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.

Out and About: Roppongi

When you ask about sushi in Frederick, one of the places that never seems to get mentioned is a little restaurant off the Golden Mile called Roppongi.
Tucked away in a strip mall, no website or presence on Facebook, Roppongi is really a diamond in the rough with “word of mouth” as its best advertiser. We’ve never actually eaten in the restaurant (some reviews on their Yelp! listing say the service in the restaurant isn’t the greatest), but the take out is to die for.

Roppongi’s sushi really is excellent, but my favorite by FAR is their Gyoza. What are gyoza? They’re Japanese dumplings – unlike any other dumpling I’ve tried in Frederick. Little pouches with a delicate outer skin, seared with a slight crunch on the bottom, and a savory salty blend of ground meats filled inside. Bonus: You can order vegetable filled gyoza as well! 

With six gyoza to an order, one is definitely not enough. We order two, but inevitably wish we had ordered two more…or even made our entire dinner out of gyoza.

Seriously. They’re THAT good.

But the sushi rocks too – so you have to get some to go with your gyoza.

Roppongi is located at 1080 W. Patrick Street in Frederick (in the shopping center behind the Bank of America).

Out and About: Wegmans – The Dream Before The Reality

Know what I’m doing today?

I’m getting a sneak peek of the brand new Wegmans that’s opening in Frederick this Sunday.

Oh yes. YES I am.

But, believe me when I say Wegmans didn’t come calling, asking me to, “Please, pretty please,” come tour and blog about their new store before the grand opening this weekend. Although they have thanked me a few times on Twitter for mentioning them, and sharing their blog, which is nice…even if they’ve called me “Lisa” more than once. It’s okay; it’s the thought that counts.
So, no. They didn’t come begging for me to be a part of their sneak peek today. Nope. I asked a friend of mine, whose Facebook page I stalk regularly who I heard through the grapevine was invited to a Wegmans preview….
…if I could tag along with him because he was cool enough to be invited .
Why, might you ask, am I so completely psyched about a sneak peek?

I was asked to write a small article about my new experience with Wegmans for another Frederick publication. And the thought of a “running with the bulls” experience on Sunday at 7am made me shudder a little. Not exactly the first impression I’m looking for when writing an article, although I’m sure it would’ve made for some good humor. Heh.

So, you’ll get my first-hand thoughts and impressions about Wegmans soon…just not here. Don’t worry though, I’ll be sharing the article once it’s published, for sure.
But, I wonder. Will the Wegmans reality will live up to my dreams since our Wegmans doesn’t sell wine or have a wine bar?
Here are the top 10 things I’m dreaming about:

1) I hear they have special mini-checkout lanes for the little things you realize you forgot to buy when you’re just five steps out the exit doors.
2) I’ve also been told that their $6 dinners are must try as a newbie, from none other than Wegmans themselves.
3) Three different people asked me to bring them sushi. SUSHI. From a grocery store. I bet it’s not even prepackaged…and it’s awesome.
4) Today I’ll be leaving with a complementary to-go bag full of scrumptious prepared goodies. Actually, that’s my neighbor’s dream, and he might tackle me when I get home if I don’t snag him some goodies.
5) Their bistro upstairs? Gourmet lunch under $10. I’m sure of it.

6) Their prices are competitive – no, better! – than my regular grocery store.

7) Parking is ample and there are multiple entrances.

8) Their store brand trumps the regular brands in cost and quality.

9) There are no lines at checkout. Ever.

10) There’s a magic cabinet somewhere with super expensive truffles housed inside. And it’s LOCKED.

So whadya think? Am I off my rocker? Anything you’re dying to know?
You’ll find out soon….
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