Nominate our Blog
February 29, 2012, 10:27 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized

February 27 to March 7: Love our blog? Then let your voice be heard!! Nominate our blog as the best family blog of Lehigh Valley at

Beginning Monday, registered users of can nominate their favorite local blog at Nominations run through March 10. There is no cost to register on

From March 12-27, the public can vote on the Morning Call website. Registered users can vote for their favorite blog in each category as well as for a “Best Overall Blog” once a day. The use of automated devices for voting is not permitted.

The blogs that receive the most votes in each category will win in that category, and one blog that receives the most overall votes will be named the Best Lehigh Valley Blog at a special “My Choice Voice Awards” event. Winners will be announced after March 28 and each will receive a certificate of recognition. All nominees will be considered to be included in the Morning Call’s Blogosphere.

“We want to look at what’s out there and are hoping to find new voices,” Bartolai says. “It will enhance what we have available on our website. People can come to the Morning Call and find out not just what reporters are saying but what other people are saying.”



Cooking Classes for $10
February 29, 2012, 10:15 AM
Filed under: Fun on a budget

If you’re like me, there’s nothing better on a cold wintery day then spending time in the kitchen experimenting with a new recipe. Mmmm, what a great way to warm the house and hearts of the family. For those anxious to try something new and different in the kitchen, Turkish cooking classes are being offered by the Lehigh Dialogue Center of Bethlehem. For $10 you are invited into the home of a local Turkish cook to spend 4 hours learning the cooking techniques and recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Class size is limited to 6 women, for this women-to-women experience. Upcoming classes are as follows:

March 3rd: Ispanakli Borek (rolled spinach pastry), Kuskus Salatasi (couscous salad) and Sebzeli Patlican Salatasi (grilled summer vegetable salad)

March 17th: Turhu (Turkish ratatouille), Kereviz Salatasi (celery root salad) and Kadayif


Happy Cooking!!

Bueatiful Days Beautiful You!
February 28, 2012, 6:08 PM
Filed under: Healthly Living

What a gorgeous weekend we had!  If you are anything like me you were dying to get out there and do something.  My husband and I decided to go for a walk and didn’t get far when the blustery wind took its toll and sent us running for the shelter of home.  In our last healthy blog we discussed using what you have at hand to work out.  Like taking your kids to the park and playing with them.  Or , going to the gym in your development if you live in a condo situation.  You are already paying for it in your fees, use it for all its worth.  Or, sign up for a fundraising race if you are a runner.  Autism Awareness Walk-April 15-meet Holly Robinson Pete Or Cystic fibrosis Strides-at Peace Valley Park April 28th.  Most are free and others ask for sponsors.  Do it with a friend and have family sponsor you.  Who knows you may even catch the bug!

Today I thought I would give a few other fun options for getting in shape.

Dancing is fun, and it doesn’t feel like your working out.  One of my favorite types of dancing is Swing.  It uses every part of your body and has amazing music that entices anyone listening to just want to dance!  In Pottstown at the Ballroom on High Street, they have a club called Swing Kat.  They feature live bands and djs, although I must say that the live bands give an electric feeling and seem to make it all the more special.  They also have lessons usually 1 hour before the dance and they are great teachers and very helpful even if you’ve never danced before. Next dance with a live band is March 17th.  A lesson is available free of charge if you arrive at 8pm.  The dance is from 9-12pm.

Also try: March 2nd at Kristi Lynn Quartet is performing in the Souderton area and all dancers over age 18 are welcome.  Price includes refreshments.  Call 215-723-5841

Sports is another way to get some excercise.  If your work or church has a softball team get involved.  It’s a great way to relax and even get to know your co-workers outside of the office.  Try Ice Skating FREE! 5pm-7pm at Hatfield Ice on County Line Rd March 4.  Skate rentals $2.  Hiking is another way to enjoy the “Good Earth.”  Try a moonlit hike March 10th (rain date 3/18) with your special someone.  Perkiomen Watershed 6:30pm.  call for details and to register 610-287-9383.

Another activity is a workshop March 28th at the Lower Providence Community Library 50 Parklane Dr Eagleville.  This free event requires registration so that they know how many to expect.  Call 610-965-3936 or


Crunchy Chicken Chunks in Thai Peanut Sauce -Diabetic Friendly
February 27, 2012, 8:38 AM
Filed under: recipes

I am sure there are those of us out there who have friends or family who are on restrictive diets.  In our recipe category, we will also make sure to include recipes for gluten-free and those affected by diabetes.  That will also be budget friendly.  Today’s recipe I used at a dinner party for Valentine’s Day.  I found it in a the Betty Crocker Diabetes Cookbook.  Prep time 10 minutes Bake time 25 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.  I usually serve with sugar snap peas and rice to complete the meal.  This is one of my husband’s (the picky eater) favorite recipes.


1 1/2 cups of Corn flakes cereal                       1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup original Bisquick                                1/4 tsp pepper

3/4 tsp paprika                                                   1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces

cooking spray

Thai Peanut sauce:

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt                                1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk                               1 tbsp soy sauce                               1/8 ground red pepper (cayenne) if desired


1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line Jelly roll pan, 15 1/2   x  10 1/2  x  1 inch, with aluminum foil.

2.  Mix cereal, Bisquick, paprika, salt and pepper in a 2-quart resealable plastic food storage bag.  Crush the cereal with a rolling-pin.  Shake about 6 pieces of chicken at a time in bag until coated.  Shake off any extra crumbs.  Place chicken in pan.  Spray with cooking spray.

3.  Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until coating is crisp and chicken is no longer pink in center.  Make Thai Peanut Sauce. Serve with Chicken.

Thai peanut sauce:  Mix all ingredients in 10” nonstick skillet.  Cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken.

March Happenings
February 26, 2012, 9:16 PM
Filed under: Fun on a budget

Tip For the Month: Check with your local township building.  They have discounted tickets for amusement parks and events like the Circus, Renaissance Faire, or other events in the area.  They often have Military, Senior discounts, and kid pricing; that are better than prices at the event.

Jumpin Jacks-777 Schwab Rd Hatfield  $10 per child, kids under 2 are free and so are adults with paying child.  Open play is Wednesday and Thursday 10a-3p, Friday and Saturday 10a-8p, and Sundays 11a-6p.

Tuesday February 28th 1-4pm at Mr.B’s Cafe – free Face painting in the Calvary Church Souderton playland area.  rt 113 Souderton. 215-723-0963.

Mexican Train Dominoes Club -North Wales Library
The Mexican Train Dominoes Club meets each Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Library to play this popular game, also known simply as Trains. The object of the game is for a player to play all the dominoes from his or her hand onto one or more chains (trains), emanating from a central hub (station). Players of all abilities, from World Champion Hector Garcia level to the new, are welcome.

March 2– First Friday 7pm Doylestown Free Admission.  Live at the Puck Doylestown The Inn Mates.

March 2-3 Pennview Christian School 420 Godshall Rd Souderton.  Spring Musical, Oklahoma! Tickets available by phone 215-723-1196 Also available at the door.

March 3-from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm Maple Sugar Festival John James A Audubon Center at Mill Grove • (610) 666-5593 This festival celebrates the traditional custom of gathering sap from maple trees. The Maple Sugar Festival is a free family friendly staff and volunteers demonstrate the process of maple syrup production from tree to table. Guests walk to various stations, where they discover the process and history of maple sugaring.  All ages; free.

March 3-9pm Mary Francis comedian at Pocos Comedy Cabaret fee $20p/p.  I know this is more than my usual $10 limit but she is great.  Check it out!

March 3- Out Door Expo on grounds of Calvary Chuurch Souderton.  10-5pm.  Don’t miss this one!  Tons of FREE fun things to do and see.  Outdoor and indoor from toddlers to Adults.  Fishing, archery, camping, obstacle course, hunting, face painting, speakers, displays, food and prizes.

March 4-and every 1st Sunday of the month, Pay What You Wish!  Philadelphia Art Museum.  Some exhibits will not be included.  Check out the website before you go.

March 4– Ice Skating Party 5-7pm at Hatfield Ice 350 County Line Rd.  Colmar.  FREE Admission.  There will be snacks and DJ, games, and prizes.  $2 skate rentals.

Annual Philadelphia Flower Show- March 4-11 At the PA Convention Center.  The theme this year is “Hawaii, Islands of Aloha.” Discount tickets are available at Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center 1457 Sumneytown Pike Harleysville.

March 5th-7:30pm Free!  Sellersville Theater Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  First come first serve seating!

March 10, 7-9pm Live music in Mr.B’s Cafe at Calvary Church Souderton.  Allegra Patkos-student musician and Jim Lovelady a folk/rock performer. Cafe will be open playland closed.

March 11-Free!  Graeme Park tour the Keith House in honor of the charter grant to William Penn for Pennsylvania.  859 County Line Rd Warminster 215-343-0965

March 14th Thursday– Philadelphia FREE! Showing at the Prince Theater 7:30pm Tickets available March 1st.  Host Ben Mankiewicz and special guest Eva Marie Saint.  See for details.

Saturday, March 17th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm Cabin Fever Hike Green Lane Park, Orange Trail • (215) 234-4528  Get out of the house as the winter season winds down and take a 4-mile guided hike with a Park Ranger. Wear appropriate footwear for unpaved trails. Dress appropriately for the weather.  All ages; free; pre-registration required; meet in the parking lot at the corner of Deep Creek Road and Snyder Road in Green Lane Park. FREE!

March 17th- Mommy Market indoors at the Volunteer Fire Department of Upper Gwynedd.  9am-12pm.  $1 at the door for shoppers.  Spaces are $15 or two for $25.  No strollers permitted at this event. or call 215-699-5454

Sunday, March 18th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt Lock 60, Locktender’s House, Mont Clare (610) 917-0021 Join in with SCA and the canal’s leprechauns for a treasure hunt in the Lock 60 picnic grove; gold coins will be scattered throughout the field for the hunt to be turned in at the Locktender’s House for a bag of treasures. Afterwards stick around to enjoy Irish music and treats at the house while listening to stories about the Schuylkill Canal and the role of the Irish immigrants who hand-dug the historic waterway in the early 19th century.  All ages; suggested donation $2 per treasure hunter; pre-register at  or send email to by March 16.

March 20th– New Hope Eagle Fire Company indoor market antiques and jewelry.  215-862-3595

March 23-25 Grease!  Central Bucks West Doylestown.  Friday 7:30, Saturday 2pm and 7:30pm and Sunday 2pm.

Sunday, March 25th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm Easter Crafts for Kids Pennypacker Mills • (610) 287-9349 The themes of Easter and Springtime will be explored as children create wonderful ornaments and cards to take home and share with loved ones and friends. All materials and instructions provided along with a snack.  Ages: 5 and up; fee: $5.00 per child; pre-registration and payment required; meet in Classroom Building.

March 29-April 1st-Souderton Area High School Spring Musical “West Side Story.” 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and 2pm Sunday.  Tickets are $10 per person general admission.

March 30th-CB South High School- Guys and Dolls Friday 7:30pm and Saturday 2pm and 7:30pm.

Meetballs and spaghetti
February 26, 2012, 3:20 PM
Filed under: recipes

Here is a recipe I just made up myself.  I used ground meat about 1 lb, some oregano, parm cheese,  bread crumbs, garlic salt, and beer.  This came out of necessity.  I had run out of eggs and had a friend drop by for dinner.  So I always keep whole wheat spaghetti around and sauce, but had no eggs to make meatballs.  What can I do?

First, boil water and add pinch of salt so the noodles don’t stick together.  Second,  I defrost the frozen meat in microwave.    Third, I combine about 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1 tsp parm cheese grated, 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4-1/2 cup of bread crumbs.   Open up a beer use small amount (eye-ball it), and fold into the meat.  Form balls and cook in sauce pan.  Once these are fully browned, add sauce and cover (medium heat).

When the water boils, add spaghetti.  This should be about the same time the meatballs are browned.  Once you have both the sauce and spaghetti on, make garlic bread.  Defrost 1 roll per person.  Cut horizontally in half, butter each piece lightly.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and oregano.  Add a little parm cheese if you like.  toast in oven on 325 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned.

Have a great day!

Kids Eat Free
February 25, 2012, 11:22 AM
Filed under: Fun on a budget

Happy weekend all!

I thought I would give families some options of places to go where kids can eat free.  Yep I said it!  If you haven’t already noticed there are a lot of restaurants doing this.  In the present state of the economy we are watching our pennies and so is the hospitality industry.  They still want our business so they are going to new lengths to be “kid friendly.”  From coloring placemats, playlands, and smaller portions and options; to our topic today, kids eat free.  The kids are driving how our dollars are spent.  Just look at the Disney empire; music groups and recording studios and a radio station, 3 different channels on tv and movie companies, theme parks around the world and on the water!  I bet Walt never thought it would go this far.

Some of these places are places I have discovered myself, and others I have found from links.  One of my favorites is, They actually have a search by state and city.  Also I recommend that you check  and call before you go to see if these events are still in effect.  Check it out, but here are a few:

Philadelphia area

South Philly Bar and Grille- 1235 East Passyunk Ave.  215-334-3300 This is every Tuesday night from 5-9pm.  Kids (under 10)must order off kids menu and they have one free meal  for paying adult.


KC’s Alley- Sunday nights


Dickey’s BBQ Pit- 3221 Schoenersville Rd 610-625-2200 Sundays Kids eat free.


Great American Pub-123 Fayette St Wednesdays kids eat free.

Fort Washington

Fireside Grill-Mondays kids eat free

King of Prussia-

  Bear Rock Cafe- 192 West Dekalb Pike 610-625-6505 Sunday is Kids Day one free kids meal with purchase of salad or sandwich.  Wednesday Nights-one free kids meal with purchase of salad or sandwich.

Lone Star steakhouse 153 S Gulph Rd.  Tuesdays-2 Kids eat free with purchase of each dinner entrée.

Michael’s Deli restaurant Valley Forge Shopping Center 610-265-3265 Monday and Tuesdays kids eat free from 4-8pm with an adult purchase.  Two kids per adult.

Montgomeryville/ North Wales-

American Star diner 1200 Welsh Rd Monday and Tuesdays 3-9pm.  1 Adult entrée with kids (12yrs and younger) can order off kids menu.

Melt Down Grilled Cheese  While they do not have kids eat free days, they are very kid friendly.  This restaurant is eco-friendly with unique fountain beverages made with cane sugar and caffeine free.  They have a kid friendly booth in back which has a tv showing kid friendly movies and a fun retro atmosphere. The kids meals offer one sandwich with several choices.

Willow Grove

Jake’s Way Back Burger’s 2720 Easton Rd 215-442-1975.  Sundays and Monday nights kids eat free.

Also check large chains like IHOP, Denny’s, TGIFridays, Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, Applebees, Chilis and others to see when they offer kids specials.

In Quakertown, the Dairy Queen often has a character night as well where kids can meet Elmo and Cookie Monster and other friends.  Check the board out front for details.

At Holiday Inns Kids stay free and eat free!  This applies to up to 4 kids all under 12 years of age.  Check before you go and get out there and have fun.

Other kid havens include Chic-a-fil, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Friendly’s.

  Another idea is to check those Val-Pacs, and coupons you usually call “junk mail.”  These sometimes have hidden jems for local places and feild coupons for percents off meals or free items. 

Places I have found include:

  Texas Roadhouse, Franconi’s, Papa Johns, and others.  Try going earlier like between 4-6pm.