that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

shake your monkey maker

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 27, 2013

cupcake smash 2013 setup



Cupcake Smash 2013 is in the books, and I am proud to announce that I am now the two-time consecutive Cupcake Smash People’s Choice winner!

I am so excited to share my experience with you… but unfortunately, my excitement is not strong enough to overtake the extreme exhaustion setting in as my adrenaline winds down. I can barely keep my eyes open whilst typing this. I’ll have a much better recap for you soon, but I had such a blast and feel truly blessed to have so many people supporting me. A big thanks to everyone who attended today’s event.

Check back again soon!



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cupcakes! booze! philanthropy!

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 26, 2013

Oooooh my goodness. My life is a whirlwind right now, capped off by the impending task of baking 500 cupcakes tomorrow. Yes, you read that right: Several hundred cupcakes. In one day. In my relatively small kitchen. Why? Because I’m helping Philabundance “beet” and “squash” hunger in the tri-state area as part of the third annual Cupcake Smash this Saturday at the Piazza in Philadelphia. 

You may recall I won People’s Choice last year with my “Fruit Loopy” cupcakes, but the competition looks tough this year and I’m hoping I can deliver on these grandiose plans I’ve created. I’m not divulging anything just yet, but would love for you to come check out the event yourself. Online ticketing closes Friday at noon, but limited tickets will be available at the door. All the details can be found here, and the official press release is below. Hope to see you there!

Cupcake Smash To Take Over The Piazza in Northern Liberties
Tickets available for Cupcake Smash, the premier cupcake baking event at PYT benefiting Philabundance


Philadelphia, Pa- April 10, 2013- Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, is throwing the third annual Cupcake Smash at The Piazza at Schmidts on Saturday, April 27th from 2pm-5pm. Philabundance and PYT are joining forces with The Piazza to raise money for people in need of food in the Delaware Valley. Professional and amateur bakers alike will vie for the tastiest PYT themed cupcake to be deemed #1 by celebrity judges and the “People’s Choice.” Advance tickets are on sale now for $25 and can be purchased online or at the door for $30. All proceeds benefit Philabundance.

Cupcake Smash will be held in the middle of The Piazza with Wendy Rollins, Radio Host on Radio 104.5 emceeing. Celebrity judges include Nima Etemadi and Lily Fischer, co-owners of A Cupcake Wonderland and winners of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Zoë Lukas, owner of Whipped Bake Shop, Caroline Russock, food editor of Philadelphia’s City Paper , Tommy Up of PYT, Chef Nathan Volz of 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge, Wendy Rollins and Tony Luke Jr., of Tony Luke’s. Judges will vote on the best cupcake for the amateur and professional categories, while attendees will vote for the “People’s Choice.” 

DJ Jay Yo will be on the ones and twos while complimentary beverages and snacks will be provided by
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, KIND Healthy Snacks, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Philadelphia Distilling, and White
Mule Farms Spodee. Uber, “everyone’s favorite driver,” is offering Cupcake Smash attendees a free ride from the Piazza up to $20 with a special promo code.

“Cupcake Smash has been such a huge success over the past two years thanks to the enthusiasm of
the bakers, judges, sponsors and of course, attendees,” said Marlo DelSordo, director of marketing and
communications at Philabundance. “More than 20,000 meals were provided to people in need because
of cupcake smash and we know that this year will be the best one yet.”

Philabundance is experiencing 29 percent more people coming to them for food compared to last year
and a 98 percent increase in need over the last three years which is why community support is needed
more now than ever before. Last year’s Cupcake Smash raised more than $7,600 for Philabundance
helping them provide more than 15,000 meals to people in need, surpassing the 10,000 meal goal and
doubling the amount of meals provided the inaugural year of Cupcake Smash. The goal for the third
annual Cupcake Smash is to raise enough money to provide 20,000 meals to people struggling to put
food on the table.

Cupcake Smash is made possible by The Piazza at Schmidts, PYT, Philadelphia City Paper, Radio 104.5, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, KIND Snacks, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Philadelphia Chocolate Tours, Philadelphia Distilling, White Mule Farms Spodee, Uber and Yelp .

For more information, please call 215-339-0900 or visit

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Cupcake Smash 2013

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 1, 2013

It’s baaaaaaaaack! Cupcake Smash 2013 is April 27, and you should come out to try some crazy cupcakes, drink delightful spirits and raise money to fight hunger. I just got back from a super fun happy hour meetup with fellow contestants, and I’m so excited to see what everyone will be serving at the third annual Smash!

Check out my recap of last year’s event, including my People’s Choice win!


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brunch at Supper

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 25, 2012

If I’m going to be terrible and neglect my food blogging duties during these busy summer months, I might as well post periodic food porn. Here are a few shots from a recent brunch I had with my friend Laura at Supper in Philadelphia. Brunch at Supper. Makes sense, I know.


Cheers! Laura’s mimosa and my drink, which for some reason was called the Danny DeVito.


The Hoboken Benny: two fried eggs, taylor ham, smoked mozzarella, garlic pizza knots, basil hollandaise and tomato jam.


Red Velvet Waffles with sweet cream cheese mousse, toasted pecans and molasses bourbon cherries.

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cupcakes v. hunger

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 1, 2012

Around this time last year, my friend Rachel handed me a brightly colored postcard featuring a smiling, flying, caped cupcake and told me to enter this new cupcake competition based on one of my favorite Philly restaurants, PYT. Intrigued, I went home and emailed in, but was promptly told all spots were filled. (After all, it was just a week before the event.) Thankfully, the Cupcake Smash organizer, Melissa, kept my contact information and included me on the distribution list for this year’s event. It was about 15 seconds from the time the email from the “Cupcake Coordinator” arrived until the time I was registered. I was not missing out on this opportunity again.

For those unfamiliar, Cupcake Smash is a baking challenge for both amateurs and professionals to showcase their cupcake creativity while raising money for Philabundance, the Philadelphia region’s largest hunger relief organization. Bakers are tasked with making a cupcake inspired by the PYT menu, known for its Krispy Kreme Burger, “adult milkshakes” and other adventures.

The hardest part of this experience was not baking 100+ perfect cupcakes in one night; it was settling on a cupcake with the perfect balance of creativity, novelty and taste. I don’t want to give away all my trials (because who knows what next year will bring), but there was liquid smoke, liquor and lots of bacon. I found a silver lining in every test cupcake (e.g. “these flavors are complex,” or “no one will think to do this!“), but I wasn’t completely wowed by any of them.

Two days before my contest entry details were due, I made a last ditch effort, turning to the latest wacky creation posted on PYT’s Facebook page — “Adult Cereal.” Simple as it may be, Adult Cereal is literally a bowl of Fruit Loops, milk and a shot of Three Olives Loopy Vodka. Breakfast of champions, amIright? What I ended up with was a Fruit Loop-flavored cupcake with a Loopy Vodka buttercream frosting — my very own recipe. Usually when I attempt something like that, things go awry and I get beyond flustered, but everything seemed to fall into place with this one.

I pitted my “Fruit Loopy” cupcake test batch against another anonymous test batch, and nearly all of the votes fell in favor of the former. I submitted the details and set out on my next challenge: decorating my station. I enlisted Rachel and my stepmother, Becky, as my event day helpers, and we bought up any sort of rainforest/tropical/luau decor we could find at the party store. (There may or may not have been an in-store Google search of “Where does Toucan Sam live?” performed.)

Our setup became a colorful, tropical breakfast-land — palm trees, flowers, giant bowl of Fruit Loops and a guest appearance by that lovable cereal mascot. We served the cupcakes in tiny cereal bowls with miniature spoons, which were really meant for aesthetic, but people seemed to enjoy trying to eat their cupcakes with them.

Overall, the response was great; the crowd loved the sweet taste of Fruit Loops topped with the complementary boozy frosting. Attendees were given tickets to vote for a favorite amateur cupcake and a favorite professional cupcake. I would have been thrilled with just one person saying my cupcake was their favorite, but as the event went on, I was so flattered by all the kind words and votes. The top five from each division moved on to the judges’ table, and when I made the cut, I was on cloud nine.

I had absolutely no expectations, so when they announced the amateur winner — a cupcake involving a chocolate-covered pretzel, which I sadly did not get to try — I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. But then they announced the People’s Choice, and I heard a chuckle before an exclamation of, “That’s Forking Good!” Did I just hear that right? It didn’t really register until Rachel let out a loud “WHOOO” and shoved me up to get my gift certificate and awesomely tacky trophy.

Win or lose, the experience was fantastic. A big thanks to all my friends and family who made time to come out; I hope you drank all the PBR and Fuze you could handle on top of the 30 cupcakes you downed. I had such a good time frantically handing out cupcakes, checking out all the creative cupcake creations and helping to “beet” hunger as my awesome new Philabundance T-shirt reads. The event raised more than $7,600, which is twice as much as they raised last year. Can’t wait to see what Cupcake Smash III brings!

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that’s how I ‘roll’

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 8, 2012

I like to try new things, and often I’m met with “eww, that sounds gross” when my menu selection goes off the beaten path. Such was the case last Friday when I hit PYT with a few of my friends. I opted for their special “Philly Roll” burger with cream cheese, smoked salmon, fresh cucumbers and a pinch of seaweed. When it arrived at the table, everyone took a taste. When their disgust turned to jealousy, I retorted, “Fortune favors the bold.” That’s how I roll.


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