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    Focus: An alternative to randomness (at a new site)

    February 26th, 2009

    Randomness is great, but I’m starting a new initiative that also deserves a new name. Hence, I’m posting all of my restaurant reviews and foodie-type content at a new location: From that site, you can expect regular postings of restaurant reviews, food-related community events, and even a few of my culinary dabblings. Why not stop by and at least give it a try?

    A Chocolate Chip Cookie Success (finally)

    April 22nd, 2007

    Let me start by asserting that Prantl’s Bakery in Shadyside has amazing chocolate chip cookies. When I was in grad school, the ECE Department was ordering an assortment of Prantl’s treats to inspire grad students to attend a weekly seminar (I believe they still are). I’m a little ashamed to admit, but that aspect of the seminars definitely gave me some added motivation to attend. At the time, it was my one unhealthy weak moment each week. In retrospect, that regularly scheduled weak moment was actually a very healthy thing. It’s easy to be all healthy during all other moments of the week if you have that one day to look forward to. Of course, you’re really reading this to find out about cookies, so I’ll get back to it. (more…)

    Don’t Stir That Yogurt

    April 2nd, 2007

    I enjoy yogurt. Being a bit of a health geek (okay, a lot of a health geek), I’m partial to the plain yogurt—typically low fat. In fact, every morning, I start my day by enjoying a little plain yogurt with something crunchy sprinkled on top. Sometimes it’s Grape Nuts, sometimes that’s homemade granola, but there’s always yogurt involved. The point here is that I consume quite a bit of yogurt and have been for the past few years. That’s why it’s funny that I’ve only recently made the following discovery: stirring yogurt destroys the somewhat solid texture it’s supposed to have. It negatively impacts not only texture, but the flavor as well. (more…)

    Recipe: Whole Wheat Raisin Walnut Scones

    March 12th, 2007

    One of the more enjoyable side-effects of my recent foray into the realm of baking has been sufficient motivation and experience to churn out a fresh-baked batch of scones with minimal effort. Tonight was my second attempt at scones, and this time I mixed it up a little bit, turning an existing recipe into my very own whole wheat raisin walnut scones. (more…)

    Review: Saturday Cafe at Enrico Biscotti

    February 15th, 2007

    Yesterday marked an exciting day in the life of Mike Beattie: I made my first trip to the Saturday Cafe at Enrico Biscott. As you my have gathered from my previous effusion, I hold Enrico’s in high regard. The Saturday Cafe is an opportunity to experience some of their excitingly rustic food without committing yourself too the bread class. If you’re not sure that you want to take my advice and enroll in their bread class, at least give the cafe a try. (more…)

    Bread Baking at Enrico Biscotti

    February 13th, 2007

    About 4 months ago, I fell in love with the concept of baking my own bread. Why? It all started with the bread baking “class” from the Enrico Biscotti Company. In just a single-session introduction, I didn’t learn all the intricacies of bread, nor was I able to actually reproduce the loaf of bread we made in class—at least initially. The primary outcome of the class was inspiration: I started baking bread every Saturday morning.

    On Sunday, I took that class for a second time—this time with two new friends. If you like too cook (or have any interest in baking or Italian food culture), you should sign up and take the class as well. Breakfast alone is worth half the cost. (more…)