Last year for Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving, I experimented with a Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. This year I tried my hand at a Cabernet Cranberry Blueberry Sauce. I found the original recipe here but made a couple of small changes after doing a few batches.
One 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
8-ounces frozen blueberries
3/4 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon or your favorite red wine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently. Make sure kettle has room for sauce to at least triple in volume. The juices from the berries release and as the mixture boils rapidly, it will foam and a too-small pot will easily overflow.
Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly, and most of the cranberries have burst. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.
Transfer to heat-safe jars or containers with lids. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
We certainly know how to party of Crawl in Boston, but we also believe in moderation, so we also do some healthy things too! We recently went to the Burnin’ by Ray popup in the Seaport. The classes are a mix of weights and motor-less cardio. You switch between stations and do 40 seconds of cardio, 20 seconds of rest (or really, to get to the weights) and 40 seconds of a weight exercise. You do each of these stations four times before moving to the next cardio machine/move, for twelve rounds. You can go at your own pace, but the instructors are there to motivate you and help with your form on the weighted moves. In the popup, they have treadmills, air bikes, and ski machines for cardio, but the original location in Belmont has lots of different kinds of machines.
They are offering four free classes at the popup, ahead of the actual studio space opening in August. The pop up space is a little bare bones for now, but it’s still a great way to try out the workout. We recommend checking it out!
In January, we took advantage of cheap flight prices to check out some cities in Europe. Here’s our roundup of places to check out when in Amsterdam.
We did a 48 hour hop on/hop off tour, which included both bus and boat. This was a good way to get around, but note that traffic can get BAD, so you may be sitting on the bus for awhile. The boat seems like a more efficient way to get around, and the canals are fun to tour. Bikes are obviously huge in Amsterdam and you can rent them, but we opted not to. Be careful when you’re walking, bike lines are not always clearly marked, and they don’t stop!
Stops on the HOHO tour:
Brouwerij’T Ij: This is a brewery located in Amsterdam’s biggest windmill. This is a really cool place to visit, as it combines cool history and architecture with really great beers! From here, you can take a quick walk to Dapper Markt, which is a fun outdoor market with food an clothing. Don’t miss the pancakes! Another fun stop is the Vondelpark, where the famous Amsterdam sign is. Did you even really go to Amsterdam if you don’t ‘gram yourself in front of this sign?
One of the stops on the tour was Gassan Diamonds. Here is a free tour of the diamond factory that the tour guides push hard. We were about to get off the tour and check it out, but luckily we talked to some people who did the tour. It’s apparently a BIG sales pitch, and not worth your time, unless you’re in the market for diamonds. Don’t bother.
Another stop is the Anne Frank House. A big tip, if you want to tour the house, get your tickets as soon as you book your trip. We tried to get our tickets a few weeks before and it was already sold out. We got to see the outside, but plan ahead if you want to go in.
Here’s a rundown of our favorite cocktail bars. We were lucky to meet a friendly bartender at the first stop who gave us a great recommendation list.
The Tailor: This is a fairly new hotel bar. The bartenders were great and the drinks were good. Not as inventive as some of the places further down the list, but we never would have found those places without the help of the bartender here.
House Bar: This is another hotel bar, but it doesn’t feel like it. The drinks here are crazy inventive. Each page is themed on Amsterdam history and how the cocktails are inspired by it. One of the drinks we had here came topped with an “oyster” with a white chocolate pearl filled with lychee syrup, which complimented the drink. Very unique!
Porem: Another interesting cocktail bar. It’s hard to find from the outside. The drink list was smaller but the staff was so nice and friendly. The host was excited to talk about Boston once he found out that was where we were from. He was asking us about Drink, even though he’s never been.
Tales and Spirits: GO EARLY. This place fills up fast and has some of the most innovative cocktails I’ve seen. One of our drinks was chocolate inspired and came in a chocolate box. Another was a flaming cocktail that was so fun and delicious. Don’t miss this place.
Flying Dutchmen: When we were there, this place had only been open a few weeks. Another place where the staff was SO nice and friendly. We were the first ones in, so we had a great conversation with the owner and bartender who made us feel at home. They let us behind the bar for a picture when we left, and made a call to get us into Tales and Spirits. Their cocktails are also story related, and well made.
We did eat occasionally, and here are our favorites:
Cannibale Royale: This was our favorite dinner. Don’t let the name scare you! This place is known for its steaks and burgers. It gets crowded too, so try to make a reservation. We were lucky to get seats at the bar.
Greenwoods: This is a tiny café (they have an ample outdoor patio, but it wasn’t opened in January when we were there) with a line. It was worth the wait. They specialize in English breakfasts and it was delicious. Good coffee and tea options to start a day of sightseeing.
Restaurant Lucius: This was a nice seafood restaurant. They have a 2 or 3 course dinner option, or you can order a la carte. The food was fresh and well prepared.
All in all, Amsterdam was a great city to visit. It was beautiful, and the people there are so kind. One of the best parts of the trip was just talking to people. They loved to tell us about their city, but also seemed equally interested in us and our travels.
Here’s a listing of 35+ Boston area parties we’ve found (in no particular order)
Marathon Monday is upon us. Below are a few events happening. Will update as we hear of more.
This super fun event that benefits Boston Children’s Hospital. Let your inner kid out for a night of games, tasty treats, and all the feel-good memories of when you were young. The best part? Just by acting like a kid, you help sick kids at Boston Children’s Hospital have a chance to play again. See for yourself! $75 for all you can eat, drink and play (ticket prices increase April 1st)! Learn more at HERE
Mother’s Day is Sunday. Although the weather is looking like rain, there’s still plenty to do.