This past weekend I was in Hartford CT for a fun-filled 5 days of knitting. Stitches East 2010

Stitches is a knitting conference were knitters from all over the world gather to learn about new yarns, different techniques and meeting teachers! You can pick classes and walk around the market!

I ended up taking 4 different classes. Knitted Carpet Rugs, Knitting with Beads, Creating Knitted Beads and button making! As the projects get finished I’ll post them here.

Materials for my favorite class…  Have a Ball! (aka – Creating knitted Beads)

Some serious eating happens during  Stitches too! Since we are right in Hartford, we take every opportunity to explore the cities cuisine! There were 3 different restaurants that really made their mark on me!

#1 Vivo – “Fresh ingredients, prepared simply” best describes VIVO’s inspired selection of dishes infused with simple, contemporary Mediterranean flavors and presented with a refreshingly creative Napa Valley style.”

This restaurant was located right in the hotel. I started with a flight of reds.

Then moved on to a salad created with arugula, strawberries, candied pecans, goat cheese and dressed with a  honey balsamic. absolutely perfect!

I was attempting to eat healthy… (although that didn’t really last to long)… so next up was 2 different sides. Grilled asparagus with poached egg and parmesan cheese for side 1 and roasted butternut squash with fresh sage, honey and toasted pignoli nuts for side 2. Both were out of this world.

(awful photo sorry!)

I would highly recommend this place! Totally not  your typical hotel restaurant. The service was great, the atmosphere was outstanding and the food was to die for. I had a bite of almost everyone’s dish and there wasn’t one I didn’t like! If you are in the Hartford area.. go try this place out 🙂

#2 Dish –  The look: Industrial chic (metal tones, oxidized tones, black fixtures) is softened by warm textiles and accents. the use of ropes of chains to divert the eye from exposed ductwork is odd;room dividers made of glass plates are nice touches. The vibe: Overall, there’s a welcoming feeling. The big windows looking out onto Main Street help creat a hip vibe. The eats: Dish has covered all it’s bases. The uptown take on familiar comfort fare covers the gamut from raw-bar towers to a 3-course prix fixe dessert.

So not needed.. but oh so good.

Kettle Cooked Potato Chips farmhouse cheddar fondue

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad – simple and pure.. delicious!

A mashed potato sampler.. Yukon Gold Potato Puree, Crispy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and loaded Mashed Potatoes with —  bacon • cheddar • chives • sour cream — a heart attack on a plate!

We also had a side of mac n’ cheese. OMG. Best mac n’ cheese I have EVER had.

Also, had the mussels and various other plates across the table. Not ONE thing tasted bad. It was amazing. Normally when dining with a big group, you have that one entrée that just doesn’t come out great. Not so with this place. Every dish was perfect… from steak, to fish, to the amazing desserts!

More birthday cake. Well not really cake..  this was the best apple crisp I have ever had! It was made with real cheddar cheese. HAHA. Can you tell I’m in love with this place :0)

I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant. In fact, I can’t wait to go again.. Who is with me?!?!

# 3 Trumbull Kitchen – Contemporary, cool and inventive.

I was lucky enough to have a ‘surprise’ lunch date with Heather and Chris. We went to Trumbull Kitchen and it was awesome!

Started this amazing meal with a limeade and some fun bread with pumpkin cream cheese spread.

Fresh Herb and Goat Cheese Fondue … ciabatta bread, broccoli, zucchini wedges, sour cream

Stone Pie… spicy spinach, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, roasted onions

I love when things just spontaneously  happen. I tend to be a big planner. Especially when life gets so crazy at times. But there is something really special about events and visits that just kind of happen. That is how this visit happen… and I LOVED it!

After being on a cruise where all the butter and soda were removed by Jillian, I kind of over compensated in the food department for a few days. I’ll be the first to admit it. Sometimes when I feel deprived of something I want it more then ever. There are times I let my guard down and figure, what the hell, just go back to eating and being the girl who doesn’t care! But then my next thought is, why? Why waste almost 10 months of my life striving to be something else??!? I then decide I’m not willing to throw away what I have done so far. I put my pity party aside, pick up the pieces from where they fell and MOVE ON.  It is now Wednesday night and I am happy to report I had my fun, gained my 5 lbs I lost on the cruise 😦 BUT  I’m back on the ‘good’ path. The path that I need to be on right now! Worked out 2 days in a row and curbed by eating by almost half. As I sit here (well actually lay here) I can feel the soreness coming. It’s a good thing!

As long as we can reclaim our ‘good’ paths after tumbling down the hill… were good! Right? As least that is what I like to tell myself!

Have a great day 🙂