A Real Philly Cheesesteak

As part of my ambassadorship, Stonyfield is sponsoring my attendance at Women Get Social Philadelphia 2014.

Gino's Steaks

As an outsider, I’ve been on a quest to find a real Philly cheesesteak. Those of us that live near Philadelphia (I’m about a 2.5 hour drive away) have heard the hype:

Geno’s or Pat’s?

Therein lies the question. An eternal foodie cheesesteak dilemma.

Pat's Steaks

I’m sure locals will tell you:

Forget the Pat’s and Geno’s hype! You have to check out [insert hole-in-the-wall joint here] to get a REAL Philly cheesesteak.

Perhaps.

Regardless, here’s what I’ve gleaned about a real Philly cheesesteak, what it takes to make one authentic:

  • CHEESE WHIZ – Yes. The gloppy, unnatural, yellow melted cheese product that we all hate to love. It’s oh-so-bad, and yet oh-so-good at the same time. Provolone? Only if you’re an out-of-towner or the restaurant’s out of Whiz.
  • DRIPPINESS – A real Philly cheesesteak should be messy. Juices should run from the bottom of the roll with each bite, and using a plethora of napkins is a sign of perfection.
  • CHOPPED BEEF – It appears that the degree to which said beef should be chopped can vary, but everyone agrees that a real Philly cheesesteak should start with chopped beef. No exceptions.
  • A GOOD ROLL – Traditionally a real Philly cheesesteak is served on a long crusty roll, light in texture and prime for sopping up all the drippiness.

This weekend I’m in Philadelphia for the Women Get Social conference. My husband’s coming with me, and I’ve already informed him that my mission is to find an authentic Philly cheesesteak – Cheese Whiz and all!

Stonyfield Organic

As part of my ambassadorship, Stonyfield is sponsoring my attendance at Women Get Social Philadelphia 2014.

Women Get Social – Philadelphia ’14

As part of my ambassadorship, Stonyfield is sponsoring my attendance at Women Get Social Philadelphia 2014.

This time next week I’ll be in Philly for the Women Get Social – Philadelphia 2014 conference. Philly’s a stop along their multi-city series of visits spanning the country, and I’m really excited to not only hear the great speakers they have lined up, but also to connect with old and new blogging friends!

Let’s reminisce, shall we?

Philadelphia 2012

This shot was at Bloggy Boot Camp Philly 2012. I was excited to, once again, reunite with college bud Erica (just to my right), another frequent-ess of the SITS conferences and meet-ups.

Bloggy Boot Camp Philadelphia 2012In my post-conference recap that year, I blamed the wine cocktail hours on the fact that I missed out on the one thing every foodie visiting Philadelphia should experience: a legit cheesesteak. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, or fair. BUT, the fact remains – no cheesesteak.

We’ll have to fix that this year.

And, if there’s one thing to remember when attending a social media based conference, it’s to SMILE. All the time. Not creepy doe-eyed smiley, but a relaxed “open face” smiley.

Why, you ask? Because not only are photos being snapped constantly, they’re being pushed to social channels faster than you can say cheesesteak.

Case in point….

Boston 2011

Bloggy Boot Camp Boston 2011

Not only am I just *barely* smiling, I also look really, really tired. Maybe I was. But it certainly doesn’t reflect how much fun I was having. (A LOT!)

See what happens when you know you’re being photographed (here with my friend Erica again)?

Bloggy Boot Camp Boston 2011

Nothing like a bright light, smile, arm-to-hip pose to fix a photo. (LOL!) Erica was a trooper, flying to Boston and hanging out at about 7 or 8 months pregnant – we hadn’t seen each other in 13 years! She also gave a killer presentation on attention grabbing headlines and post titles. Check out more from Erica over at No Sleep ‘Til College – you’ll laugh and you’ll relate. Promise.

Fashion. Food. Swag. I shared my 10 Need to Know Takeaways from BBC Boston 2011 here.

Stonyfield Organic

A big thank you to Stonyfield for giving me the opportunity to experience another SITs conference with Women Get Social Philadelphia 2014 – I can’t wait to see everyone!

(And try a cheesesteak while smiling.)

Spring House Manor Farm Visit

A couple weekends ago my husband and I were invited to visit Spring House Manor Farm, about 10 minutes away from our old house in Frederick. The owners of the farm are Abby and Tony Brusco, ALSO known as the owners of Hometown Harvest (blog sponsor and organic+local grocery delivery service extraordinaire!).

Spring House Manor Farm

The Brusco family moved out to Spring House Manor Farm a little over a year ago, and they wanted to share the experience with me and fellow blogger Rachel. The farm’s property is stunning, backing up to the watershed and full of lush, green pastures.

It was quiet, serene and only a stone’s throw from downtown Frederick. Perfect, right?

A group of 12 of us (including the Brusco kids) gathered to tour the small farm, complete with chickens, a family garden and big plans for moving the Hometown Harvest offices and warehouse to a chunk of their acreage in the next couple of years.

We ate a large farm-style dinner outside under a tent, adjacent to the beautifully restored farmhouse and the small orchard. Two of the recipes (lasagna rolls and summer couscous salad) were inspired by recipes on my blog – a terrific surprise!

Hometown Harvest Farm Lunch

Rachel, who grew up in the city, wrote a really great recap of our visit here (complete with lots of photos), and since I’m still getting our house in order after the move to my parents’ farm and don’t have time to write a longer post (yes…it has happened!! More to come….), I’d suggest you visit hers for all the details. We had a tremendous time!

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m being compensated for things like spreading the word about what they do. Interested in learning more about their delivery service in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia? Click here for all the details!

ADMERICA! 2014

If you’re involved at all in world of advertising and marketing, then it’s likely you’ve heard of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), based out of Washington DC.

If you’re not involved, here’s the AAF mission:

The American Advertising Federation protects and promotes the well-being of advertising. We accomplish this through a unique, nationally coordinated grassroots network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local advertising clubs and college chapters.

You can also get more details by clicking here.

The national organization has many regional districts, and hundreds of local clubs (historically called “Ad Fed” or “Ad Club”) around the United States. I happen to sit on the board of directors for my local chapter, AAF – Greater Frederick and serve as the Communications Co-Chair.

Enough background, right?

ADMERICA! 2014

ADMERICA! is the annual AAF national conference, held in different locations across the country – this year it’s in Boca Raton, FL. The speaker line-ups are always outstanding, and winners of the American Advertising Awards at the national level are also recognized (we have several nominated from our local AAF – Greater Frederick chapter – yay!).

THIS YEAR, not only am I attending, I was also selected to be one of the conference bloggers. Crazy!

ADMERICA! Blogger

Click here to read my bio, and follow along with the #ADMERICA hashtag and the conference blog if you’re interested in seeing what’s happening! It all starts one week from today….

Cheers!

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