• Roasted Grape and Couscous Salad
    Salad

    Roasted Grape Salad

    Like most of us right now, we’ve been limiting our trips to the grocery store and working hard to use what we have. That has required a little creativity and trying some new things. I have to admit, even someone who cooks a lot sometimes needs a little kick in the butt to get out of her rut. I don’t know about you but this virus has given me quite the kick! I’ve learned how to make a sourdough starter (if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some of that), have made my own crackers, baked countless biscotti, frozen lots of leftovers and found endless ways to use fresh…

  • Homemade Salad Dressing
    Condiments

    Jazz up Your Salad in less than 5 minutes

    If you found the store shelves empty, or your favorite dressing out of stock, making it at home with a few pantry staples is quick and easy. Homemade salad dressing is one of the simplest things you can make from scratch. Once you know the simple ratio to make it, you will jazz up your salad in less than 5 minutes! Most vinaigrette style salad dressings are simply a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar with a little salt and pepper added in. From there you can build and swap in other ingredients and flavors One of my favorites is Honey Dijon Dressing. I use it on…

  • The Pittsburgh Strip District
    Pittsburgh

    Shopping and Eating in The Strip District

    Which Strip District Shops and Restaurants are open and how they are adapting their business during Covid19 If your Saturday morning tradition was heading to the Strip District for your favorite foods, COVID 19 might have you panicking. No worries, I’ve put together a list of shops in the Strip District including all your favorite restaurants, bars and distilleries and how you can still purchase some of your favorite items! The Strip District shops are dealing with the coronavirus and adapting quickly – here’s a partial list of which shops and restaurants are open or how to order from them. Food Shops Wholey’s Market – Open regular business hours! Pennsylvania…

  • Homemade chicken broth
    DIY,  Soup

    Homemade Chicken Broth

    I had something else entirely planned for this week’s post, but in light of COVID 19 and the grocery stores running low on essentials, I thought I’d take the next couple of posts to write about foods you probably buy premade, but can easily make at home yourself. Today’s is how to make your own homemade chicken broth. This has been on my list to write about for a while. Yes, it’s easier to buy a couple of cartons and keep them in the pantry – and I do that as well – but it’s also really easy to make your own and freeze it. I try to always have…

  • Lemon Blueberry Muffins
    Breads,  Breakfast

    Lemon Blueberry Muffins and Spring

    It was chilly yesterday morning, but unlike recent mornings in Pittsburgh, the sun was shining and I could see my daffodils poking up through the ground. Spring is coming! Along with warmer weather, flowers, and sunshine, there are foods that really say “Spring” to me. Fresh, bright flavors like lemon and mint, and fresh spring fruits and vegetables like berries, baby peas, and asparagus are all things I enjoy this time of year. By far, the combination of lemon and blueberries is my favorite. I think I could eat them together in almost any form but one that I love most are Lemon Blueberry Muffins. So, with blueberries in the…

  • Seared Sea Scallops
    Entree,  Featured Recipes,  Seafood

    Scallops in a Lemon Rosemary Sauce

    We took a trip to Cape Cod this past fall where I had the most delicious scallops I think I’ve ever eaten. The first night I ordered them, they were served over polenta with a red pepper sauce and greens. The second time I ordered scallops they were served with clams and pasta with a light lemon sauce. Both were sweet, buttery, and delicious! I came home knowing I needed to try to make them myself. So, I set out on my quest to find good sea scallops but ran into a small problem – finding fresh, dry-pack scallops in Pittsburgh is a bit difficult. So, what do I mean?…

  • Chocolate Cherry Muffins
    Breakfast,  Holidays

    A Valentine’s Day Breakfast Treat

    A few days ago one of my colleagues gave me some overly ripe bananas so they wouldn’t go to waste. I was about to make a loaf of old fashioned banana bread when my creative instincts took over. All of a sudden I found myself melting chocolate, and chopping dried cherries and walnuts. As I worked I started thinking this might just make a delicious Valentine’s Day breakfast! No, it’s not fancy, but since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, breakfast is going to be grab-and-go. These cute little muffins will get the day off to a delicious start though. A little chocolate with a little cherry dresses…

  • Chicken Noodle Soup
    Soup

    Chicken Soup

    It’s that time of year. I don’t know about you but everyone in our office is sniffling, sneezing and coughing and there is some nasty stomach bug going around. There is nothing better if you are feeling under the weather than a steaming bowl of your favorite chicken soup. What really got me thinking about chicken soup this past week was that one of my college roommates asked me last weekend for a good chicken soup recipe. My answer was that I didn’t really have one – I usually just make it up as I go! But, I hopped on the phone with her and gave her some ideas and…

  • Homemade Vanilla Extract
    DIY,  Pittsburgh

    Vanilla Extract

    I love Ina Garten. You can just tell she has fun and loves what she does. I love her approach to cooking and entertaining and wish I could be more like her! Plus, anytime I make one of her recipes, it always turns out and is delicious! She has come to Pittsburgh on both of her last book tours and I’ve been able to hear her both times. So, what does this have to do with vanilla extract? Well, the last time she was here, someone from the audience asked what brand of vanilla extract was her favorite and she mentioned making her own. She said she always has a…

  • Sour Milk Doughnuts
    Breads,  Breakfast,  Featured Recipes

    Sour Milk Doughnuts

    I’m a bit of a history buff. I love reading about history, historical fiction novels and traveling to places to see and learn about the history of the area. I also love food history and learning about food traditions. That history is even more interesting to me when there is some sort of a family link. So imagine my delight when a few weeks before Christmas I received a letter from my Father’s cousin and enclosed was this copy of a very old recipe from his Great Aunts, for Sour Milk Doughnuts. I’m guessing the recipe is from the late 1800s to early 1900’s – it’s a guess but based…