Thursday, July 31, 2014

A day in the Burgh (Pittsburgh)

Today is our son's BD and as a surprise his sister, his youngest nephew and I called him and asked if he would be able to have lunch with us.  He works in the city and he did have the time for lunch and happily accepted our offer. Pittsburgh is  certainly a busy, hustle bustle city to say the least.  Parking is tough but thanks to our daughter's knowledge of the parking(she worked in the city for several years) she found us a parking lot that had some available space and a nice parking attendant to say the least..

It was my car that we took there and when we got to the 3rd floor a nice gentleman(attendant) asked me if I would like him to park our car.  Me, being a novice to the city, started to question the where will you park it and please be careful.  He then told me while looking me right in the eyes "Did you ever think of DECAF"? and we all started to laugh.  You see there were Mercedes, BMW's, Lexus', and Jaguars all around.  He then said "don't worry I won't take your car for a ride".  If I were,  look around it wouldn't be a VW I'd be taking.  Too funny!  He really was the nicest guy and as he promised us when we got back to the 3rd floor (Eddie) was in the booth and quickly got my car.  I asked our son if he knew Eddie and he said that guy has been working that lot for 15 years, a super nice guy. A friendly city it is.

Lunch was wonderful.  A little restaurant down a flight of stairs in one of the office buildings which was very charming and the food was awesome.  Italian dishes of course.

Real plants on a wall in one of the office buildings.  Beautiful

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cherry Pineapple Cheese Dip or spread

 Today I was feeling creative and hungry too so I used a few items in my frig and pantry and came up with this tasty appetizer.  I used fresh Bing cherries in this recipe but I am sure canned Bing cherries would work(drain well)and crushed pineapple. Simple ingredients for this nice dip or spread..

I served it on Ritz Crackers but any slightly sweet/salty cracker would work or even celery stalks would work.


1 small can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple.(reserve liquid)
 1/2 lb. pitted cherries.
4 oz. softened cream cheese
 1 small vanilla or pineapple yogurt .
toasted coconut (optional)

  Place all ingredients in food processor or blender on chop and process for a few minutes.  You want mixture to be thick so pulse several times enough to get cherries to break in small pieces.  If needed add small amount of pineapple juice to thin. Place in bowl, top with toasted coconut and serve with crackers of your choice.

Note:  Low fat cream cheese and low fat yogurt can be used to cut fat content.

A great summer appetizer.

From my kitchen to yours,

Lemon Zucchini Bread

Looking for a way to use up some of your summer zucchini?  This recipe is wonderful and easy to do.  I didn't have all of the ingredients as the recipe called for so I used what I had available and it turned out great!  Tasty and full of natural lemon flavor great for breakfast or with coffee or tea as dessert.  Other than seeing a few green specks you would never know you had grated zucchini in this great bread.  No yeast involved!

FYI:  I found this recipe on a blog called Lil' Luna.  She (Krystin) is a stay at home mom who shares wonderful recipes, like this amazing lemon zucchini bread.  Thank you Krystin. Please check out her blog for more easy bread recipes.
Lil' Luna 


  • 2 cups cake flour ( I used regular presifted flour) 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar ( I used I cup)
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (made my own by added 1 tsp. vinegar to regular milk)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
Note:  Buttermilk substitution 1 tsp. per 1/2 cup of white vinegar or lemon juice into milk and let set for a few minutes.  It works!
  • Glaze ingredients:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1+ TB milk
  1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil and sugar until blended.  Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together.
  3. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.
  4. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend on low speed with electric mixer until all is well combined..
  5. Pour batter into greased 9x5 loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or more.  Mine took longer to bake
  7. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.