What’s for Dinner?: Pea, Feta, Mint and Barley Salad

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Pea, Feta, Mint and Barley Salad

Pea, Feta, Mint and Barley Salad has one of my favorite food combinations — peas and mint. The sweetness of the peas contrasts with the freshness of the mint. This salad takes that combination and adds the salty tang of feta, with barley providing the backdrop. Apart from the time it takes to cook the barley, it is incredibly simple. It will also last a few days in the fridge, so there you have it — dinner and lunch! Continue Reading

A Knight to Remember for the Whole Family: Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Medieval Times

My kids have gotten to ages where it’s not so easy to find something everyone wants to do. My two daughters, ages 8 and 10, are “too old” for many of the things my son, age 4, likes to do. And of course, he’s too young for much of what they would like to do.

So you can imagine my excitement when I got an offer to visit Medieval Times, as this live jousting event seemed like something all my kids would enjoy, and surprisingly enough, they all did!  Even better, so did my husband and I.

Medieval Times is located in Lyndhurst, NJ, and is an easy trip from the Montclair area. From the moment we got there, everything was very much in keeping with ye olde traditions, beginning with being greeted as “My Lord” and “My Lady” as we arrived at the entrance to the Medieval Times Castle.

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Moms Form a League of Their Own in Millburn

BY  |  Monday, Jul 21, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

credit Tatyana Ali/Pine Terrace Photography

This summer, there are many Millburn/Short Hills moms spending time at the town baseball fields. They aren’t there to cheer on their children though. Instead, they are taking the field themselves, competing in the newly formed Women’s Softball League.

Jemela Zamore and Pamela Rubin, both Short Hills moms, are the women who put the league together. Zamore explains, “We were at a friend’s birthday celebration and I was just thinking how awesome everyone at the table was. We are all from different backgrounds and yet here we were, together to celebrate.  It just popped out of my mouth, ‘Hey Pam, you know what our town needs, a softball team!’”

Rubin wholeheartedly agreed and immediately called the town’s Head of Recreation. He said that they had tried in the past and it never really caught on. Since both Rubin and Zamore already knew several women that were interested, they were able to convince the town to give it another go.

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Up, Up and Away… The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning Takes Flight This Weekend

BY  |  Monday, Jul 21, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

The 32nd annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. Upwards of 165,000 people are expected at the three day event, which will run from July 25 – July 27, and your family will love it!

Named one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013, the Festival features 39 hours of family entertainment and attractions with multiple events occurring at the same time throughout the Festival grounds.

Key attractions are the twice a day mass ascensions of more than 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons from around the world taking place on the Balloon Launch Field, live concerts on the Main Stage, new amusement rides, and non stop fun at the Family entertainment.

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What’s for Dinner?: Chard and Garlic Scape Tart

BY  |  Sunday, Jul 20, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Chard and Scape Tart

I love picking up my CSA veggie box: my two-weekly bounty of just-picked produce. However, the last two deliveries have been abundant in both chard and garlic scapes and as much as I love all things green, both of these seasonal anomalies can be a bit challenging. Kale is still the rockstar vegetable in our house so like an old Spandau Ballet record, the chard tends to get overlooked and forgotten about.

Chard and Scape TartAs for garlic scapes, well, their novelty soon wears off. I was so excited the first time they made an appearance in my veggie box I eagerly made some scape pesto, which was good, but not great. There is a reason that pesto is traditionally made with basil – it has an amazing flavor with which garlic scapes just cannot compete, so now, I just use them as a green onion substitute.

Until now…

This Chard and Garlic Scape Tart combined with some robust cheddar and Parmesan cheese takes these two vegetables to a whole new level.

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Broadway Legend Sondra Lee Visits Gas Lamp Academy of Performing Arts

BY  |  Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Sondra Lee


The young cast of Gas Lamp Academy of Performing Arts‘s Peter Pan, had a special experience when Broadway and television actress, Sondra Lee, made a special trip to Glen Ridge to have a talkback with the kids this week. Sondra Lee originated the role of Tiger Lilly in the 1954 Broadway production of Peter Pan as well as the 1955, 1956 and 1960 television broadcasts of Peter Pan working along side the incomparable Mary Martin.

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Weekend Highlights: Your Guide to Family Fun

BY  |  Friday, Jul 18, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

sushi class

It’s the weekend and the weather is perfect, so get out and have some family fun!

Don’t forget about the Camplified Summer Family Music Festival, the Essex County Butterfly Tent Safari, and the 12th Annual Ice Cream Tasting Festival!

To make sure you’re always in the know when it comes to family events, parenting resources and discussion, sign up for our newsletter, which offers a great recap of our best stories, event information, guides and exclusive giveaways. And make sure to “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our  Pinterest page. We post a lot of important information over there, so you don’t want to miss out.

You can check our Calendar for all events this weekend, but here are this weekend’s highlights:

Learn how to be “Sushi Masters” at Kings Cooking Studios’ class for kids and a parent in Short Hills. (Saturday, July 19)

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The Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair Collecting School Supplies

BY  |  Friday, Jul 18, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

School SuppliesSorry to break it to you, but summer will be over before you know it and kids will be back in school, which means it’s time to start thinking of school supplies. 

When you’re out shopping, think about picking up a few extras for local kids in need.

The Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair is currently collecting new school supplies for children in the Essex county area, such as notebooks, pens, calculators, crayons, backpacks, etc,  —anything children need to begin the new school year. 

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(UPDATED) NJ Department of Education to Offer Greater Flexibility In Preliminary Years of Teacher Evaluation

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

nj department of educationUPDATE: Montclair’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Penny MacCormack, offered this comment about the evaluation modifications:

At this point I firmly believe that the new state assessments should in no way be a component of teacher evaluations until we have had more experience with the assessments and can trust the results are a quality reflection of student learning. The announcement by Commissioner Hespe is an important move in the right direction, and I am very pleased that the state listened to the concerns being voiced by concerned citizens across the state.  All of us can unite around the idea of high quality teachers in our classrooms, but as we are showing in Montclair, change, even needed change, must be a step-by-step process.

The NJ Department of Education announced yesterday it has made some modifications that will offer greater flexibility to school districts in the two student achievement components of teacher evaluations, including the introduction of a review process for teachers’ 2013-14 school year ratings.

For the 2014-15 school year, the Department is modifying the weights of student growth components in teacher evaluations as measured by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) assessments and as measured by a teacher’s individualized student growth objectives, or SGO, which are specific student learning targets that are developed between teacher and principal, rather than based on a uniform statewide assessment.

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Montclair Make Music Day Showed Music Matters

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Make Music Day

There was dancing in the streets at the farmers’ market in Montclair on June 21. It was mostly from the toddler set, but there it was. Then again, Amy Beshara was used to that, but this was different. It was happening at the first annual Montclair Music Day.

“Everywhere I go where there are little kids that happens. All the little kids were dancing. They have no inhibitions — running, twirling, dancing, whatever they feel like. They just twirl around and feel the music so naturally. That’s what humans are designed to do,” said Beshara, instructor who rounded up her own batch of young students and their violins there.

“It was such a fun day. It’s like Christmas for a musician,” Beshara said.  “All my little musicians, all my little fiddlers remembered their tunes from learning them a year ago or two years ago and I can just pull them together like that and say ‘show up here at 10 o’clock’ and they’re ready to play. We can play the tunes that engage the audience, music that’s fun to listen to and everybody knows it like ‘Oh, Susanna’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’”

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