finished cajun soup

Make our Cajun Coconut Vegetable Soup at Home!

Well, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…we’re starting a series of blog posts sharing some of our most popular recipes! We’re starting off with our Cajun Coconut Vegetable Soup. This soup is perfect for Spring time – it’s not too heavy and it uses fresh corn, which we are all so excited about coming back into season! This soup happens to be vegan but it’s a really hearty meal, even for the biggest carnivores among us.

Ok, so let’s get down to brass tacks – how do you make this magical soup? The following recipe will make 6 main course servings:

Crema Cafe’s Cajun Coconut Vegetable Soup

  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 2 cups Spanish onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 2 medium ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob (or 1-1/4 cups frozen kernels if you can’t find fresh)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (or substitute canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 TB kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 TB fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder, dried and ground
  • 1-1/2 cans coconut milk (20 oz)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (29 oz)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • Cooked white rice and avocado, for serving

First, you get your mise on – “Mise en place” is French phrase meaning getting your ingredients in order. Basically, measure and chop your ingredients and get your head in the game! This is an essential part of staying organized in a busy kitchen and avoids any delays later on in the cooking process.

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Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, here’s the process:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil. saute vegadding spices
  2. Sauté onions with 2 tsp of salt until translucent.
  3. Add the peppers and celery. Sauté until slightly softened.
  4. Add the garlic, spices, and herbs. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the diced tomatoes and vegetable stock, bring to a boil.
  6. Add the chickpeas and corn kernels. Cook soup for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn down the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (Do NOT bring the soup to a boil after the coconut milk has been added – boiling will cause it to separate!) Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  8. Serve over cooked white rice and garnish with slices of avocado.

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New Menu & the Great Grilled Chicken Battle of 2015

Every year we take a long, hard look at our menu and think, “how can we make this even more awesome and exciting for our wonderful, loyal, hungry customers?” For the past couple weeks we’ve been pouring over the hard data (sales figures, units sold) and soft data (what we feel like eating these days) to answer this pressing question.

In a highly scientific process which involves a lot of hours in the kitchen and long, laborious tasting sessions of mouth-watering sandwiches, we let our hearts and stomachs guide us to the new items which we’re going to put on the menu. Sadly, this does mean that a few of our old sandwiches will be coming off the menu, but we feel confident that the new ones will really knock your socks off!

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There’s one little issue this time around though – the Spinach Artichoke Chicken Sandwich. This sandwich has been a staple at Crema since 2009-ish. We rotated it off the menu in 2010 and we received a flood of angry phone calls and emails, and customers walked out in a huff when they saw that the “Sp-Arty” (as it’s fondly called) was no longer on the menu. Needless to say, we quickly brought it back! Well, it’s 5 years later and we’re considering taking it off the menu again, but we want to know if our Crema peeps are with us this time so we’re introducing the GREAT GRILLED CHICKEN BATTLE OF 2015!!!

We’re changing over to our new menu items on Monday, February 9th, but for the first week of the menu change (February 9th-15th), we will be serving BOTH the Spinach Artichoke Chicken AND its potential replacement, the Pesto Chicken Melt so you can try them and compare their awesomeness. For that entire week we will be taking customer votes through Instagram (@cremacambridge) to see which sandwich is more popular, and the winner will get a permanent spot on the Crema menu! Follow @cremacambridge on instagram, post a picture of your favorite sandwich or yourself at Crema with the hashtag #greatestgrilledchicken and tell the world (and us) which one you want to see on the 2015 Crema menu!

This is your chance to be heard regarding your grilled chicken sandwich options, so don’t miss out! The Great Grilled Chicken Battle of 2015 is sure to be heated, exciting, and delicious. If you don’t have Instagram, download the app today so you’re prepared to place your vote, and follow us @cremacambridge to let your voice be heard.

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Welcome to Winter with Crema #lattelove

Winter is upon us… Which we all know means that it’s time to get your favorite hot beverage at Crema!! There’s nothing better than sitting down and sipping on something truly delightful in the five free minutes you might have in a day. Not to mention, we make your libation as beautiful as we can to add some pizzazz to your chilly day. Our Baristas are working hard and pouring up some pretty incredible latte art!

Showin a little #lattelove

Some serious #lattelove

2012-12-28 06.18.36There are so many different drinks to chose from that you’re bound to find one to fit your mood. If bright, nutty espresso mixed with warm steamed milk doesn’t cheer you up, we know what might… Crema’s homemade hot chocolate!! Go ahead and get the whipped cream AND the homemade ginger marshmallows (we wont judge you). Feeling frisky? Try the Felipe’s hot chocolate which has Mexican chocolate mixed with dried chili peppers for a warm kick. Feeling nostalgic for your mornings as a little kid eating pancakes with real maple syrup? Try our Maple Latte. It’s got just the right amount of seasonal sweetness and all the caffeine you need to greet the day with vigor and vim. If you can’t decide, just go for a classic! The Golden Crema is the best latte in New England, but we may be biased. Perfect amounts of sweet honey and warm cinnamon mix with your favorite milk and espresso. Don’t forget that we have ALMOND now which seems to be all the rage with the kids…and the kids at heart.

We don’t want all you tea-lovers to feel left out – we’ve got tons of beautiful and delicious lattes for you, too! The Red Crema is probably one of our proudest accomplishments and it actually preceded the Golden Crema (little known factoid). All we’re saying is, rooibos tea is meant to be sipped with honey and cinnamon. It’s highly addicting so please be prepared that once you try the Red Crema you’re going to want it…. ALL. THE. TIME.  We’ve also got the sweet-n-spiciest Chai Latte around, an earthy & savory Mate Latte, and Marley & Liza’s personal favorite from their college days in Ann Arbor, the Almond Earl Grey! Get it with aforementioned almond milk for the ultimate nut experience.

Post your favorite drinks on instagram and don’t forget to shout out @cremacambridge and tag #lattelove!

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Glam Cake Photo Shoot

When we were little girls we loved to dress our dolls up in different outfits and pretend we were taking them to lots of fancy, grown-up places like restaurants and tea parties and best of all, WEDDINGS!!! We’re big girls now but that impulse to dress up and pretend still remains, so when we realized that we needed to update our cake portfolio a bit, we were psyched at the opportunity to dress up our cakes in some of our favorite, most beautiful styles and pretend we were taking them to the most fabulous weddings around.

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When we’re actually making, transporting, and setting up wedding cakes, the last thing on our mind is snapping a pic. Usually we snap one or two quick ones at the end which are great for the gram but not so great for a pro-fesh portfolio, if you’re pickjn’ up what we’re puttin’ down. Luckily for us, Liza happens to be a pretty freaking fantastic photographer, Meghan is the best baker around (you know this), and Marley is a great babysitter. Whaaat? That’s right – Liza just had a baby and when mama’s gotta work, she needs some help with the little man!

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So here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at our cake photo shoot and some of the beeeautiful cakes that we’ll be adding to our portfolio. For all of you single ladies out there, we want you to know that one of the best perks of single life is that Crema wedding cakes keep getting better and better by the year, so the longer you hold out for the most awesome partner possible, the more spectacular your cake will be when you finally deem him worthy to marry you. So keep your standards high and your eyes on the prize, ladies!caleb

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A party without cake...

Cakes for all Celebrations!

Well folks, we made it through a very long winter and now it’s time to celebrate!  With spring and summer come all kinds of causes for celebration, and no celebration is complete without dessert!  From graduation (which is right around the corner!) to showers and weddings, we are ready to party and have a whole selection of signature cakes for your celebration needs!  All of our signature cakes are available in cupcakes and cakes in several different sizes to serve parties large or small.  You can even mix and match!

Meet some of our favorite contenders:

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Almond Earl Grey

Almond Cake I Earl Grey Buttercream I Toasted Almonds

Mocha Cookie Crunch

Chocolate Cake I Espresso Ganache I Espresso Buttercream I Toasted Brownie Crumbles

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Birthday Cake

Confetti Cake I Vanilla Bean Buttercream I Rainbow Sprinkles

Add a filling if you’re feeling adventurous!

Lemon Lavender

Vanilla Cake I Lemon Curd I Lavender Buttercream

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Coconut Passionfruit

Vanilla Cake I Passionfruit Curd I Coconut Buttercream I Toasted Coconut

Whether you’re hosting a backyard graduation celebration, a shower, or just want something delicious for a special date night, we’ve got you covered!

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All the World is a Birthday Cake

We just love celebrations of all shapes and sizes at Crema Cafe.  We also firmly believe that it isn’t a celebration without cake.  Whether it’s a bite sized cupcake or wedding cake for 300 guests, that ‘lil bite of goodness is an invitation to have fun and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.  Sharing cake is pretty much the same as sharing happiness, and that’s what a celebration is all about, right?

Welcome to our Signature Cake Series, where we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite flavors and the inspiration behind them!

Of all of the cakes out there, few are as iconic as confetti cake.  I mean, c’mon! Cake by itself is a beautiful thing, but add rainbow sprinkles and it’s truly a party!  Try cutting into a confetti cake without smiling.  I dare you.

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Our version of confetti cake, the Birthday Cake, is our longest running signature cake.  In fact, it’s one of the first cupcakes we ever made after opening our doors in 2008. It’s hard to dispute its appeal – it starts with buttery vanilla cake enveloped by vanilla bean buttercream, and then gets exponentially more awesome with all of those little bursts of color.  The beauty is in the simplicity. And the rainbow sprinkles. 

While it’s consistently been a fan favorite for birthday cakes and cupcakes, we’ve seen a growing number of couples choosing confetti cake for their wedding cakes and we’re just tickled pink with the trend.  Whether it’s frosted in simple white frosting or adorned with bright colored florals, it’s bound to get a smile out of your guests when you cut your first piece as a married couple and reveal the colorful surprise beneath the frosting.

Confetti cake is also highly customizable.  Vanilla too boring for ya?  Add a filling!  We adore it with passion fruit curd.  Or, you could just leave it as-is and enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling like a kid on your 5th birthday. Yum!

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Love is in the Air!

It’s officially February (can you believe it!?) and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!  Need to find a unique gift for someone special?  What’s better than a sweet treat, made with love at your neighborhood bakery & cafe? Our bakers don’d need
Financiersan excuse to make adorable pastries (have you seen our signature heart shaped financiers?), but something about Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in all of us.

Want something timeless and loveable?  Grab a Cupcake 4-pack!  This February’s flavors will be Lemon Chambord, Red Crema (honey soaked cinnamon cake with roobios buttercream), Chocolate Strawberry, and Carrot Cake. Finished with a ribbon and a heart stamped tag, these are guaranteed to make your sweetie swoon. $12.

 

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Looking for something more elegant?  Well, you’re in luck!  We have a trio of romance inspired French macaron flavors for your gifting pleasure.  Our gift boxes include two of each of our Valentine’s Day flavors: Pink Champagne, Chocolate Chili (aka Hot & Spicy Love), and Passion Fruit!  Packaged in our signature kraft box, they’ll make the perfect gift for that special someone.  $11.

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Persian Love CakeWe will also be offering our favorite Valentine’s Day treat: Persian Love Cake!  Saffron and rosewater infused whipped cream is sandwiched between layers of pistachio dacquoise to create a cake so light and exotic, it might make you fall in love on the spot.  We are so in love with this combination, we created a cupcake inspired by it for the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!   Get it by the slice or pre-order a 6” by 8” cake by Wednesday, February 12th. $25, serves 6-12.

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Email us at cremacambridge@gmail.com by Wednesday, February 12th to pre-order your Cupcake 4-pack, French Macaron box or Persian Love Cake! <3

 

Fall Wedding Recap

As we layer-up and hunker-down for the approaching  winter, we want to take one fond look back at the incredible summer & fall we’ve had here at Crema, and in particular the fall weddings we’ve been so honored to be a part of!

Sweet Tables have been a growing trend at weddings and special occasions for a few years now. We love doing Sweet Tables because we get to make super-cute mini items, and guests can try a bunch of different desserts instead of just one! Some brides pick a design or flavor theme for their table, while others mix and match so they can include a little of everyone’s favorite items. p2070623784-o626548385-4 Gwen & Jake’s wedding Sweet Table at The Overbrook House in Buzzards Bay was a rustic display of all of the couple’s favorite desserts. As a former baker and chef at Crema, Gwen has a special spot in her heart for sweets, and this vintage mixer was a perfect accent piece on her table. All photos are by the incredibly talented Zac Wolf!


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Next up was Jen & Oliver’s Pie Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. This Labor Day weekend wedding was UNREAL – Amy Kimball Events turned the ballroom of the Fairmont into a rustic shabby-chic venue with just the right mix of elegance and down-home whimsy. When Amy approached us and said that Jen and Oliver wanted to do a variety of pies instead of the traditional cake for their wedding, we knew we had a really fun project on our hands! Jen and Oliver spoke our language when it came to pie and tart flavors and they selected some of our all-time faves: chocolate-espresso, coconut cream, key lime meringue, peach, berries & cream, and strawberry-rhubarb. YUM! We mix-and-matched tart sizes and shapes to give the desserts a rustic, eclectic look, and we worked in lots of wood and metal elements and chalkboard signs give the table a warm, inviting feel.  For design embellishments on the tables we pulled in the raw ingredients from the desserts, like a huge mason jar full of fresh strawberries, little jars of coffee beans and fresh limes on the tables as sign-holders. Jen & Oliver’s big day (including the pie bar!) was beautifully photographed by Lauren Killian of Person + Killian Photography.

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Now we don’t want to give the impression that we’re not just as psyched about cake as we are about Sweet Tables & pies, so here are two of our favorite wedding cake projects of the past few months!

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Daniella and Jay had a true fairytale wedding at the Boston Public Library in September. Their dream-of-a-wedding-planner was Eliza Rafferty of The Catered Affair. Getting married in the library’s courtyard at dusk, Daniella and Jay set the tone for a romantic, elegant and intimate evening. Their style is sophisticated yet creative and relaxed at the same time. The vision that Daniella had for their wedding cake fit this same description to a T; Daniella wanted a “naked cake” meaning that one could see all the exposed cake and buttercream layers from the side, and then between the tiers she wanted fresh flowers. This look is absolutely STUNNING. Daniella and Jay are chocolate lovers so our devil’s food chocolate cake was the obvious choice. Since they had a large wedding of almost 300 guests they needed to get a side cake in addition to the main attraction, so it made complete sense to get two different flavors so guests had options.IMG_4054                                             Decadent Chocolate Bourbon and luscious Chocolate Peanut Butter were the winners…drool. To end the night on a sweet note, Daniella and Jay sent guests home with custom Crema-made bicycle sugar cookies, an homage to the years they spent living abroad and biking in Amsterdam! Photographer Ned Jackson did an incredible job of capturing the day (and the deliciousness).

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Elaine and Josh were married in October at Habitat, a wildlife sanctuary in Belmont – what a hidden gem! This couple was looking for a trio of wedding cakes, similar in style to these cakes we did for a wedding in Beverly in August 2012:

Trio of wedding cakes

What we believe truly sets our cakes apart is the fact that the quality, freshness and flavors of the cake are equally important to the overall look. Elaine and Josh agreed, and they chose three different types of cakes for their trio: Chocolate-Covered Espresso, Vanilla & Lemon Crème, and Hazelnut Chocolate.

Photo by Dreamlove Photography

 

Photo by Dreamlove Photography Photo by Dreamlove PhotographyAs we do, Elaine and Josh love the look of natural, just-frosted cakes.  Elaine also asked about doing one of the cakes with “naked” sides, which of course came out incredibly beautiful! Poppy Florals had exquisite succulents and dahlias on hand for us to place atop the cakes, which tied them in perfectly with the natural garden look of the venue. The lovely photographs are thanks to Dreamlove Wedding Photography.

 

Photo by Dreamlove Photography

 

A HUGE thank you to Gwen & Jake, Jen & Oliver, Daniella & Jay, and Elaine & Josh for allowing us to be a part of your wedding days!  <3

 

 

 

Fall time is the best time!

Fall is most definitely our favorite time of year here at Crema! Between Octoberfest, Head of the Charles and Harvard football games, there is so much happening and we are thrilled to be here in the square for it all. We’ve got Halloween this week and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

Pour over Spooktacular!

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On Halloween we will be serving Chemex pour overs of our current guest coffee – Coava’s El Comun, Costa Rica – paired with a homemade chocolate walnut bark from 9:30-11:30am. We will be discussing the Chemex brew method, flavor notes of the coffee and having an all around good time drinking fab coffee and having fab conversations. We will also have brewing equipment for sale to get you all set up for making amazing coffee at home!

pourover spooktacular!

Lets talk Thanksgiving!

We have a delicious line up of Thanksgiving desserts available…tarts, banana bread, and cookie + brownie platters. Order now and pick up between Monday (11.25) -Wednesday (11.27)! Ordering couldn’t be easier, just throw us an e-mail at cremacambridge@gmail.com with your order request and phone number and we’ll call you back to discuss and confirm.

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New bakery offerings, fresh swag and catering options galore!

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This fall we’ve added a bunch of new items to our bakery, retail and catering offerings – and we’re pretty stoked about it! Who can eat just one French Macaron or Truffle?! We’ve decided to tackle this ‘problem’ by putting together packs of Macs and Truffles. Each box contains 6 French Macarons or 5 Truffles. The current flavors are Lavender, Chocolate Bourbon and Earl Grey Macarons. Grand Marnier and Hazelnut Rose Truffles. They make perfect little gifts or are perfect for a midday snack attack. We also have our delicious granola packaged up and ready for you to take home or to the office.

As for retail, ’tis the season to get your Crema swag on! We’ve got t-shirts to keep you lookin fly, hoodies to keep you warm and tumblers to take your beverages with you in style.

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fruitncheeseloresAnd lets not forget about catering! We’ve added some tasty new savory options to the menu – Pretzel bites with various dipping sauces, a Charcuterie Plate, a Fruit & Cheese Platter and Canapés. As always everything is freshly made right here in our kitchen. Check out the new menus here. We have TWO catering menus to choose from, Casual and Celebrations…pick your pleasure!
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Oh and also…

Just a few quick reminders:
– We now have almond milk as an option for all milk beverages
– We have introduced the DELICIOUS maple latte
– Ciders, Chaiders (cider + chai), Almond Earl Greys and Ginger Steamers are perfect fall beverages

Crema Flash Mob Proposal!

It’s the summer of love and we’ve got mad love flowin’ through the cafe! On Sunday August 18, we hosted a flash mob for one of our managers – Amy. It was amazing. Check it out:

Our summer staff party wasn’t exactly what we had planned…the rain thwarted our field day activities, but that didn’t stop us from bangin out one heck of a party! With hula hoops in hand, we took the party to Charlie’s Kitchen…where Marley and Claire proceeded to create our own Crema Karaoke. And if I do say so myself, we have one talented crew. I mean, from Jordan and Nate captivating us all, to Meghan doing the tequila dance and Merissa and Marley rounding it out with One Direction…it was a pretty solid show. And just when we thought karaoke would be the highlight of the night…BAM! we are hit with the #YearOfLove idea of the summer! Claire threw around the idea of a flash mob at Crema, Marley got ridiculously excited and Amy decided a flash mob proposal was the perfect way to propose to Kate. And just like that, the Crema flash mob idea was born.

MVI_3685…Now, as we all know, many brilliant, even genius, ideas are started semi-drunkenly in a bar and are never seen to fruition. This is not one of those ideas. The flash mob proposal happened, and it was AWESOME. Claire choreographed the dance (in full on leotard gear!), taught us all the moves, hosted 3 practice sessions and held a full dress rehearsal. It was legit. And then it was Sunday, August 18th – the day the deed was to be done. Everyone showed up excited, a little nervous (though no one was as excited and nervous as Amy, obviously!) and ready to dance it out for the ultimate summer of love proposal. After a bit of a parking debacle, Amy entered the cafe and everyone took their places. Claire magnificently distracted Kate, and Amy went to start the music. And BOOM, just like that the dancing started, Kate had no clue what was going on. The entire front of the cafe was filled with spectators and everything happened just as planned. Right on cue, Amy came out, some tears may have been shed, she got down on one knee, pulled out a ring and, drumroll please……..Kate said YES! Everyone cheered and the smiles on Kate and Amy’s faces were priceless.

MVI_3686To round it out, the celebrating continued at Charlie’s, the very place the flash mob proposal idea was born. Seems pretty appropriate.

Amy, thank you so much for letting Crema be a part of your special day! We are so happy for you and Kate! Congratulations!! (and let us know if you need any catering for the wedding, because, ya know, we do that sort of thing 😉 )