Cookie Tourism

This is one of the weekends each year that makes me proud to be a Lawrenceville resident. 
It's the weekend of Lawrenceville's "The Joy of Cookies" Cookie Tour!  Last year, we were welcomed by the Tour on our first official weekend as residents of Pittsburgh.  What's really neat about this event is that local bakeries take a shop's favorite cookie recipe and bake dozens and dozens of those cookies, which in turn the shoppers get to enjoy. Our plan is to brew a large batch of coffee to take with us, then shop Saturday morning. We can't wait to get a few extra gift items for folks back home! {And, the cookies...!}

The Tour will run from Thursday through Sunday at 5pm. Many stores will have discounts, so shop early! 



This past Thursday I gave thanks for my husband, family, friends, the life we live, and...good food. We were able to celebrate on a small-scale, which was nice {keeping in mind that we'll be flying to and staying with family and friends in Texas for almost 2 weeks!}
The small feast started with Husband making Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery {are you seeing a trend yet?!} Buttermilk Biscuits.
Certainly worth the small amount of work required. It goes without saying that these were the best biscuits I've ever eaten. Including restaurant biscuits. Sigh.
A look at our tiny kitchen counter as we cooked.


{Recipe} Boozy Cranberry Sauce

As we speak, we have buttermilk biscuits in the oven, clove-spiced pumpkin cobbler prepped to go in, and boozy cranberry sauce finished on the stove. As I was Instagramming photos of my cranberry progress, I found that one of my good friends from college said she was making a similar version with amaretto and lemon zest. Sounds fantastic! Either way, you have boozy goodness!


Over the Weekend: Light Up, Inside and Out

This weekend really started on Thursday night, with a healthy version of one of our favorite guilty dishes.
{Thursday Night: Pasta Carbonara made with wheat pasta + center-cut bacon + skim milk + reduced amount of yolk, cheese; Friday: apricot and walnut rugelach on the house at my favorite cafe; Friday Night: {3} starting off Pittsburgh's Light Up Night 2012 at Rivers Casino, {4} "Circus Candy" dessert at Six Penn, {5} Just before the fireworks at the Bridge Party; Saturday: {6} gift shopping at Williams-Sonoma; {7} Found my holiday party dress at J Crew; Sunday: rewarding ourselves for doing laundry and cleaning the house with spaghetti squash and roasted veggies; Sunday Night: Putting up Christmas decorations on November 18. Shh. I won't tell if you won't tell.}

Of note: It's been one year since I first laid eyes on Pittsburgh.  It's been a journey, but I'm happy I'm here. 


Over the Weekend: Soup, Wok and Soergel's

Friday night we had dinner out at an old favorite, then proceeded to have a busy weekend.

{1.&2. Saturday: Spent at the Bulgarian Macedonian Center's flea market {wok for $2.50!}, and grabbing soup for the road at Soup Sega; 3.&4. Sunday Morning: Husband's coffee cakes via Thomas Keller; 5. Duck action at Soergel Orchard's fall sale; 6. Toe-to-toe; 7. Sunday Afternoon: Using our saved-up 20% off at Giant Eagle to buy pantry staples...and cheese;  8. Sunday Night:  Putting the newly cleaned/seasoned wok to use with Healthy General Tso's for dinner; 9. Cuddle buggin' while working on school work.}

How was your weekend? I hope you're enjoying this fantastic weather!


Adding to the Wishlist

With the holiday season and someone's birthday coming up, I've been filling my wishlist to the brim {and purging it of a few items I must have added after a cocktail or three}.

An item that won't fit on that wishlist {as it's not offered through anyone but Williams-Sonoma} is this beauty:
via Williams-Sonoma
Now, I'm not one for overindulgence, but how can you say no to something that can make Thomas Keller's cassoulet? You can sear/brown meat or toast breadcrumbs in the metal insert, slow cook the dish, then finish it in the oven {bubbling, crusty cheese, anyone?}. It's such a multi-tasker in comparison to my current version. With a model with a timer I could make dishes on my own schedule, and not have to worry about rushing home {or having Husband rush home} to turn something to 'warm'.
It was love at first sight.  I've told Husband about it, but neither one of us can stomach the $250 price tag {which is reduced from the shelf price of $400!}.  I wish it could be mine.  I am, however, on the lookout for something similar within the sane price category.

What are you wishing for this holiday season?  Tag me in a Pin or tweet it to me!


The True Story of Rally Monday

The beginning of this week has been one to remember. Yes, we potentially have an elected leader, and I've been assured once more that my views and hopes for this country will be taken into consideration in the White House.

We have two items to discuss.

One, is a veeeeery good thing.  The other is quite terrible.

First thing's first.


Over The Weekend: Starting November

My weekend went a little like this:

{1. Friday Evening: Imperfect Health exhibit at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University; 2. Friday Night: Bun Cari Ga or curried chicken noodle soup for a cold and rainy dinner date; 3. Saturday: Texas Tech football game watching in the Northside; 4. Sunday: A Better Nutter, baked by Husband from the Bouchon Bakery cook book.}

Today is a busy one at work, full of meetings and deadlines. Then, tonight we're off to Youngstown, OH for that rally. See you soon, and don't forget to vote tomorrow!


Football Game!

Wreck 'Em Tech!
It's game day here in southwestern PA, but not for any local teams - we're heading downtown with several fellow Texas Tech University graduates out to watch the Tech vs. UT game this afternoon. 
Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.
 Hopefully, I won't come home in a terrible mood because we have Trick-or-Treaters coming tonight.
Get Your Guns Up! 
{Metaphorically, of course.}

 - - -

So, we lost.  But, I got to meet some fun people, and reminisce over my college days. And, I got some material for a PGH Dining post! Soon to follow.


A Pennsylvania Dem in a Rep's Court

I've said, "Good Morning," to Friday with some big news {well, relatively big news to some} - Husband begged on his hands and knees asked me to attend a political rally with him on Monday night in Youngstown, Ohio. A Republican rally, mind you.  He cited the fact that these are truly historical events, and that he's never gotten to attend a rally before.  Insert sad puppy-dog face.  Of course, he prefaced all of this with, "I know you'll probably say no, but I wanted to ask anyway."  What's a good wife supposed to say to that?
I conceded.
{Only after he promised to buy me dinner first.}

With that being said, I have a lot to think about this weekend prior to the rally.
 1. What am I going to wear?  If I show up wearing my team's colors {BLUE}, I'll surely be mobbed. Maybe compromise with a purple cardigan?
2. Where should we eat dinner?  This is certainly the most important question to cogitate.

If you can't read between the lines, I'll shout it out to you - Our house is a divided house on many issues, which directly relates to the political candidates we choose.  Case in point: our views on health care delivery in this country.  Paul Ryan's ticket will not be getting my vote, but I do want to hear what he has to say.

I jokingly said to Husband that if I were pulled out of the crowd to ask Mr. Ryan a question, I'd just remark at how happy I was that my husband let me out of the house and I didn't have to rush home to cook dinner for my family.  Burn.

In all honesty, I do want to attend the rally to hear from this Vice Presidential candidate. It's especially exciting because we're attending a rally in a true swing state, Ohio.  I've only been to one other rally {in Durant, Oklahoma}, for VP hopeful John Edwards, during my senior year of high school.  I'm not going to lie - I was dazzled as an eighteen-year-old girl by his attractive smile and the prospect of shaking his hand. His speech inspired, and I was ready to go cast my vote.  Too bad that backfired, and maybe this is karma.  I won't say that Paul Ryan's speech will instill the same feelings {even though he reportedly has spent many hours with Tony Horton}, but I think it'll be interesting to sidle my views up to his answers for comparison.
If anything, I hope this post makes you laugh go cast your vote.  This election will be close, so every vote {Republican or Democratic} counts!