Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday's Food Finds & News

I just read this week's Eat Street: This Week's Food Buzz email. Two bits of news were of particular interest to us:

1. In the early spring, Point Brugge Café executive chef Kevin Hunninen plans to open a new restaurant on Bryant Street in Highland Park. The name? "Park Brugge Café," says Hunninen. "It will feature French classics in the same way Point Brugge features Belgian classics. Half-roast chicken, steak frites, stewed beef, beef bourguignon and a focus on wine bistro-style bottles."

2.Sharp Edge Expands Gourmet Burger Menu -- This month, Sharp Edge expands the menu at all four Sharp Edge locations to include a venison burger and a Mediterranean chicken burger (topped with olive tapenade and crumbled feta). In January, look for kangaroo and elk burgers as well as a duck burger, topped with dried cherries, stone-ground mustard and gouda.

Kangaroo burger? Hmmm...!!

In other Food Finds/News, after a quick dinner of scrambled eggs & cheese, we went out to do errands last night. One stop was Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts Store to use coupons to purchase some stuff for the wedding (we are making our own table flower decorations). As we were headed to the check out, this magazine caught my eye:
Do you see what it says in the lower right corner? 'Hot New Craze: Whoopie Pies' - !!!!!! I got so excited. I snatched it off the stand and started flipping through. A few other things caught my eye (biscotti recipes, mini muffin tin cookies recipes), so we decided to get it. There are recipes for the following kinds of Whoopie Pies (AKA Yum Yums):

  • Classic
  • Mini Raspberry & White Chocolate
  • Giant Creme de Menthe
  • Chocolate Walnut
  • Pumpkin-Spiced (a pumpkin-ricotta filling & sprinkled with pistachios)
  • Santa's Easy Whoopie Pies
  • Red Velvet with Peppermint Filling

I can't wait to try one of these Yum Yum recipes!!!

Then we went to the new Giant Eagle Market District - for the second Friday evening in a row! We knew that today an Ace of Cakes guy will be there plus this weekend is another job fair there, so we decided to try to get our weekly shopping done on Friday at 9 pm. It wasn't too crowded. We discovered that the bakery and deli are open until 10 pm, which makes us very happy.

Of course there was a trip to the bakery! SP is getting the car inspected today and running a few errands then going over to his friend's place for a night of gaming (which was supposed to happen last night, but, last minute change), so I'm pretty much on my own today (we might be able to fit in an early dinner out). So I decided that if I was going to sit at home all alone on Saturday night watching the Pitt-Notre Dame game, I would need a special treat. These caught my eye last week:All those chocolate curls and candy bits/raspberries perched on top... pretty... We asked the bakery lady for one chocolate mint cupcake. She nicely told us that they were having a special - buy half a dozen of these cupcakes and pay with your Giant Eagle card and the 6 cupcakes would cost only $5.59. So we did. We got 2 mint, 2 peanut butter, and 2 raspberry. Regular price:Yikes!!! $14.34 for Giant Eagle cupcakes?!!! But what a terrific discount, down to $5.59. I had a cupcake and a cup of tea when we got home: It was tasty. Worth $14? Maybe, maybe not - depends on your cake & icing tastes. Six of these for $5.59 - heck yes, definitely worth it!! SP & I both said the icing isn't as 'grainy' as we remember GE's icing, so either they changed all their icing or these 'gourmet' cupcakes have a special icing. Usually I 'behead' my cupcakes and eat the bottom, cake-only part first followed by all the icing goodness with just the top part of cake. The toppings on these are substantial, so I scooped off some topping and ate it with bites of the bottom cake. Quite tasty.

Here's the raspberry one SP enjoyed: The other 'happy surprise' of the trip: I was hanging out by the apples with the cart waiting for SP to return from the potato & carrot search. A very nice GE employee came over and commented on how patiently I was waiting for SP and would I like a taste sample of gelato while I wait? I said sure, she asked which flavor, and I said lemon since I remembered they have lemon and I like lemon-y desserts. She came back with a container, said the girl told her they were out of lemon but that this was pomegranate, and gave me a small plastic spoon to scoop out a taste. It wasn't pomegranate, it wasn't pink/purple/red. It tasted more like butter pecan. She then told me to just take the whole container! I was so surprised, I didn't know what to say. I tried to politely decline, but she said they were closing up and insisted I just take it and enjoy it as I waited! So I said OK. Who am I to refuse free, yummy gelato?!

When SP returned with potatoes & carrots, I told him about my free gelato and held out the container. He tried a few bites. 'Mmmmmmm this is good,' he mumbled as he scooped huge spoonfuls into his mouth. We couldn't finish it all, we brought the rest home, and now we have a gelato treat! Here's a couple photos from this morning (I was not eating it for breakfast - just taking photos for the blog!):

Clearly, it melted and the re-froze on its side. Oh well!

So far, the new GE employees have been extremely friendly and helpful when we've been there. I'm impressed. SP commented that the employees he recognizes from the old Robinson GE seem happier and invigorated since the move to this giant new store. This is good - good because I remember how much it stinks to be unhappy at work so I'm glad they seem more cheerful and good because happy employees make for a happier experience for the customers.

Lastly, a couple food magazine tidbits:

1. The December issue of Bon Appetit just arrived. Look at this cover photo:
Oh my gosh. Peppermint Meringue Cake with Chocolate Buttercream. I must make this dessert. It doesn't sound difficult, just time consuming. Three layers of peppermint meringue, 2 layers of chocolate cake brushed with homemade peppermint syrup (peppermint schnapps in the syrup), chocolate buttercream, thin chocolate mint candy & raspberries on top.

There's also some yummy sounding Christmas cookie recipes, like Triple Ginger Cookies - crystallized ginger, fresh grated ginger, and ground ginger plus cinnamon and cloves. My Christmas Cookie Baking List is growing!

2. Apparently, a copy of the Fall 2009 Table arrived with our newspaper this morning.I've been intrigued by this magazine, but never enough to actually subscribe. I did enjoy flipping through it this morning and a few things caught my eye, perhaps most notably, an ad for a place called Pizza Fusion. It's in Gibsonia and advertises organic pizza as well as gluten free pizza. It's also mentioned in the issue's article on food tolerance: "Owner Wende Goncz is dedicated to providing a safe, gluten-free, certified organic haven for those who need it..."

There are several other places/items mentioned in the food tolerance article:
  • Sweet Tammy's kosher & dairy-free bakery in Squirrel Hill
  • Naturally Soergels at Soergel Orchards in Wexford reportedly has a huge variety of dairy-free, gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, peanut-free, organic, and natural food products.
  • NuGo bars - the NuGo Free bar is gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free protein bar. Also, NuGo Nutrition is headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Whew! What a food finds/news-filled weekend so far!

1 comment:

  1. Mmm, red velvet peppermint gobs... sounds incredible!