Travel

2018 Mazda 6

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Today I guess is a day full of Mazda reviews just for you. The 2018 Mazda 6 has to be my favorite from the line.  It’s such a stylish vehicle in my opinion. As some of you may know I am an extra on the new Creed 2 movie coming out in November.  About 3 weeks ago I was on set for a whole week going back in forth to my house and the studio.

It was a lot of late nights and early mornings and I have to say that the Mazda 6 really gave me the comfort in needed for the commute. I even had lunch in the car a couple of times with the sunroof open. It’s my husband’s favorite car as well. You can’t go wrong with the room, comfort and safety this car brings.

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I remember a couple of people on set asking me which Mazda type this was and they thought it was such a sharp looking car. I don’t want to keep rambling about the same things, but this is up there with some high quality ones in my opinion.  This was perfect for my family of 4 with plenty of room for the kids and great trunk space.

Here are few other features

BODY
LED headlights with auto-leveling
LED Daytime Running Lights
Auto-off headlights
Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
Body colored power side mirrors with integrated turn signals
Body colored door handles and bumpers
Integrated rear-window antenna
LED Combination Taillights
Dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips

COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
Dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter
Power windows with one-touch auto up/down
Power automatic door locks
Cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls
Electronic parking Brake
Remote keyless entry system with “answer back” feature
Remote release for trunk, hood and fuel door
Push-button start
And much more

SEATING & TRIM
5-passenger seating
Cloth-trimmed sport seats
6-way manual driver’s seat with manual lumbar support and height adjustment
6-way manual front passenger seat
60/40 split fold-down rear seatback with remote trunk operation
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Leather-wrapped gear selector
Carpet floor mats

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Visit https://www.mazdausa.com for more information on all of their models

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Travel

2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD

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Back in March I had the opportunity to try out the . I thought that I had this review ready for you guys but it seems as though my computer decided not to save my work. So here goes.

I had a couple of family gatherings which meant a lot of grocery shopping & picking up all those party needs.  The Mazda CX-3 only had a limited amount of space for all my goodies and the kids. Keep in mind this is a smaller SUV. It has a pretty cool look but has small headquarters where you feel closed in. The seats are always comfortable which makes up for the lack of space. No one wants to be in a small cabin and not have comfortable seats. If you are looking for a smaller SUV with pretty decent gas mileage this may be the car for you.

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Below you will find some other details on the 2018 Mazda CX-3.

CABIN
•       Air Conditioning
Climate Control, A/C
•       Seat Trim
Leather Seats, Premium Synthetic Seats
•       Windows
Power Windows, Rear Defrost
•       Seats
Bucket Seats, Rear Bench Seat, Heated Front Seat(s), Pass-Through Rear Seat

SAFETY
•       Safety Features
Traction Control, Stability Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Cross-Traffic Alert, Child Safety Locks, Brake Assist, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Daytime Running Lights, Headlights-Auto-Leveling
•Air Bags
Front Side Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Rear Head Air Bag, Driver Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor
FUEL
Fuel
29 MPG

Tech
Cargo Shade, Navigation System, Telematics, Heads-Up Display, Engine Immobilizer, Back-Up Camera, Rain Sensing Wipers, Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Intermittent Wipers, Automatic Headlights, Fog Lamps, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Bluetooth Connection, Trip Computer, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Leather Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Keyless Start

Remember to visit https://www.mazdausa.com for full details

Food!!

Easy Homemade Churros

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Here is a great dessert to share with guests tomorrow for your cinco de mayo party. They actually serve these in Brazil as well. I do love my churros with dolce de leche but I didn’t have any for serving. People also love to serve these with jam or Nutella. But they are delicious just the way they are regularly with cinnamon. here’s a super easy recipe that takes no time. You can also prepare the dough the night before and refrigerate. But before piping to fry make sure to let dough come to a room temperature. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons for dough (plus 1 cup sugar for coating)
2 teaspoons cinnamon, for coating
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation

Fill a medium to large pot with 2-3 inches of vegetable oil and preheat to 340ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a shallow dish whisk together 2 cups of sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the water, vegetable oil, remaining amount of sugar, salt, vanilla, and bring to a simmer. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Make sure no remaining lumps of flour are visible. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe dough into the preheated oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to paper towel and cool slightly. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until fully coated. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve with favorite dipping sauce or ice cream

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Food!!

Strawberry Salsa

 

 

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It’s almost party time. Cinco de mayo is Saturday and we always love to have people over to celebrate. This salsa is full of flavor and trust me you will not want to share. I have made sweet salsas before with mango and watermelon which I have recipes on here as well. But this has now become my all time favorite sweet salsa especially because now strawberries are in season. Some people may think this is a weird combo.  My kids did too but the freshness with a bit of heat from the jalapeño make it out of this world delicious. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 pint of strawberries, cut in half and diced
Juice of 1 lime and zest

1 small shallot, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalapeño, cut in half, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped

Preparation:

In a large bowl mix all of the above ingredients together. Let marinate for 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

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Travel

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited

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As we all know by now the Philadelphia Eagles are the Super Bowl champs. A memory that will last a life time for us Philadelphians. I was able to experience the parade after the big win. I drove down with the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

The Sonata is a great midsize sedan perfect for my kids who are 7 and 9, giving them plenty of room in the backseat without any fighting. It was great on gas as well especially driving back in forth from the city and the parade.

After all the excitement I had some tv segments lined up. I was impressed with the trunk size and able to fit all my props and bags with no problems.

Here are a couple of other features that I really enjoyed. Standard features in the Sonata include Bluetooth, a USB port, a 7-inch touch-screen display, and Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Available features include a power sunroof, a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system, satellite radio, an 8-inch touch screen with navigation, and wireless device charging.

The Blue Link infotainment system is intuitive and responsive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, meaning every Sonata has easy-to-use smartphone connectivity features.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Hyundai Sonata the highest rating of Good in five crash safety tests. Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. Available features include adaptive headlights, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Visit http://www.hyundaiusa.com

 

Food!!

Roasted Sunchokes

 

Some people have never heard of Sunchokes. It’s just one of those vegetables you might walk by because of the way they look. Sunchokes look like ginger roots so make sure you’re double checking before purchasing. They aren’t the prettiest vegetable, but have great flavor. Like I mentioned before in my posts, roasting veggies will bring out the sweetness in any vegetable. This will also help with the picky eaters in our lives. This is the perfect side for dinner.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds small sunchokes, peeked, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons evoo
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 large garlic cloves,
6 sprigs of thyme
Crushed red pepper, optional for garnish
Parsley, chopped optional for garnish

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees

Combine cleaned sunchokes with EVOO, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange sunchokes, cut side down, in pan; cook 5 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Arrange garlic and rosemary evenly over sunchokes. Place pan in oven; roast at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until sunchokes are tender and deep golden. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and parsley.

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Think Local Give Local

 

Think Local, Give Local: An Evening Benefiting the Garces Foundation

 

WHAT:                           

Garces Foundation presents Think Local, Give Local, an event with tastings from the area’s most acclaimed chefs and a food-themed silent auction to benefit the lives of Philadelphia’s immigrant community.

 

DETAILS:

In a year when the rights of immigrants are more important than ever, the sixth annual Garces Foundation Benefit has gone all out with making this the best event yet. Chef Jose Garces has handpicked a group of local chefs to deliver an unforgettable epicurean experience, highlighting Philadelphia’s unique culinary talent. Throughout the evening guests will enjoy everything with a local twist – cocktails made with local spirits, regional handcraft beer, design and décor made by local artists such as Petals Lane and Event FX and more. Additionally, Entertainment will be provided by American Deluxe

Guests will participate in a live auction featuring exciting and unique experiences, including a New Year’s Eve overnight package at LUMA Hotel Times Square. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is matching the first $5,000 raised for each live auction item.

 

The Chefs’ After Party will feature cocktails made exclusively with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

 

WHEN:                           

Friday, April 13, 2018

VIP Preview 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

General Admission 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Chefs’ After Party 9:00 p.m. -midnight

Stage program including video and live auction will occur at 8:15.

WHERE:          

Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia

PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:

Stations from Garces restaurants including: 24, Amada, Buena Onda, Distrito, Distrito Moorestown, Garces Events, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Olón and Okatshe located at Tropicana Atlantic City, Ortzi NYC, The Olde Bar, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Volvér

  1. Kitchen, Eli Collins
  2. Abe Fisher, Yehuda Sichel
  3. Baba’s Brew, Olga Sorzano
  4. Bing Bing Dim Sum, Ben Puchowitz
  5. Cake Life Bake Shop, Lily Fisher
  6. Cheu Fishtown, Ben Puchowitz
  7. Ela, Jason Cichonski
  8. Gilda’s Biscotti, Gilda Doganiero
  9. La Peg, Kenneth Bush
  10. , Nicholas Elmi
  11. Mission Taqueria, Andrew Sabin
  12. Osteria, Jeff Michaud
  13. Subarashii Kudamono Gourmet Asian Pears, Holly Harter
  14. Food & Drink, Greg Vernick
  15. Zeppoli, Joey Baldino

Guests will enjoy drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Patron, Beam Suntory, Yards, Brooklyn Brewing and Estrella, Bluecoat Gin, Coca-Cola and wine from Winebow.

TITO’S HANDMADE VODKA SUPPORTS THE GARCES FOUNDATION

Leading up to the benefit, Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be donating $1 per cocktail sold at each of the participating Garces restaurants.

TICKET INFORMATION:

General Admission – $150
VIP Admission – $285 receive exclusive access to the after party on the 33rd floor and a preview tasting.
Cocktail attire.

 

ABOUT THE GARCES FOUNDATION:

In 2012, the Garces Foundation was founded to support Philadelphia’s immigrant community, particularly employees of Philadelphia’s hospitality industry and their families. The foundation raises funds to provide this community with medical and educational programming. The goal is to help Philadelphia’s immigrants take advantage of these resources so that they may actively contribute their talents to making this city truly world-class.

The foundation currently runs two of its own programs that improve the health, language, and cultural skills of this community. The first is a quarterly Community Health Day where uninsured patients can receive free dental care, physicals, and medical screenings. The second is an applied learning English as a second language class for restaurant workers, English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living, which aims to narrow the language and cultural gap in the workplace and beyond.

  • Tickets: https://garcesfoundation.org/events
  • Early Admission – $200
  • Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Andy Satinsky
  • V Street, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
  • Oyster Bar, Brett Naylor
  • On Point Bistro, Juan Lopez
  • Maison 208, Sylva Senat
  • Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Jon Cichon
  • Hungry Pigeon, Scott Schroeder
  • Fork, John Patterson
  • Dim Sum Garden, Sally Song
  • Capofitto and Capogiro, Stephanie and John Reitano
  • Bistrot La Minette, Peter Woolsey
  • Bank and Bourbon, Thomas Harkins
  • Amis, Brad Spence
A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel

The Woodloch Resort

 

I’m excited to share this amazing place with all of you. My family and I had the opportunity to head to The Woodloch Resort here in Pennsylvania. This resort has so much to offer that my kids said it is 2nd to Disney World!  
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and were greeted by a staff that was super friendly and provided us with all the information we needed for our weekend stay. She gave me a calendar and stated that everyday their calendar changes to different shows and activities for the family. We were all excited about this because usually resorts only offer the same activities everyday. Below I made a video so you can checkout all the fun.  There’s a lot for all ages there!

 


Next we parked our car at the lot where our room would be. They have a bus that picks you up every ten minutes from your hotel to take you to the activities throughout the resort. Our room was the perfect size for a family of 4 with young kids. It had 2 queen size beds and a pull out sofa with a full mattress. 2 TVs, 2 full bathrooms and a mini refrigerator. We also had a gorgeous view of the lake.
Now let’s chat about the food, which of course is usually my favorite part. We had a 3 meal plan, which means 3 meals a day of course but every time it was a 3 course meal. Our waitress Courtney was absolutely one of the best waitress I have ever had. Super friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and the desserts were fabulous.

After dinner that night we went to the arcade and had some family fun. The kids also wanted to go for a late night swim. The following day we enjoyed some breakfast and decided to have some fun and enter the cupcake competition. We didn’t win but we had a blast, and met some new friends. Then we went snow tubing. Afterwards we had a great lunch and I had an appointment for a little massage at the spa. The spa is located at Woodloch Spa Resort which is an adults only resort perfect for a romantic getaway or for a girls’ weekend. I could had stayed at the spa all day. After my massage I got to enjoy the dry and wet sauna and hot tub. You can checkout all the spa services here https://www.woodloch.com/spa/
That night we went to dinner and enjoyed the amazing show in the club area. They had dancing to start then the show was about the best performances of the last few decades at Woodloch.  To end the night they had a family friendly comedian. What a fun night to make memories with our kids.

Our last day came quickly.  We had some breakfast and then went off to drive some go karts and checkout the petting zoo. The petting zoo included pony rides and adorable little animals.  
To close it all out we had lunch and the kids wanted to go to the craft room and create some fun art to bring home.  My only regret is that we didn’t get to stay longer, but it was one amazing get away. 
Thank you Woodloch Resort for having us. We made some memories that will last us a life time. We can’t wait to return in the summer to see what else Woodloch has to offer. Make sure to visit and plan your visit https://www.woodloch.com/

 

 

 

A Platter of Thoughts

Let’s Talk!

 

For the last couple of weeks I have been missing in action here on my blog and I apologize for that. I wanted to chat with you about what happened. It’s rare that I go on lengthy posts but this one is important especially to all my women out there. Last month I went to the doctor because I felt a little lump above my left breast kinda felt squishy but I didn’t know what it could be.  For all I knew it could have been another lipoma which I had one last year removed from my back. The doctor felt something and said why don’t we get that checked with an ultrasound. I made an appointment and went in to the Women’s Health Care department at Holy Redeemer here in Philadelphia, PA. The office staff was super nice. The ultrasound tech did her thing and didn’t seem to locate anything. She told me I’m going to show the head radiologist. She came back and said since we didn’t seem to locate anything they wanted to get a mammogram just to be certain. Now mind you I have never had one done before. But I said okay better to be safe than sorry.

That day I went home and started to research mammograms. Different ways to prepare like don’t wear any deodorant or lotions because this can mess with the mammogram. Also take ibuprofen an hour before your exam. Most importantly stay calm.  The following day was my appointment (which was on my birthday, ugh). They were going to do a mammogram on both my breasts. After that they put me in the waiting room. They called me back again because they needed 2 more photos of my right breast. Got that done and went back into the waiting room. This time they came back and said we are going to do an ultrasound of your right breast. At this point I knew they had spotted something. I went in and you could see something tiny on the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound tech said I’m going to show this to the head radiologist and I will be back. To my surprise he came back with her. This is when your mind just goes blank as they start to say they found something. They didn’t really know what it could be, but they wanted to do a biopsy to make sure it’s nothing serious. He mentioned Fibroadenoma (which is a noncancerous breast tumor).  At this point I was holding in tears. They said I can make my appointment with the nurse. After speaking with her and making my appointment I had to wait 2 weeks before my consultation.

After leaving the office I was a mess. You start to think about the worse case and about your kids and family. I’m lucky to have such an amazing husband who kept me calm and was my strength. If this was something serious at least they caught it early. SO of course I got home and started to research Fibroadenoma. I started to look at different vitamins and different things I could do to prepare for my biopsy. The first thing I did was reach out to my friends at Lizzy Jays Juice to kickstart a detox of my body which I read was really good to do just to get all the toxins out. I stayed positive and I think that’s the important part.

The day of my consultation came.  The doctor was super nice and explained a lot to me about the care of our breasts, and this could have been something that was always in my breast. After that we set up the big day of my biopsy. I was so nervous but I knew that this would all be over soon. The biopsy went well and they placed a marker clip inside used for breast biopsies and made of titanium or surgical stainless steel.  It is about 2 millimeters in size. When the radiologist or surgeon feels a marker should be used, they are inserted at the end of breast core or needle biopsy procedures to mark the site of the biopsy for later reference. This is for future reference.  Now when I go to get a mammogram they will know that I had a biopsy there and its nothing serious. After the procedure I got up to get a mammogram.  I got so light headed that my blood pressure dropped to 83/60 which was super low, so they had to lay me down. I think the emotions got to me.

After all was said and done I returned home and the waiting game of the results began. The bruising and pain was not bad at all on my breast. I think waiting for the results was the worst part. Finally 3 days later I got the call. “You are free and clear!” they said.  “It was a Acinar Calcification benign (noncancerous).”  I felt the weight of the world off my shoulders. The reason I wanted to share this experience with you is because sometimes as women we put our familes and loved ones first or we are scared of going to get a mammogram or go to our OBGYN but that reality is if its something serious and they can find it sooner rather then later it can save your life.  I thought I had something on my left breast, but instead there was something on my right.  Bottom line is that we don’t know enough ourselves, so we need to get ourselves checked out regularly.

Some of you may have had different experiences this was just my story.  Feel free to share yours in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Food!!

Easy Escarole Soup

This soup is by far one of the easiest soups you can make. It’s done in less then 25 minutes and perfect for those busy weeknights or chilly cold weekends. It’s an Italian favorite for sure. Top with some parm and crushed red pepper and with a glass of vino. You are set.

Ingredients: 

1 lb Escarole, chopped 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 small onion, diced 

Salt & Pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons Evoo 

32oz of broth of choice 

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 small piece parmigiano reggiano, optional of course but totally worth it

Crushed red pepper flakes, garnish and optional 

parmigiano reggiano cheese, garnish and optional

Preparation:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions cook for about 3 minutes until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, Add the chicken broth, beans, and Parmesan cheese rind. Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve and garnish