Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweenie!

If you happen to be wondering how Tepper MBA students get down on Halloween- I have a helpful sneak peek into the whole process. :) Ha! Well, kinda...because I attended the Tepper Halloween Party last year and this year, that was held at delicious, BRGR restaurant. Van and I randomly ate here last week as well.  It is very close to where we live, and as you can imagine by the name- serves pretty damn good burgers.  I had a Kobe beef one, and Van went with a pulled pork and onion ring burger concoction.  They also have alcoholic milkshakes- which I haven't been brave enough to try.  I value my waistline too much. Jk.

So yeah, I have to preface this with I almost didn't go out on Saturday night, because I had a horrendous headache all day- but luckily was able to get rid of it by evening.  We drove to BRGR, we could have definitely walked, but it was freezing, (literally snowing in the morning) and I would not have been very comfortable hoofing it.

We went as a Bavarian couple- and unbeknown to us another couple also had the same idea.
Lean like a...
These were some of my favorite costumes...Mr T!!
Kicking some ass...or Max as a football.
Arrested Development anyone?! So good!!
A league of their own...and Kenny Powers.
Yup, with the help of the drink tickets we danced the night away, and celebrated our German heritage all in the same night.
Score! Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

South of the Border- Pittsburgh Style

So, I have an affinity for Mexican food- in all of its glory.  So much so that I have chosen to serve it at my wedding in June.  Seriously. Do you get how much I love Mexican food? Obviously it was abundant in LA- not so much in Pittsburgh.  However, I recently learned about a super authentic Mexican grocery store in Pittsburgh, in the Brookline area.  I learned about it through a contact at work- I discuss Mexican food whenever I can, even at work functions.

Anyways, Van and I decided to travel beyond the city limits of the 'Burgh yesterday to check out this grocery store, Las Palmas Carniceria.  We wanted to stock up on some cooking items, and also had read that on some weekends there is a taco stand outside of the store.  We were thrilled to see that there was one this weekend!  We immediately checked out the tacos, and were pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of the stand. 

The meats were delicious and the salsas were fresh...really tasty.

I ordered one pork and one beef taco, and Van went with two pork.  Typical. No lengua unfortunately, but I won't hold that against them. We then piled on the toppings- at the DIY salsa bar.

Inside the store, were a ton of great Latin American products- very cool.  We checked out the vast array of Goya products and canned peppers, and Van picked out some limes and really spicy Habeneros peppers.

Then we checked out the meat selection, pretty intensely amazing.  We didn't buy any meat this time, but instead bought some insanely delicious home-made avocado salsa, (that we doctored up with some habeneros at home.) I like spicy!

Finally, I had to check out the vast array of religious-inspired candles.  I love religious inconography- I think it's beautiful.  And these candles were only $1.89, (they are only .99 in LA- but I take what I can get here.)  I chose the lady of Guadalupe, because I have always loved her story- and her day is my birthday, 12/12- so I've always felt a connection.
Loved Las Palmas! We will definitely add this shop to the rotation- and it's only 10 minutes away from downtown, not too far off the beaten path.  This store is really authentic.  It really reminded us of a small Highland Park grocery store- and the tacos were truly amazing.  I've heard that handmade tamales are sometimes available.  I can't wait! I don't think they sell cerveza- but I highly recommend this place for a real Mexican food experience.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Action Day: Food

I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011

Today is Blog Action Day, and the topic is- you guessed it FOOD! For a little background information- Blog Action Day is a worldwide movement where bloggers are given a topic to write about that day.  Topics are always varied, but this year it is food.  You can find more information about Blog Action Day here. My coworker forwarded me the information, and participation is free, and obviously I write about food quite a lot in my blog- so I am participating. 

There are a lot of food topics that are close to my heart, and some that are very political; Monsanto, pesticide use, etc.  However, I want to discuss local food.  Part of my job is with the program, Farm to Table PA.  Farm to Table is a national concept, but we focus on specifically western Pennsylvania farms and farmers.  I believe that food not only tastes better when it is grown locally, but that local food helps to support the community.  Obviously in Western PA local produce is not always easily seasonally accessible- the winters are COLD here!  However, there are always options for local meat, eggs, cheese, milk, bread, etc.  It's possible- you just have to do a little leg-work.

I of course have to include some photos- and I wanted to share my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh, that uses a lot of local food, Legume.
Van and I took our friends, James and Lisa out to dinner here a couple of weeks ago- because I literally lived in their apartment for a week this Summer.  Thanks again guys! :) This restaurant recently moved from a small location in Regent Square to a much larger location in Oakland.  The new location features a bar too- always a plus. :) Below are some photos from our amazing meal that evening.
Vino! And my poached egg over greens salad.
Van's and my entrees:

The gals.
I inhaled my panna cotta dessert too quickly to take a photo- but it was beautiful and delicious. This restaurant is truly a gem, and has yet to disappoint me with anything I order.  The portion sizes are perfect, the atmosphere is pleasant, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the food is impeccable.  Lots of local and organic/natural food selections as well.  Very fresh, and creative.  Are you understanding how much I like this place?  Not super cheap- but definitely worth it for a nice dinner.

Anyways, I hope that you will consider if you haven't already to eat locally when possible.  Check out your local Farmers Markets, CSA's and grocery stores with local foods.  They are all great resources to help you and your family eat fresher food and support your local community.


Sunday, October 2, 2011


As promised- I wanted to include some photos from the PUMPtoberfest event.  It was a very cool event- full of interesting people to network with, fun music, and free/unlimited food and drink.  Yes please!
The event was held at Penn Brewery.rewery.
And check out this awesome view of the old Heinz Factory from the brewery. 
I wonder why there is still smoke coming out of it?
As I mentioned- lots of German food- and German beer. I had a pretzel and a German sausage- Van tried everything.
Appropriate music...
Cool peeps!
Our new Lawrenceville guide/friend: Josef. If you're looking for an apartment- he's your guy too! Message me for details. :)

Very cool experience- thanks again for inviting us PUMP! You guys rock- and looking forward to attending more events.