Picking Pumpkins Like it’s our Job

As if sailing through New York harbor with Tommy wasn’t enough to make my weekend, on Sunday we piled into the car and drove out to Long Island to go pumpkin picking!

But before we made our journey, we had to fill our bellies with pumpkin picking fuel. On Saturday night, I got a tweet from my cousin with this recipe.  We woke up on Sunday morning with nothing on our minds but egg stuffed potatoes, so they had to be made.

Unfortunately, my reading skills elude me very often and I didn’t realize the recipe called for baked potatoes.  Since we didn’t have an hour to bake the potatoes in the oven, we nuked em in the microwave. The only thing I want to know is why no one ever informed me that I could cook potatoes in the microwave in under five minutes?

To make these impressive looking guys, all you need to do is cut off the top of your potato, carefully scoop out the innards, add you egg and topping of choice and bake in the over at 375 for 25-30 minutes. As a side note, if you’ve never baked eggs before like me, eggs retain their shininess even when fully baked so just check your eggs when time is up. They may look like they’re still raw but they’re probably ready to eat. I slightly overcooked my eggs, but it was nothing a little ketchup couldn’t fix.

I also used the extra potato to make some breakfast potatoes, by mixing them with a little onion and bacon and throwing them on a skillet. Awesome breakfast to start off an awesome day.

Since breakfast took a little longer than initially expected, we were running a little late on our way to the pumpkin patch. We got to Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm around 3PM and were ready to get to picking.

Even though the fields were covered in pumpkins, it was really slim pickings.  Most of the pumpkins that were laying on the ground were rotting, or had soft spots that were on their way to rotting.  The weather over the summer really messed with the pumpkin crops. When people say theres a pumpkin shortage, I believe it. The farm does provide pre-picked pumpkins that are left on palettes on the side of the field, if you don’t want to venture out into the mud, but half the fun is getting all muddy.

Fortunately, the more rotten and squishy the pumpkin, the more Munchkin enjoyed it.

Tommy ventured way out into the field and came back with some good finds.

It’s a good thing that Munchkin has been hitting the gym, he wouldn’t have been able to push the wheelbarrow otherwise. ;)

He abandonded our wheelbarrow when he found some better company.

Doesn’t it look like Arianna is thinking get your stinky butt out of my face. We all died laughing during dinner while looking at this photo.

Once we made our pumpkin selections, the fun part started. Stakey’s has a deal that you can have all the pumpkins you can carry for $25 and they let you weigh them before to make sure its worth it.

You have to load up your pumpkins and walk the white line to the cash register. The catch is, that if you drop a pumpkin and it smashes, you have to pay for it. We made it to the register with no problem! Since our pumpkins were over 60 pounds, we saved over $10 thanks to Tommy’s skill and muscles.

After our pumpkins were paid for and loaded in the car, we took advantage of some of the other things attractions Stakey’s had to offer.  Munchkin went in his first bouncy castle and he loved it.

He actually loved it so much, that we had to send his godfather in there to scoop him up when his turn was over.

We also snacked on some yummy soft baked chocolate chip cookies and apple cider.  I signed their mailing list and will be getting two free hayride tickets for next fall!

Our pumpkins have now made the stoop their home. I think they look quite comfy. I’ll be showing off more of my fall/Halloween decorations tomorrow if you’re interested. :)

Have a great Tuesday!

Do you go pumpkin/apple picking in the fall?
What’s your favorite part of fall?

Boston Birthday

We hit the road on Friday and got out of the city fairly quickly. We had a bit of a setback in Connecticut, where we ran into some traffic, decided to take a different road to avoid said traffic, and hit even worse traffic, but once we made it to the right road, it was smooth sailing all the way to Boston.  We got to our hotel around 8PM and stayed in for the night because we were tired after the car ride and Munchkin was almost ready for bed.

We stayed at the Hayatt Place, which was a bit outside the city, and I highly recommend it.  When we got to our room, we found that our TV didn’t work, so they switched our room and gave us a free dinner for our troubles.  I got some yummy French Toast, which I shared with Munchkin who is a big fan of the stuff.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday to head over to the Samuel Adams Brewery to go on the Brewery tour.

I never knew that Sam Adams makes so many different varieties of beer.  They even make the most alcoholic beer in the world called Utopia which was over 27%. We got a walk through of the factory and got to try the different kinds of barley they use to make the different kinds of beer.

The factory in Boston is not where they make the majority of their beer, but it is where they make all of their specialty beers.  After the tour, it was tasting time!

We got to try three kinds of beer, Boston Lager, Oktoberfest and one of their specialty beers, which was a White Ale. After the tour, we took a trolley over to one of Boston’s oldest bars that serves a ton of different Sam Adams beers on tap. Doyle’s was also one of the first places that started serving Sam Adams beer, when they were just a little brewery starting out.

We had some lunch at Doyle’s along with our Sam Adams beers.  We both had clam chowder, but I opted for the bread bowl, which was so delicious that I can’t even describe it.  I think I could eat chowder out of a bread bowl, everyday, for the rest of my life and die happy.

We also shared some potato skins which were very yummy.

After our delicious lunch, we headed over to the zoo so that Munchkin could have some fun.

Munchkin enjoyed running around and looking at all the  different animals in the zoo, but honestly I wasn’t really impressed with it. I may be spoiled because the last two zoos I visited were the San Diego and Bronx zoos which are very impressive.

After the zoo, we were all tuckered out so we headed back to our hotel to rest up a bit and change because it was getting chilly out.

For dinner we decided to do more seafood.  I found a place a bit outside of Boston called Turner’s Seafood Grill.  They had received some of the best rating on Yelp and Urban spoon and we definitely know why.

Turner’s is not only a restaurant, but it is also a seafood market.  If they’re selling fresh seafood, you have to bet that what they’re serving is super fresh.  When we sat down, our server Peggy informed us that they were having Oysterfest.  Tommy and I had never tried oysters before so we decided to go for it.

The taste was interesting and not bad at all.  We did have a good time joking at the description of the oysters. One of ours was supposed to have a coppery finish…whatever that means. We also shared some Cherry Pepper Calamari which was very good, sweet and spicy at the same time.

For my entree, I got the crab cakes. They were probably the best crab cakes I’ve ever had in my life.

After dinner, we headed over to the Apple Store so I could purchase my birthday gift! I’ve wanted an iPad for a long time, but couldn’t justify spending the money, so my parents and I split the price tag and I am now the proud new owner of an iPad 2.

We slept in a bit later on Sunday and took our time packing up and checking out.  We headed over to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market for lunch and a bit of shopping.  We got lunch at Boston Chowda.

I got Lobster Mac and Cheese and Tommy got a Lobster Roll.  As much as we both love seafood and as good as lunch was, we both decided that we were seafooded out for a while.

After lunch, we hit the Freedom Trail.  I really like that all of the big sights to see in Boston are along the Freedom Trail and that there is an actual line on the sidewalk that you can follow to find these sights.

Quincy Mahket ;) 
Statehouse
Samuel Adams

Notice my two cuties in the corner!

My new boyfriend. Shh! Don’t tell Tommy ;) 
Park Street Church

Tadpole Playground near Frog Pond

Public Garden

 And since no birthday weekend would be complete without a cake, on our way back to the car we stumbled upon Sweet. I actually read about Sweet online when doing some pre-getaway research and I was more that excited to find it!

The decor of the place was very cute, simple and clean.

It looked like a place where you could have a tea party that every little girl dreams of.  I loved the way it looked! They also had the cutest packaging for their cupcakes.

We got a Red Velvet, Caramel Macchiato and a Boston Cream.  While they were very tasty, we both agreed that we have been spoiled by the House of Cupcakes and will probably compare every other cupcake we try to those.

Our drive home flew by so much quicker than the ride up, but I think that always happens, especially when you’re going someplace exciting.

I have to say that I had an amazing birthday and I am so lucky to have an amazing boyfriend who spoils me with these kinds of surprises.  I also have amazing friends because my phone did not shut up all weekend with texts, calls and facebook wishes.  Thank you to everyone!

What did you do this weekend?
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Yoga and Yogurt

Since September is National Yoga Month, I decided to start off my morning with some yoga to celebrate.  I never really did much yoga, but the deep stretches felt really good first thing in the morning.  I think I will be doing more of it and trying to incorporate it into my workout routine. It can’t hurt, right?
After yoga, it was time for breakfast.

 

 I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls on behalf of Dannon. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program but my opinions are my own. For more information and recipe ideas, visit www.oikosyogurt.com or www.Facebook.com/oikos. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I have been a huge fan of Greek Yogurt since Trader Joe’s opened in my area and I tried it for the first time, many moons ago.  Since then, I haven’t purchased any other type of yogurt and have even made my little Munchkin a big fan of the stuff. Regular yogurt seems too watery and sweet to me these days.

When the Clever Girls Collective contacted me to try a new type of Greek Yogurt, I was more than excited.  I’m a creature of habit and often suffer from tunnel vision, even in the supermarket.  I had seen the blue Dannon Oikos containers in the dairy case, but never looked twice to see what it was. Little did I know, I was missing out.  I was hoping to try some of the Oikos flavored yogurt because the Berry flavors beat Chobani 2 to 1 in a national taste test.  It also comes in interesting flavors like Key Lime, which I’ve never seen from a Greek Yogurt before. Unfortunately, my supermarket is subpar when it comes to yogurt selection.

Since my favorite way to eat Greek Yogurt is in the form of a yogurt bowl, I decided to put Oikos to the test.  I dumped the yogurt into my favorite bowl and topped it with Muesli and blueberries.

I mixed it up and it was ready to eat.

The yogurt was rich, creamy and thick, just the way I like my yogurt.  It gets its delicious texture thanks to an authentic Greek straining process, which the yogurt goes through.  Overall, it was yummy.  If you’ve never tried Greek yogurt before, I would recommend trying the flavored varieties first because all Greek yogurt has a very distinct taste.

And if I haven’t convinced you to try it, maybe Uncle Jesse will. I had the biggest crush on John Stamos when I was five. I knew he would never steer me wrong.

Next on my to try list is overnight oats in a jar with Oikos.  It’s actually waiting for me in my fridge so I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m also heading out to Philly this afternoon and I cannot wait! How lucky am I? I get two weekend getaways in a row!

Have a great loooong weekend if your in the states, and if not enjoy your regular weekend! ;)

What’s your favorite way to eat yogurt?
What are your plans for the weekend?

Party Animals

Yesterday was the first birthday party that Munchkin attended, other than his own. The little boy who lives next door to us is turning 5 next week, but he told his mom that he will not go to school until he is 5, so they had his birthday party a week early. I got him a Home Depot tool set and it was a big hit with all the kids at the party.

As usual, Munchkin was the youngest one at the party, but that did not stop him from having a great time.  He ran around chasing the older kids and had a blast playing with their play kitchen.  He literally sat in front of it for half the time, taking thing out of the cabinets and pretend eating.  I’m looking into kitchens and I think Munchkin might get one for Christmas.

After filling Munchkin with lots of sugar in the form of ice cream cake, we can home to plan our Boston getaway.  Tommy is taking us to Boston for my birthday and I could not be any more excited. We already chose our hotel and it’s right in the middle of Boston, not far from Fenway Park.  It looks great online and the reviews I read are pretty good.

Since neither of us know much about Boston, I need your help! If you have any recommendations for restaurants, places to see, things to do, please share, I would really appreciate it.  My only requirement is that it be child friendly. Thanks so much!

Now I’m off to do some homework.  It was really nice having off yesterday, but its time to get back to reality.  Thank god for three day weeks!

Have a great Tuesday!

Have you ever been to Boston?
What’s your favorite birthday memory?