Friday Five (things I’m excited for in November)

WOW did October fly by or what?! I can’t believe we’ll be setting our clocks back and saying Rabbit Rabbit again on Sunday. Here are the five things I’m looking forward to in November:

  1. University of Maryland Homecoming – as a two time UMD Grad, I love all things Terp related and won’t miss the chance to go back to my alma mater for a tailgate. The Maryland football team has been pretty underwhelming this year, but nothing beats the feel of game day on campus and catching up with college and grad school friends.
  1. Adam’s Birthday – Adam turns 28 in a couple of weeks and I am eager to take him out to celebrate. Last year we celebrated his birthday with meals at Woodberry Kitchen, Mintwood Place and La Scala. How can we top that?
  1. Turkey – every Thanksgiving we head down to South Carolina to spend the holiday with family. For the past few years an added guest has tagged along (see photo at top of post). The original turkey balloon was given to me by a friend attending my and J’s annual Pilgrim and Indian party and once I brought it with me on our road trip and tweeted his journey, it became a yearly staple. Follow Turkey’s adventures on twitter with the hashtag #TurkeyGoesSouth
  1. Book of Mormon at the Hippodrome – I’ve already seen it, but I’m excited for you to go see it. The hilariously inappropriate musical runs from November 3-15. Get your tickets NOW! And since it’s at the Hippodrome, you can get dinner at Ale Wife, one of our fave bars, before the show.

5. Charm City Room Escapes – apparently “escape rooms” are the rage these days and I can’t wait to give it a try! In this version in Catonsville, you are trapped in a room with a zombie and you have 60 minutes to solve the clues and get out of the room, all the while the zombie is trying to get closer to you! There’s a LivingSocial deal right now where you can get your ticket for $19 instead of the usual $28.

What are you looking forward to this November? 

See what the rest of the blogosphere is excited for today: CourtneyMar and Cynthia and Heather’s Friday Favorites.

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Baltimore Running Festival Weekend

Baltimore Running Festival festivities started off on Thursday with a visit to the expo to pick up my race packet and register for that evening’s .05k sponsored by 98 Rock. The .05k was set up at Power Plant Live, complete with bibs, inflatable start and finish lines and a water station half way through. Everyone who participated was super into it which added to the fun and it was a hilarious event! You can see pictures from the race on the 98 Rock’s instagram. Afterward, Burnt Sienna, a cover band based out of Philadelphia, performed and they were fantastic! They played everything from the Killers to Queen to Imagine Dragons to The Weekend.

Burnt Sienna Band

Friday night we went to Brendali for dinner and enjoyed a tasty chicken parm before laying low the rest of the night and catching up on the Mindy Project. Brendali was PACKED and we witnessed many groups turned away if they didn’t have a reservation, we lucked out and beat the rush but definitely remembering to make a res next time.

Saturday was the 5k which was a blast (probably even more fun than the .05k Thursday! :D). I walked over to the start in time to see the marathoners begin which was really cool. It was fun to run a 5k that was part of a larger festival because it certainly makes the race seem more momentous: the expo, the crowd at the start, the medals, the celebration village at the end – all things that you don’t typically see when it’s just a 5k.  The weather was perfect for running and the course was great – slightly uphill for the first half and slightly downhill for the second half – my time was 34:57 (11:15 min/mi) which may not sound impressive but is really good for me (almost 2 minutes faster than the Baltimore Women’s Classic that I ran in June). Adam met me at the finish and we walked to Starbucks for breakfast and cheered on the half marathon runners at their start. It was inspiring to see runners all over our neighborhood and everyone was friendly and full of encouragement.

5k medal post race starbucks

Saturday afternoon was spent in Virginia at a friend’s pig roast. She and her family go all out for this annual event with moon bounces and face painting for kids, a ton of food and drinks and this year they even added a coat drive for charity! It was great to catch up with friends and we had a blast watching all of the kids go crazy running around the backyard.

fall pig roast

The weekend was rounded out with a lazy Sunday – brunch with family, football and grocery shopping.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Friday Five (Favorite Fall Foods)

It’s officially leggings, boots and sweater weather so today is the perfect day for the DC Trifecta favorite fall foods linkup. After you drool over the dishes below, check out what Courtney, Mar and Cynthia‘s favorites are as well. And don’t forget to check out Heather’s Friday Favorites.

Roast Fall vegetables squash

  1. Roast Veggies – hands down my favorite food to make in the fall. Only slightly complicated by the fact that my dog has developed a major fear of the oven and whenever it’s on he cowers around the house with his tail between his legs. L Otherwise I would probably roast veggies every night. Butternut squash and broccoli or Brussel sprouts are probably my faves, but really everything is delicious when roasted with salt, pepper and a little splash of olive oil. I’ll add a squirt of maple syrup if I want to have a twinge of sweetness.
  1. Pretty much anything off of Peter’s Inn’s ever changing seasonal menu – like this week they have braised pork shank with greens and cheese grits or seared scallops with pumpkin risotto. Both sound amazing and like the perfect fall comfort foods.

Atwater's Soup

  1. Soup – of any and all kinds. This summer I got hooked on half and half crab soup – half the red Maryland crab and half cream of crab, sharing a bowl in perfect harmony – and last weekend I had a delicious bowl at Plug Ugly’s in Canton. I’ve already raved about Atwater’s soups and their’s a new ramen place in Federal Hill that is a great addition to the neighborhood.
  1. All apple everything – apple cider, apple pie, caramel apple thumbprint scone at Panera (approximately 8 million calories but just so good).

5. Easy one pan meals – like this creation sort of inspired by Tuscan Skillet White Bean Chicken. Onions, mushrooms, white beans, tomato, spicy chicken sausage + seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano). Easy, tasty and filling = the perfect fall meal.

easy one skillet chicken sausage white bean

Doing it All in Fall

October Fall Leaves Maryland

Rabbit Rabbit – happy October! In the blink of an eye September has come and gone and it is time to fully embrace fall! The weekend might be a wash (literally) with Joaquin on the horizon, but hopefully the rest of the month is crisp and clear. Last week I mentioned some of my favorite fall activities and I wanted to expand on that today with some specific opportunities in Baltimore. A few years ago (ahem, 2011), my coworkers and I printed out this Fall Bucket List and tried to complete as many of the falltivities as we could. We didn’t make it very far, but we had fun trying! Here’s some help in checking a few boxes off the list…

fall bucket list

Apple Picking – Head to Larriland Farm (but check their website first to see what’s available for harvest each day!). September is usually prime apple picking season, but Larriland has some varieties that ripen later in the fall. Like most of the places listed below, Larriland has hay rides and a pumpkin patch too!

Hay Ride – Hay Rides are available at Larriland Farm, or if you’re looking for an option closer to the city check out Rodger’s Farm. They have a hay ride, corn maze, pumpkin patch and farm animals and are located right in Greenspring Valley.

Corn Maze – Nothing will compete with the Taylor Swift Corn Maze at Summers Farm. Don’t bother going anywhere else 🙂

Pumpkin Patch – Visit Gaver Farm on the weekend and take a free hayride to a pick your own pumpkin patch. Or drive a little further out 70 to Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch which also has a petting zoo.

Dates – May we suggest the Blue Moon Cafe that recently opened a location in Federal Hill because nothing says fall like Captain Crunch French Toast. Or go for dinner at the always delicious Woodberry Kitchen which has a delicious seasonal menu. Speaking of fall foods, we went to Wine Market for my birthday last week and my filet came with the most amazing butternut squash bread pudding. Let me repeat that, butternut squash bread pudding. It was so freaking good I can’t even describe it.

Pies – Sure you could bake a pie, or you could stop by Dangerously Delicious Pies in Canton and grab a slice for your self. Pecan, sweet potato, apple, pumpkin – oh my!

Fancy Coffee Drinks – Head to Artifact Coffee in Hampden, Spoons  or the just opened 3 Bean Coffee in Federal Hill, or the Daily Grind in Fells Point. Or just go to Starbucks for a PSL and call it a day.

pgkin spice

Which of these bucket list activities do you plan on doing this fall? 

October 3

Friday Five (Favorite Falltivities)

It’s that time of the year! Leaves are changing color, temperatures are cooler and anything and everything is flavored with pumpkin. Let’s cut to the chase and get to my favorite activities for autumn:

Celebrate my birthday! I turn 28 today and will be celebrating all weekend long. I’m a bit biased but I think late September is the BEST time of the year. We’ll be celebrating tonight with a nice dinner and celebrating more tomorrow at a winery.

fall football ravens

Watch Football. Cheering on the Terps and Gamecocks on Saturdays and the Ravens on Sundays. Setting my fantasy lineup and trash talking my opponents. Making snacks for game day like zucchini pizza bites. Tailgating. Homecoming. Wine bras and grilling in the parking lot. In our house, fall means football and football means fall.

tailgating

Visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but it deserves another mention. Held in Crownsville (outside Annapolis) every weekend from now until October 25, tickets are $19 for the first couple of weekends and $24 a person after that. Take in the sights and sounds of a medieval village while enjoying a fall beer (or hot spiced mead!) and a sweet potato pie. Or a turkey leg. Or cheesecake on a stick. Plus, there’s jousting which oddly enough is the state sport of Maryland.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Eat apple cider donuts. From the Apple House in Linden, Virginia. My family used to drive out to the country every fall and stop at the Apple House for their amazingly flavorful donuts. These babies are served warm with a delightful coating of cinnamon and sugar.  Go there. Go there now.

Pick a pumpkin. Fall is not complete without a trip to a pumpkin patch and we may even have to visit Maryland’s Taylor Swift corn maze. Expect a roundup soon of all the great options in the area, but for now I leave you with these enormous pumpkins!

pumpkins

Linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for Friday Five and Heather for Friday Favorites. Check out the other fall faves out there on the interwebz!