"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “cooking and eating

Steak Hibachi Dinner at Ginza

It was Steve’s idea that we should try the new Japanese Restaurant. He brought home a menu that said Grand Opening.

Turns out it opened at least a year ago, but they had a lot of menus printed up with that on the front.

So we headed over for dinner on  Saturday night.  A clear soup, salad, Steak Hibachi with vegetables and rice added up to $13-

The food was fresh, nicely prepared and delicious.

The server told us there was a bad review on YELP but I checked it out and they are mostly favorable, especially about their Sushi.

Lunchtime meals are about 6 bucks.  Really reasonable.

It ‘s a BYOB but we had no B to bring tonight.  We are planning a return trip to explore the menu. It’s in the Italian section of the city, Bloomfield.

 

Ginza Restaurant

iPhone shots of the exterior and my dinner below.

Steak Hibachi


Raspberries and Blueberries on Vanilla Häagen-Dazs

Accompanied by ginger snaps!

This is the dessert my friend V served at a lovely home cooked dinner last Saturday.  It was delicious.  A generous helping, too.

A nice finish to a simply perfect meal. Walleye caught by Cousins Jeff and Jeffrey, a baked sweet potato and salad with whisked lemon juice and olive oil dressing.  Found this in my phone tonight and was thinking about how everything was so good.  She said she was following the same idea my mother used to profess-  Buy the best food you can and do as little to it as possible.  Good advice.

The Pamela’s Ginger Mini Snapz are gluten free and quite tasty.    Hope you have a good day Saturday.  HBTY!

Bowl of Ice Cream and Fruit


Happy Chinese New Year- Year of the Snake

Mine is a single photograph today…..For a beautiful and informative post on the Chinese New Year be sure to click hereIMG_6708


An Egg, a Baseball and a Boy

Practice  stop-motion shots.  Anticipate the action.

Try to feel the timing.

Press the shutter at the right time, once, instead of fifty times.      Hopeful.

Improve.

Sometimes the stop-motion looks frozen to me, perhaps too still.  Wonder if it needs a little blur to show the movement.

As you read about my shooting where you are, these are examples of how you can be on vacation and work on your skills, simultaneously.

Have fun doing it, too!

Chef at the next table- House of Japan

Jack trying to beat the ball to first base.

And jumping off the board into the pool.  Looks like a cut-and-paste figure.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

What I discovered is I shoot a lot of red.

I blurred my eyes to spot purple in the archives.

Yes, I  made the rainbow jello to photograph.  It took 5 hours. I got the recipe from my daughter Laura who found it on the web here 

The one pictured is not spiked and no one ate it either.  It is still in my freezer to slice and photograph with light coming through the jello like stained glass.

Purple views, white balance setting askew but it works for the challenge.

A compendium of purple.

Fellow bloggers links are at the Daily Post at WordPress. (Thanks to Jo I know how to get on the list now.)

and the cake is by Aubrey’s Bakery in Steubenville Ohio for Justin and Vicky’s wedding


Parmesan Crusted Onions Baked in a Brick Oven and My Lunch

My DIL and I went to lunch while the kids were at two different day camps today.

I photographed the food with my iPhone. Used available light.

We started with these delicious Parmesan Crusted Baked Onions.  So soft and  the tang and salt of the Parmesan offset the sweetness.

Regular white onions. I asked. Baked four times.

Erika was able to order from their gluten free menu.  I ate the Goat Cheese Ravioli with Cabbage, Pancetta and Mushrooms on top.

On the right is the Chopped House Salad.

Oh yes, the restaurant?  Marcella’s in Polaris.  They have another location in Short North.


I Begged My Mother to Buy It When I Was a Kid

My  mother was into homemade whole wheat bread with wheat germ added. She’d scald milk, boil water, crumble a cake of yeast. Knead and knead, place it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, let  rise, punch it down, rest – then shape the loaves.

Let them rise again. this time in battered aluminum bread pans covered lightly with waxed paper.

The aroma filled the house and after it was baked we’d eat a slice with butter and honey when it was still warm.

What I would give to have my mother make a couple of loaves again, turn them out of the greased bread pans. Saw off a slice with a serrated edge.

But when I was a kid, I saw a big white truck with red and yellow and bright blue balloons all over it.  WONDER BREAD.  I wanted my mother to buy WONDER BREAD.  I’d eaten it somewhere and was fascinated you could roll it into a ball!  Hard to believe but true.  I begged my mother to buy WONDER BREAD.  Oh how I longed for the colorful balloons on the wrapper.

Embarrassing to admit, but true.

She never did.

I saw this sign by the abandoned Wonder Bread Bakery in Columbus OH.  ( click to read about construction of Wonder Bread LOFTS that started four days ago)

You can see the height by the telephone pole and building top.


Joe’s Dairy on Sullivan Street, New York City

Shot last week -Spring Break in NYC.  My sister walked us by and it was open.

They couldn’t be nicer.  People behind counters are captive. I ask for permission after a bit of conversation.  Sometimes you get “I’d rather not.” but here I got a “Sure!”.

Thanks, Rose.

If you want to read more about Joe’s Dairy on Sullivan Street click here.  Everyone talks about their smoked mozzarella!

(And if you want to make your own cheese go here and click on the Cheesy Stuff page)

Meet Rose Pianoforte. I know, her apron says Angela.
She was really nice and helpful. And gracious to allow me to photograph her.
Those are olives stuffed with cheese on the counter.


Shitake Logs Explained* (Lentinula edodes)

At the  6th Annual Farm to Table Conference I was fascinated by the Shitake Logs Display. Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living was doing a brisk business with just one Shitake Log left to sell.  There were quite a few with SOLD tags on the logs, propped up against a table.  I was shooting unobserved and then noticed and that is how the pose came to be. Got a good laugh and was granted to permission to blog it anyway.  He said, “You didn’t get that did you?” and I said “Yes, I did.”   He didn’t think I was that quick.

A good laugh when he realized I did catch the pose he had struck when he saw my giant lens intruding on his afternoon

And here is the explanation how to to choose a log, choose spawn,inoculate,soak and thump(thumping triggers fruiting), stack, incubate, and harvest.  I will count on Rufus- Shitake and Garlic Scapes and Chicago John’s Dad’s Puffballs (not Shitake) to tell you how best to use them in recipes. Shitake – Lentinula edodes- are originally from Japan.

*(Obviously I don’t really know how to explain Shitake Logs but the kind people at  quiet creek(at)windstream(dot)net   know everything about the process and will be happy to assist you with all your Shitake questions  in addition to herbs, soaps, salves and bags of Worm Wonder for all your worm composting needs.


Where’s Noah in the Plateful of Paleo Supper?

The phone rang after six.  My eldest son was on business and saw a sign that said Pittsburgh 35 miles, so he cancelled his hotel reservation and drove to the city.  (So that is why his wife called earlier to see what I was doing)YIKES!  I was boiling a pot of water for some Spinach Ravioli but Mark is on the Paleolithic diet these days. No grain!  The tiredness I felt from a school day dissipated as I got in the car and drove the two miles to the Whole Foods Market where I bought some Grass Fed Beef, Organic Garnet Yams, (I had two zucchini at home and a jar of coconut oil which I hadn’t even tried yet) and got back home to fire up the broiler, pronto! Got out the cast iron skillet for the zucchini slices, chopped up some romaine I had already washed and drained. Pulled it together in no time at all. As I set the dining room table he said he would rather eat in the kitchen so we did.And there we were eating in the kitchen and the house came alive again.  We used his iPad and Face Time to talk with the kids before they went to bed and we had a happy time together.

VOILA- a quick Paleo approved meal- this is the son who baked the Carrot Cake, Paleo Style.

For dessert we had coconut milk frozen Mint Chip with No Sugar Added.

From the Paleo Food website gluten-free, grain-free, bean-free, potato-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. (they are eating some dairy still)

Ingredients used: meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, herbs and spice seeds.
 
Oh yes,after dinner he showed me the you tube of Derek Redmond and his father from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.  Tears rolling down my cheeks. Mark said he wants to be that kind of father.   And he also played me a couple of Seekers songs as he remembers my cassette tape of them singing Someday, One Day, 
Right now he is sleeping  in the room across the hall, to get up at 5 AM to get to somewhere in Ohio, early.  I feel fortunate.  

Milk and Cookies Placement and Polish Christmas Eve

Acrobatics on the ottoman make the magical setting real.

Probably the last year for second grader Anna to believe that Santa will come and eat that plate of cookies and the carrots will be eaten by the reindeer.  We had a Polish Christmas eve honoring Erika’s father’s heritage


First Day of Winter Still Life in My Kitchen

Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.

You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees.  The shortest day of light.  Winter officially here.

Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon.  It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.

Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene

Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.

A faithful  blog reader in Virgina, C, (and  best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was  J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year.  The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.

I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered.  Finding the joy of winter.  My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it.  i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street.  I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.

Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.

"...and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China......"


Chicken and Waffles at Thelma’s- City Market-Downtown Roanoke VA

We ate at Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles with an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes-

Erika ordered a Vegetable Platter and Cornbread

And I ate their specialty- Chicken and Waffles. What else? oh yes, that would be a side of home fried potatoes.

and from the Historic Roanoke City Market website I found the vendor names

Julia & Gary Goad-  Julia wearing a shawl she knit in 3 weeks of television time.I bought some fragrant &  pretty soaps.   Yellow Mountain Crafts


and this man in the cowboy hat was explaining how bottles have belly buttons- an outie vs. an innie  hmmmmm!

Name: Dave & Kyle Kelsheimer
Business Name: Lunarscapes
Location: Rocky Mount
Vendor since: 2006
Products: Specialize in slumped glass wine & liquor bottles (table art)

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Fifty Years Working at the Weiner Stand

Mr. Johnny Liakos has worked here at the Weiner Stand for MORE than fifty years.  Here is an article on him and the famous hot dog stand in downtown Roanaoke, Virginia. I was photographing him through the side glass window, reflection and all and he motioned for me to come on in and photograph him. Seriously.  And he stood there waiting for me, interrupting the flow of bun and dogs for a full minute.  


Once a Year Recipe/Ritual

The annual making of the cranberry-orange relish. I don’t make this any other time of year.I’ve heard lots of different renditions of cranberries and everyone has their favorite.  My mother used to use a metal meat grinder and screw it onto a table or chair with a woven potholder to keep the wood from being marred. Her recipe was strictly cranberries and navel orange.  I add a Granny Smith and today a HoneyCrisp as well. I used to have one of those grinders and ground relish with Mark when he was a boy in the same manner as my mother.  My friend J from Omaha gave me her MagiMix French Processor when she got a Cuisinart.  That was more than 25 years ago and it still works. It has a European plug so I have to keep a little extra piece to plug it in.  So two bags of cranberries, washed and drained, two oranges, two apples(peel on) 1 3/4 C sugar.

That is all there is to it. Refreshing and tart and sweet simultaneously.  And thanks to Susan K for the Turkey towels.  Very festive.

Happy Thanksgiving.  I will put the bowl in a cardboard box so it doesn’t spill and drive to dinner at the other Grandma’s.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Breakfast

Renaissance Hotel- Columbus Ohio.  Last week- Friday- 11-11-11.  My brother and sister ate the Steel Cut Oatmeal and fruit.  I had the two eggs, potatoes and bacon with wheat toast.  I should have captured theirs to contrast my plate.  Many wonderful Breakfasts by fellow bloggers this week so you might want to check them out if you are hungry. Everything from Porridge to Quail Eggs.  Most days it is a cup of coffee and toast for me as I fly out to school but here is what I ordered at the fancy hotel.


Fruit Tart, Tea and Friendship

A winning combination.  A friend and neighbor asked me over tonight. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks.  It was good to catch up. Hear about what we’ve been up to and the places we have gone.  I read that article asking Do You Bore People? so I tried to not talk about the computer crash and the necessity of a new hard drive but it was difficult cause she missed my data loss experience.    But enough on that already-  AND look what her husband picked up on his way home!  Lovely custard and fruit-topped tarts with a mug of hot tea to accompany the tart. It is good to have friends, especially in this beginning season of darkness and cold.

Almost looks like a reflection!

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort

Last week’s challenge.  I think the idea of the weekly challenge is to  accomplish it in the week it is presented.  I am LATE.

Comfort is so individual.   It came to mind when I got home from school today and wanted to make comfort food for supper.  Pulled out the lone can of Campbell’s tomato soup from the pantry shelf and added a can of milk.  Stirred it with a whisk over the gas flame.  Yes, I know it has too much sugar and salt in it. Some taste of childhood perhaps speaks to me.  I put shreds of extra sharp cheddar in the bottom of the bowl and pour the hot soup on top.  Not to mention the grilled cheese sandwich to accompany it, grilled in the cast iron skillet.  A slice of cheddar and a slice of swiss.  Pepperidge Farm White Bread. We are talking comfort here.  And it was that loaf that inspired the menu too. (thanks Steve for that)    Or maybe the upcoming field trip to the Warhol museum with the eighth graders this Thursday brought the can of soup to mind!  Oh, the school day disappeared in the warmth of the soup, the melted gooey cheese with the toasty grilled buttery bread.  Life is good.  One fast shot with the trusty iPhone (Old model, no line for me) before savoring the simple comfort on a chilly autumn afternoon. And J remember the woman who used to come and help you in Kentucky and you’d make her a grilled cheese for lunch and she’d ask you to “burn it a little!”.  She came to mind as I tried to NOT burn the bread.  Dessert was a Farmer’s Market new apple, sliced and cored and three gingersnaps. What is your comfort food?

Grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup right out of the can!


My Sister Peeled 40 Cloves of Garlic Today!

Remember the garlic our brother sent from Okanogan WA?  Well, today our friends S and C from FL were in town and schools were closed due to Rosh Hashanah and Mary made us a delicious lunch. Forty Clove Garlic Chicken! There are a ton of different recipes online but she used 4 large chicken breasts with bone-in and then cut them in half.  Rice and steamed green beans with a touch of butter. And her balsamic fruit salad. It was delicious.  We finished the lunch with a scoop of Jeni’s Salty Caramel ice cream (made in Columbus OH but bought in Whole Foods) and a Gingersnap.


What J Brought Over for Dinner Tuesday

Going back to school has been an adjustment.   The weather changed and is cool and damp.  Donned a sweatshirt and even put the hood up (thanks Laura for leaving your Marquette hoodie in the drawer)  Tonight my friend  brought over a pot of Marcella Hazan’s Spaghetti Meat Sauce.   Carrots and onions, some wine, cream, fresh tomatoes (I will have to ask for the specific recipe if anyone would like it)  Steve brought some salad and a crusty loaf of Italian. J brought the cheese to grate over the pasta.  The pasta was the thickest I had ever seen and just delicious.  It went well with the thick meaty sauce.  We had a nice meal together and good conversation, some laughs and though I was tired from teaching, the dinner  was satisfying and appreciated.  A real spirit lifter! Thanks J!


Fourth of July Dessert

Last Tuesday I went to see my friend V. This is what she served me! Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries on top of vanilla bean ice cream presented on a blue and white china plate. A perfect Fourth of July dessert. The summer berries combined with the rich creamy ice cream were delicious. I wanted to lick the plate. I knew it wold be a good post as soon as I saw her serve it. Good thing I brought my camera.


Minestrone Ingredients Still Life

One time Laura sent me tips on how to photograph food. I should have read it more carefully. It is not easy to make it look tasty and inviting. I am at a point in my life where I lay out all the ingredients for a recipe before I start making it. You want to know you aren’t missing something crucial. The phone rings, you’re listening to the radio, you lose count. At least with it all spread out and ready you can doublecheck you added everything. Today was soup making day. I made a double batch but did each one in a single soup pot as I never think doubling in one pot works the best. The key to this Best Recipe is the addition of the Parmigiano Cheese Rind to boil up with the vegetables. It really makes the broth delicious. This recipe is total veg and I don’t add the pasta in the soup pot as it soaks up all the liquid. You can make ditalini and put it in the soup bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. I followed the recipe to the letter, slicing the leeks just so. And there is no such thing as inexpensive Parmesan. I cut the rind in half. The cannellini beans go in the last 5 minutes and I used canned. The recipe is from The Best Recipe cookbook(1999 edition) by the Editors of the Cooks Illustrated Magazine (page 28) or click here for their recipe for Hearty Minestrone. There are charts of other vegetables to use but broccoli is considered too strong for the soup and overpowering. And the reason it is called the Best Recipe is because they test all the recipes for a single dish and make it 100 different ways- with vegetable broth, chicken broth and the water with the wonderful soup rind- and they describe the pros and cons of each method and or addition. It’s good reading, about how and why they conclude they have found the BEST recipe! And I see there is a NEW Best Recipe out now. Yum!

Went to the Giant Eagle early this morning


BLT Essential Ingredients from Local Bryant Street Market

I enjoy shopping in a smaller market. A place that isn’t an airplane hangar or cluttered with patio furniture and piles of stuff at the ends of the aisles. Just down the hill is a reopened market on Bryant Street, cleaned up and offering La Prima coffee to grind, a delicatessen case filled with all sorts of meats, cheeses and salads. Sandwiches to go. Enrico’s Biscotti. In the freezer they have Donatelli’s Italian Ravioli-mushroom, artichoke, roasted red pepper and traditional cheese. They sell Allegro Hearth Bread, fresh produce and Turner dairy items, Bob’s Red Mill grain products, spices and Chuckles . They’ve extended their hours and will deliver to your home. After my appointment I stopped in to get lunch ingredients as a friend was coming over to eat. BLT on T shouts summer to me!

Shopping list- Vine ripened tomatoes, sliced with serrated knife

Head of garden lettuce, washed and patted dry

Boar’s Head bacon slices, cooked in cast iron skillet and drained on paper towels

Hellmann’s mayo, in a glass jar

Allegro Hearth Bread, toasted in the fancy toaster V gave me for my 50th bday

Potato chips

Tahitian Vanilla Gelato, for dessert

Front porch, to sit out and eat

A summer day

A friend to share the meal.

Bryant Street Market
5901 Bryant Street
Pittsburgh PA 15206
Phone: (412) 661 8720
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM to 8 PM
Sat 9 AM to 7 PM
Sun 9AM to 5PM

Sunseri Trattoria and Bakery in the Strip District

Just last week a guy came in Sunseri’s and ordered five sandwiches to go, double wrapped.  He was flying them to California. One for him to eat and the rest for his family.  Wednesday  I was driving by after my appointment and was headed out to see M and her Mom in the hospital and picked up a couple of sandwiches. Ashley the cashier asked me how my visit was with the grandchildren last Friday!  Good memory.  I was buying Italian animal crackers last time and a Tuna Balsamic with chopped onion.  Jimmy gives me a hard time with that order.  Not his favorite thing to make.  The Employee of the Month photo is framed on the wall- It’s Jimmy with cigar. Sunseri’s started in August 1985 and is a favorite destination for lunch.  Check out the size of their pepperoni sticks and the cheeses and olives for sale.  The single loaf is onion/olive oil bread.  Fresh baked loaves of Italian bread

Ashley Sunseri Cashier

lasagne

Pepperoni Sticks

1901 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4450
(412) 255-1100


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