Philly’s More Fun When You Sleep Over

I love Philly.  And that’s saying something, considering realistically, how little time I’ve actually spent in the city. Growing up, there were field trips, of course. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, classic destinations for any Pennsylvania school student. I’ll admit, though, it was the closest city to me so, like anyone who lived in some sort of Philadelphia suburb (or anywhere nearby), I claim it as my own.

The City of Brotherly Love

Since I’ve grown up (to the ripe old age of 24? It’s a process), I’ve gotten to experience a different side of Philadelphia. I’ve been there for New Year’s Eve celebrations, foodie visits, a bachelorette party, numerous other random parties, and, of course, the Healthy Living Summit last summer.

The only way to jam in everyone's smiling face!

But it’s a very rare occasion I get to go to Philly without a real “reason”, an event or some sort of scheduled activity.  That’s why this past weekend was such a treat.

I flew into PHL on Friday night and took the train to Ryan’s stop, where he met me, bundled up in my “puffah” (the pet name of my Michael Kors puffy coat, one of my very favorite Christmas presents) to brave the Pennsylvania freeze. We enjoyed a beer, we snuggled, we watched some goofy movie about the Rock who plays a chef and el gato and Stifler is a mobster’s son and there’s lots of guns? I don’t know, it was awful, so [inevitably] Ryan loved it. (EDIT: Looked it up, it’s called The Rundown. In case you’re into ridiculous films like that.)  Despite the cinematic fail, it was a perfect, relaxing night.

The morning just took it to a new level of wonderful.

Bob’s Diner, in Roxborough. I would’ve taken a picture of the adorable outside, but that would’ve been risking my life in the middle of traffic, and I hate being hit by cars.  It was perfect, though, like a little trailer cafe met one of my favorite, long-menued diners in Jersey.  I originally ordered French toast with bacon, and then I saw it.  The Holy Grail of breakfast meats, in my opinion.  PORK ROLL! I quickly replaced my bacon order, and was soon greeted with a warm plate.

Golden and charred, my favorite things

The French toast was so light, it was like a cloud. A cloud I doused in syrup.  The pork roll was the star of the show, though, thick, charred, and salty.  I made quick work of my plate, forking up a combination of French toast and pork roll together in each bite.  It didn’t stand a chance.

Nice try, breakfast.

Ryan enjoyed a giant chocolate chip pancake, which I enjoyed too, because I’m his significant other, and that’s a rule in the dating world, right?

What's yours is mine.

Trust me, there were plenty more chocolate chips in the pancake.  And then, they were in my belly.

While at breakfast, we spotted a fraternity brother (one we’d seen just a week before at GC!)  I stayed true to myself by obnoxiously asking his dining buddy, who was definitely NOT someone we knew, to take a photo of us.

Delta Psi in Philly!

I love the ease of Philly. I love the chance to chat it up with all the waitresses at the diner, I love strolling around and seeing the historical mixed with the modern, I love the food, I love the Regional Rail system, and I love the people.  Maybe I’m biased because my boyfriend lives there (oh, and I met him there 4 years ago), my friends live there, and it’s the city I’ve been to the most.  But if you can’t love your city, what can you love?

…well, you could love pork roll, I guess.

What’s “Your” home city?  

What’s your favorite aspect of it?

The Perfect Storm of Sickness

Oh no.  It’s happened.

After bragging about how much sick time I have because I never get ill, I guess fate (and, more likely, my immune system) decided my particular brand of cockiness will not be tolerated.  This morning, when I woke up, my throat was sore beyond words, the aches in my bones were starting to spread, and my body couldn’t decide whether it was hot or cold.  Luckily, I was sweating enough in my sleep that I didn’t have to shower this morning! (gross? gross.)

No bueno.

I knew the moment my eyes opened at 6:50 a.m. that it was not a day to go to work.  Unfortunately, I needed to handle some business, so I threw on some less-than-work-appropriate clothes (sweatpants casual Mondays aren’t a thing?) and head into the office. I wouldn’t normally do this, but I’m one of the blessed folks who lives a mere minute and a half commute from the office, so it made sense at the time.  An hour and a half later, I realized that if I didn’t leave the office, I was going to be coughing and aching all day. Minutes later, I was in Harris Teeter, rounding up supplies.

A cornucopia of cold and flu remedies!

OJ, NyQuil Cold and Flu, and the off-brand version of Theraflu are my go-to guys when it comes to sickness, aches, and pains. The Ricola was a last minute addition to the team, thanks to the folks at Ricola who heard my tweet of desperation the last time I felt a little off, and they sent me a bag of their new Dual Action cough and sore throat drops (in fact, if you tweet at them, you may be sent a bag for your personal consumption!) And, since a girl can’t sustain on medicine alone, I made sure a well-rounded breakfast was part of my morning. (Well-rounded in that my bread was round.)

Real butter on bread toasted from my REAL TOASTER!

Two scrambled eggs sprinkled with cheddar, a toasted sandwich thin covered in butter, a glass of orange juice and a NyQuil chaser.

Speaking of that NyQuil chaser, I think it’s trying to chase me to my bed….

Who am I to say no to NyQuil?

Founders Breakfast Stout

Think about breakfast.  It’s night-time as I write this, and I just enjoyed dinner, so that’s a little tough for me.  But I’m asking you to do me a solid and think about it anyway.

Golden orbs of yummy.

Mmmm. Doesn’t that look good?

When I think about breakfast, I think about the standards. French toast smothered in syrup, breakfast sandwiches piled high on everything bagels, omelets full of spinach and tomatoes, gooey with cheese.  It’s time to think about something else for breakfast.

Liquid Meal

Founders Breakfast Stout is a super hyped imperial stout that I’d heard touted by beer snobs and infrequent drinkers alike. When I saw it for $10/4-pack at Whole Foods (and had a gift card) I couldn’t say no.  So I didn’t.

I saved the bottles for a rainy day, which actually just meant a visit from the beau. I really think that I should have waited for this very cold, skin-biting weather that hit North Carolina the moment I returned from my long holiday break.  I think it’d be the perfect beer for a cold night by a fire (a tiny one inside of a Yankee Candle glass.)

The beer is described by Founders Brewing Company as:

The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever. 8.3% ABV

It’s interesting thing about this beer… I don’t like coffee. In fact, I don’t drink it at all, never have, never will. But, for whatever reason, coffee beer just fills my heart (and mouth) with joy. Founders Breakfast Stout poured a dark brown, basically opaque glass of beer. The smell is rich, intense, and reminds me of a romance between a brewery and a coffee house.

Are there any hybrid brewpubs and coffee spots around?  I bet there’d be a number of intriguing regular customers frequenting that joint.

ANYWAY, the aroma was intoxicating, like a sweeter version of the bitter coffee of which I’m not a fan.

I can’t say anything about a Kona or Sumatra coffee and what that might taste like, but the sensations that hit my tongue were heavy, creamy, and VERY coffee-like (says the non-coffee drinker, basing that opinion on nothing but imagination). It was also pretty sweet and, frankly, a little too rich for my tastes.  It didn’t beat out my very favorite coffee brew, Big Boss’ Aces & Ates, but for a one-beer drink with a loved one, not too shabby. I wouldn’t say it lived up to the almost fanatical hype I’d heard about it, but I’d totally enjoy it again.

What’s your favorite pairing with a coffee flavor? 

Mine’s definitely the beer + coffee combo.

Once, I tried a coffee frozen yogurt, and hated it more than I’ve ever hated any frozen yogurt flavor. That’s just depressing.

Big Girl Things

Hey there y’all! I’ve been MIA the past two days (minus that hilarious ducky video) due to hijinx in Chapel Hill for UNC’s first Football Game!.  We had a FANTASTIC first game, spanking the James Madison Dukes 42-10. I’ve got plenty to say about that in a different post, but today’s topic is much more grown-up than that!!

Maturity. I have it.

All that tasty tailgate food filled me up yesterday, so I decided to take it easy this morning with a delicious breakfast sandwich.

Cinnamon raisin bagel thin, smattering of cheese, Morningstar Sausage patty, and fried egg!

The Morningstar Hot and Spicy Sausage patties are my jam lately. I love the extra kick from the crushed red peppers in the ingredient list, and pairing it with a sweet bagel thin and the savory egg was a perfect way to start my morning.

I needed the fuel because I had some serious tasks to attack this morning (which blended into the afternoon as well).

  • Hang up my Jellyfish tapestry (given to me by my mother!)
  • Clean out my closet/shelves and even the spacing out (no boy in the house = DOUBLE CLOSET SPACE!!) (But truly I miss the heck outta him.)
  • Set up my TV
Each of these were very intimidating tasks that I’ve been putting off but I knew this day would be perfect.
One by one, I knocked them out, starting with the easiest.

Jellyfish: HUNG!

This lovely piece is now hanging proudly above my fireplace thanks to a 59 cent wooden dowel from Michael’s.

Up next, a much scarier project to tackle….  My clothes.

I have way more clothes than I probably need and, because of that, can get away with not doing laundry super often. When I DO get on a laundry kick, though, I do it on a massive scale. Once the clothes are clean, though, it’s the putting away that I tend to put off.  3 loads later, I had piles of clothes all over the floor/couch/chairs. This was a biggie.

Sooo organized (relatively.)

Shirts on the right, dresses on the left, other random stuff scattered about. It’s a work in progress, but a HUGE improvement from the clothing war-zone (complete with shirt shrapnel).

Finally, technology.

Wait, what now? I thought these things were supposed to come built. Or with some tech savvy elf that handles the construction.

Armed only with a screwdriver (my only tool in the entire apartment. Note to self: get on that!) I opened up the four different sets of directions (each more confusing looking than the last). I finally found one that was just pictures, and decided that was right up my alley.

Well, one episode of Mad Men later (viewed on my computer, of course), TA DA!!

Don't act like you're not impressed. And sorry about that glare, but I was in a hurry to post!!

I still need to get a few cables in order to really watch TV BUT baby steps, right?

All sorts of big girl things are going on in my neck of the woods, but I think this is a good start.

Now onto some more “big girl things”. Like shopping and getting froyo.

Baby steps.

Any big things going on in your life? Big decisions? Moves? School? DISH!

Healthy Living Summit Weekend: The Eats

As well received as my Healthy Living Summit Cocktail Party recap was, I decided to hold off on a recap of day two until I have time to fully devote myself to a complete writeup of the Saturday sessions.  However, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on everything.  And who doesn’t like food posts?

Before my trip, I wanted to enjoy a tasty little treat, so I whipped up my traditional pre-flight beer and snack!!

Weyerbacher Hops Infusion? Don't mind if I do.

Turkey and Cheese and Lettuce on a sandwich thin! Beer! Carrots! The best.

I also did my best to eat the rest of the spinach before I left.

I felt like a straight bunny, nibbling on leaves. But it got the job done.

At the home of Ali, we whipped out all the stops (aka the baked goods):

I promise, we didn't eat all of this. Some. Most. but not all.

Let’s just say that it was a bit of a smorgasbord.

Wawa: The stuff my dreams are made of...

For dinner:

  • Wawa Shorti with Roast beef, cheddar cheese, light on the mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, salt, pepper, oregano. I always get this when I go to Wawa. It is like a second nature, entering it on the touchpad.
  • Wawa Diet Raspberry Iced Tea

Can someone PLEASE explain to me why there is no raspberry iced tea, diet or otherwise, to be found in North Carolina? I can’t even get the Snapple kind…. If you know where to get some, PLEAES email, call, text, or tweet me. ASAP. This is not a joking kind of request. This is so heartfelt I feel it deep in my heart.

The highlights of the cocktail party food were already shown, minus one: Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas. I didn’t take pictures of these, because I was shoving them down my gullet. Imagine a philly cheesesteak. then fry it.

You get the idea.

Breakfast in the morning was sponsored by Attune Foods, and featured mostly a wide array of their cereals, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs, and yogurt.

Pineapple. Cereal. I forgot how delicious real milk was, especially from Lehigh Valley.

Oh. A pluot. I had no idea what this was until I bit it.

I could’ve eaten the lunch for days.

Roasted veggie sammy, caprese salad sammy, cous cous and chickpeas, and Perrier. Oh, you fancy.

GIANT ups to Great Harvest bread. Which filled my belly totally and heartily.  The mozzarella was so creamy, and the onions in the cous cous…. ooh, girl.

Snacktime was not really my favorite, but I partook because who don’t want no free foods?

Cinnamon raisin nut butter = the poo. So take a big whiff. The hummus was a little watery for my liking... oh well.

To be honest, though, there was a much more important meal waiting for me at home, after the summit. Something I’d been seeking out since I arrived in Philly.  The holy grail of Philly cuisine.

We belong together.

I went a little off the beaten path with the Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak and was rewarded handsomely with spicy, cheese, chickeny goodness.  Something about the rolls up North, they just know how to do it right.  And, even though it wasn’t in empanada format, it was at least as (if not much, much more) delicious.

What’d you eat this weekend that was delicious? 

Do you have any favorite foods/drinks from growing up that you can’t get now wherever you live (due to a move or [gasp!!] someone stopped producing them?)

Really, Fiber One?

As I poured some almond milk into my cereal today, I had a moment to look at the back of the box. Here’s a question.

Far out, man...

Has your breakfast experience EVER at ANY POINT IN YOUR LIFE resembled the back of this Fiber One Honey Clusters box?

If not, we’re in the same boat. If so, did that breakfast contain a few blueberries, some fresh strawberries, and a hit of acid or two?

If the answer to the SECOND question is no….

What are you eating?

seriously. I feel like they should hand these boxes out at Bonnaroo.

Are your breakfasts a hazy wavy daze?