• 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 and the second night 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? A scallop…

  • 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…

  • Instant Pot Beef and Barley Stew
    Entree,  Soup

    Instant Pot Beef and Barley Stew

    On a cold winter night, there is nothing better than a good hearty stew. Over our holiday vacation, we had a couple of really chilly nights when this was just what we needed. One of our favorite stews is my Beef and Barley Stew and making it in the Instant Pot delivers a stew that tastes like it has been “stewing” all day long! I love kitchen gadgets! I typically ask for one for Christmas every year and usually, it’s just something small. But last year, to my surprise, my wonderful husband gave me an Instant Pot. I didn’t ask for it, but he knew it was the “new” thing…

  • Holiday Cranberry Crostini
    Appetizers,  Holidays

    Holiday Cranberry Crostini

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I was reminded of that last night as we went to dinner with friends and toured one of Pittsburgh’s treasures, Phipp’s Conservatory and their winter flower show. It was so nice to be able to take a break and just enjoy spending time with our friends! I normally love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Finding the perfect gifts, baking, entertaining and spending time with family and friends. But, it can be exhausting too, so having quick and easy recipes for entertaining is a lifesaver. That is why this little appetizer, my Holiday Cranberry Crostini, is a favorite of mine.…

  • Creamed Turkey and Peas over Rice
    Entree

    Leftover Turkey with Peas and Mushrooms

    Every year after our Thanksgiving dinner I wrap up some of the leftover turkey in Ziploc bags and throw it in the freezer for later. I’m usually busy either traveling or entertaining right after Thanksgiving and other than making a quick soup or using some of the really nice leftover pieces for a sandwich, I don’t have time to use all the leftovers, but I really don’t want them to go to waste. This year, Mark and I were traveling for Thanksgiving and had our own Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday before. I didn’t have time to make anything with the leftovers before we left so I packed up the scraps…

  • Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce in a pretty container
    Dessert,  Fruit,  Holidays

    Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

    There is something about the smell of apples and cinnamon cooking. The house just smells cozy and on a dreary fall day, that is just the smell I was looking for! Homemade cinnamon applesauce is easy to make and your house will smell wonderful all day long! I used Honeycrisp apples for this batch. They are naturally sweet so you don’t need to add any sugar but there are so many varieties of apples to choose from. If you can’t find Honeycrisp, Macintosh or Ambrosia will work nicely. The US Apple Organization and Washington Apple Commission both have good resources about the different varieties of apples that are commercially available…