Vermont Restaurant Week Wrap-Up

Husband and I are big foodies so of course we had to take advantage of Restaurant Week in Vermont. At first, we agreed to just go out once when his parents came up. But husband came home really wanting to eat out even before they came to visit. I guess eating dinner out all 5 nights while I was away wasn’t enough for him. Anyway, I kindly agreed to his request.

Bluebird BBQ

This google description sums it up very well: “Casual eatery serving slow-cooked meats & classic sides on metal trays, plus beer, wine & cocktails.”

The offer: $30 for 3 smoked meats & 4 sides for two people to share. Normally, this would be $40 for 2 people.

I said to my husband “What if one person asked for the bbq for two meal?”

I’ve been here once before and ordered the fried chicken sandwich. I thought it was pretty good. I don’t eat pork or beef so this place isn’t my usual pick for a meal out. They do have turkey and chicken on their smokehouse meat menu but the chicken is on the bone. Meh, I like my food boneless. So I ordered the turkey along with what the husband got. The turkey was nothing to write home about. The fries and the mac and cheese were a 7/10. The cornbread with maple butter is my favorite because I’m a basic bitch.

Overall, Bluebird BBQ was ok, but hubs seemed happy. When hubs is happy, I’m happy. Just kidding, he’s not allowed to be happy.

Revolution Kitchen

Revolution Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant. It offers dishes utilizing seitan, which is a new word in my vocabulary. Seitan is “flavored wheat gluten often used as a meat analogue” per Merriam-Webster dictionary.

The offer: A 3-course meal for $30 each. Normally, it would’ve been about $35/person so it’s not much of a difference.

Hubs’s roommate at Dartmouth raved about this restaurant and we’ve been wanting to try it since but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Now that his parents were coming up and his mom is vegetarian, we decided to check it out.

Between the four of us, we tried most of the dishes on the Restaurant Week menu.  All the appetizers (brussel sprouts, nachos & asparagus and fennel salad) were delicious in their own way. The basil pesto ravioli with Vermont Creamery chèvre and brown butter-sage-pecan sauce was good but a little too buttery. I thought the yellow curry stir-fry with tofu packed a lot more flavor – next time I will be ordering this. For dessert, we had the maple-vanilla cake & chocolate fudge cake. I definitely favored the maple-vanilla cake while hubs favored the chocolate.

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There weren’t many pricier restaurants we wanted to try out that we hadn’t already so two outings were more than enough. I generally like to eat at home as it’s easier to control portions and salt/oil used in the cooking process. At restaurants, I tend to pick at my food when I’m already full and so I overeat. And if it’s a Mexican restaurant with all you can eat chips and salsa, fogettaboutit.

Here is a full list of the restaurants participating: Vermont Restaurant Week

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

Relatable Roni

 

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Bollywood Actress Shilpa Shetty

She’s fashionable:

Shilpa Shetty is this beautiful Bollywood actress who wears Indian outfits like a goddess…

She’s in great shape:

Somehow, she is in better shape now than she was 20-30 years ago. Here she is below busting out some classic Bollywood dance moves.

She’s shared some decent cooking tips:

She has a Youtube channel where she posts recipes. My mother-in-law shared this method (below) with me and I tried it out the very next day. I love that it requires a lot less oil than a regular fried egg. It’s essentially in between being a fried egg and a poached egg. Delicious. So thank you Shilpa Shetty for this one.

BUT HER SUNDAY BINGES ARE RIDICULOUS!!!

Every Sunday, she binges (or so she says) on something sweet.

Is she really eating it? She takes the smallest bite I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m pretty sure the amount she broke off was bite-size but then she took a nibble off that bite-size piece. WHAT?!

What’s with the over-acting? I thought she was an actress…Do directors have to tell her to take her acting down 200 notches? I know I’m not the only one that feels this way because I see the comments on her instagram every Sunday.

I love her for her fashion but the Sunday binges make me want to unfollow her. But I won’t because her outfits are amazeballs.

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken & Corn Egg Drop Soup

I was reminded of this recipe when I saw it on blogger Extrapetite‘s Instagram story. Hers is sweeter because she uses the full can of creamed corn. I called my mom up for her version. This is a great go-to for a cold day which somehow there are still plenty left of this “Spring.”

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Prep Time: 10 mins| Cook Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 20 mins

~90 calories/cup/serving. 5 total servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can of Del Monte’s Sweet Corn Cream Style
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 chicken tenders, boiled & shredded*
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbsp of cool water (optional if you like your soup thicker)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. In a pot, bring broth and sweet corn cream style to a medium boil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add thawed corn kernels and shredded chicken. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Slowly add whisked eggs while stirring pot. Let boil 2-3 mins.
  4. Serve!

*My mom likes to boil the chicken with some onion because it tames that not so great smell of boiled chicken.


This is definitely my favorite healthy-ish soup. When I order it at restaurants, it just doesn’t hit the spot so I prefer the homemade version. I wonder how this would taste if the chicken were substituted with tofu. Do let me know if you try it out!

*This recipe is husband approved*

Nom noms. Enjoy!

The Two Most Important Words in a Marriage

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Thuy Pham Photography

Housewives often go unappreciated. It’s just a fact. And come to think of it, even when I’ve seen a husband step in to take care of something, the wife may barely take notice of it as well. Watching other couples, I’ve seen something my husband does differently.

He always says “Thank you” AND means it. 

When my husband and I were engaged, I took a week off of work and decided to visit him. He would come home late after a 16-18 hour shift and literally inhale the plate of food I had prepared. It made me glad he was getting his fill but also terrible because he was actually THAT hungry.

But what he did next blew me away. He thanked me for the meal, picked up my plate and his, and proceeded to do the dishes. I asked him what he was doing. He told me “You cooked, so I’ll clean up.” Oh, my heart! I got a good one. There’s nothing like SHOWING your appreciation like this.

My husband is a very enthusiastic and positive person. I, on the other hand, am not easily moved. I am naturally always happy but not easily excitable (chill your dirty minds, guys). But because of his nature, he often will come home and be like “Wow! You did the laundry! Wow, the house looks amazing! Wow, you got chicken! Wow, I love this piece of decor you got! I love our home! Thank you for making our house into a home!” It’s his compliments and appreciation that keep me motivated to do these majorly mundane tasks. And when I don’t do them, he doesn’t say anything.

And I hope I say my fair share of “thank you’s” in return. It may be easy to say this all now as newlyweds and I know there’s no possible way I’m a marriage expert at this point, but I hope this becomes ingrained in us. And I hope this is not my infatuation with him taking over *insert crying laughing emoji*.

 

Friday Finds: From Baller to Bawler

Happy Friday! If you’re planning to do some major movie and TV binging this weekend, keep reading. 

You know that person bawling in a movie theatre…That is who I am now. I am a bawler. I used to call myself a baller, but no, not anymore. I don’t know how it happened, but it has. My mom likes to joke she named me Ronica because “rona” in Hindi means to weep. I was a terribly colicky baby. But even after all the colic was said and done, my name still suits me. I cry at everything even if I’ve already seen a sad scene three times before. Example:

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From “The Office”

Here’s a list of some movies/TV shows I’ve been watching recently that I highly recommend. The TV shows aren’t new but they’re classics to me.

Movies:

Coco – I saw this amazing movie in theaters and it is best experienced on the big screen. Yes, I was weeping quietly by the end of this movie. It shows how important family is and man did I miss my family at that point. If you don’t tear up at least a little during this, you’re a robot.

Did I cry: Only immensely

Padmaavat – I usually do not watch Hindi movies but the hype was big on this one. Oh man was this spectacular on screen. When I agreed to see this with my in-laws, I wasn’t sure if I would regret it just based on the length of the movie (2 hrs, 43 mins). But it was worth it. What’s amazing is that this movie is now on Amazon Prime! So even if you don’t watch Hindi movies, it’s probably one you should see. Also, Deepika, dayyymmm gurlllll! You lookin’ fyneeee (as always)!

Did I cry: Yup!

Black Panther – I’m not into action movies but my husband wanted to see this and his coworkers had invited us to come along. It was great and you should probably see it because everyone and their mom has seen it.

Did I cry: No

TV Shows:

The Office – If you haven’t seen this, you and I can’t be friends. It’s been on Netflix for years and I hope it stays that way because it’s my go-to when I don’t know what else to watch.

Did I cry: Several times but there are many more laughs than tears

Parks and Recreation – I’ve seen this show twice over now. Amy Poehler is amazing, but my favorite character has to be April Ludgate.

Did I cry: Rarely

Breaking Bad – Husband got me into this. He’s already seen it in its entirety and now he’s enjoying it with me. It reminds me of “Weeds” but I’m hoping it’s better.

Did I cry: Not yet

The Walking Dead – This was great for about the first 3 seasons and then just kind of dragged on. I was a die hard fan for awhile. Then my mom sat down and watched a little with me and she was like “This is stupid. They can run faster than the zombies.” Thanks, mom. But ya, for some reason, people keep falling and then get bit. Like can you all just stop falling. I feel like there’s only so much you can do with the show at this point and they’re on season 8. Recently I decided to pick up where I left off around season 5. It’s beginning to drag again. I just want to know what happens. I may just read spoilers.

Did I cry: Ya, whenever some people die which is often

Jane the Virgin – My closest friends and I all watch this show. We all started on our own and came to know we were all into it. It’s got a fun plot. I hoped to pick up some Spanish from it but I haven’t. I really wish I didn’t take a dead language as my foreign language in school…

Did I cry: Yes, but mostly at happy/beautiful parts

 

If I were to choose to watch just any one of these movies/TV shows, I definitely recommend Coco. Thanks for reading!

A Doctor’s Spouse’s Life: Residency Year One

I wrote this post because I’ve searched the internet far and wide for others who may be going through what I’m going through but it just really doesn’t exist since there aren’t that many surgeon’s spouses writing about it. All I find is people worrying about their significant other going into a surgical residency and not having enough time for them. I’m way past that. I knew it was going to be hard, but I wanted to know what it would be like exactly. Would it get better?

So it goes without saying that being married to a doctor who is essentially married to his work is tough. It’s especially harder when he is a resident…in surgery…in neurosurgery. It is for a fact the hardest and most demanding specialty. But not only is it hard on him, it’s hard on me too. It takes someone incredibly independent to marry someone who isn’t around so much. But, even independent people have their breaking points.

With social media, it doesn’t get easier. I see my friends with their significant others going on trips like every other month or going on weekend getaways. Long weekends aren’t a thing because currently, my husband works every weekend. Attending weddings together are nearly impossible. Attending an entire wedding reception together has happened 2 out of 4 times, not counting our own. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real, guys.

I don’t think there’s a single person I know that really understands all this except for those married to a surgical resident. No one can really grasp the hours put in. We have to be their entire support system when their patients die or they feel like they aren’t good enough. It’s a disaster if he’s had a rough day and I’m just grouchy. All the laundry, cooking, cleaning, groceries are on me and we don’t even have kids. And sometimes I just don’t want to do any of those things. There’s no way I could ask someone to really help out after working a 18 hour day but he still will load the dishwasher when he can. Poor guy.

We only live a 3 hr drive from our parents but going home together means going home for only 24 hrs because he gets one weekday off per week and that’s it. He hasn’t seen his family in 4 months while I saw my own plus his 2 months ago. He barely has time to talk to them.

But I know it will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. His second year of residency, he will start getting two weekends off each month. We will be able to explore Vermont and Montreal more. We will be able to see our families more often.

I’m looking forward to it. And in 6 more years, hopefully all our sacrifices will have paid off.

What I Eat In A Day

Sugar is definitely an addiction. I love dessert but I was getting into the habit of eating it daily, and that at 10pm at night. Now, I’m trying to limit my carbs as much as I can. If my meals earlier in the day were heavier in carbs, I’ll make sure I won’t consume many carbs during dinner. But I think once you start kicking those carby items to the curb, it gets easier.

I am a big fan of the myfitnesspal app. It allows you to track your calorie intake, exercise and water intake. It really keeps me in line. I definitely like that you can plug in Indian foods and get an idea of how many calories are in that. Also, you can go out to eat, search the chain restaurant and food in the app and input your calories. It’s basically an eye-opening app to help build better eating habits. After awhile, you’ll learn to make better food choices and will no longer need to track calories.

I’m only on Day 1 million of my diet and I’m down 0 pounds. I’m teetering a lot. I do utilize my elliptical almost daily but without adjusting my diet more, my weight will just stay the same. I may have to resort to eating a plate of veggies for a meal or juicing again.

On a good day, I will try my best to stick to eating/drinking these items but I’ll also limit portions:

Drinks:

  • Water
  • Tea (1-2 cups)
  • Coconut water
  • Wine (but I consider it a dessert because it’s a treat essentially)

Breakfast:

  • English muffin with butter or peanut butter & fruit
  • Veggie omelette (2 eggs)
  • Acai bowl (but they can be high in sugar from fruits so I haven’t been having these lately)
  • Avocado toast
  • Kodiak protein packed dark chocolate pancakes (nutrition facts below)

Lunch: I like to keep it simple because I don’t want to spend half my day cooking.

  • Tofu & veggies with a pre-made sauce
  • Salad consisted of spinach leaves, Trader Joe’s chicken strips, goat cheese, nuts, carrots, cherry tomatoes and dressing
  • Bean salad: olives, cucumber, chickpeas, black beans, cheese, salt, pepper & lime juice
  • Soup
  • Usually anything leftover from the previous night’s dinner

Snacks:

  • Almonds or peanuts
  • Carrots & Dip
  • Honey wheat pretzels
  • Bean salad
  • Carrot juice
  • Cabot unflavored whey protein with cold coconut water (this is delicious)

Dinner: Dinner tends to be heavier because I have it with my husband. It’s often his first meal of the day after a busy day at work so I reserve most of my calories for this meal. I admit it’s not the best for dinner to be our heaviest meal of the day. Portion control here would be key.

  • entrée:
    • Paneer in a gravy
    • Fried tofu with veggies
    • Salmon
    • Turkey meatballs
    • Chicken wrap
    • Chicken or turkey tacos
    • Zucchini noodles (Zoodles)
    • Bean, veggie & cheese quesadilla
  • Sides:
    • Steamed or stir-fried vegetables
    • White rice or farro
    • Raita (yogurt-based)
    • Salad
    • Jalapeno poppers (these aren’t too healthy)

No, I don’t use the eyes. I do tweak this recipe and add spices and less cheese.

Dessert:

  • Fruit
  • Popsicle
  • 1-2 Girlscout cookies
  • A serving of chocolate
  • Wine & cheese!

By the end of a good day, I would’ve consumed a net of 1200-1400 calories. Obviously, not every day is a good day -.-

I know I sometimes have trouble coming up with new meals to add to my rotation so I hope this at least helps.

– Relatable Roni