Sunday afternoons in Pittsburgh come autumn time are dominated by watching and cheering on dem Stillers. This usually equates to a day full of fun, but special circumstances such as bye weeks and truly horrendous seasons call for other enjoyable activities to keep us all entertained. Check out the links below to read what a bunch of Pittsburgh bloggers suggest you do to make your fall Sunday perfect!
(I’m actually not a football fan, so no Sunday will find me watching the Steelers. I mean, if someone’s gotta win, sure I want it to be my city, but outside of that…no thanks!)
I had to look at the date on the calendar again to make sure it was actually fall, since it seems like we’re in for a stretch of 80 degree days in Pittsburgh. I will definitely take 80 degrees over that really bad four letter s-word, but it’s not really what I want this time of year. Okay, back to business.
My perfect fall Sunday, begins with sleeping in until around 10. (Teenage-up-to-23 year old Katrina would fall over dead at the thought of 10 a.m. being sleeping in.) It’s a gorgeous day, 66 and sunny. I tumble out of bed and head downstairs, my precious Daisy shaped shadow following. I miraculously did the grocery shopping Saturday night when the store was dead so I start opening up cabinets and pull out the crockpot. (Side note: I feel sad that crockpot recipes only really start popping up in fall/winter. Summer is the BEST time to use the crockpot! No sweating over a stove! Or oven! When it’s 12 degress outside, crank up that oven!) Anyways, today I’m going to make one of my favorite crockpot recipes because not only is it delicious, it is dead simple.
Verde Chicken Chili
- 4 cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2-3 chicken breasts (I like the way frozen chicken shreds better, so I usually use that)
- 1 jar verde salsa
- 8oz pepperjack (shredded)
I put the chicken on the bottom, pour the beans on top, pour the salsa over, dump the cheese, give it a mix and you’re done. 8 hours on low and you have an awesome, EASY meal. You could use regular salsa, you could leave out the chicken, switch up the beans, the possibilities are endless. I usually throw a bag of frozen corn in to give it some crunch and we sometimes eat it over rice. I just made some regular chili last week and added some quinoa, so I might throw some in this next time. Can’t hurt! I also often do 5-6 cans of beans and two jars of salsa. There may be only two of us, but I have a 6qt crockpot and cook for an army.
After that 15 minute of “cooking” is done, I curl up on the couch with a book. Since this is my perfect Sunday, I of course do not have any homework that I’m neglecting, so I read for a few hours. One of my favorite parts of fall is the chill in the air (and house) so I likely grab the electric blanket and bask in it’s warmth.
Eventually Keith emerges from the basement and we head out to get some lunch. Since dinner is vaguely Mexican, we might head to Italian Oven for a pizza, or K Asian Bistro for some sushi. Since it is such a gorgeous day with nothing on the horizon, I ask Keith to take a drive.
Keith grew up in Fox Chapel and when we first started dating, he took me on a drive to show me all of the incredible homes. I love houses; looking at them, imagining who lives inside, imagining how much they cost. We drove past Chip Ganassi’s house and I almost died. My favorite part of that drive though wasn’t the house spying, it was the tree-lined Squaw Run Road. It’s such an idyllic road, it makes you feel like you are in the middle of a massive forest, not just a few minutes from 28. We first drove through in the Spring and while it is lush and gorgeous then, as the trees start to turn it is even more beautiful.
If it’s not too late in the afternoon and not too chilly, we might stop at Squaw Run Park and play a game of Scrabble. After I win (hey, my fantasy here..) we pop over across the river and head to Lawrenceville. Our destination? Arsenal Cider House. Now I’m not a big drinker, I dislike most beers, I hate hard liquor, I don’t like most wine, but I loooove cider. And lucky us, having our own Cider House in Pittsburgh! I actually planned ahead and brought our growlers so we get a refill of whatever sounds good (not like any sound bad). My favorite cider of theirs is the Santa Cinnamon which is only available around Christmas and in July, so we miss that one but whatever else we grab is just as tasty. If it’s in, we also grab a growler of mead for Keith. I’m not a huge fan of mead, but it’s definitely interesting! While you can take a seat there and open your growler, we have plans for ours so we hop in the car and head back home.
Once home there is lots more lounging around, we might watch a movie or a few shows that we need to catch up on. Before dinner we take Daisy for a walk and hopefully avoid all other dogs, since Daisy is easily terrified. Back home it’s time for some chili! Since the sun sets so early these days, it’s getting dark as we finish up. The temperature is also dropping but this makes the next part of the day perfect. We grab the bottle of cider and head out to our back patio and light the fire pit*. Sipping away, warming our bodies from the inside and outside, I reflect that it was a pretty perfect fall Sunday.
If you’re less of a homebody than me, you should check out my fellow bloggers’ perfect fall Sunday.
Alex at everybodylovesyou.net coordinated this whole thing, so you should start there!