1

Your Best Weekend {Volume 7}

(This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

It’s time for another edition of “Your Best Weekend” – ideas and recommendations to help you make the most of your Saturday and Sunday.  We are all busy but we need to make time to enjoy life!

“Unless it’s an emergency, don’t bother me after 6:00 PM and on weekends.” – Merv Griffin

Celebrate:

September 22 is Hobbit Day, the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.  Celebrate the day by reading the book and/or watching the movie.

September 22 is also National Hunting and Fishing Day.  Date idea/Family Fun idea:  Go fishing!  Get a state fishing license and find a local pond or river.

September 23 is the first day of fall.  Date idea/Family fun idea:  Create a fall bucket list.  Write down all the things that you’d like to do as a couple or family this season!

September 23 is also Checkers Day.  Date idea/Family fun idea:  Play a game (or two or three) of checkers.  Loser buys dinner!  For families, have a tournament to see who is the Checker Champion.  Winner gets a special treat!

Self-Care:

Journal Prompt/Reflection: What are three lessons that you’d like your children to learn from you?

Challenge:  Say no.  Unless it’s a “Hell Yes!” and gets you super excited, say no.  Don’t overthink it and use this in all areas of your life.

New Releases:

DVD: Out on DVD this week is Jurassic World.  If you haven’t watched the first four movies, have a marathon and catch up. Also out this week on DVD is Fahrenheit 451.  I haven’t read the book, but always recommend reading the book before seeing the movie.

Books:  Chrissy Teigen’s new cookbook Cravings: Hungry For More is very popular.  Reese Witherspoon’s book Whiskey in a Teacup was also released this week.

In the Theater:  Last week A Simple Favor, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively came out.  It’s gotten good reviews and looks like a good date night movie.  The House With a Clock In Its Walls comes to theaters tomorrow.  This looks like a good family pick. This movie is also based on a book.  While I normally recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, I don’t always feel that way for kids’ movies.  Sometimes after seeing the movie, children are motivated to read the book. Or use the movie as the motivation.  Read the book and then we’ll go see the movie.

Family Fun:

Dinner Conversation Starter:  If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?

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

Family Fun/Date Idea:  Go apple picking.  Make sure to get some apple cider donuts while you’re at the orchard!  Then go home and bake something with all the apples that you’ve picked.  Here are some tasty recipe ideas to inspire you!

Weekly Recommendations:

Watch:  Worth It on Amazon Prime.  This Buzzfeed show follows hosts Steven and Andrew (and cameraman Adam) as they travel around trying different foods at three different price points – cheap, mid-priced and expensive.  Then they vote on which was their most “worth it” dish of the three.  These are also on YouTube if you don’t get Amazon Prime.  This is a bingeable show that my family enjoys watching together.  There is such great chemistry between the hosts and it’s a fun watch for any food lovers.

Read:  As a fan of all things television, books and movies, here is an article about the new fall television shows.  Get ready to set your DVR!

Eat: Coolhaus Ice Cream – Pictured here is the Dirty Mint Chip which my husband loved.  This artisan ice cream company also sells other flavors like Milkshake & Fries, Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone and Campfire S’mores.  Yes, I want to try them all!

2

Food Buys & Tries {Volume 3}

It’s been a couple of months since I wrote a Food Buys and Tries post.  As much as our family loves to eat out, we also love trying new food products that we find in the supermarket or that companies are kind enough to send us to sample.  Here are some of our recent food buys and tries winners:

Coolhaus Awesome Ice Cream: Dirty Mint Chip – Coolhaus Awesome Ice Cream has shops in California and Texas.  For those of us not lucky enough to live in these areas, we can now buy pints of their ice cream at our local grocery store!  My husband loves mint ice cream so I got the Dirty Mint Chip.  This flavor is fresh mint ice cream with brown sugar and dark chocolate chips.  The fresh mint flavor is very evident and my husband loved this ice cream.  While I’m not a huge mint ice cream fan, I am excited to try some of their other flavors like Milkshake & Fries, Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone and Campfire S’mores.

 

Dole Acai Bowls – I have to fully disclose that I have never tried an acai bowl before trying this Dole one.  I found this bowl in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store.  The directions state that it should thaw for 45 minutes or you can microwave it.  We opted to thaw it but even after an hour it didn’t defrost all the way.  The original has acai, bananas and honey topped with strawberries, blueberries, coconut and honey oat granola.  It also comes in protein and tropical varieties. My son loved this bowl and has asked for more.  This makes a convenient quick and easy breakfast, if we go the microwave defrost route.

Emerald Glazed Walnuts – I’ve been taking nuts with me to work as a snack.  I tried these glazed walnuts for the first time and they taste like candy. And they are very addicting!  It definitely satisfies a sweet and crunchy craving.  I will be buying these again.  I just have to watch how often I eat these!

       

Jimmy Dean Delights Egg’wich – My usual morning routine involves eating breakfast in the car during my commute to work.  I cannot eat first thing in the morning and I hate eating at my desk.  So, I have gotten used to eating while driving.  It’s not horrible, but I am limited to portable foods.  Often, I eat a sandwich (PB&J, cold cuts, etc.).  Sometimes I eat a frozen breakfast item liked this Jimmy Dean Delights Egg’wich.  This is turkey sausage and cheese sandwiched between two bacon, spinach, caramelized onion and parmesan egg frittatas.  I heat it up and then wrap it in foil until I’m ready to eat it.  This sandwich has decent flavor, but I must say that I found it to be a little on the salty side.  While I don’t recommend eating these everyday, I’ve found it to be a good portable breakfast.  I haven’t tried the other flavors – broccoli and cheese and ham, bell peppers, mushroom, bacon and onion.

Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites – (c/o Setton Farms)  Setton Farms kindly sent me samples of their Pistachio Chewy Bites.  I tried the pistachios + plums variety.  I like that they are individually wrapped and can take a couple of them to work with me as a snack.  They are all-natural and make a great snack for the kids, who enjoy these bites as well.  Just a note, that these are a bit sticky and I do have to wash my hands after enjoying them at work. However, getting to enjoy the pistachio and fruit combo is worth it!

Shoprite Trading Company Pre-cooked Basmati White Rice – Shoprite Trading Company is the grocery store’s private label line of artisanal international foods.  I usually cook rice in a rice cooker, which takes about 20+ minutes to cook.  I was using a simmer sauce and wanted a quick and easy Indian-inspired meal and purchased this rice to try.  It only takes 90 seconds to heat up in the microwave.  While it doesn’t taste as fresh and authentic as what you get at an Indian restaurant, it was surprisingly not bad.

 

I have also become a fan of the Shoprite Trading Company Naan as well.  These are frozen and come with 3 in a package.  I usually make two and cut them in half for our family of four.

2

Five on Friday {Birthday Weekend}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

Happy Friday and Happy Birthday to me!  Well, on Sunday it will be my big day.  While I wanted to go away for my birthday, it’s not happening.  Saturday is our “Town day” and my daughter and I are volunteering at her Girl Scout booth selling fried Oreos.  Sunday, I plan on sleeping in and then doing a foodie tour of local places that have been on my to-try list.  This week both the kids and I had Monday and Tuesday off.  The days were filled running errands and doing chores.  Unfortunately, nothing exciting.  With school just starting and my daughter playing on the modified field hockey team for the first time, there have been lots of last minute things to buy.  So here are five from this week:

36388243

1. Reading – I just started reading Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman.  I’ve started reading thrillers/suspense books again.  So far, it’s just okay but I’m not too far into it yet.

36430011

2. Watching – You on Lifetime.  Have you read the book You by Caroline Kepnes?  Lifetime has turned the book into a television series, which debuted this past week.  I watched the first episode and am hooked.

3. Family Fun – This past weekend was pretty much cold and rainy all weekend.  Saturday, before the rain we were able to get in a family hike.  I’ve been wanting to hike Anthony’s Nose, a nearby trail with amazing views.  I felt so accomplished and got some great exercise!

4. Tween Life  – It’s been a recent month of changes for my daughter.  Last month, right before school started she got braces.  She, who was so excited to get them, is realizing that they are not as fun as they look.  This week we also took a trip to the eye doctor to get her contact lenses.  We were planning waiting until the spring, when she turned 13.  However, we could not find field hockey goggles that fit over her glasses.  So, contact lenses it is.  She is still adjusting to them, two days in and is having some difficulty getting them in and out.

5.  Mom Time – With some cold and rainy days, I’ve been enjoying some time quiet me time.  This weekend I finished this puzzle in a day and a half.  It wasn’t a very challenging puzzle, but the book lover in me found it fun.  I enjoy listening to a podcast while I work on a puzzle just and zone out.  What do you do for some me time?

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Monday I wrote about GoSu an Asian fusion restaurant.

Tuesday I shared my August 2018 Reads.

Thursday I posted “Your Best Weekend” a guide to self-care, family fun, weekly recommendations and more to help you have your best weekend!

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

12

Your Best Weekend {Volume 6}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

It’s time for another edition of “Your Best Weekend” – ideas and recommendations to help you make the most of your Saturday and Sunday.  We are all busy but we need to make time to enjoy life!

“The only reason we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.”    – Chuck Palahniuk

Celebrate:

September 16 is not only my birthday, but there are lots of other fun days to celebrate.  It’s also Collect Rocks Day.  Take a family hike or walk and collect some rocks.  It’s also Mexican Independence Day – when Mexico became independent from Spain.  Celebrate by going out for some Mexican food or cooking a tasty meal at home.  Sunday is also National Play Doh Day.  Break out the play doh and have some fun making some creations with the kids.  It’s National Women’s Friendship Day!  Get your girlfriends and go out!  Finally, make sure the husbands know that Sunday is also Wife Appreciation Day!  We deserve to be appreciated for all that we do!

Self-Care:

Journal Prompt/Reflection: What is something you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Challenge: Schedule some girl time! Sunday is National Women’s Friendship Day after all.  Whether you plan a night out with one friend or a group of gals, celebrate the female friendships in your life.

New Releases:

DVD:  Ocean’s 8 came out on DVD this week.  I haven’t watched any of the others, but I’m loving the female cast of this one.  Hearts Beat Loud is a music drama that has gotten pretty good reviews and may be worth checking out.

Books:  Some new books that were released this week include The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz (thriller, #4 in Jane Hawk series), Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward (politics, nonfiction), I Am Neil Armstrong by Brad Meltzer (children’s book, biography),  Juror #3 by James Patterson (mystery, thriller),  We Fed an Island:  The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by Jose Andres (nonfiction, food and drink, memoir) and Body Positive Power (paperback) by Megan Jayne Crabb (nonfiction, self-help).

Family Fun:

Dinner Conversation Starter:  What is something that you would like to learn?

Have a Cookie Wars:  Last weekend was filled with chilly and rainy weather.  We ended up having Cookie Wars.  We chose “seasonal” as the theme.  My daughter and I paired up and made Frosted Pumpkin Cookies (pictured on the right).  My husband and son teamed up to make Brown Sugar Cookies with Maple Glaze (on the left).  We halved the recipes and the boys accidentally over salted their cookies, so we girls won.  However, we were all winners in my book because…..cookies!  Lots of cookies!

Date Night:

See a local band.  Many restaurants and bars near us have local bands playing on weekends. Go check out a favorite, or a new-to-you, local band for a fun night out.

Weekly Recommendations:

Song/Music Video: As my youngest started 5th grade last week and both my kids are in middle school now, this song just seems so fitting.

36430011

 

Watch:  You on Lifetime. As always, I highly recommend reading the suspense/thriller book by Caroline Kepnes first. The book turned television series debuted this week on Lifetime.  I watched the first episode and I am hooked!

Ellen on the Go

 

Listen:  Ellen on the Go podcast.  I love Ellen but since I work, there’s just no way to keep up with watching her show.  The Ellen on the Go podcast debuted this week and features four of the shows’ producers discussing highlights from the past week’s show.  While it’s not as funny as watching the bits, it is still entertaining.  Plus, you get insight from the producers and a peek at the behind the scenes of the show.

23

August Reads {2018}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

It’s hard to believe that summer is over.  And it with it, the lazy weekends and extra time to read. Although my schedule doesn’t change come the fall, the kids’ schedules get filled up with their activities, and my reading time seems to decrease drastically!  I feel like I read a good amount over the summer but know I won’t be able to keep up reading 6-8 books a month.  See that library haul of books in that photo above?  Sadly, half of them will be returned unread.  Last month was great in both quantity and quality of reads.  Here are my August reads from least to most liked that I’m sharing with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.

3 Stars

36967019

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll – I read Knoll’s other novel, Luckiest Girl Alive and only gave it three stars as well.  That should have been a warning, but I decided to give this book a go.  For some reason, it’s categorized as a mystery/thriller, but I do not think it should be.  This book follows several different women in a reality television show called “Goal Diggers.”  There is of course drama and each woman is harboring secrets.  I love a good reality television show.  I think because I went into it expecting something else I was a bit disappointed.

880409

Promises by Belva Plain – When I was growing up my mom used to read a lot of Belva Plain’s books.  By default, since they were around, I also read her books and found them enjoyable.  Somehow, a couple of Plain’s books have been sitting on my bookshelf for YEARS.  In an effort to clear off my bookshelves I decided to read Promises. It appears my reading tastes have changed drastically from those college years.  Even though most of the story takes place in the 90’s, it felt so antiquated.  What wife says, “Oh darling” when referring to her husband?!! And nowadays, I don’t believe a woman would put her career on hold for her husband’s advancement (or I hope she wouldn’t).  This book probably rates close to 2.5 than 3 stars for me, but Goodreads doesn’t allow me to give half star ratings.

4 Stars

26102519

The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky – Miranda Regent is one of 6 kids chosen around the world to prep for a mission to Mars.  The only American chosen, she soon starts receiving threatening messages.  Is she in danger? This is a middle grade fiction book that I picked up at the library for my son to read.  He wasn’t that into it and didn’t finish it.  However, if it’s not manga or a graphic novel, I’ve been having difficulty getting him to read it.  I read it and thought it was a pretty good read.  You have to go in with the expectation that it is geared toward children and fiction.  Like, super smart teenagers going into space fiction.  But there was a lot of action and adventure.  So, if you know of kids who like this type of book I’d have them give this one a try.

36315374

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hiller – Georgina “Geo”, Angela and Kai were high school best friends. One night Angela disappears and is never seen again.  Fourteen years later her remains are discovered and Kai, now a police detective discovers that she was a victim of serial killer Calvin James.  Calvin just happened to be Geo’s girlfriend at the time of Angela’s disappearance.  This book had lots of secrets and hidden surprises.  This is the type of book that I think of when I think of a mystery/thriller.

35083336

The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon – In 1992, Abby and Liam were dating and in love.  But when her brother dies in a car accident, Abby feels responsible and pushes Liam away.  Fast forward to present day and Abby is married to Nate, the man who came upon the accident and actually saved Abby’s life. They have a teenage daughter and are happily married.  But then, Liam and his family end up moving in next door.  Will their past be discovered?  Again, I didn’t really find this book to much of a mystery/thriller.  But about half-way through it became a page-turner.

34713218

Reading People by Anne Bogel – This a collection of different personality tests/frameworks that Bogel explains in hopes of helping the reader learn more about herself and others.  Personality frameworks have always interested me and I found this book to be enjoyable and insightful.  This was my non-fiction read of the month.

 

GoSu: An Asian Fusion Dining Experience

(Thank you to GoSu and Lifestyle Westchester for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

I was recently invited to a menu tasting at Asian fusion restaurant, GoSu.  This Irvington eatery opened in February 2017 and is located a short distance from the Irvington train station.  It’s a perfect place to dine with friends visiting from NYC, or for a quick dinner on the way home from work.

While the owner, Tony Kim, is Korean his menu is a mixture of both Korean and Japanese cuisines.  His Korean cooking skills were learned from his mom and grandmother but his first restaurant job was in a sushi restaurant.  He combined his two experiences and created GoSu.

 

Taken literally, the name of the restaurant translates to: card shark or cocky person.  Tony chose GoSu, from the Korean words GoGi (meats) and GookSu (noodles) to mean Meats and Noodles. When envisioning a traditional Korean restaurant, BBQ that is cooked right at the table often comes to mind.  However, GoSu was created with an emphasis on family-friendly dining.  No table-top grills are found here.  Likewise, you won’t be served banchan (the collection of small side dishes served with traditional Koran cuisine).  Instead, GoSu serves lots of delicious comfort food with plenty of kid-friendly options.

GoSu features so many tasty appetizers on their menu.  From left to right, I tasted the Agedashi Tofu (fried soft tofu in tempura sauce), Bulgogi Tacos (marinated sliced ribeye with house pico and cheese), Chicken Katsu (panko breaded chicken breast with Japanese BBQ sauce & chipotle mayo), Shrimp Shumai (with ginger soy vinaigrette) and Ika Yaki (broiled whole marinated squid with teriyaki glaze).  The chicken katsu and shrimp shumai are two of the most popular appetizers and will likely be enjoyed by most children.  I usually prefer firm tofu, but enjoyed the soft tofu in the tempura sauce.  Other appetizers on the menu that sound delicious include: Tatsutage (bite-sized Japanese fried chicken), Spicy Pork Buns and Loaded Fries (bulgogi, cheese and jalapeno on a bed of waffle fries).  These will definitely have to be tried on my next visit!

While you can make a meal out of appetizers, I strongly recommend you leave room for the “Meats & Noodles.”  My favorite meat dish was the Spicy Pork Sizzle Bop.  This Korean style marinated sliced pork was slightly sweet but had a nice spicy kick.  While some of my table mates found this dish to be a bit too spicy, if you like a little heat, I highly recommend this!  There are several other Sizzle Bop entrees including Galbi (marinated short rib), Bulgogi (soy marinated sliced rib eye), Beef Teriyaki, Beef Negimaki (asparagus & scallion wrapped with thinly sliced rib eye in teriyaki sauce), Chicken Teriyaki and Salmon Teriyaki.  I sampled the Salmon Teriyaki Sizzle Bop, which was a crowd favorite the night that I dined.  All Sizzle Bops are served with white or brown rice and vegetables, as well as a choice of miso soup or a side salad.

My favorite noodle dish of the evening was the Curry Udon.  This dish has bulgogi in a mild, Japanese curry broth.  This curry isn’t spicy like many Indian or Thai curries.  It has barely any heat but is packed with flavor.  It’s literally a bowl of pure comfort food.  When the cold weather comes, you will want to eat bowlfuls of this udon!  This dish was also a favorite of my fellow foodies.

Although GoSu prides itself on its “Meats & Noodles,” it accommodates those with dietary restrictions.  Several dishes on the menu can be made gluten-free and there are plenty of vegetarian options. The restaurant has several vegetarian main dishes including Tofu Steak (seared, sliced organic soft tofu w/a ginger teriyaki sauce), pictured above, Yaki Udon (sauteed udon noodles with cabbage and onion in a house special sauce) and pictured below, Spicy Soba (cold soba noodles on a bed of mixed veggies with House gochujang sauce).  Gochujang is a red pepper paste, and yes, is a bit on the spicy side.  Again, I like a bit of spice and think this dish is perfect for summer.

There is a children’s menu for kids 8 and under with favorites like Chicken Teriyaki, Bulgogi and Tatsutage.  Kids will likely enjoy ramune, a Japanese “marble soda.”  Nicknamed so, because of the Codd-neck bottle, GoSu sells several varieties of this fun drink.

The adults may prefer to enjoy some soju.  Soju is a very popular Korean spirit.  Similar to vodka, it’s a mild tasting alcohol.  But don’t be deceived, a little goes a long way.  Many bottles of soju have 20-40% alcohol!  This was my first time trying soju and even better, it was pineapple flavored!  Since I was driving, I only had a couple of sips, but I found it to be smooth with a slightly sweet taste.

For dessert we had NY-Style Cheesecake Tempura with green tea powder. This was a pleasant surprise, since most Asian restaurants I’ve been to don’t offer much more than ice cream for dessert. The tempura gave this treat a nice crunch while inside the cheesecake was nice and creamy.

As seen, the restaurant is furnished in mostly black and white.  A variety of live plants decorate the space and red spoons add a little pop of color.  Tony put a lot of thought into his restaurant decor, including benches that lift up so you can store your jacket and purse.  Plus, the bathroom has one of the coolest sinks I’ve seen as well as jars of toothpicks and mints.

Tony does a great job of combining Korean and Japanese flavors in his dishes and he is currently revising the menu for the fall/winter.  GoSu is definitely a restaurant in Westchester County worth checking out!

The Details:

GoSu (Asian Fusion Restaurant)
5o South Buckhout Street (entrance is on Astor Street)
Irvington, NY 10533
(914) 479-5898

Hours: Monday – Saturday 12 PM – 9:30 PM, closed Sundays

Parking:  Across the street and along Buckhout Street

Price:  $$ (most main dishes priced between $12 – $19)

4

Five on Friday {Back-to-School}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

Happy Friday!  It’s been forever since I’ve posted a Five on Friday post! I’ve been busy creating the new Thursday “Your Best Weekend” feature that by Thursday night I often don’t have the time or the energy to get a post written for today.  There just hasn’t been enough time to get all the posts written!  #BloggerProblems  The kids went back-to-school (more on that later) this week.  After three days back, they have a four day weekend because of the Jewish holiday.  So they get some extra time to adjust to reality!  Back-to-school means busy schedules! Here are five from this week:

1. Back-to-School – My son started 5th grade this week and my daughter started 7th grade.  They are both in middle school now!  It’s nice that they both get the bus at 7:25 in the morning, the same time that I leave for work.  After two days, they are both slowly adjusting to the early morning wake up time and getting back into the routine of things.

2. Watching – I’ve been back-logged on Bachelor in Paradise episodes.  In the little spare time that I’ve had, I’ve been trying to catch up on them.  Why does each episode have to be 2-3 hours long?!!  I’m almost a bit embarrassed to admit that I watch this show, but it’s really perfect mindless, summer television.

3. Cooking – Back-to-school means meal plans with quick and easy recipes.  This week I made Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas using Penzeys fajita seasoning instead of taco seasoning, like the original recipe requested.  These were really quick and easy to prepare and very tasty!

4. Family Time – Last weekend we got one more trip to Rhode Island in.  We went to the beach and my husband and I went on a fishing boat.  We always have a fun time visiting my parents and enjoying New England life.

31373633

5. Reading – I am currently reading the novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman.  I loved his book Beartown and also really enjoyed  A Man Called Ove.  This one is a short, little book. I just started it, but already started tearing up while reading it.  I’ll have it finished by the weekend.

ICYMI this week on the blog:

Tuesday 
I wrote about our visit to Denning’s Point Distillery.

Thursday I posted Your Best Weekend.

Have a great weekend!  Linking up with Friday Favorites!

Your Best Weekend {Volume 5}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional information.)

It’s time for another edition of “Your Best Weekend” – ideas and recommendations to help you make the most of your Saturday and Sunday.  We are all busy but we need to make time to enjoy life!

“Why wait for the weekend to have fun?”  – Loesje

Make sure to have some fun during the week as well!  

Celebrate:

September 8 is International Literacy Day. Created by the United Nations, this day, “aims to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.”  Be thankful that you are literate and make time to read today.

Celebrate Grandparent’s Day on September 9.  If the grandparents live close, spend the day together creating memories.  If they live farther away, have the kids make a card for their grandparents.  Older kids can write the reasons why they love their grandparents and/or a favorite memory they have.

Self-Care:

Journal Prompt/Reflection: Who inspires you and why?

Challenge:  Get outside and go for a walk.  Take 15 minutes during your lunch break.  Get the family together after dinner.  Take the dog out and walk solo.  Just put on your sneakers and get outside.  There are many benefits of walking.  While you may not get in 10,000 steps a day, it’s a goal you can work towards and this can help you keep track of those steps.

New Releases:

DVD:  Did anyone else grow up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?  The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was released on DVD this week.

Netflix:  Netflix just added a bunch of movies including The Breakfast Club, Black Panther, Groundhog Day and Bruce Almighty.

Amazon Prime:  Lots of movie classics were added this week including Ghostbusters, Jerry Maguire, Robinhood Prince of Thieves and Sleepless in Seattle.

Time for a movie marathon?!

Family Watching:  For families with younger kids, Pete the Cat (season 1) is on Amazon Prime.  Elementary-aged kids might enjoy Hotel for Dogs, also on Amazon Prime.  Netflix has The Ant Bully, Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove.

Books for Kids:  Many children’s books have recently been published.  For toddlers who need board books, But Not the Armadillo by Sandra Boynton went on sale this week.  Boynton was a family favorite when my kids were younger. For elementary readers The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson offers encouragement to kids who feel different from their peers.  Did you read The Babysitter’s Club when you were younger?  Somehow, my daughter never got into the series.  But they have made the series into a graphic novel and book number six Kristy’s Big Day was recently released.

Date Night Idea:

Visit a local brewery – Craft breweries have become very popular.  There are many breweries within a short driving distance from us.  My husband and I have enjoyed visiting several of them, sampling beer flights and enjoying some adult time!

Family Fun:

Dinner Conversation Starter: What is the best thing about being your age?

Go Geocaching – Geocaching is like an outdoor scavenger hunt.  You get some physical exercise while also looking for “prizes.”  Read our  Quickstart Guide to Geocaching Using the app and then read what we keep in our geocaching bag. 

Weekly Recommendations:

Recipe:  I just made these Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas for dinner last night.  This is a quick, easy and tasty recipe.  I used Penzeys Fajita Seasoning, not the taco seasoning the recipe requested.  This is a perfect dinner now that school has started and weeknights are busy!

Song:  I was watching Bachelor in Paradise and heard this song during the Samsung Galaxy 9 commercial.  I then had to find out who sings it since I loved it so much!  It’s LSD’s Thunderclouds featuring Sia, Diplo and Labrinth and I’ve been playing it nonstop.

Meal Plan:  School has started which means busy schedules are back.  If you do not meal plan, I highly recommend that you start!  It helps answer the question of what’s for dinner every night and it keeps your grocery bill on budget.  You can read about how I create our weekly meal plan and you can also find over 85 weeks of meal plans on the blog!

 

 

Dennings Point Distillery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Dennings Point Distillery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Dennings Point Distillery is located on North Chestnut Street, in Beacon.  The Distillery has been open since September of 2014 and is housed in a former mechanic shop.

When we visited during a summer weekend, founder Karl was relaxing in the Distillery. Because, doesn’t his shirt say it all?! He took us on a tour and gave us a bit of the Distillery’s history.  Similar to many of the people that we have met in the craft beverage trade, distilling started as a hobby for Karl.  He previously had a career in healthcare management and in 1990 bought his first moonshine  still.  Once craft distilling was legalized, many years later, he decided to give it a go professionally.

Denning’s Point makes several different products, though their best seller (and Karl’s favorite) is their bourbon.  The Distillery tries to source as many local ingredients as possible.  The bourbon is made from grains sourced in New Paltz and rye from the Finger Lakes region.  Another great example of their “the closer, the better” philosophy is the apple brandy made with apples from Wappingers Falls.

They make a vodka and their gin is an American-style gin that is more citrusy than the traditional.  Maid of the Meadow is a wheat-based spirit infused with wild herbs and honey. All three are distilled from NY State wheat.

Distilling takes place during the week with weekends dedicated to tours and tastings. Much of the equipment and machinery has been cleverly repurposed by Karl to suit his needs for each particular task.  However, their 250-gallon hybrid still was hand hammered in Louisville, Kentucky for its specific use.  They propagate their own yeast, which takes extra time, but makes a big difference in the flavor of their spirits.

To age their spirits, they use a variety of barrels including 10, 30 and 53 gallons.  Once the spirits are ready to be bottled, it’s an all-hands-on-deck operation. All of their spirits are bottled and labeled in a small room in the back.

After our tour, my husband enjoyed a tasting.  Their tasting room is  small and only seats about six guests.  He tried the 100 proof Beacon Bourbon, Maid of the Meadow and their Blueberry Gin.  The Blueberry Gin is a seasonal product, made with wild blueberries.  As I mentioned, the Beacon Bourbon is one of Denning’s Point Distillery’s most popular spirits.  Of the three that he tried, my husband’s favorite was Maid of the Meadow. He’s always been drawn to honey, whether a spirit infusion or cocktail ingredient.

Denning’s Point Distillery was voted Hudson Valley Magazine’s  “Best Hudson Valley Distillery” in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Karl would like to continue growing a local presence but increase widening distribution of their spirits.  Most visitors come up from the city, as Beacon is easily accessible by train.  We recommend Hudson Valley residents, too,  make a visit to the Distillery. If you can’t make it, their products are distributed through Manhattan Beer at locations throughout the Hudson Valley.

The Details:

Denning’s Point Distillery
10 North Chestnut Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 476-8413

Website: http://www.denningspointdistillery.com

Tastings & Tours:  Friday 2 PM -8 PM (Tastings only), Saturday 2 PM – 8 PM (Tours at approximately 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 PM, except for the second Saturday of each month when tours are at 2:30 and 3:30 only), Sunday 2 PM – 6 PM (Tastings only)

Price:  Tastings & Tour $5

2

Your Best Weekend {Volume 4}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our disclosure policy for additional information.)

It’s time for another edition of “Your Best Weekend,” ideas and recommendations to help you make the most of your Saturday and Sunday.  We are all busy but we need to make time to enjoy life!  Sadly, this is officially the last weekend of the summer for us with a three day weekend.  Take advantage of the extra day off!

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” – Bill Watterson

Celebrate:

September 1 is National Cherry Popover Day.  Of course, you can celebrate by making a batch of cherry popovers!  Check out these other fun ways to celebrate the day!

September 2 is International Bacon Day.  There are so many ways to celebrate:  Bacon, Egg, Cheese, BLT, Bacon Cheeseburger…..you can have bacon with every meal!  My son would totally wear this shirt to celebrate! And who knew they even had a bacon-themed game?!

Self-Care:

Journal Prompt/Reflection: Reflect on your summer.  What were some of your favorite memories?

Challenge: Create a playlist of music that makes you happy.

New Releases:

DVD:  Out this week on DVD of possible interest is Book Club and RBG.

Netflix:  New episodes of The Great British Baking Show began streaming this week.

Books:  As a thriller/suspense fan Tear Me Apart and The Waiting Room are going on my to read list.

Family Fun with Tweens:

Dinner Conversation Starter:  What is your favorite memory from this summer?

Family Fun Idea:  ICE CREAM!!! Sadly summer is coming to an end.  Enjoy the last few days with a sweet treat! You can make homemade ice cream in a bag.  If you have an ice cream maker, try making a new flavor.  Or just go visit your favorite local ice cream shop!

Book Releases:  For fans of Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series, the newest book Lord of the Fleas just came out.

Weekly Recommendations:

Instagram Follow:  Mystery and thrillers are my favorite book genre.  I recently found @angiesbookshelf on Instagram.  She features lots of new thrillers and suspense books with ratings and reviews.  I’ve been adding to my to-read list like crazy!

Recipe: Do you have an Instant Pot?  With school starting again soon, I know we will be using our Instant Pot more.  One of the dishes I’ll be making is this Instant Pot 20 Minute Chicken Burrito Bowls.

DVD:  We watched I Feel Pretty this past week.  I didn’t have huge expectations for the movie, but I really enjoyed it!  It really sends a positive message to women.