One of my oldest and dearest friends lives three hours away - thankfully, she and I made a deal with each other years ago to make plans to do something fun every couple of months. We did not want to let the years slip by until one day in our dotage we realize too late that we should have seen each other more often over the years. It is easy to do, especially as we all grow older and busier.
Ms. K and I have been friends since college and even roomed together for a bit when we both lived in the city. She is still there (lucky girl!) and I am now up living in the wilds of VT. Another friend had invited me to cover his band for my blog (that post will be out later this week!), and I knew Ms. K would be up for a concert, dinner, and catch-up time.
Ms. K arrived on a Saturday afternoon and after a quick chit-chat, we headed outside to run around in the yard (newly freed from snow!) to play with Didi and The Mister.
After spending a good bit of time watching Deeds run after her coveted soccer ball, we got dolled up and headed 'into town' for dinner and some great live music. First on the agenda: dinner at Elixir in White River Junction. I love Elixir. Any place up here where one isn't surrounded by wood paneling and ceilings decorated with antlers or outdoor gear is okay in my book. For the record, I like those places too, but our area is over-run with them for tourist purposes, and finding a place that has even a hint of cosmopolitan flair takes some work. And oftentimes, some driving. Elixir is well worth it.
After perusing the menu, we quickly ordered cocktails and some nibbly bits to share.
There were truffled fries with a yummy roasted shallot aioli and then baked figs, bacon, and blue cheese delivered alongside lovely little toasts. And because one can't have too many carbs, (right???), there were also chewy bits of bread to be dipped into an herbed olive oil. Once we had our fill of those, we moved on to the main course. For Ms. K it was the risotto cakes with shrimp, pancetta, and peas; and for me, the crunchy and delicious peanut chicken served alongside perfectly roasted fingerling potatoes and savoy cabbage.
I apologize that some of my pics are upside down or odd-looking...blogger and my photo-formatting platform are not playing well together today. Sigh. That said, the food was awesome and the service lovely.
Anyway. Once Ms. K and I had our fill we walked around the corner to Tupulo Music Hall to see my friend Ed's band play (more on that later this week!). It was a great concert and made for a great end to a fun day.
After a fun evening out 'on the town' up here, we headed back to the house, watched some SNL, and then got some sleep. Thankfully, I knew we would be up late and I would have to rustle up an easy but still delicious brekkie for us all the next morning. I had just the meal.
If you want to wow the pants off of friends or family for brunch, I highly recommend this winner. And, not only is it super-healthy, it is delish. Although I didn't go there this time 'round, a well-cooked serving of bacon or sausage would be the perfect accompaniment. You'll need some eggs, onion, green peppers, freshly chopped parsley, some juicy limes, and some peeled-and-chopped butternut squash (sweet potatoes would also work well).
First, throw your squash into a big pan along with a splash of good olive oil (and salt and pepper). I also like to add some freshly chopped rosemary but it isn't necessary. Whilst that is slowly cooking over medium heat, chop up your peppers and onions. Once your bits of squash begin to soften and take on some color, throw the lid on your pan and let them soften up a bit more.
Once they are a tiny bit softer (but not too soft!), take the lid off add some freshly grated lime zest and lime juice to taste. Move your squash off to the side.
Next, throw in your onion and pepper. Let them cook a bit...again, you want them to wilt a bit but not so much that you have a pan full of mush. I know, I am very precise. :O) Once they begin to soften, mix everything together.
Next, pull your pan off the heat and create some little divets or 'holes' for each of your eggs. And then pour each of your little eggy-weggs into a divet. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pop into a 425 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes or so. You want the whites firm but the yolks just the tiniest bit runny...or, to your taste. Top with some freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Didi, this meal is not for you.
As a visit to my side did not pay off, Deeds went off to nap next to Ms. K while we watched some good but seriously cheesy TV.
And then, we had some surprise visitors traipsing across the lawn. A mamma moose and her baby made a surprise visit to The 1839 House! I know everyone outside of VT thinks we see them all the time, but we do not. They are very private animals and do not want to be seen. Driving hither and yon, (i.e., to work and back), I see deer, wild turkeys, guinea fowl, foxes, the occasional bear, and wolves...moose not so much. They are elusive and a personal visit makes one feel privileged. Since moving to VT 8 years ago, this is only my third moose sighting in our fair state.
I can't think of a better way to wrap up a great weekend with one of my dearest friends!