Food Rescue US Hosts Benefit to End Food Insecurity in Fairfield County at Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock

Screen Shot Food Rescue US

Food Rescue US Hosts Annual Food for All Event on April 25, 6:30PM Benefit to End Food Insecurity in Fairfield County at Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock The Best of Local Restaurants and Bars Featured at This Popular Eating and Strolling Event.

Last year I was introduced to an amazing charitable organization, Food Rescue US, a technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending American food insecurity. I was surprised to know just how many Americans are "food insecure" and those who are might surprise you, as they did me. I was also quite surprised to learn how many food insecure families live in our otherwise wealthy suburbs. Food Rescue US is able to help these families by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from grocers, restaurants, and other food industry sources to food insecure families throughout the U.S. 

With a former client of mine, B.GOOD Fairfield, I experienced first-hand, the joy of being able to "rescue" this amazing food and deliver it to those in need.  This food consists of items that may no longer be sold due to store expiration dates, yet is fresh, vibrantly colorful and incredibly nutritious. Among the items that would otherwise be tossed are freshly baked breads, seafood, fish, meat, poultry, and some of the most gorgeous produce you've ever seen. Food is delivered from restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations and delivered to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families. The best part about this is that anyone can help as long as they have access to a car and about 30 minutes a week to spare.
(To learn more about getting involved click HERE.)

Food Rescue US is thrilled, once again, to present their signature fundraising event, Food for All. The event highlights the Food Rescue US goals for the coming year and pays gratitude to all of the volunteers and supporters who share the desire to end food insecurity in our community. Food for All has become one of the area's most popular strolling and eating events featuring some of the the hottest local restaurants and artisans.

Every dollar raised will provide meals to 20 people in need!

An exclusive Cocktail Hour will take place from 5:30pm-6:30pm. Tickets for this are $250 and include access to private pre-event cocktails and food presented by Chef Bill Taibe of Kawa Ni, Jessup Hall and Whelk.  These tickets will also cover the general admissions event.
General Admission tickets are $125, and all can be purchased HERE

Food Rescue US Co-Founder Kevin Mullins said, “Now in its 8th year Food For All has become an event the community really anticipates. First of all because the food and drinks are so amazing and secondly, people love finding out about all the best new restaurants in Fairfield County and this event has become a place to discover. But most importantly this event has funded an absolute revolution for innovation as it relates to feeding hungry people. This year we hope to raise the funds necessary to rescue and deliver 3 million meals.”

And guess what?!?!? I have TWO TICKETS to GIVE AWAY! Value $250.00. Simply leave a comment here or on my Instagram page and tell me why you want to attend this fabulous event

Event Details: 6:30-9 PM Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock
375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902
Tickets: $125

Featured Restaurants:

Abigail Kirsch
Amis
Bar Zepoli
Beach House
Bobby Q’s
Flinders Lane
Harlan House
Kawa Ni
Knot Norms Catering
Match Burger Lobster
My Myx Kitchen
Roger Sherman Inn
Saltwater Sono
Taproot
The Spread
Village Social

Food Rescue US is grateful for the generous sponsorship of this year's event: Northern Trust, Whole Foods, main media sponsor Serendipity, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Nestle Waters, Bank of Ireland, CTbites and The Elizabeth and Joseph Massoud Family Foundation.

 

Book Report :: Lilac Girls

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In this literary novel inspired by the events of World War II and one of its heroines, we get to know three young, strong-minded and determined women whose lives, though continents apart, are destined to come together. Hitler's Army has invaded Poland and has its sights on France, forever changing the lives of these three. 

We are first introduced to Caroline Ferriday, a New York socialite with her hands full at her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. We then meet Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager whose youthful, carefree days disappear as she pursues her role as a courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. Then we meet Herta Oberheuser, a young German doctor who responds to an ad for a government medical position. With the hope that this becomes her ticket to a life more exciting, she finds herself confined to the male-dominated underground world of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the only all-female concentration camp. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

I'll admit to only being a little more than halfway through Lilac Girls, and while I can't wait to finish it, there's a part of me who wants to slow down and savor it. A great read, the story and the characters will live with me for a long time.

To order your copy click here! 

 

Of Books and Kitchens :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

There are, in my opinion, three musts in my life: great books, great food and a great kitchen. Give me a great story where I can bury myself in the plot, admire the scenery and fall in love with the characters. Or give me a book brimming with gorgeous photographs for me to savor and enjoy. Or give me a cookbook. Definitely give me a cookbook! Give me one that I can read from front to back and all over again, with pages  marked from notes in pencil, or marked from spatterings of whatever dish it is I am making or wine I am pouring, and pages that have been flagged, marking my favorite recipes. I love beautiful, image-filled cookbooks, as well as the instructional, informational varieties such as those from Fanny Farmer, Julia Child and Joy of Cooking. In my own small kitchen I have two bookcases filled with books, a collection that continues to grow. One day I will have my very own kitchen library with copious amounts of books, comfortable seating, plenty of lighting and of course a library ladder - No library is complete without a ladder! 

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

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 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

 Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Of Books and Kitchens  :: The Kitchen Library

Are you inspired?!

Broadway Week in New York

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Broadway Week is a semiannual event organized by the city’s marketing, tourism and partnership arm, NYC & Company, giving you even more reasons to love theater.  Many favorites are available at 2-for-1 pricing during this limited time. For those who find the theater's ticket prices too steep for their wallets, this is a fantastic opportunity, and a great way to introduce the younger set to the theater.  This winter Broadway Week runs from January 16 through February 4, 2018.

There are still great ticket selections and it's most definitely not too late to book yours. It should be noted that some seating is excluded. If you want to sit in the orchestra, for example, you'll need to pay full price. For the rest of you this is a great opportunity to catch up on some Grammy Nominees and Winners. I'm super excited as I'm headed in to see Kinky Boots on Sunday!

Participating shows inclue:

Aladdin
Anastasia
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
A Bronx Tale
Chicago
The Children
Farinelli and the King
Hello, Dolly!
John Lithgow: Stories By Heart
Kinky Boots
Latin History for Morons
The Lion King
Once on This Island
The Parisian Woman
The Phantom of the Opera
The Play That Goes Wrong
School of Rock
SpongeBob SquarePants
Wicked

To get your code and tickets click here.

For those who are able to attend from January to February 9th, you're in double luck as this also happens to be New York's Restaurant Week. Visit Time Out New York to learn more about participating restaurants. 

SMART Goals :: 5 Steps to Achievable Results

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The reason, perhaps, so many of us have trouble realizing goals, sticking to resolutions and achieving certain levels of success is because we aren't specific enough, and the manner in which we look to goals is no different that making a wish, vague and open-ended. In order to be successful, one needs to have specific and realistic ideas in mind. No matter what your own goals may be, whether personal or professional, SMART Goal setting is simple and achievable. 

SMART is an acronym for Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely.

A simple goal is one that is very specific thus making it much easier to accomplish.
When setting a specific goal, be sure that is is SIMPLE and be clear on what you want to accomplish.

A measurable goal allows you to easily track your progress.

An achievable goal is one that can easily be reached. If you have one large, longterm goal, you may want to break it down to smaller goals.

A realistic goal is one you can work toward without too much of a struggle. Your goal can be high and realistic, you'll just have to recognize that you'll need to work harder at it and find ways to keep motivated.

A timely goal is one with a specific time frame. A goal without a timeframe is, as they say, just a dream. You need to set your parameters. I like creating goals that are reachable within a week or two. Longer, and the chance for failure is greaters. 

You can use a calendar, weekly agenda or a simple notebook, your goals can relate to anything - career, health, homefront.

1. Simple
Decide what your goal will be

2. Measurable
Figure out how you will strive to achieve this goal. Write down your goals

3. Achievable
Put the above into action

4. Relevant
Note results of above and how you might need to follow up or alternate your plan

5. Timely
Give yourself a deadline, write down the date. 

Perhaps your goal is health related. It might look like this:

Specific
1. Lose 5 pounds

Measurable
2. Buy healthy food at grocery store

Achievable
3. Work out 3 days - write down which three days

Realistic
4. Keep a food journal

Timely 
5. Weigh yourself at the end of one week. This is particularly helpful if you have a greater goal in mind. By breaking it into smaller, smarter and more achievable goals the more likely you are to see those favorable results. 

Here's to setting and reaching our SMART Goals!

Motivation to keep moving...

 Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Many of us have been given the gift of a long weekend, a day off from work. But as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day we should pause for a moment and remember his crusade about social injustice and inequality. A man of many words and quoted often, his words continue to move and inspire so many of us. No matter what you're striving to reach - whether personally or professionally, career or fitness - we've got to keep moving forward, whether we fly, run, walk or crawl. Keep your eye on that prize! 

Warm Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins

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Baked, not fried! These warm, buttery, cinnamon sugar donut mini muffins don't pretend to be healthy, but kids (and grownups) love them and they're the perfect antidote to a cold, wintry morning. These delicious little treats are super easy to make and bake up in practically no time. Leftovers also make a great after-school snack. Expecting guests for the weekend? Set a plate or bowl of these delicious little bites by the coffee maker for them to help themselves to.

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FOR THE MUFFINS:
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I always eyeball and add a tad more than suggested)
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter, melted and slightly cooled

FOR THE COATING:
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar*
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon*
5 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
* Again I eyeball these measurements as well - I prefer to use a little more cinnamon. 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tin and set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
3. In a small bowl beat the egg, then whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter. 
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until well blended.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups about 1/2 - 3/4 of the way full.  
Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes for mini muffins and 25 -27 minutes for regular sized muffins.  
Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan or they'll fall apart.

For the topping:  
In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar.  
Melt butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Dip the muffins into the butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on your serving dish of choice. 

The Best thing you can do for yourself in the New Year

 This New Year Promise to be kind. To yourself! (image via Averie Woodard)

This New Year Promise to be kind. To yourself!
(image via Averie Woodard)

Be kind.
To yourself.

Whether you're making resolutions or not this year, I want you to promise to be kinder to yourself. We, especially women, are our worst critics. We tend to focus on our faults rather than our assets. We tend to be fixated with our weaknesses rather than our strengths. We tend to hone in on our mistakes and failures rather than our successes.

Let's all vow, this year - in 2018 - to turn that all around.
Let's find and focus on those strengths, successes and all the good things that we have to offer.
Let's not worry about perfection, but strive each day to be the best that we can be.
Let's stop comparing ourselves to others - comparison really is the thief of joy. 

Do the best that you can do.
Be the best that you can be.

Some days you'll be better, stronger, faster than others... and that's ok.
Some days you'll give it your all and feel as though you've come short.
And some days you'll struggle just to get out of bed, to put pen to paper, to pedal at all let alone with strength and speed... but you made the effort, and effort is more important than success. 

Some days you'll succeed.
Some days you won't.
And that's OK.

So this year make yourself a promise to be kinder and gentler to yourself.
We're almost a week into the New Year. Many of us have set up goals, and no doubt many of us may have slipped some already. And that's OK. We are tough. We are strong. We haven't failed. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on that treadmill, stationary bike, yoga mat... So you had a slice of bread, a piece of chocolate... So what?! Tomorrow's a new day, and there happen to be 358 more of them! 

 

 

Cranberry Almond Monkey Bread

 Cranberry Almond Monkey Bread - A festive New Year's Day Breakfast

Cranberry Almond Monkey Bread - A festive New Year's Day Breakfast

I wanted to make my kids something special for Christmas breakfast but I didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen that morning or the night before. I wanted something that was fun, informal and yet festive.  The idea of monkey bread came to mind suddenly and we hadn't had it in years. In the past I've made it with raisins, but this year I decided to make it a bit more festive with almonds and cranberries.

Our result was a delicious success! We had made so much in fact, that there was plenty enough leftover for our New Year's Morning breakfast. (I Simply transferred the remainders to a glass pie dish in which I will quickly re-bake and serve them. This recipe is simple enough to feed the family and yet special enough to serve guests at a Sunday brunch.

While one could make the dough from scratch if one was so inclined, I have great success using Pillsbury™ Grands!™ - and this recipe has been adapted from the Pillsbury site.  

Serves 8
Prep 15 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) of Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Original biscuits
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 large plastic Zip-Lock type bag

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 12-cup tube pan. In large plastic Zip-Lock type bag, add the granulated sugar and cinnamon and shake well in the bag, then add the almonds and the cranberries.

Separate the 16 biscuits from both cans, cutting each into about 6 pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball, then and add them to the sugar mixture in the bag. When each ball has been added, seal the bag tightly and shake well ensuring that each piece is well covered.  

In small saucepan add the brown sugar, butter and almond extract. Stir well as the butter begins to melt, incorporating the sugar into the mixture. When the butter and sugar have blended together, removed from heat and set aside. 

Pour out the dough, sugar, nuts and cranberries into the tube pan, arranging so that the pan is evenly covered, then pour the warm butter mixture over the dough balls, as evenly as possible. 

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and none of the balls seem doughy in the center. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.  Turn over, upside, down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm. (As you'll notice above mine doesn't have the hole in the middle from the tube pan. It was still pretty warm when I tried to flip it over onto the plate and the center collapsed! I still think it looked pretty and it tasted delicious! 

 

At Home with Dogs and their Designers, Sharing a Stylish Life

  © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

There are two things I have a weakness for, design books and dogs. And so when I received an advance copy of At Home with Dogs and their Designers, Sharing a Stylish Life, from Rizzoli, it was akin to getting an early Christmas gift. It's the time of year I start to take note of those gifts worth giving, and books are always at the top of my list of favorite items to give. As soon as I pulled this gorgeous book out of the bubble-wrap-lined manila envelope, I knew immediately who must have copies of these stunning pages filled with fun photographs, with snapshots into the lives of these vivacious dogs and their designers, with tips for dogs on living stylishly, and tips for humans on living with their 4-legged friends. As whimsical as it is stunning, this is a must for those designing dog-lovers in your life. 

I remember, about 4 years ago, when fellow blogger Stacey Bewkes and designer Susanna Salk got together to create a series of short videos bearing the same name. Stacey was the talent behind the scenes while Susannah was in front of the camera conducting the interviews. Perhaps Stephen Gambrel summed it up best when he said "I thought that houses were all about dinner parties and decorating but then I realized that you have to have a dog to really make it come to life." 

Inside the glossy pages 22 A-list designers offer us glimpses into the lives with their pets who tend to (more often than not) rule the roost.  In these homes no room is off-limits, no piece of furniture banned. Here clothing is optional and accessories are as chic as their surroundings. And as such as dogs will be dogs, accidents do happen - sometimes on vintage rugs, and antiques can sometimes be mistaken for chew toys.  

Each dog and his (or her) human has his own chapter and we are invited along to watch as they frolic around their stunning homes and gardens. At Home with Dogs and their Designers is as much an inspirational design book as it is a resource. Featured are such renowned decorators as: Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Nathan Turner and Eric Hughes, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Mary McDonald, Betsy Burnham, Kelly Wearstler, Schuyler Samperton, Brooke Giannetti, Hutton Wilkinson, Windsor Smith, Mark D. Sikes, Jonathan Adler, Steven Gambrel, Katie Ridder, Alex Papachristidis, Robert Couturier, Charlotte Moss, Bunny Williams, Carolyne Roehm, Brian J. McCarthy and Michelle Nussbaumer.

ABOUT  THE  AUTHOR:  Lifestyle  author Susanna  Salk has  written  many  books,  including Room  for  Children,  Decorate Fearlessly, and Be Your Own Decorator, all published by Rizzoli. She also hosts (and co-produces) the At Home  With video series  featuring  visits  with  leading tastemakers.  Interior  designer  and  architect Robert Couturier is  the  author  of Designing Paradises,  also  published by  Rizzoli, and an ASPCA  supporter.

Stacey Bewkes is the founder of Quintessence, a lifestyle blog and the co-producer of the At Home With video series, which really must be seen!

AT HOME WITH DOGS AND THEIR DESIGNERS: Sharing a Stylish Life By Susanna Salk Principal Photography by Stacey Bewkes, Foreword by Robert Couturier
Hardcover / 7¼" x 9⅛" / 176 pages/ 235 color photographs $35.00 US  
ISBN: 978-0-8478-6090-6/ Rizzoli New York  
October 2017 www.rizzoliusa.com

 

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

© At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

© At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017. All photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise specified.

© At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017. All photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise specified.

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017. All photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise specified.

© At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017. All photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise specified.

 © At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified. 

© At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2017.  All  photography by Stacey Bewkes, unless otherwise  specified.