Pittsburgh Is Home To The Best Cake In America, Says HuffPost

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.

HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2014/HuffPost-Taste-Praises-Prantls-for-Having-the-Best-Cake-America-Has-Ever-Made/

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York Restaurants Recover From Winter Weather, Parking Woes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Severe weather, parking problems and a prime rib shortage made for a not-so-sweet Valentine’s Day at Coomb’s Tavern, said owner Teresa Marquette.

Since the restaurant is on the outskirts of York City, all the snow has nowhere to go, she said. Its parking garages and street spaces are either overwhelmed by mounds of snow or buried cars, she said.

“It’s a mess right now,” Marquette said. “It’s a total mess.”

The weather — the worst she’s seen in 18 years of owning Coomb’s — has even drowned out the restaurant’s recognition, she said, as York City named it February’s Merchant of the Month.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25187285/york-restaurants-recover-from-winter-weather-parking-woes

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Pottsgrove Manor To Host Open-Hearth Cooking Workshop

Deb PetersonPottstown, PA On Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host an open-hearth cooking workshop entitled “Cast-Iron Chef” in the manor’s reconstructed colonial kitchen.

A common material for cooking equipment in past centuries, cast-iron is experiencing a resurgence in popularity among modern cooks for its durability and versatility. In this hands-on workshop, historic cook Deborah Peterson will teach participants how to cook with and care for cast iron cookware. Historically and seasonally appropriate dishes of the colonial period will be prepared and consumed by the participants.

The workshop is open to participants ages 12 and up, but those under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. There is a fee of $50.00 per person. To ensure one-on-one instruction, the class size is limited to eight. Registration forms may be picked up at Pottsgrove Manor or downloaded online at http://montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/4381.

The workshop is being held in conjunction with Pottsgrove Manor’s current exhibit “Forging a Lifestyle: Ironworking with the Potts Family,” which runs until November 3, 2013 and can be viewed during a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Geigertown Fire Company Chicken BBQ

chicken_1799cThere will be a chicken barbecue at the Geigertown Fire Company on Saturday, May 25th, beginning at 11:00am.

Dinners are $9.00 and include: 1/2 barbecued chicken, baked potato, choice of 2 sides, roll/butter, and beverage.

For more information call 610-286-6481.

The fire company needs and appreciates your support.

“Come To The Fair!” – Annual Colonial May Fair At Pottsgrove Manor

2013 map polePottstown, PA— Celebrate spring at the Annual Colonial May Fair held at historic Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, May 4th from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

This yearly event is a fun-filled day with activities for all ages—games, music, dancing, and crafts.  Colonial conjurer Levram the Great will perform historic magic shows and entertain visitors with pocket magic tricks throughout the day.  Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre will perform the puppet shows St. George and the Dragon and Cinderella and will also provide festive historic music around the grounds during the event. Signora Bella is returning this year to delight audiences with her acrobatic feats.  Members of the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble will demonstrate authentic English country dances and will lead visitors in dances around the Maypole to open and close the fair. 

In addition to the entertainment, a variety of Early American crafters and demonstrators will be on hand to display historic skills and trades and sell their wares.  Young visitors can compete in hoop races, play with colonial toys and games, help churn butter, and more!  The first floor of colonial ironmaster John Potts’ 1752 manor house will be open for self-guided tours during the fair. Visitors can also shop at the Manor’s museum shop for colonial games, books, and unique gifts.  Historic foodways expert Deborah Peterson will be demonstrating open-hearth cooking in the Pottsgrove Manor kitchen.  While visitors can’t try the food cooked in the colonial kitchen, they will be able to purchase food during the event.  MMG Concessions will offer burgers, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, fries, hand-rolled pretzels, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and more.

For a schedule of the day’s activities and a list of vendors and craftspeople who will be at the fair, please visit Pottsgrove Manor’s website and follow the “Annual Colonial May Fair” link.

A donation of $2 per person is suggested for this event.  Visitors are asked to park at the Carousel at Pottstown building, 30 West King Street.  There is no charge for parking, and Pottstown’s restored trolley will be giving FREE rides during the fair between the Carousel parking lot and Pottsgrove Manor.  Handicapped parking is available in the museum’s parking lot.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department.  For more information, call 610.326.4014, or visit us on the web at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Open-Hearth Cooking Demonstration At Pottsgrove Manor

Open heath cookingPottstown, PA (January 9, 2013) – On Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, visit Pottsgrove Manor and enjoy “Backcountry Cooking,” a demonstration of traditional open-hearth cooking.

While the wealthy Potts family could afford to eat fine dishes using imported ingredients, most colonists consumed much simpler fare. In this demonstration, see Pottsgrove Manor’s colonial cooks in action as they create dishes that would have been familiar to rural Americans in the eighteenth century.

Guests can visit with the cooks in the manor’s reconstructed colonial kitchen anytime during the program. Regular guided house tours will also be offered on the hour. There is a $2 per person suggested donation for this program.

Pottsgrove Manor, home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks and Heritage Services Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department.

Regular museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins as 3:00pm. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014. For more information and a full calendar of events, please visit the website at http://historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor or like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PottsgroveManor.

Hellertown’s Dolce Patisserie Owner, Alan Pitotti, Wins $10,000 On Food Network’s ‘Sweet Genius’

English: Logo for Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef Alan Pitotti, owner of Hellertown‘s Dolce Patisserie, won $10,000 on the Food Network on Thursday night and proved what his customers already know: He is a sweet genius.

Ron Ben-Isreal, host of the show that’s also called “Sweet Genius,” told Pitotti, “You are like me and belong in my world of desserts.”

It was high praise for Pitotti, who has watched the program since it began and admires Ben-Israel’s work.

But winning that $10,000 wasn’t easy for the pastry chef who revealed a side as sweet as his creations.  He told viewers he left a budding career in the pastry world’s limelight to return home to be with his mother after his father died unexpectedly.  It has been nearly five years since he began creating extraordinary chocolates and cakes in quiet little Hellertown.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-chef-wins-10000-20130118,0,4267715.story

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Chef To Sizzle At Roma Ristorante

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While farm-to-table is a notable dining trend, Roma Ristorante is about to introduce TV-to-table fare to the culinary lexicon.  A special dinner hosted by the Allentown restaurant on Jan. 21 will feature a live demonstration by chef Clemenza Caserta, an alumnus of Fox Broadcasting’s popular “Hell’s Kitchen” series.  Caserta, who hails from Staten Island, was among the contestants in this year’s 10th season of the cooking competition that stars fiery-tempered celeb chef Gordon Ramsay — the sole judge of the show.

Eighteen initial contestants, chosen from 200,000 applicants, according to Caserta, are divided between two teams, with one chef eliminated each week.  The final six compete individually and receive a coveted black chef’s jacket.  Caserta withstood the blistering harangues of Ramsay to enter this elite group of finalists, exiting the show in the number four spot.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/restaurants/blog/mc-hells-kitchen-chef-to-sizzle-at-roma-ristorante-20121227,0,2815477.story

Lancaster County Chef To Appear On ‘Cupcake Wars’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef Susan Notter, program director of pastry arts at The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts and owner of Susan Notter Pastries, will appear on “Cupcake Wars” at 8 p.m. Sunday as a competitor in a special edition episode, “Cake Wars,” which will unite cake makers, sweet specialists and special effect artists.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/743503_Local-chef-to-appear-on–Cupcake-Wars-.html#ixzz27hY0dIit

Cities Across The United States Gear Up To Celebrate The Centennial Of Julia Child’s Birth

Signature of Julia Child

Signature of Julia Child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Julia Child loved to socialize almost as much as she loved to cook.  So nobody would have enjoyed the big celebration fans are cooking up in honor of her centennial next week more than the Grand Dame of American Cookery herself.

Cities all across the U.S. are paying tribute with special Julia-themed dinners and cooking demos, and her longtime publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, who introduced the towering French cook (she was 6 feet, 2 inches tall) to the world in 1961 with the publication of the groundbreaking “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1,” is whooping it up in a big way, too.

In May, the New York publishing house launched a 100-day celebration on various social media sites called JC100.  Meant to provide something for every Julia lover out there, it includes themed events in bookstores along with written tributes and links to special recipes re-created by more than 100 food bloggers (one recent seasonal example we just had to try was Tomatoes Provencale; see recipe on page E-2).  It also has released the first Julia Child app, from iTunes ($2.99).  It brings to your fingertips 32 recipes from her seminal “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” plus clips from the DVD version of “The Way to Cook” video series, grocery lists, audio pronunciations of some of the difficult-to-pronounce French dishes, and rare photographs.  It also comes in a Nook version.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/food/cities-across-the-united-states-gear-up-to-celebrate-the-centennial-of-julia-childs-birth-648163/#ixzz235waT7P8

Cupcakes: Small Treats Are Fueling A Big Business

Wikipedia cupcakes, an in-kind donation by Geo...

Wikipedia cupcakes, an in-kind donation by Georgetown Cupcake before being devoured by Wikipedians. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who would have thought that something as diminutive as a cupcake could be such a huge business trend?

All over Lancaster County, cupcake bakeries are popping up like spring flowers.

And some of their cupcakes are even decorated with flowers, as well as fruit and other accents.

Cupcakes have been around since the 19th century, when “cup” cake referred to the quantity of ingredients, such as a cup of butter, two cups of sugar and three cups of flour.

YorKitchen Expanding Business Opportunities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is an awesome concept!

While running her stand at Central Market recently, Donna Lott dashed into YorKitchen to decorate a cheesecake.

Lott, who owns Hattie’s Gourmet Cheesecakes, outlined the half-chocolate, half-vanilla cake with white frosting. Earlier, she had adorned it with a yellow bunny with a pink belly.

Last year, Lott was an accountant. Now, she owns a baking business. She does all of her baking at YorKitchen, a business incubator run by NutriCore Northeast Inc., an initiative of the York County Economic Alliance.

Lott stores her ingredients and cakes on a shelf, and in a refrigerator and freezer that she rents at the licensed commercial kitchen – 1,200 square feet of stainless-steel ovens, tables, grills, fryers and utensils.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/ci_20357583/yorkitchen-expanding-business-opportunities

Colonial Cooking Workshop At Pottsgrove Manor

Pottstown, PennsylvaniaPottsgrove Manor will be hosting a colonial cooking workshop, entitled “Chocolate in the Very Best Manner,” on Saturday, February 11th from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Have a hand in preparing—and eating—colonial chocolate dishes in this hands-on workshop. Foodways historian Deborah Peterson of Deborah Peterson’s Pantry will teach participants how to prepare authentic chocolate “receipts” in Pottsgrove Manor’s reconstructed 18th-century kitchen. Participants will receive a booklet of all the recipes prepared during the workshop.

The workshop is open to participants ages 12 and up. There is a $50 fee per person. Spaces are limited, and registration and payment are required by February 7th. Workshop attendees should wear comfortable clothing and bring an apron and a sack lunch. In case of inclement weather, the workshop will be held Saturday, February 18th. A printable registration form is available at http://historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Call the site at 610.326.4014 to register or for more information.

Pottsgrove Manor, home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks and Heritage Services Department. 

Regular museum hours are: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tours are given on the hour; last tour of the day begins as 3:00 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register by calling 610.326.4014.

 For more information and a full calendar of events, visit us on the web at http://historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor.

Bistro 137 – A Restaurant Review

As promised, I visited Bistro 137 on High Street in downtown Pottstown for breakfast this morning.  I have some interior shots for you and a review of breakfast.

When my breakfast companion and I entered the restaurant we were cheerfully greeted by what appeared to be the owner and two young women who were servers.  We were the only customers for a little while but while we were there 4-5 people came in and ordered breakfast to go.

The interior has been redone.  It is bright and cheerful, yet tasteful.  The menu gives diners a nice selection without overwhelming them with too many choices.

My friend ordered coffee and I ordered hot tea.  Coffee and tea come in three sizes, small, medium and large.  We both ordered a medium, which is a nice size.  My friend likes a good cup of coffee.  Her rating on the coffee was excellent (and she has high standards).

A wooden box was brought to the table and I was allowed to choose my tea from at least a dozen flavors.  Since it was breakfast, I stuck with good old Lipton.  Sweeteners are on the table.  Skim milk, whole milk and half and half are available for those who like a little cow with their beverage.  Hot drinks come in paper cups like at Wawa, with a cozy to keep your hand from getting too hot and a lid.  This is nice if you don’t finish your beverage; you can walk right out the door with it.  Mediums are $1.85.

We both decided on an omelet.  My friend ordered the American omelet and I ordered the Italian omelet.  They come with a choice of bread or roll.  We both decided on a roll with some basil in it.  I especially thought that would be a nice compliment to my Italian omelet.  After a reasonable amount of time, the food emerged from the kitchen.  It was hot and delicious. 

The Italian omelet is filled with Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, peppers and onions.  It was a nice size and had just the right amount of each ingredient.  The basil roll was large and excellent (just the right amount of basil).  The server brought us butter for our rolls and for once there was enough butter!

My friend’s American omelet was filled with American cheese and bacon.  She thoroughly enjoyed it!  It appeared to have a decent amount of bacon in it.  The omelets were the same size, so their portion control is consistent.  She had the same basil roll and enjoyed it as well.

The atmosphere is casual, comfortable and we enjoyed a nice conversation about movies while we were there.  Good place to grab a bite with family or friends and relax.  Prices won’t kill your budget either.  The omelets were $4.50 each.  Our total bill, including drinks and tax was $13.46

We give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Bistro 137.  We plan on making a return trip to review their lunch menu.

Hours of operation are daily from 7:30am to 2:30pm. 

Voice:  (484) 300-4829

Internet: www.bistro137.com

Kennett Square’s 26th Annual Mushroom Festival

Photo of cooked wild mushrooms at Takanoyu Ons...

Image via Wikipedia

If you love mushrooms and wanna check out a really cool small town, head to Kennett Square on September 9,10 & 11 for their 26th Annual Mushroom Festival.

TV Food Network Iron Chef, Jose Garces will be there along with Top Chef D.C. winner, Kevin Sbraga.

There will be 224 street vendors, a parade, and Antique and Classic Car Show, Amateur Mushroom Soup Cook-off, Farm Tour, live music and much, much more.

To read all about the festival and plan your trip, click here:

http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/08/30/news/doc4e5d73ca329b0980800890.txt?viewmode=fullstory

“M’m, M’m Layoff” Campbell’s Soup To Cut 770 Jobs

Logo of Campbell's Soup Company

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

The Campbell Soup Company is laying of 770 people worldwide, including 130 at their Camden, NJ headquarters.

The layoffs represent 4 percent of Campbell’s workforce and will save the company $60 million.  Soup sales are declining domestically and Campbell’s attempts to enter foreign markets has met with minimal success.

95th Annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show Starts Saturday

If you are looking for an escape from the post-holiday slump, this could be your ticket.  The 95th Annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show opens this Saturday, January 8th and runs through January 15th.  Admission is FREE and parking is only $10 and includes shuttle bus service to the Farm Show Complex.

The Farm Show Complex is located on North Cameron Street in Harrisburg.  Click on this link to see daily highlights of events and entertainment:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/01/pennsylvania_state_farm_show_s.html

Martha Stewart Slams Rachael Ray

Everybody’s favorite ex-con, Martha Stewart, evidently doesn’t like Rachael Ray.  In a recent interview Martha trashes Rachael’s new cookbook and her cooking skills!!  Martha further goes on to say Rachael is more of “an entertainer” than a bitch teacher like her.

Rachael, of course, took the high road…no real surprise there and deferred to Martha’s superior skills.  Even going as far as to say she would rather eat one of Martha’s meals than her own.  Class act Rachael!

See Martha, you don’t have to be a bitch shrew to succeed in life. 

Rachael’s audience is not the same target group as Martha’s.  Rachael has never pretended to be anything other than the person she is.  She shows busy people how to make decent meals fast.  Rachael isn’t making pastry chef level creations or decorating her house in intricate oragami ornaments for Christmas.

Martha gets a lump of coal in her stocking this year!

Team Rachael Ray!!!!

Ramen Noodle Lasagna

This isn’t your mama’s lasagna but it’s good.  Something out of the ordinary.  I would think kids should like this too.  I made some and it was delicious.

Go to http://www.mixtureofsorts.com find the Ramen Noodle Tuesday recipies.  Next is Ramen Noodle Taco Salad!! 

If you try it let me know what you think.  I did add hamburger for a more complete meal.

Enjoy!