Category Archives: Meals

What I’m Loving Lately #3

It’s time for another post where I round up what I’ve been into lately, be it recipes, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. If you missed the last two editions, you can check them out here (12/5/16) and here (6/13/17…clearly I had a significant lapse in inspiration for a bit).

Caprese Pasta Bake: This was super easy to make and came out great. I combined cooked wheat penne, mozzarella balls, chopped chicken, a can of crushed tomatoes (drained), and a container of chopped grape tomatoes in a casserole dish. Then I sprinkled shredded Parmesan and Romano cheese on top and baked it at 350 degrees. The addition of fresh basil after it was done really made it.

Booty by Brabants One Pieces: I was hesitant to order one of these because they are “one size fits most”, but was pleasantly surprised when the pineapple print one piece that I ordered fit perfectly! I ordered another bathing suit this morning too, because I can’t resist a flash sale. For those outside of Boston, Booty by Brabants is a workout gear and one piece brand from Boston fitness queen Kelly Brabants. Her Booty by Brabants workout class is dance-inspired and HARD. I can’t wait til my new suit shows up so I can get use out of it before summer ends.

My New Cheese Drawer: Apparently a lot of people had cheese drawers in their fridges growing up, but I actually didn’t like cheese as a kid (I know, I’m making up for lost time nowadays). Recently the amount of cheese in my fridge at any given time has gotten out of control, so naturally instead of buying less, I’ve allocated an entire drawer to my collection. And now I have room for so much more cheese! It’s a beautiful thing.

Cooking With Lamb: I recently tried a recipe for lamb meatball grinders from my boss (and blogging pro), Susie. They turned out great and made me wonder…why don’t I cook with lamb more often?! So this week I purchased lamb again, and used it to make some tasty Greek bowls to pack for lunch. I definitely will be doing this again, maybe with orzo next time! Does anyone have any good lamb recipes to recommend for me?

Free Red Sox Tickets: Who doesn’t love that? Jeff and I got to attend a really close (both in score and seats) game after I scored some tickets from work. It was a gorgeous nice to be at Fenway and I purchased my first ever concession from one of those guys that walks around the stands. I mean, I was excited.

Anchovies: I like the food, but I’m talking about a place. My friend Sara introduced me to her go-to spot, Anchovies in the South End, and I have been obsessed ever since. Their portions – both drink and food – are huge and well priced. Everything is insanely delicious. I even ate there twice last weekend.

Eggplant Parm!

The Handmaid’s TaleI finished the first season last month but don’t think I ever got around to mentioning the show here. I loved it and was simply hooked from the beginning. It’s definitely heavy though; I could only handle watching a couple of episodes at a time before I had to go focus on or do something, well, happier. But Elizabeth Moss is fantastic and I’m so glad that the series will go beyond one season. We’ll see how they do now that they will be expanding past the book (which I haven’t read) but I have faith that the show can continue on with its momentum and impress yet again.

Praise be, bitch.

The Senator’s Wife: I pulled this book off the library shelf when I was in need of a new read and had nothing lined up. While I’m not done with it yet, I’m about 75% of the way through and really enjoying it. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers lately so it’s been enjoyable to switch to something that I don’t necessarily feel the need to finish all in one sitting. This has been a great read-a-few-chapters-before-bed book.

That’s what I’ve been loving lately, along with the fact that today is FINALLY Friday. Does anyone else feel like this has been the longest week ever? What are you loving lately? Let me know in the comments!

What I’m Loving Lately #2

The first thing I’m loving lately is the fact that summer is finally here!!! Of course my car and apartment A/C both broke when we entered a legitimate heat wave, but one is fixed and the other is close to being fixed, so I’m staying positive. Mild temps are on the way too, and I’m hoping for another sunny weekend so I can spend as much time as possible outside.

Anyway, let’s get to the rest of what I’m loving lately.

Trillium Beer Garden: I visited with Jeff and my brother the first weekend they opened on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and loved it! I also like that they offer local wine in addition to beer. The food trucks are a huge plus too…I enjoyed a huge burrito after this picture was taken.

Nightshift Brewing Shark Jumper IPA: Speaking of beer, we tried quite a few during my brother’s visit. After the beer garden we went over to Nighshift in Everett, which has been one of my and Jeff’s favorite spots for awhile. I fell in love with their Shark Jumper, an IPA infused with Meyer Lemon. Super refreshing and the perfect summer brew.

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May Recap

May is over and it was a great month. You already know I went to Nantucket, but I’ve also tried some new restaurants, fallen into a good fitness groove, cooked a few dishes, and spent time with Jeff, friends, and family. All of that hasn’t been quite enough to distract me from the fact that summer has taken its time to show up, but it’s come close.

A (rare) warm May day.

I thankfully didn’t have to worry about cooking the night I got back from Nantucket, because I had a dinner invite to Aqua Pazza, a new restaurant in the North End. There my friend Cristen and I enjoyed a fantastic multi-course meal at a spot that I’d call perfect for date night or an evening out with some girlfriends. The Bolognese di Maiale was particularly a dish to write home about.

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Weekly Wins #2

I really enjoyed writing my last Weekly Wins post, so I’m back with another one, because it’s honestly an easy way to share what I’ve been up to lately…and that’s a whole lot. Without further ado, here are some wins from this past week.

Workout Win

It’s been awhile since I set a mini fitness-related goal for myself, but last week I came up with a new one when I took Reid Eichelberger‘s TRAINxCARDIO class at Everybody Fights‘ Financial District location. What a tough workout! The routine featured moves I never do without an instructor asking me to, like jump squats and lunges, rope swings, and suspension training mountain climbers. And we all know that the workouts we hate most are usually those that are best for us. So I’ve decided to strive to sign up for one TRAINxCARDIO class per week. I think adding those kind of explosive HIIT moves to my routine will only make me stronger and, more importantly, will make me feel great.

Recipe Win

Last week I made a fantastic new recipe, Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole. Jeff called it a “next-level American Chop-Suey”. This tasted incredible, especially leftover, and was so easy to throw together! I definitely will be making this again.

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Weekly Wins

I started writing this post with the intention of finishing it next week, and calling it a February recap. Then I decided I wanted to come up with a more fun title, like February Wins. And then I realized that “week” and “win” both start with a “w”, so here we are, with a post called “Weekly Wins” (because alliteration) that’s getting published sooner than I anticipated. You probably didn’t need to know any of that!

Anyway…here are some “wins” I experienced in the last week. It’s been a bit frustrating because I haven’t had as much time to work out as I’d like to, but fun all the same.

Recipe Win

Oh man, we have a new favorite recipe in the house. I’ve made tons of different Mexican casseroles and “lasagnas”, but the Mexican Style Lasagna by Picky Palate is a clear winner. I think it’s the addition of Mexican-style rice (I used a box from Goya) that does it. It tastes fantastic both fresh and leftover and is an excellent pick for a meal to make at the beginning of the week and portion out for lunches.

Workout Win

I’m not a huge workout buddy person after work, but when it comes to weekends or early morning workouts, I’m all about it. ClassPass’ cancellation fee usually keeps me pretty accountable, but sometimes it feels worth paying $15 to stay in bed. That’s why I was psyched when my friend Matt agreed to join me for a Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and Miley Cyrus ride at Turnstyle Back Bay this past Saturday morning. I knew that no matter how much I didn’t want to work out, the promise of a friend waiting for me would get me to class. Plus, how could I miss out on that theme!?

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January Recap

I can’t believe it’s already February! I (mostly) have let blogging get away from me so far in 2017, so I decided to write a post recapping what I’ve been up to so far this year (aka in January). It’s honestly not anything different than what you might expect, but what can I say, I’m fairly predictable. Let’s go.

Cooking

I’ve continued to experiment in the kitchen with fun recipes that both Jeff and I can enjoy. I used this recipe to make some super easy meatball sliders, and made my best round of calzones yet – one buffalo chicken and one Hawaiian. I also made some of the “usual suspects”, like taco salad and tater tot trash dip (on Jeff’s birthday).

Capo’s New Lounge

I already was a fan of Capo in Southie, but last Thursday I had the chance to attend a media event for their new lounge, and I have to say it may be the coolest space I’ve ever seen in Boston!

Picture your grandpa or uncle’s old wood-paneled basement, and you’ll be able to picture Capo’s lounge. The walls are decorated with kitschy decor like taxidermy animals and light-up booze signs. Corners with couches and coffee tables make visitors feel like they are actually hanging out in someone’s home.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

And best of all, Capo does not ruin the vibe of this lounge with a DJ. Instead they bring in live music like brass bands, which fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Did I mention the cocktails are fantastic, and that eating in the restaurant upstairs gets you easier access to the lounge downstairs? I know what my game plan is for the upcoming weekends!

#VibeWithATribe

I have been visiting Recycle Studio through ClassPass for awhile now, but was still excited to attend RPR‘s #VibeWithATribe blogger event at the studio this past Saturday. A group of bloggers took a spin class taught by one of my favorite Recycle instructors, John. We followed up our good sweat with bubbles courtesy of Champy and snacks/juice from Pressed.

I received a pretty awesome Recycle gift bag, which has become my new gym bag! Inside were lots of goodies including a gift card from local Boston fitness brand Crane & Lion. I’ve already used it to order a pair of leggings and can’t wait to try them out!

The bag I received (photo courtesy of @Recycle_Studio on Instagram).

The leggings I ordered! They’re on sale right now, FYI.

ClassPass Debate

Speaking of ClassPass, I’m still not sure what I want to do fitness-wise after my next cycle with them ends. Right now I’m getting 20 classes per month for $120, which is a great deal and pretty much the amount of classes I’d want to use in a month. But I’m only getting 20 classes to “ease” me into their new structure of 10 classes per month for $120, which I definitely can’t stick with. I’d need to buy a membership elsewhere to supplement that! Right now a few options I’m looking into are FitReserve, a similar platform to ClassPass that could offer me 20 classes a month (yay!) but at an increased price of $185/month (boo…but still a good deal when you look at price per class). Or if I want to keep my monthly fitness fees the same, I could join Turnstyle for $120/month and get unlimited access to spin and bootcamp classes. The only issue with that is, I really like how platforms like ClassPass and FitReserve give me location flexibility. Turnstyle has a few locations but none of them are as convenient for me as some of the studios on ClassPass/FitReserve, like Charlestown Cycling Club. My head is spinning just as I type this…what’s a class-addicted girl to do?

Wine

I wanted to give a shout-out to a Prosecco I recently discovered. I usually don’t drink Prosecco because it’s too sweet for my palate, but my parents gave me a bottle awhile back and I found it in the fridge this week. I decided to open it when I made our calzones because it would pair well with the spicy buffalo chicken, and was pleasantly surprised by how dry it tasted! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a champagne girl through and through, but this $10 bottle of Prosecco is more in my price range.

Food, going out, fitness classes, and wine. Yup, I’m pretty sure that this is all standard stuff. Still it was a good January overall (with temps that weren’t TOO frigid – yay!) and I’m excited to see what February brings!

What was the best part of your January?

Any recommendations for what I should do after I leave ClassPass? Has anyone tried FitReserve?

Any recommendations for another cheap, dry sparkling wine?

4 Favorite Dinners (And What They Mean)

I have really enjoyed cooking dinners for Jeff and I to enjoy together at home, even before we moved in together (check out my Pinterest account to see almost every recipe I’ve ever made). This post first started as a sort of round-up of four favorite home-cooked meals that we both have loved. However, I realized after I picked out the four that they all had a common theme. They were all meals that I would not have made for myself at home (as-is, at least) a couple of years ago…or even a year ago.

I used to consider home-cooked meals my “chance” to have complete, 100% control over ingredients and cooking methods. That meant making everything as “clean” as possible (very little fats, if any…veggie based…carbs only if I had worked out that day). In my head, this off-set any meals that I had out or bites and drinks I enjoyed at events I attended. So when sharing these four favorite dinners, I’d also like to highlight what about each dish makes it a big step for me, and shows how far I have come in my search for letting go and just enjoying food.

jambalaya

To this day I still am not a HUGE fan of rice, but Jeff loves it. He had mentioned jambalaya to me several times, so I decided to try my hand at making it using an easy recipe from Cook, Craft, Love. I considered doing the rice on the side and having none or only a little, but what good is a deconstructed jambalaya? So I just made it all in one pot, just like the recipe asked, and actually ended up really enjoying it…rice (carb) and all.

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Thinking Out Loud: Still a Thing

It’s been so long since I did a Thinking Out Loud post that I wasn’t even sure if Amanda’s link-up was still a thing. But I had no overall theme for a post today, just random stuff, so I thought I’d check. Sure enough, Thinking Out Loud Thursdays are still going strong, so that’s what you get today.

I did something I never thought I’d do: start wearing a Fitbit. It was gifted to me by a friend and I figured, why not give this a shot? I normally make a point of avoiding numbers. I don’t look at nutrition labels, I cover up the torque and RPM in Flywheel, and I’ve never had interest in wearing a heart rate monitor during my workouts. But I’ve also been doing a good job ignoring numbers when they are put right in front of me (like when I housed Shake Shack last weekend despite the calorie counts blatantly being posted on the menu board). So I set it up last week.

So far I like wearing it. I do feel a little guilty when I don’t hit my step goal, but to be honest, the Fitbit Flex is not that accurate when it comes to tracking overall activity. For example I wore it during a CorePower Yoga Sculpt class, which is one of the hardest workouts I have EVER done, and afterward the app stated I’d only been active 19 minutes. Excuse me? That was an hour long workout in a 96 degree room. I may not have hit my step goal that day, but I know and am confident that I definitely hit my own personal activity goal, and did not let numbers tell me otherwise. It is fun though to try to hit step goals or just realize how many steps it takes for me to take normal routes, like from work to home.

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Friday February Check-In

It’s been a week since I shared my two goals for February – not drinking when I stay in and blow-drying my hair once a week – and I thought I’d check in on this Friday to share how that’s going so far.

It’s…kind of going!

Monday night went well. After an hour of spin class I really wanted to reward myself with a glass or five of wine, but cooking dinner was the perfect distraction. Once Jeff and I sat down and started eating, we totally forgot about having a drink. Oh, and Courtney’s Spaghetti Pie turned out awesome, though more like a casserole since I didn’t have a pie dish to use. I highly recommend this recipe!

It also helped that we had a fun event to look for on Tuesday night – a pop-up at the fabulous Envoy Hotel in Boston’s Seaport, to raise money for the New England Center & Home for Veterans and promote the food and drink of Envoy’s restaurant, Outlook Kitchen & Bar.

The champagne was so good! I didn’t even bother with cocktails; just stuck to the bubbles.

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Less Boozing, More Hair Drying

I’m coming off an awesome weekend in Charlotte visiting my sister Hannah! She moved there over the summer and I jumped on tickets for a super-cheap flight a few weeks ago so I could finally check out her new home. I met her friends, saw her beautiful apartment, shopped, got a couple of workouts in, and of course ate and drank all the things.

Turkey burger on rye from Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, complete with rosemary ham, pesto, cheese, and an egg!

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