Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmers Market Morning (and bacon!)

FINALLY the hot hot humid weather has subsided around here.  This weekend is perfect.  It’s just about 80 degrees, sunny, breezy, dry…ahhhh, so nice!

Weather like this always makes me want to just be outside. 

I wanted to run and I wanted to go to the Farmers Market in Winchester (town over from me).  So I packed my water, a towel, and bags for the market and drove over.  Then I did a 3+ mile run, cooled down, grabbed my purse and bags and walked over!


This isn’t a huge Farmers Market, but its close by and downtown Winchester is awesome to walk around anyways.

There were SO many families out!!  Babies and dogs everywhere haha.


I picked up various fruits and veggies, plus some cheese and bread.

I do have my own garden with some great produce growing away but some is doing better than others haha.  Like I don’t know what is up with our zucchini!?  The summer squash plants are going great but the zucchini plants are flowering and just not growing any vegetables??

So I got:


  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 tomato (you know, to compare to ours)
  • 1 peach
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 purple pepper!
  • 1 little squash that looks like a spaceship :)
  • 1 honey wheat baguette
  • Burrata with mascarpone!!



I was pretty hungry when I returned so I made a quick egg sandwich with:

  • honey wheat baguette
  • 1 egg
  • 2 strips bacon
  • some avocado spread on the bread
  • tomato slices




I also had another little piece of baguette with burrata and a couple raspberries.


THE CHEESE!!  I had this once before at the Slow Fest.  It’s homemade fresh mozzarella stuffed with mascarpone.  So creamy, ever so slightly sweet…amazing.  It’s made in Somerville, MA by Fiore di Nonna.

Last night I also made a kick-ass garden salad!


I used my first picked Beefsteak Tomato from our garden……so amazing. 

Also into the mix was:

  • avocado
  • cucumber (from the garden)
  • yellow bell pepper
  • snap peas
  • Feta cheese
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • S&P


Definitely hit the spot for a light dinner


So yeah…there’s bacon in the house.  Bacon is one of those thing I just never buy.  No big reason, but it just reminds me of greasy, bad for you foods.  However with the tomatoes ripening in the garden I was craving a BLT like no body’s business!          

Enter Trader Joes… IMG_0714

This stuff is great!  Takes 2-3 min to crisp up.  Thin Slices, 3 slices is only 100 calories and you really do not need more than that because it’s so flavorful.

The bacon came into play one night this week when I came home from the gym and wanted dinner ASAP!

Bacon, Avocado, Tomato, Arugula Sandwiches with Tarragon Mayo (BATA’s ?)


To make the tarragon mayo I used Smart Balance light canola mayo with fresh chopped tarragon.   

Cooked up 3 slices each of the TJ’s bacon for Brian and I.

I also used TJ’s Soft Multi-grain Rustico Bread, sliced avocado, sliced tomato, and baby arugula!


Wow.  This is one flavorful sandwich.

The bacon just adds that intense smoky, salty, delicious flavor and you don’t need mounds of it to accomplish that!

This was a great, FAST, dinner.IMG_0719

Off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday!! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Armsby Abbey

On our way home from the wedding trip in CT on Saturday, I knew I’d want to have dinner on the way home.

My first thought was this really good seafood restaurant in Worcester, MA.  Of course the thought of Worcester immediately made Brian think of Armsby Abbey, also in Worcester.  I checked the menu on my phone and got VERY excited for dinner :)


Armsby Abbey is a smallish bar/restaurant serving numerous craft beers, artisan cheeses, and other delicious eats.  They try to get as much local produce and other products when possible.  Many of the beers and cheeses were also from all around New England.



They have 22 rotating Draughts, 6 of which are dedicated to Belgium Beers.  I hadn’t heard of many of the beers they had on tap, but I was in the mood for something refreshing and I am SO SO SO happy I went with this…


Cherry Woods from Cisco Brewers (Nantucket)

This is a sour ale, but not too sour…it just has flavor of tart cherries, but nothing too overwhelming, extremely refreshing, and very drinkable!!  I’m kind of sad this is a limited edition beer.  I really hope I can find it in bottles somewhere!

For food, we went with the New England Cheese Slate and the Sweet Corn Salad


New England Slate $20
Bridgid’s Abbey from Cato Corner Farm (Colchester, CT), Westfield Farms Classic Blue (Hubbardston, MA) and Shy Brother’s Hannahbells (Westport, MA) with Artisan Salami, Candied Almonds, local seasonal fruit, Wildflower Honey from Honey Etc. (Princeton, MA), Dr. Gonzo’s Black Fly Mustard (Worcester, MA), our Homemade Seasonal Preserves made with fresh local fruit and our House Baked Breads


Um, I would like one of these made for me everyday :)  Ok maybe just every week?


Look at those little Thimbles!  So cute!!  Those are the Shy Brothers Hannahbells - a soft cow cheese with a mild yet grassy flavor.  It tasted almost like a mild “stinky” cheese to me.  In a good way :)  Mmmm.

The middle cheese was the: Westfield Farms Classic Blue (Hubbardston, MA) is a soft-ripened goat cheese. This is one of very few external blue chevres made in the world. The Roquefort rind is a striking color that develops on the surface and slowly ripens toward the center.

Tastes just as you’d think…a tangy goat cheese with a hint of blue cheese.  I know, very descriptive Bridget…well that’s what it tasted like!


My favorite cheese was the Bridgid’s Abbey (on the right)!  And not just because we share a similar name.  It was just simple and delicious.  Creamy, salty, and just plain YUMMY!  I think it would be amazing melted.

I loved ALL the cheeses…as well as these amazingly soft breads. 


Trying all the different combos of cheese and breads and spreads was a treat for my taste buds and made this a more fun and interactive meal.  I love playing with my food. 

Sweet Corn Salad $12
Fresh Sweet Corn from Berberian Farm (Northboro, MA) along with Red Onion, Roasted Red Peppers, Toasted Pepitas and Chevre from Crystal Brook Farm (Sterling, MA) atop a bed of Arugula dressed with Creamy Basil Vinaigrette


The salad was also very good, and LOADED with goat cheese.  So many delicious flavors. 

I was saying “yum” and “mmmm” a LOT .  It was one of those perfectly filling meals, and not gonna lie I was every so slightly buzzed off of my ONE beer.  Yeah, I know…lightweight. 

Must go to Worcester again SOON!  In the mean time I’ll be happy if I can find the Cherry Woods beer and the Bridgid’s Abbey cheese.  Let me know if you see either of them out anywhere!!!!

Armsby Abbey on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beautiful Love

Greetings from my new laptop :) FINALLY!! We spent about 45min-1hr at Best Buy Saturday night exploring options and then I slept on it so when we went back Sunday there was no more looking, just purchasing!


I ended up with an Asus, so far so good…I read a lot of great things about the company.


Let the blogging resume!


I love going to weddings

I love seeing the happy couple

I love planning weddings

I love wedding magazines

I love wedding cake

I love getting dressed up

I love flowers

I love dancing

and the list can go on and on…

This weekend was my good friend Jenny’s wedding!! I had the pleasure of doing a beautiful reading at the church and I also did the brides make-up for her big day!! I guess you could say I was the resident make-up artist back in college, which I love doing…so I was SO flattered when she asked me.

Brian and I at the rehearsal…I love that dress, and it’s from Target!


Jocy and I the day of (I did her eye make-up too)…she was a bridesmaid!


Brian and I (photo from my iphone)

Back Camera

I decided to play up the yellow dress with these blue shoes that I got for like $20 at Ann Taylor on the sale rack a year or 2 ago!


and then remembered my grandmothers old bracelet, and her old purse…I used this purse at my wedding too :)


The Happy Couple!! (I think I caught someone else's flash on this one)


The UNH girls


The Poem I read at the ceremony was so beautiful. I just have to share…

“Love” by Roy Croft (with edits from the bride)

I love you
Not only for who you are,
But for who I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.

You have done it
By being yourself.

Tear jerker, right??'

The weekend continued with delicious eats, including some incredible beer and cheese from Armsby Abbey in Worcester (post to come!)

Gelato during my trip to Whole Foods on Sunday

Blood Orange + Belgium Chocolate


Oh yes.

Lookey what I found!!! Obviously bought them all


So far I’ve tried the Choc. Chip Cookie Dough…LOVE IT! I love the addition of chocolate chips to these bars. It works so well with the consistency.

We grilled Sunday night. Flank Steak, which I marinated in a mixture of:IMG_0698

  • olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • splash of Blueberry vinegar (which was actually quite prominent and delicious in the steak)
  • Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley (gotta love an herb garden)

I think that was it, I really didn’t measure anything. There was just enough liquid for the steak to sit in…def not covering it, no need.

This marinated for about 1-2 hours.

We also grilled corn that we picked up at a farm stand in CT and made salads

  • baby arugula
  • fresh radishes (from my friends parent’s garden in CT)
  • fresh basil from our garden
  • baby cherry tomatoes (from our garden)
  • TJ’s garlic crouton
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

I let the tomatoes + basil + olive oil sit for a while before


So fresh! I love the flavors of corn, basil, and tomatoes!


It was actually a beautiful night…probably right around 70 degrees.


Things were great until the clouds/rain rolled in. Luckily this was after we ate. However the rain was quick and it was still sunny


so strange…


and then this happened…




It went across the whole sky!

Beautiful ending to a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Computer Hates Me

Soooooo my lap top has "sh*t the bed", if you will.  I can't even turn it on without it immediately going Blue Screen of Death on me. So that would be the reason for my lack of blogging lately which stinks!!

I'm actively looking for a new laptop, but for now I'm on Brian's netbook...which is fine for browsing, but I really hate blogging on this thing! He runs Linux instead of Windows so I can't get Live Writer and therefore I'm blogging through BlogSpot which just takes SO much longer.

In light of this I'm going to basically do a re-cap for you; highlights of the past days...

Saturday Brian and I were invited out on our friends boat and we took it from Boston down to Cohasset (south shore of Mass). During low tide there is a sand bar you can beach on.


I forgot how cool Boston looks from the harbor...I love it here.

Um, yes I'll take one of these:  (this house was right near the sand bar…ridiculous)


Brian brought me fresh local peaches and local sunflowers home from Idylwilde farms.

I enjoyed said peaches on Olympus brand Greek yogurt, with some Bob's Red Mill Muesli!


First time trying this brand (it was on sale at WF's)...LOVE it!! It just seems so much more creamy than any other brands I've tried.


Sunday, dinner at Mom's!

She made some DELICIOUS grilled lamb, a fresh salad, and a citrusy Giada side dish

Fresh picked tomatoes for the salad. There are NO tomatoes better than ones you've picked within an hour of eating.


I donated the cucumber from my garden


She made an Orzo salad based on Giada's recipe for Fregola Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion.


I've actually had my eye on this recipe for a while so it was funny that she made it! Too bad I didn't know because I actually have a bag of Fregola! At least I know if I made this sometime, I would cut down the oil a little, and add some fresh orange or grapefruit juice. I needed a little more acid to cut the oil. The flavors were delicious though.

The Marinated lamb was SOOOOO good!!  I can’t believe I went so many years “not liking” lamb when I was a kid…stupid. 


Dessert: Angel Food cake (from WF's), freshly whipped cream with a little chocolate syrup whipped in, and fresh strawberries.


other things...

This is going to be my latest expensive downfall! I finally hit up the Trail Mix bar at WF's and my mixture was SO good!!


Tried a new burrito! They were also on sale at WF's, and Brian has a slight obsession with burritos.

(note the brand name is “love” backwards:)

The Veggie Fajita was pretty good! It looked very fresh, and I loved how you could see all the colorful veggies inside. I added some sour cream and hot sauce. Could of added some salsa too but didn't have any.


I tend to always "doctor" up frozen burritos so this was no different than other brands, but it was a great base and I would buy them again!

Ok I think that pretty much sums things up.

Hopefully getting a new computer this weekend...any recommendations?!  I know people say Mac, but I just don't really want to spend that much right now, and I don’t need it :)

Friday is my good friend's wedding!! I'm doing her make-up and also a reading at the ceremony...can't wait to leave work early Thursday to head down to CT for wedding festivities!

Hope I see you sooner than later!