The almost-Boston day

Hartford, CT to Needham, MA (June 12)

Honestly this drive was done pretty efficiently so I arrived in Needham at 12:15 and there’s not much to say about the drive other than Massachusetts drivers suck and the speed limits in this state are SO SLOW.

Seriously. The speed limit says 45mph on a 4 lane divided highway. Half the people are going around 50-55, most of the rest are between 60 and 65, and there are a few crazies going 70+. Wouldn’t it just be more sensible to set a reasonable 55 or 60 limit? Apparently not in the great state of Massachusetts.

SUPPLIES

Marshalls & Radioshack

I arrived at my Aunt Claire and Uncle Steve’s house at the same time as their very first flat screen tv so after hugs were given all around Steve, Anna, and I set to setting it up while we caught up on what was up in everyone’s lives.

When we got it working Anna and I left to run errands and Steve went back to work.

Radioshack had HDMI cables so we could watch Orange is the New Black Season 3 on the new TV and Anna needed some flow-ey pants from the local Marshalls, which was by far the best Marshalls I’d ever been in. There’s something fun about thrift stores or overstock stores because they’re different everywhere you go. Starbucks is Starbucks in any city I visit, but the Salvation Army is a great way to get a cross section of a local community.

DINNER

Trader Joe’s Home Cooking

Anna recommended that instead of the typical flowers or bottle of wine, I go with a good home cooked dinner to thank her parents for having me so after she headed to work in the evening I set about making stuffed shells with ingredients we had picked up at the local Trader Joe’s.

I’m going to say something sacriligious — get ready for it. I don’t like Trader Joe’s. I know, I know you think it’s the most wonderful grocery on the planet but I honestly just don’t see what’s so great about it compared to the value at a Meijer, the selection at a Kroger, the comfort of my childhood Polly’s Country Market (I love you Polly’s!!), or the quality of a Whole Foods. It’s just meh except for the constant presence of stroopwafels in the cookie aisle which is usually the only reason I go to Trader Joe’s at all.

Cara’s Sausage and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 of the roundest, firmest peppers in the store (red or green)
  • 4 garlic chicken sausage (or spicy turkey sausage)
  • 1 package of pre-crumbled goat cheese
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa (or similar grain)
  • 2 zucchini (or other veggie)
  • Garlic, Basil, Rosemary, and Italian spice blend (or whatever spices tickles your fancy)

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Cut peppers in half and blanch them for one minute in boiling water, then transfer to ice bath. Cook and crumble sausage in olive oil and garlic. Sautee zucchini in olive oil and spices. Mix sausage, zucchini, quinoa, and goat cheese in a bowl, then pat the pepper halves dry and pack the filling in. Bake for 25 minutes.

Pro-tip: the peppers tend to leak a little so I line the baking pan with tinfoil for easy clean up and you can wrap the leftovers in the same tinfoil to re-heat later!

Serve with crusty bread and a light salad.


“CAMPSITE”

Bloom-Robison House

It felt so amazing to take my first shower in days then lay down on a futon where the ceiling was 12, rather than 2, feet above my head. The cross breeze was lovely and I slept great.

Big shout out to my awesome family for having me for the night!


MEDIA

Orange is the New Black — Season 3

Anna and I watched the first two episodes of the new season before she left for work and I was SO EXCITED. I had never waited for a new binge season on Netflix before because I picked up OitNB months after season 2 had been released. Now I can see why I lose my friends for a weekend whenever a new season is released — the Netflix binge-model is addictive and evil. But oh so amazing.