Archive | December, 2012

HIKE & EAT: Topstone Park & Turkey Con Chili

30 Dec

Today we took a beautiful, snowy hike through Topstone Park in Redding, CT. What a way to wind down 2012. It might be our new favorite local spot for winter hiking. Here’s the Map My Hike link.


And then, of course, we hike so we can eat, so we must share the feast. We decided last night to make chili today, so all the ingredients were waiting for us when we returned—wind burned, worn out and happy.

Chili Con Turkey

The original recipe was from Men’s Health (no, we are not both men, but the recipes are frequently great). Adaptations are in italics.

1 pound ground turkey

half a white onion, chopped fine (more flavor is better!)

1 can (14 ounces) mexican-style diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
1 package (1 1/2 ounces) dried chili mix (we used lower sodium)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/4 cup water

half a jar of Green Mountain Gringo Hot Salsa (late in the game addition to use up items in the fridge)

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GEAR REVIEW: Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a Girl’s Best Friend

20 Dec

Well, it’s official. I have a favorite outdoor item. And the best part is, it is not relegated to weekends, hiking, or backpacking situations as many specialty outdoor gear items are. It’s a rain jacket, plain and simple. The Marmot Minimalist for Women is now among my prized possessions—in “recycling bin blue” for me, of course (they call it Cobalt).

Summit of Madison, White Mts, New Hampshire

Summit of Madison, White Mts, New Hampshire

Last summer we trekked the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire’s (gorgeous) White Mountains. It was a unique hike, a fun challenge and one of our first times out using a bunch of new gear. My newest acquisition at the time was this jacket, which I’d researched a bit before buying, but ultimately picked because of a trip to REI to try on some options. I’ve been obsessed since. Here’s the breakdown.

Gear Specs & Features (per Marmot site)

Center Back Length: 27.25in / 69.2cm

Overall Weight: 14.4 oz / 408.2 g

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17 Dec

I’ve made discovery! Just miles from home, a new “indoor european style market” has popped up out of the blue, just in time for the holidays. It channels all good things…local food/wine/beer/spices, local crafters, rustic decor and a “shop local” mentality.


Prompted by a visit from out-of-town family this weekend, we paid a visit to the SoNo Marketplace and were pleasantly surprised. Some highlights:

  • a girl wandering with hot, garlicky clam samples! what service!
  • toffee almond dark chocolate graham crackers (king of treats?!)
  • concoct-your-own oatmeal (steel cut oats and EVERY mix-in under the sun)
  • gorgeous jewelry in all price ranges
  • cutest kids clothes (imagine the grinch, hand embroidered in felt onto a toddler tee)
  • gorgeous handmade leather bags (not currently in the budget, but I’ll be back)
  • a bar, tastefully stuck right in the middle of it all
  • christmas trees and wreaths for sale outside, a seasonal treat (I assume the market will extend outside in warmer months) Continue reading

Greatest Granola Bars. The Quest for the Tusk and Cup Recipe

12 Dec

I am obsessed. Have you ever tasted something just so good that you knew you’d spend your life casually trying to replicate it, knowing that you never would? That is the homemade granola bar at Tusk and Cup coffee shop. Three flavors, equally delicious, addictive and still marginally “healthy”, I know I’ll never succeed in creating their magic, but I am still going to try. Stay tuned.

Right there, in that white case on the counter. That’s where they keep the gold.

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