Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

If you guessed I was a Vampire than you would be right! 

I actually thought my costume came together pretty well, considering that I threw it together at the last minute and at an inexpensive price tag. Unfortunately, my fangs fell out as soon as I left the house and would not secure back in for the rest of the night. Which was kinda my whole costume, so I didn't quite look like a vampire when we arrived at our destination. However, I still looked good for pictures!

Evan was a hunter and had "bite" marks from me, haha
The Girls: We went with our friends Laura and Matt: Laura was a Lobster
The guys: Matt was a cop
We arrived at the Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC) around 6:30 thinking we would only have to wait around 30-40 minutes to get in. However, when we arrived the line was wrapped around the corner and they were at capacity inside. Which meant we had to wait till people left for us to get in. Unfortunately we could not buy tickets in advance, so we had to either wait in line or go somewhere else. I kinda wanted to leave because it was freezing out, but my friends felt otherwise. We ended up waiting in line for close to two hours.

The waiting was not horrible, we were able to put our name in so we did not have to wait for a table to eat once we got in. Also, there was another bar next door, so whenever we got cold we went in to warm up for a little. 

We FINALLY got into CBC around 8:30 and we were able to sit right away, but not without getting a beer first. OMG, let me tell the 2 hour wait was WELL worth it, we had entered pumpkin beer HEAVEN!!! There were 32 different pumpkin brews spread out over three beer stations inside and out of the restaurant.

Drink tickets were 4 for $5 and the majority of the beers cost 1 ticket for a 4oz pour. You could also choose a 4, 8, 12 and 16 oz pour with the corresponding amount of tickets. I only had 4oz pours to maximize the variety of beer tastings. 

a 4oz pour in the souvenir glass 
Once we sat for dinner, I started with a Grilled Flat bread that I bought on the patio from the Grill Menu and brought into the restaurant (I am not sure if this was legal, but I was DYING to try this flat bread and it was not on the inside menu). The flat bread contained Tuscan kale, fontina cheese, roasted pumpkin and dried cranberries. HEAVEN!!!!

This is what was left after I inhaled some and then realized I should take a picture
For my main course, I ordered the local honey glazed pumpkin and celery root timbale, watercress, arugula, fired procuitto, and aged gouda salad with a hazelnut-sage vinaigrette. 

The salad was SO fresh and delicious and I LOVED the huge hunks of glazed pumpkin on the bottom of the salad stack. I was very impressed that the restaurant was busy and they were still able to get quality food out. I also had a taste of Evan's roasted sugar pumpkin bisque and grilled pork sausage with braised collard greens and pumpkin mustard relish. 

And finally (because we didn't already eat and drink to much) Evan and I split the pumpkin bread pudding with pumpkin ale ice cream and house butterscotch. 

I liked the bread pudding a lot; however, Evan was not to crazy about he thought it tasted to bready. Clearly not a problem for me!!

As for the beers, I had about 8 or 9 tastes throughout the night and the few that stood out to me were: the CBC Punjabi Pumpkin, Iron Hill Bruce Camp-Ale, and the Elysian Hansel & Gretel. I decided I really like pumpkin beers that are more gingery than sweet, so if you are in the same boat these three are great ones to try, although the Iron Hill Bruce Camp-Ale is a little more buttery sweet than gingery, but not overpowering. 

Around 10pm there was the Taping of the GREAT PUMPKIN.

Beer was tapped and passed out straight from the pumpkin. I tried some, but it was kinda watery compared to all the great beers I had been trying all night.

Around midnight the four of us departed home via the T (the public transportation in Boston).

Not really sure what's going on here, but I think Evan might be explaining his pain
from the cycling class from earlier in the day!

GREAT night with GREAT friends, food and drinks! I hope you all are having a GREAT Halloween! 

Now off to do a little running to detox before another yet another celebration:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Restaurant Review

Hope every one's weekend is off to a great start; mine has been glorious thus far! Evan and I just got back from a GREAT spinning class! Here I am pumped up before class:

Haha, I am such a weirdo sometimes!!!

Last night we met another couple to try out a new restaurant: Basho Japanese Brasserie over in the Fenway area. We have heard a LOT of great reviews and love their sister restaurant: Douzo. So when friends called for dinner we knew we would have to drag them to Basho.

Overall, it was incredible, probably my new favorite sushi restaurant. The sushi and meal options were not only VERY creative, but also tasty! However, like Douzo, the prices are a bit high! So, it is definitely a splurge, but a good one if you are into unique and creative meals.

The group decided that we would order one item at a time and see how we felt afterwards before ordering the next item. We dined this way for two reasons: to increase the length of our dinning experience and not to over order. I LOVE this way of dining out because of the reasons above and it really helps with intuitive eating!!!!

I started with a spicy crianza and an order of edamame for the table.

Seaweed Salad

Next up Evan and I split a special: Nigiri style Tuna Pastrami

This was the best meal of the night! It was smooth like tuna usually is, but had a faint pastrami-like taste. We got a few rolls next:

Crunchy Roll 
fried onion, cucumber, spicy crumb wrapped with tuna, tobiko, salmon,  
salmon roe, touch of mango sauce 

Basho Roll 
fried snow crab, lettuce, shiitake, asparagus, pickles with jalapeno  
aioli wrapped with cucumber and soy paper 

Amaebi Mango Roll  
mango, cucumber, grilled pineapple wrapped with sweet shrimp  
touch of mango sauce 

The mango roll was a great ending to a fabulous meal. It was very sweet and almost dessert like. GREAT, GREAT restaurant. I highly recommend it if you like fresh, creative sushi and do not mind spending a little bit.

I am currently cleaning, doing laundry and getting ready for a Pumpkin Festival this evening!! Hope you are having a great Halloween weekend!

Is anyone doing anything fun for Halloween?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Tonight was just BEAUTIFUL: Beautiful weather, beautiful run, beautiful company and beautiful food. However, I do not have many pictures to document the beautifulness.

Well, I will try to do my best.....

On this gorgeous day, I decided to go for a nice little run by the Charles River...Glorious (minus the hiccups for the last mile). Here are my splits according to my Garmin:

Distance: 51:16
Duration: 6:03
Mile 1: 8:18
Mile 2: 8:23
Mile 3: 8:28
Mile 4: 8:30
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 8:56 (we will blame it on the hiccups)

It was a great run and it feels good to be getting back into (somewhat) the swing of things. After my run, Evan and I set out on a hunt for Halloween costumes. Boston is crazy and around this time lines are SO long in all the Halloween stores. We found a store (iParty) that did not have a line outside the store; however, the check-out line wrapped around the store. I got a costume for under 20$ (which was my goal), I hate spending SO much money on something I probably am only going to wear once, but tis the season! I am not going to tell you what I am, but I will give you a hint: This character/person has become VERY popular in the last few years.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what are you going to be??

After a lot of walking and shopping, Evan and I got pretty hungry for dinner. So, it was Whole Foods hot bar to the rescue. Good thing I do not live closer to this store because I would be eating here a LOT more often than I already do.

Anyways, I ended up getting some brown rice with pork, squash and zucchini dish from the hot bar. I also got a little sauteed spinach with garlic and broccoli. I ended up mixing all the food together to make a sort of stir fry. I am SO sorry, I totally forgot my camera and tried taking a picture with Evan's phone, but we are unsure how to put it on the computer. However, I can tell you it was REALLY good!!! I loved all the different kinds of veggies and the pork was cooked perfectly. Yum!

I picked out an ice cream while at Whole Foods because it was on sale:

I put a scope on some of the baked apples I made on Tuesday for dessert. BEAUTIFUL!!!

I swear there were apples under there (hehe):

Currently watch "Food Matters" and relaxing with Evan on the couch (I will try to do a little review on the movie this weekend)! YAYA for Friday! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A little good news....

Today was super busy at my internship and I barely had a second to myself. However, the day flew by and before I knew it, it was 3:00. This year is SO much different than last year and instead of being busy with lots and lots of assessment cases, my counseling cases are occupying most of my time. Which is good because I feel really prepared going into next year.

After work, I had a great workout with 15 minutes on the eliptical followed by a 55 minute "Total Body Conditioning" class. Tonight the teacher incorporated a lot more cardio type exercises in the form of kicks and hits. Fun times!!!!

Dinner tonight got a little crazy, we had planned to make pasta, sausage and broccoli with a homemade red sauce we had in the freezer. However, I kinda miscalculated the amount of sauce we had and when going to make dinner realized there was only enough for one. Being the nice girlfriend I am, I let Evan have the pasta. In its place I made a vegetable marsala burger from Trader Joe's and some sweet potato fries (well I tried). I kinda forgot about the fries and they came out a little burnt. (I also poked holes in the steam broccoli bag when it clearly said DO NOT POKE HOLES; and yes, I did read the package a few times-OOPS!).

Oh well, the meal still turned out pretty tasty for a last minute decision.

And for the GREAT news of the day: A good friend texted me tonight and asked me if I liked Sara Bareilles? To which I responded: YES! And she then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to go to her concert in November. YES!!! Her sister got her tickets for her birthday and she wants to take me! I feel SO LUCKY!! Thanks Kristen!!!!

Well I'm out to enjoy a little dessert and watch Modern Family. Have a GREAT night!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Day of Rest

Ok, Well, today was (even though it was beautiful outside) definitely a rest day! I have been having a little trouble sleeping lately.

Does anyone have any good sleeping tips?

So, I was just flat out pooped when I got home from work. I also felt my quads bursting a little and my feet are a little achy. While working out yesterday (I did 30 minutes of the stair climber followed by a few strength exercise), I used 2 right shoes! I brought my workout clothes to work and accidentally packed the same foot sneaker for both my feet. I was too lazy to go home and figured I was already at the gym (which is sometimes the hardest part about working out), so I just worked out with the sneakers I had. OOPS!

As for today, the great thing about not training for a race is that I can decide whatever day I want to take off and do not have to fallow any kind of schedule. I usually try to wait a week and then take a rest day to not overwork or under work one week, but if I feel just unmotivated or have no desire to work out, I just don't. It is a VERY freeing feeling, especially after a somewhat strict training plan.

However, I did consider going for a walk because it is an incredible day in Boston, so I texted a friend, but she was busy. I thought about going by myself, but got a little tired. Oh well, I promise to have a more exciting workout tomorrow! Do I see a little Total Body Conditioning on the horizon........

So, what should I do when I can't exercise? I eat!!!

Tonight I started with dessert and tried making Baked Apples that Caitlin made on HTP yesterday.

I then worked on some chicken that I purchased on Sunday at a new butcher shop that opened up in Coolidge Corner in Brookline: The Meat House. The shop was really cool. I liked how all the meat was displayed in the cases. But most important I liked that all the beef was grass-fed and bought from a local farm in western Mass. Also, all the employees were very helpful and knowledgeable. The shop also carries Boar's Head cold cuts (my favorite brand), fun local foods, GREAT craft brews and wines. I highly recommend checking it out if you live around the Boston area. I ended up purchasing some beef chuck (I think that's what it is called) for beef stew later in the week and sun dried tomato marinated chicken breasts (which was for tonight).

Along with the chicken, we had some leftover risotto with butternut squash and mushrooms and sauteed brussel sprouts (Evan's personal specialty).

All together now:

Anyway, I'm currently relaxing and trying to catch up with my book club book: "Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo."

Has anyone read this book? If so, what are your thoughts (I just started it)?

Hopping to get a good night's sleep tonight! Have a great night!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrate Good Times!!!

Well, I have had a crazy couple of days with lots and lots of celebrating (AKA eating). Last night I went over to Laura's house for her birthday celebration.

Unfortunately, I did a little too much celebrating and forgot to take pictures. So, I will sum it up with words and you can visit Laura's blog for the pictures. We did some quality eating with dips, cheeses, flat bread, bark and Brie dip. We had some delicious drinks that included pumpkin beers and wine. We did some intense chatting and then a little dancing at the Bell in Hand in  Faneuil Hall. It was a great night, minus the 2 mile walk home at 2am in high heels because there were NO cabs ANYWHERE!! I have never been SOOOOOOO uncomfortable in my whole life!!! Errrrrr Boston cab sitch!!!

Needless to say I woke up today feeling not up to par. However, I still had energy and hunger to meet a good friend for Breakfast at Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner. This bustling little place had a lot of crepes to choose from including savory and sweet.

I decided on the Tuscan Crepe, which included a basil infused crepe, goat cheese, artichoke, spinach, marinara sauce, tomatos and olives. YUM!!!

This crepe was great and just as good as the one I had in Montreal. Very full from breakfast I decided to go for a little run before I attended my second birthday party of the weekend. I went for my first outdoor run since the 1/2 marathon. I felt great!!! I felt so free and flew through the whole run with a smile on my face. I ended up running 5.2 miles in 43 minutes with and average speed of 8:23/mile. Oh how I LOVE running!!!

After my run, I met up with the birthday boy:

My Dad
and family at Champion's for a birthday dinner. We had plans to go to another restaurant, but my dad wanted to watch the Pat's game and what better place to do that than Champions?

I ordered a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale to start; I know, really, another drink this week, but I couldn't resist.

I only ended up drinking 1/2 of it because it did not agree with my stomach (I was still recovering from last night). I did enjoy a lovely salad with salmon on top.

It was pretty good for pub food, but nothing incredible.

We decided to come back to my apartment for dessert. I had got some Party Favors cupcakes while I was in Coolidge Corner this morning to celebrate which included a pumpkin, chocolate and vanilla cupcake. My mom also made a pear and apple crisp.

I had a little taste of each.

A great ending to a great weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend and are rested up for the week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Complain or not to complain...that is the question?

Last night Evan and I met up with some of his work friends for "Happy Hour" at a bar near Evan's work called Jacob Wirths. It was PACKED but had a GREAT beer list. I started with a pumpkin stout:

It was good, but not as good as the oatmeal one I had last Friday. I think the creaminess of the oatmeal was lost and in its place was kinda a bitter pumpkin taste. I usually like pumpkin, but I was expecting the rich creaminess of the stout I experienced last week. Anyways, it was good and compared to my second beer it was FABULOUS. I am not sure what the name was because it was SOOOOOO packed at the bar we were at and the waitresses were VERY rushed and did not describe the beer to you that well. All they said was: "pumpkin ale or stout?" and when I asked the brand, she looked at me like I was crazy. So, for my second beer I ordered the ale.

GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably the worst beer of my life! It was SO bad that I could not take a second sip. It tasted like liquid candy. Which may sound good, but in a beer format was the worst taste in the world to me. It was SO sweet that I felt my teeth rotting with every sip. Needless to say I left basically the whole beer on the table. Oh well, you win some you lose some. I just wish I knew the name of the beer, so that sitch doesn't happen again!

After drinks, we headed over to Sonsie for dinner. However, before heading over, I called and confirmed that the wait time was not TOO long. The hostess said it would be 20 minutes for two and there would be no need to put our name in. Once we arrived the wait time, for the dinning room, moved to 30-40 minutes, but the hostess said there was no wait (or a shorter wait) for the Cafe section of the restaurant. The cafe has the same menu, but it is kinda in the middle of the bar and the waiting area and is VERY crowed. So, we opted to wait for the dinning room. After Evan and I got a drink:

Me: a glass of Syrah
Evan: Johnny Walker Black on the Rocks
My wine was pretty good, but not as good as the Liberty Hotel's Cabernet last weekend. However, Evan proclaimed it was one of his favorite glasses of wine. It was VERY smooth and full-bodied.

After about 20-25 minutes the hostess came up and said our table was ready. To our surprise, she took us over to a table in the Cafe! Not only was it in the cafe, but the table was on the outskirts of it. Evan's chair was basically in the main aisle. I asked the hostess why we were sat there and she responded that the dinning room was packed with people with reservations. I was a little confused at this point because I specifically called and was never told that or when I arrived was never told. But Evan said just to sit and enjoy our meal and not complain because we were both starving and it was getting late.

What would you have done at this point?

So, we did not say anything and ordered the Pumpkin Puree Pizza to start (recommended by Laura):

This pizza was VERY good. Very flavorful with a strong, but not to overpowering pumpkin taste! I LOVED it!

Kinda full from the pizza, we decided to split a burger and two veggie sides: Sauted spinach and Green beans stir fried with ginger, oyster sauce, garlic and chili.

The burger was great, but the bun it came in was incredible! However, the string beans were my favorite!!! They was SO, SO tasty!!! I also ordered a second glass of wine: Pinot Noir from the Hitching Post (the wine they drank in the movie Sideways). The wine was good, but not worth 16$.

So, overall the food was very good at Sonsie, but Evan had a terrible dining experience. He was continuously hit by traffic for his entire meal! He said he felt like he was in a packed college bar. It was AWFUL (he said)!! So when we finished our meal, we both felt it was time to complain. We asked to speak to the manager and explained the situation. The manager was apologetic and suggested we have dessert (on him) in the dinning room. Evan and I were kinda fed up and done with the restaurant at this point that we declined his offer, instead just asked if that table could be removed or moved to another location, so another customer did not have to have that same dinning experience. The manager just nodded, but when the bill arrived he comped our whole meal (minus our drinks). That was very generous of him, but we hope he took our advice and moved that table!!!

What do you guys think: Would you have spoken to the manager? If so, at what point would have you asked to speak to him? What do you think the proper etiquette is when complaining? Would you go back to the restaurant if the manager comped the meal?

After dinner, Evan and I met up with some friends at Top of the Hub (the restaurant at the top of the Prudential building) for some sights, drinks, and dancing. I decided to abstained from drinking, but enjoyed chatting, the views, and a little slow dancing with Evan!

Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's Back.....

Well, today was a much better day than yesterday! I did a little assessing and saw a few kiddos! It's no secret that I am VERY interested in childhood obesity and the problem in America. So, today I went to a very interesting talk on "Food Addiction." The talk was led by the head of the addiction unit at Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston. The lecture was not exactly what I had expected, but still good. Here are a few points I took away from it:

- Obesity is a national GROWING problem (for the past 25 years) not only with adults, but children and adolescents as well.

- Diets don't work: if you deprive yourself of anything you are only going to "binge" eat next time the food is introduced to you (this was shown through studies done in the lab with rats and with children).

- Food addiction has been decided (by the psychologist and psychiatrist community) as a "real" problem, but it is not considered a DSM disorder. However, food addiction holds some of the same characteristics and brain activity as other addictions.

- Food addiction is very, very complicated and the addiction field is just starting to look into them. There are not only biological factors, but psychological factors as well.

- People whose BMI is over 40 have a very little chance of losing weight by diet and exercise alone. Surgery is needed for recovery and weight loss to happen.

- When you have by-pass surgery and you had an alcohol addiction problem prior to the surgery, you are more likely to relapse after. However, if you have the lap band surgery instead the chance of relapse does not increase.

Anyways, after running 5 miles on the treadmill (it was raining off and on in Boston), I made a delicious and healthy dinner: KERF Recipe: Risotto with Butternut Squash and mushrooms. 

YUM!!! I followed the recipe to a tee, except I used Arborio rice instead of Steel Cut Oats and I doubled the amount of rice, wine and veggie broth. The meal was perfect and definitely restaurant quality!!!

Oh, and guess what made a come back tonight....

I was trying to cut ice cream out of my diet because I was getting a little carried away with my intake. However, after today's lecture I do not want to cut anything out of my diet, especially something I love as much as ice cream. Maybe, I will just cut it down to once or twice a week, instead of every night....

What are your thoughts on food addiction?