Archive | October, 2011

Where Should You Go in Pittsburgh for Halloween?

26 Oct

It’s almost time for a weekend of disguises, family, friends, shivers, and of course some tasty treats!

If you’ll be in the Pittsburgh area over the coming Halloween weekend, the following list, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is for you!

Events range from haunted houses to pumpkin carving, with a wealth of museum, lounge, and bar Halloween offerings in between. Whether you’re looking for kid-friendly fun, or trying to plan a Halloween evening out with friends, there is an option (or ten) for you. Take a look, and feel free to add your own suggestions to the list!


Get ready to get spooked as the both good ghouls and bad come out to frolic for Halloween.

With roots in the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, the modern Halloween is a secular holiday that takes a light-hearted look at witches, ghosts and other creatures. In 2011, Halloween falls on a Monday.

We will be adding more relevant events (official and unofficial) as we learn about them, so check back often!

Hundred Acres Manor
Hundred Acres Manor  [ venue info ]
10/19/2011 through 10/30/2011

This non-stop, high-startle event captures the very latest in haunted house technology to guarantee an experience unlike any other.

Ghosts lurk in every corner as you wander through the ancient house, from Massacre Mansion to Black Hill Sanitarium, Fearscapes Factory, and The Maze (a 7,500-square foot labyrinth complete with chainsaw-wielding maniacs).

Proceeds benefit Animal Friends and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund. For directions or more scary information, call (412) 851-4286.

Haunted Hallways
Pleasant Valley Elementary School  [ venue info ]
10/27/2011 5:30pm

The littlest ghosts and goblins (up to third grade) are welcome in costume to enjoy music, games, crafts, a haunted hallway — and of course plenty of candy.

Admission is $5 per child. Proceeds benefit Washington City Missions, non-denominational, Christian social services organization, which provides critically needed goods and services to homeless, poor and needy of Western Pennsylvania without regard to race, color, creed, national origin or religion. For more information, call (724) 222-8530.

Night Of The Singing Dead
Rex Theatre  [ venue info ]
10/28/2011 through 10/29/2011

Some of Pittsburgh’s favorite musicians and media personalities channel the world’s greatest non-living legends in this irreverent musical comedy.

Tickets to this age 21+ show are $15, and are available at Pittsburgh Guitars on the South Side. For more information, call (412) 431-0700.


Celebrate Your Vegetarianism

21 Oct

Since we’re now a solid three weeks into Vegetarian Awareness Month (it started on October 1st) it seemed appropriate to check in with our readers to see where they enjoy dining when they want a delicious meal sans-meat.

While we were cruising the net, we came across this article from livability:

“Great Restaurants to Celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month”

Check out the author’s list of faves in places like Akron, Nashville, Lousiville, and Asheville.

Live close to a favorite vegetarian-friendly restaurant? Let us know!


Great Restaurants to Celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month

October 1 was World Vegetarian Day, kicking off Vegetarian Awareness Month. Of course, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to celebrate, and there’s no better time than now to check out your local vegetarian restaurant.

When I think of vegetarian restaurants, my thoughts immediately turn to this delightful image:

Super Summer Salad at Spiral Diner, Fort Worth, TX

A couple months ago, I hit up Spiral Diner when visiting one our Best Places to Live, Fort Worth, TX.  A 100% vegan restaurant in the middle of Cowtown? I just had to.

I’m not a vegan – or vegetarian, even. I have several friends who are, though, and am always impressed when I come across a vegetarian or vegan dish that’s just as (if not more) tasty as something that’s … not-so-animal-friendly. I have one vegetarian friend who never ceases to amaze me with her own “cook what’s in the kitchen” efforts that turn out better than anything I’ve meticulously planned.

In fact, my first experience at a vegetarian restaurant was with this friend. I’ll never forget her mistakenly telling a friend on the phone “Yeah, we’re walking to the vegetarian restaurant, Mad Cow.”

For the record, the place is actually called The Wild Cow, and it’s awesome. If you’re ever in Nashville, TN, check it out.

So, with my pleasant Wild Cow experience in mind, I was actually excited about the vegan fare at Spiral Diner in Fort Worth.

Read full article here.

Pumpkin Fun!

11 Oct

We were browsing through Southern Living for Halloween inspiration and had to share a few of our finds with our readers. If you’re craving a little pumpkin creativity, try one of these ideas:

Pint-Size Pumpkins & Blooms

Carving these irresistible ‘Wee-B-Little’ pumpkins is a super-simple, quick, entertaining project, regardless of your age.

The first pumpkin was fun. The second was even better. By the third, we were into serious laughter, and we’re grown-ups. Carving these irresistible ‘Wee-B-Little’ pumpkins is a super-simple, quick, entertaining project, regardless of your age. Try grouping your pumpkins in a window box, terra-cotta pot, or other container. Add some flowers and foliage to the mix, and you’ll have a ball.

Pumpkin Pedestals
Make several of these holders for each window box or container. Before adding the pumpkins, fill your container with colorful autumn favorites such as mums, marigolds, crotons, and ivy. Vary the heights of the holders for a spooky display.

  • Measure and saw the dowel to the desired length. When pushed into the soil, the top of the dowel should be just above the tops of all plants.
  • Hammer one twist nail through the center of a can lid. Now, flip it over (so the nail sticks up to hold the pumpkin in place), and use two twist nails to fasten the lid to one end of the dowel.
  • Spray-paint the holder black, and push it into the soil of the window box or other container.

Face the Pumpkin
You’ve probably carved pumpkins before but maybe not one this tiny. Here is what we learned. n Place the pumpkin on a firm surface, and remove the top with a sharp paring knife.

  • Scoop out the innards with a teaspoon.
  • You can use a knife to cut the face, but small canapé cutters make it much easier to create lots of great shapes. Fashion your faces. Then, press each pumpkin onto the twist nail on each stand. Add a tea light candle inside, light it, and put the lid on at an angle to allow heat to escape while keeping the light contained. Remember to check on them often; candles must be used with care.

31 Halloween Pumpkins

Get your carving tools out, because we have 31 ways —from spooky to elegant to jolly—to make your house Halloween ready. (Read more)

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Try a Seasonal Slice!

3 Oct

We’ve been having a bit of a cheesecake craving lately, and what better time to feed it than in the fall?

We found two delicious cheesecake recipes to share with you here. Some of the ingredients are different from one recipe to the next, the prep style and instructions vary, and the end result is similar but not precisely the same. And that’s what makes cooking so fun at the end of the day. As one wise soul once said, variety is the spice of life. Which recipe do you prefer?

Pumpkin Cheesecake – from Paula Deen and the Food Network.

Pumpkin Cheesecake -from The Joy of Baking. Also included: an instructional video!