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Antonella Crescimbeni/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Sides are mainstays at a Labor Day potluck

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Just as the main-course proteins such as burgers, barbecue chicken, brisket and ribs are expected at a Labor Day bash, so are the sides.

Sides offer a variety of textures and tastes and very accommodating to the different diets at a potluck party. So if there are vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and those sensitive to gluten in the mix, there ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

How to plan a perfect summer pie party

Entertainment / Entertaining /

According to “A Brief History of Pie,” published by Time magazine, pies — formally known as “pyes” — can be traced back to ancient Greece and became popular among the masses in medieval England. Mostly savory in nature, pyes were filled with whatever local game presented itself, including magpie pigeon.

Now, pies have become one of...Read more

8 fresh recipes that go easily from farmers market to table

Entertainment / Entertaining /

(Editor's Note: This story was originally published Sept. 1, 2021.)

Labor Day is generally considered the unofficial end of summer and all the fun things that go with it.

Come September, the kids are back in school, the beaches clear out and even the sun makes a break for it, disappearing below the horizon earlier and earlier each day.

...Read more

Dave Lobeck/Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: Classic beef and vegetable shish kebabs

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Certain meals are simply fun to prepare and fun to eat. In my opinion, grilled shish kebabs definitely fall into that category. Not only are they perfect for grilling, the end result Is a meal that covers everything: meat, vegetables and starch.

The history of shish kebabs can be traced back to the soldiers of Turkey. During wartime they would ...Read more

Dave Lobeck/Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: How do you like your ribs?

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Last night I smoked some spare ribs. I’m always curious to know the true opinion of those who eat the food I prepare. I mean, I REALLY want to know their TRUE opinion. So, this morning, I asked Liz what she truly thought of the ribs. She said they were good, but that she likes ribs where the meat is falling off the bone. My mother-in-law likes...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

It's prime time for a summer picnic

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Summer is the perfect time to entertain friends and family. But with back-to-back occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation parties and the Fourth of July, some hosts may be reluctant to open their homes for yet another gathering. Consider instead grabbing a basket, a blanket and your besties to pull off a fun, memorable and ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Try these six travel-free summer fun ideas

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Fuel prices have made traveling this summer a luxury not everyone can afford. But who says astronomical travel costs should bar summer fun? Not this writer! And, not most Americans. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we are a resourceful and creative bunch. So for the sake of making the most of whatever breaks you have, take a ...Read more

More summer sippers: 'Tis the season of canned craft cocktails

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Ready-to-drink adult beverages are moving into tasty new territory and local distillers are at the forefront.

MINNEAPOLIS — Skillfully crafted adult beverages in ready-to-crack cans are stacking up inside local liquor stores, much to the delight of discerning drinkers honed in an age of craft cocktails and high-class bartenders.

In recent ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Fire up jerk chicken with hot and spicy sides this Fourth of July

Entertainment / Entertaining /

July 4 is the No. 1 day for cooking out in the United States, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. So someone near and dear has probably already been tasked with buying charcoal or making sure the propane tank is full, and tracking down red, white and blue party favors. The only big question this year is what to cook.

...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Patriotic no-bake cheesecake with pretzel crust

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Everyone expects to see red, white and blue at a Fourth of July celebration. This creamy dessert takes that patriotic color scheme to heart by combining a no-fuss cheesecake with the fruits of the season — strawberries and blueberries.

I'm a reluctant baker, especially in summer because my kitchen is not air-conditioned. So I love this mix-...Read more

Dave Lobeck/Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: One-year review of our flattop grill

Entertainment / Entertaining /

My outdoor grilling, smoking and cooking gadgets have changed quite a bit within the last couple of years. First it was taking the leap to the world of pellet smokers. For the most part I have really enjoyed it. We’ve smoked about everything at this point, including pork butt, beef brisket, poultry, salmon and steaks. We have also found that ...Read more