4 Mother's Day brunch ideas to impress mom, from the adventurous to the classic

Entertainment / Entertaining /

You're excused if Mother's Day sneaked up on you and you have nothing planned. But don't panic: A quick trip to the grocery store — and the flower shop — and a little quality time in the kitchen will make it seem like you've spent weeks planning a brunch fit for royalty.

If your honoree is an adventurous eater, a Persian Mixed-Herb and Feta...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Mom's cheesecake was her pride and our joy

Entertainment / Entertaining /

My mom wasn't a particularly touchy-feely person but I never doubted how much she loved me and my six siblings.

One way she showed it was through her desserts. While Ruth Trent hated to cook on a daily basis, she loved to bake. So holidays at the house when I was growing up were always flush with her famed chocolate chip cookies, cut-outs and ...Read more


Culinary instructor offers tips for making foil grilling packets for Memorial Day

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Memorial Day weekend, commemorating fallen military members, also marks the unofficial start to summer. The latter, culinarily, means one thing: It's time to get grilling.

You already know how to toss franks and burgers on the grill, but have you ever tried foil packet cooking? A favorite of Scout troops, these are tidy packages of meat and ...Read more


Passover recipe: Chanie Apfelbaum’s Charoset Bars

Entertainment / Entertaining /

You’ve never seen charoset like this before. The relish of fruit, nuts and red wine — it represents the mortar used by Jewish slaves in the building of the Egyptian pyramids — is one of the symbolic foods on the Passover seder plate. And its resemblance to actual mortar is probably why most of us don’t think to make and eat it more than ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Easter ham mac and cheese

Entertainment / Entertaining /

We all like familiar foods on holidays. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a roasted turkey, Christmas means cut-out cookies and July 4 always finds hot dogs and grilled hamburgers on the menu.

And Easter? In my house at least, tradition calls for a smoky, savory ham with a brown sugar-maple glaze. I'm pretty sure it's graced my ...Read more

Michelle Arnold/DREAMSTIME/TNS

3 flour-free recipes for the sweet side of Passover

Entertainment / Entertaining /

By avoiding all-purpose flour, home bakers can accommodate a number of dietary guidelines: gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, keto — and kosher for Passover.

The Jewish holiday restricts a number of foods, one of them being leavening agents that give rise to baked goods. In place of bread, observant Jews eat the crackerlike matzo, which is ...Read more


Recipe: Passover Panzanella with Matzo Brei Croutons

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Passover is a holiday of heavy foods. There’s brisket, potato kugel and way too much matzo. But if you have leftover steak and a jar of horseradish left over from the seder plate, you can make this delightful salad.

The recipe, from Chanie Apfelbaum’s new cookbook, “Totally Kosher: Tradition with a Twist! 150+ Recipes for the Holidays and...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Corned beef and cabbage pierogies

Entertainment / Entertaining /

With St. Patrick's Day upon us, I decided to do a pierogi take on the classic Irish American dish, corned beef and cabbage.

My go-to recipe for pierogi dough comes from Casey Barber's 2015 cookbook "Pierogi Love." Soft and super stretchy, it's easy for even novice cooks to work with. For the filling, I combined homemade cheesy mashed potatoes ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Two classic Valentine's Day desserts

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Valentine's Day can be something of a challenge when it comes whipping up a homemade dessert, because some people love vanilla while others live and die by chocolate.

Throw a Valentine with a gluten sensitivity into the mix and you might want to simply offer up a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth in one ...Read more

Korn Vitthayanukarun/Dreamstime/TNS

Forget corned beef and cabbage — Irish lamb stew is the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Although St. Patrick's Day is most often associated with corned beef and cabbage, if we were in Ireland, dinner would be a good lamb stew. Corned beef is an American dish of 19th-century Irish immigrants, an inexpensive alternative to fresh meat.

The traditional stew calls for lamb (sometimes beef), onions, potatoes, carrots, parsley and thyme....Read more


5 Valentine’s date ideas that are better than a dinner and a movie

Entertainment / Entertaining /

When it comes to planning the perfect Valentine’s day, why not do something out of the ordinary?

While there’s nothing wrong with the classic dinner and a movie, there are other options that leave room for conversation and a great experience. Here are five fun and out of the box ideas that are perfect for Valentine’s day:

Tik Tok 'pick ...Read more