Category Archives: Restaurants

The Mustard-Colored Apartment

Tomorrow is the day….my return to Vegas! I haven’t been there in two years, and for someone who was relatively a local for a few years, I CANNOT WAIT to get back there!! The southwest owns my heart.

Before I leave, let me recap a bit.

Although most of my meals have been super nutrient-and-veggie-dense this week (hey, pool parties!) and have looked like this:

….the week before, not so much. First was dinner I cooked at my parent’s house last Friday…homemade guac, green chili chicken enchiladas, and blackened shrimp tacos with cabbage, radicchio, an avocado cilantro crema (made with plain Chobani), and homemade pico de gallo. I could eat like this every day.

Then St. Paddy’s Day in Philly.

First we met a friend at a house party. Coop called to get the details about where to meet, and when he said, “Oh okay, the mustard-colored apartment?” I scoured the horizon for a bright yellow, French’s colored building. Then he pointed here.

“That’s mustard-colored?”
“Yes you know, like, spicy brown kind?”

…really? I would never consider that mustard-colored, but okay!

After the mustard party, we headed to Moriarty’s for some drinks and apps. If you are ever in the area, Moriarty’s is known for their wings. They are amazing! I didn’t have any this time, but they are killer. The  girls from my dance studio and I used to go here before we would see any Broadway shows at the Forrest Theatre.

Even Stacy was in the St. Patrick’s mood!

The next day, Coop and I wanted to try something a little different. Sunday was gorgeous here, so we opted to walk to South Street again. This time, German food was on our mind.

Two Germans at Brauhaus Schmitz!

Ohhhh my goodness. We both agreed this is one of the top places we have ever been. The atmosphere was awesome (the front of the restaurant was open-air since it was so nice out), our server was fab, beer selection was amazing, and the food was spectacular. Fresh-baked bread, a delicious soft-pretzel, smokey fish spread, spatzle with veggies, housemade bratwurst (I just typed “mousemade”…..Ratatouille on my mind), sauerkraut….everything was on point. So different and so fun!

Oh….and two mustards came out with our pretzel. One is what I would consider “mustard-colored”, and the other is what Coop apparently considers “mustard-colored.”

Just like the building! He is a treat.

I also laughed at “WinterFahrt.” Because I am a twelve year old boy.

We then stopped in the Adidas store where Coop picked up some sweet new high-tops and I lusted over interesting kicks and gear of my own….

Wow.

And then I talked him into sharing a humungous fro-yo on the way home, in true foodie form, of course. 🙂

Hope you all had a great week…happy Friday!!! Enjoy your weekend….I know I will! See ya when I return!

Oh….and to hold you over here until I get back from my vaycay… you may watch the penguin cam.

…you’re welcome.

The ‘guin Cam <- click here for instant happiness.

As my BFF said (thanks for the penguin links, Biggie), “Penguin has to get to the stock markets. Penguin has work to do.”

Freakin’ penguins. So cool.

Caution: Do NOT Read If You Are Hungry!!

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been non-existent lately…I have been super busy with some freelance gigs (that I just can’t share yet, up in here!) and preparing for my upcoming vacation. Promise I will share more art here when I can! Hopefully I will have time to work on some personal art ideas when I return from Vegas with the fam. Next Saturday! Can’t wait!

I will have a foodie-based giveaway the week that I return, so be on the lookout for that! I have been super active in the kitchen lately, trying new-to-me things like chia pudding, homemade pesto, overnight oats in a jar,

and new creations like healthy Bang-Bang Shrimp Pasta, taco pie, and a Southwestern chopped quinoa salad inspired by one in the newest Fitness magazine. Agave + apple cider vinegar + lime juice + olive oil + spices makes the BEST dressing….oh man. And for some reason, when fresh salad ingredients are chopped up into itty bitty pieces, they just taste so much better! This reminded me of a salad I would be able to get at Choice Greens in Tucson. MAN I miss that place…and their ciabatta bread. Yum.

We have also checked out some amazing local food joints…South Street Diner in Philly made my dreams come true with a Crab Cake Eggs Benedict,

and La Laconda del Ghiottone in Old City proved to be one of the best Italian joints I have ever encountered. The staff was knowledgable and fun, and oh-so-South-Philly-Italian, the setting is unique and intimate, and the menu…ohhhh the menu….

I was craving mussels, so we ordered those in a red sauce while we sipped on red wine. I planned on sticking with a relatively healthy fish dinner, but when I saw that they had gnocchi on the menu that they make with ricotta (the authentic Italian way!), I had to try! It is a signature dish of theirs and after hearing rave reviews, I went with it. The time that I made my own gnocchi, it was a ricotta gnocchi, as well! So I was pumped to try theirs. It was absolutely delicious; the gorgonzola and tomato sauce was perfectly creamy but not too much so. We all agreed it was the best dish of the night. The serving wasn’t huge, so I didn’t walk away feeling like a blimp…plus, we all shared a little of each dish that we got. The veal was also spectacular, and the sauce was just as good as mine. No sauce was left behind, thanks to the bread basket at the table.

Plus…BYOB always makes me happy. We came armed with plenty of Malbec! Definitely check out La Laconda if you are in the Philly area.

We also went to our friend’s 30th birthday party at Clipper City Brewery in Baltimore (they make Heavy Seas beer) for a beerfest;  Black Cannon IPA was on point. Lots of good brews. We took a pitstop at Little Havana before heading home to Philly. Little Havana….best. Mojitos. Ever. I didn’t take many pictures, but hopefully I can get a few from friends who did.

Pup has also gotten plenty of outdoors time, especially since the days have gotten longer (wahoo!!) and the temperature has been hovering around 60-70 degrees around these parts! Spring is in sight!!!

He’s also been extra-spoiled since my dad is still at home recovering from his surgery, so Koda gets a lot more social time and extra walks.

And jelly beans. Goodness gracious, does this dog LOVE jelly beans. Even more than spinach and cheese (his two formerly-favorite foods).

Enjoy your Thursday! xoxo

Birthday Girl! & Weekend Shenanigans

Today….is a special day.

It is somebody’s 21st birthday!!

Noooo, not Koda. You are only about 10 in doggy years! Too young for alcohol.

There, there.

Baby Sister is 21!!! It is about time.

The family celebrated early on Friday with some pizza, ice cream cake, and a few presents. We are going on a trip to Vegas at the end of March, so that is her main “birthday celebration,” but the grandparents wanted to come wish her a happy birthday.

It wouldn’t be a Bock family celebration without awkward family photos

How cute is Poppy in his sweater?!

and shenanigans like my grandmother and I accidentally lighting the ice cream cake on fire.

Coop was at a show in Upstate NY Friday, so I was excited to venture over to Philly Saturday and spend some time with him after my Saturday morning double session of BodyCombat & BodyPump and then lunch at Chipotle with Allie and Oscar.

Remember? The Chipotle addicts.

Coop suggested we go to try some local places we haven’t been yet, and I happily obliged. We walked to the nearby Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant to try out some apps and beer.

Fried Mac & Cheese and Fried Pickles. Ohhh my goodness. The “frickles” weren’t quite as jaw-dropping as our favorite ones in NYC, but they were still so, so good. So not on the Tone It Up plan…but everything in moderation!!

We each had a Flying Fish Grand Cru, and then I went with the Dogfish Head Stout and Coop had the Sixpoint Signal Rauchbier. Good thing I took a taste of Weyerbacher Tango before ordering a full glass…as a huge WB Imperial Pumpkin Ale lover, I thought I would no doubt love their Belgian Dark Ale. Uh….not so much. Neither one of us could even finish the sample. Fail! Luckily the beer we ended up choosing was great.

Our waitress was wonderful, too. We will definitely be returning…especially since their “Coming Up” list of brews-to-come on tap was pretty stellar.

We were craving some red wine, and they were out of the Malbec we wanted, so we hit up a wine & fondue place nearby. The two wines we tried were amazing…but the service was totally awful. Sorry, Beneluxx. We won’t be back. Even though the drink list was pretty amazing!

Sunday was the ultimate lounge day. T-shirts, yoga pants, warm and fuzzy socks.

We’re cool, I know.

Who’s Pete Sake?

We were all about TV (Chopped, TripleD, etc.) and movies (Moneyball…had some funny parts, was pretty intriguing, but also had some slow parts).

Coop left for the gym, and since I didn’t feel like paying $15 bucks to go running, I stayed behind and watched The Lion King and Aladdin while doing a little at-home workout full of planks, squats, core work, pushups, pull ups from his bedroom’s rafters, and belting out Disney lyrics. I pretty much looked super cool.

Sushi take-out from Uzu (right next to Philadelphia B&R!) accompanied the new episode of The Walking Dead. 

We shared Miso soup, a house salad with ginger dressing, a Cali roll, a Mexican roll (grilled chicken, avocado, and a spicy sauce), a Boston roll (lettuce and shrimp), a King Kani (spicy crab)….but the show-stealer was definitely this guy:

The Mellow Yellow….yellowtail, mango, and cream cheese. Oh. My gosh.

I had made a little goody bag of snacks for Coop because he was supposed to be in New York this week at a hotel as he trains for his new job, but he actually ended up not having to go there this week and is just going to the regular office in PA. So….we dug into that little bag of goodness for dessert. The bag is full of Clif ZBars (Iced Oatmeal Cookie!!), Love Grown Cocoa Goodness granola, Larabars, Goldfish, and other snacks (….and a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s). Multiple Hershey’s Kisses and Hugs and a shared Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar were consumed post-dinner.

And YAY for Coop’s first day on the new job today! I know he will be a rockstar.

Lots of freelance and fun new projects, new recipes, and other fun things on the way. March will be an absolutely amazing month…lots of get togethers with friends, little Allie will be able to come play with us due to her FINALLY being 21, Coop has some good shows lined up, St. Patty’s Day (I got a new shirt to wear this year….LOVE it, maybe even more than my typical Paddy’s Pub shirt), we’re seeing Justice in Philly on the 20th (YES.), and then….Vegas! Cannot wait to recap all of the awesome things we have coming up. And hopefully I will have some more illustration and design projects that I will be able to share with you soon.

Until then….have a great week! xoxo

  • Question: I just bought chia seeds and nutritional yeast….I have a few recipes lined up that I want to try, but do any of my healthy-living bloggers have some great ideas? I made Brittany’s Chia Pudding with Rolled Oats on Saturday morning post-workout and I am totally obsessed with it!! Topped with Love Grown granola….perfect. I will post more about it in the future, I am sure.
Chia Pudding with Love Grown granola!

Super Bowl, Slim Down, and a Fashion Question

Super Bowl

So my Super Bowl menu was pretty great…even if the Pats didn’t win.

Luckily, Coop didn’t jump off a ledge…although I was nervous there for a second.

Gronk (my fellow Arizona alum) fans!

The day started off with a veggie-filled omelette, one of Coop’s specialties. I sauteed, he chopped the onion….my most-hated kitchen job!!!….and then I left the rest up to him.

Um, how do boys make such perfect omelettes? Mine NEVER stay together this beautifully. I will keep him.

Much wine and beer was consumed alongside all of this:

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls! 
Pepper Jack Tostitos, Homemade Pita Chips,
and a healthified Spinach, Artichoke, and Feta Dip

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie….dough. YUM.

Layered Taco Dip, Eggrolls, and a Creeper

Let me know if you want any of the recipes!


Tone It Up 7 Day Slim Down


Thanks to all of the amazing indulgences via my past weekend, today is my first day of the Tone It Up 7 Day Slim Down. Not trying to lose any weight, but I am going to follow the plan as best as possible in order to prime myself to eat more Lean, Green, and Clean. It’ll help get rid of that bloated feeling and  will help make healthy, clean eating even more of a habit. This is a bit of a test run, as I plan on doing the Slim Down again before my Vegas vacation (flights booked! Woop woop!) to detox and tighten up a bit before a glorious week of bikinis, drinks, and little dresses. Oh, and I plan on indulging hardcore at my favorite chef’s restaurant. Mesa Grill!

Somehow I have never been here despite my insane love for Las Vegas, Bobby Flay and southwestern food.


Tonight I plan on taking an idea from Bess (she is on day two of her second 7DSD…her posts about it are great!) and making enough protein pancakes for the week and freezing them so that I can just microwave them in the morning. Easy peasy. 


I only wish mine could look as pretty as hers.



Oops.


Any Tone It Up girls out there, let me know if you are doing the Slim Down this week! I know a lot of people are doing it to finish off strong in the Toned In ’12 Challenge (and just in time for Valentine’s Day).


Fashion Question


Quick question to my fashionista readers who are much more savvy than me when it comes to this stuff:


I have a $100 J.Crew gift card. I collect lots of bracelets (big layering fiend) and I have loved this since I saw it on {av}’s blog



I think it may be pretty to layer with this Marc By Marc Jacobs one that I have. Or it may be overkill?

BUT! I have also been wanting a new “statement” necklace, and I kinda like this one.



What do you think? I am envisioning my vacation and which I would want to wear more.


Have a fabulous day!!! xoxo




Of Possible Interest: (Artsy ones!)

Pinteresting & Some Recent Eats

Hello, amid all of the holiday craziness!

Lots going on around here…I have a ton planned before leaving for New Hampshire for Christmas next week…and celebrating my family’s own Christmas this Sunday!

I am set on using butcher paper for wrapping this year after lots of Pinteresting.

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Um, why is everyone either sold out/has no idea what it is and looks at me like a crazy person when I ask for “butcher paper”? C’mon, people. The Staples by me apparently has “brown kraft paper”…..gonna check that out.

On the hunt for mason jars, too.

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Missing my art stores in Arizona real hard. They had all of this stuff!!!

Also, found out that my original NYE dress (sparkly, duh) that I found via Pinterest a while ago is backordered until the 29th and will not be here on time, even though I ordered it a month ago and it was supposedly available by tomorrow. De-nied.

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So I luckily found this Free People one yesterday. Bam.

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I may actually get a rewear outta both of these thanks to my VEGAS trip in March!!! Because where else is it socially acceptable to wear sequins galore when it is not December 31st? Oh, Nevada, we have been apart for much too long.

(You can find me on Pinterest here.)

I won’t exhuast you (or me) with a list of all of my other to-do’s….instead, here are some awesome eats I have had lately.

Homemade gnocchi! With spinach and roasted tomatoes, doubling this recipe.

(Mine looked similar but with the tomatoes mixed in)

The only thing I changed was that I added diced onions. Stirring the whole roasted tomato slices (I didn’t core them, and used regular vine-in tomatoes in lieu of plum tomatoes) into the pan at the end created an awesome, light sauce.

Very doughy.

Rolled out and cut into pieces!

Browning them in a pan with garlic and onion before the spinach and tomatoes were added.

Sooo cool, right?! Took way longer than I anticipated, but I would definitely make this again. Loved the flavor of the roasted tomatoes, too. I want to roast the garlic as well, next time. It is one of those dishes that makes you proud when you have pulled it off.

Also, remember when I mentioned the interview I read about Top Chef contestant and Old City dweller Jen Carroll? She talks about Cafe Ole and was eating the house special, Shakshouka, as she chatted with the interviewer. Come to find out it is super close to us, soooo Coop and I have eaten there twice recently and I am now addicted. They have a bazillion different types of chai tea (I got a soy gingerbread chai latte last weekend!) and their panini-like wraps, Mediterranean platter, and shakshouka (sort of like an Israeli huevos rancheros) are aaaamazing. Love the art and decor inside the cozy little shop, as well. I definitely have another go-to Philly spot.

Best. Hummus. Ever.

Hope you are all having a fabulous and relatively stress-free week! With lots of delicious food.

xoxo

If you ordered Christmas cards from me, they should arrive today from the printer…I will put everyone’s package together and send them out this week! Next year I will have had my Etsy shop up and running for a while, making this process a little easier.


If you still want to enter my Cookies for Kids’ Cancer giveaway, remember to do so before Sunday at midnight! Also….make those cookies. Seriously. Check them out on Eating Bird Food today, they are a part of the Twelve Days of Cookies!