Food!!

Healthy Kids with Giant Food Stores

Getting our kids to eat healthier can sometimes be tough.  During the summer months we need our kids to stay hydrated and ready to play outside.

My kids love going food shopping with me, which is great because they get to pick out healthy things they love to eat.  One of the things I love that GIANT food stores does is offer free fruit for kids when visiting the store.  My children look forward to this every time.  Another great activity that some GIANT food stores offer are cooking classes, which is another great way to get others excited about all things culinary.  Check your local store to see if they offer classes.

Kids need satisfying and tasty snacks to take to camp, on road trips and to grab at home. But what are some quick, easy and balanced snacks your kids will love and you can feel good about?

Well I sat down for a Q&A with GIANT’S nutritionist Rabiya Bower.  Check out the Q&A below and see what she had to say.  I think these ideas are not just great for summer but will work throughout the school year as well.

GIANT Food Stores is committed to providing health and wellness resources to help their customers eat well, including the expertise of eight in-store nutritionists. Each nutritionist is available to assist customers with questions on healthy eating while they shop, provide one-on-one nutrition consultations and teach health-related classes.

http://giantfoodstores.com/live-well/health-and-wellness/nutritionists/

 

Rabiya Bower, RD, LDN works out of the Flourtown, PA GIANT located at 1874 Bethlehem Pike. With her experience in education and community outreach, she brings knowledge in diabetes management, childhood nutrition and family meal planning to her role with GIANT.

Q&A

1. Any tips for picky eaters? 

Picky eating is so frustrating! For a detailed answer, check out registered dietitian (RD) Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Eating.

Get your child involved in the cooking process! Kids are more likely to try something new if they can claim ownership of the food item. Let your child pick out a new food from the produce department. If you need some tips on preparing it, check out our Savory magazine recipe center, where you can search by food item. Once you’ve found a recipe, let your child help your prepare it. Kids as young as two can help squeeze a lemon or lime, rip herbs into small pieces, or stir together a salad. For a complete list of developmentally appropriate kitchen tasks, check out The Kids Cook Monday.

Don’t forget, a child needs to see a food up to 25 times before they will consider trying it!  

2. What are the perfect summer snacks? 

The best snacks for summertime are always fruits and vegetables! Fresh produce can help you and your kids stay hydrated. Fruits with a high water content include watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe and peaches. You can also try pineapple, cranberries, raspberries and oranges. To make your own fruit popsicles, try this recipe.

Vegetables with high water content are cucumber, zucchini, radishes and celery. Other veggies to include are tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers and broccoli. This Fiesta Veggie Dip is a delicious and easy way for your kids to enjoy vegetables – they can even help you make it!

Don’t forget, shopping in season is your best bet for maximum flavor.  

3. How can I get my child to drink more water?

Make water exciting by flavoring it naturally with fruits and veggies. Place sliced produce in a pitcher of water and keep it ice-cold in the fridge. Some great combinations are orange slices and strawberry tops, sliced cucumber and torn mint, or sliced lemons and limes. You can even freeze fruit into an ice try for a bright pop of color! Try placing 1-2 raspberries or blackberries per section in an ice tray.  

4. Is breakfast still the most important meal of the day for children? 

Definitely! Breakfast is the first fuel that gets your kids body ready to play and learn for the day. Feed your child a healthy mix of protein and energy to power his or her morning. Don’t forget to set a good example! Parents should also start the day with a nutritious breakfast.

A healthy breakfast has three out of the five food groups. Some examples include whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas or an omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheddar cheese. How does pizza sound for breakfast? Try this sweet or savory version and watch you kids gobble it up! 

5. What high fiber snacks, veggies or fruits would you recommend? 

Any fruit or veggie is a good source of fiber, so let your child enjoy what he or she loves! Add some variety with different colors of grapes, apples or peppers. Did you know you can buy purple carrots or golden cauliflower? The different colors provide different phytochemicals, so encourage your child to eat a variety of fruits of vegetables – at least 5 a day!

For other high-fiber snacks, choose whole grains. Try whole grain crackers, tortilla chips, or pita bread with hummus for a fiber and protein filled snack. My favorite is the Belvita breakfast bars. They contain fiber and not too much sugar, and are yummy on-the-go snack! Fiber is important for a healthy heart and healthy gut, so look for 3 g of fiber or more per serving of food.

 

 

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Food!!

Easy Lime Cookies

I know during the summer months none of us really like to bake, but sometimes we just want that quick recipe to make a delicious cookie. If you’re like me and love some citrus then these lime cookies will not disappoint. It will be perfect for your next BBQ or family get together. The only problem you will have is sharing. I hope all of you are having a great summer so far.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest and stir to combine.

Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined.

Using a ice cream scooper. Scoop out dough onto baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with extra lime zest. Enjoy!

Travel

2017 AMG C43 Cabriolet Mercedes Benz

 

Mercedes Benz has been on the top of my list of cars to try.  It met all of my expectations from the sleek exterior look to the stylish interior.  I have been reviewing different car brands now for a couple of years, and some brands I feel spend more time on making the exterior eye catching, but not focusing on the interior.  Mercedes Benz has exceeded on both. 

The 2017 C43 Cabriolet isn’t your typical sporty car.  It also has a luxury feel to it.  While I had the vehicle, the family and I took on a trip up to the mountains.  This is about a two hour drive from where we live.  Now mind you my kids are 7 and 8.  The backseat of the C43 had the perfect amount of space for a comfortable cruise.  The ride was absolutely smooth on those twists and turns up the mountain.  The C43 will do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds which is impressive.
Prior to the mountain venture, I headed into the city for a fantastic event with some great chefs and well known people.  As I pulled up to valet, heads turned to notice the convertible top returning to it’s closed position.  Another woman noticed and asked what model it was, because she was in the market for something sporty that exhibited class.  If you’re in the market for something like that, then this is the perfect vehicle. 
It is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine that delivers 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.  Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.  The C43 has five drive modes, and the AMG Ride Control sport suspension with adaptive variable damping offers three stages that can be selected via a button by the driver. All these features at the touch of your finger tips.  
Facts:
  • First-ever C-Class convertible
  • C300 and Mercedes-AMG C43 variants
  • Fabric, multi-layer, acoustic, power soft top
  • Standard AirScarf neck-warming system
  • Standard heat-reflective leather seats
  • Climate system adjusts to top position
Also here are some features:
Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets And Reservoir
Chrome Grille
Power Convertible Top w/Lining, Glass Rear Window, Automatic Roll-Over Protection and Manual Wind Blocker
Radio: Audio 20 – Radio w/Single CD & Bluetooth -inc: two USB ports, Bluetooth technology for handsfree phone use and audio streaming and central controller w/7″ high-mounted tablet-style color display
8 Speakers
Heated Front Seats
Power Passenger Seat w/Memory -inc: adjustable thigh support
Collision Prevention Assist Plus Forward Collision
Blind Spot Assist Blind Spot Sensor
Back-Up Camera
Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
These are just a few of the endless features the C43 has to offer. 
MPG is City 19 and highway 26. All in all I give the 2017 AMG C43 a 9.5 out of 10. For more information visit https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/index
Checkout video below

Food!!

Whole Foods Market Catering

 

Last month was my son’s birthday.  I can’t believe my little guy is 7!   Time sure does fly.  For his big day I wanted to entertain our guests with something other than pizza and chips.  My local Whole Foods market, which is located in Jenkintown, Pa, showed me that they have some amazing catering platters. 

I have done catering platters from other markets, but hands down Whole Foods market really brings it to the table.  The platters weren’t just delicious they were beautiful and colorful, and had the guests raving about how nice they were.  Below I will give you a description of the platters I ordered.
If you’re entertaining this summer and want a crowd pleasing platter you have to visit your local Whole Foods market and check the selections out. 
ANTIPASTO Platter
An array of prosciutto, sopressata, salami, provolone cheese, marinated fresh mozzarella, grilled vegetables, marinated artichokes and olives. Served with crusty bread, saffron aioli and green olive tapenade to spread. Small (Serves 8) Large (Serves 16)
 
CHEESE & MEATS Platter
A cheeses to delight the palate: cheddar, provolone and fresh turkey and roast beef served with baguette and aioli and saffron aioli. Small (Serves 8-10) Large (Serves 15-18)
Visit a Whole Foods market near you. http://m.wholefoodsmarket.com/
Food!! · Travel

Sabbia on the Roof at Eataly NYC

If there’s one place you can call foodie heaven, it’s Eataly New York Flatiron.  It was my first time visiting, and I did not want to leave.  This place is huge, and has everything you want under one roof.  Speaking of roof, we enjoyed a delicious dinner on the rooftop Sabbia

I don’t even know where to start with this delicious restaurant.  Sabbia is a laid back dining experience that provides you with a summer feel. 
Sabbia is La Birreria’s summer pop-up concept, and transports one from the bustling streets of Flatiron, New York City to the Italian seaside. The rooftop is enclosed with clear glass that opens up on those beautiful summer days. 
As we arrived we were greeted with a very accommodating hostess.  The menu had so many amazing choices and the wine/cocktail/beer list was on point.  The hubby and I decided to order some red wine.  My kids don’t drink soda but that night we figured that they could have a treat and enjoy some Italian soda.  Our waiter Kevin was super friendly and gave us some recommendations on what to order. 
We started off with some SALUMI-FORMAGGI platter (cheese and salami), INSALATA D’ORZO E TONNATO (Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes, Capers, Grilled Onions, Artichoke & Preserved Tuna Based Sauce) and FRITTO MISTO ALLA LIGURE Assorted Fried Seafood Ligurian Style.  This was the perfect starter and I couldn’t stop eating it.  Even my kids were in on all the delicious cheeses and seafood. 
Main course was the perfect amount after enjoying all of the appetizers. I went with the POLPO ALLA PLANCHA S(eared Octopus with Chickpea, Almonds, Marinated Peppers & Taggiasca Olives), the hubby enjoyed some PESCE SPADA CON CIAMBOTTA (Grilled Sword fish with Braised Vegetables in a Tomato Broth) which he couldn’t stop raving about, and finally the kids both wanted steak so they had TAGLIATA DI MANZO (Grilled Wagyu Bohemian Steak with Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano) and loved every bite. 
At this point we were feeling pretty satisfied, but of course you can’t finish a fantastic dinner and not have some dessert.  The kids both shared gelato and sorbetti flavors of Cioccolato and Limone, and the hubby and I shared a chocolate bunet, which was out of this world delicious. 
Overall my experience at Sabbia was amazing.  I’ll definitely be returning there the next time I’m in NYC.
Here are some of their upcoming events:
 

ROSEì ON THE ROOF | Thursday, May 25, 8-11 p.m.

Uncork summer with this all-access roseì event. The $95 General Admission tickets include an unlimited tasting of more than 30 featured roseì wines, dance floor with live DJ pumping the best summer beats, and unlimited access to beach-inspired Southern Italian bites. For $40 more, enjoy the VIP Package (limited availability) that includes everything in General Admission plus access to the event an hour early, a pink-themed swag bag for hitting the beach, and special one-time Wine Club access with three bottles of roseì curated by Eataly’s wine specialists. Tickets available at Eataly.com.

COCKTAIL TAKEOVERS | Monthly, After-hours

Monthly cocktail takeovers featuring partnerships with local cocktail bars showing off their mixed drinks. These speakeasy-type takeovers will be held after-hours monthly, with delicious food to match. Starting May 26.

PERONI CINEMA NIGHTS | Monthly at Midnight

Rooftop movie nights featuring housemade popcorn (think: Cacio e Pepe popcorn) and drinks. Starting in June.

 SABBIA will be open through October. The current hours are 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. From May 15 onward, the hours will be MondaySunday 11:30 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Reservations aren’t necessary but are available on Open Table.

About Eataly

Eataly is a bustling Italian marketplace featuring quality products from Italy’s many regions, alongside artisan creations from local producers. Guests are invited to “Eat, Shop, and Learn” about Italian culture and cuisine through the market, restaurants, cafeìs, guided tours, live demos, and classes.

 

Founded by Oscar Farinetti, Eataly opened its first location in Torino, Italy in 2007. Three years later, his son, Eataly U.S.A. CEO Nicola Farinetti brought the concept to the U.S. opening a flagship store in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood. With the help of their partners, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Adam Saper, and Alex Saper, Eataly’s U.S. presence has grown to include a Chicago location, a second New York location in Lower Manhattan, and a Boston location.

 At Eataly, the saying goes, “We cook what we sell, and we sell what we cook.” The unique format of the store invites guests to taste authentic dishes in the restaurants, find the same ingredients in the marketplace, and then discover how to recreate the recipes at home. Dining options at Eataly range from breakfast to lunch, dinner and dessert, including casual take-away choices as well as more refined sit-down experiences. Skilled artisans are at Eataly 24 hours a day making fresh bread, mozzarella, pasta, gelato, and more, for Eataly’s restaurants and retail

Travel

2017 Mazda CX-9

The last 2 weeks have been insanely busy.  We traveled to New York City and had an amazing time.  Traveling with kids of course you always want comfort and space.  We were lucky enough to have the 2017 Mazda CX-9 for this trip.  It made two hours feel like half that amount of time.  Traveling in NYC can sometimes be a headache dealing with the traffic, but it wasn’t too bad this time around because we went on a Sunday and stayed overnight.  After NYC we came back to reality.
Heading to dance class with my daughter, and baseball with my son is only part of the back and forth we do on a weekly basis.  Having the CX-9 was great because of all the storage space for those dance and baseball bags.  Carpooling for my daughter and some of her dance friends worked out great too because the CX-9 has 3 rows of seating.  The sunroof was the perfect touch, since it was quite warm on a couple of those days.
Saying goodbye to the CX-9 was tough.  I’m such a fan of SUVs and had to go back to a mini van, which isn’t bad but the CX-9 provided us with that mini van accommodation and relaxing feel.
Some awesome features on the 2017 CX-9 include:
LED Headlights with auto off and auto height control
LED Daytime Running Lights
LED Combination taillights
Three-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter (which was great for my son who has allergies)
Front door courtesy lamps
Remote keyless illuminated entry system with “answer back” feature
Push Button Start
Front door pocket illumination
Tilt & telescopic steering column
12-volt power outlets (1 front/1 cargo area)
Rear window defogger with timer
7-passenger seating capacity
2nd-row seats with tilt and slide 3rd-row access
And so much more. Visit https://www.mazdausa.com/ for more information. 
Food!!

Edible Flowerpot Cake

Surprise mom with this delicious edible flower pot.  This isn’t just a pretty arrangement, it tastes delicious too.  I think any mom would love this gift.  This doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s super cool to share or enjoy on your own.  These flowers are completely edible.  You can find them now in a lot of grocery stores.  The soil is made from yummy chocolate cake or brownies.

Ingredients
Store bought or homemade chocolate cake/brownie
Edible flowers
Chocolate pudding, store bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
Medium size Flower pot (terra-cotta)

Preparation:

In a medium bowl break up chocolate cake or brownies into pieces. Mix in the chocolate pudding. This will give you a dirt/mud texture (but this tastes really good). Next place the mixture into a clean flower pot and top with crumbled Oreos. Finally add the edible flowers. Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Food!!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

For all my chocolate lovers out there, and to all my gluten free friends this recipe is for you.  It’s a decadent chocolate cake which is sure to satisfy all those chocolate cravings.  I love to top this with some fresh fruit, but I also find vanilla ice cream to be the perfect pairing; or maybe even a glass of vino.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (plus additional for dusting pan)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter or cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and grease the paper.

Fill a pot with about 2-inches of water and bring to a slow boil. Place a glass bowl over the pot and add the butter and chocolate. Let that melt while stirring occasionally until smooth. Next remove mixture from the heat.  Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated.

Pour into springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until the top has formed a little crust. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Finally remove from pan and enjoy with fruit, whipped cream or ice cream.

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,

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.