What's dishing on the blogs: Sandwiches and pizza

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have layered sandwiches and homemade pizza. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Culinary Cory assembled a tasty Petite Baguette with Prosciutto, Butter and Pickles just like the one at La Gourmandine Bakery in Lawrenceville, whereas Jessica from How Sweet It Is threw together crazy-good Roasted Chipotle Chicken Taco Stacks. And since a good sandwich needs great bread, the Brown Eyed Baker baked a light Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread.

On the pizza menu, Katy made gooey and green Chicken Sausage & Broccoli Pizzas in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, while Bill from Three Dogs BBQ shared a simple yet delicious Reuben Style Pizza recipe. For a different kind of pizza, try Yum Yum's tomato-y Tomato-Fontina Torte with Rosemary Crust or Jessica's vibrant Beet, Goat Cheese and Honey Tarts at How Sweet It Is. And since it's still summer, salads are mandatory, such as the Bacon and Green Bean Salad from Haute Pepper Bites or the Warm Cabbage & Kale Salad with Savory Mushrooms from Sincerely Caroline.

On the restaurant scene, D&T: in the burgh reviewed La Palapa, their last stop during Restaurant Week; Chef Chuck from Cooks and Eats visited Pasqualino's Italian Eatery in Murrysville; Yum Yum dined at Toast Kitchen & Wine Bar; and the girls from eatPGH ate their way through Cleveland.

See you here next week!

How Sweet It Is photo

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Meet Ray Searage and Bucco Blonde

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Beer

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Thursday night, Aug. 28, starting at 5 p.m., you can meet a beer called Uncle Ray Searage's Bucco Blonde as well as the Bucs' pitching coach, Ray Searage.

He's called "Uncle Ray" by his players as well as by some folks at Slippery Rock's North Country Brewing Co., which brewed up this American blonde ale this year and released a limited amount of it on draft.

Try it and meet Coach Searage at Local Bar + Kitchen at 1515 E. Carson St. on the South Side. 

You'll be able to help a charity he likes, Make-A-Wish.

North Country's longtime sales manager Donnie Knight explains that Mr. Searage's wife, Vicki, is Mr. Knight's aunt's husband's first cousin. Or at least, that's what we think he said. 

Anyway, Coach Searage was all for lending some help to make some money for Make-A-Wish, and so was born this baseball-y beer to his tastes, said Mr. Knight. "We wanted to brew a beer that'd he'd want to put his name on and drink himself," which he has. 

A portion of all sales the brewery will donate to the charity. The beer, on draft only now, is available in PNC Park at both the Hall of Fame Club and Club 3000, as well as most of the bars in the vicinity and many around town, as well.

Local also is making a donation to Make-A-Wish, and at the event, there will be a brewery gift basket that patrons can try to win by purchasing tickets in North Country glasses, and all that money, along with a bit from each Bucco Blonde sold, goes to the good cause, too. 

Coach Searage and the other Pirates have a rare night off, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing at home, so it should be a good night for a beer out. 

By next spring, Mr. Knight says, North Country plans to have a label approved (see below) and the beer in cans for sale in Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates do their spring training, and of course the cans should be for sale in Western Pennsylvania, too. 

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Peter Diana/Post-Gazette photo at top

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Arsenal to open its Cider Garden

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Spirits

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You know what a beer garden is, right?

Well, Lawrenceville's Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar is officially opening its new cider garden from noon to 8 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 30.

Arsenal's Bill Larkin says the space has seating for 48 "plus lots of lawn space for blankets. Next year, live music and food vendors will be on a regular basis.  We plan to do a mix of bluegrass (we will call it "Bluegrass on the Bluegrass"), jazz, folk and the like."

For Saturday's party, the music lineup is to include:

· Noon to 3 p.m.: Cadillac Jazz Quartet

· 3 to 5 p.m.:  John Melnick

· 5 to 6:30 p.m.: Bret Kunash

6:30 to 8 p.m.: The Brothers Jenkins ("This is our nephews band," Mr. Larkin notes.)

In addition to the house ciders, wines and meads, there will be food, from Butcher on Butler, until 8 p.m.

The grassy space is at 300 39th St.

While you're there, pick up one of the new printed guides to the Allegheny River Libation Trail, which links Arsenal with a dozen other producers and purveyors of wine, spirits and beer located on both sides of the river.
 
Get the latest on the event's Facebook page.   

Arsenal Cider Facebook photo

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It's a Mega Challah Bake!

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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We love that Barb Segel, development coordinator for Chabad of the South Hills, sent us a heads-up about this cool event, because it's fun to say "Mega Challah Bake."

That's what girls and women from all over Pittsburgh will be doing at Beth Shalom Congregation's Ballroom in Squirrel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 18. The event, called "Loaves of Love," starts at 6:30 p.m. with participants mixing, kneading and shaping two challahs -- the braided Jewish egg bread that is special for the Sabbath and holidays. 

When the event is over all over, they'll have one loaf to take home and one to give to a friend as a mitzvah ("which means good deed," as Ms. Segal explains). If you don't have anyone to give your extra one to, we here at The Forks would be happy to take it.

Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the door. You can reserve at megachallahpgh.com or by calling 412-860-4390. 

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What's dishing on the blogs: Tomatoes and zucchini

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have an abundant display of tomato and zucchini concoctions. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Tomatoes are at their peak and they show up in a myriad of dishes! At Cooks and Eats, Chef Chuck turned the sweet tomatoes from his garden into Fresh Garden Tomato Salsa, and then paired tomatoes with bacon and lettuce for a crowd pleaser Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Chicken Salad. Yum Yum prepared a refreshing Tomato & Mint Salad, while Jessica from How Sweet It Is opted for heirloom tomatoes in her gorgeous Salt and Pepper Heirloom Tart with Whipped Feta. And for something more filling try Sugar Pixie's BLT Sandwich.

On the zucchini front, Leah from Brazen Kitchen made a colorful Peach, Zucchini and Tomato Salad in a Basil Vinaigrette. Katy whipped up a delicious Summer Squash & Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, whereas Culinary Cory used zucchini to bake a Healthy Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.

For other sweet and seasonal recipes, head over to the Brown Eyed Baker for a summery Overnight Chilled Plum-Oatmeal Pudding, to Dinner Plan-it for a gluten-free version of Chocolate Candied Orange Cannoli Jars with Drunken Cherries, or to Haute Pepper Bites for Easy Peasy Ice Cream Sandwiches.

In restaurant related news, D&T: in the burgh stopped at Grit & Grace during Restaurant Week, the girls from eatPGH dined at Savoy, and Three Dogs BBQ competed in the Hudson Valley Ribfest 2014 in New Paltz, N.Y.

See you here next week!

Cooks and Eats photo

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Notion to cook for yinz n'at

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

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Chef Dave Racicot of Notion is at it again with his imaginative, push-the-envelope food artistry.

On Sept. 17 through Sept. 20, he'll offer a special six-course tasting menu at his East Liberty restaurant that aims to redefine -- while also paying homage to -- more than a half-dozen iconic Pittsburgh foods.

Consider it his version of the TV cooking competition "Chopped," only at a more relaxed pace and with more choices on your plate, n'at.

The $85 meal ($121 with wine pairings) will include Chef Racicot's modernist spin on such quintessential 'Burg dishes as cabbage rolls, kielbasa, Pittsburgh salad (topped with french fries), haluski, pierogies and chip-chopped ham. For dessert, there'll be something sweet involving Clark bars and Klondikes, created by the Isaly Dairy Co. in the 1920s and enjoyed by kids both large and small ever since.notionlogolite

"Notion is redefining beloved local dishes  ... to show guests that high-end food doesn't have to be unfamiliar," according to a release. "Expect dishes that creatively combine old- and new-world traditions with modernist techniques and imaginative plating."

Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling the restaurant at 412-361-1199 or filling out a request here. You also can send an email to reservations@notionrestaurant.com.  

Notion photos

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