Exam Fuel: What We Ate [Week 2]

Here’s how we stayed full during week 2 [two more days to go!]. Not pictured: A dinner at Kanella, a greek BYO in Philadelphia. We shared beets, feta, tzatziki, halloumi, and vegetarian moussaka – the first time I’ve had that since Greece – all delicious!  Also Not Pictured: Vegan German Chocolate “Cake Top” from Sweet Freedom Bakery in Philly – everything’s Vegan! It’s just what it sounded like… just the top of a cupcake. Best, part, no? After our short trip to Philly, I’m reminded again that I’m not sure why people don’t eat vegan, all the time.

First up: A Carrot Cake Buckwheat Bake for breakfast. Recipe to follow! Shaun said he liked this one better than the Pumpkin Bake.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese & Smoked Tomato Soup… My GC made with vegan pepper jack… yum/drool.

A new shipment of Wild Squirrel [formerly Flying Squirrel] Peanut Butter! If you adore peanut butter, you need to order from Keeley and Erika IMMEDIATELY. These butters are delicious, all-natural, affordable, and creative. They’ve expanded so much since the first time I ordered, when they came in tiny, plastic jars! Now we got 16-oz containers of my favorites: Sneaky Cinnamon [cinnamon raisin], Pretzel Pizazz [honey and crushed pretzel oh my god], “Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed” [crushed espresso beans and swirls of chocolate] and Curious Cocoa-Nut, a new one I’ve never had! I’m currently making my way through the pretzel/cinnamon, but I’m going to shelf them until after the holidays – gotta save calories in every way now… sigh. I’ll miss you…

Vegan sweet potato mash – subbed pumpkin for butter… just as creamy, and a little sweet. Also, this was the largest sweet potato I have ever seen [that’s why Shaun bought it]. With No Bull burgers and soy vegetables.

Hey, how’d this guy get in there?

Let me tell you a few things about Grady. First, he has his first trip to the groomer tomorrow because it’s official: we cant bathe him at home anymore. Thankfully, there’s a groomer right down the road who specializes in large breeds.

Second, we learned he’s not a city dog on our trip to Philly. He tries to talk to everyone that walks by, wants to play/sniff every dog, and cannot go to the bathroom in public. I don’t even want to detail the amount of hours Shaun and I spent of our two-day Philly trip in Rittenhouse Square, begging Grady to go.

I was super excited for him to meet Bjorn and Rose, these two beautiful Berneses I stalked all summer that lived in the same neighborhood as me. They had the sweetest owners. After just a few short minutes in the Park, though, I was approached by someone who notified me that Bjorn [the male] had passed away last month. It was heartbreaking. The owner is picking up a new puppy friend for Rose this weekend, so at least she wont be lonely!

Finally, it amazes me how much joy Grady brings people. I can’t even count on two hands the number of times I was approached while walking him, and thanked profusely for allowing the person the opportunity to pet him. That it “made their day.” The staff at Burberry came outside and gave him snacks and hugged him. Other dog owners came over to tell us how sweet he was. The little dork really is able to brighten people’s days, and I love him for it.


This was our “splurge” of the week, to the point that I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you. At least I can say that, other than the cake top, it was our only meal of the day…and we ran the Schuylkill Banks… probably doesn’t make it better… I digress…

For me: A glass of Bell’s Trippel. It was delicious. Shaun went all over the beer list [I was the DD], concluding with a Bethlehem Brew Works’ Rude Elf [not to be confused with Troegs Mad Elf]… it wasn’t beer. It was candy. With 11% ABV.

To start: A cup of “Beer Cheese” soup, and a half order of Khyber’s VEGAN PULLED PORK NACHOS. I had forgotten how absolutely incredible these are.

My entree: A half salad with vegan pulled pork: blue cheese, cranberries, walnuts and spicy dressing. Note: special thanks to the waitress for being honest and saying a half salad was plenty, because it was plenty.

For Shaun: Vegan Fried Chicken sandwich with fried okra and a white BBQ sauce. Yes, I had a bite, and it was awesome. Khyber Pass really is one of the best restaurants. We’re both convinced that a place like this would kill in Charlottesville. Why is the “locavore capital of the world” so vegan un-friendly?

And finally: thanks to a stop at Trader Joe’s, butternut squash pasta triangles, with a spicy tomato + mushroom sauce. It wasn’t until we dug the box out of the trash that we realized this pasta was stuffed with squash and amaretti – so yes, it was like a cookie. With 10g of protein and negligible fat. Thank you, Trader Joe’s. I miss you already.

Also: Has anyone bought Puffins recently? I snagged a box at TJ’s… and they got huge. They’re like, the size of a spoon now, rather than tiny little crunchies. I’m sad. They’re not the same.

Just have to make it through one more day of studying… And I’m off.


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Categories: Food


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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4 Comments on “Exam Fuel: What We Ate [Week 2]”

  1. December 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Can’t wait to see how you enjoy the peanut butter! We love to send our new beautiful jars to those of you that ordered when our company was so small!

    Thanks for the support 🙂

    • December 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

      Ugh, we always LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It never lasts long in our house. And, we’re still re-using all of the old tiny jars 😉 You girls have a great thing going, and I hope I can persuade others to jump on the wild squirrel bandwagon!!


  1. 2011 Roundup: The Best New Finds [Food] | Ryes and 'Shine - December 24, 2011

    […] Vegan Dish: I raved about Khyber Pass just a few days ago when I did a brief run-through of our trip to Philadelphia, but that wasn’t our first trip there. I can’t remember how […]

  2. Shameless Plug. | Ryes and 'Shine - February 7, 2012

    […] Remember Wild Squirrel Nut Butter (formerly Flying Squirrel), a company I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog? Keeley and Erica have been making outstanding nut butters in Oregon since 2009. […]

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