Tag Archives: foodie

The Smashed Grape: Wine Seminar # 3

14 Aug

Happy Friday! I am thoroughly enjoying my day off and I just finished a pretty tough workout including a mile long walk and part of a Jillian Michaels video. After I finish this post, I plan on taking a quick dip in the pool before running some errands.

This past Wednesday evening, Dan and I attended the third wine seminar held at Spicy Green Bean and hosted by The Smashed Grape. As usual it was such a fun and informative evening and it was a nice little date night for us. We love supporting local businesses, especially ones with such great owners!

We loved having a reserved table!

We loved having a reserved table!

This particular seminar was presented by Cat Schaller of Slocum & Sons, which is an importer and purveyor of fine wine & spirits out of North Haven, CT. Cat provided an excellent presentation and I think Dan and I both learned quite a bit.

Although it was a wine seminar, they decided to start it off with a cocktail (I was not complaining!). We sampled an organic cucumber mojito made with Prairie vodka which is actually the number one organic vodka on the market. It was refreshing and not too sweet, a perfect start to the tasting!

These went down way too easily!

These went down way too easily!

Wine # 1: 2014 Terres de Saint-Louis

This wine was a French rose which I found to be pretty dry, which is typical of a European rose. It was very light and would be easy to drink on a hot summer day.

Wine # 2: 2014 Acadia Unoaked Chardonnay

Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of chardonnay as it is usually too dry for my tastes and I am not a fan of the aftertaste. However, this one was not too bad! I think the difference is that this wine is not aged in oak which gives it a different flavor than most other chardonnays. I can honestly say that I would order a glass of this wine, although I wouldn’t be able to drink much more than that.

Wine # 3: 2014 Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

This wine was from New Zealand and was made by three German brothers. It had flavors of passionfruit, kiwi, and grapefruit. I really enjoyed this wine and I think it would pair well with fish or chicken as it is very light and crisp.

Wine # 4: 2013 Rioja Muga Blanco

I think that this wine was definitely my second favorite overall because the flavor was so unique. The grape was a viura grape which I don’t believe I have ever had before and it was wonderful. It comes from a famous winery in the Rioja region of Spain. It was delicate, light and very different from any other wine I have tried. It would pair wonderfully with fish and I definitely recommend it!

Wine # 5: 2014 Amalaya Malbec

I saved the best for last! This was the only red wine we tasted and it was my favorite. I haven’t had red wine in a while since I don’t usually drink it in the summer so I was excited for this one. It was a blend with 85% Malbec, 10% Cab, and 5% Syrah grapes. It pairs well with everything and it was the perfect balance of dry vs. sweet. We purchased a bottle of this wine after the tasting (only $9.99!) and I enjoyed a couple of glasses last night.

The Food:

Spicy Green Bean outdid themselves this time with the variety of food which was provided. There were Portuguese codfish cakes, an abundance of cheese, marinated steak tips, breaded chicken, caprese salad and so many other things that I can’t even remember. The food was all so delicious and we are planning on dining there in the very near future.

Their presentation was truly remarkable!

Their presentation was truly remarkable!

I most definitely went back for seconds!

I most definitely went back for seconds!

It was a wonderful evening and I can’t speak highly enough of both Spicy Green Bean and The Smashed Grape. They are true, local, family-owned businesses and we are so happy to be able to support them!

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WIAW: All the Food

1 Jul

Hi guys! Happy Wednesday! Today is actually my Friday as I took tomorrow off and we are closed Friday for the holiday. Friday is also my birthday so I’m pretty excited for that as well. I’m looking forward to a fun day/night filled with sunshine, friends, and lots of wine (duh). I desperately need to catch you guys up on some of my recent eats so I figured the best way to do that would be through pictures.

On a random day off, Dan and I shared two types of lobster rolls from Stew Leonards.. so delicious and summery!

On a random day off, Dan and I shared two types of lobster rolls from Stew Leonards.. so delicious and summery!

Our first trip to Burgerfi! I love me a good cheeseburger :)

Our first trip to Burgerfi! I love me a good cheeseburger 🙂

The special at Spicy Green Bean on Father's Day... I don't remember what was in it but it was AMAZING

The special at Spicy Green Bean on Father’s Day… I don’t remember what was in it but it was AMAZING

Steak dinner at Dan's parents house for Dan's dad's 50th birthday... the steak was melt in my mouth good

Steak dinner at Dan’s parents house for Dan’s dad’s 50th birthday… the steak was melt in my mouth good

I haven't had a belgian waffle in ages. This was from the hotel this past weekend in NJ for my cousin's grad party

I haven’t had a belgian waffle in ages. This was from the hotel this past weekend in NJ for my cousin’s grad party

On our way home, we stopped in Chinatown in NYC for lunch at this tiny place. Little place with a little menu but the food was crazy good

On our way home, we stopped in Chinatown in NYC for lunch at this tiny place. Little place with a little menu but the food was crazy good

They were cutting up the meat right in front of us!

They were cutting up the meat right in front of us!

Each of us had the roast pork. The serving was huge and only $3.75! It lasted us for both lunch and dinner.

Each of us had the roast pork. The serving was huge and only $3.75! It lasted us for both lunch and dinner.

One of my birthday week requests was Chick Fil A.. Their grilled chicken club is amazing and I'm obsessed with the honey roasted BBQ sauce!

One of my birthday week requests was Chick Fil A.. Their grilled chicken club is amazing and I’m obsessed with the honey roasted BBQ sauce!

I hope you guys have enjoyed my foodie catch-up. I know these pics have made me quite hungry! That is all for today but keep an eye out for a potential “Fashion Friday” post as I am supposed to be receiving my next Stitch Fix tomorrow! Have a happy hump day!

WIAW: Bears Smokehouse BBQ

3 Jun

Hi guys! I’m sorry about the long break between posts but as usual, life is crazy busy and I’m just going to promise to post when I can and when I have the time. I had been looking back at previous posts and could not believe that I hadn’t devoted an entire post to one of my very favorite local restaurants. I know that I have mentioned them before but today’s post is going to be all about Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ. Now leading up to my first time trying Bear’s, I was honestly never a big fan of barbecue, mainly because of its heaviness and I never found a BBQ sauce that I truly loved. Fast forward to about a year ago when we first discovered Bears and it was game over. I found a BBQ place that I adore and I am excited to tell you about my most recent visit.

We went this past Friday evening for dinner with our friends Cheyne and Miko for Miko’s birthday dinner. They have recently become obsessed with the place and this was her obvious pick for her birthday dinner. We were greeted with the delicious aromas of smoked meat and lucky for us, the line was not long at all! Depending on the night, the place can get so packed and sometimes they also run out of certain menu items.

All day long I had been craving a chopped sandwich with a side of mac and cheese and that is exactly what I ordered. The chopped sandwich is a combination of pulled pork and brisket which just happen to be my two favorite meats aka. the best of everything. I topped the sandwich with my favorite Texas Pepper sauce which has just the right amount of kick to it. The mac and cheese is the best I have ever had and the amount they provide in a side is perfect for satisfying that carb craving. I cleared my plate and I felt great and I didn’t feel like I ate too much.

This was SO good

This was SO good

I could honestly eat a bucket of this stuff

I could honestly eat a bucket of this stuff

Dan chose his favorite menu item, baby back ribs. He said they were just as amazing as usual. He also had a side of mac and cheese as well as apple crisp. I didn’t try any apple crisp since it isn’t my favorite dessert (however, I LOVE their peach cobbler) and I didn’t want to stuff myself.

Ribs are not my favorite but if I were going to eat them, they would definitely be these ones

Ribs are not my favorite but if I were going to eat them, they would definitely be these ones

We also split an order of moink balls between the four of us. Moink balls are smoked bacon wrapped meatballs. These bad boys were out of this world and I can’t believe it took me this long to try them.

A little bit of pig and a little bit of cow.. beautiful combination

A little bit of pig and a little bit of cow.. beautiful combination

It was a wonderful meal and I am already thinking about when we can go back for more. Not only does Bears have excellent food, but their owner Jamie is constantly giving back to the community and he is also very active on social media. They also have a military, police, and firefighter discount which is always good to see. I highly recommend Bear’s to anyone in this area as it is truly the best BBQ around.

What I Ate Wednesday: All the Pictures

15 Apr

Happy hump day ladies and gents! The past week/weekend has been completely crazy with Dan’s birthday, his Glastonbury Fire Department Awards Banquet, and Natasha’s birthday. I figured I would do a big foodie photo dump today to catch you up on some of the yummy things I have been enjoying.

Last Wednesday for dinner we enjoyed Loaded Chicken and Potatoes from Singing Through the Rain which was a recipe I found on Pinterest and I just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand so voila!

Thursday evening, Dan and I had plans to go to Plan B for drinks and dinner to split their burger of the week. Before that burger, we enjoyed their Lobster Roll appetizer which made me crave summer like no other.

The burger that I previously mentioned as their special of the week was called the “Buy Me Brunch Burger” and it was a maple sausage patty, fried egg, bacon, and jalapeno cream cheese on an everything roll. It was even better than I could have imagined and SO unique. I do have to say that Plan B does a great job with their marketing and there have been several occasions where we have gone there for dinner just because of a special we have seen on their Instagram.

I usually tend to avoid buying lunch at work on Fridays with my coworkers because Friday is always my cheat day and I want to keep some form of routine with my normal lunch. That being said, I had a serious craving for Thai food and when the option to order was offered to me, I had to take it! I devoured my Spicy Shrimp from Thai Palace and there was only a bit of brown rice left standing.

For Dan’s birthday dinner, we got a big group together and went to Bricco Trattoria which was super easy because it is just down the street from our apartment and we ended up walking there. I mostly enjoyed the company since there were so many wonderful friends there but for dinner I had their Penne ala Vodka with shrimp alongside their Grapefruit Gimlet. Both were delicious and I enjoyed the pasta for leftovers the next day when there were less people around and I could concentrate on my food 🙂

bricco grapefruit gimlet

bricco penne

Monday’s dinner was very simple but even more satisfying. We enjoyed pan-seared salmon topped with Cedar Food’s tzatziki with sides of broccoli & cauliflower and potato salad (because carbs, of course).

Last night’s dinner was even more simple because we didn’t have to cook! 😉 Dan got a Subway gift card for his birthday and we also have a bunch of coupons so dinner was free! I enjoyed their Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki and I’m telling you, there is nothing like satisfying that Subway craving when it hits.

subway chicken ter

Well that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed the look into my eats from the past week 🙂

Rooftop120 Blogger Event

3 Apr

Happy Friday everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t had time to write this week but Dan’s grandfather passed away on Monday and I honestly just didn’t feel like writing. It was much more important for me to be there for him during this awful time. I am back today and I am very excited to tell you guys about a wonderful event that I attended last night at the always-fabulous Rooftop120. It was their very first Blogger Event and I was delighted that I was able to attend.

As I walked into the lounge area, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful sight. I do have to say that I love the look of their lounge area just as much as the bar and it seems like a wonderful place to comfortably hang out with friends in a much quieter environment than the bar.

It was a perfect evening to spend up there.

It was a perfect evening to spend up there.

I do have to say that everyone that spoke to us including our waitress, B, was so nice and always making sure we were having a great time. I also had a nice chat with the owner who told me quite a great deal about the overall vision that they have for Rooftop120 and mainly about how they would like people to see it not just as a bar, but also as a delicious restaurant as well. I think his ideas are great and with the resourceful marketing team he has, those ideas will definitely take off.

It was a nice, little touch to have fruit offered to put in the prosecco

It was a nice, little touch to have fruit offered to put in the prosecco

They provided us with a nice little rundown of the evening including a menu of the dishes we would be tasting later. Everything we experienced throughout the night had a feel like there was quite a bit of thought put into it which was really special.

Once everyone had arrived, we headed into the dining room for the presentation by the Google certified speaker from 203 Marketing, George. I liked how his presentation was brief but very informative, especially for someone such as myself who has a lot of big plans for this blog but needed some guidance on a lot of those ideas. My biggest takeaway from his information was that it is very important to make sure all of the links and social media names match up so there is no confusion. This makes me think that it is important to create separate social media accounts for my blog so that I can really get a better feel for who I’m trying to market to, so stay tuned!.

I just can't get over how beautifully decorated the lounge was

I just can’t get over how beautifully decorated the lounge was

It was a small group that attended but I think that was beneficial because it wasn’t too crowded and there was a good amount of food for everyone. I finally had the chance to meet the adorable Kat from Penelope, Prosecco, and Pulitzer and she was just as fabulous as I had imagined. I also met Alycia from CT Eats Out, Wendy from CT Lifestyles, and Julie-Ann from JuliEdible. It was great to finally meet the people whose blogs I have been reading forever and one whose Instagram account makes me want to ditch my wedding diet and go on a food binge (ahem, Alycia!).

Let’s get on to the amazing food! On a side note, it was great to be in a room where everyone was taking pictures of the food and it wasn’t just me for once 🙂 We started out with the Jerked Spice Tuna which was topped with tropical fruit salsa and accompanied by fried plantains. This tuna was so tasty and the flavors were incredible. It wasn’t something that I would ordinarily order for myself but now I know that those flavors are so good that it will help me to branch out my ordering options.

This dish made me think of summer.

This dish made me think of summer.

Next up was the Aji Chili Rubbed Steak, which was on top of a piece of grilled zucchini. This steak was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and I could have eaten that all night. The sauce on top was unreal and I wanted to put that on top of everything.

The presentation of the food was also superb.

The presentation of the food was also superb.

The next item was most definitely my second favorite of the evening. The Red Beet and Goat Cheese Bon Bons were entirely up my alley and I absolutely love how the two flavors complemented each other. The bon bons were on top of a shaved fennel orange salad which went well with the stronger flavors of the beets and goat cheese. I think these would be a great addition to their regular menu.

This is making my stomach growl.

This is making my stomach growl.

My absolute favorite item of the evening (and I think a lot of the other attendees agreed with me) was the Soy Ginger-Marinated Avocado Halves which were filled with a tempura fried oyster and topped with a yuzu harissa aioli. The creamy avocado combined with the equally creamy oyster was mind-blowing. At this point, I believe I said that their head chef Dan was a complete genius. I would have never thought to put an avocado in a dish with an oyster but it was one of the best ideas ever.

Absolute perfection, I swear.

Absolute perfection, I swear.

Last but not least, we were able to sample one of my favorite bartender Tyler’s amazing martinis. I believe it was called 50 Shades of Glastonbury if I remember correctly. It was sweet and smooth and I tasted a lot of pineapple which again reminded me of summer 🙂 It was a perfect end to a wonderful event.

It was like a tropical dessert in a glass

It was like a tropical dessert in a glass

I hope that Rooftop120 has more of these types of events as I think it can only help to open patron’s eyes to the fact that it isn’t just a fun bar, but a fabulous restaurant as well.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Passover/Easter weekend!

WIAW: A Day in the Eats

4 Mar

Happy hump day! I’m super happy that it’s Wednesday because it’s practically my Friday. I have jury duty tomorrow which I’m actually excited about (I’m weird) and then I have Friday off. I figured I would share yesterday’s meals with you guys so you can see what I’ve been eating lately.

I eat the same breakfast every single day and surprisingly I’m not bored yet. It’s always a Yoplait Greek yogurt with whatever flavor of Pure Love granola that I have open that particular week. Yesterday it was a vanilla yogurt with gingerbread granola which was a very tasty combo that I will definitely be eating again.

wiaw breakfast

In my transition over to my new job I also had to change the timing of my snacks and lunch. I usually bring the same snacks each day which include a bag of baby carrots and sliced cucumbers, a bag with one serving of Goldfish, and a banana. I ate these yesterday at around 11:00 but I was still starving for lunch by 12:30.

wiaw snacks

My lunches do tend to vary although the past two weeks I have stuck with sauteed chicken breast, black beans, and brown rice. It really fills me up and since I buy the rice that has some spices in it, I don’t find it to be flavorless or boring as rice usually is.

wiaw lunch

Last night’s dinner was a little out of the norm since we ended up going to Giovanni’s very last minute with our friend Sarah before she and Dan went to a fire department meeting. I had the most delicious honey BBQ chicken salad which I will definitely be ordering again.

Obviously ranch dressing on the side :)

Obviously ranch dressing on the side 🙂

After that insanely huge salad, I didn’t anticipate that I would be able to work out on such a full stomach. But I went home and let my stomach settle for a bit and got right to it! I did about 30 minutes of Jillian Michael’s Banish Fat Boost Metabolism and didn’t even get a cramp until the tail end which is when I knew that it was time to stop 🙂 I’m proud of myself for getting my exercise in even though I had a big dinner.

Not too shabby

Not too shabby

Alrighty, time to get to work and get this day over with so I can be that much closer to my long weekend!

Five Things Friday: Crazed

27 Feb

Happy FriYAY guys! I was pretty crazed this week due to the fact that it was my first full week out of training at my new job and although it went VERY well, I was pretty stressed so when I got home most evenings, I just really didn’t feel like writing. I spent most evenings working out and then vegging out on the couch with my DVR and a glass of wine. That being said, I have a few random things to share with you guys.

1. We have enjoyed some fabulous meals this past week. I have to say that my new hours really make it a lot easier to make dinner together and eat at a normal time. Sunday night, we made a quick trip to Whole Foods and picked up some yummy shrimp cocktail and cheese and crackers to enjoy while watching the Oscars. Tuesday evening I was way too tired to even think about dinner so we enjoyed an impromptu date night at Aroy Aroy which is a new-to-us Japanese/Thai restaurant in South Glastonbury. The food was a little pricey but it definitely hit the spot. Last night we had one of my favorites, BLTs with added avocado and an absurd amount of sweet potato fries on the side. I swear I could eat that meal every single night, it was so yummy!

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Salmon avocado roll

Salmon avocado roll

I can't remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

I can’t remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

Bad lighting but great sandwich

Bad lighting but great sandwich

We didn't even finish all of these!

We didn’t even finish all of these!

2. I have finally decided to try out Stitchfix and I am very excited. I have been reading so many other blogs and have seen so many success stories with it that I decided that I had to try it for myself. Plus, I’m in need of some new spring clothes and haven’t really been in the mood to shop lately so this seems like the perfect solution! For those who are wondering exactly what Stitchfix is; it’s a styling service in which you fill out a style profile on their website, pay a $20 styling fee and then your styling profile is assigned to a personal stylist who creates a fashion “fix” of five items that are sent to you in the mail based on what you have indicated in your profile. Mine is scheduled to arrive on March 5th so I will definitely be posting about my first experience!

3. We are starting (and hopefully finishing) our save-the-dates this weekend. Finding all of the addresses has been my biggest source of anxiety in the wedding planning process thus far and I will be breathing a huge sigh of relief once we get these things out in the mail. We are also hopefully going to add more items to our registry this weekend too which would be another check off the list. Shout out to my maid of honor Alex and bridesmaid Natasha for picking their gorgeous dresses this past weekend so that is another important thing that is all done which is great.

:)

🙂

4. Jillian Michaels is becoming my new best friend. Although I don’t necessarily agree with her methods on The Biggest Loser, I am absolutely without a doubt loving her workout videos. There are so many to choose from which makes it impossible for me to be bored and I feel like I’m working so many different muscles each day. My favorites right now are the 30 Day Shred, Kickboxing Fastfix, and the newer-to-me Trouble Zones. Basically this means that I love all of the ones which incorporate weights into the workout because I feel that those are what is changing my body the fastest. I am honestly loving the strength I have been feeling within my core and just throughout my body as a whole. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do but these videos are definitely helping me to get where I want to be.

5. My goal of trying out one new recipe each week has been quite successful. This past Sunday I had Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili cooking all day long and let me tell you, it was amazing. The leftovers the next night were perfect to scoop up with some wheat thins and tortilla chips would have been even better. I’m not sure I’m making anything new this coming week but every single evening is pretty busy so I don’t think I will have much time to cook.

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

That’s all I have for you guys today but I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!