We all know that while ordering a drink at Starbucks, there is a chance that your name may be mis-spelled and it is funny to joke about it with your co-workers. “Oh my gosh they spelled my name with a ‘q!’! Says Jaclyn. Or, “Silly barista added an ‘h’!” claims Sara. I have known about this common mistake for years, even before I was an avid Starbucks goer. I always found it quite comical to hear coffee drinkers point it out because, well quite frankly, who cares!

Anyway, it wasn’t until last year when I joined the bandwagon and started getting my daily drink at Starbucks. I have never been a fan of coffee but immediately fell in love with Chai Tea. Mmm. The best thing is that you can enjoy it iced in the summer and hot in the winter. Perfection🙂

I didn’t realize that Starbucks had a “lingo.” For months I would order my drink differently every day. Examples:

Tall Soy Chai Tea Latte

Tall Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk

Tall Chai Soy Latte

I went to the exact same location every morning and the same barista took my order every day, but it got to a point that I realized I would actually get nervous to order because I was beginning to notice that I didn’t think I was ordering correctly. I was disappointed that the employees seemed to remember everyone else’s names and drink orders but it was like I was a new customer coming in for the first time every day!

Then it dawned on me. One of my roommates from college used to be a barista at Starbucks and it was time for me to ask her for help! Becky came to the rescue and quickly explained that yes, there is a lingo and if you don’t abide by the Starbucks way, you will continue to be an outcast.😉 Becky texted me back with three small words that changed my life forever. “tall.soy.chai.”

That’s it?? I walked into Starbucks the very next day with a new found confidence. I ordered that drink and guess what, the next day they remembered, and the day after that, they remembered! And later that week I was greeted with a “Hello, Megan, Tall Soy Chai today?”

Last week, I ran downstairs to get a drink instead of going to my “regular” Starbucks spot and decided to get an iced tall soy chai (really went out on a limb and was hoping that I placed “ice” in the correct spot) and was pleased to see that the drink order was correct. Then I noticed “Maggie” clearly spelled on the cup instead of Megan. Close enough, I’ll take it😉

Just call me Maggie

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Can we all just take a minute and really look at these pies? They could easily be mistaken for the scented fake ones that you find for the holidays in order to make your kitchen smell delicious; however, this is the real deal. I am proud to say that I know the fine baker that made these beauties, and also privileged to say I get to eat these twice a year.

I consider my stepdad, Dave, the “Pie King.” This nickname did not come right away, you see. I need to backtrack and little and explain that he is just a good cook in general. He especially shines when Thanksgiving rolls around each year, he truly makes an amazing meal. He literally cooks everything from scratch and we are continually impressed each year. Because I have always been more of a “foodie,” meaning I choose to stuff myself with food instead of “saving room for dessert,” I didn’t always make dessert or the pies, a priority. Therefore, I always admired him for his fine cooking skills. Then it dawned on me, my stepdad is amazing at making pies, too! All of this time I had let his turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing talents take the front seat when in all reality, the pies were the prize!

That incredible pie that I had eyed up and down throughout the previous years was calling my name. But not just the pumpkin pie, the apple pie as well. I didn’t know how to handle this situation so the obvious thing to do was just to eat a slice of each!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Thanksgiving tradition. Saving room for two slices of pie from the Pie King himself!

From the pie king himself!

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There is a new spot in town! Well, new to me. I go through Living Social/Groupon phases; meaning, sometimes I think everything looks like a great deal and I can’t wait to try 5789 new restaurants, and sometimes I can’t seem to find anything appealing. Well one of the best deals I have experienced was when Danny and I went to That Fondue Place in Edgewater, NJ.

It wasn’t a typical set up of what one would think when going out for fondue. There are not many fondue restaurants in our area but the couple of places we have gone, it is a darker, intimate setting and on the fancier side.

Right away, there was something different about “That Fondue Place.” We were greeted right away into a large room filled with tables and bright lighting. The servers acted as hostesses as well but you would not notice a lack in service. Our groupon allowed us one appetizer option, one entree and one dessert. Definitely remember to bring your wine or beverage of choice because it is BYOB.

We had an amazing Bruchetta cheese fondue as the appetizer and this was served with a variety of breads. It was something different and we had not seen it offered anywhere else. For the entree, you pick not only a cooking style, but also the food that you will be dipping! So we went with a Coq Au Vin (seasoned beef broth with burgundy wine and spices,) shrimp, pork, chicken and filet. They also have ravioli as a choice but I lost that battle with my husband😉

You end the meal with an amazing dessert fondue. This was by far the hardest decision because there were so many options that would probably have been equally as satisfying! Hands down, they have something for everyone. Campfire (marshmallows, graham crackers and melted chocolate), Cookies n Cream, Chocolate Knockout, Chocolate Cheesecake, seriously? Next time I want to just go for dessert!

All in all, it was a great experience and we left not only extremely full, but extremely satisfied🙂

Fondue melts my heart

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The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was incredible. It was amazing and shocking to hear how many people’s lives had been affected by the storm, not only losing power, but losing pets, cars, homes, memories and so much more.

I was so proud of my network of friends who had volunteered to help in a myriad of different ways. Those who lived close to the Jersey shore actually lent a hand by going to the boardwalks and cleaning up, or helping clean out homes that were destroyed by Sandy’s winds and high waters. Some volunteered to sort out all of the clothing that had been donating. The piles and piles of clothing were overwhelming. Some who didn’t live as close, contributed by creating fundraisers and concerts to raise money. So many of these same friends were victims themselves, so it really shows the power of community and coming together to grow stronger.

The company I work for offered a couple of different volunteer programs to help out during this tough time. One of the opportunities was to make sandwiches for the emergency shelters in the Long Island/NYC/Staten Island area. I went with one of my good friends from work and it was really such a great experience to help out and also to meet so many other people who wanted to come together to reach a common goal. After tragedies such as Sandy, there really is a greater sense of community and coming together that is a great feeling to be a part of.

Now since this is a food blog, I do need to contribute this great piece of advise that I learned while making the pb&j sandwiches! If you coat both slices of bread with the peanut butter, then put the jelly inside, it prevents the sandwich from getting soggy! Mind Blown!

Coming together after Hurricane Sandy

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When you first look at these, I am hoping that you think “wow, what a creative way of displaying mini grilled cheese sandwiches!”  I’m sure your mind quickly drifts away from that thought to try to figure out what the red, thick, sauce it is served with is? Can it be marinara sauce? No. Spaghetti Sauce? No, try again. It is good old Tomato Soup.

Yes, my friends, there is a first for everything, and this validates the fact that I did not know how to make tomato soup before this past weekend!

We had a few people over on Saturday and since I have been increasingly more and more addicted to pinterest (thank you, mom,) I thought I would try out some of the DIY party appetizers. I was inspired by Because Im Addicted who has various trends, whether it be fashion, food or photography. I loved the idea of making mini grilled cheese sandwiches and placing them over tomato soup! I had always been more of a “Grilled cheese with tomato” girl, instead of the soup part, but I figured they go hand in hand, and they sure look cute so why not give it a whirl!

Wrong!! As my entire can of tomato soup was quickly running out after only filling about five mini martini glasses, I did think to myself that was odd. However, continued to arrange everything and place it out in the dining room so our guests could start to enjoy! It was a few minutes later than my sister asked me why the tomato soup was so thick, and asked how much water or milk I added.



Ummm, none? I didn’t even think to read the can for instructions! I mean how hard could it be to make a can of tomato soup? You have to ADD ingredients? Oops! Luckily, Christy saved the day and made the next round of soup, adding milk, and it was then a big hit. Thank you, Christy for saving the day!

Almost a Big Hit

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I seriously have to drag myself to the gym, it is not an easy thing for me to do. On the other hand, it is extremely easy for me to make up excuses as to why I shouldn’t have to go!🙂 The hardest part about going to the gym, is walking to my bus back to Jersey passing restaurant after restaurant and not going in and ordering anything and everything on the menu.

Well, 5 Boro Burgers is one of those places that I pass on a weekly basis. I passed it when it was under construction and was genuinly excited to find out it was a burger joint. Oh, the little things in life. My favorite thing about it was the fact that one whole side of the restaurant opens up and is such a nice breezy place to sit on 36th Street without being right in the middle of Herald Square. My husband and I had tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show one day and we were trying to think of a new restaurant to try that would be somewhat quick before the show. Lightbulb!!! Five Boro Burgers!

It was a perfect day to sit outside and take a huge bite out of an enourmously large burger only to waddle ourselves up to Rockefellar Center to NBC studios.

What I should have done, was taken a picture of the wings. Being that I am not a wings fan, I typically don’t even blog about them because how boring would that be for my readers to have to hear about something that I have no interest in! Boy was I wrong that day! Danny ordered Garlic Parmesean Wings, OUT OF THIS WORLD! I was in shock that I loved these wings (off the bone, none the less) as much as Danny did! I think I would go back just for them.

Then we moved on to the whole purpose of our visit…the burgers! They creatively named all of their burgers after the….drumroll please… Five Boros!

-Bronx Burger: Guacomole, Pico de Gallo, Mozzerella Cheese, Spicy Mayonnaise & Bacon

-Queens Burger: Roasted Red Peppers, Spanish Onions, Bacon, Mozzerella Cheese & Balsamic Dressing

-Brooklyn Burger: Grilled Onions, Cajun Seasoning, Steak Sauce, Crispy Bacon & Cheddar Cheese

-Manhattan Burger: Grilled Zucchini, Mushrooms, Onions, Vodka Sauce & Swiss Cheese

-Staten Island Burger: Grilled Pineapple, Green Pepper with a Sweet Rum Glaze and Pepper Jack Cheese

Im pretty sure we both got our own renditions of the above selections but left extremley satisfied. Off to the Jimmy Fallon show we go!


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Talk about the perfect step out of my normal restaurant routine. I feel like even as a foodie, I am attracted to the same type of restaurants time and time again. Sushi, Burgers, Seafood, Wine Bars, etc. etc. Casona is quite the experience for several reasons.

Danny and I went down to my parents in South Jersey earlier this spring to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was a beautiful day and we were looking forward to a nice lunch and then heading over the bridge to Philadelphia to see the Seaport Museum. We had talked about going to Collingswood for a while but just had not gotten around to it. Collingswood is a cute town with a lot of shops and restaurants on the main strip, and really perfect to walk around when the weather is nice.

After looking at our options, we came along this homey, Latin/Cuban restaurant that we all agreed sounded perfect. We were all impressed with the variety of the menu. Everything from sandwiches, soups, salads, you name it. I could not help but order the Cuban sandwich. The pork is roasted in a citrus marinade, ham, swiss cheese and garlic mayonnaise. Cooked to perfection!

There was a cute shower going on in the back on the patio while we were there and it looked like a lot of fun. They definitely have a great atmosphere, something a little different than South Jersey is used to and we will definitely be back in the near future.

Congratulations, Casona, for your recognition as BEST BYOB restaurant on the Philly Hot List this past week! Way to go!

Casona, the Large House of Latin Flavors in Collingswood!

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I have a thing for Taco Bell. Not many people do, or at least not many people are willing to admit it, but I do. In high school, my sister Christy and my friend Mattie and I used to hop in my ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee after school and go to the nearest Taco Bell for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Oh but wait, my love started before then! This is actually terrible but my elementary school in Charlotte served Taco Bell on Tuesdays for a year and I would bring my $.80 for a chilito whenever I was allowed. Wow! Probably a good thing they didn’t keep Taco Bell Tuesdays for too long, otherwise I am not sure what kind of physical condition I may be in after weekly indulgences since age 8.

Side note: I have to say that from an advertising point of view, they have had some genius campaigns over the years. “Yo Quiero Taco Bell,” anyone remember that? Or “Think Outside the Bun?” Hmm I’m pretty impressed.

So, let’s get back on track. So over the past few years I would say I have kept my guilty drive through visits to a moderate level. Perhaps 3-5 times a year. But then something happened. The Doritos Nacho Cheese Taco happened. Are you kidding?? Did this just fall from heaven? And how did no one think of this before? The co-branding of Doritos and Taco Bell should have happened a long time ago. It happened for me on my way home from my friend Amy’s house one morning. Yes, morning. Not one of my proudest moments, but what can I say, those Taco Bells were ringing and I could not fight the resistance any longer.



Sucker for Taco Bell

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It was my husband’s birthday last week and I wanted to do something special from the moment he woke up! I make breakfast most weekends, so it was hard to think of something different and special to do for him. I have done pancakes, eggs, waffles, french toast, you name it and we have had it in the past month or two🙂

I made the batter and poured a spoonful into a separate bowl, this would later be the “sprinkle” pancake. Although Danny does love sweets, I didn’t want to overdo the birthday theme and have this taste more like a cake so early in the morning! I just mixed a few sprinkles into the pancake that ended up on top, added a spoonful of whipped cream, sprinkled some powdered sugar, and voila! I thought it came out pretty festive!

I am working on my baking and cooking, and I definately think it has improved over the years; however, singing “Happy Birthday” is the next thing I might want to work on🙂

What are your ideas for birthday breakfasts?


Birthday Pancakes

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Road tripping to Virginia, munching on Honey BBQ chips and what do I whip out? A beautiful chip with a natural heart stamped in the middle. LOVE❤

What did I do after my five minute photoshoot with this object I found so fascinating? Took a bite out of it of course!

Chips, Hearts & Sunshine

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