Food Truck Fridays: Biryani Park

I’m back with another installment of Food Truck Fridays, my sporadic Friday series about meals on wheels around the Bean.  Up this time around: Biryani Park, an Indo-Lankan food truck with an enormous menu.  The food was tasty, if a little spicy for my liking (I’m a huge wimp and can’t do spicy food).  A huge plus was the Mango Lassi, one of my favorite treats.  Kelsee had the Chicken Biryani (spicy baked chicken and rice with raita) and I had the Chicken String Hopper (curried chicken and vegetables cooked with red rice noodles).  Definitely worth a visit, especially if you like spicy dishes!
Mango Lassi
Kels w Biryani
Chicken String Hopper Biryani
Chicken Biryani

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Peanuts4Peanuts

peanuts4peanuts

As someone who eats peanut butter in one way or another every day at breakfast, the concept of Peanuts4Peanuts strikes me as an awesome way to regularly (and easily!) do my part to help those who are less fortunate.  Haven’t heard of the organization?  Perhaps that’s because it’s an awesome start-up that recently launched here in Boston!  Co-Founders Lizzie Faust and Kendra Wilkins have started Peanuts4Peanuts to combat chronic malnutrition in Haiti.  It works just like the name suggests…You buy a jar of peanut butter here in the US, and a dose of medicinal peanut butter is given to a child in Haiti.  Peanuts for peanuts.  The concept sounds simple, but getting a start-up off the ground isn’t.  Lizzie and Kendra need our help getting their operation up and running.  Here’s what you need to know:

What is Peanuts4Peanuts, in a nutshell? (pun intended, sorry I had to)
L&K: Peanuts4Peanuts is a Boston-based start-up that helps to treat malnourished children in Haiti through a sustainable economic model built around the concept of selling peanut butter. We use U.S. grown peanuts and produce our peanut butter in a facility right outside of Boston.  For every jar we sell, a dose of micronutrient fortified peanut butter will be provided to a malnourished child in Haiti. We all love peanut butter! But now, with Peanuts4Peanuts, there’s more to love!
 
What stage are you currently at in the process of developing the organization?
L&K: We are in discussions with potential partners in Haiti who will help us distribute the peanut butter. Our manufacturer is all set to produce the Peanuts4Peanuts peanut butter once we give them the green light. And we have stores lined up in the South End excited to sell our product! All we need is the initial capital to get this moving!
 
Why Haiti? 
L: I have done economic analyses for Partners in Health and Gheskio HIV/TB Clinic, non-profit organizations that are based in Haiti. Last fall, I went to Haiti and was introduced to medicinal peanut butter. Medicinal peanut butter has really revolutionized the way children are treated for malnutrition because it doesn’t require water, a scarce resource in most developing countries. Over 80,000 children die from malnutrition in Haiti each year, but with proper treatment, this number could be zero.
 
What kind of impact can Peanuts4Peanuts have in Haiti?
L&K: If left untreated, chronic malnutrition can have a serious impact on the country as a whole, because it results in increased risk of contracting HIV, low school attendance, and decreased productivity. Peanuts4Peanuts will not only help to directly treat these children, but through the employment of Haitian farmers and factory employees, we will be generating income to help reduce poverty and food insecurity across the country.
 
What can we all do to help?
L&K: Spread the word!  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign and LIKE us on Facebook. If we reach $10,000 by the end of the week, one of our Facebook fans will win a FREE Peanuts4Peanuts t-shirt or tank! 
 
Is there anything else we should know?
L: Kendra and I were recently accepted to an entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley. We’ll be heading to California for 7 weeks this fall to work on Peanuts4Peanuts. We are doing everything we can to make sure this company is a success and we can’t thank our backers and Facebook fans enough for all the support!

Their fundraising deadline on IndieGoGo is September 13, and they only receive funding if they reach their goals.  So hop over and help them (and really malnourished kids in Haiti) out!

Let’s NOT grab a drink…

the beautiful Boston skyline

the beautiful Boston skyline

That title sounds weird, I know.  But it’s a serious goal I’ve started setting for myself.  With ever-changing, ever-busy schedules, it can be pretty tough to find a free minute to spend with friends.  And when we do find free minutes, the default is to grab a drink at a local bar.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that can be an absolute blast.  But it can also be expensive and pretty unhealthy.  I’m no Miss Fitness (I can easily eat an entire party-sized bag of Cape Cod Salt & Vinegar chips in one sitting), but between cocktails with coworkers and boozy weekends, I sometimes like my dates with girlfriends to be alcohol free.

SO, if you just so happen to agree with me and live in the Boston area, here are a couple of activities I’m hoping to take part in during the next month:

St. Anthony’s feast is this weekend in the North End!  Not healthy, but still fun.
Boston has an interesting Street Seats art exhibit going on now in the Fort Point Channel.
Have you seen the Cool Globes yet?
Boston Ballet’s FREE Night of Stars is Sept. 21.  I’m so excited to go see ballet outdoors!
DIY projects can be intimidating but Darby Smart makes it easy, fun, and cheap (does anybody else accidentally spend hundreds of dollars at Micheal’s buying supplies?).
FREE pilates/yoga/bootcamp classes at Normal B. Leventhal Park in P.O. Square (financial district)!

Boston Bloggers Summer Soiree

I attended the Boston Bloggers Summer Soiree at the Sinclair in Cambridge last night, and it was an absolute BLAST.  There was a great mix of veterans and newcomers and I had a fantastic time chatting blogs and life with such an awesome group.  Unfortunately I had so much fun at my first Boston Bloggers event that I neglected to take any pictures.  Whoops.

our program for the night

our program for the night

I had initially planned on wearing white jeans with these woven booties, as the weather has been chilly in Boston.  But of course a late August heat wave is hitting the city, so I decided to take full advantage and wear a fun summer outfit (subtext: I panicked about my outfit before deciding and ultimately left my room looking like a pack of 6th graders had just used it to get ready for a middle school dance).

Top, Skirt (H&M-old, similar), Necklace, Earrings (Vintage, similar, similar), Bracelets, Watch, Ring (loulou Boutique)

Top (in black), Skirt-old H&M (similar), Necklace, Earrings-vintage (similar, similar), Bracelets (bought at Crush), Watch, Ring-loulou

shoes-old Enzo Angiolini (similar), nail polish

shoes-old Enzo Angiolini (similar), Bikini So Teeny Polish

I arrived only a few minutes late, and met a fellow blogger on my way in the door (and she was wearing a shirt that she had made…so cool)!  The rest of the night was full of meeting new people and putting faces to a few Boston blogs that I already read.  I had a moscow mule, obviously.  And the Sinclair made some tasty apps for us all to gorge nibble on.  All in all the soiree was definitely a success…thanks to Kate and Alison for hosting!

Here are some of the fun blogs I learned about last night: Forever and a Recipe, Like So Pretty, Pam Sahota, Books and Liquor, Gluten Free Boston Girl, My Sunday Dress, Alone with a Cupcake, Another Clean Slate, Hogger & Co, A Drink with a Stranger

Food Truck Fridays: Fugu Foods

Cold Noodles with Sesame Dressing and Spiced Chicken

I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about some of the great Food Trucks in Boston.  There are so many awesome options so on the occasional Friday in the future, I’ll be cataloging my favorites.  First up is Fugu, an authentic Asian street food truck. (holy alliteration…so many f’s)

Noodles, Spiced Chicken, Carrots, Cucumbers, Sesame Dressing

When I visited Fugu I had the braised pork belly steamed buns, and a cold noodle salad with sesame sauce and spiced chicken.  The food was delicious; great flavors and really colorful dishes.  But the best part was that everything tasted so fresh.  The veggies were crisp and tasty, and the pork buns had clearly just been made.

Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Buns

Here’s a link to their site!  The truck moves around, and the menu changes…but if it’s ever in your area it’s worth a trip!

Summer Friday

Does anyone else always feel like Fridays during the summer just drag on and on (or really any day stuck inside when it’s so beautiful out)?  Here are some fun links to get you through the last day of the week. Full disclosure: I had no intention of giving this post a theme…it just happened on its own (apparently food and music are all I’m thinking about these days).

Um, holy Matrix. MIT researchers implant false memories in mice!

Hungry? You are now.

How much caffeine is in your morning coffee?

If you happen to be in Boston this weekend, its Porkapalooza at the Salty Pig.

Telltale Preserve Co.’s ‘The Rebel Within’ won a champion food porn title.  Here’s the recipe…I know what I’m doing this weekend.

Rappers and Cereal.

The first 15 music videos MTV ever played.

If you haven’t seen this Robin Thicke/Jimmy Fallon/The Roots collaboration, it’s awesome.

And lastly, if you aren’t already reading The Skimm, its a fun way to get news updates in the morning. Though if you’re seriously into reading WSJ and checking CNN compulsively, it might not be for you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Marvelous Mules

No I’m not talking about the animal, and no I’m not talking about the shoes (in fact I don’t find either of the aforementioned to be marvelous). I’m talking about the cocktail.  Ginger beer and booze with a hint of lime. Ginger beer tends to be synonymous with a Dark and Stormy in Boston, but to my knowledge Mules and Stormies are basically just variations on one another.  Moscow Mules (made with vodka) are likely the most common form of the cocktail, but if you like ginger beer (I love it), you won’t be disappointed with any one of the spins seen below.

Number 1 is made with Bourbon, a Kentucky Mule from Sarcastic Cooking.  2 is a Prickly Pear Mezcal Mule from The Boys Club.  And 3 will be a favorite of New Englanders, featuring fresh blueberries.  It’s Sugar and Charm’s Blueberry Moscow Mule.  We finish out the lineup with a gin variation: a Cockney Mule from Boston’s own Trade.  Trade’s cockney mule is probably my favorite drink in Boston (side note: their entire menu is fantastic).  Though if you happen to be looking for a traditional Moscow Mule in a tin mug, the Langham Hotel’s Bond has you covered.