Beer-braised chicken with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy #ad

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It’s July, the sun is shining, and the city is gorgeous- I’ve been grilling and chilling at home with beer, meat, and the Bedfellow. What more could I want? I’m still on an all-meat diet, so I’ve been using protein and minimal carbs to create recipes that are flavorful and clever with little prep and unique flavors, thanks to the House of BBQ at Price Chopper.wpid-img_20150716_155242382_hdr.jpgRecently, the Bedfellow and I were craving turkey in July, but without Thanksgiving flavors, we were at a loss. Solution? Chicken drumsticks, braised for hours and made into succulent, fall-off-the-bone citrus and beer-braised chicken, with a moist inside, with meat that can be eaten right off the bone or cuddled inside delicious corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, jalapeno, onion, and orange aioli. The secret is in the beer- I used Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, available at Price Chopper. It’s a versatile, seasonal brew with an array of flavors right out of a craft brewery.DSC_2787What’s a shandy? It’s like an Arnold Palmer for adults- switch the tea out for beer and you have a shandy, made with beer and lemonade. Simple, yet ridiculously satisfying. Not only is it great to drink, it’s great to cook with, especially when you add jalapenos and lemons to the mix. We slow-cooked our drumsticks in shandy with plenty of spices and seasonings, and shredded them to top on parmesan crisp nachos with a creamy orange aioli, cilantro, and caramelized onion for a summertime snack. Continue reading

Mustard & Co. Smoky BBQ

Over the weekend, the Bedfellow came for an amazing, whirlwind visit, and the first thing she sat down to eat after a long flight was a sandwich. Distance is a cruel addition to our partnership, and it has added food jealousy to our discourse.20150703_092123“What are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing.”
“It doesn’t sound like nothing. It sounds like chips.”
“It’s actually chips…and a sandwich.”
“What kind of sandwich?” Continue reading

IKEA Candy Wall

Recently, The Bedfellow and I wandered to Ikea, as we’re often wont to do when we’re looking for new oddities to purchase, and we stumbled upon their new candy wall. Based in the Swedish ‘Saturday candy’ tradition, the wall features an array of exotic Swedish and Finnish candies from licorice to gummies, available by the pound. Here’s what I picked up and enjoyed at the Pittsburgh location.
DSC_2762 Continue reading

Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte, Proteined Up

Pittsburgh, you have so much good, weird food. Burgers? Check. Pizza? Hell yes. Dessert? For the love of god, are you Alanis Morrisette? Because I am aware of the irony of going on a 3mi hike through town and then sniffing around Prantl’s. Not okay, Steel City, not okay. In any case, snarfing a single-sized burnt almond torte, arguably the specialty of Pittsburgh, in four sittings gave me an interesting idea when a package from Quest arrived late last week. The cake on the package of the vanilla almond crunch bar looked strikingly similar to my favorite, albeit nutritionally devoid cake. Could I make it and add an assload of protein? I absolutely could.DSC_2742 Continue reading

15 in 30: Top Eats in Pittsburgh, Month 1

It’s been a fast month here in the Steel City- too fast! I’ve been acclimating to work, commuting like I casually memorized the bus schedule, and have been writing bench briefs like it ain’t no thang. It is a thang! And it’s hard! I’ve also been casually eating my way through the city, enjoying the most of each neighborhood. wpid-img_20150626_200613061_hdr.jpgI’ve spent the most time in Lawrenceville in the last two weeks, overshadowed only by Squirrel Hill, my own neighborhood, and Shadyside. In that time, I’ve had amazing treats, from homemade pierogies to beautiful burgers to macarons that taste like they’re straight out of Paris. Continuing my on-the-road tradition from last year, albeit souped up (disclaimer: this article contains no soup), here’s my Top 15 in 30. Continue reading

Sour Pickle Balls

In an age where children are born with their own Gmail accounts, it’s easy to feel shafted on the social media front. I hear you, disgruntled children of the teens. It’s not easy having to remember both that you love potatoes and a randomized ten digit code signifying so, potatoluvr593857381. OkCupid makes you slap an -asaurus or -taco to your name as if those are acceptable suffixes for quirkiness. There are entire businesses dedicated to suffix generation. It’s not easy out there. Have a pickle ball.DSC_2725 Continue reading

Best New Chocolates at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show

For the sixth year of covering the Fancy Food Show, I’ll be sending a correspondent in my absence and salivating enough to create a need for more bridges in Pittsburgh. This year, I scoped the scene for the best chocolatiers and their wares and compiled the most unique products to look out for. Consider it a walking chocolate tour of the Fancy Food Show!

1. Theo Salted Licorice Caramels
One of the best chocolates this year, Theo’s bitter and savory caramels perfectly exemplify umami, with smoked sea salt, fennel powder, and a creamy licorice caramel center.
wpid-img_20150515_112627673_hdr.jpg2. Ticket Grasshopper Pie
This nostalgic bar, inspired by fan family recipes and classic childhood treats, is embedded with chunks of chocolate cookies and swirls of creamy mint chocolate. It tastes like ice cream and eats like a candy bar. Continue reading

Road Trip: Hartford to Pittsburgh

I am settled in Pittsburgh after a weekend of driving, eating, and blasting Queen along the highway. This wasn’t as involved of a drive as last year’s, but it was still plenty of fun, with many neat stops along the way. I spent the night in Williamsport, PA, about halfway between Hartford and Pittsburgh, and stopped in Milford and State College for a rest each day on the hunt for breweries, coffee, and dive bars.wpid-img_20150528_123244664_hdr.jpg Continue reading

Croissunday at Nadège Patisserie, Toronto, ON

When we were in Toronto, we rented an apartment in Queens West, a neighborhood Vogue rated second only to Tokyo as one of the coolest in the world. No lie there- it was teaming with interesting places to shop, eat, explore, and see, with wonderful art and music around every corner. Not a block away was Nadège Patisserie, a bonafide slice of Paris in the middle of Canada. We were lucky enough to be there right before Croissunday, a yearly event with fifteen limited flavors of croissants, starting at 8am and ending when the bakeries run out. I waited in line for six flavors of their finest and after devouring them, we decided they were the best we’d had in or out of France.wpid-img_20150308_071354346_hdr.jpg Continue reading