Weekending: Dining, drinking & celebrating mom

Weekends are usually pretty great, but this past weekend was especially great and I think the combination of being surrounded by lots of family and the weather was the reason behind it. I’ve been trying to cut back on weekend recaps because I’m not sure how much you enjoy hearing about my play-by-play weekend adventures, but this one was filled with trying out new restaurants and celebrating someone very special so I figured it was worth sharing ūüėČ

Friday night, I met the boy in Central Square and he brought me to a little hidden gem: Green Street Grill. This little restaurant/bar was tucked away on a street parallel to Mass. Ave right in the heart of Central Square. We were lucky enough to snag 2 seats right at the bar (our favorite) and enjoyed some vino and delicious (gluten free) dishes. I had had a very stressful (but good stress) day and it was so nice to be able to relax, have a few wines and not think about anything for a while.

Saturday morning, my sister and I went to a class at Flywheel and, just as I expected, Ann taught a phenomenal class. I’d love to say that I had a great ride, but for some reason, my legs felt like lead and I just didn’t have it in me to push myself and¬†pedal¬†faster. I wanted to- so badly- but my body had another thing planned. Oh well. It was still fun riding next to my sister and we left there hot yoga sweaty!

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After class, we shopped around a bit (I got a new dress for Miami!) and then had lunch at Sonsie. The weather had cleared and we got seats right near the open windows- felt so nice to have warm weather!

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I can’t say any of what I ate/drank was healthy, but life is all about balance, right?

Saturday night was date-night. We went to his brother and sister-in-law’s condo in the South End for roof deck cocktails and baby snuggles before having dinner at Stella, which is also in the South End. My friend Jess recommended it and it turns out it’s one of his favorite restaurants, so it was a no brainer to try it out! Even better? They have a whole gluten free menu. We had a drink while waiting for spots at the bar to open up (the Bruins were on. I couldn’t care less, but I wasn’t going to take him away from watching). For dinner, we shared the sausage and broccoli rabe, the arugula salad and the braised short ribs. They split that for us, which was so nice! They also served it atop gluten free penne instead of GF mashed potatoes which was totally fine.

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Yum. I can’t wait to go back- I dream of that dish. Okay, not really, but it was SO good.

Sunday was a fun day filled with pampering mom! We were lucky enough to have them agree to come down for the day instead of us going up there since we’ve been a few times in the past month or so. Danielle and I made a pretty delicious brunch, if I do say so. We had an egg casserole (egg, milk, chicken sausage, saut√©ed peppers and onions, spinach and cheese- so easy, so tasty), warm kale salad (with EVOO and lemon juice as the dressing, craisins, goat cheese, grilled pear and candied pecans), fruit salad and Stonewall Kitchen blueberry muffins.

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One of the best parts of the day was the fact we got to spend time on my back patio, soaking up some serious sun!

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(terrible picture, but it was all I had!)

My mini patio set is, well, mini, but we squished to make it work.

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Yummm. I love brunch food! We had such a nice afternoon drinking wine (mom loves excuses to day drink!) and catching up. My dad is coming down next weekend to help get my garden started and I can’t wait! It will be so nice to have fresh veggies all summer- I’m lucky that he has volunteered to help!

And that about sums it up. Although it was a rather indulgent weekend, there’s nothing better than spending time with the people you love and food/drink indulgences are totally worth it during those times!

Questions for you: Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? What was the best part of your weekend? What did you do to celebrate Mother’s Day? What’s your favorite “hidden gem” restaurant? Do you ever have workouts where your mind wants it but your body doesn’t?

Ok, I really need a grill…

Yeah, I mean, this meal came out SO good, but I think it would have totally topped the charts had I been able to cook it on a grill. Next gym paychecks go to: buying a grill! I don’t know how we survived all of last spring/summer/fall sans a grill, but I know that I won’t be able to do that this year. Maybe I can get my dad to go shopping with me for one (hint, hint).

Anyway, before I get into the details of the meal I made on Tuesday night, let’s chat about how much I have learned to LOVE Tuesday’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching so much and love my current schedule of Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s (double) and every other Saturday, but there is really nothing like the feeling I have all day on Tuesday knowing that I can go home right after work.¬† I also like that I have the option of working out or taking a rest day, pending on what I have going on after work, what my week of workouts looks like, and how I am feeling physically. The nice weather makes me want to work out more (ie: go running, walking, anything outside), so on Tuesday I got home relatively early (6:15- that never happens) and decided that I could squeeze in a quick 30 minute workout, focusing mostly on strength and core. 32 minutes later, I was done, ready for a shower, glass of wine and a meal I had planned out in my head since Sunday, so let’s get to it, right?!

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We New Englanders are finally experiencing the spring weather we have been waiting for since, oh, the past couple of months.¬† Along with the warmer, sunnier weather comes my craving for all things associated with grilling and BBQ’ing, so I decided to take one of my favorite grilling meals and make it in my oven.¬† And, you know what? It came out WAY better than I had hoped it would. I marinated the chicken overnight and I cannot describe in words how flavorful it was.¬† The shrimp was just OK, but the veggies, especially the mushrooms, more than made up for it. And, what’s not to love about corn on the cob and baked sweet potatoes?!

Chicken, Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs

For the chicken marinade:

  • 4 chicken breast tenders
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • ~1/4-1/3 cup white wine
  • ~1 tsp. ground pepper
  • ~1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Few heavy shakes of Mrs. Dash

Veggies:

I cut up peppers, onion, zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms.¬† I didn’t measure, but I¬†eye-balled about how many I thought I would need to make the skewers figuring there was really no right or wrong with how many I used.

Directions

1. Create the lemon-pepper marinade the night before and let the chicken sit in it for about 24 hours to get that really delicious lemon-pepper taste.

0292. The next day, when you’re ready to make the meal, pour yourself a glass of vino, get your apron on, and get to work!

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3. Pre-heat your oven to 375*, wrap your sweet potato in aluminum foil and place it in the oven right on the metal racks.

4. Cut up your veggies and chicken and arrange everything so you can easily skewer however you desire.

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031I created my kabobs by alternating veggies and chicken on some, veggies and shrimp on some and then for the leftover chicken, I just put all of the pieces on one skewer. I sprinkled on a little more pepper, sea salt, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash once the skewers were created.

5. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes (watch closely because you could need more or less time depending on how you cut your veggies and chicken). While the kabobs are cooking, steam your corn.¬† I also had to finish off my baked potato in the microwave since I didn’t start it early enough.

032When everything is done, place on a plate, add some butter to your corn and sweet potato (yes, this is a must) and enjoy!

035Look at those colors!! My mouth was so happy as it tasted all of the different flavors in this dish, especially the chicken. Wow, was that good! I am so excited for leftovers and think I will probably put the kabobs on a salad for a work lunch this week.

Questions for you:Do you have a grill? Suggestions for a good, affordable, no-frills grill? What’s your favorite summer meal?