Home & Garden Show will feature Post-Gazette staffers

March 1, 2012 10:51 am
  • The Post-Gazette's Gretchen McKay will demonstrate how to make New Orleans Beignets at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show this weekend.
    The Post-Gazette's Gretchen McKay will demonstrate how to make New Orleans Beignets at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show this weekend.
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Gearing up for a spring project? Several Post-Gazette staffers will share their expertise in cooking, gardening, decorating and home renovation this weekend at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show, which starts Friday in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and runs through March 11.

The presentations will take place this and next weekend on the PG Showcase Stage on the second level of the center. Many will focus on all things French, in partnership with the Passport to Paris Giveaway presented by Delta Vacations and FlyPittsburgh.com. The contest will give one lucky attendee a free trip to Paris.

Familiar faces will include garden columnist Doug Oster, who Saturday at 4 p.m. will demonstrate how to plant an edible French garden.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, food writer Gretchen McKay will be frying up batch after crispy batch of beignets, a doughnut-like treat served with powdered sugar.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, staffer Rosa Colucci will host "French Wine and Cheese Pairings" with Deb Mortillaro, co-owner of Dreadnought Wines in the Strip District.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10, Ms. Colucci will moderate a session with extreme couponer Andria Alexander of simplyfrugalliving.com.

Below, we offer the beignet recipe Gretchen will be demonstrating -- and handing out samples of -- Sunday. At 2 p.m. the following Sunday, March 11, she'll be making another favorite French food, crepes.

Home Show admission is $10 and $4 for children 6 to 12.

For a complete schedule of appearances, check out the PG's Home & Garden section on Saturday. The show's website is pghhomeshow.com.

New Orleans Beignets

PG tested

Beignets are a sweet, yeast-risen fried dough that are covered with powdered sugar. They've been associated with Mardi Gras in France since at least the 16th century, and are a favorite anytime treat at the world-famous Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans' French Quarter.

The doughnuts are best served piping hot, alongside a cup of cafe au lait, but you also can keep freshly fried beignets warm in a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes. Don't be stingy with the powdered sugar!

Combine yeast with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add evaporated milk, eggs, salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

First Published 2012-02-29 23:38:12

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