Tag Archives: onions

Philadelphia, PA

As I mentioned in a recent post, Sam and I visited Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago!

The reason behind this trip was run the Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.  The run was planned for Sunday, September 16- so with some friends we decided to make a weekend getaway in Philly!  Five of us ran the race (there were 3 first timers that did fabulous) and we had an amazing cheerleader/photographer!

Truth be told, we really didn’t do much research on what to do and where to eat in Philly.  So we walked around, explored different areas, and ate some great food!

Philly is best known for its cheesesteaks, and we definitely wanted to try some.  Now for those that are not familiar with it- it’s a combination of frizzled beef, onions and cheese on a roll.  The cheese used is usually provolone, American, or Cheese Whiz (most popular)- and everyone does have their preferences.

Since we didn’t do much research about this, we asked for some recommendations in a bar and ended up going to:


Jim’s Steaks!  The original shop, owned by Jim, opened up in 1939 in West Philadelphia.  The location where we stopped by was on South street- the 2nd location which opened up in 1976.  The four of us chose and shared 2 different cheesesteaks:

And:

We also enjoyed great German beers at Brauhaus Schmitz:

This place had an excellent German beer selection.  Sam and I recognized many beers from our trip to Oktoberfest last year.

The next day we stumbled upon the Reading Terminal Market– which we all loved!  If any of you are visiting Philly, definitely stop in here!

It was established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, and is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market.  There is a variety of cuisine available, from soul food and Asian food, to Philly Cheesesteaks and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare.

On Saturday morning we enjoyed a perfect breakfast sandwich from one of the Amish merchants:

The Amish bring their farm-fresh products (meats, milk, eggs, etc) and distinctive dishes to the market 4 days a week (Wednesday thru Saturday).  Today the market has about 80 different merchants, of which 2 are descendants of the original stand holders from when it originally opened.

The rest of the time we spent enjoying the great sights of Philly and the wonderful weather we had that weekend!

Where else did we stop in?
Lulu’s Pizza Bar: quick by-the-slice pizza bar
Pietro’s Pizza: great pasta/pizza location for carbo-loading before a 1/2 marathon, also very family friendly Italian restaurant
McGillin’s Olde Ale House: great place for a beer; oldest continuously operated tavern in Philly

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Food Matters Project #15: Bruschetta

With summer just around the corner, I try to find recipes which are easy to make and can be enjoyed outside with friends.  Our condo porch is rather small, but we do like to have friends over on the roof of our building.  It’s nice to enjoy many evenings with a bottle of wine, some finger foods and great conversations.

This weeks Food Matters Project definitely gave me some more ideas!  Laura, from Chef Laura at Home chose this weeks recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  She chose Bruschetta, Rethought- Mark Bittman provided some new ideas for bruschetta.  This definitely allows us to be a little creative!  Laura made a Simple Bruschetta, if you’d like to check out other ideas look at the comments here.

Many of us imagine a tomato salad on a piece of bread when we think of bruschetta (which is on the menu of every Italian restaurant in the US).  Although that is one form of bruschetta, there is more to it than tomatoes.  It is an Italian antipasto with a variety of toppings, such as: red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cheese, cured meats or tomatoes.  One of these tops a piece of bread which was rubbed with garlic and olive oil.

On Saturday, Sam and I played tennis in the early afternoon and sat on our roof snacking and enjoying Pimm’s.  It was a wonderful afternoon- so relaxing!  We did not grill our bread since it was fresh out of the oven (recipe will follow later this week!).  This is a great meal to improvise to what you have on hand, or what you’re in the mood to make.

Green Bruschetta
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 175)

I could not find fava beans in the grocery story, but had some lima beans in our freezer.  Edamame or peas would also work.

1 cup lima beans
3 tbsp pecorino cheese
1/2 cup lima bean cooking liquid
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a small saucepan, cook lima beans until they are well done.  Save some of the liquid while draining, and put them into a food processor.  Add the pecorino cheese and liquid, puree.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add the asparagus.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and cool with cold water.

Mix the pureed lima beans, asparagus and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper, stir well to combine all of the ingredients together.  Serve with some bread or crackers.


Mushroomy Bruschetta
Inspired by: A Couple Cooks

There is nothing tastier in life than onions, mushrooms and butter.  This was delicious.  I think we’ll try to remake this as a pasta sauce! 

2 tbsp butter
1/4 large onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
4 oz herbed goat cheese (ex: Vermont Creamery Herb Chèvre)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Allow 1 tbsp of butter to melt in a saucepan.  Then add the onions, allow them to cook until translucent and slightly creamy.  Then add the garlic, cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms, 1 tbsp of butter, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook them until they are soft, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the goat cheese, stir until the cheese is part of the sauce.

Feel free to dip some bread into the sauce, and top your bread piece with the mushrooms.