Tag Archives: veggies

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: Sorella in Downtown Hartford

I received this meal free of charge. The opinions in this post are my own.

I briefly mentioned dining at a new restaurant this past Sunday night, and if you like Cait Plus Ate on Facebook you saw a carby preview. Now it’s time to share the full scoop on my dinner – with Kat – at Sorella in downtown Hartford.

This What I Ate Wednesday could otherwise be called What I Ate At Sorella!

Sorella is under Dish Restaurant Group, which also owns the downtown Hartford spot just across the street, Dish Bar & Grill. The owner Gary was nice enough to ask Kat and I to come in…though I probably would have made it to Sorella eventually anyway, because Kat has been giving it rave reviews.


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Cookin’ and Killin’ It

Don’t worry vegetarian readers, I’m not talking about killin’ an animal for cooking (see title). I’m talking about killin’ my goal to cook more meals at home. Yesterday I mentioned I was planning to get a Whole Foods salad after the gym. Well I got to thinking throughout the day as I was researching which recipes I wanted to use for food prep this weekend. I’ve eaten at home, without takeout, every night this week since Sunday. Why not make it a full week of weeknight meals at home, with no takeout? Why not go all the way and just kill it?

That’s just what I did! After the gym (where I got in a killer personal training session by the way, more on that later!) I went to Stop N Shop and picked up ingredients for the meals I plan to prep that weekend, plus some frozen veggies so I could make Tina‘s Creamy Laughing Cow Cheese Veggies. I already had the Creamy Swiss flavor at home though, so I just used that instead of Chipotle. I still kept the frozen broccoli, but I used frozen baby cabbages instead of edamame/spinach because I have never cooked with frozen baby cabbages and wanted to see how they’d turn out (obviously they wouldn’t turn out as good as the roasted kind). I also cooked up a pot of Goya chickpeas and black beans (with added garlic salt and cumin) on the stovetop. I combined the beans, creamy veggies, and some leftover meatloaf into a bowl for a delicious veggie and protein packed meal. Perfect for post-strength training.

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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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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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Hot Summer Night at Pond House Grille

Pond House Grille provided me complimentary admission to this cooking class. This is not a sponsored post, and all opinions on my experience are my own.

Pond House Grille has revitalized not just its appearance (examples: shiny website, tablet menu format) but also its food. Executive Chef Jordan Stein is placing a huge emphasis on seasonally appropriate and creative cuisine which makes heavy use of local ingredients. I had the privilege of receiving a chef’s tasting there not long ago, and was truly blown away by the dishes this talented and humble guy served up.

Love his signature fedora!

Love his signature fedora!

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Last Hurrah at La Trattoria

La Trattoria provided me a complimentary glass of wine and my meal for this write-up. This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

La Trattoria (Canton, CT) contacted me about coming in to try out the menu and write a blog post about my experience. I truthfully had never heard of the restaurant before, so I did what I do best and started menu-stalking. I liked what I saw – lots of variety, and opportunity for healthy ordering (the restaurant partners with Snap Fitness in Avon to offer a menu of lighter options). So I accepted the offer and made plans to come in last Wednesday after a post-work Zumba class; the restaurant is located just over the Avon line, and my gym has a location in that town. Super convenient for a weeknight outing!

One of several dining areas inside the restaurant (there is also a nice outdoor patio).

One of several dining areas inside the restaurant (there is also a nice outdoor patio).

My menu-stalking also immediately gave me an idea of who to invite – my sister Hannah, who goes back to school this week. We needed a last hurrah, just the two of us, and she loves classic Italian food. I knew she’d be all about this trip! She was especially impressed when she did menu-stalking of her own and saw on the La Trattoria website that “If a favorite of yours doesn’t appear in the selections below just ask us and we will be happy to prepare it for you.” Talk about accommodating!

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Proving Myself to…Myself

I sure hope someone catches the “Austin Powers” reference in the title…

I have the best readers in the world – thanks for your comments on yesterday’s post! I was already feeling a lot better when I published it Monday morning but I still had lingering feelings of regret that were holding on tightly. Like I wrote yesterday, time has been a huge part of making me feel better but your kind words help too. The way I spent my Saturday and Sunday evenings, post-Friday-evening-debacle, also gave myself the PROOF my mind needed to see that drinking all the drinks and spending all the dollars (I hope you caught that Alex) will not become habit and is not something I’ll keep wanting to do.

Saturday Night at Krust

Friends are the best medicine!

Friends are the best medicine!

Saturday night I had plans to attend the birthday dinner of Kelly‘s hubby Nick. I’d recommended to them one of my fave restaurants around, Krust Pizza Bar in Middletown. I have to be honest…I considered cancelling. I wanted to sit in my house and eat a salad and drink water, to punish myself for overdoing it on the alcohol the previous night. But I also knew that surrounding myself with loved ones and being a part of celebrating Nick’s special day would mean a lot to both me AND Kelly and Nick. Plus, staying in would have been letting the regret win. So I showered, put on a cute outfit, and headed out!

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Chef’s Tasting at Pond House Grille

My guest and I received a complimentary chef’s tasting for the purpose of writing this post. Beverages were not included. All thoughts and opinions about the experience are my own.

I’ve dined at Pond House Grille several times before, and enjoyed each experience. But they recently re-did their menu and I’ve been anxious to sample Chef Jordan Stein’s creative dishes for awhile now. Thankfully, Pond House invited me and a guest to come in and do just that via a special chef’s tasting, complete with an explanation of each dish by Jordan himself.

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They're his trademark!

Jordan and I! I love his hat and glasses. They’re his trademark! Please ignore the McDonald’s sign in the background ruining this photo.

I asked Jill to join me because she is a fellow foodie who will try anything (after all, we have shared worms and scorpions in the past). I knew she’d appreciate this opportunity as much as I did!

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Marvelous In My 4th!

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

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

Props to Katie for making marvelous happen!

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

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