Tuesday, August 30, 2016

{Travel} Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:Day 1

I can't really call this another staycation, though we did stay in-state for this trip.  We've started the college search for Miss High School and Pittsburgh was the first place we visited. 
After booking our college tours and info sessions, we also made some plans to make this a mini vacation and to visit some family who live there.
 We started out bright and early on day one because we had a tour booked that afternoon.  It's about a 5-ish hour drive from home.   We checked in at our hotel when we arrived (Residence Inn Pittsburgh/University Medical Center) and then grabbed a quick lunch on the way to our first tour.
 {Cathedral of Learning}
 Tour #1
Lots of walking!!
That night we had plans to meet up with our family in Mount Washington for dinner.  We took an Uber (my first) to the Duquense Incline.   We were staying in the Oakland neighborhood.
The incline is one way to scale Mount Washington and it's quite the scenic trip. It only takes a few minutes and you are at the top.

Where you get some of the most amazing views of Pittsburgh.
 There's an observation deck for taking all of your scenic view photos.
Miss High School caught me in my natural habitat.
We walked from the top of the incline to meet up with our family at a local restaurant and then they took us back to their neighborhood in Mount Washington.
 Such a pretty oasis in the midst of city life!
 Of course we had to get back down but not before snapping some evening photos.
 I got this one on our trip back down in the incline.
This is what the incline looks like from the parking lot (where we hopped in another Uber) and headed back to the hotel!
To be continued...
Day 2
Let's keep in touch!
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Monday, August 29, 2016

A Walk To Remember: Bryn Athyn

Sometimes it's good to switch up your routine.   We usually walk in the same few parks in our area but decided to shake it up and walk around beautiful Bryn Athyn instead.
I've talked about Bryn Athyn before when we went toured the property and cathedral during the Lighting of The Landmarks in June.  This time we went in the early (ish) morning hour and I only had my Iphone to take pictures.
I still can't believe this fairy tale like place is practically in my back yard.
There are so many charming little spots.
This must have been a swimming pool back in the day.  Now it's filled in and covered with grass.
The gate into the old pool.
Beautiful vistas...
Enchanting details...

Explosions of color...
and a quiet oasis.
It really is a special place!
Let's keep in touch!
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Linking up:
Cooking and Crafting with J & J
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Friday, August 26, 2016

{Recipe} Mushroom Black Bean Burgers

Here's another burger recipe that I'm pretty excited about.  It's based on this recipe and is vegan, oil free and very tasty!
Not to be confused with my Easy Bean Burgers, which are an easy and delicious pantry burger. These burgers take a bit more work and use lots of fresh veggies in the mix...they are so worth it!  Note: They do contain mushrooms which give them a nice 'beefy' texture. If you're not a fan, you could probably sub in another similar veggie.  They don't taste like mushrooms because there are a lot of other flavors going on.
Mushroom Black Bean Burgers
Ingredients:
8 oz(about 9) of fresh mushrooms (I use Baby Bellas or button mushrooms)
1/2 carrot peeled (I use equivalent in baby carrots)
1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of peeled garlic
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 TBS ketchup
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce (I use vegan)
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups dried oats(not instant) + 1 cup dried oats, divided
To make:
Start by processing the mushrooms, red pepper, carrot, onion & garlic in a food processor.
Pulse into a uniform mixture. Put veggie mix into a large bowl.
Into the empty (don't need to clean first) food processor add the black beans, 1 1/2 cup of oats, rice, condiments and seasonings.  Pulse until you have a mostly smooth mix with a few chunks.
Add the bean mixture to the vegetable mix in the bowl.  Stir to combine.
Stir in the final 1 cup of dried oats and mix well.  Cover bowl and leave out on your counter for 30 minutes or so.
After 30 minutes, use an ice cream scoop to form mounds onto a baking sheet covered with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
Press the mounds down to form patties (I used the plastic lid of a wide mouth Mason jar-it works really well).  Put tray in freezer for at least 30 minutes.   Take out and store individual patties in sandwich bags, keep frozen until ready to cook.
I make mine on my electric griddle.  You can also bake them or fry in a non stick pan. Brown both sides and cook on low to make sure the inside gets cooked.  I usually make the whole batch and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Put your burger together. I didn't have any hamburger buns so I used a toasted everything bagel.  I also added greens, tomatoes and a slice of Chao Coconut Herb vegan cheese. Divine!
Sooooo good!
The burgers are even good cold (once cooked).  We've put them on salads and used them in spaghetti sauce. I want to try a 'meatloaf' with this recipe. I think it would hold together well.
Enjoy your weekend! Have any fun plans for this almost-last-weekend-of-summer?
Let's keep in touch!
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