Cantaloupe and Sweet Ricotta Pizza.

Cantaloupe and Sweet Ricotta Pizza.

Labor Day weekend. The inevitable three-day end to summer. It’s a sad adieu to the warm, long days of sunshine and BBQs and happiness, but on the other hand, it’s a welcome entrance to the cool, crisp days of fall, where the evenings are filled with ciders and sweaters and pumpkin-carving and the darkened colors of leaves on the ground. I’m not sure I could really choose which I love more: summer or fall.

Regardless, Labor Day weekend is the last hoorah, a weekend to celebrate the working citizens of America with a day off. Which means picnics. And usually, lots of them. (Unless you’re me this year, who has next to zero plans to leave the house until Tuesday morning when I have to go back to work. Hey, I’ve had an exhausting week. Six flights in five days? Are you kidding?) So, in celebration of Labor Day — even though I’m not even leaving my living room — I decided to make a perfect picnic pizza.

The first time I tasted a pizza made with cantaloupe was a few years ago in DC, when I was out to brunch at this amazing restaurant (whose name I can’t remember). I took my first bite and followed it up with a sip of mimosa, and I looked across the table at John. We immediately agreed that this was a pizza we needed to recreate at home. So, every few months or so since that day, we’ll be in the kitchen, cooking something that isn’t cantaloupe pizza, and we’ll swear that it’s on our list. We promise – we absolutely will make that pizza. Eventually.


Yesterday morning, I woke up slowly. I made some coffee and hunkered down in the quietness of my empty house. John and his girlfriend are vacationing in Mexico and my other roommates were gone for the day. So I had the house to myself. I love my roommates, I really do, but there is something magical about having the house to myself and being able to do whatever I’d like to do without having to speak to a single soul. (And also, I can walk around without pants on. Win!) So, yesterday morning, coffee in hand, I decided it was finally time. I was going to attempt my hand at making Cantaloupe and Sweet Ricotta Pizza.

PicMonkey Collage

Ingredients: Pizza dough (I made mine from scratch, but feel free to use whatever kind you’d like!) / 1 c. ricotta cheese / 2 tablespoons thick, raw honey (Mine came homegrown from a small family garden in the Lower 9th Ward!) / Sliced cantaloupe / Arugula / Salt / Optional: Prosciutto and pine nuts


Directions: Spread the pizza dough across a lightly greased sheet. / Combine the honey, ricotta cheese and pinch of salt. / Top the dough with the honey and cheese mixture. / Add arugula and cantaloupe to taste. (And prosciutto and pine nuts if you’d like!) / Bake at 450˚F for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust has cooked through. / Enjoy… with a Labor Day mimosa! 

The Pittsburgh Food Diaries: Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

The Pittsburgh Food Diaries: Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Labor Day weekend is here and in full swing. All across the country, summer-lovers are mourning the end of the favorite warm and care free months, while others excitedly await the arrival of fall, a crisp, cool, pumpkin-filled period of time.


I’m fortunate enough to be spending the weekend with my best friend since high school. I’m so excited about my time here in Music City, but for anyone planning a BBQ celebration this weekend, I think you should definitely check out this new recipe.


Last week, we invited our friends Alex and Katie over for dinner. As usual, I was stressing out over what to cook. I wanted something simple, so I wouldn’t be rushed in the one-hour window of time between getting home from work and their arrival, but I also wanted to try out something new. I was – again – browsing through Pinterest, and decided on a crock pot pulled pork concoction.


A few hours later, I’d say our mission was a success. We took the time to throw everything together in the crockpot before work, and I took over when I got home. The food was good, and the company was great. Not to mention, I even won a game of Catan. Score.

Ingredients: (For the Pulled Pork) 2 Lbs. Pork Boneless Shoulder / 1 Onion / 1.5c BBQ Sauce* / .5c Water / 2 Tbsp. Dry Minced Onion / 1 tsp. Allspice / 1 tsp. Ground Mustard / 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes / .5 tsp. Garlic Powder / .5 tsp. Cinnamon (For the Broccoli Slaw) Bagged Broccoli Coleslaw / .25c Slaw Dressing / .25c Sunflower Seeds

Directions: In a bowl, mix together the spices, and rub the mixture into the pork shoulder. / Place the shoulder into the crockpot, adding the water and the sliced onion. / Cook on low for 8-10 hours. / When the pork has cooked, remove from the crockpot, saving one cup of the juice. / Shred the pork using a fork. / Place the pulled pork back into the crockpot with the cup of juice, and add barbecue sauce. / Cook on low for another half an hour. / Meanwhile, mix the slaw dressing, sunflower seeds and broccoli coleslaw together in a bowl. / Refrigerate for half an hour. / We recommended serving the pulled pork and slaw on toasted buns with a side of grilled corn on the cob. / Enjoy!

*Feel free to use absolutely any kind of BBQ sauce you’d like, but we used Trader Joe’s Kansas City Style Smoky Barbecue Sauce. Unlike most sauces, this one doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners! Its only ingredients are tomato paste, sugar, molasses, vinegar, salt, hickory smoke flavoring, onion and garlic powders, and caramel color. It offers the perfect balance of smoky, sweet and vinegar flavors. You’ve got to try it out!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Take advantage of the last days of summer, and enjoy this perfect picnic snack!

5 Layer Greek Dip

Ingredients: Hummus / Red Bell Pepper / Cucumber / Kalamata Olives / Feta Cheese / Fresh Dill

Directions: Spread hummus in the bottom of a serving dish / Top with chopped cucumbers, peppers, and olives / Top with feta cheese and fresh dill / Serve with warm pita and enjoy!