7.17-19: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

Price got Autumn from daycare- did normal routine of dinner, bath, bed | work until 7pm | DATE NIGHT!!!!! | dinner at Hard Rock Cafe | walk on Rose Kennedy Greenway | walk back to the car | home | give Jaden a ride home | relax | bed

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{Saturday}

up at 5.10am | Sesame Street & bottle | Autumn has breakfast- yogurt & egg | play, read, clean Autumn’s room | Price does dishes | showers while Autumn naps 9- 10 | Price doesn’t feel well | shopping with Autumn at Gymboree, lunch at Wagamama, get face painted, Target | Autumn fights napping, naps late 3.45-4.45 | hang out, play time, finish cleaning room | Autumn has dinner, goes to bed late | dinner – pasta with fresh tomato sauce | organize 24M – 4T clothes | make breakfast casserole | blog updates | bed @ 11

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{Sunday}

up at 5.30 | lounge around | breakfast casserole | Autumn naps 8.45- 9.45 | clean up first floor, clean out hutch | shopping at Dollar Tree & Trader Joe’s | home | Price digs out the stumps!! | pool time with Autumn | lunch – Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwiches | Autumn naps 2.45-4 | blog stuffs | Gloria & Efrain pick up the hutch | watch NASCAR race | go to Revere Beach & Kel’s Kreme for ice cream dinner (National Ice Cream Day!!) | Autumn gets bath then fights sleep 6.30-8.00 | Whole30 food prep | relax | bed

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Monday Munchies: Zo – Boston, MA

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When I was in college I took an Architectural Preservation class that involved a 10 day trip to Greece. It was one of the best experiences I could have asked for. It was the perfect combination of a bunch of relative strangers in a foreign country touring world heritage sites, eating amazing food, and drinking great wine. There was no debauchery at all… nope, none…

Well, when I came back I was really missing the food I had in Greece. Freshly made salads, great sandwiches, and of course awesome juicy gyros.

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Zo in Boston has filled that void in my heart and stomach. I was giddy when they opened their first location just outside my office building. And I was twice as excited when I took my first bite of a gyro.

Let’s take a moment to talk about how to properly say ‘GYRO’. It is NOT like the spinning top gyroscope. I hear this the majority of the time it it makes my hair get prickly. You correctly say gyro as if you are saying ‘year-o’.

Anyway, they have authentic, fresh food.

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I enjoy everything from Zo, but my hands-down favorite is their Chicken Gyro ($8). I always order it with extra tzatziki sauce on it.

I’m pretty sure that their tzatziki sauce is the only thing that I eat with dill. I really, really dislike dill, but their tzatziki sauce is so luscious and incredible I completely forget my hatred of dill when I’m eating it. Really, I love it so much that I ask for extra sauce on my gryo. Incredible!

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They also make their gyros with lean pork ($8) that has been roasted on the traditional rotisserie, which is how the gyro got it’s name as it translates to mean ‘turn’.

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You can get their chicken or pork on their salads too. I love that they make them fresh to order as I don’t like olives, but I love their Greek salads, so I just ask for it without olives. Their different salads ($6 – 7.50) are made with fresh greens, vegetables, and cheese. You can add meat for $2.

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I also really enjoy their Spanakopitas ($5). The spinach pies are tender, flaky, and stuffed full with spinach and feta. They shape their pies in squares which I think is awesome as so many places make them triangular and then you end up with 2 points that are just phylo and no filling. This way you get the spinach filling in every bite.

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They also serve up several soups ($5 for 12 ounces, $6 for 16 ounces). I love the Greek classic Avgolemono, which is a lemony chicken and rich soup. It’s very, very salty but very very rich and good. It’s so comforting in the long brutal winters up here. My friend swears by their lamb chili and vegetable lentil soup. All of their soups and stews are served with a side of their fluffy pita.

And don’t then you can treat yourself to some Baklava! You can get a sweet Greek dessert for just $3. Sometimes I just skip lunch and get some to have for tea when I’m having ‘just one of those days!’

Both of their locations are small so it’s best to get your order to go. In the summer their are tables set up outside their Center Plaza location. I really suggest that if you stop by their State Street location that you grab your lunch to go and take a short walk over to the Rose Kennedy Greenway to grab a seat on a bench or just grab some grass.

If you’re in Boston I strongly suggest that you visit Zo for lunch. It will transport you to Greece for your lunch break. Enjoy!

Zo – Authentic Gyros

Government Center Location 

3 Center Plaza

Boston, MA 02109

617.227.0101

Faneuil Hall  Location

92 State Street

Boston, MA 02108

617.227.0707

 

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The best things about our visits to Maine generally are related to just relaxing and being outside.

I can’t get enough of the soft green grasses under my feet when I walk on the lawn. Or when just how quiet it is. I love the peace of it all.

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But the best to me is the smell of the robust salty air.

Every time we arrive and we are driving over the last causeway to get to the house, we open up the windows to take in big gulps of air. It is the best. It means we made it. It means vacation has begun for us.

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There are so many inlets, coves, bays, and watery nooks and crannies to explore. Our favorite place is what is we call ‘The Hub’. It’s an island at high tide and a wonderful place to explore at low tide.

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Price starts to track the tides before we leave for Maine so we can properly schedule our visit to the tide. It’s fun to stroll around there looking at the tiny hermit crabs, slightly larger crabs, and teeny tiny fish along the shore.

Our main mission is to get mussels that are clinging to rocks, hidden under layers of seaweed. Picked, cooked, and eaten within a few hours. Damn, they taste so good.

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This year we headed over to The Hub in the morning to get the lowest of the low tide. Price was in charge of getting the mussels and I was in charge with Autumn, who loved checking out the water’s edge.

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So much to explore!

She loved checking out the snails sunning themselves on the rocks and watch the crabs scuttle around while Dad went around back of the island to get our dinner. She climbed on rocks and jumped over puddles. It was fun watching her explore and discover.

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Price found a bunch of sea stars nestled on the side of a rock as the tide lapped just under them. He carefully picked out the largest one to show us. It was just so stunning.

We hung around for it bit enjoying the smells and sights of the Maine coast before we headed back to the house to enjoy the rest of the wonderful day.

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Banana’s Foster Waffles

Banana's Foster Waffles

Okay, summer, can you please get hot?!?!?

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I’ve been anxiously waiting for it to get hot here in Boston. Sure, it’s been in the 80’s but it has not yet hit 90 yet. Every day they show a chart on the local news that shows the number of days above 90 for the past few years and this year has a big fat ‘0’ next to it. It breaks my heart.

I live for the hot sticky days. It just feels so great to step outside to hot humid weather. Like when I travel to Florida and the doors open up at the airport and it feels like a big slap to my face. It just makes me feel alive when my skin gets prickly from the heat.

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So while it’s not as hot as I’d like, I’m still enjoying the summer. We have been grilling a lot, playing around in the kiddie pool, and just sitting out enjoying the nice days and nights. My neighbors do as well. It’s so nice to see families enjoy it together with kids running around before and after their BBQ dinners. In fact, our neighbors were recently enjoying the cool summer nighttime breezes with some friends when I brought them over a big platter of these Banana’s Foster Waffles. That’s just how I roll!

Banana’s Foster was originally invented at Brennan’s Vieux Carré Restaurant located on Bourbon Street, across from The Old Absinthe House in the 1950’s. (Side note- Price and I believe that the best Bloody Mary is from The Old Absinthe House in NOLA. GET ONE!!!) It was a solution to excess bananas that they had in stock. Brilliant.

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It’s a great combination of ripe bananas, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and booze. It’s sickly sweet. It’s sticky sweet. It’s perfection.

And I, of course, dumped all that syrupy banana goodness on of a big old scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, which was happily melting on a warm waffle.

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I kept it simple stupid when I approached the waffle as I just used a mix and added some cinnamon to it amp up that flavor that’s in the Banana’s Foster syrupy goodness. Don’t get me wrong, Bisquick is great but the Belgiuan Waffle Mix from Krusteaz is AWESOME. It is airy and has a great sweet flavor to it. Their Buttermilk Pancake Mix is also great, but I wanted to use something on the sweeter side as it’s for dessert.

When you make Banana’s Foster the rum should flame up… FLAMBE! But as I don’t have a gas range mine didn’t. I tried to get it to catch with a flame, but by the time I lit it the booze was already cooking off. Hey, I tried! So no worries if your flambe is a dud, it will still be great!

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I don’t tattle if you make this awesome dessert for breakfast. You know what they say, well, what do they say?

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Banana’s Foster Waffles

Makes 6 – 7″ wide round waffles

Ingredients

For the waffles

  • 3 Cups Belgiun Waffle Mix, I used Krustez
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 Cup water
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the bananas

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Ounces banana liqueur
  • 1 1⁄2 Ounces aged rum
  • 3 bananas

For serving

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Whipped cream

Process

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the waffle batter. Begin to make the waffles. As they finish, place on a cooling rack.
  3. Cut the peeled bananas in half, then cut each half in half again, then repeat to cut each portion in half to create 8 long pieces.
  4. To prepare the banana’s foster sauce, combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan over medium heat. As the butter begins to melt, add the banana liquor and stir to combine.
  5. Add the banana to the sauce, cook until they begin to soften (about 1-2 minutes).
  6. If using a gas range, tilt back the pan to slightly heat the far edge of the pan. Once hot carefully add the rum, and tilt the pan toward the flame, to ignite the rum. If using an electric cook top, use a lighter to ignite the rum.
  7. Gently stir the sauce and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes to ensure that all of the alcohol cooks out.
  8. Plate a waffle, add a scoop of ice cream, and then top with 4 slices of banana and sauce.

Banana’s Foster recipe adapted from Brennan’s New Orleans Restaurant

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While I received product from Krusteaz for recipe development, all opinions are my own 

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7.10-12: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

get home | get Autumn from daycare- didn’t want to leave! | make strawberry watermelon margaritas | Autumn has dinner, bath, goes to bed | dinner: burgers, corn, sauteed kale | watch (part of) Tammy, baseball,  Triple D | bed

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{Saturday}

up at 5.30 | Autumn eats 2 eggs for breakfast | make peanut butter and jelly puffles | go to haymarket @ 8am | Price took Frank to get flat tire fixed & inspected | Autumn has morning naps | freeze strawberries- 6 pounds! | meet Price at Toyota to drop off Indy to fix AC | home | lunch: hot dog | Autumn played in the pool, then refuses to nap | Price went to Home Depot for the saw | cut down ugly bushes | Autumn has tomatoes and dumplings for dinner, has bath, & goes to bed | liquor store, grocery, Taco Bell | watch NASCAR | bed

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{Sunday}

up at 5.30 | Autumn has breakfast- cottage cheese, fruit | pick up Indy at Toyota | shopping at Target | Autumn naps in the car | Croque Madame Puffles | shopping at  Costco, Price goes to Home Depot | play in the pool with Autumn while Price does yard work | Autumn naps | food prep: a dozen hard boiled oven eggs, salads for lunch, cut up veggies, dinner | Price gets Autumn up, goes to Home Depot for garden trash bags | dinner: BBQ chicken, corn, grilled asparagus & broccoli | Autumn has hard boiled eggs for dinner | make cookies with Autumn | Price gave Autumn a bath & put her to bed | dishes | make plum & blueberry cobbler | take Kemper on walk | finish Tammy | showers | fold clothes | bed

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