Thursday was an adventure night in Pittsburgh. It was Miriam’s 21st birthday (woot woot!) so I took her out for a drink. I am not very familiar with the bar scene in Pittsburgh because I have not been in the city very long since being 21. Quite frankly I have not even been 21 that long. In case you were wondering, my half-birthday just recently passed. Happy half-birthday to me! Anyway, since I didn’t really know the best place to go I resorted to searching the internet for help. I cross referenced a few websites and ultimately decided on Brillobox. It is located at the corner of Penn Street and Main Street. Just up the hill from lovely Lawrenceville.

Brillobox was small and quaint with an easy-going hipster vibe. They were playing indie rock faintly in the background and had halloween decorations adorning the walls and the ceilings. There was a very respectable number of people there. Some were just drinking and others were dining as well. We didn’t order any food but the menu was filled with very appetizing items. I intend to go back some day to have some food along with my drink. They also have a room down a floor that features bands of all sorts. From what I gathered on their website and in the bar they have nightly entertainment. I intend to go back to see a concert there as well.

The bar featured between 12 and 15 specialty beers on tap. In addition to that they had 2 pages printed up in the menu solely for bottled specialty beers. How fabulous. A few of them were locally made too I believe. Miriam and I both ordered the pumpkin ale they featured on tap. They served it to us in a glass rimmed with brown sugar. Yum. It was a refreshingly light colored beer. I could often taste the pumpkin as well as hints of spices like nutmeg. It was quite tasty.

Once finishing our beers we decided to head home. It was just a Thursday night after all. I do intend to add the Brillobox to my list of places to return to. Maybe next time I’ll go on a night the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing and watch the game on the large screen as I sip on my pumpkin ale. Or maybe I’ll try something new. Only time will tell.

Here is the link to their website if you are interested in checking it out!


Pumpkin Time

It’s October now. To me, October marks the beginning of one of my most favorite aspects of fall… PUMPKIN. Pumpkin flavored anything. Cookies, muffins, bread, coffee, chocolate, soup, anything you can think of. Monday afternoon I kicked off the season by baking pumpkin muffins. It was the perfect rainy afternoon activity. It’s a simple recipe, just some pumpkin puree, flour, sugar, applesauce (instead of oil), cinnamon, nutmeg, (I added a little ginger too), baking powder, baking soda, eggs, and chocolate chips or nuts if you want them but I just left mine plain this time. Yum yum yum! Mix it all together and put it in the oven at 350 for just 20 minutes and you have yourself fall in a muffin cup. The applesauce not only makes them less caloric but I feel that it adds a more fluffy texture to the finished muffin. I enjoyed one on the spot, in addition to the raw batter that “accidentally” made its way into my mouth, put a few in a tupperware on the counter and froze the rest. That way I can enjoy them anytime of day for weeks to come. What could be better?

I will have to double check the exact measurements because I don’t have the recipe in front of me but here is what I can remember.

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups applesauce (or oil)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
2 cups chocolate chips or chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Grease muffin tins or use paper muffin cups and fill each one about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes in the tins then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
You can enjoy one right away or wait until they are cooler. Sometimes I find that they taste better once they are cooled off completely. The spices jump out more.

A few other things I love about fall that I wish to share are these: sweaters. boots. jackets. layers. scarves. hats. gloves. colored leaves. stomping on crispy leaves on the ground.
I guess you could say fall is my season.