11 Must-Do International Festivals in September

Summer may be coming to a close but the festivals are ongoing – here, there and everywhere.  Find one of these culture bombs happening around the world during September.

1. Mariachi Festival, Guadalajara, México – August 28-September 8, the event that encapsulates the heart of Mexican culture fills the streets with folkloric music, dancing and costume. Learn more at http://www.mariachi-jalisco.com.mx.

2. Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii – September 1-9, the “premier epicurean event in the Pacific” takes place on one of the world’s most treasured islands. Visit http://hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com for more info.

Hawai'i Food & Wine

3. Dublin Fashion Festival, Dublin, Ireland – September 5-8, fashionistas shop from over 250 retailers while enjoying elements of fun and theatre in their shopping experiences.  Visit http://dff.ie.

4. Toronto International Film Festival, Canada -September 5-15 over 300 films from more than 60 countries will be screened at tiff., dubbed as the most important film fest after Cannes.  See more at www.tiff.net.

5. FringeArts Festival, Philadelphia, PA – September 5-22, the City of Brotherly Love awakens with provocative contemporary art, both visual and performance.  For more info, visit http://www.fringearts.com.


Photo by Heiko Kalmbach

6. Budapest International Wine Fest, Budapest, Hungary – September 11-15 Wine University, wine tasting, a harvest parade, etc.  All that plus traditional Hungarian food and culture at their annual festival.  Info at http://www.aborfesztival.hu.

7. Koktebel Jazz Festival, Koktebel, Ukraine – September 12-15 the airwaves of this Ukrainian resort town are jammed with jazz notes and over 30,000 music lovers.  Over 300 musicians from 15 countries perform.  Visit http://www.jazz.koktebel.info/en/.

8. Floriade Flower Festival, Canberra, Australia – September 14-October 13, the finest of Australian horticulture unviels. More info at http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/program/

9. London Design Festival, London, UK – September 14-22 product launches, international exhibitions, seminars, trade events and more all happen at what’s considered one of the most important annual design events.  A mix of commercial and culture for, there’s something from professionals and passersby.  Learn more at http://www.londondesignfestival.com/.

Picture by Cityscope

10. Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance & Music, Bangkok, Thailand – September 15-October 14.  Opera, ballet, music and dance unite for the largest performing arts festival in Thailand.   http://www.bangkokfestivals.com/home/

11. Oktober Fest, Munich, Germany – September 21-October 6.  One word: beer.  http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Thanks for reading 🙂

Leggo My Eggo!

It’s another foodie holiday!  National Waffle Day is today.  Once upon a time, I would battle anyone for an Eggo waffle.  But today, I indulged with a modern twist – a waffle bowl filled with ice cream from one of the bestest creameries in the country.  Cold Stone.  The “Founders Favorite” with vanilla ice cream, brownies, pecans, caramel and chocolate drizzle makes me smile every time :-).  How did you celebrate?

Cold Stone Waffle Bowl

Oh, and we can’t neglect our love of the original gaufres, straight outta Belgium.


Gastronomic globalization all around us!

Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia!

Sooo this year’s D.E.B was held at……30th Street Station!  We all dined and danced on the JFK Bridge, which leads to the biggest transportation hub in the city.  If you’re not from the area, pay it a visit on your next trip.  Below are some of the 2,500 stylish guests in blanc, elegant decor and happy faces.  A little bit of FrEnglish too!

Had no idea we were feet away from the main event.

2013-08-22 19.24.09 He was relieved when he reached the top.2013-08-22 19.31.54Cupcakes & Cookies
2013-08-22 19.46.40

French-looking platter.2013-08-22 19.47.30Global Lipstick, Denise Fike and her fashion-forward hat.
2013-08-22 20.42.22 Eiffel Tower Table.2013-08-22 20.53.31 Les Cupcakes
2013-08-22 20.54.18 Les Macarons
2013-08-22 20.55.00 La Lovely Lady
2013-08-22 20.56.06D.E.B in a ville near you ;-).
2013-08-22 21.00.22Super Fly
2013-08-22 21.01.40 Those glasses…winniiiing.2013-08-22 21.02.03Dapper Gents
2013-08-22 21.02.45Sheer rules!
2013-08-22 21.07.51Les sparklers!  Light up the city.
2013-08-22 21.16.09 More sparkler fun.
2013-08-22 21.18.55Emily Tharp, blogger behind HerPhilly.  J’adore!
2013-08-22 21.20.05And j’adore her dress!
2013-08-22 21.20.56 New friend 🙂2013-08-22 21.29.29 She WAS the party!
2013-08-22 21.37.40 Had to make it to the stage…
2013-08-22 21.46.27Très elegant.
2013-08-22 21.55.23Quick break inside the station.

2013-08-22 22.05.52

Then back to la fête with Kory Aversa, one of the many brains behind the magic! 

2013-08-22 22.32.42

Merci beaucoup to all that put this together.  See you next summer!!

Tasty Tuesday: National Cheesecake Day

Oh yes!  A lovely item to celebrate.  I don’t know if my girls Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia knew how far ahead of the curve they were with their cheesecake fetish.  Who knew that it would soon have its own holiday?  From a popular dish in ancient Greece to a New York delicacy to having a restaurant chain named after it.  Evolution.  And one  that’s what?  Global!  New York may have its own style of cheesecake but countries around the world also make it their own!

Golden Girls and their New York Style Cheesecake

Polish Sernik

Swedish Ostkaka

German Käsekuchen

South African Rose Cheesecake

Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Cake Cheesecake

Just gained 10 pounds/4.5 kilos!

Tasty Tuesday: Globe Cake!

So long, Ms. Stabinski (my former Earth Science teacher)!  The cake genius behind www.cakecrumbs.me created a new and highly effective tutorial of the Earth’s layers.  The crust, mantle and core have never been so sweet.  A little blue and green marshmallow fondant here, a little orange and lemon Madeira sponge cake there and voilà!  It was much more intricate than those two steps but oversimplifying the process gives us intermediate-level bakers hope for a similar outcome ;-).  She did the globe justice and gave the students a taste of the world all in one.  A+!!

Find the full set of instructions here.

Independence Week: Taste of Philadelphia

TasteOn one of the hottest days of the season, we braved the humid 96 degree-day (35°C) to taste some dishes of Philly’s food players.  In the end, it became more of a quest for chilled options in order to stay cool.  It worked…for a short while.  When our frozen food/drinks started to melt quickly before our eyes, we took that as a cue to exit!

Favorite Indian beverage, Mango Lassi, from Karma Restaurant & Bar.

LassiRan into bloggerfriend, Brittiny, of Fashion of Philly.



Loved the veggie presence at The Twisted Tail.


Award goes to Brown Betty Dessert Boutique for most creative vending space!

 DSCN0082 DSCN0085

Rita’s water ice was necessary even after Brown Betty’s ice cream sandwich.

Rita's Line

Hmmm…maybe they should go global.



Found some freebies!DSCN0130 And a slam dunk contest on the way out 🙂Slam Dunk

View from the parking lot.


And away we went!

Semana de Indpendencia: Wawa Hoagie Day

Nos quedan dos días para el Día de Independencia de América!  No hay ningún sitio mejor para celebrar que lugar de nacimiento de nuestra independencia, Filadelfia.  Este año, Wawa se ha quedado a cargo de la ciudad y ha planificado eventos a través de la semana.  Se llama Wawa Welcome America (Wawa Da la Bienvenidos a América).  Si no conoces esta cadena infame, es la parada esencial del noreste.  Es bueno para comprar gasolina, café y sus hogies amados.  No es un sub.  No es un hero.  Un hoagie!  El evento de hoy fue un día de sus sandwiches especiales.  Por dos horas, repartieron el almuerzo a miles de turistas y Filadelfianos.  También, proveyeron entrenamiento y entradas gratuitas al Centro Nacional de la Constitución (National Constitution Center).  Mira debajo a un poquito de la diversión 🙂

O Hogie

Wawa Audience Singing Trio

J Patriotic Onyx @ Constitution

Pimera foto hecha por Wawa.

Independence Week: Wawa Hoagie Day

We’re two days away from America’s Independence Day!  There’s no place better to celebrate than the birthplace of our independence, Philadelphia.  This year, Wawa has taken over the city and laid out events throughout the week and called it Wawa Welcome America.  For those unfamiliar with this infamous chain, it is the staple convenience stop of the northeast.  Good for purchasing gas, coffee and their beloved hoagies.  Not a sub.  Not a hero.  A hoagie!  Today’s sponsored event was a day of their signature sandwiches.  For two hours they doled out lunch to thousands of tourists and Philadelphians.  They even provided entertainment and free entrance to the National Constitution Center to accompany the meals!  See a snippet of the fun below 🙂

O Hogie

Singing Trio Wawa Audience

J Patriotic Onyx @ Constitution

Top photo provided by Wawa.

El Culpado de los Cronuts

La locura por un cronut ha crecido rapidamente y miles de neoyorquinos se levantan temprano y esperan horas por una mordida.  ¿Qué es un cronut?  Es una mezcla de medialuna y buñuelo (también conocido como una medialuna frita con un agujero) y es el nuevo pastel de hojaldre de la hora.  Hay muchos imitadores brotando y los especuladores, sí los especuladores, están ganando mucho por llevarlos por $100 cada uno.  Todo de eso a las manos de un francés, Chef Dominique Ansel.  Nacido al norte de París, Ansel ha dejado su sello en muchas cocinas alrededor el mundo.  Actualmente, las delicias de su pastelería homónima están a punto de ensombrecer otra delicia francesa de moda, el macaron.  Si él empieza a hacer cronuts minis, ganará esa batalla seguramente.  Tendremos que esperar para ver lo que sucede. 


Tasty Tuesday: The Cronut Culprit

The “cronut craze” has taken off rapidly and is driving countless New Yorkers to rise early and wait hours for a bite.  What’s a cronut?  It is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut (AKA a fried croissant with a hole) and the new “it” pastry.  Copycats are sprouting and scalpers, yes scalpers, are profiting by delivering them for a cool $100 each.  All of this at the hands of Frenchman, Chef Dominique Ansel.  Born just north of Paris, Ansel has left his mark in kitchens around the world.  Now the goods from his self-titled bakery are on the verge of overshadowing another trendy French treat, macarons.  If he starts making mini cronuts, he may win that battle for sure.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.