Tag Archives: philly

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 #28: Lemon Cornmeal Cake

A little late here with my Food Matters Project post, but better than never, right?  And this is a good one to keep in your back pocket, a quick dessert- perfect to make before friends stop by for a mid-week dinner.

This weeks host is Jen, of Prairiesummers.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Apricot Polenta Cake.  Check out her version, and what everyone else made here.

I was very excited to make this since I’ve been saving a very similar recipe from A Meandering Mango.  When I was making this, I decided to take a little from both recipes and make my own version.  Mine tasted very similar to a lemon bar, refreshing and light.

This cake is a perfect way to celebrate a little milestone in our house!  This past weekend we visited Philadelphia, and ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon!  It was Sam’s first half, and he had fun doing it!  I’m very proud, and excited that there will be another race in the near future!

Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 560) & A Meandering Mango

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
juice & zest of 1 lemon
juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 apple, slices*
2-3 fresh figs, finely chopped*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or use butter or olive oil).

In a stand mixer whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy and creamy.  Slowly add in the olive oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon and lime zest, and vanilla extract.  Lightly whisk the ingredients together.

In a small pot, mix together the cornmeal and salt.  Then whisk in the water, until it is lump-free.  Set the pot over medium heat, whisk frequently and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and cook until the water is absorbed.  Then set aside and allow to cool.

Stir in the flour and cornmeal mixture into the mixing bowl with eggs and sugar.  Stir well, then pour into the sprayed baking dish.

Arrange the apples and figs on top of the cake.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake.  Allow to cool about 15 minutes before cutting it.

*Other alternatives for toppings or frosting: fresh berries, fruit soaked in liquor or honey, ground nuts or coconut, powdered sugar or a honey drizzle!  Be creative, and let me know what worked!