Showing posts from June, 2012

An ode to the Strip and my CSA in the form of a sandwich...

I just have to say that I am the bomb diggety.  Bet you haven't heard that phrase in a while.  Actually, my stomach told me that I was bomb diggety, because I made a delicious, amazing, super fine sandwich complete with goods from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and from the Strip District.  So I suppose this is an ode to my creative luck with food, because that's what fresh food requires you to be - creative - and well I just happened to be lucky that my creativity worked out deliciously in my sandwich creation!!   We went to the Strip District on Saturday as a family, and it was wonderful!  If you haven't been, let me just tell you about our trip and let you know that you need to go!!  I love going to the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company for pour-your-own olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I love getting produce from Stan's Market.  I love walking through the throngs of people amid the hustle and bustle.  I just love the sights, smells, and people

GUITAR + fire + 4 Local Legends + Ginormous Guitar = Amazingness!!!

This past Saturday night, John and I did something really, really crazy...  It's so crazy, we haven't done it in years.  It involved loud music, lasers, fire, broken guitars, Vitamin L and tiny brownies.  Any guesses??  We went to a loud concert and then watched a psychedelic laser show, and, here's the kicker, we stayed out past midnight!!  Oh, I feel so naughty!  I know, it may not seem wild and crazy to you, but then again, you may not have two kids under the age of three who like to wake up around 6:30 am - 7:00 am if you are lucky!  So with the kids home with awesome Aunt Lauren, this mom and dad went out on the town!  And did we have a heck of a time?!?  Yes, yes, we did.  We headed to the GUITAR Opening Night: All-Star Acoustic Jam at the Carnegie Science Center, featuring four local lege nds,  Joe Grushecky of The Houserockers, Rick Witkowski of BE Taylor Group, Rob James of The Clarks, and Billy Price of The Billy Price Band.  The Acoustic Jam was to celebr

Squeamishness and Raw Whole Chickens...

One day, John was sitting in the car watching the kids while I ran into Aldi, which I totally love, love, love by the way .  On this particular Aldi grocery run, they had a whole shelf of refrigerated chickens with bright "$2 off" stickers on them, because they were nearing their expiration date.  I always love a deal, so I had to look.  After the discount, each of the whole chickens was between $1.25 and $2.25!  So I grabbed a few, well, seven to be exact, and headed home.  I'm sure I was only going in for a few items, so when I excitedly told John about my seven chickens, he was very likely not as impressed or ecstatic as I was.  I froze most of them immediately because they were set to expire!  In fact, I had so little freezer space that I was worried that a frozen chicken may sever my toe if I wasn't careful.  Fast forward two or three months, when I received an email from a blog I follow about a challenge to empty my freezer and pantry.  Hmmm, time to eat the c

My CSA and What Do You Do with Kale Anyway?!

A few months ago I read about a Community Supported Agriculture program or a CSA, and I was intrigued.  If you were like me and had never heard of them before, I will give you the low down.  A CSA is a partnership between you and a local farm, where you sign up to buy a weekly amount of food from them and they deliver it to a location close to you for pickup.  They harvest whatever is in season that week, and you receive enough fresh vegetables and fruit to feed a small or large family, depending on the share size you purchased.  I searched for CSAs local to Pittsburgh, and found a website that was very comprehensive on .  I read through a couple of websites and found the Dillner Family Farm located in Gibsonia, PA.  The Dillner Family Farm sells produce at several farmer's markets in the area on a weekly basis, and for their CSA, they just happen to bring the farmer's market to me by delivering to two Mt. Lebanon locations within a ten minute drive of my house.  I

Strawberry Picking - Part 2 - Freezer Jam!

Strawberry freezer jam...  SO YUMMY! If there is one homemade treat that you need to make this summer, it's strawberry freezer jam!  I have never made it before this year, but it is soooo stinkin' easy!  I made a few batches already, so let me share and you can learn from my mistakes, so you don't waste any precious berries! :) I was at Lowe's in April to get gardening gloves for Isaiah and myself, and I saw canning supplies near the seeds.  At the display, they had loads of different jars for canning, pickling mixes and pectin, both regular and instant.  I picked up Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin, because what could be easier than instant anything, right?  Within the next week, I made my first batch of strawberry freezer jam with instant pectin and store bought berries from Aldi.   The instant pectin is very easy to use, no cooking or heating water, just measure and mix.  To make freezer jam with instant pectin, wash the berries, cut off the greens, and mash them

Two Moms, Four Kids and Eight Pounds of Strawberries!

Last year I discovered pick your own produce at several local Pittsburgh farms.  The wonderful farm that I have fallen in love with for pick your own is Triple B Farms which is tucked away 15 miles south of Pittsburgh at 823 Berry Lane in Monogahela, PA.  They have so many pick your own crops and festivals all growing season long, you can't help but love them!   Now is the time for strawberry picking at Triple B, which started around May 20 and continued into June with the Strawberry Festival on June 2 and 3.  Strawberry picking will wrap up mid June, just in time for red raspberry picking which starts June 9 & 10.  When I was a kid, my mom used to take us strawberry picking and then she would make strawberry freezer jam.  I saw a recipe for freezer jam on Pinterest and my nostalgia kicked in and I couldn't wait to make some!  So when I heard that pick your own strawberries were ready at Triple B, I couldn't wait to go!    Riding the tractor to the ber