Commonwealth Kitchens

Amidst the neighborhoods of Dorchester sits a hub of culinary innovation and creativity.  Commonwealth Kitchens is a collection of industrial kitchens and storage spaces where small food businesses can grow.  Through applying to use the space and renting time in the kitchens,  they can begin making their products on a larger scale.   This allows them to place their products in more stores, open brick and mortar restaurants in addition to their food trucks, or be able to reach more customers with their products.

While Commonwealth Kitchens aren’t open to the public, their website provides you with a list of the companies that are currently using the space to grow as well as a list of their graduates.  Graduates are companies that are now operating on a larger scale on their own two feet and run successful businesses around the city.  Some graduates include Seta’s Cafe, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and Just Add Cooking.

I was introduced to Commonwealth Kitchen through a class at school and it was love at first sight.  Surrounded by food trucks, this beloved building is home to so many culinary dreams.  As our class toured the kitchens, we had the opportunity to meet the artists behind Apotheker’s “bee sweetened goods.”  We were also lucky enough to sample their delectable marshmallows and their tasty quinoa with cacao nib chocolate bars.  Their tagline, “bee sweetened goods” points to their use of honey instead of refined sugars.  This leads to an equally sweet and even more delicious take on treats.

As we made our way through the facilities, we also got to take a peek at all the behind the scenes work that goes into making and selling food products.  We got to take an inside look at the all the components of the food business from making the food, to marketing, to labeling, and storing the ingredients and products.  It was an incredible experience, and I highly recommend trying the food created by their amazing entrepreneurs.

Enjoy,

♥ Elle

 

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Thinking Cup

What’s in a name? Well in this case, the name is quite appropriate.  The Thinking Cup is a lovely coffee shop perfect for grabbing a bite, stopping by to study, or catching up.  With a typewriter on the wall and old newspapers incorporated into the tables, it feels like the kind of place one could sit and take in the world around them.  With nothing but a notebook I could sit and people watch for hours.  Their locations on Newbury Street and in the North End are perfect for sitting and absorbing the city’s bustling atmosphere.

Boasting fresh juices, delicious sandwiches and picture-perfect pastries, the Thinking Cup has something to satisfy any craving.  I personally enjoy a slice of banana bread with some fresh grapefruit juice, but their cannolis, B.L.A.T.s, and variety of teas are also delectable.  So, the next time you’re craving the combination of food and people-watching, stop by the Thinking Cup.

The Wave

Tiny grains of sand surround her feet, footprints left in the wet sand mark where she has been.  The sultry breeze blows through her hair as the water curls around her ankles.  Tendrils of sea foam perch atop the wave, ready to run their watery chariot aground as they race towards the sand.

The wave builds, growing taller and taller as it gains width.  Preparing for its dash to the shore, the wave begins moving forward.  As it falls over itself, the foam leans dangerously over the edge and clutches the wave underneath so as not to fall.  The wave crashes into her, breaking as it splashes all over her.  Swirling around her legs, it circumvents this unexpected obstacle.  As the wave reaches the shore, it loses momentum.  Having arrived at the finish line, the wave’s job is done and the undertow takes over.  Sliding its long fingers over ocean floor, its pulls on the water.  The wave retreats into the ocean, and rides the tide back into the blue abyss.

If We’re Apart…


“If there is ever a tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.”

~Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne)


Sofra

Perched on the corner of Belmont and Holworthy Street is a delicious Middle Eastern eatery that creates a delectable variety of sweet confections and savory delights.  Serving every food from breakfast treats to lunches to dips to desserts, this bakery will always be a favorite of mine.

Sofra’s cozy atmosphere radiates from the heart of the bakery, the kitchen.  Aromas of tasty treats being made, wander out to mingle with the sounds of chatter and laughter, as smiles spread across the room.  Tastebuds tango with beet tzatziki, waltz with orange blossom lemonade, and tiptoe across earthquakes (a yummy chocolate cookie with powdered sugar).  Maybe they samba with stuffed flatbreads or jive with Persian spice donuts.  Whatever they fancy, they will be happy with the wide selection of choices and fare. So, treat yourself to lunch or meet your friends for brunch.  Indulge, explore, and try something new.

Happy wandering,

♥ Elle

The image above is a collection of dips from Meze Bar and they’re some of my personal favorites(from top, clockwise:Muhammara, Beet Tzatziki, Whipped Feta, & Hot Pepper Labne).

Personal New Year

Note: Most people tend to do their reflections on New Years Eve. It is the time when resolutions are born; goals are determined for the year, and boozy reflections are made.  I prefer to do this around the time of my birthday.  It feels more personal and allows me to take my accomplishments, mistakes, and all that I’ve learned into account.

There are two types of calendar years, the one we all follow that begins on January first and one that begins each year on one’s birthday.  While she used the first for appointments and classes, she followed the latter when it came to making resolutions and crossing items off her bucket list.  This year was a milestone year for her.  She’d woken up each morning for the past two years, subconsciously gritting her teeth.  Accompanied by a heavy sigh, she would place her feet on the ground and stand up.  As time progressed, getting out of bed became harder and harder, sighs became sobs, and gritted teeth became clenched fists.  Unclenching her fists, she reached out for knowledge and begged for relief.  She knew that gaining knowledge on how to help herself would result in relief.

Time continued to move forward; the seasons changed, and sobs transformed into sighs.  Sighs developed into smiles, and soon enough, the smiles returned on a daily basis.  As smiles became a part of her daily life again and laughter crept its way back into her good graces, she was grateful for the help she had along the way.  Her recovery has been a group effort and she loves them for it.  As the past two years draw to a close, she has reflected on how far she’s come. This birthday marks the start of a new chapter, and for the first time in two years it would begin with the word “happily.”