Posts Tagged by dinner

Friday Feast: Kendron Valley Inn

For this long holiday weekend, B and I decided we needed a getaway.  Something close to home, but out of our ordinary routine (aka Disney).  So we decided on a few days in Vermont to check out a few farms on the VT Cheese Trail, eat some great food, RELAX and best of all…play with goats.  More to come on that later 🙂

KVIWe drove up to VT after both taking a half day at work and arrived at the Kendron Valley Inn around 6pm.  OMG this place is so super cute!  More on the hotel later…right now I want to highlight the wonderful dinner we just had!

The restaurant has a dining room and a tavern both serving the same menu.  We decided to go with the more informal tavern for dinner and I’m so glad we did.  It was cozy and perfect!

KVI_TavernCocktails were ordered and we quickly looked over the menu.  A great thing about this restaurant is that they are part of the Vermont Fresh Network, which connects farms and food producers with chefs to provide the freshest food and support local agriculture.  Right up my alley!  B and I were both in the mood for burgers and when I saw that the beef was locally sourced from Boyden Farm here in VT, I was sold!

KVI_Farm Fresh

KVI_Martini

Before the burgers, we were given some deliciously warm rolls and we also ordered a few appetizers.  I had the House Cured Gravlax served with leek fritters and horseradish creme fresh…whoa!  This was delicious, but I just wish there was a bit more salmon.  B ordered his favorite New England Clam Chowder and this one didn’t disappoint.  It was rich and thick…perfect for the cold, rainy night.

KVI_RollsKVI_GravloxKVI_ChowderWell that was already a lot of food, but then the monstrous burgers arrived.  I, of course, can’t just get a regular burger.  No, I have to get all that’s coming to me.  Caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and swiss cheese.  OH YEAH.  Not only was the beef beyond delicious, but he bacon had a very distinct maple flavor that was to die for.  I sure hope that bacon is at breakfast in the morning!!  B wasn’t as adventurous as I and got a burger with cheddar and bacon…at least he got the bacon 🙂

KVI_BurgerI think this is definitely in my top 3 burgers of all time.  And if that wasn’t enough along with the hand cut fries, I decided to get a side of roasted cauliflower.  This was actually really good and was interestingly mixed with lemon and capers.  Unusual combo, but it really worked.

KVI_Cauliflower

By the time we were finished with our meals, B and I were ready to roll ourselves out of there, but I had seen something on the dessert menu that really intrigued me and I had to give it a try…the Grown-up Root Beer Float.  How can you pass that up?!?  This float has Saranac Root Beer, local vanilla ice cream from Stafford Organic Creamery and it’s topped with Stoli Vanilla.  YES PLEASE!

KVI_Root Beer FloatThis was beyond amazing!  I can’t remember the last time I had a root beer float.  I felt like a kid again!  B went with chocolate and maple ice cream, also from Stafford Organic Creamery and topped it with caramel sauce.  I have to say, the maple ice cream was very good…one can only hope so when in Vermont 🙂

KVI_Ice CreamWe were both stuffed to the gills and somehow managed to make our way back up to the room.  I still have some serious digesting to do, but I’m fueled up for a fun filled day in the rain, playing with goats!  Stay tuned for that fun 🙂

When is the last time you had a root beer float?? 

A Birthday Celebration 33 Years in the Making

Another birthday has passed…it always goes by so quickly!  Why is it that birthdays get less eventful as we get older?  Do we not want to acknowledge that we’re actually getting older?  I must admit that I’m probably guilty of this.  I don’t like being the center of attention and always get uncomfortable with all the birthday wishes, but secretly I LOVE my birthday.  It IS special.  I made it through another year (and 32 was a pretty badass year!) and that should be celebrated.  So let’s celebrate…here’s how it went down!

This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday and sadly I had to work…I save all my vacation days for Disney trips obviously!  I’m a strong believer that everyone should get their birthday off as a paid holiday, aren’t you??  I woke up dragging (as usual) but was greeted by my favorite tiny blue box from B.  He’s just the best  🙂

Birthday Necklace

Even though I had to work, I thought I’d fancy it up a bit and throw a dress on.  I’m usually pretty casual at work, but I wanted to feel a little fancy…it’s my day right?!  But I couldn’t bring myself to put on a pair of heels…just. couldn’t. do. it.

Birthday Dress

Work actually wasn’t so bad and the day went by very quickly.  My coworker surprised me with a lovely scarf (she’s knows me so well!) and a cute tank, which really meant a lot to me.  Then I got a gorgeous package from my mom who sent me a beautiful necklace with matching earrings.  Ok, now I was starting to feel spoiled!

Birthday Present

Birthday Necklace_Mom

I had an appointment to get my haircut at 4:30, so I left work a few minutes early and got all beautified for my dinner with B.  I still had a few hours to kill, so what else do you do on your birthday but go shopping right?!?  I wanted to find a new dress for birthday 2.0 next weekend with my Dad (yes, I get birthday 2.0) so I headed to Macy’s.  I struck out on dresses, but I did get a few fun new things 🙂

Birthday Outfit

Birthday Shirt

Shopping takes me a long time.  I’m one of those people that tries a bunch of stuff on, then I go back out and grab other sizes, try those on, go out and grab more, get frustrated and then end up walking out of the store with things I never intended on buying.  Hence the items above…

Because this took me so long, I rushed home to quickly get ready for my dinner with B.  And guess what I found when I got home…more presents!  My dear friend Amanda sent me these gorgeous flowers with a card that said “I Love You More Than Cheese!”  Now if you know Amanda, that’s serious 😉

Birthday Flowers

Cleo liked the flowers too…

Cleo liked the flowers too...

I also received a pretty cool DIY gift from my Dad & Stepmom…mushroom growing kits.  You can be sure a post is to come on this as they progress.  I’ve never had fresh grown mushrooms before so I’m pretty excited for some tasty dishes.

Birthday Mushrooms

B and I went to our favorite restaurant Caseus in New Haven.  They always have some really interesting specials and a good meal is guaranteed   We started with some drinks of course.  I’m seriously obsessed with this Celebrator Dobbelbock by Ayinger.  If you see it…get it.

Birthday Drinks

Super short hair!

Super short hair!

We split the sausage special to start which was a homemade cheeseburger sausage served over sautéed cabbage.  Holy whoa this was good.

Birthday Sausage

Of course I had to try the fish stew special…I mean how could I pass up fish stew?!?  This had mussels, cockles, cod and red potatoes in a slightly spicy broth with grilled bread.  Perfect birthday meal!

Birthday Fish Stew

B got his usual burger, which he always says is the best burger on the planet.  I’d have to agree with him there…you know they put grape jelly in their burgers…seriously!

Bs Burger

I had planned on seriously splurging, so I ordered an entire cheese board for myself for dessert.  I know, I know…where’s the birthday cake?  Well, I’m not much of a dessert person and would much rather enjoy some delicious cheeses.  Caseus has the best cheese board I’ve ever had.  The cheese changes daily so you’re always trying something new and it also comes with a homemade jam/compote to enjoy.  This one was Bosc pear…YUM!  Caseus is Latin for cheese, so it makes sense that this would be a specialty.

Birthday Cheese

B stuck with his usual Chocolate Pot du Creme with coffee whipped cream.

Bs Pot du Creme

When we got home, I checked in on Facebook and Twitter and was completely overwhelmed by the 100+ birthday wishes I received.  Wow…just wow.  Talk about feeling humbled and thankful 🙂

Sadly, the day flew by and it was time to call it a night.  It was a great day full of surprises and good food…can’t really beat that for your birthday.  I’m so lucky to have wonderful friends and family who make days like this special.  It might not have been a rockin’ party, but it was still a fun, low-key celebration.

So how do you feel about birthdays?  Do you celebrate or try to forget?  I think that we all need to make a point to celebrate our birthdays every year and take the time to reflect on all that we have accomplished these last 365 days.  We are all special and deserve to have a day that is just for us!  How will you celebrate??

Friday Feast: Schwan’s Home Delivery

schwans-logo1I was recently given the opportunity to try out Schwan’s Home Delivery and I must say was a bit hesitant at first.  I’ve you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of fresh local food, so frozen really isn’t my thing.  But I’m always open to trying new things and Schwan’s LiveSmart line of products looked like there were some tasty options.

I went online to www.schwans.com and chose a few products that I thought would go well together and make balanced meals.   All LiveSmart products have a minimal amount of additives or preservatives, a moderate amount of calories, sodium and fat, and zero grams of trans fats.  That sounds like a win!

LsIntroVideoThumb4

A few days later a large styrofoam box pack with dry ice arrived at my house…I love getting packages!  It was full of all the goodies I ordered and I was actually really excited to start dinner

Schwan's Package

Here’s what I ordered: Fire Grilled Italian CodFire Roasted Vegetable BlendMicroSteam Baby Broccoli Florets, and Wild Rice Pilaf.

Schwan's Box_2

Cod

Roasted Veg

Wild Rice

Broccoli

The first meal I was going to make was cod with broccoli and wild rice pilaf.  I read the cooking instructions for the cod and was surprised to find that I didn’t have to defrost it before cooking.  Hmmm…  I have to say the cod looked really well seasoned, like something I would do myself.  Well I followed the instructions, popped the frozen cod filets in the oven and hoped for the best.

Cod_3

Cod_4

Frozen Filets

While the cod was cooking, I started on the rice and the broccoli…both of which were to be microwaved.  I never use my microwave, so once again I’m hoping this will be good.  But what I’m also thinking is, this is a really quick and healthy meal!

Wild Rice_3

Broccoli_2

In less than 25 minutes, dinner was served and I was actually surprised at how good it was!  The cod was still moist and extremely flavorful.  The broccoli needed a little seasoning and the rice was a little over seasoned, but having them together balanced each other out.

Baked Cod

Baked Cod

Meal_1

A few days later I wanted to try out the roasted vegetables I got, so I popped 2 more cod filets in the oven and evenly spread the vegetables out on a sheet pan to roast.  This was a great mix of potatoes, broccoli, green beans, onions and bell peppers.  The flavor was very good, but the vegetables didn’t have that nice roasted texture I’m used to from fresh vegetables.  Maybe I should just keep them in the oven longer next time…

Roasted Veg_3

Meal_2

While I still prefer making my meals from scratch, this is really a great, healthy option for a quick weeknight meal.  There are many days that I don’t get home until after 7:00 pm and this saves a lot of time in the kitchen!  And seriously, I was surprised at how good the cod is.  I have had other frozen fish before that is dried out and completely inedible.  This was still moist and had great seasoning.

What I really think is great about these products is that they are affordable.  Both of these meals cost just over $6 per person.  You would end up spending more at a takeout joint and it would probably take more of your time!

The nice folks over at Schwan’s want to give YOU a discount for trying their products.  Use discount code KIMH2 which is good for $5.00 off a $25.00 order or $10.00 off a $50.00 order.  So get to ordering…I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed

Have you ever tried a home delivery service?

Schwan’s Home Delivery via FitFluential LLC sent me these products free of charge for this campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.