Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cheers to Summer!

Berry Parfaits
(Photo Credit: Chris Oliver)

Summer is about eating light and, for me, enjoying all the fresh fruits that go along with the season. Here's one way that Chris and I have been enjoying strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for breakfast - in a delightful Berry Parfait!  It's super easy and quite a treat first thing in the morning.  Plus, if you're having company, this is sure to impress.

Berry Parfaits
(Courtesy of Kelly Oliver)

Vanilla yogurt
Granola (Use store bought or make your own using this recipe:

Note: There's no magic formula for this recipe.  If you don't have blackberries on hand, then just use whatever berries you have.  If you want to buy your granola at the store rather than making it, that's fine. You could also opt for a different flavor of yogurt.  Experiment and enjoy!

Grab a few pretty wine glasses and start layering each ingredient, starting with the yogurt, followed by the berries, and then the granola.  Create at least two layers.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fabulous Food Friday: Pittsburgh's Strip District

I recently recommended some restaurants in Pittsburgh to a friend who was going to visit my hometown, and thought I'd share a few with you.  All of these restaurants are located or have locations in Pittsburgh's famous Strip District, which houses many authentic Italian food markets, Mexican and Asian grocery stores, restaurants, and shops that sell spices, coffee, chocolates, and cookware, among other things.  (The name doesn't stand for anything lewd...for a brief history, see:

Given that it's such a foodie paradise, Chris and I always make it a point to stop here on bustling Saturdays when we visit my parents to pick up marinara sauces, biscotti, nut rolls and other delicious things.  If we were able to easily transport refrigerated food back to Arlington with us, I would make it a point to buy some fresh fish at Wholey's fish market and some of the fresh produce at any number of stores.  Saturdays are busy (a great time to visit) and the air is filled with the smells of street vendors making Chinese food or grilled chicken skewers and markets giving away samples of their pepperoni rolls, luring in casual shoppers like me.  We always have fun exploring this area and seem to find something new to bring home every time we visit.

On to the restaurants...please feel free to let me know if you have any other great suggestions in da 'Burgh:

Great Italian food for lunch or dinner.  I love their pasta trio of the day.

Primanti Brothers
If you’ve never tried their sandwiches topped with French fries and coleslaw, and I even know some Pittsburghers who haven't, you must stop here.  It's a classic Pittsburgh tradition. - various locations around town

Known for their lobster roll, I particularly enjoy their fried fish sandwiches.

Fantastic breakfast place with amazing crepe style hotcakes that will melt in your mouth. – various locations around town

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bun is Done

The bun is done!  As I mentioned before, I was expecting my first baby in June.  This child decided to make a fashionably late, but a very welcome and much-anticipated, appearance.  Chris and I welcomed Claire Elise Oliver into our family on June 23, 2010, at 7:01 pm and she weighed 6 lbs., 10 oz.  Now almost two weeks later, Claire is thriving, I'm both exhausted and ecstatic as a first-time mom, and Chris is enjoying his new role as daddy and Claire's personal photographer.  (Speaking of photography, thanks to Chris for the new profile pic and to his mom, Linda, for the fantastic Cooking in Clarendon apron.)

Claire's arrival also marks 9 months from when this Cooking in Clarendon blog was birthed, though it wasn't planned that way.  Though to me, it's a joyful reminder of how my passions of family and food are intertwined and I'm grateful for both.

More recipes and other posts to follow in the coming days...I leave you with this:

The next Clarendon Cook?