Thank You, Stonyfield

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

For the past nine months or so, I’ve been doing ambassador work for Stonyfield. Most of the assignments took place last winter, with posts on my blog and others on theirs.

But the final chapter comes to a close this weekend with my trip to Women Get Social – Philadelphia ’14, the conference to which Stonyfield sponsored my attendance.

Stonyfield Organic

I’ve never worked with a brand that was so focused on bloggers, in a way that benefits both me and them. It’s beautiful, mostly because when you’re working in a creative space, being able to stretch your wings and think outside the box generally produces better work.

I produced fun, yummy recipes. I talked about the benefits of Greek yogurt. The sky was the limit.

Love that.

Women Get Social – Philadelphia ’14

Over the past two days a Women Get Social – Philadelphia ’14, we heard this common message:

Stay true to yourself.

Magic happens when you find a brand that understands that.

I had big plans to do two things this weekend, and both have been successfully accomplished:

1. Meet new people, reconnect with old friends, learn something new and get excited.

Women Get Social - Philadelphia '14 Collage

2. Find an authentic Philly cheesesteak.

So, I was FINALLY able to find an authentic Philly cheesesteak – which locals ended up telling me (as I suspected!) was neither Geno’s nor Pat’s!

Turns out it’s Jim’s Steaks South Street! (Cheesesteak. Whiz. Mushrooms and peppers.)

Philly Cheesesteak from Jim's Steaks South Street
CHECK. And CHECK.

Thank you, Stonyfield.

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

 

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.

Wooden Spoons

Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons.

I think at last count I probably have about 30 of them.

Okay, maybe not 30. But, easily 20.

They’re one of those staples that I can’t imagine living without. I use them daily, and for a variety of tasks! They’re one of my favorite things, just like the white dishes.

The wooden spatula is probably my most favorite. My go-to when I’m sautéing veggies or whipping up a stir-fry. The flat edge is perfect for scraping up bits, and yet it doesn’t damage pan finishes.

Wooden Spatula

My other favorites are a recent acquisition. They belonged to my grandmother and came with the house we moved into this past June.

Wooden Spoon Ladle

These kitchen shovels aren’t just any wooden spoons.

They’re substantial.

They have a deep spoon pocket.

They’re not too heavy.

I love them.

Wooden Spoons Variety

But even though the specialty wooden spoons and spatulas totally make my day, I still adore the plain Jane wooden spoons. Even the smallest of the bunch.

The Alton Browncast

I’m late to the game with podcasts.

My sister, on the other hand, is a podcast junkie. I like to blame this on the fact that she and her husband haven’t owned a television in over five years, but I have a feeling she’d be listening to them regardless. Especially now that she lives in Brooklyn and commutes to the farm on the subway.

“YOU haven’t been listening to the Alton Browncast?!”

Well, nope.

But I love, love, love Alton Brown, which might be why my sister was all shocked when I told her that I hadn’t even heard of it while we were on vacation last summer.

Alton Browncast

So, after the initial shock and horror wore off, I did what any self-respecting Alton Brown fan would do: I quickly subscribed to his podcast, and was completely and immediately sucked in. The tips, the Q&A with callers, special guests, food trivia, recipes – ALL THE THINGS!

It’s fantastic.

For instance, have a child who’s a picky eater in the house? Alton’s fix for that was to tell his young daughter (paraphrasing here), “You can’t have that; it’s for grown-ups.” And it worked. She’d eat sautéed kale with garlic without protest. What kid doesn’t want something they can’t have? Genius.

And, in a sneaky bit of irony, I used this logic with my 9-year old during several recent long-ish car rides.

“Oh, you wouldn’t like the Alton Browncast. It’s for grown-ups.”

{snicker}

Actually, my daughter’s introduction to the Alton Browncast wasn’t quite so mischievous. I simply asked if she’d like to give it a listen on the way back from our road trip to Virginia Beach, instead of my usual Mumford & Sons Pandora station.

“Okay,” she said. And then she was hooked too, asking for the Alton Browncast anytime we’re in the car.

Or maybe she’s just tired of Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, Eddie Vedder, the Shins, Deathcab for Cutie and Regina Spektor. ANYTHING TO GET AWAY FROM MOM’S PANDORA STATION. But, I’d like to think the former’s true.

“Who is Alton Brown?”

Who is Alton Brown. WHO IS ALTON BROWN!?

I guess it’s a fair question, given the fact that Food Network no longer airs Good Eats and we only just got the Cooking Channel last month. I mean, my kid’s watched Food Network Star and Iron Chef America. She’s seen ads for Cutthroat Kitchen.

Interestingly, Alton Brown’s not actually a nerd, although he kind of plays one on TV. He’s unique, clever, witty and a holds wealth of foodie knowledge. And then there’s Good Eats.

Alton Brown "Good Eats"

The Alton Brown I grew to love was the Good Eats Alton.

Quirky, simple and over-the-top sets and scripts – that’s one reason I love Good Eats.

Matter-of-fact cooking instruction that TO THIS DAY happens to be my go-to when I’m trying to cook something for the very first time – that’s the other reason I love Good Eats.

How’d Alton do it? Lemme check. Google, Google, Google.

The Alton Browncast reminds me of Good Eats Alton. I’m hooked.

{Now leaving…Nerdist.com}

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