April Link Love

I think it is finally safe to say that spring has arrived in Pittsburgh.  I’ll say it again, FINALLY! The sun’s been shining, we’ve been getting some April showers, and soon the seasonal Farmers at the Firehouse market will be back up and running in the Strip.  I look forward to creating some seasonal recipes using unusual veggies, as well as some classic spring ingredients.  Mmm!  In the meantime, this month’s links cover craft beer, Pittsburgh sports, tips for grocery shopping, and some positive things happening around the city.

  • Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week kicks off tomorrow and continues through the 27th –  events have been selling out fast.  You’ll find me sampling some of the “Collaboration Beers” at The Beerhive this weekend!
  • Speaking of craft beer, PNC Park gets Food Republic’s vote for best craft selection at a ball park.
  • In other Pittsburgh sports, I thoroughly enjoyed this article about why Jarome Iginla chose the Penguins.  
  • On a completely unrelated note, I really love grocery shopping.  It’s right up there with shoe shopping.  The Kitchn recently posted five simple tips for smarter grocery shopping.
  • And the New York Times’ Dining and Wine section featured this article explaining the advantages of buying a whole chicken instead of the pre-packaged parts.  (I always buy chicken whole and use the leftover bones to make my own stock.)  I’ll try to feature some posts soon on how I use the different parts…
  • Fellow local food blogger Leah Lizarondo Shannon recently wrote about Pittsburgh’s Food Revolution on Jamie Oliver’s website.  The public and private sectors are working together to create community gardens, improve food at local schools, and spread awareness about health and nutrition.  You can donate money towards their cause through their Facebook page.  (They are well on their way to reaching their goal, let’s help them along!)
  • After a family left Pittsburgh because they didn’t feel welcome, Vibrant Pittsburgh and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh decided to get local families to host dinners for newcomers.  The organizers hoped to find 10 to 15 willing hosts; but because Pittsburgh is such an awesome city, they ended up with 50 volunteers, plus 30 more who wanted to do it at a later date!  I’ve found the new people I’ve met since returning to Pittsburgh to be extremely welcoming and am very happy to be part of such a friendly community.  Way to go, Pittsburgh!
  • The Beauty Shoppe recently published a piece describing Banjo Night at the Elks Lodge on Pittsburgh’s North Side, and what its popularity reveals about Pittsburgh’s changing demographics.  Just as Pittsburgh is drawing younger residents because of the many opportunities here, so, too, is Banjo Night. I look forward to checking out this phenomenon some Wednesday night in the near future.
  • Over at the National Aviary on the North Side, a baby owl is born.  She’s not the cutest baby animal I’ve ever seen, but who doesn’t go through an awkward phase at some point during their youth?
  • In other news for ornithologists , there are currently three sets of bald eagles that have nested in areas around Pittsburgh.  It’s being considered environmental milestone — nature’s confirmation that the Pittsburgh region had cleaned up its act.
  • And the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium welcome a baby gorilla AND a baby tiger as well as a red panda (which unlike the baby owl is seriously adorable!)

red panda

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