Ladies Night In Margarita Recipes

Chef Marcela’s Tequila Lime Shrimp from beth Feldman on Vimeo.

Want to find out how you can throw the ultimate Ladies Night In party? Well, check out these fabulous recipes compliments of Chef Marcela Valladolid!
Thumbnail image for CitrusCooler (1).jpgCitrus Cooler Margarita
Serves 6
The perfect way to combine tequila and wine. The wine makes the tequila taste so fruity. It is irresistible!
1/2 part white wine
1 part limeade
1 part lemon lime soda
1/2 part Sauza Tequila Blanco
Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Mix well. Serve cold or iced.
Thumbnail image for grapefruit.jpg
This drink is sweet and tangy and pairs perfectly with tequila. It is great for a hot summer day.
Yield-4 servings
6oz Sauza Blanco Tequila
32 oz Club Soda
4 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 grapefruits (juice only) or 12 -18 oz grapefruit juice
Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Mix well. Serve cold.
sauzz45.jpgMint Berry Margarita
The raspberry in this drink makes it a bit sweet and sour with the tequila. The mint simply makes it perfectly refreshing.
Serves 4
16 oz of cranberry/ raspberry juice
8 mint leaves for garnish
8 oz. cup lemon soda
6 oz of Sauza Tequila Blanco
Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients except mint leaves in a pitcher. Serve each glass with 2 mint leaves. Serve cold or iced.
Thumbnail image for WarmWinter_glasses.jpgWarm Winter Margarita
Serves 4
Perfect for a cold day. This drink is full of flavor and makes the tequila blend smoothly.
28 oz apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups dried fruit of your choice
2 tbs granulated sugar
6 oz Sauza Tequila Blanco
Method of Preparation:
Combine apple juice and cinnamon in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick carefully. Add sugar, dried fruit, and tequila. Mix well. Serve warm.
For more of Chef Marcela’s great recipes, visit the Sauza fan page on Facebook.

Family Movie Alert: Alpha & Omega

movieposter.jpgIf you’re not going to be spending your day thinking about food (that would be me since Yom Kippur is only a few hours away now), I’ve got a great family movie you can check out with your family this weekend. Opening in theaters nationwide September 17, Alpha and Omega is an animated adventure story about two wolves from different packs trying to find their way back home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country.
The film stars the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci and the late Dennis Hopper. After you’ve taken your kids to see the film, Lionsgate has created some really fun activities that you can find online at the Alpha and Omega 3-D website that will keep your children entertained into the new school year! The site is fully loaded with cool interactive games that help you get to know the characters and understand the journey they take to find their way home. Plus, it includes easy to download coloring pages, activity sheets, text book covers, stickers and so much more.
Take a look at the trailer if you’d like to see a sneak peak…

So give the kids a back to school break and enjoy the Alpha and Omega adventure. Visit moviefone to find a theater nearest you and purchase tickets online!

To Bathe or Not to Bathe: From the Authors of Heading Home with Your Newborn

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HH2 Final cover lo res.jpgPediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of “parent-tested, pediatrician-approved” advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, Also available in bookstores nationwide.
The following is an excerpt to help you navigate those first crucial weeks of parenthood and caring for a newborn:
To Bathe or Not to Bathe:
Contrary to popular belief, babies do not need to be bathed every day–especially as newborns. As we enter parenthood, we should all consider ourselves fortunate that we are given a few months in which to become comfortable with our baby-bathing duties before our children effectively figure out how to make themselves truly messy.
It’s really not until babies start crawling around in dirt, sandboxes, or even just on the kitchen floor (depending on how dirty yours is), and begin to explore baby foods–routinely ending up with more smeared on their faces than in their mouths–that they warrant frequent full-body washes. Until then, however, you have the practical option of focusing your attention on a relatively limited number of parts.
Your primary area of focus predictably will be the diaper area–and, of course, the surrounding areas, the size of which will depend on whether your baby has taken to having blowouts. Other areas to pay particular attention to: around the mouth and anywhere there are skin folds.
While some of you may be looking at your newborn and thinking to yourself that there are few, if any, skin folds to be found–rest assured that they will soon appear. The present-from-birth and all-too-often-neglected arm-pit and groin folds are likely to be joined in mere weeks by double chins and thigh folds. If you make a habit of regularly spot-checking these hot spots and cleaning them as needed using a wet washcloth, you really won’t have to bathe your baby every single day. In fact, bathing a couple of times a week is often enough.
*Book excerpt from Heading Home with Your Newborn (Second Edition/Copyright 2010/American Academy of Pediatrics).
The Heading Home with Your Newborn excerpts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.

The Orlandos Hit Amelia Island

amelia_island.gifThere’s something that I just love about my good friend and fellow blogging mom, Kim Orlando. She is one of the most adventurous women I know. While I can go on a trip and enjoy reading my kindle and sipping margaritas by the pool, Kim on the other hand will bike for 39 thousand miles and cruise for shark teeth on the beach. And so, when she asked me to check out her latest adventure, I have to say – I couldn’t wait to see how Kim and her family vacation without technology.
You see, Kim’s one caveat for the family was that they give up their phones for 24 hours so they could re-connect. Uh oh. Looks like if I head out on a trip with Traveling Mom, she might do the same thing to me! Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Take a look – I’m sure you’ll enjoy what you see. And if you’d like to find out more about Kim’s trip and how to book your own family vacation to Amelia Island, visit her at Traveling Mom.

Care to share you family vacation adventure? We’d love to hear your stories!

Sleeping by the Book: From the Authors of Heading Home with Your Newborn

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HH2 Final cover lo res.jpgPediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of “parent-tested, pediatrician-approved” advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, Also available in bookstores nationwide.
The following are excerpts to help you navigate those first crucial weeks of parenthood and caring for a newborn:
“Sleeping like a baby” can mean different things to different people–usually depending on whether they’ve ever had or taken care of one before. For just about all newborns it fairly predictably means having the ability to sleep at any time and in any place, while at the same time being completely unwilling to entertain any “suggestions” as to how, when, or where to put such talent into practice. You may come across those who have ventured down the path of parenthood before you who simply shake their heads sympathetically and wish you luck in getting your newborn to wake up when you want/need him to, and even better luck getting him to go to sleep when you want. Because we’re committed to helping you set appropriate expectations for yourself and your baby, we’re going to approach the whole subject of sleep by first helping you get into the right frame of mind. We decided to start out by providing you with some basic sleep-related milestones.
Daily sleep. The average newborn spends at least 16 hours a day sleeping, but there can be big differences from one newborn to the next. The total amount of sleep babies need in any given 24-hour day gradually decreases over time, but still totals just over 14 hours at 6 months of age and just under 14 hours at 1 year.
Naps. Sure, many newborns nap in 1- to 2-hour spurts, but before you go planning your schedule around any preconceived idea of nap time, let us add that the length of most newborns’ naps are also very variable and tend to be scattered throughout the day (and night) in a completely random and therefore unpredictable manner. The 3-nap-a-day schedule with which you may be familiar should be considered a sleep pattern you should aspire to down the road, because most newborns don’t settle into this type of nap routine for at least a month or two. Even then, it can take a few additional weeks or months before you can count on a morning, early afternoon, and early evening nap.
Night versus day. During the first few days and weeks of parenthood, you are likely to find that there’s not going to be a whole lot that distinguishes your days from your nights. More often than not, they just seem to blend together into one big sleep-deprived blur. That’s because it will be almost completely up to your newborn when he chooses to be awake and when he chooses to sleep. Most newborns spend equal amounts of time sleeping during the day and night–a tendency that can be quite challenging for those of us accustomed to more of an awake-by-day, asleep-by-night approach. By the end of their first month, most newborns do manage to figure out how to consolidate their sleep into longer stretches and start to get at least one extended stretch of sleep each 24-hour day. So with any luck, you’ll be blessed with a baby who decides to choose nighttime as the right time to do so. And for the real light at the end of the tunnel: By 3 months of age, many babies get approximately two-thirds of their total daily sleep during the night.
*Book excerpt from Heading Home with Your Newborn (Second Edition/Copyright 2010/American Academy of Pediatrics).
The Heading Home with Your Newborn excerpts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.

Dinner for Busy Moms on TV

Check out the fabulous Jeanne Muchnick on Better TV as she shares her tips to get your family eating right and spending mealtime together! Jeanne is the author of Dinner for Busy Moms and the managing editor of a brand new magazine that we will be launching through Role Mommy in the coming weeks.

For more tips about making mealtime easier, visit Jeanne at Dinner for Busy Moms and order a copy of her book.

Have a Little Faith

Every year around this time I get the chance to re-connect with family and friends in my community through the Jewish high holidays. When I was a child, I used to look forward to the holidays so that I could see my friends and wear one of the new outfits my mom had bought me for the special day. The fact that the meaning of the holiday was lost on me was due in part to the fact that we attended a Conservative synagogue where the sermon typically focused on donations and guilt rather than hope, promise and introspection. Additionally, I never received a Bat Mitzvah as a child because the rabbi didn’t believe in giving girls the opportunity to recite their Haftorah during shabbos. If I truly wanted one, I would have to do it on a Thursday. My mom was incensed with that option and instead, gave me the choice to have a Bat Mitzvah or a sweet sixteen. I opted for to drop out of Hebrew School, skip my Bat Mitzvah and we went to Israel instead – which incidentally, was one of the most memorable vacations I’ve ever taken with my family.
When it was time for my family to decide which synagogue we were going to join, I again made the decision a bit frivolously. You see, my passion is singing and writing and when a good friend told me that she got to perform annually in the Temple Follies, I was hooked. I convinced my husband that we had to enroll in the synagogue and poof, we were members. I should also say that we had been attending services there before we became members and the senior rabbi at the time also presided over my daughter’s baby naming, so I did like what I saw, I just didn’t take anything too seriously when it came to the decision making process over our house of worship.
Over the years, there were many changes at our synagogue, our original senior rabbi, who many of us came to adore, decided to pull up stakes and move to Oregon with his family. Our associate rabbi left shortly thereafter when his wife, a cantor landed a great job in Chicago. While this became great fodder for Follies, I didn’t think twice since I wasn’t that attached – or so I thought.
Another rabbi joined the congregation along with an associate rabbi who seemed quite young at the time, but I’d soon discover how incredibly wise she was. There were also a few constants. The cantor for the synagogue – one of the most gifted performers and a motivating force among the children has always been someone I’ve admired and liked as a person and when I heard friends sharing stories of their kids’ Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, they always remarked on how wonderful he was with their child as they struggled to recite their portion of the torah. The Rabbi Emeritus and Cantor Emeritus, who I’ve come to know through our Follies rehearsals, and are two of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
In the last year, another senior rabbi joined our temple and despite the fact that he too seemed quite young, what I’ve come to discover in the short time he’s been a part of our temple is that he is a gifted storyteller, a motivator, a community activist, runner, father and much more.
Which leads me to the sermon that both shared on Rosh Hashana. Our senior rabbi focused on pursuing goals for ourselves and our community and to stop coming up with excuses with why we can’t achieve the unthinkable. He shared a story of the first time he ran a marathon and almost gave up until he saw a man in front of him with one leg tackling the 26 mile race on a set of crutches. He also spoke about professor Randy Paucsh – who lost a battle to pancreatic cancer but rather than spend his final days wallowing in self pity, he shared his “Last Lecture” with students at Carnegie Mellon about how he set out in life to always pursue his dreams and managed in a variety of ways to achieve them. The rabbi’s sermon left me energized, inspired and ready to tackle the dreams I’ve set out for myself in the coming years ahead.
The following day, I attended the family service with our associate rabbi who, as I had said earlier, is wise beyond her years. I will never forget the day after my daughter’s beloved Hebrew teacher was tragically killed in a home fire and all of us were shell shocked. We didn’t know what to tell our children about how to cope with the news and yet, our associate rabbi knew just what to say. I remember her speaking to the children the morning after it happened and sharing a story about a jewelry box that evoked so many memories for her. At the heart of it, her message was simple and powerful – despite the fact their teacher was gone, her memory will always live on through the students she guided and the philanthropic mitzvah projects she helped them turn into reality.
This year, she tackled the subject of judging a situation versus being judgmental of another person, and I have to admit that I have been guilty of the latter. Who doesn’t confide in a friend when someone does something they don’t agree with or takes objection to their actions? But what the rabbi made us aware of is when someone does something we might not be happy with, there is probably a back story to their actions that we might not be taking into consideration. As much as it is hard to forgive someone for bad behavior, it’s sometimes better to give them the benefit of the doubt and move on rather than passing judgement.
So as I prepare to start the Jewish New Year – 5771, what I can say is that both sermons provided me with a great deal of food for thought in the year ahead. As I continue to pursue all those hard to achieve goals on my bucket list, I will strive to do more for my community. At the same time, I will try my best not to pass judgement and give my peers and my own kids the benefit of the doubt (within reason of course).
No matter how old you get, we always need teachers in our lives who can inspire us to achieve while taking stock in our own actions. And what I’ve come to discover is that some of the best teachers I’ve ever met are rabbis and cantors. All you have to do is listen and learn.

Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

Take Back the Kitchen recipe guru Alma Schneider shares her latest dish that’ll satisfy the entire family!
P1050038.JPGSummer is almost over but you can feel like you are at the shore all year round with this easy and flavorful chowder that can be a meal in itself with some bread and a nice side salad. I’ll be looking forward to this when the Fall winds blow….
Manhattan Clam Chowder
1 1/2 large sweet onions sliced into thin discs and then cut in half
Canola or vegetable oil
2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup
1 can water
4-5 Large, peeled and cubed potatoes (cut into 3/4 ” cubes
5 eight oz. bottles of clam juice
1 TBS butter
5-6 cans chopped clams (tuna can size)
bay leaf (optional)
In a large pasta type pot, heat up the oil and saute onions until translucent but not browned.
In a med. sized bowl, crush tomatoes from the can with your hands until mushy. Discard any hard pieces of tomato.
Pour into pot.
Next, pour in tomato soup and then fill the can with water and pour that into pot as well
Bring mixture to a simmer.
Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Throw in the peeled potatoes and the clam juice. Stir and simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the potatoes are tender but not mushy.
When the potatoes are tender, add the butter and the bay leaf if using.
Add the chopped clams, simmer another ten minutes, add salt and pepper and enjoy!
For more of Alma’s fabulous recipes, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

The 411: Universal Studios Harry Potter World

Role Mommy contributor Linda Grant visits The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with her daughter and shares all the details!
DSC04869.JPGSince it’s opening in June, hundreds of thousands of Muggles have invaded the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located in Universal’s Island of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida.
As a true fan of the books and the movies, walking into Potterland was truly an amazing experience. The designers of the park have made an exact replica of what you see in the movies and I was impressed by the authenticity of the park.
My daughter and I wandered through the park shopping at Hogsmeade, sampling chocolate frogs at Honeydukes, experienced the magic at Ollivander’s wand shop, ate at the Three Broomsticks restaurant where the Shepherds’ Pie and Fish and Chips were just yummy and not at all like theme park food. Of course, our favorite treat was the frozen butter beer. Yes, the chefs at Wizarding World of Harry Potter have invented butter beer. I recommend the frozen butter vs. regular which I can still taste now, it was that good and I am not of fan of root beer or crème soda.
The most spectacular feature of the park is Hogswarts Castle. It truly takes your breath away at how realistic it is. You really feel as though you have stepped into Harry Potter’s world. What is incredible about Hogwarts Castle is that it is visible from several vantage points throughout the entire Islands of Adventure park. We spent a lot of time taking photos with the castle as a backdrop or pointing it out from several rides we went on.
Hogwarts Castle may look realistic on the outside but one of the most exhilarating rides you will experience is contained within the castle: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride takes you on a journey as you travel via the Floo Network, soaring over Hogwarts, dodging dragon attacks, whomping willows, death eaters and getting pulled into a Quidditch match. Arrive early for this ride as it has the longest line and is the most popular. Long lines at amusement parks do not make me happy but I have to commend the park designers in that as you “wait” in line, you are actually winding your way through Hogwarts Castle like the main characters. There is so much to look at as you wind your way to the ride. There are talking pictures, a holographic Professor Dumbledore explaining the rules and Ron, Hermione and Harry pop up to invite you personally on the Forbidden Journey.
And then there is the ride. My daughter loved it as any seven year old would and so much that she rode it twice. Personally, I definitely loved it for all the bells and whistles but my tum tum took a beating on the ride but don’t let that stop you. It is a must experience.
There are two other rides, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff . Visitors can brave a Hungarian Horntail or Chinese Fireball on dueling roller coasters onf the Dragon Challenge and I mean challenge. At a couple of points during the ride, the two coasters turn upside down and interlock with each other. Scary. The Flight of Hippogriff is a little more sedate of a roller coaster.
As if the rides were not enough, one of our favorite experiences was going to Ollivander’s Wand Shop. The Shop instantly brings you to that moment in the movie when Harry picks out his wand. My daughter, of course had to have a wand and ended up choosing Hermione’s wand. There are special wands based on birthday or character inspired wands.
Of course, don’t miss out on visiting Honeydukes for every imaginable sweet under the sun and Zonko’s for magical toys.
As any parent has experienced when visiting a theme park, be prepared to spend a ton of money on Harry Potter products. Many are not available anywhere except at the park. I ended up with buying the Hedwig the owl, which I thought out of the ordinary since you can make the head move and it actually coos, Hermione’s wand, and of coursee postcards with the Hogmeade’s stamp,
All in all, the park is really worth visiting for all Harry Potter fans.
Thanks to Beth for the opportunity to enjoy the trip.
Visit for vacation packages at on-site resorts that provide special benefits inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Linda Grant is a contributor to and is the founder/editor for NYC Single Mom.
Full Disclosure: Universal Studios provided her with airfare, accommodations and complimentary entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Linda’s opinions regarding her experience are strictly her own.

Mom’s Reading Corner: The Stieg Larsson Trilogy

Thumbnail image for mill.jpeg
Is The Girl with Dragon Tattoo and the two other books that followed worth reading? Ask our new columnist, my mom, Lenore Stoller.
Introducing a new column by one of the most avid readers I know, my mom. Mom reads at least two dozen books per year, is involved in book clubs in Southampton (she volunteers at the library) and Boynton Beach Florida and is always on the inside track when it comes to discovering great books. So for her first assignment, I asked her to tackle the Steig Larssen Trilogy and asked her, “Mom, should we really believe the hype – and will I really love it as much as everyone says I will? Let’s find out…
Mom’s Take…
I have just completed the Stieg Larsson trilogy, (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl who Played with Fire: The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). After getting through lengthy discussions about finance, computer hacking, long, unpronounceable locales in Sweden and a myriad of characters often too many for me to recall along with their roles in each book, I have to say, I really enjoyed the series. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo however, was the novel I enjoyed the most – in fact it was my favorite of the three books. However, if you prefer to see closure from a book series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest tied up all the loose ends from the second novel and was pretty good, but definitely not one of my all time favorites.
When I went to school, my teachers always insisted that once you started a book, you had to finish it. And so, after learning about the author’s biography, I did feel a sense of obligation to finish all of his books. Did his real life as the editor of the Expo mirror his stories? Was he murdered by a radical neo-Nazi or did he die of a heart attack because he smoked like a fiend? Did you know that the original title of his first book was “Men Who Hate Women?” Personally, I prefer that book title over the ones that were selected but I guess publishers know better – I’m just a voracious reader who made it her mission this summer to finish these books! That being said, I’m pretty sure I won’t read any other Stieg Larrson sequels in case any were left on his computer after he died – but I would go see the movie that is currently being made. Perhaps once you read them, you’ll have an entirely different opinion about the series – but as they say, that’s why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream!
And now, Beth’s Take…
Mom’s absolutely right on the chocolate/vanilla scenario. Whatever flavor Stieg Larrson was dishing, I just wasn’t getting it. After, I went out and bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, try as I might, I could not get passed page 30. I never had a teacher who told me to finish every book and so rather than torture myself, I started a a much easier read filled with infidelity, betrayal, gossip and more…Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. Now that’s a novel I can sink my teeth into…review coming soon.