Tag Archives: recipes

Five Things Friday: Calm Before The Storm

Happy Friday! Some of you may have the day off, but I am working a full day as well as events both tonight and tomorrow night. Luckily these events – Paint Nite and Wine Riot – are events I’d totally attend on my own time for fun. So I’m pretty cool with it, and am excited to write up blog recaps too. One of the many responsibilities of my new job that I sure don’t mind. I’ve got a few things I can talk about today so I thought I’d discuss five of them for the sake of alliteration, and in honor of Five Things Friday.

Check out Clare’s link-up!

1. I finally ran into a meh Boston restaurant experience.

They can’t all be amazing right? I’ve had a great track record so far but on Tuesday I went to the soft opening of a new North End speakeasy called Parla, and was left unsatisfied. The drinks, to be fair, were awesome. My first one (pictured below) contained both Domain de Canton and Campari and it blew me away! I also had a prosecco cocktail with more Domain de Canton plus mint and lemon – it pretty much screamed Kaitlin. I’d return to Parla in a second for cocktails!

Served alongside a cucumber mint salad sample – compliments of the chef. Molly and I agreed the crouton made it.

But if I could go back to Tuesday night I’d suggest to my companions Molly and Jeannie that we get drinks at Parla and eat elsewhere in the North End. The food was good, but for how much I paid I didn’t think it was THAT good, and I was also unimpressed by the portions. I’ve had plenty of better food in Boston (and more of it) for wayyy less money. And I was still hungry when I got home!

The interior was both fun and beautiful (if you visit, check out the bathroom wallpaper!) and Parla is for sure a fun place to hang out and grab drinks. But given the hype surrounding the place – they went for a marketing strategy of being ultra-secretive, and it sure reeled me in! – I was let down. Then again, hype surrounding a restaurant just opening is certainly less reliable than hype surrounding a long-standing spot, such as Drink!

At least we had fun!

2. Workouts this week have been fairly good!

After a ridiculously meh Sunday workout that consisted of me leaving the gym after 25 minutes of arms (once I decided I just wasn’t feelin’ it), I felt more than ready for Danielle Dee’s Monday spin class at the BSC. It felt great, I worked hard, and the best part is she gave me props for that while I was cleaning my bike. She thanked me for coming and for “working SO hard”. Just the way she said it, with so much meaning, made me feel so proud of myself for rebounding from my crappy Sunday workout and kicking butt. I enjoyed a good sweat on the stairs on Tuesday morning, and Wednesday evening’s Total Body Conditioning class was ROUGH. But in the sense that the whole class felt super hard, so that’s way better than it feeling too easy.

We did these…but with weights in our hands.

I took spin last night and it was a shorter class (45 minutes) but was the perfect amount of workout for me for that day. It was a teacher I’d never had before but I really liked the variety of her class! This morning I just couldn’t bring myself to do cardio after last night’s spin so I did arms and abs. I feel guilty about it but am just trying to move on. Hopefully my upper body feels sore tomorrow.

3. I think I’ve finally figured out the right amount of food to meal prep for myself each weekend.

It’s Friday and I don’t feel like my fridge is devoid of everything! This is a big deal. Trial and error my friends, that’s the name of the game. I still have leftover Chicken Veggie Barley Bake even after eating more of it last night, so I threw it in the freezer this morning. Don’t worry, I put it in a container first. I also still have a bit of Tarragon Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots (the recipe called for steamed but come on, roasted is SO much better) and have picked out a couple of recipes to make this coming weekend for next week.

4. I’m having a very un-Eastery Easter Weekend.

I’m not going home, I’m working, and the Easter Bunny doesn’t visit me anymore. It doesn’t feel like Easter Weekend! I am hearing a whole lot more in “these parts” about the Boston Marathon, which is this coming Monday. I’m excited to partake in the celebrating with some friends and experience my first Marathon Monday in my new home! And this is a pretty incredible first one to be experiencing. I also have a blogger event tomorrow at the Reebok FitHub; I’m trying out a new Cardio Kick class! I don’t usually go for afternoon workout events on the weekends but Sarah is going and I really want to see her :-)

The class will be taught by Eliza Shirazi! Source

5. Next week is a big week.

I just have lots of plans. Marathon Monday, Wednesday I’m meeting some old friends for dinner and then running a Twitter tasting, and Thursday I’m going out after work to celebrate two coworkers’ birthdays. I really felt like doing something last night, but I stayed in and am glad I did because looking ahead, this is the calm before the storm. Starting tonight I’ve got work, and I have work/plans each night except Tuesday (even on Easter…Molly and I are going to get together to watch the Bruins game!) up until next weekend (and I’m working another event then too!) So I really need to pace myself because I don’t want to get overwhelmed and regret not resting and taking down-time.

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Shameless plug…please join us!

Now as that guy from Mulan said, let’s get down to business. Have a great weekend everyone!

Have you ever been disappointed by an over-hyped restaurant?

Got any fun Easter weekend (or Marathon Monday!) plans?

Do you find you need to pace yourself when it comes to plans?

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

A few weeks ago, Brittany sent me this recipe from Layers of Happiness (she and I love sending each other recipes – especially those involving baby cabbages). I knew immediately I wanted to use some leftover uncooked barley I had to make my own version! So this past Sunday during my weekly meal prep, I did just that. Monday night dinner was the moment of truth. How would it turn out? The verdict was…GREAT! So I’m here to share my take…

Chicken Veggie Barley Bake

(Adapted from Layers of Happiness Pesto Chicken & Vegetable Quinoa Bake)

Makes 4 servings

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WIAW: Cheddar Chicken-Veggie-Potato Chowder

A very special happy birthday to my darling blend Kaitlin of For Love of Carrots! I will be visiting her this weekend so we can celebrate in person and I just can’t wait!

I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds it helpful to focus on goals that don’t have to do with food/fitness! Though I have to admit I was a bit of a fail with some of my goals the day I set them – blah.

  • Appreciate More: I certainly kept my head up despite snow changing my gym plans and being a general nuisance. After all I got to go home to hang with my dad, who’d just returned from our FL condo (bad timing Dad!), and my boss was nice enough to let me leave work a bit early to try to beat snowy rush hour (I didn’t, but it was a nice thought!). I had plenty to appreciate, and I certainly did so.
  • Cook At Home More: More on that later in this post!
  • Separate From My Phone More: I was definitely on my phone less yesterday than usual, most likely due to writing my blog post, but I still didn’t want to leave it downstairs at all during dinner. I was watching SNL on the DVR with my dad and kept finding so many tweet worthy things to comment on – not things Drake said, but #shitmydadsays!
  • Go Outside More: Another fail. I knew that a polar vortex and a storm was coming so I just did not go outside during the work day, not even to take one breath of fresh air. However I was feeling a lot more upbeat yesterday and didn’t really find a need to go outside to “center myself”. I had lots of paperwork to do and that is always nice for me, to just plug away at my desk with my music going.

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WIAW: I Cooked!

Whenever I do a What I Ate Wednesday post (thanks Jenn!) that features at-home meals, it shows off my mom’s amazing healthy dishes. Truth (though I’ve never been secretive about this): pretty much every one of my recipes was created by her. Well today I’ve got something new cooking…two dishes THAT I MADE. They may not be recipes I created (I’ll be sharing one of those later!) but they are recipes I took from my Recipes I’d Actually Make Pinterest board. And now I’m able to take a cue from Sam and move those two recipes to a board titled I MADE THIS. Yes in all caps, because I”m that excited about it.

The reason I don’t have much experience with cooking is because I live at home to save money (I always feel the need to throw the reasoning in there…I’m not a 30 year old living it up in my parent’s basement – although my room IS in the basement). My mom is an awesome cook and she always makes super-healthy dinners for me. Believe me it’s come in handy especially given the fact that I do the gym after work, and when I get home I am just hungry and ready to chow down after my shower. But I won’t be living at home forever and I definitely have been fearing getting too content with my mom’s cooking and too dependent upon restaurants, take-out, and the Whole Foods salad bar. My parents have been spending more time than ever in our FL condo so I decided it was the perfect time to practice my cooking!

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Mom’s White Bean Chicken Chili

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a personal wine cellar from Staples – don’t miss out! And remember to check out my post about New Britain Museum of American Art events…they announced yesterday on their Facebook page the winner of their giveaway for a pair of tickets to tonight’s Scotch vs Bourbon event. Tickets are still available – hope to see you there!

This past Tuesday night I settled in no the couch with a perfect fall dinner (especially given the cold temperatures that evening)…a steaming bowl of white chicken chili with added turkey sausage and roasted zucchini. My Instagram of the meal got lots of positive feedback, and a few recipe requests. (This is also the same chili I enjoyed after my night out on Wednesday).

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Funeral Dress

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important, but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 15 as we discuss The Funeral Dress.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

My mom actually read this October From Left to Write book club novel before I did, and I went into it a bit wary because she wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. She did though, because The Funeral Dress takes place in the South around the same time she grew up in the same region. I ended up enjoying it too! My parents’ Southern heritage, my fond memories of visits to relatives in the South and to the University of Tennessee, and my fondness for most people I meet from the area may have biased me slightly toward that enjoyment. But no matter where the novel took place, I am confident in saying that I think Susan Gregg Gilmore succeeded in telling a story that had me invested in its characters and glued to each chapter.

From Left to Write is all about inspiring members to publish not a review, but a blog post on any topic the novel inspired within us. I actually drafted an entire post about fond memories of visiting my relatives in the South, but I really didn’t like it. I felt forced while writing it and I hate hitting “Publish” if I’m not happy with what I wrote. SO I just deleted it all and am starting over right now. I’m actually going to take a totally different turn (think a turn that the GPS told you to make, and so you did, but then you end up crashed into a lake) and write about a completely silly topic – tater tots.

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Cocktails with Home Wet Bar!

This post is brought to you by HomeWetBar.com! I received a complimentary product to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I can’t say I was surprised when HomeWetBar.com contacted me to tell me about their site. I feel like my blog has given away the fact that I am a major cocktail enthusiast. I’ve been known to rank drinks and judge mixology competitions. So a product review for an online retailer of alcoholic beverage accessories seemed like a great fit! No, I am not a lush.

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HLS 2012 represent!

I am very into tasting cocktails and observing how they are made, but haven’t had much personal experience in the art of mixology. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out my own drink recipe, with the help of the Pro Shaker 10-Piece Bar Set.

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Judging Crazy Concoctions at CHS Cookoff

I can’t wait to attend Taste of the Nation Hartford tonight with my blends Kaitlin & Kelly! You can still get tickets at the door – general admission is $75, but I’ve been to this event before and it is WORTH IT. Best food tasting event I’ve ever experienced!

I’m so excited to share my experience judging the Connecticut Historical Society‘s first Community Cookoff! Held last Friday from 5:30-7:30pm (nice and early!), the event attracted a good crowd and had the work day craaaaawling by as I anxiously waited for the clock to hit 5 so I could hit the road for Hartford.

I wore my latest splurge – a Lilly Pulitzer top that I got on sale in FL – for such an important event! Little did I know Lilly herself would pass away in a couple of days.

I walked into CHS and was greeted by the smiling, excited faces of Jenny Steadman and Ed Main. They are the ones who came up with this idea, included me, and even planned the event’s timing around my vacation schedule. I couldn’t have felt any more special thanks to them!

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Judgment Day is April 5 at CT Cookoff!

Ah, the moment I know many of you have been waiting for…the giveaway winner of the Albion Go Long Crew tee! I wore mine again last night to Group Power!

Hot pink, ball out.

Thank you for your enthusiastic, thumbhole-lovin participation. The winner (chosen by random.org) is…

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Beautiful Blogger Award

Woo hoo! I loved reading your comments on yesterday’s flashback WIAW about your childhood eating habits and hope to reply to them all today. A couple of you mentioned doing your own posts about that topic – PLEASE DO! I’d LOVE to see what you munched on as a munchkin ;-)

My HLS roomie Alex of Wholesome Living nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award! I really enjoy filling out these little surveys especially because lately I’ve just been enjoying writing more about moi and my musings, thoughts, what have you. In fact I’m going to cheat a bit and use this survey to share some more current words running through my mind, not just general “about me” stuff.

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