CRAFT Chatham Offers Specialized Cooking Classes in Pittsburgh

CRAFT (The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation) at Chatham University is affiliated with the school's Food Studies program and aims to transform our food systems in Western Pennsylvania through education and outreach. Some of those education opportunities include fantastic food-related workshops and classes hosted at the Eden Hall campus in Gibsonia.

The CRAFT Chatham classes have long been our list to attend, but spaces are limited and they often sell out very quickly. Classes really span the gamut of topics from whole hog butchering, to sourdough bread baking, to Indian food, to fermentation. Instructors are all extremely knowledgeable and talented experts in their field.

We were lucky enough to snag a spot in the recent Kraut, Kimchi, and Lacto-Fermented Pickles class taught by Trevor Ring. Trevor graduated from the Chatham food studies program and also studied with the famous fermentation expert Sandor Katz. Basically, he's very into fermentation and knows what he's talking about!

Read moreCRAFT Chatham Offers Specialized Cooking Classes in Pittsburgh

Watch the Penguins Practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex

If you've ever driven on I-79 north of Pittsburgh, odds are good you've noticed the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

This massive facility is easily recognized with its numerous banners of Penguins Stanley Cup wins on the side, and on the inside features two ice skating rinks, a state-of-the-art training center, numerous exhibits, and a sports medicine facility run by UPMC.

But while all of this is interesting on its own right, perhaps what makes the Lemieux Complex the most exciting is that it is used by the Pittsburgh Penguins for practice, and some of them are open to the public to enjoy- for free!

Read moreWatch the Penguins Practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex

Experience Village Life in the 1800s at Depreciation Lands in Allison Park

The history of the Depreciation Lands is a fascinating one and was a novel solution to a problem that the early United States had after the Revolutionary War.

While the living history museum of the same name in Allison Park covers this unique history, it also takes a look at what life was like in the region in the early 1800s- a time when southwest PA was the wild frontier.

Read moreExperience Village Life in the 1800s at Depreciation Lands in Allison Park

Inventionland Sparks Creativity With a Unique Office Tour in Pittsburgh

I've driven by the RIDC industrial park off of Route 28 more times than I can count, and to be honest I never quite took a moment to stop and research all of the businesses that call that area home.

Had I looked into this further, I would've discovered Inventionland. Sadly, it wasn't until I was invited out for a tour by the company that I became aware of its existence. Naturally, with a name like Inventionland I went out to learn more immediately and I was blown away within moments of walking through the door.

Read moreInventionland Sparks Creativity With a Unique Office Tour in Pittsburgh

North Country Brewing Review – A Restaurant with Brewery Attached

We had all intentions of visiting North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock and writing this post in the style of our other brewery reviews (like Grist House or Strange Roots). But shortly after we arrived, we knew that doing so would be a disservice.

Why? Well, even though North Country Brewing is just that, a brewery, its Slippery Rock location is as much of a restaurant as it is a brewery, and we left with this one having the beer as a secondary thought.

So just as you may visit The Harmony Inn for the food and enjoy North Country's beer along with it (a second restaurant this brewery owns in the town of the same name), you will likely do the same when visiting the brewpub in Slippery Rock as well!

It is because of that reason that this particular review follows our restaurant review format, because today, we're talking about the food.

Read moreNorth Country Brewing Review – A Restaurant with Brewery Attached

Millvale Food Truck Roundup is the Rally Pittsburgh Needs

If there is one thing that Pittsburgh certainly lacks, it is food truck rallies.

We have amazing food trucks in Pittsburgh, and apart from finding them at breweries, periodic events, and the monthly food truck rally at Coffee Buddha, getting to enjoy an assortment of food trucks can be tricky at times.

There was the brief attempt at a food truck park, but when that did not return after its first season it seemed like we were back to the drawing board. Enter the Millvale Food Truck Roundup, a periodic food truck rally that takes place at Grist House and Strange Roots on select weekends throughout the year.

It may be our favorite food truck rally yet.

Read moreMillvale Food Truck Roundup is the Rally Pittsburgh Needs

Alta Via Review – Big Burrito Goes Italian in Fox Chapel

Alta Via is the newest concept from the Big Burrito restaurant group that brings house-made pastas and other Italian fare to the Fox Chapel/Aspinwall area. As Big Burrito has been around Pittsburgh for decades and was part of the initial reawakening of the Pittsburgh restaurant scene, we are excited to see the introduction of a new concept from them.

Read moreAlta Via Review – Big Burrito Goes Italian in Fox Chapel

Grove City Outlets is a Massive Outlet Shopping Mall Near Pittsburgh

I'll be honest- in our quest to support local we often overlook some of the more commercial and national entities that are available in the city. Shopping is no different.

As such, I never expected to find myself stopping at Grove City Outlets. But on my way home from a trip to Erie and Presque Isle State Park, I saw the outlets coming up and decided to pull over.

While the outlet is still a commercial retail space for national brands, I have to say that the collection of shops is rather impressive all the same.

Read moreGrove City Outlets is a Massive Outlet Shopping Mall Near Pittsburgh

Enjoying Camp Life at Bear Run Campground Near Moraine State Park

Camp life near Pittsburgh is a cherished thing. Everyone knows someone with a camper, and virtually every camp is about an hour away from home (at least, every camp we've ever heard of through friends and acquaintances).

We, unfortunately, never got to experience camp life until only recently, and our first outing brought us to Bear Run Campground near Moraine State Park as guests of the Butler County Visitor's Bureau. After spending two days at the property, we now fully understand why camp life is so popular!

Read moreEnjoying Camp Life at Bear Run Campground Near Moraine State Park

Tour-Ed Mine & Museum Takes an Educational Trip Into a Coal Mine

Virtually everyone knows about Pittsburgh's steel history. You may even know that the city was a big producer of glass and iron as well. But did you know that the area was also a big coal producer too? 

While coal mining was necessary for steel production, there were numerous uses for this bountiful material found in the area- and coal mining boomed for several centuries.

One mine decided to close down in the mid-1900s, despite sitting on a large deposit of coal, and converted the area into an educational museum in order to highlight the history of coal mining in the region. They became the Tour-Ed Mine & Museum, and this spot has been operating educational tours for over 50 years!

Read moreTour-Ed Mine & Museum Takes an Educational Trip Into a Coal Mine