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Adventures in Vegetables: Kohlrabi

Adventures in Vegetables: Kohlrabi

This is kohlrabi.

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I’d seen it in the grocery store before, but frankly had no idea what to do with it, and wasn’t much motivated to learn about it. At Weight Watchers a couple weeks ago, a member shared how she, at the urging of an enthusiastic farmer’s market merchant, had tried kohlrabi and loved it. It became her new afternoon snack, when she isn’t necessarily super hungry, but she needs something to crunch on.  I became intrigued.

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Preparing kohlrabi is incredibly easy.  You peel it.  One end of the kohlrabi I had was slightly woody and stringy so I chopped that part off.  Then I sliced it up.

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Kohlrabi has a light, slightly sweet flavor, It is very similar to celery, without all the annoying strings to get caught in your teeth.  Its consistency is similar to an apple, and it’s a tiny bit starchy, but not nearly as starchy as jicama. It’s a perfectly satisfying snack on its own, but is also a respectable vehicle for your preferred hummus, salad dressing or dip.  Mr. Beez is a tzatziki fiend, and I was easy to try out fage’s new pre-made tzatziki (it’s dill and lemon flavors are not nearly as deliciously potent as homemade, but it does the trick).  2 tablespoons of this dip came to a total of 1 WW points plus, and the kohlrabi itself is a big fat zero.  So that whole nice big snack only set me back by ONE.

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It was kid-approved, too! Happy snacking!


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Baby Beez and the Vehicles: Touch a Truck

Baby Beez and the Vehicles: Touch a Truck

Last year the Beez family discovered the wonder that is the Junior League of Pittsburgh’s Touch a Truck Event.  The event is AWESOME.  It’s a kid’s event, but don’t be fooled, the adults love it too.  The concept is secret: Get a whole bunch of trucks in one place and EVERYONE GETS TO CLIMB ON THEM.

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All kinds of trucks! Bomb squad trucks! SWAT trucks! Mail Trucks! Cement Trucks! Fire Trucks! Monster Trucks! ALL OF THE TRUCKS!

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And you get to climb in them! and Sit in them! and Take Pictures! and get this…..

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YOU GET TO HONK THE HORN!! Even on the big semi trucks! You get to pull the cord! HONNNNK HONNNK!

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Mr. Beez was especially sad to learn that Touch a Truck was occurring at a time he could not attend. He loves this event just as much as Baby Beez and me.  This year we met up with friends and climbed through all the trucks together. Friends make the best things even better.

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Friday Fun with @ohhonestlyerin @unionprojectpgh and @pghtacotruck

Friday Fun with @ohhonestlyerin @unionprojectpgh and @pghtacotruck

It should be clear from this blog that I am not the stay-at-home type.  I love to be out and about, going to events, meeting people and seeing things.  This is certainly not a problem in this city, because Pittsburgh’s got a lot going on. A LOT.  And there are some weekends where all the cool things seem to be going on at the same time, and it puts me in the unfortunate position of having to choose between things.  This past weekend was one such weekend.  Baby Beez and I tore up the town. Our weekend was chock-full of activities, and even with the million things we did, we missed out on the Clifford the Big Red Dog opening at the Children’s Museum, the Venture Outdoors Festival and the St. Nick’s Greek Food Festival. Even with missing those things, we did a LOT.  So much that it can’t all fit in one post (or at least not one post that anyone would want to read).  So I’m going to break it down into several.  This was our weekend:

 Friday: Tot Shabbat at Temple, followed by the Flat Floor Fiesta at the Union Project.

 Saturday: Junior League’s Touch a Truck, an hour long conference call for me during which I hoped Baby Beez would nap but I had no such luck, an outing to the Pittsburgh Children’s Festival, which included meeting up with Baby Judah (and his parents), quality time at the petting zoo, seeing wonderful children’s friendly play called Egg & Spoon with our friends Liz and Baby Claire, hula hooping and dancing, and then a visit to Dave & Andy’s.

 Sunday: The Easter Seals Walk With Me at Kennywood Park followed by a morning riding the kids rides with our friends Sandy, Ben and Elena.  Several hours in the office so I could get work done, and despite Baby Beez’ refusal to nap, she behaved and watched movies on my laptop.  An evening at home in which Baby Beez jumped off the walls in that manic phase of exhaustion because I ridiculously overscheduled this weekend and because she has not napped in the last two days.  Despite being crazy hyper, at least she was being cheerful.

So yes, that’s what a weekend looks like when I let my enthusiasm get the better of me.  Needless to say, Sunday wound up with an early bedtime for Baby Beez and quiet magazine-reading time for me.  I guess when I’m complaining about feeling tired and completely under-rested, it’s obvious why that is.  But I can certainly say that it was a super fun weekend.

So lets dive into this silly weekend. First things first, the Union Project Flat Floor Fiesta.  The Union Project is a fabulous nonprofit multi-use building (formerly a church) in East Liberty.  They hold pottery and art classes there, but the facilities are also available to rent for all kinds of things like weddings, festivals and parties. The downside to hosting an event at the Union Project was their steeply sloped floors, making anything requiring the use of tables an awkward experience.  This Friday marked the grand reveal of the Union Project’s newly renovated FLAT floor, with a Flat Floor Fiesta. 

Erin and her fam were all there, and we hung out with them.  Chooch and Baby Beez ran around the grass like a couple of maniacs.  Baby Beez dug in the rocks and ran and ran and ran. babybeez

To be frank, I like the Union Project just fine, but my primary interest in the event was the rumored appearance of the Pittsburgh Taco Truck.  The Taco Truck premiered a few months back, is the sole taco truck in the city, and seems to have a maniacal social media following.  I needed to check this place out. tacotruck

I ordered the chicken/bacon/cheddar/sriracha cream taco, which despite the truck’s ever-changing menu, is one of their consistent offerings.  The tortillas were high quality and the combination of flavors was a good one.  It was a little heavy on the cheese, but really, can you complain about too much cheese? chicken

I also had the pork and sweet thai slaw taco, which was likewise a stand-up taco.  The Taco Truck does a good job of spearheading the food truck movement and bringing creative taco dishes throughout the city.  The food is good (although the proportions are sometimes off, Erin had the curried potato taco and it appeared to be overwhelmed by guacamole), and the business worthy of support.  I can’t say it’s the absolute best taco in Pittsburgh—in my experience that honor sticks with Reynas or Smoke—but the tacos are definitely good.  If it’s in your neighborhood, the Taco Truck is worth a visit.  I probably wouldn’t drive across the city to visit it, but if it were in my neighborhood, I would not hesitate to stop there for a bite. pork

Food, running around with friends, and playing with rocks.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that for a Friday evening.
PGH Taco Truck on Urbanspoon

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I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates

I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates

ATTENTION residents of Lancaster, California!

Was your heart irreparably broken when the beloved Holiday Skating Rink had the audacity to, GASP, modernize and reinvent itself as Skateplex USA?  Now where will the sweaty pre-teens go to skate the limbo and anxiously glance around the rink when the couples skate comes on? Those orange-carpeted walls! Gone! We can only hope the slush puppy machine wasn’t tossed along with them!

I propose a modest remedy: THE NEVILLE ROLLER DROME, right here in sunny Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This roller-land time has not touched.  Browns and oranges abound.  The walls are comfortably carpeted.  Inexplicably they play Top 40 (as in today’s Top 40) but we can forgive that. Everything else—the stinky brown skates, the unbelievably cheap snack bar, and the obnoxious showoff rink referees are all in place.

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A roller skating outing was high-priority on this year’s list of fun to-do’s.  Skating is Erin’s thang, and she was enthusiastic to skate.  Her son is likewise a pro.  Sandy is also an enthusiastic skater and was excited to bring her daughter on her first skating excursion.  Mr. Beez, despite certain skating-related childhood trauma, was up for an afternoon at the rink.  We left Baby Beez with her grandparents because we knew her enthusiasm wouldn’t be matched by her skill.  She’d end up frustrated and screaming, and this was skating time, WE DON’T GOT TIME FOR THAT.


The complete roller skating experience, disco ball and pulsating ceiling lights included.

The complete roller skating experience, disco ball and pulsating ceiling lights included.

I rollerblade with fair regularity (For the last 5 years I have carried my rollerblades in my trunk in case an impromptu blading opportunity presents itself, which has never ever happened), but even though I do fine with moving forward, I can only stop by smashing into something.  The same proved true with roller skating. The following roller skating tasks I can accomplish skillfully: skating forward.  The following roller skating tasks I have no hope at accomplishing: skating backwards, turning with less than 100 feet advance notice, stopping under my own power.  Thank goodness for those carpeted walls.

I swear I only look awkward because I was trying to tone down my INCREDIBLE SPEED so Mr. Beez could snap a proper picture.

I swear I only look awkward because I was trying to tone down my INCREDIBLE SPEED so Mr. Beez could snap a proper picture.

Mr. Beez wiped out only once, and on the whole did a darn good job.  Sandy was slow but steady.  Elena was tearing up the floor, and even when she fell she hopped right back up nonplussed and went right back to skating.  Erin and Chooch were both zoom! zoom! zoom! all over the place.  It was a great time!  Mr. Beez and I are old and rickety and only made it through about 2 hours of skating.  Maybe with a little skating we can make it through the full 3 hours.  I was a little sore the next day from working my skating muscles, but I was not totally incapacitated, so that’s good.

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I liked the matinee skate because it wasn’t crowded.  I was afraid of little fast kids zooming by, scaring me, and I keel over and crush them.  There was plenty of room for all people, big and small, fast and slow.  Also, the Johnny Gym Class contingent was sparse.  There were a couple people who skated backwards and I saw EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE JERKS BITE IT AT SOME POINT.  That’s what you get, showoffs.  I kept it simple, and didn’t fall once. So that was our Saturday afternoon adventure! The other two ladies who accompanied me on this outing already posted recaps (Orange Chair Blog and Oh Honestly, Erin!) So I tried to be at the top of my blogging game for this one. Pressure’s on!