Date Night in Philly: Cake Life Pastry Pairings

Philadelphia is affectionately known as the City of Brotherly Love. And, though we do have a history littered with a few not-so-brotherly moments (cough Santa cough), at the end of the day, if you love Philly, it’ll love you right back.

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Promise, we can be nice, too.

There’s nowhere this is more evident than in the numerous collaborations our chefs, restaurateurs, and purveyors of adult beverages put together on a regular basis. I’ve noshed on lamb Barbacoa dumplings from Han Chiang of Han Dynasty & the gang from South Philly Barbacoa, nibbled Sweetgreen’s salad designed by Zahav’s Mike Solomonov, and, most recently, got to enjoy a pastry and drink pairing courtesy of two of Fishtown’s sweethearts (and neighbors!) – Cake Life and Kensington Quarters.

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Last week, the team from Cake Life and Tim Kweeder of Kensington Quarters, along with Jason Malumed of MFW Wine, banded together for an epic guided pastry & beverage pairing. While the wines were sourced from the region of Southwest France, the pastries were the brain-children of the brilliant minds of Lily & Nima, Cake Life’s co-owners.

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This was the fifth in a Summer Series the shop hosted highlighting either wines or spirits, and was one of the most fun nights I’ve had all summer. From 7:30-10(ish… five courses and wines in, and time was a loose concept), Jason and Tim led us through South by Southwest France – using tunes from the notorious music festival as a soundtrack.

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This tray is what dreams are made of…

We enjoyed savory and sweet treats highlighting seasonal ingredients like melon, tomato, and peaches. We salivated over syrupy sausage rolls and SOME of us may have even licked our plates after a particularly mouthwatering almond-plum cake, our final course of the night.

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Oh, that’s just a prosciutto crisp topping that Melon Tartlet

The time and consideration that went into the wine pairing was evident with each sip, and Jason and Tim brought us on a whirlwind tour through Southwest France that had me checking Google flights and vineyard tours.

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Sauvignon Blanc & goat cheese / tomato jam Croisstini – think the most elevated take on pizza & wine 

While the Summer Pairing Series is done for the season, Cake Life has a lot more up their sleeves… Keep your eyes peeled for similar, seasonally appropriate pastry-pairings to go down monthly. PLUS if you wanna get an amazing taste-tour through Cake Life’s goodies, try one of their Second Saturday Tastings, where duos can eat their way through the shop’s pie, tart, or cake flavors and fillings (BYOB at night – making this the ULTIMATE date night activity!)

Thanks Cake Life for making Philly (and Fishtown) a little sweeter and to Tim and Jason for livening the mood and making us look at Sauvignon Blanc in a way we never had before.

Bridesmaid Help!!

Happy Hump Day, y’all!!

The days are going very productive lately. They have to be when you have a short week, right?

  • Cranked out a good lesson at work (I develop lessons!)
  • Car’s at the shop getting oil changed and tires rotated
  • Laid out in the sun yesterday
  • Killer zumba yesterday, AbSculpt + BodyPump planned for today
  • Scheduled an eyebrow wax for tomorrow after work/before glass night!

On the agenda tonight (after working out):

Since that will pretty much take up my whole evening, I figured I’m going to send out a call to arms (aka the blogosphere!) since y’all were so helpful with my first post about how to be a good bridesmaid!

The plan, on the day of the wedding (aka SATURDAY AHHH!) is, after we get all dolled up, to ride around in a trolley through Pittsburgh and take pictures as a whole wedding party.  The trolley is BYOB so here’s my question:

What kind of B should I B?? Translation: What kind of booze shall we bring on this trolley?  Obviously nothing red so that rules out red wine. 

Merlot? More like Mer-NO!

Some possibilities: white wine, champagne (wooo!), and (how could we forget?) craft beer.

Any other recommendations?  It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be sweaty, and so that should be taken into account.  Let me know if you’ve got any ideas!

In other news, lunch was delicious.

An ol' standby

Tuna sammy on a toasted sandwich thin with some lettuce for crunch, sugar-free jello cup, and steamed veggies with a heaping glass of water!

Very tasty, very healthy, and very filling.  Now it’s time to get back to work!

Can’t wait to hear your advice!!

I’ll take my wine German and my cheese French…

TGIF, bloggers and bloggettes! Hope everyone’s weekend started off with a BANG. Mine is currently starting off with more of a low rumbling as the thunder is finally catching up to the lightning that I’ve been seeing all night.

Even though I’m a MUCH bigger fan of beer than I am of wine, when opportunity rears its grape-squeezing head for a wine tasting of German wines with two German girls, who am I to not heed the call?  Knowing that I had to meet my resident fraulein friend at 5:45 and I got off work at 4:45, I decided that was plenty of time to squeeze in the second level of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I haven’t completed the program, as I won the DVD in a giveaway long ago, but it’s always there for me if I need an intense workout in 20 minutes.  Considering I hadn’t done the Level 2 circuit before, and I hadn’t done heavy working out recently, it only made sense to dive right into it. The result?

Oh, hey sweaty crazy face. missed you!

I also decided that I could wear the workout clothes that got me through my 16 minutes of exercise on Monday because “they couldn’t have gotten that sweaty/smelly in 16 minutes, right?” Wrong. I was very happy that there was no one else in my “gym” aka “the space in between my tv and my couch in my one bedroom apartment” to enjoy the refreshing beads of sweat I flung left and right.

After a speed shower and a drive-by makeup application, I deemed myself ready to face the world.  Veronika and her pal from Germany, Jessica, were off to A Southern Season (my second time in less than a week: a new record!) in Chapel Hill for their fridays uncorked, special wine tastings on Friday nights always based around a theme (a country of origin, a type of wine, etc). Tonight’s featured wine style was “Rieslings from the Mosel River area in Germany.”  Translation: Riesling, and five pours of it.  Riesling would have to be my favorite type of wine, courtesy of an all-too-long fall break 2008 during which we drank only Riesling all the time. Since then, I’ve been hooked.  For $12 a person, this night seemed like a perfect deal.

Bottoms up, ladies! (Veronika, Jessica, Me!)

We grabbed our classes at the front and were ready to go.

#1 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp "Senior" 2009

Our first and second wines were the dry type of Riesling.  #1 was a nice way to start the night, with a bit of a bite to the wine. We were supposed to be aware of the aromas of apricot and honey with a taste of pear and peach. While I definitely got the pear, the peach eluded me. I’m definitely not a sommelier by any means.

 

#2 Spaeter-Veit Piersporter Domherr Kabinett Trocken 2009

#2 , another dry Riesling, was a little smoother than the first, though we were all aware of a sort of acidic hint in there. Again, apricot was supposed to be in there, but I’m just not familiar enough with apricot to even know what that tastes like. The one cool part about this wine was that it came from the Veits, one of the Mosel’s oldest wine growing families. Even though it was a 2009, I felt like a very legit wine drinker sipping on it.

Prefere de Nos Motagnes - HELLA GOOD CHEESE!

With these wines, we were also supposed to pair them with the softer, spreadable cheese. It didn’t have a strong taste, but it was smooth and delicious.  We may or may not have taken enough of these little cheese samples to harvest the napkins and start our own cocktail bar.  (I’m going with we may’ve…)

 

 

Next on the agenda were the sweet wines.

 

 

#5 St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Auslese 2007

 

#3 Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2009

Numbers 3 and 5 were both definitely sweet, with 3 smelling a lot like apple and tasting sort of peachy. It was delicious, and I’d love to have a bottle with me right now.  5 I’ll admit was a little… gosh, I want to say salty because the pourer mentioned salt, but salty’s not the word.

Allow me to show my classlessness for a moment by saying what I really mean.  You know that feeling you get when you get a REALLY cheap box of wine. I’m talking Fran-zia, a juice box of wine, something like that. And even if it’s not touching the cardboard, you think to yourself “maybe this wine tastes a little like there’s some cardboard in it.” THAT is the feeling I got with number 5 (which, ironically enough, was the most expensive wine of the night, normally sold for nearly $50 a bottle.)

And then we have the crown jewel of the party.

#4 Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Spatlese 2009

This wine was everything I could ask for in a Riesling. It was sweet, but not like… pouring honey down your throat. It totally had the taste of a baked apple in there, and was smooth and paired perfectly with the harsher cheese of the night, a Sharfe Maxx. If this bottle of wine was not 25 dollars but, instead, 3 for 25 dollars… I would’ve bought one (ok, yeah. I’m cheap. Such is life.)

It was glorious to live like a rich gal for a little evening, and I even picked up a tasty 4 pack of beers for future reviews.

BEER HEAVEN!!

We finished the night off at City Beverage with some tasty foods and beers and friends.  And now I’m in my cozy bed, getting ready to nuzzle off for the night.

Do you ever like to do anything that makes you feel wealthier than you are?  If so, what is it?!