Weekend Dispatch

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

We are heading to Hershey, Pennsylvania this weekend to visit family and to have an at-home camp out, complete with a pop-up camper and a tent. We haven't been camping since we went two years ago, and since it's so hard to get everyone's schedule together these days to book a few days at a real campground, we are doing the next best thing. I can't wait! Other than that, we will be attending a graduation/send-off party for my niece's Brazilian exchange student and just enjoying some much needed time with my sisters and their families. Here's what else I'll be squeezing in over the weekend:

I'm bummed to be missing this one! This weekend is the Wine and Chocolate Festival at Monmouth Park Racetrack. The event features New Jersey's finest wineries and some of the area's best chocolatiers and dessert vendors. New for 2018, the indoor "Chocolate Lounge" and dessert area will expand throughout the Grandstand. $10 wristband for unlimited wine sampling. Chocolate sampling is $7. Or buy a combination ticket for $16. Wristband sales are cash only and ticket sales end at 4pm each day of the Festival. For more information and a list of vendors, click here.
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I woke up in the middle of the night last night and when I couldn't fall back to sleep, I decided to watch Set It Up (Starring Taye Diggs - nuff said!) on Netflix. This is generally a surefire way to put me back to sleep, but instead I ended up loving the movie so much that I watched it in its entirety and didn't fall back to sleep until 4:30 AM. Yikes! It was totally worth it though. I'm such a sucker for a good rom-com, and this checked all the boxes. In the movie, two over-worked, over-stressed assistants scheme to set up their respective bosses with the hope that their workloads will lessen if their bosses are busy dating. It's funny and charming, and a nice break from something heavy, if that's what you happen to be watching currently.

I'm always on the lookout for easy side dishes to pair with grilled meats in the summer. I came across these salsa-roasted potatoes in the latest edition of Cooking Light, and they look like the ideal summer side. They are easy, crowd-pleasing, and inexpensive.
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Last week when I was knee-deep in deadlines and had my nose to the grindstone, I got hooked on Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert. I listened to the pilot episode first, which features his wife Kristin Bell. I loved the banter between them and how they shared their respective perspectives on all things. From there, I spiraled into listening to about 5 other episodes, and each one was equally engaging. They are part comedy, part real-life, part informational, and part-educational. Warning: the episodes are much longer than the typical podcasts I listen to. So, if you can't tolerate a 1-2 hour podcast, you may want to sit this one out.

So, tell me. What do you have planned this weekend?

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