28 years abroad: All about…the Netherlands {a cultural project}

“All about…” is a series of culturally-driven posts by guest writers who have lived, worked, or studied in a culture different than that of central Pennsylvania. These essays are not comprehensive cultural guides; rather, their purpose is to expose misunderstandings, clarify stereotypes, and highlight the similarities between familiar and unfamiliar cultures. This week’s post is…

“Pinky splint” Earl Grey sandwich cookie, Om Nom Bake Studio, Pittsburgh

If you’re like me, you’ve occasionally caved and bought a buttery Panera shortbread or a chocolate chip cookie from Subway only to wonder why all store-bought cookies somehow taste exactly the same. Who are we kidding– actual, homemade cookies, made from scratch, are hard to come by. Fortunately, Om Nom Bake Studio works constantly to…

Caramel apple latte, St. Thomas Coffee Roasters, Linglestown

If you want to celebrate fall but are sick of pumpkin beer, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin wing sauce, try the classic caramel apple latte at St. Thomas Coffee Roasters in Linglestown as reported by The Patriot-News in late September 2012. “In my opinion, apple is more of a fall flavor than pumpkin is,” says barista…

Friday Photo: The cozy and chill Té Café, Pittsburgh

Typically, my posts on this blog unfold around coffee, whether it be a review of the shakerato-style “cold jar” at Little Amps, Harrisburg, or my description of visiting a café con piernas in Santiago, Chile. For once, however, I found myself stunned by tea at the Té Café on Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh, which — amid plush…

Friday Photo: ‘Holy basil’ seed tea, Cafe di Luna, Harrisburg

For my boyfriend Jon Hoey, a sales representative for Troegs Brewing Company, Hershey, culture can be as evident in a beverage as it is in food. This means that an international meal can be complimented by much more than regionally-grown tea or a local beer; it can include mango lassies, yogurt drinks, bubble teas, Shandy…

Friday Photo: Going Dutch (Cookie-wise) in Central Pennsylvania

This article first appeared in the August 2012 issue of TheBurg, greater Harrisburg’s community newspaper. Hold on, biscotti. Take a back seat, pizzelle. And welcome a new international cookie, the stroopwafel, to central Pennsylvania’s confection scene. A stroopwafel is a traditional Dutch cookie, literally meaning “syrup waffle.” The “stroopie” consists of gooey caramel syrup pressed…

Friday Photo: Arctic Fire Tea, St. Thomas Roasters, Linglestown

Following up on my recommendations on holiday crab-stuffed potato appetizers and carrot cake dessert, this week I suggest a hot drink to finish off any holiday meal — or simply to bag as a unique gift.  The Arctic Fire tea, sold in bulk at St. Thomas Coffee Roasters in Linglestown, is not only pretty to…

Tales of Pennsylvania Peppermint

A few months ago, I bought a tall can of organic dried peppermint from the Broad Street Market and tucked it into my cabinet next to the espresso machine.  I think I bought the peppermint tea purely out of nostalgia. I hadn’t drunk mint tea in years.  I, in posh old age, had graduated to…