Friday, June 24, 2011

It Never Gets Old

I'm not sure if you noticed, but I love Tex Mex. Love might not be the right word. I am obsessed with it. I eat either tacos or taco salad at least once a week, sometimes twice. I almost always suggest going out for Tex Mex when given the opportunity and it is very rare that I turn down a margarita on a Saturday night. What can I say? I know what I like!

When a local Tex Mex restaurant finally opened up not too far from our house, you better believe that I bugged Josh to come with me to try it. Sure I've eaten at Margaritas before, but never so close to home. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Just writing about it makes me want to go back there right now. YUM!

No Tex Mex meal is complete without with out a margarita, especially at a place called Margaritas! They had so many choices but I went with a Prickly Pear one (very sweet but so tasty) and Josh, of course, had something pink. :)

The chips and salsa went perfectly with the margaritas. As someone who is not too into spicy salsa I enjoyed this combo perfectly. On the other hand, Josh, who enjoys his spice, was also pleased with the salsa. We both agreed that the chips were great and a lot less greasy than other restaurants.

I immensely enjoyed my traditional tacos. They were delicious, the perfect amount of food, seasoned perfectly, and beyond hit the spot. It was a great choice!

Josh had his favorite, fish tacos, which he loved. There was not even 1 bite left on the plate. Though I will say that is par for the course with both of us when we eat Tex Mex.

What can I say? For me, and now Josh, Tex Mex never gets old!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Double Take

One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong. 
But which one?

While shopping in the kosher section, we stumbled upon this. 
Yes, that is a bag of shrimp on top of a whole pile of kosher Empire chicken.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

The summer is the time to be outside, be active, and have fun. It is the time of year when the days stretch on and being inside is the last place you want to be. Except sometimes. Sometimes at the end of the night you just want to curl up with a good book...or a guilty pleasure.

That's where summer TV comes in. There is no bigger guilty pleasure than summer TV. And this year is no exception.

When I'm not at work, or out running, or hanging out with friends, or doing every other single outdoor activity that I can think of, I will most certainly be watching at least 1 of my 5 favorite summer shows.
  1. So You Think You Can Dance - best dance show. period.
  2. The Voice - American Idol what? This is a million times better and it has Blake :)
  3. Army Wives - 5 seasons later and I'm still hooked.
  4. Switched at Birth - I hope I never get too old for ABC Family
  5. Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition - a close 2nd to The Biggest Loser
What are you watching this summer?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What do you do?

Generally I eat the same thing for lunch every day. In fact, I think I ate the same thing for lunch every day from kindergarden through 12th grade. 1 peanut butter sandwich, 2 cookies, and a cut apple. That's it. No variation.

These days I sometimes still eat peanut butter, but I'm also into cheese. Cheese sandwiches, crackers and cheese, cheese with cheese and more cheese. I can't get enough. Josh, on the other hand, likes to switch up his lunch options. More often than not he has a salad, but sometimes he has a veggie burger or leftovers. Lately, he has gotten pretty creative with some colorful wraps. I have to say, they look so good I'm almost, but not quite, rethinking my lunchtime routine.

What do you bring for lunch?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meatless Monday: Fiddleheads!

In honor of Meatless Monday, I thought I would talk about one of Josh's favorite veggies, FIDDLEHEADS!

According to the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension Publications:
Fiddleheads, an early spring delicacy in Maine, are the young coiled leaves of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). Nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but those of the ostrich fern are unlike any other. Ostrich fern fiddleheads, which are about an inch in diameter, can be identified by the brown papery scale-like covering on the uncoiled fern, as well as the smooth fern stem, and the deep ”U”-shaped groove on the inside of the fern stem. Look for ostrich ferns emerging in clusters of about three to twelve fiddleheads each on the banks of rivers, streams, and brooks in April and May. Make sure that you have landowner permission before harvesting fiddleheads.
Since fiddlehead season is way too short, Josh tries to use them as much as possible. I have to admit, the first time he ever made I was skeptical. They looked different from anything I had ever eaten and I just wasn't brave enough to try them. This year, however, I jumped right on the fiddlehead train. I am so glad that I did. They are delicious! They taste like a cross between broccoli and spinach, only much, much better.

When trying to learn how to make fiddleheads, Josh of course turned to our own resident Maine Farmers. (In case you haven't seen it yet, Karl and Margaret and their Ten Apple Farm was featured on the front page of the Gray Independent! It is a great story, you should check it out.) Margaret shared with Josh her recipe for an out of this world fiddlehead and avocado salad. While we both thought the salad was yummy, the true test of any dish is when you bring it to someone's house and there are no leftovers. 2 meals later, there wasn't a drop left. Really, it's that good.


1 pound fiddleheads, rinsed and trimmed
2 avocados, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch fiddleheads for 1 minute. 
Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. 
Pat dry with a clean dish towel.

In a large bowl, combine fiddleheads, avocados and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. 
Pour over the fiddlehead and avocado mixture and gently toss.

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

Looking for something different to do this weekend? Look no further than the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. You will not be disappointed!

Not only is the MFA full of all of the beautiful art that you remember as a kid, but the new Art of the Americas wing is spectacular.  I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time at the MFA. I have taken drawing classes as a child, visited many of my favorites over and over, and seen countless world renowned exhibits.

Despite so much exposure to these amazing works of art, nothing has blown me away quite like the glass work of Chihuly. If you are unfamiliar with his work, below is a basic bio by the MFA.

Over the course of his career, Dale Chihuly has revolutionized the art of blown glass, moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture and establishing the use of glass—inherently a fragile but also magical material—as a vehicle for installation and environmental art. 

By 1965, Dale Chihuly was already captivated by the process of glassblowing. Influenced by an environment that fostered the blurring of boundaries separating the various arts, as early as 1967 Chihuly was using neon, argon, and blown glass forms to create room-sized installations of his glass. Although his work ranges from the single vessel to indoor and outdoor site-specific installations, he is best known for his multipart blown compositions. Based in Seattle, Washington, Chihuly works with a team of glassblowers, a process that allows him to work on a grand scale and to explore and experiment with color, design, and assemblage. "Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass" provides an opportunity to see and explore the full range of his artistic achievements by immersing visitors in the beautiful and enchanting environments created through his extraordinary vision. source

'Through the Looking Glass' is truly a world of wonder. You walk from room to room being mesmerized by larger than life glass installations full of color and dimension. Every time you catch a glimpse of the next piece of art it is bigger and better than the one before. It is hard to believe that these masterpieces were created by one man.

The Chihuly exhibit will be at the MFA through August 7th. This is a must see exhibit that will not disappoint.

Here are a few photos that Josh took during our visit. While these photos are fantastic, they do not even begin to do justice to the amazing installation that Chihuly created and that the MFA put together. 

 I promise, this will not disappoint!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Top Ten

With summer upon us, it is time to dust off my pile of books, sun screen, running shorts, and sun dresses. I love summer. There is so much to do and when the sun is shinning, the world is filled with promise. Nights seem longer, weekends stretch on for what feels like an eternity, and having fun is always top of mind. Sure the carefree summers of camp have come and gone, but as an adult, summer can be a blast.

While I try to make sure I pack as much into the summer as possible, often I wind up doing the same things over and over. But you know what? When your old trusty activities are fun, why not keep doing them?

I thought it would be fun compile my 10 favorite every day summer activities. Of course I love going on vacation, going to the beach, and picnics in the park, but those activities don't happen every day. These are the things that I can do at a moment's notice, that make me smile. They are also the things that may seem ordinary in the winter, but in the summer they are just as glamorous to me as a weekend getaway. Well, sort of.

And without further ado, here are the Top Ten things that Josh and I love to do in the summer (if summer ever comes!)
  1. Grill: Sure Josh grills all year long. In fact, the colder and snowier it is, the more likely he is to want to BBQ. But there is something about the summer that makes grilling so much more fun. We almost exclusively use it to make our dinner and have been known to have a big blow out BBQ or two.
  2. So You Think You Can Dance: SYTYCD is hands down the best dance show/reality show on TV. You will not find better dancing anywhere else on TV and the live show is out of this world.
  3. Movies: This is more for Josh than me. In the summer he likes nothing more than to escape the heat in a nice cold movie theater. He even has a friend who I exclusively call his movie buddy since they would watch every shoot-em-up comic movie ever made everyday if they could.
  4. Books: This one is more for me than Josh. There is nothing I love more than reading books over the summer. Maybe it stems from years and years of summer reading lists, maybe I'm just a huge nerd, but either way I love to read. I love a good beach read as much as an intelligent autobiography, and everything in between. So far this summer spring I've read: Hoda by Hoda Kotb, Best Friends by Jennifer Weiner, a significant chunk of Decision Points by George W. Bush, and 1 very special book that will get its own post later this summer.
  5. Constitutionals: Josh and I both love a good constitutional after dinner. It is fun to end the night with a nice walk around the block. It also helps with digestion and sleeping. We take constitutionals a lot, even when it is cold outside. But in the summer they are so much better. Usually the heat of the day has broken and it is cool outside. If you time it right, you can even miss all of the bugs.
  6. Softball: I threw this on this list tentatively. While I don't particularly love playing softball (Josh does) I do love our team. Every weekend in the spring and summer we are guaranteed to see 15 of our friends for a few hours on the field and then at dinner. It doesn't get much better than that!
  7. Maine: My Maine loving husband just can't get enough. Old Orchard Beach, 10 Apple Farm, the lake, it's his heaven. It did not take much convincing to get me to love it too. Anytime I can go to the beach and see the farm at the same time I'm happy. Oh and did I mention outlet shopping and caramel popcorn? 
  8. Ice Cream: Ice cream is the perfect treat any time of year, but in the summer it is just so much better. Cabots and JP Licks, 'nough said.
  9. Boston: Everything in Boston is better over the summer. Thanks to the millions of students who move out every May coinciding with prime vacation time, hanging out in town is so much more fun. You can park on the street, take the T without anyone invading your personal space, and get reservations at the hottest restaurants in town. Add in some museum time, general exploring, and hanging out on the esplanade and you have the perfect day.
  10. Urban Hikes: This is hands down Josh's and my favorite thing to do in the summer. We may not live near mountains, but we can still hike! We load up his hiking backpack full of water and a picnic and take off. Generally we start at the Brookline end of the Charles and walk all the way down to the Common and back. We may look a little silly with a hiking backpack in the city, but we have a ton of fun getting exercise and checking out the sights. It is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.
What is you favorite summer activity? Is there anything that you do regularly that just seems more glamorous in the summer? Or in the winter?