Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LEGO® KIDSFEST is coming to Hartford! December 6-8

The Big Brick Pile is a popular spot -- but no worries -- there is plenty of brick for everyone.The LEGO® KidsFest National Tour stops at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT, December 6-8, 2013, bringing all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in this three acre activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

We can’t wait, our whole family is LEGO® obsessed! My husband has a huge collection of LEGO bricks from his childhood and now my boys are starting their own collection.  We’ve spent the past week putting together sets that my son got for his 5th birthday and it’s been great.  LEGO is so timeless, people of all ages can enjoy them together!

Check out everything the 2013 LEGO® KIDSFEST has to offer:

• LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks

• LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play

• Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.

• Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family

• LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games

• Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas

• LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building

• LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods

• Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment

• Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity

• Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

• And much more, covering over 150,000 square feet of space

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Do you want in on all this awesome-ness? Stay tuned because I will be giving away a pair of tickets to LEGO® KIDSFEST soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Advance Screening of FREE BIRDS AMC Plainville, CT

FREE BIRDS Art

In this hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy for audiences of all ages, directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good.

It hits theatres on November 1st 2013, but if you are in the Plainville, CT area you can grab free passes to an advance screening on October 26th at 10:00 a.m.

Click here to download up to 4 passes:  http://l.gofobo.us/VK3z6UDw

OR visit www.gofobo.com/RSVP and enter code: DGDFGDUQBZ

*Please note: seating will not be guaranteed and is available on a first come, first serve basis so please arrive early!

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The Dove Foundation has awarded Free Birds with a Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for All Ages

Monday, October 14, 2013

Maple Bacon Acorn Squash Fudge

Yes.

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Every year my husband and I take our boys pumpkin picking at Jones Family Farms.  It’s a beautiful property and there is tons to do.  We always have a blast!

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This year I was particularly excited because Jenny from Sweet Jenny’s CT had recently posted a recipe for Carnival Squash Bisque and I was dying to try it.  I knew Jones Farm would have a great selection of gourds for my soup-making needs!

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There were so many varieties! I wasn’t sure what to go with so I grabbed a couple different varieties. (I ended up making a butternut squash & sugar pumpkin bisque, btw.)

On the way home, we passed a gift shop that was selling fudge.  I exclaimed, “Oooh, fudge!” as I am sure everyone would when passing a “FUDGE” sign.  Then my husband said, “You could just make your own.” He was right.  I was thinking about making pumpkin fudge and when I went to the grocery store to pick up the canned pumpkin goop, it hit me that I could just puree a super-flavorful acorn squash.  I was so excited.

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I only needed half of the squash for the fudge recipe, so I figured I would eat the other half for lunch and maybe top it with bacon.  Then, it hit me. I could put bacon in the fudge. Yes.

And that is how this recipe was born.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 oz. can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 cup roasted, pureed, acorn squash (directions below)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 7 oz. jar of marshmallow cream (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 pieces of maple bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the squash:

Preheat oven to 400, cut squash in half lengthwise, place a pat of butter in each half and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes. 

Once cooked, allow to cool then scoop out the insides and puree in a food processor.

I placed the pureed squash in a bowl on top of a paper towel to get some of the moisture out while I got the rest of the stuff ready.

For the fudge:

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides for easy removal.

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, squash, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234° to 240º F. (I don’t have a candy thermometer, I just boiled it for 11 minutes and it was fine!)

Quickly stir in the white chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, walnuts, bacon and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until the chocolate chips are melted. Immediately pour into the prepared pan. Let stand on wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate tightly covered overnight. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

recipe adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker

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Enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mohegan Sun’s #SunBrewFest 2013

Disclosure: I received complimentary passes to this event, all opinons are my own.

Mohegan Sun hosted its second annual Sun BrewFest last weekend and it was better than ever! It’s always perfectly timed to be the same weekend as my brewfestlogowedding anniversary and since my husband and I share a love for good beer and Mohegan Sun – attending is always a no-brainer!

There was a great mix of local and national beer brands represented.  I saw Goose Island right when I walked through the doors, which has quickly become one of my “go to” brands since I discovered it at last years Sun BrewFest.  Their Sofie brew is easily one of my favorites, but I went with a sample of their Oktoberfest and was impressed.  It had great flavor and was very drinkable!

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Being a lightweight, I tried to stick with one sample per vendor but once I tried Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin, I had to try more! The Hennepin, a farmhouse saison, was smooth, citrusy, a little bit sweet and a little bit hoppy. I also tried their Abbey Ale, a dubbel ale.  It was sweet and then a little bitter.  It packed a ton of different flavors which disguised that it was 8.5% ABV.  I would love to try more of Brewery Ommegang’s beers and maybe take a trip to their brewery in Cooperstown, NY.

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My husband was a fan of Blue Point’s Mother Pumpkin Ale, an easy to drink pumpkin ale with lots of pumpkin pie flavor and a hint of malt.  He also really enjoyed City Steam’s newest beer, Crème de la Crème.  A cream ale that goes down really smoothly!

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We stopped by the Guinness booth and grabbed some black and tans before grabbing a bite to eat.  There was a great variety of food, my husband got chicken and waffles and I got a bar-b-q beef slider. Perfect!

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Besides all the beer and all the food we had a great time with the Jack Links Sasquatch display.

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Had our picture taken in front of the Step and Repeat.

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Listened to some great music by Major Motion.

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…and one of us may have taken a bathroom selfie. What can I say? I loved the way they incorporated the #SunBrewFest hashtag this year!

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Needless to say, we had a blast! We finished up our night with an awesome dinner at Sol Toro grill and some gambling.  I wouldn’t mind spending our anniversary this way every year. Here’s to many, many more!

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