Friday, April 1, 2011

Our First Guests!

by Meghann on April 1, 2011

They’re here!


And Maddie is beaming from ear to ear. 🙂

Kelly, Anthony, Ben, and Ashley arrived safe and sound from Orlando this afternoon. They are my first official visitors since moving to Tampa. Plenty of reason to celebrate, right?

Bring on the cupcakes!


I was getting a little antsy waiting for them to arrive and decided baking was the best way to busy my mind. It was also a great excuse to test out the Oatmeal Cookie Cupcake recipe Mama Pea had posted a while back.


I followed the recipe the best I could (with what I had on hand) and only substituted pumpkin for the applesauce and peanut butter instead of almond butter.



The icing was a different story. I sort of made my own by beating powder sugar, peanut flour, milk, and vanilla extract. I wasn’t exact and only added what I thought I needed by taste, but I was happy with the way it came out.



After a long drive, I know my family appreciated the sweet treat. Heck, I hadn’t driven anywhere and I found myself diving right in too. The cupcakes were moist with a hint of spice and the peanut butter flavored icing was rich and sweet. These were a great idea.


After a round of cupcakes, a short tour, and a little catch up, we headed to Cigar City Brewery for their Tasting Room.



Cigar City Brewery is a small local brewery with distribution primarily in the Tampa Bay area. They’re known for their out of the box brews and kick back style.






I ordered the Moduro Brown Ale. I’ve had it before and already knew it was a great beer. I’ve had a fondness for rich brown ales lately. I enjoy their depth of flavor and bite.




We toured the city a bit more before meeting Derek and some of his co-workers at The Bricks in Ybor City.


The Bricks was another wonderful recommendation from a few of my new Tampa friends. As soon as I heard there was a ‘Peanut Butter Bar’ on the menu, I was sold.


Yes, there’s a build-your-own Peanut Butter Bar on the menu! And they have a lot of fun combos to go with it. One of Derek’s co-workers ordered the ‘Elvis’ (a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Sandwich) and I had been eyeing the Peanut Butter, Gruyere Cheese, and Apple combo online for a while. I was really close to getting it too, but when the time came to order I was sadly not in the peanut butter mood – the horror!

Instead I ordered the Portabelly (portobello, red pepper, cheese, and tomato on a baguette) with Potato Salad.


Usually Portobello Sandwiches translate into really greasy sandwiches, but this wasn’t greasy at all. It was slightly sweet from a balsamic dressing on the inside and the outside was hard and crusty. It was a great sandwich!

I managed to steel some of my sister and Anthony’s nachos. Those were fab too.


We were seated in the back, by the stage, and were dining just as the band (who was performing later that night) were completing their sound check. The management felt guilty about the extra noise and treated us with free dessert as his apology.

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I had a bite sized piece of each. Loved the red velvet. The chocolate? Eh.

The manager really had no need to apologize. The band was pretty good and the soundcheck was short, but it was really great of his to present the free dessert. Heck, he didn’t even ask if we wanted it – he just brought it to the table anyways. Good man!

We finished our evening in Ybor with a little drag.


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Gotta love a girl who looks better in heels than I do!


Yea, I don’t get the snakes either, but boy she knew how to shake it!

Alright, time to rest. I have a long run with my siblings tomorrow!

Good Night!

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