My 10 Favorite Recipes of 2011

Yesterday, I showed you my reader’s favorites. Today, mine

(PS. 10 & 1 are of equal favoriteness. I adore each one of these recipes, and make them all often!)


4 Awesome Sandwich Creations


Strawberry Crumbley Parfait


Homemade Goldfish Crackers


Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos 


Buttermilk Waffles 

(more after the jump!)

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Step by Step Fresh Pasta @ Oven&Fig!

As some of you may already know, I have quite a love for a local restaurant in my town, Alfredo BYO

Last month the owners and I came together to create a blog- which we decided to call the Oven and Fig. Adorable!

I am writing and photographing each piece we do together. Right now we are working on one post per month- in the restaurant business, time is oh so precious. It is such a blast!

For our Christmas edition we decided handmade pasta would be our recipe of choice…. You thought my hand rolled gnocchi were fun and delicious?

These little guys are quite a contender. 

Check out the new post HERE … and let me know what you think!

’11 Holiday Gifties. To: the Girl that loves her kitchen.

Love, the person that loves to eat her food.


1. Farmer’s Market Basket. ($20.00) @Anthropologie     2. Stress Cupcake ($3.99) @PerpetualKid     3. Sugar Cones by Virginia Sin ($3.99) @Generate     4. Baker’s Twine ($8.95) @Crate and Barrel     5.   Yellow Enameled Lemon Squeezer ($12.99) @Chef Central  6. Raspberry Ice Artisan Stand Mixer ($349.99) @Kitchen Aid     7. Culinary Basil Growing Kit ($69.95) @Red Envelope     8. I love u like biscuits and gravy dish towel ($10.00) @House 8810     9. Biodegradable Paper Straws ($5.61) @Amazon     10. The Essential New York Times Cook Book ($21.02) @Amazon     11. 15 Piece Plus Breakfast Set ($7.99) @Ikea     12. Cuisine Couture Apron ($32.00) @Anthropologie     13. Le Creuset 9QT in Dijon ($305.00) @Board and Basket     14. Digital Recipe Reader ($200.00) @Neiman Marcus 

Maybe this gift guide was slightly swayed… in the direction of things that this particular little lady would like? But maybe not.  😉 Either way, the aspiring or already accomplished chef in your fam or circle of friends will surely love any of these under the tree. Especially the New York Times Cookbook. I have a feeling that all of Amanda Hesser’s hard work will one day be an equivalent must have in the kitchen like the Joy of Cooking is. 

Coutdown to Christmas Eve. 

13 Days. 


decorating the tree tonight. 

A Sweet Trip: Philly to New York.

A Sunday in New York City. Let me rephrase, the most beautiful December Sunday in New York City. 

The weather was like from one of those fall days that you wait so patiently for at the end of every summer. Driving through town I noticed every little beautiful thing about that Sunday – the brunch (OUTSIDE, EVEYWHERE), the babies, the strollers, the joggers, and the smiles. 

And add to my gorgeous Sunday, an afternoon at the Free People location on the Upper East Side. The best kind of day for an event. Cue my mini sweet treats, glitter and sequins and DIY ornaments, drool-enducing cords and knit sweaters… and the faces of so many old friends and new friends. 

Vanilla & chocolate cupcakes. Cinnamon buttercream. Hand cut goldfish crackers. Iced sugar cookies. Chocolate covered strawberries. Mini chocolate chip cookies. 

All homemade to help the 3rd avenue store kick off their holiday coat drive.

Check back for recipes tomorrow. But in the meantime…

Good night, New York. Back to Philadelphia in the AM. 


Alright. If my lack of writing wasn’t enough to steer you in the direction of Aly was darn near close to having a mental breakdown this month, then I’m not sure how else to explain it to you. It was only like a little past midnight last night, but let me tell you, I turned my calendar pages so fast, I almost gave myself a paper cut. Seriously, November was a dooooozey. However, amongst all of the BLAH there was a lot of AH HA moments too. Let me translate – I created a lot of beautiful goodies.

Regarde, sil vous plait..

There was a story I wrote on this Main Line gem … Tredici Italian Market. They killed me and sent me to heaven with their #1 sandwich (they have 13 insane creations … actually more than 13, but 13 signature offerings)

Don’t stare too long … but you are looking at freshly sliced prosciutto, crumbled gorgonzola, arugula, drizzled with balsamic, and all sandwiched between two pieces of ciabatta that have been slathered with their walnut pesto. O.M.G.

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Ginger & Spice & Everything Nice!

My head is so deep in the mixing bowl right now I am surprised I am even finding the time to write down my thoughts.

It’s midnight, I’m exhausted. Too exhausted to even remember what I actually did today.

I just snuck one of my gingersnaps out of the tupperware for my midnight snack. Certainly can’t forget that I made those today. They are sooo good it’s SILLY. Snappy and spicy with that thing that molasses does to a cookie. If I don’t stop I will go sneak another one.

The purpose of making them besides the obvious – tis the season – is that I need to make a bunch of different crusts that require gingersnaps to make an appearance. I have an order for a pumpkin cheesecake, there is another pumpkin cheesecake for my family dinner, and then a traditional pumpkin pie in the works.

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Don’t Forget to Save Daylight.

Hi friends! Before I begin, I need to tell you that GtoG is not going to become just a blog about feel good Fridays and fun links, promise. We will be back to regularly scheduled food porn programming next week. This week, there was no content created just a lot of …. this.

photo from Color Issue.

The wonderful Aarean @ Color Issue posted this unbelievable DIY sparkley cork board project this week. Do you not adore it? Perfect use for Martha Stewart’s latest line of drool over sparkley craft accessories and her spectrum of tempting paint colors. No I haven’t yet had a chance to make myself one of these …. but, to translate – what have I been doing ? oh just a giant conglomeration of organization (rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it …). 

The Project: an office space… or as I have been referring to it in my notes, the Creative Nest. 

I thought about doing a little something like this in my apartment:

Not nesty enough. Not to mention I just don’t have closet space to sacrifice. So hence … The big dreams, of the big nest. 

images via pinterest.

Aren’t they dreamy? 

What have you all been up to this week? Is anyone else in project mode like me? I would love to hear about it, and share inspirations! This weekend is shaping up to be quite purdy, did you see the weather report? I am hanging with my kiddies tonight, and then scooting off into the city tomorrow for a fun food writing workshop with Madame Fromage (Tenaya Darlington) and Food in Jars (Melissa McClellan).  And oh, there is also some cake baking thrown in there – my little Colette turned 2 this week – a birthday cake and a little smash cake are on the to-dos.

So my dears, whatever you are getting yourselves into this weekend, do your bodies good and get some sun on your face, and just enjoy these moments. We will all miss them when the snow arrives (again) :). 

Without further adieu, your feel good Friday clicks. (bold words redirect you to the content.)

Inspiration for your day, the year, the century. 

Totally neat DIY t-shirt project.

Say hello to my holiday heels.

What do you want to do before you die?

Coolest Mom of the Week Award.

“I can see right through you!” 

Coco Draws dreams of Paris (thank you Fifi Cheek).

Give me a break, Give me a break, Break me off a piece of that … Kit Kat cake!

The explanation for Lily Pulitzer price tags.

One step ahead of Thanksgiving.

image from

The Day My Camera Fell in Love.


 As promised, here at the photographs from this Saturday’s Food and Drink writer meet up at R2L restaurant. The restaurant itself is located on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place on 16th between Market and Chestnut streets. A truly hidden gem, the luxury of your dining experience begins as soon as you board the single hidden elevator at the back of a corridor that takes you to the restaurant lobby. A unique experience in that way, but also a special one because of the endless views of the city that are at your disposal from any table in the place.

We were seated in one of their private rooms for the duration of the food photography chat. 

The natural light was ideal for photographs. I could only dream of having great exposure like that every day!

After Chef Stern spoke to us, and photographer Eric Mencher gave us a few tips and told us about his experience in the the food photography industry, out came the stars of the day. 

The Food. 

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Love’s Kitchen (and a giveaway)!

Introducing this week’s obsession,

you can find it in your “new movies” collection, my little Netflixers.

A British film made for gourmands, food lovers, and romantics alike, Love’s Kitchen is positively adorable and truly inspiring. The plot is predictable but in that perfectly acceptable, feel good kind of way. The actors are all lovable, and, if you didn’t fancy a man in Chef whites before, you will as soon as the first scene comes to a close! It’s a tear jerker at times, leaves you LOLing at others, but mostly it is a film that has your mouth watering at some beautiful examples of English cuisine. And oh, the kitchen! The kitchennnn!!! A huge farm table sits in the center, where all the prep is done.. one day.

I am sure you will have no trouble falling love with this movie as I did, but what I really can’t get out of my mid is the Chef’s signature dessert, a Trifle. It looks divine. Each character that gets a spoonful between their lips has the reaction that every professional and amateur alike wishes for. Just sheer bliss. See for yourself …

And now, I want input from each one of you to help me find the best ever Trifle recipe.

Please comment below and leave a link to a great recipe or give a cookbook suggestion and tell me what your absolute favorite dessert is I will choose one of you to whom I will send a yummy gift package to thrill your sweet tooth!

You do the searching I do the baking… not a bad trade right?


Giveaway ends Thursday 10/20. Open to all my US readers!