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.

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.)

5 Easy Recipes Made with Yogurt

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

It’s March 1, which means my time as a Stonyfield Ambassador has officially ended (although I’ll always be an UNofficial ambassador).

Stonyfield Organic

What a fantastic three months, trying new recipes, eating lots and lots of their yummy yogurt, and spreading the word about the benefits of organic dairy products. Along the way I’ve also spent time developing recipes using yogurt that have been featured here and also on Stonyfield Organic’s blog “The Yogurt Dish.”

It’s been a terrific whirlwind!

After three months of cooking with yogurt, I’ve discovered that it’s a wonderful addition (and substitution!) as an ingredient in variety of sweet and savory dishes, and also works well in place of toppings an dishes that call for sour cream.

Curious? Wish you could find all the recipes in one place? Well, you’re in luck – I’m sharing the recipes!

5 Easy Recipes Made with Yogurt

5 Easy Recipes Made with Yogurt

1. Mini Frozen Yogurt Pies

This may be the easiest way to whip up a dessert in a flash! In this post, I shared two different frozen yogurt mini pie recipes: Mini Key Lime Pies and Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies, and the hardest part about making them is waiting for them to freeze up! Although, I must say, they’d probably be pretty terrific even if they were just simply chilled.

2. Cranberry Almond Roasted Chicken Salad

I whipped up this Cranberry Roasted Chicken Salad recipe for a family gathering during the holidays, and everyone devoured it! A little sweetness from the cranberries, a wonderful crunch from the almonds and a tartness from yogurt that added a great layer of flavor. Mmmm…. As you can see in the photo, I served the chicken salad as an appetizer with little, crunchy Melba toasts; however, it would definitely be great in its traditional sandwich form too.

3. Brown Sugar Cookies

I’ve been making homemade cookies every week instead of buying them from the store, this way I know what ingredients go into them, plus homemade cookies taste better. AND? Cookie dough. So, a couple weeks ago I came up with this recipe for Brown Sugar Cookies. They’re light and fluffy and have a hint of what makes us love chocolate chip cookies so much (from the brown sugar) – even without the chocolate.

4. Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Who doesn’t like a chocolate cupcake? This recipe was loosely based on a recipe my daughter found online from Martha Stewart, and I decided to work my magic with some tweaks, one of which was using yogurt. If you’ve never used yogurt in a baked good, now’s your time to try it – it makes the the texture fluffy and moist, and I hardly bake anything without adding a hearty scoop anymore!

5. Homemade Vanilla Waffles

I make either waffles or pancakes every weekend at our house. They’re a staple because not only are they delicious (I mean, who doesn’t love buttery pancakes with real maple syrup??), they also work great as easy weekday breakfasts before school. I shared this recipe for Homemade Vanilla Waffles over on “The Yogurt Dish” – a waffle recipe that quick and easy, and doesn’t involve whipped egg whites or yeast. Yay!

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

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