A few weeks ago I visited Philadelphia to see my college girlfriends and get away from the Burgh for a bit. (I love you Pittsburgh, but sometimes a girl needs new scenery.) Staying at my old roommate’s family home, I was completely spoiled by her family who took me out to an amazing sushi dinner, gave me a comfy bed to sleep in, and fed me amazing food the whole time. No really, the morning I left her mother made me monkey bread aka bread with cinammon & sugar & butter…SO GOOD.
And not only did I get a hunk of delicious monkey bread and hot coffee during my stay, I got brie bites—my new favorite appetizer. I know I say this a lot on this little blog but they were SO GOOD and SO EASY to make. There’s only three ingredients, so they are virtually impossible to screw up. The only way to screw it up is if you eat all the delicious brie before you go to make this.
If you can’t find fig jam, you can use any sweet jam or jelly in its place. And the mini phyllo cups are in the freezer section at your grocery store. I found mine at Giant Eagle by the ice cream.
My college roommate, Kelly, sent me a picture of the cutest appetizers a few weeks ago, little bite-size bread bowls stuffed with spinach dip, and I knew I had to try making them myself. Plus they didn’t require a fork and would be super easy to make a.k.a they would be the perfect Thanksgiving day h’ordeuvres.
I decided to make them for my Dad’s side of the family on Turkey Day and they were gobbled up (pun intended…I’m a comedic genius). Mini appetizers full of creamy dip…I love you in any variation, shape, or color, and I swear I won’t turn my back on you. Other things that would be delicious in these: buffalo chicken dip, crab dip, shrimp dip, etc. Can you tell I love dip?
Ranch dressing has become a condiment in America. Fueling obesity? Yes. But making your chicken fingers way better? That’s a yes too. Ranch isn’t just for your salad anymore, people. You can use it as a dip, a dressing, a side for crispy, fresh potato chips, or as a chaser. Just kidding 😉
Anyways—you know how some restaurants have the “good Ranch” and some just have the generic packets of Ken’s that are nothing special? No? Just me….? Bueller?
Well this homemade ranch IS the good ranch. It’s the ranch that makes you dip your entire chicken wing in it five times over. It’s the ranch you can dip fresh veggies in and before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of carrots. It’s the good ranch, I promise.
I first fell in love with linguine with clam sauce when I studied abroad in London and became quite attached to the little Italian restaurant, Cotto, just up the street from my dorm. The small, family-owned restaurant full of delicious comfort food was a nice change from eating fish and chips all the time. And then when I had Linguine con Vongole in Rome, I realized my love for this dish was going to outlast my six-month stay abroad and be a long-term love affair.
Linguine with clam sauce is one of those pasta dishes that you virtually can’t screw up. Butter, white wine, and garlic will work together no matter what and will have your guests, and in my case my family, licking their plates clean. Plus it’s a quick dish, maybe a half hour from start to finish. Serve with a green salad and fresh bread to sop up the sauce with.
Chicken Caesar wraps are my go-to order at a bar or pub when I can’t decide what to get or am trying to steer clear of the fried cheese balls. They are also really hard to screw up, so they tend to be good anywhere you get them. And even though Caesar dressing isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, I figure it’s better than a fried buffalo chicken wrap.
This recipe is super easy and would be perfect for tailgating or for your lunch tomorrow. Slice into pinwheels for smaller portions/ a more appetizer friendly size.
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited on the Burgh, Bits, and Bites Dormont Food Tour held especially for Pittsburgh food bloggers. The tour was led by Culinary Cory and there were about 10 food bloggers on the tour, all armed with their cameras and their appetites.
Before the tour, I had only been to Dormont in passing to visit my family who live nearby, never to experience the hustle and bustle on Potomac Avenue. The tree-lined streets brimming with family-owned restaurants and shops was more than I expected from a little town just outside the Liberty Tubes.