The Caitlins/Kaitlins Meet Again
CT residents, remember to enter my giveaway for two lawn tickets to the Talcott Mountain Music Festival!
As you may have seen in Kaitlin‘s MIMM post, I paid her a visit over the holiday weekend and stayed over Saturday to Sunday. I enjoyed the leisurely car ride down to the 203 and arrived around 4pm – just enough time for us to pay a visit to the pool of Kaitlin’s best friend (and maid of honor). I enjoyed meeting and chatting with Kaitlin’s friends from home, and sipped on Cisco Brewers Summer of Lager, a new-to-me light lager. It definitely hit the spot on such a humid day, but made me a bit sleepy. I rallied though, because then it was off to a summer cookout at the home of Kaitlin’s mom’s best friend, Linda!
We instantly dove into an amazing spread of apps, along with glasses of chilled summery rose. Along with the below-pictured bruschetta (on farmers market bread!), we snacked on cheese & crackers, TJ’s spinach & artichoke dip, and homemade onion dip. I could’ve made a meal out of all of it!
But I held back because I knew we had an epic dinner coming our way which included my first-ever experience with soft-shell crabs. Kaitlin and Linda’s mom braved the heat and prepared them on the grill, cooked in a mixture of melted butter, olive oil, and garlic. It was Kaitlin’s first time eating these critters too and we both agreed we loved the way the shell didn’t seem at all like a shell, but rather a crunchy coating. It reminded me of a crusted fish I might order in a restaurant. Two claws up!
The rest of the meal was just as amazing. I switched to red wine for dinner, and filled my plate with the crab, amazing ribs, a greens salad with vinaigrette and cheese and tomatoes, and a local corn and tomato salad. Now THAT was fantastic…so fresh. I love when food is so high-quality and naturally delicious that barely any ingredients are needed to make it shine.
Throughout the evening, Kaitlin’s family and friends kept marveling at how much we look alike. I have to admit after some of the photos we took, all in which it looked like our hair stemmed from the same head, I have to agree. Twins!
After dinner we left Linda’s and headed out to a couple bars within walking distance of Kaitlin and Jeff’s place. I love being able to walk everywhere – I wish I lived within walking distance of restaurants! One day…
Our first stop, Fire Engine Pizza Co, was a bit disappointing because I’m pretty sure their AC wasn’t on. I’ll be the last person to complain about a restaurant being too warm, but everyone else in our group was quite uncomfortable so we paid each paid for our one drink as quickly as we could so we could make a quick exit. My drink also had way too much Chambord, but that’s the risk I take ordering a drink that listed it as an ingredient! I much preferred Kaitlin’s choice. However I’d give the place another chance because the pizza menu looks really good…they even have Jalapeno Polenta Pizza and Salad Pizza!!!
The second stop was much better in the drinks department and the dinner menu also has it higher on my to-return list. Walrus + Carpenter is a recently-opened gastropub with minimalist wooden decor, dim lighting, and chalkboard drink menus. My cocktail at this spot was better (though still sweeter than I’d have liked) and the temperature was also way more mild. But then I started to get sleepy (classic) and also had a hankering for that sweet potato bread that Kelly had brought to our 4th of July get-together. Good thing I brought it with me to Fairfield…oh that’s right.
Sunday morning I woke up well-rested and ready to chow. Kaitlin, Jeff, and I took a walk to a little hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot they’d been wanting to try – Home on the Range. So little in fact that whenever they usually showed up, the few tables that fit inside were all full. Since it was a holiday weekend we got a spot right away, but we definitely were not the first to show up.
I will admit that I was feeling guilty about the previous night of drinking (later that evening I’d write this post) and passed on what I truly wanted to order – the omelette special with prosciutto, grilled figs, and Gorgonzola cheese. I did some swaps and ended up with an egg white omelette with prosciutto, salsa, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms. I ordered dry pumpernickel toast on the side and fruit instead of home fries, but they ended up bringing both.
Going out to breakfast is outside of my comfort zone and while every bite of my meal was really good, I didn’t allow myself to have any home fries or more than half the toast. Looking back, I wish I had. I don’t remember the last time I went out for breakfast. In fact, I wish I’d ordered the omelette special I wanted. I still could have gotten it with egg whites and the fruit and pumpernickel toast, which are all things I do truly enjoy. But I also love cheese, and home fries. I’m glad I was able to stay out late and have fun with my friends the night before but I don’t want to try to “make up for it” later. This is one of my crutches that I am trying to cast aside as I continue my recovery.
I decided to hit the road after breakfast because Kaitlin and Jeff had plans with a friend for his birthday, but before I left I had to give Brady (their dog) some kisses. He’s the only man for me!
The rest of my day involved the gym, pool time, chores, picture editing, dinner/wine, and blogging. Now Kaitlin and I just need to get to work on planning our next adventure! I’m excited for her to come back to Glastonbury so I can show her more amazing restaurants, but I am also eyeing a restaurant she reviewed today on her blog…
She is in the running to be a Smart Balance Ambassador, so please vote for her delicious-looking key lime pie recipe on the Smart Balance Facebook page!
Have you ever stayed over with a blend?
Do you ever find yourself tempted to “make up” for indulgences the next day?
What’s your fave summer cookout food? What’s one you want to try?