Food + Booze

Hidden Franklin County gems

Hidden Franklin County gems

It’s 3pm in the hilltowns. Bright sunshine warms the Ashfield Lake, and the reflected light bounces up through the windows of the three-story Lakehouse, into the quiet bar and dining room. I’ve caught the tail end of Friday lunch, and the mood at the bar is calm. A...
Pie vs. Cake

Pie vs. Cake

The Thanksgiving feast has been devoured, and now it’s time for dessert. There’s two pies and two cakes on the table. Now, you must choose. Who knew mom was setting us up for this debate all along? It’s the holiday season, so it’s the perfect time to hash out the...
Not All Candy Canes are Created Equal

Not All Candy Canes are Created Equal

Santa Claus and his elves make a fine traditional candy cane, but after a couple of centuries of Christmas, it’s time to shake up the cane game a bit. Enter Hammond’s, a Colorado-candy maker that distributes widely throughout the Valley and has a penchant for cranking...
We Went Vegan … for lunch

We Went Vegan … for lunch

If you’ve ever worked in restaurants, you probably know that vegan is a five-letter-word often unwelcome among chefs. But veganism is gaining steam. A recent World Health Organization study disappointed bacon-lovers everywhere when it reported an 18 percent increase...
Tips for Getting Tipsy

Tips for Getting Tipsy

Some of us don’t get out much. I’m lookin’ at you, worshiper of the porcelain goddess. You look like you could use some help. Most adults have learned how to hold their liquor, while others of all ages are still learning. Plus, braving the crowds isn’t always easy....
Why I Quit Blue Apron

Why I Quit Blue Apron

The meal subscription service is flavorful, but flawed The box arrived on my front porch at sunset, stamped with the Blue Apron logo. I carried it into the kitchen, where I set it down with a heavy thud. I order a lot online, so it didn’t strike me as odd to cut open...
All the (local) Alcohols

All the (local) Alcohols

Thirsty? Check out all the local breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries and more across the Pioneer Valley. All the listed businesses are open for tastings and/or tours, so make a trip out of it! For reviews on local beers and beyond, check out The Beerhunter,...
C’est La Vino

C’est La Vino

When Caroline McDaniel opened ConVino ten months ago, she says she was still waiting on her beverage manager to arrive from California. A month and a half later, it became clear they weren’t coming. In a day wrought with stress over her wine bar’s management hole, she...
Gettin’ Cheesy with it

Gettin’ Cheesy with it

Cheese, glorious cheese. Many thanks to you, oh creamy fromage, for always being there when we need a snack, a spread turned meal, or simply a tasty addition to a dish otherwise lacking. You complete us. Of course, we Advocate staffers jumped at the chance to eat...
Dulce delish

Dulce delish

For Valley foodies, Maria Moreno’s alfajores — Chilean cookies made with dulce de leche inside — are a novelty bought in local markets. But for Moreno’s two-year-old daughter, Olivia, they’re a daily staple. Inside Moreno’s home kitchen in Easthampton, where Moreno...
Which cider house rules?

Which cider house rules?

Cider is a great fall treat that’s sadly been smothered by the wave of pumpkin spice that overtakes New England when the leaves start to change. Tart, tangy, sweet, a punch of apple to the taste buds, the underappreciated cider is a robust beverage that truly deserves...
Jaboulet is Back

Jaboulet is Back

Like white shoes, white pants and hats, white wines can go back on the shelf until the days lengthen and warm up. Sure, there will be occasions for a crisp Chardonnay, perhaps with a course or two of a holiday meal, and there are many other whites that are perfect...