Tuesday, September 28, 2010

pumpkin lovin'

it's fall. and that means baking. i got this recipe from my friend, kim last year but this is the first time i have put it to use. these pumpkin cookies are melt-in-your-mouth, even-if-you-don't-like-pumpkin-cookies-i-bet-you'll-like-these type cookies.

make them. you won't be disappointed.

best pumpkin cookies

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (you can use the canned from the store)
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt

Cream shortening and sugars well. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla; mix well. Sift dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture and blend well. Drop onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool and frost.

3 T. butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan: bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Cool Slightly. Add milk, beat until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar to make a spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cookies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


since i'm a total foodie and love food way more than i should, i thought i would document some places to eat here in pittsburgh that i really enjoy {in no particular order}

qdoba. i don't know what is wrong with me, but i've been craving mexican lately. and if you know me, that means something is seriously wrong with me. i just haven't figured out what yet.

big jim's. i think this is the first restaurant tannon & i tried when we moved here. my friend, blair, saw it on the food network, so we figured it must be good. it's a family favorite.

church brew works. this place is neat. it's an old church, turned into a brewery. make sure to sit on the left side, though. that's where they serve pizza & subs. the right side is fine dining that will cost you an arm and a leg. we really like their pizza.

buffalo blues. i actually really liked the food here. it's bar food, but it was fun. i think a lot of people go here to drink and watch sports, so it might be a hectic on a game night.

cafe euro. really great food. a little pricey, but worth it.

deLuca's. best.breakfast.ever. no, really.

pamela's. this was the best breakfast place. until i met deLuca's.

sheetz. i know this is really weird, but hear me out. sheetz is a gas station and they sell subs. and they are so good. unfortunately, these aren't actually in pittsburgh, but whenever we travel outside of pittsburgh, we're bound to drive by at least one.

la capella. really good italian food and conveniently located.

monte cello's. another italian restaurant worth mentioning.

judge me all you want.

Friday, September 17, 2010


it turns out i'm an introvert. i always knew that i needed more 'alone' time than the average person, but i just read this article and now it all makes sense.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

you know you have a temperature problem when...

you come into work and see this on your work website:

* * * * * * * *
Fall begins when.........

A) School starts
B) The weather gets cool and you have to wear a jacket.
C) When the calendar says, "Fall begins today."
D) When McCall keeps her heater on all day, instead of most of the day.
E) When the leaves start to change.
F) Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer comes out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

zucchini & red onion flatbread

i saw this recipe a while back on the sister's dish and thought it looked very interesting. then, my friend, sarah, said she made it so i wanted to give it a shot. i'm so glad i did! i will be making this again and again.

1 batch of your favorite pizza dough (i made this one)
3/4 cup cream cheese (i actually didn't have that much cream cheese, so i puree'd some cottage cheese to make up the difference)
to taste: dill, pepper, garlic salt, italian seasoning, parsley, oregano, etc.
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small red onion, cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1 zucchini (yellow or green), cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds
3 T. chopped fresh parsley or your favorite herbs -(i used Rosemary)
olive oil

1. chop veggies. prepare dough. preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. combine cream cheese with dill, garlic salt, and other desired seasonings.

3. brush a large baking sheet with olive oil, and stretch dough out in the pan.

4. spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, sprinkle with parmesan.

5. arrange 1 row of zucchini slices down 1 long side of the dough. arrange onion rounds in a row alongside zucchini. repeat until all is used. brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with s + p.

6. bake until puffy and golden brown, about 24 minutes. sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

i caught a bug

i'm officially addicted to photography. i'm not any good, but i'm sure having a heck of a time pretending.

i have been taking an online photography class. and i love it.

my teacher, faith, is so sweet that she even featured one of my pictures. i'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with the photographer, but all to do with the subject. i'll take what i can get.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


for several reasons, i have decided to make my blog public.

go ahead and add me to your google reader.

or not.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

one thing i learned today

today, everyone is peppy.
everyone is pumped.
everyone is smiling.
it's like they're in utopia.

the steelers (a.k.a. 'stillers') are playing tonight.
pitt utah is playing tonight.
pittsburgers la la love their football.


my boss is determined to help me understand football bookkeeping.
his dad was an illegal bookkeeper for college football
and i'm preeeeetty sure he had something to do with the mafia.
anyway. today he's teaching me about spreads, juice, push, over & under, you name it.

he won't stop quizzing me. my brain is starting to hurt.

on the syllabus for tomorrow's training: parleys & teezers.

wish me luck.

p.s. go U.T.A.H.!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

i'm going there someday

i am now accepting donations to go on this cruise. i pretty much dream about it at night.

Day 1. Auckland, New Zealand
Embark the m/s Paul Gauguin in the stunning harbor of Auckland, known as the "City of Sails."

Day 2. Tauranga, New Zealand
The city of Tauranga is at the head of a large harbor and has beautiful beaches. Take the day to climb Mt. Mauao, a small mountain with spectacular views of the coastline, or explore the area's kiwifruit industry.

Day 3. Bay of Islands, New Zealand
This bay has 144 tiny isles and an abundance of interesting marine life for guests to see, including penguins, whales and dolphins.

Days 4 - 5. At Sea
At sea, with wildlife and history lectures, trips to the casino or piano bar and Polynesian dance revues.

Day 6. Nuku’Alofa, Tonga
Disembark at Nuku’Alofa, the tiny capital of the tiny kingdom of Tonga. Meander along mellow streets and visit stone churches and the Victorian-style Royal Palace.

Days 7 - 8. At Sea
Days at sea, with still plenty left to do onboard, including luxuriating in the ship’s award-winning spa, with its professional facials, body wraps, aromatherapy and beauty treatments.

Day 9. Rarotonga, Cook Islands It may be the capital and most populous isle of the Cook Islands, but Rarotonga’s population is even smaller than Nuku’Alofa’s, at just 14,000. Its unpolluted and crystalline Muri Lagoon is a snorkeler’s dream locale.

Day 10. Nuku’Alofa, Tonga
If you didn’t have a chance on Day 6, today is another day to explore the fruit and flower marketplaces of Nuku’Alofa in Tonga.

Day 11. At Sea
Learn how to move to the intricate rhythms of Polynesian dance, or bask in the sweet sounds of a Parisian chanteuse at the La Palette Lounge.

Day 12. Bora Bora
One of the most famous and most photographed spots on Earth, towering Bora Bora was justly described by author James Michener as “the most beautiful island in the world.” Choose from the many optional excursions, such as a glass-bottom boat ride to feed stingrays, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 13. Taha’a (Motu Mahana)
Spend a full day discovering the isolated French Polynesian islet of Motu Mahana, where the cruise hosts an exclusive barbecue lunch with Polynesian musicians and singers.

Day 14. Moorea/Papeete, Tahiti
The jagged skyline of Moorea’s once-volcanic peaks makes it one of the premier honeymoon destinations in the world. A number of adventures await: catamaran sailings, visits to ancient Tahitian stone temples or golfing on one of the most scenic courses imaginable.

Day 15. Papeete, Tahiti
Papeete, Tahiti’s capital, is cosmopolitan but still laid-back, despite the locals’ complaints of “traffic.” It’s here you will bid a fond farewell to your new friends and crew as you disembark in the morning.