more than accommodating to all the parents that brought their kids. And what better place to introduce kids to some classic Rat Pack tunes?

So as I listen to “Too Marvelous For Words” by none other than Frank Sinatra, I urge you to support Maggiano’s fundraising efforts for Make-A-Wish.

Disclosure: Thanks to Maggiano’s and Boston Parent Bloggers for hosting the event, which I received free of charge. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services mentioned. As always, opinions are my own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

DailyFeats and Meatless Anyday Recipe

To-do: make a meatless meal once a week

Isn’t it so completely satisfying to be able to check off items on your to-do list? Or even better – your New Year’s Resolution list? If you’re Type-A like me and feel relieved and accomplished when you can cross something off a list, then do I have a website for you.

Enter DailyFeats – the free website and app that lets you track personal goals and rewards you for every time you complete a “Feat.” DailyFeats is designed to help you reach your goals, such as be more active or spend more time with your family, through small, positive steps (think “Take the stairs” or “Tuck in your kids”). Their approach is to break down personal challenges into little pieces every day to help you reach you goal and ultimately make you healthier and happier. And as an added nudge, you can sign up for reminders to help you accomplish feats every day.

The coolest thing about DailyFeats is that you earn points for rewards or donations. For example, you can earn four points for eating fruits and veggies to 20 points for learning a new skill. Rack up your points and earn discounts to your favorite retailers (Starbucks, Amazon). Or even cooler – do the things you do everyday and donate a $1 for every 50 points toward charities such as American Heart Association and Save the Children. It’s never been easier to find motivation to do something positive everyday.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the people from DailyFeats last week at Gather Here in Cambridge while completing some very cool feats and earning points at the same time.

So I’m giving DailyFeats a try to help me achieve my goal in raising adventurous eaters. And one of my feats is to do a Meatless Monday for my family. It may not be a unique or exciting goal, but for the family that has a Bacon shrine, it’s a good place to start. Here is a meatless dish that my meat-loving family can’t get enough of.

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Maifun and Tofu

  • 8 oz package maifun noodles (rice vermicelli noodles)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 oz firm tofu, well drained, cut into ½ inch cubes (we prefer Tofettes Hot & Spicy)
  • 1 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
  • 2 bunches of scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  1. Cook noodles as directed and set aside.
  2. Combine the broth, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry for one-two minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil and add ginger and garlic and stir fry for one minute. Add broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and green onions; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
  5. Return tofu into skillet, stir broth mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring until hot. Add noodles, tossing to combine and cook until heated through.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm topped with tofu and sesame seeds.

Disclosure: Thanks to DailyFeats and Gather Here for hosting the DailyFeats event, which I received free of charge. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services mentioned. As always, opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Ode to Sriracha. Oh how we love thee. 

Photo taken at last year's Dragon Boat Festival. This year's festival takes place this Sunday, June 10th from 12-5pm. Click here for details.


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