Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween and Friday Favorites

In honor of one of my favorite holiday's today's Friday Favorites is going to be Halloween Themed!  Below is a list of my favorite things about Halloween!  Enjoy!! 
  • Dressing up!
What?! You didn't know Alice in Wonderland hangs out with Construction workers?!
My apron may or may not be a window treatment....
That's Captain Pirate to you mister!  :)
  • Sprinkled Donughts
    • I think its fair to say that even after spending the majority of my high school and college life working at a bakery I still LOVE the donught! To me Halloween has the best looking ones!  Tiny pumpkin candies or ghoolish ghosts sprinkled on a cake donught..  yumm-my!  My personal favorite though is raised donught covered in chocolate frosting and black/orange sprinkles!  How better to serve up a delectable treat at Halloween?! 
yes.. I made this on DD's website to show you its wonder!
  • Scary Movies
    • Another well known fact about me that my friends know is that I am a huge chicken when it comes to scary movies.  I am that girl that hides her face and looks through my fingers at the big screen.
    • Even weirder thing... I LOVE THAT!  I love having the beejesus scared out of me... and this is the time of year when almost every TV station is playing some scary sci-fi flick in honor of this month.  I say bring on the Hitchcock, Vincent Price and Poltergeist Movies!!
  • Halloween Inspired cocktails
    • Just like a love a few sprinkles on my donught I also love to try new drinks inspired by a season of jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and witches!  Thank you to all my favorite establishments in advance for serving me a chilled dirty martini with an olive eyeball! It makes the Holiday that more fun when you can no longer go trick or treating.
  • My MOM!
Mama Q and I this year at the NE Aquariums Halloween Party for the kids!

    • Let's just say that I don't have to wonder where my love of this holiday came from!  I grew up in a family where we were asked in June what we would like to be for Halloween so that my mom could start creating patterns, buy fabric and usually make a trip to the hardware store!  
    • I am not kidding people!  My sister was a hot air balloon one year! Complete with wicker basket and a framed balloon top that stood a good 2 feet over her head!  
    • My favorite childhood costume was the Man-Eating Flower I became that had a diameter of aprox 4 feet (can you picture a 10 year old me, with a 10lb flower around my head with dangling body parts!?) It was E-P-I-C!
    • This lady decorates the entire house each year and truly embraces what it means to be a kid as an adult!  You cannot help but smile and act like a kid when she is around! It is sheer halloween bliss!!

Ok my friends, I am off to my first Halloween Party of the weekend!  Look for a pictures later of my hilarious costume that is a tribute to a Boston Sports Team and PBS kids show...  any guesses?


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baby Steps.....

Hey there!

I thought you would all be happy to hear that I have taken a few baby steps in removing the word perfect from my vocabulary.  At work I have been tackling projects in smaller sections and also walking to see someone if I have a question instead of my usual email. 
Behold the power of the White Board!! I <3 "To-Do" Lists!

To boot I spoke with a stranger! (don't worry mom, he wasn't trying to give me candy or help him look for his lost puppy by getting in his van).

To celebrate the roomies promotion at her job I stopped by a local liquor store on my commute home.  One of the employees asked me if I needed help (which lets be honest, this girl knows her way around a liquor store).  I mentioned that I was looking for a good celebratory champagne for the evening (also, let it be known that I cannot say Champagne without saying it in my best Christopher Walkin's impression from SNL!). 

He recommended this delicious (AND LOCAL!) sparkling wine from Westport.  It was YUMMY!!!  The Westport Winery makes an affordable bubbly just right for celebrating new beginnings!!

mmmmm  bubbles!!!!

After talking about wine for a minute he started telling me all about their beer tastings on Fridays and even gave me a sample of Guinness (hehe, little did he know I was an avid fan of the delicious stout!)

I was so proud of myself for engaging in small talk, not only did I find an amazing wine, but foudn a new Friday evening activity to participate in!

As for running... well those are literal baby steps.  A nasty head cold has kept me from breathing never mind attempting to run the past week,  However, in the name of baby steps and removing the personal pressures to be perfect I am just going to show up on Sunday, run and have a great time in costume with friends!  And yes, part of me believing that is to type it here for you to all read and throw it back at me on Sunday when I break out into a nervous sweat!!

Tomorrow I promise to bring back Favorite Friday's and give you a glimpse into an EPIC Halloween Costume "Bahstan" style and what I will be wearing at the race oh so early on Sunday!

Have a great Thursday everyone!!!

P.S.  What baby steps are you working on to get closer to your personal goals?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bye bye perfect....

Hello my foodie friends!

You don't always have to be perfect or on your best behavior!
After a sleeping away the weekend to fight off a nasty head cold I am finally returning to the land of the living. I wanted to let you all in on a bit of an epiphany I had this past weekend and I another goal I am setting for myself.  I am removing the word PERFECT from my vocabulary. 

On Friday I sat with my boss for my mid-year review.  My fantastic company has started a process where we set personal goals after doing a self-assessment of our work and personal character using the book FYI. 

It was up to us whether or not we wanted to discuss our assessment with our bosses.  My boss is uber fabulous and very intuitive so of course I wanted to meet with her.  During our talk we discussed how I am very critical on myself and can mentally sabotage myself before I even start a task.  It was wonderful to hear that she thinks I am doing well in the office but the sabotage comment stuck with me. 

As I fought my cold over the weekend I thought about it a great deal and how true it really is. Whether at work, in the kitchen or out with friends I am always getting stuck in my own head.  If I can't do something "perfect" I tend to shy away from it.  Here are some examples of how my need to be perfect is actually sabotaging how I live my life.

  • Baking - My insane fear of not measuring a recipe "perfectly" keeps me from busting out my 6qt Kitchen Aid and making some uber delicious biscuits or pie
  • Dating - I have coined my own phrase over the years known to my family and friends as "Stranger Danger".  It is my fear of meeting and introducing myself to new people (you can imagine how fun I am at a bar!).  My fear of not being "perfect" for someone keeps me from talking to them.
  • My blog - It may take me 30 minutes or 3 days to write a post but my want for the "perfect" witty post consumes my brain and inevitability takes wayyyy longer than it should to post.
Maybe it was the 48 hours of cough medicine or the extensive hours of sleep but somewhere in that NyQuil haze I decided that this is no way for a 30 year old womann to live. 

Instead of going all out and trying to cure my need for perfection in one day I am going with the baby steps approach.  My first step is to stop using the word Perfect For some reason that word holds so much power over me and as of today I say no more!  Here are some ways that I am going to take control of my own head and embrace being the confident, successful and fun loving sailing foodie that I know I am!!
  • Stop using the word "Perfect"(last time I swear!). 
  • Pick a baking recipe over the next week and make it!
  • Create a mantra for me to repeat when that pesky P word creeps back into my head
  • Delegate one thing at work to someone else. (The world won't end if someone helps me!!)
  • Figure out a way to combat the Stranger Danger (suggestions please!!!)
  • On my next business trip I am pledging to sit at a table with people I do not know (i am shaking just typing that...deep breaths Beth, deep breaths..)
I think those are good goals for now... What do you think?  Anyone else have these fears or am I officially loony?

On a tastier side note, here is a picture of a semi-homemade Tofu Tiki Masala that I had for dinner tonight. DELICIOUS!! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Canada!

After a long but amazing week this sailing foodie has finally returned from the Great North!  Over the past week I have been lucky enough to have work take me from Montreal to Nova Scotia! My trip involved cars, planes and SHIPS!

First things first, being a native New Englander' I have always loved the country to our north but honestly never gave it much thought.past wow they play really good Hockey and isn't their bacon oh so tasty. Well that is no more my friends... in my short time there over the past week I experienced so many wonderful places, people and food that had me thinking this girl could move there! From perfect pubs to scenic views Canada stole my heart!

I thought since I can't get into too many details about the ships or my job (pretty sure my bosses would not be cool with that) that I would share with you all why I have this new found love for Canada eh' and also some fantastic things about sailing the Atlantic Ocean in October.

Why I love Canada eh'
  • They way they talk:  Oot and aboot, eh',  Right (the end to any sentance) So charming!
  • Cheese curds!
    • Hello people of USA why do we not have these tasty nibblets in Massachusetts.  Not only are they a crucial part of Poutine (french fries + cheese curds + gravy = HEAVEN (and a coronary... but whatever it is so good!)
  • Gravy!!!
    • I try to eat healthy and make smart choices most of the time when I go out. However, when you are in a country that slathers gravy on everything then it is just plain rude not to participate. Pretty sure it cures all that is ailing you.. Long day at the office? Have some gravy.  Flying all day with only mini peanuts to eat, order an entire lunch covered in gravy!  Huzzah you instantly feel right with the world!
  • Big burly men - and their complete and utter obsession with Hockey
    • This country breeds giant manly men!How can a girl not swoon over a land known for strong men who love cheese and sports and the sea!
    • I know I should be dreaming of the well to do' financial guy in the great suit.. but honestly all this sailing foodie wants is a 6'4" burly lumberjack who drinks beer, watches sports, thinks I am funny and loves food!  Too much to ask for?
  • Underground walkways
    • How? you ask is Canada such a wonderful place if it spends the majority of the year covered in a blanket of snow?!   They go underground!  That is correct people, the city of Montreal has designed miles of tunnels, shopping areas and shortcuts downtown all UNDERGROUND!  It rained the two days I was there, if I had chosen I could have done all my activities with little to 0 need for an umbrella!  Genius!!!  Listen up Boston and take note!
  • Montreal Pubs
    • In a town that is full of young professionals, imports, college students and devout hockey fans, Montreal has managed to perfect the pub!  At a small pub off of St. Catherine's street a co-worker and I went for a late dinner.  We arrived  to a packed pub of happy people, eating drinking and talking.  As we sat we noticed that a small Irish band was setting up. They played well into the wee hours of the morning some of the greatest Irish and American tunes I know! Everyone was happily singing and dancing!
  • Rickard's Red & White 
    • My heart may belong to several other beers(Yuengling, Guinness & Harpoon) but when in Canada there is one tasty brew that I will choose.  Produced by Molson (hello can you get more Canadain!) this beer comes in several styles.  My personal favorite is the White, which is similar to Blue Moon.

  • Tim Horton's
    • So not only does TH make delicious coffee and see to have a location on every corner in Canada but they also make these things called Oatcakes.  Anyone, anyone!  How I have I lived 30 years with trips to Canada nearing the 20s and never in my life enjoyed one of these buttery treats?!  I refuse to look at what the nutritional value (if any) is of these and instead DEMAND that a Tim Horton's be built in Boston or someone in CA ship me oatcakes on a regular basis!
mmm.. but this tiny cup is a Medium?!?! so tiny!!!!

ok, part 2 of my trip was spent on-board one of the vessels that I work with.  All I can share is that this chica sailed the Canadian Maritimes for several days in utter grimy ship greasy bliss!

Why I love sailing!
  • Sea Breeze 
    • I can not think of a better feeling than being on a weather deck of a ship and taking in the smell of the shore, feeling the sea mist on your skin or the sun shining down on you.  Perfection!!!
  • Smell of Diesel fuel
    • I will fully admit I was that kid that loved the smell of gas stations... probably was a good hint to my career now.     It is more than that though, I think now the smell of diesel fuel brings me back to my college days at MMA.  For 2 months every year we picked up the anchor and went to sea to learn and train.  When I smell diesel fuel I am instantly transported to those carefree days with friends crossing the ocean!
  • THE VIEW! 

those pics say it all....
  • Constant cardio!
    • Getting a great leg workout just walking 6 flights of stairs every 10 minutes
  • Eating my weight in traditional Ukrainian food! 
    • We have a Ukrainain fleet onboard so the cooks whip up the tastiest breads and dishes for the guys.  A little bit of home at sea....

Mushroom & egg omelet with bacon and "sausage" to us Americans, that would be a hot dog!
 Perhaps not my first choice for breakfast (hot dog at 7am????) but other than that the eggs were cooked perfectly!
Pan seared fish w/ salad, crunchy potatoes and dill chicken soup
I think the dill soup that our ships cooks make is sheer perfection! Just the right amount of herbs, salt and yummy veggies.  Depending on the cook you might find chicken in your soup or a veggie style.

Dessert plate for my room :)
 I had mentioned to the cook that I was not a big dessert person (especially after the big dinner) but she insisted that I finish my meal! While working in another part of the ship she slipped this goodie try into my room.  How sweet!
Heaven on a plate!
Have you ever had one of those moments when you think you are just going to have another insignificant meal and then out of nowhere BAM! your taste buds are assaulted with sheer perfection? Well my friends, that is what happened to me the 2nd morning onboard.  The cook handed me this plate with no fanfare.  I was assuming pancakes with a sour cream/creme fresh  like topping.  What I actually had in my possession were two perfectly cooked pancake/donut/beignet hybrid like treats!  In one bite I was hit with crunchy outer edges, fluffy insides that was sweet and hearty at the same time. Mixed with the tart cream sauce was pur joy.  The only sad thought was I couldn't have more and the cooks english is pretty limited as is my Russian so exchanging recipes was out of the question....  I will dream about these billowy pancakes for years to come!

I hope you enjoyed reading why this girl loves being at sea and the reason behind when if I ever happen to randomly pick up and move to Canada at the drop of hat!
Tomorrow is the 2nd post for Friday Favorites!  I am thinking comfort food but am open to reader's request!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Devil's Chase Update

Hey everyone,

I am about to take off for Canada eh' and wanted to send a quick updated as requested on my training for the Devil's Chase Run in a few weeks.

I can honestly say I am feeling 60/40 ready for this run! Alaina and I have been training based on time and not miles. A little different than our normal training routine of walking (we walked the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer last year, 40 miles over 2 days with another great friend!)

Training walk on Spectacle Island last March w/ Alaina
I am happy to say that I can run for a good 25 minutes without stopping now!  I am up to a total of 4 miles which is still a combo of running and walking. My goal over the weekend is to get some running in at the hotel and also Yoga while on the ship.  I downloaded a few Yoga apps for my iPod that I can use in my cabin.  I want to run while onboard but depending on the seas that may not be possible (remember... baby giraffe, running while the ship is listing is not good for this girl!)

When I return next week I have planned a few outdoor runs to get my lungs used to the colder air.  I still need to find some running gloves, and perhaps upgrade the Saucony's to a newer pair.

What little things do you do before a big sporting event/race?


A little about me ...

I thought it was time to for you all to get to know me a bit better... what I like, don't like and should be totally ashamed to admit to the whole wide world on the internet but ehhh  why not! So in no particular order here are some things you should know about the Fabulous Sailing Foodie ;)

  • I LOVE CHEESE!  this is no shocker, but I say a prayer to Grilled Cheesus daily that there is hundreds of cheeses out there for me to enjoy.  You want cake for dessert... not this girl, give me a cheese sampler any day of the week over cake!
  • My want and love for an English Bulldog is kind of scary.  How can anyone resist the face of such a cuddly love bug?
I swwoooon
  • I am about as graceful as a newborn giraffe... I kid you not people!  Don't ever play the scar game with this girl.  I have more scars from stupid tripping incidents than should be allowed on one girl and sadly no awesome stories for them. 
  • Because my hair is an unruly half curly half frizzy beast I will usually go 3 days w/out washing it after it has been straightened. (that is unless I hit the gym, but then it is just a curly mess...)
  • I am 5'9" tall, love wearing 3-4" heels but wish daily I was 5'6" so that I wasn't the tallest person in a bar when I go out.
  • I always feel smart and cool when perusing a book store
  • When people watching I love to be all Mystery Science Theater 3000 and come up with story lines for what they are doing.
  • I am 30 years old and have the mental maturity of a 13 year old boy....
  • I love love love fried food, but fried food HATES me!  Yet I keep going back and trying to eat it..  at least I am keeping TUMS in business
  • The wine opener that waiters use at restaurants scares the beejesus out of me!  I can not for the life of me figure out how to use it.....
  • There is nothing more satisfying to me in this world than a perfectly poached egg.
  • When ordering at a restaurant I usually narrow my option down to 2 entrees and then when asked what I will be having I blackout for .2 seconds and blurt out a completely different option to the waitstaff....never fails!
  • My favorite part of buisness trips is flying.  I love airports and the whole concept of eating on a plane.
  • Grocery shopping to me is a top 5 favorite activity.
  • I believe that a plate of nachos or a tray of appetizers is a completely acceptable dinner.
  • I hate packing!  I am the worst and always overpack one item and forget other stuff.... truly awful!

Ok I think that is enough sharing for one day :)  I am off to the great white North for work today and will have limited access to internet between now and next Wednesday.  I will hopefully get 1 or 2 more posts in before I set sail!

What are some random facts about you all'?  Am I alone with my idiosyncrasies or do you share them with me?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekend Recap Part II

OK, OK.. the work week is not getting any calmer and this girl is off on a Canadian adventure tomorrow that involves driving to Montreal & Quebec City; flying to Sydney NS and sailing to Auld's Cove NS all within the time span of 4 days!  I am hoping that adventure will include good food, great pictures and.....possible a Bruin's Hockey fan (thats me) infiltrating the Montreal Canadian's game on Friday in full Bs gear!!!  (this could end in an International Incident....ha!)

Enough tangents on my upcoming weekend.. back to this past weekend.  After a great day at the fair I packed up my gear and headed to MV to close up the cottage for the winter. I don't have many pics from the day since we were cleaning and then I may or may not have spent a good amount of time catching up with 'Cape friends at Nancy's :)  We had dinner at Offshore Ale, a personal favorite of mine!  I was starving so no pictures of the amazing local oysters or the two entree's I split with my brother-in-law aka Food Soul Mate (my sister is a very picky eater...)  After a long day of "cleaning" we all crashed.....
Note the happy "glow" it had nothing to do w/ the brew at Offshore I swear.... hahaha
The next day we packed up early and headed off island.  I had a lot of errands to run that included Trader Joe's and also rearranging my closet from summer to fall/winter.  On Monday evening my roommate and I met the fabulous LV in town for some tweentastic entertainment!  We are all self-confessed fanatics of SYTYCD! Each season we talk about the latest dancers, the challenges each week, who has picked the dreaded Viennese Waltz and the new musical artists that we heard.  After a great season finale we all jumped online to grab tickets to their show that highlights the seasons best performances.  

It was such a great atmosphere on Monday night!  Yes there were hundreds of tweens all screaming for Kent Boyd. The 18 year old dancer for Wampa-something Iowa (or somewhere in the midwest....)
What I found funnier was the eclectic showing of late 20/early 30 something ladies like ourselves all the way up to granny age fans!  This show really appeals to everyone!  We arrived grabbed a few cold beers (sometimes you need a beer when surrounded by hundreds of 14 year old girls...)

All day I had been thinking...."what does one where to this type of event?"  I am not 12 so the option of homemade t-shirt, face paint and ribbons in my hair was out (not that I considered it.... stop judging!)  Instead I went for the safe route and picked a long sleeve T, jeans, cowboy boots (girl has to have some fun!) and puffy vest... Beer girl told me I didn't even look 30 after eyeing my license and proclaiming I had 10 years on her...Pretty sure it was a back handed compliment...
Puffy vest.. always saves the day in a fall coat wear a coat or not to wear a coat?

The show was AMAZING! I am so blown away at how easy they make it look! Made me want to put down my beer and run to the nearest dance studio... but alas, I drank my beer and dreamed of the day that I could do a back flip as graceful as Ade.  Here are some pics of the night (still trying to figure out this new fancy shmancy camera sorry for the blurry ones)

Ok so the pictures aren't going to win any artist awards, but you get the point.. it was almost 3 hours of high impact booty shaking dancing that made me happy!  Not a bad Monday if you ask me.. day off from work, tickets to a show that makes me smile, great friends to join me, and a cold beer!  What more could this girl ask for?  Not much friends, not much...

I am off tomorrow on my Canadian adventure...  stay tuned to see how this New Englander gets "Oot and Aboot" in Canada eh'!

Weekend Recap Part I

Ok, so yes it is Wednesday and I am just getting around to this weekend recap... but good lord what a week so far!  I cannot get into details but long story short my Safety & Emg Response training has come in useful this week... silly ships!

What a wonderful long weekend!  From an impromptu visit to the famous Topsfield Fair to a trip to MV to close the cottage and a night with two fabulous ladies to embrace our inner tweens at the SYTYCD live dance show!  We will get into all of that dance fun in Part II, Part I is all about the fair!

Cows, ocean and spandex clad dancers.. that is how everyone else spent their weekend right? No, just me... Oh well I will still share with you all the fun I had!

First things first, The Topsfield Fair which is known as the oldest agricultural fair in America takes place every year in Topsfield, MA.  Growing up in Central mass, I have never been to this fair.  I am usually faithful to one fair and one fair only.  The BIG E! That fair holds so many memories for me and probably has a great deal to do with my love of strange and tasty food!  That being said, I will admit that this fair had the perfect mix of farm life, food and insane people watching.  My first round of pictures for you all is a sampling of the many many photos I took of the farm life.  What can I say, I am city girl that is in awe of giant pumpkins, pigs and cuddly rabbits!  Enjoy!!
No I am not a stuffed animal!

Anyone else craving a cold light (not so tasty) beer right now?

Yup...pig racing!  They race for Oreos!! (who are we kidding, i would also race for a delicious cookie)


THAT IS A REAL PUMPKIN! Can you imagine how much pie and oatmeal I could make with that!

A chicken with style! Rock that hair!!

No golden egg... I checked

Giant and angry turkey (pretty sure he knows what month is coming up...)

baby chicks! ridiculously cute and gross at the same time!

can you see the tiny beak peeking thru?!?!?!

Flowers are purrrty!


Bah Ram U, Bah Ram U....(come on its from Babe people!)

squeel for joy.. a tiny pony!

Biggest Pig EVER!  I may have started rambling about bacon....

Oooohhing and gahhing over all this farm life sure worked up an appetite (especially after seeing that pig!) Alaina and I did our best to avoid eating any fried twinkies/oreos etc.. but we did partake in a few delicious and glutenous treats!

Is there anything better than this in the fall?!  I say nay sir!

mmmm... hot cider donut!

I didn't have one.. but love they are saving $$ with signs from 1986!

The line was sooo long for this!

What is a fair without giant medieval size Turkey Legs!

We Americans will eat ANYTHING fried!  
Good lord, I am getting heartburn just looking at this picture!

My dinner destination! 

Thanksgiving in a sandwich?!  Yes please!!

Alaina and I split that massive Turkey sandwich! It was so deliciously perfect and for $8 you can't go wrong!!!  Homemade turkey and stuffing with my favorite type of Cranberry Jelly... the type from a can! It may not be a 4lb turkey leg or a fried twinkie but for these two girls it was exactly what we were craving (we did just walk through a warehouse with 50 turkeys!)

I tried to refrain from taking candid camera photos of the many "styles" at the fair but I did capture a flag (haha get it!) that I could not resist getting a pic of!
Nothing says America like Deer on a flag!
We did manage to see a few "healthy" vendors with salads and smoothies. Our favorite healthy vendor though was FREE!  That is correct (please say that in your best Chris Farley aka Billy Madison voice), my favorite type of food!  Ocean Spray was set up with samples of their new fruit juices and dried cranberries.  YES PLEASE!  Alaina really liked it!

All in all it was a perfect Friday afternoon!  So happy to see so many local producers out and promoting their goods!  Let it also be known that this city girl rocked her cowboy/riding boots to the fair!  I think I totally fit right in :) ha!
Stay tuned for Part II where I talk about my night out with the girls to embrace my 12 year old inner tween love for DANCE!