photo Home_zps26a364cd.png  photo AboutMe_zps6643b490.png  photo Contact_zps9a7ed6f9.png

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Hampshire Weekend-Part2

Since my last post covered the outdoorsy part of our weekend in New Hampshire, it's time for the indoorsy part!  Our stay at the Sugar Hill Inn was very nice, and quite the snazzy little treat.  To truly understand our appreciation, you need to know just 2 things:

1) we have been living in a 620 square foot, one-bedroom apartment with 1 tiny bathroom--featuring a small stall shower--for almost 4 years now.  there are several invaluable PRO's to living here, but space and comfort don't fall on that side of the list.

2) we run on the frugal side and generally won't splurge on accomodations.  there are some exceptions (i.e.-honeymoon)...but we usually stay at hostels and other budget-friendly establishments when we travel.  (and we have the communicable diseases to prove it!  juuuuuust kidding.)

So, now that you're in the know...how do you think we feel about super comfy king-size beds and big ole jacuzzi tubs?  If you guessed "smitten", you're right on point.  Add yummy breakfast that we don't have to cook?  Yup, a GREAT weekend.

 Steven & I, in my favorite room at the inn:

I bet you didn't think I was going to say LIBRARY, did you?  But this room was awesome--comfy furniture and loads of books & mags about my favorite things...home, travel, and food.I could have spent way more time in there.

Another one of the public spaces, the tavern, where tea and snacks are served in the early afternoon, right before cocktail hour:
It was at this "tea time" that I tasted a new-to-me DELICIOUS cheese, called Cana de Cabra. It's the cheese on the left...

Since I'm pretty sure I'd sound ridiculous if I tried to describe it, here is a description from Gourmet-Food.com:

"Cana de Cabra is a soft-ripened goat's milk cheese that is native to the Murcia region of Spain, aged for only 3-4 weeks.  Murcia is a region renowned for its high quality of goat milk, and Cana de Cabra is one of the finest examples.  It is similar to the French Bucheron.  Cana de Cabra is creamy and mild but has a full flavor.  Tangy citrus notes balance the rich creaminess of the cheese and there's a hint of mushrooms as well.  It is often presented sliced into thin rounds with a simple salad, fried or baked in a pastry."   

And here are a couple pics of our suite--specifically, the sitting area with the jacuzzi in the background, and the bedroom area.

Lastly, I just want to mention the food.  (Can't forget that!)  We had their breakfast both mornings, which was very good, but perhaps not as innovative as their online sample menu suggests.  While the breakfast entrees did change each morning, they pretty much stuck to the classics--scrambled eggs, pancakes, granola--albeit with quality local ingredients, which I think they deserve a lot of credit for.  However, I'm not gonna lie...I was really hoping for some crabcakes benedict or zucchini fritters. 

Dinner, however, was a whole different story.  Not only was it delicious, but it was an experience.  There were ingredients, combinations, and presentations that were novel and interesting to me--and I could tell that a lot of thought went into these creations.  While the portions were small, the prix fixe menu consisted of 4 courses and we were both full when all was said and done.  My favorite part of the meal?  Ginger creme brulee. :) 

All in all, a wonderful weekend....and here's to the next 10 years!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Hampshire Weekend-Part 1

Our weekend away was perfect!  It was everything we had expected and then some.  Let me just say, even though we've done a fair amount of hiking and camping in both Maine and New Hampshire, we were blown away by the stunning natural beauty of Franconia Notch State Park.  The interplay of rock and water was just amazing.

MAJOR highlight: I saw my first MOOSE!  

Some pics:

Kinsman Falls:
Pemigewasset River:
The Cascades:
The Flume Gorge:
The Cascades & Me:
We're hoping to head back up there this fall...so much more to see!

Coming Soon: Part 2 of the New Hampshire Weekend

Monday, May 11, 2009

Anniversary Pizza

Since we're not really celebrating our "10-years-togethiversary" until this weekend, Steven & I just decided to do something low key tonight.  So we made pizza:

Steve snagged some pizza dough from WholeFoods, and we topped it with homemade pesto;  oven-roasted zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes; and some fresh mozzarella.  Really simple, really good.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Restaurant Rave-MATCH

Every couple of months, I go out with some girlfriends from my previous job, just to catch up, gossip, and see what everyone's been up to. This past Thursday, we hit Match. It's a modern restaurant/lounge with a "Burgers and Martinis" theme and I have to say...I loved it.
The atmosphere and decor were just right...trendy with unique lighting and a large striking fireplace centered on the back wall. Once we were all settled in our comfy U-shaped booth (perfect for a serious gabfest), it was time to get down to business. And by "business" I mean some super girly martinis, the best of which was the Mango Shizzle, and the most interesting of which featured a Pop Rocks candy rim. When it came time to order our meals, we all bypassed the specialty of the house (their gourmet sliders) and went right for the entrees. Why? At Match, Thursday night is ladies' night and all entrees are $5! Everyone except for me took full advantage and went for the filet mignon with goat cheese mashed potatoes, which they raved about (one friend even said they were the best MP's she's ever had). My blackened salmon with honeydew melon salsa and parmesan risotto cake was perfectly cooked and delicious. The portions were just right, so we all finished with the chocolate chip cookie dough fritter with dulce de leche ice cream. Yum.

So all in all, I had a great time at Match and would definitely recommend it...especially for ladies' night. Cocktails are a little pricey at $12, but the $5 entree is a steal so it all works out!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Win Free Goodies!

Or try to anyways.

I absolutely LOVE sweepstakes, raffles, giveaways...basically any opportunity to get free stuff. In case anyone else out there feels the same way, I thought I'd mention that Self magazine is giving a ton of stuff away this month. No purchase necessary, no catch, ends May 20th. Prizes include everything from award-winning beauty products, to bicycles, to spa vacations, to sneakers.

Click here to enter.

Last year I won 2 bottles of Garnier Nutritioniste daily moisture lotion...and I'm crossing my fingers for another prize this year!