Online Dish: Impassioned Instructors

By | October 01, 2013
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Online Dish


What happens when life gives you lemons, but you don’t know how to make lemonade? This was the challenge that inspired Life and Kitchen author Lindsay Seal to learn how to cook. After marrying her husband, Jake, Seal suddenly found herself surrounded by a host of new, unfamiliar cooking appliances and little knowledge of how to use them. The solution? Seal went back to basics, slowly but surely acquainting herself with the nuances of the kitchen. “Experimenting is really what got me interested in cooking,” explains the self-taught chef. And trust us — it paid off! Seal’s recipes appeal to the senses — enter Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars, an irresistible fall favorite — as well as a vast audience, taking into account the varying skill sets and nutritional needs of her readers. A recent vegetarian, Seal embraces the challenge of inventing meals both she and her meat-eating family will enjoy, such as Crispy Tofu Bites (above) and Braised Potatoes with Lemon and Scallions (below). “[Becoming a vegetarian] has opened my eyes to a whole new world of ingredients,” she notes. While Seal is happy to share recipes with her readers, the true sentiment behind the creation of Life and Kitchen can be attributed to her daughter, who will one day “be able to look back at what [her family] cooked and ate.” On naming the blog: “I’m untrained in both [life and the kitchen],” Seal admits. “But that’s what has made this journey such a fun adventure.”


Step into the home of Joanna Taylor Stone and her husband, Mark, and you may think you’ve walked onto the set of Star Trek — assuming this particular starship also contains four chickens, a cat named Maggie, raised garden beds, a compost area, and a refrigerator packed with raw milk and farm-raised meat. “We’re not totally average,” confesses Taylor Stone, author of the CSA-inspired blog Next Gen House. The name of the blog, in addition to describing this Trekkie couple’s futuristic home décor, references Joanna and Mark’s focus on living with a health-conscious eye on the next generation. On the blog, Taylor Stone shares everything from relevant works of food journalism and legislative news to recipes and personal experiences, such as the couple’s trip to see the recreation of Julia Child’s kitchen at the National Museum of American History. Perhaps the most unique feature of Next Gen House, however, is the “Real Life CSA” series — a weekly installment in which Taylor Stone details the items she and Mark receive from their two farm shares, Kretschmann Family Organic Farm and Clarion River Organics. By profiling how the couple plans to use the local meat and produce on a daily basis, Taylor Stone hopes to show readers that community supported agriculture is beneficial for both the farm and the consumer. “It is possible to have a full-time job and a commute, but still make sustainable choices in what you eat and how you treat the earth,” she says.


If we’ve learned anything from the ongoing food movements and the emergence of farms, farmers markets, and farm dinners throughout Western Pennsylvania, it’s that our region’s consumers are becoming more mindful — seeking healthy, sustainably produced food. Brian Snyder, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and the FoodRoutes Network, believes that these consumers are vital components to the continued success of local farms. In an effort to address the necessity of these farms, the fragility of their permanence, and the new rules being proposed by the Food Safety Modernization Act, Snyder created the agriculturally focused blog, Write to Farm. “It’s clear that the [FSMA] rules will greatly affect the way food is produced in this country, and we must work together to save [farming] and our food from industrialization,” he says. Originally from the Midwest, Snyder is impressed with Western Pennsylvania’s burgeoning food scene, and hopes his blog will encourage farmers and consumers to “do the write thing” by supporting local agriculture. From FSMA to the Farm Bill to the various actions of the Food and Drug Administration, Snyder’s blog is both instructive and motivational, each post suggesting a call to action by like-minded locavores in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. “You can’t take good food and local farms for granted,” he writes, “because they have diminished in numbers and will continue to disappear without support from conscious eaters.” While he does not consider himself a farmer, Snyder keeps a flourishing garden to feed his family and friends. Says Snyder, “I have a strong sense that citizens of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania do care about [local food and farming].” And we couldn’t agree more.


Give your Twitter feed a boost! Check out who @edibleAllegheny is following this month.

The Union Hall
Located above and in conjunction with Bar Marco, this community space is home to unique art, ideas, and food. Follow for news and upcoming events.

PGH Crepes
These sweet and savory crepes have been making their way around Pittsburgh since March. Add the food cart to your Twitter feed for location updates, daily specials, and mouth-watering photos.

Dave Racicot
New to East Liberty’s South Highland Avenue is notion restaurant — a charming, modern American eatery. Follow owner and chef Dave Racicot to stay looped into Pittsburgh’s ever-evolving food scene.

Developed in Pittsburgh by two professional dancers, Barre “real food bars” contain whole, natural ingredients designed to provide athletes with energy. Add for nutritional advice and new flavor alerts.

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