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Archive for Drinks!

::buy this:: Numi Rooibos

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There are rules for while you are pregnant. Not too many apply to me. I don’t smoke or do any drugs (giving up Motrin for the occasional headache was lame, I don’t do Tylenol), I don’t eat lunch meat or raw fish. But I am a caffeine junky, and I enjoy a drink every now and then. Funnily enough, these are the “rules” that most people tend to not worry about. They give you a number for caffeine; 150mg. Alcohol still has the jury out. There is no clear amount that causes problems. And I can’t count the number of times that I was told “one drink won’t hurt, my ::insert random family member or friend:: drank ::insert random interval of time:: during their pregnancy and their baby was fine”. Same goes for caffeine.

Seriously though, it is 9 months of my life. A bit more if you add in the fact that I was giving up caffeine slowly in anticipation of “Bean”. I have survived those 9 months. I would say my total caffeine consumption through has probably totaled 150mg from the random sips of Cherry Coke and the mass consumption of chocolate. Ok…maybe the chocolate put me over…

While it isn’t necessarily the caffeine that gets me going in the morning, a cozy cup of something helps. Just when I was getting my taste for coffee back, my Breville Keurig broke. Horrible timing! Between moving and a mistake with the first replacement, it took a couple months before I had my coffee back. (Please note! I am not complaining, they replaced my nearly 3 year old machine! It was worth the wait.) In that time, I switched over to Rooibos tea. I had been enjoying the Tazo Vanilla Rooibos over the Summer as a cold treat and found a single tea bag of the Numi Ruby Chai in a cabinet. I am so glad I had it hiding in there!

Most herbal teas are a no-go while pregnant. Not enough research as to what damage they can do, etc. Rooibos is actually a legume, not a leaf (fun fact for the day…and who doesn’t like saying legume?). The Numi Ruby Chai has a perfect depth. More of a coffee flavor than tea, not quite as spicy as a black tea chai, but still wonderfully flavorful. Completely, and naturally*, caffeine free. The other bonus is it is a Fair Trade product.

~*Have you looked into how they decaffeinate some teas and coffee? Yeah, it’s gross. More on that later because I also have eliminated chemically decaffeinated coffees.

I am sure once the temperature drops again I’ll be enjoying this tea more regularly again. It is a great option for a late night cup of warmth. For now, I am not going to complain about the awesome warmth we have been having outside. Buy Numi Rooibos on Amazon and help support Not Just Take Out ūüôā

::summer love:: Iced Coffee

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We have had a cold and rainy week. It has been all together miserable. I have been thinking about how much I love the rain, but it really just got boring. It seemed as if the sun was never going to shine again. When I walked the dog this morning it seemed like it might just be the perfect fall day. The sun was out, it was nice and cool. Yum. Fast forward to our afternoon walk, and it is kind of hot out. Not hot-hot, but my morning outfit certainly wasn’t appropriate anymore.

Since we aren’t quite done with the perfect weather, I thought I might post one more Summer recipe. I had a few things that were put on hold when I lost all desire to talk about food. I thought they would have to wait until next Summer. Lucky for you, there is a perfect day, and a perfect recipe for today.

The best thing about this coffee is that with this method of brewing, there is no bitterness what-so-ever. You can adjust the recipe to make it as strong as you like as well.

What You Need
1 1/3 cup coarse ground coffee
6 cups filtered water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg

Here’s the really hard part. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, stir, and let sit in the fridge overnight. You can let it go longer or shorter depending on how strong you want it.

To make it easier to serve, I pour it through a coffee filter so I can keep a clean pitcher of coffee in the fridge.

Serve with milk or half and half to your liking. For a sweeter kick, add a bit of sweetened condensed milk.

Enjoy ūüôā

::sweet treat:: Sparkling Blackberry Limeade

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Armed with a new attitude for Summer, I set out for some groceries last week. Lucky for me, there were some beautiful fresh blackberries on sale. ¬†I’m sure I could do something with them. By the time I got home, the temperature had risen at least 10-15 degrees. ¬†Ok, maybe I am exaggerating, but it is the start of the hot Summer, so it seemed miserable. ¬†A cold beverage was exactly what I needed to finish starting my day ūüôā

What You Need
blender
fine sieve or cheesecloth
~1/4 cup blackberries (approx. 7)
1/2 lime
1 Tbsp sugar
glass of ice
water or sparkling water

Combine blackberries and 2 Tbsp water and blend.

Strain through sieve or cheesecloth to remove seeds.  Squeeze lime into blackberry juice and stir in 1 Tbsp sugar until dissolved.

Pour mixture over ice, fill glass with sparkling water.  Garnish with another blackberry and a twist of zest.

Enjoy your Summer afternoon with a cool refreshing drink!

Serves: 1

I’ll post a recipe for a full pitcher soon!

::saturday special:: Saxbys in Manayunk

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Let’s talk about this drink for a minute. ¬†Let’s talk about how delicious it was. ¬†I don’t think it is any secret what I like. ¬†Coffee. ¬†Chocolate. ¬†Spice. ¬†Combine these three things and I am happy. ¬†Add in ice cream (ok frozen yogurt) and it is even better. ¬†Perhaps unstoppable.

Despite my love of Starbucks, I was never a huge fan of Frappucinos. ¬†Something about them (the old formula) didn’t agree with me completely. ¬†Something about them (the new formula) scares me away from even trying them again (maybe the gum?). ¬†I do love milkshakes, but it seems to be difficult to find one that isn’t giant while you are out and about. ¬†Oh! ¬†That brings up another thing I have made clear that I love. ¬†Sitting outside to eat.

This post is more of a story than anything. ¬†I haven’t tried many things on the Saxbys menu. ¬†Yet. ¬†Let’s start at the beginning.

When I worked in Manayunk (a decade ago already!), I was a regular at Bucks County Coffee. ¬†There was something special about buying my coffee from a local company. ¬†At that point the most convenient Starbucks to my neighborhood was Plymouth Meeting, so Bucks County it was… I may have even applied at Bucks once. ¬†They only hired people with Barista experience?! ¬†Really? ¬†You don’t want to train people? You just wanted Starbucks sloppy seconds? ¬†So, I worked at Starbucks. ¬†For almost 6 years. ¬†No offense Bucks, but you lost a customer because you wouldn’t hire me. ¬†Free Coffee > Local Coffee. ¬†And my Starbucks family was pretty awesome.

Fast forward to sometime in the last 5 years. ¬†Sometime since I stopped working at Starbucks, moved back to the old neighborhood, and returned to Manayunk regularly. ¬†Sometime when Bucks County Coffees closed and were quickly replaced by Saxbys all over the Delaware Valley. ¬†It was like Bucks County Coffee. ¬†The chalkboard menus were still there. ¬†The comfortable atmosphere was still there. ¬†It seemed a little less coffee-snobby and a little more modern all around snobby (Just like me!). ¬†The chai latte’s were still good. ¬†They still burned my soymilk almost every time. ¬†And really, our visits to Saxby’s vs. Starbucks in Manayunk just depended on what end of Main Street we were parked near. ¬†Then the Saxbys disappeared! ¬†What the what?! ¬†Soon we realized it was reopening down the street. ¬†Closer to Starbucks?! ¬†Close enough that we hadn’t been there yet. ¬†Until yesterday.

Today I went to Manayunk to visit a friend. ¬†We were going to bake cookies and hang out for a bit. ¬†Awesome Star Wars sugar cookies to be exact. ¬†Sugar cookie dough, however, needs to be refrigerated for a few hours before you can cut it into awesome shapes. ¬†So we had some time to kill and it was a gorgeous day out. ¬†Off we go to Manayunk! ¬†Once again Colleen mentioned the FroYo at Saxbys and asked if we had a chance to try it yet. Of course I hadn’t, so we had a destination!

I told you this was a long story.  Trust me.
This drink is worth it.

So. ¬†On our way there, I am told about the Mocha Mexicana they have on the menu at Saxbys. ¬†Of course I want the Mocha Mexicana! ¬†Chocolate. Cinnamon. ¬†Coffee. ¬†Why wouldn’t I want that! ¬†Can I have it iced? ¬†Of course. ¬†Can I have it blended? ¬†Sure. ¬†Well. ¬†Maybe. ¬†I caused quite a ruckus in the Saxbys in Manyunk today apparently.

I was all hyped up about the FroYo I HAD to try. ¬†But then, a coffee drink sounded so delightful. ¬†So I asked if they would blend my Mocha Mexicana with FroYo instead of ice. ¬†Blended ice….bleh. ¬†I like my margaritas and all other drinks on the rocks if ice is needed. ¬†Oh man. ¬†You would think this was the scariest question these girls have ever been asked. ¬†One asked the other. ¬†The other asked me to repeat. ¬†Then she went to get the manager. ¬†And I explained it to him. ¬†Maybe a little more receptive. ¬†I’m not going to lie. ¬†Maybe a lot more receptive once I mentioned I had a food blog. ¬†Name dropper? WHAT?! haha.

So began the project.  I described what I thought it should be.  Testing ensued.  Below is Sample #1.  We started without the coffee.  Chocolate Frozen Yogurt and cinnamon syrup.  It needed a bit more cinnamon kick.  Sample #2 included coffee and more cinnamon.  AWESOME.

The final beverage was a full size version. ¬†Since they started with smaller portions, he doubled the cinnamon in the final version. ¬†It was a bit too much. ¬†But it was still pretty awesome. ¬†We decided on the final cinnamon to be in between. ¬†I won’t tell you the exact number of pumps. ¬†It’s officially a Saxbys secret. ¬†But isn’t the drink pretty topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon?

I was told this would be a special drink for the Summer at Saxbys in Manayunk. ¬†Maybe it will be named after Not Just Take Out? ¬†I have big goals! ¬†I will create a new recipe for them every week if they let me name them all ¬†ūüôā ¬†I do miss working in a cafe. ¬†Almost all the time. ¬†I especially miss concocting ridiculously awesome recipes. ¬†So long story for a short summary:

The team at the Saxbys in Manayunk is pretty cool. ¬†They aren’t afraid to try new things if you don’t give up ūüôā ¬†They do already have a huge menu though, so maybe you don’t need to be as obnoxious as I am/was. ¬†It is a super roomy space, so if you are looking to hang out for a bit, it is a way better option than Starbucks. ¬†They have a ton of outdoor seating which I adore!

They have a new Summer beverage! ¬†I can’t tell you for sure, but it might be named “Not Just Take Out” ¬†or maybe they’ll name it the “mrs ptb”? ¬†It is chocolate frozen yogurt, coffee, and cinnamon. ¬†It is pretty awesome. ¬†A perfect balance of smooth coffee, creamy chocolate, and spicy cinnamon. ¬†YUM!

Thanks to the manager (I think?) Scott for trying it out until it was perfected!  Now go try it yourself.  Saxbys Manayunk is located at 4343 Main Street, Manayunk, Phila, Pa, 19128.  Call for their daily hours.  267-323-2257

If this isn’t close by, check out their website to find a location near you. ¬†Maybe my recipe will go INTERNATIONAL. lol.

And lastly, one more awesome thing about Saxbys.  Check out the plastic to-go cups:  They are made out of corn, so they are biodegradable.  Very Cool.

::my favorite:: Margarita

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! ¬†I decided to celebrate all week. ¬†I started with #MargaritaMonday. ¬†I don’t want to say this is *the best* margarita in Philadelphia (I haven’t had them all), but it is my favorite. ¬†Really, when it comes to food, can’t we all agree, it is personal? ¬†Being my favorite margarita is all that matters to me. ¬†And that is what this site is about. ¬†Me and the stuff I like to stuff my face with.

Derek’s in Manayunk has been a go-to for me for quite some time. ¬†We became somewhat regulars once we moved into Philadelphia since it was so convenient. ¬†Easy weeknight dinners, Sunday brunches, and even Christmas dinners. ¬†The menu was consistent, the bread delicious, and the one occasion with bad service, forgivable. ¬†I love being able to sit outside on a less frequented end of Main Street and enjoy some perfect Summer weather. ¬†When I discovered the back patio, it made the Derek’s experience that much better. ¬†Although, we had the bad waiter again on our first visit to the back patio, it was not nearly as bad and more funny than anything.

Once Derek’s became our default restaurant, I started looking through more of the menu, and I discovered the daily specials on the back. ¬†What more could I ask for, $5 margaritas, mojitos, and quesadillas on Mondays. ¬†I had to go.

That margarita. ¬†What can I say? ¬†It is the perfect color, the perfect balance of limey goodness and tequila-y awesomeness, and the perfect amount of salt. ¬†And seriously people, if you are ordering a blended margarita….you are not ordering a margarita. ¬†BTW, last time I checked, Derek’s won’t blend it.

So the moral of the story is check out Derek’s on Main Street in Manayunk. ¬†It hasn’t been called Derek’s for 19 years, but chef & owner Derek Davis has run this location for that long. ¬†They revamped their menu in the past year and the changes do not disappoint. ¬†In fact, I would almost say, they needed to, something was going on and they may have been losing steam. My interest was revived. ¬†But the margarita did not change. ¬†And that makes me oh so happy. ¬†And it doesn’t hurt a restaurant in my book when the owner stays involved, sometimes even taking your drink order ūüôā

Derek's on UrbanspoonOne other awesome thing about Derek’s: they are on Restaurant.com. ¬†There are restrictions, but saving money never hurt anyone. ¬†And then you can make your reservation on Open Table, my other favorite restaurant related site ¬†ūüôā

**I was not paid or compensated in anyway for this post. ¬†I simply love this margarita. mmmmm…now I want one.