Snow Day & Hot Chocolate

Okay… so this might be a bit of a departure from the healthy side of things. But if there were ever a weekend for extra special hot chocolate, this would be it…

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conquering my first blizzard

taza

My roommate and I scored this orange and cinnamon spiced chocolate when we toured the Taza chocolate factory last month (read about our tour here). Because this particular chocolate bar is intended to be enjoyed as a drinking chocolate (I thought it was just supposed to look like a cute coaster or something!) we were saving it for a snowy day. Taza chocolate is organic and direct trade certified from small producers, and is made right here in the Boston area (Somerville). I think we picked the right day to pull it out… wouldn’t you agree?

– Kelly

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January in Boston

I have officially made it through my first month of winter in Boston… we’ll see how the next two go! Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more to do than sit inside and drink tea (although I admit, there has been a lot of that going on in our apartment). Here is how I have been staying busy (& warm!)…

Ice Skating at Frog Pond

Ice Skating at Frog Pond

Ice skating is one of the few outdoor activities that is made for winter, so I made sure to not miss this opportunity. It’s chilly at first, but once you start moving around get the hang of it you warm up. We chose a day that was about 40 degrees- not 10!

Touring the Taza Chocolate Factory

Taza

Taza Chocolate Factory

Taza Chocolate

During the winter months, indoor activities (such as museums) are a great way to have fun while escaping the cold. As a gastronomy student, I’m partial to food related factory tours. The Taza Chocolate Tour was only $5, and well worth it! We learned about the chocolate making process from bean to bar, and because we were the only 2 that showed up for the tour, we got to ask plenty of questions along the way. The tour was much more fun and informative than I was expecting because we got to see every step of the chocolate making process up close and personal… not to mention the endless supply of chocolate samples! 🙂

Touring the Sam Adams Brewery

Sam Adams Boston

What can I say… I love food and beverage related tours! The Sam Adams Brewery Tour appears on many Boston Bucket Lists, and for a good reason. The factory tour portion was a tad shorter than expected, but we still got to see different parts of the brewing process, as well as get our hands on various hops (to smell) and malted barley (to taste) to see how they affect the profile of the beer. The second part of the tour was the tasting room. We tried 3 different types of beer (including the original Boston Lager), and even got to keep the glass as a souvenir. This tour was FREE, with a suggested $2 donation. Proceeds go to local charities.

Doing work out DVD’s

Winter Exercise on a budget

Let’s be real. All of these food factory tours, while educational, aren’t exactly easy on the waistline. But going for a jog isn’t an option in winter weather (at least not for me). So that’s where exercise DVD’s come into play. My brothers got me the Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD for Christmas, and that is definitely my current favorite. But when I am looking for something a little more intense, I do the kickboxing segment of the top DVD. Check out my last post to read more about my exercise routine, plus tips for morning workouts.

Tasting Authentic New England Seafood

Summer Shack

Last week I joined the Gastronomy Student Association for a seafood bake at Summer Shack. Although clam bakes and the like seem like decidedly summertime affairs, our group dinner was a huge success. My classmates showed me how to properly tackle King Crab legs and Lobster tails, and the paper lined tables and bibs left us no reason to worry about making a mess. With sides of corn on the cob and red new potatoes, the whole experience reminded me very much of a crawfish boil. This experience was definitely a must-do for my New England food education!

Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow yesterday, so spring could be here sooner rather than later. How are you going to spend your remaining days of winter?

– Kelly