Fall foods and moods, 2021 edition

Entertainment / Entertaining /

The pandemic has made us hyperaware of many things, including the state of our homes, waistlines, and the way we interact with people.

As fall approaches, it’s an opportune time to cast any negative notions that may have been tied to these areas of life in favor of foods and moods that promote positivity, abundance and unity. It’s a time ...Read more


Vintage candy is the real Halloween horror

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Somewhere, children are crying.

They are crying because they know that they will do everything right. Those who brave the virus will dress up as their favorite spooky entity or superhero, they will knock on neighbors’ doors and maybe even tell a joke.

And then they will come to a house that gets the Vermont Country Store catalog.

Don’t ...Read more

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Pumpkin seed clusters, apple skulls and more healthy Halloween treats

Entertainment / Entertaining /

There’s no sense in trying to avoid candy altogether during the Halloween season, but sometimes you need some sweets and treats that aren’t candy.

Prepackaged candy makes sense when you are handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, but for Halloween parties and play dates, it’s fun to come up with spooky snacks that aren’t filled with ...Read more

Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: Bacon wrapped and smoked chicken legs

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As some of you know, this past year I decided to buy a pellet grill/smoker, which was a big deal (at least for me) as I had always used charcoal and wood. Today’s recipe was absolutely perfect for a pellet grill because you can quickly increase the temperature just as you might with an indoor oven. This recipe was so darn easy and extremely ...Read more

Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: Smoked pork chop with pizzaiola sauce

Entertainment / Entertaining /

I love pork chops. Liz, not so much. I think pork chops are a blank culinary canvas capable of taking on all kinds of flavors and textures. Liz thinks pork, unless smoked or stuffed with an interesting filling, is simply boring. This recipe is definitely an exception, as it passed the “Liz test.”

There is a chef who I get a kick out of by ...Read more

Ben Braun/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Tips for throwing a summer party

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Thinking of hosting a porch party? Erin Bellinger offers these two nuggets of advice: Keep it simple, and if people offer to help, let them! You'll have a better time if you don't have to do it all.

Some other tips:

— Decide what kind of party you're throwing. Is it a beer-and-chip kind of evening? Are kids invited? Are you planning to ...Read more

Arthi Subramaniam/TNS

Tips for buying, storing peaches

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Ready to stock up on peaches? Here's some tips on buying and storing the summer fruit.

— Look for fruit with smooth, unblemished skin (shriveled means it's old) and a golden hue behind the reddish blush. Avoid ones that have a greenish tinge, or have bruises or scratches.

— Take a whiff. A peach that smells like peach will taste like peach...Read more

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The king of summer fruits — peaches — stars in jam, brandy and a sweet, spicy Asian beef stew

Entertainment / Entertaining /

PITTSBURGH — Summer is wonderful for all kinds of reasons, but especially because of all the different types of fruit available for the picking.

June ushers in plump, juicy local strawberries, followed by tangy-sweet blueberries around the Fourth of July. If you're lucky, you can make it to a farm to pick them yourself, heightening the taste ...Read more


This is how you host games night, David! A 'Schitt's Creek' fan's guide to success

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Die-hard "Schitt’s Creek" fans know how important games night is to David Rose. Quite specifically — for games night to succeed — a strict protocol must be followed:

Only six people can be invited (“Any more and gameplay gets too yelly.”)

It’s NOT a party.

It’s composed of three parts — beginning exactly at 8 p.m., ending ...Read more

John Pendygraft/TNS

Tips for hosting a crawfish boil at home

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If you’re up for tackling a crawfish boil at home, you’ll need the appropriate gear.

Most home cooks use a large outdoor propane cooker, a boiling pot with a lid and perforated boiling basket, and some kind of stirring paddle. I’ve seen people use anything from a baseball bat to a garden rake, so, there are options.

Additionally, you’...Read more


Time to reset. Re-create. Rejuvenate.

Entertainment / Entertaining /

To say that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the way the world entertains and socializes is an understatement. So much so, in fact, that people are simply over it.

As they should be!

There is an overall sense of needing to hit the reset button. Mental health experts universally agree that one of the best things you can do to recalibrate in the ...Read more

Ligaya Figueras/TNS

Recipe: Open-face tuna tacos are easy summertime appetizer

Entertainment / Entertaining /

ATLANTA — My husband and I have two traditions when we visit Georgia's St. Simons Island: dancing to live music at the Village Inn and Pub and ordering a dozen oysters from the Half Shell, slurping them down on the green near the lighthouse and chasing them with a fizzy drink.

The pandemic put a pause on my sideline as an Island Kings cover ...Read more

Jerry Holt/Star Tribune/TNS

Summer means lawn games: Get ready with our slightly sassy guide

Entertainment / Entertaining /

MINNEAPOLIS — We have a precious few months of backyard barbecues to look forward to. If you're the competitive type, you probably want to challenge friends and family to that particular pleasure of the lemonade season: the lawn game.

We asked a few local experts to explain the popular games — from croquet to Wiffle ball — so you can pick...Read more

Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: Classic pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw

Entertainment / Entertaining /

I know I have written in the past about pulled pork sandwiches. But I wanted to publish one column that has the recipes and techniques for the entire spread. And while I will be focusing on my pellet smoker in the preparation of the meat, I want to stress that you can create a really good sandwich using a kettle grill, a gas grill and an oven. ...Read more