100 24th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Light and dense, chewy and crunchy: these macarons from Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery, Millvale, are as colorful as they are delicious.
With flavors ranging from the familiar (Nutella, vanilla, orange, peanut butter and jelly) to the exotic (pistachio, raspberry balsamic vinegar, lavender), buying an array seems to be required.
Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery
213 North Avenue
Here, Chef Dimitri constructs a white chocolate bow using white chocolate ribbons, melted chocolate, and condensed air for a instant freeze.
Gaby et Jules
5837 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
This season is best shared with surprise, generosity, and streetside tunes.
So I lost a bet on these two cleverly-named dishes at Kristy’s Whistle Stop, Enola.
But give me some credit. Both are slathered in pork BBQ and thrown with a handful of pickled jalapenos.
How was I supposed to remember that the Porky Pig was the one with the fries, the hot sauce, and the nacho cheese, and that the All-Aboard was a burger with the BBQ, the jalapenos, as well as the cole slaw and a giant, crisp onion ring?
The worst part about this photograph is the fact that I already wrote about Kristy’s Whistle Stop in 2010, and my own article confirms that it has been my mind, not the names “Porky Pig fries” and “All-Aboard burger,” that have undergone a transformation.
Maybe brain freeze from a giant mint Oreo hurricane — Kristy’s version of Dairy Queen’s blizzard, or McDonald’s McFlurry — will redeem my mental state.
Kristy’s Whistle Stop
600 S. Enola Rd
Routes 11 & 15
Being the daughter of a dairy farmer, I have an incredible weakness for dairy products, especially ice cream. However, even I admit that once you taste gelato, like that of Morano Gelato in Hanover, New Hampshire, there’s no turning back.
According to the Morano website, gelato differs from American ice cream in three main ways: gelato has a lower butterfat content (4-9% verses 14-25%), is less dense than traditional ice cream (20-30% air verses 50%), and is served at 10-15 degrees warmer than traditional ice cream is. These qualities allow gelato to pack an incredibly rich, creamy mouthfeel, so decadent that only a few spoonfuls are endlessly satisfying. No triple-decker cone is needed here.
Called “the best gelato in America” by Forbes magazine, the gelato at Morano is made fresh daily and sells out every evening. Come early to try out flavors like Almond, English Custard, or Dark Chocolate — which was too rich for even me — or to sample classic Italian espressos and sandwiches amid the boutique’s chic décor and outdoor seating.
57 South Main Street
Hanover, New Hampshire
Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday, 11:00am-9:30pm
Hours change seasonally.
What do you do when you’ve signed up for a CSA with Strites’ Orchard and are given a bok choy? Why, you make kimchi — spicy fermented cabbage, which my boyfriend explains as “Korean sauerkraut” — of course. Buy the spices at Asia Mall off of Paxton Street, Harrisburg; buy yourself a bok choy or cabbage, a few carrots, and a bunch of garlic; and follow David Chang’s recipe, found here. The result is a highly spicy, tangy, and gorgeously red-green crunchy salad, perfect for making this recipe for beer-battered tofu tacos with kimchi from CraftBeer.com.
When I wrote fiction as a kid, my characters lived idealized versions of my own life. I must have been interested in food as long as I can remember, for the characters in my stories always ate my favorite foods, starting their meals with sauce chicken and brown-butter noodles and ending with the dish in the photo above — strawberry bread soup.
Strawberry bread soup is a simple concoction made of slivered fresh strawberries (local only — any other strawberries are imposters), cubed bread, sugar, and milk. My mother used to measure the farm-fresh milk out in quart canning jars and served the soup in a large bowl as a dessert for our family of six. I loved this soup for the unusually sweetened milk, the milk-soaked bread, and tangy bite of the fruit.
I honestly thought everyone in the world dunked stuff in milk and called it soup (kind of like I thought everyone ate cottage cheese with apple butter) until I found this dish to be a subject of much teasing. However, a few weeks ago, I found a recipe for “Cold Bread Soup” in my cookbook From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens (next to “Coffee Soup”), along with a nearby note that reads: “These recipes probably came about during the Depression. But I still get hungry for a bowl of Coffee or Cold Bread Soup at breakfast or lunch!”
So bread soup — just another sign of the Mennonite’s incredibly thrifty background.
I felt incredibly vindicated.
Both recipes follow.
Cold Bread Soup
Cut bread into chunks or cues. Sugar to taste and pour cold milk over bread and sugar. Huckleberries, cherries, or peaches in season can be added. Serve in large soup bowl.
Break 1 piece of bread into a cup. Fill cup with hot coffee: add sugar and cream to taste.
– From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Phillis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman.
Five years ago, I was traveling in Marseilles, France, after visiting my host mother in Avignon and returning to Talange, France, where I was to finish up my academic year as an English teaching assistant. These photographs were shot from the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, a church on the highest hill of Marseilles, about 162 meters above sea level. One photograph was taken inside the beautifully-painted chapel and the other, overlooking the city.