Friday, November 8, 2013

Culinary Differences

My husband and I were talking about a few past experiences from when we first started dating. One big thing was our culinary backgrounds. I grew up with southern cuisine and Matt grew up with take out menus, which lead to some differences in our typical everyday foods.

My mom had invited him over to dinner one night, for chicken and dumplings. For us this meal is biscuit like noodles either rolled in balls or flat, and chicken boiled in chicken broth which can sometimes be thickened.
(Photo courtesy of Lady with the Red Rocker)
To Matt he knew Chicken dumplings, as in from the Chinese take out menu known as potstickers.
(Photo courtesy of myrecipes.com)

So imagine his surprise when he arrived and was served this lumpy soup. 
Haha to this day I can remember his face's expression but he was brave and tried it.

The next experience we were married by then and went to a restaurant in Apalachicola with my family. We ordered Fried Green Tomatoes, which were cooked to perfection. My mom insisted Matt try one, and he did reluctantly. Only later that day, did my mom remember that Matt despises tomatoes. What a guy, willing to please his mother in law.
But who doesn't love Fried Green Tomatoes, they are simply delicious. 
(Photo courtesy of Tasteofhome.com)

For Matt, he introduced me to scallion pancakes and moo shu, as you can see what one of his favorite styles of food is...His family, his dad in particular, also taught me the wonders of Matzo Brei which is like french toast made out of Matzo and I cook this dish year round because I love it so much.


Seriously though, living up here I am always on the hunt to find good collard greens, mac and cheese, and many other southern comforts that I took for granted growing up.

What did you grow up eating, that is a regional item?








Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Broadway Shows

This past Monday, we as a whole family got to see the Broadway show Newsies. It had been on the top of Mason's list to see so to have everyone there was pretty exciting. 

Both kids loved the show, and we talked about their favorite parts last night. I loved hearing it from their prospective. If you know Mason he then wanted to research the real newsboy strike which we did in the car on the way to school.

Having these NYC experiences are still pretty surreal. I hope when the kids grow older and look back at this time they realize how cool it is to live just outside NYC. For them it's just "normal" but I think one day they will come to the conclusion that it was pretty spectacular (atleast I hope.)

Now on to plan which show to see next... Along with all these holiday plans that are sneaking up on us.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I am back!

So I left the blogging world for quite a bit of time... I guess because I second guess what to write about. We are still living in New Jersey, and visiting NYC but really we've been venturing more out into the NJ suburbs lately.

Why visiting the suburbs you might ask?

We are being lured out there by the schools. Currently in Jersey City there are very few "good schools" and believe it or not NJ suburbs offer some of the "best" public schools.

Oh don't worry we don't have any plans of moving quite yet, but we like to do our research.

Any suggestions on areas we should look? We are quite smitten with Westfield, Summit, Chatham, and Madison but open to other areas.

Summer came and went, what a blast we had. Now onto such a gorgeous season, FALL! The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and the pumpkins are out.

We went to Terhune Orchards with my parents while they were visiting. We make it a yearly event, but this year we might make ANOTHER trip down because the cider and pies were just THAT good.
So if you have never been out to Terhune Orchards, I definitely recommend it for some good ole fall fun. It is just outside of Princeton, NJ so not too far of a drive.

What do they have there?
Pick-Your-Own Apples and Pumpkins of course! 
After picking the perfect pumpkins, you can paint them for free (a favorite of my kids!)
They also have pony rides, wagon rides, corn stalk maze, and farm animals.
They also serve plenty of food including soup, chili, hot dogs, pies, apple cider donuts, apple cider, caramel/candy apples, and more!
 Our painted pumpkins

After all the fun on the farm, you can swing into Princeton for a nice stroll, shopping, and dinner to round out a perfect day in my book. Just a tip, if you go on a Sunday, make sure to go early if you intend to go shopping because by the time we arrived, they had already closed for the evening.

Well I will try to post more often, because my poor blog was left untouched for over a year!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Not a very active blogger





Hello all, It has been awhile, hasn't it?
Our summer has been great.

It started with a trip to Berlin, visit with my mom and Carolyn in NYC, and then a family trip to Florida.

We of course went to Disney while we were down in Florida.


I also have a few new things to share that we discovered at the Disney resorts.

First at the request of my four year old we went fishing. We were going to take a boat out and fish, but with the Disney prices we thought is she really serious about fishing? With a little searching I found pole fishing at Port Orleans Riverside. The best part? It is very inexpensive especially if you have a large family who wants to give it a try.


Riverside at Port Orleans
Fishing Hole at Ol' Man Island




Catch-and-release cane pole fishing is also availabe without advance reservations at the following locations:

--Port Orleans Riverside Ol' Man Island at the Fishin' Hole
--Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds

Hours are 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. and vary seasonally. The fishing areas are stocked with catfish, bass, and blue gill, and a catch is almost certain.

Cost -- Cane Pole & Worms - $4/hour OR Family Fishing - $12.50/hour (up to 6 people)

From allears.net (http://allears.net/btp/fish.htm)


Our next discovery was the Pirate Adventure, which is available at a few resorts but we chose the Grand Floridian. It was a little more expensive compared to fishing but not overly so. For both kids it was under $75 and that included 2 hours of fun, souvenirs and an arcade card to spend at any Disney arcade.


Pirate Adventure -- Little landlubbers (ages 4 to 12) can go on a two-hour hunt for treasure and adventure on the high seas of Disney's Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake located at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. Snack and beverage included. Requires advanced reservations. Cost is $36.21 tax included per child.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Available to all guests. Reservations 180 days in advance at 407-WDW-DINE or WDW-PLAY
Of course thanks again to allears.net
(http://allears.net/pl/grandadven.htm


Aside from Disney we took a trip to Tallahassee, St. Marks, Gainesville pitstop, Riverview, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, and Orlando so I would say it was a successful trip to Florida.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fort Wilderness- Disney's Campground

Fort Wilderness was the first place I stayed on my first trip to Disney when I was about 6.
 I don't remember much about that trip, but one thing I do remember is the outdoor movie/campfire at the campground!
So this resort is pretty straight forward, tents, pop-up campers and RVs are welcome.

Ok so camping isn't your thing? It's not mine really either, unless it has A/C and a bathroom.

Well at Fort Wilderness they have cabins, so you can "rough" it a little easier.
 

So since I haven't stayed at this resort since I was six, what could I possibly know about it? 

Well in fact I make sure we come here every time we are in the Orlando area.

Why? 

Well they have the following:

Pony Rides
Horse Trail Rides/Tri-Circle-D Ranch & Farm / Stables
Campfire Sing-a-long/Movie with guest visits from Chip and Dale
Playgrounds
Boat Rentals
Wagon Rides
Carriage Rides
Bicycle Rentals
Beautiful Walking Trails
Sand Volleyball Court 
Horseshoes and shuffleboard 
Basketball and tetherball courts
Arcades
Boat launch that goes to other resorts and Disney World
Two amazing dinner events- How could I hold out on you...

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is the most popular and longest-running dinner shows offered at WDW

 Mickey's Backyard BBQ, an all-you-can-eat buffet with a live country band, line-dance instructor, and appearances by Disney Characters, is held on certain evenings at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion.


Did I mention the pony rides are $5? And it's not just a circle they go around!
 

 This is always Madeline's choice of special Disney activity.
 

At the stables, visiting some horses


Quick stop at the "beach"
 Maddie played in the sand, while Mason and Mom Mom played tether ball.

 

Much of the information is courtesy of allears.net

Check out All Ears Fact Sheet  on Fort Wilderness for more insider tips!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

I've been slacking in the blogging world. Our trip to Florida through me off track, plus when we got back I got buried under a pile of laundry that basically reached the ceiling.

I was going to post about a few "inexpensive things" to do while you are visiting the mouse in Orlando. After living there for 16 months, I think I discovered a few fun things to do.

I think I will touch on one place at a time, so get ready for a few blogs after being away for so long!

Resort hopping is one of my all time favorite things to do.

We typically plan to visit a couple resorts each time we head to Orlando. Each resort usually has a few restaurants, an arcade, other activities, and of course shops! 

On the list of one of our families favorite resorts to visit is the Animal Kingdom Lodge, it has animals (for the kids), shops (for me) and delicious food (for my hubby!)

I would say one our most frequented restaurants at Disney is Sanaa which is actually at Kidani Village, the Disney's Vacation Club Resort part of Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

On their menu, we love their Indian-style bread service which you can choose to have several accompaniments, aka yummy dips. We then follow with Lamb Kefta and Tandoori Chicken, but I am sure most of the things on the menu are delicious!

Did I mention while you eat, you have a great view of giraffes, zebras, ostriches and many other cool animals?


Of course after we finish our meal, we always go out to visit the savannahs to get an even closer view of such cool animals.



They typically have a cast member out by the savannahs to explain all the different  types of animals. One time we caught a scavenger hunt for the kids, and the kids got a bead for each animal on the list they spotted.

So whether your family needs a break from the parks, or you just want to swing over for some "less expensive" Disney fun I highly recommend checking out the resorts.

My next posts will have information on-
Fort Wilderness Fun
Wilderness Lodge
Pop Century
AND MANY OTHER RESORTS and what they have to offer!

I haven't even started on the transportation fun... boats, monorails, OH My!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Atlantic City

This weekend we decided to head down to Atlantic City.
Who doesn't go to the beach when it is snowing? Ok ok so the snow wasn't really sticking on the ground.
We had lunch at White House Sub Shop
Then headed over to Caesars for the Pier Shops.
The kids seemed to enjoy the two candy stores at the Pier Shops.
We also watched the water show while eating ice cream, yes ice cream during the winter.


One of our favorite places, the beach... although it was a bit cold.


Enjoying the odd flavors and over sized candy at It's Sugar



Yes that lollipop is taller than Madeline

We also enjoyed a short but nice walk on the boardwalk.

Afterwards a coffee/snack break was needed before hitting up the outlets at The Walk.

It was a nice getaway for a quick day trip and we definitely hope to go back again perhaps when the weather is warmer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chinese New Year Lunar Parade NYC


Wow what an experience.

We staked out a place on Canal street, with hundreds of other people only to see the parade turn down Mott street. OOPS! Well we went down, walking quickly with those said hundreds of other people to a side street and cut over to see the parade. Well technically threw the kids on our shoulders so they could see the parade. We saw a few dragons, Snoopy, and Minnie then decided to get some confetti fireworks and fried dumplings.


The kids loved the confetti fireworks, we had fun shooting some off then playing in the confetti.


Ok so the place we got fried dumplings is worth mentioning, appropriately named Fried Dumpling is off of Mosco Street ( which is the said street we cut over to see the parade) and while it had a line it was worth the 5-10 minute wait. It not the healthiest version of dumplings (steamed with veggies) the fried dumplings were delicious and satisfying. OH did I mention the price? 5 for $1, so four orders aka $4 and we had 20 dumplings to split between us. The best part of it, Mason LOVES friend dumplings so this added to his perfect day.

http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/2007/04/24/nyc-dining-fried-dumpling/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fried-dumpling-new-york

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First Snow of Winter



Woo Hoo we finally got some snow.

We had a freak snow/sleet storm back at the end of October but this time it was much awaited and much fluffier snow.

First sight of the snow out our back window


We went over to the playground, typically you can see NYC in the background but it was so foggy/snowy you can't see NYC at all.




After the playground, we cleaned off the car, grabbed a bite to eat then headed over to Liberty State park for some hills

Is it obvious Madeline loves her shovel?



video

Monday, January 9, 2012

ZooMania

One of our Christmas gifts is a gift that will keep giving for a whole year.We got a family premium membership to the zoo.

Not just one zoo but to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoo! So far we have tested 3 out of the 5 and loved each one!

Seriously if you are planning to take the family to more than one of these parks in a years time this membership might be for you.

At the Aquarium



Bronx Zoo



Central Park Zoo




For $164 you get-
  • FREE admission for two adults and the children in their household up to age 18 to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos
  • FREE admission for one additional guest or child caregiver
  • FREE unlimited access to Bronx Zoo attractions including Congo Gorilla Forest, Wild Asia Monorail, Children’s Zoo, JungleWorld, Butterfly Garden, Hess Express Zoo Shuttle, Bug Carousel PLUS the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium 4-D Theaters
  • FREE unlimited parking at the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium (subject to availability; one car per Membership per visit)
  • FREE limited-edition wildlife T-shirt
  • Invitations to Members' Evenings at the Bronx Zoo
  • FREE updates on zoo activities and events in Members' News and Members' E-News
  • 10% discount at select gift shops at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, and Central Park Zoo
  • 10% discount at select restaurants at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, and Central Park Zoo
  • Discounts on Education programs and courses
  • Priority zoo entry for Members—no long lines at the gate!

Check out their website for more details!

Link