Posts Tagged With: Boston

2014 Winter Olympics at the BCAE

2014 Winter Olympics Logo

2014 Winter Olympics Logo

Doesn’t it feel like we just watched the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? Doesn’t it feel like just a few months ago the Spice Girls were reunited for a few songs and that gymnast girl was unimpressed with her silver medal? Has it really been almost two years? Apparently.

Strangely enough, I can barely remember the last Winter Olympics in 2010…Apparently it was in Vancouver? I do remember one from 1998, though, where young figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan were competing for the gold.

Back to the present, though.  This winter the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) is offering Boston’s only up-close and personal look at the Winter Olympics. In celebration of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the BCAE is bringing together a group of renowned experts including a former Olympian for a series of unique classes designed to provide in-depth knowledge on the Winter Olympics and its competitions including bobsledding, figure skating, skiing, snowboarding and curling.

The BCAE will turn into Boston’s own Olympic village during the last two weeks of January. The series kicked off on January 22nd, 2014 with Skiing and Snowboarding led by Tom Meyers of Wachusett Mountain. Meyers and his expert staff will gave students an insider’s look at the Olympic sports including what to wear, proper form, what to look for while watching the competitions on TV, as well as the different types of skis and snowboards used in various competitions during this two hour class. On Thursday, January 23rd and January 30th, 2014 Anne Stacy will lead Figure Skating. Stacy, an esteemed figure skating coach, will guide students through the technique, pageantry and beauty of this beloved Olympic sport.  The two-part course will teach students everything they need to know about what it takes to become an Olympic skater including the amount of preparation that goes into a four minute routine, training, the history of the sport, an explanation of the esoteric scoring system, and a demonstration session where students will learn how to do lutz and axel jumps in the BCAE’s spacious ballroom.

On Monday, January 27th, 2014 the BCAE will give students a rare look at curling, one of the most intriguing Winter Olympic sports. Broomstones Curling Club will lead a hands-on Curlingclass, demonstrating the methods behind the madness of this unique winter event. Students will learn the rules, regulations and strategy of the sport, and participants will be given the opportunity to test out their skills with a specially-made curling stone created for dry land demonstrations. On Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 two-time Olympian Peter Donohue will lead a rare discussion onBobsledding and what it takes to be an Olympic athlete. After a career as a world-class sprinter in Ireland, Donohoe turned his sites towards bobsledding and qualified for the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, representing Ireland. This lecture will include notes on Peter’s career, a video demonstration, equipment samples, and a question and answer session about both bobsledding and his career.

For those looking for a cultural taste of Sochi, the BCAE will host aVodka Tasting (chosen as a staff pick!) led by expert Randall Bird onThursday, January 23rd This class will cover production, labeling standards, understanding Vodka bottles, and will of course include a tasting of many Vodkas. Finally, on Saturday, January 25th the BCAE’s Dustin Todd Rennells will present Sochi Succulents: Russian Eating Olympics, a crash-course on preparing Russian cuisine such as blintzes and borscht. These classes are perfect inspiration for Winter Olympic game parties and preparation.

WHEN:            Skiing and Snowboarding: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014; 6:00PM to 8:00PM; 1 session. $40 / $34 members

Figure Skating: Thursday, January 23rd and January 30th, 2014; 6:30PM to 8:30PM; 2 sessions. $60 / $51 members

Vodka Tasting: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014; 6:30PM to 8:30PM; 1 session. Staff pick pricing: $36 / $31 members, materials $15 (regularly $45/$38 members)

Sochi Succulents: Russian Eating Olympics: Saturday, January 25th, 2014; 2:30PM to 5:30PM; 1 session. $55 / $47 members, materials $18

Curling: Monday, January 27th, 2014; 6:30PM to 8:30PM; 1 session. $40 / $34 members

Bobsledding: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014; 6:00PM to 8:00PM; 1 session. $40 / $34 members

WHERE:          Boston Center for Adult Education, 122 Arlington Street, Boston, MA, 02116

RSVP:             To register visit www.bcae.org or call the Boston Center for Adult Education at 617-267-4430

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Tis the Season…For some fun holiday events in Boston

Pretty lights in Faneuil Hall, Boston

Pretty lights in Faneuil Hall, Boston

With snow starting to pile up, lights twinkling throughout the city, and temperatures dropping, the holidays are on everyone’s minds. From tree lightings, to concerts, to parties with family and friends, to work events, to sports games, the list of activities in and around the city at this time of year are endless.

Here are a select few food and wine events that sounded fun to me. Enjoy!

  • Boston Center for Adult Education Classes on Winter’s Best Brews: This season the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) is offering Bostonians a chance to boost their beer knowledge with an all-new “Winter Brews” Series. This three class series led by the Belmont’s Craft Beer Cellar staff and Ben Bouton of Urban Grape’s Urban Hops Program gives participants a chance to sample some of the best winter beverages.  The third and final class in the series is this upcoming Monday: What’s A Craft Beer? Intrigued by IPA? Curious about Kolsch? Join Urban Grape’s resident beer expert Ben Bouton for a class on craft beer basics! Ben will explain the differences between mass and craft production, and divulge the details of several popular beer varieties. The best part? You’ll learn by tasting! Monday, December 16th, 2013; 6:30PM to 8:00PM, $45/$38 Members, Materials $15
  • The Beehive’s Very Merry Performance: Can you hear it? The holiday season is in full swing and The Beehive is hosting a Christmas concert featuring local Christmas repertoire specialist Bailey Cunningham and team on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013. From 8:00PM to 12:00AM guests can enjoy the beautiful sounds of their favorite holiday melodies while enjoying delicious food and drink throughout the evening.In the kitchen, chef Marc Orfaly will serve delicious dishes from The Beehive’s dinner menu such as braised pork osso buco with sweet & sour cabbage and German potato salad ($24), exotic mushroom lasagne with spinach & pomodoro sauce ($22), duck au poivre with kimchee fried rice & apricot chutney ($27) and seafood fra diavolo with lobster, shrimp, whitefish, artichoke and linguine ($29). The Beehive’s bar team will also be serving their highly acclaimed cocktails such as the seasonal cranberry winter mojito made with gosling’s black rum, drunken cranberries, fresh mint and lime ($12.50), and the arroyo made with silver tequila, illegal mezcal joven, agave nectar, black balsam currant and lime juice ($13) all evening long! For dinner reservations or for more information please call 617.423.0069 or visit www.beehiveboston.comNo cover charge, cash bar, reservations recommended.
  • MET Back Bay’s Boston Hot Chocolate Experience: It’s time to add another must-try item to the Boston sweets scene. Met Back Bay, located at 279 Dartmouth Street in Boston, MA, has launched the “Boston Hot Chocolate Experience” featuring Taza Chocolate just in time for the holiday season! Presented in a flight of four miniature glasses for $14.00, they offer four distinct flavors for chocolate lovers including: Classic Hot Chocolate  – featuring Taza Vanilla Chocolate, whipped cream and mini toasted marshmallows, Mexican Hot Chocolate – with Taza Cinnamon Chocolate, whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and grated Taza Guajillo Chili Chocolate, Salted Almond Hot Chocolate  – with Taza Salted Almond Chocolate, whipped cream and an almond biscotti and finally, Peppermint Hot Chocolate – featuring Taza Cacao Puro Chocolate, peppermint, whipped cream & candy cane.  Each flavor can be upgraded to an “adult version” with additions like, Bailey’s White Chocolate, XO Patron, Amaretto and White Crème de Menthe.
  • Beat Hôtel’s Holiday Lunch to Last Minute Harvard Square Shoppers On Christmas Eve: Stressing about last minute Christmas errands? Take the edge off on Christmas Eve and join Beat Hôtel on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 from 11:00AM to 6:00PM for a special holiday lunch in charming, bustling Harvard Square. Perfect for both last minute shoppers grabbing a quick bite as well as those looking for an extended celebration with friends and co-workers alike, guests can take a break and relax withdelicious lunch fare, unique, high-quality wine & traditional glögg, and a live holiday performance before heading off to their evening festivities. Executive chef Rebecca Newell will be serving Beat Hôtel’s newly launched lunch menu including a variety of sandwiches, a selection of mains including the wedge salad with grilled skirt steak and blue cheese vinaigrette ($19), quiche with spinach, cauliflower, leeks, frites and salad ($14) as well  as Beat’s signature earth bowl.Rushing around and in need of a quick booze re-boot? Swing by one of Beat’s two bars and relax with a glass of glögg, a traditional and festive blend of dry red wine, dark rum, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seedpods, whole cloves, dark raisins and almonds ($5 per glass), or a glass (or two!) of one of Beat Hôtel’s small-crafted, high-quality wines on tap. For lunch reservations call Beat Hôtel at 617-499-0001. For full menu visit BeatHotel.com.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

Goodbye for now…I’ll try to stay drama-free until after 1.2.14…..Adios. #silverliningsmarketing

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The Ultimate Tailgate Party (football, food & charity)

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and sports and drinking are taking over our televisions and our lives once again.  I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but while working at Sports Depot during and after college, I gained an appreciation of the food, fun, and friends that surround football Sundays, college games on Saturdays, and daily Red Sox playoff games. Beer, buffalo wings, sports. The perfect Sunday.

Well, I’ve found the ideal event that combines a few of my favorite things — sports, food, and nonprofits.

On Sunday, November 10th, 2013, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, will host the third annual Ultimate Tailgate Party overlooking Boston’s scenic waterfront on the lawn at Sam’s. The annual event, hosted by Esti and Drew Parsons, co-owners of Sam’s and emceed by Charlie Rose of City Year, features 17 of Boston’s “MVP” chefs cooking high-end versions of their favorite tailgate food, cocktails shaken by Sam’s own Jon Parsons & the legendary Josh Childs, a silent auction, entertainment and much more. This year’s event will also be honoring Mayor Thomas M. Menino for his hard work and service to the city of Boston. The theme of the event resonates Lovin’s message: combatting hunger is a team sport.

Currently 1 in 5 Bostonians are classified as food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Since founding Lovin’ Spoonfuls, 501(c)(3) non-profit, in 2010, Ashley Stanley and her team have collected more than 785,000lbs of fresh, healthy food that would otherwise be thrown away, and distributed it at no cost to local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and crisis centers throughout the city. 2012’s ultimate tailgate party allowed Lovin’s team to put a third truck on the road, drastically increasing their ability to pick up and drop off rescued food, and this year aims to do the same!

This year’s event will include previews from three highly anticipated restaurants (Row 34, Alden & Harlow, and La Brasa), as well as an all-star team of 17 of Boston’s premiere chefs who will join the party by cooking their own creative takes on their favorite tailgate food. Guests will be able to enjoy creative comfort food from Lovin’ Spoonfuls board members, Joanne Chang (Myers & Chang andFlour), Jeremy Sewall (Lineage, Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar) and Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa and Toro), as well as Karen Akunowicz (Myers & Chang), Alex Sáenz (Lineage), Asia Mei (Sam’s), Jason Bond (Bondir), Colin Lynch (Menton and No. 9 Park), Mary Dumont (Harvest), Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.), Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road), Joe Cassinelli (Posto) who will be bringing Posto’s mobile pizza oven, Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), Daniel Bojorquez (La Brasa), and Christine & Carla Pallotta from the newly re-openedNeboFrank McClellandexecutive chef and proprietor of New England’s most decorated independent restaurantL’Espalier, will be hosting a tailgate to the tailgate during VIP hour from 6PM to 7PM. 

That’s not all! The event, emceed by Charlie Rose of City Year, will feature a silent auction with fun and unique experiences, a photo booth stocked with everyone’s favorite football memorabilia, and complimentary beer from Peak Organic Brewery, as well as wine & champagne from sponsor M.S. Walker.

What would a party be without cocktails? Popular Boston mixologists, Jon Parsons (bar manager at Sam’s) and Josh Childs (Silvertone, Parlor Sports and Trina’s Starlite Lounge) will be throwing down and shaking up specialty drinks all evening.

WHERE:           Sam’s| 60 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02110, (617) 295-0191. The event will take place under a tent outside of Sam’s along the waterfront.

WHEN:             Sunday, November 10th, 2013; VIP Hour from 6:00PM to 7:00PM, event from 7:00PM to 10:00PM.

COST:              All proceeds benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls. General admission tickets are $100. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $250 and include access to the VIP hour from 6:00PM to 7:00PM which includes a special tasting as well as a VIP gift bag. VIP ticket holders will also have exclusive “buy it now” privileges for all silent auction items. All tickets are available for purchase here: http://lovinspoonfulstailgate13.eventbrite.com

PARKING:       Complimentary valet parking will be available.

ADDITIONAL:  For more information, please visit http://lovinspoonfulstailgate13.eventbrite.com

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The search for the best froyo in Boston: some Coolidge Corner options

Yogurtland froyo with the best chocolate sauce

Yogurtland froyo with the best chocolate sauce

Coming in second place on the list of top favorite things of my life: frozen yogurt. Well actually, I guess froyo is tied for second with ice cream. Either way, they are both cool, deliciously sweet addictions. And I just can’t get enough.  Recently, my froyo addiction has grown even larger with multiple-times-per-week trips to the various froyo shops in the Coolidge Corner area with one of my roommates.  Currently, within a ten minute walk, I can visit three different locations, each with their own features and benefits.  Since I already wrote a post on 16 Handles back when they opened in the winter (sidenote: who opens an ice cream place in the winter), I will focus this entry on my other two favorites: Ice Berry and Yogurtland.

Until discovering these recent additions to the Brookline frozen yogurt scene, I was more than content with my hard frozen yogurt from JP Licks (favorite flavors including mint chip and chocolate chocolate chip) and self-serve, soft serve frozen yogurt from 16 handles (hot fudge, nuttella, whip cream?!? who can beat those toppings). Now, though, my horizons have expanded, and I’ve learned that although JP Licks has delicious hard yogurt flavors and 16 handles has amazing toppings, the flavors and consistencies of the yogurts at Ice Berry and Yogurtland are actually better.

My Ice Berry creation

My Ice Berry creation

Ice Berry, located the closest to my apartment on Beacon Street west of Coolidge Corner, is one of my favorites.  Yes, they are a little out of the way from Coolidge Corner (a three minute walk) and a 10 minute walk from Washington Square, but they should not be overlooked. On the contrary, they actually have the best yogurt flavor I have ever tried: Java Caramel Cup Greek Yogurt. Amazing. Mixed with chocolate and vanilla yogurt and topped with chocolate chips, strawberries, and nonpareils, even better.  I hope that others in Brookline realize how great their yogurt is and give it a chance. I’m confident that they will be impressed.

If I decide to 2 minutes head deeper into the Coolidge Corner area, I can always visit Yogurtland.  This yogurt shop replaced Berry Freeze (a former love of mine and the first self-serve froyo place that I visited), and I was hesitant to try it at first. I had JP Licks and 16 Handles within 20 feet of each other, what more could I need. Also, I had heard some not amazing reviews of Yogurtland…and they have weird Looney Tunes posters in their windows. How do the Looney Tunes and froyo go together? Anyways, my roommate wanted to try it, so we walked in one day, grabbed some tiny cups of free samples, and then left to go to Ice Berry.  A couple of weeks later, they switched their Looney Tunes flavor of the month to Devil’s Food Cake (chocolatey so it must be good), and we decided to give it another shot.  This time, I was happily surprised with their selection of froyo that didn’t melt very quickly. I filled my cup with a combination of Devils Food Cake (chocolate, as I mentioned above, always wins), Pistachio (usually not one of my top picks, but tasty and not too sweet), Vanilla (average), and a small amount of Red Velvet Cake (a little too sweet). And topped it with strawberries, cookie dough pieces, chocolate chips, and Giraldelli chocolate sauce…yes, you read that correctly. Giraldelli. Amazing. 

Overall, choosing between the three is very difficult. All have something to offer. 16 Handles has Nutella, hot fudge, and whip cream; Ice Berry has an amazing greek yogurt flavor, which I’ll assume has the same amount of healthy protein as regular greek yogurt does; and Yogurtland has some delicious flavors and Giradelli chocolate syrup.

I guess the verdict is…..I need to try them all. Again. At least 5 times. The winner will be decided in a few months. Check back, please!

Some of Yogurtland's many flavors

Some of Yogurtland’s many flavors

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The search for the best ice cream in Massachusetts: 16 Handles

My 16 Handles Creation

My 16 Handles Creation

Berry Freeze and J.P. Licks need to watch out.  Competition for the best frozen yogurt in Coolidge Corner is heating up with the  newest addition to the neighborhood, 16 Handles.  The frozen yogurt shop, which is a franchise the national chain, opened on Beacon Street a couple of weeks ago, and I had my first taste of it last weekend.  I’m impressed.

16 Handles’ decor is modern and upbeat, with bright pink chairs and flashing blue lights on the walls.  Yogurt machines with 16 flavors line the walls, and countless containers of toppings fill the space before the register.  The perfect place to meet up with friends for a frozen treat.

Like many other frozen yogurt shops, 16 Handles allows customers to fill and top their own yogurt creations.  Always a plus! They also let customers sample a few flavors before choosing, and my friend and I tried many of the delicious options available.  While every once in a while I’m in the mood for some healthy tart yogurt topped with fruit, most of the time when I’m craving my favorite frozen treat, I’m looking for something sweet and covered in chocolate.  So, I was pleasantly surprised with the sweetness of 16 Handles’ flavors.  Of course they also have healthy, tart, fruity flavors and fruit toppings, but that just wasn’t what I was looking for. Current sweet flavors include birthday cake, chocolate love affair, cookies and cream, salted caramel and more.

I decided on a combination of mocha, chocolate, and creme brulee, and topped it with Butterfinger pieces, cookie dough, chocolate chips, and mini peanut butter cups.  To make a great experience even better, 16 Handles has hot fudge! Not just cold chocolate syrup, but actual hot fudge! Not too many other spots have that option, so needless to say, I was very excited.

My creation was the perfect combination of sweet, chocolately, and creamy.  The yogurt was smooth, the flavors tasted exactly like their names described, and topping choices made it the ideal sundae.

With 16 flavors and around 50 toppings, the options to satisfy your sweet tooth are endless.  I’m sure I’ll be back very soon to try a new combination…My ice cream addiction can only go so long without being satisfied.

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Perfect for a quick weekend away from Boston: Gunstock Mountain

Image

Instagrammed pic of Gunstock’s great view

With the blizzard of 2013/Nemo blanketing Boston under two feet of snow, my mind is now on snowboarding and heading up to Vermont or New Hampshire for some time on the slopes.  One great destination that is a quick and easy drive from Boston (once the roads are clear) is Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire.

Greg and I received a great gift from his parents this past Christmas: lift tickets to Gunstock and a stay at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Gilford. We took advantage of that gift a couple of weeks ago and had a great weekend away. Less than a two hour drive from Boston, Gunstock is the perfect commute for a quick getaway.

Typically, for a weekend of snowboarding, I’ll head to one of my favorite bigger mountains in Vermont, like Mount Snow or Killington. Don’t get me wrong, I love those mountains, but Gunstock was a breath of fresh air. The weather that Saturday was perfect for skiing, sunny, temperatures in the 20s, not too windy, but surprisingly the mountain was not very busy.  The conditions were perfect. Only one or two trails that we went down were just slightly icy, and there were no lines for the lifts at all.  It felt like we were able to take 10 times more runs than usual.  To make the day even better, when we headed into the lodge for lunch around 1:00 pm, we quickly found open seats.  Nothing’s worse than getting into the lodge and hoping to relax and eat for a little bit after hours of skiing and having to trudge up and down, back and forth, throughout a lodge to find two open seats.

After splitting a decently tasting and decently priced mountain lunch of a chicken fajita wrap with waffle fries and calm chowder and warming up for a few minutes by the lodge’s roaring fire, we headed back out ready for some more runs. The conditions stayed nice throughout the afternoon, and the sunny skies were the perfect backdrop for the views of the lakes and mountains seen from the summit.

After a long day of snowboarding, we drove a couple of miles to the Fireside Inn and Suites in Gilford. At check in, we were handed homemade whoopie pies, and in the mornings, they served a complimentary continental breakfast. As everyone knows, any free food is a plus in my book.  Other hotel amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, and a fitness center (not that I used it). Our room was large, comfortable, and clean, ideal for relaxing after a day on the mountain. Add in their affordable rates, and I’m definitely planning on staying there next time!

There are plenty of options for good food around Gunstock Mountain.  Lucky for us, Patrick’s Pub is located right across the street from where we stayed.  Featuring a slightly more formal dinning room and a more casual bar area, Patrick’s Pub boasts a large menu with options for any appetite, a good selection of draft beer, and other tasty drink options. Super hungry after all the snowboarding, we stuffed our faces.  I had baked haddock with a baked potato and veggies, at least I started off decently healthy! And, Greg had prime rib.  For dessert, we decided on chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.

On the way home from the mountain, we stuffed ourselves once again. This time at the Tilt’n Diner, located 20 minutes from the mountain.  The diner is decorated in true fifties fashion and has a typical diner menu that includes all-day breakfast, milkshakes, burgers, fries, etc.  My large veggie omelette was incredibly filling and tasty, and, of course, I wanted to finish my breakfast off with some dessert. Greg had been to this diner many times growing up and always talked about how good their Toll House Cookie Pie is.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to this big, warm cookie with ice cream all week.  Unfortunately, we were informed by our server that they were out of the pie! Kind of disappointing. We’ll have to go back so that I can finally try it.

All this writing about snowboarding and food…I’m definitely craving another trip away.  Now, I just need to finish digging my car out of the piles of snow, and maybe we’ll make it skiing again sometime before spring.

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My ideal fall weekend in and around Boston

View from Sholan Farms

After a summer full of hot, humid weekends spent laying on the beach, a cool but sunny fall weekend spent outdoors is the perfect remedy.  Fall has recently become one of my favorite seasons, and there are endless ways to enjoy it.

My ideal fall weekend begins with friends, dinner, and pumpkin beers at a casual restaurant on Friday night.  My go-to, Sunset Grill & Tap, boasts over 100 beers on tap, including multiple seasonal and pumpkin offerings.  Shipyard Pumpkin with a cinnamon sugar rim is my choice to wash down a feast of nachos and buffalo chicken.

Saturday morning, I wake up and have a delicious breakfast of an egg & cheddar sandwich and coffee, at one of my favorite Brookline spots, Temptations Cafe, and then head outside of the city for a bike ride. Located less than 30 miles west of Boston, the Nashua River Rail Trail is an 11-mile paved bike trail that starts in Ayer and travels through several small Massachusetts towns before reaching the New Hampshire border.  The 22 mile ride through shaded trails is the perfect way to get some much needed exercise before stuffing my face with some more fall food.

Apple picking is another must-do on my list. Nothing beats a couple of McIntosh or Honey Crisp apples, fresh off the the tree, except maybe hot apple crisp fresh out of the oven, covered in cool vanilla ice cream.  This fall, I picked apples at two different orchards in central Massachusetts: one in Harvard, MA near the bike trail I mentioned previously and Sholan Farms in Leominster, MA, where I grew up. Head to the orchards in September for McIntosh or Honey Crisp and in early October for Cortland or Macoun. These apples make great snacks for work, especially when sliced and dipped in peanut butter! On the less healthy side, my favorite apple crisp recipe always makes a satisfying dessert.

Although I love summer because along with it comes the beach, vacations, seafood, ice cream, flip flops, and a laid back atmosphere, its heat and humidity can make it difficult to exercise.  It’s too hot and humid to run outside, and even the air conditioned gym feels too sticky for a workout.  Gross. Fall is my favorite time to head outside. Whether it’s for a long run through the streets of Brookline and along the Riverway near Fenway, or a hike up a local mountain, when it’s a nice fall Sunday I’m ready for an outdoor workout.  This Monday, since I have Columbus Day off, my friend Katie and I are planning on heading up to New Hampshire to hike Mount Monadnock.  The last time I hiked that mountain, I was twelve and my parents were bribing my sister and I with $5 each and lunch at McDonald’s.  Hopefully I’m in good enough shape to do it again.

My ideal fall weekend ends with a trip to a local ice cream shop.  Nope, fall is not too cold to go out for ice cream.  Neither is winter, for that matter.  I’ll trudge through ice, snow, or rain to devour my favorite dessert.  And no, the stuff from the grocery store freezers is never as good. My go-to, J.P. Licks in Coolidge Corner, features different homemade flavors each month, and October has some great ones that I can’t wait to try.  Chocolate Chocolate Chip yogurt, Caramel Apple, Cheesecake Oreo, Pumpkin Custard. Yum! So many reasons to look forward to the weekend. Now I just need to get off the computer and go enjoy it!

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