This weekend was exactly what I hoped for and pictured when I decided to move here. It had everything: good friends, great food, beautiful scenery, even a little romance…oh, and of course, cupcakes! Most importantly, we spent the weekend enjoying each other and all of the fun activities that my new area has to offer.
A Million Reasons to Love Cinco de Mayo
Like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is universally revered by most of the country. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a good excuse to drink margaritas and over-indulge in Mexican food. I personally have quite a fondness for the holiday, because it always brings me back to the summer I studied abroad in Mexico City (more on that another time).
Although we learned a lot that summer, we also traveled around the country and sampled our fair share of tequilas. I look forward to Cinco de Mayo every year, and this year was no different. I was so excited that I had Mexican food for both lunch and dinner on Friday. My dinner time Mexcian food at a local restaurant, Cafe Maya, was accompanied by some friends, my favorite Mexican beer (Tecate) and a Mariachi serenader singing Elvis Presley songs. In other words, the perfect way to kick off Cinco de Mayo weekend.
We ordered the combo plate, which included a chicken tamale, beef tostado and cheese enchilada. In my opinion, this may be the most perfect Mexican combination ever created – somethin’ for everybody! A side note here on my drink choice. Awhile back, the bartender here introduced us to what is called the Chelada: Mexican beer served over ice, with fresh lime juice and a salted rim. It remains the most refreshing alcoholic beverage that I have ever consumed, and it is most definitely my drink of choice during the dog days of summer.
Although I live up in the “country” Cafe Maya is as authentic as it gets, when it comes to Mexican food, from the decor to the margaritas and the cuisine. There may be a dozen Mexican restaurants in NYC that are authentic and delicious, but at the end of the day, you only need one :-).
A Typical Saturday Upstate
Saturday morning, as per usual, I woke up earlier than planned, thanks to my lovely new bedtime pal…Cole.
He tends to wake up with the sun, and then he likes to wake us up through annoying, yet adorable whining. Usually, I give in and get out of bed to feed him and let him outside to “relieve himself” by around 7:00. After that, me and the BF spent the day doing errands.
My BIG errand involves finishing off the great move of 2013. Though I’ve “moved in” I still have one room of crap that seems to get worse and worse every time I clean it. Didn’t really make much progress this Saturday.
After 8 years of working in corporate America, I have too many dressy shirts, pants and dresses. My new job is a jeans/plaid shirt type of deal, which I much prefer. It felt a little strange packing away all of my nice clothes but very liberating at the same time!
And then, there were the medals. So.Many.Medals. I think it’s very nice to receive a medal at the end of a long race, but I’ve never really found good use for these things. I’m thinking of donating these to Medals4Mettle, so that someone else more deserving than me can enjoy them! Anyone else ever donated to this organization?
Next, it was off to the trails for a run and swim with the pup. I ran, and he ran and jumped in every pond of water along the way.
We ran about 6 miles and then walked a few, too. It was nice taking a few moments to relax and listen to nature…very “country” of me.
I knew my BF was cooking me dinner on Saturday night, but I didn’t know he was going to get all romantic on me.
Awww! Check it out: flowers, scallops, wine and a fire. Turns out he decided to give me a belated Valentine’s dinner! I moved in the day after Valentine’s Day and started my new job the following week – thus, Valentine’s Day kind of got lost in the shuffle!
It was such a nice surprise to walk outside and see this picturesque meal waiting for me. One of the realities of moving in together is realizing that the “honeymoon” is over and life won’t always be butterflies, rainbows and romance. So, it’s a great reminder of how lucky we are when we have a meal like this every now and then! And of course, no fireside meal would be complete without smores!
Our “smores building” approach is very representative of our opposite personalities. He is slow and deliberate. I am speedy and a little less precise ;-).
Cinco de Cupcake
It’s a good thing we had a low-key night on Saturday, because Sunday, the actual Cinco de Mayo, was jam-packed. It started at 7 am when I hit the kitchen to whip up some healthified huevos rancheros, my favorite Mexican breakfast. Huevos rancheros is simply fried egg served on top of fried tortilla with a tomato-chili sauce and some guac.
I made some small tweaks to the traditional recipe, and it turned out to be a very satisfying breakfast. I served it with fresh squeezed limemade.
Check back later this week for the recipe!
The hearty Mexican breakfast helped us get through a two hour hike up a very steep mountain! Before I moved here, running was the only I really felt like I got a “good workout,” but I’ve discovered that hikes can be both challenging and refreshing. It’s become my favorite Sunday workout.
The views today were absolutely spectacular! We stopped about once every 30 minutes to take in another breathtaking view.
And finally, once the hike was complete, there was no rest for the weary! Nope, we had a cupcake festival to see! A few weeks ago, I saw a flyer for a cupcake festival in a town not far from us. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do much persuading to get my BF to accompany me to the festival – we even brought some friends!
While it was a bit crowded, I enjoyed seeing all of the cupcake vendors from around the area. In NYC, there is a cupcake shop on every block, but I’ve had a bit more difficulty finding a good cupcake shop in the Hudson Valley. It didn’t take long for me to find my first cupcake: PB & J!
It was decent, but I knew that there were better cupcakes on the horizon…and then I found the “Make your Own Cupcake Station.”
Now, this is what I call a good cupcake: chocolate, with buttercream frosting, gummy bears, fruit loops, sprinkles and Cookie Crisps. Sometimes Healthy, Sometimes Crazy.
Here’s a shot of cupcake #3 and cupcake #4: Salted Caramel and Almond Joyous (Almond Joyous was the winner of the day – chocolaty, coconuty…mmmm.)
After 4 cupcakes and a glass of wine, we were finally ready to call it a day. I made a quick stop by the Cupcake Wars Competition. Local bakers were competing for $1000 and a chance to have their cupcake featured on the menu at one of our favorite restaurants. I can’t wait to try the winner – they all looked delicious!
So, this is Sometimes Healthy?
If you’re new to this blog, I know what you are thinking: how does 4 cupcakes, beer and greasy Mexican food qualify as healthy? Well, that’s the point – being Sometimes Healthy is all about balancing indulgence with more healthy endeavors. I certainly don’t have it down yet, but I’m havin’ a great time trying – and isn’t that what life is really about?
So, if you like what you see, there’s plenty more where this came from! Tune in Wednesday for the Healthified Huevos Rancheros recipe!
How did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
What’s your vision of a perfect Sometimes Healthy Day?