The tale of the dancing bread

 

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As many, if not all, of you know at this point I am a gluten free person. I have been living my life gluten free for roughly five years at this point. But I don’t think I ever really told you guys why I made the decision, and then found I was actually gluten sensitive, to go gluten free.
About five years ago my mom came home and was pretty ill. Her doctor had tried almost everything and had given her a last stitch effort diet. It was the gluten free diet. Seeing my mom struggle was rough for me. Around the same time Miley Cyrus has come out and supported this diet with how awesome it had been making her feel so I figured I would support my mom and see if it would make a difference in my life. Fast forward six months and I attempt to have a regular sandwich with real bread. Oh that was a big, and I mean BIG, mistake. Instantly I felt a pain like I had never felt before in my stomach and my mom had to rush me to the emergency room. When I told the doctors what happened he performed a series of tests on me once I was admitted. The tests came back positive concluding that I was gluten sensitive. The American system has a very difficult time diagnosing people with celiac disease because the testing is extensive and can often come up with false positive and negatives so it is often that you might be labeled with a sensitivity.

Fast forwarding again to today I have successfully avoiding the gluten protein and feel great. I sleep much better and my body is thankful. However, I really miss a good piece of bread, a fresh cookie, or even a moist piece of cake. For a long time, a lot of gluten free things tasted like card board. However, recently I found an amazing bakery in Chalfont, PA, called The Happy Mixer. With the widest selection of pastries that are all gluten free, you can pretty much find anything you are looking for here.

Finding this bakery has been such a blessing for me. I had been having dreams about a dancing baguette. Weirdest thing to dream about I know but I had such a craving for a great piece of bread and The Happy Mixer came to my rescue. I was so grateful for the wide selection of breads between sandwich rolls, cinnamon sugar, and of course my French baguette.

Another really awesome feature about this bakery is you can put an order in ahead of time. You can either call it in or use their website to order it in advance so you know that they will have what you need. I find that really helpful because sometimes I like to prepare sandwiches for long days and I can’t always get to the bakery early in the morning before the early bird rush. This insures that my order is safe and that they can account for me.

The customer service is the greatest as well. I have been to this location multiple times and each time I am greeted with a pleasant smile and warm suggestions. I truly know that whatever I am about to purchase I am getting an honest opinion. My favorite so far has been the pumpkin muffin with the cream cheese frosting. Delicious! Just typing this makes my mouth start to water and I can’t wait to go back!

While being gluten free can be hard The Happy Mixer has given me the sense of normalcy that I have been searching for since I have been given my “death sentence” and taken away the stigma of being gluten free. I’ve even taken both of my roommates to this bakery and they’ve each gotten a treat and have complimented whatever they’ve eaten saying they couldn’t tell a difference. So what are you waiting for? They’re just a drive up County Line road away!

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Movies, dinner, and reeeeelax

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Going the movies used to be all the rage when you I was a teenager but after a while I sort have stopped going. It may have been because I got a job and couldn’t go as much, but it also may have been because it became too boring. It was simply not enough. Movie sales started to go down, so it must not have just been me who was feeling that way.

 

About two years ago a new trend came around and it really caught on fire. All of a sudden there was a new king of the castle. Movie Tavern entered the neighborhood with some new and exciting ideas. The Movie Tavern allows you to enjoy a movie while also enjoy dinner and drinks at the same time. Movie Tavern has reclining chairs that allow you to be able to relax while being stimulated by the movies. Some people are concerned that the disruption of a server might distract you but I found it to be not an issue. I actually enjoyed having the interaction. I felt like I was going back in time. I could only imagine what movies might have been like when they first debuted.

Dinner was actually truly delightful. I really enjoyed the large amount of options and wide variety. They had mostly finger foods, but they also had a sizable amount of entrees. I stuck with something safe, a Cobb salad. I liked that the salad dressing was tossed in. I also got tortilla and dips to share with the other people that I was with. This was a large appetizer and we all had plenty to try between the four of us, which was great. I didn’t feel like any one was fighting for the last chip. The gentleman got refreshing large, and I mean really large, draft beers, and I got sangria. I really hate when sangrias use and overwhelming amount of wine and skimp out on the fruit but that was not an issue here.

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Why I loved Movie Tavern so much was because it took away the hassle of having to pack dinner and a movie into a four hour experience. I simply jumped into the car and made it into a two-hour experience. I work pretty much full time, and in am school full time as well, so my time becomes very limited. Having a place understand that I want things to be compact really suits my needs. The only downfall of the Movie Tavern is that you do need to plan a trip in advance. This place is so amazing and people are so excited about it that they are planning trips well in advance and getting seats together, and not in the very front row, can be tricky if you are thinking of going last minute. I will definitely continue planning my trips to Movie Tavern and enjoying the new age cinema through this new found entertainment feature that I highly recommend!

Weekend at Bernie’s

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Opening Wednesday March 15, 2017, Bernie’s of Hatboro is already making a pretty big splash in the area, and on an impressive weekend, St. Patricks day and March Madness. Living up the expectations of the Glenside location is no small task. Customers have been traveling from far and wide to the original location for over a year, so the turn out for the grand opening of the Hatboro location has been large. Seating roughly 250 people, with a massive bar, has no problem welcoming all that are willing to give this brand new breathe of fresh air to the borough a shot. 

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Walking into this large establishment you are greeted by hostesses who can direct you to a table, or to the 40 person bar which is equipped with thirteen TV’s for the customers viewing pleasure. In the bar area there are high top tables that overlook the main drag of Hatboro to the right, and to the left the customer has the scenic view of forty tap handles and close to 120 cans and bottles of beer. Impressive? Absolutely. You can tell that Bernie’s has put an extensive amount of effort into their beer selection. In addition to the beer selection they also have infused vodkas, rums, and tequilas. So really, you can’t ask much more from a bar. 

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When you are done drinking, or just need to sober yourself up for a moment so you can continue to pace yourself with the wide variety of alcoholic selections, the kitchen is there to serve. You can choose anything from a make your own burger to an amazing filet. Not in the mood for meat? What about a delicious baby green salad? It’s almost literally to die for. The menu was designed after the owners grandmother who had a ritual, Sunday night dinner. Family gathered around the dinner table and sharing a meal together. Bernie’s, Glenside and Hatboro, carry out that feeling in every dish that they serve so you can always get a good home cooked meal in what ever you decide on. The menu, listed here, is extensive. Starting April 15th Hatboro will be serving brunch too! I mean, can this place get any better?!

Did I mention live music? No? Oh, well, Saturday nights from 9pm-12am they are doing live music too. The live music will be played upstairs next to the (free) pool table. Awesome, right? I think so, too! I can already tell you that from the warm atmosphere in the location, the welcoming staff, and the overall vibe that I’m getting from this place that I will be a constant regular. A weekend at Bernie’s is sure to be a good time!

Summer at last

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The last few days we have been so spoiled with the warm weather. It was almost like we skipped right passed winter and spring and went right into summer! Trust me, I am not complaining. My favorite season is fall with a close second by summer. In winter I usually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It causes me to get low on energy, and I usually am less motivated to do things so with this warm weather and sun shining I was determined to get out and get moving. 

Ironically, I am not the only one SAD affects as well. My 17 year old dog Clover suffers from the condition as well. So when the weather hit 70 degrees on Thursday, Clover and I hit the pavement of Warminster Park. The park has multiple trails, but since it was so nice we took the long way around. It was so fun to see the difference between Clover’s mood from the start of the walk to the finish. She started out low on energy and ended prancing and almost wanting to keep going. In between our walk we stopped at designated stops throughout the park that had work out opportunities for walkers, runners, and bikers. These stops had instructions and Clover surely got a kick out of my attempts at the work outs. I didn’t realize how out of shape I am! This winter has kept me inside for far too long. 

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Heading back to the car, it was clear the Clover was clearly hot so the next obvious answer was Rita’s Water Ice which had its open day in my neighborhood. Clover got a vanilla ice cream while I indulged in a medium gelati with vanilla ice cream and mango water ice. It was delicious and worth it. I also put some sprinkles on top! Rita’s is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. It is a common place to meet new friends, and bring old friends. They have outdoor seating, however that is it so it is weather permitting. It really is just a great place to hang out, relax, and people watch (which happens to be one of my favorite passed times). 

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After soaking up as much vitamin D (the vitamin that helps fight SAD) as we possible could, we both decided to call it a day and head home. Clover is 17 years old and can only handle small doses of activity before needing to nap. We had such an amazing day and with my pup being as old as she is, we cherish the memories that we get to make together, and being able to spend time just her and I was exactly what we both needed it seemed.

Sadly, after posting this blog, Clover passed away. She lived the longest and happiest life. My family was blessed and happy to have had such an amazing life with her. She will be missed dearly.

You MUST be mad!

Mexican food is probably one of the things I crave the most. It’s not a constant craving, but it’s a “must have, right this moment” kind of craving. When I lived in Philadelphia I used to hop on I95 and jet down near the Art Museum to absolute favorite restaurant. Right behind the old penitentiary is an amazingly authentic Mexican style eatery.  Taken there first by my eldest brother, La Calaca Feliz has always been my favorite Mexican restaurant. Previously I have mentioned that I’m gluten free so eating can be really hard a lot of the time. La Calaca Feliz not only was accommodating, but eager to help find me delicious options to fill my belly! 

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So when I moved and my cravings hit, what was a girl to do?! Find a new spot is what! My boyfriend took me to a place in Willow Grove not all too far from Penn State Abington’s campus. It was called Mad Mex. Decorated with interesting art work, funky figures, and intriguing sculptures, Mad Mex seemed to have an authentic feel to it. The servers had a laid back vibe going dressed in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers.  The menu wasn’t overwhelming which was a good thing because I get easily intimidated by large menu’s. I decided on the Mahi Mahi tacos on corn tortilla, deconstructed just a bit. I sort of put everything on the side so I could add it myself to make sure I liked it. Childish, I know! My boyfriend got the Wing-o Taco which is apparently all he gets from there because it’s just so good, according to him. Unfortunately, I am not able to try it because the wings are breading and I’m allergic to gluten but from the facial expressions I was witnessing I didn’t even need to take his word for it. I could literally see it. I’m sure my facial expressions where just as comparable too because there was absolutely nothing left on my plate. What was once a deconstructed plate was a destroyed plate with not even a crumb left. We even got a plate of waffle fries to share and they were gone too. They were the good kind. You know the ones I mean. The big ones that are super crispy but fluffy inside. Yum! Can’t even type without stopping to send a text to the boyfriend to ask when we’re going back. (He said we can go back Monday!! Insert happy face here! Ha!)

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With all the delicious food just placed in front of me, what was I drinking you may have asked? I was drinking a “Big Asz (play on the word Aztec) Margarita” which is a 32 ounce margarita that can come on the rock or frozen. I like my margarita frozen with a sugar rim. Anything that has sugary goodness is the drink for me. I must warn you that these drinks are not for the faint hearted. They are loaded with tequila which makes the experience all the more fun. Remember the decorations I was talking about? They became my props as I reenacted multiple movie scenes after just one. God Bless my boyfriend.

So if you’re like me and those random craving just WON’T go away head over to Mad Mex. My cravings have been satisfied and I am a content small adult!

 

 

Table for two, please!

On this stop we travel to to a family friendly brunch. Now, sorry over 21 friends but no alcohol here; however we have an amazing coffee shop attached called Cowabunga. They serve the highest grade Arabica bean and with a beautiful twist to boot. My absolute fave is the Nutty Irishman. It comes with hazelnut and a whipped cream topping. Yum!

To eat they have something for all. You are able to get either the brunch or lunch menu at any time while in the establishment. The menu ranges from pancakes, waffles, and French toast to skillets filled with everything you could imagine. I got the Wilbur and it is described as “filled with crushed bacon, potatoes, avocado and diced tomato. Topped with melted Monterey jack cheese. Eggs your way.” All of that for only $8.25! Presentation is always something that you look for in a new place and these folks hit the mark. The plate came out as cute a button.

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On top of the great food, the service was really awesome. I can really attest to that because outside of being a student my actual job is a server so I know what to look for. This restaurant was PACKED and I mean PACKED. We had to wait a while to get a table but once we sat down we no longer felt that “wait”. We didn’t feel like we were being rushed or that we had to hurry to eat our food because our server was concerned about flipping the table. We felt like actual people, and honestly, it was really nice. Waters never went below the half way mark, which is a major pet peeve of mine. I can not stand when I go to take a drink and am having to eat an ice cube to quench a thirst.

Some logistics about the space; the actual seating is limited so make reservations if you can even for a party of two. Wait times can be long on the weekends because the entire world is thinking the same thing you are. Brunch is awesome. We know it, and so do you. Just be patient because it really is worth the wait. The restaurant is open daily from 8am to 3pm so make sure you give your self enough time to get there. Yelp gives the restaurant 4 stars but I give it 5!

Talk soon, real soon!

Ps: All information regarding the food menu was received directly from the Turning point menu found online. 

Primal Cravings?

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The title may sound like a weird medieval TV to show but it’s actually the name of a cook book. “Your favorite foods made paleo”. Insert confused faces and questions about what is paleo?  Basically, paleo is reverting back to our cavemen like selves. Think hunting and gathering, but not because we’re civilized and have grocery stores. Nerd Fitness does a great job explaining what the paleo diet actually entails but basically like they said “if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you”.

To many this diet may sound super, super, super…..super, harsh but I promise it is not. Having been on and off it for a while now, the paleo diet really restarts your body. For me, like I’ve already told you, sugar is a weakness and is often hard to control but with the paleo diet I can reset my body to it’s natural state which really doesn’t need all that much sugar anyway. I get my sweet tooth fix from fruits with this one, or in the cook book Primal Cravings, I can even bake and I’m still not going to the dark side of processed sugars! How awesome right?

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So you might be thinking “Okay paleo sales person, what CAN I eat? Does it cost more in on my grocery bill? When can I start? (if I’m using the power of persuasion properly here)”.  Let me break it down:

  1. You can really eat anything that a hunter or gather would eat. So you will be eliminating primarily dairy and grains. Have no fear though, on the approved list is bacon, so I mean, it can’t be THAT bad can it?
  2. It should not cost more for you to start this diet as long as you don’t over purchase. My struggle the first time around with this diet was being almost over prepared to be hungry and I ended up wasting a lot of produce. Meal prepping like we spoke about last blog really can play a major factor in keeping the budget on track. I’ve even saved money on this diet because I’m not wasting money on fillers and extras to keep me going throughout the day.
  3. You can start today! Or tomorrow! It’s truly up to you. Paleo is not a diet that is for everyone, and you should absolutely consult a doctor before jumping in. However, I have tried a long list of things to get my body in check and feeling good, and this diet does just that. People often notice rather quickly as well. My face clears up completely (no sugar, no dairy, no gluten), my belly is flatter because nothing is bothering it, and I have more energy because I’m not getting highs and lows from processed food.

Next week I will demonstrate how easy it is to create some wonderful dishes via the paleo diet. Trust me, if the girl who craves tacos, sugar, and everything terrible for you can do this, I know you can too!

To learn more about the diet please check out these links:

A girl, a kitchen, and no idea what to do

Lately my household has been obsessed with shedding weight. It’s been a total overhaul from bottom to top. From the groceries we have been buying, meal prepping, vitamins, and even working out; it’s been some serious dedication over on Easton Road. Cause, you know, summer is comin’!

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It is very easy to change the grocery list. The pimpliest thing you can do is up the intake of protein, veggies, and fruits. You mostly want to stay away from the carbs, sugars, and bad fats. What? Aren’t all fats bad? Uh, no! Avocado is a fat that is actually really awesome for your body. It helps store the good fat that you cause use for energy when you’re running low.

So if you’re like me cutting sugar out cold turkey is not something that can come easy to you. I absolutely love sugar. It fuels my soul, but sucks every ounce of energy out of my body in the long run. I don’t even really seem to get that high from sugar anymore, but I definitely get that crash. To supplement my sugar cravings I enlisted the help of fruits. Oranges are just finishing up an amazing season right now so they have been a really great help, but I things that look like candy. Things like blueberries and blackberries. Throw some strawberries in a yogurt and I’m as content as could be. I have 1/3 the calories I would have had eating the amount of candy I could normally consume, my sugar craving is curbed for a bit, and I knocked out a serving of fruit. Home run if you ask me. If I’m super hungry that day I might throw a little granola in there for some crunch and fill factor.

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If you are one to be easily intimidated by meal prepping I urge you not to be. Please take my word for it when I tell you I am the laziest chef who like the highest amount of praise possible. I usually find all the recipes I’m going to cook by Googling “One pan chicken with sides” or “easy (fill in the blank)”. Cooking shouldn’t ever be an additional chore but it should be something that you learn to love and not an added labor to your day. As a college student and someone who literally works in the food industry, that actual LAST thing I want to do, is deal with food. However, I’ve grown to love to meal prep because of that simple fact. When I’m in the heat of my week I really love having the ability to reach in the fridge and know that there is a full prepped meal ready to go waiting for me.

Last week I went to Tanner’s Bro’s in Richboro. Greatest place to get produce because it’s fresh and not overly priced. When I got home I placed tin foil on a large flat pan and set the oven to 350 degrees. I peeled two large sweet potatoes into chunky strips and placed them together on one side of the pan. In the middle went the green beans. On the right hand side went the brussels  sprouts. The entire pan got a drizzle of olive oil and popped into the oven for fifteen minutes. While that was baking and crisping away, the chicken tenders got a light dusting of sea salt and garlic pepper. Throw the chicken on top of the veggies and shut the door for another fifteen minutes. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, place on a cooling rack and drizzle balsamic glaze on top of the entire pan. Let this cool and portion. I got about six servings out of this meal and heated it in the microwave for 2 minutes each time. I only had to add extra balsamic once. Success? I think so! This meal is PACKED with goodness and the tenders are the perfect bite.

Here is the link for the full recipe. I modified my version to fit my needs so feel free to do the same for yours as well!

Full Steam Ahead

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Tucked away on Second Street Pike happens to be one of my favorite bars, er, well pubs. Steam pub has been a recent discovery for my friends and I. Down to the food during the day for a quick lunch, up to the night life when we have a girls night out with shots and drinks flowing.

When you first walk up to steam you may not be expecting much. Rich with history, this once train car looks small but looks can be deceiving. You are first greeted by a host (depending on arrival time, late night crowds will not have a host) to the right and a large bar decorated by bottles and Steam Pub Apparel. When you tilt your head slightly up you will see all the beers listed on tap. They are displayed via TV’s and you can actually see how much beer is left in the actual keg! It was the coolest thing ever. It was also the most ingenious marketing plan I’ve ever seen. Think about it, if you’re debating on a higher end beer that’s about to run out, or a Miller Lite beer, you may be more tempted to go with the higher end beer that’s about to run out!

The bartenders at Steam are awesome. Josh and Lauren are rock stars. In for lunch and in for later drinks, they were there both times and remembered me regardless. It was somewhat shocking. I’m not always a fan of drinks that have too much alcohol in them, or if I can taste the alcohol in my drink I usually end up nursing it all night long. Josh remembered that and fixed me a mixed drink that was gluten free too! It was DELICIOUS! Chocolate Martini that had me ordering more. A very rare occurrence! Listening to Josh and Lauren rattle information off about craft beers was also really impressive. I’m not one know much about beer, since I’m unable to drink them, but craft beers have lately taken over all bars and have become a science. Ask Josh or Lauren. They defiantly know a thing or two. Drinks are priced just right too!

The food is pretty great too. With a wide variety of choices you can pretty much get anything you want. I took a risk and strayed away from the traditional pub burger or salad and went with the Shepherds Pie. “Slow cooked beef simmered with peas, carrots, and sage in savory beef stock and topped with a golden potato crust” and worth every….single….bite. Honestly, it was probably worth the trip back to get more. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it to be totally honest. It came out on a skillet to keep it warm and toasty. So delicious. The food is priced appropriately as well.

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Online you can find information about Steam. They have an active Facebook page that announces when they will have a DJ, live music, and events for the weekend. This is pretty common. They usually always have something going on Friday and Saturday night to entertain their patrons. They also really utilize their website. They have displays of new cocktails, countdowns to upcoming events, and you can make a reservation as well. You can also make reservations for a private party. Food, drink, and special menus can also be found on the website as well. People on Yelp seem to be just as impressed as I am too.
Seriously guys, head on over. Tell Josh I sent you. It’s worth it.

Hi! I’m Lyndsey!

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Introductions can be boring, mundane, and a pain to read. So, I promise I will do my absolute best not to bore you. My name is Lyndsey. I was born in 1993 in the greatest city in the world, Philadelphia! While I was young, being outside for most of the evening was always a staple. Once the sun went down, you could almost guarantee that you could find me in front of the TV watching MTV Laguna Beach, and when I was a little older it was The Hills.

Lauren Conrad slowly became an inspiration to me. I remember there was an episode where Lauren was given an opportunity in her internship to fly to her bosses location and deliver a dress for fashion week. She was shown taking the red eye, changing in cabs to make herself presentable, and when she arrived with this dress was given a simple “Thank you. That’s all” and was right back on a flight to California. My heart broke for her but I have already had so many of those moments in my life. Oh, don’t feel too bad for Lauren now if you were concerned. She is running an amazing empire, while married, and is expecting her first child. Lauren to be is who I idolize and look up to when I see myself getting off track.

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So why am I ranting and raving about this woman? My blog will be similar to hers, however, I am gluten free. What does that even mean? It means my body can’t break down the enzyme that is whey, wheat. So my kitchen is gluten free, but realistic. I haven’t always been like this so I make my recipes as close to normal as possible. I am also in the process of losing some serious pounds. Health and weight lose is going to be a major inspiration to this blog. Hand in hand with that is going to be some easy at home work outs that if I can do before class, before work, before going out; you can do! Finally, I will throw in an adventure or two in there because I’m sure you will get bored of my home and everyone needs a night out here and there! So, if you’re asking what my theme of this blog is; it’s lifestyle. This is a lifestyle blog!

I can’t wait to explore the next year with you guys. It’s going to be amazing with lots of adventure and a lot of really fun memories. Are you ready? I am!

 

Talk soon

Lyndsey