Tag Archives: brussels

Five Things Friday: Half Day!

It’s the last day to enter my Blue Nile giveaway for a sterling silver necklace! Entries close tonight at 11:59PM EST.

It’s Friday and I’m taking a half day at work today (holla) and have a lot of random stuff to say. Perfect day to join Clare‘s Five Things Friday party so I can be ADD and talk about all the things!

If you participate, make sure you link-up!

1. Today I get to see two very special people!

The reason for my half-day at work today is because I’m the lucky duck who gets to pick up this lady from the airport.

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Pond House Grille Side Dish Cooking Class

I received complimentary admission to this event in exchange for a blog post about my experience. All opinions are my own.

This past Friday night I had the opportunity to attend my second cooking class (read about my first one here) at Pond House Grille in Glastonbury, CT. The restaurant has been doing one class per month, and with Thanksgiving coming up this one was appropriately themed “Spice Up Your Side Dishes”.


This month’s class had enough participants to be held in a bigger room in the restaurant’s adjacent banquet facility.

All classes are taught by Executive Chef Jordan Stein but I wouldn’t exactly call it teaching…hosting is a more accurate word. Jordan is so great with his guests! I felt like I was in his home and he was letting us all help him make Thanksgiving dinner. He made sure every “student” got some hands-on cooking time in. He would demo each step and afterwards pass it off to a volunteer – or someone he chose. Some guests were hesitant to volunteer and Jordan did a wonderful job of encouraging them to do so.

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Being OK With Marvelous

My giveaway for a $25 credit to healthy-living discount shopping site HealthyChic ends tomorrow night at 11:59 PM EST. Make sure to enter and if you don’t win, you can still sign up and use a discount code on your first order!

This weekend was really out of my box – like last weekend in Boston. I pshawed sleep, homework, and my usual kill-me Sunday morning spin class in favor of all sorts of marvelousAnd I enjoyed myself while doing so. And that SCARES me.

Let’s get the marvelous moving, thanks to Katie!

Some people who read this post may understand exactly where I’m coming from. On the other end of the spectrum, some may think I’m a spoiled brat who will always find something to complain about no matter how good my life gets. I can see both perspectives but what it all comes down to is what feels safe to me and realizing that the safe option is not always the option I WANT. And that does not make me an irresponsible, reckless person. It makes me a normal 24 year old!

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Birthday Dinner at Max Downtown

Thanks for putting up with my spotty blogging the last couple of weeks! I hope now that the pre-vacation work rush and during-vacation relaxation has passed, I will get back into my routine, including regular blogging!

I still have some Max Restaurant Group establishments to cross off my list, but I selected their ritziest, Max Downtown, for my 24th birthday celebration dinner. My birthday was on 3/22 and this dinner occurred the weekend before that, but vacation and a last MBA semester typically result in late recaps such as this post, so forgive me!


I (obviously) invited my parents to this special dinner, as well as my best friend Lidia! My dad was kind enough to me and my mom off while he ventured out to find downtown Hartford parking (hey, we were cold!) so I had some time to take some shots of the restaurant’s lovely interior while we waited.

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For Love of Fairfield

I’ve already showed Kaitlin (of For Love of Carrots) my turf, and the time came this past weekend for her to show me hers – Fairfield County! I visited her from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon and she showed me a great time. Then again, I knew she would since our tastes are so similar! Prime example number one – we both wore black tops, black shoes, jeans, and statement necklaces to dinner.

Saturday Night


I borrowed the necklace from Kaitlin, the queen of statement necklaces!

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Friday Flights at Esca!

Two of my foodie friends have started their own food blogs about their cooking creations! Devan has guest blogged for me before and she just started Devours by Devan Victoria. And Molly, my long-time best friend and neighbor, just started The Bite is Write. Make sure you read their blogs for drool-worthy foodgasmic photos and recipe ideas!

This past Friday night my mom and I hit up the Hartford Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll voting party at Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar in Middletown, CT. As part of the shindig, happy hour was extended until 8pm in the bar area. Interestingly enough, the bartender had no idea! However she was really nice about giving us the happy hour pricing on my mom’s $5 glass of Quattro Mani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (2008). What a sizable glass!


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Marvelous Dinners at Home (MIMM)

Today I’m partaking in the beautiful mama-to-be Katie‘s Marvelous In My Monday linkup, and sharing more daily-life stuff!

I had a couple of great dinners out this weekend (which you may have seen on Instagram) with friends and family, but on most weeknights you will find me at home enjoying my mother’s wonderful cooking and my father’s excellent grilling skills. Here’s a look at five of my favorite types of meals to have for dinner at home in front of the DVR, cozy on the couch! NOTE: Wine is included with all, even if not pictured 😉

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Devours by Devan Victoria – Recipe Guest Post!

One of my friends from college, Devan, is a fellow foodie with a flair for cooking. She is an incredible chef and recipe creator. I am so excited to have this fabulous girl guest blogging for me today! Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Diva Dev and her wonderful eats.

Me with bunny ears and Devan hanging out at the bar during college – my state here is questionable.

I have a confession, I’m obsessed with food: knee deep, head over heels, so very in love with the smell, taste, texture and “mmm” sensations of the countless meals placed on plates before me. But I’m not obsessed with just any food. Yes, lover of all things chocolate, cheese and a tapas fiend  nonetheless, I am excited about the food I create. My creative juices go crazy in the kitchen. Kitchen wiz kid on an appetite high. Unleash my brain overloaded with ideas and eager hands in a stocked kitchen with a full fridge, plentiful pantry and succulent spices galore and watch out for magic. Today, on a sunny lazy Sunday, the magic came out to play.

I DARE YOU TO MAKE THIS, but only if you aren’t embarrassed to experience a food-gasm. A food-gasm is a great thing, but I’m sure you knew that. I bet you’ve experienced a lot of them. Who isn’t ashamed of bulging eyes and the OHMYGODDD that tries to escape your mouth full of the food that just consumed every feeling in your body? It’s a magical thing that comes from magical food and magical tastes. This dish is vibrant, a full on dining experience and an original recipe I want to share with you.

With fall in full swing, farmers markets exploding with fresh produce and seasonal flavors taking over menus, I got inspired. Seasonal ingredientsare the best ingredients to get. Not only are they in season, but they’re DELICIOUS! FRESH! IN SEASON! USE THEM! Cabbage, root vegetables, cranberries, kiwi, pears, broccoli! Fall fruits and vegetables are just waiting at the grocery stores and farmers markets for you to snatch them up and make something sexy with them ;).

Cranberry Gremolata Pork Chops


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pound boneless pork chops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Combine fresh cranberries, rosemary, orange juice/zest, and honey in a small mixing bowl and stir to make the Gremolata. Set aside.
  2. Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a skillet with butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add pork chops.
  4. Cook pork chops 4 minutes each side or until cooked through (note: a little pink is safe for pork!).
  5. Remove from heat. Top pork chops with heaping spoonful of Gremolata and serve!

Dressed-Up Cabbage Slaw


  • 1 pound of bacon ( maple or smoked)
  • 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground sage
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced/shredded
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook bacon in a skillet. Drain and let cool before crumbling.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add butter, olive oil, garlic, sage and onions. Stir and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and Brussels sprouts to pan. Stir together and let wilt 5 minutes.
  4. Add butter and mix in 1 minute.
  5. Add balsamic, red wine vinegar, and dash of salt and pepper. Mix. Continue cooking 2 minutes.
  6. Season to taste, remove from heat and serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Thank you so much to the talented Devan for dreaming up these inspired fall dishes! I know some of you (myself included) have snow outside your window right now, but winter is not yet here and fall dishes must be taken advantage of and enjoyed for as long as possible! If you make either/both of Devan’s recipes, be sure to share them with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in an email!

Which of the two recipes do you think you’d enjoy most?

What’s your favorite fall meal?

What else do you think the cranberry Gremolata would be good on?