Thanksgiving time is a busy transition between the lull of fall and the buzz of the holiday season. From preparing the big feast to food coma-ing and Black Friday shopping (hey shopping burns calories, right?), Thanksgiving weekend is packed with family, friends, and food. This year though we were actually lacking a bit in that first component since it was our first Thanksgiving not spent with family. With winter break right around the corner, we decided to stay in Philly, but that didn’t stop us from having a memorable Thanksgiving!
While we initially thought we’d have a simple Thanksgiving dinner with a few friends, the urge to partake in the tradition of roasting an entire turkey spiraled into a homemade feast for twelve of all the classics: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, wild rice pilaf, apple+pecan+pumpkin pie, gingerbread cake, cranberry sauce, sparkling cider, cornbread stuffing, gravy, and 21 lbs of turkey!
To add to the excitement, we also made a day trip to NYC that Saturday. While our last trip was centered mostly around Chinatown eats, this particular trip was themed in sweet treats. And even though we only had from 12:00pm-6:00pm in the Big Apple, we squeezed in a lot!
We started the day in the holiday spirit by admiring Macy’s holiday window displays and scoring a Rockette cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, the design for the cupcake having been inspired by the Radio City Christmas Spectacular’s finale.
Next we were off to make a much anticipated visit to Momofuku Milk Bar. And along the way we happened upon one of the Love statues!
Having a soft spot for soft serve, we were really excited to try Momofuku’s signature cereal milk soft serve. The flavor was much different than expected though. Salty and sweet, the flavor seemed more like pretzel milk rather than cereal milk, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, just not as advertised.
We had “lunch” at Eataly for the sole savory item of our trip. This place is seriously a foodie heaven with all the gourmet Italian food of your dreams! Pasta, pizza, paninis, coffee, cheese, wine, gelato, panettone, chocolates, the list goes on!
And right outside they were giving away free coffee!
My favorite place of the trip is where we went next, the Chobani Bar! You can’t go wrong with fresh, natural ingredients! Also their health-conscious fare was a pleasant respite from all the desserts already eaten and those that would be eaten very soon after. We got one of their seasonal creations with pumpkin custard, spiced maple syrup, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and crushed ginger snaps along with a menu staple consisting of pistachios, dark chocolate flakes, sliced orange, fresh mint, and clover honey. You get to watch the chefs prepare the food through a glass case, and although parfaits are definitely something you can make yourself, the simple, wholesome, and honest vibe of the place and product made it an experience that won my loyalty to Chobani. The wooden spoons and glass bowls (the former are single-use but the latter you get to keep!) were also nice touches to the overall experience.
Since we’re spoiled in Philly with large $2 macarons from Sugar Philly, we never visited Laduree in NYC before, but on this occasion, we had our eyes on their New York City Ballet holiday Nutcracker box. For $26 we got an assortment of eight macarons packaged in the special edition box. Definitely a splurge!
Last on the list was a re-visit to Dominique Ansel Bakery but this time for their cookie shots! They start selling them at 3:00pm as an “after school snack,” but we didn’t get around to visiting until 4:30pm. And sadly, by then they had already sold out! We saw that they were packaging cookie shot holiday sets though and jumped at the opportunity to buy the entire set instead! The set came with the original chocolate chip with vanilla milk and also oatmeal cranberry with honey milk, gingersnap with eggnog, sugar cookie with peppermint milk, and peanut butter with chocolate milk. This visit was doubly special because we also got to meet up with our friend Jess! We saved the milk and cookie shots to take back with us to Philly and instead the three of us shared a gingerbread croissant and 25-layer apple tarte tatin.
I’d say we had quite a bit of dessert on this trip, but we brought back food souvenirs too! In addition to the cookie shot set, we also brought back the box of macarons, a compost cookie from Momofuku, Baci chocolates from Eataly, and a pumpkin Chobani. And so leaving NYC happily wasn’t the end of this foodie adventure, more like a halfway point. ^_^