Tag Archives: weekend

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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Boston: Flour Bakery

This past weekend, I got to spend some time with friends in Boston.  It was great to see the city in some warmer temperatures, since it was a little chilly when we were there in April.  Check out what Sam and I did on our last visit: Sam Adams Brewery and Boston Review.

This time around it was a girls weekend, so there was some running, brunching, eating delicious pasta and enjoying the beautiful weather!  One of the highlights was a visit to Flour Bakery.  As stated on their website, Flour Bakery was “borne out of a passionate desire to share the simple pleasures that mouth-watering pastries and foods can bring”.  Walking in you can smell the delicious variety of baked goods from tarts and decadent chocolate cakes, to traditional cookies and croissants.

Joanne Chang is a Harvard graduate with a degree in applied mathematics and economics.  At 24, after two years as a management consultant, she changed her career and dove into the pastry and restaurant business.  Today, in addition to the three locations of Flour Bakery (Fort Point, South End and Central Square), her and her husband also manage Myers + Chang.

As we walked through the door of the Central Square location, there was a bit of a line- but it moved quickly.  After a run that morning we decided to each have a brunch item, as well as a dessert, so we can share.  There is standard menu of breakfast items, sandwiches and desserts.  In addition, there are also daily and weekly items.  On this board, a couple of items were already crossed out and unavailable by the time we arrived (around noon).  So what did we eat?

Beth and I had ordered the exact same thing, but prepared differently.  All sandwiches can also be prepared as a salad, unless they are roasted.  So I chose the Smoked Salmon with Herbed Cream Cheese, Red Onions and Arugula Sandwich.

Meanwhile, Beth decided on the salad version of the same dish.  After trying the salad, we all raved about the dressing- but couldn’t exactly decide what was in it!

Becky opted for another weekly special of the summer squash quiche, which was served with a small side salad.


Now for the best part, the desserts!  We had an oreo:

A chocolate chip macaroon:

And a Sticky Buns, the signature dessert at Flour Bakery.  I’m not a huge fan of anything cinnamon, but these might have won my heart.  They were a little sweet with notes of caramel and brown sugar, a little nutty with pecans, and a little sticky per the name.  My favorite was that they were lightly airy and not too heavy, makes for a delicious treat after a run!

Becky said that she’ll definitely be back, and I’m excited to hear what she’ll get next time!

June Review

It seemed like a lot of people liked the May review, so I think I might make this a regular post each month.  So what photos did I capture on my iPhone this month?

As I’m sure everyone has seen on Pinterest, drinks in jars are the cool new thing!  My friend Carrie loves this idea, and we cooled off with mimosas one night (grapefruit juice & prosecco)!

Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market finds!  My favorite from that week were the peas- could not stop eating them!

Blueberry picking at Butler’s Orchard with friends, what a great way to spend a Saturday!  Also, it’s a great excuse to make a blueberry-oat crumble!

Another week of deliciousness from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!  This weeks favorites were the squash blossoms for a frittata and more peas!

Sam and I were dog and cat sitting one weekend.  We tried out an new coffee place, Pound the Hill and made a blueberry-oat crumble!

An amazing dinner at Hank’s Oyster Bar!  They have 2 locations- Dupont & Alexandria!  We went sailing that afternoon, so the oysters were a perfect finish to a great Sunday!

We went to a fabulous dinner at Jose Andres Zaytinya with a friend who is spending 2 months in Turkey!  This is one of the top 10 restaurants in DC, should be on everyone’s list to try!

More goodies from the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  The delicious tart cherries were made into a pie, just like last year!  We devoured the green beans dipped in hummus, a perfect snack!

We celebrated my friend Becky’s birthday with a Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake in Baltimore!

Jessica–  friend and fellow blogger– is fostering kittens!  At the time I was there, all 4 still needed a home- I almost wanted to bring one home with me!

Last weeks goodies from the Penn Quarter Farmers Market.  Check out what I made with the beets– a perfect mid-day snack!  Tomatoes, peaches and nectarines are finally here!

Finally, while visiting Williamsburg, VA for a weekend we spotted these lemon ball cucumbers at the Williamsburg Farmers Market!  They taste just like a cucumber, but in a fun shape and color!

Corn & Zucchini Burritos

I apologize for the lack of posts this weekend.  Sam and I went to Virginia Beach for a short weekend getaway.  Both of us needed a break from the city, and a little beach time!  I used to live in VA Beach, so it also gave us an opportunity to hang out with my friend P* (and her fiancé- J*, and her sister- S*).  We had a fantastic time hanging out with them at a fun new place I  never knew about.

Pacifica is not a big tourist destination, since it’s a little north of the majority of the hotels.  We had a great time, and I’ll keep this tapas restaurant in mind when we go back.  Mainly, what we did over our weekend is lay on the beach.  Both of our bodies needed some sun, and our minds needed some good reading on the beach.  To top off the weekend, traffic between DC and VA Beach wasn’t bad at all- so life is good!

But it’s back to the grind today.  Lucky for us, Independence Day weekend is right around the corner, so I’m sure this week will fly by.  We’re looking forward to trying a new place for dinner this weekend.  It’s been around for way over a year, the Logan Circle place of Birch & Barley, but we haven’t tried  it yet.  And of course, I’m looking forward to some 4th of July fireworks!

I’m not going to lie, we haven’t been doing much cooking lately.  Or rather, the stuff that we have made hasn’t necessarily been looking stellar enough for the blog, or it just didn’t have a taste that we’d want to someone else to replicate.  But we’ll get back into the groove once again, so hopefully I’ll have more frequent posts.

I am leaving you with this great burrito recipe I got from the June issue of Vegetarian Times.  The recipe recommended chayotes, but the grocery store didn’t have any, so a zucchini was the substitution.  In addition, I added a little * next to cilantro.  Please add that to the burritos, they’ll taste significantly better.

Why did I not add cilantro to ours?  Well, apparently someone from Peapod mixed up the cilantro with a parsley variety.  So we got two different kinds of parsley in the last grocery delivery, and I didn’t realize it until I was ready to chop up my “cilantro” to add to the burritos.  Ooops!  I ended up using very little parsley, but it didn’t have the same great taste that the cilantro would have given it.

Corn & Zucchini Burritos
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times  (June 2011)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1-2 jalapeños, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup of black beans
1 red pepper, sliced into cubes
juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup Mexican cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3-4 tortillas
*2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then add the onion, zucchini, jalapeños and garlic; cook them until the onion begins to brown.  Then stir in the corn, black beans and red pepper, cook for another 5 minutes.  Finally, stir in 1/3 of the Mexican cheese, salt and pepper.  Lastly, add the lime juice to the mixture.

Divide the vegetable mixture between the 3-4 tortillas.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the mixture, before rolling the tortilla.

* Cilantro can (should be) sprinkled onto the top of this mixture to bring out the excellent flavors.