Garden Grille

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The Garden Grille is a vegetarian & vegan based restaurant on East Ave in Pawtucket. Now I am not a vegetarian, but I am really interested in incorporating a partially vegetarian diet into my life. Did you know that eating less meat can reduce your carbon footprint by 63%? I think that is pretty incredible. If we can help the earth just by incorporating more plants into our diet, then that’s something I can get behind.

Anyway, this is not a lecture on vegetarianism – this is a post on one of my favorite lunch spots right now. They serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, and have a small bar inside as well.

When I say that I dream about their roasted brussel sprout grilled cheese and tomato soup I am not kidding. I may have had it two days in a row.. On my last trip I had the avocado toast with pickled vegetables. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the tart pickled vegetables and the spice from the red chili flakes – it was everything you would want in an avocado toast. Paired with a blood orange hibiscus tea, I couldn’t be happier.

I have also been for brunch – their vegan biscuits and gravy were super filling, and their vegan pancakes were light and fluffy.

Whether you are a vegetarian/vegan or are just looking for some deliciously fresh veggie based foods, then this is the place for you.

 

xx Casey

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Travel Guide: Providence – Wayland Square

I am lucky to call the big little city of Providence Rhode Island my home. Through the years Providence has become a destination for incredible food, shopping, art, and entertainment. I could probably write about the incredible places and things to see in Providence solely on this blog and have enough to say for years to come. There is always something new and exciting to see! What can I say, I am #blessed to live here. So I am going to break this city down for you in multiple Providence themed Travel Guides. First up on the list is Wayland Square, located in the East Side of Providence. This is one of my go-to weekend spots, so here are a couple of my favorites:

Wayland Square Diner

First up is my favorite little breakfast place on the east side. It is quick, cheap, and delicious diner food that makes me feel like I am back home in New Jersey. This is the place that I go if I want a really good bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a grilled everything bagel. Oh, and a side of home fries.

The Salted Slate

This is another really awesome choice for breakfast. This is where I go when I am in the mood for an awesome brunch. I recently brought my family here when they were visiting and we had an incredible time. Now I never go for something on the sweet side for breakfast. I want my eggs, toast, bacon… but the lemon ricotta pancakes with bay leaf maple syrup and fresh berries are so light and fluffy that I cannot resist. Also, you cannot leave without ordering the bag of warm donuts. We got ours to go and they were the perfect mid afternoon treat.

West Elm

West Elm has been one of my favorite online window shopping sites for ages. I love getting inspiration for home décor from their site. Well to my delight a shop has just opened up in Wayland Square! Now, West Elm is definitely a little pricey however the store definitely has some more affordable items as well – and no shipping charges to deal with. The thing I love most is that they have a display dedicated to local Rhode Island businesses.

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Paper Nautilus

Paper Nautilus is cleverly described on their window as: a bookshop located on Five South Angell Street in Providence Rhode Island, specializing in rare and recent books, art, ephemera, and assorted oddiments since 1996. This little shop is a book lover’s wonderland. Scour the shelves for books on poetry, history, war, and love. Then go downstairs, and look through their antiques for sale and maybe find something really special.

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Mc Brides Irish Pub

After some shopping stop into this local Irish pub for a beer outside on their terrace should the weather agree. Or sit inside and catch that 1pm football game (J E T S!) and order up a plate of nachos. Mc Brides offers up some solid bar food and live entertainment weekly.

Where would you like me to travel to next? Stay tuned for my next Travel Guide!

xx Casey

 

Cranberry Apple Sangria

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I couldn’t leave you without at least one recipe to get you through today. My family loves Sangria so during the holidays I always try to come up with a new version to spice things up. This year the main ingredient is Jack Daniels Winter Jack Whiskey. This is an apple cider whiskey that kind of tastes like candy. Yum.

Ingredients
2 bottles chilled Pinot Grigio
1 cup apple whiskey
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups cold club soda
2 apples, sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries

In a large pitcher add wine, whiskey, and fruit. Let sit for 45 minutes so the fruit can absorb that liquid. Add club soda right before serving and enjoy.

This sangria is simple and delicious. Not a fan of whiskey? Add your favorite liquor and then add half cranberry juice/half apple juice to still have that awesome fall flavor. I may have had a glass or two.. or three already.

I am very thankful that I get to spend this Thanksgiving back home with my family. Now let’s eat, drink, and watch football.

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xx Casey

Borealis Coffee Company

On Saturday morning I headed over to the grand opening of Borealis Coffee Company on Bullocks Point Ave in Riverside RI. To say I was excited would be an understatement. There was a small batch coffee shop opening right in my back yard, and I no longer had to drive over the bridge for a good cup of coffee.

Borealis means “from the north” in Latin and is an homage to the founder Brian’s Alaskan roots. They are a small batch roastery and cafe which means they roast all of their coffee beans on site. They pride themselves in roasting to order, which means you are getting the best quality of coffee each and every time.

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I had a simple cold brew iced coffee paired with a caramelized onion and ham turnover. It was nothing short of perfect.

For me, a great coffee shop is all about the experience and the feeling you get while you are there. Borealis had everything you could ever want in a coffee shop – beautiful minimal decor, incredible coffee, a great selection of food items, and the friendliest staff I have ever encountered. Everyone who worked there was so kind and gladly offered up their recommendations on the menu.

If the coffee isn’t enough to keep you coming back, the staff definitely will. I think Borealis is in for a long and exciting ride.

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xx Casey

 

Meet George

Okay friends, I think it is about time that I introduce you to someone very special. His name is George Washington and he is my sweet, cuddly, and very handsome cat/child/best friend. This little guy has more personality than most people I know, and brings so much joy to my life.

I got George in the summer of 2014 from an animal shelter in Massachusetts when he was 14 weeks old. I guess an old woman couldn’t handle that much personality and dropped the little guy off. Lucky for me, I found him and have been in love ever since.

Now when I say George is special I mean it – how many other cats love car rides and greet you at the door when you come home? Sometimes I think he is more dog than cat. He bosses me around and tells me when it is time to get up, when he is hungry (with a loud meow), and even which direction to sleep. For the record, that is on my back so he can snuggle up on my left side with his head resting on my arm.. and if I am not sleeping in that position he will meow at me until I am. He definitely owns me.

I can not stress how wonderful it is to rescue an animal from a shelter. The kind of love they give to you is like no other, and the bond you form is forever. You will definitely continue to see glimpses of George throughout my future blog posts (I mean my blog is called nine lives after all!) but here are a couple of my favorite pictures of him – that first one is the picture the shelter posted of him online.. how could you not fall in love!

And yes, his tongue is almost always out.

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I found George on  petfinder.com a place where shelters post pictures and descriptions of animals up for adoption. For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption just like George.

xx Casey & George

Whiskey Hot Chocolate

Whiskey and I have been friends ever since I’ve been of legal age to drink. The first bottle of liquor I ever bought was a bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey Whiskey. Blame it on my dad or blame it on my group of ACU wearing best friends, but whiskey has always been my old stand by. So of course I have made it my mission to incorporate it into as my drink and food recipes as possible. I’ve created recipes for bacon bourbon stuffing, cinnamon whiskey apple pie, whiskey bbq ribs – the list goes on.

So of course I had to come up with the perfect drink to sip by the fire during the holidays. In comes: Whiskey Hot Chocolate. The whiskey warms you up from the inside almost as quickly as the hot chocolate does. The mixture of the two flavors together creates a rich and wonderfully smooth treat.

Ingredients
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup chocolate chips
½ cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 fl. oz. whiskey
marshmallows for topping
Method of Prep
Add the cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, and milk to a small saucepan. Heat over medium high, whisking constantly to dissolve the cocoa and melt the chips. Bring the hot chocolate to a steam–not a boil–then remove from heat.
Add the whiskey, and divide the hot chocolate between two mugs.
Top with marshmallows and enjoy.
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xx Casey

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

I spent a quick 36 hours in New Hampshire this weekend, somewhere that is quickly turning into one of my favorite places to visit. After scoring some sweet tax free deals at the Merrimack Outlets I made my way to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to see how a bottle of good ol’ American Bud Light is made.

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The Tour we went on cost $10 and included a tour of the facilities, a glass of hours old bud light poured straight from the ice cold barrel, a tour of the bottling facility, two samples, and a complimentary glass to take home. They also have complimentary tours and VIP Tours.

The facility was huge and we traveled through rooms with three degrees of temperatures.. 80 degrees where the mashing process takes place and “wort” is made, 56 degrees where the holding tanks are and the fermentation takes place, and 30 degrees where the beer is held before pasteurization and bottling.

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Did you know that Bud Light is the only beer to be made with rice? It gives the beer it’s light color and distinct flavor. Anheuser-Busch is also one of the only breweries to have it’s own hops farms, one in Germany and one in Idaho.

After the tour we made our way to the gift shop and biergarten. There they have $2 pints of beers and  German style food. Lastly, you can not end your trip without visiting the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale’s.

Check out budweisertours.com for tour times at all of their brewery locations. Cheers!

xx Casey