Friday Things

Fire pit

1. Do you remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that we were having a serious drainage issue in our backyard? We decided that while the drainage problem was being resolved that we would also have the company transform our current concrete slab of a patio into a larger stone patio, complete with a fire pit and sitting wall. They’ve been working every day for nearly a week, and things are starting to shape up. I can’t wait to see everything finished!

2. In other news, Einstein is still rocking the cone look like a champ. One week down, two more to go. He’s so good-natured and easy-going; even though I’m sure he hates that cone more than anything, he never tries to get it off and walks around with his tail wagging all the time. He even sits patiently every night and lets me clean his ear. He’s the best patient!

Cone-headed Einstein

3. I loved seeing a Pittsburgh bakery, Prantl’s, get some much-deserved attention on Huffington Post this week for their legendary Burnt Almond Torte. Anyone from Pittsburgh can vouch for how fabulous it is, and the best part? You can order it online and have it delivered right to your door! Cakes for everyone!

4. We are now T-minus 14 days until the beach… Sun! Waves! Sand! CANNOT.WAIT.

5. I took the quiz “Which ‘Friends’ Character Are You?” and got Monica, and the description is, well… scarily accurate. Gosh, I loved that show!


6. I am loooooving this vegetable chart; it has everything I need right there! Which vegetables are in season, how to cook them, what to eat them with, etc. All in one handy little chart… I am definitely printing this out and keeping it in my kitchen!

Guide to Enjoying Vegetables

7. So, just out of curiosity, does anyone else use the phrase “close the light” or “open the light” instead of “turn off the light” or “turn on the light”? I do, and I think my mom does, and my Chief Culinary Consultant thinks it’s absolutely hysterical and crazy.

8. Is anyone else all-in on playoff hockey?

Playoff hockey!

9. Do you have any special plans for the Easter weekend? We are having dinner at my mom’s house with my Chief Culinary Consultant’s family, my grandparents, and uncle, aunt and cousins. I’m looking forward to a relaxing day hanging out with everyone!

10. TGIF! I hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend! Duke has been a great snuggly little brother while big brother is out of commission with the cone!


(Note to self: Buy Einstein and Duke bunny ears for Easter next year!)


37 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Grace on April 18, 2014 at 12:42 am

    That’s so funny you and your mom say “open the light” and “close the light”! I’ve only heard Filipinos say it, my mom and grandma say it. It’s one of the “you know you’re Filipino if…” jokes! 🙂
    Happy Easter.


    • Stephanie on April 18th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Actually, I dated a Greek fellow for a very long time, he also always said “open the lights’ and “close the lights”. Another one I remember was (while in a vehicle) was to “turn the window up” or “turn the window down” instead of to roll up or roll down. Didn’t matter. I knew what he meant. Language . . . amazing.


  2. Karen @ The Food Charlatan on April 18, 2014 at 1:27 am

    I was just looking for a veggie chart the other day! This is perfect Michelle! (And PS I hope little Einstein gets better soon!)


  3. Pieliekamais on April 18, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Aw, poor Einstein! I hope the two weeks go by fast.
    I have also heard “open the TV” from my friend who is Filipino.
    I did the quiz and I got Rachel 🙂
    Happy Easter!


  4. connie on April 18, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Is there a link to download this vegetable chart?


    • Marcella on April 18th, 2014 at 6:17 am

      I second that! I want to print that chart too!


  5. Betsy on April 18, 2014 at 6:56 am

    My brother in law says close and open the light! OMG! Drives me insane! He now has my sister saying it. They’ve been together over 25 years. His parents literally “came over on the boat” from Italy. It must have started there. Wonder if my niece and nephew say it? Of course they have no reason to, they’re teenagers and always practice leaving the light on! Or Open as you would say. Never thought I’d hear of anyone else who says it. Good one!


    • Michelle on April 18th, 2014 at 8:32 am

      My grandfather came over from Italy, so that’s probably where my mom picked it up, makes sense! I don’t say it all of the time, but sometimes it just comes out that way! My husband is always like, “what?!” haha!


  6. Margie on April 18, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for posting the article from Huffington Post about Prantl’s burnt almond torte. That cake is just unbelievable! I live in Pittsburgh, in fact, used to live in the East End, and we always thought Pantl’s was our special secret. Everything is wonderful (go Lady Locks!) but that tote is really world class – so glad that it finally got national attention. By the way, I think it’s a descendant of the German Bienenstich cake, sometimes called Bee Sting cake. Check out Smitten Kitchen’s efforts to recreate it. Have a wonderful weekend!


  7. Susan P on April 18, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Poor Einstein….I know they get used to the cone, but there is a “soft” compfy cone that really works beautifully. I used it for my dog after surgery. It saved on my walls and furniture too as the hard ones can do damage. You can find it at and it’s called the Comfy Cone.


  8. Jane on April 18, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Note to self: Buy doggie bunny ears this year on sale for next year!


  9. Kristen on April 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I’m a Monica too (absolutely no one I know would be surprised by that)

    And poor Einstein! We just survived a month of the cone for our dog so you have my sympathy. Although it sounds like your patient is better behaved than mine was – mine destroyed five cones, including a fabric one.


  10. Mary Lynn on April 18, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I say, Outen the Light. We were at a Birthday Party and I ask my Husband to Outen The Light. He said, “What did you say”? I found a light switch in Lancaster that has the saying on it and it still bugs him. I always thought it was a Pittsburgh saying… I, too, am Monica and proud of it.. LOL Happy Easter.


  11. Ellen Baker on April 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Fans of your site may enjoy a book titled “Union Street Bakery” by Mary Ellen Taylor. I just discovered it and really enjoyed it. Recipes from the story are included in the back of the book.


  12. Dominique on April 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I also say open and close the light, but I’m french canadian. It must be because of the translation… Notice that in the other comments those that say open and close are either spanish, italian, greek or french?

    P.S.: Go Habs Go


  13. Mercedes on April 18, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Woo PLAYOFF HOCKEY!! Go Rangers!


  14. Linda Brown on April 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    There’s a Southern expression “Cut the lights” which means to turn them off. Funny…never heard of its counterpart to turn them on!


  15. Pam L on April 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Love the veggie guide – this will be our fourth year in a CSA -there are so many around Pittsburgh – and I always enjoy getting vegetables that I wouldn’t necessarily buy and are sometimes at a loss for how to prepare them.


  16. Christina on April 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I will be having lots of lamb and ouzo and tsoureki (thank you for the recipe!!) on Sunday, since I am (half) Greek!! And yes, my dad (who is from Greece) does say “close the light” haha

    I am from MA so it will be BRUINS BRUINS BRUINS here for a while 🙂 There is nothing more exciting than playoff hockey!!!!

    Hope Einstein is feeling better soon!!


  17. Linda on April 18, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Uh, noooo…never heard open and close the light. I love you anyway………


  18. Auntiepatch on April 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve never heard CLOSE THE LIGHT or OPEN THE LIGHT before. Although I do have a friend who gets DOWN from the car instead getting OUT of the car.


  19. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog on April 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Awe, love this Friday Things Post. My mom and I totally say ‘close the lights’ and everyone gives us a little look, go glad to hear it’s not just us!


  20. Hilary on April 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Definitely all-in on the NHL playoffs – even if my home team isn’t playing on any given night, one of the other games is on the TV! I will admit, I love watching CBC for their openings – they know how to pump their fans up!

    Spending time with the family for Easter, and currently skimming through your Easter recipes to try and find a dessert to pair with the other idea I had. Hope you have a great weekend!


  21. Emily @ Life on Food on April 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I love the veggie chart.


  22. Monica on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    How about that…I did the Friend’s quiz and I got Monica too! Funny since my name is Monica and she was always my favorite character! Have a great Easter!


  23. Janet Catesby on April 19, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Einstein is such a good dog because he is loved! When dogs are loved they are usually well behaved. Enjoy Easter. Oh I made your Italian Easter Bread and it was superb. Couldn’t quite get as many plats as yours but that didn’t matter.


    • Jenna on April 19th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Even plants.. if you show love to them they stay in good shape.


  24. CookinCanuck on April 19, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I’m glad someone else pointed out that in French the expression would translate to “close” or “open” the light. Beat me to it!


  25. Sarah on April 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    My daughter says “close the light”…don’t know if she heard it somewhere or just decided it made sense to say it that way…she’s 3…


  26. Jenna on April 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    It seems too many people say it that way which makes it “normal”.. and it also seems most people are too lazy to get up and “close” the light , me for example!


  27. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) on April 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Sorry! but I have never heard “close/open the light”. We only use “switch off” or “turn off”. Poor Einstein, glad to hear he’s coping with the cone well. P.S How cool to have your own firepit!


  28. Amie on April 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I say close the light, or shut the lights. For me it’s a French thing, as it’s Fermez les lumieres.


  29. Jess on April 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing our veggie chart! It’s definitely make the rounds on the internet. Awesome – we have lots of great cooking resources here too:


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