Tag Archives: rhinebeck

The Picturesque Wilderstein Mansion overlooking the Hudson River

Wilderstein was home to three generations of the Suckley Family. The last family member to live at Wilderstein was Margaret (Daisy) Suckley whose extraordinarily close friendship with former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been well-chronicled and is the subject of much interest — Wilderstein Historic Society

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Baked Egg in an Avocado

Baked Eggs and Avocado with a tomato, oregano, onion topping

I have always been partial to eggs, some years I can eat them and other years not. At the moment I can eat eggs, but only if I get them close-by our weekend house from Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY in Rhinebeck. The eggs from the Farm are true-to-life produced by the happiest chickens, who are not caged and are free to roam the property during the day eating naturally. They are very happy little chickens! Personally, I can only eat eggs if they are baked or hard-boiled. Weird I know. I cannot do fried eggs and the smell of a cooking omelette can near make me sick.

Free-Range chickens produce eggs that have half the cholesterol of Battery-Caged eggs (from chickens who are kept in hideous conditions and live in a life of hell).

Free-Range chickens also produce eggs that are 6 times higher in beta carotene and 4 times higher in omega-3′s fatty acids.

Beta Carotene is needed by the body for good eye-sight and vision, to maintain a healthy immune system and healthy skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are needed by the body to control blood clotting and to build cell membranes in the brain, as the body does not produce Omega 3′s we must get them from food.

The taste is way better of Free-Range eggs, with Battery-Caged eggs having no taste in comparison. Sure, they are usually more expensive but for me I just cannot do conventionally farmed eggs at all.

I also love avocados, which are high in close to 20 nutrients including potassium, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins and vitamin C. Not to mention high in fiber. So, I started thinking, how would a baked avocado go with a baked egg – can I combine the 2?

Feeling motivated, after an insane workout at the gym, I tried it out this morning and the combination turned out amazing. It is definitely something that my family is going to be eating in the future…. often.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Half a tomato finely diced
  • Quarter of a small onion finely diced
  • Oregano chopped in small pieces
  • Half a teaspoon of sea-salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Organic Avocados and Free-Range Cage-Free produced eggs are the main ingredients

WHAT TO DO

  • Pre-Heat oven to 350 F
  • Cut avocado in half and pit
  • Scoop out approximately half of the avocado flesh of each half of avocado
  • Crack one egg into each half of avocado

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Super Awesome Vegan/Vegetarian Lunch Options for Little Ones!

The most popular posts that I put up on the Willy B Mum Facebook Page are the pictures of Miles Storm’s lunches that I make for him. So today, I am dedicating my writing to highlighting a group of those plate creations.

I do often get compliments on how healthy the lunches are that I put together for my Son. Some people are even in disbelief as to how I came up with such combinations. To me, it is quite normal and all that I know to do for him. However, I guess to others trying or starting out with a vegetarian/vegan diet, it can be confusing and frustrating to navigate through, especially if having eaten meat most of one’s life. And, I understand that, as once upon a time I ate meat and I did not have a Son.

Since my husband and I became parents almost 3 years ago now, we have really stepped up our game in the food department. The majority of the food we consume is organic and Non-GMO. We also try to buy local and seasonal food. During the summer months we grow our own produce including tomatoes, kale, beans, watermelon and eggplants. Not to mention, we cook nearly everything ourselves so we can control and know exactly what is going into our family meals.

In my opinion, the divided plates (that you see in the photos) are a genius concept as it gives children a variety of options as to what they want to eat and really leaves the eating experience up to them. You may also notice that all the foods can be eaten with the hands. My toddler is very much into eating this way, so all the food choices, for this stage of his life, reflect that.

Please enjoy the photos below, I hope that they are inspirational in helping to create some lovely healthy vegetarian/vegan options for your Little One’s lunches.

Maybe you can send some suggestions my way too, as I am always looking to add to Miles Storm’s menu!

Thanks for reading my BLOG!

INNOBABY – Din Din Divided Bus Plate
Buy It HERE
BPA, Phthalate, PVC & Lead Free
Costs from $17.99
We bought ours at Mini Jake in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn NY

Feta Cheese with Raw Almonds, Roasted Broccoli, Home Made Tomato Sauce, Blueberries with Strawberries and Gluten-Free Pasta

Cage Free Hard Boiled Egg, Kiwi Fruit, Grilled Corn Niblets, Carrots with Guacamole and Gluten-Free Pasta with home-made tomato sauce

Edamame, Feta Cheese, Raw Almond Butter for dipping, Vegemite with Olive Oil on Gluten-Free toast and Sliced Pears

Hard Boiled Cage-Free egg, Sliced Purple Grapes, Baked Miso Tofu (RECIPE HERE), Carrots with hummus and Baked Cauliflower with Broccoli

Kinderville – Bigger Bites Divided Plate Read More Willy B Mum

Early Summer Vegan Plate via YoginiCuisine

Eating vegan, meaning you do not eat any animal flesh or by products, does not have to mean “eating rabbit food” with a piece of carrot for breakfast and a piece of celery for lunch. On the contrary, eating a plant-based diet can be an eye-opening array of tastes and textures which can help to prolong life by reducing your chance of developing such ailments as diabetes, heart disease and cancer – TRUE Story!

Personally, I like to call myself a try-hard-vegan because in my heart-of-hearts I really do hope to eat as a strict vegan one day. But, for now, I eat seafood, the occasional piece of cheese and sometimes eggs. However, I have not eaten animals for 25 years purely because I love animals so much and can just not stomach the thought of eating a furry friend.

I think that I could probably become a Vegan easier if I was able to coordinate a constant array of dishes at each meal time. Unfortunately, this is something I constantly struggle with. I mean, I know how to make a salad, or a vegetable soup or a Veggie burger with dressings but I lack the skills to make a proper meal with a variety of options. So weird though, that for my Son I can whip things up in a jiffy but for me it is like the “lights are on but nobody is home”.

My girlfriend, mother, yoga teacher and sustainable food nut, Sarah Willis AKA YoginiCuisine, graciously put together this posting for me this week of an appetizing vegan meal with a small tasting of different foods.

Sarah calls this the “Early Summer Vegan Plate ” as beginning of the season Radishes, Garlic Scapes, Scallions, Lettuce and Beetroot are all in abundance.

Guacamole with scant diced Red Onion, Pressure Cooked Beetroot, Sliced White & Red Radishes, Torn Green Leaves – All served with a Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

MENU

  • Guacamole with scant Diced Red Onion
  • Beetroot (American for Beets) either canned, roasted, boiled or pressure-cooked
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Sliced White & Red Radishes
  • Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing (see below for recipe)

**To reduce consuming toxins/pesticides I suggest only using organic or low-spray ingredients

Partial Ingredients to create this fine dish – Garlic Scapes, Red Onion, Scallions, Raw Cashews, Avocado, Lemon, Beetroot and Oregano

Ingredients AMAZING Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

  • Garlic Scapes chopped fine
  • 1 bunch Scallions Whites and Greens chopped
  • 3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon strained
  • 1 cup Water
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

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Raw Dark Chocolate Unpasteurized Goat Milk Ice-Cream

Ice-Cream, Ice-Cream we all scream for Ice-Cream

With Summer fast approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, that can only mean one thing – it’s time for children to eat a busload of ice-cream! However, concerns come to hand in my family with this realization as my Son cannot consume cow milk products. This is because he breaks out in an eczema like skin rash. The rash does not appear when he has goat milk products so this is what we give him instead.

Thankfully, upstate NY where we spend each weekend, we live near Sepascot Home Farm which offers raw goat milk (straight from the goat into a bottle) and as a double bonus my Son LOVES goat milk. I am not a fan of pasteurized (or homogenized) milk. I see no point in heating up milk so much that it becomes sterile and loses most of its natural nutritional content, and further more, then the milk companies add synthetic additives in to replace them? Makes no sense to me. I just like to know that my Son is having milk pure and simple as nature intended.

Goat milk is very similar to human milk in comparison and has less lactose than cow’s milk making it a great alternative for people who are sensitive. Goat’s milk is also digested by the human body in around 20 minutes, whereas if you drink cow’s milk it can take up to 24 hours to digest.

This was my husband and my first time making goat milk ice-cream, and it was a huge HIT. Personally, I do not drink animal milk at all, but I did have a taste of this and it was very flavorable. With 5 simple ingredients how can you go wrong.

A very simple 5 item ingredient list – Raw Goat Milk, Raw Honey, Organic Dark Chocolate, 5 egg yolks from cage-free chickens and organic vanilla extract

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 3 cups of raw goat milk (We picked some up at Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY)
  • 3.5 oz good quality dark chocolate niblets
  • 5 egg yolks (We used yolks from cage-free chickens from Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY)
  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract (We used Simply Organic brand)
  • 1/3 of a cup of raw honey (We used Ray Tousey brand)
  • Sea Salt to taste (We used 1 teaspoon)

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Mills Mansion in the quaintness that is Staatsburgh

Mills Mansion Upstate NY Staatsburg

My family lives in between 2 places; during the week we live in bustling New York City in an apartment and during the weekends (and all holidays) we live upstate NY in the gorgeous historic township of Rhinebeck in a house. Rhinebeck is located a stones throw away from the Hudson River about a 2 hour drive North of NYC. My family has done this commute for 7 years now, and we love the contrast of being surrounded by trees and animals one minute and then surrounded by skyscraper buildings with barely a tree in site, the next!

Rhinebeck is one of the oldest settled areas in the United States dating back to the year 1686 – over 320 years ago!! And, with all those hundreds of settled years comes with it, old mansions and properties that are no longer lived in but have instead been donated back to the public to explore, enjoy and love. Which I am personally so very thankful for!

One of my husband and my favorite places to explore with our dogs, before our Son was born, was (and still is) Mills Mansion on top of a grassy hill in the neighboring town at the Staatsburgh State Historic Site. Mills Mansion itself is an Awesome renovated Beaux-Arts mansion which includes 65 rooms involving 14 bathrooms and 23 fireplaces!! Wowser, can you imagine living in such a place with all fires burning? So glorious!

Mills Mansion was extended circa 1895 (from when the original house was burned down in 1832 and rebuilt) and is situated on 1,600 acres of Hudson River footage of awe and pure beauty!! I can vouch for that. Mills Mansion is now the property of the State of New York and thankfully open to the public.

During winter months, local children and families sled down the snow-covered hills. During the warmer months couples are married on the scenic water front, while families hike/play/run/laugh to their heart’s content. It is truly a gorgeous part of upstate NY which is pristine and protected and will always be there for ANY OF US who want to take advantage.

Last week, we visited Mills Mansion with our 2.5 year old – Miles Storm – walking and able to hike with us (for the first time since he was born) and the dogs along the River on the tracks. HE LOVED It. He pointed out all kinds of things like lighthouses, boats, sand and birds. Children grow up SO fast don’t they? I literally feel like I was at Mills Mansion yesterday, where my Son was a few weeks of age and I was pushing him around in his pram with him unable to talk, and me just totally confused as to how I was a Mother all of a sudden!

Fast forward.. almost 3 years and here we all are enjoying the Great Outdoors and Loving Life!

If you are planning a trip upstate New York, I definitely suggest a stop at Mills Mansion. Bring a picnic blanket and some food and lay down with your loved ones and enjoy the surroundings!

**Mills Mansion is on Old Post Road, Staatsburg 12580 with the outdoor area open from dusk to dawn every day of the year. January through March there are guided tours of the Mansion 11AM – 3PM. There is no cost to enter the property and is quite a large car park. However, there is nowhere to buy food or drinks so do not forget to bring yourself. There are also portable potties scattered around the property.

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Oh how we love Mills Mansion

Daddy Time

Family shot – Mummy, Miles, Rockstarr and Mohawk

Let’s make a Pine Cone Peanut Butter Bird Feeder

With our Pine-Cone Peanut-Butter Bird Feeders

During the cold winter months upstate NY, where I spend weekends with my family, when the land is covered in snow it can be extremely difficult for ground birds to find food. If the snow lasts a long time, birds can die. Also, insect abundance decreases during the winter so birds that rely on this as a source of food may also struggle.

As most of you know, I am very mindful of the Earth and OUR Animals and it saddens be deeply to know that any living creature may be suffering. This is a great way to help the little birdies to keep flying in your yard, and for them to have nourishment through the colder months. After all, the sounds of birds chirping is a beautiful thing!

Last year, at one of Miles Storm’s story time and craft groups at the Rhinebeck Starr Library, the activity was how to make a pine-one peanut-butter bird feeder. I had never heard of such a thing, which is apparently a very popular nature craft in these parts. They are very simple to make, very messy (I suggest making them outdoors), and a lot of fun for little ones.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Peanut Butter
  • String
  • Pine Cone
  • Bird Seed

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Gather some pine cones that have fallen from the trees
  • Spoon peanut butter into the crevices of the pine cone until completely covered
  • Roll generously in bird seed
  • Tie string to top of pine cone
  • Hang in tree, preferably near a window so you and your Little One can watch the birds when they come to feed

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Why I perservered with starting a Brooklyn Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network

Without getting into too much detail, when Miles Storm was first born, it took a huge toll on my husband and my relationship. While family and friends were worried about me developing postnatal depression, it was actually my husband who took our Son’s arrival the hardest. As a result, during the majority of the first year I spent a lot of time upstate NY in Rhinebeck (at our weekend house) with our 2 dogs and our newborn Son. My husband works in New York City, so we would see him on the weekends. It was rough for me for sure, although I hate admitting that. I saw a therapist on a weekly basis and tried my best to navigate through all the changes.

What also helped me was the discovery of the Holistic Moms Network Dutchess County Chapter which is based here in Rhinebeck. There are other Mothers groups in the area, but for me being “Green Inspired” this was a God Send. I found support, encouragement and answers to many questions that I had as a first time Mother. On top of that, there was acceptance and interest in some of my “wacky” ideas. And, I say “wacky” tongue-in-cheek as to me it is normal, however in comparison to traditional parenting, it could be considered so. “Wacky” ideas may include bringing a child up vegetarian and not vaccinating your child. Or maybe, you are considering a water or home birth, not to mention hypnobirthing (now that is really wacky – ha).

At the Holistic Moms Network, our mission is to generate national awareness, education, and support for holistic parenting and green living by providing nurturing, open-minded, and respectful local community networks that encourage families to share these ideals and learn from each other. — Holistic Moms Network

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From a Blizzard to Surf Beach in a New York Minute.

Today, the 28th of December we left our Country House upstate in NY in Rhinebeck in the middle of a snowstorm, where around 8 inches of snow had fallen. Being the first major downpour for this season, Miles Storm loved being in the cold. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of the cold, and I default that back to my Australian roots. Most Australians do not experience the snow often, and we are more-so brought up spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun and on the beach. However, my husband, is a native New Yorker and was more than happy to show Miles Storm the ropes and help him build his first snowman. Grateful for that!

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Pumpkin Picking at Kesicke Farm

Did you know that the North American native Pumpkin is the largest fruit in the world, and close to 1.5 billion pounds are produced in the United States each year! That is a whole lot of Pumpkin.

The fabulous fat orange Pumpkin is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium (Love That). As well, as being an ample source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus. By eating pumpkins you also take in Vitamin A & C, Potassium, Copper and Manganese (among other benefits)  This may sound like Chinese to some, if so, just be assured that eating pumpkins are good for you.

One of my best-loved Annual Autumn activities is Pumpkin Picking, and it is definitely something that is way more fun now that Miles Storm is around.

This year, our favorite local Lobotsky Farm did not produce any pumpkins due to environmental restraints, which is a hard blow for them and many in the immediate area who love visiting their land every year to pick pumpkins.

Having no choice but to find another place to pick pumpkins we stumbled across Kesicke Farm which is in the neighboring town of Red Hook, close to where we spend every weekend Upstate NY.
And, what a find it was (as the photos show)!

There was so much to do, including;
- Pick Your Own Pumpkins
- Corn Maze
- Wagon Rides through the corn (which Miles & Mohawk loved, Daddy not so much)
- Hay Rides
- Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
- Corn Pit (Just like a sand pit but yellow)
- Pumpkin Painting with Arts & Crafts
- Mini Hay Maze for little ones
- Petting Zoo
- Fresh Farm Produce

We spent about 3 hours at the Farm, but we could have easily spent the whole day if we were prepared. It is a great family outing, with plenty on site to keep Little Ones busy.

P.S – Dogs are welcome!

**All of these photos were taken on a IPhone 4S, being lightened and sharpened with the Snapseed Application and then finished with a filter with the Photo Toaster Application.