Podcast Episode 2 {Ice Cream}

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In Episode 2 of the NY Foodie Family podcast we discuss:

Segment 1: Ice Cream Holidays and different types of ice cream treats

Segment 2: Freak Shakes
Westchester County Freak Shakes (blog post)
Places we visited and talked about:
Lazy Boy Saloon (White Plains)
Sugar-Hi (Armonk)
Mt. Kisco Diner (Mt. Kisco)
The Hudson Creamery (Peekskill)

Segment 3: Ice Cream Places we have tried
The Hudson Creamery (Peekskill)
King Kone (Somers)
The Pub’s Brownie Sundae (at Empire City Casino, Yonkers)
T-Swirl Crepe (White Plains)

Ice Cream Places we Want to Visit:
Bona Bona Ice Cream (Port Chester)
Penny Lick Ice Cream (Hastings on Hudson)
Moo Moo’s Creamery (Cold Spring)
The Blue Pig (Croton-on-Hudson)
Bellvale Farms Creamery (Warwick)
Joe’s Dairy Bar & Grill (Hopewell Junction)
Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn (Lagrangeville)

Segment 4: Store Bought Ice Cream
Turkey Hill: American Dream Triopolitan
Breyers: Ice Cream Cake
Ben & Jerry’s: Everything But The….
Haagen Daz: Green Tea and Pineapple Coconut
Coolhaus: Dirty Mint Chip
Steve’s: non-dairy Moroccan Mash Up

Segment 5: Quick Hits
Movie: Spiderman: Far From Home
Book: Verity by Colleen Hoover
Recipe: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from Jo Cooks
Restaurant: Palace Dumpings (Wappingers Falls)


Minnewaska State Park Preserve

We have not been hiking or doing many outdoor activities with the recent heat waves. But we know that fall will be here before we know it, bringing some cooler weather. Therefore, we want to post about our recent hikes so you can start to plan some outdoor family activities for when the weather gets a little more comfortable. A great family hike can be found at Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located in Kerhonkson, New York (Ulster County) and is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from northern Westchester County. Warning, this is a very popular state park! On a beautiful day in mid June, we had to wait about fifteen minutes just to enter the park, since the parking lots were full.

The Preserve is over 22,000 acres with over 50 miles of hiking trails. You will not be able to see it all in a day! I am a waterfall lover and I wanted to visit Minnewaska State Park Preserve after hearing about Awosting Falls.

From the parking lot it’s a short walk to get to the trail heads. We first started on the Awosting Falls red-blazed trail which lies adjacent to the Peter Kill stream. There are a series of smaller waterfalls, that of course we had to photograph! As you walk further down the trail there’s even a spot where you can stand above Awosting Falls.

The trail heads downhill into the woods before you arrive at the bottom of Awosting Falls. The falls are 60 feet tall and plunge into a large, clear pool. The amount and strength of the falls depends on the rainfall. Fortunately, the day of our visit there was a rewarding waterfall.

After spending some time taking in the beauty of the falls we continued our hike. We returned back up the way we came to the beginning of the red trail. We then switched to the orange-blazed Sunset Carriageway Trail towards Lake Minnewaska. This was about a 20 minute uphill hike to the lake.

But the views are amazing! And if you really want to, you can drive to the upper parking lot, skipping this hike altogether. Lake Minnewaska is less than one-half mile long and is surrounded by white cliffs. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can hike around the lake. We weren’t feeling very ambitious…..or more like our children weren’t feeling it.

I didn’t realize that visitors can swim in Lake Minnewaska, or I would have had the kids wear their bathing suits. The swimming area is roped off and staffed by lifeguards. Luckily, it wasn’t super hot the day that we visited, so we sat on the dock and enjoyed a snack and water break. There’s also a bathroom across from the lake if you need a rest stop. After our snack break we continued on the red trail until we reached the start of the blue trail, Castle Point Carriageway. At this point we decided it was a good time to turn around and make our way back to the car.

Like I mentioned, Minnewaska is very popular and was very crowded the day we went. Trails were filled with hikers, dogs, (SO many dogs! We felt a little left out that we didn’t have a dog to hike with) and mountain bikers. Although horseback riding is allowed on the trails, that is one thing we didn’t see on our hike.

The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk (“Gunks” to the locals) Mountain ridge, which is more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Altogether we hiked about four miles and saw some beautiful views. However, we never made it to the peaks of any mountains. For more serious hiking and trail tips, I highly recommend checking out Hike the Hudson Valley’s write up on the park. Mike writes super informative hiking guides for trails throughout the Hudson Valley, which we have referenced many times!

We didn’t get a chance to visit the Nature Center or to see Lake Awosting, another lake in the Preserve, where swimming is also allowed. Plus, with all of the hiking trails available, there are plenty of reasons for us to make a return trip.

The Details:
Minnewaska State Park
5281 Rt. 44-55
Kerhonkson, NY 12446

Hours: Park hours vary by season. Please check out the website for the most up-to-date information.

Parking: $10 per vehicle or free with the Empire Pass

*There is a Nature Center that is open on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Hours are 10 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 4 PM.

*If you are visiting the park to go swimming, park in the upper parking lot, or you will have a decent hike ahead of you to get to the lake.

*Again, check out Hike the Hudson Valley’s guide to Minnewaska State Park Preserve for information on hiking the trails!

*Minnewaska State Park Preserve has a carry in, carry out policy. Make sure if you are bringing food in to also bring a bag to store your garbage.


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!


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!

Podcast Episode 1: Seasonal Bucket Lists, Summer Movie Deals and Millbrook Vineyards &Winery {Show Notes}

We have a podcast! Download and listen here:
Google Podcasts

In the first episode of the NY Foodie Family podcast we discuss:

Segment 1: Why you need a seasonal bucket list (blog post)
Summer Bucket List (blog post)
Winter Family Bucket List
Hudson Valley Bucket List

*Our 2019 Summer Bucket List:
-drive-in movie
-local baseball game

Segment 2: Summer Movie Deals:
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Yonkers (website)
Alamo Kids Camp
Alamo Kids 2019 Prize Book
Regal Summer Movie Express (website)

Segment 3: Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (blog post)
Millbrook Vineyards (website)
Food Truck Fridays
Jazz at the Grille

If you have any questions or recommendations on places that we should visit please e-mail us at NYFoodieFamilyPodcast@gmail.com!

Family Fun at Playland Park {Westchester County}

Playland Amusement Park has been a Westchester County icon since 1928 and is a National Historic Landmark.  There are even seven original rides that pre-date 1930 that are still running!  For those not from the area, you may have seen parts of the park if you’ve watched the movie Big or Mariah Carey’s 1995 “Fantasy” music video.

Located in Westchester County, Playland is conveniently located off of I-95 and offers a full day of family fun. With 50 rides, it is great for families, as  there’s something for everyone. Kiddyland has over 20 rides and is geared towards toddlers and younger children.  Most Kiddyland rides have a minimum height requirement of 36″ but will allow smaller children to ride with an adult. Katy the Kat makes daily appearances and has a comedy show that takes place in Kiddyland.

For older children and adults, there are plenty of thrill rides.  Double Shot, Super Flight, Wipeout, the Yo-Yo, Skyflyer and the Thunderbolt are some of the attractions that adventure seekers will enjoy.

On the Derby Racer the horses imitate the motion of a steeple chase horse.  Only two known original rides of this type are still in existence, one of them being here.  Don’t let the horse fool you into thinking this isn’t a thrill ride.  From personal experience, this was my least favorite ride, due to the speed and fear of falling off the horse.  Did I mention that there’s not safety belt?  It’s hold on for dear life! This ride, as well as the Carousel, are on the National Register of Historic Places.  Just last week, the county Board of Legislators approved financing for restoration of these two rides.  I can’t wait to see what the restored Derby Racer will look like!

And of course, riding the Dragon Coaster is a must!  This wooden roller coaster has been running since 1929 and is a Playland original! For hard-core coaster enthusiasts, this is not a super fast, thrill ride.  However, it’s an historical one.

For the first time since 2008, Playland has a new ride.  Part roller coaster, part spinning ride, it is currently called Disk’O 24 by the manufacturer.  However, Westchester County residents have been asked to submit names for the new ride and a Westchester Camp group will be choosing the winning name from the submissions.

There is plenty of food to be found at Playland.  Louisiana Kitchen has fried chicken, chicken tenders and fried seafood.  There’s a Nathan’s that sells hot dogs and fries, a Smash n’ Shake Express that has burgers shakes and Pizza Village.

There’s also lots of treats available including funnel cake, cotton candy and ice cream.  You will not go hungry during your visit!

There are lots of games to play and an arcade if you are looking to take a break from the rides.  This is an old school arcade with 25 cent skee ball machines!

There’s daily entertainment and concerts throughout the season.  During the summer, there is a fireworks display every Friday night.   On select nights there is also a laser light show set to music.  For some close-to-home summer family fun, a trip to Playland is a must!

The Details:

Playland Amusement Park
1 Playland Parkway
Rye, New York 10580

Parking:  $10/car ($15/car holidays and special events)

Admission:  $30/adult ($25 for Westchester County residents with proof of residency) wristbands
$20/junior (under 48″) ($15 for Westchester County residents with proof of residency) wristbands
Free/children 2 years old and under
Spectator (no rides)/$10 (Free for Westchester County residents with proof of residency)

**In 2019 every Westchester County town, city and village gets its own Town Day.  With proof of ID, each resident receives a special coupon booklet that offers special discounts.

**On select nights, admission is $20 from 5-10 PM.

Fun Cards can be purchased with a spectator admission to go on rides.  It costs $1 per point, with rides costing 5-6 points each.

Open now through September 8, 2019
Hours:  (please check the site for specific dates and hours.  The park opens earlier and stays open later on selected dates throughout the summer)
Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 AM – 10 PM
Friday: 12 PM – 11 PM
Saturday:  12 PM – 11 PM
Sunday:  12 PM – 10 PM

*No outside food or drinks are allowed in the park.
*There’s a fireworks show on Friday nights in the summer at 9:20 PM (July 12 – August 30).
*Check the entertainment schedule for concerts.
*Lockers are available for rent.


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!

20 Fun Things to Do in Putnam County

Living in northern Westchester County, Putnam County is so close and accessible.  Both my husband and I grew up in Putnam County and are very familiar with the sites and attractions.  However, creating this list we realize that there’s still a LOT that we still need to do!  Here’s our list of some of the fun things to do in Putnam County. Please let me know if there is anything that I should add to my list!

1.Play a round of miniature golf at Red Rooster in Brewster and then grab a burger and shake.

2. Visit the Putnam County 4-H Fair.

3. Have breakfast at Countryside Kitchen in Mahopac (home of the famous cannoli pancake).

4. Visit Putnam County’s Veterans Memorial Park and go for a hike or a  swim. This is also where the Putnam County 4-H Fair is held as well as the Daniel Ninham Pow-Wow.

5. Ski or snowboard at Thunder Ridge in Patterson.

6. Go antiquing in Cold Spring.

7. Enjoy tea at Florrie Kaye’s Tea Room.

8. Visit Fahnestock State Park.  Hike part of the Appalachin Trail, swim in Canopus Lake or even camp.

9. Visit the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel.

10.  Visit Green Chimney’s Farm & Wildlife Center in Brewster.

11. Visit the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center in Garrison. Visit the nature center, take a walk out to the marsh and/or join one of their guided public canoe trips (see their program page for details).

12. Walk or ride the Putnam County Trailway.  This 12 mile path has trailheads in Baldwin Place and Brewster.

13. Have an ice cream cone from Moo Moo’s Creamery in Cold Spring.

14. Visit Boscobel in Garrison.  Tours are available of the house, gardens and grounds April through December.  In the summer you can see the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival perform and in December you can see Sparkle.

15. Take a picture with the Sybil Ludington statue in Carmel.

16. Enjoy dinner at Clocktower Grill in Brewster.

17. Visit the Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring.

18.  Visit a Farmer’s Market in Brewster, Cold Spring or Putnam Valley

19. Take a kayak or canoe tour on the Hudson River with Hudson River Expeditions (in Cold Spring).

20.  Enjoy some delicious Indian food at Jaipore in Brewster. We love their lunch buffet.


French Food Products to Celebrate Bastille Day!

(Thank you to the French Food and Drink Federation and Business France for sending us this Taste Box of goodies to sample. As always, all opinions are our own.)

Many moons ago, back in 2002, my boyfriend (now husband) and I visited Paris, France. This was our first international travel experience and was the beginning of our interest in all things culinary. My husband tried escargot for the first time and we enjoyed our fill of steak frites!

While the United States celebrates its Independence on July 4, France celebrates Bastille Day on July 14. This day celebrates the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison in 1789 and is considered the turning point of the French Revolution. The French holiday is celebrated in Paris with a military parade and firework shows are held throughout the country.

In honor of Bastille Day, Business France kindly sent us a box of French goodies to sample. We sadly don’t see a trip to France again anytime soon in our future. However, Bastille Day is the perfect occasion to enjoy the flavors of France with some of these French food products. We enjoyed getting to try new-to-us food products made in France.

Abtey’s Eiffel Tower box of chocolates – Not only is this tin adorable, but the individually wrapped praline filled milk chocolate balls are amazing! We love chocolate, but have discovered that we REALLY love French chocolate!

Vichy mints – These octagonal shaped mints were invented in 1825 in Vichy, France. They are super minty, leaving a fresh, cool feeling in your mouth.

Carambar caramels – These caramels were created in 1954 and continue to be a popular French sweet, especially for kids. Although we sampled the original caramel, the candy comes in several different flavors. Known for its jokes, you can “snap” (snapchat) a code for 50 different augmented reality jokes.

Chancerelle House Connétable sardines – Connétable is the world’s oldest sardine cannery that is still in operation. The fish are caught at the peak of the fishing season with sustainable fishing methods. To be honest, I’m not a big sardine fan. However, my husband enjoys them and was gobbling these up.

André Laurent Choucroute Traditional and Seafood choucroute – Choucroute is the French version of sauerkraut. The company has been family owned since 1945. Most of their sauerkraut is cooked in wine and bacon. While we haven’t tried this yet, I am hoping to enjoy it this upcoming week with sausage or chicken.


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.


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!


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.


June Reads {2019}

Happy summer! Reading on the beach is my favorite summer reading spot and I’m fortunate to have been able to enjoy a good amount of this over the past couple of weeks. Today, I’m sharing my June Reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly SUYB linkup. June was not a great reading month for me. I only read four books, which was disappointing. However, we’re not even half-way through July yet and I’ve already read four books! Yeah for summertime! Here are my June reads:

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

3 stars:


Passion On Park Avenue by Lauren Layne – Naomi Powell is the successful CEO of the jewelry and accessory subscription company, Maxcessory. She discovers that her new neighbor Oliver is the boy who used to torment her when she was younger. Naomi also becomes friends with Claire and Audrey when the three discover they have something (or should I say, someone) in common. This was my first Lauren Layne book. It’s the first book in a three book series, that I will likely not continue. However, I may give one of her other book series a go if I’m in the mood for a romance. Overall, it was an okay, cute romance novel that fits the bill if you’re looking for a light summer read.


Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss – Meredith’s father was supposed to be in prison for nine years, until she turned 18. But now at 15, he is being released and her newly, safe world is disrupted. Trigger warning – this book deals with child sexual abuse/rape. It was a dark and disturbing read that sickened me to think that there are adults who sexually abuse their own children. I want to believe that “in real life” it wouldn’t be so easy for this father to come back into his daughter’s life like this one did.

4 stars:

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Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue – Jende and his wife Neni are Cameroonian immigrants, trying to make it in America. It’s the fall of 2007 and they are living in Harlem, when Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Jende and Neni think they are, “living the dream” but then Lehman Brothers collapses and everyone is affected. The many themes of this book including immigration, social class and relationships made it a great book club choice, for the local book club that I recently joined.


Run Away by Harlan Coben – Simon and Ingrid haven’t seen their daughter in forever. Addicted to drugs she’s gone into hiding with her boyfriend. But Simon sees her one day playing the guitar in Central Park and follows her. This time he’s on a mission to find her and bring her home, but he ends up going down a dark and dangerous path. I’ve been a Coben fan for awhile and know that when I pick up one of his books it will be a quick, suspenseful read. This one didn’t disappoint.