Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What is on your Easter table?

I love Spring and especially like celebrating Easter.  It has always been a holiday that got my entire family together.  The main focus has always been family and of course, food!  We have things like Italian Easter bread and ricotta pie every year, and of course, my Aunt Carmeline's famous Bunny cake!
Aunt Carmeline's bunny cake

Ricotta Pie










This year, I am making my mom's Amaretto fruit salad to bring to my parent's house.  This just looks like a normal fruit salad, but with the addition of the amaretto, it is AMAZING.
Amaretto Fruit Salad











Here is the recipe:
(1) 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks
2-3 empire apples
2-3 oranges
(1) 15 oz. can of slices peaches
Grapes (green)
1 cantalope
1 lb strawberries, quartered
6 oz. orange juice
2 oz. Amaretto

Mix all together.  I usually mix it the night before, but I keep the strawberries separate and add just before serving.

I am also making these fantastic Blueberry Coffee Cake muffins to share at Brunch hosted by Jeff's Aunt.  My secret is to double the amount of blueberries that the recipe calls for (a mistake that was a success!).  They are moist and delicious and a definite crowd pleaser!

Blueberry Muffins- photo from foodnetwork.com











Happy Easter Everyone!
Nicole, Jeff and Genevieve 


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Party of...3!



During the last year, we became a family of three with the addition of our daughter Genevieve. Becoming parents has been an adventure for sure! Of course it is challenging, but we are enjoying every minute of it. It's amazing to see Genevieve learn more and more everyday, and to think we are a part of that just wows us!



I have always had an interest in writing and thought a blog would be a great place to share ideas and share things that are of interest to us. I have tried to start this blog many times but have let time slip away and let our busy lives take over.



This time, I would like to make it work! Jeff and I have always enjoyed doing new things and visiting differnt places. Now we have Genevieve with us which allows us to see totally different things!



I look forward to keeping you posted on what we are doing, and I hope you learn something new about the community we live in.



Thanks for taking a moment to read!



~Nicole

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun in Framingham!!

Yes, we said Framingham, as in Framingham, Massachusetts!

Last weekend we decided to take a little day trip to cross a few fun errands off of our list. We wanted to get out of town for the day, but not travel too far. And of course, we wanted to go somewhere with great food (such a shocker!).

So with those parameters, we settled on Framingham as our destination. Because of our love of great food, we have traveled to Framingham many times just to buy groceries. Why you ask? Because Framingham has Trader Joe's, the best gourmet grocery store. Trader Joe's sells really great, upscale products, but many of them are store brand and have fantastic prices. We buy all of our Olive Oil there, along with great buys on wine, cereal, pasta and anything else that calls to us from the shelves.

Another great store in Framingham is the Container Store. This is the Mecca for all things to organize. You can get lost in the aisles there, just discovering there are thousands of ways to keep your home/office/bath/garage/kitchen tidy.

So once we arrived in Framingham, our first stop was the Container Store. This was our first visit to an actual live store (not the website) so we just thought we would look around. The store was very impressive and offered more than just containers. It was almost a life-changing place of endless ideas!

We left with a couple of sports memorabilia containers and Nicole was so excited to leave with a case of 20 plastic shoe boxes!


Photo courtesy of the Container Store

These boxes stack really nice on top of each other and can be used for much more than shoes. We (okay, really Nicole) was really excited to get them into the closet!

So after we did some shopping, we made our way over to our lunch destination. Because we are HUGE Red Sox fans, and Nicole is an even bigger fan of David Ortiz, we decided to visit Big Papi's Grille for lunch. We were not disappointed!

Big Papi's is described as having American cuisine with a hint of Dominican-infused flavor. This is the perfect description.


This is a great destination for any Red Sox fan to visit, but the food truly stood out on its own. The decor inside was very modern with many photos that fans would enjoy, but it still felt like a class act restaurant.





We started off with Sirloin Empanadas an an appetizer. They were terrific and very flavorful.


Sirloin Empanadas
Since we were just having lunch, we ordered burgers..Now when you think of a burger, you really don't always expect to be WOWed. Well, these burgers were fantastic! They really were.
The were cooked to perfection and just made you want another one as soon as it was gone.

Nicole had the Big Papi Burger. This burger had sliced avocado, pico de gallo, and cheddar jack cheese....YUM!


Big Papi Burger

Jeff ordered the Spicy Dominican Chimichurri Burger. This burger had flavor! It was sirloin mixed with red onion, red pepper, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Big Papi's enfuego hot sauce!

Spicy Dominican Chimichurri Burger

Finally, we ordered a tasty Vanilla creme brulee for dessert. It had the perfect sugary crunchy top (the best part) and a great mixed berry sauce on the side!


Creme Brulee
After we finished eating, we wandered into the bar and found this huge mural. Very cool!



After lunch, we finally decided to head over to Trader Joe's. We just needed a few things and then decided to grab a few treats too! We found a great bag of organic popcorn with Olive Oil..It was so tasty! And then we decided to pick up some of Traders Joe's wine- The Famous 2 Buck Chuck. The real name of this wine is Charles Shaw, but in California, this wine is actually only $2 a bottle! In Massachusetts, it actually retails for $3 a bottle. Still, an amazing deal! If you go to a Trader Joe's near you, you must pick up some "2 buck chuck.".





So overall, we had a great day in Framingham. If you are ever returning to Albany from Boston, just hop off the Mass Pike to enjoy this great area!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Oscar's Smokehouse rebuilds and reopens!





February 20, 2010-A really exciting day for meat and cheese lovers!!!

Oscar's Smokehouse reopened this weekend in Warrenburg, New York. For anyone that may not know Oscar's, this is "the" place to buy delicious smoked meats, cheeses and other delicious goodies. They have the BEST bacon and pork chops. And don't even get us started on their jerky! Amazing, and we are not really jerky people, but love theirs!

Oscar's was detroyed by fire on September 4, 2009. It devastated the community, and people nationwide who are just fans of Oscar's. The Quintal family vowed to rebuild ASAP, and that is what they did!
Check out the new Oscar's!

Outside of Oscar's

The new self-serve cases are HUGE! The shopping area is 5 times the size of the old store!


A few of the goodies we bought- pork chops, the infamous "counter cheese" (3 year aged cheddar that has never been refrigerated), horseradish pickles and smoked italian sausage. YUM!!!

So anyway, as you can see, we had a great time exploring Oscar's. Congratulations to the Quintal Family and you'll be seeing a lot of us this year!
If you have never been, Warrensburg is just north of Lake George and such a simple drive! Make the trip, it's worth the visit!

New Blog for all of you for 2010!

Okay, this is our first blog entry in over a year!! We are trying to commit now, to share our fun experiences with people. Hopefully we'll mention a place you haven't visited before or just tell a story you may like to read about. We hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for a new post shortly!

Thanks!
N & J

Monday, December 15, 2008

A perfect Sunday during the Holiday Season...


painting by Loren Blackburn





So Jeff and I had a great day yesterday. We started off with going to breakfast at Sutton's Marketplace in Queensbury. We don't go to Sutton's too often (We have our normal Saturday routine of heading to Poopies for breakfast!), but Jeff's mom asked us out to eat so we ventured over there.



If you haven't been to Sutton's, it is a must-see during the holiday season.

Luckily, there is always a wait for the cafe so there is time to browse through the store. If you can't find a gift for someone in your list here, you aren't looking hard enough! I picked up a great ornament for my friend Chrissy's new baby. They have a whole line of those glass-blown ornaments by Old World Christmas. This is a picture of the ornament. It does not do it justice because the sparkle is just breathtaking! i know she'll love it for baby Graham.



photo courtesy of www.christmasplace.com





After breakfast, we hit the outlets up in Lake George for a couple of items and then headed back to downtown Glens Falls to continue our shopping.



It was a bit chilly out, but the sun was shining in downtown Glens Falls. Our first stop was Kismet. Kismet is such a fabulous store!!! It is owned & run by two of Jeff's High School classmates. They have put together the nicest array of gifts. You'll soon be able to shop online, but check out their site for a list of items they carry. I love the Dogeared Jewelry and The Teaposy teas. Kismet even offers knitting lessons..Maybe someday I'll get crafty and give it a try!



Now you would think that Kismet is a girl's dream and a guy's nightmare, right? Well they make shopping a stress-free experience for the men. Customers can create wish lists and the girls at Kismet will email them to the recipient of your choice. You can call and they will package up a nice gift based on your preferences and budget, gift wrap it all, and you can just stop and pick it up!! It's too easy. You must stop by!



photo courtesy of www.kismetgf.com


Next, we headed over to another favorite- Sterling & Company. I can't leave this store without buying something! they have a kitchen selection of kitchen gifts, jewelry, and Mariposa products. The back of the store has really nice baby gifts too. The woman who owns it (I should know her name since I go in there A LOT!) is always so cheery and helpful. It just makes for a
great shopping experience. I did leave with some blood orange & fennel tapenade for my mother (sounds random but it was delicious!) so I hope she likes it! the carry the entire line from
The Gracious Gourmet. I wanted to buy it all!

photo courtesy of Sterling & Company


photo courtesy of The Gracious Gourmet





Our final stop of the afternoon was visiting the renovated Crandall Public Library in downtown Glens Falls. the Libray just did a huge renovation and it had its grand opening on Friday night. It was absolutely beautiful inside. I am trying to find some pictures to post but not having good luck! There is even self checkout now which made grabbing a book really easy. I picked up Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. I read one of her books, My Sister's Keeper, over the summer and couldn't put it down. I'm excited to read another one!



photo courtesy of www.jodipicoult.com


So overall, it was a great afternoon. I had some relaxing time with Jeff, we ate great food, finished our holiday shopping, and enjoyed the day. More to come soon!!









































Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Excitement of Fall in the Adirondacks!


So last weekend, Jeff & I attended the 36th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival up here in Queensbury. Now Jeff grew up here in Glens Falls, so attending the festival was an annual tradition for him as a child. I have only been a few times, and a couple of them had bad weather so the balloons didn't go up.



Well that was not the case this year!! We got up early (Dunkin Donuts in hand) and went over to the local airport at 6am. It was a misty morning but the perfect weather for a balloon launch. So many balloons go up, including special ones like the bees shown below. It's amazing!


After watching all of them go, we went over to our favorite local diner, Poopies, to have breakfast. It was the perfect fall activity. Enjoy the photos!













The adventures of August & September


Let's see, Jeff and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary in August! We couldn't believe that 5 years went by so fast!! We enjoyed a fantastic day that started with breakfast at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing. It was a beautiful morning, perfect for lounging around the resort. Here are a couple of photos:




That night, we were treated to an amazing dinner at 677 Prime with Laura & Tom. We had such a great meal and a fun time with them, it was the nicest gift ever! We had enough food for 8 people on our table. It was so much fun!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rocking out on Rockport, MA!


So Jeff and I enjoyed a little New England weekend back during the 3rd week of July. We went out to Rockport, MA, a childhood vacation spot that never disappoints. Rockport is truly a artist colony, with many picturesque spots to pretend you are a painter or photographer.




In addition to the scenery, we enjoy many places to dine while we are in Rockport.

On Friday night, we went to Ellen's Harborside . I loved going here as a child (mainly because of the face-painted lobster claws they had hanging on the wall- still do). But their food is great too! Jeff had the stuffed lobster and it didn't disappoint! He was a very happy camper.







We also stopped at a new place called Top Dog of Rockport. Top Dog sells hot dogs but it was way better than your normal frank..These dogs have toppings to say the least!!! I had the "golden Retriever" and Jeff had the "Bad Dog." They were awesome and the perfect "light" lunch as we wandered through Bearskin Neck.




One thing you need to do if you are visiting the Rockport/Gloucester Area is "dine in the rough." The Lobster Pool lets you do just that! Get ready to wait in line for this place but it's a lot of fun..It's simple seafood but they know how to do it just right. One of their specialities is a "no mayo" lobster roll...There is mayo, but it's light because it's overstuffed with lobster meat...Yummy!




Now, if you are in Rockport, you need to drive about 10 minutes and visit Gloucester. Gloucester is a true fishing village. If you ever saw the movie "the Perfect Storm," it was based on Gloucester fishermen.

The Fishermen's Memorial is a great sight to see:





But of course, I have another restaurant to mention. the Causeway Restaurant in Gloucester is off the beaten track and a hidden gem!! You will absolutely wait in line here, but you'll enjoy the time talking to locals..that's right, this is a great LOCAL place..They practically give the food away for free and the portions are huge and tasty! I had the calamari and Jeff had surf & turf..We both also had chowder and our bill was $40!! Enjoy the photos!






Before I end this note, I wanted to mention the beautiful B & B we stayed in this year. The Beach & King Street Inn was amazing! We stayed in the King Room and it looks just like the photos on the web. Located right across the street from the beach, we couldn't ask for more! We'll be back next year for sure!