Category Archives: explore

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New Orleans, My Favorite Food Town

When I am traveling for work or pleasure, I am always excited about going to New Orleans.  I love the people in New Orleans, the culture, and the food.  I spent 15 years producing America’s favorite chef, Emeril Lagasse so I got the chance to spend a lot of a time in the crescent city!  It’s a food town, and for me it’s all about the mom and pop places, and some great old school institutions.  I am serious about my food program in New Orleans; I can’t afford to have one bad meal.  There are just too many good spots, and the all hold special memories for me!!  So from time to time you will see me write about New Orleans and the restaurants and food that I like to explore!  Here’s my first place that I want to share with you!   It one that you have to put on the list!  If you do stop by be sure to tell them that Rochelle Brown sent you!!

My first Stop Wille May’s Kitchen Scotch Kitchen in the seventh ward!!  Best Fried Chicken!!

I love this fried chicken because it really is just like Grandma use to make in her cast iron skillet. Every piece of fried chicken served here is made with extra loving and care.  There is no big batch cooking of the fried chicken here, every order is fried in grandma’s cast iron skillet to order.  It is seasoned to perfection and fried juicy and crispy every time!! It is served to the table hot, and you can see all the beautiful crunchiness on it!  As we would say in my house, fried just right!! When you bite into this chicken, your taste buds are happy, happy!  You’ll never look at fried chicken the same again!  It really is probably one of the best in the world!  I am not just making that up either, You Google it, and even the USA today said it was one of the best you can find!  They also have great sides and down right delicious desserts, the cheesecake with fresh strawberries is to die for!  It’s really off the beaten path, so if you take a taxi there, don’t get concerned by the ride there…. it is a Neighborhood joint!!  The dining room is small, and they have limited work hours, so be sure to call ahead to see when they are open!  You won’t be disappointed and the price is right, and one last thing. Order the sweet tea!  They are only open for lunch, so call ahead to see the hours of operation, and if you want to see how size does not matter, peak into the very tiny kitchen where the these big bold dishes come out of, you will be blown away!  It is a sight to see!!  Don’t get caught peeking in the kitchen!!  They guard that recipe like fort Knox, and if you have a taste, you will know why!!

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Alone Island

Often times we say, “I need a vacation”. Usually it’s around the time we are stressed from work, spouse, kids, LIFE and just need a break to relax. Let’s face it a vacation somewhere is not always easy to come by. Well, I have found my perfect non-vacation vacation spot. Don’t laugh…I named it Alone Island. I just went there on Saturday. I asked my husband if he could watch the kids. I had some errands and returns I needed to take back to the store and I was gone. With no car seats in the back, weather was window down, fall breeze perfect. I turned the radio up LOUD and sang my heart out, laughing at myself as a car pulled up next to me at a light with my music up, me belting out lyrics and dancing in my seat. I know I looked funny or even crazy to them but I didn’t care I was enjoying Alone Island. I drove around exploring new neighborhoods, on the highway for the excitement of speed and even parked to take in a beautiful view of NYC. As the sun began to go down and the sky turned a beautiful orange-red I knew that my vacation was coming to an end. Truthfully, I was ready to get home; I knew I had lots to do. Only now I felt refreshed, revived, relaxed and ready to take on all my mommy-wife duties again. I walked in my home with a smile and everyone was happy. Sometimes all it takes is a moment alone to exhale, gather our thoughts and vacate for a self regrouping. So next time you’re feeling like you need a vacation take a quick trip to Alone Island and enjoy the beauty of being in the driver’s seat and in control of whatever you need to get out if this trip. Take a trip to Alone Island the place where your vacation is where you allow your mind to take you.

 

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Pumpkin Picking 101

It’s October and I am excited because I love the fall!  There are many things you can do with your family in the fall, and it’s a great time to still plan outside activities.  I like to kick off October with Pumpkin Patch picking.  I often look for locations that offer a little more than just picking pumpkins.  I often go to a location that has Pumpkin and Apple picking, they also offer hayrides, and they have a large selection of pumpkin made products and other goodies.  The place we go to is Von Thun farms in South Jersey.  They have games for the kids to play and a petting zoo!  They have really made it the perfect day out with plenty to do!!  I am all about the experience, I like it when my family and I are working the farm, and we are out exploring all the pumpkins that were grown that season.  My son always seems to think that Bigger is Better, and that’s great for him because he does not have to carry the pumpkin back to tractor or general store.  I always have to get a couple to decorate my house and the front porch.  We love looking for the great pumpkin, sharing stories, walking through the dirt, and just exploring.  There is nothing like a family adventure outdoors, and pumpkin picking is a must for us.  The key is to go early, so that you can have the best to pick from.  I usually give the farm that I am planning on visiting a call to find out, “What the pumpkins are looking like,” and I ask “Is this a good weekend to come, if not what do you suggest?”  They will tell you and you will be glad that you asked!  So start making your pumpkin picking plans today, be sure to dress properly, and pack your camera!  It’s all about the kids, and making great life memories.  Sure you can take your kid to the grocery store, and put them in the shopping cart, and let them pick out a pumpkin from a cardboard box display, or you can let them go out and explore a farm and pick their own pumpkin first hand.  There is no comparison, and the best thing about exploring the farms, is that we are helping a small family farm stay sustainable!  It’s a win-win and a great activity for the whole family!!  MJ enjoys going with his GG (Great Grandma).  See you in the pumpkin patches, and be sure to share your pictures with us.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from when my son was about 3 years old!!

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Pony Rides

My son is obsessed with pony rides, if it was up to him he would trade his dog in for a pony any day! This kid loves riding on a pony. So what I try to do is make sure he can have a pony ride at least twice a month. We have made friends with the folks at a local park, and they all know Marcus by name and they know which pony is his! Marcus has named his pony, “Brownie”. Marcus really loves hopping up on “his” pony and walking the trail.  It’s all about the outdoors for him. He has such a great imagination, and every time he gets off the horse, he tells me about some magical exchange he has had with his pony. Boy, those stories are good! He once told me about how his pony was going to take him into the woods to see trees and animals. And how cool that would be because the animals talk to each other, so he would meet all of them.  He also told me “his pony like Power Rangers just like him, and that alone makes his pony cool.” I love to see him explore new things and engage in the ones he loves, because at his age that brain of his is always at work! For most people, it’s just a pony ride and you pay to ride, and at the end it all over!  Not for MJ, he takes great pride in “his” pony that mommy has arranged for the horse people to take care of, (his story- not mine, LOL) but I will have to explain to him soon, in detail about the Pony and who owns it. Even when I start to explain, he tells me “Mommy it’s ok, other people can ride my pony. I like to share.” It’s the little things in life; you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time with your kids. A pony ride for my son goes a very long way. He loves animals, and ponies are his favorite! And the smile on his face while riding “his” pony is priceless.  Whatever it might be with your kids, take the time to invest in the little things!  Your kids will thank you for it later in life!  Nothing beats being outside doing an activity, and making connections with animals and people, no phone application can take the place of that!