Archive for April, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

During my recent bird watching adventures,  I also made a tuna noodle casserole. Wow, I am a nerd. Oh well.

I used this recipe. It didn’t knock my socks off but I liked that it did not use ‘cream of something’ soup. I would probably add some garlic and maybe some herbs if I made it again. It was definitely creamy and comforting. I also added some panko bread crumbs into the topping. Good food for bird watching.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show



phipps conservatory


phipps conservatory


phipps conservatory

more orchids

phipps conservatory

snap dragons

phipps conservatory

cherry blossoms

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The Saga Continues

Well, I would like to thank all my family and friends that inquired about my well being and general mental stability after my post about the bird living outside my window.  The concern is appreciated but I am perfectly fine. Just a little odd. Nothing new there.

Additionally, I even feel the need to update you on the bird-mance happening in Shadyside.

Meet Melba and Beauregard, two mourning doves tending to their little nest of eggs. Yes I named them. Mourning doves are monogamous partners and share incubation duties (thanks wikipedia). I happened to catch the two birds as they were changing shifts. I spotted two white eggs in the nest as they switched positions.

Melba the Mourning Dove

These pictures were taken last week. I kept checking up on the birds and they were always there, tending nest.  I started to get nerdily/creepily excited about possibly photographing their little squabs when they arrived.

Sadly, upon returning to my apartment last Tuesday after work, I found no birds and no eggs, just a nest. My boyfriend has tried to convince me that Mel and Beau moved the eggs to a safer location during last week’s storms. Not buying it (although I do appreciate his effort).

And that concludes the story of my first foray into bird watching.

The end.

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Last Wednesday, Bricolage Production Company invited a group of bloggers to come in and preview their newest play – Hunter Gatherers.

Before I received the invite, I had never heard of Bricolage. They are located at 937 Liberty Avenue and have a really cool storefront-ish space with an intimate theater in the back. According to their website, the group was founded in 2001 and is meant to “immerse artists and audiences in adventurous theatrical experiences that foster connections and alter perceptions”.

To be honest, this type of play/art experience is not something I would normally seek out – I am not quite cool enough to know when and where these things are happening. However, I was really glad I went. Pittsburgh always continues to surprise me with its art and culture scene. The acting was awesome, the audience attentive, and the storyline engaging. This play is the story of a dinner party gone awry. Gone awry in very twisted and bizarre ways, to be exact.

If you want to go see Hunter Gatherers, you are in luck. I have two tickets to give away, courtesy of Bricolage. The tickets can be used for any date between now and April 25th (check out this link for more info and showtimes).  The first commenter on this post (that would like the tickets) can have them.

Note: This play has strong language, sexual content, etc. Please be warned!

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E2 – Highland Park

Somehow, I have not posted about eating out in quite some time. I promise I have had some good meals – the crab roll at Tamari, a veggie filled dinner at 17th Street Cafe, sushi at Chaya, a lovely meal at Elements, brunch at the new Elbow Room.

A cute little place that has finally got me back in the saddle is E2 (E Squared) – the Enrico’s (of the strip district) outpost located at 5904 Bryant Street in Highland Park. I have heard all types of good things about the blossoming food scene over on Bryant Street – Park Brugge, Smiling Banana Leaf, E2, Food Glorious Food, Joseph Tambellini. I also heard E2 had an event space. I am in the process of planning  about 16 bridal showers so any (unique, delicious) restaurants with space are worth visiting.

Last Friday night I made my way over Penn Ave and into Highland Park. At first glance, I can’t exactly say Bryant Street is bustling. This isn’t a Walnut Street or a Carson Street by any means. It was cold and rainy and gray and the street is mostly residential homes. Parking was pretty easy though and we walked right into E2 and were seated immediately (I don’t believe E2 takes reservations for parties under six). This rarely happens at a tiny BYO in the ‘burgh. I imagine maybe this won’t last long but it sure was nice.

The space is cozy but loud. Particularly if there is a large or louder party in the room. This was slightly offputting at first. However, once our bottle of wine was opened and we were munching on a gorgonzola dip and grilled focaccia appetizer, the noises seemed to fade. Grilled focaccia is good stuff.

For dinner, I ordered spaghetti with mussels ($20). My dining companion ordered spicy rock shrimp risotto ($18). The server took time to check on the spice level of the risotto and was all around very accomodating.

My dining companion raved about her risotto. To be honest, I am not sure I was blown away by my dish. It was a very simple preparation of spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flake, and mussels. It was certainly tasty and garlicky and I ate every last mussel – but maybe I just wanted something more for the price point? Not sure. In the end though, E2 won me over with their atmosphere and vibe. Kinda farmhouse-y, kinda chill, BYO, good service, no wait. I really want to return for brunch.

A note on the event space – I did check out the event space at E2, located below ground level. I am not sure this is a spot to have a bridal shower but I suppose it could be nice for a party or night time event.

E2 on Urbanspoon

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This guy (gal?) has been hanging outside my living room window for about a week.  Every time I am on my laptop with the window shades open, the bird is there. I have actually taken to checking on the bird throughout the day. I have also taken to hanging outside my third story window to take pictures of said bird.

When all your friends go out of town on the same weekend, you do things like this.

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