Before this month comes to a close, I realized I must post our Westchester Woman Wednesday. Where did April go? Weeks ago, I had lunch with Lillian Huang and decided she’d be our Westchester Woman of this month. We literally met on Instagram earlier this year because for some reason, I follow calligraphy accounts. If you don’t follow them, you should. I swear they’re therapeutic. Some of the pics are artsy photos with an inspiring word or phrase above it. The videos are incredible, where you find yourself watching someone handwrite the letters of the alphabet to a full quote. I guess because I love language and the physical art of handwriting, these accounts sort of capture both in an artistic way. Anyway, Lillian is my new favorite Instagrammer and once you follow her account, you’ll see why! https://www.instagram.com/lillianliming/
Lillian is somewhat new to the area, but has already introduced me to new dining spots in the area. (She has a background as a food blogger, so I trusted her choices immediately.) She highly recommended Bibille, a Korean Fusion restaurant in Tarrytown and Cafe Trois in Northvale, NJ (review) which is really a few miles over the Rockland/NJ line. She also raved about T Swirl Crepe in White Plains; which I learned has many locations in NYC and a menu of both sweet and savory crepes as well as some amazing teas! (check out this menu)
She’s not a shopaholic, but loves to support projects and enterprises that support women. Certainly not what I had expected in the “shop” category and it’s giving me some time to think and reflect on how many people there are out there who work to help others achieve a quality of life, through their passion.
FashionABLE – www.livefashionable.com – They create opportunities for women in developing and at-risk communities and their beautiful products are a result of empowering and teaching the women how to earn a living rather than depending on charity.
Nozomi Project – www.nozomiproject.com – Nozomi (means hope) is a social enterprise bringing sustainable income, community, dignity and hope to the women in Ishinomaki, Japan by training them to craft high-quality jewelry products. Nozomi women are creating one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry featuring broken pieces of pottery left in the wake of the tsunami and other up-cycled pottery.
Lillian’s idea of fun is exactly what I expected. She enjoys traveling and visiting new places, one of which is Westchester, which she is new to. She likes immersing herself in places and seeing how others live, exploring what makes each place unique. She’s someone who really stops to “smell the roses” which I think so many of us don’t take time to do. Many #momslikeus are busy with our work and family responsibilities and we forget to absorb the beautiful things around us. I guess that’s why I enjoy her IG account so much….there’s a sense of beauty and calm that I crave.
Kicking off Small Business Week, join the Village of Mamaroneck in bringing together an eclectic mix of local food, artists & artisans in the Industrial Area of Mamaroneck, NY with special highlight on the area’s small businesses.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
(Rain Date To Be Announced)
Noon – 5PM
Location Fayette Avenue between Fenimore Rd & Ogden Ave., near the Mamaroneck MetroNorth Station (Entrance Between Majestic Kitchens & Bath & Vincent Service Station, Inc. (Mamaroneck, NY)
The Kids Cooking Co. was founded on the belief that when we teach our children the fundamentals of cooking and give them the time and space to prepare a meal from whole ingredients, we are gifting them something special. In this fast-paced world we live in, all too often meal time is an after-thought resulting in prepackaged and processed foods on the run. The Kids Cooking Co. aims to help instill in our young people, a life-long love of learning about what and how they eat. And we do this in a fun and exciting atmosphere.
The Kids Cooking Co. serves the lower Westchester County NY area offering classes for our school aged children at our Bronxville location. These classes take place in a commercial kitchen. For our younger clients, the Kids Cooking co. will come to your preschool and extend the day with cooking enrichment.
We don’t keep a calendar of events. We considered it and realized that every other site has one and that’s where people go for “things to do.” However, the other sites usually list things for the kids– Not the moms. So we’ve decided to publish things for the moms to do, alone or with kids. Each month, we get so many requests to post events, so here’s your “end of the month” blog post: 10 things you might want to do in April.
Shop the Booked Marketplace Pop-Upon 4/20. Its being held at LIFE The Place to Be in Ardsley. Guest will enjoy a unique shopping experience, lite bites, mini-massages and more. Tickets are $20 per shopper and can be purchased via this link. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/booked-parties-13201894868
2. Visit thePleasantville Farmer’s Market.
It’s now outdoors, on Saturdays starting April 1st from 8:30am to 1pm.
56 vendors will provide the community with the highest quality regionally grown foods including seasonal vegetables (with 3 Certified Organic producers), humanely raised meat, fresh fruit and berries, prepared foods created with ingredients from regional farms, allergen-free baked goods, flowers, wine, and many other offerings.
Responding to shoppers’ requests, the Market is adding a hot breakfast and a new lunch option this summer, to complement the popular Aba’s Falafel. The Pleasantville Farmers Market attracts an average of over 3000 visitors every Saturday and has become a major regional destination. “Our research shows shoppers come from all over the county for the quality and diversity of vendors present at the Market, as well as the engaging weekly Culinary, Kids and Music programming held throughout the season,” says Steven Bates, Executive Director of Market Operations, Foodchester, Inc, the non-profit operator of the Pleasantville Farmers Market. “Another draw is that the Market is in the center of a walkable Village, close to restaurants, shops and the Burns theater.” The location is at Memorial Plaza, right at the Pleasantville Train Station. For more info, visit pleasantvillefarmersmarket.com
3. Enjoy a Jazz Brunch!
Starting Sunday April 2nd at East End in Greenwich and Mediterraneo in Norwalk. So very NYC, finally out here in the suburbs! (Remember the GIRLS episode where they went to the jazz brunch? I think Marnie was singing, if I remember it correctly…. ) After watching LaLa Land last week, I am more interested in checking this out. Menus and pics below.
Guests will enjoy bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and $1 oysters. Live Jazz music will entertain guests every Sunday in April between 12:00-4:00pm. Artists’ featured will include up-and-coming New York City Jazz musicians Margi Gianquinto and Albert Rivera. Reservations are suggested especially for large parties of 8 or more. To make reservations you may call: (203) 229-0000
Yes, I am aware that this is not really an April event, but I’d buy now so as not to get sold out! These events are usually on weekends, but for the first time they are on a single day in this area for NY and NJ folks. A full day of a variety of healthy, wellness, outdoor activities.
Shawna and I go to a lot of restaurants. Some are chef’s tastings or new seasonal menu previews and others are full service meals or grand openings. It’s always an interesting assortment of guests and we often wonder afterwards who created the guest list. We leave with lots of new Instagram followers and some of them, we might never run into again. It’s a fun way to meet people who love the food scene here in Westchester and try some new places out, that we can in turn share with our readers. One “Westchester foodie” that we have seen at a number of events is our Westchester Woman Wednesday for March. Her name is Aleesia Forni and she a journalist for the Westchester Business Journal and the Westchester WAG Magazine. Her food photography skills are incredible. She’s one of the rare foodie experts who actually uses a real camera, instead of using an iPhone with filters. Because of the work that she does, her IG account is amaaaazing– See for yourself by following Aleesia on Instagram at @AleesiaEats
So we decided we wanted to get together with Aleesia and talk about food, dining and just “good eating” in Westchester. We met for dinner (most Westchester Woman Wednesday meals are lunch) due to Aleesia’s busy work schedule. She has a job that any one of us would love. Between the WAG Magazine and the business journal, she’s busy with pretty awesome assignments. We knew she was not from the area, but we learned over dinner that Aleesia is anything but a Westchester native. She grew up on a farm in Ohio, attended Ohio State University and wound up in moving Westchester after a short time living and working in Virginia Beach. Her longtime boyfriend John has been with her every step of the way, each following their own career paths and building their resumes since college. Their choice to live in the Peekskill/Montrose area was based on their shared interests. They wanted to find the balance between city and country life. In one hour they can can enjoy a sporting event in NYC or find themselves on hiking trails in the mountains.
Aleesia is not what we’d call “moms like us” but she’s a dog mom. A really good one, actually. Without being married or having a child, she already has a college savings account for her first child. (I think I about fell off my chair at that one actually…) Her dog is her baby for now and she’s factored into her budget, one day a week at doggy day care because she realizes the importance of socializing her dog. And yes, we asked, the dog also has pet insurance. Why? Because she’s researched it and realizes that it’s worth having. It’s safe to say that she’s uber-responsible and what one would call a “conscientious consumer.” No fancy doggie clothes or impulse buys for this dog. On my best days pre-age 30, I don’t think I was ever this logical.
So what does she do for fun in Westchester? Certainly not what I would have guessed. She has a Pinterest Group! (I glanced over to Shawna for a reaction and realized that she had no idea what that even meant. I told her it was like Girl Scouts for GrownUps.) They meet once a month and work on things they found on Pinterest pages. The group consists of 10-15 women, who found one another on Meetup.com. They knit, make crafts or other projects that have caught their eye. They meet once a month and take turns supplying materials and space. I’m certain that Shawna and I will visit one of these groups at some point.
By the end of dinner, I was not sure if I had even covered all of our topics. I had stopped writing and just listened! I think we sort of did….although, a very different conversation than we had over lunch with our January and February friends, Cassandra and Julianne! Our car ride home from dinner was spent talking about post-college days and how neither of us lived or worked the way Aleesia does. The shared opinion of these two moms is, her mom must be proud!
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With spring holidays around the corner, I’m finding it hard to get motivated to locate recipes and prepare for the big meal. Today is a snow day, and I have comfort food on my mind. I’m making homemade cookies and muffins and preparing my once a year, corned beef and mashed potatoes St Patrick’s Day meal today, because I know I will be home for the 3-4 hours that it takes to make it. My hope is that by Friday I will not be stuck in the house. Hours upon hours in the kitchen is only for certain occasions, like a snow day.
I was happy to see that Rye Brook’s Balducci’s location has this catering menu. Catering is perceived as “so expensive” or only necessary for a large group. Balducci’s is smart; their menu can work for parties as small 6 guests. I so prefer to enjoy my company on a holiday over spending the whole time cooking, serving and cleaning. Going out for Passover/Easter meals can seem impersonal, so if you want to stay home and not have the headache of shopping and cooking, I suggest Balducci’s. They have it covered; from appetizers to desserts. (Those chocolate covered pretzels are amazing!)
The menu should be available online this week, but here’s a sneak peek. The store is located in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center. You can find Balducci’s online at:
Some of the best pics on Instagram are pics of food. I never post what I cook and rarely post what I eat. But I love looking at others pics. I started following this food account and learned that it’s created by two high school students. I asked them to send me a list of their “Best of Westchester” and here’s what they think is the best. Some are good old fashioned favorites like the Candlelight Inn and some are old-turned-new, like the new breakfast menu at the Scarsdale Metro Diner. They’ve shared the best bacon-egg-cheese sandwich, pizza, wings, burgers, guacamole, baked goods and more. This list would take the average Westchester-ite years to compile. Not the healthiest, but these basketball playing student athletes work plenty of calories off at practice and games each week! Their account on Instagram is below, along with their pics and list of favorites.
This account all started in Lancaster Pennsylvania. My friend and I travel a lot for our AAU basketball team and in doing this we visit a lot of new and delicious restaurants. We were in a diner eating cheesecake and taking pictures of it when our mothers suggested we create a food account on Instagram to post all our pictures on. At first, we made a joke of the idea, but then we actually considered the possibility and then we created f00diies_.
It took us a while to gain fame and get more followers, however after a while we slowly gained fame. We would have never expected to have over 5,600 followers when we first made the account but now looking back I am glad that we did. Posting the pictures and eating all these delicious foods has been a lot of fun. People tag us in and send us pictures and the time and feel honored when we post their pictures. We hope to continue to gain followers and share our delicious meals with our awesome followers.
F00diies_ Favorite Picks in Westchester:
Scarsdale Metro Diner
From omelets and eggs to burgers, panini and wraps and their new and improved breakfast menu, Metro has it all. You can’t go wrong with anything at the Metro diner, all food is made fresh and tastes delicious. Be sure to try out their new breakfast menu that includes cannoli pancakes and Nutella toppings etc.
Candle Light has an abundance to choose from, besides their best seller… the famous wings. Candle Light overall has quality food and tastes delicious. Their waffle fries and potato skins are to die for. Also, their tacos and salads are delicious. They even have special New York Juniors cheesecakes on their menu. Their outside dinning in the nice weather is a bonus!
Rio Bravo of Larchmont
By the far the best Mexican food around. The fresh made guacamole is out of this world. The service space and quality of food is outstanding. All around everything on the menu is delicious, try the mango quesadilla it is one of my favorites.
A little touch of Italy is now in Tuckahoe! Italian Job is a new restaurant and is extremely delicious. The pizza is made fresh in their brick oven. They even have Nutella zeppolis and Nutella pizza for dessert.
Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza White Plains
Anthony’s is one of the best restaurants around. They have the best meatballs with fresh ricotta cheese I have ever had in my life. Their coal fire wings with caramelized unions are to die for. And to top it off they have awesome pizza in many different styles.
An awesome diner with a great variety to choose from. All foods are quality made and delicious. The breakfast menu is out of this world with Nutella, and s’mores toppings to add to French toast, waffles, and pancakes. Their paninis and wraps are also very delicious, they also have the best milkshakes in town.
Pipers Kilt Eastchester
When you are craving a burger, you must try Pipers. Pipers has one of the best burgers in Westchester along with their potato skins, union rings, mozzarella sticks, etc. And don’t forget their awesome French onion soup!
Hands down the best authentic Italian food in Westchester. The quality of the food and the quantity given will last beyond one meal. The Penne Vodka is extremely rich and creamy and their potato croquets melt in your mouth. They have mouthwatering dishes from chicken, veal, fish, to homemade pastas and more! Don’t miss out on this, and make sure you make a reservation.
360 American Grille Mamaroneck
Awesome place in the heart of the Mamaroneck! The burgers are superb and their mac and cheese is magnificent. They even have a s’mores dip for dessert! And don’t forget to try the cowboy nachos and their array of salads.
Pizzeria Veloce White Plains
A new restaurant in White Plains. You can either make your own salad or pizza. All ingredients are fresh and organic. They have a super friendly staff and atmosphere. Don’t forget to try the delicious desserts.
Beascakes Bakery and Breads Armonk
The best bakery in Westchester. Well worth the ride! Their cakes are heavenly, they even make their own cookies and cream filling. The chocolate chip cookies are filled white rich chocolate and the cupcakes are exceptional.
Auray Gourmet Larchmont
A cute little café in Larchmont. They have the best crepes in Westchester. The crepes can be filled with Nutella strawberries and bananas. They also have a variety of sandwiches and paninis on their menu.
Old school pizza with old school décor. They have thin crust delicious pizza. They have had one of the best pizzas in Westchester for a long time. They also have a very large menu of regular meals to choose from as well. The bread is warm and delicious and their mozzarella sticks are divine. Definitely worth a visit.
Lange’s Deli Bronxville
Hands down the best bacon egg and cheese in Westchester. You can even add avocado to your bacon egg and cheese! They have an array of options to choose from. Their sandwiches are fresh and delicious.
Buon Amicis Deli Scarsdale
An unbeatable deli full of the freshest Italian ingredients in town. The chicken cutlets are thin and crispy. One of my personal favorites and most popular sandwich is the 007, which is chicken cutlet, mozzarella, bacon, and hot sauce on awesome panini bread. Helpful Hint: call your order in the lines are usually long.