Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIAW: What I Drank and Snacked Africa

I've been meaning to share my Africa eats with you guys for soooo long now! We were there for almost a month which means that we had a lot of time to eat and drink while there. Which also means that we had about a bazillion and a half photos to sift through.

View from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa.

One of my favorite things about traveling is discovering how and what other people of the world eat. Checking out the snacks is seriously fun business in my book! Seeing the differences in the packaging of worldwide brands is cool, but the best part is discovering unique flavors that aren't available in the United States. Here's the first edition of What I Ate in Africa: snacks and beers.


As a crossfitter, I thought these crackers were funny because they were called Kips. ;) Then I saw that they were bacon flavored and decided that they had to be tried.

No turtles were harmed in the making of this photo. Just thought it'd be funny to include. ;)

Game jerky! 

I forgot to mention, this post is sponsored by Black Label beer! (Not really. Unfortunately.)

We seriously drank so many of these during the trip. Funnily enough, the company used to have a factory in the town I work in, though now the company is apparently owned by Canadians. And there we were, thinking it was an African beer. Heh. 

I'd guess that about 90% of the beers we either drank or saw in Africa were lagers. I was more than happy with that!

For what its worth: the pine nut soda was deeeelish! 

What is the strangest snack you've seen in your travels?

Readers from other countries: do you have any of these flavors at home? :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Happy Ice Cream Friday! I found a fun slideshow on the Travel Channel website about ice cream around the world. Check it out - there's some really unique stuff on there.

Lately, frozen yogurt shops seem to have taken over as THE go to cold treat. And I totally understand why - the froyo of today tastes just like ice cream, comes in various flavors, and the multitude of toppings. Ohh, the toppings!

Backing up for a second, one of the newest froyo shops around is Red Cherry Frozen Yogurt in Walpole. Many frozen yogurt joints seem to follow one of two basic formats: some dish out the yogurt & toppings for you and others are totally self-serve. Happily, Red Cherry is self service which I prefer because then I can completely control my cup! Also, you pay for the weight of your cup, not for the cup size or number of toppings.

Red Cherry has a bunch of different flavors, varying from the traditional to gluten-free sorbets, tart yogurts, and fun ones (like cinnamon bun and my beloved cookies n cream)! Pump any combination into your cup and then head for the toppings bar. Whatever you fancy, they are sure to have: nuts, candy, fruit, cookies, everything. Choose wisely. ;) 

Clearly I'm a toppings maniac but I promise that there is actual froyo under there! In my cup: cookies n cream and chocolate-peanut butter yogurts topped with Oreo, Reese's, cookie dough chunks, waffle cone pieces, hot fudge, and whipped cream. Wicked healthy!

There small shop does have a few tables both inside and out. Or take a walk across the road to the Walpole Common and enjoy your froyo in the grass!

Red Cherry Frozen Yogurt is located at 1049 Main Street, Walpole MA.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


WIAW completely snuck up on me this week and I don't have many completed meal photos. I wanted to keep with my posting groove, so I've got some random pictures of eats from the week and that'll have to do. Promise I'll be better next week. ;)

Also, as you might have noticed from the past couple months of WIAWs, I have clearly fallen off of the paleo bandwagon and been indulging in all sorts of treats this summer. Whoops. While it has been very enjoyable, I've noticed that I simply don't feel as good anymore. My workouts have felt harder, getting up in the mornings as been ridiculously tough again, obviously a few extra pounds found their way back (not why I was eating paleo but still a side effect), and I've just felt more blah.

End of summer = end of this indulging business. I've still been trying to mostly eat well during the week but want to kick it back into high gear come summer's end. Getting back to eating mostly paleo, cutting the junk, and limiting my beers (wah!) is on the horizon. In the meantime...

Let's party!

I had to try a couple of the new Cho flavors, blackberry and apricot. Blood orange is still my favorite but these were decent.

After spotting red bananas, two came home with me. I had never had one and I like to try new fruits. They tasted pretty much the same as a regular ol' yellow banana.

I made some broccoli pesto. I'm still going to tinker with the recipe a bit but it was pretty good stuff. Enjoyed it on some pasta and on eggs. 

The grill decided it was a great idea to start a fire ON my chicken. Luckily these thighs were skin-on so it was easy to remove the burnt parts. Unluckily, the yummy spice rub was on the skin so I didn't get to really taste it. Next time...

Deeeelish but so not attractive in this photo! PaleOMG's Summer Squash Meatball Casserole. A few of the commenters said their casserole came out watery or mushy. Mine came out great so here's a few extra steps I did to try and remedy this:
- After shredding, squeeze as much water outta the zucchini as you can.
- I sauteed everything then removed it to a casserole dish with a slotted spoon. This leaves behind the extra liquid that could make your casserole mushy.
- Baked it at a bit higher of heat for a little longer, about 400* for 35 to 40 minutes.

A burrito the size of a baby!

I'd forgotten that I bought a fudge sampler a few weeks ago in Newport. This was a nice find in the fridge! 

Speaking of nice finds, I saw this and it HAD to come home with me. What the heck is cottage bacon? Have any of you tried it?

Fresh peaches! I went peach picking with the little dude I nanny for.

And finally, the beer shot of the week:

Happy Wednesday!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


A view of the Newport Bridge via boat! It was neat seeing it from a new point of view. :)

Follow me on Instagram: @massachuseats

Friday, August 16, 2013

Spruce Pond Creamery (and Franklin Flatbread)

Haha minus the cheese sauce, this sounds pretty perfect. Although maybe...

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I'm sure you've picked up on the fact that along with ice cream, pizza is another favorite of mine. And there is one place that combines these two indulgences - Franklin Flatbread & Spruce Pond Creamery.

Since this is technically an Ice Cream Friday post, let's do what every kid wishes they could do and start with dessert! Walk up to the window and peruse the list of their homemade ice creams. So far, the few flavors that I have tried have all been excellent: cake batter, cookie dough, and Double Baked (vanilla ice cream with cookie dough and brownie chunks).

Enjoy your frozen treats on the small deck overlooking a small river or beneath a tree. Or do what I do and head inside for some pizza. The flatbreads here are terrific! Even better, they are made with all organic ingredients including the flour in the crust, which is thin and crispy thanks to a wood oven. 

On both visits, I was "boring" and ordered just the American Revolutions pie, which is topped with plenty of pepperoni and cheese. However, they do have some delicious sounding varieties that I hope to try soon.

And believe me, I will be back there soon. Pizza PLUS ice cream basically assures that!

Franklin Flatbread & Spruce Pond Creamery is located on 370 King Street, Franklin MA.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Cool stuff from the past week:

* Black Sabbath concert...for a bunch of old dudes, they still sound freakin' amazing!

* I ran the Spartan Sprint with a bunch of Crossfit friends!

* Breaking Bad is back! Only a handful of episodes left until its totally over, wahhh.

* And...I took more food - and beer, of course, right Jessie? ;) - photos to share with you all for this week's What I Ate Wednesday!


One morning I was bummed out because I didn't have any bacon for breakfast. Luckily, I had this cheese so all was well in the world. This is some seriously amazing stuff!

What did the girl melon say to the boy melon after he proposed?
We're too young, we cantaloupe!

Grillin' with some chicken and zucchini and chillin' with some cukes. Easy.

As I predicted in my post last week, a soup was indeed happening. Used up the broth I made by tossing in a bunch of diced up veggies and chicken for a quickie soup. It turned out pretty well but a big scoop of pesto really took it over the top.

Best. Pizza. Ever. Mashed potato and bacon pizza from BAR in New Haven, CT. Thanks for sharing, babe! :)
Speaking of bests ever, this burger was right up there! From The Abbey in Providence, RI, its called the Couch Potato and topped with pulled pork, blue cheese, thick cut chips, caramelized onions, and mayo. Re-freakin-diculously good.

Its not too early to pumpkinize things, is it? Because it already happened with these chocolate pumpkin brownies. My "To Cook" pumpkin-flavored list is growing by the minute...
And onto the beers!

Found this little sixer and it immediately jumped into my hands. While I had high hopes for the Strawberry Lager (which didn't pan out), the Beer Flower Wheat was excellent!


 Drinking a Hefeweizen in the shadow of the brewing room at Trinity in Providence.
Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Caprese Burgers

The prime time for tomatoes is now! Use em up in any way, shape, or form now because they (sadly) won't last forever.

I love a good caprese salad. And I love a good burger. So why not combine the two summer staples for a super quick and easy meal?!

Caprese Burgers

This isn't really a recipe - more of just a general guideline to what I did. 
Obviously you can change it up, substitute stuff, and experiment for yourselves! :)

1. Slice a tomato up and marinate the pieces in some balsamic, evoo, salt, and black pepper. You don't have to do this if you don't want but it makes it extra tasty.
2. Grill up some burgers! I used tasty grass-fed beef for mine but choose your favorite - turkey, veggie patty, or even one of them large Portabellos. I can't vouch for how any of those will taste but if that's what you like, then have at it!
3. When burgers are about a minute or two done to your liking, top with a thick slice of mozzarella cheese. Fresh mozz is fantastically amazing - try and get a hold of some. Cook another minute or so, until the cheese starts getting all melty.
4. Layer on some fresh basil leaves and your tomato slices. I sandwiched mine between some large lettuce leaves in trying to keep this mostly paleo. Otherwise, pop your patty onto a bun, into a wrap, or just eat with a knife and fork, whatever. Just as long as you enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Handy Hill Creamery

Haha I can't stop laughing about this!

On Sunday, I went to Horseneck Beach with a couple of friends and it was the perfect beach day! The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, the water felt pretty darn good...once you got used to it, and great company - what more could ya ask for?

Well, ice cream obviously! Handy Hill Creamery is a small outdoor ice cream parlor and seafood shack down the road from the beach. Apparently it is a big attraction because there was one looooong line when we got there. Luckily it moved pretty quick.

The extra time in line was actually kind of a blessing because there was an entire board of flavors to choose from. Believe it or not, I was caught between multiple flavors and none of them were Oreo!

Ultimately, I decided on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. Ladies, take note - this is one vice satisfying scoop! Too bad more places don't have this combo because it was freakin' amazingly good.

In case that doesn't suit your tastes (then get off my blog! Kidding!), my friends tried the Bourbon Caramel Pistachio Brittle (my second choice) and the Orange Pineapple, which sounded pretty unique. The three of us sat at one of the multiple picnic tables to devour our cones and enjoy the gorgeous day. Summer at its finest!

Handy Hill Creamery is located at 55 Hix Bridge Road, Westport MA.

Check out past ice cream Friday posts: