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Monthly Archives: January 2012

I have had Giada’s Roman-style chicken recipe bookmarked on my computer for months now. It is her most reviewed recipe on the Food Network site and with over 800 reviews that mostly say how delicious, healthy, and easy it is– I finally gave in and made this dish.

I added mushrooms and omitted the capers, so this Roman chicken ended up being a lot like Chicken Cacciatore—which is fine by me since it’s one of my all-time favorites. My Mom used to make Chicken Cacciatore in the crock-pot when I was younger, so this dish paired with rice is one that brings me right back to eating dinner in my plaid uniform at our old house on Vermeer Drive.

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Image via Kooka Burrito

Root 174 is one of the newest and most talked about restaurants in Pittsburgh. It boasts an impressive and creative menu with out-of-the-box dishes and flavor combinations you won’t find at your average restaurant. You know a restaurant is doing something right when every review you read before you go says to order the brussel sprouts. Root 174 is also a BYOB which is a definite plus when you’re trying to save money and are a big fan of $12 bottles of wine.

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Sometimes (okay most of the time) a girl just wants some chocolate. And one night when I was in extreme need-chocolate-now mode, I found this recipe and realized I had all of the ingredients in the pantry.  And the stars aligned. The birds started singing. And I thanked the pantry god that I was going to get some delicious chocolate cookies.

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My first stop during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week was the newest Mexican spot in town, Verde. I had seen Verde from the street when I visited Salt, and the décor alone made me want to check it out. It reminded me of Stephen Starr’s El Vez from the street and I thought if it’s anything like El Vez—then it’d be worth a try.

When we arrived at Verde, we headed for the bar to wait for our table and order a drink. The circular bar glows a deep yellow and in addition to local draft beers on tap, there’s an entire wall lined with different bottle of tequila. As it turns out, Verde offers over 150 different tequilas so if you’re a margarita lover or just a boozehound—they’ll surely have one that will tickle your fancy.

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I decided to make this vodka sauce with rigatoni after the locally owned company, Clique Vodka, offered to send me a bottle. A match made in heaven some would say—because I sure do love vodka. Plus there’s something about vodka sauce that everyone loves, whether it be the creaminess of the sauce or the subtle spiciness from the red pepper flakes, this recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser.

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In college, two of my roommates were hospitality majors who had the majority of their classes in West campus. Which happened to be far from everything and pretty inconvenient if we wanted to meet up for a quick lunch between classes. Really, the only thing that made me want to ever go meet them (besides their amazing personalities 😉 ) was the tomato, basil, and mozzarella pannins they served at the cafe there. Served on thick bread and smeared with a whole lot of butter, they hit the spot after a long day of class or served as the perfect hangover cure.

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