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White Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti

8 Nov

We love this recipe from favehealthyrecipes.com — nothing beats a delicious treat, something hot to dunk it in, and a cozy corner to curl up in when the weather gets cold! Do you have a favorite coffee shop that makes divinely delicious biscotti like this?

White Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti

Curl up on a cold evening with a warm mug of hot chocolate and one of these White Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti cookies. This recipe yields a cookie that is softer than traditional biscotti, so you can eat them without dunking first. The peppermint flavor is a perfect seasonal touch that will make these a stand-out favorite at cookie swaps or family gatherings. The white chocolate drizzled over these cookies is a decadent touch that, besides adding extra sweetness, gives these cookies a festive, snow-covered look.

Read more at http://www.favehealthyrecipes.com/Cookies/White-Chocolate-Peppermint-Biscotti#hjYsJImvGeC5EeHf.99

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Where Should You Go in Pittsburgh for Halloween?

26 Oct

foodandthings.com

It’s almost time for a weekend of disguises, family, friends, shivers, and of course some tasty treats!

If you’ll be in the Pittsburgh area over the coming Halloween weekend, the following list, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is for you!

Events range from haunted houses to pumpkin carving, with a wealth of museum, lounge, and bar Halloween offerings in between. Whether you’re looking for kid-friendly fun, or trying to plan a Halloween evening out with friends, there is an option (or ten) for you. Take a look, and feel free to add your own suggestions to the list!

HALLOWEEN

Get ready to get spooked as the both good ghouls and bad come out to frolic for Halloween.

With roots in the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, the modern Halloween is a secular holiday that takes a light-hearted look at witches, ghosts and other creatures. In 2011, Halloween falls on a Monday.

We will be adding more relevant events (official and unofficial) as we learn about them, so check back often!

Hundred Acres Manor
Hundred Acres Manor  [ venue info ]
10/19/2011 through 10/30/2011

This non-stop, high-startle event captures the very latest in haunted house technology to guarantee an experience unlike any other.

Ghosts lurk in every corner as you wander through the ancient house, from Massacre Mansion to Black Hill Sanitarium, Fearscapes Factory, and The Maze (a 7,500-square foot labyrinth complete with chainsaw-wielding maniacs).

Proceeds benefit Animal Friends and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund. For directions or more scary information, call (412) 851-4286.

Haunted Hallways
Pleasant Valley Elementary School  [ venue info ]
10/27/2011 5:30pm

The littlest ghosts and goblins (up to third grade) are welcome in costume to enjoy music, games, crafts, a haunted hallway — and of course plenty of candy.

Admission is $5 per child. Proceeds benefit Washington City Missions, non-denominational, Christian social services organization, which provides critically needed goods and services to homeless, poor and needy of Western Pennsylvania without regard to race, color, creed, national origin or religion. For more information, call (724) 222-8530.

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Night Of The Singing Dead
Rex Theatre  [ venue info ]
10/28/2011 through 10/29/2011

Some of Pittsburgh’s favorite musicians and media personalities channel the world’s greatest non-living legends in this irreverent musical comedy.

Tickets to this age 21+ show are $15, and are available at Pittsburgh Guitars on the South Side. For more information, call (412) 431-0700.

Pumpkin Fun!

11 Oct

We were browsing through Southern Living for Halloween inspiration and had to share a few of our finds with our readers. If you’re craving a little pumpkin creativity, try one of these ideas:

Pint-Size Pumpkins & Blooms

Carving these irresistible ‘Wee-B-Little’ pumpkins is a super-simple, quick, entertaining project, regardless of your age.

The first pumpkin was fun. The second was even better. By the third, we were into serious laughter, and we’re grown-ups. Carving these irresistible ‘Wee-B-Little’ pumpkins is a super-simple, quick, entertaining project, regardless of your age. Try grouping your pumpkins in a window box, terra-cotta pot, or other container. Add some flowers and foliage to the mix, and you’ll have a ball.

Pumpkin Pedestals
Make several of these holders for each window box or container. Before adding the pumpkins, fill your container with colorful autumn favorites such as mums, marigolds, crotons, and ivy. Vary the heights of the holders for a spooky display.

  • Measure and saw the dowel to the desired length. When pushed into the soil, the top of the dowel should be just above the tops of all plants.
  • Hammer one twist nail through the center of a can lid. Now, flip it over (so the nail sticks up to hold the pumpkin in place), and use two twist nails to fasten the lid to one end of the dowel.
  • Spray-paint the holder black, and push it into the soil of the window box or other container.

Face the Pumpkin
You’ve probably carved pumpkins before but maybe not one this tiny. Here is what we learned. n Place the pumpkin on a firm surface, and remove the top with a sharp paring knife.

  • Scoop out the innards with a teaspoon.
  • You can use a knife to cut the face, but small canapé cutters make it much easier to create lots of great shapes. Fashion your faces. Then, press each pumpkin onto the twist nail on each stand. Add a tea light candle inside, light it, and put the lid on at an angle to allow heat to escape while keeping the light contained. Remember to check on them often; candles must be used with care.

31 Halloween Pumpkins

Get your carving tools out, because we have 31 ways —from spooky to elegant to jolly—to make your house Halloween ready. (Read more)

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Try a Seasonal Slice!

3 Oct

We’ve been having a bit of a cheesecake craving lately, and what better time to feed it than in the fall?

We found two delicious cheesecake recipes to share with you here. Some of the ingredients are different from one recipe to the next, the prep style and instructions vary, and the end result is similar but not precisely the same. And that’s what makes cooking so fun at the end of the day. As one wise soul once said, variety is the spice of life. Which recipe do you prefer?

Pumpkin Cheesecake – from Paula Deen and the Food Network.

Pumpkin Cheesecake -from The Joy of Baking. Also included: an instructional video!

Cream of the Parlor Crop: The Top 50 Ice Cream Spots!

27 Jul

We went on an online voyage this week to discover how US residents liked their ice cream -and where. We sifted through an enormous number of sites, and here’s what we found out:

Our favorite answer comes from USA Today. They conducted a poll asking readers to share their favorite ice cream parlor, and then aggregated the results by state. That’s a huge list! We’ve included a few of the states in this post – for the full 50-state list, CLICK THIS LINK!

What’s YOUR favorite ice cream spot??

Florida

Every Friday at Jersey Creamery in McIntosh, Karen DeConna makes her small-batch ice cream in an 1880 train depot. That’s when you get the freshest scoop right out of the machine. Her dense product draws its sweetness from fruit rather than sugar. Summer flavors blueberry, peach and mango are best enjoyed in a rocking chair on the big porch. 22050A N. Highway 441; 352-317-8060

Recommended by Patricia Letakis, executive editor of Florida Travel + Life magazine

Pennsylvania

Berkey Creamery, a Penn State institution since 1896, is the nation’s largest university creamery, with much of the main ingredient (milk) coming from the university’s own cows. Some of the 100 or so flavors (20 available at any one time) reflect the State College academic setting. There’s peachy Paterno (peach flavored with sliced peaches) named for coach Joe Paterno and alumni swirl (vanilla with Swiss mocha chips and blueberry swirl). 119 Food Science Building, University Park; 814-865-7535; creamery.psu.edu

Recommended by Timothy Brixius, contributor, savvygrouse.com

North Carolina

Known for ice cream made fresh, in-house each week, Yum Yum Better Ice Cream serves cups, cones and milkshakes. Owned and operated by the same family since 1906 and set in the heart of the University of North Carolina Greensboro community, Yum Yum draws a mix of students and locals craving a delicious treat. 1219 Spring Garden St.; 336-272-8284

Recommended by John Batchelor, restaurant reviewer for the Greensboro News and Record

South Carolina

Located on Lady’s Island in the coastal town of Beaufort, Berry Island Ice Cream Cafe offers 24 flavors at a time. Try a scoop of a standby called the Prince of Tides, a favorite of Barbra Streisand when she was in town making the movie based on Pat Conroy’s novel. It’s coffee-almond fudge, but the name is pure South Carolina. 1 Merchant Lane, #102; 843-524-8779; berryislandcafe.com.

Recommended by Sid Evans, editor of Garden & Gun magazine

Feast on the 4th!

29 Jun

The 4th is almost here! We can’t wait for sun and fun and time to relax with family and friends — and of course, lots of delicious food! Check out the list below for some holiday inspiration. From The Foodista Blog. Read the original article here.

Enjoy!!

Fabulous 4th of July Feasts

June 29, 2011

July is right around the corner and so is our favorite summer holiday – the Fourth of July!

Upon the arrival of this big three day weekend, I often find myself wondering what I should have on the barbecue menu. Fall apart smoked ribs? Blue cheese burgers? A whole herb-stuffed salmon? Fortunately, we still have a week to plan! If you need inspiration, below you’ll find three 4th of July-worthy feasts: Buttermilk Fried Chicken with all the fixin’s, a belly-busting Memphis-style ribs chow down, and a classic East Coast lobster boil.

Southern Style Chicken

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Cabbage and Fennel Coleslaw
Jalapeno Cornbread
Pickled Watermelon Rind
Fresh Cherry Pie

Finger Lickin’ Ribs

Memphis-Style Dry Rub Ribs
Red Potato and Dill Salad
Smokinwilly Barbecue Baked Beans
Spiced Butter Barbecued Corn
Blue Mountain Blueberry Pie

The Beach Boil

Easy Maine Lobster Boil
Herb Dinner Rolls
Apricot Glazed Apple Tart

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Image sources: thebittenword

On the Prowl: Finding the Best Margaritas in Fort Worth, TX

19 May

Cool, refreshing, with just the right mix of sweet and sour: nothing says summer quite the way a margarita does! If you happen to be passing through Forth Worth, TX in the coming hot months, this little post may help.

We found this article on livability.com and took a few excerpts to share with you here. To see the full article in its original location, follow this link. And check out the rest of the site while you’re there – we love browsing their reviews for new ideas and suggestions.

You know what would make browsing even more fun? A margarita….

Get Your Margarita On in Fort Worth

Lance C. | Livability.com
May 6 2011

……
For reference, the by-the-book margarita, carved into stone by the booze scholars at the International Bartenders Association, is composed of seven parts tequila, four parts Triple Sec (a French orange liqueur) and three parts lime or lemon juice. The mixture is poured over ice in a salt rimmed glass. With a recipe that simple, though, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If you’re ever in Fort Worth, TX, you might want to consider trying the ‘ritas at one of these places:

Dos Gringos

In my experience, the best margaritas come from the places that don’t look like they’re trying too hard. Dos Gringos (Spanish for, uh, two gringos?) is a run-of-the-mill TexMex joint in the DFW area but they serve positively enormous margaritas served in Boracho glasses. Though their “Best Margaritas” title has been ceded to the usurpers at Joe T. Garcia’s, there’s something to be said for taking the title home at least once. Give the Gringo-Rita a try, it’s their top shelf signature.

……..

The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

If your tastes are quite a bit fancier than “Arlington dive bar,” The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro might be up your alley. It does have the word “bistro” in its name, after all. Located in the touristy Stockyards section of Fort Worth, Lonesome Dove is the creation of local rock star chef (and one time Iron Chef competitor/winner) Tim Love, specializing in rustic Western cuisine. But we’re not here to talk about the kangaroo nachos. One of Lonesome Dove’s signature cocktails is the Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita, which tastes more or less like it sounds – not quite spicy, not quite sweet, with a solid bite from the Casa Noble and Cointreau.

La Familia Mexican Restaurant

If you want style without the heavy price tag associated with gourmet food, La Familia will set your margarita on fire. No, literally. Their house margaritas are served with flaming sugar cubes balanced on lime wedges, like a half-remembered absinthe recipe. Reviews are mixed on the margaritas themselves, but who doesn’t like a little spectacle?