First things first: Thank you so much for all the love and kind words about our happy news!
We had great luck at this week’s farmers market at Crescent Ridge. The farm animals were out and about, the weather was perfect, and we scored some really beautiful produce.
Eggs for Nick (and eggshells for me to grow little plants in)
Raspberries, blueberries and and a basket of “pretty uglies” tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
Peaches and peppers from Silvia Farms
Needless to say, we also got ice cream. With sprinkles.
We’ve already done some serious damage on the berries, but the rest will go into breakfast parfaits and a blueberry + thyme lemonade I’ve been dreaming about (probably the most pregnant thing I’ve said today). I’m also planning on a tomato tart and 900 Caprese salads. As for the peppers, they are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Anywaaaay…. I hope your week is off to a lovely, delicious start. To quote my animal-obsessed child, “Bye, goats. I love you.”
Take it from your friendly neighborhood not-a-meteorologist: It is hot as blazes today. I slowed things down a bit at bootcamp this morning, but I’m not sure it made much of a difference. By the time Grace and I got home, we were both ridiculously sweaty and in need of an extra nutritious lazy summer lunch: Popsicles, raspberries and lots of water.
Now that I’m feeling rehydrated and somewhat normal, let’s revisit the weekend according to Instagram.
There is no point to this photo, except that I am obsessed with my dog. Clark has been extra patient and playful with Grace lately, and I think he’s finally back to his usual self after a not-so-usual winter. The poor little guy had emergency spinal surgery at the end of February, was on bedrest for six weeks and is still waiting for most of his back fur to regrow. It’s sort of like built-in air conditioning, but looks… weird nonetheless. Nick recently found the breeder’s new website (she was sort of MIA for a while, which fits the bill)– the last thing we need right now is a puppy, but there were three that looked so much like baby Clark that I almost tried to convince Nick this was a good idea. ‘Tis not.
I know I need to get over myself (and I mostly did this weekend), but as long as we’ve lived in Southie (and in the past two years, right on the water), I couldn’t bring myself to swim at Carson Beach. Supposedly the beaches in Southie are cleaner than Miami Beach, but… what does that even mean? Long story short: We all went swimming on Sunday. And it was actually kind of nice. So that’s that.
Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. I don’t know where this crap comes from, but I am happy to celebrate anything that involves sprinkles.
This poodle is one of Grace’s new best friends. As previously mentioned, she is a miniature dog whisperer. They flock to her (when she is not chasing them).
We went for a nice, long walk with my sister in Charlestown on Sunday (which is where we encountered the poodle), strolling through Paul Revere Park and through the Navy Yard.
My first Google Express delivery arrived on Saturday afternoon. We each received a gift code at last Tuesday’s dinner at Serafina to try out the service, and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. I’ve got a gift code to share with you (please see below), too. The hardest part for me was deciding what to order. I originally planned to go with diapers (boring, but necessary), but Grace’s size wasn’t available… which was just the motivation I needed to order a few fun things instead. I love that you can purchase from multiple retailers in the same order. I ordered some moisturizer and my favorite eye shadow from Ulta, and Go Set a Watchman and a grown-up coloring book from Barnes + Noble. Everything was delivered the next day (in adorable packaging) during the delivery window I reserved. I can see this service being perfect for last minute gifts or entertaining (in addition to household staples) and would love to hear if you have or planned to order from Google Express.
And a leftover from Thursday: Why bring a teddy bear to a teddy bear picnic when you can bring a sloth? Exactly.
Here are the details for Google Express:
Now through August 2nd, use the code EXPRESSBOSTON to receive $25 off your first purchase with Google Express (limited to the first 2,500 users; please note it is stated in your cart when paying that Google Express may need to authorize payment method for the total amount of your order without the promotional credit, but the promotional credit will be reflected in the amount actually charged to your payment method.
This morning, we took a little drive down 95 to check out the farmers market at Crescent Ridge in Sharon. I was on a tomato mission (our deck tomatoes are still a week or so away from ripening), but our first stop was to see the cows.
It’s been raining off and on all day, so we didn’t last too long, but we did manage to pick up lunch (and dessert x2) and a few things from several vendors. Oh, and we unexpectedly ran into two local celebrities… my parents. Grace was quite pleased!
Raspberries and heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
Corn from E.L. Silvia Farms
Whoopie pies from… Making Whoopie
Pretzel roll sandwiches from Swissbakers
Fresh eggs (Nick eats them… I attempt to grow succulents in their shells, it’s how we roll)
Beef (Nick eats it… I make no attempts to grow anything anywhere near it)
And… ice cream from Crescent Ridge (obvi)
Not bad for a rainy Saturday at the farmers market, eh? The market is open 11-2 on Saturdays through the end of October. No guarantees about my parents being there… but you never know.
Clearly someone was excited to get her hands on a summer tomato.
We ended up checking off quite a few items from our shopping list:
a pint of grape tomatoes, a head of speckled romaine lettuce, a pint of strawberries and a bunch of asparagus from Freitas Farm
a bunch of kale and a half dozen or so tomatoes from Wenger Farm in Bellingham
After walking back home and unloading our haul (minus the tomato that Grace ate like an apple on the way home, and the half pint of strawberries we shared as soon as we got in the door), we finished up our shopping at Whole Foods Market in the South End.
Dairy: organic whole milk yogurt for Grace, shredded mozzarella cheese,pepper jack cheese
Produce: raspberries, blueberries, English cucumber, green apples, garlic, red onion, bananas, carrots, celery, ginger root, grapes, watermelon
Staples: quinoa, pearled couscous, canned whole tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas
Non-vegetarian things for my non-vegetarian husband: two spicy Italian sausages (basically, this is how I buy meat: I go to the butcher’s counter, have a mild panic attack, point to something and say a random number… in this case, two)
Impulse purchase: Caprese salad from the antipasto bar
After the longest… winter… ever…. during which we ordered more…. pizza… thanweshouldhave… we’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up our meals. Being home and having more flexibility and time to shop, prep and cook has certainly helped, but I think our efforts (and all that sunshine) are definitely paying off. I’ve been sleeping better, have more energy, and look less zombie-ish (I think). I’ve kicked my Diet Coke habit (though I did sneak a few sips at my brother and sister-in-law’s cookout after Sunday’s 5k), have fewer sugar cravings, and generally just feel… less like someone who ate too much pizza.
I recently had the chance to check out the new freshii location that opened in the Back Bay this spring. Freshii generously offered me a gift card for my first visit, and I’ve been back several times (both to the Back Bay and Fort Point locations) since. It’s so nice to have a convenient and affordable place nearby to stop in for a quick, healthy meal or pick-me-up. Their juices and salads, in particular, are really fantastic and I love freshii’s commitment to sustainability and their “Mission Green.”
Oh, and their frozen yogurt? It’s the perfect compliment to all those fruits and vegetables.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Humans are nosy creatures. I’m pretty sure we were just born that way. Either that, or MTV’s Cribs made us that way. We could debate nature vs. nurture, or I could just let you peek inside my fridge and call it a day.
48 hours ago, our refrigerator housed nothing but a jar of pickles, a bruised tomato and a few bottles of Nick’s home brewed beer. Perhaps that’s why I mysteriously lost two pounds. I scaled back our grocery shopping knowing we’d be away over the holidays and for the marathon. What I didn’t anticipate was a full blown blizzard coinciding with a full blown post-marathon hunger rage. Whoopsies. We made do with one or two quick trips to the store, plus a gigantic Peapod order once the snow had cleared and the truck could safely make it down our driveway. Now we have three jars of pickles. And some other stuff, too. Grocery delivery has changed my life for the better. And the lazier.
A few tips if you’re considering a similar service:
I still do most of my shopping in person, like most non-celebrities, but Peapod and similar services are great for large orders and stocking up, or for when you don’t want to carry economy-sized packs of toilet paper through your building lobby.
Ordering online is convenient, helps with meal planning, and helps to eliminate impulse purchases… like Star Magazine, for example. Or chocolate-covered… chocolate. The downside being, obviously, that you never find out if that baby really is an alien, and you miss out on the chocolate.
Coupons, online specials, and the odd discount code or two help to offset the delivery fee– many services will give you free delivery on your first order. Once you get a taste, you’ll probably get addicted. You’ve been warned.
Our driver always takes our plastic bags from previous orders, so I don’t feel quite as bad about blowing up the Earth by not using re-usable bags. This may not be true for every service, but it’s worth looking into.
One of these things is not like the others. Hint: it's the bagel that could be mistaken for a small asteroid.
I took Bridget‘s lead and supplemented my usual groceries with a trip to the Wayland Winter Market at Russell’s Garden Center. One of my favorite things about living in the city is having access to multiple farmers’ markets during the spring, summer and fall, but it wasn’t until I read Bridget’s recent post about winter markets that I realized how much I missed the local, farm-fresh produce and goodies during the cold months. Yesterday marked my first Saturday in nearly five months with no early morning long run On Tap, so I hopped in the car and enjoyed a gorgeous, snowy ride west of the city to Russell’s.
In addition to the fromage blanc (from a farm in my hometown) and Pam’s Salstina, I also picked up a bag of loose black citrus tea, two salt bagels the size of my head, and a big bunch of fresh basil from the Cape. There was a great variety of vendors at tables scattered throughout the garden center. It was a lovely way to spend the morning and add a few fun ingredients to ye old fridge.
Curious about the rest of the kitchen?
I think Nick’s favorite thing about the kitchen (besides the fact that food magically appears in there), is the under-counter lighting. Those lights make no sense to me, so we spent 5-12 hours a week, following one another to the light switch turning them on and off. I figure we’re saving time by having someone else grocery shop for us, so we may as well waste that saved time, by wasting energy.
A real bulldog, and a real bulldog tea towel.
Our kitchen is rather small, but I think it’s just plain perfect. There’s plenty of room for everything we might need, and no room for the things we don’t need.
Yes, that is a Sandra Lee cookbook. Don’t judge. She makes a mean tablescape, and an even meaner cocktail.
In case you need proof that art imitates life, I give you a newly acquired piece of art, which cost about the same as two bunches of basil. And it hasn’t wilted. Yet.
A print of Jane Mount's Ideal Bookshelf 102: Cooking... must frame and hang sometime this millennia.
The two hardest working things in the kitchen (besides the dishwasher, obvi) help me to reach things that are way up, or way down.
A collapsable step stool for shorties like me, and a very furry vacuum cleaner.
And last but not least, my absolute favorite, functional item in the kitchen: my BC Grandpa mug. I sort of stole it (with my mom’s permission) from my grandparents’ house when my Grandma was moving into assisted living. As much as I like everything to match, I think there’s something sort of sentimental about tea mugs.
Cute mug for a cute man!
My grandpa was one of the kindest, sweetest men, and though he didn’t live to see me or my siblings graduate from BC (or Merrimack… hello, big little brother), I think he’d get a kick out of me walking around with his mug. And he’d probably like our kitchen. I would’ve loved to show him around. 🙂
Welp, it’s almost time for grown men to get paid millions to jump on one another the Patriots v. Jets, so off I go. Perhaps I’ll take you on a tour of the living room if the game gets boring.
Also On Tap for Today:
Look for indoor soccer shoes, first game’s tomorrow
Or Cal. Or some other pal. Really, these blueberries are for anyone. It might be grey and gloomy and wet out (why the heck did I think it was a good idea to run at the beach today? Holy Hurricane Bobby!), but it’s Farmers Market Week and when it’s Farmers Market Week, you go to the market. Rain or shine.
After nearly blowing out to sea, I hightailed it in my Spandex to the South Boston Farmers Market just before closing time (the market runs Mondays in the W Broadway public lot from 12-6). Apparently– even though it’s Farmers Market Week– the farmers do not show up rain or shine. Only the brave soul from Freitas Farm in Marlborough turned out. And he brought his finest blueberries. And I left inspired. And hungry.
Inspired by one of my favorite childhood books, I give you Blueberries forSal Your Pal. Okay, fine. It’s blueberry crisp, but how could you not think about snuggling up with a warm dessert and a good book on a day like this?
Blueberries + Crisp
1 quart of fresh blueberries, washed and carefully inspected (squashed is okay, fuzzy is not… ew)
1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
All together now!
Feel free to play around with these measurements, obvi. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Toss your blueberries in a bake-safe dish, but be sure to save your blueberry quart packaging (I’ll be back later this week with a recycled quart…). Soften your butter and mix with oats and brown sugar. Cover your cute little berries with the oats and sugar and toss the whole thing (carefully) in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Be forewarned: After approximately 1o minutes, you will be overcome with the most amazing smell. Now is not the time for complicated math problems or heavy lifting. Surrender. Lay down before your oven and enjoy this moment. Unless there are other people around.
That color means it's ready.
Oops. I ate it.
Check your Blueberries for Your Pal after 20 minutes or so. If your blueberries have begun to simmer and the crisp is starting to brown, go ahead and grab that baby (with oven mitts on, to be sure). If you’re feeling really sassy, you might top your blueberry crisp with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt. Or you might just want to dig in.
Happy Farmers Market Week to you all, especially you, man from Freitas Farm.
I can think of no better way to spend a summer mid-week evening in the city than browsing at the Copley Farmers Market… and sweating my face off at the gym… and enjoying Whole Foods and Joosbites and heavenly Mix Bakery cupcakes. And I can think of no better people to do the aforementioned with, than these ladies: Ali, Bridget, Chelsee and Susie, Melissa, Elina, Jean, Meghan, Sharon, my homegirl Colleen, Jacqueline, Natalie and Emily. The lovely Judith and Hannah of Healthworks Fitness planned a perfect evening for us in the city!
We roamed the Copley Square Farmers Market, which is open Tuesdays and Fridays, 11 am-6 pm through November 23rd and boasts an incredible selection of local produce, dairy, baked goods and a few surprises (like jewelry!).
After I took approximately 5,600 photos of eggplants, we met up with the rest of the group at Healthworks’ Back Bay location (my home gym!) for a sweaty 30 minute Bosu Challenge class with Kate Perez. I had no idea what we were in for! That class is the real deal, Shaq O’Neil (welcome to Boston, by the way, sir). I’ve used the Bosu– which is an acronym for “both sides utilized”— before for bridges, lunges and planks, but I had no idea you could run and jump on that thing! After a half hour of plyometric jumping, crunches, squats and push-ups, my arms and legs were shaking, but I was smiling. I think that means we had a great workout.
After showering and changing, the group met in the lobby and headed back to Copley Square for a picnic dinner provided by Lynay and Melissa at Whole Foods Market. I loved the quinoa salad, and enjoyed the vegetarian sandwich option (avocado on sprouted bread with lettuce, sprouts, tomato, red onion and hummus… in other words, delicious). While we stuffed our faces, we learned a bit about Whole Foods’ healthy eating principles and their commitment to health.
We also sampled three juices prepared by Lauri of Joos, and muffin-like joosbites made from juice pulp and quinoa flour.
The big finale was, undoubtedly, the cupcakes. Lorrrrrd, the cupcakes. Kelly, Mix Bakery‘s founder and baker extraordinaire, brought us the most divine classic carrot cake and peanut butter cup mini-cupcakes. I am pretty sure I dreamed about these babies last night. There is a reason why everyone’s talking and tweeting and blogging about Mix Bakery.
***A big thank you to Healthworks Fitness for such a fabulous evening! If you’re in the Boston area, I’d love for you to check out Healthworks for yourself. If you have any questions about why I’m such a big fan, you know where to find me. For a free three day pass (ladies only… sorry, Dad) please follow this link for On Tap for Today readers.***