Tag Archives: mexican

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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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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Gorton’s Seafood Grilled Fish Tacos

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the two newest Element fitness DVDs from Anchor Bay Entertainment! Entries close this Saturday 9/8 at 11:59PM EST.

So remember when I went to the Evening at the Expo party at BlogHer ’12, and took this silly photo at the Gorton’s Seafood booth?

If you like it then you shoulda #PutAWheelOnIt!

Well I tweeted it with the #PutAWheelOnIt hashtag. You know, just doin’ my usual blogger thang. And then I find out…

Yup, that’s me in the Gorton’s e-newsletter!

…I was the lucky winner of a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF GORTON’S SEAFOOD!!!!


Could a prize be ANY more up my alley?! I am a mondo seafood lover! And my mom is always hesitant to cook it at home because she feels like restaurants can always “do it so much better”. Thanks to Gorton’s, we’re armed with plenty of tools to dispel that feeling! And with use of my first Gorton’s purchase, I’d so far call that mission a great success.

Does that look like it came from a box to you?!

Gorton’s Seafood Grilled Fish Tacos:

Ingredients: (NOTE: you can use other varieties of Gorton’s grilled fish products or even other brands, but the below Gorton’s products are specifically what I used!)

  1. Gorton’s Garlic Butter Grilled Fillets
  2. Gorton’s Signature Grilled Tilapia
  3. 1 cup of pico de gallo
  4. 1 tsp of cumin
  5. Ortega Whole Grain Corn Taco Shells


  1. Prepare fillets according to microwave instructions on boxes.
  2. Put whole fillets into pot (like one pictured below) and use whatever utensils preferred to cut fish into tiny pieces (see below photo).
  3. Add pico de gallo and cumin, stir together until well blended.
  4. Turn burner on low heat to keep taco filling warm.
  5. Spoon into taco shells and serve!

Mix and match!

How easy is that?! And it’s not a meal in the Croswell home without black beans, so my mom opened up a can of those and put them together in another stove-top pot with extra garlic and more pico de gallo.

What’s a Mexican meal without beans?!

She also had steamed up some broccoli with MORE garlic, because if there’s one thing in the Croswell house more commonplace than greens, it’s garlic. I fixed myself a marvelous plate.

A fitfluential meal indeed!

And then I fixed myself ANOTHER marvelous plate. Because that’s the way you do it after an evening gym session! I know that many folks say breakfast “should” be the biggest meal of the day, but my biggest meal is always, without fail, dinner. Probably because it’s my FAVORITE meal of the day!

My mom could not get over a) how affordable Gorton’s products are (even if you’re spending money on them and didn’t just win a year’s supply of seafood :-P) or b) how simple it was to make the fish. Those are both fabulous qualities for a product to possess, but my number one was the fact that the fish tasted so darn fresh. Not at all bland, not at all “fake”. Just tasted like white fish should taste! It almost seems like it shouldn’t have tasted so good since it was so easy to put this meal together, but hey, we’ll take it.

Thank you to Gorton’s Seafood for my free seafood! I can’t wait to share more recipes on the blog throughout the year!

Do you have any recipe suggestions that I could use Gorton’s products in?

Have you ever made your own fish tacos?

Do you prefer your fished tacos grilled or fried? I won’t judge if you say fried 😉 it is indeed yummy!

Foodies Take RI – Part Two

If you missed part one of my RI foodie trip, which consists entirely of time spent in Newport, you can check it out here! I took this trip 8/10-8/12 and, true to Caitlin form, and just now getting around to recapping it. I hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend!


I awoke and was shocked to find that Jeff and I had slept TEN HOURS! AKA I’d slept til 8AM – which felt strange, yet appropriate, since the day before I’d slept until only 6:30AM. I felt full of energy and had the desire to expend some of that on a quick run. I didn’t feel like I had to run – I wanted to! So I laced up my Reebok ZigNano Fly 2 sneakers and headed out on a 26 minute jog. It got kinda ruined by side stitches at the end, and I was going for 30 minutes, but I decided I was done and headed back to the room. I don’t even know how far I went, but a spontaneous run of a random length and unknown distance was just what I needed to start my day on a chill, stress-free note.


Any Carrots n Cake readers will recognize the place I am posing in front of in the photo above – a Mary Lou’s Iced Coffee!!! I spotted one in, of all places, a Shell station near our hotel. And Tina isn’t lying when she says this place has the best iced coffee ever. THEY DO! The flavor doesn’t come from syrups, but right from the bean! I had to get a photo in front of the counter!

Jeff got Banana Nut Creme, and I got Hawaiian Chocolate Nut – we both asked for our iced coffee to be served black, of course! Jeff’s flavor was the winner, but mine, with its coconut-chocolate flavor combo, still was heaven on ice. We drove into Newport’s town center to enjoy our beverages.

Jeff had no sunglasses and was having squinting issues, so I lent him a hand. Or a pair of sunglasses.

It was so nice to once again spend our morning chatting, caffeinating, and looking at the water! The people watching scene in Newport is great too – I could just sit for hours and be content. Not easy for me to say, since I am so often in go-go-go mode.

Third time the place remains a charm!

Of course we got hungry for breakfast soon and after much unsuccessful searching for a brunch spot, ended up back at Diego’s. Fine by us!

Haitian Swizzle – Jalapeno-Infused Haitian Rum Barbacourt, Velvet Falernum, Tiki Bitters, Fresh Lime

We also continued our drinks-before-noon trend. #sorrynotsorry How could I pass up a drink off this gem of a cocktail menu?!

The Beano – Bloody Mary with Black Bean Puree!

Jeff certainly went for a special beverage that I wish I’d ordered! By far the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever tasted – and I don’t usually like Bloodies!

Diego’s Huevos – White Corn Tortillas, Black Beans, 2 Sunny-Side Eggs, Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa, Ripe Avocado, Diced Veg, Baja Aioli

I made a stellar brunch choice, if I do say so myself! Not only was the above dish filled with all of my favorite things – runny eggs, black beans, avocado, salsa, aioli, veggies, carbs… 😉 – but it was ordered off the $5 portion of the menu!

These kinds of pics are becoming a Cait Plus Ate standard.

After our amazing brunch, we said a final goodbye to Diego’s (no we, didn’t go back a fourth time) and did some more Newport exploring!

Ohhhh lover, lover…

What is up with this giant T-shirted bear?


Clearly he’s less experienced with goofy pics.

These sea creatures have human legs!

I knew I wanted to visit another Tina recommendation, The Lawn at Castle Hill. The Castle Hill Inn is a beautiful hotel tucked away from the busy center of Newport. To get there, one has to drive (or bike!) through rural, scenic roads – but it’s worth the slightly out-of-the-way trip. And guess who I got to experience it with?!

That’s the Castle Hill Inn in the background!

My CT blend (and practically neighbor) Bethany, of More Fruit Please, was visiting Newport with her now-fiance, Farhan. Thankfully, the fates aligned and Jeff and I were able to meet up with them for our visit to the Lawn! Bethany and I have been trying to get together since we went to the CT Veg Fest and Wesleyan Foodstock together, and it was such a treat to not only do so, but to do so in such a gorgeous setting!

The Lawn at Castle Hill’s cute Adirondack chairs – and their breathtaking view – are open to the public. Of course, classy and refreshing cocktails are available!

Cucumber Collins – New Amsterdam Gin, Cuke Puree, Lemon Juice, Seltzer Water

I could actually see the cucumber seeds floating about in the puree at the bottom of my drink. It didn’t taste as strong as I usually like, but was perfectly refreshing for such a warm day and I appreciated its simplicity.

Jeff’s choice, the Rum Swizzle (I think), was definitely sweeter.

Of course Bethany and I put our blogging hats on, and were taking photos with our iPhones and cameras!

Caught mid-tweet, I’m sure.

I’m sure Bethany’s big, fancy cam got some amazing shots!

I’m so very happy that I got to see Bethany and Farhan again, as well as introduce them to Jeff!

After dropping the two of them near their car, Jeff and I headed to Narragansett for the destination that started our plans for the entire weekend – Crazy BurgerA reader, Tom, had recommended the vegan hotspot for me on my blog’s Facebook page, and one look at the menu told me this place was meant to be visited by me. Funny enough, after Jeff and I had planned out our weekend, Heather even blogged about Crazy Burger, adding to the torture of waiting so long to finally try the place!

Jeff and I took a quick walk by the Narragansett shore, but we were disappointed when we didn’t find many – or shall I say any – little shops to visit! Oh well…I was hungry for dinner already, so we decided to go ahead and get Crazy.

Instagramming like a fiend.

Obsessed with the back of that Urban Outfitters shirt. Got it on sale in Baltimore.

As Jeff and I walked into Crazy Burger’s outdoor seating area, I literally gasped.

Could I have asked for a more serene place to conclude my weekend of trying to BE a serene foodie? I don’t think so.

The mis-matched cloth napkins were a cute touch.

We brought a bottle of red wine I’d gotten from a lovely Groupon deal from Radford Dale – AKA “The Winery of Good Hope” 🙂

Impossible decisions…

Even after beginning to sip on my glass of red, I still wasn’t feeling any less anxiety over making the impossible decision of what to order for dinner! I went back and forth between MANY options, and finally decided on a vegan burger with a curry flair, because I have been LOVING curry lately.

Chana Masala: Celery, tomato, mushroom, onion, ginger, chickpeas slowly stewed in curry, garam masala, allspice, then bound in rice. Served on grilled naan!

I cannot tell you how wonderful my Chana Masala sandwich, housemade pickles, and slaw were. So I’ll show you.

Lucky for me, Jeff isn’t a ketchup fan, so I stole his homemade ketchup to add to my burger! He actually chose a vegan burger that I’d been contemplating getting.

Birdie Mae: Grilled tempeh, purple sticky rice, sweet tater, roasted sunflower seeds, rosemary-pumpkin pesto grilled in a tomato tortilla.

The Birdie Mae was certainly an option I know I would have enjoyed if I’d ordered it – Jeff let me have a bite, and also some of his sweet potato fries. They were super yummy – but no ION 😉

After having no dessert Friday OR Saturday night, when I really kind of wanted it, I was not about to let this chance to not only have dessert, but have VEGAN dessert paired with red wine, pass me by. Dessert and red wine is my favorite food and wine pairing ever.


It was kind of a no-brainer. I love carrot cake. So when I saw a vegan version on the menu, I had to have a taste!

…and dessert.

I was sure to not let a bite pass my lips without the company of a sip of red wine. Jeff and I shared the slice above and it was pure bliss. I finished the meal and felt perfectly satisfied…so glad I’d had room for dessert!

However, though I did revel in my eats, sips, and time with my friends as they happened on Sunday, I had trouble reveling after the fact. Almost the entire way home, my mind was consumed with thoughts that started with, “You shouldn’t have.” How could I have had several drinks each day for the last few days? How could I have topped it off with a dessert? I shouldn’t have done such a SHORT run that day. I shouldn’t have skipped working out the day before. In the last ten minutes of the ride home, I really felt like I was on the verge of tears.

The floodgates opened the second I walked through my front door. I know I’m 23 and I should be hating the fact that I still live at home, but I really don’t. And one of the many reasons I don’t is because when I come home and I’m stressed and scared and I need my mom – she’s usually right there for me. I let it all out to her, I just shared with her exactly why I felt guilty and like I’d done a whole lot of things I shouldn’t have done.

And then I followed that up with exactly why those things are OK, and how proud of myself I was (and still am) for experiencing Newport the way it’s meant to be experienced, and for having that fabulous meal at Crazy Burger, and for recognizing that a weekend away is just that – a weekend AWAY – and you always come BACK to your routine. The fact that I planned this trip in the first place was huge because I knew these thoughts would “attack” me and intrude at some point, but I was ready for it. I was ready to fight and to say, fuck this, I’m not going to let fear hold me back from going to one of my favorite places in the world!

Complete with my Max Fish Tiki Dinner lei 🙂

So I hung up those little wooden flip-flops my parents bought me on Saturday night at one of my favorite Newport shops, Frazzleberries, outside my cubicle at work. And every time I walk by them, even now almost a month later, I’m reminded of my courage and of my fun experience, and I can smile knowing that I have no regrets about missing out.

Have you ever felt guilty for taking a break from your normal, “safe” routine?

Have you ever been to a vegan cafe like Crazy Burger?

WIAW: Photo Dump Edition

A very special happy birthday to an inspiring friend, Meg! Happy birthday dear, you make me smile and feel stronger every time I read your blog/tweets!

Can you believe I’ve never done a What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) post?! I always thought they had to be about a day of eats. In fact, at first I thought it could only be about a Wednesday of eats. But I’ve seen lots of creative ways to do it, including posts in which people just share yummy things they’ve been eating all week, not just from one day. Now that’s more my style!

So now thanks to Jen of Peas & Crayons, I give you the first Cait Plus Ate WIAW: The Photo Dump Edition.

Warm-Roasted Eggplant & Wonton “Napoleon” from Arugula in West Hartford, CT.

Arugula delivered one of the best falafel plates I’ve ever seen!

Duck confit & chorizo sausage flatbread from Arugula. It was to die for!

Brookline Sour at Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford, CT

Instagram version! This drink is made with rye whiskey.

Barcelona has amazing bread & olive oil! It was piping hot when it arrived.

Suckling pig with red chimichurri and local radishes with butter and sea salt at Barcelona Wine Bar. Aaaand I just realized that pig has numbers on it!

Rioja wine flight at Barcelona Wine Bar

Left to right: Finca San Martin, Villarica, Cerro Anon

Barcelona Wine Bar tapas: Chorizo with Sweet & Sour Figs (Balsamic-Sherry Glaze) and Coca del Dia (Feta, English Peas, Garlic Scape Pesto)

The Aviation

An at-home dinner (yes they exist): turkey burger with sweet & spicy mustard, bean medley, broc, burnt (on purpose) cornbread.

Another at-home dinner, literally the exact same thing, ha! With a side of Rioja.

For Meg!! The Kill Bill roll from Min Ghung in Glastonbury, CT: spicy tuna on the inside with eel, salmon, and avocado on the outside. Drizzled with Vietnamese Chili.

Min Ghung Sake Sampler: Peach, Snow Maiden, Pear.

Sonoma beer tasting!

Clearly still a beer lover work-in-progress.

Guacamole at Maria Bonitas by West Point.

Bartender there made me the BEST marg I’ve EVER had! Natural style, on the rocks, extra salt.

My mom agreed!

Maria Bonitas black bean soup – tasty but WAY filling!

This hole in the wall style place had the best ceviche I’ve ever had! With crab, shrimp, and octopus.

I’d be lying if I said I had any of this.

Bread from Torches on the Hudson in NY. Pretty good, nothing to write home about.

Bitter-Sweet Citrus Martini: citrus fruits muddled in Stoli, with St. Germaine

BBQ Salmon, Broccoli, Asparagus, Black Bean & Corn Salsa at Torches. HEAVENLY.

One of the most unique drinks ever. Vanilla Sage Crush: vanilla-infused tequila with fresh sage, honey, and lemon.

On the way to my friend’s West Point graduation with Starbucks in hand!

That is far from everything, but at least this Caitlin-style WIAW has given me a way to share many days’ worth of restaurant trips (with some home eats thrown in). Kinda ended up being a Wordess WIAW!

What looks best to you? I won’t make you choose one thing 😉

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Fun Edition

You’ve probably noticed my tendency to write very long, wordy blog posts. I can ramble on and on for hours about fun, food, fitness, and fashion. But today, let’s cut out the words, and let me just show you some photos of what my summer (yes I’m calling it summer right now) has looked like so far. And captions don’t count as words.

Beaching it at Hammonassett with my friends! I win the color prize.

Greg and I hanging out at a baby picnic table at The Burger Co in Glastonbury. I clearly had come from the gym (see my ZigTechs?)

Ladies loving the BYOB with no corkage fee!

Family seeing my little brother off to junior prom! Where’d my face go?

Hey it looks like he kinda likes me!

Siblings <3

Trying to be cool with my sis and her friends.

Isn’t his date so beautiful?

My wonderful dad and I at dinner after we saw my brother off.

Before dinner at Puerto Vallarta, with my sister!

Mom came too 🙂

Skinny margarita!

Kicking of the CT Wine Trail 2012 passport at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT.

Gorgeous day for the vineyard, I love Chamard’s scenery. And it’s conveniently on the way home from Hammonassett!

My first trip to the WeHa Reservoir, thanks for showing me around, Jenny!

At Tullycross Tavern to use a SaveNowCT deal!

My amazing meal from that night, a butternut squash flatbread with arugula, grilled chicken, and goat cheese. Paired with Jacob’s Creek Shiraz.

Just read that and you’ll understand why I’m making that face.

View from my table at Besito’s, after work on a Wednesday.

Margarita angel?

Fellow drinker and judger, Rachel, AKA namer of this blog.

The flower vases were actually empty Patron bottles! 😉

My roasted salmon with fried bananas, black beans, sauteed greens, plantain chips, pineapple salsa, and mole sauce was FANTASTIC.

Rachel’s steak tacos – I liked the steak a lot! She didn’t haha

Ben’s chicken enchiladas. Chicken was average, sauce was amazing.


Triple fisting Onyx Moonshine at Art After Hours!

Best picture ever, taken by tipsy Hartford corporate men.

Balloons make us happy!

They make wine glasses for camping? Maybe I could handle roughing it…

Art After Hours Block Party at Wadsworth in Hartford.

Blood Orange Marg at Barcelona in WeHa!

And of course I ordered a wine flight.

Tapas!!! Olives, bok choy, swiss chard.

The outdoor-but-not-outdoor seating area is beautiful!

AHHH! It was really hard not to write words here. I wanted to go on and on about all the fun I had during each photo. But I also don’t have enough TIME to share all these photos with you guys if I want to write about them too…so I’m choosing the visuals 😀

If you’re a CT local, have you ever been to any of these spots?

Do any of my summertime festivities look similar to yours? Tell me more!

Pure Food and Wine – NYC

And so my adventures from NYC on Wednesday, 5/9/12 continue! Don’t forget to check out my recaps of the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet and Tone It Up event at Oakley in Times Square as well!

I adore vegan and vegetarian restaurants (despite the fact that I am not either), but they are hard to come by in CT. The only one I have visited near me (It’s Only Natural) is delicious and I’ve been there several times, but I like to try new restaurants…you all know that! So I’m sure you aren’t shocked that I was beyond-words excited when Heather and I realized during the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet, while conversing with Danielle over lunch, that one of NYC’s premier raw cuisine restaurants, Pure Food & Wine, was not only right in that very city, but a few blocks from our parking garage!

Dinner on the patio!

Heather and I took this as SERIOUS destiny. We were starved for dinner after leaving the Tone It Up event in Times Square, so we hailed a cab (that took awhile) to lug our sweaty butts and swag to the restaurant, which had JUST re-opened for dinner (many raw food restaurants close between lunch and dinner because of the work involved in prepping the freshest of food for delivery to customers’ bellies). We started the meal with the patio all to ourselves, and a kind stranger outside offered to snap a photo of us posing in front of the restaurant with all our stuff, like nomads!

Bag lady blends!

I love my unique cocktails, so I was all over that menu, which featured a line-up of drinks made with specialty sakes. I love me a good sake cocktail! I selected the Himalayan Paradise: ginger, lemon, and goji-berry infused sake.

The cocktail was everything I hoped it’d be – and more, since its presentation blew me away. The flower floating in the drink fit perfectly with the peaceful vibe that had already settled over the meal – before we’d even ordered.

I savored every last drop throughout the meal and tried to make the drink last, but it went down very fast 😉

Speaking of which, does anyone else get annoyed when the food at a restaurant comes out TOO quickly? I know it doesn’t happen often, and perhaps since everything at the restaurant was raw it cut down on the time to prepare our meals, but our dinner came out literally about ten minutes after we ordered. I like to take my time with my drink and sip it solo, apart from the food, for a bit before I start pairing it with my plate. I suppose I also value the restaurant experience so much that I want it to last as long as possible, and the sooner the food comes out, the closer the visit is to being over. The fact that dinner was served so quickly wasn’t really a big deal at all though in the scheme of things, and Heather and I settled in to feast.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! We had a tough time deciding – I so wish I had enough money and a big enough stomach to order EVERYTHING – but the combination of our helpful waitress and recommendations we’d received earlier in the day from Danielle helped us decide…eventually.

Heather chose the Hen of the Woods Tacos el Pastor: smoked guac, hearts of palm, chayote squash, guajillo crema fresca, and pickled onions. She looooves da guac, so this was a choice that was right up her alley. And just look at how beautiful it is! However, it tasted BETTER than it looked. So unique and flavorful. We both took our time with this food, because we didn’t and still don’t know when we’ll have a chance to eat a meal like this again!

Getting every last bit of sauce!

I ordered the Sweet Corn & Cashew Tamales with Chili-Spiced Portabella, which came with salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, and raw cacao mole! Another gorgeous presentation (that incorporated a flower) from the staff of Pure Food & Wine.

I had the idea of asking Heather to capture my face at first-bite.

At peace with my meal!

Yup – one of the best meals of my life. I was speechless! And it’s NOT because my mouth was stuffed…I was taking this slow. I didn’t want it to end!

But alas, it did! Heather the avocado-lover helped me with that portion, but I dominated the rest, and all that was left was that sad-looking empty tamale. Thanks to Danielle for mentioning this dish to me!

I wasn’t sure if I had any room for dessert after dominating my main plate, but Heather helped me realize that I definitely needed to live in the NYC-moment, because I don’t visit the city or restaurants like this every day! So, we ordered something VERY special.

It was the last day the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake would be on the menu, so that made our decision a bit easier. This dessert induced plenty of inappropriate-sounding moans and groans from both of us! There actually was NO pumpkin in it. Instead, the “body” of the cheesecake was composed of a squash and carrot puree. The crust was almond meal and the ice cream was of the cashew variety…I got my fill of cashew “dairy” at this meal and loved every bite! I wish I could remember specifically what the syrup, icing, and crispy cookie were made of, but let’s just say it was something akin to puppies and rainbows and all kinds of other wonderful things.

No. Shame.

I gave Heather the last bite. In exchange, she let me lick the plate. That’s what foodie friends are for!

Sad that it’s the last bite!

We were so, so very sad when the meal came to an end, but our bellies, bodies, and hearts were certainly pleased.

Love the way the check was “served”!

Since it was such a bloggy day, we left our business cards with the check!

Courtesy of Matty!

Thank you to Pure Food & Wine for providing an unforgettable experience to Heather and I! The restaurant surpassed our expectations and I only hope we can dine there again some day.

Have you ever been to a raw food restaurant?

Have you ever encountered a meal that you can truly say is one of the best you’ve EVER had?

If you’ve ever been to NYC, what’s your favorite restaurant you’ve been to there?

A Long Overdue Reunion

I’m still enjoying my Florida vacation, but unfortunately today is our last day here! I’ll eventually be sharing my Florida food adventures with you guys, but for now I still need to share my holiday adventures too! This is definitely a good problem to have 🙂 too many good times!

Back when us “kids” were younger, my family and two other families we are close with, the Andersons and the Gerbers (they hosted us for Thanksgiving), used to get together for what we called Gerber-Anderson-Croswell parties.

Clearly a good time (see my mom at left).

After we started going off to college, these gatherings became sparse. The Andersons decided to take advantage of everyone being home for the holidays and host a long overdue reunion. Good times, food, and wine were aplenty!

The oldest Croswell, Anderson, and Gerber girls.

I honestly have no idea what kind of wine I was drinking. It was red and it was delicious! I had one glass before I got hungry.

My favorite wine partner, the mom.

 My family jokingly calls Mrs. Anderson “Monica Stewart” (her first name is Monica) because no one can keep a home, cook, and host a party like she can! Even as I was walking up the driveway (this shindig also conveniently took place down the street from me), I was greeted by quaint holiday pine, holly, and pine cones arranged in the flower box.

The inside of the house was no less well-decorated.

Molly actually is responsible for this arrangement (props, Molly).

I used to be notorious for going over to the Andersons’ and eating them out of house and home in middle/high school. But really, how could I not when they are always providing so much wonderful food?

Not exactly sure what that dip was, but it was so good. Went to town on those cucumbers.

Swedish meatballs, these were fantastic.

I pretty much died when I saw this cheese spread! And check out the dried fruit!

Amazing sweet and savory flatbread.

We didn’t make Mrs. Anderson do all the cooking, don’t worry! My mom contributed a delicious layered Mexican dip of fat-free refried black beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo, paired with Stop n Shop’s blue corn tortilla chips.

Managed to take this shot before people dug in!

Megan gives us an action shot.

Mrs. Gerber brought what I can only say is the best buffalo chicken dip I’ve ever had. There was so much chunky, fresh pulled chicken in this dip and the sauce was not overwhelming at all. A dip that doesn’t skip on the meat is my kind of dip. I would eat this with a spoon, all day.

We chatted, caught up, and joked as if no time at all had passed.  I love nights like this!

The boys were a little less chatty.

No one could wait very long to dive into dessert. Everyone contributed to an amazing spread.

Hershey Kiss PB cookies, chocolate chip cookie squares, and ginger snaps.

I had one of each of the first two cookies, and then half of a ginger snap. Mrs. Anderson’s cookie squares are a classic. I have been known to eat up to ten at family fiestas back in the day. This time I was able to reel it back a bit, but they were just as good as usual. The Hershey Kiss PB cookies are also one of my favorite cookies of all time!

For the sweet n' salty lovers!

Sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.

Peppermint bark!

The chocolate covered saltines pictured on top of the photo above were OUT OF THIS WORLD. I nearly died after the first bite –  so so good for a salty n’ sweet junkie like me. I’m honestly not sure what those candies are at the bottom of the photo!

What a fantastic night. I had a great time! I had to pack for my various trips (recaps to come, I swear…) and go to work the next morning, so I headed home around 10 (past my bed time!) But I had a great time and loved reuniting with my old friends. It all felt so cozy and familiar!

Which of the featured foods in this post would you most want to try?

Weekend Wednesday

Confusing title, no? But I am super behind on posting photos, and this post on some weekend eats is occurring on a Wednesday. And I need to upload my work week photos next. Bad blogger – I’m workin’ on it.

As long as you have something to look at, right?

Nonfat amaretti cafe au lait, with a side of homework, at Daybreak Coffee.

On Saturday and Sunday morning I set up camp at Daybreak to get homework done. The owner was kind enough to let me ask for a french-pressed cafe au lait on Sunday using whatever flavor I wanted (that they already had roasted and ready to grind). I went with toasted butternut and it was out of this world. Definitely tops their pecan pie flavor. FYI a cafe au lait is just a coffee with steamed milk. At Daybreak they actually call it a blanc, and at Starbucks they call it a misto, if either of those sound more familiar.

Whole Foods salad beast

I moved my study party to Whole Foods later on Saturday afternoon and had lunch while I waited to pick my brother up from work. I could not even begin to tell you what was in this beast, but it included their broccoli/sundried tomato/kalamata olive medley that I LOVE, avocado kale salad, about five different bean salads, pineapple, edamame, artichokes, red pepper fish, falafel, and…OK that’s all I remember but that’s probably only half. This was almost a two-pounder.

Falafel tacos

After the Renaissance Faire on Saturday night, and after my fiber-rific lunch had finally digested, I was ready for dinner pretty late (about 8:30pm) and was feeling particularly lazy since I had already been parked on the couch for over an hour watching “Secret Circle”. And since my parents were out of town, aka Dad the grill man was gone, our fridge was devoid of all meat except my brother’s ham (no thanks). So I went the vegetarian route for dinner (vs. the pescatarian route for lunch) and decided to mix two food “genres” to create some Greek/Mexican magic.

Falafel, pico de gallo, tzatziki sauce in whole grain taco shells

These were SO good! And so easy to put together too – I used a boxed brand of pre-made falafel (can’t recall the name right now) and these awesome whole grain taco shells we have that are less than 200cal for two! The pico I used was the Yummy Hummy variety I got at the Coventry Farmer’s Market. It’s still SO fresh and delicious over a week later!

And since that was not nearly enough for me, I proceeded to go tzatziki-carrot crazy, because once I start with tzatziki I just cannot stop.

Sunday was another day of packed study snacks in the morning, cheese and other goodies in the afternoon, and before I knew it, it was dinnertime and I was craving some take-out. So off to Moe’s I went to get my favorite item on their menu – a burrito “streaker”. Moe’s > Chipotle – who’s with me?!

Chicken with cucumber, cilantro, corn, olives, pico, salsa, black beans, onions, and green pepper.

After I was 75% done, I switched from fork to chips as my method-of-choice for getting this delicious pile of food into my mouth. It was a good decision. And when the bowl was gone, the chip munching continued with some more of the Yummy Hummy pico.

Those are my weekend eats photos – maybe this weekend I will post my week eats photos. No?! OK, I’ll try to be faster than that.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a weekend fashion post! These delays are getting out of hand. I should stop revealing when my photos were taken…nah.

What was the best thing you ate this past weekend? Only half a week left til the next weekend!