Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to Choose Winter Squash

Now that it’s officially Fall weather here in Pittsburgh, it’s time for a few things that I love…

– Football
– Hockey
– Halloween
– Winter Squash

Living in countrybumpkinville, winter squash is readily available.  Butternut, acorn, pumpkin, patty pan, spaghetti are just some of my favorites however the variety of selections are abundant.  Winter squash is rich in Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Plus squash is one of the top anti-cancer foods to eat, not to mention it’s great for your skin and your heart! Winter squash is low in fat and calories plus it delivers significant nutritional benefits. For example, one cup of baked butternut squash is rich in vitamins A (from beta carotene), B6, C, and E, as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. What’s awesome about squash is that the flavors are generally mild to somewhat sweet therefore they won’t overwhelm other ingredients.

However when you see these things in the store, they are kinda odd shaped and it’s not always to clear to know what are “good” ones to buy.  That’s where I come in.  On today’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer I’m showing you how to choose winter squash!

Tuesday Tip

Let’s squash the fear of winter squash buying!

All-Clad Factory Sale December 4th and 5th 2015

I don’t know about you but this time of year I tend to get super excited! Fall is in the air, Steelers football is on, Penguins hockey, Halloween and Christmas are coming up and then there is the All-Clad Winter Factory Sale!  This truly is one of my most favorite events during the holidays.  The folks at All-Clad have become like family to me.  Genuine, honest, hard working folks like you and I that believe in a product and stand behind it.

All-Clad is not just pots or pans but rather an investment. It’s an investment in quality, craftsmanship and superior excellence.  You can have the best cut of meat there is but if you cook it in a subpar pan you’ll end up with subpar results. With All-Clad you get perfection every single time.  But let’s face it, with quality comes a price tag.  I get it, we’re not all adopted by Brad and Angelina or Oprah won’t return our calls.  Well the folks at All-Clad recognize this and for years they’ve been having these deep-discounted factory sales so everyone can have at least one of these elite pots.  Items are discounted anywhere from 40-70% off which seriously, the first time I saw this I literally could not stop smiling!  Heck I don’t think I even breathed once the whole time I was at the sale!  I was just in a constant state of “GASP!! LOOK!!!  I NEED THAT TOO!!!” And while now I have a pretty extensive collection, I still gasp, ooh and ahhh over the items while I’m there.

They are sexy with their sleek and shiny exteriors.  Their curves just beaming in the lighting.  They just beg for you to take them home and cherish them. I’ve been posting about these sales for years plus sharing it all over Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest you all know I have a deep love for All-Clad. More importantly I have respect for them and their superior product. So make a weekend of it if you’re from out own town and enjoy our amazing city! If you plan on attending let me know as I’d love to meet up with you!



When: Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th, 2015
Time: Friday is from 9am-7pm | Saturday is from 9am – 4pm
Where: Washington County Fair and Expo Center | 2151 North Main Street | Washington, PA 15301 | Phone: 724-225-7718
Directions: http://www.washingtonfair.org/washingtonfair_008.htm if you’re close to Pittsburgh
Things to know:

ο They accept cash and credit card (at least they did the last 16 times I’ve gone).
ο Bring a friend and a bag to carry all of your stuff!
ο There is no better day to go though if there is something you really want, it’s best to go on Friday morning as items sell out fast.
οThe past few times people started lining up pretty early (like 6am) but I go later in the afternoon and there is always a boat load of product left.
ο What is so awesome about this sale is that throughout the entire 2-day sale, the wonderful folks of All-Clad keep replenishing the products.
ο If you buy more than your vehicle can fit (trust me, you will buy and buy and buy!) in the past they have offered UPS shipping.
ο The sale is in-person only; no online ordering. Take the trip and visit – Pittsburgh is GORGEOUS this time of year and it truly is a site to see!
**** Keep an eye out on my Facebook page about their V.I.P. online sale!!!  This is AWESOME and perfect for those of you that can’t make the sale in person! ****
ο The All-Clad employees that work at this event are SUPER nice and extremely helpful!
ο They have recently had a few shopping carts for people to use. If they are being used they do provide heavy boxes that you can either pull around or carry.
ο If this is your first time going, be prepared to be amazed!
ο There will easily be 150k-200k people who will flow through this event.
ο When you walk in they do have a map of all of the items broken down by ‘type’ of product – Copper Core, D5, Electrics and so forth.
ο Ask for me when you’re there!  I’d love to meet you and say hi!

What else can I tell you?

→ I do not work for All-Clad nor do in any way represent the company. I am merely someone who truly loves and respects their products from both an engineering standpoint and cook/chef view.
→ Going by past sales, they have full sets as well as individual pieces, sauce pans, stock pots, non-stick, stainless, crock pots, grill pans, utensils, lids, bake ware, cookware, strainers, griddles and so forth.
→ If you need assistance carrying your items to the car they have amazing folks there that will help you.
→ They have introduced “Flash Sales” on low stock items through out the sale. Please be courteous and try not to run someone over getting that item.
→ Have fun. Really, just have fun. There is so much stuff and the people are so nice. If you’re not sure how to use or clean an item, ask someone.
→ There are hotels close to this sale (within minimal driving distance) so come in for the weekend!
→ If you have questions ask here or contact All-Clad themselves.

And if they ask how you heard about it, tell them The Kitchen Whisperer sent you.

Ultimate Roasted Beef Tenderloin Filet

This dish, this is what Mr. Fantabulous calls a “Man’s Dish”. It’s big, beefy and just flat out cave-man “ish”. Me, I call it YUM cause it’s all kinds of awesomeness in my mouth and tummy!  And OMG seriously it could be any easier to make!  I swear the hardest part (aside from waiting) is probably just tying it up.  The tying up hard isn’t hard though you do need to be able to tie it snuggly however this is a great way to have your kids or other half to help you out in the kitchen.  And my rule when it comes to tying things up in the kitchen is “he who ties it up, gets to cut the strings when it’s done”.  Why is that?  Well for me growing up that was the “funnest” part when it came to getting dinner ready to go to the table.

I think that stems from watching Mom and Dad “struggle” with tying up a Thanksgiving turkey and as badly as I wanted to help I was always told no because it was too difficult and dangerous.  Dangerous?  How?  Yeah, that was before the metal skewers came out to pretty much harpoon the turkey and anchor in it so the string could be tied to it.  I, personally don’t use that then again I don’t make a 25 pound bird stuffed with 47 pounds of stuffing like they did either.

Ultimate Beef Tenderloin1

But back to this dish and the simplicity of it.  Yeah, you, yes you can make this!  Yes, you the one that swears by boxed mac ‘n cheese or take out 5 nights a week.  Stop it.  Just take your time, get all of your ingredients out and ready prior to cooking and just follow along with the recipe.  Cooking doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating but rather pleasurable and fun.

Hungry? Grab a plate and I’ll share!

Weekly Menu

Happy Sunday TKW Family! It’s time for another edition of the weekly menu. My goal when I started posting a weekly menu was to give you different ideas for dinner that can help you get out of a rut.  Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit.  We get up at the same time, do our normal morning routine (mine is bathroom, shower, gym clothes, work out, shower again, head to work), go on with our normal daily routines and come home and then figure out dinner.  Sure you may mix it up here and there but let me ask you this.  When you do mix it up, do you still go back to your ol’ reliable recipes?  I do it from time to time.  We know it tastes good, we know it by heart so there’s no real thinking or effort involved and it’s easy.  Right?  But don’t you tired of the same ol’ same ol’? I know I do.

So that’s where this weekly menu comes into play. Even if you took just one recipe from the menu you’re growing your go-to recipe box by at least 52 recipes a year.  That’s golden folks!  And once you realize that cooking every night isn’t that hard, you’ll fall in love with it and soon those old reliable recipes will be made sparingly. It’s good to mix things up and have a variety.


So how was your past week?  Mine was super busy as I was out of town again for work.  While I hate being away from Mr. Fantabulous I did get a significant amount of work done.  I, sadly, wasn’t able to cook – the hotel still won’t let me but hey, I’m working on that part.  And the only other stuff for me to do other than be in the office is workout (which I’m THRILLED that they have my gym up there), grab dinner with my “other location” friends and go back to the hotel.  And since that’s kinda lonely I tend to just stay longer at the office.  It actually really allowed me to get caught up on some much needed administrative paperwork.

Lets dish, how was your week?

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Apple Picking

With us just celebrating the first day of Fall last week for me it’s a bitter sweet celebration.  Bitter sweet that it means no longer can I go to work without a jacket and soon I’ll need to break out the heavy coat, boots and gloves BUT I get to celebrate Fall all those glorious foods that come with it. Here in Pittsburgh Fall is all about apples and pumpkin farms.  Since the world has gone pumpkin-spice crazy (why?  I don’t get that.) I’m still an apple girl at heart.  I love picking fresh apples and enjoying the 9 bajillion ways to eat them.  But let’s step back and talk about how to pick apples, storing them and just general tips.

So how do you tell an apple is ripe to pick?

Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out the outside of the tree will ripen first.  Do you know why?  The ones that get the most sun will ripen more quickly.  Since the apple gets it Once picked from the tree, the apple stops ripening. Next, look at the color.  Depending on the variety, apples may be yellow, red, green or combinations of these colors at harvest. When the green has almost completely given way to yellow, a yellow variety is mature. With red blush or striped apples, the area where there is no red color usually changes from green to yellowish at maturity.

Tuesday Tip
So now that they are picked, what next?

First is don’t wash them when you go to store them.  This can induce quicker rotting. Next you need to keep the apples cool to extend their shelf life. Almost all apples should be kept cool. For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. However conversely you don’t want them kept too cold.  When the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F as that’ll make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment. If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples.

Lastly, apples and potatoes should never be stored in the same room because, as they age, potatoes release an otherwise ethylene gas, which makes apples spoil faster. If you can keep the gas away from your apples, they will keep just fine.

basket of apples

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