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I took this photo last Friday. I think it is my favorite photo I have recently taken on my iphone. It makes me love living in/close to a city. Boston does not compare to ‘The City’ (New York) to me but that is okay. As much as I have been here for almost 9 years I am constantly learning to live with what it’s got. It has a lot of history, charm, rough edges*, and beautiful things to experience all over. I think that buying a house in Chelsea has opened up my eyes to the things I see around me, esp in Boston. We’re stuck with each other for a while now we we better figure out how to work together harmoniously. So I’ve been trying to do more in Boston, and New England in general, like new restaurants to try, history to learn about, adventures to take, and places to discover. So far, so good!

That being said, I’ve fled Beantown with Pricer & we are currently on a short cruise up to Canaidia. It’s nice to get away for the weekend. Right now we should be be relaxing with a drink by the pool as this scheduled post is published. Maybe watching demonstrations on how to carve ice sculptures. I’ll be missing the buns ears perk up when they see me come in to feed them, but at least they are relaxing in their AC’d room & getting good care from my coworker. I’ll be hoping that my extensive watering of the plants was enough for the 90+ heat passing through this weekend. But mostly I’ll be trying to tune off my mind and relax!

Hope you have a great weekend!

*one thing that will never change is my deep down twitching reaction to the ‘Boston’ accent. I can promise you that!

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Dinner in 20: Pasta with Veggies and Cream Sauce

I have not been the mood to do anything lately. Well, that is not true. I want to scrapbook all day, every day. I just don’t feel right not being able to be creative. Thinking about how far behind I am working on Project Life makes me want to break out in hives. I left off at week 12… it is now week 26. kill me. And no, I don’t have to continue, but I want to. When I work at it I feel good, I really enjoy it. So I just need to get set up for it, and find some time, and I’ll feel like myself again.

 

 

Being so disinterested in cooking I have been gravitating towards quick fix dinners. Salads have been gracing our table a lot lately but this Pasta with Veggies and Cream Sauce dish was a big winner. I had just restocked the fridge and pantry from moving so I didn’t have to run out last minute to grab something. I love when that happens. I also love Philadelphia Cooking Cream. We use a lot of this to add to pasta dishes, casseroles, or on eggs. It adds a lot of flavor to dishes easily. I’m not singing their praises because they are sponsoring me, I just really like the cooking creams. Man I would love to be sponsored by them, that would be so cool since we go through so much of this stuff. Ha!

Pasta with Veggies and Cream Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

Process

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions for al dente pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the red pepper and mushrooms together in the olive oil. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the cooking cream to the vegetables and mix together until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the cooking cream onto the pasta when you serve it.

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The day we went zip lining: Berkshire East – Charlemont, MA

As a continuation to my post about the Bridge of Flowers and our May Surprise Date, I am sharing the rest of the afternoon adventure which took us zip lining through the trees in the Berkshires.

How did I pick that we would go zip lining for our May date? Well, in 3 short days we will be on a cruise heading up to Saint John, New Brunswick.  And… Saint John has this pretty cool thing going in that it the rapids at the mouth of the Saint John’s River at the Bay of Fundy reverse direction. You can zip line over this bay and see this phenomena occurring. Since I figured that could scare the ever living bejesus out of us me it would be great to try zip lining before we go.

I booked a tour at Berkshire East when I saw a Gilt City coupon. Regardless of the coupon their tours are affordable ranging from $30-100, I just jumped at that since we have a budget on our surprise dates. So at the end of May, in the midst of the chaos of moving, Price and I took a Sunday to spend the day out in the Berkshires.

After getting stuck at the loooongest rail road crossing, we made it to Berkshire East to begin the adventure. I signed us up for the Mountain Top Tour which has 7 zips that range from 250′ to 800′ in length. The highest platform is 45′ in the air in the canopy and at times you zip 100′ off the ground. You get to relax before and after the zips on the ski lifts that take you up/down the mountain.

 

Berkshire East has a wind turbine that generates 2.2 million kWh of electricity each year, providing 100% of the power for their facility. They even have tours of it a few times a year where you learn about the 3 year process in getting it installed and its production of sustainable energy.

 

One of our awesome guides as he was first demonstrating how to zip, the gear set up, and the lines. After he zoomed over to the first line our tour adventure began!

 

Price went off backwards. I think this was the highest platform at 45′. yikes!

 

We took a moment to wait to see some other zip liners go across the valley on Extreme Zip 1, aka X1. This is 2300′ long zip isn’t even the longest zip in the Valley Jump Tour. I imagine this would be incredibly scary (!!) and beautiful to do in the fall.

I actually took this photo mid zip line on the last zip!

gangsta

 

And back down the mountain we go.

I highly recommend zip lining with Berkshire East and this tour to everyone. It was such a blast. We loved it. It was thrilling and the views were the icing on the cake. The guides were very skilled and took safety and fun very seriously. We are already discussing our next zip to see the fall foliage!

Berkshire East

66 Thunder Mtn. Road

Charlemont, MA 01339

413.339.6617

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Cheesy Garlic Knots- SRC

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was given Suma Rowjee’s blog called Cakes and More. As usual I forwarded this info on to Price for him to pick out the recipe that I should make. I was happy that he went through her extensive recipe index consisting of breads, cakes, cookies, and many, many vegetarian dishes and picked out the garlic knots. We love garlic bread so I think that is made him pick out the garlic knots.

 

 

 

I’m glad he picked out that recipe since it was so easy. Which was great since I waited ’till the last minute, as usual, & started the dough last night! Ha! I made the knots this morning… Yummy breakfast! (I made Price some scrambled egg whites to go with it!) really, no matter when you eat these you will love them. Light, fluffy rolls with tons of garlic flavor. I added cheese to them before baking, because I just couldn’t resist!

I’m quite intimidated when it comes to making bread. I know I shouldn’t be but I don’t work with yeast often so I get a little nervous about it. But Suma had great instructions & a quick tweet to Amanda helped make things painless!

 

 

 

The dough was so easy to work with, in fact I did not knead the dough at all. I just worked the dough with an oiled rubber spoon for a while & it came together easily. With that I didn’t have to get my hands & counter super dirty then. I only worked the dough when I was forming the knots & that was easy with a bit of flour on the counter & my hands. Forming the knots was quick work and became intuitive quickly. The result was a garlicky knot that I would serve with dinner without a lot of fuss!

 

 

 

Cheesy Garlic Knots

makes 12 knots

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. lukewarm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 package of instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup milk, lukewarm
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
For the garlic glaze:
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flake
  • 1 pinch of oregano
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Process

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a large bowl, add the yeast to proof.
  2. Once the yeast has proofed add the oil, milk, flour, and salt to the bowl. Using a large spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Mix with the spoon or knead for 10 minutes. Oil the bowl thoroughly, return the dough to bowl with a kitchen towel and let double in size. The first rise will take approximately 1 hour.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 balls by dividing the dough in half, then half again. Take each of those 4 sections and divide it into 3, resulting in 12 equally sized balls.
  4. To create the knot, take one dough ball and roll it out to 10″ long strip on a floured surface. At 40% through the strip bend the strip so the 60% portion is looped over the point where your started to bend the strip. Loop the loose end through the newly created center, then tuck that end under the outer loop. The remaining tail gets flipped over the loop and tucked into the center hole. Place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat for all knots.
  5. Cover the knots on the baking sheets with a kitchen towel to let them rise again for another hour.
  6. When you are ready to bake the knots, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also prepare the glaze by combining all of the glaze ingredients, except the cheese. Brush the glaze on each knot, sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the glazed knots.
  7. Bake the knots for 11-13 minutes, or until they cheese is golden brown.

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Secret Recipe Club

Check out my previous Secret Recipe Club Posts:

May: Berry Brownie Torte

April: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

March: Sauteed Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds

February: Fried Pickles

Jan: No SRC postings

December: Shrimp Sriracha Stir Fry

November: Vegetable Enchiladas

October: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Check out the rest of the reveal day posts!


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6.22-24: Weekend Recap

mojitos at work | go to red sox game with Pricer | rain! | game delay | beers and hot dogs | green monster seats | sox loose | eastern standard kitchen | cab ride | crash after 1am | up early | stop by Price’s office | Ikea | Costco | headache & nap | grocery store | make pizza | bed at 9pm | up at 12am | on the road at 12.28am | sonic| price drives first | I drive into the whites | missed a turn, turn around | Mt. Washington | assent up to the summit | clouds, clouds, & more clouds | decent to clear skies & lots of photos | beautiful views and happy birds | over to Polly’s Pancake Parlor | Butterhill House visit | reliant robin | taking turns drive back home | KFC | napping & NASCAR race | cut jack’s nails | laundry | blogging

 

 

 

 

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