0

8 Hudson Valley Gardens and Sculpture Parks To Visit

Summer has arrived and we are all itching to get outside and explore. Thankfully, New York State has slowly started to reopen. Here are 8 Hudson Valley gardens and sculpture parks that you that you can take advantage of. Of course masks must be worn and social distancing rules apply. But it’s a chance to get out and explore the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Please check directly with the organization for the most up-to-date information.

Art Omi (Columbia County)
1405 County Route 22
Ghent, NY 12075
(518) 392-4747

Art Omi is a 120 acre art and sculpture park in Ghent, NY.

Admission is free.

Parking is limited during this time and visitors will be turned away if the parking lot is at capacity.

Face masks must be worn in the parking lot and when passing others. Social distancing rules apply.

Restrooms are not open.

Brunel Sculpture Garden (Ulster County)
Junction of Route 28 & DeSilva Road
Boiceville, NY 12412
(845) 205-3839

The Brunel Sculpture Garden is located on 1.3-acres and is home to over a dozen statues and sculptures. Emile Brunel was an artist who decorated his property with sculptures inspired by Native American art seen on his travels. 

Open Daily:  1 – 5 PM for self-guided tours

*Admission is free.

*Please follow social distancing guidelines.

Innisfree Gardens (Dutchess County)
362 Tyrrel Rd.
Millbrook, NY 12545

Innisfree Gardens is a 185-acre garden located in Millbrook, NY.

Open: Wednesday – Sunday

Admission: $10/adults, $5/seniors, $5 children (5-15), Free/children 4 & under

Entrance by timed reservations only. There are three different time slots: (10 AM – 12 PM) (12:30 PM – 2:30 PM) and (3 PM – 5 PM).

*All visitors in the reservation must arrive together in one vehicle.
*Face masks must be worn and social distancing rules apply.
*Open rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.

Lasdon Park (Westchester County)
2610 Amawalk Road
Katonah, NY 10536

Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veteran’s Memorial consists of 234-acres of open grass meadows, woodlands and gardens.

There is also a Dinosaur Garden that is fun for kids to walk through and an online scavenger hunt.

Open Daily: 8 AM – 4 PM

*Trails and garden are open for walking.
*Bathrooms are closed.
*Social distancing rules must be followed.

Olana State Historic Site (Columbia County)
5720 State Route 9G
Hudson, NY 12534
(518) 828-1872

Although public programs and tours are currently closed, the 250-acre landscape (State Park) is currently open.

Open Daily: 8:30 AM – 6 PM

*Social distancing rules must be followed.

Opus 40 (Ulster County)
50 Fite Road
Saugerties, NY 12477

Opus 40 is a world-famous sculpture park and museum. It includes 6.5 acres of walkable sculpture, .5 acre meadow and more than 50 acres of walkable trails.

Admission: $11/general admission, $8/seniors and students

Open Thursday – Sundays, 11 AM – 3 PM

Visits are a maximum of two hours for groups of 5 or fewer only.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable.

Parking is limited during this time.

Orange County Arboretum (Orange County)
41 Grove Street
Montgomery, NY 12549
(845) 615-3830

The Orange County Arboretum includes  35-acres of gardens, trees, shrubs and more.  It is operated and maintained by the County Parks department along with the Friends of the Orange County Arboretum.

Open Daily:  Dawn to Dusk (6 PM on weekends)

*Admission is free.

*Face masks are required for admission and social distancing rules must be followed.

*No street parking. 

Wethersfield Estate & Gardens (Dutchess County)
257 Pugsley Hill Road
Amenia, NY 12501

Wethersfield Estate & Gardens is the home of Chauncey Devereux Stillman. There are three acres of formal Italian garden and seven acres of wilderness garden to explore. The estate is currently closed.

Open: Gardens are open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM (June – September)
Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk

*The Garden fee is waived this season as a gift to the community

*Restrooms are closed

*Face masks must be worn and social distancing rules apply.


6

Five on Friday {Good-bye June}

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional info.

Today is the last Friday in June. If things were “normal” my daughter would have had her 8th grade graduation ceremony this past week. This weekend we were supposed to be in Miami for my brother-in-law’s wedding tomorrow. Instead, he has postponed the wedding until next year and the kids have survived their first week of summer vacation. This has involved staying up super late and sleeping until 11:30 AM most days. It’s hard for me to complain since they don’t have much else going on. Here are five from this week:

1. Last Day of School – Last Friday was the official last day of school for the kids. We participated in a graduation car parade for my daughter, who is heading to high school in the fall. It was definitely not the school year we were all hoping for. But the kids made the most of it and still had a successful year. As a bonus, during the online graduation slide show, we discovered that our daughter earned the academic award for earning the highest grade in Math 8! It was a huge surprise for us all, including her!

2. Doughnuts – Saturday I picked up some vegan doughnuts from Peaceful Provisions. I had to pre-order these Wednesday evening and was lucky to get them, since they sell out so quickly! This week we got a Coconut Cream Sticky Bun Doughnut and a Coffee Cake Truffle filled doughnut. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but these doughnuts were huge! The flavors change weekly, but they are always delicious!

3. Father’s Day – Sunday we drove up to Wethersfield Garden in Amenia to enjoy some outdoor time. This was our first time visiting these gardens and they were really pretty. My husband requested homemade veggie burgers for dinner, so the kids and I made them and served them with fries. Then later that night we had two Zoom calls – one with Dana’s family and one with mine.

4. Reading – I finished Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner this week. This was a fun, summer read. I didn’t know anything about the book before I started reading it. Weiner usually writes chick-lit, but this book has a mystery aspect too which I enjoyed.

5. Take-out – Izla, a local Puerto Rican take-out restaurant near us is one of our faves. Since we’ve stopped eating meat, we still do take-out but only get sides. This weekend we got tostones, yucca fries and rice and gandules and made a tasty meal out of it!

ICYMI: This week on the blog:

Monday I shared our weekly vegan meal plan.

Wednesday I posted a Hudson Valley Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

0

Hudson Valley Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide

Although we may be social distancing this summer, there is still a lot of outdoor fun to be had. I know many of us go apple picking in the fall. But did you know that there are many other pick-your-own fruit opportunities in the area, especially during the summer?! Use our Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide to help you know what fruit is available to pick when in the Hudson Valley. Please note that some farms require reservations for picking and all farms are requiring face masks and social distancing. Different varieties of fruit are available at different times of the picking season. The farms offer fruit picking at different times during the growing season. So please check directly with the farm to find out what fruit varieties are available for picking and when.

Strawberries (Mid-Late June)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)

Cherries (Late June – Early July)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Prospect Hill Orchards (Milton)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Apricots (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)

Nectarines (Early July – Late September)
DuBois Farms (Highland)

Peaches (Mid-Late July – Mid-Late August)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm (Yorktown Heights)

Plums (Mid-Late July – Early August)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Currants (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)

Gooseberries (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)

Blueberries (July – August)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Halfway Acres (Campbell Hall)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)

Blackberries (August – September)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)

Raspberries (Mid-Late July – Early October)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

We enjoyed apple picking at Wilkens Farm. It was a hot day but we picked apples and enjoyed cider dougnuts!

Apples (Mid-Late August – Early November)
Barton Orchards (Poughquag)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)
Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm (Yorktown Heights)

Grapes (Mid-Late August – October)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Pears (Mid-Late August – Mid-Late September)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

0

Vegan Meal Plan {Week 7}

Check out this week’s vegan meal plan. With pictures, recipe links and reviews, hopefully you will find something tasty to make! This week’s menu includes a curry, a stew, quesadillas and more.

Sunday: Bang Bang Broccoli – I saw this recipe on Instagram and it looked so good I had to try it. I believe the whole “Bang Bang” recipe phenomenon is a copycat of Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp (which I have never had). In this recipe, the broccoli is battered in a panko mixture and baked in the oven. Then it is tossed in the Bang Bang sauce. My husband and I enjoyed this dish a lot but the kids weren’t huge fans. They didn’t like all of the breading. They did enjoy the fried rice and dumplings that I served it with though.

Monday: Cauliflower Al Pastor Quesadillas – Before we started cooking vegan at home, Half Baked Harvest was one of my go-to blogs for recipes. I have realized that I can take some of the recipes there and “veganize” them. This recipe was my first attempt. All I did was substitute vegan cheddar shreds for the cheddar and pepper jack cheese the original recipe called for. I also didn’t use fresh pineapple chunks and used canned instead. I didn’t buy enough though, so the filling was a little short, since we used most of the chunks in the sauce. We also used chipotle powder instead of the canned chipotle peppers in adobo. These quesadillas were tasty and filling.

Tuesday: Crispy Tofu with Maple Soy Glaze – This was my son’s recipe of the week. He made this dinner entirely on his own, while I sat nearby in case he needed help. The tofu got fried until it was crispy, giving it a nice crunch. This recipe was easy and tasty. My son made rice in the rice cooker to serve it with and heated up some frozen veggies to go with. I only had frozen broccoli and both kids complained that they dislike frozen vegetables.

Wednesday: Vegan African Peanut and Sweet Potato Stew – This was my husband’s recipe of the week. This is one of those recipes that I didn’t think I was going to like, but was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. He says this was easy to make. Of course, we had this on a hot summer evening. This will be really good in the fall or winter on a cold evening.

Thursday: Easy Coconut Curry – This was my daughter’s recipe of the week. She also made the recipe completely on her own, except for my husband helping to cut the butternut squash. This was such a delicious recipe! This was the first curry recipe that we’ve made that includes butternut squash. It was such a great addition. This will definitely be making it on the repeat list.

Friday: Vegan Tofu Lazone – This recipe actually is called Vegan Tempeh Lazone. However, we do not like tempeh, so I substituted it with tofu. Overall this was an okay pasta dish. I don’t think I’m a fan of the combo of tofu and pasta. This has a coconut milk based sauce and we had just had coconut curry the night before, so it was a little bit of coconut milk overload.

Saturday: Spaghetti with Meatballs – Weekends we tend to be busy and don’t have a lot of time or energy to cook dinner. This week I cooked up some spaghetti with jarred sauce and baked a bag of Aldi’s vegan meatballs. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised at how tasty the meatballs were. They were a tad bit salty but my son thought they were real meatballs and wanted to see the bag to verify that they were vegan! Pre-vegan, spaghetti and meatballs was my daughter’s favorite meal. I know we will be buying these meatballs again, since she was so happy with this dinner.

Recommended Recipes of the week: Easy Coconut Curry, African Peanut and Sweet Potato Stew and Cauliflower Al Pastor Quesadillas.

2

Five on Friday {8th Grade Graduate}

Happy Friday! Today is officially the last day of school for the kids. And this morning we will be participating in a car parade to celebrate my daughter’s 8th grade graduation. It is hard to believe that in the fall she will be starting high school! This week was a fun week:

1. Beautiful Sunsets – Last Friday night, after dinner, we drove down to the Peekskill waterfront to watch the sunset. It really is the little things that make me happy, like this amazing picture my husband took.

2. Vegan Ice Cream – The Hudson Creamery is located right next to the Peekskill waterfront. We surprised the kids with ice cream while we watched the sunset. They have a couple of vegan flavors and I tried the strawberry with Oreo cookie crumbles. I wasn’t super impressed and will likely get regular ice cream from her the next time we visit, since I know that is really good.

3. Strawberry Picking – Last weekend we went strawberry picking. The weather was beautiful and it was such a fun family outing. If you’ve never had a freshly picked strawberry, you have no idea what you are missing! They are the sweetest, tastiest berries ever!

4. Rock Painting – My son and I did some rock painting last weekend. Every time we visit the beach in Rhode Island we bring back rocks that we collect on our walks. I have a bag of them that have been waiting to be painted. Thanks to Pinterest, these are the first rocks that I’ve painted. We have a bunch more that I’ll be painting throughout the summer. I figure we can take them with us when we go hiking and leave them out in the woods.

52867387. sy475

5. Reading – This week I finished Beach Read by Emily Henry. This was an enjoyable contemporary romance. It has more substance than the chick-lit type book that I thought it was.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared our weekly vegan meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about Strawberry Picking at Saunderskill Farms.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

0

Strawberry Picking at Saunderskill Farms

There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, ripe strawberry and enjoying the burst of sweetness that hits your tongue. In mid-June, there’s a short two to three week window, when strawberries are ripe for the picking at farms throughout New York State. For the second year in a row, we visited Saunderskill Farms in Accord, NY and highly recommend the strawberry picking here.

Saunderskill Farms is an eleven generation family-owned farm. The farm is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Tricentennial Award” for being operated by the same family for over 300 years! Of course, this year, due to social distancing, strawberry picking looked a little different. Masks had to be worn and social distancing rules applied. However, it was the same enjoyable family experience!

When you arrive, go to the Farm Market to purchase baskets. This year, only quart baskets are being sold, for $5 each.

When you get to the enclosed field, you will see the rows of strawberry plants.

As you can see from this picture, the strawberries are in different stages of ripeness. So, you may have to do some searching. But there were plenty of strawberries! They were just hidden under the large leaves.

We filled these two quarts in about fifteen minutes! There were so many ripe strawberries. We discovered last year, that freshly picked strawberries do not last as long as store-bought strawberries. So we didn’t pick as many this year.

After you pick your strawberries make sure to stop back at the Market to do some shopping. You can find fresh fruit, vegetables, frozen fish and meat.

You’ll also find the farm’s homemade pickled vegetables, fruit butters and jelly as well as locally made honey, syrup and more. They sell soups, sandwiches and other food to-go and have tables outside, if you are looking to eat on site. At the Bakery you can pick up fresh cider donuts, homemade pies, pastries and other homemade baked goods.

We picked up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies and a piece of cherry pie to take home with us.

If you are looking for flowers and plants, make a stop at the greenhouse. Here you can find not only annuals, perennials and vegetable plants, but also seeds, fertilizer, tools and more.

You have a couple more weeks to enjoy strawberry picking before the season ends. Although we picked our strawberries quickly, we packed a cooler in the car to store them in. It was a beautiful day, so on the way home we stopped in nearby New Paltz for some lunch and walked around Main Street. It was a day out that the whole family enjoyed.

The Details:
Saunderskill Farm
5100 Route 209
Accord, NY 12404
(845) 626-CORN (2676)

Open: Tuesday – Sunday: 7 AM – 4 PM

Parking: There is plenty of free parking

Cost: $5 per quart basket

*Masks are required

*Social distancing rules apply

*Arrive early! By noon, the parking lot was packed and they were limiting the number of guests inside the Farm Market.






2

Vegan Meal Plan {Week 6}

Check out this week’s vegan meal plan. With pictures, recipe links and reviews, hopefully you will find something tasty to make! This week’s menu includes breakfast for dinner, Instant Pot Burrito Bowls, Tofu Katsu bowls, nachos and more.

Sunday: Tofu Korma (vegetarian, not vegan) – There is no recipe for this since we used a store-bought korma sauce. The sauce did contain milk products, so this is vegetarian, not vegan. I simmered tofu in the sauce and served it with Basmati rice and homemade naan. Yes, the naan was homemade and vegan! Korma is an Indian yogurt/cream based sauce. This jarred one had a nice sweetness to it.

Monday: Maple BBQ Cauliflower Wraps – I used the recipe as a starting point but made a couple of modifications. Instead of making the bean spread, I used store-bought hummus. I used coleslaw mix and made coleslaw, instead of red cabbage. And I bought a Maple flavored BBQ sauce instead of mixing my own. The cauliflower was flavorful. I should have used salad mix to fill out the wrap a bit more though. I served these with some seasoned waffle fries.

Tuesday: Instant Pot Burrito Bowls – We have not been using the Instant Pot as much as we could be. This recipe reminded me how versatile this kitchen appliance is. It’s nice to be able to saute and then pressure cook all in one dish. We’ve made many variations of burrito and taco bowls. But this one was tasty and pretty hands off.

Wednesday: Pancakes – This was my son’s recipe for the week. I don’t really call it a recipe because we used a box mix. He mixed the batter and helped cook the pancakes. He chose to make both blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes.

Thursday: Vegan Tofu Katsu Bowls – This was my favorite dinner of the week. It did require a little bit of work to get the vegetables pickled and the tofu fried. But, all we have now is time, right?! I tried pan frying some of the tofu and air-frying the other half of it. The pan fried tofu was much crispier and our preferred cooking method for this dish. All of the flavors of this dish worked really well and I know we will make this again.

Friday: Chipotle Cauliflower Nachos – This was my daughter’s recipe of the week. They were actually just Cauliflower Nachos, since we left out the “chipotle.” Only after getting ready to make the recipe did we realize that there was very little cauliflower in this recipe! Only 1 cup of cauliflower gets cooked along with a diced potato and blended with some other ingredients into a sauce. Of course going to make this we realized that we didn’t have any white potatoes. But, I did have one sweet potato, which worked wonderfully! It gave a nice color to the “cheese” sauce and added a hint of sweetness. She added some of the leftover pickled onion from Thursday’s Tofu Katsu Bowls which gave the nachos a nice pop of color and added flavor. Plus, she added dollops of guacamole. These were very tasty and were devoured!

Saturday: Mango Marinated Cauliflower and Peppers Burrito – There is no recipe for this meal. On the weekends we tend to be busy and out and about, with little energy left for cooking. This meal came together as a use up the leftovers meal. I had bought a bottle of World Harbor Mango Marinade. Since we had most of a head of cauliflower left over from Friday night’s nachos, I marinated the cauliflower and some red pepper in the marinade. We some rice left over from the Tofu Katsu Bowls and we had tortillas left over from Monday’s cauliflower wraps. So, we put the rice and the roasted marinated veggies in the tortillas, along with some guacamole. It was a quick and easy meal that cleaned out the fridge. We served the burritos with truffle fries.

Recommended Recipes of the Week: Cauliflower Nachos, Vegan Tofu Katsu Bowls and Instant Pot Burrito Bowls.

5

Five on Friday {Happy Flag Day}

And just like that it’s Friday again! I hope everyone has had a great week. It finally feels like things are slowly returning to a “new normal.” The kids now have one last week of school left. Thursday night we had a Zoom call for my brother-in-law’s birthday. Sunday is Flag Day and my dad’s birthday, so there will be another Zoom birthday celebration. While outdoor dining opened up this week in our state, we haven’t yet ventured out to eat. I’m still okay with takeout for now. Here are five from this week:

1. Seeing my parents – My parents had to come to New York to take care of some things this week. So Sunday night we got to finally see them in person for the first time since quarantine! The next time we will see them is when we go to Rhode Island for the 4th of July.

2. Baby Hawks – Monday evening my husband saw a baby bird in our backyard. It wasn’t making any noise and couldn’t fly. We figured the Mama bird would come get her baby. But by 10 PM the bird was still there. Dana brought him onto our deck and we prepped a shoe box for him for the night. Since it was a little chilly that night, my daughter filled the box with leaves and a heating pad placed inside a sock. We were so happy when we woke up Tuesday to find the bird still there and alive (there are foxes and cats that wander the neighborhood). Dana made some calls and took the bird to Green Chimneys in Brewster. The handler told my husband that it was a baby Broad-Winged Hawk.

Early Tuesday evening before dinner I looked out our sliding glass door and I saw another baby hawk walking around the yard! We finally spotted the nest in a tree in our neighbor’s yard. The nest was so high up it would be impossible to reach even with a tall ladder. But we did see the Mama bird up in the nest with at least one baby bird.

We brought the bird to our deck and got another box ready for the night. After dinner I was working on my laptop next to an open window. I heard rustling and things falling from the tree and then a horrible thud. My daughter ran outside to look by the tree and she found another bird. We think part of the nest broke and the bird fell with it. This poor bird was injured pretty badly from the fall (that thud sound still haunts me!) and he died soon after his fall. But Dana called his contacts from earlier in the day and met up with one of the handlers to deliver the second baby hawk. This one was also going to Green Chimneys with his brother. Once Green Chimneys opens up again, we plan on going to visit our hawk friends!

3. Baking – Sunday I did another baking project. This time I made homemade naan. It was easy to make and they didn’t really taste like much. But we spread butter on top and dipped it in the korma sauce that we were having for dinner and it was tasty. Plus it made enough for me to freeze some for future dinners.

4. Eating – I won a dozen Duck Donuts in an Instagram contest. Several months ago, this chain opened a shop about 45 minutes away from us. We’ve been meaning to go and winning finally forced us to drive down and try them. Each donut starts with a vanilla cake base. Then you choose your coating, topping and drizzle. We opted for their Signature Assortment, which includes S’mores, French Toast, Peanut Butter Paradise and more. It was a fun and delicious way to start our Sunday!

41571753

5. Reading – This week I finished Open Book by Jessica Simpson. It was an okay read. I was never a huge fan of hers, but I had heard good things about this book. A bunch of good books that I had on hold came in from Overdrive. I’m starting a team reading challenge on Goodreads which starts this evening, so I plan on hopefully getting in a lot of reading time this weekend!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I shared our weekly vegan meal plan.

Tuesday I shared my May Reads.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

28

May Reads {2020}

The weather has been beautiful and there’s nothing I’ve been enjoying more than reading outside on the deck. I’m sharing my May reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.

3 Stars

45043369

Anna K. by Jenny Lee – A YA retelling of Anna Karenina featuring super wealthy teens in NYC. According to goodreads, I read Anna Karenina in 2013. I didn’t like it, but I was curious to see how a modern YA adaptation would read. From what I remember (and it’s not a lot!) it seemed to follow the classic pretty well. Most teens will likely find it to be a contemporary romance, as I’m sure not many of them have read Anna Karenina!

51204046. sx318 sy475

The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben – Wilde grew up in the woods without a family. Now, an adult, he is helping to find a missing teen girl. This is the briefest of brief summaries of a book where there is a lot going on! As with all of Coben’s books, this was a quick, suspenseful read.

41945163. sy475

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez – Kristin Petersen is enjoying life, selling dog supplies and staircases for small dogs, and having a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Tyler. Josh Copeland, best friend of Brandon, her best friend’s (Sloan’s) fiance, moves to town. Of course the two end up attracted to each other but there are just some major issues affecting their relationship. I really enjoyed Kristin and Josh’s characters. However, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I did enjoy this romance/chick-lit book enough to read the sequel, which is currently sitting on my kindle waiting for me to read.

40097951. sx318

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – Alice, a famous painter, shoots and kills her husband Gabriel and doesn’t speak again. She’s now in a psychiatric facility where psychotherapist, Theo Farber, believes he can get her to speak. As the story unfolds we discover what led up the shooting event. This was 2019 Goodreads choice book winner and I had heard good things about it from a coworker. However, I was pretty underwhelmed. I thought it was a pretty slow read until the end.

33984056. sy475

A Stranger In the House by Shari Lapena – Tom arrives home to find his wife, Karen, missing. She ends up in a car accident that leaves her with memory loss. There just so happens to be a murder right near where she has the accident. Overall, this was just an okay, suspense/thriller read. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I’ve read The Couple Next Door and Someone We Know and enjoyed them a lot more than this book.

4 Stars

41393171. sy475

The Flastshare by Beth O’Leary – Tiffy ends up sharing a flat with Leon. Since he works nights, the two never see each other and communicate via Post-It notes. She ends up finding a way to help him with a family situation and the two become closer. Although this book is a cute romance, it also deals with the effects of an emotionally abusive relationship.

30755612. sy475

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – Alice Love is at a spin class when she falls of a bike and hits her head. When she wakes up, she believes it is ten years earlier, where she is pregnant with her first child. In reality, she’s about to turn 40, in the midst of getting divorced and has three children. She must learn to navigate this new life that she has no memory of. This is one of Moriarty’s older books and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read it. As much as I haven’t been a fan of her newer stuff, I enjoyed this book as much as I did her other older books that I’ve read.

5 Stars

52129515

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – Doyle’s memoir where she reveals how she stopped meeting the expectations of others and truly started living and loving the life that she was meant to have. It’s honest, raw and so relatable. There are lessons for us all in this book. This was my first book by Doyle that I’ve read, but I now want to read her other ones.

2

Weekly Vegan Meal Plan {Week 5}

Check out this week’s vegan meal plan. With pictures, recipe links and reviews, hopefully you will find something tasty to make! This week’s menu includes risotto, tacos, tofu bowls and more!

Sunday: Curried Chickpea Cauliflower Bake – This casserole is quick to prep, but then it has to bake for 25-30 minutes. I don’t think that I tucked the spinach in enough, as you can see in the picture that it got dried out. Unfortunately, despite all of the curry powder, I felt like this recipe lacked flavor. We had leftovers for lunch the next day that I added some soy sauce too.

Monday: Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Tofu Bowls – This dinner was easy to make and so tasty! I didn’t have broccoli, so I roasted some asparagus instead. I also roasted the carrots, instead of serving them raw. And I marinated the cucumbers in rice vinegar with some sugar before adding them to the bowls, instead of serving them raw as well. I think the small changes that I made elevated the flavors of these bowls. The homemade teriyaki was so good. This meal was devoured by everyone!

Tuesday: Creamy Pasta Pomodoro – This was my son’s recipe of the week but I helped him make it. I was really craving pasta so I had high hopes for this dinner. It was pretty tasty, I just found the sauce to be a bit bitter. I had never even noticed that you can buy canned cherry tomatoes until I went shopping for this recipe. Two cans was a bit much though. We also opted to skip the “creamy” part of this recipe.

Wednesday: Corn Risotto with Zucchini – This was Dana’s recipe of the week. This was easy to make and was very tasty! The recipe states it only makes 3 servings. We were able to get four servings out of the one recipe. Next time we will double it so we have enough for seconds and leftovers.

Thursday: Roasted Potato Tacos with Chimichurri – This is not the first time that I have made these tacos. And after making these for the second time, I have wondered why I don’t make these more often. The potato mixture is tasty and I love the addition of the chimichurri sauce. I remade the potato mixture over the weekend for breakfast and topped it with the leftover chimichurri sauce, which I served with a tofu scramble.

Friday: Salad Pizza – There’s no recipe for our salad pizza. Dana cooks store-bought pizza dough with tomato sauce. We buy spring salad mix and he makes a homemade vinaigrette. Then we add whatever veggies we have to the salad mix (this week was cucumber, tomato, peppers and red onion) and put it on the cooled pizza crust. Although we try out different vegan pizza recipes, this is one of our easiest and go-to pizzas.

Saturday: Creamy Vegan Pasta – This was my daughter’s recipe of the week but I helped her cook it. We chose to roast the broccoli and it to the pasta and sauce at the end. I liked how this recipe used a can of white beans to make the “cream” sauce. Her sauce ended up a little thicker than she would have liked. Next time, we’ll add extra vegetable broth and/or pasta water to thin it out. This was tasty and I feel like a variety of veggies can be used in place of the broccoli (asparagus, zucchini, etc.).

Recommended recipes of the week: Teriyaki Tofu Bowls, Corn Risotto with Zucchini, Roasted Potato Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce.