Wednesday Roundup: favorite spots around town

Lynn has a pretty bad reputation on the North Shore. There’s even a saying that goes:

“Lynn, Lynn City of Sin, you never come out the way you go in.”

It’s sad that people have this stuck in their heads that it’s so dangerous–sketchy and undesirable. Not saying all of Lynn isn’t. It’s definitely got it’s good & bad parts!

Lynn’s for sure not a tourist destination. Definitely not the first town that comes to your mind when you think “cities with good night life or amazing restaurants.”

However, this is where my home is right now and I’m making it my mission to discover Lynn’s little secrets– attractions that make Lynn somewhere people from other cities would come.

And there are actually quite a few places in or near Lynn that I like going to. I’m glad we live here! For my roundup today, these are a few of my favorite things places.

1. Nahant // Lynn Beach
Nahant beach
Miles of sand, Perfect to run on, perfect to sun on. Winter fall summer spring, my husband and I love taking walks to the beach or driving and sitting in the car staring at the waves when it’s too cold.
Nahant is a cute little town where I like to drive around and look at houses. There are houses of all sorts of shapes and sizes– glorious New England seaside houses. I’ve also heard they have great garage sales in the summer, so I’m eagerly awaiting that!
House in Nahant, MA

2. Tacos Lupita
This is a great little Mexican Restaurant right in the heart of Central Squre. Their burritos and quesadillas are super delicious. And they’re really fast. You can call it in and they’ll have it ready for you by the time you walk over and pick it up.

Tacos Lupita from yelp

3. Turbine Wine Bar
This is one of my favorites in Lynn. I haven’t been here very often, but the people that run the place are very friendly and their beer/wine selection is fantastic. The only food I’ve tried so far is the cheese tasting plate which was delicious, but I’d definitely go here again and try everything they have 🙂 They often have live music (local artists I believe) and dancing here! Go check them out.

Turbine Wine Bar

4. Arts After Hours
so i have to confess I still haven’t made it to the community theatre here in Lynn but this summer they’re doing Shakespeare in Lynn Woods (Twelfth Night) and I’m planning on going! I’m a big fan of what they’re doing and the idea behind it all – to bring the arts into this city.

5. Zimman’s fabric & furniture… I probably gushed enough about this place here and here so you probably get the idea.

6. Lynn Public Library
Well who doesn’t like to spend some time in an old beautiful building looking at books, DVDs, and books on tape? Colby and I go here a lot to stock up before a long road trip.
Lynn Public Library from Wikipedia

Wednesday Round-up: This week’s good eats

This week so far has been a lot of cooking. All new recipes, too!  I decided today I’d dedicate my Wednesday post to the great recipes I’ve found in the past couple days.

Monday: I already posted about the pork chops we made Monday night, but I’m sharing again, just because:)

 

Tuesday: We had a nice big hunk of salmon in our fridge so I found this delicious recipe: Real Simple‘s Salmon with Dijon Dill Sauce. YUM! This was surprisingly quick and easy, so this one I highly recommend!

 

Wednesday: Decided to go simple last night since I was having friends over and my husband made a spaghetti casserole I found on Taste of Home. We used this recipe, modified it a bit based on what we had in the cupboard, added a little extra cheese on top, and loved it! Prep time was basically cooking the noodles and mixing everything in the pan and bake time was 30-45 mins.  My friends hadn’t even heard of spaghetti casserole and thought it was good–something they will try themselves.

 

Any other good recipes that are easy enough to do on weekday nights? I’d love your ideas! I’m really into “30mins or less” recipes as you can tell.

What’s for Dinner | Stovetop Pork Chops with Apples

Normally on Sunday nights we do a pretty simple dinner. We usually have our biggest meal for lunch right after church. Today, however, we were way too tired to cook something in the afternoon. After getting home we headed straight for the bed and took a nap. It was a long weekend so we wanted to catch up on some sleep.

3 hours later we woke–groggy, surprised it was already 5:00… and pretty hungry.

I flipped open my laptop and looked for pork chop recipes. I couldn’t find this apple pork chop recipe that I had done last time which turned out awesome, but I found a few others and decided since we had all the ingredients I’d just go for it.

I found this recipe at Taste of Home: Stovetop Pork Chops with Apples. I went for it based on the prep time. This one said 30 minutes and it was also only for two servings.

Definitely a good one you should try! We didn’t have any onion, but this turned out really well with apples, potatoes, a nice crispy but still tender chop, and a beautiful sauce to drizzle over everything.

Stovetop Apple Pork Chops

Crafty Night: Tea, Valentines, and Downton Abbey!

Today was a good day. We went to church and taught the 1st graders and then on our way home, we stopped at one of my favorite spots near Lynn.

KANE’S DONUTS! Not many people I know know about this place because it’s in Saugus,…but if you are ever driving near there and are around Route 1, it’s worth a trip!

Kanes Donuts

My favorite place for doughnuts used to be Krispy Kreme… when you can go to one of those ones that serves them HOT! Well, there aren’t any Krispy Kremes nearby so Kane’s is my place. It’s full of locals, it’s got a huge assortment of doughnuts, muffins, giant coffee rolls, coffee of course, etc…. You walk in and you feel like you stepped into a cute diner from the 50’s. I love it, so I make Colby take me there from time to time. 🙂 Today we couldn’t just get one doughnut each, so we got 3 and split all of them in half when we got home. So much for trying to start eating healthier!!

kane's doughnuts

I just sat down to watch the Grammy’s and wait for Downton Abbey to start. I’m a huge music fan but it’s been a really long time since I’ve sat down and watched some of the Grammy’s…. I think I’ll try to watch an hour while I drink some tea and make a few Valentines…. then at 9:00 I’ll turn it over to some Masterpiece Theater!

Colby went back to Chicago today so I’m just chilling out tonight. Thankfully, this time, the husband will only be gone til Friday night. After that he starts his actual work and he won’t have to be traveling overnight very much anymore. YAY!

Here’s what’s on my coffee table (and will be spread all over the living room floor) tonight:

Valentine Craft Suppliestea to go along with the crafts

[later] the finished products:

homemade valentines

What’s for Dinner | Crock Pot Time!

My sweetheart came home on Wednesday night so I was able to use the crock pot a little bit more this week. It’s hard motivating myself to cook in the crock pot just for myself….even though it’s very easy. My crock pot doesn’t have an auto-off feature and even though it goes to “warm” after a certain amount of hours, I’m still a little worried when I leave it on all day not knowing what time I’ll be able to leave work. I am sure it’s perfectly safe, but I’ve come home with extremely dried up chicken and I haven’t wanted to ruin my meat again like that. It would be better if you could program it to start at a certain time so if you want it to cook for 8 straight hours, you could tell it when you wanted to start. … I’m sure they make those but we got ours on clearance at Target and we weren’t ready to spend a whole lot on it… 🙂

So what did I cook? I went to my Crock Pot pin board and picked out two recipes that didn’t require a lot of shopping. First, I did a really simple Beef Stroganoff from Spicy Richmond. This Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff only asked for 4 ingredients, which I had one of already and I opted out for another one, so it was really my 3-ingredient strog.!

  • 2 cans Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can mushroom stems and pieces (this is what I skipped…. I don’t love lots of shrooms….)
  • 1 lb beef stew chunks
  • 8 oz sour cream

My favorite part of this recipe? You just throw it all in the pot, turn it on, and let it cook while you’re gone. I cooked egg noodles and served it over those when I got home from work.

I was pretty happy with the way it turned out!

My next adventure in the crock pot was Creamy Tortellini Soup from Better Homes and Gardens. I haven’t done much with Tortellini since I started cooking more, but I sure love it! So I was excited to buy the ingredients for this one (didn’t require a lot of shopping) and cook it up.

This is what you’ll need to make this soup:

  • 1 2-oz envelope white sauce mix (I used alfredo mix because I couldn’t find “white sauce mix”)
  • cups water
  • 14-oz can vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • cloves garlic, minced (I just threw in some garlic salt since we were all out of garlic!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8-oz package dried cheese tortellini (about 2 cups)
  • 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach (I left this out this time)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Even with a few substitutions and things I decided not to put in, this soup turned out delicious. Very creamy and quite filling, but my husband and I really liked it!

my tortellini soup

Wednesday Round-up: Love Feast

To continue on with the V-Day theme (are you sick of it yet? Sorry), this one’s going edible.
Since we’re celebrating a little before Valentines Day I needed to start thinking about what we can make for our special dinner. Here are some of my favorite ideas that are getting repinned 🙂
First we’ll start off with some substance before the sugar rushes…

You probably noticed, but if you didn’t, I meant to point out that this was inspiration, I don’t mean to make all of these sweet desserts!

Of course I had to throw some cake pops in here, because who doesn’t love those?!

Source: etsy.com via Evangeline on Pinterest

If I had some red cups like these, I’d totally do this also!

Source: cutefoodforkids.com via Evangeline on Pinterest

Happy Valentines Day!

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