I love Chinese takeout! It’s our go-to when we don’t have the time or energy to cook. Thanks to MaxEx PR, I discovered the recently opened Chigo Cin Hawthorne, which is bringing Chinese takeout to a whole new level.
Chigo, named as a combination of “Chinese to Go” is located on Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne. The restaurant only does takeout and delivery, but they deliver to over 20 towns throughout Westchester County (New York) and Fairfield County (Connecticut). They even have their own app to make ordering easy.
When you get your food, don’t think you’re going to be eating regular Chinese takeout. Chigo uses fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients. The prices may be a little higher than your standard Chinese takeout, but the quality is so much better. My husband and son were running errands in White Plains and stopped to pick up our order on the way home. In our family of four we have two vegans, one vegetarian (myself) and one meat eater.
I think I ordered almost every vegetable dish on the menu! From the Dim Sum section I ordered scallion pancakes and vegetable spring rolls. They also have Firecracker Spring Rolls, Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs, Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Classic Crab Rangoon and more.
They serve four different dumplings, including a Shanghai Soup Dumpling. We went with the pan fried Vegetable Dumplings.
We also ordered Organic Vegetable Fried Rice, Shanghai Lo Mein Noodles (mild) and the Chinatown Stir Fry with Tofu. For an additional cost you can add chicken, beef, shrimp pork or tofu to any of the rice and stir fry dishes.
And for my son, I ordered Berkshire Pork Bao Buns, since he’s the only meat eater in the family and loves these!
We enjoyed our dinner and could taste the difference between our local Chinese takeout and this meal. Portions are on the smaller side. Whereas I thought that I had over ordered for the four of us, it was actually the perfect amount of food. Even though we ordered fried rice, I was surprised that we didn’t receive any white rice to go with the stir fry.
Chigo also serves a variety of “classic” Chinese dishes like Sesame Chicken, Chicken & Broccoli, Classic Peking Duck, Fiery Pepper Steak and more. These dishes can be ordered in either half or full sizes.
We are not strict vegans and vegetarians. However, when I called to order I did ask if the vegetable dishes I ordered were vegan/vegetarian. Please be aware that most of them are not. They noted that they use chicken powder for flavoring in many of the dishes. The items that they could make vegan for us included the fried rice and the vegetable stir-fry. Since vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular, I think it would be helpful if they noted on their menu which dishes were or could be made vegan/vegetarian.
Chigo is worth checking out to taste a new spin on Chinese takeout.
The Details: Chigo Chinese Restaurant 58 Saw Mill River Road Hawthorne, NY 10532 (914) 495-3323
Hours: Open daily 5 PM – 10 PM for takeout or delivery
Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week! We spent a lovely weekend in Rhode Island visiting my parents and helping them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The kids start school in a little over a week and a half. With the hybrid model and the students split up by last name, my daughter is very upset that she won’t be with her besties. So this week, both kids have been all about hanging out with their friends and getting in some last social time before school starts. We are currently at Villa Roma Resort in the Catskills, enjoying some end of summer fun. Here are five from this week:
1.Beach Time – We are so fortunate my parents live so close to the beach. This view never gets old.
2. Reading – I am finishing up Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins. It’s a contemporary fiction book that I’m finding is an okay read. I haven’t had much reading time this week but hope to finish it this weekend.
3. Cooking- This week we haven’t cooked much, but we did enjoy these Corn and Zucchini Enchiladas from Two Peas and Their Pod. Since my son and I have transitioned from vegan to vegetarian (me) and meat eating (him), I have been finding recipes that I can adapt to please us all. This one was easy to do with leaving cheese out and on top of half of the enchiladas.
4. Playing – Over the weekend we introduced the kids to Liverpool Rummy. I grew up playing this card game with my grandparents and it was fun to start the tradition with my kids playing with their grandparents.
5. Eating – While visiting my parents, they picked the restaurant and made the reservations, but we treated them to dinner for their anniversary. We had a delicious dinner at the Chapel Grille in Cranston, Rhode Island. I enjoyed this Eggplant Napoleon alla norma
We also ordered takeout from a new Chinese restaurant, Chigo in Hawthorne. I have a blog post coming next week, but these were some tasty vegetable dumplings!
Hidden in the outskirts of the city of Beacon, you will find Madam Brett Park. This 12 acre park is one of the 45 parks created by Scenic Hudson. The park may be small, but it is here that you will find the impressive Tioronda Falls.
We visited this park mid-day on a recent Saturday afternoon. There is a small parking lot that can hold about 16 cars. There is also room along the gravel entrance road to park, although I’m not sure this is sanctioned parking.
There are two hiking trails that can be accessed at Madam Brett Park. The white trail runs 0.6 miles and the red trail is a 700 feet loop that is connected to the white trail. Our main reason for this visit was to see Tioronda Falls rather than getting in a hike. I love waterfalls and am on a quest to see as many as I can in New York! From the parking lot, it is a short walk to reach the falls.
There are a couple of different viewing spots of the falls, depending on how close you want to get. The closer you get though, the more adventurous you have to be. First there’s a short iron catwalk that must be traversed. Luckily, there’s a railing to hold on to.
Then, you will have to walk across the ledge of the Tioronda Dam. There happened to be a fallen tree lying across it, possibly from the recent Hurricane that passed through.
The end of the trail and the highest viewing spot of the falls is this observation deck. However, there were already people sitting up there and they didn’t look like they were leaving any time soon. Since we were practicing social distancing, we didn’t join them.
We ventured down off the trail to get to this closer view of the falls. We didn’t stay long, as there were other groups waiting to come down. However, it was so picturesque.
There was a lot of foliage overgrowth. But don’t be deceived. Although these flowers are pretty and were attracting lots of butterflies, they are actually an invasive species.
After you view the falls, walk past the parking lot to access the boardwalk that runs adjacent to Fishkill Creek. This will lead you to the rest of the white trail.
You will walk past the remnants of the Tioronda Hat Works. In January of 2017, a massive fire broke out here. Fortunately, fire fighters were able to prevent the fire from reaching the boardwalk. We turned around shortly after crossing the boardwalk. However, the white trail continues to the marsh.
The Details: Madam Brett Park – A Scenic Hudson Park 560 South Avenue Beacon, NY 12508
Parking: Free Open: Dusk to dawn, year-round Length: White trail – 0.6 miles Red trail – 700 feet loop You can access the Dennings Point Trail via the white trail
*There are no bathroom facilities here *Dogs are allowed on a leash *Fishing, X-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted * Be careful making the turn into the park. You must drive through a narrow, one-lane underpass. Both entering and leaving, we had close calls with other cars.
Happy Friday! We are currently in Rhode Island for a long weekend to help my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were first supposed to have a huge party, which then got downgraded to a smaller backyard gathering. But with all the state restrictions still in place, they ultimately had to cancel the party. My brother and sister couldn’t come up and fortunately, RI recently came off the 14 day quarantine list for NY state, so we could come and celebrate with them! This, along with my brother-in-law’s wedding get added to the list of events that were canceled thanks to COVID. While we are her, I’m looking to enjoy some relaxing beach time and maybe a hike. Here are five from this week:
1.Waterfalls – I love waterfalls. Saturday we drove to Madam Brett Park where we got to enjoy seeing this beauty! I had no idea this was even in Beacon until I did a search for hikes and parks in the city.
2. Reading – I just finished Pretty Things by Janelle Brown. It was a pretty mystery thriller. I’ve brought a bunch of books with me to Rhode Island, since a long car ride and the beach = lots of reading time!
One outdoor activity that both my tween and teen are always up for is playing a round of mini golf. While it’s often a vacation activity for us, there isn’t much vacationing currently happening. Since mini golf is a fun, social-distance-friendly family activity, we decided to check out the various courses in Westchester County. Read on for information, ratings and our reviews of each of the courses we visited.
Please remember to check with the locations directly for the most up-to-date information.
Review: The Brookside Mini Golf course is located in Tibbetts Brook Park, a Westchester County Park and has been operating since 2002. It is a short walk from the parking lot, past the pool house, to get to the golf course. We visited on a Saturday and there was a constant flow of visitors.
The course was recently renovated and it shows. The putting greens were in good condition and most of the waterfalls and water features were running.
There were a couple of obstacles including the a loop (that we saw at every mini golf course!), a clown mouth and a bridge.
There was lots of plants and bushes planted throughout the course, giving the course a nice “curb appeal.” This is the only mini golf course that has a par for each hole printed on the score card. Unfortunately, the holes are not numbered here. However, following the cement path leads you to each hole.
To keep germs to a minimum, you can choose the color ball you want, but the attendant hands the ball and club to you. Once you are finished playing, everything is wiped down with sanitizing wipes.
There is a limited food menu including pretzels, pizza and nachos as well as various frozen ice cream novelties. However, we thought $5 for a Chipwich or a SpongeBob ice cream pop was a bit steep.
If you want to make a day of it, bring your suits and enjoy the pool and slides (Be sure to check first if they are open. During our recent visit, the pool was closed. There is a separate admission for the pool).
Course: 9-hole mini golf course Cost: Free, but only open to Town of Cortlandt (and Village of Buchanan and Croton) residents Hours of Operation: Closed Mondays Tuesday – Friday: 2 PM – 7:30 PM Saturday & Sunday: 12 PM – 7:30 PM Parking: Free
Review coming soon!
Playland Park (Rye) 1 Playland Parkway Rye, NY 10580 (914) 813-7010
Course: 18-hole mini golf course Cost: $5/per person Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Closed Mondays Parking: $10
Review: Playland Mini Golf wins hands down for best atmosphere. Nowhere else in Westchester County can you play miniature golf with views of the Long Island Sound. With the boardwalk and the beach right next to the course, it feels like you’re on a vacation.
I mean, look at how close to the water you are! At $5 per person, it is also the cheapest miniature golf course. However, you do have to pay $10 to park, so the overall cost is comparable to the other courses.
Each hole was easily identifiable by a number.
The course itself is a tad run down. Some of the holes had patchwork and mismatched putting green material. It was the easiest of the courses we visited though, with three of us getting holes in one.
There are some fun features, like this waterfall, a gazebo and a well.
Playland Mini Golf is the only course that enforces social distancing. They only allow two to three groups on the course at a time. A new group cannot start playing until the previous group has gotten to hole 9, the waterfall. It is likely you will have to wait for a little bit to play. They also wipe down and sanitize the balls and clubs before you play.
Overall: This was a fun golf course with beautiful views. Definitely worth a visit.
Saxon Woods Park (White Plains) 1800 Mamaroneck Avenue White Plains, NY 10605 (914) 924-4644
Course: 19-hole mini golf course Cost: $9/adult, $7/children under 10 (Cash or credit) Hours of Operation: June – September – 12 PM to 8 PM
Review: The Saxon Woods Park Mini Golf Course is located in Saxon Woods Park, a Westchester County Park. It’s part of the 700-acre property that includes the county’s largest swimming pool, ball fields, an 18-hole golf course, playground and hiking trails and is run by Powell Catering Service. We visited on a recent Saturday and there was a constant flow of visitors. There was even a birthday party that was being set up during our visit.
This was one of the few courses that we visited that had rules posted for play.
This mini golf course sits inside a natural forest and stream area and has the most shade of all the courses we visited. Unfortunately, it sits adjacent to Mamaroneck Avenue, so you see and hear all of the traffic going by.
Each hole was labeled with a number. This was the only course we visited that had flags in the holes to help identify the target.
There are frozen ice cream novelties for purchase at the admission booth and a food concessions stand next door.
Overall: This was one of the nicer mini golf courses that we visited with a not-too-difficult course.
Review: Established in 1994, this miniature golf course is only one of the attractions at the Yorktown Golf & Baseball Center. The facility also houses a 2-tiered driving range and eight batting cages. Unfortunately, the miniature golf course does not appear to have been updated since it was built. During our visit, the waterfall and ponds were not filled, leaving empty cement structures. The putting green is separated from the cement. The score cards do not have a par printed, nor did we see a maximum number of strokes. However, we limited ourselves to a 5 stroke max on each hole. We found some of the holes (1 and 15) especially difficult.
Overall: This is a bare bones, miniature golf course that is in need of some major upkeep. The course lacks fun features and was our least favorite of the courses we visited.
Happy Friday. I have never looked more forward to the weekends than these past couple of weeks. Working in the HR department of a school district getting ready for back-to-school during this time has been crazy! Last week Hurricane Isaias hit New York. We fortunately didn’t lose power, but we did lose our cable and internet. My 12 and 14 year-old would tell you this was as bad as not having electricity since they couldn’t use any of their electronics. While I couldn’t get last Friday’s post up, I enjoyed the electronic break. I ended up reading three books in three days! Here are five from this week:
1.Reading – I am currently reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. This is a historical family saga that takes place in Korea and Japan throughout the 20th century.
2. Eating – Friday my parents were in town so they came over for dinner and brought pizza.
We tried the Vegan Espresso Chip Ice Cream sandwich from The Blue Pig in Croton on Hudson.
Sunday we ordered takeout from Asian restaurant Fatt Root. One of our faves was this Tofu Broccoli Satay Bowl.
3. Mini-Golf – The past couple of weekends we have been visiting the different outdoor mini golf courses throughout Westchester County. I’ll be reviewing them in an upcoming post, but it’s been a fun family activity.
4. Cooking – One of this week’s favorite meals was Vegan Udon Noodle Cabbage Stir Fry from The Savory Vegan. My daughter cooked, so that made it even better, since I didn’t have to!
5. Boy Scout Court of Honor – This week my son’s Boy Scout troop held their Court of Honor at the local park and my son was the Master of Ceremony (MC) for the event.
ICYMI this week on the blog I shared my July Reads.
And just like that July is over. It was a great reading month for me with a lot of 4 and 5 star reads! As always, I’m sharing my July reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here’s to continued great reading in August!
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – (Mystery/Thriller) On her 25th birthday, an adopted girl inherits her birth family’s home. We learn about the house’s past and the family that used to live there. This was my fourth Jewell read and my least favorite so far. Definitely a creepier and more bizarre read than I was expecting.
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey – (romance) Girl: isn’t taken seriously by her family and works as a clown for kid’s parties. Boy: Best friends with girl’s brother, known as a “player” and is back home nursing an athletic injury and his ego. Both want to be taken more seriously and come up with an agreement that will hopefully benefit them both. This book has some steamy sex scenes but some of the sexual references were eye roll inducing.
I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman – (Contemporary Fiction/Chick Lit) A workaholic mom and her teen daughter embark on an organized East Coast college bus tour. The two get to know each other and test their relationship amidst some drama. As a mother of a teen daughter, I could relate well to their relationship. A light, entertaining read. I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Garden of Small Beginnings.
The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms – (contemporary fiction/chick-lit) A social media influencer gets dumped by her fiance right before their wedding. She eventually realizes that she needs to try living life offline. However, while she thinks she has “gone dark” on social media, her account is hacked and impersonated by a very tech savvy individual. This book was more deep than I expected. Harms also wrote The Overdue Life of Amy Byler which I had enjoyed.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – (contemporary fiction/romance) The night of her proposal, a young woman gets a short glimpse five years into her future. She then tries to change the future that she saw. This emotional read was a love story that also touched on the power of friendship. It was a little heavier than what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal – (fiction) A family saga that follows two estranged sisters who take different life paths but both end up in the beer-making world. This was a fun, heart-warming read that gave me a lot more insight into the craft brewery world.
The Vanishing Halfby Britt Bennett – (historical fiction/literary fiction) Twin African American sisters run away from home at 16 years of age. One twin passes for white and ends up keeping her past a secret. The other moves back home with her black daughter. This story follows their life paths and how the choices they’ve made affect those around them. The book is being made into a limited HBO series. It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I got invested in the characters it had me hooked. Unfortunately, I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and wanted more.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas – (YA Fantasy) Girl hunting to keep her poor family alive mistakenly kills a Fae. As a consequence she must live her life with her captor in a magical kingdom. She is then tasked with having to break an ancient curse if she wishes to save him. This book is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book, but I’m glad I finally did. This is not my usual reading genre, but it was a very engaging story.
A Good Neighborhoodby Therese Ann Fowler – (contemporary fiction) Oak Knoll is a “good neighborhood” filled with close knit neighbors. The book focuses on two neighboring families that differ in race and wealth and how their lives intertwine. This is a tragic story but very relevant.
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain – (historical fiction) Set in a rural North Carolina town, this book tells the story of the Eugenics program and its impact on one particular family and the young social worker assigned to help them. I didn’t realize before reading this book that the Eugenics Program was a real thing. This was an enlightening read.
Happy Friday! It’s crazy that today is the last day of July. Even amidst a pandemic, the month seems to have flown by. Before we know it, we will be getting ready for back to school…..whatever that may look like. New York schools had to submit their reopening plans to the Governor today and we will find out next week whether he approves them. I really feel like my kids need to be in school, at least for a couple of days, mostly for the socialization. However, there are so many challenges. And with the recent upticks in numbers throughout the country, I am keeping my fingers crossed that New York remains at our current, stabilized numbers. I guess we will find out next week and can then start finalizing what we want to do. As for weekend plans…..nothing is definite as of last night, when I’m typing this. But Sunday they are calling for possible thunderstorms, so we have to find something to do outside on Saturday. Here are five from this week:
1. NYBG – Last week the New York Botanical Gardens finally reopened for members (and this week to the public). Saturday we braved the heat and took a drive down to the Bronx for a visit. I loved looking at all the flowers and plants. But it was HOT! And they aren’t running the tram, so there was a lot of walking as well. We discovered the tropical courtyard, which along with the rose garden were my faves. It wasn’t a super long visit due to the heat, but an enjoyable one.
2. Reading – I just finished The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. This was my first Jewell book that I thought was just okay. I just started Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison, which is another suspense/mystery book. I’m a little nervous that I’m getting tired of this genre, which used to be a fave.
3. Making – My son wanted to make some popsicles. So, I dug out our popsicle holders and this week we made Orange Mango Coconut popsicles. They are vegan and were very refreshing. We are looking forward to trying different flavor combinations.
And Cooking: Our favorite dinner this week was a Caramelized Corn and Tomato Tarte Tatin from Half Baked Harvest. The corn at the grocery store wasn’t looking so great so I used some zucchini instead. I served it with an arugula, tomato, avocado salad for a delicious, light, summer meal.
4. Watching – What haven’t I been watching?!! Work has been crazy busy with school reopening stuff and I come home exhausted! At night I just want to sit on the couch. My evenings have been spent watching Indian Matchmaking. My daughter and I have started season 1 of America’s Next Top Model and Dana and I have been watching Alone. Reality binge watching at its finest! LOL!
5. Skateboarding – Back in June my daughter got a long board. Then we got my son a skateboard for his birthday in July. The kids have been going out skateboarding almost every day. It’s fun seeing how much they’ve improved over the course of a couple of weeks.
Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week. I am loving my summer Fridays because this was another crazy work week. It’s going to be another hot weekend but hopefully the weather will be bearable enough for us to spend a little time outside. Here are five from this week:
1.Magazzino Italian Art – Saturday we visited Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring. I have a whole post write up, linked below. It was a great way to spend a hot afternoon. While we don’t like to be in indoor places, we felt 100% safe with all of the safety precautions that they have implemented.
2. Ice Cream – Did you know that last Sunday was National Ice Cream Day?! Yeah, neither did I until I saw all the posts on Instagram. We ended up getting ice cream Saturday at Moo Moo’s Creamery in Cold Spring. I had heard lots of good things about this place, so we finally went and tried it. The cookie dough was super creamy but a little light on the cookie dough chunks. It’s located right next to the river, so we got to enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson River while we ate.
3. Drinking – I’m not a big drinker. However, when I do drink, I usually prefer a hard cider. Ace Pineapple Cider is so good! I love a sweet cider and this one is perfect!
4. Watching/Listening – I’ve been on a David Chang kick this past week. I have been watching Season 2 of Ugly Delicious on Netflix, which is a short season with only 4 episodes. I’m already halfway through so will have it finished over the weekend. I’ve also been listening to his podcast The Dave Chang Show. I’ve never eaten at any of his restaurants but I’d like to!
5. Reading – I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett this week. It was a really good read about a set of light colored African American twins. One of the twins lives with her African American daughter in her childhood home. The other twin passes for white and lives a life hiding this secret. It follows the twins and their daughters over several decades. The book is going to be turned into an HBO limited series.
Have you ever driven by a place numerous times and never realized what exactly it was? That was our case with Magazzino Italian Art. This art museum is located right on Route 9 in Cold Spring. It was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu and opened on June 28, 2017. The 20,000 square-foot museum features postwar contemporary Italian art displayed in 8 galleries.
Magazzino welcomed guests for the first time in 4 months on July 10th with multiple safety measures in place. Admission is by timed reservations only and parties are limited to a maximum of six guests. Guests must wear a mask at all times.
Upon arrival, guests get a contact-free temperature check. They are also each provided an EGOpro device on a lanyard, that will quietly alert you if you get too close to another party. The museum has one way traffic flow that is marked with arrows. Guests are encouraged to take their time in each gallery as reservations include only one lap of the building, to provide a safe flow of foot traffic. Once inside, you can scan a QR code on their phone to access the digital museum guide for information on the exhibits. This was a nice feature.
Until September 7th, you can see the special exhibition “Homemade” in gallery 8. This exhibit features more than 30 works of art from eight New York-based artists that were created during COVID quarantine. It goes to show that challenging times can result in works of inspired beauty. We probably spent the most time in gallery 8 as it was the most relatable for us.
Make sure to leave time to stroll around the grounds after your museum visit. A variety of flowers are planted on the grounds, including lavender that smelled wonderful!
At the top of the hill, accessible from either the steps in the parking lot, or the gravel walking path from the museum, are donkeys! A baby was born just two weeks ago, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him, as he was hiding inside the shady barn.
Picnic tables and two tree swings are next to the donkey pen. You can enjoy a snack here and kids will have fun swinging.
It is evident, in the measures that they are taking, that the staff of Magazzino Italian Art takes the safety of their visitors seriously. We felt very safe and the 90 minute time allotment for our reservation was plenty for us to enjoy the exhibits.
I would not recommend this museum for families with young children, unless they are VERY closely supervised. There are a ton of fragile art pieces at their reach and on the floor. However, reservations are not needed to access the grounds.
Escape the summer heat with a visit to Magazzino and enjoy viewing Italian art!
The Details: Magazzino Italian Art (museum) 2700 Route 9 Cold Spring, NY 10516 (845) 666-7202
Hours: Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM Tuesday: CLOSED Wednesday: CLOSED Thursday: 11 AM – 5 PM Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM Saturday: 11 AM – 5 PM Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Admission: Free – but advanced reservations required
Parking: Magazzino has its own parking lot with free parking