• Storing Fruits and Vegetables

    The secret for keeping fresh fruits and vegetables fresh longer

    You know that feeling.  Your heart sinks.  As soon as you reach into the refrigerator and pull out those luscious raspberries you so carefully picked up at the farmer’s market. You can’t believe it.  White spots…all over…spoiled!  How could that be?  You just bought them, and they were perfect.  Yes, berries, especially raspberries can turn quickly, but did you look at what else is in that drawer that might be causing the problem? There is a secret to keeping fresh fruits and vegetables fresh! All fruits and vegetables contain a natural hormone called Ethylene that promotes ripening.   Ethylene forms into a gas and not only ripens the fruit or vegetable…

  • Zuccchini Lasagna Roll-Ups
    Entree,  Vegetable

    Is your Garden Overflowing with Zucchini?

    Have you ever yelled at a deer? One summer night, I stood on my deck, overlooking my little vegetable garden and watched helplessly as a deer feasted away on my almost ripe tomatoes. Ugh! I had been waiting so patiently for them to ripen. Just a couple more days I thought, why the tomatoes? The bigger problem was my garden was overflowing with zucchini! Yes, a first time gardener and I planted way too many zucchini plants. Those babies are quite proliferative! My sister was staying with me that summer so I figured a little extra would be fine. I found out later that she was not a fan of…

  • Beef and Mushroom Burger

    Beef and Mushroom Burger – Italian Style

    It seems everything has been affected by this virus and we are constantly changing something about the way we used to live. It started with a run on toilet paper (I know I’ll read this in a few years and still be scratching my head over that one!) to wearing masks in public to being limited to how much meat you can buy at the grocery store. Not to mention the economic and health impacts for so many of our families, friends, and neighbors. I can’t help with much of this but I do have a way to get more out of your ground beef! I came across this trick…

  • Pickles
    Condiments,  Vegetable

    Refrigerator Pickles

    What a great weekend to fire up the grill. And what goes better with burgers and dogs than pickles? Was the store out of them? No problem, refrigerator pickles only take 24 hours to make and you can use up some of the vegetables in your fridge – no food waste! It’s been a rough spring and I’m so ready for summer! In addition to “the virus” and staying at home, it’s been pretty chilly and rainy here in “the burgh”. Finally, this weekend we’ve had sun and temps in the 60s, 70s, and even the 80s! Woo Hoo! What a perfect weekend for the unofficial kick-off to summer! Time…

  • Roasted Grape and Couscous 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

    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

    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…