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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Visiting Connecticut: A Weekend with My Girls

Oh, where to begin?  October is my favorite month of the year, but this year it was made way more fun than usual because I took a trip to enjoy an extended girls’ weekend with four of my best friends.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve definitely heard about them before.  We met years ago through our common love of food and blogging about it, and now after innumerable daily emails, texts, etc. they are truly some of the best friends I could ever ask for.  We last got together earlier this year in February to surprise Courtney with a baby shower and we had so.much.fun.  But the trip was over in the blink of an eye, not to mention we were missing Elly that time around so we decided we had to do it again, with the whole group and with a little extra time together.  This time Tara and her husband Kyle graciously hosted us in the beautiful new home they built this year.  Connecticut in the fall?  So gorgeous.  That’s her driveway up there!  

Josie and I met up in Atlanta and flew in together.  We all arrived late in the evening at the airport, but that didn’t stop us from picking up where we left off and getting right down to the usual silliness.  We stayed up late talking and laughing…pretty much the standard for the whole trip.  The next morning we collected ourselves and went out to breakfast at a little place near Tara’s house called Leo’s.  It was a cute place with a very homey feel and good breakfast food.  For me the highlight was the waffles with pumpkin cannoli cream which Tara insisted we all sample.  So awesome!  (As you will see, the trip was heavily centered around food.)  The bulk of the rest of that day was spent with more talking, giggling, and not much else.  My face hurt from smiling so much.

Later that evening we got ready to go out, and attempted to snap a group self-photo.  This was the best we could do.  I love it :)

Five foodies overcomplicate most decisions related to food, so naturally it took us quite a while to decide on where to eat dinner.  We finally decided on Taste in Croton-on-Hudson, and it did not disappoint.  The cheese board was fabulous and we really enjoyed the entire meal.  We wanted to stay for dessert but unfortunately we didn’t have time…

Because we needed to head over to the Hudson Valley Jack O’Lantern Blaze.  Guys, this was seriously amazing.  I have never seen any Halloween event that was this cool!  They have over 5,000 hand carved jack o’lanterns, most of which are built to compose various jaw-dropping scenes.  Every turn of the path led to some new incredible sight.  I am certain that I will be going back to this sometime in the future and bringing the kids.  I know they would absolutely love it.

After we left, we were on a mission to find dessert.  Vacation with girlfriends is no time to be skipping dessert, after all!  After much Yelp/Urbanspoon/Google Map-ing, we were en route to our sweet treats when we headed into Sleepy Hollow.  The real Sleepy Hollow!  We were beyond excited and had to stop the car to snap a quick photo.  Andrew is obsessed with the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, so I knew he would be excited about this and oh, was he ever!


After our brief distraction, we made our way to what was basically the only dessert place we could find open at that time of night, Yogurt Le Crepe.  A frozen yogurt + crepe joint.  So incredibly delicious.  Why don’t we have this in Indiana?  I chose a strawberry Nutella crepe and it was unbelievable.  Ugh, just thinking about it makes me want to go back right now!  After we finally returned home it was the usual – stay up late, laughing hysterically.

The next morning despite being quite exhausted, we rallied because we had someplace important to be – Cupcake Camp New Haven.

Hey!  There are five people in this picture!  Cute mommas.

So yeah, Cupcake Camp – this was a pretty amazing event.  Basically tons of local bakeries, bakers, bloggers, etc. brought cupcakes galore and we were able to sample as many as we wanted – for free!  The place was positively packed with people and it was difficult to make much progress through the rooms to see all the offerings.  We all grabbed plates, split off and started picking up everything that interested us.  Then we all met back up with this massive haul so we could do some tasting.

But first, we decided to have lunch at BAR, where the event was hosted.  Their pizzas were really amazing.  Tara recommended the garlic mashed potato pizza which – sounds kind of icky, right?  Wrong.  It was so, so good.  The super thin crust and the fluffy mashed potatoes were a perfect pair.  (However, the service was horrible.  The waitresses were incredibly snotty and inhospitable.)  Before our pizza arrived and afterward, we worked through a good number of the cupcakes.  Courtney careful cut each one up so we could all try a bite.  There was definitely a wide range of quality as far as the cupcakes were concerned.  Some were really great and some were not good at all.  We had a great time analyzing the different components and flavors, and picking our favorites.  We were obviously beyond stuffed, so we ended up saving at least half of them for cupcake tasting 2.0 later that evening.

We came home again and enjoyed a gorgeous fall afternoon on the porch.  And later, as is only natural after eating such mass quantities of goodness, we started planning our dinner.  Without a doubt one of the best parts of our get togethers has been the time we spend in the kitchen cooking a meal together.  Since we enjoy the process so much and because there are so many hands available to help, we tend to go for slightly more involved recipes.  Choosing the perfect recipe takes us quite a while but I think this time we cut the deliberations down to under 90 minutes.  That’s progress, I suppose :)

After our decisions were made, we headed out for a grocery trip to get our ingredients, and a quick coffee run.

Then we came home and got to work!  This onion was being vicious so Courtney put on her game face and her makeshift onion goggles.  So funny.

Since we take our time and enjoy making dinner, we also needed snacks of course.

Since we were making enchiladas, we decided to go the extra mile and make homemade tortillas.  They really make such a difference in the final dish.  Plus, it’s fun!

Food bloggers doing what we love :)   We finally sat down to eat our meal fairly late in the evening and it was stellar!  In fact, I just remade it this weekend so I can share it with you soon.  Recipe next week!  The rest of the night was spent staying up as late as we could, laughing hysterically.  Elly had us in tears!  We just didn’t want it to end but eventually sleep won us over.The next morning Elly, Josie and Courtney went back to the airport to head home, but I was able to stay an extra day with Tara.  We kept it very low key since we were pretty exhausted due to lack of sleep.  Of course, we couldn’t just do nothing, so we decided to bake something.  The rest of the night was lots of lazing around and petting Wilma, Tara and Kyle’s sweet cat.

Right up until the last few minutes before we had to leave for the airport, we were doing what we love and taking pictures of food.  And then we got to eat it.   So very good.
It was certainly hard to say goodbye at the end of such an incredibly fun trip, but this time it seemed a bit easier knowing we’ll make this happen again, and soon.  These girls are so incredibly dear to me, I don’t even have the words to adequately express it.  They have been endlessly supportive during a very rough year for me, and provided much needed comic relief.  I feel so lucky to have them in my life and cannot wait until our next adventure.
  • http://twitter.com/ellysaysopa elly @ elly says opa

    Yay, I love reliving our weekend! :) Still a little jealous of your extra day and the chocolate tart. Can’t wait to see you guys again!

  • Irene

    Oh, how funny you were in my part of the country! I see you had the typical BAR experience of amazing food and crappy service. It’s pretty much always like that. Looking forward to that recipe!

  • http://twitter.com/CateOMalley CateOMalley

    It’s always guaranteed to be a fun time when bloggers get together! The kids and I went to the Blaze the week before Hurricane Sandy – so much fun!

  • http://www.madeinsonoma.com/ Kelli H

    Aww..it’s so great you’ve been able to connect with such great friends through blogging. That truly must be the best part of having a blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=578321995 Tara Trapasso Liptak

    Gah! I miss you so much and I can’t wait to see you again. Thanks for coming out to visit last month – let’s do it again soon! Love you!

  • Jen

    i am always so amazed by how well you can get to know someone now through blogs, social media, texting, etc. i think it’s so special that you all share this friendship even though you live in different parts of the country! i would LOVE to be a fly on the wall watching y’all cook. your homemade tortillas look great!

  • Caroline L.

    It’s so amazing that you girls met through blogging – it just goes to show how powerful this community is! Looks like such a wonderful weekend… there’s nothing like time with girlfriends! :)

  • Alison Salcedo

    i love this post! makes me nostalgic for a girls weekend myself. so glad you shared it with us!

  • Rachael

    You CAN get both frozen yogurt and crepes in one place in Indiana – La Paix Cafe near the Fashion Mall (same strip as the Kohl’s and Ulta). I haven’t been, but Yelp gives it 4 stars.

  • Rachel

    My husband is going to CT in a week, so I’m curious, what other restaurants were you debating about going to before you chose Taste?

  • Deb Holcomb

    the potato pizza at BAR is my absolute favorite! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!! what did you guys make for snacks/dinner? Recipes!?

  • annieseats

    I honestly have no idea. It was all done at rapid fire while we were in the car on the way to that general area. And since I don’t know the area, I’ve already forgotten everywhere but Taste. Sorry!

  • annieseats

    The recipes worth sharing will be posted eventually. Some need tweaking. The enchiladas will be shared next week :)

  • annieseats

    Hmmm, very interesting…. :)

  • Patti T.

    Sounds like such a wonderful getaway! I loved reading about it. I have made my own tortillas before, I will have to check out your recipe next.

  • Diana

    Any pizza at BAR is amazing, but the potato is legendary! @ Rachel, depending on where in CT your husband will be, I’d be happy to make restaurant recommendations! Clearly, BAR is a favorite in the New Haven area :)

  • http://emandam.com/ Amanda

    So funny – my husband and I had our first date at BAR! And complained over how snotty the waitress/bartender was.

  • http://www.cooklikeachampionblog.com/ Courtney|Cook Like a Champion

    I’m so glad we got to hang out again. I loved our late-night chats and am so lucky to have you as a friend. Can’t wait to see you again soon! Love you!

  • Ann P.

    Wow that sounds like an epic visit!! I’ve got to try that potato pizza for sure! The prospect is becoming more and more likely… Austin and I may be on the East coast next year (MD to be exact)!