A Real Thanksgiving

Hello darlings! A few days ago I celebrated Thanksgiving. This was actually one of the only authentic Thanksgivings I have celebrated. Normally, my mother flies to Florida or California to recruit for field hockey. That leaves my brothers, Dad, and me home to try and figure out what to eat. We have spent past years having steak instead of a big turkey. This year, my Dad and I traveled to Troy to spend it with my brother (Nathan), his girlfriend (Heather), her mother, and her uncle. It also helps that two adorable puppies were cheerfully playing around. We definitely missed having my other brother (Andrew) and my mother there, but we made the most of it.

We pretty much ate until we couldn’t anymore. There was a giant turkey stuffed, sweet potatoes, stuffing, brussels sprouts, carrots, mashed potatoes, turnips, green beans cheesecake, squash soup, and cheesecake. We were all stuffed afterward.

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Denver dreaming of table scraps.

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How did you spend your Thanksgiving? What do you normally eat during Thanksgiving? Let me know if you blogged about it because I’d love to see some food pictures!

As always,

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Exploring Montreal in Less Than 72 Hours

Hello darling! The travel bug didn’t stay in Italy! This past weekend my friends and I decided to drive three hours to explore Montreal. None of us have ever been so we were extremely excited to see what Canadian life is like.

Friday

We departed early Friday morning and entered Montreal around noon. We quickly got a bite to eat and then decided to walked around the shops and street corners. Everywhere we went it seemed like there was beautiful artwork painted on the street corners or funky stairs greeting a painted door. Montreal was definitely one of the most “earthy” cities I have ever been to. There seemed to be trees emerging from every which way.

 

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After we walked around, we decided to rent bikes. We ended up biking around the city for about 2 hours. We actually ended up biking all the way to the Olympic stadium where the 1976 summer Olympics were held. I have officially been to two Olympic locations now (Germany was my other location).

We went to Schwartz for dinner and ended up getting sandwiches with tons of smoked meat falling out of the sides. Afterwards, we decided to walk around and pop our heads into stores.

Saturday

We decided to venture farther into Old Montreal and see the Notre Dame Basilica. The architecture of the building was stunning. The basilica is made up of rich stain glass windows and elegant staircases. What I appreciated most was the use of colors at the alter. The light blues and strong purples made the alter seem as if it was alive. It is definitely something worth seeing.

I was not aware of a second church in the basilica. The second church was made mostly out of wood and copper, giving the alter and earthly feel. It reminded me of the Trinity library in London because of the unique colors and materials used.

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After our eyes fell out of ours skulls from the basilica, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We ended up finding this adorable little cafe that is half a store and half a restaurant. There was even a man playing a piano! The place is called et Bistro Le Magasin Général du Vieux-Montreal and I definitely recommend it. The only issue with this restaurant was how long it took to get our food. I think we waited for at least 45-50 minutes after ordering our food. But it was definitely worth the wait because the food was amazing.

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After our tummies were full, we decided to drive to the overlook at Mont Royal. There you can see some of the most breathtaking views of the city. If you really want to treat yourself, you should wake up early and see the sunrise over Mont Royal. I’ve been told it is amazing.

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For dinner, we ended up at at a vegetarian restaurant called Lola Rosa. The food was incredible. My brother makes amazing nachos but Lola Rosa came close to topping his batch. Everything at Lola Rosa tasted incredibly fresh and flavorful. It also helps that my favorite food is a burrito and they had that on the menu. If you’re ever in Montreal I highly recommend Lola Rosa if you want something with a strong flavor. Another unique thing about Lola Rosa was that inside ever table there were notes stored. Anyone could write notes and leave them inside the table. There were really funny notes and even serious notes about needing to love yourself. If you even come to Lola Rosa and find my note let me know!

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Have you ever been to Canada? Would you ever go? Let me know in the comments down below!

As always,

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A Berry Nice Time

Hello darlings! Those who of you who saw my last post, know that I visited family this past weekend. My cousins and I decided to go blueberry picking. I swear the blueberries in New York are so much better than the ones anywhere else. Almost every berry was the size of a quarter! I think I ate more berries than I put in my basket… but that’s okay!

I’m not going to lie, the only reason I wore this outfit instead of gym apparel is because I wanted to do an outfit post for you guys. It’s been a while! Normally when I’d go blueberry picking, I’d wear junky sneakers, gym shorts, and a big flowy tank top. Hey, at least I looked good sweating!

I decided to wear this dark wash tank top with these patterned, white shorts. I think this top would look even better with a pair of white skinny jeans. I’ve been looking for a pair for the longest time. One of these days I think I’ll have to splurge a little and finally get myself a pair. However, since it was 90°, I think it was best that I wore shorts. I love the funky pattern on them because it adds a little flair to this otherwise neutral outfit. As for the ring, I’m obsessed with this rich, gold ring from Madewell. Often times, I forget I am wearing because it is so comfortable. The sandals are some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I’m in love with the lace up trend ever since I bought my first pair of lace up flats. I think it’s such a flattering and cleaver way to wear a shoe. These Steve Madden lace up sandals are great to wear with any summer outfit.

These sunglasses are from a little shop in New Jersey. I love the cat-eye frame for my face.

That was my berry picking experience in a nutshell! I actually made my first ever boomarang and posted it on Instagram. I’m pretty pumped on it so you should check it out and if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you should follow me. My instagram is peculiarporter.

Have you ever been blueberry picking? There is something so great about picking your own food. I ended up making these buttermilk blueberry scones. Ugh, they were the most magnificent things I’ve ever made. I highly recommend you try this recipe. 

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: Stuffed with Sweets

Hello darlings! Before you read any further, I want to alert you that this is yet another post filled with tons and tons of food pictures. I hope you can survive!

With that said, I went to Albany Pump Station on Valentine’s day with Robert, Alyssa, and Nicole. They apparently changed their chef so their food changed a bit. None to less, the food was still great! I got the turkey gobbler, which is basically these little turkey melt sandwiches with cranberry dressing that you can dip into gravy. Yummmmm. The other two pictures are fried eggplant and  calamari with balsamic dressing drizzled onto it.

I received a surprise care package from my parents. It was filled with tons and tons of delicious goodies. Nerds rope is my favorite sweet candy! What is yours?

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I finally got my tapestry! I love how bright it is! It took a while to ship, but I’m super glad it finally arrived.

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I took this grand selfie on my way to class. I was freezing and someone saw me take it.

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Later that day, I made cinnabuns while Rob and I were studying for our religion midterm. I’ve been craving a cinnamon for about 6 months now so I was very, very excited to eat them.

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Friday, my mom picked me up from school. We met up with my brother, Nathan, for dinner. We ended up going to Garlic Lovers Corners in Troy. It was my first time going to a Mediterranean restaurant. The restaurant looked very sketchy outside but the food was amazing! We ordered calamari and tzatziki for appetizers. I ordered salmon with lemon, dill, and balsamic glaze. It came with toasted jasmine rice and mixed vegetables. For my first Mediterranean restaurant was a win!

When I returned home, I was greeted to three Easter trees. If you remember my post around Christmas time my mom puts up 5-7 Christmas trees every year. She also puts up trees for Halloween and Easter.

That was my week in a nutshell! Hopefully it didn’t make you drool too much. Do you put up Easter decorations up too? Let me know in the comments!

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: First Snowfall

Hello darlings! Did you finally get snow? If you live inland then you might have received your fist snow fall this week. We finally received our first snow fall in Albany and I couldn’t have been happier. I mean look how beautiful Siena looks in the snow:

The only downside is that the temperature dropped drastically. Right now it is 7° and there is a low of -4° …. oh and it feels like…..

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We were team Ireland for a party this weekend. I had to put the flag over my mouth because I couldn’t stop smiling.

I also am getting a lot better at cooking *slow clap*

This week I cooked chili for the Super Bowl. There are three types of meat (ground beef, ground turkey, and steak), red beans, peppers, onions, and a whole much of spice in it. I think I put a little too much spice in because it was a little too spicy. I’m not sure if my friends were just being nice, but they all said that there is no such thing as having too much spice.

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I also cooked Cheesy jalapeño popper baked stuffed chicken this week. You can get the recipe here. I was incredibly proud of it. I want to try it with red or green peppers next time. I loved the way it came out. I also made roasted squash and corn with it. For some reason it made me miss my host mom in Italy.

 

I also went shopping this week and scored a jacket and a dress. The dress is from American Eagle and I can’t wait to do an outfit post on it when it gets warmer. I also scored a sweet ‘suede’ jacket for $7 from Forever 21. They’re having an insane sale right now. Every clearance items is an additional 75% off. I would definitely go to your closest Forever 21 to see if you can snag a great item like I did.

Later today, for Valentine’s day, I’ll be going to Albany Pump Station with Robert, Alyssa, and Nicole. It’s my favorite restaurant so I’m quite excited! What are you doing for Valentine’s day? I hope it consists of eating copious amount of chocolate and laughing too much.

As always,

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Chowderfest 2016

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to Chowderfest in Saratoga with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. For those who don’t know what Chowderfest is, it’s an annual chowder competition. Restaurants in Saratoga compete to win the title of best chowder. This year, there were 80 competitors. The way it works is you run around Saratoga, pay a dollar for the chowder, then a large man has to roll you to your car because you’re so full. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get the point. My belly ended up being filled up with tons and tons of chowder… I’m not complaining. Although they were all good, I had some favorites…

We went to Durthers first. It was a clear winner in my book. There was everything imaginable inside the chowder. Pulled pork, clams, corn, croutons, cheese, and probably a few more things I’m forgetting to name. We loved it so much we actually went back and bought another before we left.


After Druthers, we hopped on the next line to get The Stadium Cafe’s chowder. Their chowder was made with smoked apple cheddar, chicken, and prosciutto. I really liked this one as well. They gave you little oyster crackers to go with it.

We then crossed the street to get chipotle crumbled chowder at Boca Bistro. There was a good amount of oysters in the chowder, which was different from all the other chowders. Next to Boca Bistro, was a little juice bar offering free juice samples. They were interesting to say the least… I’m more of a smoothie/water girl myself.

We then turned the corner and went to get a ruben chowder at Bailey’s Cafe. The line moved pretty slow compared to the other three. The line was moving so slow that there was even a window in the tent that was offering beer. This was probably my least favorite chowder. The ratio of ruben to chowder was a little off in my cup. I got a giant chunk of ruben that I gladly gave to my brother.

Across the street was Park Side Eatery that was serving a tequila chowder with cactus in it. Definitely the most creative chowder at Chowderfest. I couldn’t taste the tequila in the chowder, but I did get a little cactus in my bowl. There was also big chucks of chicken in it, which was fantastic addition to the chowder. However, there wasn’t much flavor so I’d rate this second to last but ranks first in portion and creativity.

My friends brought me a Seven Horse chowder that was really creamy. I would love to tell you what was in it, but I really have no idea. All I know was that it was delicious.

We then went up the street more and got a cup from Hatties. They had corn bread chowder which consisted of a soupy chowder with a little nugget of corn bread. This one had a lot of flavor. I would rate Hattie’s chowder as a little above average… I think third on my list.

 

So, I’m not a huge fan on buffalo sauce. I’m just a wimp with spices, I guess. I feel like my roommate, Courtney, is trying to bring me to the dark side. Aside from that, we waited in line at Dangos for almost an hour to get their chicken wing chowder. It was seasoned with buffalo sauce, but I LOVED it. Four days later and I’m still thinking about it.


Overall, Chowderfest was a lovely time. My rankings based on chowder we tried:

  1. Druthers
  2. Dangos
  3. Hatties
  4. The Stadium Cafe
  5. Seven Horse
  6. Park Side Eatery
  7. Bailey’s Cafe

I’m already excited for next year to see what new kinds they’ll all make. It was very cold so if you decide to ever go to Chowderfest at Saratoga you might want to read my article on HerCampus on how to stay warm.

The funny part was that only one of the chowders we had won (Druthers). Here are the contestants that won:

People’s Choice: Gaffneys Restaurant, Southwest Shrimp & Grilled Corn Chowder with a Crab Popper Wonton
People’s Choice under 1,000 bowls: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Most Chowder Served: Druthers, Southwest Chowder
Best On Broadway: Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden
Best Off Broadway: West Side Stadium, Seafood Chowder with Clams, Crab, Corn, Potato topped with Fried Cornbread Stick
Best Non Downtown: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Best Newcomer: Carson’s Woodside Tavern, Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Soup
Best Dessert Chowder: TC Paris, Mini Tirami-sea Cupcake

Next year I’ll just have to try Gaffneys!

I hope this post didn’t make you too hungry! Do you like Chowder? Let me know in the comments if this made your mouth water a little bit!

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: A Week of Food

Hello darlings! Did you have the most wonderful week of ever? I feel like all I did this week was eat… and I’m okay with that.

During the week, Courtney and I cooked a meal together… we ended up setting off the fire alarm. We didn’t realize you can’t spray pam on an already hot pan. You live and you learn. At least our food came out looking pretty good.

 


(Note: if some of the chicken looks a little pink on the outside it’s because we used a raspberry marinate).

Saturday I went Chowderfest in Saratoga. I’ll be posting all of the delicious chowder pictures later this week. I went with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. We ended up meeting up with the majority of our friends and chowing down on the delicious chowder.

Since it was very cold, I wore two cardigans, a tank, a tank top sweater, and maroon pants. My feet froze a little bit but other than that I wasn’t too cold.

The Chowder from Druthers was my personal favorite. We loved it so much we went back for more!

Definitely come back this week so you can check out all my chowder pictures. I also have a outfit of the day post coming up that I’m incredibly excited about!

Today, Courtney and I are hosting the super bowl at our house. I’m making chili and guacamole, Courtney is making a buffalo chicken dip, and we have a few fun platters and chicken wings. I’m just incredibly excited that I get to wear my slippers!

What are you doing for the super bowl? If you’re reading this late… what did you do for the super bowl? I’m actually not a big football fan… but I do like watching the commercials and eating more than I should!

As always,

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