Thursday, October 27, 2011

Babes in the silly woods

I'm a nerd. Is that a surprise? It shouldn't be. 
I'm a nerd because every year, I make it a point to go to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival held in the silly woods of back-country southwestern Pennsylvania. 
Why? What happens in the silly woods? Nothing? Everything? Nothing? 
Firstly, I go because I love that the Society for Creative Anachronism welcomes any/every type of weirdo that needs a place to call home. 
You like Pirates? We like Pirates! 
You weigh 400 lbs? Come wear a corset in public!
You like kilts? We won't mock you!
You want to wear a tail? We can't stop you from doing that!

Secondly, I am fascinated by glass blowing, and am convinced that if it weren't for my insurmountable clumsiness, I would be some sort of glass sculpturist. So I go to see the hilarious bearded man make tankards and fish vases out of molten glass, crack the same jokes repeated, and talk about the glory hole in a shack in the silly woods. 

Thirdly, and MOST importantly, I return to the Renaissance Festival year after year for one single, glorious culinary triumph:
The Giant Smoked Turkey Leg.
My partner in crime and I donned our corsets (Because why not?) and continued our carnal pursuit of gluttonous happiness, henna tattoos, matching rings, diving beers, dumplings and cobblers, and bondedness.

The weekend we went was Oktoberfest, and the last weekend of the festival. The sun was shining brightly, the food was great, and the company could not be beat. 
The only downside is that now I have to wait another whole year before I can make it with a turkey leg again.

SImplicity: Nostalgia.... again.

This is Chocolate Graham Crackers with Peanut Butter and it was my dinner one night last week.
Another one of my favorite childhood treats. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smorgasbord 2: Electric Boogaloo

Another quick rundown of the very delicious things that have been occupying my time.

Whimsically chronicled, Because that's how I roll.

Bites and Bites and Bites and Brews:
K and I celebrated our reunion after Dewey by doing laundry and consuming an entire Bites and Brews pizza. Glutenous Maximus.

Piccolo Forno:
Kenny took me to lunch at Piccolo Forno one sunny beautiful afternoon, since we tried going to Alchemy and Ale, and it was inexplicably closed. The last time I tried to go to Piccolo Forno it was with KP on Valentimes. It was worth the wait!
Best Lasagna I've ever had. The Frutti di Mare wasn't terrible either.

Super Lemon Baby Cakes:
When K wants to express her feelings to someone, she captures them in a recipe that she has spent hours and hours perfecting (MORE ON THIS LATER). In this case, a special someone who loves lemon and Marvel Comics got himself his very own superhero shaped lemon pound cakes. I was lucky enough to be there for most of the experimentation. Thor, anyone?
Soup's On:
 AJ, who professed not to know how to cook, turned out to be kind of a liar on that front. Spicy broth, udon noodles, lime juice, chicken, veggies. Beautifully simple. Now a go-to comfort meal for me.

Holy Mole:
Thrill always challenges me to try new things. Like Chicken Mole burritos and jalapeno mashed potatoes. He's a genius.
JMac and Cheese:
One of my favorite restaurants downtown is Six Penn, for two reasons:
1. I can go on a Wednesday after rehearsal, order "the usual" and end up with a Maker's Mark Manhattan.
2. Sage Aioli and Tater Tots.

I've tried desperately to recreate the sage aioli to no avail.
One night before rehearsal, I got to enjoy a lovely dinner with JMac. Tater tots, smoked wings, Buffalo Mac and Cheese (Not Pictured, because as previously stated, I am a goob)

Pie Time:
When I hit another one of my crazy stress-baking phases, I said goodbye to my last 4 pints of hand picked blueberries and made a lactard friendly blueberry pie for the Family Dinner Emmys viewing party. It's no sink pie, but it got good critical reviews.

 There's a Sharp Edge downtown that I haven't publicly embarrassed myself in (yet). Two of my favorite foods: Buffalo Wings and Soft Pretzels with three of my favorite coworkers: Jess, Shaira, and Aidan.
 Taco Time:
Sometimes, my life is really lovely in unexpected ways. On a day when the bosses were all out at a golf outing (that the assistants were not invited to. seriously? I have my own golf clubs! Cut me a break!) I had to find some new way to keep myself busy. So I spent the morning listening to Elliott Smith and taking out my pent up agression on a giant block of ice in the freezer. I spent the afternoon enjoying a potluck taco party with my coworkers, and playing putt putt in the supply room with a putter I nicked from my team directors office.

The Spotted South Side Fawn:
I was lucky enough to be able to host my friend Katie for a while before she moved to Texas.  Katie is one of those people that you meet and instantly feel at home with. She's bright and funny and can drink like a fish. We are kindred spirits. I'm so happy we had a little time together.
Unfortunately since we both have bonkers schedules, we only got to spend limited time together. One night she took me to the Bicycle Bar on South Side, with our friends Katie and Kelly, whom we also barely get to see. $1 PBR Pounders, Pierogies, Seitan Wings with three different sauces, and Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks (why had I not thought of this before!)

After which we embarked on a very short nature walk viewing South Side's native Flora and Fauna. Promptly followed by a torrential downpour in true Pittsburgh fashion. 

Childish Indulgences: Whole Foods Edition:
O came to visit for Labor Day and I can't find any other pictures of what we ate besides this. Which is fine because Cheese danishes and Vanilla Milk Juice boxes are pretty much the only thing I ever want to eat ever.
Butternut Bac 'n' Cheese:
This is homemade mac and cheese with roasted butternut squash and bacon, with string beans in mustard dill sauce. That feeling you're feeling right now? It's Jealousy.

I wanted Steak, K wanted hot sandwiches. Hence open faced steak sandwiches with an Asian medley of vegetables. I sang "I'm dreaming of a hot sandwich" to it.
 Family Dinner:
It has been far too long. Gnocchi and Vodka sauce with the family, followed by a rousing game of catch phrase, in which one might say "Don't you run into me.... because that's what you are"

CPK Therapy:
How does BBQ Chicken Bacon Pizza and Greek Pizza with Avocado make you feel? Pretty damn good? Yeah, me too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You're Welcome, Dewey

This was the greatest week of my life. This was, without a doubt, The Good Life.
There aren't really words to describe it, so I'll try to use as few as possible. Ready? 5 6 7 8.....

1. "When I came to, I was at an all-you can eat crab legs buffet, breaking them in half just to stay in the game" is the best story I have ever told.
2. The only mystery we can't solve is the Case of the Missing Jim Beam Handle.
4. Kenny's dare will always come with a costume and a dance number.
5. Pants Off Dance Off will include the entire condo complex, whether they like it or not.
6. Jersey Shore? More like Dewey Shore.
7. I'm no sailor, but that's a set-up if I've ever seen one.
8.We are good eaters.

Pasta Bolognaise, Crab Mac n Cheese, Boulliabaise, some of the best seafood any of us has ever eaten for Kenny's Birthday, Clam Steam, Sink Pie, Midnight Footlong  Hot Dogs, Grapefruit Crushes, Nachos which demanded to be serenaded to, Red Stripe, Crab Legs, Broiled Feasts, Bacon Ice Cream, Chocolate on the beach, Indian food for homecoming.

Dear Friends,
You are angels and drunks
You are Magi
Old Friends
You stuck a pin in a map I was in
And you are the stars I navigate home by
~Elbow "Dear Friends"