• Zucchini and Carrot Quick Bread
    Breads,  Breakfast

    Zucchini Carrot Bread

    Is your garden bursting with Zucchini? Is a well-meaning neighbor sharing their bounty? This zucchini carrot bread is the perfect way to use extra zucchini from your garden and not let any of it go to waste! Zucchini bread is a delicious, hearty bread, but I often feel like its missing something. I experimented with a few things to give it a bit more flavor and body and my favorite variation is when I add shredded carrots to the mix. Carrots have a sweetness that helps cut down on sugar and for me, hides the baking soda flavor I would get with other zucchini bread recipes. They always had a…

  • A quick and simple pasta dinner
    15 minute meals,  Nutrition,  Pasta

    Pesto Chicken Pasta

    So long lazy, hazy days of summer! On to one of my favorite times of the year – Fall! I love the colors, smells and slight chill in the air. One thing I’ll admit that I don’t like is our hectic schedules and rushed dinners. So, I’m working on having more quick and simple weeknight dinners this year. Evenings just seem more rushed in the fall. Maybe it’s because it gets dark earlier, but it just seems we are always rushing around and a leisurely dinner just isn’t in the plans…at least during the week. That is where quick and simple weeknight dinners come into play. I’m trying to have…

  • Local peaches - Perfect for a Rustic Peach Pie
    Dessert,  Pennsylvania

    Local Peaches – Perfect for a Rustic Peach Pie

    There is nothing better than biting into a ripe, juicy, sweet peach on a hot summer day!  While Georgia is “The Peach State” there are delicious peaches grown right here in Pennsylvania. Local peaches are delicious to eat by themselves or are perfect for a rustic peach pie. Most are grown in the middle and South-Eastern part of the state, but there are many orchards in Western Pennsylvania as well.  A trip to the Farmer’s Market, local market, or grocery store, and you will find a good selection this time of year. As a matter of fact, peaches have quite a significant history in this great state.  There was a…

  • Large dish of colorful Ratatouille
    Vegetable

    Ratatouille – the perfect freezer meal

    When I think of Ratatouille the first thing I think about is that cute animated movie from a few years ago. The adorable rat, Remy, who dreamed of being a chef and had so much gumption that he worked until he made it happen. I never knew how much you could learn from a rat! Seriously, animated movies sometimes have great life lessons! That’s for another day though. I love that movie and the dish with its name is one of my favorites. Other than chopping a lot of vegetables, it’s pretty easy to make. This recipe makes a lot and it freezes well. One recipe makes enough for a…

  • Beans and Greens
    Featured Recipes,  Pittsburgh,  Vegetable

    Beans and Greens

    At just about any Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh, you will find “beans and greens” or Scarola e Fagioli on the menu.  This hearty dish is typically a side dish but is sometimes served as a soup, and is always served with a piece of crusty Italian bread and parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.  This classic Italian (or Italian-American) dish is a “peasant dish”. Many people will tell you that it originated in the U.S., not in Italy, but that is debatable. Beans and Greens quite possibly originated in Southern Italy, where many of Pittsburgh’s Italian residents immigrated from in the late 1800s. At that time, the ingredients would have been…

  • FingerLakes Riesling Vineyard
    Travel,  Wine

    Finger Lakes

    Mark and I love to travel.  While we only get away once or twice a year right now, we love exploring new places.  We have a long list of places to visit and try to get to at least one new place every year. Sometimes we find one that we just absolutely love and we find ourselves returning regularly.  The Finger Lakes in upstate New York is one of those areas. We didn’t actually “find it”.  Mark’s brother and sister-in-law have been vacationing there for years and kept telling us we needed to go for a weekend.   So, when we found out that the puppy we were getting was near…

  • Chimichurri Sauce
    Condiments,  Pittsburgh

    Chimichurri Sauce

    Last week I spent a few days working in the Strip District – an old historic market area in Pittsburgh, which is one of my favorite places (but that is for another day). I came home with a huge bunch of parsley and not wanting to waste it I decided to make a chimichurri sauce. It could also be that we ate lunch that day at Gaucho Parrilla, an Argentinian restaurant that is absolutely fantastic. Worth the wait if you happen to be down there! Anyway, I guess I had South American cuisine on my mind…and had a skirt steak thawing in the refrigerator, so it was meant to be!…

  • Garlic Scapes often found at Farmer's Market Find
    Vegetable

    Garlic Scapes

    If you’ve been to a Farmers’ Market recently you may have noticed bunches of twisted green stalks in a basket and wondered what they are.  They look a bit like a scallion but are missing the white bulb at the end. They may have a little cone-like shape close to the top.  This is a garlic scape. It is the top part of the garlic plant that is often cut off to allow all the energy to go to growing the bulb. According to “The Spruce” cutting the scape off allows more flavor to concentrate in the bulb while it continues to grow. Home gardeners and farmers know the delicious flavor…