What's dishing on the blogs: Cocktails and cookies

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have Pittsburgh's best foods, drinks and holiday cookies. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

On the local restaurant scene, Good Food Pittsburgh listed their 7 Best Holiday Cocktails in the 'Burgh; the girls from eatPGH cited the best things they ate this year in and around Pittsburgh; Yum Yum revisited BRGR; while Pittsburgh Magazine announced the partnership between a local couple and farmer to bring pasture-raised lamb and pork to the Pittsburgh Public Market.

On the holiday dessert table, Jessica from How Sweet It Is baked a killer Sweet Orange Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread, whereas Sugar Pixie made the fabulous Stollen – German Christmas Bread. And Yum Yum whipped up a flaky and filling Apple Pie. Haute Pepper Bites focused on her favorite Eggnog Snickerdoodles with Ginger Snap Sugar, and Brown Eyed Baker opted for adorable Turtle Candies.

Lastly, on the savory spectrum, Katy shared her favorite food-centric ways to get together with the ones she loves in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, and Bill from Three Dogs BBQ cooked Spatchcocked Pheasant with a Seasoned Butter Injection.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Good Food Pittsburgh photo

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What's dishing on the blogs: Pizza and soup

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have homemade pizza and a great spread of winter soups. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Jessica from How Sweet It Is came up with a fantastic Meat Lovers Pizza and Bill from Three Dogs BBQ chose a Wood Fired Sweet Sausage and Broccoli Pizza. Also on the savory side, Culinary Cory prepared a filling Classic Lasagna, whereas Yum Yum whipped up simple and tasty Cucumber Crab Appetizers.

Katy showed us how to make the easiest Homemade Slow Cooker Turkey Stock in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, while Bill from Three Dogs BBQ went with a Smoked Marrow Bone Beef Broth version. On a similar note, Linda from Dinner Plan-it shared her flavorful Saged Potato Dumpling Turkey Vegetable Soup recipe, and Sam from Haute Pepper Bites put her money on this Creamy Spicy Sausage & Tortellini Soup.

For a sweet fix, try Sugar Pixie's gorgeous Vanilla Bundt Cake with Vanilla Buttercream, Sincerely Caroline's Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes, the boozy Pumpkin-Ginger Bread Pudding from Haute Pepper Bites, or Brown Eyed Baker's cute Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

On the restaurant front, Yum Yum checked out Braddock's Pittsburgh Brasserie; the girls from eatPGH visited Clifford's Restaurant; Pittsburgh Magazine stopped by Carmella's Plates and Pints; and Good Food Pittsburgh announced the new winter menu at Wild Rosemary.

See you here next week!

How Sweet It Is photo

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Today in food news

Written by Melissa McCart on . The Forks blog

fivepoints12Have you visited Five Points Artisan Bakeshop? It opened a couple weeks ago at 6520 Wilkins Ave. in Squirrel Hill and the baguette is pretty terrific. The charming neighborhood spot from Geof Comings offers artisan bread and pastries as well as seats at a communal table. Mr. Comings had been an economic-development manager with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership before turning his passion into his profession. 

Wild Sage opened about a month ago in the former Spadafora's Bar & Restaurant in Allison Park. Chef Matthew Christie had been at Bridge Ten Brasserie on the South Side, now closed. Look for dishes such as crispy chicken-wing confit and duck-confit tacos among appetizers and bone-in veal chops and cider braised pork shanks as entrees. 

If there are still seats available, check out the Saturday brunch party this weekend hosted by Urbanist's Michael McAllister at The Ballroom, the upstairs spot from Derek Burnell, co-owner of Lawrenceville's Round Corner Cantina, downstairs.  The monthly brunch gives diners a chance to meet Ian Cochran who moved to Pittsburgh after working at Austin's Uchi. His menu offers a sampling of Asian-inspired snacks and plates to the backdrop of DJs such as Jarrett Tebbets. Look for more from the Ballroom in the spring. 

And last for the moment, Hello Bistro opens Downtown today, a day earlier than parent company Eat'n Park anticipated. Hello Bistro has introduced online ordering for its burger and salad menu. 

Five Points Bakeshop. Melissa McCart photo



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Kickstart Piebird to Lawrenceville

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

piebird20Piebird will open in the spring at 5304 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. It's to be a dessert-focused pastry shop from Jason Thomas of E2 and Annalee DePaoli, his business partner and wife. The Kickstarter is less than $2,000 away from the goal.  Click here for the video. 

If you have ordered dessert at E2 in Highland Park, you have tried Ms. DePaoli's desserts, such as salted caramel crostada or flourless chocolate cake with cocoa nibs as well as some of these desserts, pictured. 

Before she started her own business about four years ago, she had been working under Susie Treon at the Cafe at the Frick as well as Big Burrito. She earned a culinary degree at Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I. 

Piebird will start as a commercial kitchen, where customers can order and pick up desserts. As things progress, they will consider offering coffee or eating in. 

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What's dishing on the blogs: Holiday desserts

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

1s. SR Pumpkin Tiramisu

With the holidays upon us, we're baking our way through the season's most delicious desserts. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

At Simply Romanesco, I discovered this brilliant Pumpkin Tiramisu, a seasonal spin on the iconic coffee-flavored Italian dessert. Haute Pepper Bites baked adorable Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes, while the Brown Eyed Baker opted for a stunning Cranberry-Eggnog Cheesecake. Also, head over to Katy's BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen for a list of cookie recipes, or to How Sweet It Is for even more ideas for the holiday baking season!

Among the savory selections, Sincerely Caroline prepared a light Toasted Almond Chicken Salad, Linda from Dinner Plan-it put together a decadent Maryland Crab and Spinach Mac N' Cheese Lasagna, and Bill from Three Dogs BBQ made an easy Smoke Roasted Steelhead with Basil Pesto. To wash it all down, try Sugar Pixie's French Martini.

And in other news, D&T: in the burgh attended the Beer vs Cocktails dinner organized by East End Brewing and Wigle Whiskey; the girls from eatPGH took a trip to Lola Bistro; Yum Yum dined at Emporio; and Bill from Three Dogs BBQ found himself at Chris Lilly's Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Ala.

See you here next week!

Simply Romanesco photo

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Moos and Brews

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Beer

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Last month, Wheel and Wedge cheese shop launched a collaborative pairing series with local breweries and other beery businesses. Here, the shop's cheesemonger Alix Wiggins and Draai Laag Brewing Co.'s Nate Hoylman lead that Nov. 19 "Moos and Brews" class at the Millvale brewery.

Wheel and Wedge's David Lagnese reports that in the new year, they'll be doing the classes monthly at different breweries, bars and restaurants. The format usually will be that Ms. Wiggins will teach holders of tickets (sold via Eventbrite) about pairing cheese and beer and give them tastes of six of each. She'll be joined by brewers, restaurateurs and other speakers.

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, Ms. Wiggins -- whom the Post-Gazette wrote about earlier this year when she won Slow Food Pittsburgh's cheese scholarship -- will lead a pairing event as part of the brewpub-grand-opening "Week of Shenanigans" at East End Brewing Co. in Larimer. From 4 to 8 p.m., she'll offer two sets of moo-and-brew flights (each with three pairings) for $10 each.

Otherwise, you can find Wheel and Wedge cheese at its outlets at the Pittsburgh Public Market and the Farmers' Market Cooperative of East Liberty, as well as at several brewpubs around town.

Later this month, Ms. Wiggin's fellow cheese-scholarship winner, Caldwell Linker, will lead a "Crafting the Perfect Cheese Tray" talk. She's the cheese buyer and department coordinator at the East End Food Co-op in Point Breeze. At 6:30 p.m. on Weds., Dec. 17, at the adjacent Gemini Theater, she'll teach attendees about cheese varieties, what they pair with, how much cheese to serve and more, and of course there will be samples.

That event is free, but reserve by calling 412-242-3598.

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Wheel and Wedge photos


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