🎵Memories are Made of This🎶🎵

What comes to mind if I ask you to picture tables set with classic Italian food, smooth (adult) drinks, the finest cigars, and a little “ol’ blue eyes” in the background? No, it’s not an old picture of the Rat Pack. It’s actually an evening event at Maggiano’s Richmond- their Cigar and Pasta dinner event!!

When you arrive, the tables are all set- a la fresco around the lovely fountain.

Now, we don’t just jump into a bowl of pasta. The menu for this evening has been set just right.

So let us begin with a little antipasto to kick it off.

Feeling parched? Love to support local fare? Then Belle Isle Premium Moonshine it is! A Virginia born craft spirit, that also offers flavor infused variations. Handmade from 100% organic corn, we learn that they are quadruple charcoal filtered and are distilled to a lower of proof than vodka but higher than whiskey. Which is probably what gives it its smooth enjoyable finish, truly not the moonshine from the past.

The flavors are well balanced and true. Belle Isle offers recipes on their websites, too.

It is a cigar event too….. our local cigar retailer Havana Connections has us covered! Each attendee received two cigars. Not just any off a shelf- but a cigar from two of the most widely known and established cigar makers; Romeo y Juliet’s and H. Uppman

With all the elements in place, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy!

In true Maggiano’s fashion, they know how to feed family!

Don’t forget to leave some space for dessert!

What an evening!! Yes, “memories are made of this”!!

Great friends, family, fun, and food!Maggiano’s is the place to be!!

Contact your local Maggiano’s, sign up for their email newsletters (www.maggianos.com) for updates on great events like this one!!

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“Family” that cooks together, learns together

Have you ever noticed that when you have a gathering at your house we all wind up in the kitchen talking and laughing…. my husband and I have always dreamt of building a home that would be built around the kitchen!

Maybe it’s because making food brings about many special family moments. Cooking in particular…

Maggiano’s is one establishment that knows about family and special moments. Starting with the fabulous food, to the special service you receive every time you go.

And , of course, you’ve seen my previous articles regarding their Kids Cooking Classes.

Where Chef Marcelo takes the Junior chefs from salad to dessert!! The kids love it!! They learn a life skill, get a feeling of independence and accomplishment.

The parents get treated to breakfast, and afterward everyone gets lunch!! Makes for a great day!

But wait!!! The Maggiano’s in my area have now also begun Adult Cooking Classes!! Can’t let the kids have all the fun! Learn more about the dishes you love. These classes begin with a very adult treat, a cocktail. For our first one it was a classic Mojito taught to us by our local GM Dean-

From there it was fresh made pasta and Alfredo sauce from scratch!

The evening is topped off with a fantastic dinner, and goodie bag to boot!

This is an event you’ll want to be a part of. So contact your local Maggiano’s and ask about their classes. Make it a date night, or maybe a night out with the girls. You’ll be making memories…..

“Fall” into Cleaner Air

Yes, Fall is officially here! And….. so are the allergens and allergy triggers. Even with the crisp cooler air ragweed, mold, and other weeds are there too. Need relief?

I do (hand raised)!! How do I deal with it? I am fortunate enough to own a WINIX air purifier…. Why WINIX? Because of the difference you feel. I’m not basing it off of their website or reviews on other websites. I suffer from many allergies, and when I can breathe easy in my home and have a good nights sleep without sneezing or congestion, I know it’s working.

Do I have suggestions? The WINIX C535 or the WINIX HR951 are fabulous.

(This is the WINIX C535.)

Why do I prefer Winix? Their features are top notch! Starting with the HEPA filters, which by the way, the filters are easy to clean and install. Plasmawave technology may sound “ooh-ahhh”, and it is!!

I must be honest, my favorite feature is its

WiFi capability. Have app? Have clean air!!

I absolutely love that I can open my Winix app and see the air quality of the rooms I spend a majority of time in. From the app I can also control my air purifier.

Don’t think they are just for allergies. Unfortunately, the smoke from the tragic California wildfires have hit the Colorado area, even as far as the South East area of Virginia! I must also mention that C535 has a 5 stage filtration that can tackle pet hair!

One thing is for sure, there is a Winix air purifier that is right for you. You can find the right one for the right space/area coverage and ones that suit all your needs.

Where can you find them?

Of course you can go to their website:

http://www.winixamerica.com

What if you like to see them before you buy them? Costco and Bed, Bath, and Beyond carry a model or two.

Love “Brain” Games!

Board games are always a lot of fun to do when spending time with family or friends! So we try to keep a good collection on hand. Games for all ages.

Lately I have been introduced to a company called Usaopoly. They have a great array of games and themes. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to try one of their games entitled “Blank Slate”.

And yes, that’s what it came with, blank slates. As I read the instructions, one game came to my mind… the TV game show “Match Game”!!

Not to give too much away, you play the game by forming words from a given base word. The competition begins when you start scoring for matches.

We let the kids have first crack at it- they loved it!!

As a parent I love the fact that it made them think of the words and vocabulary they know. Also, by seeing the other words they learn new ones!!

As the adults patiently wait their turn….

I highly recommend checking out Usaopoly (www.usaopoly.com). They have games for everyone, even themed games. I’ve been eyeing a Harry Potter themed game that may be a birthday or Christmas gift!!

It’s a dessert and a drink

Love simple recipes, and who doesn’t?! You know the kind just a few ingredients and voila! Yumminess innovations time flat, even desserts!

Take for example the affogato… yes, it is super simple but a whole lot of yummy!

It’s comprised of espresso, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Of course, it’s always much more fun in your favorite mug!

So, you begin with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream in your mug.

Put on a good drizzle of your caramel sauce. If I may, my caramel sauce is from Chocolates by Kelly, located in Richmond VA. Has great texture and taste! The label comes with great recipe ideas too!!

Get your espresso ready and into the mug it goes on top of your caramel and ice cream. As the hot espresso hits the other ingredients, it marries all the flavors together. Forming a wonderful dessert !

You can find the caramel sauce and other yummy finds at :

http://www.chocolatesbykelly.com

No Electricity Required

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Gift shopping can be a rough ride. Sometimes you know just the perfect item and it is smooth sailing. Then there are the times that you’ve completed your steps for the week just by going to the many stores of the malls to find the perfect gift.

There’s items out there, don’t get me wrong. But amidst all the tech gadgets there has to be something more, something unique and unexpected.

In comes a classic music box. I ordered one for my daughter to usher in the new school year. Where? At https://feriwola.com/products/exclusive-hand-crank-music-box

When it arrived I couldn’t wait to see it!

I loved the artwork carved in it. It seemed very dainty, and petite. There is a magical, some what nostalgic feel when you open the box.

The music is delicate and sweet.

I’ll admit I was a little anxious when I gave it to my daughter. Let’s face it, you don’t have to plug it in, no need to hook up a charger, and it doesn’t need internet.

The minute she opened the music box and turned the crank her eyes lit up!!

The classic gift was a winner. Maybe they say what’s old is new, all I know it’s something that can be treasured!

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Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest

Fests are great fun and a great way to make new discoveries!! And the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest is no exception.!!

It is year two for the Fest in the Richmond area. By the crowds and those I spoke to- they were very happy to have them back!!

The fun begins right outside the exhibit hall doors! Time for some “photo booth” creativity!

You walk in and let the discovery and learning begin

Enjoy Life has a unique set-up in, not only sharing samples, but learning ire about them and their products

I love discovering new flavors and food products, and yes- the Fest was the best venue to. We, like many families love almonds and the almond flavor. But there are times that the almond is an almond and it needs a “refresher”. That’s where a new discovery, called deliciousness (don’t you live the name?) come in. Their flavored almonds really wake up the everyday almond. Flavors such as nacho, and the Lakeshore trail mix that blends the cheddar and caramel flavors.

Oh! They have chips too!!! They maybe based out of Chicago- but they have a website!!!! (www.deliciousness.com). There you can find Mozaics, a flavor chip that can tackle the snack craving without being bogged down with preservatives.

What did I learn besides yummy food?? There’s were cooking demos and lectures to choose from. What made it hard to decide on which to attend was the topic. They were all about practical living when you live with gluten free needs and/or food allergies.

Take for example today’s first demo- baking bread. Do you love baking like me? Though, I’ve never baked bread before, and I’ve always been hesitant- now we’re going to throw in making it gluten free, YIKES!!

Well, Jules Shepard takes out all the fear and even shows how to bake gluten free bread in both the oven and bread maker machine.

She also directed her to her website should we have additional questions after the Fest.

Other demos included easy vegan recipes, increasing the protein for lunch boxes – just in time for back to school, and using the fresh herbs around us.

Lectures? Yup, but again practical use.. how about dealing with allergies when your traveling. And yes, it can be daunting and even frustrating, that was one of today’s topics- don’t you love topics that help answer many questions and hurdles we can encounter everyday.

When it’s time for you to take your lunch break in all of the activities, it’s good to see that the Greater Richmond Convention Center was ready.

And, yes…. that is a steak and cheese sandwich on gluten free bread!!

There’s so much more! But that’ll have to wait for tomorrow “day two”.

There are two more Fest locations, (Indianapolis,IN and Portland,OR) if the Richmond one is not near you.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with the Fest wrap-up