• By Gretchen McKay | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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A patriotic day calls for an equally patriotic dessert that brings out the red, white and blue. This easy bar cookie checks all the above boxes, with a creamy white cheesecake base, fresh blueberries for the stars section and raspberry jam piped in thin lines for the stripes.

Combine fresh sauteed vegetables with fresh fettuccine for this quick, vegetarian dinner. You can use the vegetables in this recipe, or mix and match any type you have on hand. Use the recipe as a blueprint for the amounts needed.

Semifreddo means semi-frozen. In a good way. A cream-and-custard-packed-in-a-pan-and-stashed-in-the-freezer way. It doesn’t freeze hard, like ice, it freezes soft, like ice cream.

In honor of Father’s Day, I’ve conjured up a recipe featuring an arsenal of steakhouse delights, starting with steak itself and including potatoes, spinach and blue cheese. But I’ve prepared and combined these ingredients in a way that’s slightly healthier than usual, namely in a salad. The …

Tex-Mex fajitas are easy to make and serve. Just grill the steak and vegetables and place them in separate dishes on the table so each person can make their own. Barbecue Baked Beans are a quick addition to this Southwestern dinner. Dads love steak. Serve this quick dinner for Father’s Day t…

Shake Shack, the popular, fast-growing burger chain, has just released a cookbook, and, yes, it includes directions for preparing its signature burger.

Here in the 21st century, most produce is available year-round — even if it needs to come to us from afar. But we happen to be in the midst of asparagus season, when the toothsome veggie is at its absolute best: local, fresh and delicious.

Curried Singapore Noodles was my standard order at a restaurant in Washington’s Chinatown — until it wasn’t. That kitchen’s particular proportions of curried sauce, rice noodles, vegetables, egg and shrimp was the only way I wanted the dish to taste. Once that place closed and a few other Ch…

It seems almost a shame to be writing about BLTs in the middle of May, months from tomato season, but it’d be more shameful to indulge in a month dedicated to sandwiches without including this pillar of high art. And don’t be mistaken, a BLT with its symphony of crunchy, savory, salty and ju…

Empty-nesting opens new doors. I’ve come to appreciate a mostly empty fridge — no pressure to cook. Grocery shopping takes less time, especially with an expanded budget. The menu contains new additions — all quick-cooking and much of it indulgent. What has not changed is the preferred cookin…

We’re getting better and better at putting Things on Toast, a culinary category that’s hard to beat for its versatility. Some spreads applied thin can boost flavor while creating a protective layer between crisp surface and squishy toppings. Good loaves of unsliced bread allow us to control …

The Pinterest-popularized “mug food” is a dish made by mixing ingredients in a coffee mug and zapping it to “bake.” The mug brownie is the recipe that started it all; from there, mug enthusiasts moved to mug pumpkin pie, mug doughnuts and mug cheesecake (ew).

This recipe turns a humble bowl of rice into a lip-smackingly tasty meal. It feels like an indulgence, but the dish is actually good for you.

Large shrimp smothered in garlic and wine is an Italian classic. To Italians, scampi is a small lobster called a prawn. However, in America, scampi became a term for the sauce that goes with this shrimp dish. For this quick Shrimp Scampi, I teamed red vermouth, garlic and parsley with the shrimp.

Make this easy dinner for mom on Mother’s Day or for anytime. No cooking necessary. Just chop the vegetables all about the same size, add some low-sodium deli roast beef and serve with warm focaccia bread. Ask the deli to slice the roast beef in one thick slice about ½-inch thick. You can th…

The Central Texas College Culinary Arts program will host the final Patio Café Cuisine Nights dinner of the semester on Friday. The evening’s fare features German cuisine. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the culinary arts area of the CTC Student Center, Building 106, on the Kill…

As summer approaches and backyard pitmasters ready their grills and stock up on sauces and rubs, we recommend a guide to help move things along. “Texas BBQ: Platefuls of Legendary Lone Star Flavor” by the editors of the savvy Southern Living magazine (Oxmoor House, $20, 192 pages) is a welco…

This is not an edible nod to millennial pink. Honest. Red grapefruit and shrimp, bathed in a piquant dressing and paired with the crunch of toasted hazelnuts, red onion slivers and perky spring lettuces, just happen to give this plate a look that’s very on trend.

You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re eating a sloppy Joe sandwich. You’re bound to giggle at some point when the saucy meat starts spilling out of the bun, and, inevitably, at least some winds up on your face and fingers. It’s officially fun food, loved by kids and adults alike.

These peppery French butter cookies are a grown-up’s version of a milk chocolate bunny. Sandy in texture, with the flavor of chocolate shortbread, they melt in your mouth, with a salty finish that’s a terrific contrast to the sable’s sweetness.

Who needs a recipe for a quesadilla? Grab a flour tortilla, pile on shredded cheese and heat it up in a pan until the cheese melts. There, I summed up about 75 percent of the quesadilla recipes around, and you only had to read one sentence. Of course, you could add some chicken, which would …

The Central Texas College Culinary Arts Patio Cafe Cuisine Nights Dining Experience features a cuisine from the Americas. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the CTC Student Center (Building 106) on the Killeen campus.

Lush, lovely, fragrant yellow lemons can be used for many things, as ingredients in both sweet and savory dishes and dressings, in beverages, or for a snappy puckish garnish. The juice, the pulp and also the zest can be utilized in any number of ways. Is there anything this little vitamin C-…

Friday’s Patio Café Cuisine Nights Dining Experience hosted by the Central Texas College Culinary Arts program features a French/soul food fusion cuisine. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the culinary arts area of the Student Center (Building 106) on the main Killeen campus off C…

I do my best cleaning when I am on deadline. Oh, yes. As the time counts down to turning in an article or a presentation, you’re more likely to find me wiping baseboards then pounding on the keyboard. Tax documents to sort for my sister, the accountant? Sorry, sis, the new vacuum beckons.

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