Tag Archives: local

LDW 2017: Goodbye Summer!

6 Sep

Happy hump day! I hope the week is going by as fast for you as it is for me 🙂 Monday was excellent (aren’t all days off?) but yesterday was a bit of a pain as it was a very long day back at work and then I came outside to a dead car battery. It could have been worse so it’s all good. I figured a brief recap of my weekend would be a great way to kick off the week!

Friday: 

Friday Apps

lemon drop martini

I took the day off to turn my 3 day weekend into 4 days. I went to boot camp that morning and then ran errands. Alex came over later in the afternoon and ended up staying for apps and dinner before Dan and I headed out to the Diamond for drink. It was a really nice evening!

Saturday: 

El pollo guapo

Hooker Brewery Hartford

 

Bartaco night

With it being our first free Saturday in quite a while (and for the foreseeable future too) we decided to make it a spontaneous day. We had lunch at El Pollo Guapo with our friend Nick, who just started college. If you haven’t tried El Pollo Guapo and you are local, head there ASAP, it is incredible and the owners are the absolute best. The rest of the day/night was spent with Tyler & Shivani at Back East Brewery, Hooker Brewery, and then out and about in West Hartford. It was a perfectly unplanned Saturday.

Sunday: 

Sunday at lake

It was gloomy and rainy for most of the day. We headed up to the lake to see Dan’s parents. After a delicious lunch, we decided to take a trip to Walmart with Dan’s mom and then we also stopped at an awesome package store up near where they live and I picked up some bottles of wine (at a very low price) that I can’t wait to try. We headed home and spent the rest of the night parked on the couch and it was glorious.

Monday:

Hike with Dan and Charlie

Hike pic
Monday was a wonderful mix of fun and productivity. We started the day with a hike to the reservoir with Charlie. After that, we came home and got sh*t done! There was meal-prepping, closet-cleaning, yard work, and laundry. We also used all of our CSA tomatoes to make some jarred pasta sauce which I’m really excited about! It was such a productive afternoon and it felt amazing to plop down on the couch that evening.

It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to all of the fall things to begin, starting with the Hebron Fair this weekend. Have a great rest of your week!

3 Reasons Why Rooftop 120 is a Must Visit

27 May

Happy Friday! I figured today would be an excellent time to tell you guys why I think Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury is a must visit, especially since we are on the cusp of a long weekend and the weather is supposed to be pretty nice. I attended a blogger event here a while ago and I’m excited to tell you guys all about it! I have definitely mentioned Rooftop 120 in the past and I actually attended their very first blogger event but I can’t help but continue to gush about how great this place is.

  • The cocktails are out of this world (especially when Tyler is making them!).

We had the pleasure of enjoying several different cocktails which appear on their menu. Tyler, their bar manager, is always coming up with new and creative drink ideas and it’s so fun to see (and sample) his creations! My personal favorite is the 120 Watermelon, which is made with Tito’s vodka, lemonade, watermelon puree, and fresh watermelon. It is so refreshing and would be perfect to enjoy on a hot, sunny day like today.

rooftop tyler 1

rooftop tyler 2

rooftop drink 1

rooftop drink 2

  • The views are absolutely incredible.

I love going to Rooftop because it honestly doesn’t feel like you are in the center of Glastonbury. Being up there removes you from the busy hustle and bustle of town and makes you relax and really take in the atmosphere. There are many Friday evenings where we just head up there for a quick drink before dinner to just decompress from a long week.

rooftop120 view1

rooftop120 sign

  • Last but definitely not least, the food is always superb and SO flavorful.

At the blogger event, we were able to try many different dishes which really shows the depth of talent that Chef Xavier Santiago has, since they all presented such different styles and flavors. My favorite was the Smoked Salmon Rillete which had the perfect balance between the smokiness of the salmon and the creaminess of the sour cream with some tang from the blood orange vinaigrette thrown in for good measure.

rooftop crostini

rooftop salmon rillete

rooftop pasta

Just based on speaking with the owner and learning more about what they have to offer, it is clear that they put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the entire experience is phenomenal, from the food to the drinks and even the space itself. I highly recommend making a visit to the Rooftop this summer and seeing what they have to offer!

Disclaimer: I received the food and drink mentioned above complimentary. They were given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Foodie Friday: Firehouse Subs

15 Apr

For this week being a week after vacation, I’m honestly surprised at how quickly it went by. I guess that’s probably due to the endless amount of unpacking and all of the other busy things that we have going on. I’m excited for the day when I get to sit back and relax for a bit but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying the chaos.

This past Wednesday, I attended a media dinner at the brand new Firehouse Subs located in Glastonbury, CT. Firehouse Subs describes themselves as a fast-casual brand with locations in 44 states and the Glastonbury location is their first CT location. The owner of the CT location is Jeff, who previously worked for Coca-Cola in Florida and he delivered quite a bit to Firehouse Subs, became familiar with the brand, and decided to move back home to CT to open his own franchise.

I believe that one of the many things which sets Firehouse Subs apart from the rest of your typical chain sandwich restaurants is their focus on giving back to local first responders. As many of you may know, my husband is a volunteer firefighter and his department is already seeing HUGE benefits from this great restaurant. In fact, their foundation has donated over $18 million to 1400 departments across the country, not just fire department but police departments, EMS, and schools too!.

Firehouse subs mural

The founders, Chris Sorensen & Robin Sorensen, came from a family with a history of police and fire service, and they had a goal to provide hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and a dedication to public safety. This is what led them to form Firehouse Subs and was able to bring the brand to where it is today.

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Robin on Wednesday and learn all about Firehouse Subs as a brand and to also try four different subs that they offer. It was great to hear how the business started with just one location back in 1994 and how it has grown to what it is today.

Firehouse robin

The first sub that we tried was their #1 seller, the Hook and Ladder (turkey breast, ham & cheese). I was definitely able to see why this was the favorite as it was full of flavor and was very juicy. They pride themselves on using higher quality meat (and more meat) than their competitors while also staying right around the same price point.

Firehouse hook and ladder

We were also able to try the Italian (salami, pepperoni, ham & cheese), which was my personal favorite, probably because of the seasoning which was used. I’m not a big fan of Italian food but I love the seasoning used on Italian subs. They also put mayo on almost all of their subs which helps to add even more flavor. 

Firehouse Italian

The last two subs we tried were the New York Steamer (corned beef brisket, pastrami & cheese) and the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket (beef brisket & cheddar). The New York Steamer uses hickory wood to cook the meat (so much flavor!) and the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar uses Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce which is one of my favorites.

Firehouse steamer

Firehouse brisket

The food was absolutely incredible and it feels good to support a business that gives back to the local community, especially something that is so important to us personally.

I highly encourage that you stop by for a sub and support your local first responders. Also, if you are a first responder, you get a free drink! The Glastonbury location even has a ton of Glastonbury Fire Department memorabilia including a picture of our best friend Kevin with his grandfather when he was little!

Firehouse kevy

Let me know what you guys think if you do try Firehouse Subs. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Five Things Friday: Feeling Festive

11 Dec

Happy Friday! Happy two weeks until Christmas! Happy all the things! As you can see, I am in a great mood and super excited about the upcoming holiday. More holiday plans are on the agenda for this weekend, including what should be a fabulous blogger event in West Hartford and celebrating Hanukkah with Dan’s family in Rhode Island on Sunday. I’m feeling quite random today (possibly due to too much coffee) so I will share a few bits and pieces with you guys today.

I attended a wonderful event this past Wednesday evening with Natasha in Wallingford at The Confetti Bar. It was a holiday candle-making event put on by Northeast Nutmeg. It was BYOB and snacks and such a fun time, especially since I was able to make one of my favorite things, a Christmas candle! Thank you so much to Vinny and Erin for hosting such a great event!

the confetti bar

northeast nutmeg candles

natasha and I

candles cooling

candle done

Our meals have been all over the place this week due to many holiday plans and just simply not wanting to cook most nights. We did enjoy some beef stew which I made in our crock pot on Sunday for a few nights. Also, after the event on Wednesday, Natasha and I shared a couple of apps at The Library Wine Bar & Bistro. The restaurant is owned by Gouveia Vineyard and was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever dined in and I can’t wait to go back!

beef stew

library wine bar

library apps

I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop, at work, in the car, and at home. I am especially loving anything by Straight No Chaser, particularly their rendition of the ’12 Days of Christmas’.

straight no chaser

Hanukkah in Rhode Island this Sunday should be an absolute blast. I love hanging with Dan’s family, drinking way too much wine, and enjoying yummy homemade food.

hanukkah

There have been so many fun and festive things going on at work this week. We had a catered lunch on Tuesday which was delicious and on Wednesday, all of the managers made cookies and desserts and provided us with hot cocoa as well. Today we have a pot luck to celebrate the end of a contest that has been going on for the past month. I definitely find that the days go by much faster when we have fun things going on!

work hot cocoa

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with so much laughter and love!

Turkey Day Weekend Recap

30 Nov

Happy Monday all! I hope you all had the absolute best Thanksgiving! My entire weekend was wonderful and filled with family, friends, lots of food, and so much laughter! Today I figured I would do a little “sentence (or two) per picture” action to share a little bit about my weekend.

Wednesday evening, we went out with some of our closest friends to the Diamond (obviously) for some drinks and shenanigans. I had so much fun catching up with my ladies!

ladies pre turkey day

After all of the wine, a big meal was exactly what was needed on Thanksgiving. I could not wait to dig into that turkey! (*A little side note: We eat three Thanksgiving dinners every year so when I say “big meal”, I mean “three big meals”!

turkey on turkey day

Meal number one was at my Grandma’s house and our contribution to the meal were these Brussels Sprouts Gratin. They were delish!

turkey day grandmas

We took our annual Christmas card picture and this year, Dan was finally able to be in it now that he is officially a Davis (ha!).

Christmas card picture

Our next meal was at Dan’s parents house with his family and we contributed our famous mashed potatoes to this meal. I don’t have a recipe for this as it is my own but I will definitely share it soon as they are a big hit!

turkey day dans parents

I didn’t take any pictures at our third dinner at my parent’s house since I was definitely loving the wine at that point and really just enjoyed spending time with them and Dan. After dinner we headed to Alex’s house and did a little late night Thanksgiving night/Black Friday shopping. We didn’t last too long and we soon headed back to Alex’s to get some sleep.

On Saturday, we participated in Small Business Saturday and visited the Coventry Regional Farmers Market Holiday Maker’s Market in Willimantic. We started off with an amazing lunch at Cafemantic where I thoroughly enjoyed my roasted beets and smoked salmon salad. It was just what I needed after so much food the previous two days.

cafemantic

The maker’s market itself was adorable and I loved the cozy atmosphere of the space in which it was held.

makers market

Later that afternoon, we attended our friend’s Glen and Isabel’s son Levi’s 2nd birthday party which was construction-themed and it was adorable! Isabel is so creative and does such a good job with her parties 🙂

Levis bday cake

We did a ton of decorating for Christmas and I will definitely be sharing pictures of our decor in another post since it’s pretty extensive.

Christmas lights

We also got our tree which I wasn’t planning on this weekend but Dan’s firehouse sold a ton of them and I wanted to make sure we got a good one! I think it looks perfect!

Christmas tree

We ended the weekend with these delicious spinach lasagna rolls from Skinnytaste, some tasty frozen yogurt (with more toppings than yogurt). Dan fell asleep early while I stayed up and watched my poor Patriots lose a tough one. Besides that, it was a perfect end to the perfect Turkey Day weekend!

lasagna rolls

froyo

patriots

I hope you all have a great Monday and that your week flies by!

WIAW: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

11 Nov

(Special note: I would like to thank all of the Veterans, past and present, for their service and sacrifice, not just today, but every day.)

Hi all!! Hope you are all having a fabulous Wednesday! I figured that a post recapping some of my recent favorite meals is well overdue at this point. These meals also include quite a bit of what we ate on our honeymoon in Mexico, although not all of what we ate because we would be here all day! 🙂 I have also thrown in a few other meals that I have enjoyed so much that I needed to share.

As soon as we arrived in Mexico, we made a beeline for the buffet and enjoyed an assortment of things, but especially the guac, because it was amazing!

Our resort, Catalonia Riviera Maya, had a tapas restaurant which was delicious and offered a lot of my favorites, such as this seared tuna.

One morning, we decided to try the buffet for breakfast and although we chose the sit-down restaurants every other day, it was nice to be able to choose what we wanted and control the portion sizes.

We also enjoyed our fair share of cocktails (when in Mexico?!) and this espresso martini was wonderful and so chocolatey.

The resort had a steakhouse style restaurant which included some of the best potato skins I have ever enjoyed.

These next few photos were taken with our new camera, and you can clearly see the difference from the usual iPhone photos. This was one of the many amazing breakfast options offered at the sit-down restaurant.

I also had my first ever experience with crepes, which were stuffed with nutella (!!!) and I was totally in heaven during that meal.

Dan loves french toast as he is a total bread lover so he really enjoyed this meal too.

Once we were back home, we visited the South Windsor Farmers Market and enjoyed a perfect variety of tapas from the Mercado food truck, including some of the best Brussels sprouts I have ever had.

This past weekend, we visited a couple of vineyards in Southern CT with Robbie and Jenna, and we stopped for lunch at The Dog Watch Cafe in North Stonington and I enjoyed an amazing lobster salad roll.

So as not to make it seem like we eat out every single day, last week Dan made delicious turkey wraps which were loaded with avocado, bacon, spinach, tomato, cheese, and honey roasted turkey breast, topped with some hot sauce.

That is all for today guys! I hope to be back again by the end of the week and I have a couple of great events coming up next week that I can’t wait to tell you guys all about!

The Smashed Grape: Wine/Liquor Seminar # 2

10 Jul

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m sharing a wonderful event that we attended this past Wednesday evening. It was The Smashed Grape‘s second wine and liquor seminar. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to make it but our softball game was cancelled and boy were we glad we were able to attend!

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

The first presentation and tasting was done by Lelaneia Dubay, the owner and creator of Hartford Flavor Company. She makes a variety of liqueurs, all of which are gluten and GMO free with no artificial flavors. She started out making these liqueurs as Christmas gifts and her friends and family enjoyed them so much, she decided to launch the business this past April and her product is already in 95 establishments!

We tried five different flavors; cucumber, rose, lavender, birch, and chai. The cucumber was excellent and very refreshing. The rose was probably my least favorite but I generally can’t stand anything that has a flowery flavor, although it received rave reviews from many of the other attendees. The lavender was also not a favorite of mine but for the same reason and again, most of the others loved it. The birch was very good and she also let us taste that one mixed with bourbon and it was amazing. The chai was probably my favorite as it had a strong cinnamon flavor and I could definitely see myself sipping it. I absolutely loved her story and charisma and she told us she is probably going to launch a cranberry flavor soon, which I am very excited to try!

All gone!

All gone!

The next gentlemen was from a large distributor called Brescome Barton. I did not catch his name but he gave a great presentation as well and we were able to taste quite a variety of items.

We first tried a beer which provided a nice variety from the sweet liqueurs we had been tasting. It was the Ommegang Cooperstown Ale, which drew me in immediately based on the baseball-related name. It was a very light, summery ale and I could definitely enjoy it at a baseball game.

He provided very generous pours as well!

He provided very generous pours as well!

Next, we tried the Dreaming Tree Everyday White, which is actually singer Dave Matthew’s wine! It is a white wine blend of four different grapes and I found it to be very balanced but it was a little dry which was a pleasant surprise because I tend to find that a lot of white blends are very sweet.

The food was brought out at this point and we definitely needed some sustenance after all of that booze! As usual, The Spicy Green Bean outdid themselves with some caprese skewers, chicken salad served on cucumbers (my favorite!), sliders, bacon wrapped asparagus, and shrimp crostini. I have yet to find something that they have made that I didn’t adore and it is also great that they are located right across the street from us!

Anything wrapped in bacon is amazing in my opinion

Anything wrapped in bacon is amazing in my opinion

These were my favorite!

These were my favorite!

The next wine we tried was my overall favorite and of course it included bubbles! It was the Ruffino Prosecco which was so easy to drink and had such a delicious fruity flavor of apples and peaches. The gentleman providing the presentation advised us to not spend more than $15 on a bottle of bubbles and to go with Prosecco whenever possible as it is usually much cheaper than champagne.

Bubbles are the best!

Bubbles are the best!

Last but not least we tasted the Ravenswood Vinters Blend Zinfandel. I was loving the fact that they included two blends in this tasting as I find them to be so unique. This was a surprise as it was very fruity but not at all like what I expect when I drink a zinfandel. It had a wonderful raspberry flavor and he told us that it is very popular which I totally understand. It had a long finish and would definitely pair well with steak and potatoes or really any kind of meat.

This event was so much fun and I truly love the owners/staff of both The Smashed Grape and The Spicy Green Bean. They already have two events lined up in August and September and we are already looking forward to those!