Monday, July 27, 2009

Panera to the Rescue

Panera goodies.

On one of those truly icky days when the humidity soars and your face is one hot mess, you could use a cooler or two. Try one of Panera's Frozen Mango Smoothies made with real mango chunks, ice and raspberry syrup swirl. I like to pair that with the Carrot Walnut Muffin, a sweet medley of carrots, walnuts pineapple and raisins.

Happy Birthday to Me...

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday weekend so special! Karaoke singfest, a gooey chocolate cupcake (thanks, C!), cakes No. 1 & 2, dinner, drinks, 16 Handles and good company ~ what more could a girl ask for?

I'm glad we're on this boat called friendship together...

...because without you I'd sink!

(OK - I'll stop with the cheese now. But freals, you know who you are. Major <3.)

I love me some cupcake! Excuse me while I -nom nom- get -aefaoejg;vnm;lm - a bite...

Poking Our Nose Around the Poconos

Corned beef hash with two eggs sunnyside up and home fries.

This entry originally took place on July 11.

Destination: Poconos, Penn.

Ham and Egg in a Pan really deserves a longer, more thorough shout-out, but due to time constraints, I'll just touch on its main strengths. My family and I have been visiting the Poconos almost every summer since I was eight or nine years old. Sometimes we'd rent a house for a week and engage in outdoor sports; other times we'd go on a day trip for good eats, The Crossings and antique shopping.

But no matter what, one of the highlights has got to be the the food. There's the Pocono Cheesecake Factory, and then there's Ham and Egg in a Pan - a family-owned restaurant selling breakfast food all day long. Think of your local diner - but better. Ham and Egg delivers with its signature pumpkin pancakes, famed corned hash and gracious service. The hot chocolate's not bad, either (whip is an absolute must).

Dripping with bacon anticipation.

My sister generously allowed me to snap a shot of her bacon before it became a mere crumb on her plate. And yes, it tasted as good as it looked...

Farmer's omelet.

I ordered the Farmer's omelet, comprised of three eggs, peppers, mushrooms, home fries (inside it) and - by request - cheddar cheese. It was the heartiest omelet I've ever tasted. The omelet could have used more cheese (c'mon, bring on the cheese!) to off-set the dryness of the home fries, but otherwise it was plenty fulfilling. I just squeezed a zigzag of ketchup on top for moisture.

American Candle.

We like American Candle for its freshly ground White Russian coffee, banana nut bread mix and, of course, the candles. So many to choose from! Everything from the floral, the fruity, clean laundry and lemon meringue pie (not edible, though). You could get lost in the pursuit of scent. Just don't sniff them all at once - you might reel with the intensity.

New York-style Pizza.

After an afternoon of shopping, we settled on New York-style Pizza to see if the restaurant would live up to its name. We ordered a regular pie with mushrooms. While the flavor was right on and the ingredients were fresh, somehow this Poconos version was missing a certain hefty 'chew' to the crust. Less than an hour later, we were all left with hunger pangs. The dough lacked substance, but for the price ($12! a steal), it wasn't too shabby.