Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunflower Morning

Good morning, blogland! I thought I'd start your morning off with some beautiful sunflowers from the Copley Square farmer's market! (I had an hour to kill before dinner last night, so I strolled around the market for a little while.)

The Copley Square farmer's market takes place in front of the Trinity Church (along St. James and Dartmouth) on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. This market has much more to offer than the tiny market in Brigham Circle and it was much cheaper! I will be frequenting this location from now on!

I love farmer's markets! And I love photos of farmer's markets! :)

At the farmer's market, I came across a lavender vendor selling all sorts of wonderful smelling soaps, lotions, perfumes, and lavender-filled sachets. What caught my eye was their Cranberry Lavender Lemonade. It sounded so unusual, I just had to try some. The initial taste was cranberry and lemon, but the aftertaste was this interesting, but delicious lavender flavor. I thought maybe the lavender would give it a weird soapy taste (lavender to me = soap), but it didn't at all. It was definitely worth my dollar!

My farmer's market purchases: Cranberry Lavender Lemonade and 5 peaches.


When it comes to food, I'm usually easy to please. However, Gaslight did not impress me, which was a wicked letdown because I was originally so jazzed about it. Maybe it was because I ordered off the pre-fixe Restaurant Week menu, but my food was not spectacular. To tell ya the truth, it was pretty average.

Dinner started off with wine, a Sauvignon Blanc, bordeaux, chatron la fleur ‘06 Bordeaux (how fancy does that sound?) The waiter warned me that the wine glasses were small (hello, upsell!), so I decided to order a 1/2 carafe, which sounds like a lot of wine, but it only ended up being 2 glasses, which, of course, I throughly enjoyed!

First up was the Foraged Mushroom Vol au Vent with Cepes Cream as an hors d'oeuvres. This was delicious and started my dining experience off on the right foot!

The mushrooms were amazing-- very flavorful and tender. I also love any type of puffed pastry, so I really liked the combo of mushrooms, cream sauce, and a buttery pastry.

Mal ordered the escargots (his favorite), which came in a rich garlic and parsley sauce. Mal shared one with me (yum!), and dinner, at this point, was fantastic.

The main course is when things started to go down hill. From the Restaurant Week menu, I ordered the Crispy Cod Anglaise with Sauce Gribiche, Pommes Frites and Salade Cresson, which turned out to be two slabs of fried fish. It's my own fault for not asking questions about the entree, but for some reason, I didn't think the fish would be fried. I actually thought it would just be coated in something crispy. My initial reaction wasn't positive, but I will pretty much eat anything, so I dug right in.

The cod was good, but like I previously mentioned, pretty average. It reminded me of fried fish meal from an Irish pub. I ate one piece and then a couple of bites of the second piece... then picked at the fried coating.

Mal, Josh, and Danielle, however, had excellent meals at Gaslight! Mal orderer the Bar Steak and Danielle ordered the Poulet Grand Mere (chicken) from the Restaurant Week menu, and both dishes were outstanding! (They both shared bites with me.) I guess I just ordered the wrong thing.

For dessert, I had the Chocolate and Caramel Crepes, which were also so-so. I shared my dessert with Mal, who loved it, but I thought it needed more flavor. There wasn't enough chocolate and caramel for my liking! :) Josh and Danielle shared the Molten Chocolate Cake, which was decadent (I also had a bite of this). It was warm, rich, and super chocolately... totally my type of dessert!

P.S. I had my first celebrity sighting last night on my way to dinner at Gaslight! A reader recogized me on the street in the South End and said hello! We only chatted for a minute, but it was so cool! (Hi, Stacey!)

This Morning

After the gym, I stopped in Starbucks for an iced coffee with soy milk.

I ate my breakfast while typing this post: Kashi instant oatmeal, banana, high-fiber cereal, and Barney Butter (thank goodness for the single serving size). I cannot be trusted around jars of Barney Butter!

Question of the Day

How do you fit in exercise when you are time crunched?

Me: Walks at lunch, taking the stairs, interval training (a fast and dirty workout), squats while brushing my teeth, stretching on commercial breaks.

LeRoi Moore :(


RhodeyGirl/Irbas/Sabrina said...

I make myself do 5 minutes of crazy exercise before I get in the shower if I am having a really busy day. Sometimes I even do it on the bathroom floor (ew I know). I do pushups, different ab exercises, butt blasters, etc.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, Copley Square farmer's market is gorgeous!! Love the sunflowers.

Sorry that Gaslight was a bummer :0(

The reason FOR my time-crunch is all the activity that I engage in on a daily basis, so I can't really answer the question, haha. But like you, I always opt for the stairs instead of elevators and such.

c said...

Those sunflowers are pretty!

I am not good at making exercise a priority when I am busy. I am headed out for vacation today and hope that when I return, I will start fitting it in before I got to work each morning.

VeggieGirl said...

P.S. - So fun that you had YOUR first celebrity siting!! I had mine in Chicago, haha :0)

Quinn said...

LOVE the farmer's market - the perfect place for peaches and tomatoes in my opinion.

Bummer about the Gaslight, but it makes you smarter for future orders :)

I agree with you about intervals, and I will try to incorporate exercises whenever I can. I do calf lifts all the time, while cooking, while blow drying my hair, etc. It also helps to walk a dog who runs after squirrels. It really works my arms to pull him in!

Anne P said...

It's all about the lunch time walks! Especially with the Olympics on until late night recently and since I've had social stuff after work every day, I've been doing a lot of long lunch walks. I can make it about 4 miles over my hour break, so not too shabby! It's gorgeous today so I'm looking forward to it :)

Anonymous said...

I do super sets in the gym if i am time crunched or try to do high intensity to get all the work out in at once... I def make it a priority because it helps me mentally and physically. I know that moveing more throughout that day helps me too as well if I cant be in the gym

CourtneyS said...

I try to walk as much as possible on busy days and squeeze in a pilates dvd at some point.

Too bad about the fish...I have had some bad Rest. Week experiences here in Boston so we usually avoid eating out around this time. Sometimes I think they're just not cooking up to snuff during these two weeks. But I should probably give it a whirl again since there are some great menus out there!

Jess said...

Sunflowers are my absolute favorites! Thanks for making my morning! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first fan encounter!

Don't give up on Gaslight. I'm not from Boston, but I know restaurants in DC always go downhill during restaurant week. They cater to tourists during this time and meals are rarely up to standard. Sad but true :(

Tami said...

rip is right
i saw dmb last year at the great woods, front row, unreal

sorry you dinner wasn't great, my sister wants to try that place sometime

i exercise in the early morning so i don't have answer to your question. i guess would walk with the kids or do some stuff from magazines or something.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of farmers markets.... Has anyone watched Anthony Bourdain on the travel channel? He visits open markets around the world and eats all kinds of crazy food. I love him!

Olga said...

Tina, I had a similar Restaurant Week experience here in NY. We went to this amazing steakhouse (that has $400 dishes!) but the food sucked so much. The service was also horrible! But like others, I wouldn't say RW is the perfect time to judge restaurants. I've read some interview s with chefs about it and they say it's a bad idea because they are rushed and never really provide the food they strive for at other times.

As for your question, I also try to exercise while watching TV or just take a really long stroll. If I really can't squeeze it in, I make sure to exercise super hardcore the next day!

Farmer's Markets= my life. I cannot wait to go back to Amherst and go to one every Sat!

Anonymous said...

I love farmer's markets, that one looks so good! I also read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle awhile back, and it makes me respect and appreciate local farmers SO MUCH! And peaches are so abundant right now, it's almost too good to be true. :)

Bev said...

Pictures of the farmers market are beautiful. wish I was there. We have some here in Ohio but not like that. I love the name of the Gaslight. Maybe you could try it again. Are you going to try and make theCranberry Lavender Lemonade ?When I use my stairs at home I always run up them and when I can I always use stairs.

Wadsworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quinn said...

Anon - I am currently reading Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential." Seriously, everyone should read it. It's witty and will change your life. I will NEVER EVER order fish on a Monday ever again or get mussels somewhere other than a high end French place. And yes, he's great on the Travel Channel with the open air markets.

Marie said...

Hi Tina!
This is unrelated to your question of the day, but I just wanted to give you the credit for my personal improvements regarding morning workouts. I used to NEVER work out in the morning like I planned, always resorting to 9 p.m. workouts (I just graduated from college in May). Now that I have a real job, I totally see the benefits of working out in the morning rather than at night. This morning I did not want to go to the gym, but I reminded myself of your advice - and it's true, I feel SO great knowing the workout is done for the day, and I can head home tonight to relax. Not to mention, I've noticed the days I work out in the morning tend to be my more energized ones...even without coffee! Interesting, huh.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but just wanted to reinforce that your tips (and blog) are great, so keep up the good work!! :)

Caitlin said...

ewww i hate when you accidentally get fried food at a restaurant! they should have warnings on the menu or something.

i like to do lunges while i walk my dogs. they have little legs and walk pretty slowly. :)

Rosiecat said...

RIP LeRoi Moore indeed! I just saw in the paper that he passed away. How very, very sad! Dave Matthews Band will always be one of my favorites.

Daphne said...

Out of three times I've done Restaurant Week (Friday will be #4) I've had two excellent meals and one pretty mediocre. I think you have to look for RW-specific reviews of the place, because some places are just dramatically worse during this time - but not all! Next time you try RW, check out and look at the reviews that are dated around the time of the previous RW, as there will inevitably be lots of reviews the place for that time (lots of young people on that site going for modestly priced dinners!).

Isn't Copley Market the BEST? I go to the Central and Davis Square ones because they are close to home, but every once in a while I will take a Friday lunch break to go to Copley. I highly recommend you check out the Siena Farms stand. Their produce is fantastic, and they have some really cool pastries, spices, and cookbooks because the place is owned by the husband of the chef at Oleana - my fave place in Boston :)

You know, I keep wondering if I'll ever bump into you, since we work for the same institution and I'm definitely at Kresge a few times a month. I'll make sure to say hi if I ever do! ;)

Andrea said...

gorgeous farmers market! SQUATS WHILE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH!? wow that's dedication!! i barely can stand up in the morning ;) i definitely try taking stairs, situps on commercial breaks, extra tasks/cleaning around the house..

One Food Guy said...

Tina, I have to tell you, I stopped going out to restaurants during restaurant week because the meals are NEVER an accurate representation of what the restaurant can do. Because the prices are low, the quality and precision with which your meal is prepared is less than what should be expected from any of the restaurants.

Sorry that you didn't have a stellar experience at Gaslight, you should try it again, not during Restaurant Week, and then review it again.

Melissa said...

I had a bad restaurant experience in New York as well! I ate at City Crab and shared mussels, clams, and spinach crab dip with my friend. I threw up all night! They sent us both gift cards but it was horrible.

I also have been trying to exercise in the morning. I also get an hour lunch so I try to walk as far as I can!

Melissa said...

I had a bad restaurant experience in New York as well! I ate at City Crab and shared mussels, clams, and spinach crab dip with my friend. I threw up all night! They sent us both gift cards but it was horrible.

I also have been trying to exercise in the morning. I also get an hour lunch so I try to walk as far as I can!

PS said...

So sad about LeRoi. :(

Denise said...

Sorry... French food can be way too weird, and I'm not up for even trying snails... Mal is brave! Foods I'll never eat are rare, but they usually come with head, legs and are slimy... The fish looks a lot more appetizing! : )
What is it with mac/pc issues? I also work on both and my memory stick always needs to be formatted after I've deleted some large files from it.... No idea why... so 80's.... : )

Anonymous said...

Your sunflowers are beautiful! Sorry the restaurant wasn't what you'd hoped though.
Time crunch, I shoot for intervals. And I tell myself that even though I may not be able to do the full workout I wanted, it is better than being frustrated and doing nothing. Adapting, you know? And then usually I have more time later in the week and can enjoy a longer session. Its the overall picture over a week or two, rather than each day for me.

Anonymous said...

i thought u were gonna say you SAW a celebrity. Um, Tina, you're NOT a celebrity.

HangryPants said...

I was away and missed this I guess. The lemonade looks great. Does anyone have any idea how to make it?