First, sorry if you follow me by email… I prematurely hit the publish button… I don’t know why I have so many problems with this lately! Haha!
Anyway, I mentioned that Farmer Ben whisked me off to Burlington last weekend. We haven’t ventured across the lake in a few months, so we were long overdue…
Even though we were only there for a few hours, it was AMAZING! Sometimes that’s all you need to feel ready to take on the new week!
We headed out mid-morning and decided to hop on the ferry….
It was a beautiful day!!!
Once we got to Burlington, we knew that there was one place we had to go.
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill–Shocker… I know…
Here’s where the food came from:
Here’s what we ate:
Cider and Spicy Blood Mary with assorted pickled veggies (have I mentioned how much I love a good Bloody Mary?!)
House Eggs Benedict with local ham and braised kale, served with a side of greens and a hash brown.
House Made Hash and Eggs with dressed greens (OHMIGAWD THIS WAS GOOD!)
Per usual, brunch was amazing. We left feeling good and full…but not grossly full.
After brunch, we roamed around Church Street and did some window shopping… And got some hot chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolate….
I got mint chocolate and Ben got a spicy Aztec cocoa… his was REALLY good… not that mine wasn’t…but I liked his better! haha!
After meandering around, we headed to Healthy Living to pick up more delicious things…and then headed home.
We had a really great Sunday…
Let’s chat: How was your weekend? Favorite brunch item? Hot chocolate, yes or no?
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I finally gave in and went to the doctor to see about my weird leg pain…
I don’t have a primary care doctor, so I did a walk-in right after work because I couldn’t get an appointment and ended up getting a full physical because I hadn’t had one in… I don’t even know how long. Shame on me.
Confession: Between work and our road-trip, I still haven’t gone to get the blood work he ordered… hopefully tomorrow? Double shame.
Anyway, while I was there, I quickly realized he had no idea what was wrong with my leg and that he wasn’t going to be much help in that department… he even told me so… but I figured I’d get the most bang for my buck and went on with the rest of the physical.
I mentioned that I had run a marathon and we talked about some health concerns (mostly that I am prone to some wicked headaches/dizziness).
His response? “Well, you’re obviously very healthy. You’ve run a marathon, the proof is in the pudding!” He continued with, “I don’t know what to tell you about the headaches other than they probably aren’t anything to be concerned with, it’s just an annoyance.”
He then asked me about medical history and asked me if I had any symptoms of depression…three times.
First, who says “the proof is in the pudding?”
Second, Yes– while running a marathon is a good sign of one being healthy, I don’t feel that it is an end-all, absolute indication of one’s physical health being perfect. Not that I have any major health concerns, but I was irked by his assumption and brushing off the one concern I did have…and repeatedly asking if I was depressed… it just didn’t sit well.
Anyway, the rest of the visit was equally enlightening. I discussed BMI with him next…
Side note: When I last saw my gynecologist, she was impressed that I had lost the weight that I have and that I did so slowly… but said it would be beneficial to lose about 15-25 more pounds. I feel like that’s kind of standard coming from a doctor and for all I know, she could be right. Honestly, I would be okay with 10 more pounds.
My current BMI is 28, so I am technically classified as overweight. Now, I realize that this is merely a guideline and even when I was in the best shape of my life, my BMI was close to what it is now.
I also realize that I AM healthy, but, I figured since I was there, I would ask his professional opinion… he is a doctor, after all.
I felt a bit silly asking, but I got it out, “you know, I’m just wondering because my BMI is a bit high… if it’s something I should worry about… I’ve lost about 30 lbs but it’s taken me a really LONG time to do so… and I know that’s a good thing, but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s normal for it to take as long as it did… I’m just wondering–“
He interrupted me (!) and even raised his voice for a moment.
“–You DO NOT need to lose ANY weight. You are perfectly healthy, you ran a marathon, so you’re obviously healthy. But, if you want to lose weight for physical attractiveness, or competitiveness, or whatever reason, the only way to do that is to eat way less and make yourself completely miserable. So if that’s what you want, then by all means, make yourself miserable.”
Cue my jaw hitting the floor.
That was not what I was expecting to hear and I was, for one of the few times in my life, completely speechless. Not gonna lie, it was nice to hear this, but I think he completely misunderstood my reason for asking the question.
I mentioned that my main concern with my current weight is the impact it has on my joints when running and that I know losing said 10+ pounds will be easier on my body, which he quickly dismissed by saying, “Not true.”
He went on to say how the only way to eat less is to know exactly how much you’re taking in and the only way to do that was to count calories (obviously) and then proceeded to tell me it didn’t matter what I ate or where my food was coming from, it only mattered the amount I was eating.
You can imagine my indignation at the last statement. This was a doctor telling me that nutrition value and where food comes from didn’t matter. I almost hit the roof.
In short, the proof is apparently in the pudding; I am perfectly healthy.
- My leg seems to have healed itself and I went on my first run post-race last night. It was only 2.5 miles, but I had no pain. Let’s hope it stays that way.
- I’m currently experimenting with my diet to see if something I’m eating/drinking is causing the headaches.
- First experiment: cutting down my coffee intake.
- Next step: getting the blood work done so I can get an official letter saying that I am “perfectly healthy,” and I can move on to finding a primary care doctor who I don’t find kooky.
- I’m also going to get my eyes checked to see if the headaches are vision related. I am getting older, after all.
Let’s discuss, what’s the strangest/most outrageous thing a medical professional has said to you? BMI-do you pay attention to it? Any weird ailments? When’s the last time you went for a physical?
Life has been moving pretty fast around these parts lately…I’m looking forward to some much-needed time off and a road trip with Farmer Ben, later this week (Georgia and South Carolina, here we come!).
This weekend, I went to a women’s conference with some ladies from my church in Worcester, MA…this was a completely new experience for me and one that I needed.
I actually hemmed and hawed about going because, well… I just felt like I wouldn’t have time…but I made time and it was so worth it!
Not only did Natalie Grant lead worship (so powerful!), but we got to see some great speakers. I learned a lot and came back feeling refreshed and empowered.
My favorite speaker was definitely Valorie Burton.
I mentioned that this conference was something I needed and I found Valorie’s workshop especially relevant to some things I am dealing with right now.
I got home from the conference really late and Farmer Ben and I were up bright and early on Sunday Morning to volunteer with our church for our Faith in Action Sunday… basically, the congregation divides up into groups and does various service projects around town…
Our group went to a local park and raked leaves…for three hours. By the time we left the park, we had 97 giant bags of leaves and a ton of piles that we just didn’t have the man-power to bag. Needless to say, I am sore today and have some really attractive blisters on my hands.
After volunteering we went to my mother’s house and took a quick shopping trip… I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I absolutely despise shopping at Wal-Mart…This shopping trip reminded me why. I think I’ve had my fill of misbehaving, screaming children and rude people for the next three years.
We dropped my mom off and then headed to our friends’ house to make a quick dinner.
I made this mac & cheese from Pinch of Yum and fooled their son into eating butternut squash. Not only was it delicious, but it only had 1 cup of cheese in a double recipe!
After dinner, I whipped up these cookies…they were also a hit.
Farmer Ben and I finally made it home at about 9pm and I immediately went to bed.
Other than that, life has been good…
We’ve been going to the market.
Hubby bought me some beautiful flowers from a local farm….
And we’ve been enjoying the weather. I finally got to break in my sweet orange wind-breaker from the race.
And now for a confession…
My biggest frustration at the moment is that I haven’t run since my marathon. I took a few days off for recovery and, much to my dismay, ended up having to work both jobs for the entire week following the race.
Running a marathon and then working 12-15 hour days for five days is not conducive to recovery.
That Saturday, I was going to go for a short run but I started having a weird pain behind my knee. It hasn’t gone away. It’s more annoying that downright painful and almost feels like a snap or a pinch…does that make any sense?
It’s not my knee… but I don’t know how else to describe it. I did some google-ing and am guessing that it’s either a baker’s cyst or a meniscus but doesn’t feel painful enough to be either.
I did notice that the pain was a little more annoying this past week, depending on what I am doing. Yesterday, it was pretty uncomfortable and by the end of raking it was burning.
Any ides as to what this is?
I broke down and went to a walk-in doctor but honestly, he was no help. He felt around and played with my knee, stood back and said, “Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with you…I have no idea what to tell you!”
Super helpful, right? I did, however, finally get a full physical, for the first time in at least five years.
I don’t think I’ll be returning to that doctor as, honestly, I found him a bit kooky (and that is saying a lot, coming from me), but it’s nice to know that as far as he could tell, I am perfectly healthy.
Anyway, I have a friend who works for a knee specialist and she offered to get me an appointment… it sounds silly, but I am putting it off because I am convinced it’s actually nothing and will feel silly if I turn out to be right.
These are the things that go through my head… sigh.
Well…that’s all for now… It’s going to be a short work week and a lot of driving. I cannot wait!
What have you been up to? What are your weird aches and pains? Cooky doctors-discuss. Butternut Squash, yes or no?
After our trip up Whiteface Mountain, Ben and I decided to head into Lake Placid to wander around. After meandering for an hour or so, we ducked into a restaurant.
The restaurant was called Smoke Signals and is relatively new. We were enticed by the re-purposed décor, the fun bar crowd and tasty looking menu, which used local meats, cheeses and veggies. What could go wrong?!
So, we put our names in for a table…. supposedly it would be a fifteen minute wait. There were two hostesses working…one disappeared to help bus/re-set tables.
Now, we should have realized when there were a number of open tables in the bar area, this may have been a bad idea…but we waited, thinking, “let’s give this place a shot.”
After 40 minutes, I was starting to get antsy and was about to ask Ben if we could go somewhere else. I noticed the hostess made a table for a large group that came in and then a couple that came in five minutes after us went up and complained… they were seated a few minutes later. Then we saw people sitting at the previously mentioned, empty tables.
At that point, having been passed over, I gave the hostess the stink eye. Not just an irritated scowl, but THE stink eye. She noticed….and realized that she forgot about us (even though she wrote our name down).
The girl hurried over to us and, without apologizing, asked if we preferred to wait a few more minutes for a table on the patio… I, still giving the stink eye, said “at this point it really doesn’t matter.”
stomped led us over to a table and we were seated, inside. This was fine…but then, moments later, we watched her take another couple out to the patio. I almost hit the roof.
Now, don’t get me wrong, having worked in a restaurant for quite some time, I understand that stuff happens. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer…but to tell us it would be a “bit longer for an outdoor table (after having been passed over twice)” and then watching someone else get seated at said table, moments later? COME ON. And in all honesty, the hostess is the first person you see when you enter a restaurant. Maybe having a less indifferent teenager welcoming customers would be a good idea.
Luckily, our server, Christina, was awesome. She was very attentive and answered any questions we had. This was the restaurant’s saving grace.
A few minutes after ordering, we received corn bread… awesome, yes? No. It was cold and sticky. Being a bread lover, I was disappointed. But, I loved the mason jar water glasses and the condiment basket.
What seemed like an eternity later, we received our food. Again, normally, I don’t mind waiting as I understand, when things get busy, the kitchen slows down…but… I ordered a salad and macaroni and cheese…and Ben ordered a sandwich with French fries and baked beans.
I would venture a guess that we waited about 45-60 minutes for a salad and a sandwich. Honestly, the French fries were probably the most labor intensive item to prepare… but 45 minutes?
So how was the food?
It wasn’t bad…
I didn’t taste any chipotle in my chipotle Caesar salad…instead I got a really strong horseradish taste… not that I mind horseradish, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The macaroni and cheese was really good, not too heavy, but it’s a food that’s difficult to mess up.
Ben’s chicken sandwich wasn’t bad either.., however, there was a heavy cheese sauce that just overpowered the chicken and Ben ended up scraping a lot of it off. The French fries were hand cut and tasty. He also ordered a side of baked beans, which were not bad, but a bit too sweet.
Overall, I’d say our experience was mediocre…again, the food wasn’t bad, but it was nothing to write home about–though we were both really glad they made an effort to use of local growers/producers–and the prices were reasonable, our total bill came out to $37 for two microbrews and our meals and we left full..
Now, I really wanted to like this place. I really did! Ben and I both hope that our experience was just part of the growing pains associated with a new restaurant and I hope they work everything out. Not including our time waiting for a table, we were at the restaurant for over an hour and a half–Not that I like to be rushed while eating, but holy moly, that long for a sandwich and a salad?!
I will say, get rid of that hostess….and not just because she forgot about us.
On a more positive note, the bartender looked like he was having a good time and all of the bar crowd looked happy, there were also some really good happy hour specials..the other food we saw coming out of the kitchen looked tasty, but I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to Smoke Signals anytime soon.
Have you tried any new restaurants lately? Where did you go and how was it? Ever had a bad experience? Discuss.
Ben’s sister and niece were also in the area this weekend. So, on Sunday, after church and a quick lunch, we met them just outside of Lake Placid bearing some of the best local cuisine…Clare and Carl’s Michigans (just google it).
After leaving my car parked on the side of the road, we headed up Whiteface Mountain…although I’ve lived in the North Country for quite some time, I’d never actually made this trip before, so I was pretty excited… unfortunately, I didn’t really think too far ahead and was not wearing the best outfit for being on top of a mountain ( a cotton dress and a pair of slip-ons)…luckily, I had a zip-up in my car.
Anyway, we drove up the mountain slowly, stopping to take a few pictures along the way…
When we reached the top and found a parking spot, we took the elevator to the top of the mountain (!!!!) and looked around…then we walked/hiked down to the castle and enjoyed our Michigans before hitting the road again.
Although it was a quick trip, it was really great to catch up and enjoy the view from the top.
After we got back to the car, Ben and I decided to head into Lake Placid to wander around, with a pit-stop for root beer floats.
Overall, it was a pretty awesome weekend and we are both thankful for the quality time spent with family.
How was your labor day? What’s your favorite local food? Ever taken an elevator to the top of a mountain?
In my last post, Dad, Eileen, Gary and I were in Saranac Lake getting our local food on… I managed to pick up a few goodies….
After bringing Farmer Ben a surprise coffee, I took Gary and my Dad for a long walk on a bike path by the lake. It was hot…and sticky.
I then rushed home to clean-up and make some more delicious eats….
Here is what I whipped up….
What you’ll need:
- 1 baguette…preferably local
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling on bread
- 2 large tomatoes (or 3-4 small-medium)
- 15 fresh basil leaves (approximately)
- 1 tbsp. or a splash of balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- 1 avocado
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350
- Mince garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, add garlic. Stir…cook garlic until it softens-do NOT let burn. This won’t take long. Pour garlic and oil into a metal mixing bowl and set aside.
- Chop/dice tomatoes (this will be depend on how big you want your chunks to be–side note: chunks is not an appetizing word.) Add to mixing bowl with garlic and oil.
- Also, if you don’t want soupy bruschetta, drain some of the juices before adding to bowl.
- Chop basil. (tip: stack some leaves on top of each other, roll them length-wise and slice into thin strips) Add to mixing bowl.
- Add in remaining balsamic, salt and pepper and stir. Set aside
- Slice baguette on the diagonal into 1/4 -1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Place in oven and let brown. Meanwhile, dice up your avocado and add to the bruschetta mixture–do NOT do this until ready to serve.
- Remove toasted baguette from oven and top with bruschetta mixture.
If you’re feeling extra naughty, grate some parmesan over the top.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Garden Delight Pasta
(Or…trying to use up all the veggies on your counter/in the fridge pasta)
What You’ll Need:
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta (I used angel hair)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion (or 1/2 a giant onion like I used…), diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, chopped
- 6 large kale leaves, sliced (I just ripped it up)
- 2 large Swiss Chard Leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (about 1-2 tbsp.)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 large tomato, chopped (or, if you have leftover bruschetta mix, that will work too!)
- 3 oz. goat cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
- Heat water for pasta and cook according to package
- While your water is boiling….
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add in onion, until it starts to soften.
- Add in zucchini and eggplant, stirring occasionally, be careful not to let veggies stick/burn. Reduce heat to medium low. (This should take about 10-15 minutes, depending on your veggies/size of pan)
- Add in Swiss chard and kale, cover and let wilt. Stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cooked and drained pasta (it should be hot) and mix in remaining ingredients.
Remove from heat and Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings.
Favorite seasonal meal? How do you use up all of your leftover veggies? Goat cheese in pasta, yes or no?
Stay Tuned for Scenes…Part 3!
Coming off a long weekend is really hard. It’s Wednesday, but my body thinks that it’s Tuesday…and my brain just really wants it to be Friday again! Combine that with the food hangover from eating…everything… yikes! See the dilemma?
Anyway, Ben and I were super blessed this weekend as we had family visiting. My dad and his wife and their good friend Gary rolled into town on Friday night. I picked them up on Saturday morning and we took a leisurely drive to Saranac Lake, NY…about an hour away.
You see, there was this amazing local food festival going on in conjunction with the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Market. It was the Farm 2 Fork Festival. Click here for more info. Basically, it’s a celebration of local growers and producers…and lots of delicious food, demonstrations and workshops.
It was $10 for a ticket and you got to try a lot of good food, made by locals–right up my alley! Unfortunately it as a bit of a dreary day, but that didn’t stop us from getting our localvore on…
Anyway, here are some photos….
Anyway, as you can see…I had a really good time strolling around the market, eating and hanging out with the family…but that’s not all that we did this weekend! Stay tuned for more scenes….
How was your long weekend? Any big plans for September? What did you eat this weekend?!
As you know, yesterday the hubby and I celebrated two years of marriage. Here’s a little recap.
For breakfast, Farmer Ben made cinnamon swirl French Toast with mascarpone and his homemade strawberry topping…along with some super strong French Roast. Divine.
I had planned on making a special anniversary dinner, but between working like a mad-woman, wedding things and an unexpected trip to my mother’s house after work, I had neither the time nor the ambition to cook anything last night.
Luckily, we had a gift certificate to use at a local fancy-schmancy restaurant.
I hurried home after visiting with my mother and hurried to get all dolled up. I also need to mention that I love having short hair because it literally cuts getting ready time in half. The perks of having an awesome hair stylist.
Ben came home and saw that I was dressed up and asked where we were going.
He later admitted that he wanted to jump up and down and yell, “Yes! We’re going out!!!”
I’ll let you imagine that for a moment.
Anyway, after making a quick reservation and giving Ben some time to get ready, we headed out the door.
This was our first time at this restaurant and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately Ben wouldn’t let me take any photos of our food, but I will tell you that it was delicious and we will be going back. We started our with a bottle of Spanish red…obviously, my pick.
I forced Ben to take pictures before our wine came out.
forced politely asked our server to take a picture of us on our anniversary, we each received a complimentary glass of champagne. Winning!
Anyway, I’m sure you’re interested in what we had for dinner. I know that’s all I would want to know….
The house smoked salmon. And complimentary olives, baguette and butter…all were devoured.
Ben ordered an elk steak special and oh my goodness it was good.
I ordered twin filets with tawny port and a gorgonzola demi…totally worth it. I have a weakness for gorgonzola, so–completely unlike my normal dining experience–I knew exactly what I was going to have within two minutes of looking over the menu.
Both of our entrees came with smashed potatoes (not the bagged kind that most restaurants get!), carrots and green beans topped with REAL Hollandaise. Yum!
For dessert, we split the crème brulee. Again, fantastic.
Although the prices were higher than most places in the area, it was totally worth it…even if we hadn’t had a gift certificate that covered most of our bill. Maybe it’s because I work in a restaurant, but I didn’t find anything over-priced, especially for the quality of the food.
The food was good and hand-crafted, the service was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect for a quiet dinner for two–not too casual and not overly pretentious, either. We left with full bellies and happy mouths.
Overall it was a perfect evening.
If you’re in the area and looking for a great restaurant, check out Anthony’s Restaurant and Bistro.
What about you? Where do you go to celebrate? What is your go-to meal when you order? Do you take forever or do you know right away? Are you an obnoxious photo-taker like me? Wine: Red or White? Domestic or imported?
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today… I won’t be posting too much over the next few days at it is wedding weekend for our dear friends! I can’t wait for the celebrations. So, happy early weekend!
What are you growing? Any mystery plants in your garden? Have any good pumpkin recipes to share?
As promised, here is a Garden Update.
First: All of the rain we’ve gotten has made gardening a challenge. Simply put, we just had too much water!
The plus side of all the rain? We have ha so many greens!
The potatoes have also exploded… Farmer Ben got a little excited and dug up one of the plants… when the rest are ready, we’re going to have to clear out an entire closet to store them…. but there’s something about home-grown potatoes. So good.
Our scallions, chives and dill are taking over. We also had a ridiculous amount of cilantro, but we had to pull it and dry it because of all the water.
Our peppers and eggplant are only doing so-so…it’s going to be sheer luck if we get a big yield this year. But we have gotten a few jalapenos.
The tomatoes (my favorite) were off to a rough start but have since flourished. I can’t wait until they all ripen! We even got a couple of random plants that popped up. Score!
The corn, beans and squash are coming along. Ben is a big fan of the three sisters method, as you can see. We planted a red corn (bloody butcher, I think) for drying and a later season bean.
The garlic seems to keep coming back, but we’re not sure how. It’s a survivor.
The chocolate mint won’t leave.
Our sauce tomatoes (Paisanos) are doing the best out of all the plants. We’re going to be making a LOT of sauce in the next couple of weeks!
Farmer Ben and I had a lot of winter squash this year and we put the seeds in our composter. Well, sometimes when you do that, you get mystery plants that take over half of the garden…
This squash plant?
First we thought it was zucchini, then we thought and 8-ball zucchini…then an acorn squash. Now we think it’s a pie pumpkin. Whatever it is, we are going to have a lot of them.
Our beets and greens did pretty well. The beets were small, but so tasty and we got a huge yield of beet greens (and to be honest, that’s my favorite part anyway).
Again, our beans seem to be doing pretty well, and they provided the perfect shaded area for our lettuce.
We also had Swiss Chard come back this year. Not that we mind because we both love it.
Here are some more photos of our mystery squash. Does anyone know what kind it is? Again, we are narrowing it down to pie pumpkins… but we could be wrong.
And last but not least, here is our potato jungle. I think potatoes are the my favorite item to harvest and it looks like we are going to have a lot of them.
So there you have it… Farmer Ben’s been working really hard, and although the garden isn’t exactly as we planned it out this year (random squash, Swiss chard and tomato plants, mint take-over), we are enjoying the fruits (err…veggies!) of our (mostly his) labor.
We’ve also been able to share with our friends and loved ones, which is an equally amazing feeling.
What are you growing this year? Did you have any mystery plants? What challenges are you dealing with in your garden?