The Weekend Dish: 10/2/2010

It’s finally October! I guess I really shouldn’t say “finally” as this year has seemed to absolutely fly by, but finally in the sense that it’s my favorite month of the year and I’ve been waiting for cool weather since our first 90-degree day hit months ago. Have you enjoyed a hot chocolate or pumpkin spice latte yet? I’ve been holding out, but with the weather dipping into the 50’s this weekend, I think I’ll finally break open the hot chocolate. 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 (which is a definite testament to the fact that it’s October – lots of pumpkin recipes!). Then, some random musings about some random stuff. Enjoy! :)

On Brown Eyed Baker This Week

Fig and Almond Cheesecake – A recreation of an amazing cheesecake we had in Toronto at the top of the CN Tower. A shortbread crust topped with figs, creamy cheesecake, a sour cream glaze and an Amaretto crème anglaise.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling – Soft and spicy pumpkin cookie cakes with a maple-spiked cream cheese sandwiched in the middle.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things… – A rundown of some recent popular cookbooks and kitchen toys.

Happy October! Celebrate with 10 Amazing Pumpkin Recipes! – A roundup of some great pumpkin recipes around the Internet – a few from me and a bunch from other food bloggers.

Most Viewed Recipe This Week: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling

What I Bookmarked This Week

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

Coffee and Donuts Cake (SprinkleBakes)
Talk about baking ingenuity! A coffee cake covered in mini donuts – gorgeous!

Piña Colada Cake (Technicolor Kitchen)
If you’re already missing the warm weather, baking up this amazing cake will send summer rushing through your veins!

Pumpkin Bread French Toast (Pennies on a Platter)
Nothing better than a warm breakfast, especially when you can use a fabulous pumpkin bread as the basis for French toast!

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Pots (goodLife{eats})
Great pumpkin dessert in individual servings – perfect if you need shackles to keep from eating yet another piece of cheesecake (I’m looking in the mirror here).

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies (Cooking for Seven)
I love that there is an equal amount of cheesecake and brownie in these, plus they’re studded with raspberries. Delish!

Weekend Fun

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

1. I came much closer to a snake in its natural environment than I ever want to be again. Like, EVER. Last Saturday, we went on a hike through a county park, where we had been a few times previously. We were on the last leg, walking up a steep hill, and I was looking UP, not at my feet. It wasn’t until my eye caught something move that I realized my left foot was a coiled black snake, and my right foot, mid-step, was about 2 inches above the snake, about to step on it. I screamed. It ran. Well, slithered quickly away. And my heart continued to beat like it was going to jump out of my chest for the next 30 minutes.

2. I am so proud to be from Pittsburgh. This is a glimpse of what it looked like at the Tampa Bay stadium on Sunday for the Steelers’ game there:

Steeler Nation

It’s pretty well documented that the Steelers “travel well” – as in, any away game they play, there is a pretty respectable showing of Black and Gold fans. And in some instances, it downright embarrasses the home team. See the example of the Monday night game versus the Redskins at FedEx Field a couple of years ago (it was estimated that 60% of the crowd was waving Terrible Towels). While watching this past Sunday’s game on TV, you could clearly hear the “Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go” chant, the “Heath” chant when Heath Miller caught a pass, and all of the noise and “DE-FENSE” while Tampa Bay was on offense. It makes my heart swell with pride. Not so much over the actual football game, but what that passion represents.

Let’s face it – Pittsburgh was, for a long time, a steel town. A blue-collar town. It’s still not full of glitz and glamour and high-paying white-collar jobs (although the landscape has improved dramatically). So naturally kids that are born here, many times head elsewhere when it’s time to find a job. “You have to go where your bread is buttered,” my grandfather would say. But wow, are people proud to be from Pittsburgh, no matter where they end up. It manifests itself many times in Steeler support, but it definitely runs deeper than that. No matter where you travel in the country, you will see Steelers, Penguins or something Pittsburgh-related on cars. It’s like the equivalent of getting a “mama” tattoo. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Steelers Bars not only throughout the country, but around the world. Which is why I think so many people who have moved on to other places are huge Steelers fans – it’s the tie that binds for a smaller city that many people hold very close to their hearts. We bleed black and gold.

3. My fantasy football team remains undefeated at 3-0. Booya!

Fantasy Football

The Baker is cleaning up shop! I shouldn’t speak too soon though, as this coming week presents a bit of a challenge with a couple of my players on a bye week and needing to fill in some slots. Hopefully I can keep the streak going!

4. I remain completely and totally unnerved about the TV broadcast situation as it pertains to pre-season Penguin hockey.
: The Penguins play two more preseason games than the Steelers do.
: Every single one of the Steelers games are on TV locally.
: Only 1 Penguins preseason game is televised live. (I call out live since a second one was broadcast, on tape delay, at midnight, after the Pirates game. The 56-103 Pirates, mind you.)

What is wrong with this picture?? Seriously. But whatevs, I’m almost over it because it’s almost October 7th. Less than a week now until opening night at the new arena. Against Philly. Bring it.

Typical Pens/Flyers game

5. Has anyone watched Boardwalk Empire, the new show on HBO? I saw the first episode and thought it was great.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope it’s fabulous!