Monday, November 17, 2014

New Home

Big Body has a new home and new look. Check it out! www.bigbodyblog.com

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Westfield Farm

On our way back from Gardner, MA (where my husband is from), there is a lovely little farm that makes the most delicious goat cheese. It is a must to stop there each time we visit my in-laws. We stock up on a couple of cheeses and freeze them so they last until our next visit to Gardner. Their cheese is kept in a refrigerator, which you see right when you walk in the door of the little barn. They use the honor system, so make sure you bring cash! Our cheese purchase is often limited by our forgetting to get more cash on our way out of town. Otherwise, we might buy out their entire stock.
You can't go wrong with anything you pick! This time around, we purchased some cranberry orange goat cheese and some herb and garlic goat cheese. We like to eat the cranberry orange one on rice crackers, and the herb and garlic we crumble over salad. Yum!
The quality of this cheese is no secret! Next time you are in MA, check them out! This goat cheese is delicious!
Westfield Farm 28 Worcester Road Hubbardston, MA 01452

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hiking Mount Monadnock

2 Weeks ago, Daniel and I decided to take a last minute trip to Gardner, Massachusetts to visit my in-laws. I always love visiting with them and Gardner is just far enough away so that it seems like a mini-vacation. My Mother-in-Law also has an adorable tradition of leaving chocolates on the nightstand...this also makes me feel like we're on vacation. This visit was no exception, when we went to unpack our bags, waiting for us on the nightstand were two Dove dark chocolates. I opened mine on Saturday morning as a pre-breakfast snack, and I could not have received a more perfect fortune...
' Ok, Dove. I will. I will tempt my sense of exploration. We got to base camp of Monadnock around noon. It cost $10 per person for entry and to our surprise (and relief) they take credit cards! We completely forgot to bring cash with us. Opps! We took the White Dot trail up the mountain. The trail was well-marked, but also well-populated. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day and there were the crowds to prove it. There were a couple of times when I just had to step aside and let people pass me because they were hiking so close behind me. I am all for being friendly, but this was a little too close. The trails were pretty wet and slick in spots due to days of rain and an abundance of leaves. It just meant that we had to climb a little more carefully. We stopped a couple times before reaching the summit.
There was some seriously gorgeous foliage! About 1/4 of the way up, the trail got pretty rocky and also steep at certain points. I was happy to have my hiking boots on. I was surprised to see so many hikers in running shoes. It made my ankles hurt for them.
I also couldn't believe that so many people were wearing shorts. It was a warm, sunny, October day, but temperatures were in the 30's at the summit. It was also really windy once you got to the top. Daniel and I were thankful that we had layers and bundled up.
We were going to take the Cascade trail on the way down, but decided that the Red Spot trail would be faster. We were wrong. The Red Spot trail was really steep and full of rocks. It took us a long time to get down since we really had to take our time on the wet rock surface. The mountain and scenery were beautiful, but Daniel and I were over the rocky surface and were thrilled to see dirt trail at the end. It was as if someone took all the boulders and rocks of the world and dumped them on the Red Spot trail. No good. When we got back from our hike, we showered and went over to the Gardner Ale House for dinner. Daniel and I split a soup, an order of sweet potato fries, and we each got a steak salad. It was really satisfying after our long hike. The best reward for our efforts were the homemade margaritas after the Ale House.
Every hike should end this way!

Brazilian Buffet

So it looks like my goal of posting at least once per week has already gone out the window. I have been super busy at work and continue to travel on weekends. Before our travels to Gardner, Massachusetts two weeks ago, Daniel and I stopped at a Brazilian place in Bridgeport, CT. It is called Pantanal Restaurant and Churrascaria and it was really tasty! Not only was it tasty, but it was also super reasonable. Daniel and I had dinner, a beer each and dessert all for under $30! We will definitely be going back to Pantanal! I got a place filled to the brim. I started at the salad bar and got some greens with beets, cucumbers, and topped it with French dressing. Then I hit up the plantains and rice. I love plantains! Can't get enough. Next it was time to get some meat. I was a little ambitious with the sausage and ended up sharing some with Daniel. He didn't complain. I also got some brisket. The brisket was delicious. They asked if I wanted the fat cut off and I kept it on. I think when we go back, I would ask them to hold the fat. After dinner, we had a coconut dessert. I'm not sure what it was called, but it just tasted like coconut and caramel. Yum! Can't wait to go back to this Brazilian spot.