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

Posts tagged “cooking and eating

Soparnik in Zagreb


Women making Soparnik

“famous speciality of the dalmatian region Poljica between Split and Omiš. The original season for the dish was the colder time of the year when older, sweeter chard was available.

Basically, it is a very simple dish made from common ingredients from the region: Chard with onions and parsley between two layers of simplest dough”Click here for recipe


Women coming to market

Sajam Zimnice


It’s Official. Soup Season!

Time to ward off the chill. Make soup.

Today’s post a compendium of past blog posts featuring soup.  Photos will be familiar if you’ve followed since the blog started.



the rinds of cheese (see Soup Bones above) are key to this Minestrone.

From the BEST RECIPE COOKBOOK of by the editor’s of COOK’S ILLUSTRATED  Minestrone recipe

2 small leek washed thoroughly, white and light green sliced thin crosswise

2 medium carrots peeled and cut small dice

2 small onions peeled and small dice

2 medium celery stalks trimmed and cut small dice

1 medium russet potato peeled and medium dice

1 medium zucchini trimmed and medium dice

3 c stemmed spinach leaves cut in thin strips

1 can (28 oz)  whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained and chopped

1 Parmesan cheese rind about 5×2 inches

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed, added last 5 minutes

ground black pepper

at end add 1/4 c basil pesto or 1 T rosemary mixed with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and extra- virgin olive oil

Bring vegetables tomatoes and 8 cups of water, cheese rind and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a big soup kettle or pot.

Reduce hear to medium low simmer uncovered, stir occasionally,until vegetables are tender but still hold their shape about an hour.

Add beans and cook just until heated through about 5 minutes.  Remove pot from heat.

Remove and discard cheese rind. Stir in pesto or Rosemary mixture if desired and adjust seasonings adding pepper or more salt if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

If you want to add pasta be sure to cook separately, drain and put in soup bowl, then ladle soup over it so it doesn’t suck up all the broth.

Do you have a favorite soup you make when the weather changes? Maybe you are firing up a pot of chili or stew.

After sharing the recipe with friends, I finally made it myself

My friend Joanne’s guest blog of the Nine Minute Pasta was well received. I’d read the article about the backstory for the Nine Minute Pasta recipe here The recipe was originally developed by Nora Singly .  You may have an abundance of tomatoes.  Here’s my report.

J mentioned a bit of gumminess at the end and threw in a 1/4 cup of wine. She said she’d make it again.

Since I’d sent the recipe out to many friends, (figuring I’d missed it when it went viral a few years ago so perhaps they’d missed it too), I decided to fire up the stove and make it myself. Plus, I had all those delicious cherry tomatoes from the East Liberty Farmers Market.  Steve brought up a linguine that had a 9 minutes cooking time on the box.  Yes, you do have to mind the pasta so it doesn’t become a solid block, separate the strands.  I used a knife.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to let the covered pan sit for two additional minutes (with the burner off). Next time I’d add a few MORE cherry tomatoes.  The cutting them in half was the only time consuming part of the effort. I actually weighed the tomatoes to follow the recipe.  The fresh garlic from my brother in Okanogan WA and the fresh basil really added to the taste.  Going to try a brown rice pasta version and adjust cooking time and liquid if necessary. 



When your neighbor brings you baguette…

You eat a slice at dinner time. Buttered.

The next morning you need to soak the crusty thick slices in a mixture of eggs and milk, a dash of vanilla. 

Melt butter and a bit of olive oil in a big skillet.

Golden brown French Toast is the goal, not burned. 

Real maple syrup. A mug of coffee. 

Starting the day right.  Thanks J & P for the tasty baguette. 


Inspiration: Weekly Photo Challenge

Inspiration.  Show what inspires you.

Vivaldi, Van Gogh, a bookcase full of poetry and another full of cookbooks.

There are those family and friends who love and encourage me.  The new baby.

But I needed a single photo tonight.  Now! A single image as a response to Krista’s WPC.

I rummaged through archives.  There were no trumpet concertos calling to me.

When I went to the fridge for some cold water there it was!  I found the new gold foil package of Irish butter, purchased earlier today and sitting on the shelf calling to me. I felt inspired.

I added the eggs in the Pyrex bowl and the little bottle of vanilla extract my friend J sent at Christmas.

The box of raspberries.

I’m out of lemons but wish I had one to add.   A slice of toast.

eggs vanilla butter raspberries 018

iPhone 6 shot in my dark kitchen with the side light by the sink illuminating the Irish butter still life, not the overhead lamp- too much glare.

Unexpected Cooking Class Wednesday Night

I received a text this afternoon, asking if I’d partner with a friend at cooking class tonight.

Something about March Madness and a sick friend –  they couldn’t attend. I was happy to fill in, third string.

Sure, I said.  I’ll go.  She picked me up around 5:45 and off we went.

My friend Barb took her own canvas bag of supplies including a bottle of dishwashing liquid-  heavy duty oven gloves.  She even brought a garbage bowl.

We were all set, slicing and dicing and preparing the recipes just as Executive Sous Chef Stephen V instructed us.

There were tables throughout the high school culinary class, each filled with two teams of two.

Here is our instructor for the class.  Chef Stephen also is an adjunct instructor at the Art Institute- Pittsburgh.

Chef Stephen

Chef Stephen Varela

Executive Sous Chef
Fox Chapel Golf Club

(I asked if it would be okay to take a few photographs and Chef Stephen consented. Thank you)

slicing pears

Barbara cut the pears for the salad.  She added some Hearts of Palm as well.

charred red pepper

Charred red pepper for the Pita Bread Individual Pizzas with Pesto or Hummus and a drizzle of Balsamic Glaze


The side salad

Mixed Spring Greens with diced pear, artichokes, and oven toasted croutons with a poppy seed dressing. I was able to bring some home in a contaner (yes, my friend was prepared with empty containers) for school lunch tomrrow.

Friends at Cooking Class

Thanks for a fun evening Barb -on the right.  Me in the Zagreb,Croatia apron.

And on the way out we peeked in next door to see the Crochet Class.  At first I thought it was knitting. Everyone was so nice.

Wordless Wednesday

(Wordless- except for the signage- New York City)
Big Daddy's Diner NYC

I Focused on the Beets PLUS a Guest Photo of My Brother’s Garlic

Our neighbor got his weekly delivery of  Community Supported Agriculture of Southwestern Pennsylvania and since his wife’s away so tonight he brought up all of this bounty from local farms.

I’ve been photographing lots of ingredients lately so this one keeps with the theme.

Roasted beets on the list of things to do

and I see myself trying the method of microwaving the spaghetti squash the way I’ve seen Erika do it in her kitchen.

Splits open so easily.

Not sure about that enormous zucchini.  The peppers are just beautiful as are those yellow tomatoes. Mmmmm.  Inspirational.

Community Supported Agriculture

Garlic roaster

And the guest photograph by Roberta, who made Garlic Mashed Potatoes with the leftover roasted garlic.

(organic garlic grown by my brother David in Okanogan WA)

Huge Cabbage and Tiny Squash for Vegetable Soup

A couple of the ingredients for the soup I made my daughter-in-law last weekend.

dThat cabbage cost one dollar.

Seriously.  Huge Cabbage

Carrots, celery, onion, garlic from Okanogan WA from my brother.   Peeled off a  couple of the outer leaves.

chopped cabbage

( iPhone 5 photographs.  Wondering if I need the 6)

mini squash

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


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