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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Boston’s Top Comfort Foods for Winter 2015

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jan 10, 2015

It’s cold outside and Bostonians are searching to find their favorite foods that will comfort them through the next few months.  January, February and March can be bitter and icy, the kind of weather where we need a little extra cushion in our stomachs to brave the season.  For some it’s a decadent dessert while others prefer an entrée of rich cuisine but whatever you favor, I think we can all agree that we need some extra meat on our bones during this time of year.   City restaurants can have just what you’re looking for or maybe you would rather opt to stay home and create your own menu?  Here’s a bit of fare facts to help you explore and enjoy some of the top comfort foods for winter 2015.


Top Comfort Foods

  1. Pasta has got to be the number one “go-to” food when we need a “calorie hug” and there is an extraordinary array of options open to you.  Tortellini with sautéed spinach and cherry tomatoes is delicious and carries very little prep time.  Stuffed shells are another fabulous comfort meal because you can alter the variations of ricotta cheese and add whatever fillings you like such as mushrooms, extra tomatoes, onions and spinach.  Alfredo, chicken and broccoli is another classic that actually contains healthy vegetables and protein so it’s a little more “guilt free”.
  2. Soups are number two on my list because (if prepared right) you can get your bones warmed without eating an excessive amount of fat.  Excellent varieties include creamed corn, cream of broccoli and chicken noodle soup.  Some of these are quite simple to make in a crock pot or can be interchanged with bases replacing a heavy flour roué with a blended rice, celery and onion substitution (I use this when making my cream of broccoli recipe).  Soups are also ideal because you can throw in whatever veggies you have left in your fridge to make scrumptious bowls of yummy and heart healthy soups.


Best Winter Cookbooks

There are millions of wonderful cookbooks out there and all contain some useful tricks from the trade to help you whip up five star meals.  My favorites include “How To Cook Everything”, “The Joy of Cooking”, William Sonoma food guides and “Martha’s American Food”.  Trust me on the last one and look up her recipe for macaroni and cheese.  You’ve never tasted anything like it, I assure you!


Try Em’ and Dine In Em’

If cooking is just not your thing, have no fear because Bean Town is home to some spectacular restaurants, bistros and cafes.  How about chicken potpie found at “Henrietta’s”, French onion soup from the “Capital Grill” or a burger from “Tasty Burger”?  Don’t forget we are famous for the world’s best clam chowder so treat yourself with a sampling from my favorites “Union Oyster House”, “Legal Seafoods” and “Grill 23”.

suze Suzie launched her third children's book, The Candy Roses of Cape Care at the Union Oyster House in 2013.


Tags: Restaurants, Boston, Chef, cooking, #EXFL

Top Things To Do During the Christmas Season in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Dec 09, 2014

Boston is one of the best places to visit during the Christmas season because there are loads of fun things to do with your friends and families!  Whether you are interested in lights, physical activity or the arts, visitors will not be disappointed with the array of events that this city provides for the yuletide season.  Don’t be intimidated by thoughts of exorbitant expenses for high ticket prices or admittance fees, I assure you there is plenty to do without having to break the bank.  This is the time of year to enjoy quality time with your loved ones, and you shouldn’t have to spend huge amounts of money to partake in the wonderful Christmas activity that Bean Town provides.  Here are some of my favorite things that put me in the holiday spirit while visiting Boston.


                    photo credit:

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is a time-honored tradition that Bostonians have enjoyed for decades.   The dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, the Land of Sweets and the running of the mice are exciting to watch as ballet dancers float across the stage and captivating music is played composed by the infamous Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Costumes and stage design are also magnificent aspects of this production and are sure to inspire the joy of Christmas to whomever takes a seat in the theater.  Tickets are on sale at the Boston Opera House and shows run from December 3rd to December 31st with ticket prices ranging from the low one hundreds to above.  Perfect for children, you wont be disappointed in the amazing cast, music and directing of The Boston Nutcracker. 


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Frog Pond Skating

Get your coats, scarves and mittens on and high tale it over to the Frog Pond located in the Boston Common of downtown Boston.  Skaters come from all over to take their turn gliding across the pristine ice while watching the stunning Boston skyline scrawl across the city.  Amenities include the Frog Pond Café where you can grab yourself a snack or a cup of hot chocolate to warm your bones.  You can even book the rink for holiday parties or schedule lessons for the kids!  The pond is open daily at 10 am only costs $5.00 for those over 58 inches tall and is absolutely FREE for under.  


                                          photo credit:

Faneuil Hall Shopping

If you are a shopper at heart, you won't want to miss the deals going on in the infamous Faneuil Hall Marketplacein Boston.  Packed with every boutique imaginable, you’ll be bedazzled by the Christmas decorations hanging from every ceiling as well as the enchanting carols being played both in person and over the loud speakers.  Be sure to check out the largest Christmas tree in Boston along with international phenomenon Blink light show.   If you would like to attend these events, visit their website for more information.

suzie_canale_westwoodSuzie & Rick Canale, Westwood, MA 2014

Suzie's husband Rick managed the Exotic Flowers in Faneuil Marketplace from 2001 to 2011.



Tags: Traditions, Boston, Christmas, Holiday Memories, Holidays, #EXFL

Mayor Menino - The Art of Giving Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Oct 28, 2014

Mayor Menino
For more than twenty years, Exotic Flowers has served Mayor Menino as his florist. A great man who made a great difference, Mayor Menino beautified the lives of so many. What many do not know is what a great believer in sending flowers that the Mayor was. At Exotic Flowers, we would get at least one order per week to the bereaved,the host, the colleague or new parents. His staff was as personal as the Mayor himself. The Mayor drove by our flower shop on American Legion Highway daily on his way to city hall. He would often pop into our Quincy Market location and even shared a piece of pizzagaina in our Roslindale store one Easter Sunday years ago.
The Mayor knew the importance of flowers at political events. During city council and Mayoral inaugurations, the staff at Exotic Flowers would adorn the stage with a plethora of fresh flowers and lapel flowers for the celebrants. This great man also never forgot his granddaughters' recitals. He always ordered flowers to present to them. 

"Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino ranks as one of the most generous flower givers, spending at least $7000 on flowers in 2010, most from his favorite florist, Exotic Flowers, in Boston.

A spokesperson for the Menino campaign could not be reached and the mayor’s office declined comment.

Flowers are such a powerful political tool and are so common that OCPF has even created specific regulations for them. Candidates cannot buy flowers for people they or their treasurer has a personal relationship with, the flowers must be appropriate for the occasion, and an “important political relationship” must exist, the regulations state." - By Maggie Mulvihill, Sarah Favot and Matt Porter | 2/20/2011



Mayor Menino's best gift however as Mayor was on Mayor Walsh's inauguration day. Mayor Menino sent Mayor Walsh a Boston Fern for his new office. 



Dear Mayor, thank you. Thank you for being a great client, a strong Mayor and remarkable man. 

Tags: Boston City Council, Boston, Mayor Menino

March Newsletter from Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Mar 12, 2014

exotic flowers boston resized 600

Dear Friends, 

The weather has been brutal. Thankfully, the Red Sox are in Florida and that crack of the bat is right around the corner. The past few weeks at Exotic Flowers were enlightening, entertaining and exciting. 
We are proud to bring you a crisp and clean update to our website. Please let me know what you think. 
If you have Comcast for your cable TV, then I hope you saw us featured on their get local for Valentine's Day. If not, no worries; I have provided a link in this email.
Our most exciting news is Suzie's new children's book. This is her fourth children's book, maybe even her best yet. She has even decided to donate 100% of all her royalties to the One Fund to support the Boston Marathon bombing victims and their families.
Boston You're My Home  
New Children's Book by Suzie Canale 
Boston You're My Home
Order Your Copy Here
Boston, You're My Home is the story of a young girl named Sweet Caroline who is nervous about her family moving to Boston. Her mother and father attempt to soothe her fears by telling her a bedtime tale inspired by Boston's strengths. From its education to the arts and its heroes, Caroline learns about the wonderful benefits about calling Boston her new home.
Exotic Flowers on TV  
Comcast Video
Click Here to Watch
Aired in February
If you ever visited the shop, you know our story is better than most reality television. We even turned down a reality show opportunity this past year.
This winter however, we had the TV cameras from Comcast rolling and we were able to tell a wonderful piece of our story without the drama.
"The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball."




Rick Canale
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Tags: Boston Strong, Sonny Canale, Rick Canale, Boston Florist Staff, Childrens Book, Boston

Boston You're My Home - New Children's Book Benefits The One Fund

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Mar 10, 2014

Boston You're My Home

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we believe in the importance of reading to children and reading with children. Heck we believe that reading is one of the pillars of civilization. At Exotic Flowers, we share books, poetry and even have a favorite author. Yes, Suzie Canale is my amazing wife. She also writes amazing stories.

Her newest children's book, Boston, You're My Home is the story of a young girl named Sweet Caroline who is nervous about her family moving to the city. Worried about the unknown, her mother and father attempt to soothe her fears by telling her a bedtime tale inspired by Boston's strengths. Including everything from scholarly education to delectable seafood, Caroline slowly begins to learn about the wonderful benefits of calling Boston her new home. Suzie will be donating 100% percent of her royalties for this book to benefit The One Fund. 

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Land of Chocolate Cosmos, Books, Childrens Book, Boston, Suzie Canale

42 Things We Love About Being a Florist in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Patriot's Day in Boston is filled with an abundance of activities for all Bostonians and New Englanders. From revolutionary battle reenactments to the 11am Red Sox game to the Boston Marathon, this day is a major holiday in Massachusetts. In 2013, Patriot's Day happens also to fall on April 15th. While April 15 is synonymous with Tax Day, this year it is also Jackie Robinson Day.  42 resized 600

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tells us that 42 is the answer to everything in the universe. Perhaps. But today I just want to share the 42 things we love most about being a florist in Boston in honor of the great Jackie Robinson.

  1. The Swan Boats
  2. The Boston Marathon
  3. Heartbreak Hill
  4. The Celtics
  5. The Museum of Fine Arts
  6. Fenway Park
  7. The Zakim Bridge
  8. Arnold Arboretum
  9. Franklin Park Zoo
  10. Santarpio's Pizza
  11. New Kids on the Block new kids320 resized 600
  12. Paul Revere's House
  13. The North End
  14. Bunker Hill Monument
  15. The Freedom Trail
  16. Athens of America
  17. Hospitals in Boston
  18. Roxbury Latin School
  19. Sam Adams
  20. USS Constitution
  21. The Bruins
  22. Pizzeria Regina
  23. Mike's Pastry
  24. The Public Gardens
  25. Baked Beans classic boston baked beans resized 600
  26. Union Oyster House
  27. The Holocaust Memorial
  28. Castle Island
  29. Gardner Museum
  30. Boston Pops
  31. JFK Library
  32. Newbury Street
  33. The ICA
  34. Beantown
  35. Red Sox
  36. Hubway
  37. New Edition
  38. Faneuil Hall
  39. Walking City
  40. we 'Pahk ah cahs'
  41. Forest Hills Cemetery
  42. Bostonians
of course no tribute to Jackie Robinson we could be complete without recommending the new movie 42. 

Tags: Fenway Park, Boston Bruins, Patriot's Day, JFK, U.S. Constitution, Boston Florist, Santarpios, Pizzeria Regina, Boston, Red Sox, Boston College

Exotic Flowers Top Five Pizzerias in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Oct 07, 2011

Boston Pizza
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we often work on our feet. Lunch is usually eaten at a work station and the end result is often fast food. Unfortunately, you might say we are fast food critics. On our Boston flower design benches, you might find a beef lo mein from Seven Star Street Bistro, or a Chipotle Burrito. Pizza has become a staple for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some are good. Some are great. Here are our five favorites.
Pizzerina Regina
  • In West Roxbury, Tony's Pizza is an institution. Elio has been hand making one of the best Chicken Parmigiana subs and some of the tastiest area pizza for more than twenty years.
  • Also in West Roxbury is Comella's; Comella's is a family owned chain which is know for its Italian Mess (a delight of mixed pastas, sauce and cheese) but its pizza $5 large cheese pizzas keep me as regular. This is the best $5 you can spend in Boston.
  • A traditional favorite remains local icon Papa Gino's. For chain pizza, Papa Gino's nails it with its rustic pizza. This thin stretched crust cut into mini squares and odd shapes is as close to authentic as a chain can get.
Batting it out for the top two spots are everyone's favorite pizzerias. Both institutions have even expanded with huge pizzerias during the recession.
Pizzeria Regina and Santarpio's are everyone's favorites. But keep in mind, Pizzeria Reginas is good in any of its location, but the north end location remains the best of the chain. From its large slices oozing with cheese on a fluffy crust, Pizzeria Regina never disappaoints but still our #1 pizzeria remains Santarpio's in East Boston.
Santarpio's Pizza remains the best there is. No one comes close and it never disappoints. I continue to ask why no one can replicate this pizza. 
SantarpiosPizza resized 600

Tags: Pizza, Santarpios, Pizzeria Regina, Boston

Exotic Flowers Top Five Steakhouses in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Aug 23, 2011

mooo steak resized 600
Boston is a power city with international fame and exposure. Boston is known for hospitals, education, sports, the arts and its florists. Did you know that Boston is also a great place to get a steak ? Exotic Flowers in Boston would like to share its favorite steak joints in no particular order.
  • Fleming's Prime Steakhouse on Stuart Street in the theatre district. Fleming's has hundreds of wines by the glass and is a great place to host a private event. Ask for Terri.
  • Ruth's Chris on School Street in Boston; this national chain is known for its sizzling plates and mouth watering red meat.
  • The Capital Grille now heading to the Hines Convention Center. A landmark on Newbury Street in the Back Bay is heading to new digs. Cannot wait to check it out.
  • Abe & Louie's on Boylston Street in the Back; always a favorite as it remains one of the few heavies in the big business of beef. Great bar scene here.
  • Mooo Restaurant located in the chic XV Beacon Hotel on Beacon Hill; this place is always packed and you have to check out the wine cellar for private events. Ask for Ms. Christian Heydt.
steak resized 600
Remember, no Boston steak dinner is complete without flowers on the table from Boston's Premier Florist.

Tags: Entertaining with Flowers, Steak House, Boston

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