Motherhood and Munchies

Documenting a life full of food, adventures, family and fun

Third Time’s A Charm

Six month’s ago I started a new job.  While it’s been both very exciting and fulfilling, things have gotten very busy… Between job responsibilities, family time and trying to convince Mike to adopt multiple dogs, I have nary a time to write the blog!

The problem is, I’ve missed the blog.  Over the last six months, the adventures have been plenty!  Multiple trips to Ovens of France Bakery in Woodbury, Esme’s first food experiences, a kid free weekend in Vermont and a date night at Arethusa Al Tavolo.  All things worth documenting and archiving via the wonders of the internet.

As a result…I’m back.  Back to share my stories with all that are interested and back to my hobby of writing and documenting the joys of life through food and other adventures.

Expect more ice cream, more laughs, and a deep dive into the connection between food, family, life and love.


The “fam” killin’ it as usual




White Castle Has a New King and Queen

When it comes to food, I often find myself thinking back to yesteryear.  Yearning for the simple times of the 80’s and 90’s.  I reflect on the moments in my life when I didn’t know what “Gluten Free”  or “Paleo” was.  When there was no such thing as “organic” or Whole Foods.  A time where we didn’t have milk made from nuts or rice.  A time when a Happy Meal was a perfectly acceptable dinner for your child.

Flash forward to 2016.  Things have changed drastically, that’s for sure.  We now know that soda is bad for you and that you shouldn’t eat McGriddle’s on the regular.  What a bummer.  Sure it’s great to be healthy.  I certainly subscribe to a fairly healthy diet (ice cream aside) and definitely ensure that my children are eating healthy and well balanced meals.  However, there is a part of me that wishes I could indulge in fast food or the occasional Devil Dog from time to time without intense guilt or the documentary “Supersize Me” plaguing at my conscious.

Being the food lovers that we are, Mike and I often find ourselves talking about our love of all things fast food.  The funny thing is, we NEVER indulge in said love.  We just talk about it.  I imagine this is what recovering addicts do.  We fantasize about the Extra Value Meal #2 at McDonalds and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s.  We fondly recall each bite of the Kentucky Fried Chicken biscuits we ate so many years ago and wonder in awe about how anyone actually eats an entire Cinnabon.

Most importantly we talk about the kingdom of fast food.  The place where dreams come true and memories are made.  That’s right…White Castle.  A few months ago we actually made a promise to each other that if we ever stumbled across this burger dynasty, we would break our self-imposed rules and indulge in whatever the monarchy has to offer.

Well that time finally came and let me just say that every ounce of plaque now clogging my arteries as a result was totally worth it.

Flash back to a few weeks ago when Mike and I were driving home from New Jersey after an enjoyable visit with his parents and extended family.  We had both girls and Bialy (our French Bulldog) in tow, which certainly doesn’t make for the most relaxing trip seeing as Essie and Bialy hate the car.  To make matters worse, what was supposed to be a 2.5 hour trip ended up being a little over 4 hours due to major traffic on Rt. 287.

In spite of the traffic people were somehow managing to keep their cool; at least for the first two hours.  However, once we hit hour three, the crew started to unravel in a major way.  As we made our way up 287, the baby started screaming her face off.  I tried to calm her by opening her window, giving her toys to play with and even going so far as stuffing myself into the back seat in the hopes that my presence would somehow calm the chaos.  Apparently my presences isn’t as life changing as I imagined.  Nothing worked.  In fact, things got worse…

Lenni, who finally reached her breaking point began to scream her face off too.  That’s right, we had a 4 month old and a 2 year old screaming in the back seat.  On top of that, Bialy was having some sort of anxiety attack sitting up in the front seat.  Whatever was going on in her head appeared to cause the excessive panting and farting that was now filling the car.  As a result of the chaos trapped within my tiny Kia Soul, Mike and I made the executive decision to pull over and get everyone out for some fresh air.

We took the first exit off of 287 we could find, which happened to be the Nanuet exit.  Our intentions were pure.  We planned on stopping at a gas station or a Target for just enough time to get a quick stretch and maybe a snack before we were back on our way.  As we descended down Route 59, both tired and desperate from our journey, Mike noticed something glimmering out of the corner of his eye.  “What was it?” He wondered.  Could it be an angel?  Could it be a mirage?  Were we traveling into the light?

As we got closer, we realized what we had stumbled upon.  It was a castle.  A White Castle.  We were home.


We had to act fast.  Would we take the plunge and really indulge in those tiny burgers of glory or would bypass this royal opportunity?  In light of the current screaming situation we chose the castle…and it was glorious.

We pulled into the parking lot and got everyone out of the car, which gave us an opportunity to survey the kingdom.  Everything was beautiful.  The smell of grease and heart attack permeated the air.  Garbage cans were full of wrappers and shame.  We were in heaven.

Of course being good parents, we spoke in code about how we would hide the food from Lenni as we don’t want her ever falling down the fast food K hole that Mike and I are apparently in.  Fortunately White Castle offered a smoothie option which we felt would distract her from noticing whatever we were stuffing in our faces.

Mike and I decided that he would be in charge of ordering our food, while I manned the car and its passengers.  Mike entered the castle with a sense of confidence I’ve never seen in him before.  It was apparent that this wasn’t his first time at the rodeo.  After what felt like an eternity, he emerged with treasure in hand.  A white bag of happiness.  It’s contents sure to change my life for better and/or for worse.

We got everyone back in the car and with our mouth’s watering, we set off on our journey to Connecticut.  Once we were safely moving and people appeared to be somewhat calm, we dug in.  Mike ordered 4 cheese burgers and a small fry.  With the first bite of those hot and crispy fries, I was transported back to my 11 year-old self.  I remembered sitting in the back of my Dad’s Volvo as we rounded the White Castle drive-thru in Eatontown for a dinner to go or a post-movie snack.  Each bite was like a piece of my childhood scrapbook or like watching a home movie.  It was amazing.

What was more amazing, however was how damn good White Castle is.  Everything about those burgers is delicious!  The consistency, the taste, the temperature.  Everything.  Let’s just say that Mike and I were more than pleased with our choice.  However, just like an addict I started spiraling out of control.

My mind was racing thinking about all of the other fast food options out there.  I started suggesting that we go to McDonalds and Burger King and Wendy’s and Popeye’s.  I masked my desire as “content for the blog.”  Thank God for Mike as he immediately say what was happening and called me out on it.  “What about the children?”  He asked me, his eyes full of fear and concern.  I realized at that moment, that I needed to get a handle on myself and return to my life of kale and organic chicken.


The smell of burgers and grease seemed to subdue the children.  They were fast asleep about 10 minutes after leaving White Castle and the remainder of the trip was like dancing on a cloud.  We made it home safely and whisked the little one’s off to bed without issue.

The next morning I woke up wondering if our trip to the castle had been a dream.  It was only when I went to get in my car and was slapped in the face with stench of old burgers and fries and I realized our trip was in fact a reality and worth every second, cent and negative implication on my health.


Ladies, Babies, Long Island and Lics

Two weeks ago I did something brave.  Something unheard of in the parenting world.  Something most parents fear so deeply that the thought of it wakes us in the night and leaves us sweating and full of terror.  That’s right.  Terror.

What could be so terrifying?  Two words.  Road trip.

Yup, a road trip.  I took the girls on a road trip to Long Island to visit Lori, my good friend from college.  Now you may be asking yourself “What’s so bad about a road trip with your kids?”  Well, this was no ordinary road trip.  I did this alone.  Sans Mike.  By myself.  And by the grace of God, I survived the trip.  In fact, not only did I survive, I had a lot of fun!  It was a trip full of ice cream, talking, babies and playing with Kosmo the Woodle!

So before I get to the road trip, let’s talk about how I met Lori…

It all started in a small New England town called Kingston.  One fateful day, in the fall of 2003 I ventured into History 101 at The University of Rhode Island.  Being both blessed and cursed with left handedness I’ve always been well aware of the fact that most classroom settings are not conducive to a left hander’s needs.  Fortunately, History 101 found itself in the state of the art Engineering buidling at URI.  This building is not only fancy, but also provides those of us in the 11% with appropriately positioned left handed desks!

Upon entering into History 101 I gladly accepted an ergonomic invitation to a left handers paradise and took a seat in said left handed desk.  Fortunately for me, I was not the only young freshman seeking a coveted left-handed seat.  My good friend Lori took a seat next to me and the rest is history (101)…see what I did there?

Thirteen years later Lori and I are still friends!  Friends who are no longer sitting in college classes together, but rather celebrating life events like weddings and babies and Woodles. Anyway, as Lori approaches the due date of her first baby, the girls and I figured it was prime time to head east for a little girl time before baby K makes her arrival.

The girls and I packed up and left the great state of Connecticut for our day to trip to Long Island on a Monday morning.  My goal was to leave by 9:00 am, which we somehow managed to pull off.  The trip started off smooth.  We were cruising down the highway at a comfortable speed of 65mph.  No one was making a ruckus and I was enjoying an opportunity to listen to my favorite morning radio shows without interuption.

Unfortunately we hit traffic about 30 minutes into the trip.  The baby hates traffic.  A lot.  Just as she started crying, I said a silent prayer to anyone who would listen, rolled down Essie’s window and let the gentle August breeze dance across her face.  That seemed to work.  She stopped crying just as the traffic let up and we continued on our journey.

We made it to Lori’s house around 11:00am.  Not a bad trip at all.  Everyone managed to keep their cool and there may  have been naps happening in the back seat.  When we got to Lori’s we spent a few hours just catching up and convincing Lenni that Kosmo the Woodle was nothing to be scared of.

As a lunctime treat Lori suggested we make our way to Northport, LI for lunch on the harbor and of course ice cream.  We had lunch at Whales Tale, which was delicious! Lori and I both got tacos while Len enjoyed a kids menu quesadilla.  Knowing that an ice cream trip was upon us, I have to say that I did limit my taco intake and put the kibosh on Lenni’s attempt to devour all of her quesadilla.  I have my eating priorities and wanted to ensure that I had ample room for dessert.

After lunch we made our way over to Lics Ice Cream, which is located on Main Street in Northport.  Even before I stepped foot in Lics I was ready to recommend it as an ice cream destination solely for its location.  Northport is super cute and provides the perfect backdrop for making memories on date night ice cream trips or taking your little one out for their first ice cream cone.

As we made our way up to Lics I was happy to see that it fit perfectly into the “small town USA” ambiance of Northport.  The shop is nestled amongst a variety of cute boutique stores and a local brewery.  It is a tiny space with no seating, but that’s okay because the Main Street is so cute that I think most people would rather sit on a bench and do some people watching than sit inside.

Now let’s get down to business.  Lics offers a variety of ice cream flavors, including soft serve, as well as gelato and Italian Ice.  I decided to venture out of my usual ice cream choices and go for “mudslide” gelato in a homemade waffle cone (please note that the waffle cones are made in the store and they’re awesome!).  Lori on the other hand went for the classic soft serve.  Len of course shared with me and Essie looked on obviously yearning for the day she too can indulge along with us.

So I really enjoyed the gelato.  Mudslide was a chocolate, coffee, hazelnut mix of some sort and it was great!  I mean, how can it not be?  It’s everything delicious wrapped into a dairy concoction and placed in a waffle cone.

As I ate my dessert, I realized however, that I have an issue with gelato.  So my first experience with gelato was in Rome, Italy, where gelato is basically made by angels and placed into the hands of humans who do God’s work by passing it on to those of us who enter into their shops.  With that being said, my gelato standard is off the charts.  Gelato in Italy is mind-blowing.  It’s not normal.  I don’t understand how they make it so good!  Therefore, no other gelato comes even close to my Italian experience.  I think that if I only had Lics gelato I would have much more to say about it, but my memory and palette are forever tainted by the dairy heaven I consumed over ten years ago.

Len on the other hand had never had Italian gelato and was more than happy with what Lics had to offer.


Finally, Lori reported that her ice cream was delicious.  Her approval is very important to this review because she is pregnant and it’s just not right to mess up a pregnant lady’s ice cream situation.  I’m glad she was pleased!

After ice cream we made our way back to Lori’s at which point I decided that Essie was angry about the fact that she can’t eat ice cream yet.  I assume that is why she screamed her head off for the entire ride from Lics to Lori’s.

We hung at Lori’s for a little while digesting ice cream and talking babies before we packed up and headed back to CT.  Fortunately for me, the girls were so tired from our Long Island adventure that they basically slept the whole way home!

All and all the trip and ice cream were a great success!  I’m looking forward to the arrival of Baby K, who of course is a future Rhode Island Ram and will be the perfect addition to more adventures, ice cream trips and fun with Lori and the girls!



BritJam: A different kind of Family Adventure

Over the weekend we took a break from the usual dairy indulgences and traveled up to the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds to attend BritJam.  Now for those who do not know, BritJam is a classic motorcycle show and swap meet run by The British Iron Association of Connecticut.

Now, you may be asking why we would attend such an event?  Well, Mike is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and owner of a Triumph Thunderbird.  BritJam is basically his heaven.  Not only was it an opportunity for him to check out other British made bikes, it was also a chance to meet some fellow bikers and show off his ride.

As for me, I don’t really have any interest in motorcycles, but I figured I should do my man a solid and accompany him to this bikers paradise.  Also it was the perfect opportunity to dress the girls in matching motorcycle print dresses.


Biker gang


We set off on our journey around 9:00 am on Sunday.  Mike chose to ride his Thunderbird, which by the way is named “Desertsled.”  I’m not sure why, but my guess is it has something to do with the paint job.  Being that the girls and I obviously cannot accompany Mike on the bike, we  headed up to BritJam in my Kia Soul (which by the way, is named “Garbage Can” because it’s filthy and full of Starbucks coffee cups).

The ride up was pleasant, aside from a few rain showers alone the way.  We don’t often find ourselves up in the Haddem Neck area so the hour trip was a nice change of scenery.  Even though we spent most of the time on the highway, we did have  the opportunity to check out some historic homes and landmarks along the way.  I was most impressed with the Middle Haddam historic district, which looked like a flashback to colonial America.

We made it up to the fairgrounds around 10:00 am and the place was already jammed.  Bikes everywhere.  Leather everywhere.  Handlebar moustaches everywhere.  Mike was in heaven.

We spent the first part of our time at BritJam checking out the various tents and sale items.  Mike shopped around for Triumph t-shirts and old-school helmets while the girls and I investigated the food situation.

Once Mike was satisfied with shopping he continued on, like a tiny hummingbird, zipping around to look at the bikes and meet other bikers.  While Mike did his thing, the girls and I checked out the many motorcycles on display and reveled in the constant compliments they were receiving  on their motorcycle dresses.


Vintage Bike


Like I said, I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a bike enthusiast by any means but I have to say, it really was cool seeing the different motorcycles.  As somewhat of a history fan I really enjoyed the older bikes.  Mike on the other hand, appeared to have an appreciation for anything there with two wheels (as I expected he would).

Around noon the baby let us know that she was no longer interested in motorcycles so we grabbed a quick bite (burgers and dogs…good, but nothing to write home about) and headed back.

Overall I would say BritJam was fun.  I was a little out of my element but was glad to see Mike in his.  With that being said, one thing that BritJam taught me was that riding a motorcycle isn’t just a hobby or a sport.  It’s really a way of life with an awesome community that surrounds the lifestyle.  I look forward to BritJam 2017 and have high hopes for an even bolder display of matching motorcycle print dresses next year.


BritJam Bikes




An Unplanned Ice Cream Trip Yields Delicious Results

On Sunday we drove down to New Jersey to spend the day with my best friend Ashley and her family.  Ashley’s parents live in a converted barn that sits right next to the Paulinskill River.  Their house is amazing.  It’s as if Oregon Trail met Pier One and had a baby that they named Joanna Gaines.   The only downside (which is completely made up for by the beauty of their home and the fact that they’re awesome) is the lack of air conditioning.  Because we were in the midst of a heatwave and it was real hot at their house we decided that to take our visit on the road and do what anyone with two children under the age of two would do.  We got ice cream.

Ashley’s partner Aaron has a vast amount of knowledge on what appears to be any subject you can think of.  Therefore, he was ready to provide expert info on the best ice cream in town.  He recommended we head over to Windy Brow Farms, which is located in rural Fredon, NJ.  Despite having grown up in the area, I was somewhat unfamiliar with the farm and truly had no idea what to expect as far as ice cream goes.

As we made our way up to the unassuming storefront, I had my doubts.  I was especially skeptical when I realized that the ice cream shop was located in a small booth within the Windy Brow store.  I was even more concerned when there didn’t appear to be a lot of customers seeking out this ice cream.

The Entrance


Let’s set the record straight right now.  All of my judgements and concerns were wrong.  This may have been the best ice cream I’ve had in my life.  No joke.

As we made our way up to the booth I was greeted by Jake, the “ice cream God,” as I will now refer to him and  his unique offering of flavors.  Let’s start with Jake.  He was just great.  He is the owner and creator of the ice cream and was obviously excited about his work.  As he should be.  He was also very pleasant to talk to and shared in my excitement about dairy.

Getting back to the flavors, when I say unique I’m talking unique.  I’m talking “honey lavender” and “coconut campfire”  Definitely not your run of the mill flavors at all.  With that being said I figured if I was going to have the true Windy Brow experience I needed to commit.

After much flavor deliberation I chose one scoop of basil and sweet cream and one scoop of roasted corn ice cream.  Mike on the other hand, went rogue with one scoop of cucumber lime and serrano chili and one scoop of lemon cardamom sorbet.



This ice cream was insane.  It was just so good.  Both Mike and I chose flavors that I feel like if done wrong could be disgusting.  Somehow, Jake made it work.  Yes, roasted corn tasted like corn but it was the sweetness of the corn that came through not the “corn” part.  Basil and sweet cream was also a perfect combo.  The cooling basil enveloped within the sweet creem created a perfect dance of sweet and savory with each bite.

The sorbet (which I’m not normally a fan of) was everything.  Jake certainly took a page from the Paula Abdul songbook by proving that “opposites attract” when he paired cucumber lime and serrano chili.  Lemon cardamom was almost an artistic expression in its mix of spice and sorbet.

Of course Mike and I were beyond thrilled by this unique dairy experience, but the true test was whether Lenni approved of the adventurous flavors.  Let’s just say that Len lost her mind with each bite.  I practically had to hide from her as she tried to strong arm me out of my cone.  When it comes to ice cream Lenni is a forced to be reckoned with.




As I close my review on Windy Brow farms all I have to say is that if you are in a 200 mile radius of this ice cream heaven you must make the trip.  This place isn’t just ice cream, it’s a life changer.






A Hot Day at Arethusa Farm Dairy

We’ve been experiencing a heat wave here in Connecticut for the last two days, and it’s no joke.  It’s hot.  Like really hot.  And humid.  It’s the type of weather that makes you feel like you are swimming through the air because it’s just so thick and heavy.  The kind of weather that really puts a damper on your weekend plans.

Unless, your weekend plans consist of eating ice cream and writing about it on a blog.

In honor of said heatwave we decided to step up our adventure and head out towards Litchfield for a taste of the famous Arethusa Farm ice cream.  Now if you are from Connecticut, you’ve probably heard of Arethusa Farm, or at least seen some of their products in your local grocery store.  As we found out on Saturday, Arethusa is much more than the few gallons of milk found in your local Whole Foods.  This place truly has its finger on the pulse of all things dairy and beyond.

Arethusa has been on my radar for a while now.  About a year ago the family and I were traveling up to the Goshen Fair.  On our journey we happened to pass Arethusa Farm.  Now I’m not talking the ice cream shop but rather the farm itself.  First, let me say this.  The farm is beautiful.  It doesn’t look like your “run of mill” farm (no offense to farms) at all.  All of the buildings are a crisp white with black trim.  The grounds look to be immaculate and even the cows are gorgeous.  Let’s just say that from the looks of it their barns are cleaner and more pristine than my kitchen.

Flash forward to a year later and with Arethusa still on my mind we headed up to Litchfield.  Seeing as I knew about the farm we were unsure if that was in fact where we were headed or if there was store of some sort that sold the ice cream.  Come to find out the ice cream shop is not on the farm’s premises.  It is located on Bantam Road along with Al Tavolo, Arethusa’s restaurant and A Mano, Arethusa’s bakery.  Needless to say it was obvious that Arethusa has somewhat of a monopoly on Bantam Road.

Arethusa Farm Dairy

As we pulled in to the parking lot I was pleased to find a small crowd of patrons milling about enjoying their various dairy dishes.  Their smiles and overall sense of satisfaction really added to appeal and ambiance of the place.  Upon exiting our car we were immediately greeted by the sweet and inviting smell of fresh waffle cone permeating through the hot air.  As we approached the shop I was glad to see that while there were plenty of customers enjoying their summer desserts, the line was not too long and appeared to be moving quickly.

Here’s where my only complaint comes in.  Because the line moves fast, flavor decisions need to be made quickly.  I felt a little rushed in my choice and would have preferred more time for a deep discussion and strategic planning with Mike and Lenni on our options.  With that being said, in a snap decision I chose Sweet Cream and Mike went with Coffee flavor.

Now for the important stuff.  Let’s start with flavors.  As far as Sweet Cream goes, I thought it was very good.  Not too sweet, which I think is important.  It also possessed subtle hints of vanilla that coated my taste buds like a warm fleece blanket.  Mike said his coffee ice cream was delicious.  He felt it was a good representation of how fresh the ice cream was in that it truly tasted like coffee.  I find that some coffee ice creams taste somewhat fake.  Similar to that of the artificial banana flavor that you might find in candy.  I’m not sure how they make coffee ice cream, but it tasted like they brewed coffee and actually poured it into the ice cream when making it.

Fresh waffle cones

We gave Lenni a tiny sample of the coffee ice cream (basically because we are paranoid parents and were convinced that the coffee in the ice cream would keep her awake).  She had a good amount of sweet cream and ultimately reported that sweet cream was in fact her favorite.

While the flavors were certainly delicious, what appealed to me most was the consistency.  It was so creamy, yet so light at the same time.  I’ve had my fair share of ice cream and I find that when I usually describe an ice cream as very “creamy” I’m describing myself as “nauseous” a few hours later.  This was not the case.  I’m not sure how they managed “light and creamy” but they did and it was delicious.

Getting back to Arethusa itself, while we were eating our ice cream we did a little investigating on the bakery, the restaurant and the other Arethusa offerings on Bantam Road.  The ice cream shop itself sells a variety of Arethusa dairy products and the restaurant is that of a fine dining “farm to table” experience.  A Mano offers a wide variety of fresh baked good and also serves the delicious Stumptown coffee.

All said and done, here’s what we took home for our trip to Arethusa Farm Dairy.  One, their ice cream is delicious and worth the drive to Litchfield.  Two, Arethusa’s monopoly on Bantam Road is basically a food lovers paradise that I intend to return to in the near future.  Three, as a side note, Litchfield is adorable, so even if you aren’t in the market for ice cream you should go to this quaint little town to enjoy all the other bits and pieces it has to offer.


Lenni and her ice cream and me with my cone as Essie looks on!




The Ice Cream Adventures Revival

My husband (Mike) and I have always been food lovers.  Our childhoods were spent developing a palate for a variety of dishes.  I grew up learning to love the basics, like a good steak or fresh Tuna caught by my dad.  Mike on the other hand was a bit more diversified and daring.  He’s the one willing to try things like frog legs or fish eyes.  Anything that seemed a little off the beaten path and he was all over it.

When we met in college it was obvious that we had a lot in common, but our love of food was probably the biggest bond we shared.  Eleven years later, it’s still the same.  Be it trying a new restaurant, working on our home cooking skills or spending hours debating the best flavor of Combos, we are constantly immersed in our love of anything delicious.

About a year ago we (along with our older daughter Lenni) decided to start a blog documenting our love of food.  We figured we’d start with everyone’s favorite summer dessert:  Ice cream.

We started out strong.  We had a few ice cream shops under our belt and the blog was solid.  Our fan base (aka The Grandparents) loved it!  However,  shortly after the blog started, our house sold and things got very busy.  It’s been about a year since the adventure was put on hold.  Now that things have settled, we’re ready to hit the road again.

We decided we’d pick up where we left off and continue our search for the best ice cream out there.  However, because life doesn’t evolve around dairy (even though I want it to), we thought we’d go the distance and offer our thoughts on any and all food/fun adventures that come our way.  We hope to expand the minds and waistbands of anyone who reads our story!

Essie Baby
Essie Baby

Finally, we’re happy to announce that we’ve added a new member to the crew this year.  Our infant old daughter Essie!  Based on her current eating habits we believe she will be an asset to the adventure as she gets older.

We look forward to sharing stories of deliciousness and dairy in the posts to come!

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