A Three F Weekend

This was definitely a “3 F” weekend – full of friends, family, and food.  Between Slesh and Will’s engagement celebration at The Painted Burro on Friday night, Papou’s birthday party in New Bedford on Saturday, Top Chef watching with Trina & Geoff on Saturday night, and my goddaughter’s 4th birthday tonight, the weekend was jam-packed.  I am definitely feeling the time change today!  I’d also say I definitely allowed myself more than just one “cheat” day.

Here are some pictures to sum it all up:

Peanut butter heart cookies I made for Slesh & Will:

Peanut Butter Heart Cookies

Tacos, kale and plaintains, and margs at The Painted Burro:

Painted Burro

Family celebrating Papou:

Papou's 84th

Auntie Paula

Food at Papou’s party:

Papous 84th Party

My own personal Top Chef making turkey Gorgonzola sliders!

Tim Cooking

And finally, Layla’s birthday party:

Layla's 4th

Definitely didn’t photograph everything either!  Lacking in my weekend was anything fitness.  But it’s okay.  I haven’t given my body more than one day off in a row in a long time, and I know I’ll just be *that* much more into my workouts this week.  I could have eaten better too, but I’m human and not going to dwell.

How were your weekends?  When’s the last time you allowed yourself a “cheat” day or days?

Healthier Menu Items at Anna’s Taqueria

A couple of weeks ago the folks over at Anna’s Taqueria contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in sampling some of their menu’s healthier options.  Tim has always raved about Anna’s so when they told me I could bring a guest, I knew he’d get really excited.  It ended up working out well because we went in for dinner at their Coolidge Corner location the Friday night before we moved.  This was perfect timing since all our kitchen stuff was packed and we wouldn’t be cooking for ourselves that night!

Anyways, when I first got this invitation my first thought was, “how healthy can these options be?”  I mean, I had only eaten at Anna’s once (years ago!) and I ordered a ginormous overflowing burrito.  However, during my visit, I learned that Anna’s offers a number of healthy options beyond their signature burritos.  I also learned that Anna’s is locally owned and operated, they have six greater Boston locations (the first of which opened in 1995), and that they pride themselves on only using the freshest ingredients, authentic recipes, and expert assembly while allowing customers to create the perfect customized meal.

Here’s a little rundown on what we got to try!


We tried two different tacos which Anna’s promotes as being great for portion control.  They use corn tortillas, which are lower in fat and carbs than their flour counterparts, and they are also gluten-free.

First up were the “Tacos al Pastor” which were corn tortillas topped with shaved rotisserie-cooked pork, pineapple, red onion & cilantro, then drizzled with spicy guacamole and tomato-based, Mexican-spiced sauce.

I asked for my sauces on the side, and Anna’s was more than happy to oblige.  I didn’t want to dislike the taco because the sauces were too spicy!  While the Mexican sauce definitely wasn’t do-able for me, the guacamole wasn’t too spicy and I did use it in moderation.  Vegans also have the option of sliced avocado instead, as Anna’s does use sour cream to make their guacamole.  Tim and I both thought that the pineapple in this taco really highlighted the flavor of the pork.

We also sampled the veggie tacos, which were corn tortillas topped with fresh grilled vegetables (choice of lightly seasoned onions, broccoli, corn, zucchini, squash, eggplant, red onions, sweet potatoes and seasonally available vegetables like Brussels sprouts), handmade pico de gallo, and choice of beans (black, pinto, or refried).

We went with all veggies and the black beans.  Tim liked the first taco better (it had meat in it, of course he did), but I loved the veggie one.  I thought it was a great “summer” taco, it was light and refreshing!  Two words you probably wouldn’t use to describe tacos right?!

Mexican Plate

After our tacos we got to try the Mexican Plate.  The plates are typically beds of rice topped with a choice of filling, beans, corn tortillas, salsa, and hot sauce if desired.  The takeaway with the Mexican Plate is that there are SO many options.  Everyone will be able to find something they like!  For vegetarians, there’s veg-friendly rice not cooked in chicken broth, and tons of freshly grilled vegetable offerings.  This is true of all menu items, not just the Mexican Plate.

When we were deciding what to include in our platter, Anna’s really emphasized that ordering food with them is like an open conversation with their staff.  They repeatedly told us to let them know if we wanted a “little more of this” or a “little less of that.”

We ended up ordering a platter with the regular rice, the vegetarian rice (I couldn’t taste the difference!), black beans, pico de gallo, guac, avocado, steak, and carnitas.

Anna’s in action:

Finished product:

So good, and VERY filling.  We couldn’t finish the whole thing!


During our sampling, we also got to try a few different authentic Mexican beverages.

The watermelon agua fresca was pretty much just freshly squeezed watermelon juice, available seasonally.  Tim liked this drink, but I didn’t.  Mainly because I’m not a huge watermelon person.  Not many people don’t love watermelon, but I am one of them!

The next drink I loved, which was the “Jamaica.”  This is a drink that Anna’s makes fresh daily from brewed hibiscus petals.  They told me that it’s the Mexican version of fruit punch.  If that’s the case, it’s way better than American fruit punch because I think fruit punch is gross!  The Jamaica had a unique taste and was refreshing.  Not fruit punchy at all!

Finally, the last drink we tried was the “Horchata” which is another drink made fresh daily.  This one is made from ground almonds, rice milk, and cinnamon.  I thought this drink was awesome, but felt it was more appropriate as a dessert drink or a shake.  It didn’t really go well with the tacos and Mexican Plate we ate.  I’d probably stop in and order that separately if I was walking by instead.


I cannot rave enough about how hospitable everyone at Anna’s was because even after all the items I mentioned above, they also let us take something to go!  While trying the tacos, we learned that the restaurant also offers whole wheat tortillas for burritos and quesadillas, so we decided to each order a burrito to go.  Again, these are completely customizable to the ingredients you prefer!

I ordered grilled chicken with lots of veggies — I knew I’d need something substantial to eat during moving day!

I was right, and that DEFINITELY hit the spot after a tiring day of moving boxes.

I’d like to thank Anna’s Taqueria for hosting us with such friendly service and allowing me to discover their healthier menu items!  All the factors I mentioned, plus the portability of the food, make Anna’s a great go to choice for dining in or grabbing something on the run.  I do have a suggestion though — open a seventh location in Belmont!  🙂

Have you tried any of the menu options at Anna’s Taqueria before?  If so, what’s your favorite item?  If not, which of the items that I described above sounds the best to you?

Disclaimer/Disclosure:  I did not receive any financial contributions for this review; however, I did receive free dinner and drinks from the company so that I could tell you my thoughts.  All opinions are my own.

No Carb Left Behind

Often times my friends and family ask me how I can eat so healthy all the time.  My answer is simple:  “I don’t.”


I do think I make healthier food choices than most.  And I try to make that the rule instead of the exception.  But I don’t deprive.  I don’t do fad diets.  I actually loathe the word diet.  I rarely weigh myself.  I focus on how I feel instead of the numbers on the scale.  And if I want to have something, I eat it!  Like that delicious double stuffed Halloween Oreo above.  The key is moderation. 


No Carb Left Behind Weekend

Then I indulge for three days straight and love every freaking second of it.  🙂

This weekend marked the fifth year anniversary of the annual “No Carb Left Behind” Cape weekend with my college girlfriends (and Katrina since ’09).  Ever since college graduation week, we’ve picked a weekend to stay at my uncle’s Cape house and eat, drink, and go to the beach.  And somehow, it’s become funnier with each year to bring as MUCH food as humanly possible and try to eat all of it.  So I guess I should have said we stay at my uncle’s Cape house and eat, drink, eat, tan, eat, hang out, eat some more, drink some more, and eat again.

Just the non-perishables


It all started on that fateful night back in 2007 when we were all craving something fried and all the pizza shops were closed.  It was then we discovered our love for MOZZ STICKS since we found them in the back of my uncle’s freezer.  The rest is history – we have made them an essential part of pretty much every single event we have together.  Yuuuuuup.

This year we went all out and t-shirts were made (thanks Mastro!)

Yes, we’re that cool.

Aside from all the SNACKING we did all weekend, I don’t think our actual meals were all that bad compared to past years.  Each morning I ate a key lime yogurt and a wheat English muffin for breakfast, and for lunch I had turkey and swiss on a sandwich thin each afternoon.

For Friday night’s dinner we made kabobs!

We made them with chicken, steak, and lots of different veggies.  Slesh was our grill master!

Our finished feast also included corn on the cob and salad.  And lots of sangria!

Trina had her own ideas about how to make kabobs.

Licorice, Oreos, and a Zebra Cake

Pretty much the best idea ever

We decided on a Mexican themed dinner for Saturday night.  Tacos, margaritas, and Spanish music!

The rest of the weekend included pretty beach time…

West Dennis Beach

Mayflower Beach

Corporation Beach

…LOTS of beach antics…

…and silly game playing:

I think our workout of the weekend was playing Bite the Bag.  Our legs and butts were all sore the next day!

All in all, it was a successful five year anniversary!

And now, time to detox.

Questions of the Day!

  1. Do you have any annual summer traditions with your friends and family?
  2. What is your favorite type of kabob?
  3. Which crazy picture of me and my friends is your favorite?