Friday Things


1. Last weekend I did some playing around with grapefruit in the kitchen. It’s not a flavor I’ve used much, and I had one tremendous fail, and another victory. I’ll be sharing the successful recipe with you on Monday! On that note, what is your favorite way to eat, or bake with, grapefruit?

2. I’ve always said that I love living in Pittsburgh in part because I love seasons. We have the full range of spring, summer, fall and winter here, complete with changing leaves, snow, flower blossoms and everything in between. That being said, I do feel slight twinges of jealousy when I see photos of gorgeous produce at a California farmer’s market in the middle of January.

3. I don’t play many games on my phone, but I’ve become completely addicted to Ruzzle over the last week or so. I love word and puzzle games, and this is the best of both worlds. If you play, feel free to add me as a friend or request a game with me! My username is ‘browneyedbak’.

4. Lately, I’ve been missing my grandma. She was always so eager to try anything I made in the kitchen, and ate it in earnest. I think she would have loved to try some of the new things I’ve made recently.

5. I made the unfortunate decision to buy some bags of Halloween candy when they went on sale after the holiday. Some of the candy has been put to good use (see: Snickers Rice Krispies TreatsΒ and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies), while other bags of candy (ahem, Peanut Butter Snickers Squared, ahem) have only managed to find their way into my belly. Seriously, how good are those things?! Utterly addicting.

6. This week I had lunch with a great friend at a new-to-me Pittsburgh restaurant, Union Pig & Chicken.Β They specialize in fried chicken and barbecued chicken, brisket, ribs and pork.

Union Pig & Chicken

We ordered fried chicken, a barbecued chicken sandwich, coleslaw, cornbread and mac and cheese, and proceeded to share everything. The portions were huge and the food was absolutely fantastic. I loved everything I had there; if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, definitely check it out!

7. Two weeks ago, hockey was still a crazy uncertainty. Today, I’m fully immersed. The schedule was announced, tickets went on sale, and I think I have tickets to around 9 games, not counting a few away games that my Chief Culinary Consultant and I might hit up. On top of that, he also convinced me to join a fantasy hockey league. Although I’ve been playing fantasy football for four years now, fantasy hockey seems way more complicated. Here’s hoping I catch some beginner’s luck! I’ve also added a new Thursday morning women’s hockey skills and scrimmage session to my weekly Sunday night skating and skills clinic. It’s been fun learning a new sport, and I’m getting some good exercise in the meantime!

8. A couple of weeks ago, I asked for some input on the Sorel boots I was looking to buy, so I thought I’d provide you with a little update. I ended up ordering both pairs of boots so that I could try them on at home and decide which one I liked better. Turns out, I didn’t like either one (gah!), so back they went and the search continues…

9. I’ve crossed another movie off of my “to-watch” list: The Bourne Legacy. I was a bit hesitant about this movie since it’s the first one of the Bourne series not to include Matt Damon, but I finally snagged it from Redbox. Perhaps it was my low expectations, but I actually thought it was a really good movie! The ending left a little to be desired, but the movie as a whole was very entertaining. What movies have you seen lately? I still have Zero Dark Thirty on my “to-see-in-the-theater” list!

10. TGIF! Here’s to an easy, breezy weekend!


(This awesome photo was recently featured on Iowa Girl Eats in her Friday Favorites, and I just adore it!)


42 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Priya on January 18, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Love that doggie pic!


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on January 18, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Love your Friday Lists. I just posted one too..and I have an abundance! of grapefruit to use. And I’ve not baked with it much, so will be very excited to see what you did!


  3. Penny Wolf on January 18, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I came up with a yummy version of grapefruit thumbprints.The buttery cookie goes so well with the grapefruit flavor! (If you ever have eaten a broiled grapefruit with butter and brown sugar you know what I’m talking about)

    Be careful of sharing grapefruit items with people taking statin drugs. A big “NO NO”.


  4. morri on January 18, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I like my grapefruit either fresh for breakfast (maybe with just a little bit of honey), or in a fruit salad smoothie – grapefruit, orange and strawberries thoroughly blended, with some orange juice or water to make it pourable.


  5. Dana on January 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

    The Matt Damon Bourne movies are some of my all-time favs, but I’ve yet to see Legacy either. It’s on my list though, because I’ve heard it’s good, as well as Zero Dark Thirty. And the good thing about your hockey classes is you can eat all the leftover Halloween candy you want!
    Have a great weekend!


  6. Karen Gross on January 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

    If you are still looking for boots you should try Keen Hoodoo High Lace… I bought them two years ago and they are by far my favorite, most comfortable boots!! Like a dream!!! Super comfy and they are not stiff at all.
    Good luck!! Hope they work for you!!


  7. Joan on January 18, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Grapefruit – you are lucky, you get to eat it. Grapefruit is my favorite citrus, but I can’t eat it – I take statins. I like it any way it can be served. Oh, well, there is always an orange or clementine waiting for me.


  8. Terri on January 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I too can longer have grapefruit and I miss it so. I will be interested in what you have done with it.
    Haven’t been to Union Pig & Chicken yet but plan on getting there one of these days – maybe for their Chicken and Waffles brunch. Have you tried the unique Hot Dog creations at Station Street yet (same chef/owner)? I would have never thought egg salad would taste good on a hot dog (The Devil Dog) but it rocks and so did the Poutine.
    Have a great weekend and Go Pens!


    • Michelle on January 18th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Terri, I am also tempted by the chicken and waffles, I’ve never had it and I always think it sounds fabulous! I have not been to Station Street; thank you for the recommendation, I’ll have to check it out! Go Pens indeed!


  9. Aimee St.Germain on January 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I have been wanting to try grapefruit in different salads – I have seen variations with kale or edamame that sound interesting. I’ve also seen some beautiful recipes for citrus tarts on Pinterest that I’d like to try. However, I’ll always love a simple fresh, ripe grapefruit all by itself…


  10. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Don’t you hate when you see shoes or boots that are so darn cute and than you put them on and they are ugly or make you feet look like boats! The BBQ looks amazing! We have had a few warmer days (50’s) and I have cranked up my grill!! I can’t wait for spring! Have a great weekend!


  11. Connie Beard on January 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    To answer your question about recently seen movies, my husband and I went to see Parental Guidance a few weekends ago. We haven’t been to see a movie in the theater for a few years now. We both enjoyed the movie. Most of it was funny, but there was a more serious moment in it towards the end that made us both sad. I also watched the newer Footloose movie. I signed up for Amazon Prime and wanted to try to watch a video to see whether the subscription was worth it or not. I was born in ’73, so I love the Kevin Bacon version. The newer version was ok. The best moments involved Willard learning to dance. I wish they would stop remaking or creating sequels to so many movies!


  12. Lauren on January 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    TGIF for sure! I joined your blog yesterday so this is my first email… and I am already excited about the next… great topics and conversation! I totally relate to you with you Grapefruit messes and successes— I haven’t had any luck baking with them. Have a great long weekend everyone!!


  13. Rachel @ the Avid Appetite on January 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I haven’t actually made it, but I’ve always been intrigued by Paula Deen’s grapefruit cake. I’m not even a fan of grapefruit, but for some reason I always wanted to try it! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Happy Friday!


  14. Aikko @ Bake Happy on January 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve got to try Ruzzle! πŸ™‚ I love word games!


  15. Josie F. on January 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I loved Zero Dark Thirty. I just saw it on Monday with a friend and even though you know how it all ends, it was all so exciting. We were jumping during the whole movie.


  16. Jen on January 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Favorite way to use grapefruit? Grapefruit margaritas, of course! I mean it, I’ve been making lots of those the past couple of weeks. I like to squeeze in some blood orange juice to up the color factor and sweeten it a bit. I can’t think of a better way to get my vitamin C!


  17. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on January 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I’ve never really been able to transform grapefruit into anything- I just enjoy it for breakfast, or in salads, or use the juice in cocktails πŸ™‚ Excited to see what you do with it!
    We lost my grandfather this year and my grandmother 6 years ago.. It’s hard, because the sadness goes away, but the feeling of missing them never really does. Hope you feel better <3


  18. Martha in KS on January 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I always look forward to your Friday photos. I’ve borrowed some to use as screensavers. Have a great weekend!


  19. Shelby on January 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Glad you didn’t like the boots! You should find some soon on sale! If not there,plan a shopping trip south : Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta. Are you going to Fla. any time soon?
    Argo and Lincoln are “Oscar” worthy. Haven’t seen the others.


    • Michelle on January 19th, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Hi Shelby, Yes, definitely more time to shop! We are heading to Florida in April, and are tentatively planning to go by way of Raleigh.


  20. Jamie on January 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    If you like Ruzzle, you’d probably like Scramble as well. Same concept with a few extra features.


  21. Katrina Amstutz on January 19, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I love eating grapefruit for breakfast or a midday snack! I cut it into segments into a bowl and squeeze out the remaining juice into the bowl with the segments. It looks a bit like grapefruit soup. I sprinkle on a little bit of sugar and enjoy.


  22. Laura Dembowski on January 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I’m excited to see your grapefruit recipe. I never buy them but will soon be receiving some as part of a gift of Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. I live in Michigan and am planning to move to California as soon as possible. Seasons are overrated. I very often miss my Granny. She died 5 and a half years ago and I’ve changed and grown up so much since then. She would have loved to try everything I make but I never baked then. I would appreciate her so much more now and it makes me so sad that I missed out.


  23. kat on January 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

    being that i’m in san diego, a huge craft beer area, i’ve been seeing a few local breweries add grapefruit to their IPA’s. at first i was skeptical because i’m not a fan of the lemony IPA’s, but holy heck…grapefruit IPA is actually amazing! if anyone is in my neck of the woods, i highly suggest the one from ballast point!


  24. Sue on January 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Signed up for Ruzzle and requested a game with you! Love word games! Do you play Words with Friends? User name is suec541


    • Michelle on January 20th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Sue, Awesome! I have poked around the Words with Friends, but haven’t played so much. If I download it again, I’ll add you! πŸ™‚


  25. Priscilla on January 20, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I live in Los Angeles so not sure my opinion counts, but I purchased the Sorel Tivoli boots for snow trips up in the mountains. I tried the Caribou first but they were humongous and heavy, the Tivoli are shorter(few inches above the ankle), MUCH lighter, and streamlined. They are great for general cold weather use also, and I get tons of compliments on them.


  26. Norah on January 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Just found you today be way of the almighty, Google, on a quest for DIY Pudding:

    Combined with this post, I am now convinced you are my long lost half sister πŸ™‚ Seriously, though, at the very least, lit a spark under my ass, to get my own creative projects in gear and, make that great leap into oblivion and just be heard!

    You are an inspiration m’Lady… seeing how this life fulfills you.


  27. Peggie on January 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I’ve made grapefruit-red wine marmalade. The easiest way is to deseed the grapefruit and throw it all into the food processor. For every 4 cups of grapefruit add 6 cups of sugar and 2 cups red wine. Simmer till thickened, stirring often or it will scorch, and seal in hot 1/2 pint and pint jars. I water bath them for 10 minutes. Tastes much better after it mellows for a few weeks. If you want to cut the bitter edge, remove all the white pith before you throw it in the food processor.

    I enjoy this on toast with a little cream cheese.


  28. Nancy C on January 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Silver Linings Playbook…another really good movie. Argo, too, if you haven’t seen it. I just became addicted to Ruzzle also…love that game!


  29. Musing Mar on January 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    What can I say, the picture of that citrus just made me feel happy πŸ™‚


  30. Kate on January 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks so much for your Pittsburgh tips/recommendations! I just moved here this summer and haven’t quite figured it all out yet!


  31. Jenny on January 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I love to make grapefruit smoothies, theyre the most wonderful thing EVER! I freeze the skinned segments and use 1/2 grapefruit worth in the blender, add 1 cup of liquid (milk, almond milk, cranwater (a weak cranberry juice and water mixture), or just water), one scoop of whey protein powder, liquid stevia drops to sweeten, a frozen lemon juice cube if I have them on hand, and 1T of either flax oil or coconut oil–some healthy fat. Then blend it all up–its soooo good and sooo healthy!


  32. Jill on January 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

    -Salty Dog: Grapefruit juice, vodka (or gin) over ice in a glass with a salted rim. Refreshing. Delicious!
    -Broiled grapefruit w/ brown sugar and ginger topping. Mmmmmm!
    -Straight up. Cut into smiles πŸ™‚
    **This Florida girl loves her citrus


    • Michelle on January 24th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Oooh love the idea of broiling it! That sounds delicious with the brown sugar. The drink also sounds great πŸ™‚


  33. Melanie on January 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, and your Friday Things posts. I haven’t tried Ruzzle yet, but I’ve got a few friends that play, and I enjoy a good word puzzle game too, so I might try it out (ack.. what me get addicted!). I’m going to the Penguins @ Jets game here (in Winnipeg) on Friday, so I’ll think of you watching along with me!


    • Michelle on January 24th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Melanie, Thanks so much for the note! Awesome that you’re going to the game in Winnipeg tomorrow night; have a great time!


  34. Alyssa on November 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I know this post is old, but I’m looking for new winter boots. I remembered you looking at the Sorel so I searched your site for what you ended up with. What boots did you end up buying if you didn’t like either Sorel boots? Any advice would be appreciated!


    • Michelle on November 7th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Alyssa, I actually ended up not buying any! I ordered two or three pairs of the Sorel boots and was just not crazy about any of them on my legs, which was a bummer because I loved the look of them! I ended up buying some Sperry rubber boots last year to wear when it was wet and slushy and nasty out in the winter.


      • Alyssa on November 7th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        Thanks for the quick response! Did you dislike them because they are bulky/restrict ankle movement? (common complaints I’ve read). You will have to let us readers know if you end up getting any boots this year! It’s going to be snowing soon enough.


        • Michelle on November 10th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

          I didn’t have much of an issue with the fit in the ankle, but the boot just looked really bulky. I have very short legs and they weren’t the least bit flattering πŸ˜‰


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