Market Place Kitchen & Bar – Avon, CT

17 May

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a blogger event at Market Place Kitchen & Bar in Avon, CT. I hadn’t attended an event in a while due to being crazy busy (hence the slight delay on this post as well) so I jumped at the chance to try out this new restaurant.

Market Place Kitchen & Bar describes themselves as a “Modern American restaurant” and they also have locations in Woodbury and Danbury, CT as well as a location at Mount Snow in Vermont. They put their emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible which also allows Executive Chef Roy Kalil to be very creative with his dishes.

Marketplace 1

How pretty is that drink? Pictured: The Parisian cocktail and an Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cup

Marketplace 6

Executive Chef Roy provided some great info about the goals of Market Place as a restaurant

We enjoyed several of those creative dishes throughout the event, including croquettes, philo cups, deviled eggs, and watermelon kabobs. I will let the photos speak for themselves as everything was incredibly delicious and I really can’t even put into words how fresh each dish was. If I had a choose a favorite, I would say the smoked salmon deviled eggs, but are you really surprised by that?

marketplace 2

Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cups

Marketplace 4

Watermelon Kabobs with goat feta cheese and fresh mint

Marketplace 5

Smoked salmon deviled eggs

Marketplace 11

Wild Mushroom Risotto Croquettes

In addition to the food we tasted, we were also provided with three different cocktails to try. Each drink was so unique but my favorite was the frozen Moscow mule which was incidentally my first ever Moscow mule. It was refreshing and so smooth and would be perfect on a sweltering day like today.

Marketplace 7

New Age Margarita with salt foam which is my new favorite thing in the world 😉

Marketplace 8

Frozen Moscow Mule.. I could really go for one of these right now

We also had the pleasure of enjoying a mixology demonstration by one of the bartenders which was so much fun. They clearly take great pride in their cocktails and that was evident by the amount of effort that went into each drink that she prepared.

Marketplace 10

Working her magic!

 

Marketplace 9

MP Manhattan – looks so tasty!

The atmosphere and decor at Market Place is absolute perfection. I was in love with the wall of wine bottles and the beautiful wood that was used throughout the restaurant.

Marketplace 3

I want this in my house. 

Dan and I both walked out of the event exclaiming that we cannot wait to return. The vibe is new and fresh with food that is unique and delicious.

Note: All food and drinks were provided at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday Coffee Date # 2

24 Apr

Happy Monday! I haven’t done one of these in quite a while and my thoughts are pretty random today so I figured it was the perfect day for a coffee date! I also have coffee on the brain since I decided to buy a big bag of the Pecan Turtle coffee from my favorite spot, Daybreak, and last night we brewed a big batch of iced coffee for the week. I hope you all had a great weekend and that you had some sunshine for at least part of it like we did.

daybreak iced coffee homemade

If we were having a coffee date, I would tell you… grilling season has officially begun and I’m loving it! We had cheeseburgers last weekend and steak on another night last week. I feel like I’ve been in somewhat of a meal planning rut and being able to grill again will definitely help get me out of that.

first burger 2017

steak dinner 2

If we were having a coffee date, I would tell you… sunshine is everything to me right now. As corny as it sounds, I am just loving the beautiful days when we have them. Saturday was kind of gloomy but we still spent it outside at Olde Burnside Brewery with a group of friends followed by dinner and a movie at our house. It was a perfect day!

burnside brewery

This is most definitely true.

If we were having a coffee date, I would tell you… active rest days are my jam. I made it to boot camp four times last week and I was feeling a bit tired and in need of rest. I took Saturday completely off and yesterday I thought about going to boot camp but I decided to go for a long walk around the center of town. It was just what I needed and I feel very well rested today but not like I spent all weekend lounging around. I also enjoyed my first homemade smoothie of the season which was refreshing and fueled my long walk well.

Smoothie

sunny day walk

sunday walk

Slow and steady wins the race 😉

If we were having a coffee date, I would tell you… I do not have a green thumb but I’m thankful that my husband does 🙂 A month or so ago, I planted a bunch of seeds indoors and yesterday, Dan transplanted them outside. I helped with the cleanup of some of the bushes and did some raking but he knew the best way to plant the plants themselves. Thanks hubby!

beer and gardening

You can’t garden without enjoying a beer, am I right? 😉

If we were having a coffee date, I would tell you… I killed it on the grocery shopping front this week. I had a bunch of coupons and there were some great deals. I usually don’t buy much meat as it can get expensive but with such good deals, I was able to stock up on a bunch of different things. I rewarded myself with a sub from Subway for which I also had a coupon! #winning

all the meat

subway lunch

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week 🙂

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Do you enjoy gardening?

Wordless Wednesday: The Good Life

29 Mar

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well, or at least not as gloomy as ours here in CT 😉 They said on the radio this morning that it’s been cloudy/rainy for five days straight but the sun is finally shining today and it is wonderful. I haven’t done a wordless post in a while so I figured I would share some snaps from the past week or so. There has been lots of good food, drinks and even more laughter and fun with friends.

Mission Workout

This workout was intense but very effective!

drinks with alex

I miss this lady during her busy season!

ahi tuna salad

The ahi tuna salad at Maggie McFly’s is one of my favorite salads ever! We had dinner with Brian, Natasha, and Alex this past Friday and it was wonderful!

Jonathan edwards group pic

Saturday wine tasting at Jonathan Edwards Winery

Tisumi sushi saturday

Sushi at Tisumi with Robbie and Jenna is a must after a winery 🙂

egg salad

This homemade egg salad hit the spot

white chicken lasagna

We made this creamy white chicken and artichoke lasagna on Sunday and it was so indulgent but amazing!

turkey taco salad

Turkey taco salads for lunch this week!

leftover chicken lasagna

Leftover lasagna on top of avocado and broccoli for my Monday night dinner, so random but so good! 

homemade pizza

Dan made homemade pizza last night, topped with brussels, broccoli, fresh basil, and mushrooms

Well that has been life lately for us and it will just continue to get busier! We have the fire department awards banquet this weekend and I ended up renting a dress from Rent The Runway because I have zero time (or desire) to go shopping but I wanted to wear something new (or new to me!). I hope the rest of your week flies by and is as fulfilling as you wish it to be!

Why I Decided to Roast a Chicken & Other Weekend Stuff

20 Mar

Happy Monday! This weekend went by way too fast. Does anyone else agree? Even though it flew by, I feel like we got so much done which is great and it is always good to start off the week feeling like I’m ahead.

Friday… started with a tough bootcamp at Mission followed by an incredible avocado, egg white & spinach breakfast sandwich from Panera. I was really craving avocado and this was exactly what I was looking for!

Panera power sandwich

Friday night… we had a delicious dinner at Bears with Robbie and Jenna followed by drinks to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. It was a fun night out and I’m glad we were able to spend some quality time with them 🙂

Diamond st pattys day

Saturday… we ran some errands during the morning and early afternoon including a vet visit for Charlie which was not a good experience at all and we will be changing vets ASAP.

Saturday night… my beloved East Hartford Hornets were playing in the state championship for basketball at Mohegan Sun so we decided to make a night of it. We had dinner at Chick-fil-a (don’t judge, it was SO delicious) and drinks along with a bit of gambling before the game. We ended up losing the game but it was so exciting to see my favorite team play in the championship and I’m so proud of them and the huge outpouring of support from our town.

Hornets basketball 1

Hornets basketball 2

Sunday… I planned on getting up for bootcamp but we didn’t get to bed until almost 1:00am the night before so an early morning was not in the cards for me. I slept in a little bit and ended up going to Cardio Express to run on the treadmill. I completed four miles of jogging/walking which I don’t think I’ve ever done before and I’m feeling it this morning!

Sunday afternoon… I had the urge to make a big Sunday dinner that would provide leftovers for lunch for the week. I scoured the ads and found that whole chickens were on sale and decided to roast one using Ina Garten’s famous recipe. I had never actually roasted a whole chicken before so I was a bit intimidated but the recipe was SO easy and it was nice to spend a few hours cooking in the kitchen while Dan napped (he was up at 5:00am for drill after our late night). I also made this triple chocolate banana bread which was SO good and I honestly can’t stand regular banana bread so I was happy with this chocolately version.

Roasted chicken 1

Roasted chicken 2

Roasted chicken 3

Roasted chicken 4

Triple chocolate banana bread

Sunday night… we devoured the chicken with a side of mashed cauliflower and the veggies that I cooked with the chicken along with a bottle of Chardonnay which paired so well with the chicken. We stayed up a little too late watching March Madness so I’m quite tired today but nothing that a cup (or two) of coffee can’t fix.

Roasted chicken 5

I hope you all have a fun and productive Monday!

 

Balance is Key

1 Mar

Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written. Honestly, life has been crazy since getting the puppy and we are still adjusting but everything is great and I have no complaints. I have felt quite on top of things this week which I equate to making an honest effort to go to bed earlier and get more sleep which in turn has definitely made me more productive. Today I wanted to touch a little bit on something which is really important in my life: balance.

balance-quote

I don’t believe in dieting or restricting myself in any way, shape, or form. If I want to devour three slices of pizza and a few glasses of wine, I’m going to do it, but I might balance that with a tough boot camp at the gym the next morning.

krust-pizza-2

This pizza from Krust was everything.

It has been a tough lesson for me to learn because for a long time, I felt like I had to restrict what I was eating to try to stay in shape but I realized that it honestly wasn’t having much of an effect so why even bother with such a rigid lifestyle.

There are days when all I crave is a smoothie from The Fresh Monkee and a huge salad for lunch because my body wants all the fruits and vegetables.

steak-salad-2

The next day I might have to have a burger and fries and you know what? It tastes damn good and SO worth it.

mooyah

Our first time at Mooyah and definitely not our last!

dan-mooyah

I think having cheeseburgers is one of our favorite things to do 😉

I belong to a fantastic gym, which is really more like a family, and they have taught me that being strong, both mentally and physically, is better than anything else, and that sometimes enjoying copious amounts of wine is alright and you can always get your butt kicked the next day in boot camp. I plan on sharing more about Mission Fitness in another post but just know that it has become one of the best parts of my life.

mission-picture

Nothing is better than finishing a 6:00am workout on a Friday. (Photo credit: Matt Mund)

mission-workout

Yes, I finished this crazy workout concocted by Eric, barely, but I did it!

Ironically, although I speak about not restricting myself and all of that, I did choose to give up most sweets for the month of February. It didn’t exactly work as I indulged in a few cookies here and there, along with some candy that I received for Valentine’s Day. I did manage to not eat any ice cream during the whole month which was huge for me.

I didn’t try to give up sweets in an attempt to restrict myself but because I had been feeling like total crap after the holidays and knew that sugar was the likely culprit so I wanted to hit reset and bring down my sugar intake. I do know that I will probably enjoy a huge bowl of ice cream tonight and it will taste amazing.

strawberries

These strawberries have been my dessert every single night this week, SO sweet and delicious!

This post was brought on by several conversations I have heard recently about what people are giving up for Lent. Most of the discussions revolved around food and dieting and although I am not very religious, I don’t think that Lent should be a reason to restrict. I use it as a way to take a step back and look at the things in my life, whether it be food or something else, that don’t add any value and that is where I make my decision to give something up.

My point is, just listen to your body, because it gives more cues than any magazine or TV show or public misconception will, and enjoy that cheeseburger or five mile run or really whatever makes you happy 🙂

drinks

When your best friend asks you to be her bridesmaid, you celebrate!

Disclaimer: This post is all my opinions and thoughts. I am not a personal trainer or nutritionist.

 

Five Things Friday: Puppy, Superbowl, and Snow

10 Feb

Happy Friday! This week has sure been a weird one, with all of the weather and everything else going on in the world (and in our lives). I have lots to share with you today and I haven’t done a post like this in forever so here goes nothing.

  • Let’s start with the biggest news: we adopted a puppy! It was totally unexpected hence why I didn’t mention anything on here before. We had known we wanted to get one in the near future, likely spring so the weather would be a bit better. We saw on Facebook that a local rescue organization, Pack Leaders, would be at Petsmart with their dogs available for adoption this past Saturday. We decided to stop by and fell absolutely in love with an 8 month old Plott Hound/Whippet mix named Forrest. Long story short, we ended up adopting him that day and changed his name to Charlie. He is fitting in well with our family (as in the cats are tolerating him currently) and I’m sure I will be sharing plenty of pictures of him here.

charlie

  • With all of the puppy craziness, we were still able to host our small Superbowl gathering that we have each year. A few of our close friends came over and we ate the night away and also celebrated the Pats awesome comeback and win (YAY). The best treats of the night were provided by our favorite local bakery, Hartford Baking Company, in West Hartford. They provided us with a fantastic bread bowl and some pretzel baguettes that we sliced up for dipping as well. I absolutely love supporting local businesses and I encourage visiting Hartford Baking Company ASAP as their sandwiches, pastries, and coffee are also amazing and that bread is just everything.
hartford-baking-company

One of everything please!

hartford-baking-company-2

  • Winter has finally arrived and I know I am one of the few that is SO happy about it. I love the snow and the cozy feeling of being wrapped up in blankets while the snow falls outside. We got around 18 inches last night which was definitely our biggest storm of the season.
  • With the snow comes my urge to cook all the things. I made chili for super bowl which we enjoyed leftovers of all week long. I took Monday off and decided to meal prep some chicken pesto pasta for lunch for the week. I used a combo of veggie and gluten free pasta along with almost a whole jar of pesto and a couple of sauteed chicken breasts. I plan on making this again for this coming week so I will try to snap some pics and share the recipe as I kind of made it up as I went along. I also made Chrissy Teigen’s chicken noodle soup last night which was just what the hubby needed as he was feeling a bit under the weather when he got home from plowing.

chili

  • We have some fun plans for this weekend and I’m excited to get out as I feel like I’ve been stuck in the house due to the snow. We are doing some early Valentine’s Day celebrating with our friends Robbie and Jenna and heading to some wineries out in the Litchfield area which has become an annual tradition for the four of us. Sunday is a much needed girls breakfast with some of my favorite ladies.
jenna-and-i-winery-2016

I’m sure there will be a repeat of this photo from last year 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend filled with all of the fun you can find!

Disclaimer: A portion of this post was sponsored by Hartford Baking Company. As always, all opinions are my own. 

WIAW: A Day in the Eats #2

11 Jan

Happy hump day! I hope you are all having a great week! I know it is definitely dragging a bit for me but I’ve been feeling pretty productive which is good. Today I thought I would share a day of my meals just to give you all an insight into what I’m eating on a normal workday. I really enjoy when other bloggers share a little peek into their eats for the day (such as this post by Tina) so I figured I would do the same. This is everything I ate yesterday, with the exception of a couple of handfuls of Goldfish when I got home from work and was absolutely starving before boot camp.

wiaw

Breakfast:

a-day-in-the-eats-breakfast

I have a tough time with breakfast as I’m never really that hungry in the morning. I wanted to start out the New Year by trying to eat a light breakfast which is filled with protein so I’ve been enjoyed a hard boiled egg and a banana alongside my (much-needed) coffee. Dan prepared the eggs for me this week and they ended up being more on the soft-boiled side which I think I’m actually going to stick with because I love me some runny yolk.

Snack:

a-day-in-the-eats-snack

I picked up some Luna bars while grocery shopping this week as I had a couple of coupons loaded to my Stop and Shop card and I’m happy to report that the S’mores one is amazing! I will definitely be buying these again and it kept me pretty full until lunch.

Lunch:

a-day-in-the-eats-lunch

In trying to start out the New Year in a healthier fashion, I have been making salads to bring for lunch. My salads have a lot of toppings including: spinach, red peppers, cucumbers, celery, olives, pickles, banana peppers, grape tomatoes, and some type of deli meat (this week it was buffalo chicken) with whatever dressing I’m feeling like that day. I paired the salad with a side of baby carrots.

Dinner: 

a-day-in-the-eats-dinner

Last night I went to a later boot camp class (6:30) so I knew in advance I would want a dinner which would be quick to throw together and easy for Dan to heat up since he had drill for the fire department last night as well and doesn’t usually get home until later. I made taco bowls with lean ground beef, brown rice, corn, black beans, salsa, guac, cheese, and plain greek yogurt. I enjoyed it with an orange seltzer which is a new favorite (thanks Alex!). These taco bowls were so delicious and easy to make. We have some leftover taco meat so we are going to have taco style baked potatoes tonight.

Dessert: 

a-day-in-the-eats-dessert

Guys, I have a new obsession. These Yasso greek yogurt bars are insanely good. I tried them a while ago in a different flavor and wasn’t totally hooked but I picked up the mint chocolate chip last week and they are incredible! It helps that mint chocolate chip anything is honestly the best in my opinion.

I hope you guys have enjoyed a little look into what I’ve been eating lately. Have a great rest of your week!