Brunching at Calle Dao {Chelsea}


{I was invited to a tasting of the everyday brunch menu. All opinions are my own.}

Just hearing the restaurant name Calle Dao, you know you are going to get a global dining experience. Calle Dao serves Cuban-Chinese cuisine, paying tribute to the heyday of Havana’s Chinatown. Located at 461 West 23rd street, the new Chelsea location opened in the beginning of September. This is the second Calle Dao location (the first one is located in Bryant Park).

Owner of Calle Dao Marco Britti.

Owner Marco Britti, a musician by trade, has traveled the world as a drummer.  He has spent a good amount of time in Cuba, playing music and studying the culture and food. Calle Dao Chelsea is his seventh restaurant.

The Dining Space at Calle Dao in Chelsea.

The restaurant’s decor reflects more of a Cuban vibe. The white-washed walls lighten the space and each table has its own overhead light.  The abundance of potted green leafy plants, Chinese prints and neon lit signs add pops of color.  The beats of the Latin music playing will have you tapping your toes and make you want to get up and dance.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Bradley Warner helped create the menu at Calle Dao.

The restaurant serves brunch seven days a week.  From 11 AM to 4 PM, you can enjoy all the deliciousness they offer!  Appetizers are in the $9-$10 range, with options like these Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls and Shrimp Empanadas.  I highly recommend the spring rolls that are served with a Mojo Lime Mustard.  They really showcase the fusion of the Cuban and Asian cuisines.

Calle Dao's tasty version of the classic Beef and Broccoli. One of the entrees offered on their seven day a week brunch menu.

Main entrees are priced from $15-$23.  I was most impressed with the restaurant’s take on Beef & Broccoli.  Tender pieces of smoked short ribs are served with Chinese broccoli and noodles in a garlic hoisin sauce.  I just wish there was more than three small pieces of meat.  They also serve a vegetarian, mushroom and broccoli version of this dish.

An entree served on the seven day a week brunch menu at Calle Dao.

Another one of my favorite entrees was the Chorizo and Garbanzo Hash.  The chorizo and garbanzo beans are mixed with sweet potatoes, peppers and onions and topped with sunny-side up eggs.  This was a very flavorful dish with a great combo of flavors.

Other dishes I tried were a Lamb Picadillo & Corn Congee, topped with poached eggs and Huevos Al Horno (eggs baked in a white bean stew with Chinese sausage).  The picadillo was an interesting fusion of the two cuisines.  The Huevos Al Horno was a hearty dish.  However, this was one of the few dishes that I felt that I could make myself at home.  When I dine out I try to order dishes that I wouldn’t make at home due to the complex ingredients, flavors, or cooking methods.

A classic Cuban sandwich served on the everyday brunch menu at Calle Dao.

The menu has a couple of classic dishes like this Cubano sandwich with Mojo glazed pork, cured ham, salami, pickles and Gruyere cheese.

Besides the Mushroom and Broccoli noodle bowl, Calle Dao offers several other vegetarian-friendly options.  They make a Black Bean and Mushroom Burger, Shiitake Spring Rolls and two different salads. More breakfast-y options include a vegetarian omelette, Maduro & Eggs (fried rice topped with eggs), Avocado Toast and a strawberry jam and cream cheese filled french toast.

One of the delicious cocktails served at Calle Dao. I enjoyed a brunch tasting at the newest Chelsea location.

The restaurant has a fully stocked bar and also serves wine and beer.  Master mixologist Joy Daniel has created several unique Cuban-Asian cocktails to accompany Calle Dao’s menu.  I prefer my drinks on the sweeter side and sampled the “Flor de Oro”. Made with vodka, rose and vanilla infused dry vermouth, cherry jam and fresh lemon juice, this cocktail did not disappoint.

Calle Dao serves some amazing desserts like these Bunuelos and Matcha Tres Leches.

You have to leave room for dessert!  I tried both the Bunuelos (fried dough balls, rolled in Chinese Five Spice Sugar and served with a chocolate coconut sauce) and Matcha Tres Leches.  Both were amazing, but if I had to recommend only one, I’d vote the Tres Leches.

Whether you are in Chelsea to visit an art gallery, see a show or to shop, take a brunch break at Calle Dao.  You are in for a great dining experience!

Farmstead Flatbread {Queensbury}

We were hungry after a long, fun-filled day at Six Flags Great Escape in Queensbury, NY.  In an attempt to avoid another amusement park meal, we stumbled upon Farmstead Flatbread.  The restaurant, located on Rt. 9, is only a few blocks south of Great Escape.  Originally known as Sutton’s Marketplace, after 40 years the restaurant re-branded and became Farmstead Flatbread.

When you enter the restaurant, you encounter a large bar and pool table.  It’s a great space for hanging out and grabbing a drink.  Outdoor seating is available and perfect for dining al fresco. The main dining area is spacious and has a casual vibe.  Strands of lights are strung across the ceiling and the deep gray walls are adorned with a mix of farm tools and wall hangings.

As soon as we saw the regional beer and locally-sourced dinner menus, my husband commented that this was “our kind of restaurant!”  Their extensive beer menu has 20 craft beers on tap that change regularly.

The real star of the restaurant is the hearth oven located in the dining area of the restaurant.  Guests can watch, either up close or from their table, as the chefs assemble and cook their flatbreads.  The menu features nine different flatbreads to choose from.  Or, you can create your own.  The restaurant uses organic and locally-sourced ingredients on the flatbreads including Lake George Olive Oil Company olive oil, organic tomato sauce, house made nitrate free sausage, and Nettle Meadow goat cheese.

Between the four of us, we shared the seasonal salad, and two small flatbreads. The seasonal salad at the time was a Greek Salad with romaine, Greek-style feta cheese, peppercinis, red onions and local cucumbers tossed in a house-made Greek dressing.  The salad tasted really fresh and the crumbled Greek-style feta was amazing!  If you aren’t in the mood for a salad, Farmstead Flatbread also serves wings.  They are lightly fried and made with a house rub.  You only have to choose the number of wings you want and the type of sauce (mild, medium, hot, BBQ or the flavor of the day).

The flatbreads come in two sizes, small and large.  It was difficult deciding which ones to get, but we finally agreed on a small “Cultivator” and a small “Grazer” flatbread.  The “Cultivator” (pictured at the top of the above picture) included organic tomato sauce, Italian cheeses, house-made meatballs, basil pesto and spinach.  The “Grazer” included organic tomato sauce, Italian cheese, peppers, red onions and nitrate free sausage.  Let me tell you, we were not disappointed with our decisions.  Both flatbreads were delicious with great combinations of flavors!  Unfortunately, when traveling, we can’t take leftovers with us.  So we might have finished both flatbreads.  It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!

We were too full after dinner to even think about dessert and just requested the check.  The staff were friendly and attentive throughout the meal, checking in and refilling water glasses. On Sundays, they have an amazing looking brunch menu that is served from 10 AM to 3 PM.  I wish I lived closer so I could try it out!  If you’re dining between the hours of 11:15 AM – 5:30 PM you can head upstairs and check out Starla’s Shoppe for gifts, jewelry, unique toys and more.

If you are looking for a family-friendly, delicious dining experience in the Queensbury/Lake George area, I highly recommend Farmstead Flatbread.

The Details:

Farmstead Flatbread
1066 State Route 9
Queensbury, NY 12804
(518) 741-6911

Hours:  11:30 AM – 9:00 PM, Monday – Thursday
11:30 AM – 10:00 PM, Friday – Saturday
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Sunday

Parking:  Free parking in lot adjacent to restaurant

Cost:  Small flatbreads range from $9.25 – $13.75, large flatbreads range from $15.00 – $22.75.  Beers range in price from $5-$7 per 16 oz. draft. (Credit cards are accepted)

Ravenous Creperie {Saratoga Springs}

On a recent visit to Saratoga Springs the kids and I were wandering down Phila Street looking for lunch.  Many of the restaurants have menus posted outside with most offering the usual burgers, salads and sandwiches.  When we stopped to look at the Ravenous Creperie menu, the kids unanimously voted that we eat lunch here.

Ravenous Creperie is locally-owned and serves lunch, dinner and brunch.  We visited on a Tuesday afternoon and arrived at 12:15, prime lunchtime.  The restaurant space is small and cozy and it was packed!  There are several tables in the middle dining space that can be pushed together to seat a larger group.  There is also counter seating with a great view of the crepes being made and window counter seats with views of the street.  We had to wait a few minutes to be seated and were given three seats at the window counter.

This was our first time eating at a creperie and we were not disappointed!  I told the kids that we’d split a savory and a sweet crepe and either an order of pommes frites or poutine.  
The pommes frites are a popular starter.  As I looked around the restaurant, almost every table had a paper cone atop it filled with the frites.  But, the kids opted for poutine, and I wasn’t complaining about that!   We ordered the petite-sized poutine.  The ceramic dish was filled with crispy hand-cut pommes frites topped with locally-sourced cheddar curds and a house-made gravy.  We devoured this in no time!

The savory menu has a crepe for every palate including several vegetarian options.  They also offer a daily crepe special, which was a kale and white bean crepe the day of our visit.  If I was ordering a crepe, I would have chosen the Monterey Short Rib (braised black Angus short rib with caramelized onions, diced tomatoes and Monterey jack cheese) or the Upper West Sider (Smoked Atlantic salmon, cream cheese and a choice of scallions or capers).  However, the kids decided on the Mama Mia.  Although it’s difficult to see in the picture, this crepe was filled with Herb and Romano sausage, roasted peppers and onions, mozzarella and a tomato-garlic reduction. All savory crepes are served with a salad of mixed greens that is dressed with Saratoga Olive Oil & aged Balsamic Vinegar.  This is only half the crepe and salad, as my daughter had already started eating the other half!  The savory crepes are served in what looked and tasted like a wrap, versus a traditional crepe, which wouldn’t have been able to hold all of the tasty filling.  The Mama Mia crepe is kid-approved.  My two were very happy with their crepe pick!  There was plenty of filling and the sausage was flavorful but not spicy.

The sweet crepe menu has twelve different crepes to choose from which include everything from fresh strawberries, lemon curd, chocolate-hazelnut spread, fruit jam, Ghiradelli brownie and more!  Four of the crepes come in a petite size, for those looking for just a little something sweet to end their meal.  The kids opted for the Pommes & Caramel crepe (Maple glazed apples and house-made sea salt caramel).  This crepe was delicious!  Caramel and apples are a great combo and we could taste the sea salt pieces in the caramel.  While this dessert was sweet, it wasn’t overly-so.

I shared these three dishes with my two children, ages 9 and 11.  We left satisfied but not stuffed.

Ravenous Creperie has a prix fixe menu where you can get a small pommes frites with dipping sauce, a choice of one of three different classic crepes and a petite sweet all for $16.99/person.

For those local, they have a Rewards program, where you can earn points for every dollar spent.  Online ordering is also available (with pickup only, no delivery).

If you are in the Saratoga Springs area, I highly recommend stopping by Ravenous Creperie for some tasty eats!

The Details:
Ravenous Creperie
21 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 581-0560

Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Thursday:  11 AM – 8 PM
Friday:  11 AM – 9 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 9 PM
Sunday:  9 AM – 8 PM

Prices:  Most savory crepes are priced between $12-$14, most sweet crepes are priced between $6.59 and $8.59. Petite sweets (mini sweet crepes) cost $2.99.   Pommes Frites come in small, medium and large sizes ($3.49-$6.99) and poutine comes in petite ($5.99) and regular ($7.99) sizes.

Conveyor Belt Sushi at east Japanese Restaurant {Updated}

Conveyor belt sushi used to be a rare dining experience that I only saw on television.  Luckily, it’s becoming more popular and now, even us suburbanites can partake in the conveyor belt sushi experience.  If you are shopping at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York and are looking for a family-friendly, non-chain, unique dining experience, east Japanese Restaurant is the place to go.

Guests are seated in booths around the sushi chefs, who have their prep stations located in the center of the dining space. As they prepare different rolls and sushi, they cover and place them on the conveyor belt.  The labeled plates travel around the restaurant, and diners take the items they want.

The different patterned and colored plates are priced differently.  White plates cost $1.75 each while the gold plates cost $8.00 each.  Most plates include two pieces of sushi or three pieces of roll.  There are many types of sushi available from the California roll to the specialty Big Thunder Mountain roll. Non-sushi dishes like seaweed salad and fried chicken are also offered.  If you do not see what you want or prefer not to go the sushi route, the restaurant offers a full Japanese menu including teriyaki and tempura dishes.  At the end of your meal, your plates are collected and you are charged accordingly.

What we love about this restaurant is that we are able to try new dishes without a huge commitment.  For a couple of dollars a plate, if we like it, we’ll take another plate of it.  If we didn’t like it we at least tried something new!  This is a great way to introduce your kids to different types of sushi.  Plus, like our kids, they will most likely enjoy grabbing the dishes off the conveyor belt.  It definitely makes for a unique and fun dining experience, which we highly recommend! Unfortunately, the only conveyor belt sushi restaurants that we are aware of that are not located in the city are this one and YO! Sushi at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

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The Wishbone Wish {Children’s Thanksgiving chapter book review}


The Wishbone Wish by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Published by Candlewick Press on September 8, 2015
Pages:  128 (hardcover book)
Suggested Age & Grade Range:  6-9 years/1st – 4th grade
Rating:  4/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
On your mark, get set, Gobblers-a-Go-Go! Judy swears she’ll win the race for a Thanksgiving turkey (though Stink has his doubts) in this full-color Moody adventure.     The town’s annual Turkey Trot race and festival is coming up, and Judy and Stink are training to win. Judy has decided that she is going to take home the big prize: a fat, juicy turkey. They can taste it already: the moist turkey, the hot gravy, the savory stuffing, the cranberry sauce! Beep! Beep! Beep!That’s the sound of Stink’s Rapidfire Ultra XE611M25 stopwatch going off as Judy and Stink hop, crawl, and climb toward race day. But what if they don’t win a mouthwatering bird? What then? Flying turkey gizzards! Will the Moody family end up starving on T-day, like ye pilgrims of olde, or will Grandma Lou cook up a tasty Franksgiving solution?

I haven’t read many Thanksgiving themed chapter books in my time.  However, both my eight year-old son and I found this book to be very enjoyable.  Judy Moody and Stink are siblings that each star in their own series by Megan McDonald.  This is one of the few crossover books that feature them together.  In this book Judy is excited that she convinced her parents to travel to her grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner after her school’s Thanksgiving festival.  This will be the first year that she gets to participate in the festivities, including a Turkey Trot, in which the winner receives a turkey.  Judy and Stink practice for the Triple Fun Relay with some minor mishaps along the way.  Does Judy win the race?  I enjoyed that McDonald presents a lot of factual information on a variety of topics to the reader in a way that doesn’t lose the flow of the story.  I learned more about Sarah Josepha Hale and her role in Thanksgiving.  And did you know that Jell-O is the official state snack food of Utah?!  This book has seven chapters with colorful illustrations.  The Wishbone Wish was a humorous and enjoyable holiday read!



Boy & The World: A Review

Length: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Rating: PG
Animated Family Movie

Boy & The World is a Brazilian movie that had a limited USA release in December 2015. It came out on DVD this past July. The movie is told through bursts of colors and sounds, with no dialogue.  It opens with Cuca, a stick figured drawn boy, watching his father go off on a train to the city to find work.  Cuca embarks on an adventure to look for his father and reunite his family.  As his journey progresses, the film gets darker.   Through music and animation the movie shows the detrimental effects of industrialization and urbanization.

I borrowed this movie from the library, not knowing much about it.  When the movie opened with a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds and simple, child-like figures, I wasn’t sure how well it would go over with my eight and ten-year-old children.  Would it be too childish for them?  No, in fact, it wasn’t. It was actually a very abstract film in which I voiced a running commentary to explain what was going on. Despite my reservations, both children were enthralled with the movie.  Even if they don’t understand everything that’s going on, younger children will enjoy the bright colors and beautiful music!

The bonus material on the DVD was enlightening as we got to see how the movie was created.  My son loves to draw and he was impressed to see how the original artwork was created and then made into the movie.  Music and sounds played a pivotal role in the movie and it was fun to see how different materials were used to get the targeted sound effects.

This movie has won over 40 film festival awards and after viewing, it is understandable why.  My children and I highly recommend this movie.

We borrowed this movie from our local library.  The movie is out on DVD and available for purchase. It is also available (at a cost) to stream from Amazon Video.

Children’s Thanksgiving Picture Books

Children's Thanksgiving Books

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Thanksgiving is next week and we have been reading lots of Thanksgiving themed books at bedtime.  Unfortunately, many Thanksgiving themed books involve a turkey trying not to be eaten.  We did find that some books focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving including being with family and friends and showing gratitude.  Finally, some other books focus on an aspect of Thanksgiving, like sitting at the “kids table.”  Whatever your preference, there is a Thanksgiving book out there to fit it!  Here is a collection of Thanksgiving picture books that we have read.
Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch

The authors sculpted the characters in this picture book out of clay and hand-sewed the outfits that they wear.  The kids loved the pictures, especially the hens getting their “nails” painted. The use of “egg” puns got a little redundant after a bit.   I personally found some of the hens a little scary looking.  Overall, this was an okay read.

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet by Jane O’Connor

My daughter was a huge Fancy Nancy fan when she was younger.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that once an author gets children hooked on a character (ex. Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious) they then churn out way too many books after that, which aren’t up to par with the original.  Surprisingly, this was one of the better Fancy Nancy books we had read in awhile.  It addresses the issue of the “kids” table at Thanksgiving.


Gus, the Pilgrim Turkey by Teresa Bateman

There’s a common theme to many Thanksgiving books, where the turkey tries to escape being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.  This book was no different. It was cute in some parts, especially when Gus travels to the South Pole and meets the penguins.  It also shows children the meaning of the word pilgrim in a different context to what they are used to.  Overall, this was an okay read for us.


The Little Kids’ Table by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle

This picture book was published this past September.  Told in rhyme, this book depicts the fun that is had at the little kids’ table.  While technically not a “Thanksgiving” book, it describes a situation that many children experience during the holidays!


Round the Turkey: A Grateful Thanksgiving by Leslie Kimmelman

In this picture book, various family members tell what they are thankful for in different poems.  This is an AV2 book, which includes an online code where you can access the book online and have it read aloud.


Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller

This picture book was published this past September.  Told in rhyme, the book shows a 19th century family preparing for Thanksgiving.  Each family member has a job to help get the meal prepared, which they share together at the end.   The illustrations help children compare and contrast Thanksgiving in the past and present.


Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson

Halse Anderson is the famed author of young adult fiction including Speak and Wintergirls, which I’ve read both of.  This picture book tells the story of Sarah Hale, the woman who petitioned to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.  This book’s main focus is on the accomplishments of Hale and not on the holiday of Thanksgiving.  It’s a great book about an important woman in history.  I can’t believe that prior to reading this book I had not heard of Hale!


The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell

When Ed and Ann’s Thanksgiving dinner burns, they find the door open at a local restaurant.  They end up joining an immigrant family who are celebrating their first Thanksgiving in their restaurant and having a memorable Thanksgiving celebration.  This book showcases what Thanksgiving is all about.


Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston
This Thanksgiving picture book is told in rhyme.  Everyone in her family is busy and Emily Ann feels bored and alone.  She attempts to play a trick with the Thanksgiving turkey, but her family comes in at the nick of time and reminds Emily Ann of all that she is thankful for.


Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
In this rhyming picture book, a little boy describes his 10 rules for Thanksgiving.  The humorous illustrations help add to the story!


A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

When Mrs. Moose wants a turkey for Thanksgiving, Mr. Moose sets out to find her one with the help of some friends.   When they finally find turkey and bring him home, turkey gets an unexpected surprise.   If you look closely to the illustrations, you will notice that the animals are vegetarians and end up having a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.


Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

In this picture book Turkey tries to disguise himself to avoid being eaten on Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, his disguises don’t fool the other animals.  But, he is able to come up with a disguise to fool Farmer Jake, which results in a happy Thanksgiving for everyone.


All the Podcasts {Volume #1}

All the Podcasts

Here at NY Foodie Family, we have been super late to the podcast game.  We had heard so much about the podcast Serial, but only recently, as in a couple of weeks ago, listened to our first podcast.    Who knew there were so many podcasts out there?!!   And that we’d become such podcast addicts?!!!   After listening to so many different podcasts we have determined two things that can make or break it for us.  The first is the hosts. They have to be fun and engaging!  It also helps if they stay on topic.  Listening to some podcasts, the hosts go way off-topic and lose focus.  The second is the content.  The podcast has to be about something we are interested in listening to and/or learning about.  We are also discovering that there are few quality family and children’s podcasts out there.  New podcasts are being introduced every day. So stay tuned for more reviews as we continue our podcast obsession!

Our Favorites:

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – (Self-Help, Health) – I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and have read her books The Happiness Project, Happier at Home and Better Than Before, all of which I enjoyed.  She co-hosts this podcast with her younger sister Elizabeth and the two discuss a lot of the topics from the previously mentioned books, with a focus on being and living happier.  They give real-life examples, take reader questions and give realistic tips and strategies.  This is one of my favorite podcasts that I listen to on my own (though the Weekend Chef could probably get something out of it if he listened to it!).

The Nosh Show

The Nosh Show: A Fast Food & Junk Food Podcast – (Arts, Food, Business, Shopping, Health, Fitness & Nutrition) –  This podcast features four guys who each write their own junk food/fast food featured blogs.  Each podcast runs close to an hour and is filled with segments including “Nosh or Not” in which they discuss whether they’d try new products, plus reviews of recent foods that they’ve tried and news of new fast food and junk food products.  I like that this is a podcast that we can listen to as a family (which we did on our recent trip to Arlington).

Serial podcast logo.png


Serial – (News & Politics) – Hosted by Sarah Koenig, this podcast follows her as she looks into the 1999 murder case of Hae Min Lee.  Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed was charged with the murder and was sent to prison for life plus 30 years, despite his claims of innocence.  In weekly installments, Koenig investigates this murder case, speaking with Syed as well as key witnesses during the trial.  I think this was one of the podcasts that contributed to the popularity of podcasts.  We are late to this and know this is really old in the world of podcasts, but we’re still hooked!

New Podcast Reviews:
Girls In Heels Logo

Girls in Heels – (Society & Culture, Personal Journals) – Episode #1:  Girls in Hells #1 (August 25, 2015) – This podcast is hosted by radio veteran Cooper Lawrence and Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) twins Teresa Aprea and Nicole Napolitano.  I was not familiar with Cooper Lawrence prior to this podcast and have only seen the twins a handful of times on the RHONJ (we got rid of cable and I have been in all Real Housewives withdrawal).   This 38 minute episode began with approximately 6 minutes of them talking about what/how they should choose their theme song.  Then another five minutes or so was spent talking about the shoes they were wearing.  The rest of the show was spent talking about a BBQ that the twins attended that was hosted by Joe Giudice and how his girls are dealing with their mom (Teresa) being in prison.

Summary:  While I found the little bits about filming the RHONJ interesting, overall this was just not worth my time.

Lady Lovin’ – (Society & Culture, Personal Journals) – Episode #1:  Cheaters (August 24, 2015)
What drew me to this fairly new podcast was Lo Bosworth.   I was introduced to her on MTV’s Laguna Beach, as Lauren Conrad’s BFF.  While I was never a big fan of hers on the show, this podcast had me curious.  This podcast is hosted by Lo Bosworth, DJ/writer, Jilly Hendrix, and comedian/writer, Greta Titelman.  This first episode was about cheating, so it was a subject that I found difficult to connect with.  The episode began with each host giving an update on what was going on in their lives.  They then chat about and stick pretty closely to the featured topic, regaling the listener with personal anecdotes. They end the episode with “Sexploration,” a segment in which they “delve” into their sexual quandaries.  This episode featured the fetish feedism.  Yeah, you just have to listen for yourself.

Summary:  This podcast was entertaining like chatting with your girlfriends.  Not for the prudish, with lots of cursing and sex talk.  Unfortunately, none of the other podcast topics are especially relevant to a married mother with children like myself (online dating, weddings and safe sex).  So, although entertaining, unlikely I will be listening to more episodes.


The Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting – (Kids & Family, Society & Culture) Episode 344 – 10 Essential Parenting Strategies for When Life’s Got You Down (September 13, 2015)
Host Cheryl Butler is the mother of 8 children.  In this 13 minute podcast she provides 10 parenting strategies for when “life’s got you down.”  Her strategies include “Accept It and Let It Go,” “Find Your Happy Place” and “Refuel Your Tank.”  Butler provides examples and when relevant, research to support each strategy.

Summary:  I found this podcast topic relevant and Butler’s strategies useful.  However, I found it very difficult to connect with her, as it sounds as if she’s reading from a paper and not having a “conversation” with the listener.   I am going to try to listen to a few more of these podcasts since they are short and informative.
Image result for munchies podcast

Munchies – (Podcasts) – Episode #1:  Danny Bowien – Failure Makes Everything Easier (September 16, 2015)
The title of this podcast doesn’t really give you a good idea of what it’s about.  This podcast is going to explore food culture and the culinary world by talking to famous chefs and celebrities.    There is currently only one episode of this podcast in which the host, editor-in-chief of Munchies, Helen Hollyman, interviews chef Danny Bowien.   Prior to listening to this podcast, I was unfamiliar with this chef who co-founded Mission Chinese Food and Mission Burger.  In this 23 minute podcast, I learned that Bowien was adopted as a child from South Korea and learned a little more about his childhood growing up in Oklahoma.  In a short period of time I feel like I really got to know this chef that before I knew nothing about.

Summary:  As a food lover, I have subscribed to this podcast and will be listening to more episodes!

Do you have any podcast recommendations for us?

Straight Up Tasty: A Review

Straight Up Tasty by Adam Richman
Rating:  3 out 5 stars

Our family is a big Adam Richman fan.  We love watching old episodes of Man V. Food together.  So I was really excited to see that his cookbook was available from Blogging for BooksStraight Up Tasty is a collection of over 100 recipes ranging from breakfast and snacks & small plates to sauces & condiments and sweets.  I like that Richman is not a chef or claims to be one.  He’s a guy who loves food….and don’t we all?!!!  There isn’t a specific theme to this book of recipes.  Rather it’s a mix of recipes that Adam has grown up making and recipes of family and friends.  Interspersed through the cookbook are recommendations on where to get the best breakfast, the best burgers as well as a list of best restaurants based on the protein (beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and meat substitutes), based on his culinary travels.

I didn’t end up cooking any of the recipes from the cookbook.  I found the recipes were either similar to things that I’ve already made before (“Lemon Ricotta Pancakes,” “Easy Carbonara,” “Chicken Marsala,” and “Spaghetti Pie”) things that I’d just rather order out at a restaurant and not be bothered making (“Maple-Glazed Pork Belly Poutine and Sweet Potato Fries,” “Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe Dumplings” and “Pulled Pork Egg Rolls”) and things that I already make and don’t need recipes for (“Latkes,” “Home-style Corned Beef and Cabbage” and “Grandma’s Egg Salad”).

The recipes cover a range of tastes and ingredients.  There’s simple recipes like “French Farmhouse-Style Simple Roasted Chicken,” “Easy Lemon Butter Salmon,” and “Smoked Paprika Onion Rings.”  None of the recipes called for difficult to procure ingredients, except for maybe the “Banh Mi Burger” which asks for pork pate.

So who is this cookbook for?  I’d say fans of Adam Richman will enjoy this cookbook as they get to know a little more about him and are able to cook some of his favorite recipes, including his “Mom’s Spinach Pie” and his “Grandma’s Home-style Brisket.”

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  However, all opinions are my own. 

Lunch Will Never Be The Same


Lunch Will Never Be The Same (Phoebe G. Green series #1) by Veera Hiranandani
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Phoebe G. Green is a relatively new chapter book series, with this first book published in October of 2014.  Phoebe is a third grader who likes to make lists.  She meets a new girl in her class, Camille, who is from France.  Camille’s father is a pastry chef and Phoebe becomes intrigued with the interesting lunches that Camille brings to school:  beet salad with goat cheese, butter lettuce salad with duck, chickpea salad with red peppers and cilantro and more.  Phoebe’s family eats the same thing every week: spaghetti on Mondays, baked chicken with boxed mashed potatoes on Tuesdays, etc.  Seeing the lunches that Camille brings to school, Phoebe only imagines what dinner at her house must be like.  So, she comes up with a plan to get herself invited to Camille’s for dinner, so she can find out for herself.

This book will introduce your child to all different kinds of food from goat cheese and pakoras (Phoebe’s best friend Sage is Indian and she loves the pakoras that his mom makes) to Beef Bourguignon and Baked Alaska.  This is a book not just about food (though there’s a lot of it mentioned in the book!).  It’s also a tale about friendship and that it’s okay to make new friends and still keep your old friends.  I enjoyed that it was the child in this book trying to get her parents to cook new things, versus the usual parents getting their kids to try new foods.  Both of my kids each read this book on their own and thought it was an okay read.

This book is geared towards readers in early elementary school (grades 1-3) with short chapters and lots of illustrations.

*This book was borrowed from the library.