Weekend Dispatch

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

After last week's jam-packed wedding weekend (I'm not complaining...I loved having all the activities laid out for us with room to do our own thing), I needed a weekend that was filled with down-time and time to catch up on laundry. I started a new book, watched several movies, waded through mounds of laundry, and made a huge batch of minestrone soup and prepped ingredients for veggie bowls for lunch this week. #winning

But now I'm back to the grind, and here's what I'll be up to this week and weekend.

I've been on a quest lately to watch as many Oscar-nominated films from recent years (2016-present) as I can. It's rare that I've seen any of these movies in the theater so my only chance is to watch them is on Netlix, Amazon Video, or on the xfinity app. This past weekend I watched Spotlight, the 2016 winner for Best Picture. Spotlight is the story of The Boston Globe team of journalists assigned to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Spotlight has an all-star cast led by Michael Keaton, and including Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci (you'll never know it's him), Liev Schrieber, and John Slattery. The reporters make it their mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. While this movie certainly isn't a new release, it's definitely good and worth a watch.

I was born and raised in the Hershey, Pennsylvania area, so my love of chocolate runs deep.  Although I don't eat as much chocolate as I used to, I still get momentous cravings (thanks, perimenopause) every once in a while. To satisfy that craving, I whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes with Nutella frosting. They are the perfect balance of decadent and simple. The cupcake is light and the frosting isn't overly heavy. What makes these cupcakes incredibly delicious is following the recipe to the T. Making sure that the ingredients are the correct temperature will ensure a flawless cupcake every single time.

It's apple picking season! If you aren't visiting a local farm to hand-pick your own apples, you are missing out on a fun fall activity. The best way to locate a farm is to do a Google search "apple picking in my area". If you are local to New Jersey, this list is a good resource. Eastmont Orchards is one of my favorite places for apple picking in central NJ. The farm has a good variety of apples and you can pick pumpkins at the same time.

We're in that in-between time of the year where it's not quite cold enough to whip up a batch of hot apple cider, and it's still warm enough to be drinking rosé. This autumn apple rosé sangria is the perfect way to solve your fall cocktail dilemma. It's the ideal combination of rosé and apple cider, and it's the prettiest shade of orange for fall.

Local Notes:
If you are local to the Jersey shore, there's lots happening this weekend including:

Festival of the Sea is this Saturday, September 15 from 10 am to 7 pm on Arnold Avenue in downtown Point Pleasant Beach. This is a local favorite and draws crowds from all over the Garden State. It includes seafood of all kinds, entertainment, games, and hundreds of craft vendors featuring handmade items.

Apple Festival at Happy Day Farm is happening several weekends throughout the fall season in Manalapan, NJ. This Saturday and Sunday (September 15th & 16th) it begins at 10 am. Includes a variety of apples, fresh apple cider and donuts, fresh apple pie, candied apples, apple slushies, and so much more! The cost is $14 per person (over two years of age) and admission includes 10-Acre John Deere Corn Maze, Pirate Ship, Pumpkin Guess Who, Tractor Rides, Timmy Town Zoo, Pig Races, Hay Mazes, Pumpkin Bowling, Corn Tunnel, Corn Box, Rubber Duck Racing, Horse Bouncers, Corn Hole, Tire Mountain, Pedal Carts, Bean Bag Toss, Tetherball, Spider Web, Bridge Observation, Horse Swings and so much more!

Allaire Farm & Food Truck Fundraiser is happening this Saturday from 12-5 at Allaire State Park in Wall, NJ. The event includes popular food trucks, live music, animals, history demonstrations and more.

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

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