The Weekend Dish: 10/16/2010

How did half of October already vanish? It seems nearly impossible that we are already more than halfway through the month! Football is in full swing, the hockey season has started, the leaves have changed colors and are falling, swirling in the wind and there is a decided chill in the air. My absolute favorite month of the year, and I have been enjoying every minute of it. How about you? Do you have any Halloween plans in the works? Any parties to attend? While you’re plotting costume ideas, let’s do a little weekend dishing! As always, you’ll find a recap of what was posted to the site this week as well as some bookmarked recipes from other blogs. Then, some random musings about some random stuff. Enjoy! :)

On Brown Eyed Baker This Week

Beer and Pretzel Soft Caramels – Soft caramel candies are infused with ale, and set with pretzels, which make for wonderful sweet/salty candies, and something perfect for the men in your life!

Cheese, Olive and Ham Bread – A wonderful quick bread recipe full of cheese, sliced olives and diced ham. Great for breakfast, a snack, or cube it and add it to your appetizer tray!

Pumpkin Pie Bars – Not quite blondies and not quite brownies, these bars have the texture and flavor of a pumpkin pie without the crust. They should hold you over until Thanksgiving dinner!

10 Spooky & Delicious Halloween Recipes – A roundup of some very creative Halloween recipes; great if you’re throwing a party or just want to have some fun in the kitchen!

Most Viewed Recipe This Week: The Baked Brownie

What I Bookmarked This Week

Recipes from other blogs that I thought looked especially delicious and that I thought you would like too:

Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanlla (Simply Recipes)
I fell in love with butternut squash last year, and this simple roasted version with walnuts, herbs and vanilla sounds delicious!

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
Um, wow. Amazing. Decadent is right. If this is death by chocolate, I would die a happy girl.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Two Peas and Their Pod)
These little cookies are so cute, and I love that they are soft and chewy. And I will wager that they taste a million times better than the ones you find in the white box at the grocery store!

Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts with Maple Glaze (Joy the Baker)
I made homemade pop-tarts awhile back, but these are such a perfect rendition for fall. Can’t wait to try them!

Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting (Annie’s Eats)
I was completely transfixed by the frosting on this cake. Everyone needs a classic yellow cake and chocolate icing recipe in their stash, and I couldn’t think of a better one to add to mine!

Weekend Fun

Some random musings about stuff that has gone on in the last week…

1. I saw the Pens play against the Canadiens at Consol last Saturday. My thoughts on Consol, the Pens, the game, etc. (Be forewarned… this bullet point might get long.)

Jumbotron at Consol Energy Center

1A. First and foremost, Consol Energy Center is a wonderful, beautiful arena. I had already been inside during the open house, but seeing it bustling with people, and the ice down, ready for action… it was great. Lots of great places to eat, including Primanti’s, Dairy Queen (enjoyed a Dilly Bar during 2nd intermission), and hello? Sushi in the arena?! How swanky has Pittsburgh become? (Answer: it hasn’t.) Is this the Hilary Duff L.A. effect? I mean, Nakama is popular and all, but I was sort of blown away by that. Anywho… view from my seat:

View from seats

1B. Hello Hal Gill. I miss you and your massiveness and shot blocking. Come back?

Hal Gill during pre-game warmups

1C. Streeeeeeeetch that hip flexor, Sid. I know, it hurts. P.S. Hi Mr. Duff and Hi Max!

Sid stretching during pre-game warmups

1D. The ice doesn’t seem all that great. During TV breaks when the crew shovels up the loose ice, it looked like the 2010 Snowpocalypse had blown through. Insane amounts of snowy ice on the surface. No bueno. Speaking of the crew shoveling the ice…

1E. I don’t like the new Ice Crew. Okay, Pens, I get it. It’s a flashy new arena and you want to do flashy new things. But the Ice Crew? I don’t need to watch toothpick-size girls with blonde hair to their butts and plastered-on smiles try to shovel up bucketloads of loose ice. It looks far from efficient. And it kept looking like the refs were going to have to scurry them off the ice because they weren’t done in time. Not a fan.

1F. Speaking of new things, or lack of old things, where the EFF is Rock n’ Roll Part II? I mean, seriously. Two things epitomized goal scoring at Mellon Arena: (1) The goal horn, which you brought over to the new arena (thank you); and (2) screaming “Hey!” and throwing fists in the air after a goal. Saturday night after the first goal there was… nothing. Seriously? It was quiet, so bizarre. After the second goal, there was the “whoo hoo” song. Better than nothing, but still not going to do. Please reconsider. No need to change something that wasn’t broken.

1G. A little faceoff action.

Faceoff right in front of our seats

1H. Brooks Orpik, a.k.a. Crazy Eyes.

Brooks Orpik

He and Mike Rupp looked like they wanted to destroy someone Saturday night. Sitting only 4 rows back, you can appreciate the looks, the grits, the hits, and the between-plays jawing. I love hockey.

1I. Where’s Waldo? Part of me made it into this AP photo from right before Mark Letestu scored:

Can you see me?

1J. Conspiracy Theory. I’m going with the fact that underneath the new arena is an old cemetery belonging to the church next door. We’re now cursed. Send in Ghost Hunters! I’m kidding. Sort of. I think? I know we’re only a little over a week into the season and we have a lot of new faces and are missing some key players, but man this start is disheartening.

1K. I love hockey, I love the Pens, and I have faith. Back-to-back this weekend. Let’s Go Pens!

2. My fantasy football team lost for the first time this week. I’m now 4-1, which is tied with one other team for the best record, but I have  more points, so I’m still in possession of 1st place. As a follow up from last week, yes I did sit Ray Rice, but it didn’t matter, I still would have lost even if I had played him. Which actually makes me feel better ;-)  I got demolished, no thanks to Peyton Manning and Arian Foster. This is a new week… hoping I can get my winning streak back!

3. Big Ben returns to the Steelers this week. Well, technically he returned last week to practice, but we had a bye last Sunday. I’m curious to see how the crowd responds to him at Heinz Field. Word around town is that there are going to be some “protesters” outside of the stadium. I’m not sure what exactly they’ll be protesting, but should be interesting. I would have loved to have gone to Latrobe for training camp and heckle him. He was an embarrassment to the Steelers and to our city. I wish they would have traded them. But, they didn’t. So, while disliking him, I still have to wave my Terrible Towel and just hope he somehow has a craptastic season and that we somehow still win. Possible?

4. Have any good books to recommend? I’ve been lapsing on reading lately and found myself uninspired while browsing through Barnes & Noble looking for something. Not sure if I want to go the bestseller route, an old classic, a book club type book. I can’t decide. So… I’d love to hear your recommendations! Please and thank you :)