Taking Back My Twenties

Boston

Thoughts from a Tuesday

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 | 0 comments

  • Why is pretty much my only thought.
  • I took this picture from the Mass Ave bridge in Boston. It used to be my blog header (and still kinda is) because it reminds me that after every sunset there’s a sunrise and a brand new day.

IMAG0044.jpg

  • Hope.

IMG_0225.JPG

  • Bostonians are wicked strong.

IMG_0228.JPG

  • Yesterday was horrific, and my heart goes out to all those who were hurt, killed, scared, or simply didn’t get to finish something they worked so hard for.
Read More

A Meat House Thanksgiving {Review + Giveaway}

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 | 78 comments

Way back when I lived in Boston, I stumbled upon a modern butcher shop of sorts, called The Meat House. The store wasn’t close to our apartment, so we only shopped there once, but we did enjoy the wide variety of meat and the neighborhood grocery feel. So, when the social media coordinator asked me if I would like the opportunity to review something from the store, I wanted to say sure! Only, I was asked to prepare a Meat House turkey for Thanksgiving and we’re not cooking this year (we’re traveling and eating out…), so I declined. But then she asked me if I’d be interested in preparing a turkey right before Thanksgiving (friends-giving?), but I was too overwhelmed by the idea of cooking a whole Thanksgiving spread by myself, and declined again. ‘No problem’ was her response! You see, the beauty of The Meat House, is that they have all kinds of prepared sides and pre-marinated turkey, for busy, lazy-on-the-couch, no-experience-cooking-turkeys-people like me!

IMG_0971.JPG

So, with a gift card in hand, I went to The Meat House and picked out a mini Thanksgiving spread consisting of cilantro lime marinated turkey tips, sweet potato casserole, bacon brussels sprouts, and bourbon baked beans! The meat seemed really reasonably priced to me and there was so much to choose from! We chose turkey because of the holiday, but I’d love to try some of the spicy marinated meat too.

IMG_0972.JPG

The store seemed bigger than the one I had visited in Boston, and meat aside, it has lots of other gourmet goodies, and beer + wine too! Oh, and pie, but I didn’t think Matt and I needed a whole pie between the two of us.

IMG_0973.JPG

I love these kinds of stores because they always have great ideas for house-warming gifts or stocking stuffers for cooks. I couldn’t resist picking out a few extra things – I need more good seasonings around this kitchen!

IMG_1002.JPG

We actually arrived only 15 minutes before closing, and I thought the staff might be annoyed that we were taking a while to decide what we wanted, but the staff were helpful, upbeat, and friendly, making it really feel like a small neighborhood market.

IMG_0990.JPG

I cooked the turkey last night, and I’m a little embarrassed to say I wasn’t exactly sure of the best way to prepare turkey tips. Nothing a little googling can’t solve:) I bet this would have been great on the grill! I ended up searing the outside and then baking the tips in the oven until they reached 165 degrees.

IMG_0991.JPG

And everything else was prepared by magic micro waves!

IMG_0993.JPG

It was so much fun to have this feast on a chilly Sunday night – I actually couldn’t finish the whole plate though – gotta save room for the real thing.

IMG_0995.JPG

The turkey was good, and I especially liked the hint of cilantro and lime, but I have to be honest, I think I butchered it with my cooking method because the inside was dry – totally my fault I’m guessing?

IMG_1001.JPG

But the sides were fabulous! The rolls are actually from Great Harvest (we keep a stash in our freezer), but the rest of the prepared sides were from The Meat House. The bourbon baked beans and the sweet potato casserole were sooo delicious!!!

IMG_0997.JPG

I wasn’t a huge fan of the brussels, mostly because we cook them at home all the time (and I’m kinda of addicted to the maple roasted ones we make), but I do enjoy bacon with my brussels.

IMG_0996.JPG

Overall, I really enjoyed my shopping experience at The Meat House and I thought the food was very high quality. I believe the turkey was all-natural, but I don’t think it was organic (and I can’t remember if I saw organic or grass-fed options for the other meats) But, like I said, the prices were good for the meat and the sides, which you could also buy by the pound.

And now, the fun part – I’m giving away one $50 giftcard to The Meat House – it looks like there are locations in about ten states nationwide, so check the website to see if there’s one near you. To enter, leave a comment on this post – we’ll switch things up a bit – tell me what your least favorite Thanksgiving food is and why! I’ll pick a winner on Sunday.

Read More

Boston Bridesmaid

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 | 10 comments

Wow. What a weekend! I traveled to Boston to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. Everything appeared to go exactly as planned and I had a blast:

Friday night, the groom’s parents hosted a lovely rehearsal dinner at the Nashoba Valley Winery. The setting was beautiful and the food fantastic!

IMG_9911.JPG

I sipped on red wine, but the beer was very tasty too!

IMG_9913.JPG

IMG_9917.JPG

Dinner was a full three course meal and the winery used a lot of fresh, local ingredients! I had the gnocchi with sausage as an appetizer and enjoyed it very much.

IMG_9921.JPG

But what I really loved was my entree – a HUGE pork chop over lemon grits (!) and a corn relish of sorts. The meat appeared to be encrusted in herbs/breading which made it extra flavorful. I was hesitant about pork chop because it can be dry, but this one was quite juicy.

IMG_9922.JPG

My dessert was a lemon goat cheese cake, which was very light in comparison to my entree. Delish.

IMG_9925.JPG

Saturday, I was up bright and early to get ready for the 2 o’clock wedding. I had my makeup done and just wore my hair down and curled (which I’m regretting now). I like my makeup dramatic, but the makeup person went a bit overboard and I felt a little silly. At least some of it wore off over the course of the day and you can’t really tell in the pictures. I’m definitely going to have to do a hair and makeup trial before my own wedding, because I was not feeling very confident after how I looked on Saturday.

IMG_9933.JPG

The bride, however, looked GORGEOUS! She was cool as a cucumber throughout the day too.

IMG_9934.JPG

IMG_9939.JPG

IMG_9943.JPG

Making my way down the aisle with the bride’s brother…

IMG_9955.JPG

IMG_9960.JPG

IMG_9971.JPG

The reception was held in Gloucester so we had a long limo ride with lots of bubbly.

IMG_9951.JPG

We took photos on a beautiful beach and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. The experience made me so sooo happy that I’m getting married at the beach!

IMG_9988.JPG

The reception hall had an awesome view of the boats and the weather was perfect on Saturday. It felt like fall!!

IMG_9999.JPG

I had lots of seafood – shrimp and grits, tuna, scallops, and coconut shrimp during cocktail hour. As well as the signature drink – a pineapple and rum concoction with a spiced rum floater. Of course, being back in New England, I also ordered a Dark + Stormy. Yum.

IMG_9979.JPG IMG_9978.JPG

The food was excellent, but I got too full too fast.

IMG_9996.JPG

IMG_9982.JPG

IMG_9986.JPG

But luckily, I still had room for hours of dancing. I literally woke up sore on Sunday because of the dance floor session.

IMG_0004.JPG

I only got a small silver of cake during the reception because I was so busy, but there was tons leftover, so I got to take some home. Cake in the hotel room at the end of a wedding is the best. And, as an added bonus, I got to eat another slice at the airport.

Here’s hoping the bride and groom have a fun-filled marriage with lots more dancing and cake!!!

Read More

Bowl on a Plate

Posted on Jul 18, 2012 | 1 comment

It comes once a week – you know it’s my fav: the Mexican bowl! Although there’s no big bowls in my sublet, so I had to eat this on a plate.

IMG_9902.JPG

Well, I was able to scoop up most of it with chips.

IMG_9905.JPG

Speaking of bowls. I love Atlanta; I love our little apartment here, but I think I’m ready to be in my own space again. It’s funny how I notice the little things about being away from home. Our kitchen here has awesome granite counter tops. But they are black! Which means every crumb or drop of water shows up. I started out cleaning them constantly, but now I’ve just given up. They are never going to look clean. I will really really miss the washer/dryer though:(

Speaking of being away from home, I’m packing my bags yet again, because tomorrow I’m heading to Boston. I’m absolutely pumped to be celebrating my friend’s marriage this weekend. And it’s extra special because I’m in the wedding! I can’t wait! I’ve only been in two other weddings and Matt’s been in a million, so it will be interesting to reverse roles this weekend. Did I mention I get to go to Boston? Because that alone is sooo exciting.

I’m going to load up the ole suitcase. I hope I don’t forget the dress:) Night.

Read More

Brides, Bites, Beer in Boston

Posted on May 21, 2012 | 3 comments

We’re finally back to normalcy after a fun-filled weekend. We went up to Boston to visit our friends Lauren and Evan and to attend Lauren’s bridal shower. Gosh I miss it there! We spent all day on Friday just walking around, visiting our favorite spots. We started bright and early in Quincy market and walked all the way to our old neighborhood near Northeastern.

IMG_9211.JPG

IMG_9218.JPG

We stopped for lunch at the MET Bar on Newbury street and enjoyed a wonderful glass of wine along with short rib tacos and a burger.

IMG_9219.JPG

IMG_9221.JPG

IMG_9222.JPG

We continued on to the Esplanade, where the wonderful weather made the river sparkle.

IMG_9223.JPG

IMG_9233.JPG

I got pretty sad on our old street:(

IMG_9236.JPG

I also got to stop in and visit with the family I used to nanny for!

IMG_9241.JPG

Once Lauren and Evan got off of work, we met them and two of our other friends at Cambridge Brewing Company for beers.

IMG_9243.JPG IMG_9245.JPG

The night continued at this awesome little bar called Lord Hobo. The beer list was great and the food was really unique. We shared a bunch of small places and everything I tried was outstanding. Our friends like to eat just as much as we do, so it’s so fun checking out Boston restaurants with them.

IMG_9246.JPG

On Saturday, we all hit the gym and then I had an appointment to try on my bridesmaids dress for Lauren’s July wedding. The dress looks great and luckily the only thing I’ll need to alter is the top.

Saturday night obviously involved more wining and dining. We got cocktails at a cute bistro near downtown.

IMG_9247.JPG

Maker’s, sour, and orange bitters for me!

IMG_9248.JPG

And dinner was at an old obsession favorite: Masa!

IMG_9251.JPG

We had to get the tapas sampler! Five of these had stayed the same since last year and five were new. All were good! And I forgot to photograph the cornbread with cinnamon butter…

IMG_9254.JPG

Our entrees were out of this world. Period. Matt and I shared the smoked short ribs with Jack Daniel’s baked beans and a cranberry fig salsa. The meat literally melted in my mouth.

IMG_9259.JPG

Our other entree was a pan roasted monkfish with papaya mole, cherry pepper salsa, and honey glazed sweet potatoes. Loved the sweet, savory, spicy combo!

IMG_9260.JPG

In the middle of this meal, I turned to Matt and said: I would move back to Boston just for this restaurant.

IMG_9264.JPG

Sunday was all about the bride! The bridesmaids and I headed out to a golf club outside the city to set up for the shower that we planned.

IMG_9265.JPG

IMG_9262.JPG

IMG_9261.JPG

We enjoyed mimosas, brunch, games, and watched Lauren and Evan open tons of gifts!

IMG_9273.JPG

IMG_9269.JPG

Oh, and there were red velvet cupcakes!

IMG_9275.JPG

We had to leave the shower and go straight to the airport, but we had just enough time for one last beer before leaving Boston. A Harpoon sampler!

IMG_9277.JPG

Thanks to Lauren and Evan for a spectacular weekend!

A short week begins now. How was your weekend?

Read More

Breather

Posted on May 20, 2012 | 0 comments

Just taking a quick breather here to say hello.  We drove straight from the airport to my parent’s house because we’re getting up up 5:45 to attend Matt’s sister’s graduation from Wake Forest in the morning!  We had an absolutely perfect weekend – the weather was phenomenal and the food fantastic.  Being back was bittersweet though because we sure do miss our city and our friends!

And the bridal shower was a huge success!

Recap coming tomorrow…night!

Read More