A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel

Taste of the Nation NYC

New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, the signature tasting event featuring NYC’s best chefs, sommeliers and mixologists, takes place Monday, April 24, on the East River Waterfront at the stunning 180 Maiden Lane. The evening is led by Honorary Chair Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group) along with Culinary Co-Chairs Anita Lo (Annisa) and Bryce Schuman (Betony), and Host Committee members Eli Sussman (Samesa), Chris Jaeckle (Uma Temakeria), William Elliot (Maison Premiere and Sauvage), Jack Logue (Betony), Flynn McGarry (Eureka) and Oskar Kostecki (Union Square Wines). United for a cause, these and other culinary tastemakers lend their talent and time to ensure a future where every child in this country gets the healthy food they need, every day. One hundred percent of proceeds from the event benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America.

Taste of the Nation 2017 will feature more than 40 of the city’s most popular eateries, offering guests bite-size fare, craft cocktails and inventive desserts. Participating restaurants and bars include Lalito, Union Square Cafe, Atoboy, Massoni, Pig Bleecker, Dead Rabbit, Black Tail, Pig & Khao and Daily Provisions, among others (full list below).

 

This year, Taste of the Nation is introducing new special culinary programming such as The Candy Carnival featuring a colorful selection of local, handmade candies and cotton candy making from Brooklyn Floss. The event is also bringing back favorites from previous years such as The Donut Derby with creations from the city’s best donut shops and the always-popular Rosé Garden.

In support of No Kid Hungry, alt-rock chart topping band The Strumbellas will perform a special acoustic set during the event, presented by Citi.  Listen to their new single “Young & Wild” here.

Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry tickets start at $250. For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://ce.nokidhungry.org/events/nyc-taste-nation

Every Kid, Healthy Food, Every Day

One in six children in this country struggles with hunger, including 22% of children in New York. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast in the classroom, have access to the food they need in the summer, and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. Since the campaign’s launch, No Kid Hungry and its partners have connected kids facing hunger to more than 500 million meals.

In 2016, New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry raised enough to help feed children in need more than one million healthy meals. Local beneficiaries include: City Harvest, Hunger Solutions NY, Food Bank for New York City and Hunger Free America.

New York City’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is supported by national presenting sponsors Citi and Sysco®, national media sponsor Food Network, national sponsors OpenTable and The Glenlivet, and local sponsors Bazzini, Empire City Casino, Fenton Models, Lifeway, Loacker USA, Moishe’s Moving and Storage, Nobletree, Prosciutto di Parma, PTG, Shawmut Design and Construction, S. Pellegrino, Tito’s, TouchBistro, Virgil Kaine and Zwilling J.A. Henckles.

The best eateries in the New York City area will be represented at the event, including: 21 Greenpoint, A&E Supply Co., Acme, American Cut, Atoboy, Bay Kitchen Bar, Bessou, Blacktail, Cafe Clover, Cafe2 & Terrace5 at MoMA, Cienfuegos, CUT, Daily Provisions, Davio’s, Dead Rabbit, DOE Mobile Meals Truck, El Atoradero, Fifty, Finback Brewing, Freek’s Mill, Fresh Kills, Huertas, Karasu, Lalito, La New Yorkina, Le Compagnie, Le District, Maialino, Maison Premiere, Marta, Maialino, Massoni, Oddfellows Ice Cream, Pig & Khao, Pig Bleeker, Samesa, Talde Brooklyn, The Jones, The Vnyl, Union Square Cafe , Union Square Events, Up & Up,

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Travel

2017 Hyundai Elantra

As I mentioned in my previous, post the family and I went away to the beautiful Kalahari.  This trip was about 2 hours from our house, and traveling with kids you want comfort in a vehicle.  I had the opportunity to take the 2017 Hyundai Elantra on the road for this trip. It’s a small compact car, but was actually comfortable. The passenger space in the back was small but comfortable and standard.  This car is perfect for a couple that is just starting out or maybe for a college graduate. 

Pros: 
  • Quiet, comfortable cabin, especially at highway speeds
  • Lots of available technology and safety features
  • Classy and thoughtfully laid-out interior design
Cons:
  • Underwhelming performance from base engine
  • Dual-clutch transmission feels clunky during slow-speed acceleration 
  • More steering effort required than in most cars in this class
  • Limited cabin space 

Luxury car technology

Elantra is the compact sedan with just about every popular luxury and technology feature. Available features include: Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™, navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen with segment-first Clari-Fi™ Music Restoration Technology and rearview camera, plus Smart Cruise Control, just to name a few.

Safety is key, especially being a parent of 2 little ones. The Elantra has Seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag. The list of advanced safety features is long and impressive, and includes available Blind Spot Detection and Automatic Emergency Braking with segment-first Pedestrian Detection—a feature not offered on most compact class sedans.

Thanks at Driveshop for providing me with the opportunity. Visit https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ for more information.  

Food!! · Travel

Kalahari Waterpark Resort

Last month my family and I got invited to the most amazing resort, Kalahari here in Pennsylvania. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions isn’t your typical resort – its authentically African theme is designed to bring families together, and that isn’t just a marketing ploy.  The spirit of Africa is reflected in every aspect of Kalahari – from the handpicked Rwandan coffee beans that are brewed on-property (if you love coffee you will enjoy this delicious cup), handcrafted artwork on the convention center walls, furniture placed in guest rooms, recorded music from the streets of Cape Town echoing in the resorts, and original crafts for guest souvenirs.  It’s all part of Kalahari’s commitment to bring guests a beyond-expectations experience.  Below you will find some great information.

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Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains

  • Guest rooms and suites: nearly 1,000 rooms including one-, two- and three and five bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 22 guests 
  • America’s Largest Indoor waterpark: 220,000 sq. ft. 
  • Outdoor pool, large sundeck for relaxing, indoor/outdoor whirlpools and swim-up bar
  • Family Entertainment Center: 40,000 square feet with dry activities such as mini-bowling, cutting-edge arcade games, a 5-D theater and black light mini golf. 
  • The Arena – premier free-roam virtual reality experience on the East Coast
  • Gorilla Grove Treetop Outdoor Aerial Adventure Park
  • On-site dining experiences: 
    • Double Cut Charcoal Grill Liquor Bar:  Kalahari’s signature steak house experience featuring: premium cuts of meat, craft cocktails, family style sides and more 
    • Sortino’s Italian Kitchen: A new-aged, red-sauced restaurant where old-school Italian cuisine meets the modern age. The menu will include: wood-fired pizza, Italian family dining, a large variety of wines and more. 
    • Marrakesh Market: Grab and go convenience e bazaar style shopping, unique gifts, authentic-African items and everyday needs
    • Brandberg:  A classic tavern with a modern twist, Brandberg is an oasis in the Kalahari – a refuge for adults, a welcoming environment for families, and a destination for anyone in search of a distinctive dining and drinking experience 
  • Amenities: full-service Spa Kalahari and Salon, 6,000 square-feet of unique retail shops, a fully equipped fitness center
  • Convention Center:  100,000 sq. ft. with 65,000 square feet of flexible meeting space
I was impressed with all the restaurant options that Kalahari had to offer. Every restaurant is family friendly. They also offer breakfast with the Kalahari characters, which is an all you can eat sit down breakfast. 
For dinner we went over to Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar. Transport into our contemporary steakhouse, featuring a menu with robust selections cooked over hot coals including steak, seafood, chops, chicken and vegetables. One quality many items share: the distinctive flavor imparted by Double Cut’s charcoal grill.

The décor is modern, but not pretentious. The ambiance is sophisticated and multisensory, yet comfortable. The staff is educated, but not showy. The uniforms are unique, but classically tasteful. Welcome to Double Cut. 

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We started off our dinner with some fantastic wine and black pepper calamari. Our waitress was super helpful bringing out the different cuts of meat that Double cut has to offer. I ordered filet mignon with jumbo shrimp scampi and garlic mashed potatoes (my mouth is actually watering, thinking about it). The hubby ordered a NY strip with madiera mushrooms and charred asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Kids enjoyed some pasta, one with butter sauce and one with marinara.  Finishing off dinner we enjoyed some aged bourbon and creme brûlée.  I would recommend Double Cut to any steak lover. 
In addition to the amazing décor and dining experiences, the entertainment level is fun for all ages.  We had a blast with the kids at their massive indoor water park, had fun at the large arcade where you can win prizes and play some fun games, and my husband even got to try a new Virtual Reality experience in their “Arena.”  You can read his review of that here: https://scryptcomics.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/a-whole-new-experience/.  There’s lots of fun for all ages, and I hope to return again soon.
Visit https://www.kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania for more information and to book your next family getaway
Food!!

Easter with Keller’s Creamery

Easter brings with it the heart of Springtime.  It’s a time to celebrate, and there is much symbolism in the flowers rising as well as having family or friends gathering for a feast.  Each year it has become a tradition to have certain necessities for our meal.  Wine and beer are the main drinks for us grown ups with a lightly carbonated juice for the kids.  Our table always pops with color.  For me the holidays aren’t about just making a plate look good, but the table needs to draw in the crowd as well.  My mother-in-law bakes a nice ham with some pineapple and maraschino cherries to accent it.  There’s usually a good green vegetable, potatoes, rolls, and coleslaw in the mix as well.  Being a baker’s daughter though, I can’t deny the bread, and can’t wait for the dessert. 

While planning how I’d decorate the table, I included a side bowl of jelly beans for the color, and after dinner taste.  When I found out about Keller’s Creamery Butter Bunny Sculpture, however, I knew I had to have that as well.  A regular stick of butter for the bread just wouldn’t do.  He may not be the Easter Bunny, but it’s one of the highlights of the table.  The kids even look past the jelly beans and dessert to the cute little bunny.  Just make sure they see it before you cut off the ears and start spreading him on bread. 

This year I’m making a butter cake using Keller’s Creamery.  I’m local to a Weis supermarket, which always has them this time of year.  Below is the recipe, which I hope you enjoy.  What Easter traditions do you have? Visit for more on Keller’s Creamery http://www.kellerscreamery.com/

Butter Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temp

Zest of one orange, for garnish optional

powdered sugar, for dusting top of cake

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a large bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well incorporated. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda and butter milk, then add the sifted flour. Spread the batter evenly into the Bundt pan. Bake for approx. 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour.
  3. Once cake has completely cooled, invert onto a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Keller’s Creamery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Beer!!

Say Cheers on National Beer Day at On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

Trying to decide on your favorite beer for National Beer Day? Nothing compares to the classic flavor and crisp taste of an ice-cold beer served straight from the tap – except maybe getting that beer for just $3. That’s what On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina® is doing this year for National Beer Day – Friday, April 7th – with a salute to the top national beer of Mexico, Dos XX. All day long at all participating On The Border restaurants, any regularly sized Dos XX draft can be enjoyed at $3, no other purchase necessary.

 They are also offering On The Border’s classic CoronaRita cocktail – made with our zesty lime margarita mix, house tequila, triple sec, and a flipped-over bottle of Corona Light. It’s a unique turn on Corona and Lime that’s available for just $5 all day on National Beer Day.

Food!!

TGI Fridays Endless Happy Hour

This past week I had the opportunity to attend TGI Friday’s #EndlessHappyHour Celebration with Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Marcus Smith.  The Bensalem Friday’s location provided a showcase of new drinks and apps, as well as a fun atmosphere filled with excited football fans and food lovers.  Did I mention that the appetizers are endless?  Well you read right.  For ten dollars a person you can order as many apps as you’d like.  Among them are their newest addition of Meatballs & Fried Pickles.  TGI Friday’s also has an amazing selection of drinks, which I saw many people had in hand during the gathering.  Among those are the new Ultimate Boba Long Island Tea, The Best Fridays™ Margarita, and Strawberry Henny.  The excitement of the crowd really took it to a new level with plenty of laughs and enjoyment to go around.

While I wasn’t able to stay long due to other engagements, I will certainly be returning soon with my family to enjoy the experience.

Below are Ultimate Boba Long Island Tea and Strawberry Henny & Peach Sangria

Food!!

Peach Dump Cake

IMG_2371.JPGThe name of this easy cake doesn’t do it any justice. It’s called the “dump cake”. The reason why it’s called this is because you pretty much dump everything in one dish. No mixing required. This cake is so easy and by far my favorite way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The only bad part about this is waiting. Feel free to add any fruit to this mixture. I also topped with some ice cream and some lime zest. I felt like having some peaches since spring is in the air. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray for greasing the baking dish
Two 12-ounce bags frozen peaches
1 box moist yellow cake mix
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2cup rolled oats
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Ice cream, optional for topping

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Put the peaches in the prepared baking dish. distribute the cake mix over the peaches evenly. Sprinkle with the almonds and oats. Evenly drizzle the butter over the entire dish.

Bake until firm and golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Travel

2017 Genesis G80 and G90

Meet the 2017 Genesis G80 and G90. These cars fit perfectly in the luxury vehicle world. I was so impressed with the comfortable rides they provide, and all the latest features.

There’s nothing inside that looks shared with the Hyundai market either. The G90 looks and feels expensive inside, like a proper luxury car should. Here are some of the specs:
EXTERIOR DESIGN
In crafting the Genesis G90, the Prestige Design Group aimed to capture the vehicle’s strength and originality, while presenting fresh appeal through innovative styling and athletic proportions.

From the front, the G90 identity is easily distinguished by its bold ‘CREST’ grille, and crowned with the winged Genesis emblem. Ideally proportioned, the G90 combines a prominent hood with short overhangs, a design feature that accentuates the model’s strength and presence. Available full-LED signature headlights (V8 model) flow from fascia to fender – a key design element of the new Genesis brand. On the lower fascia, standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) add a distinctive illumination signature.

A bold arcing character line spans the length of G90, accentuating the vehicle’s dynamic profile. Refined use of chrome elements also serve to create an elegant and premium appearance, along with standard 19-inch alloy wheels. In the rear, chrome dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated in the lower bumper balance the vertical LED taillights providing a modern luxury feel. Even more, the clean lines of the G90 yield the additional benefit of an exceptional 0.27 coefficient of drag for minimized wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency, a best-in-class for the segment.

The G90 is available in six colors created to accentuate its distinctive lines. Ranging from Casablanca White and Caspian Black to Manhattan Brown, Santiago Silver, London Gray and Patagonia Blue. The color palette was painstakingly matched to its interior environments and sophisticated material selections.

INTERIOR DESIGN
Effortless ergonomics, interior design harmony, convenience and luxurious comfort are seamlessly combined to craft the Genesis G90 interior design. Virtually every element of the interior focuses on the passenger’s needs, from the intuitive horizontal layout of driver controls to meticulous craftsmanship with precision stitching, and a premium material selection perfectly complimented by an elegant interior color palette.

Extensive consideration was given to material selection for the G90. The highest-quality, authentic materials adorn the cabin, with ease of operation and intrinsic beauty as fundamental priorities for the interior. Occupants are surrounded by genuine wood accents, including the leather-stitched instrument panel. Even the Lexicon® audio speaker grilles convey an ultra-luxury feel, precision-machined out of stainless steel.

Passenger space is a key component of interior comfort and design, and the new G90 has improved spaciousness, derived in part from a generous 4.5-inch increase in wheelbase for greater passenger comfort. This increase in wheelbase also resulted in reduced overall overhangs. Inside the cabin, this translates to superior front headroom (41.1 inches) and legroom (46.3 inches) when compared with key competitors.

Out of the pair of them, the G90 is my absolute favorite. My kids and hubby loved it as well. This car was super hard to give back. If you ever get the time or are in the market for a new car, go test drive and see for yourself how amazing these cars are.

The G80 is a rear-wheel-drive, midsize luxury sedan that seats five people. Hyundai recently spun off Genesis as a standalone luxury brand, and the 2017 Genesis G80 is one of the first models to come out under Hyundai.
The G80 is smaller than the G90 but still very roomy. For those seeking value and something distinct from established luxury brands, the G80 is a compelling choice. A 311-hp 3.8-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive is standard, and a 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 is optional; all-wheel drive is available, but only with the V-6 engine. The G80’s long standard-equipment list includes an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a head-up display, navigation, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Safety is important. Hyundai’s new Genesis G80 and G90 were recognized for their top rate safety features by the Car Connection, which awarded one of their rarely awarded perfect scores. Federal and IIHS tests also gave perfect scores to both vehicles in all five of their safety tests.

In closing, these are vehicles suitable for families, cruising, classy events, and bachelor’s/bachelorettes. There’s not much else that can be said, other than the Genesis brand is sure to last a long time.

I give the Genesis a 9 out of 10. For more information visit https://www.genesis.com/us/en/genesis.html

Uncategorized

Guinness Chocolate Pudding

Since St.Patty’s day is right around the corner I figured I would share this delicious recipe with you again.

Homemade Delish

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St. Patrick’s day is upon us. This recipe is great for the festivities. Guinness is a great stout beer with which to cook. The flavors of chocolate and beer really compliment each other in this pudding. Making pudding from scratch isn’t as complicated as some may make it seem. Get ready to enjoy some great flavors.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
14.9 oz Guinness Stout beer
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add half of beer to mixture and stir. Set aside.

Next in a medium saucepan on medium heat, add heavy cream and remaining beer. Whisk occasionally until it comes to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stir until chocolate melts. Now take the chocolate mixture and add to the eggs. Remember to keep rapidly whisking while…

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Food!!

Coconut Pudding

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I love a good pudding.  It’s like the perfect ending to a delicious dinner.  I have made so many varieties of pudding (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon and passion fruit), but this coconut one has now become a favorite on the list.  This is a must try recipe.  You will not be disappointed, and even the kids will want seconds.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (13.5-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Raspberries, garish optional

Preparation:

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; whisk in milk and next 2 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Place in little ramekins and in the refrigerator for 90 min or overnight. Top with raspberries and chocolate.