Friday, April 29, 2011

A Suburghian Girl Recipe: Creamy Egg Salad with Capers

What is a girl to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs?  Make a fabulous egg salad, of course! ;)

I started with 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped coarsely.  Then I added about a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (made with olive oil). Add more or less mayo , depending on how creamy you prefer your egg salad.  That is the great thing about a recipe like egg salad- it adapts easily to your preference.  Just add a little more or less of something. Or if you really don't like an ingredient, leave it out or substitute something else.  

I then dabbed in about 2 tbsp of whole grain mustard.  I recommend whole grain versus regular mustard for two reasons: the texture it adds to the salad, and whole grain just simply has a much better flavor. 

Finely chop about 2 tsp worth of fresh dill and toss that in!  Chop about a quarter of an onion (red or white) and throw that in to. 

Next I add about 2 tsp of capers.  If capers is a foreign cooking ingredient for you, let me tell you a little bit about them.  Capers are actually the flower buds of the caper bush which are commonly found in the Mediterranean region.  Typically they are pickled or salted.  I used pickled in my recipe. (A-hem, I found my jar of capers at Dellalo's Italian Store in Jeannette. ;) )  Capers add a salty, brininess to any dish.  Because of this, please taste your egg salad before adding any salt to it- It might not need it!

Finally, add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.  Add a little pepper
Now mix all the ingredients together.  Taste, and then add salt if you find that it needs it. 

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Suburghian Locavore's Paradise in the Big 'Burgh- The Pittsburgh Public Market

2100 Smallman Street at 17th, Pittsburgh

This past Saturday I had the wonderful pleasure of attending the Pittsburgh Public Market for the first time.  As a Columbus transplant, I immediately felt that a missing puzzle piece had just been snapped into place for me. (You see, we have a very similiar kind of indoor market place in the Buckeye city.  And I had been missing it very much. ;) )  Local bakeries, candy makers, farmstands, food vendors, and what is that??  A local brewery selling growlers in the corner of the market?  Yep.  This is definitely the place for me- a foodie, a locavore, and a lover of craft beer. I could spend hours in here sampling the goods, talking to the farmers, inquiring about how something is baked or made.  So, what goodies ended up in my shopping tote Saturday?
Let's get to it...

From top left, clockwise:

  • These cookies live up to their name, To Die For.  We were immediately drawn to this plate of cookies (and I think you can see why!) despite all the other delicious baked goodness that Espresso Specialty Foods was offering.
  • Homemade marshmallows from The Pittsburgh Marshmallow Factory.  We are especially partial to the peanut butter.  But we also took home the dark chocolate and bananas foster.  (Did I mention that we are going to give away these delicious marshmallows as wedding favors at our reception next month?)
  • Gala apples from Morning Dew Orchards.  We were offered an apple to sample before we decided to make a purchase.  (A whole apple, not just a slice.)  The sweet, fresh crunchiness sold us. :)
  • A growler of the East End Brewing Company's Session Amber Ale.  The East End Brewing Company's taps in the market are a new (and a most appreciated!) addition.
What you need to know before you go:
  • The above listed are not the only local goodies that ended up in my shopping tote.  A jar of Blueberry Butter from the Berry Patch and a couple of yogurt dipped doggie bones (for which our papillon was very grateful!) from Four Paws Bakery also found their way in there... :)

  • The market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays so plan your weekend accordingly.
  • Bring change, for most of the parking near the market is metered (except for Sundays!).
  • Don't forget to bring your own reusable shopping tote (or maybe 2, or 3...).  If you forget your's, they have lovely Pittsburgh Public Market totes that you can buy upstairs for $5.
For hours, directions, and a list of merchants by day, visit below:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lights, Camera, Carnage in the Big 'Burgh

At Bricolage Theatre, 937 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh

I had the pleasure of attending a special Bloggers' Night preview of the newest theatrical production from Bricolage, Hunter Gatherers, yesterday evening. 

Let me give you the quick lowdown on the theater itself.  It is small and intimate, and if you sit in the front row you are often only a few feet away from the actors.  In essence, you feel like you are sitting right in the middle of a very entertaining and somewhat twisted sitcom. 

I won't say much about Hunter Gatherers itself (because I would hate to give away too much of the good stuff!), but there are a few things you should know before you go:
  • This play is for you if you have a healthy appetite for raunchy, and at times animalistic humor and have the hunger to laugh. Hysterically. Often.
  • This is not one of those theatrical performances in which you glance at your watch every 10 minutes, wondering when it will be over.  In fact, you are a little disappointed when the 15 minute intermission is called. ;)
  • This play will beckon and satisfy the foodie and the theatre lover alike.  If you are a hardcore vegan, maybe not so much. ;)
For further details on Hunter Gatherers and Bricolage, please visit below:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Helping to Make Greensburg a Little More "Green"- The Supper Club

101 Ehalt Street, Greensburg - at the Greensburg Train Station

The Supper Club is one of those places that you walk into, and you instantly wish the place could speak to you and tell you the stories of what it has seen.  The Greensburg Train Station will be 100 years old this August. And the station still welcomes passengers once daily even to this day. You can hear and feel the rumbling of the trains passing by, and even an occasional train whistle if you listen very close. The station now houses one of Greensburg's first ever farm to table restaurants.  Owner Deb Driggers told me that when her family became interested in opening a new restaurant in the train station building, their goal was to create a restaurant that they as a family would want to share meals at.  They also shared a passion for supporting local farms and businesses, investing money back into the local economy, and their menu of local offerings reflects this. The building itself evokes a connection with the past; the menu offerings evoke a connection with the community.
So, let's get to it...

From top left, clockwise:
  • Since The Supper Club buys from local vendors, the menu changes seasonally as new meats and produce are offered in the area.
  • Mondays are for Meatballs & Martinis! Stop in on Monday evenings for 50 cent (yes, just 2 quarters!) meatballs and $6 martinis.  We started our evening with the Swedish meatballs in sauce and the turkey meatballs served with a cilantro aioli (both pictured above). 
  • The Friendship Farms Grass Fed Beef Burger is by far one of the best burgers that I have had in the Suburghia area.  Because the cattle are raised on grass, the meat itself has a clean taste.  It is seen here topped with blue cheese & black pepper bacon.
  • And I couldn't leave without partaking in one of their $6 martini offerings of the evening.  I chose the Liquid Dessert- an almost sinful mixture of Irish cream, amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua, vanilla vodka, and cream. 
What you need to know before you go:
  • Entrees run from around $8 up to $34.  You can enjoy this restaurant even if you are on a tighter budget.  Plus, various wallet-friendly specials are offered Monday through Thursday:
  • If you plan to visit on a Friday or Saturday evening or if you are bringing a larger dinner party, you can easily make reservations.  The Supper Club is one of the only restaurants in the Greensburg area that utilizes the online reservation system, Open Table:
For hours, directions, events, and seasonal menus, visit below:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Big City Tapas & Craft Beers in Suburghia- The HeadKeeper Tapas Bar

618 South Main Street, Greensburg

You would never guess from the unassuming facade of the building that houses The Headkeeper Tapas Bar that you are in for a culinary treat that you would only expect in the 'Burgh.  The Headkeeper offers an intriguing selection of tapas plates that change seasonally, and takes advantage of local offerings as much as possible. 
So, let's get to it.

From left to right:

1.  We started out with the Flash Fried Mozzarella with a Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.  Thick slices of buffalo mozzarella are lightly breaded and fried just until crispy on the outside and slightly warmed on the inside. A hidden surprise of a lovely vinegar cucumber salad is nestled beneath the mozzarella slices.

2.  The Headkeeper offers more than 600 bottles of domestic and import craft beers in their wall of coolers. You can browse for a brew to pair with your tapas, and then bring it back to your table where your server will open it and provide you with a glass.  You can also create your own six packs to carry home. (There is a $1 discount per bottle for taking home your own hand-selected brews.)

3.  By far, one of their tastiest and most popular tapas dishes is the Five Spice Pork Tenderloin Drizzled with Chipotle Beurre Blanc.  The tenderloin is cooked perfectly- tender & moist.  The five spice rub gives the pork a spicy and sweet crust.  The chipotle buerre blanc offers just the right amount of heat to complement the sweetness of the pork. 

What you need to know before you go:
  • Check the website for hours and directions, but not for menu offerings. The online menu does not seem to get updated too often.  Also, their MySpace page has not been updated since April 2010. ;)
  • Their tapas are perfect for sharing!  Bring a date, a best friend, or an after work crew.  We found that 3 tapas was perfect for 2 people.  Most of their tapas are priced from $6-$13. 
  • And for you Big 'Burgh dwellers, this place just might be worth the drive to Suburghia. ;)
For hours and directions, visit below:

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Quick Sip in the Big 'Burgh- The Milkshake Factory

Before attending my first ever FoodBurgh meetup the other evening, I decided to check out a happy hour of a different caliber.  The Milkshake Factory, located at 1705 East Carson Street in Pittsburgh, has a half off milkshake happy hour every Wednesday from 4-6pm.  When I heard that one of their new milkshake flavors is Carrot Cake, I knew that I would be more than willing to pass up the typical happy hour of cheaper drafts for a unique milkshake experience. ;)

So, here is the lowdown...
I ordered the Carrot Cake milkshake.  As a big fan of carrot cake, this was a no brainer for me.  A creamy mixture of their cake batter ice-cream, actual pieces of carrot cake and cream cheese icing, pecan pieces, carrot slivers topped with whipped cream and a sugar carrot.  If carrot cake isn't your thing, The Milkshake Factory has over 54 other flavors of milkshakes to meet your tastes.

The first thing you notice when you walk through the door is the amazing aroma of chocolate.  (Wait.  I thought this was a milkshake joint??)  It is, BUT they also have an incredible (and pretty massive) selection of chocolates from Pittsburgh-based Edward Marc Chocolatier. 
If you go during happy hour, be prepared for the crowd and the line.  But the wait and claustrophobia is well worth it for the half-priced milkshake yumminess you will get to enjoy in the end. 
There is a $10 minimum required to use a credit or debit card, but they will wave that if you sign up for their FREE Sweet Rewards program
There is not much seating space, so you should probably plan to take your milkshake on the go. 

For hours, directions, and company info, visit below: