Tag: food blog Pittsburgh

Garlic Ricotta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pizza!

This is cooking stripped down to the bare bones. No need for fancy herbs, spices, or ingredients. The best brussels sprouts are tossed with olive oil salt and pepper and roasted until crisp on the edges.




My Brady ,7-years-old, will not eat brussels sprouts even if they are “candied”. My mommy description that should win the war. Technically? Yes, they caramelize, thus that makes them candied. So I was making him a pizza and ended up making a second with ricotta and Brussels sprouts! This combination is delicious!

Here is the recipe…


Garlic Ricotta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pizza

2 cups brussels sprouts
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 lb.thick pancetta, cut into small cubes

For the ricotta base mix,
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Your favorite prepared pizza dough or shell.
Parmigiano Reggiano for topping. (I used 14 month aged)

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Clean and slice brussels sprouts in half.
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast until browned to desired likeness and remove from pan.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta bits in a pan until crispy.
Add the pancetta to the brussels and mix well.
Cover the pizza shell with ricotta mixture.
Add brussels sprouts/pancetta layer.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.





Always make sure you are buying Parmigiano Reggiano from Parma Italy, the only Parmesan. Parmesan Princess is happy to represent Parmigiano Reggiano as their US ambassador.

In this recipe I used 14 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. It is younger and creamier, a perfect finish to this amazing dish.


The staff t-shirts actually say “I like pork butts and I cannot lie.” How fun is that? Super cool and totally trendy, I still haven’t figured out if the restaurant called Bakn in Carnegie, PA is a diner or a gastropub? I entered with an expectation for bacon overdone-ness. Bacon on everything, in everything, and of course the topping of choice. Although this is somewhat the case, you can definitely eat your bacon on the side if you wish.


Serving as right now’s hot spot for revitalization, Carnegie is finding “new” from food to fashion. From the retail store of A. Ward’s Cheescakes, my favorite cheesecake ever, Fluhme GlamBar, which sounds like a princess’s dream, and every little cute boutique and coffee shop in between, Carnegie is movin’ on up!  Once a main street lined with empty store fronts, the town’s parking meters come at a premium. And now there’s a fresh, hip restaurant called Bakn…

Bakn has a bar. Check. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect! With hours 8am-10pm Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday 8am-9pm, you can get your breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast, and everything in between. I started with a Bakn Bloody Mary which contained house Bakn-Infused vodka, spicy bloody mary mix, a pickle, a hot pepper, and peppered bacon.
Absolutely delicious, I tasted a bit of horseradish in mine. Not sure if this was a bartending preference or what, but I loved it.


The Freshly Squeezed OJ is a must try along with the cocktails made with the OJ like Bakn’s Beermosa, Mimosa, Brunch Punch, or the 376 Standstill! Ha!


On to the menu…

Mostly breakfast-inspired, the menu ranges from signature eggs and omelet items to burgers. Being a pork belly girl, what caught my eye were the pork belly options- tacos, cuban, and a reuben. Since I was dining during brunch, I ordered for breakfast, the Breakfast Sandwich #1 Fried Egg, Peppered Bakn, Jarlsberg Cheese, Oven Roasted Tomato, Arugula, and Baknaise on Sourdough and for lunch, the Pork Belly Reuben.



The Bakn Flight was a perfect appetizer, a sampling of all five house bacon flavors of the day- Applewood Smoked, Maple, Boar, Peppered, and Cajun. The Breakfast Sandwich #1 was yummy! The creamy Jarlsberg and fresh sourdough made it! The pork belly Reuben did not disappoint. The pork belly was juicy with a pleasant sauerkraut, nothing overpowering. Baknaise is exactly what you think a bacon mayonnaise would taste like, a pairing light enough to love on probably anything!
I will go back to try the many different versions of pancakes and waffles with and without bacon!
We are so lucky to have local “foodpreneurs” dreaming, making it happen, taking the jump. Thank you! Pittsburghers are loving the dining diversity, the food, the fun!

335 East Main St.
Carnegie, PA 15106

Join A CSA! Make A Primavera!

Thinking produce? Us, too! We cannot wait for fresh, local vegetables! Have you ever thought of subscribing to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program?  Although the name suggests you need to roll up your sleeves and help farm along with others, the exact opposite is true… You pick up your box. Done.


Many farms near Pittsburgh offer CSA programs that include produce, eggs, cheese, and even meat.  A farmer who is part of the Pittsburgh Public Market family, Elliott Lengel of Lengel Brothers Farm, offers the community a fabulous CSA program out of Mercer, PA.

Lengel Brothers Farm- Mercer, PA
Lengel Brothers Farm- Mercer, PA


The Lengel Brothers Farm CSA program runs August through November, pick up locations include the Public Market in the Strip, and they offer a discount for members starting now! The program runs 14 weeks and the pricing is $120 for a quarter share, $200 for a half share, and $350 for a full share.  Members can pick your own items for you basket or get what you get! Elliott also bakes homemade breads and offers jams and many other condiments at a discount for members!

Pasta Primavera is one of my favorite, quick and easy healthy dishes! Originating from LeCirque in New York City, Pasta Primavera was discovered by accident when Mr. Maccioni and his family were asked to prepare dinner for a food tour in Canada.  Mr. Maccioni was forced to do a vegetable fridge raid and tossed it with pasta and fresh grated parmesan cheese.  When the guests asked what he called the dish he responded, “Pasta Primavera!”  The dish is not on the menu at Le Cirque these days, but the dish is made table side for those who ask.


Pasta Primavera

2 tbsp. basil olive oil …The Olive Tap 
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped…Produce from Lengel Brothers Farm Market
1 zucchini, chopped 1/2 inch
1 cup snap peas, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese…Pennsylvania Macaroni Co.
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 lb. dry or fresh pasta
salt/pepper to taste
extra fresh grated parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a large, deep frying pan.
Add garlic and cook until golden and softened.
Add vegetables according to cooking time. Longest first.
Add onion, zucchini, mushrooms, snap peas and cook until tender not mushy.
Meanwhile, throw in 1 lb. pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain well and toss with vegetables in the pan.
Add parmesan cheese and coat.
If too dry add a lithe bit more olive oil or a 1/2 cup chicken stock..
Throw in salt/pepper and basil.


For more information on Pittsburgh CSA programs Click Here!

NEW Market St. Grocery Store Opens Downtown Tomorrow!

Driving to McKnight Road, The Waterfront, or Eeek! Mt. Lebanon in rush hour traffic, all because the Strip closes at 4:30 and where else can you buy food?? It’s the downtown Pittsburgh grocery nightmare…


Downtowners know it well and Ralph Falbo is the superhero who took the old Ciao Baby restaurant location and turned it into a hot and trendy downtown grocery stop. With Vallozzi’s owners and Pittsburgh’s blessing, Market Square’s Market Street will house the first downtown grocery store in five years.

Maybe pick up some wine and cheese for the evening in Market St. Grocery’s wine bar!

Is it a grocery store? Like produce, pasta, cheese? Yes. With perks! Like a wine bar, and a French pastry shop…Yes! It needs to be as fabulous as downtown Pittsburghers!? Right? Hello!!


My favorite part of Market St. Grocery is the French pastry shop Gaby et Jules that sits against the front window. The colorful macarons and delicate pastries brighten the store! Perfect for dessert or a treat at the office, the Squirrel Hill based pastry shop is a beautiful and unexpected addition!

If you don’t feel like cooking Chef Michael Lamantia will have many prepared options.




What will the prices be like? I might pay $2 more not to sit in one hour of traffic. Would you?

Enjoy, Pittsburgh!

Market St. Grocery
435 Market Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The stores hours are 7am-9pm. The wine bar will be open later.

Ham Vegetable Bean Soup!

Easy to make and a great way to use up left over ham, this ham and bean soup is filled with vegetables and chunks of sweet ham. Use your favorite beans! Not a bean fan? You can leave them out and have a hearty ham and veggie soup. The addition of chili powder, cumin, and a squeeze of Sriracha gives the soup a little kick!


When I make a ham we always have TONS of leftovers. I save the bone to make this soup, but it would be just as tasty with just leftover diced ham. Don’t worry if you don’t have the bone! The addition of more chicken or vegetable stock would make up for the missing bone broth.

Homemade soups are easy to freeze and easy to thaw! Perfect for dinner in a pinch!


Ham Vegetable Bean Soup
(Makes a lot!)

1 meaty Ham bone
1-1/2 cups ham diced into bite size pieces
1 cup celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 vegetable broth bullion cube and 4 cups of water
1 14.5oz. Chicken stock
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
1 16oz. bag 10 bean dry beans, pre-soaked or 3 cans of your favorite beans – kidney beans, canellini beans, pinto beans, etc.
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Chili powder
1/2 tbsp. Cumin
Squeeze Sriracha to taste
Salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on low in the bottom of a large stock pot.

Add garlic and cook until golden and softened – a few minutes.

Add vegetable bullion cube, chicken stock, and water.

Mix well until cube is completely dissolved.


Add the ham bone, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.

Cook for one hour on medium high heat.

Add diced ham, onions, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans.

Cook an additional 2 hours.

Remove the ham bone. Scrape off any additional chunks of ham.



Serve as a meal or as a yummy starter!


Hellooo Friday!! Start The Weekend With A S’mores Cake!!

Sometimes we NEED chocolate! Don’t you?


S’mores Cake

You favorite boxed cake mix
OR up your baking game and try…

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling and Frosting
Your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting
Beat 1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk or half and half
Add more sugar or milk until desired consistency

1-2 cups Marshmallow Creme
2 sleeves 12 grahm crackers crushed to crumbs in a Ziploc bag


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch /9-inch x 2-inch round or square cake pans.
Grease pans with Crisco and light flour.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, mix on until well combined and smooth.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.


Whether using boxed cake mix or homemade, pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.


Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Slide a knife along edges of cake pans. Cake should have pulled away from the pan. Flip upside down and tap with a knife until cake comes loose.

Place on platter rough side down.
Frost the first layer with chocolate frosting, add a layer of marshmallow creme. Sprinkle a layer of crackers.


Remove the second layer of cake from the pan.
Place on top so the smooth side is facing up.
Frost the top of the cake and sprinkle the remaining crackers.



Meat Sauce featuring Clarion Farms Beef!

We would all love to meet the farmer that feeds and raises the cows that supply our beef, right?
You should and you can!!

Photo Courtesy of Clarion Farms Beef. John and son John-Scott hanging out!

If you are in Pittsburgh, Clarion Farms Beef sells their family farm beef at the Pittsburgh Public Market on Saturdays. Shop local and buy fresh, no hormone, no antibiotic beef from a local family farm. True farm to table and focused on sustainability, Clarion Farms Beef sources local feed and mixed it fresh on the farm. Go see John-Scott! Bonus, the prices are incredible!

I paid $4 for the 80% ground beef (that yields about 2 tsp. of fat!! So technically its a grocery store’s 95% lean?)
And $5 for the most lean ground beef! (That yields about 1 tsp. of fat- which is 98% lean or almost no fat?)

The ox tail ($5) for a 1lb. package. Cook it all day for a tender finish!!

The steak? Amazing!! Just buy some, seriously, I have no words. (Imagine that!) Timmy Reynolds from Penn Avenue Fish Co. and I made Clarion Farms Beef filets and lobster live for Valentine’s Day at the Pittsburgh Public Market ‘s Ikea kitchen!

I bought some ground beef this weekend and put it to the test in a quick and classic bolognese sauce. Local, fresh, and delicious! This beef did not disappoint!!


20 Minute Meat Sauce
1 32oz. can Ciao San Marzano tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 lb. Clarion Farms Beef ground beef
1 lb. of your favorite pasta, boiled until al dente and drained
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
1 tsp. olive oil
parsley for garnish



In your largest, deepest frying pan, heat olive oil and golden the chopped garlic.

Add onion and cook until softened and light.

In a separate pan, brown beef and drain.


Add beef, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to garlic and onion mixture. apart

Break apart whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Cook for 8-10 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

Spoon sauce onto your favorite pasta.

Always top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and Enjoy!



Clarion Farms Beef
On Farm Store The Beef Barn
82 Port Farm Lane
Clarion, PA 16214
Hours: Tuesday -Friday 10-5
Saturday 8-5
Pittsburgh Public Market
Saturdays 9-5

Visit on Facebook

Chicken Pancetta Pan Pasta!

If you are having company at your home this weekend…They are probably going to end up getting snowed in and spending the weekend!

Here in Western PA, the snow and cold have been relentless. The desire to leave the house is about a zero, and pantry- fridge raiding dinners are what’s in! My go-to option is a quick pan pasta!


Depending on the what ingredients you have, your pan pasta can consist of rich vegetables, a meat, and definitely some beautiful greens! Simply boil your favorite fork pasta like penne, bow ties, or even rigatoni. Get the other ingredients cooked in a large pan and toss the pasta to coat! Don’t forget to top with fresh grated Parmesan and/or Locatelli Romano for a beautiful finish!

Chicken Pancetta Pan Pasta
(Serves 4-6)

4 tbsp. Olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup roasted red pepeprs chopped
3 medium 1-1/2 inch chicken breasts, cubed
3 slices of pancetta, chopped small and fried in a pan until crisp
1 lb. of your favorite fork pasta- penne, bow ties, rigatoni, etc.
3 handfuls of fresh spinach



Heat oil in a large deep frying pan.

Add garlic and cook until softened and golden.

Add chicken, and cook until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, drain and toss in pan.

Mix in roasted red peppers and crisp cooked pancetta.

Add spinach and top with fresh grated Parmesan and Locatelli Romano



Burgerz and Dogz- Welcome To Mount Lebanon, BnD’z!

Healthy burgers and dogs served on the freshest Cellone’s rolls? Two please!

BnD'z! Burgerz and Dogz! Opens Monday!
BnD’z! Burgerz and Dogz! Opens Monday!

Doug Baros is opening his second Burgerz and Dogz (BnD’z)restaurant in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Mount Lebanon neighborhood on Monday September 29th. Burgerz and Dogz’ flagship location on Brownsville Road in South Park has created quite a following since opening its doors in October 2012.

With an extensive menu and a customizable ordering sheet, Burgerz and Dogz aims to please! The delicious food coupled with a focus on healthy, gluten free, and vegetarian offerings, is a combination that Pitts-burgerz seem to like! Who doesn’t love their dinner in a fresh Cellone’s bun? Doug creates an experience for the customers. From the open kitchen floor plan to the highest quality ingredients, he totally thought of everything!

Doug says, “I wanted to offer something differrent. Healthy, real food without all of the additives, preservatives, and chemicals.”

Doug cooks up Vienna brand dogs from Chicago. The best! 100% all beef !
Doug cooks up Vienna brand dogs from Chicago. The best! 100% all beef !
Order the Mushroom and Swiss...
Order the Mushroom and Swiss…
Or design your own! Top your burger with avocado or an egg! They will make it like you love it!
Or design your own! Top your burger with avocado or an egg! They will make it like you love it!


Stop by! Tell Them I sent you!
Stop by! Tell Them I sent you!

Burgerz and Dogz most popular menu items? The garbage burger and the bison burger! Worth the stop!

Everything I tried was delicious! Enjoy!

Burgerz and Dogz
Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday- Saturday 11am-10pm
Sunday 11am-8pm

4120 Brownsville Road South Park

Opening Monday! 633 Washington Road Mt. Lebanon!

A Quick Frittata , Why Nottta?

Prosciutto Cotto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Oregano Frittata
Prosciutto Cotto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Oregano Frittata

A frittata is a flat Italian style omelette in which the ingredients are mixed into the eggs instead of being stuffed like a traditional omelette. The top layer is the creative, artistic finishing touch. I like to serve a gorgeous frittata by using vibrant colored vegetables. Like a traditional omelette, a frittata can be healthy, or not.

How to make a healthy frittata:

Use egg whites
Add healthy vegetables
Sprinkle in chia seeds

In this frittata, I wanted to use some beautiful prosciutto cotto. Prosciutto cotto is the highest quality Italian cooked ham with a smooth mild flavor. Perfectly paired with a gooey mozzarella or fontina on a panini, or in this case, baked into a frittata.

Prosciutto Cotto and Mozzarella Frittata


3 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese
4 slices prosciutto cotto, chopped
1 small tomato sliced
2 tbsp. Oregano
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs with a whisk.

Continue whisking while adding milk until egg turns pale yellow in color.

Or just use a fork to beat the eggs!
Or just use a fork to beat the eggs!

Add cheese and prosciutto cotto and stir.

Pour into a Pam coated 9″ round cake pan.

Top with sliced tomato, oregano, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Although the mixture is uncooked, the toppings are the beautiful finish of a frittata. Like the red ripe tomatoes, greens pop also such as spinach and kale!
Although the mixture is uncooked, the toppings are the beautiful finish of a frittata. Like the red ripe tomatoes, greens pop also such as spinach and kale!

Bake 20-30 minutes or until the egg is cooked through and set.

Happy Monday!
Happy Monday!