3

Five on Friday {Memorial Day Weekend}

Happy Friday!  I am currently in Rhode Island with the family enjoying a couple of days at my parent’s house.  It’s not quite beach weather yet but a couple of days of rest and relaxation is what this family needs!  Here are five from this week:

1. Mother-Daughter Day – Last Saturday my husband and son were at a cub scout event.  I took my daughter to Djembes and Dance at Philipsburg Manor.  It was a celebration of African culture through music and dancing.  After we came home, got some Moe’s takeout and watched some television together.

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2. Reading – I’m still reading A Gentleman in Moscow.  It’s been very slow reading for me.  I’m also reading The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares.  While I enjoyed her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, this book isn’t my fave.  I’ll hopefully finish it today and then I’m not sure what book I’ll be starting next.

3.  Family Fun – Last Sunday we went to Smorgasburg Upstate where we had this Mac and Cheese Donut topped with a Bacon Jam.  It was so good!  Crispy on the outside and cheesy and creamy on the inside!  You can read more about our day in my post (linked below).

 

4. Watching – We finally watched La La Land this past weekend.  I like Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling……but I was not a fan of this movie!  I really like musicals too, so I was surprised that I wasn’t into it.

5.  Eating – Thanks to Brenda, I learned about Firework Oreos.  After she wrote about them in a recent Friday Favorites post, I was on a mission to find them.  Well, I was successful and I was not disappointed with them.  They are regular Oreos but have Pop Rock candy mixed in the filling.  They are so fun to eat! I haven’t been the biggest fan of some of the more recent limited edition Oreos, but I really enjoyed these!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I wrote about Smorgasburg Upstate.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Smorgasburg Upstate

For those of you without NYC foodie friends, Smorgasburg is, “the largest weekly open-air food market in America.” Thousands of people visit each weekend and my Instagram feed has me drooling at all the deliciousness that one can find to eat there. However, living in the suburbs of New York City, trekking down to Brooklyn, even for some amazing eats, does not appeal to me.  Fortunately, for us suburban folks there is Smorgasburg Upstate.

Located at the Hutton Brickyards in Kingston, NY, this is the second season of Smorgasburg Upstate.  While last year, it took place once a week, this year it is scheduled for only one weekend a month.  My family and I visited this past Sunday for opening weekend.  From northern Westchester County, it is approximately a 90 minute drive. Both parking and admission are free.  The location is very photogenic with Hudson River views and vestiges of the old brickyard including a Lidgerwood crane and frames of the steel kiln sheds.

Smorgasburg is located under a giant pavilion.  Savory food vendors include Itsa Pizza Truck, Pakt, Hookline Fish Co, Santa Fe Tacos, Ramen Burger, Kovo Rotisserie, Gomen-Kudasai Noodle Escape, Nacho Nirvana and The Grille Wagon. Bakery and sweet food vendors include Bread Alone, Cafe Warshafsky, Seraphine Bakery, Jane’s Ice Cream and Fruition Chocolate.

While we were there we sampled the mac and cheese donut with bacon jam and “The Big Daddy” (pulled pork, cheddar cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, jalapenos, and BBQ sauce on a roll, pressed on the flattop) from The Grille Wagon.  Both of these were delicious!  The Grille Wagon was smart with their advertising  and had samples of some of their more popular menu items on display.  They were even roasting a whole pig and serving it later in the afternoon!

We also shared BBQ Duck Nachos with Fontina & Mango-Avocado Salsa from Nacho Nirvana.  They were a good dish to share.  However, I found them to be just okay.  There was a lot of cheese and it became cold and congealed very quickly.  The mango-avocado salsa (pretty much guacamole) was delicious though!

We finished up with some ice cream from Jane’s Ice Cream.  I loved the Apricot Orange Blossom and Kahlua Calypso Crunch flavors!

The Ramen Burger from Ramen Burger and the Fried Avocado Sandwich from PAKT looked tasty as well and if I wasn’t stuffed, I’d give them a try!

You won’t go thirsty at Smorgasburg Upstate.  Besides water and soda that vendors sell, Maya’s Lemonade (from Maya’s Jams) and STAND coffee provide non-alcoholic beverages.  There’s a bar serving local craft beer and hard cider on tap along with wine and cocktails.

For those wishing to shop, some of the flea market vendors include Mezzanine Vintage, Hazel and Hudson, So Mid-Century, Bohemian Farmgirl and NorthCountryClassics.  There are also food vendors selling honey, hot sauce, olive oil, brittle and more.

Once you’ve gotten some food, you can choose from several seating options.  The Adirondack chairs with Hudson River views are very popular and are the first seats to be taken.

There are also several picnic tables both under the pavilion and out on the grass where you can sit and eat.  For the younger visitors, there are a couple toddler-sized dining tables and chairs as well.

Sit, relax, and bask in the sunshine while you enjoy your good eats.  You can be entertained by the live music, or, like my children did, engage in some fun dog watching.  Smorgasburg Upstate is very dog-friendly!  We couldn’t believe the number and different types of dogs we saw while we were there.

If you’re up to it, you can even play a game of cornhole out on the lawn.

Although I’ve never been to Smorgasburg in the city, the number of vendors and the uniqueness of foods sold at the Upstate location is a bit lacking (and disappointing) in comparison.  Compared to the 100 vendors at the Brooklyn location, Smorgasburg Upstate had a lot less food vendors.  The Ramen Burger (Ramen Burger), Smoky Tails (Hookline) and Mac and Cheese Donut (The Grille Wagon) were probably the most unique food items available.  If you go to Brooklyn, you can expect to find Ube Ice Cream served in a dragon fruit bowl, Spaghetti Donuts, Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches, Raclette Sandwiches and more!

For reference, most main dishes (sandwiches, pizzas, etc.) are priced between $10-$15 and and are cash only.  There is an ATM onsite if needed as well as restrooms with flushable toilets and sinks.

The Details:

Smorgasburg Upstate
200 North Street
Kingston, NY

11 AM- 6 PM

Dates:
June 17 & 18
July 15 & 16
August 19 & 20
September 16 & 17
October 21 & 22

June 23 & 24 there is a Bob Dylan concert at the Hutton Brickyards.  Visit Ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

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Weekly Meal Plan {Week 79}

2017 calendar
I cannot believe it’s Monday again!  The weekend just flies by.  We had a jam-packed, fun couple of days.  Now, it’s back to our regularly scheduled routine.  Monday  means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan.  If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you.  Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan. Here is a look at what was on our menu this past week:

Saturday:  I went out to dinner with some friends for a girls night, while my husband stayed home with the kids.  I had a delicious burger with hash browns, bacon and a fried egg on top.  Unfortunately, no picture was taken of this deliciousness!  My husband made bacon grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots for him and the kids.

Sunday:  My husband and kids made me a delicious Mother’s Day dinner.  My husband cooked up some lamb steaks while my son helped make risotto.  We also had roasted asparagus.  While they were cooking dinner, my daughter made brownies so we could have brownie ice cream sundaes for dessert!

Monday: I made a Chorizo & Potato Frittata from Girl Gone Gourmet.  I roasted the potatoes earlier in the afternoon and then made the frittata closer to dinner time.  Frittatas are so versatile and easy to make.  I served it with salad.  Everyone enjoyed this and the leftovers were great for breakfast.

Tuesday: I made Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad Sandwiches from Melanie Makes.  I cooked the chicken in the slow cooker earlier in the day and then it was quick to put together at dinner time.  I cooked up some fries to serve with. I halved this recipe and still had leftovers! This is a perfect summer dinner, when you don’t feel like turning the oven on or cooking.  The kids enjoyed this and my daughter took a leftover sandwich to school for lunch the next day.

Wednesday: I made Pasta Carbonara from The Pioneer Woman.  It’s been awhile since I made SpaghettiCarbonara.  While definitely not the healthiest of pasta dishes, it’s very tasty!  The kids enjoyed this meal a lot.

Thursday:  I made Egg Roll in a Bowl from right here at NY Foodie Family!  This obviously is a repeat recipe for us, but the kids loved it so much the first time!  It was as much of a hit the second time around as it was the first time that I made it.

Friday:  I made our usual weekly homemade pizza.

What are you having for dinner this week?

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Five on Friday {Feeling Like Summer}

Happy Friday!  I’m hoping today’s temps don’t reach the 90’s like they did yesterday and Wednesday!  I’m not quite ready for it to feel like summer.  This has been a pretty uneventful week around here, which I must admit, I kind of like! The boys are spending tomorrow at a Cub Scout event so my daughter and I will get to enjoy some quality mother-daughter time!   Here are five from this week:

1. Mother’s Day – Did you have a nice Mother’s Day?  The kids brought my coffee and their homemade cards and presents to me in bed Sunday morning.  Then we all ate breakfast together.  The weather forecast wasn’t looking great but we managed to fit in a trip to Untermyer Gardens.  I’ve been wanting to visit this place for awhile and Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect day. We had a great time walking around the gardens and taking in the Hudson River views…..and we were on our way home when it started raining!  When we got home the kids helped my husband cook a delicious dinner….and dessert!

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2. Reading – I haven’t had much reading time this week, but my current book is Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens.  I’ve read a couple of her other books and they’ve been pretty good suspense/thriller type reads.  I’m not quite half-way through this one yet, but so far, so good.


3.  Proud Mom Moment – Saturday, my daughter performed her first alto sax NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) solo.  She had been practicing for several weeks and woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat and cough.  She persevered though and did an awesome job!  Of course I had to take her out to celebrate a job well done with a special treat of her choice.  As you can see in the pic above, she wanted a Smash Burger Oreo milkshake.  P.S. – She got her score earlier this week and received a 27/28 (Outstanding).  #ProudMom!!

4. Watching – I didn’t watch any movies or start any new shows this week.  I’ve been catching up on my regular shows:  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, the Real Housewives of Potomac and the Real Housewives of New York.  We also have been watching the Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars as a family!

5. Eating – I’ve been trying to eat a little more healthy at home during the week.  On the weekends when we go out, all bets are off though!  I picked up these Yasso frozen yogurt bars last week and have been enjoying them.  I love anything S’mores flavored, so these were perfect.  I feel a little better eating frozen yogurt rather than ice cream!

ICYMI this week on the blog:
2017 calendar

Monday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Wednesday I posted Fun Summer Family Food Experiences.

Thursday I shared Dinner Deals in Westchester County.

Linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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Dinner Deals in Westchester County

Westchester County has so many amazing restaurants, with new places opening every month.  I enjoy dining out, however, with a family of four, it can get very expensive!  Fortunately, many restaurants throughout Westchester offer special dinner deals throughout the week.  Whether you’re in the mood for a burger or a fancy three-course meal, there are restaurants throughout Westchester that cover it all!

**Please confirm the details with the restaurant for the most up-to-date information.  

251 Lex
251 Lexington Avenue
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
(914) 218-8156

251 Lex offers a 3 course Prix Fixe Menu for $45 Monday through Saturday, 5-10 PM.

273 Kitchen
273 Halstead Avenue
Harrison, NY 10528
(914) 732-3333

273 Kitchen allows you to choose three courses for $45 (dip, starter, third course) and a dessert on them.

An American Bistro
296 Columbus Avenue
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 793-0807

An American Bistro offers a $30 fixed-price three-course menu Sunday through Thursday.

Angelina’s Ristorante & Brick Oven Pizza
97 Lake Avenue
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 779-7944

Angelina’s offers a prix fixe dinner menu (appetizer and entree) Monday through Thursday 3-closing for $29.95.

Anna Maria’s Cucina Italiana
18 Chatsworth Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10538
(914) 833-0555

Wednesday is pasta night at Anna Maria’s.  Enjoy 2 courses for $19 (first course and a pasta).  The restaurant is open 5-9:30 PM.

The Bayou Restaurant
580 Gramatan Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10552
(914) 668-2634

Tuesday:  Fat Tuesdays – All-You-Can-Eat specials $22.99 (Jambalaya, Catch O’Day, Pasta O’Day, & Chops O’Day)
Wednesday:  Voodoo Night – $6 Voodoo Wings

Bread and Brine
19 Main Street
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 479-5243

Monday:  Steamer Night – 1 lb. of steamer clams and a pitcher of Narragansett Lager for $25
Wednesday:  $1 oysters all night

Crabtree’s Kittle House
Eleven Kittle Road
Chappaqua, NY 10514
(914) 666-8044

Crabtree’s Kittle House offers a three-course Prixe Fixe dinner menu Sunday through Friday for $39.

Eastchester Fish Gourmet
837 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 725-3450, ext.1

Monday:  Lobster Special – 1 1/2 pound steamed and cracked Maine lobster, baked potato and cole slaw $29.95
Thursday:  Raw Bar Special – Clams $1 each, assorted,  Oysters $1.25 each, Wild Shrimp Cocktail $1.50 each

Fat Sal’s Bar & Grill
265 Tate Avenue
Buchanan, NY 10511
(914) 930-1771

Mondays:  Buy one burger, get the second one 50% off (equal or lesser value with purchase of a beverage)
Tuesdays:  5 Tacos for $7.95 (w/purchase of a beverage)
Wednesdays:  $5 wines 4 PM – closing (select wines)

Golden House Chinese Cuisine
3639 Hill Blvd.
Jefferson Valley, NY 10598
(914) 962-8088

Golden House has a $17.95 dinner special Monday through Thursday that includes a choice of soup, appetizer and dinner (from selected items) and house special fried rice.  There is a 2 person minimum.

The Hudson Room
23 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 788-FOOD

The Hudson Room offers a 3 course Prix Fixe meal for $32.95 (appetizer, main, dessert) Monday through Wednesday.

Juliana’s Schoolhouse
276 Watch Hill Road
Cortlandt Manor, NY
(914) 788-0505

Enjoy the early bird menu that includes choice of appetizer, soup or salad, a main and a dessert, everyday from 5-6:30 PM.

Kee Oyster House
126-128 E. Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 437-8535

Sunday:  Sunday Fun Day – half price lobster
Tuesday:  Tasty Tuesday – half price starters

Kirby’s Grill and Bar
345 Kear Street
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
(914) 245-9030

Tuesdays:  Rib Deal
Wednesdays:  Kids eat free

L’INIZIO
698 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, NY 10502
(914) 693-5400

L’INIZIO offers a 3-Course Prixe-Fixe dinner menu for $33, Monday through Wednesday.  They also have Family-Style Sunday where family-style bowls of pasta are $36.

Moderne Barn
430 Bedford Road
Armonk, NY 10504
(914) 730-0001

Sunday:  Prime Rib and Popovers!  – Enjoy a 14 oz. prime rib au jus w/horseradish, a homemade popover and one side dish for $38.

PLATES
121 Myrtle Boulevard
Larchmont, NY 10538
(914) 834-1244

Plates offers a 2 course Prix-Fixe menu Sunday through Thursday,  5 PM-6:30 PM for $30.
Sunday evenings they have a Bottomless BBQ for $28.

Rye Roadhouse
12 High Street
Rye, NY 10580
(914) 925-2668

Mondays:  Make Your Own Quesadillas starting at $6.95
Tuesdays:  Burger Night – 5-11 PM half-price burgers
Wednesdays:  Fried Chicken Night – Four piece chicken dinner with two sides $10.95

Spring Special:  Little Leaguers who come in uniform eat 1/2 price Sunday through Thursday from the Kids Menu or Roadhouse Burgers or Mac and Cheese Bowls.

Saint George Bistro
155 Southside Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-1671

Saint George Bistro offers a Two Course Prixe-Fixe menu for $25 weekdays, Tuesday through Thursday.

Saltaire Oyster Bar
55 Abendroth Avenue
Port Chester, NY 10573
(914) 939-2425

Saltaire offers a three course dinner for $32.50 Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 4 PM.

Umami Cafe
325 South Riverside Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
(914) 271-5555

Sundays:  Enjoy fish tacos for $7.50 each.
Mondays:  Enjoy BBQ ribs for $12.95
Tuesdays:  $10 Burger night.
Thursdays:  All appetizers $6.50.

Winston Restaurant
130 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
(914) 244-9780

Winston offers a three course Prix Fixe menu Sunday through Thursday for $32.95/person.

If you know of any other dinner deals in Westchester County, please let me know in the comments below and I will add it to this list!

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Fun Summer Family Food Experiences

Summer will be here before you know it!  As you start preparing your vacation plans and seasonal family bucket list here are some fun summer family food experiences to think about planning!

Go On a Picnic

Pack a lunch from home or pick one up from your favorite deli or take-out place.  Head to a local park, set out your blanket and enjoy a family meal al fresco!  Many towns have free summer concert and movie nights.  Enjoy a low-key, outdoor dinner with free entertainment.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray!

Do an Ice Cream Tour of your Town

How many local ice cream and frozen yogurt shops are in your area?  Make it a goal to visit all of them this summer! Rate them from least to most favorite.  Try seasonal flavors and signature items on the menu. The possibilities are endless! 

Visit a Farmer’s Market

Come summer time, you can find a local farmer’s market in almost every town.  Not only are you supporting local agriculture by purchasing your produce from a farmer’s market, but you’re also getting seasonal veggies at their peak!  There’s nothing like a just-picked tomato topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil!

Eat Ballpark Food

Gone are the days of going to a baseball game and eating a hot dog and a box of cracker jacks.  Baseball stadiums have really upped the food selections that they offer to fans.  I ate the Cracker Jack Burger, blurrily pictured above, at a local baseball game.  Ribs, bacon on a stick and tacos are just some of the offerings that you can find at Major League Baseball stadiums!  Spend a day with the family cheering on your favorite baseball team and having some good eats!

Take a Trip to the Fair

There’s something special about fair food.  It’s not gourmet or fancy.  But how often do you get the chance to enjoy treats like deep-fried Oreos, cotton candy, and funnel cake?!  Plus, these foods taste so much better in the summer, surrounded by crowds and bright lights!

Attend a Food Festival

From blackberries and watermelon to ribs and potatoes – you name it, there’s probably a food festival somewhere celebrating it!  Check out food festivals across the country and find one to your liking.

Eat by the Water

Ocean, rivers, lakes….if there’s a restaurant by a body of water, it will likely be packed come summer time.  When was the last time your family ate out on the waterfront?  This summer is the time to do it!  Make a reservation, bring some toys and activities to occupy the kids (because most likely, even with a reservation, you will be waiting!) and enjoy a family meal with a view of the water.

Grow an Herb Garden

While many of us don’t have time to plant a garden, growing herbs is easy.  Kids can help pick out and plant the seeds and will enjoy watering the herbs and watching them grow.  It’s always nice to have fresh basil, cilantro and other herbs on hand for summer cooking!

Eat Freshly Caught Fish or Seafood

This is especially a must when vacationing near the ocean.  Bonus points if you go fishing and catch your own dinner! Lobsters, crabs, oysters, clams, mussels……all of these can be enjoyed in the summer.

Try Something New

And finally, be adventurous this summer!  Try a food or cuisine that is new to you and your family.  Check out a new restaurant.  The options are endless!

What are some other fun summer family food experiences that you recommend?

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Weekly Meal Plan {Week 78}

2017 calendar
It’s Monday again.  We survived a busy, but rainy and wet weekend.  I hope all you moms were spoiled yesterday and had a very happy Mother’s Day.  I had a great day with my husband and kids that started with coffee in bed and ended with a dinner cooked by the three of them and brownie sundaes for dessert.  Monday  means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan.  If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you.  Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan. Here is a look at what was on our menu this past week:

Saturday: My husband made sliders and fries.  He made homemade frizzled onions and added blue cheese dressing.

Sunday: We went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my brother and mother’s birthdays.  We went to an Italian restaurant where I ordered this Chicken Casaletto.  The chicken was stuffed with broccoli rabe, sausage, cheese and roasted peppers and covered in a mushroom sauce.  It was so tasty!

Monday:  I made 30 Minute Teriyaki Chicken with Sesame Ginger Broccoli from Half Baked Harvest.  I don’t like ginger, so omitted that from the sauce and  I also used canned pineapple.  I roasted the broccoli, but since I bought thin sliced chicken breasts I didn’t cook everything in the oven after.  I found my sauce didn’t thicken very much, but we drizzled it over the rice I served with it, so it didn’t go to waste.  This was a kid-approved, easy dinner.

Tuesday: I made Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue from allrecipes which I served on rolls.  This was super easy to throw together in the slow cooker in the morning. Then, in the afternoon I shredded the chicken and let it sit in the slow cooker on warm until we were ready to eat.  I served this with fries and my parents, who came over for dinner, brought a salad.  Unfortunately, dinner was so rushed that I didn’t take a picture!

Wednesday: My husband was home from work early and made Spaghetti and Meatballs.  This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals and she had been requesting it for awhile.  He didn’t follow a recipe for making the meatballs, just kind of threw ingredients together, which is his cooking style.  I bought jarred pasta sauce since there wasn’t enough time to make homemade.

Thursday:  I made Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast also from allrecipes.  Honestly, I’m not even sure if the cut of beef that I picked up was a pot roast.  It was a small roast that noted on the package it was good for slow cooking.  The ingredients make a tasty gravy which we spooned on the meat and on the mashed potatoes (not homemade, I used Simply Potatoes brand).  I also heated up some frozen veggies to serve with.  This was another busy night where there was no time to cook and barely enough time to eat!  I would make this again but use reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup, since I found the gravy to be a tad on the salty side.

Friday:  I decided to do something different instead of our usual pizza!  We had  a lot of barbecue chicken leftover from earlier in the week, so I (actually my husband!) made calzones.  He heated up the leftover chicken and then put it in pizza dough with some shredded cheddar cheese and chopped red onion.  He then cooked them on a pizza stone and served them with leftover BBQ sauce for dipping.

What are you having for dinner this week?

4

Five on Friday {Mother’s Day Weekend}

I am so happy that it’s Friday.  This has seriously been one of the busiest weeks ever.  I volunteered every day this week at my son’s school book fair.  Plus, this week was my daughter’s band concert, swimming lessons for my son, Open House night at the elementary school, multiple doctor/dentist appointments before and after school, piano lessons, and a Girl Scout and Cub Scout event!  I am exhausted!  But, I survived and will hopefully get to relax a little this weekend.  After all, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, right?!   Speaking of which, Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow mom readers.  I hope you have  a great day celebrating you!  Here are five from this week:

Family Fun – Last weekend we enjoyed family time at a Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.  We got to see lots of performances including sword demonstrations, Japanese drummers, traditional dancers and more.  Unfortunately, the weather was a bit chilly and it started to rain at one point.  But, we made the best of it and had a good time.

Cooking – My slow cooker has gotten a lot of use this week!  Check out this Monday’s weekly meal plan to see what was on our menu, including this Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast with gravy.

Watching  This past week we watched Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find them and Hidden Figures.  I didn’t read either of the books first and didn’t really have any idea of what either movie was about.  So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed both movies.

Reading – I just started A Gentleman in Moscow yesterday afternoon.  It’s the book of the month for a Goodreads group I’m in, otherwise, I hadn’t even heard of this book! LOL!  I usually enjoy historical fiction, so I’m hoping this one’s a winner.  I’ll hopefully get in some decent reading time this weekend.

Eating – At the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival we ate ramen, skewered beef and this Okonomiyaki.  This was our first time trying it, but won’t be our last.  It’s a savory pancake made of cabbage and egg and topped with two different sauces and pork belly. Yum!

ICYMI this week on the blog:

2017 calendarMonday I shared our weekly meal plan.

Life According to Steph

Tuesday I posted my April 2017 Reads and joined the Show Us Your Books link up.

I’m linking up with Katie, Andrea and April!  Have a great weekend!

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April 2017 Reads

Life According to Steph

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, which means that it’s time for Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books link up!  I love being able to showcase the books that I read this past month as well as get lots of book recommendations  to add to my already too long to read list!  April was a slow month of reading for me.   Like, only five books read slow.  Fortunately, they were almost all great reads!  I realize now that most of them dealt with death and grieving, which did not make for light reading.  In order from least to most liked, here are my April 2017 reads:

3 Stars:

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The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell – Imagine an underground world where ordinary objects have special powers.  This is where siblings Ivy and Seb find themselves after they escape from intruders who are looking for something in their grandmother’s house.  Down in Lundinor the two must try to save their parents who have been kidnapped by producing the Great Uncommon Good.  This is a fantasy, middle-grade fiction read that is being dubbed “part Tim Burton, part J.K. Rowling.”  While I wasn’t a huge fan of this one myself, I think it may appeal to middle school readers who enjoy fantasy, adventure books.

4 Stars:

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough –  Louise meets David at a bar one night and they kiss.  A couple of days later she discovers he’s her new boss.  Soon after that Louise meets Adele and the two become quick friends.  But Adele is David’s wife.  There’s a twisted triangle of secrets that kept me interested in reading.  This was a quick, suspenseful read.  I debated between a 3 1/2 and 4 star rating but don’t want to give spoilers as to my reasoning.

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Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Elsie is married to Ben less than 10 days, when he is killed in an accident.  Throughout their whirlwind romance of less than six months, she never met Ben’s mother, Susan.  Susan actually never knew that Ben was married or that there was an Elsie.  Susan and Elsie get off to a rocky start as they come to terms with Ben’s death.  The book is told in alternating chapters between the past and present.  Out of all the books about death that I read this month, this was the hardest for me to read.  I think Ben’s young age and the unexpectedness of his death had me freaking myself out imagining myself in this situation.  I am now caught up on reading all of TJR’s books and am looking forward to her new one coming out this summer!

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I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi – Maddy is a stay-at-home mom to 16 year-old Eve and wife to workaholic, Brady.  As the book begins we learn that Maddy committed suicide and is looking for a replacement for herself.  With no note or reasons why, Eve and Brady grieve and try to come to terms with Maddy’s death.  I enjoyed that each chapter is told through Maddy (narrating from the beyond), Eve and Brady’s perspectives, so you get to see all the characters’ perspectives.

5 Stars:

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Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner – Carver Brigg sends a text to his three best friends that might have been the cause of the texting and driving accident that kills them.  Filled with guilt, he then discovers that he may be facing criminal charges.  Feeling alone, he and his friend Eli’s girlfriend Jesmyn become close as they grieve.  This was an emotional, YA read.  I think it sends an important message about the dangers of texting and driving.  I also love the concept of Goodbye Days.

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Weekly Meal Plan {Week 77}

2017 calendar

Did you have a great weekend? It just flies by so quickly! Monday’s here and it’s time to start another week.  Monday  means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan.  If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you.  Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and most importantly, my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan. Here is a look at what was on our menu this past week:

Saturday: We ate the leftover Chicken Enchilada Pizza my husband had made Friday night.

Sunday: My husband and daughter ate dinner at the Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance.  My son and I had Smash Burger for dinner.  This Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger was surprisingly tasty!

Monday: I made Raspberry Ricotta Croissant French Toast from Half Baked Harvest.  My kids love breakfast for dinner.  Before seeing this recipe, I had never thought to make french toast using croissants.  This recipe was easy enough to make and very tasty!  I used thawed frozen raspberries, instead of fresh, which worked out fine. I also used four large croissants, instead of the smaller ones the recipe suggested using.  I had a lot of egg mixture leftover, so I made some regular french toast using bread.  I served the french toast with bacon.  Of course this dinner was kid-approved!

Tuesday: I fried up some breaded chicken cutlets and served with homemade mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli.  A simple supper, but one that was really enjoyed by the family!

Wednesday: I made Turkey Meatball Spinach Soup from Damn Delicious.  Actually, my son made most of it and I supervised.  He did make me roll the meatballs though.  This recipe was quick and easy enough for an almost 9 year-old to make.  However, I found the meatballs lacking flavor.  If I was going to make this again, which I probably won’t, I’d add some egg noodles to the broth, because….we love carbs!

Thursday: I made Slow Cooker Pork Tinga from Bread Booze Bacon. This recipe is adapted from a Rick Bayless recipe.  I love a good slow cooker recipe and this one wasn’t bad.  I double the amount of pork the recipe called for and realized I should have doubled the sauce mixture.  Mine was barely saucy at all.  I bought tortillas which we served the pork on but I also made rice which we added as well.  There was a good amount of leftovers which we just ate over the leftover rice.

Friday:  I made our usual homemade pizza.  Just plain cheese this week!

What are you having for dinner this week?