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 🙂


34 Responses to “The Weekend Dish: 10/16/2010”

  1. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

    no Halloween plans for us but it’s our baby’s first Halloween so we’re dressing him up as a tiger and taking him on the candy circuit – can’t wait!


  2. Angie @ Just Like the Number on October 16, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I stumbled upon your blog recently and I adore it! Fantasy football and hockey and pretty pictures of food? Love. Even if you do root for the Steelers and I root for the Colts 🙂

    Here here on Ben being an embarrassment. And I’m not just saying that as a rival of the Steelers. I used to be a big fan – we both Miami of Ohio alum, but his pig-headedness and general thuggishness keeps getting in the way. I was thrilled to see the Steelers do well without the likes of him.

    We must have a nearly identical fantasy team as well (Peyton, Arian, Ray), but I’m 3-2. I benched Arian that very first week – doh!

    Finally a couple of great books I’ve read recently: “The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” and “Alice I Have Been.” It’s been a good streak.


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Angie, Great to hear from a new reader! And sometimes I do root for the Colts – I have Peyton Manning & Reggie Wayne on my fantasy team 😉


  3. Lori on October 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    You are so lucky to have such great seats at the arena. You won’t miss any of the action being up so close. Good for you. My husband and two sons are USA Hockey Refs so I guess that makes me the euipment manager!

    In regards to books…if you haven’t read any of Adriana Trigiani’s books especially the “Valentine” series you might enjoy them. Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine are fun to read, comical, romantic and talk about great Italian food. Right now I am reading one by Donna Ball called Ladybug Farm. It’s about how four friends leave the metropolitan area and move to rural VA and restore a run down homestead. It’s pretty good.


  4. Christina on October 16, 2010 at 9:20 am

    One of the best books I’ve read in a long time- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick!


  5. Gayle215 on October 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I just finished “The Forgotten Garden” which I loved. I also read “A Reliable Wife” which was good too! “Water for Elephants” is a beautiful book.


  6. Angela on October 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I just read “The Help” So good. Highly recommend.

    Arian Foster was insane this week (he finally broke my losing streak in Fantasy Football) Hoping he has the same monster week this week!

    Goodluck – here is to 5-1 😀


  7. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef on October 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Sarah’s Key is great. I also like American wife by Curtis Sittenfeld


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks Sarah. Did Curtis Sittenfeld write ‘Prep’? I seem to remember her name – I read it many years ago.


  8. Parrish on October 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I would recommend “Follow the River” it is such an inspirational true story about a woman who escaped enslavement by indians and walked 800 miles back home in the elements and it is just an amazing story.


  9. Jenn on October 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I’m in pgh too and love the Pens! Finally a win at home last night. I have yet been to a game at the consol energy center but am hoping to go soon. Love your pictures. As for books I just finished south of broad by pat conley. Excellent book. I also second sarah’s key.


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Jenn, Yay Pittsburghers! You will love the arena! So happy we got wins over the weekend, hopefully they keep it going tonight!


  10. Annie on October 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for the link! Glad you liked the look of the cake.

    Books – I have lots of recs for you. If you haven’t yet, you must must must read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s fabulous. Also loved The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Some others I always recommend are Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Color Purple, and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.


  11. Sinful Southern Sweets on October 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the weekly recap. I always enjoy it!!


  12. Erin on October 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Try ‘The School of Essential Ingredients’ by Erica Bauermeister. It’s a little under the radar, but fantastic.


  13. Betty on October 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    So true about sitting close to the ice. Years ago when the St. Louis Blues first came to town, we could get wonderful seats next to the ice and see all the bloodied faces, missing teeth, scars, – well you get the picture. Made it more real. Also we would always get upclose when the Ice Capades or Disney on Ice would come to the Arena. Lots of black and blue marks on those skaters! 🙂 BTW, I have my onions baking in my big red LeCreuset pot to make onion soup this evening. Your recipes are just loverly!


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      I hope you enjoyed the onion soup Betty! A great choice for this time of year!


  14. Nancy@acommunaltable on October 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I really enjoy your weekend recaps – fun, fun, fun!! As to books, here is one that I recently enjoyed – Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos – it’s a really wonderful story about family!! Also second recommendations for “The Help”.


  15. Ron Merlin on October 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Well, you asked for a book recommendation. Coincidentally, my son is studying on an exchange program for a few months in Taiwan. He was required to read a book, and asked me to read it also, which he’s never done before.

    So I’m reading it, and it’s about the “Lost Boys” of Africa…..

    It’s called “What is the What” if you want to read something with meat on the bones.

    If not, wait for the next Jack Reacher novel coming out in a week! LOL (By Lee Child)


  16. Tiffani on October 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I’m a new fan of your website, and haven’t been reading long, but love what I’ve seen so far!

    I couldn’t help seconding the recommendation to read “A Reliable Wife”. I loved it. I also loved “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield, a first novel, and to date the only one she’s written so far, but so complex and compelling.

    Good Luck!


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Tiffani, Welcome! So glad to have you and thrilled you’ve been enjoying the site! Thank you for the recs!


  17. Kathy on October 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Annie has good taste in books! I would also highly recommend Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier (a great classic), Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (my all-time favorite book), The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (am rereading it now), A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, An American Tragedy by Theorore Dreiser (thick and definitely not light reading), but SO wonderful….the book that turned me into a serious reader), and one of my very very favorite books, The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald. You must read it. It’s a little slow getting started, but once it picks up around page 75….WOW.


  18. Lauren on October 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Have you ever read anything by Phillipa Gregory? I love her Tudor series. It’s historical fiction. I recently finished One Day by David Nicholls. It’s about a man and a woman who meet up in college. The story follows them throughout their lives, with each chapter being a new year. I really liked it. I also recently finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, odd but very good.

    I saw your Pens beat my Flyers in Philly last night. They looked good….we did not. The Flyers also have flaky, skinny ice scraping girls. Last night they were wearing orange shorty shorts and black belly shirts- think Hooters! haha


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Lauren, Sorry you had to witness the loss (but happy we won!). LOL at the Hooters ice girls.


  19. Tracy on October 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I’m sure last week was only a fluke…your team will be back on top this week! I’m hoping for another win as well so that hopefully my team won’t be quite so awful. 😉

    Also, I haven’t read it myself, but one of my co-workers highly recommended “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. It’s definitely on my list of books to read.


  20. megpies on October 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I’ve had books on the brain lately – my hubby just bought me a kindle for my birthday! I have a couple that are my favs – anything by Dave Eggers, especially A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius. Ummm, a good chick lit book is The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (it’s written entirely in email exchanges, very funny!). And ummm, a good classic this time of year is Pride and Prejudice – I’ve just started to plow through that myself and I like it!


  21. Maria on October 18, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I love your weekend posts:) I hope you like my mini cookies, they are fun:) Great hockey photos! Love it!

    Have you read The School of Essential Ingredients? A Homemade Life? Peace Like a River?

    Let me know what good books you hear about. I need some new ones too!


  22. TheHealthyApron on October 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I am always reading through your blog and scanning recipes but I barely ever comment! just wanted to say hello! LOve your recipes/blog!
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE October but it’s so sad that it’s almost over! 🙁
    Books I’ve read recently that I would recommend: The Kite Runner…sad!!
    Twilight series (sucks you in!!) The Choice and The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks, Life of Pi Yann Martel…haven’t read it but heard great things, The Help (again, haven’t read it but heard great things), Water for Elephants…different but GOOD!
    Hope this helps!

    Ps. I am looking for a guest poster one day the week of November 8th…interested? Would love to have you!


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      So glad you’re enjoying the site; thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I will email you about guest posting. Thanks for the book recs!


  23. May LIng Wu on October 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Love each of your posts! Keep up the good work!


  24. Marycke on October 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I’m almost done with a book by Sue Miller, The World Below. Really enjoying it!


  25. Michelle on October 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you everyone for all of the awesome book suggestions! I’m making my list and can’t wait to start working my way through it!


  26. Snarky Sister on October 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I love that you are such a die hard football fan! I’ve read your blog for a while and have never posted, but YOU MUST READ “The Book of Negroes”. So good. Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      Yay football! And thank you for the book rec, I will add it to the list!


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