Friday, November 21, 2014

St. James Gate Irish Pub and Carvery - Bethlehem, PA {and a Gift Certificate Giveaway}

St. James Gate is a casual eatery located in the Lehigh Valley's Sands Bethlehem. The restaurant features classic pub fare, as well as an impressive list of imported and domestic beers and drink specials. Thanks to the Sands' generosity, Stephen and I were able to enjoy a meal here at no cost to us.
Barbecue Chicken Flat Bread - St. James Gate - Bethlehem, PA

On a particularly busy night in the middle of a particularly busy week, Stephen and I decided to give ourselves a break by getting out of the house for a dinner that we didn't have to cook for ourselves at St. James Gate Irish Pub and Carvery at Sands Bethlehem. Unbeknownst to us, a lot of other people had a similar plan and there was a considerable line of people ahead of us waiting for tables. There was a show at the Event Center that evening, and everyone was trying to grab a bite to eat beforehand.

Luckily for us, the line dwindled down to nothing as people learned how long they'd have to wait to be seated. By the time we got up to the host stand, we had only been waiting for five minutes and were seated right away because we had no problem sitting at the bar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Homemade Freezer-Friendly Falafel

Put those take-out menus away and satisfy your craving for Middle Eastern flavors with this homemade freezer-friendly falafel.
Homemade Freezer-Friendly Falafel

Growing up in Connecticut, I was introduced to the wonder of falafel at a mainstay of the New Haven restaurant scene -- Mamoun's. And every time I have falafel at a new restaurant, I compare it to the falafel at Mamoun's. I'm so smitten with their version that it took me a long time to convince myself to try making falafel at home.

Since a trip to Mamoun's now involves spending hours in the car, it made more sense to see I could successfully make falafel in my own kitchen. For guidance, I turned to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and prayed that the resulting spiced bean fritters would have the power to take me home again.

I don't want to spoil the whole story behind this falafel, but I will say this right now -- my first attempt was disastrous and I had to throw out the entire batch before even attempting to fry up the fritters. (Keep reading to find out what what wrong.)

Thank goodness I'm stubborn and tried again. ;-)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Menu Plan: November 16 - November 22

Sharing our Menu Plan for November 16 - November 22, 2014

As Stephen and I concentrate more and more on the arrival of Baby Rittler with discussions about nursery decor, potential names, and new-to-us family car options, I have to admit that I haven't left much time to think about anything else. Unfortunately, that includes limiting the time I've spent thinking about blogging and, honestly, I don't know exactly how our expanding family is going to affect the creation of new content for Taste As You Go.

However, I can sense a shift in the types of blog posts you'll likely see moving forward. Since I'm preparing to be a first-time mother, it's only natural that I'll want to start writing about a whole slew of parenthood-related topics. Of course, I'll still be talking about food and cooking, but don't be surprised if Taste As You Go starts to read like a lifestyle/family blog with a much broader focus.

It's my hope that you'll all stay with me throughout this journey, especially since it's such an exciting time in my life. So, while the frequency of my posts may slow down, I promise, I still have so much more to share.

And I'm going to start with this week's Menu Plan. Are you ready to see what's on deck for dinner for us this week?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kitchen Decor: Coveting Coffee Cups

Each of the stylish coffee mugs featured in this round-up would make a fine addition to any coffee cup collection.

Now that my baby bump is most decidedly showing, more and more people outside of my circle of family and close friends have been asking me how I'm feeling. Not surprisingly, a lot of the questions I'm being asked have to do with food.

Are you craving anything yet?

No. Unless you count the endless amounts of cheese I ate during my first trimester.

Are you eating enough?

I think so. But I'm sure one could make the argument that I should just eat more.

Do you have any aversions to specific foods now that you're pregnant?

Thankfully, no. There was a brief moment (brief = a few hours) when I didn't want to be around raw chicken, but that didn't last.

Are there foods that you miss eating now that you're pregnant?

Yes! I really miss eating raw sushi (even though I've been advised be several people that it's okay to eat in moderation if I trust the source), and I really, really miss my bottomless cups of coffee when Stephen and I go out for brunch on Sundays.

Despite having to watch my caffeine intake, I do allow myself one cup of regular coffee in the morning for the ritual and routine. Every now and then, I slide and give myself permission to have a second cup of coffee, but those instances have been few and far between (and usually involved decaf).

Of course, now that I'm limiting the amount of coffee I drink each day, all I'm noticing in stores and online are the adorable coffee cups that are out there. Instead of compensating for the lack of coffee by buying all of those mugs, I decided to put together a fun round-up of coffee cups from one of my new favorite online stores as a way of getting my "fix".

Plus, by writing this round-up, I'm avoiding having an argument with Stephen about the number of coffee cups we already own... ;-)