Pride and tradition flavor her artisan chocolates

Nancy Tabbara didn’t know much about artisan chocolates when she decided to try her hand at making them professionally a few years ago. A native of Lebanon, she had always loved baking, especially with chocolate — cakes are her specialty — and she certainly appreciated the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into gourmet candy making. “Chocolate […]

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Ramps are a fleeting taste of spring

Cavan Patterson, 43, has been foraging for wild mushrooms and other wild edibles for more than a decade. Most make their way into local kitchens via Wild Purveyors, the company he founded in 2009 with his brother, Tom. Just this past week, he was on the hunt for the elusive morel mushrooms, one of the first […]

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Tasty ways to enjoy the winter squashes of autumn

If it’s October, surely there’s a pumpkin in your future. Piled high in giant cardboard boxes at grocery stores or stacked beside the peppers and potatoes at the farmers market, these thick-skinned, bright-orange winter squashes are ripe for the picking, in several shapes and sizes. So many will never make it onto a dinner table. […]

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Head to Laurel Highlands for brilliant fall colors

OHIOPYLE — Nature rules in this quaint little spit of a town along the Youghiogheny River. In spring and summer, the state park that bears its name and spans more than 19,000 acres boasts some of the best whitewater rafting in the Eastern U.S., drawing thousands of adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Others come for the […]

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3 cheers for leftover brisket!

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is almost upon us. Celebrating the holiday with family and friends probably means a few sure things when it comes to dinner. There will be sweet foods like apples dipped in honey and honey cake to ensure a sweet and happy new year. The supper table also will feature pomegranates, […]

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Ice cream desserts worth screaming about

Summer ushers in many wonderful flavors and textures. Plump, juicy berries. Farm-fresh corn that’s sweet and tender. Fat and wonderfully misshapen heirloom tomatoes that can be eaten right off the vine. And perhaps the most enjoyable of all, cool and creamy ice cream. So beloved is this frozen mixture of milk, cream and sugar that […]

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Gretchen’s table: Queso fundido with chorizo

Don’t you just love queso fundido? I know I do. The Mexican version of fondue, the hot dip made with ooey gooey cheeses is the perfect way to kick off a meal of tacos or enchiladas because it’s 1) easy to make and 2)  immensely sharable. If you add enough chorizo to the mix, and […]

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Gretchen’s table: Cherry Tomato Pasta

Pasta is a favorite for dinner because it doesn’t generally require a lot of special ingredients or equipment. That said, a dish of noodles covered in red or meat sauce can feel a bit heavy when it’s warm outside. The solution? Toss the pasta instead with a simple sauce made with cherry tomatoes, garlic and […]

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Gretchen’s table: Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Are you tired yet of all that garden-fresh zucchini? After you’ve marinated it in olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar; shredded it for a vegan crust for pizza; sliced it for salads; pan-fried it with butter; and grated it into breads and muffins, consider making boats with them. Choose the fattest one of the bunch, […]

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A Navy vet with PTSD will run the Pittsburgh Marathon with her service dog

Melissa Hughes has run dozens of races since her first 5K five years ago. So she knows exactly how it’s going to go down when she and her best friend run through the city on Sunday during the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Strangers shouting out their names. People pointing fingers. Most definitely there will be cheers, most of […]

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