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Friendsgiving + Thanksgiving

29 Nov

Thankfully for you, I am posting photos from the last 2 days for you to stare at while you’re in line Black Friday shopping:


Creme de Tequila from the Floyd’s Mexican honeymoon


Kevin's smoked turkey

Kevin’s smoked turkey

clockwise from left: mashed potatoes and gravy, 7 layer salad, rolls, cranberry sauce, smoked turkey, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mac and cheese, stuffing

clockwise from left: mashed potatoes and gravy, 7 layer salad, rolls, cranberry sauce, smoked turkey, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mac and cheese, stuffing

Present, but out of frame: Ciara, Trina, Ryker, Charles, and Damon

Present, but out of frame: Ciara, Trina, Ryker, Charles, and Damon


Pre-dinner munchies at my mom's

Pre-dinner munchies at my mom’s


traditional spread at my mom’s house


pumpkin pie with ginger streusel

Brew in Beechview

10 May

Sorry for my long absences, I’m in the middle of my graduate research AND Changin’ Time is really taking off.  Both faster and slower that I could ever imagine.

Shameless plug:

Since I’ve been frequenting Beechview a little bit more, I thought I would do a follow-up post from the Crested Duck.  I have decided not to share my secret access to the aging room just yet.

Instead, since its nice and chilly in Pittsburgh today, I am turning my attention to coffee.  The best invention ever.

And Brew – a community-owned coffee house on Broadway Ave. – is what I’m craving.

Adorable.  When the weather is nice, there is some great seating out front on the patio/sidewalk.

My first visit to Brew was a little overwhelming!  Everything is adorable so I of course wanted pics of everything.  I wandered around with my iced chai latte like a creep and scoped out the place.

There was a dog there with her owner, which hello…..I have the attention span of a goldfish sometimes and I can’t walk past a dog without having a full conversation with it.

Then I got sucked into a conversation with a ex-New Yorker, a violin maker to be exact.  He was chatting me up about the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, which is supposed to be incredible.  They have been added to my super secret list of places/things to do.  🙂

During our conversation, I noticed this adorable little deli board, which visually explains how each drink is made:

We didn’t have time to sit and relax, but if we did – I would have picked this spot:

Brew is a pretty neat idea: after expenses and wages are paid, the “profits” of the shop get invested back into community projects.  I wish Homestead would wake up and smell the coffee.  (Don’t judge me.)

To keep a short story short – Brew is worth a visit.  Get like me ♥

The Crested Duck Charcuterie

6 May

So if you haven’t been to Beechview lately, like myself, and don’t frequent the Pittsburgh Public Market, then you may not have heard of the Crested Duck Charcuterie.

Although, they were just recently featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Local Food/Life section.  If you’ve heard of them and haven’t stopped over to Beechview or the Strip, then you are going to be kicking yourself once you realize what you’re missing out on.  The article is really interesting to me because it is an inspiring illustration of how each experience or part of a person’s life can converge, igniting a passion or an idea that can then be turned into something special – like a successful business venture.

When that passion has to do with local, sustainable, ethical and organic – well you know I’m immediately smitten.

The deli itself, on Broadway Ave, is incredibly charming.  There are meat hooks hanging in the front window – the same hooks that meat hang on in the aging room (which is what the practice of charcuterie is – an ancient form of preserving meat before we could just throw it in a freezer).

The irony of these vicious looking hooks with the IGA market in the background isn’t lost on me.  (Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate that IGA has a family-owned mission statement.  I just wish they at least had some kind of commitment to the sustainable, regional food system.)  But that’s okay, because the Crested Duck has that covered.

Everything served at the Crested Duck is seasonal, locally sourced within 150 miles and ethically produced. ♥

My first thought: “Lord help me choose just one thing.”  But hey – sometimes you just have to indulge. 🙂

Here’s a close-up of the deli’s menu:

So I ordered the Prosciutto and Cheddar…

and she ordered the Grilled Cheese Du Jour with pepper-jack and added some Penn Ave. salami on the side…

I quickly decided that in Heaven, I have to remember to ask for unlimited amounts of this for eternity.

The MIL ordered the Bresaola…

And then we just ordered a Spanish Ham to try…

I promise we aren’t gluttons!!  Most of the time when we go out to eat, we order a variety of things and everyone shares.  That way, we get to try as much yummy stuff as we can.

In my opinion, the Prosciutto and Cheddar was the best but we all agreed that the Baby Kale and Brussels Sprouts Slaw was AMAZING…

So then, because we are insane people…we went back to the Crested Duck the next day.

YOLO!  haha Just kidding, I actually am sick of hearing that acronym.  But seriously, though…

Their deli case is small, but full of things I never knew existed, all of which looked irresistible.

Well hello, lovely…

And all the trimmings…


No, we didn’t try the torte.  Trust me, if I had room in my tummy I might have ordered some, but I had to reel it in before I left with a food baby.  But how yummy does this torte look!  Baked fresh I was told by Kevin, the owner.

Are you dying to see the aging room?

Well then meet me back at this exact place tomorrow! ♥

Hello Beechview

3 May

A Less Than Jake-inspired headline is giving me the energy to go downstairs and bring myself back this:

Did you like my post from yesterday?  That bumper sticker is pretty much the epitome of the entire idea behind SOLE for the Soul.  Looooove it.

It was my first glimpse of the little neighborhood of Beechview on Tuesday – I was immediately smitten and it only got better from there…

See those tracks in the road?  Trolleys.  Yeah.  Like MR. ROGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD.  And if you’re not from Pittsburgh and you’re reading this, just know that Pittsburgh WAS Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Beechview takes me back to that.

Don’t be fooled because its a little rough around the edges, that’s just character.

And guess where my first EVER Beechview destination was:

Sometimes I can be such a tease ♥

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