Tag Archives: pasta

From High(ball) to (Laying) Low

Usually people post weekend recaps on Mondays, but I’ll use the fact that many (not me) had yesterday off as an excuse for why I am posting a weekend recap on a Tuesday. Moving on.

This weekend was a nice mix of going out and laying low. I took Friday as a rest day and was thrilled to use my time between work and going out to lay around on the couch, color, and finally start watching Master of None. I also got to spend my lunch break at Harry’s, my favorite Friday lunch spot near my office, with Kaitlin. It’s been so nice to see more of her since she moved here! And there’s nothing better than a Corona and salad for lunch on a Friday.

Jeff and I went out for dinner and celebrations for my good friend Jenna’s birthday. We started at Stoddard’s, and had some very good food and drinks! The evening started out a bit sour thanks to a rude bartender but my Manhattans and the burger were good enough to make us forget about him. I definitely recommend the Stoddard’s burger! The fries were great too.

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March of Dimes CT Signature Chefs Auction

I attended this event free of charge as a media volunteer. All opinions of the evening are my own.

You’ve heard me talk about the 75th Anniversary March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Gala a few times now. The event seemed so far away when I first connected with Leigh-Anne Lefurge, State Director of Communications for the Connecticut chapter. She, Marc Spencer (Senior Community Director), Kaitlin, and I worked together to spread the word via social media and get more restaurants involved. I could hardly believe it when I woke up this past Thursday morning knowing the event was already here!


Right before kicking things off.


Some of the evening’s chefs, assembled for a group shot.

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Todd English’s Tuscany at Mohegan Sun

I’m so glad you guys liked my Sprigs Earbags giveaway! Thank you to all who participated. I’m excited to announce that the winner is…

…Ali of Miles With Style!

Thank you for entering Ali – now you can seriously get your style on while piling on those miles. I will contact you for shipping info!

I know that the big Thanksgiving holiday was this past weekend and everyone is back to work and “real life” today. I also know that the blog world is going to be flooded with Thanksgiving food (in fact, it already is). I love reading about what everyone else did for Thanksgiving, but I also still need to finish my Mohegan Sun weekend recap. So my Turkey Day talk will come, but for now, we have some catching up to do!

Shoe shot – but you probably noticed our room’s bathroom’s pretty tile floor.

Now let’s see…where were we? Oh right! Maria and I were in our hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mohegan Sun Casino hotel, pampering ourselves and prepping for an epic tasting dinner with other bloggers at Todd English’s Tuscany!

Got to wear a Forever 21 dress I hadn’t worn in forever!

I could not believe that my hair worked out on my first try!

We went downstairs a little early for craps and Christmas. Yes, Christmas.

Mohegan is already decked out for the holidays and Maria and I had to get a photo in front of the tree in our outfits.

We both planned outfits with a pop of color – love it! But I wish I’d taken off my purse for this photo.

I am a conservative craps player so I only ended up winning $10, but I also got a free Jack Daniel’s Manhattan while playing, so I consider this round of gambling a major win!

I love this glass structure in the center of the casino shops!

Our tasting dinner was set up in one of Tuscany’s private dining rooms. Maria and I both arrived hungry and ready to fill our bellies, but Tuscany was more ready than us. We were in for a seriously epic amount of food.

We bloggers also had the pleasure of dining with the woman who brought us all together for the weekend, PR Manager Michelle Williams. We have been working together on events and giveaways for more than half a year now and it was wonderful to finally get the chance to meet in person and talk food, marketing, family, romance…you know, the usual!

The epic menu!

We were first served crusty Italian bread with a seriously awe-inspiring white bean puree and olive tapenade. I’m not sure how I managed to hold off on having a piece until the first glass of wine was poured, but somehow I did.

Our first wine was a white blend of Riesling, Moscato, and Chardonnay. I normally am not a fan of anything Moscato-related but the Riesling and Chardonnay balanced it out. This glass sure went down easily.

The antipasto course of passed appetizers was easily enough food for my dinner. Maria and I looked at each other as the plates were being taken away and said, “How are we going to fit anything else?!”

Antipasta Della Casa

I legitimately would come back to Tuscany and just order this entire platter for myself. It was hard to save room and not kill it.

Calamari Fritti with a Chipotle Cream Sauce

Calamari is often all the same to me because it just all tastes fried. This calamari didn’t stand out too much (the best I’ve ever had is still at J. Gilbert’s because it includes the barely-fried octopus-looking calamari that I adore) but the chipotle sauce – man oh man! Pretty darn good.

Fig, prosciutto, and balsamic flatbread.

Though I prefer my flatbreads to be served on crispier, thinner crusts, the above flatbread’s flavor combo was hard not to love. I’m a prosciutto fanatic!

Tuscan Salad and Trefethen 2010 Chardonnay

I chose the Tuscan Salad of greens, roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives, onions, and lemon vinaigrette for my salad course. Very impressive! I like a restaurant starter salad that doesn’t slack on the ingredients. The Chardonnay went so well with the vinaigrette.

Double-fistin’ – it’s what I do.

Before I knew it I was being poured the next wine – Apothic Red – and hadn’t even finished my Chardonnay yet. Had to double up! The next course, pasta, featured choice of two dishes – clam linguine or ricotta gnocchi. The latter has been on my to-try list for eons, so it was a no-brainer.

Ummm…when can I eat gnocchi again?! The ricotta was to die for but those potato pillows, ahhh. Not surprised I loved this dish since I am a potato fanatic (as well as the previously mentioned prosciutto…me thinks I need to eat a pizza topped with both). That sauce was certainly fabulous and the homemade ricotta, don’t get me started. Wait, I already am.

Me and Anne!

My other seatmate Anne ordered the clam linguine, and she let me take a shot of her dish. I didn’t try any because I could barely fit my food as it was at this point (and we still had the entrees to come…) but I heard great things about it! I’m just not a plain pasta person – my palate craves too much excitement!

Major thanks to Tina for helping me learn more about my camera’s settings before I took this photo.

Then came the entrees. Yes, more food. I didn’t finish my gnocchi and knew I couldn’t finish this dish, but I want to come back to Tuscany so I can order it again and enjoy an entire portion during a normal-sized meal!

Crispy (seriously, so crispy) salmon with bacon Brussels sprouts, clams, and Parmesan polenta.

Maria and I couldn’t get over how crispy this fish was. I want to know Todd English’s secret! Yes obviously Maria and I ordered the same thing for the entire meal.

Insta-twins! Shared our meals one after the other.

The entree was served with DaVinci Chianti, which I’ve actually had before at Bertucci’s. I adore Chianti! It has such a robust flavor.

Maria, I, and the rest of the girls found our third/fourth/fifth stomachs the moment we caught glimpses of the desserts! First, each of us was served a mini fallen chocolate cake with a scoop of the most delicious, simple Tahitian vanilla ice cream and raspberry puree. It had been forever since I’d just enjoyed a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of a more “complex” flavor. Though I am all about the complex, it felt so nice to go back to the vanilla days of my childhood and mix the ice cream with the warm, molten syrup center of the chocolate cake. There was no way I wouldn’t finish every last bite.

Do you spy the green sprig below the ice cream? I am not sure what herb it was but it paired quite interestingly with this dish!

Did you really think we were done? NOT A CHANCE. I couldn’t pass up one each of the cannolis and another Italian pastry (I’d call it a croissant with cannoli filling – anyone know what that is called?) on the below tray. EDIT: Thanks to Sara for sharing that the pastry is called a “sfogliatelle”, which means many leaves in Italian. If you look at it you can see why it has that name! I packed up some more of both to bring home to the fam.

The sfogliatelle is next to the cannolis!

AND end meal. Finally, right?! Like I said before, I really want to go back to Tuscany now to enjoy a “normal” sized meal so that I can eat every last bite and not leave with a food baby. But believe me, this food baby was welcomed. I am honestly so proud of myself for enjoying every bite of this meal that I wanted to, knowing I don’t do it all the time, and sleeping quite peacefully that night.

A huge part of that was the fact that I felt so special, appreciated, and in my element during the meal and the entire weekend. I was in the company of good friends who are also bloggers I admire and have read for – in some cases – years! I was the guest of one of my favorite CT destinations and got the chance to try so many authentic Italian dishes at a new-to-me restaurant. And the best part? I didn’t have to do the 45 minute drive back home afterward! 😛

Julie, Me, Tina!

Some of the girls headed out for shopping after the meal wound down (and after we spent a bit more time sitting, digesting, and chatting), but Maria and I were so ready for bedtime.

Pretty sure about ten of these photos were taken.

When we got back to our room, Maria and I had a case of the wine sillies that was sparked by the donning of my matchy-matchy Victoria’s Secret flannel jammies.

Two thumbs up for fancy-pants pajamas!

We decided that the giant…things on our bed looked like foam rollers. Anyone know what they’re called?

What is this thing?!

Sadly, it didn’t function as a foam roller.


Alas, we cheered up and settled in for TV, girl talk, and not too long after, bed. We awoke the next morning like the early birds we are, checked out of the hotel, and checked back into reality. And while reality is always nice to return to, I have to admit that I was texting Maria later that night saying, “I miss Mohegan!”

Thank you to Mohegan Sun, Tuscany, and Michelle for an enchanting evening and Saturday in general!

Though I received accommodations and this meal free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

Which dish would you have most liked to try?

Have you ever dined with other bloggers?

Have you ever done any gambling?

April Foodie Pen Pals!

I can’t BELIEVE it’s already the last day of April. AKA Foodie Pen Pal reveal day!!!

Lindsay‘s Foodie Pen Pals program is a great way to meet fellow bloggers and try new foodie treats, whether they are local or just something your grocery store doesn’t happen to carry. This month I ended up being assigned to send a package to someone I already knew, the wonderful Diana of Veggie Next Door. I’ve never gotten a pen pal match-up before who is already a friend, and it was really fun because I felt more motivated to share certain “treasures” with her like locally made CT food and coffee from my favorite cafe ever. Check out what I got Diana!

Previous Foodie Pen Pals posts:

I was sent a package by the gorgeous Annica Russo! I’m so glad to have found her blog, AnnicaNicole, about the healthy livings musings of a fellow Fitfluential AmbassadorShe and I have a lot in common – social media addiction, communications education, advertising and PR career goals…I could go on forever! Probably explains why I enjoyed what she sent so much.

I was in love from the moment I laid eyes on this fabulous zebra tissue paper (fun fact: my bathroom my junior year of college was zebra themed).

Exhibit A.

Exhibit B.

Well that was a tangent. Do you like the row of tampon boxes in the above photo? Classic college dorm bathroom belonging to four girls.

Let’s get back to the goods, shall we?

I was even more impressed by the ADORABLE initialed card Annica used, especially since one of my favorite cards to use during any sort of blogger exchange ALSO has my first name initial on it!

From a package I sent Lynn for Christmas (source).

The similarities only continued to pile on as I got past the tissue paper and card and got to the FOOD!

  • Fresh Finds rice cracker mix: This snacky, healthier take on Chex Mix is low in calories (which to me translates into I’LL EAT MORE :-D) and I would love to mix it into plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as a snack!
  • Fresh Finds banana chips: Ditto with these guys on the mix-in possibilities!
  • Antico Pastificio Umbro garlic & basil linguine: I never really eat pasta at home, or order it out, because it’s not interesting enough for me. So THIS pasta is right up my alley! I love garlic, I love basil, and it’s made with whole wheat flour. Score!
  • Tropical Foods yogurt pretzels: Oooh danger danger! I know that once I open this bag my mom and I will go through it VERY quickly, probably why we’ve delayed opening, but I can’t wait to dive in…

  • Balance Bar Cafe chocolate almond biscotti bar: I’m not a big bar person but do enjoy using them sometimes as yet another cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt mix-in. I’m excited to try this one because based off the nutrition stats and ingredients list, it looks promising!
  • Moser Roth chili dark European chocolate: Chili chocolate, how unique!!! I ended up bringing this to a jewelry making party so that everyone could try it paired with red wine!

Thank you so much Annica for taking the time to put together a great box for me. Keep an eye out on my Twitter because whenever I snack, I’m usually tweeting it! That’s how you’ll all get the latest updates on how I like my goodies!

Don’t forget to go here to find out how you can join this amazing program. It’s completely worth the ~$25/month (food + shipping) that it costs to participate!

Do you do foodie pen pals? If so, how was your box this month?!

Taste of Wethersfield

A couple of weekends I attended yet another glorious tasting event – a local, reasonably priced tasting from the Wethersfield Historical Society called Taste of WethersfieldAnyone who’s been reading my blog for awhile can surely tell that I love going to these things. I’m all about trying small samples of as much as I can. There is so much out there to taste! Other events I’ve gone to include:

Since a lot of people seemed to enjoy my last Fashion Friday post, I’ve been trying to remember to take more outfit pictures before heading out to events or meals. Is this something you guys are actually interested in seeing?

Top: Forever 21

Necklace: J. Crew outlet

Watch: Fossil

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Heels: Steve Madden

 My good friend Kim is a Wethersfield native, and she agreed to join me on this lovely Saturday evening. She was definitely familiar with a lot of the places in attendance!

Awkward posing with the event mascot.

We were greeted right away with a selection of beers: Shock Top Raspberry Wheat, Wheat IPA, and Lemon, as well as good old Sam Adams Summer. As a beer experimenter I went with the beer I thought it was most likely I’d like, the Lemon. It tasted like…Shock Top tasted the last time I tried it. Donde esta la lemon?

Let’s move onto the wine – now that’s more like it! At the below table I sampled Edna Valley Vineyard Merlot, described as complete with “aromas of cocoa powder, black cherry, & plum balanced with fine tannins and acidity”. I don’t know about the cocoa, but it was certainly well balanced and tasty.

The below Amarula Cream Liqueur was one of the most delicious liqueurs I’ve ever tried! It was like an amaretto coffee. It’d pair so well with a dessert pastry. Or poured over a huge piece of tiramisu. Someone try it and get back to me!

Wethersfield’s Starbucks was there too – not exactly local/slow food, but still yummy. They were serving coffee, including their new Blonde Roast (which is too light for this blonde) and pastries! I’ve had the below chocolate chip walnut banana bread in the past at my previous favorite study location from my days at UConn, the Starbucks on campus.

I’ve also seen the below double chocolate brownies and lemon loafs in the display case of many a Starbucks location.

I elected to sample their newest petite pastry offerings (I’ve never even seen these in stores before since I started passing up Starbucks for local cafes), the brown sugar walnut (left) and chocolate hazelnut (right) tarts. To my surprise, I preferred the brown sugar walnut. Perhaps that’s because the chocolate hazelnut tart had no hazelnut taste to it whatsoever – it just tasted like a Milano cookie.

Let’s get to some area restaurants! City Steam is a really cool brewery/cafe/restaurant in Hartford with daily bar specials, comedy shows, a diverse menu, and its own brand of beers. I’ve eaten there once before and it was a pretty good meal! Not amazing, but not bad by any means. There is definitely something for everyone on the menu.

The Naughty Nurse Amber Ale, the original beer from City Steam, is available in bottles in liquor stores. During my Integrated Marketing Communications class last spring, one of the owners of City Steam even brought a six-pack in (to pass around, not drink…) and spoke with us about marketing. I wasn’t as interested in marketing and branding in the food and drinks world then – wish I could go back in time now and listen all over!

Naughty Nurse is the variety of beer I opted to try, since the newer option, Blonde on Blonde, is a “very hoppy pale ale” (seriously, the label even says that word-for-word) which is almost sure to equal me disliking it. Kim and I both liked the Naughty Nurse (ha) a lot! We detected a chocolate/caramel taste, and the employee working the booth did confirm our suspicions about the caramel.

My eye wandered immediately to the right, toward the next booth over, Carmela’s Pasta Shop of Wethersfield. I hadn’t heard of it, but Kim confirmed for me that they are thought of by many as the best source of homemade pasta in Hartford! Thankfully the staff was serving up freshly made ravioli. Their sauce was to die for and the ravioli were perfect! Some of the best I’ve ever had. I’d love to try a squash or pumpkin ravioli from Carmela’s…I wonder if they make any in the fall? I hope to get to Carmela’s sometime this summer to bust open a bottle of wine and enjoy some good old-fashioned Italian cooking!

I was happy to have the chance to sample another specialty cocktail from Onyx Moonshine, after having tried their delicious cider-based cocktail last fall. This grassroots liquor company has a factory right near me in Manchester, CT! Onyx is being served at more and more bars and restaurants not only in its home state, but in RI and MA as well. The cards at the bottom of the below photo detail a different Onyx Moonshine cocktail for each season!

 The pitcher below was filled with a refreshing concoction indeed – the summer cocktail Shinin’ Tea: one part Onyx, two parts sweet iced tea, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I didn’t detect a hint of the moonshine, but not because there wasn’t any in there – it sneaks up on you! Danger! The founders, Adam and Peter, also informed me that their moonshine is a great component in many recipes, like steak tips. That sounds amazing!

 I really expanded my beer horizons during this event and sampled my first Hooker Brewery beer (made right nearby in Bloomfield, CT), the Watermelon Ale. I’d heard less than favorable opinions of it and was fairly surprised to find that I enjoyed it! So refreshing and as Kim said, “it tastes like I just sucked on a Jolly Rancher and chased it with beer”. Yup, that’s about right, but it wasn’t a bad thing.

Tschudin Chocolate & Confections of the wonderful Middletown, CT had some impressive sculptures in the making! I don’t exactly know what the one below is because clearly it was in-process when I got the photo, but check out that construction hardware!

I can’t believe the bamboo in the photo below (on the right) is ALL CHOCOLATE! How cute is the googly-eyed iPhone? Kim and I each took a nibble of some dark chocolate discs from this booth. Mmm, it paired SO well with red wine from the next table over!

That table was run by some lovely ladies of Cork & Brew in Southington, CT, the only place in the state where you can make your own beer and wine! They even have free classes Saturdays 10am or 1pm by appointment! I’m not sure what kind of wine the red was that I tried, but it was VERY fruity. The white was a Green Apple Riesling – SO SWEET. Way too sweet for me, but yummy for a couple of sips from the small cup.

Cork & Brew seems to be the PERFECT destination for a girl’s night, bachelorette party, 21st birthday, and more! I love the idea. Guys can even get into the whole beer thing! You can also buy the supplies from them, take them home, and make your beer and wine all the time!

How amazing and cute are those cork holders?! They have them available in the store (not online yet unfortunately) and have Mother’s Day Gift written all over them!

Kim and I had successfully hit up almost all the downstairs booths, so we went upstairs and were greeted with a much livelier atmosphere! An excellent live band was playing and plenty of patrons were dancing; it was so cute!

There was also a silent auction happening upstairs. I actually didn’t see this in my event program until the next day, but look at this auction item – such a cool idea!

We tackled the upstairs drinks first – plenty to choose from at the below table. I sampled Lunae Moscato, the first Moscato ever to be infused with natural fruit “essence”, whatever that means! It was way too sweet for me and didn’t taste that natural, to be honest. And then we had Chopin Vodka, which I didn’t have a chance to try at Taste of the Nation: New Haven (their booth was shoved into a random corner that I didn’t notice at first), so I was excited to have the chance to sample it here. Each variety of Chopin is made with different “grains”, which in turn determine how much it tastes like…well…vodka. I went for the most potent, the potato vodka. I LOVE potatoes after all, so how appropriate! Yup, this definitely tasted like vodka. Not something I’d order straight up but I’m sure it’d make a smooth cocktail! Kim thought I was crazy for even trying a sample of it straight.

Next I tried Finca La Linda Carte Reservado, a Syrah and Malbec blend from Mendoza, Argentina. There was also some Merlot in there. I love blends so much – you don’t really know what to expect until the first sip. And I especially love all the wines used in the blend, so it was no surprise when this wine put a BIG smile on my face, and I don’t mean because it got me a-buzzin’.

Another noteable red I sampled was the below El Coto Rioja. Rioja is a grape that I am relatively new to knowing about, but it was love at first sip since I first sampled some at Esca. This wine also seemed very CT-appropriate with its The-Hartford-like logo!

Reps from one of the newest spirits to hit the market, American Harvest, were giving out cocktails made of OJ, Sprite, and their organic vodka. I wish I could tell you whether or not this vodka was any good, but the cocktail completely masked its taste and was mostly juice and soda. Boo!

The good red wines kept on comin’…my last sip of alcohol for the evening, and it was a good last one, came from the bottle on the left in the below photo. It was Dreaming Tree Crush, a smoky red that really impressed me – and I felt that way before I was told by the booth’s operator that Dreaming Tree is the wine company owned by Dave Matthews! Dave sure can make good music AND good wine.

OK, I am not a drunkard, let’s get back to the food shall we? And what makes a girl crave pizza more than red wine? Answer: nothing. Good thing Village Pizza was posted up next to the booth with the Dreaming Tree!

It may not look the prettiest but the above pie with spinach and sausage, though not in possession of as thin a crust as I normally like, was so delicious. So was the below pie, fresh out of the oven (literally – Village Pizza is right across the street from the event venue, talk about local!) and complete with beefy, juicy tomatoes and perfect seasonings.

Next Kim and I found an unexpected booth – one run by grocery chain ShopRite. I honestly have always associated that grocery store with heavily discounted, low-quality items. However, I was pleasantly surprised by their offerings! The cheesecakes below were fantastic…it’d been way too long since I had a bite of cheesecake. That used to be my “reward” to myself after each calc exam I suffered through at UConn!

The melba toasts with fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar made me feel quite classy!

So did the olive tapenade spread on these melba toasts – even though it may look a bit gross (I won’t say what it looks like…), trust me, it was delicious.

MELBA MANIA! The below toasts were spread with a spinach and artichoke hummus. YUM. However, I didn’t really taste the spinach or the artichoke. I just tasted salty hummus. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

My favorite combo, of course, was the cheese and fig jam pairing. I could eat sweet and savory things piled on top of bread ALL DAY.

Krause Catering passed out some delectable looking mini strawberry shortcakes. Instead of pound cake, they were made with BISCUITS! Biggest regret of the night: not deciding I wanted one until they had run out. And the event wasn’t even over yet! The picture below is Kim’s – she was a smart lady and grabbed one of these early.

Carbone’s, a Hartford landmark on “Little Italy” AKA Franklin Avenue, had some amazing meatballs. They didn’t look too pretty so I didn’t take a picture, nor did I get a picture of the prosciutto-wrapped melon we tried because the few pieces left on the tray looked lonely. However I did get a shot of this unique appetizer, cucumber slices topped with a salmon and tzatziki-like spread. So yummy! I had actually eaten dinner at Carbone’s the night before (hoping to have time to share THAT experience at some point…) and was glad the booth was passing out things I hadn’t already tried.

Next up, a place that I have been dying to try (I have a Living Social deal, but have been saving it for when the weather is warm enough to dine al fresco)…Puerto Vallarta! This Mexican mini-chain had a nice long table set up. Some of the offerings included this delectable app. It reminded me of a spring roll, except filled with shredded pork. YUM.

This sauteed chicken, pepper, and onion medley for fajitas was really good. I skipped the tortillas to avoid filling up on bland-ness (I already know what they taste like after all).

Costa del Sol of Hartford served up Mexican that was more my style – SEAFOOD-heavy stuff! On the left we have a gazpacho and on the right a cold ceviche with huge beans. I believe the ceviche was sitting in the gazpacho. The herbs on top had a strong flavor that wasn’t too overpowering. Two thumbs up to each sample!

One of my favorite places in Wethersfield is Lucky Lou’s Bar & Grill on Old Main Street. They have an amazing happy hour, fabulous seafood, and a gorgeous outdoor patio with live music that doesn’t piss me off with excessive volume. All these things are great, but what really puts the cherry on top is their ability to make a good sangria that doesn’t taste like a wine cooler. I had already tried their red last summer, so I sampled the pineapple coconut sangria on the left. I usually scoff at a white sangria, but WOW, I just wanted to take the pitcher down to Florida with me (because it was cold outside in CT) and drink it.

Like I said, they have fab food too. Didn’t fill up on any of that pasta, but I did have one of those balsamic-drizzled bruschettas. My mom and I ordered a full-size bruschetta last time we went, and it was to die for, so I had to have it again.

Ginza, a sushi and hibachi restaurant that I’ve dined at before, was JUST running out of sushi samples when Kim and I arrived at their table. Lots of places were out of stuff by this point! I tried a spicy tuna roll, and Kim had a California roll. Two thumbs up from both of us, though not the most creative or exciting thing ever (and white rice is blahhh). Their hibachi is very good though, I know this from past experience!

I drive by Aroma Bistro on Old Main Street all the time (it’s across the street from Lucky Lou’s) but have never been in. After trying their sandwiches, I think that will have to change ASAP. Check out the Grateful Pilgrim: turkey, caramelized onion, avocado, Dutch Fontina cheese, cranberry mayo. This goes above and beyond your classic “Gobbler” style sandwich with the addition of the avocado and a dynamite cheese. AND wheat bread!

The Garden Treasure was also awesome. I love a veggie panini that doesn’t skimp on the veggies. Sooo much veggie goodness, and basil pesto was a grand finale.

And finally, the Texas Roadhouse, which was MADE by the horseradish mayo and the perfectly crispy bacon.

LAST STOP! Did you think this night would never end? My stomach certainly hoped for just that. Alas, we got to the last table (that still had food left…), Comerio of Hartford. More pork! It was so amazing, slow-roasted to perfection.

And I honestly don’t remember what the dish below was. Something unique! But it was so good. Check out their menu – lots of interesting foodie finds like boiled bananas, gizzards, and stewed pig ears!

I have almost NO complaints about this event. It was great, and for only $35, so worth it! However, I would hope that next year the restaurants are more prepared with enough food. I know that they donate their time and resources and that’s very kind in the first place, but the event was advertised to last until 9:30PM, and even by 8:30PM some booths were out! Of course, it’s very possible that the turnout this year was WAY more than last year! It’s really not a big deal – overall, it was a great event that raised a lot of money for a good cause. The Wethersfield Historical Society should be proud – thanks for bringing an affordable tasting event to the Hartford area!

Which of these tasty treats and drinks would you have liked to try?!

Ever had strawberry shortcake made with a biscuit? How cool is that?!

New Camera’s Premier!

On Black Friday (a week ago today – oh yeah, it’s Friday, hell yeah!) I got a new camera at Best Buy!

Thanks to Amazon.com for the image.

I haven’t had a chance to share any photos that I’ve taken on it – until today! This post will be a combination of show and tell for both the new camera, and food I’ve eaten in the past week.

Black Friday dinner

Turkey burger and fries with spicy yellow mustard, leftover green beans and zesty horseradish carrots. Usually my favorite part of this meal would be the fries, but the carrots left over from Thanksgiving were a  real treat. Horseradish + breadcrumbs + carrots = <3

Typical Daybreak cafe au lait

I don’t remember what flavor this particular nonfat cafe au lait was, but it doesn’t really matter because Daybreak coffee is amazing no matter what the flavor.

Saturday's dinner

I had a whole wheat spaghetti bowl for dinner that night with marinara, ground turkey and broccoli. I had seconds of all but the pasta – pasta is kinda a take it or leave it thing for me.

A second picture, you know, because I had seconds?


I present to you: the best Thanksgiving leftovers creation of all time.

The above caption may be a bold statement, but I’m sticking to it. My mom made a leftover turkey casserole, which I had on top of a bed of leftover broccoli. And then I had seconds. And maybe thirds were involved…

Wednesday's dinner: leftovers are still king.

I got a nice healthy dose of carcinogens in the above meal. On Tuesday my mom cooked, but I was out (more on that later), so these leftovers were new to me. Crispy, Southern-style cornbread heated under the broiler for maximum crusty-ness, and chicken chickpea chili and pico de gallo served over the last of the leftover broccoli.

Man, I sure have gotten my broc on plenty in the last week, huh?

I got more and more excited about the new camera as I inserted these photos into this post – I hope you guys have enjoyed too!

What kind of cam do you use, whether for blogging or just for life?