Friday, June 28, 2013

Baked Apples

One of my favorite things to see cooking when I was growing up were baked apples.  Contrary to their name, they're not actually baked - they're cooked in a frying pan!  When I was little I would sneak into the kitchen while these were cooking and steal the apples with the most brown sugar on them.  In all honestly, that's half the fun of making these - the snacking.

5 large apples (I used gala)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Peel, core, and slice apples.  Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a large pan and stir until apples are coated.

Cook on medium for 15 or so minutes, stirring every few minutes, until apples are cooked through.

They're seriously good.  I especially like them served with pork.  Mmmmm...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Google Reader's Gone - Follow me on Bloglovin or Feedly!

Ok ladies and's finally happening.  This Monday Google Reader is officially going away.  There's a lot of confusion out there about whether it's just google reader...or if it's also GFC...and does google reader power the dashboard where you read your blogs?  I guess we'll all find out Monday.  One of the bloggers I follow bets GFC will stay put - I hope she's right.  In case she isn't...

I'd love for you to follow me on your preferred method.  You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, or Pinterest

I'm pretty bummed about reader leaving (along with the rest of the blogging community) and have spent some time checking out some of the other reader platforms in the last week.  I haven't LOVED anything yet but was planning on going with Bloglovin until this morning.  My main beef with Bloglovin is 1) it's taken me a huge amount of time to add all the blogs I follow to my account (and I'm only halfway done), and 2) I'm not a huge fan of the layout. 

This morning I happened upon a article that mentioned one of their favorite reader websites,, in their article "Life After Google Reader".  Maybe this is old news to everyone else, but I'm kinda lovin Feedly so far.  It was insanely easy to transfer all of the blogs I follow from my Google Reader feed.  It literally took two clicks and a 15 second wait before my morning feed was up on their website.  You can also pick the reader layout you'd like - 1) article titles only, 2) small pictures with title and intro, 3) "card view" - kind of a Pinterest look, or 4) you can view the entire article on the page.  If the rest of the site is as user friendly as the set-up, I'm ditching Bloglovin for this baby.

What do you plan on using going forward?

Hope to see you all still around next week...and check back tomorrow for a cupcake how-to!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of Science - and some butterflies!

Saturday I told you about some of the fun things we did while my parents where here for a visit.  The first day they were here, Friday, it poured rain.  Thankfully there are lots of museums and indoor things to do in Boston, so we decided to go to the Museum of Science and see their special exhibit, the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I'd heard the advertisements on the radio the week before and was excited to go, and I knew mom and dad would love it, too!

The Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered in 1947 and include the oldest writings from the Bible.  How amazing is that!  The scrolls were in the center room and were great to see - how fantastic is it that 2000 year old writings are still in tact?  There were 10-12 sections of the scrolls on exhibit along with translations of those sections.  The thing that struck me was how small the writing was (which we figured makes sense since they didn't sell reams of paper for $8 back then).

In addition to the scrolls, there were lots of period pieces found in the same area.  No photography was allowed in the scroll area, but we were free to take pictures of the other artifacts, so here are a few:

It took us about 2 hours to wander through the exhibits.  After that, we made our way to the cafe to grab some lunch.  We thought going on a Friday would mean there would be less people there.  To our surprise, it was field trip day and there were at least 500 children in the cafe hallway.  Insane.  We scarfed down some surprisingly good grilled chicken sandwiches and then made our way to the butterfly room.

I LOVE the butterfly room.  Travis and I went one time before and stayed in this 400 square foot room for at least 45 minutes.  The walls are lined with lush plants for the butterflies to hang out all day.  Everywhere you look there are butterflies.  Flying around your face, sitting on leaves, eating fruit, perched on someone's's such a fun experience.  It's an additional $5 fee to go to the butterfly house, but is worth every penny.

A little boy was getting as CLOSE to holding him as possible, without actually touching him.

It was a fun day and a perfect start to our fun weekend!  AND if you haven't already, check out the rest of their trip - Providence Waterfires & a visit to Ipswich, MA!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicken with Tomato and Mushrooms

This weekend I went to Costco and stumbled upon a giant container of beautiful cherry tomatoes.  I couldn't wait to get home and make something with them.  What I came up with is super quick and full of flavor...and only uses a few ingredients!

2 chicken breasts
2.5 cups cherry tomatoes
8 ounces mushrooms
Italian dressing
Olive oil
Garlic powder

Season chicken breasts with garlic powder and basil and cook in a little olive oil until just done.  I decided to cut my breasts in half so they were thin.  I started with about 1 tablespoon olive oil.  When more needed to be added to the pan, I substituted the Italian dressing for oo, and finished cooking the chicken that way!

Once your chicken breasts are just done, remove them from the pan.  Add tomatoes, mushrooms, 1/4 cup Italian dressing, and 1/4 cup water to the pan, and cook over medium until tomatoes break down (about 10-15 minutes).

Once you've got a nice looking sauce, add chicken breasts back to the pan and cook for another few minutes to finish cooking.

Then serve!


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

More New England Adventures - Waterfires and Ipswich

A few weekends ago, my parents came to Boston for my 30th birthday!  Travis, who had been in Vermont the week prior, came back to Boston Saturday to spend some time with us too (awwww),  Saturday morning we decided to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is one of my favorite museums in Boston (check out some of my others here).  You can't take pictures inside, so if you want to see it, you'll have to go yourself!  :)

Saturday night we headed south to the Waterfires in Providence, Rhode Island.  Travis and I had been there once before (read about it here!) with some friends, so we knew mom and dad would love it.

If you think that's pretty, check out some pictures from our last trip to Waterfire.

Sunday (my birthday), we decided to spend the day in Ipswich, MA.  Ipswich is another little town on the north shore of Massachusetts (in addition to Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Newburyport).  Ipswich is a much different from its north shore counterparts - there are lots of really old homes and properties you can tour, wildlife reserves, and places to eat.  We decided to take a walk around and look at some of the old homes - most were from the 1660's to 1750's.

After walking all over downtown, we went to lunch at the Clam Box.  The reason we picked this place was because of it's shape - it looks like a clam box!  We were pleasantly surprised at the food - it was fantastic, so it was no surprise when I saw the Clam Box won best clam shack in MA.  I had fried shrimp...mmmmmm.  Honestly, the fried shrimp were better than The Lobster Pool, but The Lobster Pool's atmosphere is far better.  Go to either and you'll be happy.  :)

After lunch we went to the Crane Estate.  There was a wedding going on later that day, so we couldn't go in, but there was plenty to see around the estate.  We took a loooong walk up the hill to the home, walked through the gardens, and then down their huge lawn.  The lawn had three huge hills, and at the end you were rewarded with a beautiful view of the water.  So pretty.

Later that night, Travis went back to Vermont to finish up his conference, and the three of us went out to dinner.  Such a fun day!  Check back later and I'll tell you about our trip to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of Science!

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