The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Search For Best Breakfast Spot Ends Here.

Holy Fkin Homefries - I have found, hands down, the breakfast place of my dreams.

As the 2 of you that read my blog know, I am a FAN of breakfast, but have never found any place (other than my kitchen) that makes my fork stand up and sing.

Well, yesterday I went to Cross Keys Diner. Second time there. First time was good, but I ordered off the menu.

Yesterday, there were so many specials that screamed 'fabulous' - and I couldn't decide between them all - so I picked 2.

Eggs Estrada - scrambled eggs with andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, bacon, scallions, corn, tomatoes, with a side of homemade black beans and blue corn chips. Also - comes with homefries and toast.

Seriously? This was the best breakfast food I've ever had. I wanted to finish it, but I couldn't. I took it home and ate it for dinner and it was still fantastic the second time around.

I also had the sweet potato pecan pancakes. Nice. I wasn't overwhelmed w/ pecan - but these were subtly spicy and a nice compliment to the estrada.

I was torn between those and the oatmeal blueberry pancakes - but I'll save those for (hopefully) later. I say hopefully because these items were the "Specials" of the day - which are located on the blackboard - so make sure you take a look at the board when you arrive or ask your waitress. Actually, if you don't see anything you like on the special board - ask you waitress anyway. I know the first time we went, I didn't see anything that got me really excited. Then I ordered and a waitress went up to the blackboard and wrote "Corn Cakes" - ARGHHH! I would have so ordered that!

I have to say though, the first time there, I ordered eggs/bacon/cinnamon raisin french toast and it was ALL fantastic. The bacon (unlike other diners) wasn't so thin I could see through it. The eggs were buttery. And the homefries were tasty. The cinnamon raisin french toast, while it didn't appear thick and hearty, it was the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, and even though John doesn't like raisins, he loved this dish anyway!

The diner itself is sunny and warm and welcoming. It feels more like a cafe and less like a diner.The staff is friendly but not intrusive. Um, yeah, and when the waitress, Charlotte,  (er, server, sorry) tells you that on her day off, she always wants to eat breakfast at the place she works, you KNOW the food is good!

Also - they shop for their produce every morning and when it's gone, it's gone. When they say the food is fresh (and local), it is. And you can taste this is the food!

I have been searching forever for the best breakfast place EVER and it is here, the Cross Keys Diner, where I will rest my weary coffee cup.

4125 E Swamp Rd
DoylestownPA 18901
(215) 348-4911

Mon-Fri 6:30 am - 2:30 pm
Sat-Sun 7 am - 2:30 pm

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Ain't Bacon - But It's Still Awesome.

Ok - so it aint bacon, but it's still awesome!

Watermelon, blueberries, lemon basil & lemon thyme (from my garden - I'm still shocked that I have managed to not kill most of my plants) - sprinkled with Grana Padano Cheese.

So easy to make. Really refreshing. And goes well with ANY martini.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why I Hate Jodi Schad and Her Damn Fine Scones

J.Scones is a  little bakery sits behind the Cross Keys Diner (the sign says: Bake Shop) I thought I was a fabulous baker and made the best muffins and scones and then I met Jodi - what nerve!  Not only does she knock my baked goods out of the park, she's as sweet as her confections. What a bitch!
She  has a wide variety of scones - and today I chose the creme de freche and currant scone - so moist. It's really hard to find a MOIST scone, but this one managed to be both light, rich, and moist.
The pineapple macadamia nut scone sounded amazing too - what a great flavor combination.
John had a blueberry chocolate cinnamon chip muffin. I can honestly say, this is the best muffin I've ever had in my life (and scones). The muffin was just bursting with flavor, buttery, and moist.
Jodi also had a gorgeous display of red velvet cupcakes, of which I took a picture!
Just fantastic. You must, must, stop in and try it. On her business card, it also says she does wholesale, and mail order.
Remember, it's located BEHIND Cross Keys Diner. (also, Cross Keys is a fabulous diner).
If she wasn't so sweet, I'd hate Jodi for making me realize my muffins and scones are not the best. I'm totally afraid to try her cookies, if I do, I just may never bake again!

***for those that don't have a sense of humor; I am totally kidding when I say I hate Jodi - she was quite sweet and she is NOT a bitch. Thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Hot Night Drenched in Honey

Though I say I am a foodie, I am a novice, picky, foodie at best. I am not quite as adventurous as say, Anthony Bourdain (eat cow asshole? I'll pass). I do love 'quirky' food - or food that is unique (to me, anyway).Which is why I love Honey Restaurant in Doylestown, Pa.It's small, intimate,
 but at the same time, there is no snob/elitist factor (as I've found in small, intimate, foodie places).I'd like to share what a night at Honey was like recently - I'll try to make it as brief as possible...but I do hope when you get the chance, you'll give Honey a try!
June 7th - I am treating 'the beast' to a night at Honey because we bet that Donald Trump would announce he was running for president on the last show of Celebrity Apprentice (I said he would, I lost).
To start with, I had a drink called "Eastern Standard Thyme" that is herb infused Bluecoat Gin, Lemoncello, Muddled Sour Apple, Lemon Thyme, Tonic. It was delish.To start with we were served this small seafood cake (a present from the Chef) - I skipped it because I don't like seafood - but John tells me it was fabulous.
Guests are also given a small bowl of spicy popcorn to munch on between meals (it ROCKS - I can't fking figure out what spices make it up but it is soooooo damn good) .
Now, one of the things I like best isthat the servings are small and meant to be shared. So it's usually suggested that each person order 3 plates and everyone share. It works out very well for us.
My next drink was a black cherry mojito. Black Seal Dark Rum, spiced cherry puree, mint, lime, Wishniak Cherry Soda. YUM!
We started with lobster tacos and Sweet Pea bruschetta. The sweet pea bruschetta was our favorite dish of the night and had we been wearing socks, it would have knocked them off. It's described on the menu as 'baby golden carrots, spring herbs, Buckingham honey, crushedpistachios, whipped feta, grilled focaccia' - the combination of flavors just POPPED. Wow.

Next up we had the special of the night - veal

cheek taco. I rarely eat veal, but it sounded appealing and it was very good. We also had
Angry Fries - fries with spicy Wagyu oxtail gravy, queso fresco, and
green onions.
chicken flatbread - smoked Amish chicken, asparagus, melted leeks, preserved lemon, Shellbark Farms goat cheese
  fresh mozzarella, and black truffle oil.

My other favorite dish (I loved all of the dishes, but I LOVED the bruschetta and
...) Porcini-Parmesan Risotto
Cakes. OH. Little balls of heaven! A lemon vanilla emulsion, black garlic puree, and crushed hazelnuts.
We were also served a small offering of grapefruit 'ice' in between plates to clean our palette.hazelnuts and argulua sprouts! I didn't even want to share these with John.

Dessert: Caliebaut Chocolate Cheesecake and Espresso Creme Brulee (I could have licked the plate - it was so fabulous!).

So - all this

AMAZING food, amazing drinks, and the bill came to 139.00. Well worth it and honestly, for such a great food experience, a bargain. Oh, waittt, I forgot to mention the awesome spicy popcorn they bring out to snack on while you're waiting for your food. It's fabulous!

Woah! We're stuffed & re--laxed!
They do serve lunch, also,
on Friday and Saturday.

Long live HONEY!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From Flab To Flabulous!

In December 2010, I went on a quest to lose weight which morphed into a study and somewhat lazy experiment of trying the newest "diets" for a month to see how well they worked - you can read about it here:
I never really made it a whole month on any ONE diet.
Finally, in April, I pretty much threw in the towel - I joined Philadelphia Sports Clubs and worked out like a beast - but I stopped keeping track of what I ate. I stopped with ALL the diets.
I am a FOODIE after all, who loves bacon and cupcakes and martinis. So my plan was this: eat clean (the fewer the chemicals in my food the better). Stay away from carbs as much as possible. But eat fabulous food when the mood strikes. And eat in moderation.

I'm still not down to my size 4 jeans - but I am making progress: enough to say: hey, these are my bikini shots and while they aren't perfect, I'm happy.

If I could give some advice it would be this: Everything in moderation. Find a gym that fits with you (I love PSC because it has everything from Yoga to Spinning to huge cardio/weight rooms AND individual TV's on cardio machine). MOVE often (walk, bike, run, take the stairs, etc). Watch Fat Head, the movie: I can't begin to tell you the impact that movie had on my life! However, while I do cut down on carbs, I don't cut them out completely. But I notice the more carbs I eat, the more I crave more food.
Realize that what works for one person might not work for you. The key is to find what you LIKE, what you will stick with, and eating smaller portions.

That's it. That's all I got. Still a work in progress - but at least now I feel my flab has become flabulous!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Best Buy Won Me Back (Hint - His Name Is Jordan)

Soooooooo...I am more a fan of Amazon (free Prime shipping, yo!) than big box stores.
I decided to pop on over to Best Buy, however, to check out some digital cameras that I'd already looked at on Amazon. I wanted to compare them "in real life" before purchasing.
While I was there, I felt this magnetic pull over to the lap tops.
It was as if they were grilling bacon in the computer department and I just couldn't help myself.
I have an Asus Eee netbook (pink, of course!) that is going on 2 years old. It only has GB and no hard drive, but since I was only going to use it for writing, I figured I didn't really need a 'workhorse' - and did I mention it was pink?
Then, right on time, it started acting up - the 2 year itch.
Not to mention I take wayyyyyyyyyyyy more pictures than I realize (thus taking up space).
Long story short - I enter the lap top section and am promptly greeted by Jordan.
Now, I like to browse solo. But I did notice that one of the computers I was looking at (Dell Inspiron) came in pink (and it was on sale) (what can I say? Marketer's live for idiots like me). I asked if they had a pink one. They did. One left.
Jordan seemed nice. So I asked a few more questions. He explained memory to me in such a way, I doubt I'll ever forget it.
Imagine you own a daycare (OhMyGod, I'd have to drink upon waking every morning) and your back yard is 'memory' - then during the day, kids come in and fill up the back yard - those kids are programs running around taking up space. He then went on to use that analogy every time I had a question (even if you uninstall a program, bits and pieces are left behind still taking up room: ie: the kids go home for the night but leave a lunch box and a pillow behind).
Then. I noticed the tablets.
Oh. Man. I wanted one.
Only because everyone else has one and they are cool.
I was torn.
Jordan suggested I could buy both (now, he does not work on commission - he did not need to take time out to listen and explain so throughly because if I bought or didn't buy wasn't in the long run, going to affect his payday) and try them both out. I had 14 days to try the computers and could return them for FULL REFUND.
Whatttttttttttttttt? I have no idea when this policy started but man, that is a keeper!
So, I bought the XooM and the Dell (pink!).
In the end, I returned the XOOM hours after buying it. For all the writing I do - I need something solid. And in all honesty, I just don't think a tablet is on my wish list anymore. It's like a bigger version of my iPhone - more for entertainment than anything.
I absolutely love my new Dell.
And had it not been for Jordan, I probably wouldn't have made any purchase. But he took the time and not only that, really seemed to enjoy his work. He came to America from Jamaica when he was only 17 (and he arrived solo). He is only 19 now, but I've no doubt he will be massively successful. He is grateful to be in America. Most 19 year olds I know are anything but attentive to customers. Jordan has enthusiasm for life, which spill over into his work.
Not only did I leave with a computer, I also left with a reminder that yes, I am blessed that I was born in America. We are given opportunities are it's up to us to make the most of our time.
Thanks to Jordan, Best Buy has won me back!

**this was Best Buy in Airport Square, Montgomeryville

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Not Always About The Bush!

Needing a bush (hahaha, I know..I know...I said 'bush'") for our front lawn - we almost DIDNT stop at Bromm's Lullaby Farm because we usually get our trees/large garden items from somewhere else. But, we'd used them for sod before and I knew they had a nice selection of plants/flowers - so we decided to swing by Bromm's first, since it was close to our home.
Well, not only did we find the nicest hydrangea bushes VERY reasonably priced, we also found Carolyn and Bootsie.
You see, I'm a newbie at gardening. I ordered seeds from and had grown my own little plants. I put - oh - about 6 tomato plants in a 12 inch container and I asked the lady roaming about the shop if I needed a tomato cage for ALL of them or could I use only one tomato cage for all of them.
Well, she didn't laugh, she didn't call me an idiot (though after talking to Carolyn, I called myself an idiot!) and she spent at least 20 minutes talking to me about growing tomatoes and gave us other very practical useful info about gardening that we'd never known.
While she was talking, a sweet darling cat came from out of no where and followed me around. "Bootsie" is the cat of the farm and I couldn't resist showering him (her?) with some seriously love.
Anyway, Bromm's has everything! From flowers to herbs to trees and bushes, we will be using them as our #1 go to gardening shop. I picked up some pineapple sage that, every time I smell it, I think of pineapple upside down cake! They have some really interesting herbs that I've never heard of before, as well as the usual suspects.
We got our bush (as a matter of fact, we bought 2) - and the selection of plants was just amazing - even though it's a big factor is us returning - it's  not always about the bush...
The kindness and knowledge and time that Carolyn spent with us, however, is the one thing that sticks out in my mind. It's employees like Carolyn that will make customers spread the word and keep them coming back.
We need more Carolyns.
And I need more tomato cages!

5125 Rt. 313
Fountainville, PA 18923
(215) 345-4804