Tag Archives: home cooking

Have you ever just come home and opened the fridge andjust stared into it?

Or maybe opened the fridge and wondered what to eat?
Or maybe you see plenty of food, but there’s nothing to eat.
I used to think these were just kid habits.I’m not so sure anymore. Because I find myself doing itmore and more. If it’s a kid thing, I haven’t outgrown it yet.
If you did any of these recently, or even TODAY. I’ve got a solutionfor you. We call it “Only in the Alley.”
It a big brown bag full of perfectly prepared, delicious foodthat you can stare into and wonder
“What should I eat FIRST???”

Make your own Vanilla

When I was a kid, I used to sneak into my mom’s baking cupboard and swig her vanilla. I would hide in the dark with the sprinkles and icing sugar but I didn’t care because I absolutely loved the taste! The smell alone was bliss. After a few swigs it made me feel so good. (nothing to do with the alcohol content).I was so concerned that I would get caught that I used to put drips of chocolate sauce on my face and body to throw off people asking me why I smelled so delicious. I was sure my parents would send me away to Vanillaolics Anonymous so I never told ANYBODY, until I told you today. It ain’t a secret anymore.(I am pretty sure Mom is going to be calling me on this one).
Fast Forward a few years and I have conquered my need to sneak into a cupboard and can make it myself from the finest vanilla beans in the land! Mexican Vanilla is the gold standard and vanilla made with Mexican beans is superior. 
I did the research and learned ALL about vanilla and the process to make pure vanilla extract.  As it turns out, it’s actually quite simple to make the purest vanilla; it only requires 3 ingredients: Mexican vanilla beans, vodka and TIME.  
So it has been sitting for a while and the right amount of time has passed. The Vanilla is ready to go! You may or may not be a Vanillaolic yourself or maybe you know one… but anybody who likes to bake will absolutely treasure a gift like this.
Or maybe you are like me, you have have been known to slip into the baking cupboard to have your own Vanilla Swig Party.
You can make your own vanilla at the http://www.StarLoftsPgh.com
Cappuccino with vanilla

Stuffed Squid with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


Ingredients:
1 medium (or two small) zucchini
8 oz crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2 shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz pine nuts
2 lb. squid tubes
10 oz roasted red peppers
1/2 cup half and half
Pinch salt and pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsley


Method:
Slice zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until moisture is drawn out of
the slices. Dry off the zucchini slices with paper towel, removing most of the salt. Flip the
zucchini and repeat this process. Dice the sweated zucchini.
Saute zucchini, mushrooms, shallots, garlic and pine nuts until fragrant and toasty. Stuff squid
tubes with the vegetable and nut mixture.
Place each stuffed squid tube, in a lightly greased pan over medium heat. Cook for about 4
minutes, rolling the tubes over every minute so that each side is exposed to the pan’s heat.
When the Squid is opaque white, remove from heat.
In a food processor, puree red pepper, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour
into a small saucepan and add half and half. Bring to a simmer. Drizzle red pepper sauce over
squid and serve.

Dine at your starloft. Www.starloftspgh.com

Today is Fat Tuesday

Yes, it’s today. Fat Starloft Tuesday. The term “Mardi Gras” translated from French to English literally means “Fat Tuesday.” And in Pittsburghese it translates to “Fat Starloft Tuesday.”
It is the final day of Carnival season, the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and the last day before the season of fasting and penitence during the 40 weekdays before Easter.
Sounds like a perfect day for staying in your beautiful Starloft. Coincidence that it is Starloft Tuesday? I don’t think so.
You know what to do. See you for a tour at http://www.starloftspgh.com Tuesday.