A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel

Philadelphia Phillies Family Fun Day!

I can’t think of a more American way to spend summertime with family, than to watch a good old baseball game.  On the 4th of July I took my family to see the Philadelphia Phillies host the Baltimore Orioles, and what a game it was.  We arrived about an hour and a half before first pitch to enjoy the stadium and all its goodies.  Citizen’s Bank Park here in Philly is more than just a ballpark.  It’s built to bring the whole family together.  Young and old

and everyone in between have plenty of options. 

There’s something for everyone in the gift shop and vendors scattered around the main level.  Ashburn alley has mini games for the kids to play including a hotdog launcher, wall climb, pitching cage, and a mini home run derby.  On the day we went it was extremely hot outside, but a quick walk through the water misting area and the family fun were enough to make it comfortable. 

Then we were off to grab some food and drink.  When we arrived at the new “Boardwalk Eats” area, we were surprised that there were so many more options than just hotdogs, peanuts, and cracker jacks.  Now wait.  I know you’re probably thinking that those are crucial baseball necessities during a game, but why not have more options?  There were large smoked turkey legs, brisket tacos, vegan and regular cheesesteaks, edible cookie dough, pulled pork sandwiches and more.  The foodie in me was having a hard time deciding, but ultimately I went with “the big dog”, which was a kielbasa sandwich. 

After our bellies were full, we grabbed some lemonade for the kids, and a beer for my husband and I.  Then we were off to watch the game.  The Phillies won, but Baltimore put up a great fight for one of the most entertaining games I’ve seen in a while. 

We grabbed some snacks throughout the game, a few refills, and made some great conversation with people who we met around us in our seats.  Oh, and speaking of seats… we were behind the Orioles dugout on the third base line.  The view was spectacular, but Citizen’s Bank Park does not have a single bad seat.  Even the ones all the way at the top provide a great view of the field.

All four of us in the Pipito household are eager to return again soon for another fun day of baseball, family, and eats. 

Checkout the full video


Chicken in Peanut Sauce Bowl


We love a good Asian dish in our household from fried rice to lettuce wraps and so on. This dish was perfect for a weeknight meal or for anytime for that matter. It’s a Chicken in peanut sauce bowl topped with the perfect toppings. This chicken in peanut sauce is also great to use for a lettuce wrap or if you want to get crazy put it in a taco. 

This sauce is the perfect creamy consistency for a rice bowl. I used the Elmhurst Peanut Milk. This milk worked out so well I didn’t even need to add peanut butter. My kids loved this dish so I guess I can say it’s kid approved. 


1 red pepper, julienned 

1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

1 large garlic clove, minced 

2 tablespoons peanut oil 

Zest of 1 lime


On a medium skillet on medium to high heat add oil and chicken. Cook chicken for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Next add garlic and peppers. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add zest and set aside. 

Sauce ingredients: 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour 

2 cups Elmhurst Peanut milk, warmed through (this prevents lumps from forming in the sauce) 

Salt & pepper, to taste 


In a small pot on medium to high heat melt  the butter. Next add flour and cook for about 1 minute or so. Finally whisk in the peanut milk. Whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes until sauce thickens. Pour over chicken and peppers. 

Serve with rice and add desired toppings. I added crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions. Enjoy! 

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Easy Homemade Churros


Here is a great dessert to share with guests tomorrow for your cinco de mayo party. They actually serve these in Brazil as well. I do love my churros with dolce de leche but I didn’t have any for serving. People also love to serve these with jam or Nutella. But they are delicious just the way they are regularly with cinnamon. here’s a super easy recipe that takes no time. You can also prepare the dough the night before and refrigerate. But before piping to fry make sure to let dough come to a room temperature. Enjoy!


2 tablespoons for dough (plus 1 cup sugar for coating)
2 teaspoons cinnamon, for coating
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour


Fill a medium to large pot with 2-3 inches of vegetable oil and preheat to 340ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a shallow dish whisk together 2 cups of sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the water, vegetable oil, remaining amount of sugar, salt, vanilla, and bring to a simmer. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Make sure no remaining lumps of flour are visible. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe dough into the preheated oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to paper towel and cool slightly. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until fully coated. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve with favorite dipping sauce or ice cream



Strawberry Salsa




It’s almost party time. Cinco de mayo is Saturday and we always love to have people over to celebrate. This salsa is full of flavor and trust me you will not want to share. I have made sweet salsas before with mango and watermelon which I have recipes on here as well. But this has now become my all time favorite sweet salsa especially because now strawberries are in season. Some people may think this is a weird combo.  My kids did too but the freshness with a bit of heat from the jalapeño make it out of this world delicious. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!


1 pint of strawberries, cut in half and diced
Juice of 1 lime and zest

1 small shallot, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalapeño, cut in half, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped


In a large bowl mix all of the above ingredients together. Let marinate for 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.



Roasted Sunchokes


Some people have never heard of Sunchokes. It’s just one of those vegetables you might walk by because of the way they look. Sunchokes look like ginger roots so make sure you’re double checking before purchasing. They aren’t the prettiest vegetable, but have great flavor. Like I mentioned before in my posts, roasting veggies will bring out the sweetness in any vegetable. This will also help with the picky eaters in our lives. This is the perfect side for dinner.


1-2 pounds small sunchokes, peeked, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons evoo
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 large garlic cloves,
6 sprigs of thyme
Crushed red pepper, optional for garnish
Parsley, chopped optional for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees

Combine cleaned sunchokes with EVOO, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange sunchokes, cut side down, in pan; cook 5 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Arrange garlic and rosemary evenly over sunchokes. Place pan in oven; roast at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until sunchokes are tender and deep golden. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and parsley.

A Platter of Thoughts · Food!!

Think Local Give Local


Think Local, Give Local: An Evening Benefiting the Garces Foundation



Garces Foundation presents Think Local, Give Local, an event with tastings from the area’s most acclaimed chefs and a food-themed silent auction to benefit the lives of Philadelphia’s immigrant community.



In a year when the rights of immigrants are more important than ever, the sixth annual Garces Foundation Benefit has gone all out with making this the best event yet. Chef Jose Garces has handpicked a group of local chefs to deliver an unforgettable epicurean experience, highlighting Philadelphia’s unique culinary talent. Throughout the evening guests will enjoy everything with a local twist – cocktails made with local spirits, regional handcraft beer, design and décor made by local artists such as Petals Lane and Event FX and more. Additionally, Entertainment will be provided by American Deluxe

Guests will participate in a live auction featuring exciting and unique experiences, including a New Year’s Eve overnight package at LUMA Hotel Times Square. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is matching the first $5,000 raised for each live auction item.


The Chefs’ After Party will feature cocktails made exclusively with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.



Friday, April 13, 2018

VIP Preview 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

General Admission 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Chefs’ After Party 9:00 p.m. -midnight

Stage program including video and live auction will occur at 8:15.


Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia


Stations from Garces restaurants including: 24, Amada, Buena Onda, Distrito, Distrito Moorestown, Garces Events, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Olón and Okatshe located at Tropicana Atlantic City, Ortzi NYC, The Olde Bar, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Volvér

  1. Kitchen, Eli Collins
  2. Abe Fisher, Yehuda Sichel
  3. Baba’s Brew, Olga Sorzano
  4. Bing Bing Dim Sum, Ben Puchowitz
  5. Cake Life Bake Shop, Lily Fisher
  6. Cheu Fishtown, Ben Puchowitz
  7. Ela, Jason Cichonski
  8. Gilda’s Biscotti, Gilda Doganiero
  9. La Peg, Kenneth Bush
  10. , Nicholas Elmi
  11. Mission Taqueria, Andrew Sabin
  12. Osteria, Jeff Michaud
  13. Subarashii Kudamono Gourmet Asian Pears, Holly Harter
  14. Food & Drink, Greg Vernick
  15. Zeppoli, Joey Baldino

Guests will enjoy drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Patron, Beam Suntory, Yards, Brooklyn Brewing and Estrella, Bluecoat Gin, Coca-Cola and wine from Winebow.


Leading up to the benefit, Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be donating $1 per cocktail sold at each of the participating Garces restaurants.


General Admission – $150
VIP Admission – $285 receive exclusive access to the after party on the 33rd floor and a preview tasting.
Cocktail attire.



In 2012, the Garces Foundation was founded to support Philadelphia’s immigrant community, particularly employees of Philadelphia’s hospitality industry and their families. The foundation raises funds to provide this community with medical and educational programming. The goal is to help Philadelphia’s immigrants take advantage of these resources so that they may actively contribute their talents to making this city truly world-class.

The foundation currently runs two of its own programs that improve the health, language, and cultural skills of this community. The first is a quarterly Community Health Day where uninsured patients can receive free dental care, physicals, and medical screenings. The second is an applied learning English as a second language class for restaurant workers, English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living, which aims to narrow the language and cultural gap in the workplace and beyond.

  • Tickets: https://garcesfoundation.org/events
  • Early Admission – $200
  • Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Andy Satinsky
  • V Street, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
  • Oyster Bar, Brett Naylor
  • On Point Bistro, Juan Lopez
  • Maison 208, Sylva Senat
  • Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Jon Cichon
  • Hungry Pigeon, Scott Schroeder
  • Fork, John Patterson
  • Dim Sum Garden, Sally Song
  • Capofitto and Capogiro, Stephanie and John Reitano
  • Bistrot La Minette, Peter Woolsey
  • Bank and Bourbon, Thomas Harkins
  • Amis, Brad Spence
A Platter of Thoughts · Food!! · Travel

The Woodloch Resort


I’m excited to share this amazing place with all of you. My family and I had the opportunity to head to The Woodloch Resort here in Pennsylvania. This resort has so much to offer that my kids said it is 2nd to Disney World!  
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and were greeted by a staff that was super friendly and provided us with all the information we needed for our weekend stay. She gave me a calendar and stated that everyday their calendar changes to different shows and activities for the family. We were all excited about this because usually resorts only offer the same activities everyday. Below I made a video so you can checkout all the fun.  There’s a lot for all ages there!


Next we parked our car at the lot where our room would be. They have a bus that picks you up every ten minutes from your hotel to take you to the activities throughout the resort. Our room was the perfect size for a family of 4 with young kids. It had 2 queen size beds and a pull out sofa with a full mattress. 2 TVs, 2 full bathrooms and a mini refrigerator. We also had a gorgeous view of the lake.
Now let’s chat about the food, which of course is usually my favorite part. We had a 3 meal plan, which means 3 meals a day of course but every time it was a 3 course meal. Our waitress Courtney was absolutely one of the best waitress I have ever had. Super friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and the desserts were fabulous.

After dinner that night we went to the arcade and had some family fun. The kids also wanted to go for a late night swim. The following day we enjoyed some breakfast and decided to have some fun and enter the cupcake competition. We didn’t win but we had a blast, and met some new friends. Then we went snow tubing. Afterwards we had a great lunch and I had an appointment for a little massage at the spa. The spa is located at Woodloch Spa Resort which is an adults only resort perfect for a romantic getaway or for a girls’ weekend. I could had stayed at the spa all day. After my massage I got to enjoy the dry and wet sauna and hot tub. You can checkout all the spa services here https://www.woodloch.com/spa/
That night we went to dinner and enjoyed the amazing show in the club area. They had dancing to start then the show was about the best performances of the last few decades at Woodloch.  To end the night they had a family friendly comedian. What a fun night to make memories with our kids.

Our last day came quickly.  We had some breakfast and then went off to drive some go karts and checkout the petting zoo. The petting zoo included pony rides and adorable little animals.  
To close it all out we had lunch and the kids wanted to go to the craft room and create some fun art to bring home.  My only regret is that we didn’t get to stay longer, but it was one amazing get away. 
Thank you Woodloch Resort for having us. We made some memories that will last us a life time. We can’t wait to return in the summer to see what else Woodloch has to offer. Make sure to visit and plan your visit https://www.woodloch.com/





Easy Escarole Soup

This soup is by far one of the easiest soups you can make. It’s done in less then 25 minutes and perfect for those busy weeknights or chilly cold weekends. It’s an Italian favorite for sure. Top with some parm and crushed red pepper and with a glass of vino. You are set.


1 lb Escarole, chopped 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 small onion, diced 

Salt & Pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons Evoo 

32oz of broth of choice 

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 small piece parmigiano reggiano, optional of course but totally worth it

Crushed red pepper flakes, garnish and optional 

parmigiano reggiano cheese, garnish and optional


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions cook for about 3 minutes until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, Add the chicken broth, beans, and Parmesan cheese rind. Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve and garnish


Super Bowl Cheesesteak Appetizers


Super bowl Sunday is almost here. It’s time to get those appetizers together for the big game day. I had a fun segment on Fox29 here in Philadelphia and had people messaging me for the recipes of the dishes I’d made.

These recipes are all cheesesteak related from dips to the mini bites. Feel free to change up the cheeses to your liking. Also these go great with a cold beer. Trust me these will not disappoint the crowd. Below you can find my segment as well. All of my ingredients were purchased at Giant Food Stores.


One more thing GO BIRDS!! Fly Eagles Fly

Cheesesteak Dip

8 Oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 lb Thinly Sliced Steak, Chopped into small pieces and cooked
1/2 of an onion, chopped and caramelized
1/3 cup sour cream
Chives, optional for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 F degrees

In a medium skillet over medium high heat drizzle some evoo. Add steak, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until done. Add Worcestershire sauce stir. Remove from heat and set aside. Next add onions to same pan and caramelize for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Pour steak and onions mix until well incorporated. Place in an oven safe dish top with additional cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with baguette, chips or veggies.

Cheesesteak Cups

24 mini muffin cups


1 1/2 lbs Thinly Sliced Steak, Chopped
1 small onion, diced
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
6 mushrooms, diced
1 store bought pizza dough
Parsley, optional for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 F degrees

In a medium skillet over medium high heat drizzle some evoo. Add steak, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until done. Add Worcestershire sauce stir. Remove from heat and set aside. Next add onions to same pan and caramelize for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Set aside and let cool. Again in the same pan add mushrooms cook for another 3 minutes remove from heat.

Tip: you can have the cooked meat, onions and mushrooms all in the same bowl to cool.

Next layout your pizza dough with a small cookie cutter cut out 24 pieces of dough. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Place the dough into all 24 spots. Put them in the oven for about 6 minutes. Bring them back out and add the steak, onions and mushrooms. Top with shredded cheese and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Cheesesteak pinwheels


1 lb Thinly Sliced Steak, Chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 lb Deli American cheese
S&P, to taste
1 store bought pizza dough
Chive, optional for garnish


In a medium skillet over medium high heat drizzle some evoo. Add steak, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until done. Add Worcestershire sauce stir. Remove from heat and set aside. Next add onions to same pan and caramelize for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Set aside and let cool.

Next layout pizza dough. Place slices of American cheese across the dough in a straight line. Now take the steak and onion mixture and place it on top. Now begin to roll the dough. Lay the log on a baking sheet and brush with some evoo. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp. Slice and serve.

Cheesesteak mini muffins


1 1/2 ground meat
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cup bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheese of choice


Preheat oven to 400 F degrees

In a medium skillet over medium high heat drizzle some evoo. Add ground meat, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until done. Add Worcestershire sauce and onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the biscuit mix, milk, cooled meat mixture and cheese.

Next take mini muffin tins and spray with cooking spray. Scoop a tablespoon into each spot. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with ketchup or favorite condiment

Link to segment



Classic Beef Stew

I hope everyone is keeping warm because here on the East coast it’s freezing. This is the perfect weather for comfort food and crock pot use. Beef stew is a classic and everyone just loves the taste and how tender the meat gets. You can never go wrong with this dish. It’s also great for big crowds. I love to top it with some Parmesan cheese to kick it up a notch. Enjoy and stay warm.


2 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and diced into 1-1/2 inch cubes (you can find cubed chunks at the supermarket)
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 medium celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp herbs de provence or Italian seasoning
12 baby red potatoes, cut in half
2 cups baby carrots
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch (depending on how thick you like it)
1/2 cup peas, which I ran out of but we love it in our stew
NOTE: you can purchase celery, onions, potatoes and carrots already cut and ready for use at the supermarket
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season meat to taste. Sear in skillet until browned. Pour meat into the crockpot.
Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil to oil in skillet reduce burner to medium. Saute onions and celery 3 minutes, add garlic saute 30 seconds longer then add in tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Pour 1 cup beef broth into skillet along with Worcestershire, herbs. Add potatoes and carrots over beef layer in slow cooker, then pour broth mixture in skillet into slow cooker along with remaining 2 cups beef broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper (add more to taste at the end). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch with 1 cup of stew broth until smooth. Pour into slow cooker and gently stir, cover and cook on high heat for 20 – 25 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in peas cook for another 5 minutes. Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.