Category Archives: Thought Box

Snow Days Are The Best Days

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I have never felt more like a kid, as I do now.

Not that I am complaining, but I am so used to being an “adult” (and I use that term loosely because this is me we’re talking about)  and having to work in sleet and snow… I thought gone were the days of waking up to a snow storm with the undying anticipation of having a cozy and lazy day in, keeping my eyes glued to the news watching the cancellations roll across the bottom of the screen… but ALAS the bank must close from time to time to ensure our safety and well being, and I might add that we are so very blessed that they care for us and our safety! Never have I been treated this well in past jobs, or had an employer who took the time to ensure our well being and safety were priority.

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Honestly though, all I am missing is my Sega console and Sonic The Hedgehog… Then my snow day would be complete!

Its alright though… instead I have coffee in great abundance, a ton of pictures in need of recipes and a place on my blog, a big ole’ pitbull constantly trying to crawl onto my lap evicting my laptop and cat, the snow falling in what seems to be never ending heaps in my neck of the woods, and a cozy and warm blanket to keep me from wanting to leave my warm nook on the couch.

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Lots to be accomplished today in my little world of food and thoughts, so cheers for snow days!

 

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The Copper Stallion

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If you ever find yourself in the Sturbridge Massachusetts area I strongly encourage you to check out this little diamond in the rough… The Copper Stallion.

::Cue Applause::

This little joint is truly the essence of what British Pubs are like. I thought that my experience as a whole was truly something else. The whole staff was very friendly and accommodating, and the owner even stopped by our table to tell us a bit about their Perfect Cheese Board (pictured above) complete with three imported cheeses, fig spread, seasonal fruit, stone ground crackers, and homemade crostinis!

Its the little details like that that inspire people to come back time and time again, and lord knows I definitely will be. 

I learned about this hot little number from my sister Amy, who really has a knack for the little hole in the walls restaurants, pubs, breweries, etc. Well you get the point. I think after this adventure, I will have to listen to her more often. 🙂

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For starters, we ordered their toasted bruschetta and it was pretty darn tasty. It was a pretty basic bruschetta made with chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, but the kicker was the grilled baguette slices.

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Next up to bat was the Coppers Stallions Penobscot Skins. Really they were potato skins loaded with crumbled bacon and cheese with a side of sour cream. Not going to lie, i liked it. You can get them just about anywhere but these little gems were super crunchy on the out side and nice and tender on the inside. My inner Paula Dean was reveling in the greasy goodness of this dish.

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And lastly, for dinner I ordered the Queen Cut English Prime Rib Dinner. It was one of the best that I had ever had! This hot little number was served with Yorkshir Pudding, Au Jus, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Brusselsprouts. My sister Amy always raved over their prime rib and now I full grasp the severity of the situation. Not only was it very good, but you could taste the fresh thyme in the meat that they used for the rub! It wasn’t at all over powering like some places do, which will take the attention away from the main attraction (the meat). But this place really knew what to do in order to perfectly compliment the meat without stealing the show!

With all that being said, I feel a return visit deep in my bones… its happening!

And I hope that you all get the chance to experience the Copper Stallion in the very near future!

There’s A Mountain Lion In My Kitchen

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And this is a look into what’s happening when I am taking pictures of the finished product…. I really desperately need to make my own little photo-booth for not only lighting, but to also keep my mountain lion of a cat, Saki, from climbing up my legs looking for food and attention….

#CatLadyProblems

Pulled Pork & Baked Beans

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This is something I made a few weeks back on a whim. I bought a nice sized Boston Butt Roast while grocery shopping and had it sitting in the freezer and figured it would be there for in a pinch when I decided I finally wanted to do a pulled pork. Well that time had come and to be honest, I used McCormick Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning and I am not sorry about it! It came out spectacular! I paired it with a quick baked beans recipe adapted from Southern Food located at  http://southernfood.about.com/od/drybeans/r/baked-beans-with-molasses-and-bacon.htm Let me tell you, this is PERFECT for those autumn days where you just want to cozy up inside and eat a nice hearty and simple meal that just feels like home.

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Ingredients (for baked beans)

2- 14.5oz Cans Black Beans, Red Beans, Navy Beans, etc.; which ever you have will be perfect I am sure

4 Thick Slices of Bacon; diced

1 Cup Onion; chopped

4 Tbsp Molasses

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Dried Mustard

1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Ingredients for Pulled Pork

3 Lb Boston Butt Roast

1 Pkg McCormick Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning

1/2 Cup Ketchup

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cider Vinegar

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Initially you can used 1 Lb of dried beans, you just have to soak them the night before making this dish, hence why I used canned. I have a pantry stocked and it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I took the roast out the night before then decided that morning I was making pulled pork.

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Place your pork in the slow cooker and combine all the ingredients for the pulled pork together and pour over your roast. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

Anyways, dice your onions and cook your bacon then dice that as well.

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Drain and rinse your beans (I know, I was not thinking about the whole plating with color in mind so please disregard the blinding yellow)

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Heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium high heat and saute the onions until tender and translucent.

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Just look at them… PERFECT!

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Pour the onions over the beans in a large baking dish…

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Combine molasses with mustard, salt, and pepper…

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My favorite brand of molasses if Brer Rabbit.

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Mix well.

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Then combine with bacon and beans.

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Toss well to coat.

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Bake at 325 for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until bubbly.

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Shred the pork with two forks and combine well with the mixture in your slow cooker.

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Grill up some buns slathered in butter on a skillet to toast…

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Then serve piled high with pulled pork and a side of the baked beans!

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Enjoy!

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Wales Irish Pub

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Were going to take a trip down memory lane for a minute here, bear with me…. When I was much younger, my sister and I used to tag along with my father to his old boss’s house every Sunday in Wales, MA. It was a routine we had…. Tag along with dad, raise hell in the woods and gravel pits on Terri’s land, get into trouble for wandering and making my dad and his boss go looking for us, go feed the sheep down the road, then finally on our way home we would hit the Wales Lounge to split curly fries and root beer and play duck hunter. We were rebels what can I say!

So what is the point of all of this? Well long story, short Terri bought the Lounge and transformed it into the Wales Irish Pub (WIP). After extensive renovations, it is now shiny, new, and a really popular spot to hit for lunch, dinner, and for drinks!

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The pub has been voted 2013 1st Place Winner from the Sturbridge Times Readers Choice Awards for best live music! That’s right, every Friday night they have a live band as well as Sundays under the pavilion during the summer. Also they have Taco Night every Thursday, as well as Fish & Chips or Prime Rib every Friday. I try to stop in every now and then on my lunch hour to grab a bite and to stay connected. Its nice seeing the old Lounge as well as old family friends.

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This Friday when I stopped in I got myself a Crispy Chicken Sandwich on a Bulky Roll with lettuce, tomato, and mayo….. Don’t judge, it was a craving…. Also their sandwiches come with a choice of fries so I got the hand cut. Yum!

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And the last time I went, which had to have been back in May, I got a Pulled Pork Sandwich slathered in Barbecue Sauce on a Bulky Roll with Cole Slaw and Crinkle Fries….No judging my Instagram picture… Haha

You really cant beat their prices and the quality of their food. Its worth the trip out threw the back roads to the small woodsy town we all love and call Wales, MA.

For more information and a menu visit the Wales Irish Pub at http://www.walesirishpub.com/