Tag Archives: philadelphia

Double Dog Delightful – Retro Dog Dinner

7 Feb


It’s hard to imagine someone as thrilled as I to have a meal made from all those inglorious cookbooks from the 60’s and 70’s. And yet at Hot Diggity, the happening hot dog restaurant on South Street in the great city of Philly,  they made not only a meal from these recipes, but a stellar banquet of hot dog laden retro delights.

Appetizers to start…

1. Hot Doggities – tempting pieces of hot dog enrobed in cornflakes


2. Hot Dog Olives – olives stuffed with a cream cheese and hot dog mix

3. Glazed Hot Dogs – your favorite salad dressing (French, Ranch or Honey Mustard) on a hot dog


4. Cuke and Hot Dog Spread

IMG_2392 (tres magnifique!)

Salads followed…

1. In the Pink  Potato Salad – potato salad colored naturally with red beet juice

IMG_2394 (2)

2. Apple and Hot Dog Salad -a macaroni salad with…well the name says it all

3. PERFECTION SALAD – this was a work of retro recipe art – a medley of salad vegetables encased in a beautiful work of Jell-o.

You’ll need two photos to really feel like you’ve seen it properly

IMG_2397 (one of the top dogs explaining about this dream of a salad)

IMG_2398 (2) (up close and tempting – notice the attractive radish garnishes)

And now, the Entree….

Oriental Hot Dog Casserole – back in the 70’s Chinese food was all the rage for experimental housewives looking to add some foreign flavor to their meals. (this mostly meant adding water chestnuts and little those little corn cobs to your recipes) That this is also a casserole meant it was both easy to make and exotic!

IMG_2400 (2)(even the serving dish is retro!)

Specialty of the House…

Of course you want to spoil your guests when you’re having them over for dinner and the staff at Hot Diggity was no exception. This main dish was a wonder to behold…

Hot Dogs in Fruited Brandy Sauce (so impressive!)

IMG_2399 (2)  A luscious dish gorgeously presented.

And when you think you can’t eat any more, there’s always room for…


Berry and lime Jell-o Mold


Want some hot dog fun of your very own? Hot Diggity does more with hot dogs than you could ever imagine. See their website for more…


or go to their facebook page to check out their latest events…


Night Market, West Oak Lane

21 Jun

The night before the first day of summer. A magical time.  Something is in the air. The smell of pizza…

…. and fried chicken, empanadas, plantains, cupcakes, ice cream, sweet potato pie andKoagies (Korean hoagies). For this one heavenly night,  food trucks converged on Ogontz Ave in West Oak Lane, Philadelphia. They lined both sides of the street for three city blocks. The weather was perfect as families, friends and amorous couples strolled happily along.  Let the joys of summer begin…

Roasted corn…


A tropical drink…


Something sweet for dessert…


(Little Jimmie’s Bakery)

Dancing in the street….


As the band played on…


A night to remember…


As the sun set on West Oak Lane…


Food, music and love. What more could anyone want?

Chocolate, Candy and Coffins

25 Feb

A most unique event was held at the Bringhurst Funeral Home in West Laurel Hill Cemetery today.  A curious location for an event  which combined confectionery and local history with a hint of the macabre of  as one of the owners of Shane’s Confectionery, Ryan Berley, presented “Chocolate, Candy and Cough Drops”.


Did you know…the copper kettle is the icon for the confectioner trade in the same way the mortar and pestle is for the pharmacist?

007 The dapper Mr Berley

Philadelphia is home to many important landmarks in candy making history. Sitting in my pew in the chapel of rest I was treated to these delicious tidbits…

Governor’s Mill, established by William Penn (for whom Pennsylvania is named) in 1682 produced chocolate and mustard. (One can imagine the new hip combination)

The ports in the Philadelphia area receive 75% of all the cocoa beans that come into the United States.  A huge amount when you realize that the US produces more chocolate than any other country.

The Whitman Sampler is the bestselling candy box in the country. Whitman’s Chocolates was established in 1842 by Stephen F. Whitman at the age of 19. The cross-stitch patterns on the samplers were created by schoolgirls, collected by Whitman executives. Over 30 years Whitman had collected nearly 600 cross stitch samplers. (A selection of which can be viewed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art)

The first bubble gum was made in Philadelphia in 1906 by Frank Fleer. And was a disaster. Named Blibber Bubble, it was grey and had a tendency to adhere itself to the chewer’s face when the bubble popped. It was not unusual for gum chewers to use turpentine to remove the gum. In 1928 Walter Diemer, an employee of Fleer, created the pink Double Bubble, a much more popular and less sticky gum. It gets its pinkness from the teaberry, a fruit local to PA. The teaberry is also used to flavor Pepto Bismal. And for the epi-curious you can try a teaberry milkshake at Franklin Fountain (owned by Mr Berley)


And, speaking of ice cream, Breyer’s and Bassett’s ice creams also started in Philadelphia.  In the 1800s, Philadelphia ice cream was made differently than other ice creams in that it contains no eggs. At that time eggs were considered unclean. Today, the ice cream at Franklin Fountain is made in accordance to this old recipe.


(West Laurel Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for many famous names in food)

Philadelphia is also home to the early failure of Milton Hershey. Before building his famous chocolate factory, Milton Hershey made caramels in the late 1800s. At the time caramels were more popular than chocolate. Hershey invested in a new technology; “steam confectionery”.  It failed to catch on and he ended up penniless. It wasn’t until he went to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and was dazzled by the exciting new German chocolate making equipment that his luck started to change.

And William H. Luden created his famous cough drops in 1881 in the backroom of his father’s jewelry business in Reading, PA. (Ok, not exactly Philadelphia, but close enough)


It’s not the cough that takes you off, it’s the coffin they carry you off in.

The lecture was followed by a scrumptious chocolate tasting in the funeral home’s conservatory…


And fondue…(and who doesn’t love fondue)


For more information on events at Bringhurst Funeral Home, see their website…


Mr Berley looms large over all that is chocolate…


Beer Cakes

20 May

I’m not sure what I’m more excited about…a chance to sponsor an up and coming, exciting new project or cupcakes made from local beers. Ok, the cupcakes win. But what an amazingly, curious concept. It’s like having your cake, eating it too  AND with  beer, all in one. I’m swooning at the thought.  Beer cakes offer wonderful cake and beer combinations such as

“King’s Cup” – chocolate toffee cake w/ coffee buttercream, using Storm King Stout from the Victory Brewing Company


Mixed berry & almond cake w/ berry buttercream using Love Child, brewed by the Voodoo Brewing Company

and also, a more unique yet enticing combination…

Bacon & apple cake w/ Otto buttercream, using Otto from the Victory Brewing Company

After perusing kickstarter.com, I knew this was the project I wanted to help. Check it out for yourself…