Take a Taco

Food Events I’m Attending This Summer

Happy Thursday!  One more day until the weekend…hooray!

I recently discovered Eventbrite and decided to join their Summer Food Bucket List project. Eventbrite is a great platform that assists you in finding events in your areas. They also have free event management tools to get the word out about your event- you can check it out here!

One of my favorite things about Summer is all the food and beverage events and festivals!  Today I’m going to share some great food events going on in my area that I will be attending this summer.  I’m located in Eastern Pennsylvania, so if you live in that vicinity, I would highly recommend each and every one of the following events.

1.  Lehigh Valley Wine Trail

I have visited almost all of the wineries in the LV Wine Trail.  The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail includes nine wineries around the valley, which are Amore, Franklin Hill, Tolino, Big Creek, Galen Glen, Blue Mountain, Pinnacle Ridge, Vynecrest, and Clover Hill. I have been to all of them accept for Big Creek and Galen Glen, so I’m looking forward to visiting these two new-to-me wineries this Summer!  The nice thing about this trail is that the wineries are clustered together in groups, so you pick three or four that are near each other to visit in one day.  Anymore than that and you might get tanked!  The land around this area provides some beautiful views from the mountains.  A specific event I’ll be attending this summer hosted by the LV Wine Trail is the Wine On The Mountain event at Blue Mountain on July 25th and 26th.  The festival includes wine tastings (obviously), and you can then enjoy a glass on their deck over gorgeous view and live music.

blue mountain winery

Blue Mountain Winery

2.  Lehigh Valley Ale Trail

Sticking with the alcohol theme….The Lehigh Valley Ale Trail is somewhat new to the Lehigh Valley.  The trail includes breweries, pubs, and bars offering up the best craft beers.  A few of the locations on the list are Fegley’s Brew Works, Weyerbacher Brewery, The Colony Meadery, and The Bookstore Speakeasy, just to name a few.  One of the breweries on the list in particular, The Funk Brewing Company, will be seeing my face in the first weekend in June.  I will be doing the Funk 5-Miler run as a part of the Run Lehigh Valley Earn Your Beer Series.  I’m also especially looking forward to checking out the Weyerbacher Brewery and the Colony Meadery this summer!  I love seeing the production processes!

Weyerbacher

3.  Blueberry Festival

If you know me, you know I am HUGE fan of blueberries…like obsessed.  Lucky for me this festival completely devoted to all things blueberry is super close to me!  Some states have a bacon festival…apparently Pennsylvania likes to keep it healthy with a fruity festival!  The Blueberry Festival takes place in historic Bethlehem on July 18th and 19th.  It includes live music, a petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, kids games, demos, historical tours, and of course, blueberry pies, strudels, and ice creams.  This year, the blueberry festival is adding in a Blueberry Brewery to the festival, where for an extra cost, guests can sample blueberry flavored beers, wines and mead.  The Blueberry Festival offers something for everyone.  Kids can do some arts and crafts, while the adults can hang at the Blueberry Brewery!  Or if you’re like me, you can participate in the best of both worlds and get your drink on followed by some crafts and the petting zoo! :)

Blueberry Pie

4.  Brunch at my favorite spot

Warmer weather calls for dining al fresco, and my favorite place to do this is at Billy’s Downtown Diner.  Billy’s is known for their elaborate brunch menu.  They offer incredible combinations for omelets, such as the Vegan-esque Omelet, my personal favorite, which is fresh spinach, broccoli and our own basil pesto mixed with egg whites and topped with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.  The sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese on top is what makes this omelet.  For those of you with the sweet tooth, their Mic’s Cannoli Tower might appeal more to you, which is creamy cannoli filling sandwiched between brioche French toast topped with fresh strawberries, chocolate chips and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Crowned with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar – holy yum!  I haven’t had it yet, but one day I’ll have to have it as a treat.

Billy's Breakfast

The Vegan-esque Omelet


5.  Musikfest

Last but not least…Musikfest, typically held in mid August!  Musikfest is only the biggest Summer event in the Lehigh Valley.  Although, as the name suggests, it’s main focus is on music, the ‘fest offers up some awesome food options!  The food lineup for 2015 is not currently available yet, but Musikfest always offers up the BEST corn on the cobs by Aw Shucks, seasoned with some magical mix of seasonings offering a bit of a kick along with some parmesan cheese.  Musikfest also usually has the best tacos made in deep-fried soft shells from “Take a Taco.”  Being from Hungarian descent, I am especially happy for the pirogies, halupkies, and cabbage and noodles.  I mean, basically Musikfest’s food covers all ethnicities from Mexican to Greek to Thai. For dessert, you could also expect to see the best ice cream, funnel cakes, deep and fried oreos.

Aw Shucks Corn on the cob

Aw Shucks Corn on the Cob

Those are my top five picks of Food & Drink events in Eastern PA for this Summer.  What are some of your favorite food festivals you attend in the Summer?

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How I Stay Healthy at Summer Picnics

With Memorial Day right around the corner, I thought it was only fitting to include a post on staying healthy at picnics.  I have a few tried and true methods for not going crazy overboard with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and especially potato salad (my weakness) at picnics.

1.  Hang near the veggie tray.

Go crazy on that veggie tray.  Fill up on veggies!  However, skip the dip that usually comes with it.  I am usually the host of picnics, so I am able to put hummus out as a healthier alternative.  Veggies are full of fiber, which leave you feeling full.

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2.  Go for lean protein if you can!

Again, since I am usually the host of the picnic, I always make some turkey burgers along with regular burgers and hot dogs for everyone else.  Sometimes I’ll even grill chicken breasts.  If you’re at a picnic offering either of these, take advantage of the healthier options!

3.  Skip the bun!

Whether or not there is a healthier protein option than regular hamburgers and hot dogs, skip the bun.  If there is not any healthier protein options, have the burger, but just fork and knife it!

4.  Skip the potato, macaroni and pasta salads.

These are full of fattening ingredients – dressings and mayo galore!  But hey, let’s be real you’re at a picnic.  Maybe you only get this stuff at picnics.  If you want some, put a tiny taste on your plate.  I will literally put a spoonful that’s maybe one or two bites of pasta salad to get my fix.  Instead, load up on the leafy green salads if they’re an option.

5.  Allow yourself one indulgence.

Pick that one item you know you are really going to want and let yourself have it.  Healthy does not mean depriving yourself and having extremely strict food rules.  Like I said earlier, you’re at a picnic, with lots of yummy food around.  So decide..what is your weakness?  What is that one item you have to have?  Is it your aunt’s coconut cream pie?  Or maybe it’s a few alcoholic beverages.  Perhaps, it’s even a full serving of potato salad.

6.  Be an awesome guest and bring a dish!

The best way to ensure you’re going to have healthier options available to you at a picnic is to bring them yourself!  Below are some great recipes to try:

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grilled-pesto-chicken-and-tomato-kebobs

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Paleo Zucchini

pineapple-angel-food-cake

 Have a happy, healthy, and safe Memorial Weekend!!

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Honey Cinnamon Banana Overnight Oats Recipe

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.

As soon as the weather hits 65 degrees or above, I am all about the overnight oats.  There’s something delightful about waking up on a warm sunny morning to cool creamy oats – just like there’s something delightful about waking up to a nice warm bowl of oats on a cold, winter morning.  Anytime I have to get up extra early in the morning to workout before I start my day, I always opt for overnight oats.  When I have to wake up that early, the last thing I want to do in the morning is spend time cooking my oats on the stovetop.  It’s nice to be able to wake up, go to the fridge, pull out breakfast, eat, get ready and go.

There are now TONS of overnight oat recipes out there infiltrating the blogosphere.  I have several on my blog already as well, such as the Berry Banana O.O., Blueberry Pecan O.O., and PB&J O.O.  Today I’m adding another one to the collection, and that’s Honey Cinnamon Banana Overnight Oats.

I started out by slicing one very small banana into a tupperware container.  If you’re using a big banana, you might only want to use half.

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Then I mashed the banana with a fork. image3Then I added about 2/3 cup of Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 cup whole grain oats, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, stirred it all up and placed it in the fridge overnight.

image5And in the morning I just poured it into a bowl (although, this step is optional – totally okay to eat out of your tupperware container!), topped it with some chopped walnuts and dug in!

image12I loved the hint of honey almond milk in this.  This was the first time I used that milk.  I like that I didn’t have to add any extra honey, like I usually do.  It was the perfect amount of sweetness with the sweetness from the banana too.  Mmmm. So good.image9

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