Monday Munchies: Dinner at Joe’s- Fall Feasting at Not Your Average Joe’s

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!


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I’ll never forget my first time.

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Nope, I’ll never forget my first time ripping that piece of focaccia bread in half, taking it and swirling it into the cheesy olive oil dip, and taking a big bite of that spongy bread that absorbed that earthy, rich oil.

When I was younger, I tagged along with my dad once from CT to MA on a work trip. We needed a dinner spot so we went to Not Your Average Joe’s. That night started my love with NYAJ’s and their infamous bread.

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I recently had the fun opportunity to visit the new Waltham, MA, that opened just a few months ago, for great blogger dinner. They invited local bloggers to check out the new location and the new seasonal menu.

They used to have weekly specials but have not refocused their menu to have seasonal specials that compliment their menu staples. This way diners can try more options throughout their visits in the season.

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Besides their new menu approach, they are creating a new look a feel to their restaurants that feature different table styles- booths, tables, communal dining tables, and high-tops. Plus, they have elongated their bar. But don’t worry, it’s not s sports bar! They have TV’s so you can check the score, but it’s not about that. They really want the emphasis on the dining experience to be about your food, drink, and company.

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Our night started out at the bar where we gathered as a group to meet new friends and to catch up with old blogging buddies, like Erica, who I went to a New Kids on The Block concert with this summer!

I enjoyed their Cucumber Mule ($8.99) that features hanson hand-made organic cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur, fever tree ginger beer, and muddled limes. It’s served in the classic coppper mug. I loved it so much that I had another at diner!

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Unfortunately, it had rained the night of the event so we didn’t get to enjoy their fire pit. But I swear I am going back one day to hang by the fire pit to sip on a cocktail while snuggling under one of their flannel blankets for guests to use.

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While I always appreciate the work that goes into creating a great menu, but I love to check out restaurants for their use of design elements, as I am a designer. Shoot, I’m currently working on a project that uses the blue glass pendant that is hanging over their bread prep station, pictured above. So fun!

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We then headed into the kitchen to meet some of the kitchen staff and to see them in action preparing the food from french fries to their flatbreads to grilled chicken.

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Our family style dinner started with Deviled Eggs, Mango Shrimp Rolls, Buffalo Caribbean Chicken Tenders, and Butternut Squash Flatbread.

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I skipped the Deviled Eggs as I am not a fan of them in general and there was plenty of other starters to choose from.

The mango shrimp rolls were a lot of fun. I felt they could have used a bit more mint and cilantro in the roll as they were pretty mellow, besides the mango, on their own. With the sauce, they were great, but I would have preferred a bit more zing from the fresh herbs.

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Butternut Squash Flatbread ($9.99) was a perfect seasonal dish that featured rich autumnal flavors from the squash to sage to brussels sprouts.

To me, this would be a great dish to share with a group while you enjoy their Harvest Sangria or a Bourbon Smash, or any of their other drinks from their drinks menu.

Besides having an inventive cocktail menu, they have 20 beers on tap that feature Massachusetts-made”Backyard Brews”, and an extensive selection of award-winning wines that you can order by the glass.

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The Spaghetti Squash Bolognese ($15.50) is one of their Seasonal Selections that was naturally vegetarian, but was so hearty that you didn’t even ‘mind’ it. The bolognese was meat free, but had substance from a variety of mushrooms. All of that was topped with sauteed spinach and freshly grated Parmesan. A perfect 10 for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Super Crunch Salad ($14.99) is another great vegetable based dish. It is served with chopped grilled chicken, which can simply be omitted for a vegetarian version. Most importantly, enjoy the crunch. It’s a great crunchy salad that features quinoa, apples, pistachios, and more with an orange-sesame dressing.

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Cranberry-Teriyaki Roasted Chicken ($16.50/$14.50) with butternut squash and ricotta filled cannelloni was another well received dish of the night. As we had a vegetarian diner with us, we received the vegetarian version that omits the chicken, plus you get another cannelloni. I enjoyed the flavors, but I loved the substance of the dish as well. So filling and comforting.

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Besides the bread being infamous at NYAJ’s, their Mustard-Crusted Chicken ($14.99) has been a long time staple. It’s a simple chicken dish, but executed really well. Sometimes you just can’t beat thin breaded chicken cutlets that you can dip into a lemony aioli. One might argue that it’s pretty plain but I think it’s a great comfort dish as it’s served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Rosemary Skewered Scallops ($24.99) was my favorite dish of the night. Hands down favorite. I almost didn’t want to share and skip the rest of the other dinner entrees we could enjoy. I loved the sear on the scallops and the israeli couscous salad it was served with. I couldn’t get enough of the textures and flavors. It was a perfect combination of everything from the earthy rosemary to the insanely fresh vegetables in the salad.

Admittedly, I didn’t even try the new Vietnamese Salmon ($19.50) as I don’t love salmon and I was so freaking full already with all the bread and delicious entrees, and I was really trying hard to save a bit of room for upcoming dessert.

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Dessert was a real treat as we were presented with 3 wonderful options.

‘Joe’ is known for the Peanut Butter Thing ($7.99) which is an ice cream pie dessert. If you love peanut butter and chocolate that I et you will love this dessert. You won’t be able to resist the peanut butter and chocolate chunks that are folded into vanilla ice cream that is then rolled in Oreo Cookie crumbs. Plus, it’s then finished off at your table by your server as they drizzle hot chocolate and caramel sauces over it. Hot Damn.

I had never had this before has I always, always fill up on bread at the start of the meal so we always skip dessert, but I was really impressed with it so I’ll really try to resist the carb loading at the start of the meal to make it to dessert. Maybe. Hopefully…

Goji Berry Apple Crisp ($7.50) that was served with ice cream was a fantastic dessert to feature classic fall flavors and ingredients. I thought it was fantastic and fun with the goji berries.

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Wrapping things up was their Gluten-Free Carrot Cake ($7.50). The real kicker was that gluten free, but you honestly would never had guessed that as it was so incredibly moist. I have had plenty of gluten free desserts so I have had plenty of dry desserts, but this was awesome. It was incredibly sweet from the cream cheese frosting, but I feel that is signature of carrot cake in general.

So it should be no surprise that I loved this dinner. Duh.

I went home satisfied from a great dinner and from great company of other bloggers and the great folks from Not Your average Joe’s.

I highly suggest taking a night out to visit your local Not Your Average Joe’s in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Or watch your favorite football team there while you enjoy one of their great deals. It’s always a great time at Joe’s!


Not Your Average Joe’s– Waltham

56 Market Place Drive

Waltham, MA 02451



While my meal at Not Your Average Joe’s was part of a local blogger event, all opinions are completely my own.


WIN at $50 Not Your Average Joe’s Giftcard!
Gotta have their infamous bread and Peanut Butter Thing dessert!


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Earn Your Slash Challenge @ B/Spoke Studios – DONE!


I’m DONE!!!! with B/Spoke’s Earn Your Slash Challenge and I’m loved doing it!

I’ve previously mentioned before about my new-found love of spinning and how I was taking this challenge on this month. I wanted to document this challenge similarly to my previous Whole30’s so I have been tracking each class with IG pics and recapping my classes progress.

The requirements in completing the Earn Your Slash Challenge running from October 5th through November 5th 11th*:






*Midway through the challenge they updated the end date as they ran out of punchcards so they wanted to make sure everyone had their card and knew of the challenge. yay!

So here is recap on my rides 9-15!

Ride 9

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Wednesday, October 28th @ 12.00pm R/DE 45

Instructor: Katherine

Another great class with Katherine!

I am really loving these mid week lunch time classes. It feels good to get away from my desk and do something good for myself. I can easily sucked into

Overall, I’m really glad to be doing this challenge as it reminds me of my previous Whole30’s and now I conquered them. I like the challenge, and documenting it since it makes me feel good to check off each class and note how I did and felt after each one.

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Ride 10

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Friday, October 30th @ 12.00pm R/DE 45

Instructor: Aly

Of course Aly looks amazing in costume after teaching class! Ha!

They changed the end date for the challenge so it now runs through the 11th, so that takes a lot of pressure off me to complete the challenge by the 5th. yes!

I really liked Aly’s class. It made me feel great leaving and ending my work week with that. Plus, how can you not enjoy a class taught by a cat?!?

Ride 11

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Friday, November 6th @ 12.00pm R/DE 45

Instructor: Aly

Woohoo!! Price came with me so I fulfilled my challenge requirement to bring a person of the opposite sex with you to class!!

Anyway, bummed it was a week between classes but I had to cancel 2 classes between my last one and this. Bad timing for one and a pukey kid for the other.

Since you’ve been reading about my spinning experiences, I figure I’ll have Price write a recap this time…

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And then after class Price and I grabbed smoothies (which I threw up… stupid stomach bug). And Price gave me a flower :-)

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Ride 12

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Sunday, November 8th @ 9.30am R/DE 45

Instructor: Natalie

I was on target with finishing the challenge a few days before the end date, but things got messed up the week prior so I am not jamming in 4 classes in 4 days. Oh boy!

Super bummed my stats were low this class. I was working really hard for this but I still felt sluggish so I gotta push even harder next time! (Or maybe the recording of the stats recording was started a bit late?!?)

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Ride 13

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Monday, November 9th @ 12.00pm R/DE 45

Instructor: Ali P

I love how every teacher has their own style from pace to choreography to music. It was my first class with Ali P and I really enjoyed it. Her instruction was clear and I liked the choreography that she did with the class.

I really, really pushed myself this class. I felt strong and enjoyed it. I cranked up the resistance and pushed through. My legs felt like jello at the end. It was hard and awesome.

The Stats didn’t work as I didn’t get them and I’m bummed about it since I wanted to see how it ranked compared to other classes.

Ride 14

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Tuesday, November 10th @ 5.30am DAWN R/DE

Instructor: Natalie

As part of the challenge, you need to complete 2 of the 3 ‘challenge rides’, and since I had done the HOT R/DE I decided to do the DAWN R/DE instead of the R/DE 60 as I was thinking it would be too intense for me. The length of time and the teacher, Kelsey, would be too much for me.

In the end, I’m glad I did what I did but the 5.30am spin class is not for me. I’m a morning person, but that is too much, too early for me. Live and learn.

I’ve been having a rough week so I was in a real pity party mood. Since I was struggling in class with a stiff, thirsty (I had water with me!) I fell into a bad head space with everything bugging me that

Also, my stats are laughable. ugh.

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Ride 15

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Wednesday, November 11th @ 12.00pm R/DE 45

Instructor: Natalie


I am so excited to have completed the challenge.

Plus, I feel great that I did it on a high note, after the previous class. While I was tired, I feel that it was a good class. I’ve had better classes when I’ve pushed myself more, but I was okay to accept what I could push myself with as it was my 4th class in 4th days.

My legs are tired but my arms are tired and slow. I felt a beat behind everyone as my arms just felt slow moving at times. I skipped some of the choreography, which I hate to do, but I felt like I needed to give myself a break as I was dragging. At least I did it!!

Stats, oh stats, where did you go? They never processed, or whatever. Such a bummer.


Check out my recaps on my first 8 rides in the challenge!

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Peanut Butter Banana Waffles for Two

Peanut Butter Banana Waffles For Two

So let’s talk about this year’s Starbucks Red Cup.

Actually, let’s not since I’m not wasting my time on that BS.

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Yeah, it’s a bunch of BS. Just imagine my eyes rolling over here

Anyway, our freezer is overflowing with waffles.

Since I make a batch every week we share or freeze a lot of waffles. We send quite a bit to daycare with Autumn and to our dog walker too. Thankfully, all around they are quite respective to receiving baked goods as well.

But I wanted to change things up and make a waffle recipe that wouldn’t have leftovers. So I created a delightfully yummy waffle recipe for 2!!

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As we always, always have bananas in the house, I decided to make a waffle recipe that used them. I just believe you can’t go wrong with bananas for breakfast.

And you can’t go wrong with peanut butter either. Nope.

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This recipe creates the perfect waffle for a brunch date!

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Peanut Butter Banana Waffles for Two

Makes 2 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 Cup of buttermilk or milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 Cup cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 banana, cut into 1/4″ thick slices


  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter. Microwave for 30 second intervals on 50% heat (the reduced heat is to help avoid a butter explosion!). Once the butter mix melted, mix to combine together.
  3. Add buttermilk to the melted butter mixture, mix. Then add the egg, mixing again.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and 3/4 of the sliced bananas. Mix lightly with a fork until the flour is moistened. The batter should be lumpy.
  5. Cook in your waffle iron. A really hot iron will produce a better waffle- nice crisp edges!
  6. To serve, top off with the remaining banana slices and some syrup.


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11.6-8: weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

home sick early from work – sick on bus :-( | lay down | get Autumn | Autumn has dinner, plays around, goes to bed | lay down on sofa with Price | fall asleep | bed

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Price up Autumn at 4.10, watching Mickey | up with Autumn at 5.15, more Mickey watching | make breakfast for Price and Autumn | make apple crisps | sell eliptical machine | play around | sweet potato gnocchi for lunch | Price goes to work | Ikea for a new rug & stuffs | Autumn had froyo for being awesome in the store | make new table for coloring | Price gets home- sick | Autumn goes to bed | move clothing boxes to the basement | talk to neighbor about house work | early bed at 9.30

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Autumn up for a bottle at 1am | up with Autumn at 5.15, lots of MCH watching | get bagels for breakfast | laundry, put clothes away | spinning class at 9.30am | go to work for a few hours | spaghetti squash bolognese for dinner | watch DVR’d Grimm | talk to mom | go to Stop & Shop | kitchen clean up |w bed at 10

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Quick Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisps

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp

A few weeks ago, when we went to Apple Crest Farm, we picked up a 1/2 bushel of utility Cortland apples. Utility or second or hail apples are great to grab when you have the opportunity since they are sold at a reduced rate because they are ripe then or are blemished with spots from things like hail storms They are still great apples, but just are not pretty. Who cares when you are making pies or crisps or sauces with them?!?!

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So we had A TON of apples. Awesome.

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One day when I was at work on the weekend, Price made apple crisps with Autumn for their afternoon activity. She basically just ate the apples. ha!

Here’s the thing, I didn’t like apple crisps. Well, I figured I didn’t since I don’t like berry crisps. I don’t like the oats with the berries. It’s the flavor and texture, it’s just wrong to me. But I figured I would try Price’s to be nice since he made them, and damn, I loved it.

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Since then we made 2 more crisps and we demolished them. No shame.

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I wanted to use up the rest of the apples so I got to work on another big batch of apple crisps but I was low on oats. I just  grabbed a box of Krusteaz‘s Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie mix to try as a substitute topping mix. I figured it’s basically the same thing!

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Winner, Winner more apple crisp for dinner! (oh yeah, that’s a thing…)

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This recipe makes 2 apples crisps, but if you don’t have a bunch of apples, or just don’t feel like making 2 apple crisps, then half he ingredients. Save the rest of the cookie mix for your next apple crisp!

Grab some ice cream and dig into your hot apple crisp!

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Quick Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisps

Makes 2 8×8 apple crisps


  • 12 Cups Apples, peeled, cored, sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces (I needed 14 Cortland Apples)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 package of Krusteaz Brown Sugar Cookie Mix


  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. In a very large bowl or 2 medium sized bowls, combine your sliced apples with both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt, and vanilla extract.
  3. Divide the apples between the 2 baking dishes
  4. Combine the melted butter and cookie mix. (You can even reuse the same bowl) Mix until the butter is thoroughly combined in the mix.
  5. Using your fingers, crumble the cookie mix on top of the 2 baking dishes. Ideally, you want a mix of fine, small, and large crumbles throughout.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!
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