Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Boston

Prost! Oktoberfest comes to Boston only once a year, and we're here to help you make the right choices on where to celebrate.

Harpoon Brewery has long had an Oktoberfest and serve up beer, bratwursts and the whole shebang! Taking place this weekend - October 2nd and 3rd - head over to their brewery in South Boston to be transported across the pond to Munich.

If you're not interested in hopping across the pond, hop across the river to Cambridge to take part in Harvard Square's Oktoberfest festivities. October 11th marks the 37th annual Oktoberfest. Watch the legendary HONK parade, stop off in the Sam Adams Beer Garden, feast on some traditional German food and even partake in family friendly activities.

Jacob Wirth's has been a mainstay in German tradition since 1868 when a restaurant was open with traditional german cuisine. Although no formal Oktoberfest activities will take place, you can head over to Jacob Wirth's in the Theater District for a real German Beer Hall experience. Don't forget your lederhosen!

After the celebrations, retire back to Clarendon Square and enjoy a beer (perhaps Harpoon's Octoberfest) on our roof top deck or in our hot tub.

Friday, September 25, 2015

10 Places to Celebrate National Pancake Day in Boston

September 26th is National Pancake Day! Now this is a true celebration! What better way to prepare you for this day than provide you with the 10 best places in Boston to eat delicious pancakes. Enjoy!

The Paramount - Beacon Hill
44 Charles St Boston, MA 02114

The pancakes are served with powdered sugar , whipped butter and pure vermont maple syrup. You can have your choice of banana, apple cinnamon or chocolate chips, fresh blueberries, strawberries
or you can go for a combination of fillings.

Metropolis - South End
584 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118

Choose from a Sweet Stack or Smoke stack of pancakes. The sweet stack comes with three buttermilk pancakes, maple whipped butter, caramelized bananas, Belgian chocolate and powdered sugar. The Smoke Stack are blueberry pancakes with maple whipped butter and three strips of hickory smoked bacon. Brunch is only served on Saturday and Sunday.

Centre Street Cafe - Jamaica Plain
669 Centre Street Boston, MA 02130

A local favorite, their "pancakes del giorno" are served with rich maple syrup and whipped butter.
Scollay Square - Beacon Hill
21 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108

Head to Scollay Square for one of a kind griddle pancakes with traditional, blueberry, or strawberry flavors. They only offer brunch on Sunday but the once a week trip is worth it for their "build your own Bloody Mary" bar.
Oak Long Bar + Kitchen - Prudential
8 Saint James Ave. Boston, MA 02116, United States

You will not be disappointed with Oak Long Bar selection of pancakes. Their sweet and savory ham and cheese pancakes or raspberry and granola pancakes are worth the visit.

After filling up on pancakes, come back and relax at Clarendon Square with a cup of tea in our warm library or parlor.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guacamole Recipes in Honor of National Guacamole Day

National Guacamole Day, which also falls on Mexico's Independence Day, is a good excuse to go green with guacamole. We wanted to make the celebrations easy for you by rounding up some recipes from our favorite chefs/sites.

Guacamole Salad - Avocados paired with jalapenos, black beans, and tomatoes makes a delicious side dish or add some protein for a meal all by itself.

Guacamole Salad

Guacamole and Cheese Stuffed Chicken - Zesty and creamy guacamole stuffed into a moist chicken breast.

Easy Guacamole and Cheese Stuffed Chicken | ASpicyPerspective.com #dinner #chicken #guacamole #miniguac

The Guac - Homemade guacamole: definitive, straight-forward, and iconic.

The Guac

Watermelon Feta Guacamole - Adding watermelon and feta to an old favorite creates a surprising and refreshing flavor combination.

Watermelon Feta Guacamole Recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com. The perfect guacamoel for summer! #glutenfree #summer

Pomegranate Guacamole - Another recipe that adds fruit to your guac.

Festive pomegranate guacamole, perfect for holiday parties or as a snack! - cookieandkate.com

Smashed Pea Guacamole - A jazzed up, healthier version of the classic.

Smashed Pea Guacamole with Cilantro, Ginger and Lime

Grilled Guacamole - Is there anything better than guacamole? Yes, grilled guacamole.

Grilled Guacamole

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Best Places in Boston to Celebrate International Chocolate Day

International Chocolate Day is upon us! In honor of this sweet holiday, we've rounded up the best places in Boston to indulge on Chocolate Day.

1. L.A. Burdick
220 Clarendon Street, Boston
With locations in Back Bay and Cambridge, L.A. Burdick has become a Boston staple. They are most known for their whipped ganache shaped into cute little mice and penguins. While you might come for the ganache, you'll stay for the drinking chocolate. Their shaved chocolate blends are reminiscent of something you might find in a European cafe. Coming in three flavors: dark, milk and white chocolate this delicious beverage can be enjoyed hot in the winter or over ice in the summer.

2. Omni Parker Hotel - Parker's Restaurant
60 School Street, Boston
While the Omni Parker Hotel may be known for it's haunted history, it's real claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie. Technically it isn't even a pie, it's a cake! It was created in 1856 by French chef Sanzian of the Parker House Hotel (now Omni Parker) as a remake to the American "pudding pie." The Omni Parker Hotel has been consistently serving the pies since 1856 meaning you can have some history with your chocolate.

3. Mistral
223 Columbus Avenue, Boston
Located in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, Mistral is a delicious and elegant French restaurant. After treating yourself to some gourmet roast duck or prime sirloin, end the evening with their decedent Chocolate Torte. It is made with Valrhona dark chocolate and served warm with vanilla ice cream and sauce anglaise.

4. Max Brenner
745 Boylston Street, Boston
We would be remiss if we did not include Max Brenner, which is both a chocolate bar and restaurant. They have everything from fondue, and milkshakes, to chocolate cocktails and an impressive variety of hot chocolate. Skip dinner all together and go straight for the Chocolate Chunks Pizza which features white and dark chocolate chunks, and your choice of toppings including hazelnuts, bananas, peanut butter or roasted marshmallows.

5. Beacon Hill Chocolates
91 Charles Street, Boston
Tucked away on Boston's "charming" and historic Charles Street, Beacon Hill Chocolates has been serving gourmet chocolates and truffles for the past 15 years. They import artisan chocolates from all over the world. There is something for everybody with a wide variety of flavors including caramel, creme brule and their "caramel sushi."

Once you are full of chocolate, come back and relax at Clarendon Square and enjoy your leftovers (if there are any) on our rooftop deck.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Recipes to Get You Ready for International Chocolate Day

International Chocolate Day is this Sunday (9/13)! We wanted to help you prepare for the festivities with some recipes from our favorite chefs/sites.

1. Triple-Chocolate Chocolate Pudding- No chocolate-lover will be able to resist a bowl of this thick, creamy pudding from pastry chef Sarabeth Levine's "Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours" cookbook.

2. Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake - A moist cake with the flavors of Kahlua, espresso, chocolate and mascarpone cheese.

3. Milkie Way Malt - Vanilla ice cream with malted milk, chocolate, caramel sauce, and crushed malt balls make for a candybar- inspired treat.

4. White Chocolate Spheres Filled With Chocolate Mousse This one-of-a-kind dessert recipe from chef Eric Snow of The Oak Room is the perfect sweet treat for someone special.

White-Chocolate Spheres Filled with Chocolate Mousse

5. Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes With Caramel Sauce - What's the only thing that could improve a warm, fudge chocolate cake? Gooey caramel sauce.

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes with Caramel Sauce

6. Chocolate Honey Almond Tart - This decadent tart has the rich flavors of honey and almonds to balance the chocolate.

Chocolate Honey Almond Tart

7. Salty Chocolate Chunk CookiesFinishing your cookies with a delicate, flaky salt like Maldon brings out the chocolate flavor and tempers the sweetness, creating the ultimate sweet and salty snack.

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe

8. Raspberry Chocolate Kiss Cocktail - Originally created for Valentine's Day, this delicious cocktail is perfect for any time of year.

Raspberry Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

9. Chocolate Almond MacaroonsThese chewy macaroons call for two favorite flavors, chocolate and almonds.

Chocolate Almond Macaroons
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Monday, September 7, 2015

10 Recipes All Beer Lovers Need to Try

September 7th is National Beer Lover's Day! What better way to commemorate this amazing holiday than sharing 10 amazing beer recipes that will leave your taste buds wanting more? We've compiled some of our favorite recipes from our favorite chefs/sites below.

1. Beer Braise Bratwurst Cabbage - A basic beer braise gives this quick-cooking bratwurst its down-home flavor and absolute deliciousness. Pair this with your favorite cornbread and you have a mouthwatering combination.

2. Beer Battered Asparagus - A fried asparagus recipe served with a homemade dip giving you all the flavor and spices you need.
3. Homemade Beer Spring Onion Mustard - Mustard meets relish in this turmeric-and-beer-laced condiment, which gets a sweet boost from Vidalia onions giving you the perfect hint of sweetness.
4. Beer and Italian Sausage Fondue - A simple recipe to make and a fantastic flavorful dish for any party or event.
5. Ginger Peach Cooler - Summer is not over yet. The beer, peach nectar, peaches an syrup blend together making a refreshing drink that you will want again and again.
6. Happy Mich Beer CocktailA fun cocktail with lime juice, hibiscus and spiced with tabasco  making this drink the highlight of any event.
7. Beer Battered Fish - Delicious fried fish with a versatile  batter that can also be used  for chicken tenders, onion rings, and zucchini slices.
8. Beer Steamed Clams - Clams are inexpensive, plentiful and easy to cook and with this tasty recipe clams will become a staple in your home.
9. Beer Braised Carnitas - An excellent recipe. Braise your pork in crockpot and you will have a tender, flavorful pork that you can  with nachos, tacos and more.
10. Brazilian Beer Marinated ChickenThis dish is flavored with Xingu (a Brazilian black lager that has a distinctive colalike flavor), plus mustard and onion. The marinade rings a lot of flavor to this dish.
Be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more recipes and lifestyle tips!

Changing lives with Kiva

At Clarendon Square, we support Kiva which is a non-profit organization focused on connecting people throughout the world through lending. By leveraging the internet and a large network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets you lend as little as $25 to help with different causes around the world. Through our partnership, we have been able to touch over thirty lives through Kiva.

Read more below about the lives we have been able to help around the world. 
Job is from Mokopane, South Africa and has a two-year-old son named Mpho. Job is earning a B.A. degree at Maharishi Institute in Business Management. The Maharishi Education for Invincibility Trust (MEIT) extends educational opportunities to poor and historically excluded students in South Africa. Upon graduation Job wants to start his own construction company and hopes to move somewhere new to start his business because traveling inspires him. This loan from Kiva is helping to pay for one year of tuition plus living expenses so Job can focus on his studies, support his son, and begin his path to building a strong and successful future. 
Wendy is from San Miguel, El Salvador. Currently, Wendy works in a school cafeteria in a district close to her community. She used to work in her mother's business selling food and soft drinks while gaining experience on how to run a small business. This loan is helping her to start her own business selling food and refreshments, as part of a project to help young men and women in El Salvador launch their own businesses. Unemployment for young people is high in El Salvador, a fact that motivates many of them to leave the country instead of searching for work. With this loan, Wendy hopes to run a successful business, support her family and stay living in her beautiful country El Salvador.

Menaka is 29 years old and lives in a small rural village in Dhupguri, India. She is a mother of two young children, her daughter Sampa is 10 years old and is in the 5th grade. She was struggling in school academically and needed the additional support from a private tutor. Unfortunately, Menaka’s family could not afford the cost of a tutor or adequate studies materials to help Sampa. Through this loan from Clarendon Square, Kiva made it possible for Sampa’s family to purchases books, supplies, school uniforms, pay for school fees, and enroll her in private tutoring classes. Menaka is optimistic this will support Sampa in being successful in school and getting her daughter closer to her dream of becoming an engineer.

Join the movement today! For more information on how to start your Kiva loan visit http://www.kiva.org. And if you book a stay for Clarendon Square online, you can make a donation to Kiva at checkout.