Apologies to Black and Gold Tchotchkes RSS Readers

•February 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment


As you may have noticed, it’s been pretty quite over here at B&GT. And then suddenly, this morning, BLAMMO! 50 posts came through your reader. Sorry!

What happened? Well, as of the end of December I’ve been posting everything over at SarahSprague.com. Finally reset the redirect from blackandgoldtchotchkes.wordpress.com to the new site, and it sent everything from SarahSprague through the reader. Again, sorry about that.

So, if you are one of the three people who have both SS.com and B&GT.com set up in your RSS reader, you only need to subscribe to one site.

Sarahsprague.tumblr.com? Yeah. I have no idea what I’m doing with that thing.

Thank you for all of your support!




Launching the 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes…

•January 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

With Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms.


The Friday Football Foodie: Creamy Hot Hoagie Dip

•January 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Pssstt… Everything is happening over here at the new place.

Pssssttt – The Friday Football Foodie has moved!

•January 6, 2011 • 1 Comment

Actually, it’s all moving. I just haven’t set up the redirect yet. Consider yourself on the inside of the soft launch of the new home.

The Friday Football Foodie: Spicy Roasted Vegetable Dip.


The Friday Football Foodie: Sicilian Christmas Pizza, Sfincione

•December 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

Just because you go into a game expecting to lose it doesn’t mean you are better prepared for actually losing, especially when the game could have easily swung the other direction. Not giving up the kick-off return for touchdown, not calling a shotgun run in the end zone in the final minutes of the game when only down by a field goal, not really selling the fake spike trick play on offense and then being burned twice on defense when the opposing team goes for the same bait-and-switch.

I spent the whole week preparing for the Steelers to lose to the Jets. “No way will the Jets drop three in a row,” I said to everyone who would listen. “We’re missing Heath, the offensive line is still a mess and Troy’s probably not going to play,” I pre-apologized before the game. I even pulled out my favorite late-season lie, “Better to lose late in December before the playoffs and get the loss over with now when it doesn’t matter. Remind the team what it’s like to lose so they can build on it. Plus, that way there is less pressure to win six games in a row.”

While the sting over yesterday’s loss to Jets should have been softened by the Steelers being only the second team to be ensured a playoff spot, (the first team being the New England Patriots, who received quite a scare from the Rodger-less Packers last night), all it did was remind me how little football is left and how precious our remaining time with the NFL is right now. The last two weeks of the regular season — which between a Thursday night game against the Panthers, the holidays, the Winter Classic and finishing on the road in Cleveland — will fly by in flash, and then it’s the playoffs.  So depending on when the next loss happens, we as fans may not be cheering for months, or even years depending on how the 2011 lockout shakes out. Enjoy every win like it’s the last you’re going to see for a long, long while. (Now the official motto of the NFC West.)

Sfincione: Sicilian Christmas Pizza

Sfincione first popped up on my radar ages ago when Emeril still had a decent cooking show and wasn’t a cartoon character, but I never quite nailed the recipe until recently. Traditional sfincione, not the ingredient-heavy bread Emeril pushes, is a special Sicilian pizza made for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, with a very soft crust — sfincione meaning “sponge” — with simple toppings of tomatoes, sauteed onions, olive oil, oregano and breadcrumbs, and maybe anchovies and cheese if you like, but I’ve certainly seen enough sfincione recipes that omit either one or both.

After lots of lots of research, trial and error, and watching Silician Nonnas on YouTube, the sfincione recipe I’ve had the best success with comes from L&B’s Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, as posted by the Morris County New Jersey Daily Record.  It’s much easier to make than you think it will be — don’t be afraid of using yeast! — and despite the rising times for the dough, is easy enough to make during the early games if you plan on serving it at the afternoon or evening match-ups. (Despite having a pipe burst in my kitchen yesterday morning, I was able to clean up the mess and make a sficione with time to spare before the Steelers 1:15 PT kickoff, it’s that easy.) The lightness of the crust – even lighter than some focaccias, with the tang of tomatoes, the chewiness of the mozzarella and the crunch of the bread crumbs is a nice and inexpensive break from the usual take out pizza pie.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Sicilian Christmas Pizza, Sfincione’

The Friday Football Foodie – College Bowls of Nuts: Cocoa Bourbon Pecans and Spiced Cocoa Almonds

•December 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

Originally this week I had planned on doing a snack guide for the entire college football bowl season, but when I realized I could only make so many BYU/Utah Jello jokes I decided to fall back on lazy jabs about college football fans being nuts. (Which as we will see later in this post, they are.)

Considering there are approximately 273 bowl games, you’re going to need a snack that you can make in large batches and will keep for days. Some people are big fans of heavy holiday noshing – the carb-and-salt-loaded Chex Mix and sugary “white trash” come to mind, but I prefer items that are both filling but not too heavy this time in small doses this time of year. A small handful of nuts not only go well with beer, they are also substantial enough to make a football watching food. (A good trade off since you’re not going to spend a lot of time planning football entertainment around Christmas and New Year’s aside of the bowl games, and if you’re anything like me, going to be sick of being in the kitchen after all the holiday cookie baking.)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of roasting pecans around here, and the holidays are a good as any to put incorporate some cocoa into your nuts. Spiced almonds have a good amount of heat without being overwhelming and bourbon brings out the smokiness in a roasted pecan. Delicious. Both of these recipes are easily doubled and tripled depending on how many guests might be traveling through your home and how many games you plan on watching.

Cocoa Bourbon Pecans and Spiced Cocoa Almonds

Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie – College Bowls of Nuts: Cocoa Bourbon Pecans and Spiced Cocoa Almonds’

Not to keep picking on Ocho’s Twitter account this week…

•December 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

Not to keep picking on Ocho’s Twitter account this week, but isn’t odd that he doesn’t follow the Twitter account of his own TOcho Show? (Twitter of course providing the very useful information of showing users which accounts are followed by users you already follow.)

The show’s account has just under four thousand followers, while OchoCinco’s personal Twitter feed is followed by nearly 1.5 million users. For the social media savvy Bengals wide receiver with his own mobile game and news app, it’s either a pretty large oversight or a snub of something not building his strat. One can only imagine Alex Blagg shaking his head at the missed opportunity for Versus by not having half of the marquee talent not re-Tweeting information about their show.

Previously – Steelers 23 Bengals 7: The difference between winning and losing.

A post where someone travels back in time four months to tell themselves how their supposedly “great draft” went in the future.

•December 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

So one of my fantasy football leagues, the THUNDERDOME which is made up of Steelers fans and bloggers, was emailing about our playoffs this morning and we were all laughing about how a team that started out 1-4 ended up being a top seed, games that went bad and players that had let us down. I was responding to something Mike said and added the following;

You know what would be great, a post where someone travels back in time four months to tell themselves how their supposedly “great draft” went in the future.

“Do you have flying cars yet?”
“No, but Michael Vick is considered a front runner for MVP.”
“What? What about Kolb?”
“Well, I have Romo is my back-up.”
“He’ll snap his collarbone pretty early on.”
“Oh shit! That sucks. At least I drafted Randy Moss , so I’ll get all those receiving yards from Brady.”
“Hahahahahaha. So naive, four month younger self.”
“What do you mean?”
“Moss is barely on the radar in Tennessee.”
“WHAT? Well who did Titans trade to get Moss? Chris Johnson?”
“Oh, no one. They picked him up off of waivers.”
“Why would Boston waive Randy Moss?”
“They didn’t, the Vikings did. By the way, you really should try to trade for Chris Johnson. And pick up that Woodhead kid while you can.”
“The one cut on ‘Hard Knocks’ by the Jets? Is he even on a team?”
“Yes. Now, I don’t have much time left here, but when you think you should bench TO; don’t.”
“Really. The day you bench him will be the day he gets 27 pts.”
“But by me not benching him, don’t I throw the fabric of the universe off and maybe he doesn’t get 27 points?”
“Listen younger self, fantasy football has nothing to do with the actual games. You should know that by now.”
“Anything else?”
“Yes, the Penguins are going to suck in October. Start making gifs with sunglasses over dogs and just say ‘Deal with it’ and move on.”

“Sunglasses on dogs that say ‘Deal with it’?”

Related, Draft 2.0 When your novelist friends think your draft talk is about your book.

Steelers 23 Bengals 7: The difference between winning and losing.

•December 12, 2010 • 3 Comments

Bengals – 7

Steelers – 23

The Friday Football Foodie: Thursday Football Dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream, Single Malt Scotch and Ground Pepper

•December 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Just a quick Thursday Night Football dessert suggestion if you are looking for something sweet to finish off the Colts season tonight’s Indianapolis-Tennessee game. Good vanilla ice cream, about an ounce of single malt scotch (it doesn’t have to be the good stuff), and a few turns of the pepper grinder yields a sweet treat which surprisingly tastes of caramel with a slight bite of ground pepper. Delicious.

And if you’re looking for something sweet and white sangria-ish without all the work of cutting up fruit, may I recommend Ike Taylor’s Ike-T to drink? Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Thursday Football Dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream, Single Malt Scotch and Ground Pepper’

Steelers 13 Ravens 10: Recap

•December 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

Unflattering t-shirt, shorts and all.


Bengals next week. Don’t dismiss Cincinnati, they’re dying to play spoiler in the AFC North and almost came back against the Saints this week.

The Friday Football Foodie: Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes

•December 2, 2010 • 4 Comments

December. You’re already going to be baking. A lot. More than you probably want to, but you just cannot say no to another cookie exchange, holiday party or even just bringing treats into the office.

December is also when football watching all weekend, every weekend starts to become an iffy proposition because of all the aforementioned holiday parties, cookie exchanges and treats for the office you’re baking for. Which is why I start looking for treats in December that can pull double duty between bringing to a football event (boozy) and something that seems festive and colorful for the holidays (mini cupcakes). Recipes that can be easily doubled, satisfy a large group of people, and are relatively easy to make.

As I mentioned last week, December also means we’re out of meaningless football games. Joke all you want about playing for pride, but there are always more than a few teams gearing to play spoiler at the end of the regular season. Missing football in December is always a risky bet. New England-Chicago or Jets-Dolphins next weekend mean just as much to me as Steelers-Bengals in case it comes down to a Wild Card slot, even though I know I have multiple holiday obligations that same Sunday.

So not to be too manipulative, putting forth the extra effort beforehand goes along way during the holidays. If you happen to find yourself at a holiday function on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon — or for that matter, Monday or Thursday night at an office holiday party — no one is going mind the boorish guest who parks themselves near a TV or keeps checking their phone for scores if they bring something as seemingly extravagant as a boozy mini cupcakes.

How am I doing this holiday season? Not well. Every time I think about Sunday night’s Steelers-Ravens game, my pupils dilate, my heart flutters and I lose feeling in my extremities. I nearly blacked out reading Cory’s post at Three Rivers Blog, What’s Really At Stake: Steelers vs Ravens, I got so nervous, especially after Pittsburgh lucked out in overtime against the Bills last week. Add in a week of Baltimore heckling nonsense along with fears about the Steelers OL and Bruce Arians play calling, not to mention Ben’s broken foot, and my nerves are completely shot. The only thing that comes close to making me this tense is having another conversation about how to fit in visits with all of our in-laws.

Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes’

The Friday Football Foodie: Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls

•November 22, 2010 • 5 Comments

The palpable shift in intensity around football around Thanksgiving is always invigorating. The end of the bye weeks in the NFL. Fantasy football leagues that end their seasons in Week 15 or 16 are getting ready for their play-offs. The great rivalry/hate weeks are gearing up in college football before pre-Bowl games break. The Backyard Brawl. Michigan-Ohio State. Florida-Florida State. CoughNotre Dame-USCcough. BYU-Utah’s Holy War. Probably two or three Bayou games that end with someone winning a cup made of gator teeth and wild boar snouts.

True, most of the Thanksgiving Day NFL games are usually (don’t say “turkeys” don’t say “turkeys” don’t say “turkeys”) turkeys (dammit, you said “turkeys”), and unfortunately this year doesn’t look any better going into Thursday with the 2-8 Detroit Lions hosting the 8-2 New England Patriots, 2-8 Dallas Cowboys hosting the 7-3 Saints, and the 8-2 Jets playing the sad 2-8 Bengals in the new-ish-since-2006 Thanksgiving evening game. The evening game was supposed to provide some relief for fans tired of the Lions and the Cowboys each fourth Thursday of November, but if anything, the extra game just reminds us how stubbornly the league (read: Jerry Jones’s Cowboy annual home field advantage on a short game week) can resist full-scale change.

Thanksgiving also gives Steelers fans across the nation a chance to remind everyone that the referees are so biased against Pittsburgh they once gave the team “heads” when Jerome Bettis clearly called “tails” while the coin was in the air, so consider yourself reminded for 2010 calendar year.

We’re through the meat of the season, kids. Wildly early playoff pictures are not so wildly early anymore. Losses now matter even more. Looking at the up coming games takes on extra weight as teams are about to play their division rivals for the second time of the season. Snow games. The excitement you look forward to during the off-season? Late November through December. It’s finally here.

Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls

This week’s Football Foodie recipe was inspired by Stone Brewery Bistro’s Spud Buds, their interpretation of classic mashed potato balls which are usually given a bread crumb coating and baked. I first tried these treats on a tour of their brewery a couple of summers ago and have been in love with them ever since.  The strong — but not overpowering —  hoppy, malty taste of Arrogant Bastard stands up really well in cooking and provides much more punch than you’re typical beer batter made with lighter brews.

Since mashed potatoes are usually one of the items every makes way too much of at Thanksgiving, this is an easy way to use them up for a football watching snack without feeling like you’re eating the same leftovers for three days in a row.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls’

The Friday Football Foodie: Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes

•November 19, 2010 • 4 Comments

For the first time in Friday Football Foodie history, we go into the weekend without Jeff Reed kicking for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After last weekend’s Sunday night loss to the Patriots, I was ready to stop defending Reed, but I don’t know if I was ready to see him go just yet. He wasn’t on the field when Ben threw a pick-six, he wasn’t behind the defensive scheme that never seemed to pressure Brady, nor was he the one who took out our entire offensive line.

However, he missed what should have been an easy 26-yarder and blamed the grass. No, the other grass. Turf grass.

Cotter held a touching Jeff Reed Memorial Service over on One For The Other Thumb, while the rest of Yinzer Blogland seemed muted in its response. Not that Shaun Suisham is anything to get excited about —  he’s bounced around the league for the past five years with about a 79% kicking percentage on 107 attempts compared to Reed’s 81% on 207 attempts, and… Well. That’s about it. Canadian. I guess that’s something. Went to Bowling Green and was cut from the Steelers during training camp in his rookie year back in 2005.

It just feels odd that the second highest scorer in Steelers history (behind the great Gary Anderson) would leave the team in such a bitter fashion. Yes, he was upset the Rooney family didn’t give him the contract he felt he deserved in the off-season, but it seemed as if he had resigned himself to the fact that the Rooneys were not going to spend Al Davis-Sebastian Janikowski-GHB money in Pittsburgh.

Then again, Reed was also a little prescient about this season saying back in August, “Life’s not fair and I have to move on because if I don’t perform, I won’t be here anyway.”

Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes

Spend enough time going to potlucks, tailgates and poker games, you are bound to run into a variation of either chopped kielbasa, sausage or little smokies in brown sugar and barbecue sauce to be poked at with toothpicks. Sometimes they have pineapple, a fruit jelly of some sort or beer mixed in. It’s a completely addictive dish, but unfortunately one that keeps you tied to a hot plate and left with a mess of used sticks.

Sloppy joes can be, well, anything with ground meat and peppers and onions. Usually with tomato sauce or barbecue sauce mixed in, or in the case of Dave of Dave’s Football Blog‘s Hot Beef Dip (which we covered way back in 2007 when people still commented on blogs) made richer with mushrooms and cream cheese.

Anyway, I had been thinking of making the kielbasa snacking medallions for Thursday Night Football, but it just didn’t seem like a proper dinner. What if I made sloppy joes, but instead of ground meat, I used chopped kielbasa? And what if instead of tomato sauce, just beer? Would it work? What would I call it? What if the Bears-Dolphins game became so boring, I turned it to the Tampa Bay-Philly hockey game just to see some scoring? Would the dish still count towards the Football Foodie?

Yes, it worked. Yes it counts towards the Football Foodie, because I guarantee we’re making this at least a couple of more times this season.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes’

The Friday Football Foodie: Brunch Bread Bowls with Egg, Ham and Cheese

•November 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Long time Friday Football Foodie readers know that as a West Coaster, where football starts prompt at 9am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays, I absolutely love the Football Brunch.  You get to miss the three to four hours of meaningless pregame analysis, you can start drinking earlier if you want, and you are approximately 87% less likely to see Frank Caliendo doing his Madden impression. All wins.

The only downside to early morning football is that you — okay, I, tend to make some rather questionable fantasy football decisions at 9:50 AM. Or worse, forget about one or two leagues entirely because you’re only half awake.

If there is one constant in morning football watching, it’s that everyone is usually ravenous. Enter the baked egg bread bowl. Savory, satisfying and easy enough to make in less than half an hour. You can make just a few for you and your family, or bake a whole giant tray of them if you have company with the same amount of effort. (Something to remember with Thanksgiving coming up, because Cousins Sue Mary and Jim Dickie are not feeding themselves Saturday morning while you try to graciously listen to them talk about their recent trip to Branson while you try to watch a few minutes of Kansas-Missouri. Oh yes, Sue Mary, you were just in Missouri too!)  They bake up faster than a quiche, are easier than making omelettes for everyone and are much less messy than eggs in a nest/eggs in toast.

Brunch Bread Bowls with Egg, Ham and Cheese (or whatever you like with your eggs)

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Brunch Bread Bowls with Egg, Ham and Cheese’

The Friday Football Foodie: Potato Leek and Tomato Cheese Rustic Tarts

•November 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

Unlike a lot of people, I like Thursday Night Football. Sure, it stinks if you’re on the East Coast or live somewhere in the middle of the country and football goes up against your favorite shows, (we’ll leave the ‘Community’ vs ‘Big Bang Theory’ debate for another day), or if you’re on the West Coast and football starts at 5:20pm while you’re still at the office. The trade off is that if your team plays on Thursday, you’re under a lot less pressure to watch football on Sunday and this is the time of year when Sundays start to become very, very valuable.

Thanksgiving in two weeks means you either need the following Sunday for travel or for recuperation, or most likely, both. And then it’s holiday party season which takes up both weeknights and weekends. Last second work projects need completed by the end of the year. More travel. More recuperation. Forget holiday shopping, just going to the grocery store starts to take longer around this time of year. Because everyone’s back on Standard Time, you sort of want to spend some time outside on Sunday after going into a windowless office while it’s still dark and then returning home again without seeing a single ray of daylight.

Football on Thursdays? Efficient use of time if you ask me.

Just because you’re rushed to watch football on Thursday night — or for that matter, Monday night — doesn’t mean you don’t have time to make a decent football snack. Enter the rustic tart.

Tarts are incredibly forgiving and can pretty much be stuffed with whatever you want. Sort of pizza like, not very pizza like; healthy ingredients or a pound of sausage. Up to you.

Potato Leek and Tomato Cheese Rustic Tarts

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Potato Leek and Tomato Cheese Rustic Tarts’

Save Empty Netters: Just a tip of the Iceberg.

•November 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

Did my nails for the one Pens game I get to go to all season in SoCal tonight.

UPDATE – ThePensBlog reports the PG has been overwhelmed with responses and further emailing/calling the editors may aggravate the situation. I’d remove the below contact information at this time, but WordPress and the iPhone don’t get along very well. (I’m in the car on the way to the game now.) Please be respectful of Seth’s wishes and let the staff have a break from the outreach efforts.

I’ve joked many times over the years the reason why I rarely blog about the Penguins is because so many other people are do it better and because really, the only acceptable hockey snacks in my book are nachos, hoagies, and now that I live in Los Angeles, Big Wang’s Heart Attack Fries which I am convinced played a magical part of both the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup appearances.  (And the not-so-magical part of putting on 10 pounds during each finals run. I didn’t eat them last season, and the Pens lost.)

One of the people who does do it better  — who arguably might be the best Penguins blogger  — is Seth Rorabaugh over at Empty Netters at the Post-Gazette. Sadly, the Yinzer Batsignal was lit this morning with the alert that Empty Netters could soon be axed from the PG.

To say the troops have been rallied is an understatement.


In fact there isn’t a single blog out there that analyses Pens hockey like Empty Netters (EN). This is by far the first place i go to if i miss a game and i want to get in depth analysis on what really happened during the game. Seth who is running this blog is a hockey gold mine!

Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke:

Today, Seth Rorabaugh mentioned that the Post-Gazette is considering doing away with his excellent Penguins’ blog, Empty Netters. You may recall that during the 2008 playoffs, I blogged about hockey quite a bit for FanHouse when they were in a pinch. Seth’s blog was a daily read for me because it was smart, funny, and incredibly informative about everything going on in the NHL. It was exactly the sort of product that other newspapers weren’t pushing at the time (and generally still aren’t now), and it made me proud that a Pittsburgh paper was thinking unconventionally at a time when newspapers were so obviously struggling.

So now, the PG is threatening to cancel one of their best alternative sports offerings while delivering a broken paysite and running Bob Smizik’s daily regurgitation of links and Pittsburgh sports-related tripe in a prominent place on the site. Did you read Smizik’s post the other day about the Pirates managerial opening? He compared Clint Hurdle to Gene Lamont based entirely on their records (Guess who Gene Lamont’s career .496 winning percentage is identical to? It’s Jim Leyland! Using only winning percentage to judge managers is infinitely dumber than using it to judge pitchers, and it’s pretty freaking dumb to use it to judge pitchers.) and then used some weasel words to imply that before Jeff Banister had been out of work since 2002 before becoming the Pirates’ interim bench coach, even though that’s obviously not the case. And he’s the one that thinks Frank Coonelly is dishonest. This is the sort of thing the PG wants to run instead of a quality site like Seth’s?

Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies:

To those of us in the blogosphere, this comes as a complete shock. EN bridged the gap between a mainstream newspaper such as the PG and the unwashed masses, per se. Seth’s efforts at EN immediately gave credibility and support to those of us that talk Penguins hockey, or any hockey for that matter, on blogs and different Internet venues.

We understand that blogging for a mainstream company is business, and I can’t say I know the entire line of reasoning that ended with EN’s now-shaky future. But eliminating something that has such importance and support to and from the very people that keep the PG relevant is no way to expand an industry that has seen nothing short of a full-on migration from print to the Internet in recent years.

Hockey Independent:

You see Empty Netters is pretty much the bright central professional hub of Pittsburgh Penguins blogging.  Seth has crafted and cultivated Empty Netters for years, through some of the darkest days of the Penguins franchise.  It’s stunning that now, in what is nothing short of the second golden era of Penguins hockey that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would make the short sighted move of pulling the plug on EN.  […]

Seth is routinely on Penguins HD Radio with Steve Mears and others to talk Penguins hockey.  He eat, sleeps, and breathes hockey.  Empty Netters Assists even covers the rest of the league better than most 10 man operations.  The notion that the Post-Gazette would take what they have in Seth and Empty Netters and flush it is out of this world crazy.  You have to remember day in day out this is in essence a one man show and it’s the best Penguins one man show on the planet.

Beyond that Seth is a great author.  He takes the time to interact, to the detriment of having any semblance of a life outside of hockey, will all of the readers who take the time to comment or tweet him up.  He has more random useful stuff about hockey in his pinky than most people my age have in their bodies.

And I love this comment on PensBurgh:

The “Fire Ray Shero” comment demonstrates one of the things that is great about Seth — he is plugged into the online fan community. He knows all the inside jokes, the memes, the viral videos, everything that fans are talking about online. This makes his blog a lot more relevant than articles that simply summarize what happened in the games. Blogs and twitter have made old media sources increasingly less relevant because sticky to the stodgy format means they’re missing all the great and hilarious stuff that makes hockey entertaining. Seth is the only place on the PPG website that demonstrates an active engagement with fans and hockey culture and the details that everyone is talking about online.

Finally, this comment on Faceoff-Factor pretty much nails how I appreciate Empty Netters.

Second, I live in California, and I consider Empty Netters to be one of only a few quality web-resources available to out-of-town fans who want to follow Penguins hockey closely. In fact, my schedule runs as follows: I read Empty Netters with a cup of coffee when I arrive at the office; then, because of the time difference, I listen to the radio feed of Penguins games during my last few working hours. If you discontinue Empty Netters, you will have removed one of the bookends of my day, and significantly limited my access to valuable Penguins and NHL reporting.

This posts and comments in support of Seth and Empty Netters are — pun intended — just the tip of the Iceberg.

If you would like to contact any of the Post-Gazette editorial staff and express your support for Empty Netters, please reach out to the following people:

David Shribman, Vice President and Executive Editor [redacted]
Susan Smith, Managing Editor [redacted]
Mary Leonard, Deputy Managing Editor [redacted]
Jerry Micco, Assitant Managing Editor/Sports [redacted]

From Seth, “Please be respectful when you contact these people. They have given me an amazing opportunity to create this blog and have allowed me nothing but freedom to write it as I please from day 1.”

On a side note, I don’t know what this means to our man Dan Gigler over at Blog ‘n’ Gold, or Mike White at Varsity Blog, the two other PG blogs I read regularly. If things are rough for Seth, I imagine they are rough all over which is a shame because it is great to have a younger, interactive fan at Blog ‘N’ Gold and as an old high school football fan alumni, the Varsity Blog is a rare treat and break from having to sift through the scary backwaters of Scout.  (My Facebook feed last weekend had just as many updates by friends on the USC-Mt. Lebo game as it did the Steelers game, so don’t tell about there isn’t an audience for high school football outside of Pittsburgh.)

Save a blog. Maybe save three or four blogs. Save yourself. Save a cheerleader. Save the whales. Save the planet. Save me being lazy and not blogging about the Pens more than blaming my new argyle Penguins hat for this season.

Save solid writing and thought. Save Empy Netters.

Let’s Go Pens

The Friday Football Foodie: Shredded Chicken Mole Chili Frito Pie

•November 4, 2010 • 13 Comments

Listen, so the Steelers lost last weekend to the Saints and there are about a dozen things to be upset about in the loss, but there are about a million more reasons why not to be too upset. The week before, I even stated that if the Browns upset the Saints — which they did — it was very bad news for Pittsburgh.

To be honest, after most regular season losses I can recall very little of the actual game after a couple of days. Glimpse here, moment there, bad call, bad break, feelings of dread, which players struggled, who on the opposing team was suddenly a superstar, but mostly nothingness. I don’t think I could count the number games I’ve been to, watched on television, or listened to on the radio over the years. At home. At parties. At the office. Tailgating. On the road. High school. College. Pro. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Regular season Steeler losses somehow all blur together over the past [redacted for age] years as a thin, black thread of empty memories.

Just because you forget the entirety of an event doesn’t mean you do carry on its concerns into the future. I know Troy Polamalu is still coming off missing all of last season, but we’re halfway through this season and more than a couple of times during the Saints game he looked lost on the field. Glad other people noticed it too, because I was starting to worry that I was alone in my concern. If I see one more failed short yardage bubble or slip screen, I’m probably going to have some sort of mental break. (I’ve decided that a certain offensive coordinator will never be called by name again, like Kaiser Soze or Lord Voldemort.) My arguments for Jeff Reed are looking thinner and thinner as the weeks go by. I bet Tomlin challenges the goal line call after the one yard line debacle.

On a more positive note, Ben — while still holding on to the ball too long, but after all these years I’ve come to live with — is playing like he hasn’t missed a single game. Heath Miller fumbles the ball just because he was too ambitious after the catch. Sure he should have just gone down and the Steelers could have kept driving, but he’s just too good of a player to ever slight for a rare mistake. Too ambitious? Never a problem in my book, no matter what the final outcome may be.

A couple of breaks here and there and it’s a loss to an NFC team that hopefully won’t hurt the Steelers as we head into Week 9. Just think, about a year ago this team was at the start of a five game slide before finally getting their act together and barely missing the playoffs. Feels like a lifetime and a different team ago.

This week, Shredded Chicken Mole Chili Frito Pie.

Until our summer road trip, Bryan had never heard of Frito pie. Since I had already been fooling around with making a mole chili, Halloween weekend sounded like the perfect time to make this hearty football dish with its chocolate undertones for our crew.

Side note; during the last quarter of the game, with the Steelers still down our friend Damon started to put on his shoes to leave because he was worried he was jinxing the game after what I wrote about him and football last year. I had already considered the jinx during the third quarter, but decided it was all in my head and kept it the thought to myself. The fact that he remembered was sweet though, and I insisted he stay for “Bored to Death” after the game.

Side note to the side note; Damon always says side note.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Shredded Chicken Mole Chili Frito Pie’

Meet the $12.75 Million Dollar Burger at Pittsburgh’s Shiloh Grill

•November 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It looks the old Shiloh Inn up on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh is relaunching as the Shiloh Grill by the same people who run the Harris Grill, complete with a hipper casual menu replacing the standard crab cakes and steaks which the Inn had been known for since the Reagan Administration.

As pointed out in HARRY MET SALLY, restaurants have replaced theater and the modern diner expects to be entertained as well as fed. This has led us as a society to expect witty sidebars on our menus  — modern menus obviously needing detailed graphs about what is dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, carb-free, bee pollen-free and heart-healthy, which is all all well and good because we should know what is in our food when we dine out but not too much because the day we’re told French onion soup contains 500-plus calories is the day we stop ordering it.

But I digress.

So what is a $12,750,000 burger?


(H/T To BWZimmerman who Re-Tweeted the Shiloh Grill’s post. Of course I clicked on the link to a restaurant 2000 miles away. The Shiloh Inn was an institution, plus my old South Side boyfriend’s dad was connected to the joint. My Pittsburgh wouldn’t be showing if I wasn’t being all nebby about what was going on up on the hill.)

The Friday Football Foodie: Let’s face it, we’re all eating candy this weekend.

•October 29, 2010 • 1 Comment

Boooooooooo!!!!!!! (No this post isn't haunted, it's just lazy.)

Long time Friday Football Foodie readers know I love the Pacific Time Zone morning football brunch, and I had planned on posting the first brunch recipe of the season today.

But let’s face it, we’re all just eating candy this weekend.

Okay, that’s not true. I have a brand new recipe I’m trying out this weekend for the Steelers-Saints game that I’m hoping is a smash hit with the crowd. And since I am cooking for the night game, I have all day work in the kitchen and get everything just right before kickoff. No rushing about at 9:50 am making sure the coffee is done, setting out napkins while finalizing my fantasy line-ups. Because I’m not making this recipe until Sunday, it’s impossible for me to post about it today unless I was one of those food/mommy bloggers who makes two batches of everything they cook because one batch is just for styling and pictures while the second batch is for eating. No thanks.

No judgment though if you just eat candy this weekend. My recipe involves mole, so that’s sort of like the bowl of candy seen above.

In other news and notes:

Last night during the live performance of RiffTrax (the crew that used to do Mystery Science 3000) mocking HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, they went for an obvious Ben Roethlisberger joke when a character was almost abducted. Of course since it was live broadcast to theaters nationwide, I don’t have clip of it so you’ll just have to take my word on that one and enjoy one of the shorts they posted from last night, Grocery Witch.

B&GT and TSW Enterprises backs Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies (PSAMP) for best humor blog, Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke (WHYGAVS) for best baseball blog, The Pensblog for best hockey blog and In the Bleachers for best college football blog in the 2010 Bloguin Awards of showcasing the top of the Bloguin Network. Go vote.

And finally, sorry it’s been so slow around here. Trying to do some site upgrades behind the scenes, and since I am my own IT team and my own designer and CSS editor (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA) it’s taking longer than it should. Hope it’s all worth it in the end.

Don’t forget to add your pictures to Football Foodies Flickr Group from last weekend and be sure to get some new shots this weekend, even if it’s just your Halloween candy.

The Friday Football Foodie: Homemade Pumpkin Sage Crackers & The Existential Crisis

•October 22, 2010 • 3 Comments

Team Crackers

“In August I’m so excited for football season I could just wet myself, but by the middle of the season it’s a slog.”

I forget who said it, but earlier this week someone either made this remark in passing or posted it on Twitter or maybe I just overheard it at the grocery store, but there is a certain truth to the sentiment. There has been enough of a shakeout in talent you know which teams have the impossible road to reach the playoffs (Bills, Lions, Panthers, Cowboys. Wait, Cowboys? I thought they were the team of Super Bowl hosting destiny?), who are the mediocre teams that could either go on a tear or flame-out soon (Redskins, Green Bay, Chiefs), uneven (the entire AFC South), and who we could live without (the entire NFC West).

There’s been Braylon Edwards DUI-gate, Ines Sainz harassment-gate, Reggie Bush’s returned Heisman-gate, return of Roethlisberger-gate, redemption of Michael Vick-gate, return of Santonio Holmes-gates, Dez Bryant buys dinner-gate, Brett Farve penis-gate (almost forgot that one), Randy Moss trade-gate, NFL agents paying college recruit-gate, not to mention the unending talk about a player lockout and the owner proposed 18-week season.

And here we are, Week 7; Helmet-to-helmet-gate. (Which, incidentally, is also unjustly overshadowing Pat McAfee drunk and swimming topless in an Indianapolis canal-gate. Indianapolis has canals?)

I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately with close friends about how we’ve grown weary of the instant web-reaction — and in many cases, overreaction —  to the news of the day, whether political, sports or entertainment coverage. It’s not the glory hole quick joke gallows humor of Twitter that wears us down, rather it’s 500-900 word content filler pseudo op-eds that take hollow stands either for or against a particular topic or person which seem to make us feel grayer with each and everyday. Reactions and analysis to stories that are so far from complete, they’ve barely reached their first chapter.

Helmet-to-helmet-gate week has had far too much of this, and I’m exhausted by it all. Posts proclaiming that it’s not fair that James Harrison is playing this week and Josh Cribbs is not and Dunta Robinson should be run out of the league for the hit on DeSean Jackson. These calls are coming from people who have been watching football for years — years! — but suddenly just opened their eyes this past weekend?

On the other side, fans and players have suggested changing the name of the league to the National Flag Football League, the Ballet League (obviously made by people who have never danced or simply do not know that professional ballet has an injury rate between 60-90%, depending on the study), and a fevered few using Facebook to pay what they consider Harrison’s “bogus” fine. Few mentions Mike Webster, Terry Long, Andre Waters and Justin Strzelczyk in this camp.

The new helmet-to-helmet Week 6-fallout rules haven’t even been seen in action, but yet everyone seems to have a side.

But I should be honest here and say that I had an initial gut reaction that took some time for me to work through.

Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Homemade Pumpkin Sage Crackers & The Existential Crisis’

The Friday Football Foodie: Chipotle Black Bean Hummus & Roasted Garlic Hummus

•October 15, 2010 • 1 Comment


It's okay if you still call it "hummus" and not bean dip. It has tahini in it!


If you are buying pre-made hummus, you are overpaying for your football snack.

$4.99-$8.99 for a paltry 7 ounce container of hummus is Al Davis paying for JaMarcus Russell or Gibril Wilson. Shameful.

Beans or chickpeas? Cheap. Lemon juice? Cheap. Garlic? Cheap. Salt and pepper? Cheap. Paprika, cumin and dried herbs for your pita chips? (Do not waste money on store bought baked pita chips!) Very cheap, and even cheaper if you keep away from the spices in fancy glass jars and buy the brands that come in little bags. Salt and pepper? Practically free. Tahini? Okay, tahini isn’t the cheapest thing in the world, but you’ll get a lot use out of it. If you want to go even cheaper, you can toast your own sesame seeds and then blend them together with olive oil to make your own. But still? Cheap-ish.

(And if you want to be even cheaper, you can substitute peanut butter with sesame oil for tahini, but since sesame oil is not really cheap I wouldn’t recommend it unless you already have sesame oil on hand.)

Making your own hummus is like getting LaMarr Woodley for half a million.

First up, a spin on traditional hummus, Chipotle Black Bean Hummus. As far as I can tell, as long as you include tahini, you can call it all hummus. Tahini in your morning coffee? It’s hummus.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Chipotle Black Bean Hummus & Roasted Garlic Hummus’

The Official Colt McCoy Threat Level Indicator

•October 14, 2010 • 3 Comments

*Not TSA and Ohio Turnpike Commission approved.

Friday Football Foodie Readers Submissions: Volume 1

•October 14, 2010 • 6 Comments


Western Omelette Burger from OhioGuy313


Well, I called upon the Friday Football Foodie Readers for tailgating and living room-gating recipe suggestions and pictures and already a few of you have responded. Great work team! I love seeing what other people make for quality football snacking each weekend, because sometimes I get stuck in my own rut of making the same thing weekend after weekend. (Looking at you, pizza dip.)

First up, we have a trio of burgers from OhioGuy313.  The above Western Omelette Burger is described as, Peppers diced and mixed with meat, Mexican cheese blend, fried egg, salsa, on a sourdough English muffin.

If you have never tried putting your burger on an English muffin, I suggest you right this wrong immediately. You know how one the greatest things about English muffins is how they pool hot melted butter in their little doughy holes? Now imagine the same thing with moist burger drippings. Delicious. The fried egg makes it a perfect brunch burger to steel one’s stomach against whatever you’re drinking out of a red cup later. Continue reading ‘Friday Football Foodie Readers Submissions: Volume 1’

Steeler Fans Guide to the Bye Week

•October 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As unbelievable as it may be, there is still football to be played and unfortunately watched which does not involve the Steelers. Brutal. So what is a Pittsburgh fan supposed to watch? It’s still way too early in the season to worry about the playoffs and we’re still sorting through the dreck of the first four weeks of play to really get a feel for each team. Consider the following a guide for what the average Steeler fan should watch this weekend, enjoying the relative silence before Ben Roethlisberger’s return next weekend.

(Unless you want to follow my classic guide on how to spend the bye week without football, which if you are able to pull off, more power to you.)

Jacksonville Jaguars – Buffalo Bills “Well, there’s never a dull moment in the NFL, especially when you’re losing,” according to Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not sure about that one, Fitz. It cannot be that exciting if Buffalo is facing their first blackout in nearly four years. Then again, maybe everyone in Buffalo realized how boring losing is and decided to finally get around to visiting the local Kazoo Factory and Museum (the only metal kazoo factory in America).

Steeler fans recommendation: Remember the Steelers – Falcons game of ’99? Final, 13-9 Steelers even though Josh Miller gave up a safety by stepping out of the back of the end zone. Steelers ended the season 6-10, while the Falcons went 5-11. The Bills have little hope of winning five games, much less six and the Jags are not much better off. Pass.

Denver Broncos – Baltimore Ravens The Broncos have never won in Baltimore, probably due to salt retention brought on by exposure to Old Bay. The odds of seeing Ray Lewis spiking Tim Tebow into the turf are off the board, since Josh McDaniels seems enjoy messing with both Tebow’s and Brady Quinn’s head and not naming a second string QB until late in the week.

Last week’s loss to the Ravens still stings, so watching this game is a double-edge sword. If the Ravens defense destroys Kyle Orton like they did last season, it makes our loss to them slightly less infuriating but then gives them a leg up in the divisional race. If the Broncos win, Steeler fans are going to be kicking themselves even harder after the final minutes meltdown of Week 4.

Steeler fans recommendation: Watch, but be prepared to put the children and the pets outside once you start in with the swearing.

Kansas City Chiefs – Indianapolis Colts It’s obscene that the Chiefs are the last undefeated team left in the league. Chargers, 49ers, Browns; this is all your fault. The whole city of Kansas City — both the Missouri and the Kansas sides — is filled with happy people high on victory and barbecue sauce. Disgusting.

I have two friends who are Chiefs fans out here in LA. One is the sweet-as-pie type of guys who’s in a band, hangs out at the beach, bikes with his dogs, and generally is fun to be around. Loves football and fun so much, was actually even a season ticket holder for the LA Avengers. The other guy, also a nice guy in his own weird way, but believes we all should be buying gold, recycling is a government conspiracy and an infringement of his rights to be a litterer and that climate change — either man made or natural Earth cycles — are a myth. So unfortunately, due to the latter fan’s Ron Paul politics, this particular Steeler fan is rooting for the Colts. Plus, screw a 4-0 Kansas City team.

Steeler fan recommendation: Pass. You’ll get enough Manning during the commercial breaks.

Continue reading ‘Steeler Fans Guide to the Bye Week’

How smart is the NFLPA at running the PR battle?

•October 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

How smart is the NFLPA? I hope each time they meet with the players, they’re telling each and everyone one of them to Tweet or post or Facebook or UStream or write on the dollar bills they hand to strippers the same message as above.

Players speak to the fans directly, owners put out press releases and dry, lawyer speak statements after meetings.

Smart. Very smart.

Via Ryan Clark’s Twitter account.

UPDATE: Lockout talk is in the ether today, because Hashiell Dammit just posted NFLPA Machinations At Green Bay and Welcoming the Lockout with this great pull quote; “So count at least one fan who is happy to see the players grow some spine. I want my football, of course, but I also want justice.”

Go give it a read.

The Friday Football Foodie – Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip

•October 6, 2010 • 2 Comments

As Maggie called it from the picture, gooey goodness.

I love this recipe. I spent my whole childhood hating the Reuben casserole my mom would make (mostly because it had corned beef, Swiss and way too much sauerkraut, things I don’t particularly like), but in this incarnation I love Reubens.

Unfortunately, I now have to temporarily hate Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip because it’s what I made on Sunday when the Steelers lost to the Ravens in a most spectacular implosion of mismanagement and undisciplined play in the final couple of minutes of the game. (Even worse, now my new Steelers headband has unfortunately moved to 3-1 this season.) To some football fans, complaining about 3-1 may sound spoiled or insincere. It’s not. Not when you had a chance to defeat your fiercest division rival — sorry Browns — who were an early pick to go to the Super Bowl. The Steeler fan’s chip-on-the-shoulder-why-does-no-one-respect-our-team never really ever goes away, and in my case, this grudge is going to be taken out on a dip.

Yes, I know this hurts me more than it does a Reuben-style dish. No one ever said love was fair or logical.

Actually, maybe Spock said that. Between a child psychologist and a fictional sci-fi being that does not know emotion, I imagine one of them said love wasn’t fair or logical.

Maybe you believe it was a Raven’s miracle. Maybe you’ll love this Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip even more because you love seeing the Steelers lose. As incredible as it may seem, there are an awful lot of people who get a joy out of the Steelers losing. (I also assume these people hate puppies, reading and fun, but we shouldn’t judge now, should we.) So maybe those fans will make this delicious dip every Sunday for the rest of the season. And maybe other Steeler fans will make Hot Pastrami Reuben Dips because obviously it was the combination of me and the dip that ended with a Pittsburgh loss.

Or maybe Bruce Arians will finally be fired, which in that case means I can freely make Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip any time I want knowing that they’d at least try to throw the ball for a first down to run down the clock and secure the win. Heck, if they fire Arians, I’ll make Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip for everyone I know plus a few thousand people I don’t know. I’ll be the crazy lady running through the street with a chafing dish in one hand and a box of rye Triscuits in the other, yelling, “WE’RE FREE! HE CAN HURT US NO MORE! HERE! WOULD YOU LIKE SOME DIP?!?!”

Something like that.

Video blog of the recipe hosted by Bryan and Sarah this week for director’s and cook’s commentary! More pictures and detailed instructions after the jump!

Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip with Russian style dressing and Provolone not Swiss because Swiss is stinky (but you can use Swiss if you like).

You will need:

Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie – Hot Pastrami Reuben Dip’

The Friday Football Foodie – Buffalo Chicken Wontons and Cream Cheese Wontons

•October 1, 2010 • 10 Comments

Wanton Wontons?

Earlier this week it was 113º in Los Angeles.  It was also 103º, 107º, 98º and 91º on various other days throughout the week.

Like most stucco and Spanish tile residences built in the 1920’s, our place is not air conditioned, which means for a few days it reached 95º inside TSW HQ. It was (and continues to be) miserable. I don’t think I’ve had a fully formed thought since last Friday, and I’m pretty sure that last flicker of across my brain was, “Looks like it’s going to be hot next week. Better make sure we have lots of popsicles in the freezer.”

Because of the heat, I’ve only managed to half-write a few posts this week before abandoning them, telling myself, “Fuck. This. Too hot. Too many words. Laptop hot. Dozens of readers can do without words. Better to sleep on the tile bathroom floor with the dog.” (Sleeping on the bathroom floor, by the way, is a nice reminder of why you stopped drinking Zimas with shots of Chambord poured into them when you were nineteen.)

Why do I bring this up, other than as a lame excuse for the lack of posting this week? No, that’s it. I’m a wuss who cannot even type out my thoughts when it’s suffocatingly hot, while last week the Steelers were sent out onto 100º fields in their black home uniforms to run around in front of tens of thousands of fans, so I should just shut up and write something.

So let’s just assume that I wrote about the following topics and call it a day:

1) Defending Gisele Bundchen’s control over Tom Brady’s hair.  (There’s even a small collage of my own husband’s hair over the years mocked up for the abandoned post, based on my own struggles to keep it from being shaved off.) Included in this post would have been a rant about Bill Simmons completely ludicrous assertion on PTI that Brady’s longer hair doesn’t play in Boston because real Boston guys get simple crew cuts and are plain old salt of the earth types that wouldn’t have such fancy ‘dos. That’s some serious GOOD WILL HUNTING psychological bullshit you’ve got going there, Simmons. I’ve known many people from Boston in my time, one of which was a male model early in his career. No one ever fucked with his long hair.

Aside of that, shouldn’t Boston salt of the earth types be happy that Brady is trying to make his wife — not even the super model part, but his actual wife — happy for a more pleasant marriage? Or in Simmons’ version of Boston, men are the boss of everything and womminz, they get what they get with their partners.

Silly and insulting.

2) It’s Steelers-Ravens hate week. I don’t like smack talk during a tough rivalry week, especially against the Ravens, so thankfully ChristmasApe/Tunsion over at DC Steeler Nation and Cotter over at OFTOT handled that for us. I don’t even really like talking about football during Ravens week, so again I turn to my fantasy football league members and turn you over to Cory at Three Rivers Blog to breakdown the match up.

But I really hate all things former-Browns, including these silly football foodie blogged Ravens cookies that would not stand a chance to my far superior buttercream Steelers cookies!

3) espnW. Actually, I’ll probably have a lot more to say about espnW once we really know what it’s going to be about. Put a pin in that topic for now.

I also started writing this week’s Friday Football Foodie in dissertation format and going through the backlog of recipes I still need to post as a nod to this week’s most notable jersey-chaser, but then I just felt bad for everyone involved in that mess. UPDATE: Except for the part where she possibly gets a book deal. In that case, I feel really, really bad for everyone involved.

So on that note, WONTONS! I love fried wontons for Living Room-Gating — yes I am going to keep using those words all season until it catches on — with a bunch of people. Easy, quick, and they feed a ton of people. It took five big eaters to go through a tray this size during the All-Star Game this past summer.

Buffalo Chicken Fried Wontons and Cream Cheese Fried Wontons

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Pirates 100 Loss Season in Haiku

•September 24, 2010 • 2 Comments

Emo tiny Pirates heart from 2008.

Pittsburgh Pirates fall
One hundred times this season
Spring means hope again.

Pirates keep dreaming
One hundred or ninety-nine games
It’s just a number.

One hundred losses
Seems unreal to baseball fans
Drop in the bucket.

Buccos keep losing
Patience is a tough virtue
At PNC Park.

Pirate fans asking
Where have you gone Andy Van Slyke
High hopes for Pedro.

Original Pirate Black Heart Poem – 2/14/2008.

The Friday Football Foodie – Steak Fingers

•September 24, 2010 • 5 Comments

I’ve been to Texas, oh, I’d say about a dozen times in my life. Maybe more. And I’ve been to Idaho, you know, for about 10 minutes that one time my dad accidentally drove the wrong way out of Yellowstone Park. But until this summer, I had never heard of their common cuisine. What do those two states have in common, aside them both of being home to college football powerhouses that like to complain about not getting enough respect?

Steak fingers. Or in Idaho-speak, finger steaks. (I’m going with “steak fingers” instead of “finger steaks” because the latter sounds like a George Romero recipe.)

Until this summer, I had never heard of steak fingers. But I happened to be at an old-fashioned drive-in diner in Albuquerque this summer and there they were on the menu, steak fingers. (Served with salsa verde, which seems to be what they put on everything in New Mexico, except when they’re putting salsa roja on everything else.) You could have knocked me over with a chicken feather, I just couldn’t believe such a food existed. Oh sure, at its heart — and the heart of whomever eats them — steak fingers are fun-sized chicken fried steaks. But to eat a whole basket of them?

For weeks after first seeing them in Albuquerque, I researched the steak finger. In New Mexico they’re served with salsa, in Texas they come with country gravy, and in Idaho, ranch dressing. I looked at recipe after recipe. I probably spent more time reading up on steak fingers than I did preparing for fantasy football.

Turns out, they are delicious. But they are not something you would want to make all the time, because as my friend Jeremy pointed out, one cannot help “recalling every word of Richard Pryor’s heart attack routine” after eating steak fingers.

Steak fingers

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