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Five on Friday {The Kids Are Back in School}

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Happy Friday! The kids are back in school…..and not happy about it! Unfortunately, summer had to come to an end. As much as a full calendar of activities gets me a bit anxious, I think our family thrives on routine. I know it’s going to take the kids a bit of time to readjust to early wake up. Believe, me Tuesday morning was ROUGH! But, we have one week down, only 178 more days left! LOL! Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – Over the weekend I finished reading The Farm by Joanne Ramos. The book is about a farm for surrogates, pregnant with babies for the super wealthy. It focused on relevant topics like race and inequality, but overall was just an okay read for me.

2. Last Beach Trip – We spent Labor Day weekend in Rhode Island and enjoyed our last beach trip of the summer. I even got a sunburn to prove it! My husband and I went back one evening to watch the sun set and got this beautiful picture.

3. Cliff Walk – My parents have been living in RI for years now.  We’ve gotten into a routine when we visit and I’ve realized there’s so much in Rhode Island that we need to see and explore.  So, I decided that we will do/try something new every trip. This visit we did the Cliff Walk in Newport.  It’s a 3.5 mile “walk.” However there are some rocky parts and my daughter complained that it’s definitely more of a hike.  There’s a reason it’s so popular though. There are some amazing views of the ocean and coastline.

4. Belly Flops – We made a stop at Ocean State Job Lot on our way home and saw these Belly Flops from Jelly Belly there.  These are the reject jelly beans that don’t pass the company’s high standards. Do I care that the jelly beans are misshapen? Not at all! Jelly Belly’s are the only jelly beans I like, so this was a win for me!

5. Winner! – This week at my weekly library drop off/pick-up trip, I learned that I had won a prize from the summer BINGO game! I won a box of 30 handmade cards and a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card, just from reading!

6. Mr. Softee – The Mr. Softee truck visited our office this week and my supervisor treated me to an ice cream. I went with a classic vanilla cone, which was such a nice treat during the work day!

ICYMI, this week on the blog:

In this week’s podcast episode we have Part 1 of our discussion about Cooperstown, NY.  Then we end with our Quick Hits of the week!

I posted about Mambo Italiano at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.

I also posted about the NYCWFF Grand Tasting.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {I wanna soak up the sun}

Hello Friday! It’s been such a quiet week here since the kids have been with their grandparents (my husband’s parents) for a couple of days this week. We had a couple of date nights and caught up on some shows while they were away. They came home yesterday afternoon and the house filled back up with lots of noise! They got their schedules yesterday and the start of school is becoming real! Tomorrow we drop them off with my parents for a week in Rhode Island, while we work. Then we will go back up to spend Labor Day weekend in Rhode Island and to pick the kids up. Here are five from this week:

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1. Reading – So this week I finished Us Against You by Fredrik Backman, but I didn’t want to. This book was just as good as Beartown and I loved seeing the story continue. I honestly didn’t want the book to end! If you haven’t read Beartown, I highly recommend it and then read the sequel! I am now reading The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I picked it up from the library this week and learned it was a one week loan! So, this takes reading priority. I’ve really enjoyed every Christina Lauren book I’ve read so I’m looking forward to this one.

2. Date Night – Monday night my husband and I went to the Peekskill Coffee House for what we thought was going to be trivia night. They didn’t end up hosting it that evening, but we ended up having a nice coffee date. Obviously, I had to go with something caffeine free or I would not be sleeping that night! I enjoyed the “Berried Treasure” which was a caffeine free fruit tea blend. I added a little sweetener and it was really tasty!

3. Cooking – When the kids are away I try to make recipes that I don’t think they would enjoy. My daughter is not a fish or seafood fan, so I thought it would be a great time to make BBQ Salmon Bowls with Mango Avocado Salsa. These were really easy to make and so delicious! This is something you could find on a restaurant menu, but can easily make at home.

4. Eating – For another date night this week we went out to eat to Table 9. Our neighbor gave us a gift card after we took of her cats while she and her family went away, earlier this summer. My husband enjoyed chicken and waffles and I had a very unphotogenic crab cake hoagie!

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5. Watching – Without the kids home, my husband and I get the television all to ourselves! We’ve been switching between watching The Chef Show and Ugly Delicious, both on Netflix.

This week on the blog I wrote about the recently opened Hudson Valley Food Hall.

On this week’s podcast episode we discuss Minnewaska State Park, Boundless Adventures and Meal Planning. I posted the show notes to this episode as well.

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Summer Days Driftin’ Away…}

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Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week. The summer is starting to feel like it’s over. Today the kids have their last day of summer camp. They are spending next week with the in-laws up in Ulster County while my husband and I work. Tomorrow, my daughter had requested we do some back-to-school shopping. Wish me luck! Here are five from this week:

1. Supper Club – Last weekend we hosted our monthly supper club. This month’s theme was Brazilian and I made this Brazilian Fish stew. It was pretty easy to make and very tasty. Although really, everything was delicious, as usual. It’s a lot of fun trying new cuisines to cook!

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2. Reading – This week I finished The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I had mentioned in last Friday’s post. I have started reading Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. It’s the sequel to Beartown, which I loved. Even though I just started this, I know I’m going to love it just as much.

3. Hudson Valley Food Hall – This food hall recently opened in Beacon, so of course we had to check it out. One of the dishes we enjoyed were these momos (Himalayan dumplings). It was a mixed bowl that included two chicken, two beef and two spinach and cheese. I will have a full post next week about this new eatery.

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4. Watching – So I’ve previously mentioned that I recently read The Bone Collector. I remember watching the movie YEARS ago, and decided that I needed to watch it again after reading the book. Well, the movie isn’t as good as I remembered! And I found it to be a lot different than the book. Lesson learned.

5. Cooking – It worked so well having my daughter pick a recipe and cook dinner one night a week, that this week I had my son take a turn. He chose this Bacon Mac and Cheese. I of course supervise and assist when needed, but it’s been great watching them gain cooking skills and take ownership of dinner. Too bad they aren’t around next week! I hope that we can keep this up during the school year, but we will have to see how busy their schedules get.

This week on the blog I shared my July 2019 Reads.

I also posted the show notes to Episode 4 of the NY Foodie Family Podcast.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

Five on Friday {It’s a Sunshine Day!}

Hooray for Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week. It was pretty uneventful here for us, which I call a win!  My daughter attended a local field hockey camp in preparation for the upcoming school year, where she plays on the modified field hockey team.  My son was at the regular town camp all week. This weekend we are hosting our monthly supper club. This month’s theme is Brazilian, which I’m sure will be a tasty dinner! Here are five from this week:

  1. Birthday Celebration – my husband’s side of the family came over this past weekend to celebrate my son’s birthday.  Even though he turned 11 almost a month ago, this was the first day that we were all free. My son requested chicken parm.  We also made meatballs, sausage, pasta, Caesar salad and garlic bread. It was delicious and we had leftovers for a few meals! Is it sad that the only pics I have of our food is the sauce simmering on the stove and the meatballs, pictured above, frying in the pan?!!

2. Listening – Dinner Sisters podcast. Each week, hosts Kate Schulz and Betsy Wallace pick the same recipes to cook for their family from popular bloggers and cookbooks. Then they make the recipes and review them for the listener. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and I love hearing their opinions. I’m only four episodes in so far, but there are currently 74 episodes. I’m one of those listeners that like to start at the beginning and make my way forward. So I have lots of episodes to catch up on! I have yet to make any recipes that they have talked about though.

3. Cooking – My daughter has requested that we eat more vegetarian meals. So this week I made this Corn and Zucchini Goat Cheese Quiche with Lemon and Basil. Last night she made Egg and Tomato Open-Faced Sandwiches and tonight we will have pizza.

4. Reading – This week my work book club met to discuss Verity.  Everyone liked it which was nice since I’m the one who recommended it!  We picked The Art of Racing in the Rain for our next read. I read this book years ago and am looking forward to a reread.  I even have it on hand from the library since I just had my daughter read it. I’m always on the lookout for good books for her to read besides the typical YA stuff she enjoys.  If you have any good teen book recommendations, please share! I’m currently finishing up Born a Crime by Trevor Noah for my library’s adult summer BINGO game. It completes my BINGO win for the category, book by a celebrity or public figure.

5. Podcast – This week on the podcast we discuss Playland Park, local produce, adult summer reading and the NY Renaissance Faire.  Then we end with our Quick Hits of the week!

This week on the blog I shared 5 Recommened Peekskill Eats.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Happy August}

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Happy Friday!  I cannot believe that it is August already!  I know some kids are heading back to school soon, but here in New York, my kids don’t go back until Labor Day.  I feel like there’s so much I still want to do but the weather has been so hot and humid, that we don’t really want to be outdoors. Plus, we are running out of free weekends!  Besides a couple of trips to Rhode Island, we didn’t have much of a vacation. But I feel like we’ve been so busy! We have a big trip planned over Thanksgiving though so we are excited and looking forward to that. This weekend my car has to go in for an air bag recall. Then we are going to a concert at West Point on Saturday night. Sunday, my husband’s family is coming over for a belated birthday celebration for our son. It should be a fun weekend. Here are five from this week:

1. Boy Scout Camp – so all week we thought our son was having a good time at Boy Scout Camp.  My husband picked him up Saturday and when he got home he told us that he actually hated it.  There wasn’t just one particular thing, but a combination of lots of bugs (and bug bites! He was covered!), smelly bathrooms and being away from us for a week.  We told him we were proud of him for putting up a good front and sticking it out.

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2. Reading – I finished The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver  this week. I think I read it in three days! I watched the movie, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, years ago, but don’t recall reading the book.  It was fast paced and suspenseful. I now have to watch the movie again! And I just put the second book in the series, The Coffin Dancer on hold at the library!

3. Eating – Doughnuts! Last weekend I tried a new-to-us doughnut shop called Peaceful Provisions. They are a local, women-owned family doughnut shop that is vegan. They make everything from scratch in small batches. These doughnuts were a bit on the expensive side, but so good!

4. Cooking – I had a bit of meltdown recently feeling unappreciated (especially by the teenage daughter!) with all of the meal planning and cooking I do.  So I made her plan a recipe and cook it this week. She chose and made this Creamy Cherry Tomato and Squash Pasta, mostly by herself.  This has gone so well I told my husband and son that they also need to start planning and cooking one weeknight meal. We shall see how this goes!

5. Impromptu date night – A neighboring town had a music festival last Saturday. After my son came home we helped him unpack and had dinner together. But then he wanted to catch up on missed Fornite time and my daughter didn’t want to go out. So, my husband and I went to see the last band of the day, River of Dreams. By their name, you might be able to tell that they are a Billy Joel cover band. They were actually pretty good and who doesn’t Billy Joel?!!

This week on the blog I shared a post about visiting Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

Sharing with Friday Favorites!  Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Last in July}

Hooray for the weekend!  I was exhausted on Monday and unfortunately, it didn’t get much better as the week went on.  I’m glad that the temps finally dropped a little bit this week and we actually got to turn off the air and open the windows for a couple of evenings. Saturday I’m looking forward to seeing my son who has been away all week at Boy Scout Camp! My husband is leaving the house around 5 AM to get up to the camp by the 8:30 AM pick-up time! I volunteered to keep him company on the drive, but he’s actually carpooling with another dad…..so I get to sleep in! I have a feeling that when they get back my son is going to be wanting sushi for dinner. I’m not sure how good the camp food was and he loves his sushi! Here are some highlights from this past week:

  1. Supper Club – Last weekend we had our monthly supper club.  This month’s theme was California. My husband made Sriracha Turkey Burgers.  I chose dessert and made this Candied Citrus Ricotta Cake. I was pretty proud of myself because 1. I never bake.  Unless you count boxed brownies, rice krispy treats….and the occasional cookie or muffin. 2. It just turned out so pretty!  So even if it tasted bad I’d be okay because it looked good. But it actually tasted really good!

2. New York State Museum – My husband and I dropped our son off at Boy Scout Camp on Sunday.  It was an over 3 hour drive to get him there. On the way back we ended up stopping in Albany and visited the New York State Museum, since my husband had never been.

3. Eating – we stopped for dinner at City Beer Hall in Albany.  My husband enjoyed a beer flight and we shared some delicious pork buns and this Greek Island Beef and Reef platter.  It included hanger steak souvlaki, grilled octopus, tzatziki, fries, heirloom tomato, cucumber and herb salad and pita. Everything was cooked perfectly and it was so good! I’ve found a new tasty combo – fries in tzatziki sauce!

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4. Reading – I’m currently reading A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. This is an older book that has been on my to read list for awhile. With the word summer right in the title, I thought it would make a good, seasonal read. I’m not loving it yet, but it’s gotten pretty good reviews, so I won’t be giving up on it.

Our Podcast!!!! – I saved the best for last.  But yes, NY Foodie Family is now a podcast! The first official episode, minus our short intro episode, was published yesterday!  Would love for you to check it out!

This week on the blog I shared a post about visiting Playland in Rye.

I also shared the show notes for Episode 1 of the podcast!

Sharing with Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {Long, Hot Week!}

Hooray for the weekend!  This has been one long, HOT week!  We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Tomorrow night we have our “California” themed supper club. Our daughter is going to Hershey Park this weekend with a friend of hers and we drop our son off at sleep away Boy Scout Camp on Sunday. Here are five from this past week:

1.Birthday Boy – Last Sunday my son turned 11.  He went with a couple of friends to see the new Spider-Man movie.  Then they went to lunch at IHOP and had frozen yogurt from TCBY. We went out to dinner to Palace Dumplings, at his request, for all the dumplings!  This restaurant makes so many different varieties and they are all so good!

2. Reading – I am almost finished reading The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda.  It’s a suspense read that I’m almost finished with and that I’m feeling so-so about.  I’m curious to know how it will end but it has felt very repetitive.

3 Watching – We finally finished the third season of Stranger Things.  It was a great season but definitely more horror-like than I was expecting.

4. Tomato Plants – Look at how well my tomato plants are doing!  I’m so excited to actually have some tomatoes this season. My husband made some adjustments to our box system this year and the plants have been thriving!

5. Farmer’s Market – There’s a farmer’s market within walking distance of my husband’s office.  I’ve decided that he should go every week to try out all the vendors. This week he picked up some fruit and veggies.  Last night he made beet chips with the orange beets and they were delicious!

This week on the blog I shared 20 Fun Things to Do in Putnam County.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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Five on Friday {The Kids Come Back!}

So glad it’s Friday. And in the summer, that means I get out of work at 12 PM! And today we get our kids back! They have been in New Hampshire with my sister and her family for the past week enjoying time with their cousins. You would think my husband and I would be living up a child-free week……well, not quite. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

1. Cat sitting – We trade cat sitting duties with our neighbors. When we’re away, they take care of our cats and when they are away we take care of their cats. However, once of their cats was recently diagnosed with diabetes and needs an insulin shot twice a day, 10-15 minutes after she eats. Well, almost two hours of every day (one in the AM before work and one in the PM) was spent this week at their house taking care of the cats. Which did not leave us a lot of time for a date night.

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2. Watching – This week we have been watching Stranger Things season 3 and have only one more episode to go. This season really felt like a horror movie to me. While it’s been suspenseful it’s also been a bit gross and scary!

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3. Reading – I haven’t had much reading time this week but I’m about half-way through The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. It’s a fun, light summer read that I’m hoping to finish this weekend.

4. Cooking – With the kids away, we’ve been cooking all the foods that the kids don’t like – farro, tofu and these stuffed portobello mushrooms. These were so good and something the kids would never eat!

5. Date Night – Last night after we finished our last cat sitting duties, my husband and I did get a chance to go out to dinner. We tried a new-to-us local restaurant where we shared a couple of dishes. Our fave was this burrata served over fried eggplant and roasted peppers, topped with a pistachio basil pesto oil and a balsamic reduction.

This week on the blog I shared my June Reads.

Have a great weekend! Sharing with Friday Favorites.

Five on Friday {4th of July Weekend}

Did you have a fun time celebrating the 4th of July? We are back in Rhode Island for the holiday weekend to spend a couple more days with my family. My sister will be leaving tomorrow for New Hampshire to visit her mother-in-law in and is taking my kids with her for the week. They get to enjoy some more cousin time while my husband and I head back to work. Here are some highlights from last weekend’s trip to Rhode Island and some other highlights from the week:

1. Beach Reading – Reading at the beach is one of my favorite summer activities. I just finished One Day in December by Josie Silver this week. It was a cute chick lit/romance read, perfect for the beach.

2. Fishing – It’s an annual tradition for us to go fishing with our dad. It was a small group this year with just my dad, sister me and our husbands. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything (that we could keep), which hasn’t happened in awhile. Regardless, it was such a beautiful day to be out on the water.

3. Seafood – It’s also tradition to stop at Iggy’s on the way home and pick up clam chowder and clam cakes for lunch. This time we also picked up some clam strips and fried calamari. There’s nothing like seafood by the seashore!

4. KitsbyKitsby is a baking kit company where you pick the recipe and they ship everything pre-measured to you (minus a few ingredients like eggs). The recipes are pretty fancy and things that I normally wouldn’t decide to try on my own. They sent us a kit to try out and the kids and I made these Earl Grey Mini Cakes. They weren’t a huge fan of the tea flavor but we had fun making them together. Kitsby also has a bakery/storefront in Brooklyn, but I don’t ever travel there!

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5. Watching – My daughter and I watched the movie Isn’t It Romantic earlier this week. I’m glad we opted to wait to watch it on DVD. I like Rebel Wilson, but the movie felt too similar to I Feel Pretty and not as good.

6. Tween Summer Reads – The “Summer Slide” is real and kids lose so many of their math and reading skills during the long summer break. National Geographic Kids kindly sent me some of their newest releases and my kids are loving them! I love that they can work on their critical thinking skills with Brain Games. They love reading all the interesting facts in Weird But True! USA and the 2020 Almanac. They are working on non-fiction reading skills and learning, but don’t even realize it! It’s important to me that they are reading and working in actual books, since they get so much screen time in the summer.

Hope you have a great weekend! Sharing with Friday Favorites!

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Five on Friday {Take Me to the Beach}

Happy Friday! As you read this, I am currently in Rhode Island. The kids had their last day of school Wednesday and then we headed up to my parent’s house in Rhode Island for a long weekend. We are kicking off summer with some much needed rest and relaxation. My sister is up with her family as well so the kids are getting lots of cousin time too. Last weekend was super busy and I’d love to fill you in on all the family fun we had!

1.Strawberry Picking – June is strawberry picking season. We tried a new to us farm, Saunderskill Farm, a little over an hour’s drive away. There is nothing like ripe, freshly picked strawberries. They just scream summer! And they only cost $3/pound!

2. Vietnamese Food – After we went strawberry picking we headed into New Paltz for some lunch. It’s a college town with lots of restaurants. We found a Vietnamese restaurant and enjoyed a tasty lunch, including this pho.

3. Hot Air Balloon Festival – Sunday we got up at 4 AM to make it to Barton Orchards. We wanted to be there for the sunrise and to see the hot air balloons at the Empire State Hot Air Balloon Festival take off. It was a fun experience. Now, I want to take a ride in a hot air balloon!

4. Farmer’s Market + Animals – We got home from the hot air balloon festival and I took a much needed nap! Then my husband, son and I went to the Muscoot Farmer’s Market. We picked up some veggies for dinner and then since it’s a farm, we had to visit the animals!

5. Game of Thrones – So this past week my husband and I finally finished watching season 3 of GOT. I was recently warned about the dramatic scene in episode 9. But I still didn’t see it coming!

ICYMI this week on the blog I shared what was Cooking Lately in June.

Sharing with Friday Favorites…..have a great weekend!