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The Perfect Labor Day Meal (Recipes Included!)

In honor of labor day, we’ve curated the ideal Labor Day meal including a watermelon salad, grilled chicken burger, campfire banana split and a delicious summer cocktail to wash it all down.

 

Appetizer: Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 lb. whole seedless watermelon, chilled (about 12 cups of cubed fruit)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (sheep’s milk feta preferred)

 

Directions:

  • Note: This salad is best made just prior to serving. Prepare one hour or less before your meal.
  • Cut rind from the watermelon, then chop the fruit into 1 inch chunks. Place chunks in a colander to drain as your chop.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
  • Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat. Pour the crumbled feta into the salad bowl and stir gently to integrate the cheese into the salad. Serve.

 

Main Dish: Grilled Chicken Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onions, sliced into rings
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

 

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine sliced avocado and lemon juice. Add water to cover; set aside. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  • Heat butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until browned and caramelized; set aside.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place on grill, and cook until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. Place buns on grill just long enough to toast them.
  • Spread buns with mayonnaise to taste, then layer with chicken, caramelized onion, provolone and avocado.

 

Dessert: Campfire Banana Split

Ingredients:

  • 6 large bananas, unpeeled, stems removed
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows

 

Directions:

  • Preheat the grill for high heat.
  • Spray 4 sheets of aluminum foil, large enough to wrap bananas, with cooking spray.
  • Slice the peel of the banana from stem to bottom, while slicing the banana inside lengthwise. Carefully open the banana just wide enough to place the chocolate chips and marshmallows inside the peel with the banana.
  • Stuff with as much of the chocolate chips and marshmallows as desired.
  • Wrap the bananas with the aluminum foil and place on the grill or directly in the coals of a fire. Leave in long enough to melt the chips and the marshmallows, about 5 minutes.
  • Unwrap bananas, open the peels wide, and eat with a spoon.

 

Cocktail: Myrtle Beach

Ingredients:
Directions:
  • Muddle cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker.
  • Add Myrtle, Gin, Lemon and Simple and ice to the shaking tin.
  • Shake
  • Strain over ice and garnish with cucumber and lemon peel.

 

 

IndyCar Boston

Boston has been going through a trend over the past few years. We’re starting to have more community oriented events and event spaces; Boston team-building of sorts.  As Mayor Walsh has been implementing his city-wide strategic development plan, we’ve seen a conscious focus on more public events and spaces dedicated to one goal: Bringing Boston together as a city. This is great.

The Lawn on D in Seaport is an excellent example. It’s a public space, designed to host events of various natures, primarily stemming around arts and entertainment. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve gone.  The bid for the Olympics is one of the biggest examples of the push for city-backed events. It didn’t quite play out (and seldom benefits the host city in the long run) but I commend the spirit for throwing our hat in the ring.

Most recently, Boston has decided to host IndyCar racing. As if the Seaport needed any additional press, it’s been decided that during Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands will converge to hear V6 engines whine at 12,000 rpms as 15 teams compete for open-wheeled glory. It’s no easy task to host an event of this nature and despite details still being finalized, tickets recently went on sale. Phone lines were downed from heavy traffic. If you’ve never been to a race like this, do yourself a favor and at LEAST get a day pass to the event. As an avid motorsports fan, I personally couldn’t have been more excited and I bought four 3-day passes. I’ll be bringing a few friends. Overall, it’s great to see how Boston is progressing with the community events. I recently read we’ll be hosting a massive food truck event. More to come!

Insider tip: I’m thinking of a contest to give away a couple of Grandstand 1 day passes  – stay tuned!

Yvonne’s: Boston’s new place to be

Downtown Crossing has been waiting… and in perfect timing with the current development boom, Yvonne’s couldn’t have come to light at a more opportune time. One of my favorite spots, Yvonne’s represents what Downtown is and is becoming. Decidedly Boston, a posh urban crowd find themselves enjoying the three distinct but connected spaces within. Being on a side street, off of a pedestrian only walkway, there is no valet and parking isn’t readily available. Yvonne’s a local spot. An urban sanctuary steeped in history. A study in interior design. The lighting reminds me of a collaboration between Tesla X Edison. One day I too will have a bohemian library lounge with red leather Chesterfield couches and tinned ceilings. Yes… one day.

Insider tip: Few know about the Winter Place residences above Yvonne’s. These are some of Boston’s more unique properties – to be featured at a later date.

Where? 2 Winter Pl, Boston, MA 02108 (GPS location and separate entrance through alley at 50 Temple Place)

When? 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., seven days a week.

 


References:

“This is Boston’s most Instagrammable new restaurant. Is it as cool in real life?” Boston.com. Retrieved March 15 2016.

“Yvonne’s is once again the place to be”. Boston Globe. Retrieved March 15 2016.

“Restaurant Review: Yvonne’s in Boston” Boston Magazine. Retrieved March 15 2016.

Drink: Join Boston’s Craft Cocktail Craze

If you’re a cocktail geek (even if you’re not) and want to try something new, head down to Fort Point in the Seaport, venture downstairs from the Italian restaurant Sportello and you’ll find Drink: A subterranean bar with no reservations, drink menus and a staff passionate on bringing you the finest libation creations.

Opened in 2008 by Barbara Lynch, Drink has since won many Best of Boston awards— including Best Cocktail Bar, a category that didn’t exist in Boston before Drink helped jump-start the craft-cocktail craze.

Once you’ve entered, you’re met with an industrial vibe emphasized by wooden beams, exposed brick and tasteful, dim lighting. Drink’s interior was designed by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz and preserves the  history of what once was a wool warehouse. The bartenders may ask for your current mood or for a few flavor profiles to guide them as they handcraft something delicious.

The wait can sometimes be long but definitely worth it! Drink is a Boston staple for enjoying the art of mixology.

Pro tip: Drink serves a limited number of burgers throughout the night and they’re fantastic.

Where? 348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

When? Monday to Sunday: 4pm – 1am. Food served: 4pm – 11:30pm


Be The Jetsons

According to ABI Research’s latest data, there will be nearly 30 billion connected devices by 2020.  The tripling of connected devices brings about a very real question: How do we control the tech without letting it control us? Enter Josh: Home automation with a personality, and then some.

On a recent trip to LA, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nader Dajani, JStar’s head of business development. After taking Josh for a brief spin, I was impressed. In luxury real estate, I work with many properties that have tech features installed, ranging from basic Sonos setups to bespoke whole-home automation setups. A main concern I see time again is ease of use. Can a family member or guest easily control the often complex systems?

This is where Josh shines. Voice control with multi-command functionality is just one of the features that allows you to operate the system, all the while Josh is learning your behaviors and adapting to improve functionality. An exciting new step in helping you stay connected and stay in control. Limited launch for 2016.