Tag Archives: bbq

Marvelous Miles!

This post will not be all about Zooma Cape Cod half marathon training, despite the title. But it will first and foremost make mention of a marvelous half marathon related accomplishment, because I’m just so psyched about it. Plenty of non-running-related marvelous to share too though!

Make sure you link up with Katie if you’re doing a MIMM post today!

Marvelous is…an 8 mile run on Saturday morning! So the run itself wasn’t exactly marvelous because well, I’m not one of those people who will pretend she enjoys running that long. (Not that those who do actually enjoy it are pretending they do.) I woke up really excited to just get my 8 mile long run done so I could feel awesome about it afterward, but during the run I had to battle with myself mentally. Once I got to my halfway mark (yay out and back runs!) I knew I’d make it back, so the mental battle became less – but the physical became more. I ran the whole thing pretty slow (over a 10 minute pace) and am glad I did.

It was hot out (I didn’t get started til 10AM – so worth it to sleep in though) and I also got a bit lost at one point. After calculating exactly how far I’d run, I realized I’d run 8.2 miles thanks to that fact. I did stop every now and then to wait at a crosswalk or drink water (thank you Charles River Esplanade for your water fountains) but the whole time I was actually running, I did run – I really didn’t want to walk! Big thanks to the BU campus grounds worker who sprayed me with his hose (I asked him to, don’t worry) right around mile 6. That got me through to the end! This is officially the furthest I’ve ever run because I ran 8 miles once back in 2010, and this was 8.2 miles. So seriously, go me. (Way better than the other GOMI.)



OKAY, back tracking to the start of my weekend…

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Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival 2013

Make sure you check Cait Plus Ate on Facebook to find out who won my Real Art Ways Oddball giveaway. I hope you’ll consider attending – tickets are still available!

One great thing about a blog is the ability to look back at fun times of the past, especially if those fun times involve annual events. I have blogged about the Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival twice previouslylast year and the year before – but have never missed the festival since my first fall living in CT (2001). It’s frankly just an adorable fall event and really gets attendees in the spirit! The timing is great – the foliage is lovely, it’s not too cold out yet (hoodie/sweater weather!), and the autumn sun is often shining bright. Yes there have been some rainy years, but more often than not the Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival (Apple Fest) fares well weather-wise.


Look at that blue sky!

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The Caitlins/Kaitlins Meet Again

CT residents, remember to enter my giveaway for two lawn tickets to the Talcott Mountain Music Festival!

As you may have seen in Kaitlin‘s MIMM post, I paid her a visit over the holiday weekend and stayed over Saturday to Sunday. I enjoyed the leisurely car ride down to the 203 and arrived around 4pm – just enough time for us to pay a visit to the pool of Kaitlin’s best friend (and maid of honor). I enjoyed meeting and chatting with Kaitlin’s friends from home, and sipped on Cisco Brewers Summer of Lager, a new-to-me light lager. It definitely hit the spot on such a humid day, but made me a bit sleepy. I rallied though, because then it was off to a summer cookout at the home of Kaitlin’s mom’s best friend, Linda!

Kaitlin's fiance Jeff was with us during my visit too!

Kaitlin’s fiance Jeff was with us during my visit too!

We instantly dove into an amazing spread of apps, along with glasses of chilled summery rose. Along with the below-pictured bruschetta (on farmers market bread!), we snacked on cheese & crackers, TJ’s spinach & artichoke dip, and homemade onion dip. I could’ve made a meal out of all of it!

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Marvelous In My 4th!

Entries for my LaMaLu Boutique giveaway close tonight – be sure to enter before the 11:59PM EST deadline!

Oof, rough to be back at work this morning, no? Especially if you had Friday off in addition to the 4th of July (alas I did not). But during your time off I hope you did all sorts of marvelous activities (and if you don’t celebrate the 4th of July, I hope your weekend contained mucho marvelous). I have to admit that my ego was getting in my way the day after the 4th, trying to make me feel guilty for the food and drink I consumed during my celebrations. I’m hoping putting this post together will squash said ego with a heavy dose of POSITIVE.

Props to Katie for making marvelous happen!

Marvelous is…a night out with friends the day before the holiday! No work on Thursday = treat Wednesday like it’s Friday night, right? I surprised myself by having enough energy and courage to stay out until 1:15am, during which I consumed several cocktails, bread, and a dessert.

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Wordless Wednesday: Baltimore

I never had time between all my weekends away to share my photos from one of those weekends, in Baltimore, MD. I really felt at home and can totally see myself living there one day, though I know most parts of Baltimore are not as “cute” as the parts I was hanging out in! Enjoy my photos 🙂

Iced coffee, gross clothes, and #fitblognyc swag bag – travel standards.

Nomming on a packed salad while working on my paper during the car ride.

Right by our hotel!

Ridiculous amount of menus at Chazz.

Enjoying the Ginger Gin & Tonic made with ginger, cuke, and mint.

Better look at the drink. No it ain’t water.

We all shared a bunch of apps at Chazz’s happy hour – this was the Gorgonzola Beef Carpaccio.

Good old calamari with a fab aioli.

The super tentacley ones with less breading are my fave – more seafood!

Standard tomato bruschetta with goat cheese.

Veal meatball sliders with housemade chips.

My second drink, which my dad had to help me finish…the Pikesville Manhatta using a Maryland classic rye whiskey, with a brandied cherry. One of the best Manhattans I’ve ever tasted.

This Nutella jar on display was HUUUUGE!

Sis and I at da ba.

Sis, dad, and I outside of Chazz, ready to head to an Orioles game!

My most hated chain!

Buzzin’ in the Inner Harbor walking to the baseball game.

I love the Inner Harbor!

The coolest building I saw there.

We got these free bucket hats at the Orioles game!

Dad’s got his rally cap on.

BBQ at the ball game! Surprised by the options at the stadium for food. But that drink I’m holding was freaking gross.

Shared BBQ pulled pork sammie and sides for sis and I.

Way typical.

Next morning’s brunch bev of choice at Teavolve – Strawberry Basil Fizz.

But I had some of their coffee too!

Wheat toast, egg white omelette with CRAB and muchos veggies.

Purchased on SALE at South Moon Under 🙂

Haul from a cute boutique! Because I definitely need designer highlighters.

Hannah and I stumbled upon this gorgeous bar with cocktails comparable to Drink’s, called Wit & Wisdom, in the Four Seasons.

Perfect afternoon to sit outside with my drink, which included walnut bitters.

Hiding behind some fake dunes?

Hello, you.

Snagged this for just $20 at Urban Outfitters – it’ll pop up in a Fashion Friday soon enough!

My go-to margarita – natural, on the rocks, with EXTRA salt at Roy’s happy hour.

Marvelous marg!

Edamame in the beginning of the meal?! My kind of place!

Dad’s face when I clued him into the fact that edamame is full of soy protein!

Skinny Cosmo 😀 so pretty!

Mini smoked mahi tacos in a crunchy shell!

Mini shortrib tacos!

3 cheers for ICE CREAM from Haagen Dazs! Spiced caramel biscuit…AMAZING.

Pour-over coffee from Lamill for the ride home. So delicous (and it better be, it was like $4!)

And a Whole Foods salad BEAST for the ride home too. Can’t resist visiting other locations’ Whole Foods bars!

Have you ever been to Baltimore?

Do you usually pack food for road trips, or buy on the way?

Which nommm looks best to you?

Also, the winner of the Love with Food giveaway is my friend Alex of The Run Within. Congrats girl! I will be sending  you the code to get your FREE September Love with Food box. Remember, everyone else has until 8/31 to use the code CAITVIP for $2 off if you want to order your own box! Thanks to all who entered!

Rain Can’t Stop BBQ at Mohegan Sun

There’s a great discussion about preferences, use, opinions, and more regarding SOY PROTEIN in the comments of yesterday’s post. Don’t miss it!

Check out my pre-BBQ-fest post here for info on this event and my thoughts before attending!

I woke up on Saturday and was quite bummed to see that the weather was NOT cooperating for the outdoor Mohegan Sun BBQ Fest. I received an email notifying me that the start time was being delayed until 3PM, since the weather was calling for the rain to stop by late afternoon. All day long it kept pouring down, and I have to admit I was doubtful, but I still hit the road for the casino with my foodie-friend Jeff by my side. We planned to get a drink and play a little craps before the festivities began.

Anyone who has ever been to Mohegan Sun Casino is surely familiar with the gorgeous waterfall by Todd English’s Tuscany. We sat at the bar outside the waterfall and ordered unique cocktails from Tuscany’s drink menu, which I was very pleased with because I’d already stalked that menu online and knew it was right up my alley.

Jeff’s Black & Blue Mojito and my Pisco Pumelo

The cinnamon sea salt rim on the Pisco Pumelo called to me! I ordered it sans grapefruit juice, so it was just Pisco Porton, lime juice, and ginger-spiced syrup (which I sadly couldn’t taste at all). It was essentially like a margarita with a cinnamon kick. I loved it, so refreshing!

Jeff’s loved his Black & Blue Mojito: Malibu Black and Passion Fruit, Absolut Berry Acai, pomegranate juice, lime, and a TON of mint and blueberries. Seriously, there were so many left after he’d finished it, and we transferred them to my drink and “muddled” them into it with a straw, which gave it a nice addition!

After winning $15 on the craps table ($10 of which I turned over to Jeff to pay him back for my beverage), we went to get my media pass and Jeff’s will-call ticket. (Un)fortunately I found out Jeff didn’t need to buy a ticket in the first place because I got a guest pass too, but since I didn’t know that initially, and he’d already paid for his ticket, we just decided to see the silver lining – which was that we did get 8 extra food tickets out of it!

Ready to hit the fest with our passes!

As you can see I was proudly using my Oakley Women bag from the Tone It Up Meet ‘n Greet to carry my event-coverage-essentials!

Despite the rain, the crowds were lined up at the booths, both those from Mohegan Sun restaurants and those from outside vendors, to get in some tasty BBQ eats. Jeff and I wanted to peruse everything first before deciding where to spend our food tickets. We started out at the farmers’ market.

The nuts we sampled from The Nut Lady were super tasty, but we wanted to save room for BBQ and I wanted to save my money for another farmers’ market trip I had coming up!

Some of the market booths weren’t open yet because we arrived right at the 3PM start. That included this extremely sad-looking Italian ice cart…I thought the Porta-Potties made it look extra lonely, ha!

Around this time we received word that members of the media had a tent they could go to for eats, and some custom-mixed drinks (in exchange for some tickets). Yes, please! Especially nice since it was still drizzling off and on and the benches outside were slightly damp.

Seriously nearly died over how smooth and delicious our drinks turned out – made with a little ginger ale and Spiced Cinnamon Red Stag Whiskey by Jim Beam.

The food spread in the tent was pretty impressive!

Cheddar biscuits and cornbread.

Macaroni salad and potato salad.


Vinaigrette coleslaw.

RIBS – what we came for!

We felt pretty smug when we set up our plates and cups and chowed down in the media tent. It’s fun to be a media member 🙂

Me on the left, Jeff on the right.

The verdict? The biscuits were OK, but could have been crispier and warmer. I had the kinda-crunchy exterior but left the rest. Jeff said the cornbread was northern-style – sweet and soft. NOT a fan, glad I didn’t waste stomach space on that, I needed all I could get (you’ll see). My mom’s cornbread is perfect, so savory and I have it burnt to a crisp.

Obviously I loved the veggies, but I have to mention the vinaigrette coleslaw because it really stood out to me, especially since I had expected every booth’s coleslaw offering to be mayo-smothered. This coleslaw was light, fresh, and different than any other kind offered at the BBQ Fest. I legit could’ve had a whole plate of it!

Jeff and I agreed that the ribs were tasty, but not fall-off-the-bone impressive. I liked the sauce on them! But we had some more booths to attack…we surveyed the outside vendors and searched for the one with the cheapest sampler platter, which we ended up saving for last. I love the fun carnival vibe the outside vendor displays gave to the BBQ Fest!

I was psyched to see Tennessee BBQ represented at the event, complete with UT decor. GO VOLS!

You can barely see me! Even though I’m labeled “big”? Ha!

Eek – vegetarians/vegans may want to look away now! Jeff and I were jealous of those with access to the VIP tent, who were apparently the only ones who got the chance to sample the BBQ fresh off this roasted pig!

Something exactly like this is actually what I eat on Christmas Eve every year.

Proud lovers of all meat.

There was a special rib-cooking demo going on around this time!

We hit up the Mohegan Sun food and drink booths and their affordable offerings.

I just thought this packaging was kinda hilarious…and that is seriously a TON of munchkins.

Belvedere “skinny” iced tea and lemonade cocktails!

A healthy looking slider and nice display from Margaritaville.

Our first Mohegan munchie (Meg, do you love that alliteration?) came in the form of two fabulously flaky BBQ Spring Rolls from Michael Jordan’s 23 Sport Cafe. Only 1 ticket for 2 rolls, and there were 2 foodies present…perfect! And that green aioli they were served with? TO DIE FOR.

My drink co-modeling with the food.

The offerings at the below booth from the Mohegan Sun Banquet & Catering Team were so low-priced and so delicious looking. We simply could not pass up 2 of the 3…the Grilled Chilled Jumbo Shrimp and CT Oyster Poboy with Cucumber Slaw and Herb Aioli! I LOVE AIOLI (*cough* mayo *cough*)

My kind of prices!

This shrimp was lookin’ satisfying even in a plastic bag!

That is one gorgeous poboy!

Despite the fact that our tickets purchased three shrimp, the vendors noticed we were two people sharing them, and gave us four. Jeff was the one who pointed that out, and it really impressed me. All it takes is a little something like that to feel true appreciation! And it’s true that I had been wondering how splitting that third shrimpie would go for us #foodieproblems

1 shrimp, 2 shrimp, 3 shrimp, 4! Can you tell I was super enthusiastic about my drink? It keeps showing up.

The shrimp were really good! The cocktail sauce was…well, it was cocktail sauce. I preferred eating the shrimp on its own and enjoying the flavor.

De-tailing my shrimp.

Story behind the above photo…the first time I ever ordered shrimp at a restaurant (yes, I remember), I was at Catsup and Mustard with my boyfriend at the time as well as Jeff, who was there on his inaugural Corey Wry restaurant visit after I insisted that any real Hartford area foodie couldn’t be called a foodie until trying Catsup and Mustard (which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives). Anyway, Jeff had to get a burger since that’s what they’re famous for, but I’d already tried them and ordered shrimp after recently discovering that I liked some seafood (I was still branching out). I proceeded to eat my first two shrimps off the skewer – including the tails. Joe and Jeff realized I was, well, crunching my shrimp and asked what the HECK I was doing. I was quite embarrassed when I found out I was supposed to remove the tail before eating it.

The Oakley Women bag and hairtie are honestly complete coincidences! Haha

But I knew what I was doing this time – see how psyched I look? I also realize that it took me way longer than it should have to tell that story above, but I was enjoying my path down memory lane 🙂

Jeff looking smug to be at Catsup and Mustard that day, I just realized he looks so different! Can’t believe this was over two years ago.

I’d just turned 21 and insisted ordering a margarita at every meal.

I’m also notorious for raising my eyebrows hardcore when I bite into anything. It’s a weird reflex, as if I think it’ll help get my mouth open wider (that’s what she said).

Not on purpose.

Other evidence of this habit…

Chillin’ with a wing at a Chops ‘n Catch beer dinner.

Apparently I even think raising my eyebrows will make me drink faster!

Clearly the habit was contagious to Jeff.

Raised brows or not, the poboy didn’t stand a chance. The oyster was so well fried, but not too much so that I couldn’t taste the seafood. The cucumber slaw added such a satisfying crunch to the fried exterior and the aioli was, again, dynamite.

Damage, done. Finally the drinks make their exit.

Next up, Jeff and I decided to split a brisket slider from Big Bubba’s BBQ and a spicy pork slider from Geno’s Fast Break. The brisket slider had some tasty meat but the bun was plain, white, and big, which is my usual beef (hardy-har) with sliders. I enjoyed the spicy pork slider much more because it was served on a nice flatbread with a soft, pita-like texture and also contained some crunchy, fresh veggie action.

Brisket on the left, spicy pork on the right.

We decided to take a food break (pacing is required at these kinds of events) and go to the main stage to watch the rib-eating contest!

The contest was headed up by an announcer dressed in his Southern best, including a fancy straw hat, which had its own hat box. We know because we spotted it in the media tent later!

Spotted: hat box.

Jeff liked the crazy high-energy of the announcer and thought he was very charismatic, but I just found him a bit ridiculous and long-winded! Still, it was funny to listen to his out-there intro for each contestant, accompanied by “get your game on” music like “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

I think it took him about thirty minutes to intro all the contestants.

The judges lined up and then the contestants took the stage, including one randomly-chosen member of the crowd named Mitch.

Interviewing the judges.

Stare-down between contestants.

Game face is on as he unpacks his various liquids.

Most competitors showed up with a ton of different liquids! I would not want to fill up on any of those if I was participating in an eating contest, but I Googled it and I guess they help lubricate the throat. Still, I’m not sure what the purpose was behind all the different liquids this guy had! The article I linked here also only mentions water, but most competitors opted for something different.

Mitch, the contestant from the crowd, is on the far left.

Mitch ended up taking a slow pace in the contest and looked very content the whole time. Jeff and I joked that he was using it as a free dinner and seemed quite smug about it.

The only female in the competition.

When this girl came on stage, there were gasps from the crowd and cries of, “She’s so skinny!!!” But don’t judge a book by its cover – I had a feeling she was going to be tough to keep up with.

A rather hilarious candid of Joey Chestnut.

Of course the famous competitive eater and current Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion, Joey Chestnut, came on stage last and received the biggest cheers (and most long-winded, hyped-up intro from Mr. Announcer).

And then they were off! The competition was so graphic that we could NOT look away. And I really mean graphic in some parts…one of the contestants ended up projectile-vomiting on the announcer, who had been standing right in front of him at the time!

The culprit? The guy on the left.

It was also graphic and hard to look away in the sense that these guys were just SO into their rib eating. Joey especially didn’t have a care in the world except getting down as many ribs as possible, no matter how gross he looked doing it or how messy he got!


Had to take a pic of this little girl – blogger in the making?!

In the end, Joey Chestnut was crowned champion of the Sun BBQ Fest Rib-Eating Competition, though the female contestant came in second place and lost by only about 1/4 lb of ribs!

Yeah, I won, so what?

Watching all that rib-eating made Jeff and I not hungry, but also not stuffed any longer, so we decided to get a sampler plate from one of the outside BBQ vendors. My readers know I love my sampler plates!

I think this was called The Panhandler? Only 6 food tickets!

We ended up being completely unable to finish this, but at least Jeff had leftovers to take home. The platter came with pulled pork, ribs, coleslaw, beans, and Texas toast. The mayo-laden coleslaw paled in comparison to that light and fresh vinaigrette coleslaw served in the media tent, and the Texas toast wasn’t toasted at all – but Texas-sized hunks of bread! However, the protein of the platter – the beans, pork, and ribs – was all very good. Definitely better ribs than in the media tent, and a better BBQ sauce. Still, despite how good the meat was, there was a lot left after we filled up!

My napkin pile…

We shared a cup of red wine and a cup of white since it was only 2 tickets per cup, but we didn’t even have room in our stomachs to finish that! Competitive eaters, we are not. The Authentic Red was pretty good but I actually preferred the Pinot Grigio, probably because I just wanted something REALLY light.

We left with fun memories and full bellies – just what we were hoping for. Congrats to Mohegan Sun for putting on a great event despite the rain, and thanks for having us!

What was the best BBQ meal you ever had? How about the best BBQ sauce?

Have you ever had a REALLY good bourbon or whiskey? I’m becoming a big fan lately!

Have you ever watched a competitive eating contest? What do you think of them overall?

Start Summer at Mohegan Sun BBQ Fest!

My US-based readers know that Memorial Day Weekend has (unfortunately) come and gone…I’m sure that reality was made very clear when rolling out of bed this morning. I don’t know about you all, but putting on my big-girl pants and going to work after a three-day weekend is always hard, ESPECIALLY when I wake up to a hot summer day like I did today.

The appetizer fixings for a great BBQ!

With Memorial Day Weekend came many barbecues I’m sure, along with the fun family and friends that typically accompany them. You’ve got the summer party momentum going…do NOT let it stop this weekend! If you’re looking for another BBQ with family and friends, but don’t exactly feel up to putting on your grilling/cooking/cleaning/etc cap again so quickly, let Mohegan Sun do the work for you. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (June 1-3), the casino will be holding its first-ever Sun BBQ Fest!

Mohegan Sun is a city in its own right, and it’s a city that knows how to throw a party. Take it from me – I attended the Sun WineFest several months back and had an amazing time wining, dining, and watching master chef demos. However, the price tag on that main event and its surrounding “supplementary” events was, I have to admit, a bit steep for the everyday 20-30 year olds. That’s certainly not the case with the Sun BBQ Fest. Tickets are only $30 per day, and that INCLUDES eight food tickets! Oh, and did I mention this event is taking place outdoors in the casino’s Winter Parking Lot? Because a BBQ isn’t a BBQ if it’s held in a convention center (where the WineFest was held)…that’s for certain.

Obviously I’m going to start by talking about the food you can purchase with those eight food tickets. Both rib vendors and Mohegan Sun restaurant vendors will be dishing out tasty eats. I’m really excited to try a dish from Big Bubba’s BBQ, the casino’s barbecue-restaurant-in-residence, which I’ve yet to cross off my list of Mohegan Sun restaurants to dine at. New England readers may have dined there before, or at some of the other participating restaurants, like Michael Jordan’s 23 SportCafe, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and Ben & Jerry’s (OK, I know for sure that even my non-New-England readers have eaten there before!

Half Baked froyo is def an essential part of any visit to Mohegan!

The BBQ Fest is also going to feature plenty of musical performances, chef demos, a mechanical bull, a rib-eating contest, and a FARMER’S MARKET! I’m going on Saturday with a fellow local food fanatic friend, Jeff, and I know we’re going to have an excellent time checking out what the market has to offer in terms of local products. I also know we’re NOT going to be riding the mechanical bull. To each his/her own…we prefer to sit back, watch, and eat! 😀

I’m really excited to see DJ Chef, a performer who combines two of my true loves, music and food. He spins records and cooks gourmet dishes at the same time! That is talent, my friends.

DJ Chef and one of Jeff’s least favorite people, Guy Fieri.

There’s even a fireworks display at 9:30PM on Saturday, but Jeff and I will be gone by then (I’ll be at home hanging with my just-arrived-to-CT best blend Heather…yay!) Still, our afternoon at Mohegan is sure to be fun and delicious, and I can’t wait to share it with you all via Twitter during the event, as well as here on the blog afterward.

Have you ever been to a Mohegan Sun Casino event, or any kind of BBQ-themed festival?

What is your favorite food to eat BBQ-style? That question goes for vegetarians/vegans as well! Tofu anyone?!

Take a look at the schedule of events for each day of the Sun BBQ Fest and tell me what part of the event calendar you’d want to check out the most! I’m honestly almost as excited for the farmer’s market as I am for the restaurant food!