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#PghGBE with Pittsburgh & Pearls (and shoutout to @alexanderfiv the grand ringmaster of #PghGBE !!)

#PghGBE with Pittsburgh & Pearls (and shoutout to @alexanderfiv the grand ringmaster of #PghGBE !!)

Hi, everyone! My name is Sarah and while I normally post at Pittsburgh & Pearls, I am so excited to be writing a guest post for Beezus Kiddo. This is my first time participating in the great Pittsburgh guest post swap event, so it’s really interesting for me as a newer blogger to be working with some more seasoned talent. Beyond my (very obvious) love of brunch, I have a penchant for fashion, travel, fitness, and all things beauty.

As a millennial and a college student, I take my brunching very seriously. To me, brunch is a verb, and it’s my favorite meal of the week. In all honesty, I was never a breakfast person. My parents and grandma tried to drag me along to a brunch buffet for years, (which is now my favorite restaurant) but I was stubborn and refused to eat anything besides bacon, mac and cheese or Belgian waffles. Best. Combo. Ever. What can I say; I was a picky eater (slash still am, to some degree).

Flash forward 4-ish years, and maybe it’s the college student in me, but I’ll say yes to any excuse to get off campus and get some really good food. That being said, without further adieu, my top 3 favorite places for 3 different budgets.

1. The Dor-Stop ($)

If the fact that it was featuered on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives doesn’t sell you on visiting already, it’s been featured all over Pittsburgh media for almost 30 years. According to Pittsburgh Magazine, it’s the home of the best pancakes in the Burgh, and I’d definitely agree. Beyond your typical diner fare, the Dor-Stop puts creative spins on your breakfast favorites, including specialty hotcakes like the banana chocolate chip pancakes. It comes with a warning though, it might be really tricky to figure out exactly what sounds the best when the menu also features a variety of omelets, stuffed French toast, and other mouthwateringly good items.

Personal Favorite: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes, Homefries,

2. Waffles Incaffeinated ($-$$)

WafInc

Everybody loves a good waffle. I grew up on chocolate chip Eggos but I’d like to think that I have a much more refined taste now, graduating to eateries that feature “specialty waffles” which seem more like dessert than breakfast food (and I’m not complaining). Whether you like super-sweet or savory, there will definitely something on the menu for you. Waffles Incaffeinated also serves sandwiches, salads, crepes and omelets (oh-my-lettes!) if waffles just aren’t your cup of tea. And a quick word to the wise: Waffles Incaffeinated uses NoWait, which allows you to check wait times and allows you to get in line from virtually anywhere. It’s been known to feature longer wait times, so consider downloading the app for your convenience!

Personal Favorite: Megaberry Waffle, Funky Monkey Waffle, Strawberry Nutella Crepe

3. Grand Concourse ($$$)

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Nothing makes me happier than being able to dress up, drive downtown and eat a lot of food. My family has been going to the Grand Concourse for years; it holds a special place in my heart as the location of my parents’ first date. Everyone knows that family history pairs really well with copious amounts of ham, but I’d recommend it to anyone. Beyond a buffet that features food choices for both the foodies and the pickiest eaters, the atmosphere makes your experience that much better. And it has outdoor seating, which is always a winner in my book. If waffle bars, omelet bars, brunch bar, salmon and tuna bars and fresh donuts sound great to you too, you should definitely check it out.

Personal Favorite: Everything!

These are just a few of my favorite places- I’m always on the hunt for to try the newest restaurants in town, so recommendations are always welcome! Thanks so much for reading and happy brunching!

Today’s post comes from Sarah of Pittsburgh and Pearls, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Goodness Madness, where I talk about making it through extended family time when you are totally antisocial and grumpy.

And for EVEN MORE April Fools shenanigans, check out this week’s broadcast on Yakkin’ with Ya Jagoff! The Steel Trap and I were invited on to talk April Fools and whiskey for breakfast!

Click on the links below to see ALL of the participants in the Guest Blogger Event! Since we all link to each other’s blogs, you can even start on one and click to the next, then click to the next and so on, like a nice little morning mosey through the park of the internet. SPECIAL THANKS to Alex for all his hard work in arranging this!!

Harvest + Bloom // Yes, Wear That! // jelly jars // Glam and Graffiti // To The Streets // In Pursuit // Pittsburgh & Pearls // Beezus Kiddo // Goodness Madness // Last Minute Panic // Steel City Intrigue // Crank Crank Revolution // Amanda Narcisi // Pittsburgh is Beautiful // From Cats to Cooking // Yum Yum PGH // Breelicious Bites // Parmesan Princess // Coffee & A Blonde // The Steel Trap // Wavy Alabaster // everybody loves you… // Eat with Emily // Don’t Forget to Eat // Sloping in the Sky // From Farm to Turntable // Secrets in the Wall // Red Pen Mama // Feedback Soup // The AP Collection // Blog Or Die PGH // Pittsburgh Happy Hour // Friendly Fitness Foodie // Small Town Dad // Josh’s World // Geeky Sweetie // Sean’s Ramblings // Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes // Try it and You May! // lil Burghers // Orange Chair Blog // Ya Jagoff // Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents // Melissa Firman


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NaBloPoMo Day 30: Peace ahhhht

I was just about to go to bed, because it is now 10 pm and I have an 8am flight to catch. I then remembered that it is the LAST DAY of NaBloPoMo and I have yet to post anything today.

SO HERE IT IS.

POST

POST

POST

POST

snoopy running

That’s how it is done. NaBloPoMo complete.

Now it’s time for some beauty rest.

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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.

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Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Ahhh fall! It is my favorite season of the year! Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in Fall– well it was gorgeous this weekend. Now the skies are gray and threatening rain, so I’ll be cuddling up with a cup of coffee and hoping the crisp sunshine returns soon.

I’ve been reading about the great work that 412 Food Rescue has been doing to reduce food waste and hunger in one fell swoop, by connecting those with surplus food with those without enough, and by using a volunteer network to transport that food from one place to another. I also like the opportunities that 412 Food Rescue provides for those of us who have inconsistent schedules.  I want to contribute to my community, but my schedule does not often lend to commitments planned far in advance or at regular intervals.  412 Food Rescue posts their volunteer requests on their facebook page (and soon, through their new app) and anyone who is available can help out.

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Last week we were out and about, when 412 Food Rescue posted they needed someone to do a quick pickup in the South Side and drop-off in Uptown.  We were in the right area at the right time and had a few minutes to spare, so Baby Beez and I volunteered for the task.

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We picked up 7 cases of fresh orange slices from the Pittsburgh Public School’s central kitchen and delivered them to Jubilee Kitchen.  Baby Beez helped with the carrying, and as we delivered the oranges to Jubilee Kitchen, she wished the clients a cheerful “Enjoy your oranges!!”  This provided a great opportunity for us to talk about food insecurity and food waste in a way that was meaningful and clear to a 5 year old, and was especially meaningful just a few days after Yom Kippur, in a season when we should be thinking of improving the world.

412 Food Rescue

If you are hungry for an opportunity to contribute in a way where your dollars “hit the ground running” so to speak, 412 Food Rescue’s Taco Tuesday fundraiser is tonight. There will be tacos (AND WHO DOES NOT LIKE TACOS?) and an opportunity to learn about the organization, mix and mingle with the leaders and volunteers and an opportunity to preview their new app.

In other fall happenings, I am very much looking forward to a solo-road trip this weekend. I’m going to be heading up to Corning, New York for the Wineglass Half Marathon on Sunday in the Finger Lakes. I have loaded my phone full of audiobooks and I’m very excited to have a couple days to just relax. I suppose I am an introvert, because a little time by myself really does leave me feeling refreshed. You don’t have any idea how much I am looking forward to laying in bed, reading, maybe painting my nails, getting a spaghetti dinner by myself, and going to bed at like 7pm.

wineglass

Baby Beez was disappointed that I did not bring her home a medal from this weekend’s Pittsburgh Great Race (they do not give finishers medals, which makes complete sense for a 10k), but I told her about the gorgeous glass medal they give finishers at the Wineglass Half and she became very excited for this weekend’s race.

On October 10, I’ll be taking Baby Beez to her first Pitt Football homecoming game! This kid LOVES Pitt! There aren’t many words she knows how to read yet, but Pitt is definitely one of them. She has even announced that she plans to be a Pitt Cheerleader. While cheerleading is (to put it mildly) not really my thing, at least she has her sights set on Pitt. Can’t wait for the game! H2P!!!

Read her second word today! "P-I-T-T….mommy it's your school!!"

A post shared by EC (@ecpgh) on

And fall would not be complete without APPLES!  I could really go for apple crisp this morning, to tell you the truth. But apple whiskey would also do the trick! I’m excited for the Wigle Whiskey Apple Whiskey festival coming up later this month, on October 17 and 18.  The celebration is taking place at both their Strip District Distillery and the Wigle Barrelhouse in Spring Hill. It is family friendly, and will include bobbing for apples, live music and whiskey samples for the 21+ crowd. Yes, PLEASE!

Walkabout Promo


Thanks to everyone who has been reading! My posting has slowed a bit lately (that’s what happens when you go on a manic reading kick, and spend all your time taking words in, instead of writing them out!), and it’s great to have dedicated and enthusiastic readers! If you aren’t already doing so, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter, to carry on about ADVENTURES IN PITTSBURGH!

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Celebrating Summer with @NickyDCooks String Bean Salad

Celebrating Summer with @NickyDCooks String Bean Salad

Thanks to Nicky D for sharing her summertime memories and recipes with us today!

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Nicky D here from www.nickydcooks.com . I’m happy to be doing a summer guest blog for BeezusKiddo today. I am sharing with you today summertime memories of growing up in Rhode Island and a recipe for a delicious salad that reminds me of this special time.

The Summer String Bean Salad

One of my fondest memories of growing up in Rhode Island was going to the beach with my family. It was always a fun time, playing in the sun and surf while my family was gathered around.

It looked like a Norman Rockwell scene, typical Americana- that is until meal time.

My family brought a bevy of tasty treats with them, they didn’t travel lightly when it came to food. My female relatives suffered from an irrational fear that someone in the family will go hungry and heaven forbid this should happen.

The rationale for the copious amounts of food brought for the day was my Grandmother’s notion that “you never know who’s hungry”. And who is going to argue with an Italian Grandmother’s logic?

Truth be told, if you were running and playing on the beach all day you, really did work up an appetite.

Here was our strategy for going to the beach. First, a liaison was sent out in advance to stake out a prime spot for picnicking and beaching all day. The person in charge of this was usually my dad, who with help from some of the other men in the family, scoured the beach for the perfect spot.

My father was like a war time general, marking out strategic positions and locations. We needed to be near the bathroom facilities and picnic tables but far away from the snack bar. Once the perfect spot was located (this was only signaled with the nod from the patriarch of the family), the unloading of the supplies could begin.

Hibachi’s and coolers and blankets, oh my! Tent spikes were hammered into the sand to hold the canopies in place. The men unloaded the food and supplies and the women set up what looked like a mini-camp.

I’m sure we were quite the sight but we were there for the day, at least 2 meals and multiple snacks. In fact, this is how the day was measured, by the number of meals that were prepared for that day. This task was done and then the day of fun in the sun could begin.

I remember meals at the beach starting by someone in the family asking “is anyone hungry”? The adults would all shake their heads in agreement, and the preparations began: A well-oiled machine, all of the pieces working in unison.

My dad would start the coals on the Hibachi’s, and each male relative had their own tried and true method as to how to get the charcoal briquettes to light. There was intense discussions and debates as the fires were being lit.

As children we were never allowed to go near this area, there was always a fear that someone would catch on fire. Italians always live in the dark place, there was always “someone that so and so knew that had an accident when lighting a fire”. So as kids we stayed closer to the deli meats, no one ever died or lost a limb while near these things.

My mother and the others had the task of setting up the rest of the food, all under the careful direction of my grandmother. Children were discouraged from being around because we brought in the extra sand, so we were given snacks and sent off to play until the meal was ready.

This truly was a thing of beauty. Multi generations of a single family all gathered together for a meal at the beach. The coals burned brightly and the smell of the hamburgers and hotdogs cooking filled the air. Colorful salads and side dishes displayed on red checkered table clothes. Italian cold cuts laid out for sandwiches and bowls filled with various potato chips spread out on the picnic tables. Ocean waves would break in the background and pesky seagulls flew overhead.

I always remember hearing the older family members talking about how much better the food tasted when it was eaten by the salt water.

There was the thermoses filled with Kool-Aid that left a distinctive red mustache on our faces and the directive from my grandmother to go and “clean your face in the water…the salt water, it’s good for you”!

I ingested my fair share of beach sand, but in my family I think that they considered a few grains of this stuff a digestion aid. If you complained about it, you would hear an audible sigh and a collective “it’s good for you” from several family members.

Dessert was always watermelon. Before you think that we brought down beautiful storage containers of precut cubes and slices, I need to relieve you from this notion.

These Italians were hard core and brought a few big watermelons right from the farm because my grandfather knew the farmer. My father brought out his butchers knife and sliced gigantic pieces for everyone.

There we sat munching on our watermelon slices, juices dripping down our arms and we were happy. Inevitably there was a seed spitting fight, this was usually started by my brother and I was his intended target.

My father would bellow loudly “stop spitting seeds on your sister”! I smiled because as my brother was getting in trouble, I could usually get a good shot in at him. I was the baby of the family and it was just what you did with your older siblings.

We played some more and tanned ourselves under the scorching heat. When the food ran out it was then time to leave.

We were tired with sand trapped in our hair and had managed to escape the wrath of the seagulls. We all knew that it could only mean one thing, it was another successful day at the beach.

For me, this is what summer was all about to me as a kid. It was family, fun and of course the food.

I wanted to share my recipe for Neapolitan Italian Style String Bean Salad. This is salad that we frequently brought with us to the beach. It was also a staple at picnics and other family gatherings during the summer months when string beans were readily available from the gardens and local farm stands.

Neapolitan Italian Style String Bean Salad is an Italian American Peasant style salad. I define this to mean that it contains simple ingredients, tastes delicious and is easy to prepare. This classic salad has many variations in Italian American homes. I am sharing with you my family recipe for it.

The combination of string beans, olive oil and mint is truly a delicious one. It is refreshing and the perfect side dish for the summer grilling season. I hope that you enjoy this dish.

Buon Appetito,

Nicky

Nicky D Cooks: Neapolitan String Bean Salad

copyright 2011 Nicole DaCosta Shadel


This is a great dish to make if you are having a picnic or going to the beach. The measurements for the spices are estimates, so go according to your palate. This dish can easily be doubled to serve a large crowd. Enjoy!

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String Bean Salad (Fagiolino Insalata)

 Ingredients

1 pound fresh string beans, cooked and drained

2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Teaspoon red wine vinegar (optional)

1 garlic clove, minced

2-3 mint leaves, minced

Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Directions

Cut the cooked string beans in half and place in a deep bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mint. Season the string beans with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until the string beans, making sure they are evenly coated with the olive oil. Serve at room temperature.