GOOD DEED: Cookie Confidential Selling Memorial Cupcakes In Honor of Fallen Firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis

In honor of fallen Philadelphia firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis, who was the first woman firefighter to die in the line of duty, Cookie Confidential (517 S. 5th Street) will be selling special memorial red velvet cupcakes to contribute to the fund set up for her children.

The cupcakes are $5 each and 100% of the proceeds will be donated.

cookie-confidential-red-velvet-cupcakes-for-joyce-craig-lewis

Owner Melissa Torre said she plans on selling the cupcakes through New Years, possibly longer, to raise as much as possible. Do a good deed: visit Cookie Confidential and buy one of these cupcakes!

BAR REVIEW: Bourbon and Branch

This guest post was submitted by my friend Bill Rowland of The Cocktail Novice.

If you’re looking for a casual spot to have a couple cocktails and a meal, then Northern Liberties’ Bourbon and Branch should be right up your alley. On a recent Thursday night a friend and I dropped in to see what this spot is all about and we walked away vowing to come back.

philly-bourbon-branch

Concept: Whiskey Bar

Occupying the former Liberties Restaurant location at 2nd & Fairmount, Bourbon and Branch http://bourbonandbranchphilly.com/ opened early last spring. Offering 70 different types of Whiskey, a bunch of craft beers, a handful of tasty cocktail selections and a gastropub menu, I think just about anyone can find something that appeals to them.

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EVENT REVIEW: SportsRadio 94WIP Tailgate Throwdown Finale at Independence Seaport Museum

image: Tailgate ThrowdownWe attended the SportsRadio 94WIP Tailgate Throwdown Finale yesterday at the Independence Seaport Museum on Penn’s Landing. It was a fun event with very tasty game-day inspired nibbles.

Over the course of the last six weeks, people were encouraged to submit their tailgate recipes online. Six recipes were then selected to be presented for public sampling and judging at the finale event. Each recipe was paired with and prepared by 6 Award Winning Chef/Coaches from Brûlée Catering plus Cuba Libre’s Executive Chef at the event for tasting and voting.

In addition to the recipe tasting contest, there was also a Platinum Vodka Bloody Mary Competition.

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Entry was free to the public, but there was a $5 cash bar with proceeds benefiting Philabundance.

The finalist recipes that were sampled and judged were:

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SWEEPSTAKES: Win a Marc Vetri Experience from Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross has a “Fearless Is…” sweepstakes going on for a Philly fan to win the ultimate Philadelphia experience. One of the prizes includes a Marc Vetri experience, including a three-course, adventurous menu at Amis for the winner and three guests and the opportunity to meet and greet the chef himself.

Sounds like a Philly foodie dream to us!

All you have to do is go to the Independence Blue Cross Facebook page and fill out the entry form.

IBX-contestDirect link to the entry form is here: https://www.facebook.com/ibx/app_579620662183093

Sports-fans should also note the awesome Phillies and Flyers prize package as well.

The contest closes at 11:59p.m. on 12/14, so hurry up and enter!

RECIPE: Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving. This year was extra special to me because I finally had the opportunity to meet some of my fiance’s relatives that live out of state for the very first time! And besides for the turkey and gravy, I cooked everything. So no pressure, right?

I’m proud to say that everything went off without a hitch! There were a few panicky moments, but I got through them, got everything done and, surprisingly, everything was delicious. I have to admit, that not everything was homemade. There’s no way I could have done it all if that were the case. However, one recipe that is always ALWAYS made from scratch is what my fiance calls my “famous sausage stuffing.”

There is only one brand of bread cubes that I use every year for this stuffing: Martin’s Potatobred Soft Stuffing Cubes.

Martin's Potatobred Soft Stuffing Cubes

As if stuffing isn’t decadent enough, let’s make it with Martin’s Potato Bread!!

I was tweeting and Instagramming while I was making this and Martin’s @potatorolls was tweeting back at me. They asked me if I could share the recipe. Since it’s not a secret recipe — there are many similar recipes that can be found online — it inspired me to share here on my blog.

1 bag of Martin’s Potatobred Soft Stuffing Cubes
1 16 oz. packages of Premio’s Sweet Italian Sausage meat (ground)
Half of large white onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup of Sherry wine
10 Tbsp. real butter, salted
3/4 c. milk or milk alternative (soy, almond, or coconut — I used coconut)
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste

The recipe is insanely easy.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a heavy (cast iron) or non-stick pan, brown the sausage with some salt and pepper and a little sage & parsley. Feel free to add other seasonings if you wish, but I like to keep it simple since the sausage is usually pre-seasoned. Add oil to aid in the browning. I used a combination of canola and olive oil. Once the sausage has browned on medium heat (about 15-20 minutes), remove from pan (put into a glass bowl or plate of your choice). Whatever you do, keep those tasty sausage juices!

Conserve the fat and browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add 2 tbsp. butter and a little oil (a couple of swirls will do just fine). Add finely chopped mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots) with a little salt and pepper to taste. Add sherry wine to “deglaze” and add flavor to the mirepoix. Saute mirepoix until softened; usually around 10-12 minutes.

Add cooked sausage and mirepoix together and cook until warm. In separate (large) bowl, add the stuffing cubes, sausage/mirepoix mix, milk, broth, 1 stick (8 tbsp) of melted butter,sage & parsley to your liking and mix until combined and the bread cubes are moist. Add more milk or broth as needed.

Add stuffing mix to greased/non-stick casserole dish. Tamp down. Wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil from casserole dish and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Ideally you’re looking for a nice soft crust on top.

thanksgiving-sausage-stuffing-done

Thankgiving Sausage Stuffing fresh from the oven

Serve immediately or wrap with aluminum foil and keep on warm until ready to serve.

This is always a smash hit every Thanksgiving.

Do you have a special stuffing recipe? I’d love to hear about it!

EVENT: Fox & Hound To Host Benefit For “PAWS” At Launch Of New Look On Thursday, December 11, 2014

Philadelphia Animal Welfare SocietyFox and Hound Sports Tavern

 

 

Fox & Hound Sports Tavern in Philadelphia is teaming up with PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) to save some hounds. The Fox & Hound, located at 1501 Spruce Street, is celebrating its brand new look, feel, and flavor with a benefit for PAWS on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

The party begins at 6 p.m., when guests are invited to enjoy a buffet of new and signature menu items, two drink tickets and tons of fun until 9 p.m. for a $10 ticket price. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door. All proceeds from the tickets will be donated to PAWS, which is dedicated to finding loving homes for thousands of animals in Philadelphia each year that are homeless, abandoned and unwanted.

Guests at the Grand Opening event will munch on Fox & Hound’s signature dishes, such as the Baked Pretzel Stix with Beer Cheese Dip, plus many new items, such as Flatbreads, Hummus Dip and Boneless Wings, to name a few.

PAWS Executive Director, Melissa Levy, says “We are thrilled to be partnering with Fox and Hound for their Grand Re-Opening event and are so grateful that they have chosen to support our efforts to save homeless pets in the process. We are looking forward to a fun and festive event. We invite everyone to come and join us on December 11th!”

Fox & Hound Manager, Michael Urion, says “I have two dogs myself, one of them a rescue that we love! I am excited that the ‘Fox’ will be able to support and save some homeless hounds and other animals in Philadelphia with this event.”

This home away from home offers 30 High Definition TVs; games for everyone to play; nearly 100 kinds of beer, including 37 draft lines with 12 local craft beers; and a new deliciously crafted menu for sharing, snacking as well as dining.

About PAWS

PAWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. PAWS is the city’s largest no-kill shelter and operates two high-volume, low-cost clinics serving pet owners and rescue organizations that lack access to affordable basic veterinary care. Through its adoption locations, special events, and foster care network, PAWS finds loving homes for thousands of animals each year. PAWS is working to make Philadelphia a place where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home.

About Fox & Hound

Last Call Operating Co. owns and operates 59 sports bars and pubs in 21 states under the banners of the Fox & Hound and Bailey’s Sports Grille names.  The restaurants provide a venue for people to socialize, drink, dine, watch and play the game. With nearly 100 kinds of beer available in every location, the restaurants are a beer lover’s paradise, and with a full bar of wine and spirits and an extensive menu, Fox & Hound is the perfect place for any occasion.  For reservations or to book a private event please, call your Fox & Hound or visit www.foxandhound.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Fox & Hound is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.  For more information call Fox & Hound in Philadelphia at (215) 732-8610.

EVENT: Conshohocken Chili Cook Off at Southern Cross Kitchen on Sunday, November 9

southern-cross-kitchen-conshohocken-logoThree of Conshohocken’s hottest chefs will be spicing things up on Sunday, November 9 as they compete in the “Meet The Chefs, While They Cook Up The Best – Chili Fest!” at Southern Cross Kitchen (8 E. 1st Street Conshohocken, PA).

During this exciting event, which kicks off at 5 PM in Southern Cross Kitchen’s “Barrel Room,” the chefs from Gypsy Saloon, Stella Blu and Southern Cross Kitchen will be cooking up their signature chili recipes while guests enjoy a variety of drink specials and live music. Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote on their favorite chili from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM and meet each of the chefs throughout the evening.

“We thought this would be a fun way for our guests to have the opportunity to meet our chefs while enjoying a fun Sunday evening,” said Kim Strengari, co-owner of all three restaurants. “What could be better than chili, live music and drinks to help you unwind on fall Sunday?”

The winning chef’s chili will be featured on the Southern Cross Kitchen menu for the fall season.

Located at 8 East 1st Street in Conshohocken, PA, Southern Cross Kitchen is the latest restaurant from the culinary geniuses behind Gypsy and Stella Blu— Marianne Gere and Kim Strengari. Providing a fresh take on good ‘ol Southern cooking, SCK offers customers a unique dining and nightlife experience with its cozy yet modern atmosphere and eclectic yet approachable dishes. Continuously evolving, SCK experiments with seasonal ingredients, creative cuisine, mouth-watering cocktails and exciting entertainment. SCK is open daily. Monday through Friday 10:30 AM to close and weekends 10 AM to close.