• Storing Fruits and Vegetables
    Vegetable

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

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