Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Thanksgiving! Yum.

Here's part two of my long, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!

So, the turkey turned out beautiful. I didn't eat any, but everyone said it was great.

So good! The yellow pile on the top right is my mom's corn casserole. My favorite!

The day after Thanksgiving, Emily and I relaxed with a bowl of popcorn (with butter, parm, and salt!), some tea, and caught up on Modern Family and other greats.

...and cuddled with Wyatt of course!

 Later on, we dragged Dad and Lee to Market Cross Pub in Carlisle. I've been wanting to go here for a while when at home, and I'm glad we got the chance to go.
They make a few of their own beers there, and also have a awesome selection of craft beers.
My dad artfully sampled my Sea Dog Blueberry...

Dad had the sampler of the house brewed beers. They were all really good! We didn't know which ones were which though.

Dad, Emily, and I all had the crab and corn bisque, and Lee ordered the chili. The soup was delicious...it stayed piping hot the whole time, and it was the perfect meal for a cold, windy afternoon.

Back at home, we feasted on leftovers...the best part of Thanksgiving.

 ...and Maggie finally settled down and I was able to get a normal picture!

I love being home!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Highlights of Home.

I'm back! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving...I sure did :) I was a little worried at first since I was sick last week, but I ended up getting better and enjoying my time at home.
I took the train home, which was great. This picture was taken at Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA. See straight across to the other side of the valley? The train tracks curve around to there. If the train is long enough and you're sitting in the front car, you can see the end of the train out the window. So exciting.

My mom picked me up, and after I took a nice long nap, she made us white pizza on her homemade pizza crust. Sooooooo good. I wish I was brave enough to make my own pizza crust.

The crust was so crispy and flaky, and the pizza itself was amazing! Thanks Mom :)

On Wednesday night, I met one of my best friends, Brie, for a couple drinks. We never really get to see each other, so this was really great. We enjoyed a couple of girly drinks - a pineapple spritzer, and...crap I forget the second one!

We picked up Emily and went to the Caddy Shack  to enjoy some of PA's finest brews.

We had a great time :) and sadly, at 23 and 24, we are still all about the potty humor.

Onto Thanksgiving! Emily was in charge of desserts, so I went over to her place and watched :)
She decided to make Pioneer Woman's Nantucket Cranberry Pie and her Pecan Pie. Excellent choices. They were both simply amazing.
She started off with the pecan pie - those are my fork imprints along the edge :)

The goopy stuff that gets poured over the chopped pecans...

The finished pecan pie! Slightly burned, but still very delicious.

The cranberry pie was super easy...just dump cranberries in a buttered pie pan...

...then layer on chopped pecans, some sugar, and then a super easy cake batter.

The finished product! This was so amazing. The cranberries were so tart, and everything else was sweet. Emily added only about 2/3 of the sugar the recipe called for. It just seemed like a lot.

The table was set before everyone got there thanks to my dad's impeccable timing skills.

 Emily and I were ridiculously excited when we found out that my dad was using Bobby Flay's recipe for Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla Pecan Butter. 
This recipe is definitely a keeper. I loved it! My dad even found the pomegranate molasses to use in the recipe.

 It definitely looks like Thanksgiving in here.


The beautiful pre-dinner spread that kept us all quiet until dinner was ready...delicious.

I enjoyed a bloody Mary during the pre-dinner stretch thanks to Lee.

I think Maggie hates having her picture taken :(

Dad used Martha Stewart's cheese cloth soaked in butter trick for the turkey. It looked deeeelicious and smelled like heaven in the whole house!

That's all for now! More exciting Thanksgiving activities later :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Even though I had to go into work this weekend, I ended up having a fun weekend thanks to Andy and a couple of friends.
I started of the weekend with a Harpoon IPA. So refreshing. The last time I had Harpoon, I was at the brewery in Boston with Lisa. Memories! 

Kat and Tyler drove up my way, and as soon as they arrived, we headed to Ladles. Andy and I had just been there a few days beforehand, so we decided to give it another try.
Kat and I both ordered the Dirty Ladletini. They went way overboard with the dirty, and it tasted like there was more olive juice than gin.

Kat and Tyler :)

Andy and Tyler got Lion's Head. Yum.

Andy and I entertained with some terrifying duets.
I ordered the Marilyn as my second drink, which was much better. Lemon vodka, raspberry rum, and Grand Marnier.
Sadly, although the food was good, the service was lacking. Our waiter was great, but the kitchen screwed up everything.

We then headed to House of 1000 Beers. See this list? Every time you try a new draft (or bottle, but that's a separate list), you write it down on your card, which they keep there for you. When you reach 16 beers, you get a free shirt. There are more levels after that, but I forget what they are. Eventually you end up with your name on the wall.

Kat got a Mad Elf - which means the holidays are definitely here!

It ended up being a great night...thanks guys!

After a six hour train ride home to Harrisburg, which was after leaving work early because I was so sick, I am finally home curled up on my mom's couch. I've had a fever on and off for the past 24 hours, so it better not be the flu! I can't be sick for Thanksgiving!

If anyone is traveling this week, please travel safely!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Bits.

 On Saturday, Andy distracted me with food while my car :-( was sitting alone in a mechanic's lot. The outcome of my car ended up being very bad, but we had an awesome time on Saturday!!
We went to the Strip District and after a couple tries at other restaurants, ended up at Bella Notta. This is a pizza and pasta place, and after walking by it so many times in the past, I finally got to try it!

 Bloody Mary extra spicy with gin for me, Bud heavy for him.
Awesome Bloody Mary, but where's my freakin olives/celery/peppers...anything?? The lime was fine, but I like a little breakfast with my drinks.

 I tried to be healthy...or something...and ordered a Caesar salad, but I definitely should have gone with the pizza. There wasn't anything wrong with the salad, it just wasn't too great. They gave me pouched dressing too, which was kind of a let down. BUT, Andy's pizza was amazing! A huge slice, and the crust was fantastic.

We also got garlic toast Italian style, and they pretty much changed my life. So cheesy, slightly crispy, and piping hot.

 We stopped by Trader Joe's on the way back to my place, since I won't be able to grocery shop on my own for a while. Blame my town and its lack of grocery store and public transportation. We picked up these frozen marinated tuna steaks. Two for $6! The marinade was lemony, herby, and buttery. Perfect.

 Andy cooked them up with some TJ's frozen green beans and their brown basmati rice. Awesome dinner!!

Plus some Ritter Sport with hazelnuts for dessert :)

Good things always come out of the bad! Also, walking to work has been pretty fun! Taking the long way and stopping by Sheetz hasn't been so bad either :)

I hope everyone's weekend is great! And, if you have a car to sell, give me a heads up! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


On Monday, after a frustrating (but fun) weekend, Andy came over and took me to Ladles in Springdale. Ladles is very close to me, but I hadn't tried it until this Monday...and I'm sad I waited so long! On the outside, you assume it's just another Italian restaurant, as there are many in the area.
When we got there, we noticed that we were the only ones there. I guess that will happen at 8:30 on a Monday night. The manager/owner (?) was very friendly and the waiter was super nice as well. The inside is very cozy and made us feel at home.
Their beer selection is semi-decent, and they have a very extensive wine selection.

We started off with their hot artichoke dip. We weren't expecting the bread bowl, so that was an added bonus! This dip was definitely home made, and it was so delicious! It wasn't too heavy - the artichokes were the main star, and the rest of the dip took the back seat. There were seriously huge chunks of artichokes!

Andy started off with a cup of the crab bisque, and also ordered the burger with bleu cheese and mushrooms. He said it was fantastic!

I ordered the small portabello salad (can you believe this is the small?) with their homemade balsamic vinaigrette. O.M.G. the dressing was amazing! The mushrooms were awesome as well. Slightly too salty, but delicious nonetheless.

I also ordered a bowl of the crab bisque. This was so decadent. More crab than cream. I don't usually like super creamy soups, so I was worried when ordering this bisque. But no, this was absolutely amazing, and in no way super creamy. I could barely finish half of it, especially after the dip. So rich, and awesome to have leftovers!

I'm so happy I finally tried Ladles. I will definitely be back soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Beer Tuesday

Welcome to New Beer Tuesday, where I provide my unprofessional review on the latest new (to me!) beer.

This week's beauty is Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine.
I'm a huge fan of DFH and was ecstatic when I saw one at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington (no website :( ) that I haven't tried yet! The brewery's website explains that it is brewed with dates and figs...awesome! At 15% alcohol, this ridiculously strong beer was far from obnoxious potency, though you can definitely feel its warmth. It started out tasting sweet and strong with a little kick of hops, then all of a sudden you get a sour aftertaste.
Its average grade on Beer Advocate is a B+.
 I left the price tag on ($4.00!!!) so you could see how amazingly cheap it was. THAT is why I love living in the Allegheny Valley. I could have easily paid $18.00 for this beer at the Sharp Edge (which is how much I paid for my DFH World Wide Stout last winter...I'm still hurting). Sure, Sharp Edge is fantastic, but damn, it's so cheap up here! If you live in the area, you must check out House of 1000 Beers (formerly 6 and Save). It's worth the drive!

The bottle cap? Awesome. DFH gives its beers different bottle caps based on alcohol content. Gold-ish = 6-9%; Dark pink = 9-12%; Green = 12+%
Did you know that Dogfish Head makes more high alcohol content beers than any other brewery? (I think just in the US)

I don't have any snifters, so we used wine glasses (we could have drank the beer at the shop, too). Andy and I shared the bottle, and it was plenty of beer for the two of us.
Look at that beautiful color! It was a bright glowing orange, which seemed to perfectly match the flavors. 

I hope you enjoyed NBT!