NaBloPoMo Day 24: Not Much to Say but Sweatshirt Dresses.

It’s 9:42 and lately I’ve been wanting to go to bed around 8pm. I don’t have anything to say, but I don’t want to fall behind on NaBloPoMo either. So I’ll leave you with this: Today Baby Beez asked me when it’s going to be summer.

I had to give her the honest, but tragic answer.

I hate winter.

But I’m not so sad that it will soon be time FOR ALL THE SWEATERS NONSTOP.

So in lieu of actual content, I am going to share with you various sweatshirt dresses that I love. Click on the pictures to go to the websites where you can buy them.

Angie Roots Cabin Hoodie

traverse city sweater dress

Tobi Renegade Sweatshirt Dress

Mesh insert sweatshirt dress

All sweatshirts. All day long.


NaBloPoMo Day 23: Seasonal Specials with Potential but Room to Grow @TheYardPGH @mad_mex

NaBloPoMo Day 23: Seasonal Specials with Potential but Room to Grow @TheYardPGH @mad_mex

Autumn is my favorite season for all the reasons, but especially because of the food. I’m a sucker for pumpkin and cinnamon and apple everything. Roasted veggies appear on all the menus, and various establishments roll out their take on “gluttonous Thanksgiving meal.”  Mad Mex’s Gobblerito is probably the most beloved Autumn food in Pittsburgh.  I do like it, but there are enough things about it I would like to change to make it fit my specific tastes, that I am not obsessed with it the way most of the rest of the city is.

In general I don’t write negative reviews of places. There is enough negativity in the world that I don’t feel the need to pile it on any further. In this case, however, I do generally like both of these restaurants and often go and am very happy with other things I’ve ordered. The dishes I’ve had at each have the foundation of a really, really good dish.  As is, the dishes are just okay. But after a few tweaks, I think they could be delicious.

Last week my friend, Christine, took me to The Yard for my birthday, because I’ve been eager to try their “Turk’d Up” sandwich. The Yard serves local brews and all kinds of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The Turk’d Up is their version of a Thanksgiving Dinner grilled cheese. It’s got turkey, corn, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, and is served with a side of cranberry cobbler.

The Yard Turk'd Up

My chief issue with most Thanksgiving themed dishes is that they involve slices of turkey rather than chunks of turkey, carved off the bird. It probably is unwieldy for a restaurant to have lots of for-real Thanksgiving turkey for its dishes, but slices of turkey just do not add up.  The bread was also much too thick and inadequately buttered on the outside for this kind of dish. Thin bread, generously buttered and grilled on the outside would make this sandwich delicious.  Also, I am one of those disgusting people who loves to turn my Thanksgiving inner into a goopy mess, so I would love it if cranberry sauce were served in the sandwich (instead of or in addition to the cobbler on the side), and if the whole thing were soaked with huge ladles-full of gravy. Yummmmm.  As the dish was, it was a nice, heavy, comfort food kind of lunch, but with better turkey, thinner buttered bread, cranberry sauce and a ton of gravy, this would be great.

Tonight Baby Beez ad I grabbed dinner at Mad Mex.  At first I planned to order the Gobblerito and do some kind of Turk’d Up vs. Gobblerito post. When I saw the Shishito Pepper Burrito on the menu, however, I opted for that instead.  The burrito features roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, feta cheese and is topped with delicious roasted shishito peppers. The default protein in the burrito is grilled chicken, but I subbed in tofu.

Shishito pepper burrito

I love the concept, as well as the mix of flavors. The peppers are just on top, not inside the burrito, but I liked the independence of the peppers’ texture, when I would put a bite of pepper together with a bite of burrito in my mouth. This burrito’s downfall is that there is about 5 times as much rice in there as there is anything else. At times I felt like I was just eating a rice burrito.  I’m not sure if Mad Mex would go for this, but if you could order it with no rice (or with very, very little), I think it would be a really excellent seasonal dish.


NaBloPoMo Day 22: Catch Up with the Farmshare Breakfast Strata

NaBloPoMo Day 22: Catch Up with the Farmshare Breakfast Strata

Someday I will develop a taste for rhubarb, daikon and massive quantities of kale. But until that day comes, I’m going to stick to my pattern of bringing home the farmshare each week, throwing the veggies in the crisper drawer, and then when the drawer is full dig through desperately brainstorming something, ANYTHING to make with all these veggies before they rot, and cursing myself for not getting around to it earlier.

One of my favorite techniques for using a lot of veggies at once is roasting:  Cut up a whole bunch of stuff (it’s good if the things you pick have similar densities, like potatoes/carrots/winter squash or zucchini & bell peppers), toss with olive oil & seasonings, and roast at 400 degrees until it reaches desired level of cooked-ness (my preference is burned beyond recognition).

Another techniques is to make a strata.  I’ve had mixed success in the past, but the one I made this weekend hit all the marks.  Since you cook the veggies before mixing them in with the eggs, you can use whatever veggies you have sitting around from your farmshare, threatening to rot if you don’t COOK THEM SOON.


Elizabeth’s Clean Out the Crisper Strata

Ingredients (unless otherwise specified, these ingredients are measured in the highly scientific amount of “whatever feels right”)

-Onions (I also had a couple of shallots, so I threw them in too)


-Vegetables, cut up into smallish pieces (in my case, I had a ton of swiss chard)

-Shredded cheese

-Oil for pan

-about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and other amounts of seasonings as desired

-1 dozen eggs

-Not necessary but a very nice touch: stale baguette (or bread) & milk



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut up onions & garlic and cook in pan with olive oil for a couple minutes
  3. Add in the other vegetables and cook steadily. Add the more dense vegetables first (here: the cut up chard stems), and the less dense vegetables later because they take less time to cook (here: the chard leaves). Cook until everything is obviously cooked, but not SO long that it’s a soggy mess.
  4. Spray some oil in a baking pan.  If you have some stale bread or baguette, slice it up and line the bottom of the pan with it. Then pour some milk (like 1/2 cup or so) on it. You don’t have to saturate the bread, but put enough on there that the bread starts soaking it in.
  5. Beat 1 dozen eggs long enough that the yolks are all mixed in, just lie if you are making scrambled eggs. Mix in shredded cheese salt, pepper and other seasonings (except for red pepper flakes).
  6.  Scoop the veggies on top of the soaked bread in the baking pan (if you didn’t go with the bread, just put the veggies in a greased baking dish).  Then pour the egg mixture all over it. Be careful about it and do not over fill the pain, because the strata will expand while cooking.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  7. Bake until the strata begins pulling away from the sides of the pan, and the middle has set.  I think it took around 40-45 minutes.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or hot sauce!


NaBloPoMo Day 21: A New Approach to My Lists Each Year

NaBloPoMo Day 21: A New Approach to My Lists Each Year

I’ve been doing ___ before ___ lists for a while now. My first one was a 30 before 30 list. I have since done similar lists leading up to years 31, 32 and 33.  I enjoyed writing the lists and really crystallizing the fun thing I want to do, and making sure they did not slip through the cracks.  By year 32, the enthusiasm started draining and I had a mad dash right before my birthday to cross off as many things as possible.  As my birthday approached for me to turn 33, there were plenty of things left on the list, and I didn’t even care anymore.  I was working on a bigger & better 40 before 40 list, but I don’t really love it right now, and have not decided whether I want to overhaul it or scrap it.

Jump the Shark

The lists, for me, focused me on what I wanted to do as I was working toward them, but also provided a nice retrospective at year’s end.  Often I would grumble about wanting to do so many things but never having the time, but I could look at these lists and say, wow, I really did do a lot of fun, nice things.

I don’t want to abandon the lists altogether, but there’s no sense in making myself do the same thing over again, just for the sake of doing it.  I’m turning things around a bit this year. Instead of listing 34 things I need to do before 34, I’m assembling a list of things as I go, and am memorializing 34 fun things I’ve done in the year before I hit 34. I’m open to suggestions for fun things you think I should check out.


NaBloPoMo Day 20: @sephora Gift Set time!!!

NaBloPoMo Day 20: @sephora Gift Set time!!!

It’s the most WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! The time when Sephora swells with glorious holiday gift sets!! I know I’m supposed to be focusing on gifts, but the sets! Such deals! And I love them so much!  Last year I was much more into lips & eyes. This year I’ve got a thing for skincare. There’s something about a face mask on a Sunday night (with TV and wine) or a rich face cream that adds a tiny bit of luxury in my frantically hectic routine.

These are my picks for my favorite Sephora gift sets this yea (click the images to go to their listings on the Sephora site)r–

Velour Silk Lashes lash book. This looks SO fun. I don’t often have occasion to wear false lashes, but I do like to don them for fun parties. I love the variety of this set! So many options for fun, different looks!

Atelier Orange Sanguine gift set. I love this scent. It’s spicy and citrusy. It’s a highly unique scent, but the moment I whiffed it, I knew it was perfect for me.

Dr. Jart+ The Book of Masks.  I thought these masks sounded dumb, until I tried one. I’m hooked.

Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic set. Another for my mask addiction.  The Dr. Jart+ masks are cloth masks that you drape on your face, and the Peter Thomas Roth ones are creams or gels that you spread on your skin. I like the cloth masks better, but I think the gel/cream ones do a more thorough job. But I love them both.

Caudalie Favorites Winter Set. Oh my skin in winter. It’s a mess. The Caudalie vinosource products add ample moisture without being oily or sticky, and the scent is light and lovely.

Korres Best of Body Butter Decadent Body Butter Collection. These body butters are so soft, and the scents are delicious. I spent my high school and college years slathering myself in Bath and Body Works saccharine scents. Then I discovered Korres body butters and I was like “OH, this is what I’ve been missing!”  Korres is decidedly more sophisticated, and just gorgeous in feel and in scent.