A Pittsburgh Hot Spot

A thousand of us bloggers and writers have already written about Butcher and the Rye and I feel I should be no different since I stopped in for a nightcap last week.

However, I was surprised to see one of my favorite bartender from Meat and Potatoes, Cecil, behind the bar. He just recently switched restaurants and I was happy to see him. He is one of those bartenders who knows the ins and outs of the beverage world and his drinks show that.

This time I ordered a 10th Circle; Beefeater Gin, Lime, Yellow Chartreuse, Rosemary, Ginger and Curry Tea.

Steve ordered a Sunday Butler.

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Our second round I had a Hanging Gardens; Corralejo Reposado Tequila, Lemon, Strega, St Germain, Sage and Creole Bitters.

I wish I could tell you what Steve drank but Cecil was just asked to make something fun.

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This was our second and not our last trip to Butcher and the Rye. It comes highly recommended.

amanda tag

Just a Quick Sip

One of the newest crazes in the city is rooftop bars. With the sun making it’s debut for what seems like the first time this summer I ventured out of the house down to Picklesburgh on the Rachel Carson Bridge. It was the perfect day to hang out around the city and see some new sites.

After we walked through Picklesburgh and saw Kings Ransom play we walked along the shore and then headed to dinner at Bill’s Bar and Burger. (We reviewed them in issue 13) While we were finishing our meal I looked down Strawberry Way and saw Hotel Monaco just a few blocks away. I had want to check out the rooftop bar since they opened and figured what a great place to grab a cool drink.

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Since we just ate we weren’t interested in any food so we ordered just drinks. Everything works on a tab system so be prepared with a credit card or remember a number. I ordered the Die Traube Weinen which was their version of a Sangria.

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Steve ordered the Truthahan Mule; a Moscow Mule made with Ginger Beer.

Part of the charm of the rooftop bar is the view. However I would have enjoyed it more if it was a few blocks over or closer to Point State Park. But it is still pretty and this was still a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy a beverage.

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Another bonus was the adult size games. They had Jenga, Connect Four, and a skill game for not getting a ball stuck in the hole. The whole rooftop was filled with people laughing and talking. It was as if the entire heart of the city was on the roof of Hotel Monaco.

So next time you are spending sometime Downtown and need a quick drink and bite to eat give the Biergarten at Hotel Monaco a try.

amanda tag

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

Nothing is tastier to me this time of year than fresh berries.  I remember as a kid, helping my grandmother and great-grandmother pick fresh blueberries from Great Grandma Jones’ blueberry bushes.  Of course, it was a “one for the berry bucket, one for me” kind of thing.  But, it’s better to do that with fresh fruit than, let’s say, a bag of mini Snickers, right?

Once the berries were picked and cleaned, Grandma Stone would prepare them for her from-scratch blueberry pie.  While blueberry pie is good, it’s not as convenient to make.  You have to make a crust – two crusts for that matter since it’s a closed pie.  And, then you have to bake it for the better part of an hour.  And, then you have to cut it into slices.  Besides, if you don’t have somewhere to take it and share, you’re stuck eating a whole pie (or letting it go to waste – but, who really does that with pie?).

While I love Grandma Stone’s blueberry pie, I’ve found that blueberry muffins are a quick and easy way to get my blueberry fix.  I can also freeze them, which comes in handy when I have a couple dozen on hand.  While I enjoy your basic, run-of-the-mill blueberry muffin, I have to admit that adding some cinnamon changes the flavor profile – drastically (but, in a really good way).

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins – Recipe

6 Tbsp Butter (Melted)

1 c Brown Sugar (Packed)

1/2 c Milk

1 Egg

1 1/2 c Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 c Blueberries*

– Preheat oven to 400 and prepare muffin tin (either with baking papers or lightly greased).

– Whisk butter, brown sugar, milk, and egg.

– In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

– Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and fold until the batter is combined.

– Fold in blueberries.

– Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake approximately 15-20 minutes.  (They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.)

*NOTE: I like to use fresh, organic blueberries when they’re in season.  They’re naturally sweet and not sour.  However, when off-season, I will use frozen blueberries.  I just let them thaw and rinse them vigorously before adding to the batter.

Missy tag

Woah…This BINGO.

I have heard of it for a while now, seen the pictures, and heard the rumblings of hoots over “O69″…But this BINGO was OUTrageous. Once a month the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland fills with people all to host a great night for charity filled with shouts of “BINGO” and cheers from the players when asked “Who wants some MONEY?” 11377145_10153459950263787_6022503966666340938_n Tickets sell out, sometimes a month in advance, and go for $18 for 6 boards for about 10 regular play games. There are three special games and one Twitter game where they secretly give out four numbers over Twitter. The special games are the big money. There is also 50/50 raffle and As seen on TV giveaways and door prizes. 11112216_10153459949948787_6104323761479481093_n But there is the charity and why this night is important and it was solidified when this BINGO virgin had to take an oath with her BINGO marker raised in the sky. It was only a game and the point was to raise money and have fun. There is a guest caller for a game also. This night it was Hugh McGough a judge in the Oakland area who marries a lot of same sex couples, one of which was there that night. 11046343_10153459950178787_702119950189251697_n There is also a Drag Queen and Drag King Show intermission with music, dancing, and fun. OUTrageous BINGO is taking a BINGO break over the summer and will resume again in September so keep your eye to the Facebook Page for the release of tickets. And a Super Spoiler Alert: There is a OUTrageous Bingo on Halloween this year and there is costumes and treats all night long from what I hear. This girl didn’t win but I had a blast and can’t wait for fall to join in again. So as they say at OUTrageous BINGO: Now Sit Down, Shut Up, and Play Bingo! Check out OUTrageous BINGO. Facebook and Twitter. amanda tag

‘Murica Summer Fashion

I am usually not the one to get on board with style things.  I practically live my life in jeans and t-shirts.  A lot of my rationale behind that is my size.  As a girl who’s been a size 16/18 for the better part of the last decade, finding something I actually like can be difficult.

With the advent of Pinterest however, my style options have opened.  Take this outfit, for instance:

Summer Ensemble

*Photo from Plus Model Magazine

This outfit could easily work as a work outfit, or a cute party outfit (maybe without the jacket).  You can dress it up or down with accessories to fit your needs.  I really have to admit I’m all about the strappy sandals.  They’re totes adorbs.

Missy tag

Quick Bite: Proper Brick Oven and Taproom

On the last day of Pride and Three Rivers Arts Festival I found myself in that scary rain storm that cleared Downtown Pittsburgh in about 15 minutes. Steve and I had an umbrella and so the fear of a lightning strike is all we had to worry about so we continued on with our Downtown Date

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Steve enjoyed a beer, a Purgatory from Helltown, and we ordered the Carnivore Pizza. It came topped with Pepperoni, sausage and bacon. All the Meats. It was delicious. We decided the best part was the garlic taste in the crust. It wasn’t bettered on and wasn’t obvious when you looked at it, but you could taste it.

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Our bill wasn’t a sticker shock either (under 30). Overall it was a great spot to wait out the storm and wait for the next T ride home.

amanda tag