Eat These Animals! Cupcake Class at the Pgh Zoo

The events at the Zoo seem to be selling out quickly so I am posting about this one early.  Head over to the Pittsburgh Zoo for brunch and a cupcake decorating class with the Zoo’s Chef Jess.

Cupcakes Gone Wild

Date Saturday, March 10, 2012

Time 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Cost Members: $25 Non-members: $35

Cupcakes are all the rage these days. Join the Zoo’s very own Chef Jess as she shows you how to make cupcakes gone wild! After a delicious breakfast, you’ll turn basic cupcakes into edible masterpieces and then head out into the Zoo to walk off the calories and see some of the animals that inspired your culinary creativity. All participants should be ages 13 or older. (Younger pastry chefs can attend our Cupcake Critter class.) Register now

Sit, sip, savor: Sugar Cafe

The arrival of spring in Pittsburgh is one my favorite times of year.  It signals the return of yard sales, gardens, farmers markets, cycling, baseball, and outdoor seating at my favorite cafes, when it’s not raining, of course.  I suppose I love spring because although it is a busy time of year, it’s a fun busy.  Being busy is a way of shaking off the winter doldrums.

Or so I thought.  Thanks to Dormont’s new Sugar Cafe, I can now add another item to my spring To Do list: sitting still.  One random Saturday last month, I found myself running errands in the South Hills.  I had heard about the cafe and thought I would pop in while on my way to somewhere else.  The quick bite turned into lunch and dessert.  An hour later, I stumbled back out into the sunlight, so dazed by what I had just eaten that I could barely remember where I was or where I had parked my car.  To Do list?  The only thing I could think about was my current blissed-out state.  Somehow I made it back home.

Sugar Cafe is something of a misnomer.  In addition to desserts and pastries (more on those in a moment), they offer a wide-ranging menu, including breakfast items (bagels, waffles, granola) and a lunch menu (sandwiches and salads).  On my first trip, I had the grilled cheese sandwich.  Anyone who knows me knows my love of cheese, so the standard was high, which Sugar Cafe promptly met. The cheddar-monterey jack combo was excellent, and it was grilled to perfection: crunchy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside.  On a subsequent trip (less than a week later), I had the arugula salad with pear, candied walnuts, and shaved parmesan (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it).

But of course the real stars of the show were the sweets.  Cupcakes, cakes, cookies, pastries, you name it, they have it.  Each is the product of both good taste and a fun sense of creativity.  There’s the S’mores Cupcake, Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, Blackberry and Raspberry cheesecake tart, Cherry Chocolate chip scones, an Almond Torte, chocolate and vanilla cream puffs.  The Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookie cupcake (pictured below) was delicious and just plain fun to eat.  I could go on and on (and on and on), but you get the point. The next time you’re in the South Hill, take time to savor a spring afternoon at the Sugar Cafe.

Sugar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Links Worth a Look – March 14th

Here are some links/articles/blog posts that are worth a look:

  • Dozen's Summer Cupcake Preview Party scheduled for March 26, 2010 – Stop by the Dozen Bakeshop in Lawrenceville on Friday, March 26 7-10pm to sample the new cupcakes and treats that they will be adding to the menu for the summer. "Join hundreds of cupcake lovers for the biggest party of the year. The cupcake menu preview party brings hundreds of people down to Lawrenceville to sample mini versions of our new flavors a week before the general public gets to try them."
  • Once PA's third-largest shopping district, East Liberty is making a comeback – In case you missed it – here is the March 2, 2010 New York Times article about East Liberty. Yes – East Liberty was once one of the largest shopping areas in the entire state. This article focuses on some of the larger developments that have come to East Liberty – East Side and Bakery Square. While not mentioned in this article – take note that some great local businesses played a part in recent redevelopment of East Liberty too. From the article: "In the 1950s, the East Liberty neighborhood five miles east of downtown was Pennsylvania’s third-largest shopping district, behind Center City Philadelphia and downtown Pittsburgh, with more than 500 local businesses and a population of 14,000."
  • Secret City offers interactive adventure exploring Carnegie Library – A new digital game from the DeepLocal artist in residence – that offers a chance to explore libraries. The next round of Secret City will be in April 2010.

Follow IheartPGH on Twitter – we share more links there almost daily!

Links Worth a Look – November 24th

Here are some links/articles/blog posts that are worth a look:

Follow IheartPGH on Twitter – we share more links there almost daily!

Red Velvet Cupcake at Vanilla Pastry Studio

Red Velvet Cupcake at Vanilla Pastry Studio, originally uploaded by IheartPGH.What can I say the bakery conversation yesterday was inspiring. So we decided to make a stop at Vanilla Pastery Studio. I had the red velvet cupcake, Friend of I Heart Pgh had the hazelnut and remarked “that was the best cupcke I have ever had.”

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