Tag: Pittsburgh Public Market

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!

Banana And Coconut Skinny Muffins Scream Summer!!

Sometimes we need an easy to make, low fat, healthy muffin… that reminds us of vacation! Because summer is so close we can taste it, literally. One of my favorite baking opportunities occurs when super ripe bananas are staring at me. I can’t help but think about the delicious possibilities!!


Usually a healthy muffin is hard as a rock, because of the wheat flour, and dry, because we take out all of the fat and sugars. These muffins are sweetened with honey and the natural sweetness of the super ripe bananas! A little brown sugar and cinnamon even out the sugar profile and add a pop of flavor! They taste totally tropical! Hmmm… maybe some rum next time 😉


Guilt Free and Fabulous! Here is the Recipe!

Banana Coconut Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)

2 cups flour- 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white or all white (If all whole wheat they will be hard)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 super ripe bananas- smashed
1/4 cup almond milk or cow’s milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded coconut + 2 tbsp. for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease and flour your favorite muffin tin. Mine is USA Pans! They are fabulous!

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda, light brown sugar, and cinnamon.


Add the honey, vanilla, mashed bananas, egg, and coconut.

Slowly and gently fold in the ingredients, breaking and chunks apart.

Add the milk. It will thin out the batter, but it will still be a nice, thick consistency.



Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.


Bake 15-17 minutes. Rotate pan and sprinkle with coconut after 10 minutes.


Bake until the toothpick test shows a clean toothpick. Insert into center to test.



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

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Keith Fuller’s Root 174 !

I met Keith Fuller the day he cooked in the Ikea demo kitchen at Farm to Table‘s For The Love of Pittsburgh event held at the Pittsburgh Public Market. He prepared homemade ricotta and made a ricotta gnocchi pork belly carbonara- you know, No Big Deal.
I made chili…


I met Keith, watched him cook, and knew I had to visit his restaurant…

Located in the center of Regent Square, Root 174 is a small, intimate, dimly lit restaurant. The best seats in the house are the cozy booths located at either window that look onto South Braddock Ave. We had a girls’ night party of three with an early 6 o’clock reservation on a Wednesday evening. There was one other table dining. By 8 o’clock, the restaurant was packed. I would suggest making a reservation!


Let’s start with a beverage.
Root 174’s cocktail list is as interesting as the dinner menu. House made bitters, citrus infusions, gin, whiskey, bourbon, and vodka creations with interesting names….Not in the mood, I was able to find a nice Pinot Noir.

The starters looked way too good to pass up. We chose the mussels, the brussels sprouts, and the wings!

Mussels in a chipotle tomato broth with cherry tomatoes, kale, and frites. ($12) Cooked to perfection and so flavorful. I always order the mussels (we have some greats in Pittsburgh) and these were fabulous.

Crisp Brussels Sprouts ($7) in a bacon black pepper glaze. The sweet, salty glaze paired nicely with the crisp edges of the sprouts.

Coffee Confit Chicken Wings ($9) served with a vanilla bourbon creme and dried banana. Deliciously different.

Like the starters, the three of us ordered three entrees.

Pork Belly Carbonara ($20) We had seen Keith cook this dish live at the Farm to Table event! Exceptional flavors.

Orecchiette ($21) Cauliflower, sage, hen of the woods. What a beautiful dish!

Chorizo stuffed chicken leg. ($20) My pick, was so delicious I forgot about trying the other entrées. Bad food blogger. I know. It only means there must be a next time!

Root 174’s chef Keith Fuller has been named “one of the best chefs in America you never heard of” – braiser.com
And now you have!!
Travel to Regent Square! Visit Root 174!


Root 174
1113 south Braddock Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Closed Sunday -Monday

Cook With Me! Pittsburgh Public Market’s Ikea Kitchen! Cheesy Meatballs

I was so nervous my hands were shaking, I prepped extra chopped garlic and basil because I could barely handle the knife…
Lights, camera, action. The fear melted away and turned into feelings of excitement and calm. It was as if I was in MY kitchen cooking for MY friends. I finally figured it out EEEEK! THIS is what I should be doing. THIS is what they talk about when they say doing what you love is not a job.


For my first time cooking live, I figured it should be familiar. I decided to cook Sunday Sicilian Sauce and cheesy meatballs. I only make this 40-45 Sundays per year! And I am pretty well versed in tomatoes, olive oils, and parmesan cheese- thought this would ease my nerves- Ha!


We are so lucky in Pittsburgh to have the Pittsburgh Public Market, where farmers and vendors sell fresh, local products. I get to cook in the Ikea Kitchen using the best quality ingredients and the audience can easily pick them up on the way out!
Other fresh ingredients not sold at the market come from Pittsburgh’s Strip District and other local businesses.

Thanks to all who shop local, support small businesses, and cook with me! I will be at the Pittsburgh Public Market on February 14th at 11am with a Valentine’s Surf and Turf menu featuring Timmy Reynolds from Penn Avenue Fish Company and Canonsburg’s Sarris Candies Chocolate Fondue for Dessert! Stop down and Cook with me! Free samples and open to the public! RSVP today!


So for the sauce, I used Cobrancosa olive oil from The Olive Tap, garlic, fresh rosemary and fresh basil from Lengel Bros. Farm Market, Ciao San Marzano tomatoes and Parmesan Reggiano from Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., and the pre-made sauce was full of fresh ox tail from Clarion Farms Beef. We were lucky to sample the sauce by sopping it up with Mediterra Bakehouse Italian Bread sold by The Olive Tap.
Topping it all off with fresh grated parmesan and Shof Kase cheese from Wheel and Wedge is the most important part!!


Cheesy Meatballs
Makes 18-20 1-1/2 inch meatballs

1 lb. Ground Beef (Clarion Farms Beef)
4 garlic cloves, chopped (Lengel Brothers Farm Market)
2 tbsp. basil, chopped (optional)
1 egg
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano (Penn Mac’s cheese counter)
1 cup fresh grated Wheel and Wedge Shof Kase cheese (Or pecorino romano or even better Locatelli or all 4! Play around and see what you like!)
1/2 cup Cento plain breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste (approx. 10 shakes)

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Completely mix by hand until well blended.
Roll 1-1/2 inch meatballs.
Place meatballs 1 inch apart on a jelly roll pan.
In a rush?
Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Place into sauce and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Not in a rush?
Throw them in the sauce raw and cook for 2-3 hours or until center is cooked through.
Don’t cook them in the sauce longer than 3 hours. Unless you want a chunky meat sauce! The meatballs will break down and fall apart.

Serve with your favorite pasta and always top with fresh grated parmesan!

Have You Eaten Your Breakfast?

How about your Second Breakfast?
If you visit the Pittsburgh Public Market you can!


Head Chef and owner Thomas Wood started his food stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District in mid-November.

Wood sees the Public Market as an incubator for start-ups to get off the ground, tweak their business model, and find success. With help from the available Market Kitchen, Wood was able to launch his dream venture named after “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”‘s Second Breakfast.
Wood keeps his ingredients organic, fresh, and local. Many come from other Pittsburgh Public Market vendors, such as Franklin Farms Flour and East End Brewing Company’s beer. Beer for breakfast? As an ingredient, of course!


I ordered Second Breakfast’s
hugely popular Chicken and Waffles. Wood explained his shredded chicken cooking method. First, he renders the fat from Garrett Farms bacon. Then, browns the chicken in the bacon fat, deglazes with East End Brewing Company’s Monkey Girl beer (when not in season Monkey Boy will do), and slow cooks for three hours. Yummmmmm, and that’s just the chicken. Wood prepared a beautiful, homemade waffle while we chatted, and topped it all off with the sweetest maple syrup!

I took two very lady-like-ish bites and discussed the fabulous flavors and textures of the food. Within minutes of driving down Penn Avenue, I opened the to-go box, picked up the syrup and shredded chicken covered waffle with my hands, rolled it up, and devoured the rest. I seriously felt like Buddy from the movie “Elf,” -sticky syrup all over my face, my hands, my steering wheel, and the front of my jacket. Ha!
Got me, Thom! I had my first ever Second Breakfast and I loved it!!


Stop and visit the vendors at the Pittsburgh Public Market and see Thom for your Second Breakfast. Have your own public market vendor idea? Ask some questions!


Pittsburgh Public Market
2401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Wednesday 8-4
Thursday 8-7
Friday 8-4
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 8-4

Pittsburgh Food Truck Finale: On Board The Mac and Gold Truck!!

“The Mac & Gold Truck” sounds like plain old mac and cheese served through a window in a city that bleeds black and gold, right?

Mac & Gold in the Black & Gold!
Mac & Gold in the Black & Gold!

Tim Tassone’s Mac & Gold truck is anything but traditional and Pittsburghers can’t get enough. What makes Tassone’s mac different? Well, everything!

Simple Truck, Simple Idea, with an unexpected twist. When I visited Tim and Athena at a Greentree office park, I never expected a made-to-order fresh mac and cheese for every order. Sounds like a ton of work!

I totally expected to see rows of pre- made mac and cheese covered in foil. Not a pan and some cooked pasta!
I totally expected to see rows of pre- made mac covered in foil. Not a guy, a pan, and some pasta!

Tassone says it’s all in the name of delivering a phenomenal product to his customers with minimal waste, of course.

A mortgage industry casualty turned chef, Tim Tassone entered the food truck boom with an appetite for success and a unique enough menu to acheive it.  The Mac and Gold truck’s most popular menu item is the lobster mac. Often requested by event staff and customers, Tassone uses real lobster claw meat and tops it with his signature brown butter breadcrumbs. The creamy, light cheese is a farmer’s cheese blend and the succulent bites of lobster keep you searching for more.

The very popular Lobster Mac!
The very popular Lobster Mac!

The rosemary garlic fries…incredibly addicting and absolutely necessary. I forgot to take a photo and ate the entire serving in minutes!

Create your own mac with add- ins and toppings! Check out this menu!

Bacon, chicken, pork, asparagus, prosciutto, pea, jalapeño, smoky BBQ seitan with carmelized onions!!! Ever think of adding these to your mac? Tim Tassone's originality and creativity is unmatched!
Bacon, chicken, pork, asparagus, prosciutto, pea, jalapeño, smoky BBQ seitan with carmelized onions!!! Ever think of adding these to your mac? Tim Tessone’s originality and creativity is unmatched!
I tried a prosciutto, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms- wow!
I tried a prosciutto, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms- wow!

Can we discuss food truck functionality? If you are worried about messy mac and doing a balancing act, you are wrong! Everything is in one perfect box with a lid!
Look for The Mac & Gold Truck! Tell Tim and Athena I sent you!


The Mac & Gold Truck