Food Goodness-The Weekend

It was an amazing weekend for food. I can’t even tell you.

But I really want to tell you… so here are some photos.

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Meatloaf “Cupcakes” (made with local, grass-fed beef) with Mashed Potato “Frosting” and rutabaga fries.

The meatloaf cupcakes and rutabaga fries were served with Farmer Ben’s ketchup and NYS Red Wine. Homegrown goodness all around.

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Grilled Cheese on Homemade Basil Bread with Monterey Jack  Cabot Butter and Ben’s Maple Horseradish Pickles/pickled onions. Mind=Blown.

The Grilled Cheese was served with the spiciest tomato-like soup I’ve ever eaten (I say tomato-like because it actually had stewed tomatoes, vegetable juice, butternut squash, rutabaga, scallop squash and a million other things in it…including about half a jar of hubby’s super spicy chili sauce). So good!!!

Another win? Ben & Jerry’s BOGO! Hello Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (for me) and Boston Cream Pie (for him)!!!!

I also drank way too much coffee …but that’s nothing new.

Food-Winning all around.

What did you eat this weekend? 

Happy Monday!


It’s Just Not That Serious

Sometimes, you can’t take life too seriously. Things happen.

You’ll drop a plate.  Your hair will decide to stick straight up in the air instead of carelessly across your forehead in that just-so manner and you’ll sweat profusely instead of glisten. You’ll get in fights with the people you love over something silly, whether it be taking something out of context or using the last of the milk in your coffee. You’ll smash your shin on the corner of your car door (Please don’t do this, it hurts) and then you’ll fall up the stairs. Or break some piece of equipment at work.

No big deal.

Days like these, there’s really only one thing to do. And that is lunch. 

I’m not talking anything fancy. I’m talking simple and delicious.  Seriously. Things like (local, free-range) chicken salad, tortilla chips, homemade pickles, greens from the garden, a chilled quinoa salad and pickled peppers (Courtesy of Farmer Ben)….Mint iced tea from a mason jar is optional-but highly encouraged.

Something that looks like this:

A Seriously Good Lunch.

This is another “random assortment of food” lunch that just works. Use your imagination, dine family style with your favorite lunch partner-utensils are totally not necessary. Remember, this isn’t serious.

I bet after this meal, you’ll feel ready to take on the world, crazy hair, scraped shin and all.


Noelle’s Notes to Self

I often make mental notes…sometimes I even write them down. Here is a look at what goes on inside my head-at least what was going on yesterday and today.

1. Check pants before putting them on, they may have a hole in them.

2. Wear black underwear if you have a hole in your black pants, it’ll help disguise this fact.

3. If you know you’re not going to get a chance to pee, don’t continue to chug water. (I failed at this.)

4.  I think it’s time to buy some new pants. And to figure out what the heck size I wear these days. I also need heels. And shirts.

5. Buy butter. There is never enough in our house. Especially after kitchen mishaps…

6. Make more peanut butter cookies. (I succeeded at this.)

7. Run run run run run run run!

8. Iced coffee would greatly improve my day.

9. It is definitely a big sunglasses and messy bun kind of day.

10. To post the latest awkward story? Or not to post?

11. Apparently butter and a hot oven don’t mix. Who knew? (okay, that wasn’t actually mine,  I won’t name names to avoid embarrassing this person.)

12. At this time last year, I was going crazy planning a wedding and working crazy hours. This year, I attended a wedding and am still working crazy hours. Life makes me smile.

13. I eat really odd things when left to my own devices. Like sardines.

14. Find tonic that isn’t full of high fructose corn syrup.

15. Until then, drink this instead. With something local. (Check.)

16. Finish the three two other blog posts I started.

17. Pick up items for giveaway.

18. Give Farmer Ben a big kiss. He is way too good to me.

19. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEND!

20. I’m getting old. Falling asleep before 9 pm is ridiculous.

21. Mail Foodie Penpal Package. (Check.)

22. Where the heck is all my chapstick?

23.  I need more cheese in my life.

24. I love Leonardo DiCaprio… and pickles.

25. Holy Cow! This is my 71st blog post!

26. The Ragnar Relay is actually happening! AH!!!! See number 7. Repeat often.

27. Good luck tomorrow Liz! You are gonna rock it!!!!

The End.


May Foodie Penpal Reveal Day!

Holy Cow! How is it already May 31?!  This month has flown by and I have been aching to tell you about my foodie penpal experience and the day is finally here! Ah!
 
Before we start, a quick reminder that the Cheechako Taco giveaway ends today, please comment on the post in order to enter the drawing. I’ll announce the winner tonight! Click here to read/sign up.
 
Thank you to Nicole over at the Revved Runner for her awesome package! You totally nailed it: Pickles. Pretzels. Nuts. Chocolate. AMAZING!
 
I sent a package to Lauri P. out in Texas and am happy to report she was a fan of all of her Upstate NY/VT goodies!
 

I could barely contain my excitement.

First, Nicole sent this awesome card. The best part? You can use it again! I love perforated lines and postcards, especially in combination with recycling! Genius.

This doubles as a postcard!

 
When I opened the box, I couldn’t figure out why one side felt so much heavier. There was a large item wrapped in a plastic bag (I love that she did this, because that is totally how I package things, too!). When I removed the plastic, I got a huge grin on my face. It was a large jar of German pickles. I’m usually a dill girl, but these had the right kind of sweetness and still had a little bit of crunch. Major props, Nicole!
 
The box also contained a bag of Annie’s Organic Pretzel Bunnies. I love fun shaped foods…almost as much as I love pretzels.
 
Next, a Texas Staple-Cinnamon Honey Spread. Yum! I haven’t had a chance to crack this open yet, but I am thinking it will be divine on some homemade biscuits or popovers. I can’t wait! I love trying regional foods, so I am psyched about this spread.
 
The next few items were new to me. Sweet lord, what have I been missing?
 
Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food: These beauties come in bite form. Two bites are the perfect amount if you are looking for a little sweet…or a quick refuel after a workout. There was a whole lot of chocolatey-oaty goodness in this container.
 
Gone Nuts: This little package didn’t stand a chance in our house. It was a raw cashew almond blend with white and regular chocolate. Holy cow they were delicious! The package was instantly devoured and now I am obsessed…and trying to track down some more! If you haven’t had these, try them. Immediately!
 

So much flavor in one little box!

 Another HUGE Thank you to Nicole! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through email and your blog…and you did an amazing job choosing all of my foodie goodies!
 
In case you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page!
 
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!


All I Really Want…

Is a burger and a beer. What foods are you craving right now?  

 

Hand-cut fries, grass-fed beef, Red Hen roll, bacon, braised kale, caramelized onions, arugula, house-made pickles and Vermont Cheddar.

I know a just did a post about the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, but seriously. Go there. This is their handiwork. I dream about this burger. 

Have a great day, everyone!  

 

 


What the What?!

Have you ever had one of those weeks months where you have absolutely no idea what will happen next? Or, for that matter, you’re not sure how you got to where you are? I am currently there.

I don’t know if it’s daylight savings time, being super busy or…something else, but I feel like I just got off the zipper and am waiting for my head to stop spinning.

The past few weeks have been a blur…consisting of getting up, rushing to work and then rushing to job number two…followed by driving home, cooking random foods and entertaining my husband with my ability to make a giant mess in less than 5 minutes…with a little life organizing, mini trips,  connexion groups, date nights, church, sporadically exercising, pretending to get enough sleep and trying to keep in touch with family and friends mixed in….topped off with some total randomness.

Like I said, not sure how it is already March 14. There is so much going on.

First, some good news! After being married for almost seven months, Ben and I FINALLY mailed out the very last of our long overdue thank you notes. Better late than never I suppose. I am embarrassed to admit this, but we wrote and mailed out the first half about two months ago… and then just never found a spare moment to finish the other half…until a few nights ago…so if you were included in this second batch, I’m really sorry for the hubs and I dropping the ball.

Second, Ben finally let me try the pickles he made this summer-both varieties! AMAZING. I ate so many that I gave myself a stomach-ache. Typical.

Third, we have a mini vacation planned for next week and it cannot come soon enough! Granted, we are only driving six hours south…but it will be a nice escape… and five days off. I love road trips..even if they are short. I also love days off…especially when they are consecutive.  I am so excited to see my family and to get out of town…and to spend an entire five days with my hubby!

The hubs and I may have some changes on the horizon, so keep us in your prayers! Nothing serious, just some things to take care of/decide on.

It’s been beautiful in the North Country as of late, temperatures have been in the 50’s and the sun has been shining. Not too shabby for March. If I could change the fact that my driveway is a giant mud pit then all would be perfect. Some day it will dry… sigh…

The weather has really helped my running…meaning that I’ve actually been running. I’m still not too great at the whole getting out of bed early thing..but I’m trying!  Mondays and Wednesday are the glorious days when I can run after work and thanks to daylight savings time,  I can now finish before dark! I’m looking forward to hitting the pavement tonight. This is my latest motivation: Ragnar Relay … This race looks AMAZING!

We’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, including some homemade energy/granola bars. This means glorious bulk items from our co-op including nuts and coconut. I love it.

It’s almost garden season. Ben is already making big plans for our yard. I cannot wait. I also cannot wait to break in our solar food dehydrator. Hello sun-dried tomatoes!

Jalapeno of Yesteryear...

Green Tomatoes of the past...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t tell from the pictures, I am ready for garden fresh veggies!

In other news, I have a couple of restaurant reviews to post…along with a recipe or two. There is even talk of that Ben guy doing a guest post!

Stay tuned and have a great rest of the day!


All I Wanted Was A Pickle…

Hi Friends,

I am about to embarrass myself…more than usual.

Fun Noelle Fact: I love pickles. If you give me a jar, I will usually consume it in less than a week. I’ll eat them until I get a stomachache from too much vinegar. I love them on sandwiches, in salads or straight from the jar. My pickle of choice is dill, but I’ll take bread and butter, too. Some may call it an obsession… it could be worse.

Luckily, my husband knows what’s up and cans a ton of pickles (Maybe we can convince him to do a guest post so he will divulge some canning secrets???).  We even gave them to our wedding guests. For Christmas, I purchased Ben a special wooden lid for fermenting items such as sauerkraut…and pickles. True love.

Anyway, as promised, I am getting back on track…and am putting everything down in my food journal- my fitness pal! I got home from work last night and was feeling a bit hungry…I didn’t want something heavy because I’d have to record it.  Opening the fridge for inspiration, my eyes landed on a super sour jar of pickles, the 2010 variety.

I knew that that was what I was meant to snack on and grabbed it out of the fridge. Now, I don’t know if you have ever eaten pickles from a Ball jar, but they have this fun little vacuum seal on them. Even after you’ve broken the initial seal, they can still be a bit difficult to open.

Picture it:

I am standing in my kitchen, twisting with all my might to open this stupid jar. I probably looked like a reject member of Cirque de Soleil.  I was grunting, groaning and pulling. I even tried whacking it on the counter.

After a few minutes and no success, I took a break as I was huffing and puffing from the effort. “Seriously? Is this some sort of sick joke? I just want a pickle!” I thought.

As Ben had not arrived home from work,  I had to get creative. I grabbed a kitchen rag and gave a good twist…to no avail. As you can imagine, I was getting pretty annoyed. I tried a few more times. Nothing.

I waited a moment, took a deep breath, and twisted the jar so hard I’m surprised it didn’t break. Finally! I felt the lid budge… at the same time a sharp pain went shooting through my neck. “OWWW!”

Yes, I tried so hard to open a jar of pickles, I strained my neck. I couldn’t turn it to the right for a little while, but luckily I have full rotation this morning. Does this call for an intervention? Let’s hope not.

Anyway, your PSA for the day: be careful opening pickle jars.

I know I probably should have just waited the extra 10 minutes until Ben came home, but when I finally did take a bite of that pickle, it tasted like victory. Delicious.