#ItsOkayToBeJealous

Hiya eaters!

Oh boy it’s been a day! But it’s been an amazing day, one that fully deserves the hashtag #ItsOkayToBeJealous. And now you’re going to see it.

I woke up to a gorgeous view.

#ItsOkayToBeJealous

Manly friend’s house is pretty much all windows. The sun comes in first thing in the morning, which may be annoying to some people, but I couldn’t be unhappy when I’m cocooned under the covers staring at this view.

I also couldn’t be unhappy when manly friend presented me with this plate.

Yup, m’man makes me scones for breakfast. #ItsOkayToBeJealous.

With a belly full of freshly baked cinnamon sugar love I eventually said my g’byes and started the drive home.

While driving back home from a vacation is never fun, the right scenery and music made it fly by.

What’s the right music, you ask?

An awesome mix of Delta Spirit, Kings of Leon, and Rooney. My iTunes Genius knows me so well. #ItsOkayToBeJealous

But before I got to relax at home, I had a couple of errands to run. #ItsOkayToBeJealous?

First, I needed a large grater.

Then, I needed food to grate with it.

Loot:

Organic free-range eggs, organic beets, Chobani plain yogurt, organic honey crisp apples, organic dino kale, organic red onion, organic sweet potato, organic green pepper, EF adzuki beans, vanilla rooibos tea, EF volcanic salsa, and organic four pepper grinder.

So much organic goodness. And so freaking many sales. All of this was less than $40. #ItsOkayToBeJealous.

And finally, I got home.

Oh m'humble, generic door.

I didn’t stay there for long because m’lovely lady Peach and I have a tradition of eating Chipotle for dinner the night we get back from a break. We’ve never missed a break in all our years of college.

But tonight was a little different than most Chipotle dinners: I didn’t finish my vegetarian burrito bowl.

So that means I have half a bowl with minimal rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, all the salsas, lettuce, and guacamole waiting for me for lunch tomorrow. Yeah, #ItsOkayToBeJealous.

Unfortunately, now I’m sitting in my room with a pretty wicked case of post-vacation blues. Hopefully eating chocolate chips and watching back episodes of Modern Family will cure me. #ItsOkayToBeJealous?

Your turn:

What did you do that’s jealousy worthy?

How do you feel about hashtags?

G’night eaters!

Saturday’s a Rugby Day

Hi eaters!

It’s Sunday. Who is ready for a Monday to get back on track and into a routine?

This ‘Baby is for sure!

First, a little about my weekend.

It was fan-freaking-fastic.

It was alumni weekend for us, which only means one thing — the men’s alumni rugby game!

Every year the alumni men come back and play the current men. It’s always a really good game. Oh, and the social afterwards is the best of the year.

This game was made better by hanging out with this lady.

Affectionately known as Undercows.

My friend Marisa transferred out so I rarely get to see her. But since my school is weird (read: greedy) and they consider anyone who attended for at least two semesters an alumni, she decided it was her weekend and needed to make an appearance.

That's my friend Wes. Carrying a jug of pink lemonade and tequila.

Oh, and here’s a guy in a banana suit.

After two rugby matches (the alumni won their game, the women lost theirs), we drank a bunch of beer. And then I woke up from a nap with a pretty intense migraine.

I’ve been getting migraines lately after having never had a problem with headaches before. This one was by far the worst one.

Luckily, though, it was mostly gone my morning. And manly friend didn’t mind a lazy Sunday with me while I waited for it to completely subside. Pizza may have been involved (once I could stomach food).

And eventually, we went grocery shopping.

Loot:

Organic free range eggs, organic baby ‘bella mushrooms, frozen peas, sheeps milk gouda, Black Hawk stout (manly friend’s favorite beer), quinoa, whole wheat pastry flour, black licorice, organic brown rice miso paste, organic red onion, organic sweet potato, organic red potatoes, and EF brand organic kidney beans.

I’ve got big, hopefully delicious meals in store for this week. And that started with dinner tonight.

Empty plates are a good sign.

But you’ll have to come back tomorrow to see what it was.

G’night eaters!

WIAW: All You Single Ladies

Hellooo eaters!

M’gosh, it’s been a crazy long day. But it’s the middle of the week so it’s all down hill from here, right?

Please say yes! Please!

Okay, time to tell you all about it.

First breakfast:

Water crackers.

I woke up late. Manly friend tried to convince me to play hookie. That resulted in me having to grab something as I was running out the door.

Green Mountain Coffee.

Second breakfast:

Massey eggs with hot sauce and spinach.

I was going to make scrambled eggs (yes, I make my scrambled eggs by cracking them directly into the pan and mixing), but then I decided against it.

In the end, I probably should have stuck with scrambled, but I got my serving of greens anyway so it all worked out.

After a little bit of homework it was time to take manly friend up to his new wooded wonderland with Will. On the way, he suggested we stop.

Lunch:

Will introduced manly friend to The Moose Café, which is the restaurant at my beloved farmer’s market.

Butter biscuits and extra clove-y apple butter.

At soon as we sat down the waitress brought us complimentary biscuits and apple butter.

Yes, this is a Southern homestyle restaurant. And yes, I was beyond happy.

He really does stroke his beard when he thinks.

Manly friend and I perused the menu for a bit before both settling on wraps.

BLT wrap in a sun-dried tomato tortilla.

I went with the BLT wrap, which had local bacon. It was extra crispy and smoky.

Local butternut squash roasted with brown sugar.

And came with a side of roasted butternut squash. Local butternut squash, which tasted like butter.

With full bellies we finished our trip up north. The foliage was beautiful, the mountain roads were winding, and I could tell we were getting close by the smell of apples.

Manly friend and I met Will at the orchard. He pulled up on a tractor, which he road like a golden chariot. I took it as a good sign.

And then, the moment of truth…

The man castle!

The mini man castle.

This is manly friend’s abode, which is the guest house.

Room with a view.

And this is the view off the back of the property.

Oh how I can’t wait to spend more time here!

Dinner:

Will insisted that I stay for dinner, which meant going to his favorite local eatery — The Hungry Farmer.

This is a quintessential small southern town greasy spoon. Complete with a buffet.

Baked beans, peas, collard greens, salad, and a bite of meatloaf.

I felt like I was home. Except I never really ate this stuff growing up.

Semantics.

Oh, and since I’ve mentioned Will a few times now I figured I owed you a picture.

All you single ladies...

Yes, lady eaters, this man is 6’5”, chivalrous to no end, a farmer, dog-lover, and single.

Completely single.

Let me know if you’re interested.

Anywhoo, after eating, conversing, and kissing manly friend g’bye (Will declined a kiss because he’s not that kind of gentlemen), I headed back home.

Snack:

This was MaraNatha chunky.

I finished off this jar and…

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.

Sipped this beer while studying. I have a History of Rock exam tomorrow, which is harder than it sounds.

What did you do today?

G’night eaters!

I’m a Flatlander, part 2

Hi eaters!

I’m back in the Dirty Dirty. And while it’s great to see Mother and the pup (and Mother’s friends who are coming over tonight and my besties who I’ll also see later tonight), I’ve definitely got a crazy case of the Post-Vacation Blues.

So to combat that I’m going to bake something very comforting. And I’ll fill you in on the second half of my trip.

Let’s see, I believe I left off at lunch on Friday. Here we go…

After lunch m’manly friend and I returned to his parents’ house, which I love.

Their house is high on a hill with great views of some of the greenest hills surrounding their absolutely-not-quaint town.

Can you spot the town house?

Oh, and they have the sweetest dog Sally.

I think that's a .22 in the background.

She may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but she certainly is the happiest. You can hear the thump of her tail whacking against chairs and tables and walls all through the house.

Late Friday night manly friend’s brother and newly minted sister-in-law arrived. They, too, had some flight problems so we only chatted for a little before we began heading up to bed waves.

Saturday morning came very bright and relatively early with all of us getting ready for a classic Vermont party, as manly friend deemed it, that the family was having that afternoon. The main purpose for the party was the get together with everyone that couldn’t make it down to the wedding. But I really think it was just an excuse to have a party. I’m not complaining either way.

The party was set up on manly friend’s grandfather’s front lawn. His house is at the bottom of the hill and has a flat front yard, so it was a perfect place.

Bad picture. Great party.

A big tent was set up, along with a handful of yard games (apparently playing badminton for almost a straight year in middle school does not make me any good).

A great assortment of both sides of manly friend’s family was there, along with more than a handful of friends.

A bucket of beer, just what every lawn needs.

A variety of drinks, cheese and crackers, and other little nibbles started off the afternoon.

And not long after dinner was served — Big Fatty’s BBQ!

Dinner is served.

I was pretty skeptical when manly friend said they had good BBQ in Vermont. Come on, eaters, you know how big of a deal BBQ is to me. But I’m pretty sure manly friend said these guys were from around my neck of the woods, so I gave them a fair break.

And they turned out to be pretty great (in some aspects). The pulled pork left a little to be desired (it was dry and a bit tough), but the ribs were unbelievable! (Sorry, vegheads) They fell off the bone and were crazy moist and flavorful. The cole slaw was also really good, because it wasn’t drowning in mayo, but the beans were unmemorable.

The rest of the night was spent getting social and dancing as manly friend’s father crooned the night away.

When the sun rose Sunday I found myself with a pretty bad headache. (Imagine that!) I guess I shouldn’t have sipped white wine, red wine, and a vodka tonic throughout the evening. Oops…

So I spent a bit of time laying in bad, watching Netflix and chugging water with manly friend before it was time to…drum roll…shoot big guns!

This has been a joke between manly friend and I for as long as I can remember, but whenever he talks about me visiting Vermont I’ve always said I wanted to “shoot big guns.” Between him, his brother, and their father, they’ve got a pretty impressive gun cabinet.

So we grabbed four guns, plenty of ammo, and headed down the hill to an open field and a (paper) target.

I shot a .22, muzzle-loader, .303 rifle, and a 20-gauge shotgun.

O’m’gosh! The .22 was super fun and manageable, but everything else was really big and really really loud. I think I stumbled back a few steps with each of the three big guns. Manly friend claims I almost fell down when I shot the .303. I don’t think I did, but I definitely almost dropped the muzzle-loader.

Either way, it was fun, but I don’t see myself making guns a hobby of mine.

Monday and Tuesday it rained. So manly friend and I did the only sensible thing — we laid in bed. And watched The Unit. And read lots. And were just generally disgustingly cute.

The man who hates dessert was eating chocolate-covered almonds. I had to document it.

It was pure bliss.

We also went out on a lovely date Monday night, but things are already getting long winded so that’ll wait until tomorrow (or maybe another post tonight, if I’m feeling ambitious).

Thanks for giving me an excuse to gush and coo about how freaking happy I am.

Until we meet again, eaters. 

PS- Did I ever explain what a Flatlander is? Well apparently, it’s what Vermonters call anyone not from Vermont. I do believe at one point manly friend gripped about “leaf-looking flatlanders” taking pictures of their quaint town commons every fall.

I’m a Flatlander, part 1

Hello m’dear dear eaters!

Have you missed me? I would say I have missed you terribly, but manly friend has kept me occupied.

I promise he's not drunk.

Because, really, eaters how can you not be happy around a face like that?!

Anywhoo, I’m going to do a little rundown of my time up in the Great White North, by which I mean Vermont.

First, it is green.

And there are lots of hills.

And a stately town house in the middle of a small town that I’m not allowed to call quaint.

Unfortunately my flight got delayed (and then moved up and then delayed and them moved back up again) so I didn’t see any of this the first night. What did I see the first night?

My cup getting continuously refilled with whiskey by manly friend’s dad.

Needless to say, we all had a headache the next morning. But that didn’t stop manly friend and I from talking a tour of the anything-but-quaint town. And then manly friend and his dad took me to Old City Falls, where we hiked down a steep hill, over some rocks, and up a steeper hill to see a gorgeous old waterfall. Oh, and this was the day that manly friend found out that I’m pretty terrified of falling off cliffs and ledges and anything else that one misstep could cause me to go flying off something high and sheer.

A shower later, and the whole manly clan drove off to a happy hour party to welcome a cousin to town. On the way I experienced what I consider to be true Vermont…

A big Ben & Jerry's truck.

Manly friend laughed at me for taking this. And then assured me that people don’t actually walk around eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s all day.

Once the rain ended the party, manly friend took me to a place that is certainly not quaint. A place that is antiquated in all the best possible ways.

Camp Muffet

His family’s camp. This little house was built before the 1920s and has been in his family about that long. Oh and did I mention it has no hot water or indoor plumbing?

Yup, eaters, this little slightly urban ‘Baby used an outhouse. And then lots and lots of antibacterial soap.

While completely unplugging at camp, manly friend and I made many meals together. Him on the grill.

Starting the coals.

Me cooking squash (that his mother grew). And zucchini (that his mother also grew). And (local Green Mountain smoked) bacon and (certified ethically produced) eggs for breakfast.

Manly friend now thinks that the only things I can cook are squash and breakfast foods. I promised that one day I’ll prove him otherwise. I said this, of course, as we were eating bacon and bagels.

But beyond the food, this place was breath taking.

An almost serene expansive lake, one of the few natural habitats of the now endangered common loon.

We spent all of the first day there on the boat. This is where I learned that New Englanders say crawfish like cr-ay-fish, whereas I think most other people pronounce it cr-aaw-fish. Either way, they’re supposed to be good bait for bass. Perch are also supposed to be good bass bait. Manly friend tried both and neither worked.

Whenever someone catches a big fish it gets traced and hung on the ceiling.

But on the bright side…I fished!

Did I ever mention that manly friend's name is Leon?

I not only touched a worm, but I actually put it on the hook (after lots of yelling and cussing at the worm for trying to squirm away and/or poop on me). And then, eaters, I caught fish. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. I also touched the fish. And took the hook out. And then threw them back because they were all too small.

BUT let’s focus on the important thing here — I touched a fish.

After a day of fishing, we returned to camp, lit the lanterns, and relaxed on the porch with a drink as a small storm rolled in.

Does it really get any better than that? I think not.

Until I had to go to the bathroom.

We left the next afternoon, after one last jaunt around the lake.

On the way back we stopped at manly friend’s favorite pizza place — Leda’s in Fairlee.

He let me choose the toppings, but somehow I ended up picking the exact pizza he always used to get — housemade Greek sausage, peppers and onions.

This was my first experience with Greek pizza, and oh boy oh berto! It was so freaking delicious. A light buttery crust topped with sweet tomato sauce and just enough cheese. The toppings were under the cheese so the vegetables were crisp but not raw. And the sausage! Oh the sausage! I’m sorry to all my veghead eaters, but I have to say it — this stuff was delicious. It was sliced so thin that it pretty mush melted in my mouth.

And now I want the leftovers.

That brings me up to Friday afternoon. I’ll fill you in on the rest sooner rather than later.

G’night eaters!