Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Or perhaps I should say Happy Halloweiner.  That was the sign on the door at Dormont Dogs Saturday.  Let me tell you, this hot dog place is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh.  The first time that we were there I was blown away by how good my hot (veggie) dog was.  This was our third or fourth time back and each time the dogs have been just as good as the first ones.  I love it when that happens!  It is my experience that it is pretty rare to find a restaurant whose food is equally as delicious time after time.  Especially when the first time is so stinking good, I mean how could it ever be that good again?  Dormont Dogs is that good again!

I think that it comes down to the quality of their ingredients and the perfect assembly.  They start with a roll that is near and dear to my heart.  It is the potato roll that is used for lobster rolls in Maine.  The kind that look like a hot dog roll, but have the sides cut off.  Their rolls are always so soft and ridiculously fresh and have the perfect amount of toastiness on the outside.  Yea, I know that is not a word.  Then they have a pretty killer veggie dog.  Devin really likes the regular beef frank that he gets.  Next you can pick what kind of dog you want in terms of toppings.  They have some special dogs with silly names, two of which I always get: the Reuben and the Tennessee.  The Reuben is as you might expect topped with thousand island, kraut and melty, gooey swiss (which you all know from my Veggie Reuben post that I love).  The Tennessee is topped with BBQ sauce, crispy fried onions and melty, gooey pepper jack.  Both are outstanding.  They have tons of other varieties, and you are welcome to create your own combination.  I highly recommend taking a drive out to Dormont to hit up Dormont Dogs!

Saturday night was the annual Halloween party at Drews.  Last year I made jello shots and got pretty sick.  This year, I made cupcakes and cookies, and got pretty sick.  Just kidding.  About getting sick.  I did make the desserts and they were delightful!

Cookies – the cookies that I made were Pumpkin Oatmeal with cranberries.  It was a super easy recipe to follow and the cookies turned out great!  Aside from the two sticks of butter, they are pretty healthy.  They called for ground cloves.  I personally do not like a lot of clove in my cookies…or in anything.  In my opinion, cloves should be put into oranges and potpourri to make things smell delicious.  (I spent a lot of time when I was younger sticking whole cloves into oranges for table arrangements at my Grams.  It looks very pretty and smells even better.)   Cloves should not be eaten.  I used pumpkin pie spice instead (which I think contains cloves, but in a reasonable, sensible amount).

And P.S. the pumpkin donut at Dunkin’ Donuts is chock full of cloves.  The iced pumpkin latté at Dunkin’ Donuts is chock full of sugar.   I have mixed feelings about Dunkin’ Donuts.  Pretty much I don’t like it.  The donuts are horrible, like really really gross, and the drinks are all sugar. I like Tim Hortons.  Correction: I love Tim Hortons.  (Please God let them still have their pumpkin donuts when I am home for Thanksgiving.)   But, unfortunately there are no Tim Hortons in Pittsburgh or in Maine (at least within a reasonable distance from the camp), just Dunkin’ Donuts.  The Dunkin’ Donuts outside of Belfast (Maine) is the reason that I kind of love the place.  It reminds me of Maine and I love anything that reminds me of Maine.   I miss Maine.  I really hope I can get this job in Maine.  Ugh.  But anyways, did you ever notice that the people at Dunkin’ Donuts always ask you if you would like extra cream and sugar in your drink?  No matter what.  It drives me bonkers.  I would ask for it when I ordered my drink in the first place if I wanted it.  What is wrong with America that the people at Dunkin’ Donuts are trained to ask you if you want more fat and sugar added into your already fat and sugar laden drink?  Ugh again.

So anyways, the cookies tasted even better today!!

Cupcakes – I mentioned these cupcakes in an earlier post.  They are Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting.  The recipe called for fresh pumpkin purée.  I was hoping that by fresh they meant fresh out of a can.  The cupcakes were rocking so I guess they did!  I would recommend grating your own carrot for the recipe rather than buying it pre-grated.  I think the cupcakes could have been a little bit better if the carrot was shredded finer.  The frosting was killer!  Cream cheese, butter, pumpkin and cinnamon, how could you go wrong?  I frosted the cupcakes pretty heavily, but I still had like 2 cups of frosting left over.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it so unfortunately it went in the trash.  I would recommend halving the recipe if you make these.  Another super easy recipe to make (if you use canned pumpkin of course). 

While Devin admittedly is soooo sick of pumpkin, he really enjoyed both the cookies and the cupcakes!  Go me!  I think that the party goers also enjoyed them!

I am going to be trying out a few new recipes this week so I should have some good stuff to share with you in a couple days.

Since moving to Pittsburgh, I have had some pretty great Halloween costumes and some not so good ones.  I was an aerobics instructor (not bad), Hulk Hogan (pretty awesome), Quailman (the best), Pebbles (pretty sucky and I had swine flu), 1/3 of the three blind mice (ok, but too many jello shots).  I wanted to do better than Quailman this year, as it was going to be our last Halloween party here.  I questioned the possibility of this, because not only was my Quailman costume amazing, but I set my cape on fire at the party and that was pretty cool too (I was not harmed).  I decided that to outdo Quailman, I was going to have to be a slutty bee.  Just kidding!!  Why do girls always have to go the slutty route on Halloween?  Ugh again and again.  I was going to be a bee though, but a very specific non-slutty bee.  The bee girl from the Blind Melon, No Rain video.  Personally, I thought my costume was great!  I especially loved my tutu, even though I knocked a bunch of stuff over with it.

We get 7 trick-or-treaters on average each year.  I don’t blame these kids, have you seen the hills around our house?  I bought a 50 piece bag of chocolate.  Lets hope we get more kids this year (or not).

Happy Halloween from the girls!!

So Long!

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