Quick Bite: Proper Brick Oven and Taproom

On the last day of Pride and Three Rivers Arts Festival I found myself in that scary rain storm that cleared Downtown Pittsburgh in about 15 minutes. Steve and I had an umbrella and so the fear of a lightning strike is all we had to worry about so we continued on with our Downtown Date

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Steve enjoyed a beer, a Purgatory from Helltown, and we ordered the Carnivore Pizza. It came topped with Pepperoni, sausage and bacon. All the Meats. It was delicious. We decided the best part was the garlic taste in the crust. It wasn’t bettered on and wasn’t obvious when you looked at it, but you could taste it.

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Our bill wasn’t a sticker shock either (under 30). Overall it was a great spot to wait out the storm and wait for the next T ride home.

amanda tag

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Slow Cooker Chicken Ta-Da!

A sure sign of the Acopolypse: Snarky is cooking. I’m going to do something that I swore I’d NEVER do: I’m going to share a recipe. For a meal that I have created, by myself. I feel so dirty, and yet so empowered. Hang on to this one; a recipe that I’ve actually written is sure to become a collector’s item one day.

Chicken Ta-Da!
Some uncooked chicken breasts
Two jars of salsa, as hot as you like it.
A few jalapeños and/or green peppers
Some hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Wash the chicken and throw it into the slow cooker. Cover chicken completely with a jar of salsa. Pour half of the other jar in, just for fun, and to make it saucy (just like you, you saucy little culinary minx!!). Set aside the other half for later. Add lots of hot sauce. Slice the peppers however you want and toss ’em in. Add some salt and pepper, right from the shaker (don’t measure that crap–just add the amount that feels right).  Cook on high for four hours.  Eat the rest of the salsa with some chips while the chicken is cooking…you won’t be eating for FOUR HOURS.  Shred the chicken with a fork after it finishes cooking. Eat it on the bread that looks like a circle or over rice. Or in a salad. I don’t know, you can figure out the serving part yourself. This recipe stuff is exhausting.
JenP tag

More Than Cupcakes – Homemade Mac n’ Cheese

One of the things I’ve come to find is that folks are either good at cooking or baking, or vice-versa.  (Or maybe they just prefer one culinary art over the other?)  It’s part of the reason you have variety of chefs involved on a restaurant level – you have your head chef, sous chef, and a pastry chef to name a few.  Each one handles a specific task and brings a particular piece to the culinary puzzle.

While I realize a lot of the recipes I talk about and share (either the recipes themselves or photos) pertain to cupcakes, I’m more than just cupcakes.  I’m more than just desserts – in general.

When I was growing up, my family celebrated birthdays with not only a homemade birthday cake, but with a celebratory dinner.  My mother and grandmother would make lasagna for my sister’s birthday, southern fried chicken for my brother’s birthday, and creamy mac n’ cheese for my birthday.  (Sometimes those items would change depending on what we wanted for dinner, but I love some good homemade mac n’ cheese and would usually request it for my birthday.)

CONFESSION:  I don’t like baked mac n’ cheese because I was raised on stovetop mac n’ cheese.

Mac n' Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

1 box Elbow Macaroni (1 lb)

5 c Water

1/4 c Butter

1/2 lb Cheese (Cubed or Shredded)

1/2 c Milk

On a stovetop, boil water in a large saucepan.

Add elbow macaroni and cook until noodles are tender.

Drain noodles and place back in saucepan.

Add butter, cheese, and milk to noodles.

Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and noodles are covered.

NOTE:  My mother and grandmother would use a brick of Velveeta to make their mac n’ cheese.  Experimenting with other cheeses since I left home, I’ve used white cheddar, gruyere, asiago, pepperjack, emmentaler, muenster, colby, camembert or dubliner.  I’ve found that harder cheeses are a little more difficult to make the mac n’ cheese creamy.  I will generally grate the cheese as finely as I can and occasionally add a little Velveeta (or just a couple slices of American cheese singles) to help bind it together and keep it creamy.

Missy tag

Workout Wednesday-Sweet H2O Love

You can search the deep ends of Pinterest for the best infused water recipes and then try every one after you hit the farmers markets. We rounded up a few of our favorites to share:

Strawberry, Lemon and Basil

4-6 strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 lemon, sliced
Small handful of basil, scrunched
Ice and cold filtered water

Watermelon and Mint

Add desired fruits to a pitcher and then fill with water. Allow fruit to soak for 2-8 hours in the fridge and then enjoy! You can add as much or as little fruit as you’d prefer. Add more fruit for more flavor and sweetness for your waters.

Strawberry, Lime and Cucumber

Muddle the strawberries for a stronger taste.

Rosemary and Grapefruit

1/2 of a grapefruit and several sprigs of rosemary. Soak overnight.

Raspberry, Rose Petal and Vanilla

This one is bit more complicated, but sound delicious so find the recipe here. Special shoo out to She Who Eats.

Enjoy all of these with friends or just after some gardening. Refreshing and healthy.