Zucchini and Fresh Tomatoes Hint of Summer

Nell Miller’s Poor Man Meatballs

Three zucchini, grated and drained

Add a couple of eggs and a cup of Italian bread crumbs -salt and pepper

I tilt the bowl so excess liquid pools and can be removed

Mince by hand or whir a few garlic cloves in the food processor

Heat up the cast iron skillet. Add olive oil.

Shape and brown.

Tonight I added fresh grape cherry tomato sauce on the side.  Grate some Parmesan

tastes like summer

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Rolled Ice Cream is Hot on Butler Street

I’ve been away for awhile.  My friend B said “let’s go to NatuRoll Creamery get rolled ice cream in Lawrenceville. There’s always a line” (which is a good sign).

Turns out it didn’t open until three. So we had a delicious lunch at VANDAL first, waiting for three o’clock to roll around.

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Kaden took our orders and $. Two Spring Specials -Blueberry Lemon on a Vanilla Base.

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Abby made mine.

Then she added them lemon zest

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and a slice of lemon

IMG_2442The focus is on Abby.  Takes 2-5 minutes to create each fancy finished special.

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Truffle Atop Poached Egg and Wild Asparagus Risotto

IMG_5711What an evening of taste bud surprises! WOW.

We took an evening tram to meet my son’s friends at a café.  Because it was the night before the Easter Holiday, every seat was taken. Quite a wait for a table. Everyone celebrating being off the next workday.

Bummer-  BUT  When the friends arrived they had a discussion for an alternate plan.  Wow, did I ever luck out that the café was full.  One went to procure a  bottle of red.

The first delight was I’s Sour Cherry apéritif which he’d made.  At first,  I was worried it might burn but my concerns were totally unfounded.  In fact, the drink defined summer captured in a slim crystal cylinder.  All I can say it the ruby liquid of summer’s sour cherries woke up every taste bud in my mouth.  Delicious.  Not to sweet, not too tart, zero burn. Perfection!

And then the surprise of M’s creation- Poached egg on fresh bread with the fruitiest most fragrant olive oil drizzle AND the unexpected luxurious truffle on top of the gently poached farm egg.  Or “home eggs” as my family refers to them.

I was feeling quite content with all I had eaten. Italian cheese and olives to start and then the Sour Cherry apéritif and the lovely truffle surprise.   And then the Wild Asparagus Risotto was ready to eat.  Freshly Grated Cheese on top. Oh my.  So bold.  It was wild! A flavor I’dd never before experienced,  created by a culinary expert.

I was happy to meet my son’s friends and be invited into a Zagreb home to experience  these tastes and more importantly their friendship and hospitality.

Sretan Uskrs and Hvala for a wonderful evening in Zagreb.

IMG_5711 iPhone photos don’t do justice to this dish.

 

 

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The wild asparagus simmers

 

 

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Words are inadequate to describe this bold Wild Asparagus Risotto. WOW!

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Wisdom and Love at Ritter’s Diner

Meet Sophia and Aphrodite.

Last week I made arrangements to photograph Aphrodite for the People at Work Series.  Steve and I’ve known Aphrodite for more than 23 years now. Sophia asked me if I knew what Sophia meant and I had to admit I didn’t.

But I do now!  Wisdom.  And Aphrodite means Love.

I ordered two eggs over medium, dry wheat toast with butter on the side and potatoes with the well done crispy bits. Coffee and a glass of water.

I asked Sophia if I might photograph her, too, and she graciously agreed.  I forgot to ask Sophia how long she’s worked at Ritter’s Diner but I know Aphrodite has worked there for 39 years!

Chances are if you’re from Pittsburgh, you’ve had the good fortune to meet both of these wonderful women.

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 Sophia and Aphrodite

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Ritter’s Diner on Baum Bloulevard-

A Pittsburgh Landmark just a block away from Shadyside Hospital