Category Archives: Local Observations

Milagros Mexican Kitchen

Brattleboro has a great dinning scene downtown, but now it has an amazing scene.  The people who brought Brattleboro great Italian food via Fireworks, have opened Milagros Mexican Kitchen a few doors down on Main Street.

The result? An amazing and inventive taste of the Southwest in downtown Brattleboro.  This afternoon my teenage daughter invited me out to lunch at her favorite new restaurant, and since she was paying how could I resist.

I was almost overwhelmed by the options on the menu, but the front staff was amazing, and answered any questions I had.  So I ordered a Carne Asada Mission-Style Burrito, (grilled steak with green onion, avocado crema & cojita cheese with refried beans, rice, & lettuce.  It was huge, and mouth watering, and I ate it all! ’cause I’m a pig like that.  Of course I couldn’t eat dinner this evening because I was still full from lunch.

My daughter ordered a Grilled Garlic Shrimp Mission-Style Burrito, it comes with cabbage, avocado & chipotle crema; she ordered it without the cabbage, and had black beans, rice, cheese, and lettuce.  She only ate half of it, but ate the rest for dinner.

We sat at the front window counter and were lucky enough to be able to see into the kitchen and watch the cook staff preparing our amazing dishes.  The infectious attitude of the cook staff rolls out to the front staff and the customers; we had a great time listening to the music, watching the cook staff sing and dance.  We were waiting for the entire staff to jump over the counter and start a chorus line, unfortunately they didn’t but we had a great time watching the cook staff.

I can’t say enough about this restaurant, Brattleboro’s dinning experience just got 100% better in the downtown area and we’ll be stopping by many more times to eat in and take out.

Next we need to try Hazel, another new restaurant in town, which is co-owned by @TomBodett; I wonder if they leave the light on for you?

 

Spaghetti Squash

This could be a recipe page, but it also could be an observation page, so it’ll probably encompass both.  As a kid my mom used to make Spaghetti Squash all the time, it was a side dish, a main dish, and probably a dessert once too; OK that might be an exaggeration, but it could have been.

I’m walking down the produce aisle, minding my business, smiling at anyone whose glance (or stare) I end up meeting, and BAM, right there in front of me is a small basket with just the word SQUASH handwritten on it.  So I start looking through the basket, and hidden at the bottom are 2 really large squashes that have a sticker on them.  This sticker clearly states that what I am looking at is Spaghetti Squash.  A flutter runs through my heart, and my pulse quickens, I’m suddenly nervous; can I make this work?  should I even try?  Why yes, yes I should.

So I picked up the best and biggest looking Spaghetti Squash.  Then started searching for recipes online while I finished up my shopping, and finally just ended up texting my mom with, “Mom, Help, how the heck do I prepare Spaghetti Squash?”

My mom’s response: “cut in half, cut down, olive oil and water, cook 375 until soft.”  Wow, that’s simple!  I can do this.

Then she sent another text: “don’t forget the butter, lots and lots of butter.”

Quickly I sprinted over to the dairy case and picked up 8 sticks of organic butter, OK not really, I picked up 8 sticks of store brand butter, because I couldn’t remember if the 12 sticks I had recently bought were still in the fridge.

What, you don’t buy 16 sticks of butter on a weekly basis for your home?  What’s wrong with you?  🙂

Once I had all of my supplies I headed to the checkout, once I’d put my sundries on the belt to be magically transported to the cashier the women behind me asked, “How do you cook your Spaghetti Squash? Do you bake it or boil it?”

Not wanting to seem squash illiterate I said, “I do both, it just depends on what I am going to use the finished product for, but I prefer to bake it.”

She responded with, “Yes, that’s how I feel.”

Phew, dodged that one.  She was so unaware that I’d never cooked any kind of squash before.

So now I have this Spaghetti Squash home, and I’m trying to cut it in half the long way.  Now I really wish that someone would have said, “hey guess what, the hardest part of making SS is going to be cutting it in half.”

So once I had it cut in half, there were seeds.  Wow, who knew.  So I commenced with removing the seeds.

Then placed the results cut side down into a baking dish, with olive oil and water.

Placed foil over my endeavor and baked for about an hour in a 350 degree oven.

Much better outcome than I expected.  Then all that was left was to scrape out the insides with a fork.  I was using it as a side dish to some boneless chops that I made, so I didn’t do much else but add a lot, did I say a lot, a lot of butter.

With the left overs, because I didn’t realize how much this would make, I tossed them into a slightly olive oiled skillet, and added Parmesan cheese and some herbs.  Then we had a light lunch the next day.

So I think we enjoyed this very much, and I plan on making it more often when in season.

 

 

Dental Visits

My children had a hard time when we moved from the big city back to rural living; one of those things was their dentist. Funny and cute in a way, because they were use to large brand new sparkling TV filled exam rooms; and I took them to my old dentist who has a 1970 pre-fab office, some headphones and a radio walkman that he sometimes remembers to give his patients; but still I enjoyed going back to something that really hadn’t changed in 25 years.

The kids were not so thrilled.

So here I sit in the new “big city” dentist office, where I can watch HGTV ( #lovehgtv ), and my children watch a TV attached to the dental chair while they are waiting to have procedures done.

My son had his impacted wisdom teeth removed in the oral surgery suite onsite, and I’ve never laughed so much on the ride home as he kept asking, “is this my lip or the gauze?” That’s your tongue. “Ohhhhh, is this my tongue?” No those are you teeth. It was comical.

Today my youngest is getting her teeth cleaned, so I took the afternoon off, but really I just wanted to sit and watch HGTV for 30 minutes.

OK, to be fair we all seem to like the new Aspen Dental in our town, and they appear to always be busy. The staff is great and the onsite dentists and oral surgeons are personable and have made me feel comfortable about my kids dental needs.

Try it you might like it….now back to Love It or List It.

Porch Sitting

Now that the weather had changed, my new favorite past time is porch sitting.  I’d like to say that it involves a recliner, a cold beer, and someone fanning me; but alas, it’s really just me in a folding chair, with sweet tea, and my foot propped up on the recycling bin.  This is done while sitting among all the junk a front porch accumulates over the winter.

So porch sitting for me involves observing my quiet little neighborhood, watching cars come and go, waving at each one, just to be friendly.  Listening to my neighbor talk to her dog as if he was human, keeping an eye on the old Victorian across the street, that at some point during the 70s was converted from a 3 story family house into five (5) apartments.

Last summer the entertainment across the street proved to be more enthralling than an episode of the Kardashians or even The Real Housewives.  My neighbor and I are convinced it’s a crack house as there is always some guy over there knocking on all the ground floor windows and trying to crawl through the small opening next to the window A/C unit; he comes at all hours too.  Well ok, it’s not every day, generally every other day actually, but entertaining none-the-less.

The police showing up, because one or the other neighbors become annoyed by him, is a common occurrence.  Once a neighbor saw him walking toward the apartments and called the police, they arrived before he did.  Even though a police car sat directly across from the house he still proceeded to knock on all the windows and crawl in through the window.

His explanation as he was being put into the back of the police car was epic, “Um, my friend has a disorder, and I um, came over to make sure they weren’t dead.”  Epic.

For the most part our neighborhood has families with children or retired folks, with 2 converted Victorian apartment homes.  One you don’t realize anyone lives in and one you wish no one did.

I live next door to one of the town’s retired police chiefs, so I feel safe enough.  Not that he’s going to be out late fighting crime in our pretty crimeless neighborhood, but when you tell the dispatcher, “Leaf” Street, the police are there very fast.  So that’s nice.

So porch sitting has become a great past time and source of countless hours of entertainment.  You should try it sometime, it’s a great way to meet the neighbors and find out all the dirt about your small town neighborhood.