Mrs. G’s Appliance Chef, Mary Beth Madill, has another delicious recipe to share from the Miele kitchen vignette at Mrs. G’s. The roasted cauliflower is a tasty side dish to make on a grill pan. One of the variations below might even get kids to eat it (think cheese)! Here are her recipes for Watermelon Blueberry Salsa, Lemonade and Shrimp, and Beef Kebabs. Madill provides more of her recipes on her Appliance Chef blog.
She’s also offers cooking classes for kids (with a parent). So check the site for the next class so you can see her cooking techniques live!
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Wash the cauliflower and remove the tough outer leaves and discard. Leave the core (stem) intact.
- Cut the base so that it can stand up without moving around.
- Place cauliflower, base side down, on a work surface.
- Using a very sharp knife, and starting at top center of cauliflower head, cut down the center of the cauliflower head to divide it in half, then carefully cut four 3/4-inch thick slices (two off each half).
- Set cauliflower steaks aside. You can get two (2) large cauliflower steaks and two (2) medium-size cauliflower steaks from the cauliflower head.
- You can cut the remaining cauliflower florets and brown them with the steaks, or save them for another use.
- Heat a stove top cast iron grill or in a large non-stick frying pan to medium-high heat.
- Brush cauliflower steaks with olive oil on both sides, season with salt and pepper, and sear 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown (this will create a nice brown sear). Only turn once as they are a bit delicate.
- Remove from pan and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining cauliflower steaks.
- Roast cauliflower, in the oven, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- When the cauliflower steaks are done, remove from heat and transfer them onto individual serving plates.
- Makes 2 to 4 servings (depending on serving sizes).
- Lightly sprinkle some toasted sesame oil over top of the cauliflower steaks before roasting, and before serving, sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon minced garlic over the top of the cauliflower steaks before roasting.
- Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander over the top of the cauliflower steaks before roasting.
- Delete salt and add 1/4 cup soy sauce before roasting.
- Substitute smoked paprika for the salt and black pepper when searing.
- Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese after baking. Return to oven and continue roasting until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, approximately 5 additional minutes.
We invest a good amount into our smart phones, so we should properly protect them. Snugg sells cases and pouches for smart phones, plus iPads and other tablets, the Kindle, the iPod Touch, MacBook Air, and they have Nano accessories. I was recently sent a case of my choice to test out.
Snugg offers their cases in many colors and materials, i.e. PC, leather, suede, silicone and bamboo. There are the most choices for the iPhone 5. I choose the bamboo wood case for my Samsung Galaxy S3 because I like the feel of a natural material, and how it looked surrounding the white front. This case is made of sustainable wood, and the cut-outs are precisely placed around the power button, volume rocker, USB port, camera lens, etc. The interior is lined with black velvet to prevent scratching. This is definitely a quality product.
It’s easy to slide into place, putting the top portion on first. The bottom section slides on and locks into place. It indeed fits snugly and will not separate no matter how hard you try to pull it apart. It feels secure in the hand, even if it’s wet.
I intentionally dropped my phone from three and five feet to test how it lands. These are about the distances where you would have it in your hand with your arm down or up near your ear when the phone might slip and fall. The case stayed intact, prevented chipping from the sides and scratches from the back, and prevented the glass from cracking.
Removing the case was puzzling at first. Since I had it on for a few days before removing it, I had forgotten how it snapped into place. There are no instructions, so I contacted customer service via the chat option. The rep was friendly, and told me to push down on the bottom, while pulling out. That didn’t work, but then I remembered how it connected, and inserted a credit card in the slit where it connects and pushed down on it while sliding the bottom away. Voilà!
Overall, this Snugg case offers good protection in a slim-fitting, attractive shell. I love the bamboo wood case, and don’t plan on taking it off any time soon. If you like a simpler, streamline look, and a non-slip case that doesn’t add bulk or much weight, this brand might be right for you.
Mrs. G’s Appliance Chef, Mary Beth Madill, has another recipe to share from the Miele kitchen vignette at Mrs. G’s. The beef kababs with cherry sauce is a great entrée to make on the grill during these lazy days of summer. You’ll love the flavorful sauce combined with the smoky meat! It can also be cooked on a grill pan as she demonstrated. Madill provides more of her recipes on her Appliance Chef blog.
She’s also offers cooking classes for kids (with a parent). So check the site for the next class so you can see her cooking techniques live! Additionally, there’s a free Kosher Cooking Show at Mrs. G’s with Rabbi Goldenberg on Sunday, August 11th from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. RSVP by August 7th.
Beef Kebabs with Cherry Barbecue Sauce
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (1-inch) ginger root, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup tamari
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 10 ounces frozen cherries, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1½ pound flank steak
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
- Place olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent (around 5 minutes).
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and tomato paste, and sauté for 30 second until fragrant.
- Add the tamari, vinegar, juice and cherries, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the cherry mixture has thickened.
- While the sauce is simmering, stir occasionally and smash the cherries against the side of the pot.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
- A half hour before you want to grill your skewers, soak 16 bamboo skewers in water.
- Remove flank steak from the refrigerator and cut it into 16 pieces.
- First, cut the steak in half lengthwise (along the grain).
- Next, slice the steak in half across the grain, then in fourths, and finally in eighths.
- Carefully thread each slice of meat through the center with a soaked skewer.
- Using a meat pounder or small cast iron skillet, pound each steak skewer until it’s about ½ inch thick.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil.
- On the back of your back grill, or cast iron stove top grill pan, cook beef skewers over medium – high heat for 3 – 4 minutes on each side.
- Baste skewers with Cherry Barbeque sauce as they are cooking.
- Let the meat skewers rest for 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, brush with Cherry Barbecue Sauce on more time.
- Garnish with fresh scallions and served immediately.
Director and playwright Brandon Monokian, and actress Kaitlin Overton will lead rising seventh, eighth, and ninth graders and up in a workshop at the Princeton Public Library towards the end of this month. Students will read from Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, a contemporary play based on Homer’s The Odyssey, which is about a young refugee by the name of Anon who meets a broad range of people as he traveles throughout the U.S. in search of his family.
All of Naomi Iizuka’s plays are full of rich, poetic language, and while “Homer’s Odyssey” is a classic, “Anon(ymous)” offers a raw and modern adaptation that is pertinent to youth across the United States. Not only does it create lush imagery for the reader and viewer, but it is so electric and real that it puts the classic tale in today’s shoes and lets a younger audience in on what it’s all about. – Kaitlin Overton
The Odyssey is part of the English department’s curriculum at Princeton High School. This will be an innovative approach to the literature, and give students an advantage when the ninth graders enter the classroom in September, and give the middle schoolers a head start.
“I hope Princeton students find it to be a really animated alternative to simply reading the book by bringing its themes and ideas to life on stage. I myself am a very visual learner, and the arts have always been a great way for me to grasp information”, says Brandon Monokian.
The workshop will begin on Monday, August 19th from 10 AM – 1 PM, and continue until Friday the 23rd, concluding with two open performances by the students in the Community Room that day at 2 PM and 6 PM. Enrollment is for a maximum of 25, and participants are required to attend the entire week.
Monokian explains “I think students will discover new ways of learning, as well as see that although the original text was written a long time ago its themes and content are still extremely relevant today.” Overton adds “I am really excited for this process and I am glad I get to share it with new people who I know will teach me some new things about literature as well. I’m really looking forward to what the students have to offer and how they will work together to present a final piece of a really great play. “
This program is part of the Page to Stage series, and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can sign up here. Below is a video taken of the series last summer at the library.
If someone were to send you a bag filled with items you could use for the summer, what would you like to have in it? I was fortunate enough to receive a swag bag of goodies, and after putting them to use realized that it was a summer care package. The only things missing from this bag were a pair of sunnies and a hat.
Since many travel in the summer, even if it’s just a weekend down the shore, or an overnight in Washington, it’s important to protect your skin, hair, eyes, and even mobile devices. This is a time when you don’t want to skimp on products like sunblock. Keep in mind, quality products can help prolong your youthful appearance while preventing skin cancer, give you more comfort, or protect your valuables better than budget items.
SUMMER TIPS: Before entering a pool, completely wet your hair in the shower with fresh water to avoid swimmer’s hair. This saturates the hair follicles so the chlorine can’t be as easily absorbed. An alternative is to use a leave-in conditioner beforehand. Wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection, and they should be polarized if you’re on (or near) the water a lot. Brown, green and grey tinted lenses are better for driving, and larger frames offer better protection. Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen 15 – 30 minutes before leaving the house, and reapply every four hours or as directed, and drink at least a cup of water every couple of hours.
Stay safe and healthy, and enjoy the rest of summer!
Havaianas – These flip-flops are hand-crafted in Brazil, and have been around since 1962. I was given a pair of Slim Graphics in fuchsia, and I must say, they’ve become my favorites because they’re so comfortable. Great for walking on hot sand or city sidewalks, and you can choose from a wide variety of designs to suit your personality.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Sunshield for Face SPF 50 – This sunshield is very light and absorbs into the skin quickly. It doesn’t leave a white residue or an oily sheen, so ladies it won’t clog your pores, and will leave your make-up looking more natural. Since it’s a broad spectrum sunscreen, it helps prevent freckles, age spots, wrinkling, sunburns, and skin cancer. Swimmers will be happy to hear that it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Xtreme Straight Crème - It’s light with a nice fragrance. Great for moisturizing your hair, and preventing the frizzies during these humid months. I highly recommend it for porous, wavy, and curly hair.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse Shine Stain - This lightweight, long-lasting lip stain hydrates your lips for about six hours.
JĀSÖN Body Washes – I received the lavender scent, and it reminds me of Provence this time of year. It’s made of natural ingredients and has vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5. Your skin won’t feel tight after a shower, and there are other fragrances to choose from.
bliss firm, baby, firm Total Eye System – They say eyes are the window of your soul. Parents don’t want others to see signs of aging when they look into them, and the sun certainly doesn’t help. Bliss’ lifting upper eye gel & under eye cream duo can firm the skin over and under your eyes, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Here’s to the precious moments of hearing you look like your teen’s twin and their eyes rolling after hearing that!
GO SMILE On-the-Go Teeth Whitening Pen – This product doesn’t protect, but will enhance your smile. Besides, the whiter your teeth are, the better your tan looks, and drinking Frappucinos and berry smoothies won’t make matters better. Use this to get maintain your pearly whites on-the-go.
Boden & Mini Boden - A British company that sells amongst other clothing, swimwear for men, women, and children, plus straw bags for the beach season. They have a sale going on now.
OtterBox Pursuit Series Case – Many know the popular Armor Series for their iPhones or other mobile phones. I received a Pursuit 40 waterproof case that’s perfect for the beach. It keeps water and sand out while not in use, and protects devices of many sizes from accidentally being stepped on. You can also keep your earphones inside. Love this!
The Institute, Erno Laszlo New York – This salon started out on Fifth Avenue with clients i.e., Audrey and Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelley, and Jackie Kennedy. It’s now in Soho after a 40-year gap looking to pick up where it left off. A 75 minute facial treatment after braving the summer elements will help slow down the aging process. Their signature program consists of masterlevel nutritional boosting facials that bring on the characterization of youthful skin.
Mrs. G’s Appliance Chef, Mary Beth Madill, has been cooking up a storm in the Miele kitchen vignette at Mrs. G’s. She has some great recipes to share, which are perfect during this heat wave. I had the chance of sampling her tasty peach thyme lemonade and the shrimp with Meyer lemon-dill dipping sauce, and they were absolutely delicious! You can find more of her recipes on the Appliance Chef blog.
She’s also offers cooking classes for kids (with a parent). So check the site for the next class so you can see her cooking techniques live!
- 2 peaches, peeled* and pitted
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
For Tomato Basil
- 1 large (8oz) tomato, peeled* and cored
- 2 tablespoons packed basil leaves
For Blackberry Mint
- 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)
- 2 tablespoons packed mint leaves
- Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add herbs, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove herbs and transfer to a glass jar or heat-proof container and refrigerate until cool, at least 20 minutes or until ready to use.
- Blend fruit in a blender or food processor until smooth; strain through a fine mesh sieve or run through a food mill to remove any seeds and excess solids.
- Combine fruit purée with lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir in 3 cups cold water and sugar syrup to taste. Pour over ice.
*To easily peel peaches and/or tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut an X-shaped slit in the bottom of fruit. Boil for 30 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice water. When fruit is cool enough to handle, the skins should slide right off.
Here is a simple dish that can be put together in advance, and ready to put on the table when ready to serve. Steam, poach, broil or grill jumbo shrimp. Mix up a fresh sauce with Greek yogurt and fresh dill weed and, if you can find one, a Meyer lemon, which is a cross between a lemon and a tangerine. Simple, elegant, and sure to be the first dish to disappear at any party. ~ Executive Chef Mary Beth Madill
- 1 lb jumbo (16-20 size) shrimp, defrosted if frozen, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise, to taste
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill weed
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- Cook the shrimp in your favorite way: poach, roast, grill, or cook on the panini press. Keep cooked shrimp refrigerated until ready to serve. Or served hot off the grill.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk together to incorporate. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
- You can cover and refrigerate this for several hours.
- Serve the shrimp on a plate, surrounding the dipping sauce
Skytop Lodge is a majestic hotel resort located in the Poconos. If the Poconos make you think of dated hotel rooms with shag carpeting, a heart-shaped bed, and a champagne glass tub, know that Skytop is the furthest thing from this genre. As a matter of fact, it’s at the silver level of Historic Hotels of America, plus Travel+Leisure Magazine lists it under Best All-Inclusive Resorts.
We were greeted at the porte-cochère by the valet and porter. The valet walked over to our car, had our name on the list and told us that we have a cottage room, so we should park to the side and check in. A greeter opened the door and pointed us towards the front desk. We had a trainee checking us in, who was polite, but didn’t have all the recreation answers. We got those answers later at their Activities Desk downstairs.
We drove to the Stream Side Cottage, which is split into four rooms. Two on either side of the entry are connecting. We were in the front of our cottage and had a view of our car off to the side in the foreground and the front of other cottages in the background. The bathroom had plain white tile, a round toilet seat, and a shower curtain over the bathtub, making it standard. The room itself was somewhat roomy and had a king-sized bed, desk and chair, armoire with TV and DVD player inside, sofa bed, armchair, and walk-in closet with a dresser and mini-fridge. There’s a partially covered side porch, and the rooms are listed as having a gas fireplace and safe, but ours did not have these amenities.
The rooms at the Lodge are smaller, but are convenient since most activities happen in or near it. The Cottages are a five-minute walk from the lodge, and the Inn has spacious room and balconies, but is on the opposite side of the grounds, about a 10 – 15 minute walk away from the Lodge (depending on your pace). There is a complimentary shuttle available to transport you back and forth, or you can just drive your car over in a couple of minutes.
Skytop has two distinct types of architecture. The Lodge is a stone Dutch Colonial. It houses the Windsor Dining Room, indoor and outdoor pools, Activities Center, Tap Room, Tea Room (ice cream, sandwiches, etc,), the Garden, and an expansive lobby with abundant armchairs and sofas. The Inn at Skytop and the Cottages are more rustic and constructed of cedar shingles and stone foundations. The Inn is home to the Pro Shop, the seasonal LakeView Restaurant, the Inn-Between Deli, and the Fairview Bar.
The resort is on 5,500 acres of land, and includes, the Lodge, Inn, Cottages, Adventure Center, fields for several lawn games, 18-hole golf course, plus several trails (some are miles away). Theoretically, you wouldn’t have to leave the resort if you choose the meal plan.
Breakfast and lunch are more casual, and are served buffet-style. There’s an egg station that makes eggs to order, specializing in whole egg and egg white omelettes for breakfast. Gentlemen are required to wear jackets to dinner in the Windsor Dining Room, where we were served a four-course menu., which changed daily while we were there. My daughter was fascinated with the finger bowls, though this wasn’t given to us consistently. The maître d knew our last name by our third meal, and the wait staff was friendly. The food is quite good and I give the restaurant three out of four stars.
Being at the resort makes you feel like you’re in the days of yesteryear. It’s very Gatsby-esque. They offer lawn bowling (bowls), croquet, archery, putting greens, badminton, horseshoes, and beach volleyball along side small gardens, and a playground. The latter three being more modern.
The lake behind the Inn has a small beach with an inflatable trampoline and slide, and two lifeguards were on duty (one in a canoe and one at the beach). They also rent stand up paddleboards (SUPs) with life vests. The beach gives you a natural swimming and sunbathing option compared to the indoor and outdoor pools. Chairs and umbrellas are there for your use at no charge.
All of these activities are included in the price of your stay. There’s even tea served daily at 4 PM in the Lodge’s lobby. Hot water and Tazo tea bags, pink lemonade, fruit-infused water, and soft chocolate chip, candy, oatmeal and sugar cookies are offered until 5 PM sharp. You can drink your tea from proper tea cups or from a disposable cup.
The Adventure Center has an array of more challenging, fee-based activities, and is a reality check to living in the 21st century. Rock climbing, a treetop course including ziplining, paintballing, geocaching, laser tag, mountain biking and more either take place there, or is the starting point for adventures. There’s a Family Fun Package that includes activities at the Adventure Center, plus a round of golf. Tennis and skeet shooting round out country club sports, and there’s a small fitness center to also help work off those four-course meals.
Amenities in the rooms include, bath products, a Keurig coffee machine with K-Cups, flatscreen TV and DVD player or VCR. Additional resort amenities include, a conference center, spa, evening campfire until 10 PM with optional S’mores, Camp in the Clouds for younger kids, movie rental at the Tea Room, and daily free and fee-based events, i.e. guided hikes, yoga, junior golf clinic, ice cream BINGO, and Salsa dancing. There is also babysitting available for a fee.
We’ve overheard many guest stories in the dining room. One couple returned after 30 years, one family visits every year, and there were lots of first timers who vowed on returning. The demographic seems to be young families, (family) groups, empty nesters, retirees, and conference attendees.
While teenagers will find plenty to do during the day, some may yearn for a nightlife that doesn’t exist for them. Bring DVDs and a game console with games to connect to the TV, or be prepared to leave the resort if you vacation here with a teen. Adults itching for more evening entertainment can venture off to Mt. Pocono (casino), Tannersville, or Stroudsburg. Most are content staying at Skytop after dusk.
Tips: Play the lawn games, especially lawn bowling and croquet, and archery. Go to the observation deck at the top of the lodge for a nice overview of the property and beyond. Take the elevator to the fourth floor, walk up to the fifth floor, then go past the spa down the hallway until you reach the stairs to the observation deck. Take a walk on the Upper Fails or Leavitt Falls Trails for views of waterfalls, or the Lake Tail for an overlook at Skytop Lake.
Overall, the food is one of the best you’ll find at an all-inclusive resort. The service was good to outstanding, the day activities were great and the evening was quieter. The Streamside Cottage room was fine, but not luxurious, and the views in the front are that of a fancy motel. If booking here, you might want to request the Lodge or Inn. It is certainly a place to disconnect and relax, or be adventurous during the day. The bonus is, it’s only a two-hour drive away. Despite some formalities at Skytop, it’s not at all stuffy. I would recommend it for its old world charm mixed with modern amenities and call to nature, making it a unique experience!