Pittsburgh's Best Resource for Food Adventures
Archive for November 2011
Nov 28 2011
It’s no secret that I love the Farmer’s Market Cooperative of East Liberty. It runs every Saturday from 5 am (yes, that is very early) until noon. The vendors are so nice and they sell local goods all throughout the year, unlike many markets that close for the winter. During each visit, I stop and say hello to David Lagnese, who sells great coffee, fresh squeezed juice, some of the best olive oil in the city and terrific local cheese. ( His stand is on the left towards the back of the market.)
Turns out David’s father has penned a lovely book about Italian cooking and Italian families called Cookin’, Recollections and Recipes of Joe Lagnese. It’s written a bit like a novel and the recipes read a bit like stories, but it’s obvious that this guy knows his food. Every recipe I’ve tried has been a hit. The best part of giving this book as a gift is that profits benefit the Muriel’s Breath of Life organization, which provides assistance to patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The elder Lagnese’s daughter in law passed away from adult Cystic Fibrosis a few years ago and the family began this foundation to honor her life. Stop in at the market on Saturday’s or go to www.murielsbreathoflife.org to purchase the book. Pair it with some of his son David’s olive oil and a piece of wonderful PA cheese and you have a gift anyone would love.
Another favorite locally made gift would be anything from the line of USA Pans bakeware made in Crescent, PA. I purchased the mini muffin pan, the mini brownie pan and the Pullman loaf pan from CRATE on Greentree Road. Sturdy, easy to clean and just all around terrific, these pans are professional grade bakeware that make great gifts for the family baker or for someone who wants to be a baker. Pair your pan with some local flour ( St Vincent Gristmill), a bottle of homemade vanilla . . who wouldn’t love this?!
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. My girls were both home for the holiday and it reminded me of how much I continue to miss them even though we’ve been empty nesters for a while now. Boo hoo. I need to keep busy to get over my empty house sadness. Always looking for something new and fun, so if you know of anything, please pass the info along. Oh . . .and don’t forget the holiday glass sale and the I Made It! Market this coming weekend . . .and the annual Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville. Lots to look forward to this week.
Nov 15 2011
Weeks are flying by and I can’t get caught up. Yikes. Sorry for the delay with the winner of the contest.
The winner of the beautiful cutting board was Christine. Lucky girl. Congratulations and thank you to Ralph Teets at Cutting Board Art for his generous donation. His boards are lovely and make fantastic gifts, either by themselves or as part of a gift of wine, crackers, dried fruit and cheese. Artisan made gifts are so much more valuable than factory made. Thanks, Cutting Board Art!!
Another fabulous holiday gift is the sampler from The Berry Patch. You get to pick three different flavors of jams or jellies in 4 oz jars. Not only are they so tasty, but they have a multitude of uses from marinades to salad dressings and come already packaged in a beautiful box ( notice the box in the above photo.) Stop down to the Pittsburgh Public Market to select your flavors today. You can sample them before you purchase, too. Don’t forget to say hello to Scottie and Brenda, the owners of The Berry Patch. The Berry Patch folks can be reached at 724-238-4714 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pre-order your gifts. Things can get crazy on weekends and sometimes they do sell out.
Still looking for something to do on Thanksgiving? The nice folks at the stunning TreeTops at Polymath Park near Donegal would love to have you join them for Thanksgiving dinner. The menu includes roasted butternut squash soup, in house smoked salmon and many traditional goodies such as roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Oh, and pumpkin pie brulee. Call them today!!!
A food adventure might be sleuthing out the juiciest June strawberries at a farm market, learning about gone but not forgotten area food treasures, working with a chef during a hands on cooking class or touring Pennsylvania’s artisan cheesemaker’s farms (and meeting a few cows along the way) . . or any of a zillion other fun ways to explore foodie things within a day's drive of Pittsburgh.