In The Sisters’ Kitchen By now you know that we love fresh food and we love to cook. We just can’t help ourselves and are always on the look out for exciting new products, cooking techniques or tricks to make our tasks a little easier.
We hope these ideas will help make your cooking go more smoothly and keep you exploring new flavors in the wonderful world of food. If you have a tip or recipe that you'd love to share please let us know. Email us at
with your ideas.
We proudly offer Parma Sausage Products, locally owned since 1954. Five generations have been producing the finest fresh sausages, cooked sausages, and dry-cured sausages, Prosciutto, and Pancetta found in the area. Each authentic Italian meat is made from family recipes that have been passed on from one generation to the next, right here in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.
Rina Edwards still makes Prosciutto the old-fashioned way. She takes her time and use the extra care and a commitment to the highest quality standards taught by her father Luigi Spinabelli. Rina’s family is originally forming Ranzano, a region of Parma, Italy.
Rina uses only select fresh hams, and monitors the Prosciutto from the first salting to the end of the long aging process. By never speeding up the aging process the result is an authentic old word taste. You can find Parma Prosciutto and other fine Parma products right on our deli. We slice each order fresh and to your specification.
A customer asked and the answer is... Yes! This holiday we will have our Easter Ham Dinner available this March. Our dinner includes a 5-6lb McGinnis Sisters Ham off the bone with peach glaze, green bean almandine, potato augratin, and reheating instructions. Serves 8-10 guests for only $69.99.
McGinnis Old Fashioned Easter Ham - Our Father Elwood's Original recipe for a slow smoked - low salt, low water ham. Choose from whole or half bone in, spiral cut or boneless baby doll hams. Our hams are perfect with Our Mother Rosella's Peach Glaze. Serving size is 1/2 - 1lb per person.
McGinnis Sisters Standing Rib Roast - The standing rib roast is the center piece of a traditional holiday meal. We recommend the Club Cut which is more and juicy. Standing Rib Roasts are beautifully marbled and as the roast cooks, that marbling melts creating a tender and juicy roast. A whole roast will contain 7 ribs. Our meat cutters detach the rib bones and hand-tie the meat and ribs back into position. Each rib will serve two guests.
We the following this simple recipe.
McGinnis Sisters Aged American Angus Whole Beef Tenderloin - The prized center section of the whole, trimmed tenderloin with the sirloin and tip ends removed. This center-cut section is of a single cut of beef that is perfect when you use Bonnie's No Fail recipe! Plan on about 1/2 lbs per guest.
Not sure how long to cook those pork chops or how to grill that New York Strip to medium? Use our easy temperature guide to ensure your food is cooked safely.
First, make sure you have an instant read thermometer on hand. Many are even pre-programmed with the temperatures for each type of protein.
Rare 120 to 125°F. Center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion
Medium Rare 130 to 135°F. Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion
Medium 140 to 145°F. Center is light pink, outer portion is brown
Medium Well 150 to 155°F. Very little pink if any.
Well Done 160°F. Uniformly brown throughout.
Ground Beef should always reach 165°F.
Fish - 145 °F
Pork - 160 °F
Chicken Breasts - 165 °F
Whole Poultry - 165 °F
Egg Dishes - 160 °F
You may be surprised to learn that McGinnis Sisters was the first retail supporter of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and their Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign. McGinnis Sisters signed on early to help promote the benefits of supporting local farms and local producers. We worked with PASA to help the organization better understand customer needs and questions surrounding local products. Since then the movement has received a lot of attention as families and individuals learn what makes a Pennsylvania strawberry or the home grown corn so special.
We know that getting kids to eat healthy is hard, especially when it is easy to grab french fries or chicken nuggets in the drive thru.Next time you need a healthy snack try these fun ideas that both you and your child can feel good about.
GRAPES: Freeze them for a mouth-popping treat.This is also a great Halloween party snack called Frozen Eyeballs.
MONKEY TREATS: Cut a banana in half length-wise. Spread with peanut butter and a few mini-chocolate chips.
PEANUTBUTTER APPLES: Cut in wedges. Spread with thin coating of peanut butter.
BAKED APPLES: Core apple. Fill with brown sugar and raisins. Put in bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add small amount of apple juice or water. Cover with microwave safe lid. Microwave until soft.
ORANGE WHEELS: Peel. Cut across the orange to get “wheels.” Arrange on plate. Sprinkle with grated coconut.
FRUIT KABOBS: Alternate bite-sized fruit on toothpick or skewer. Strawberries, grapes and melon are good choices. Can include chunks of cheese.
FRUIT SALAD : Mix your choice of fresh or canned fruit together. Top with vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt and a sprinkle of nuts or coconut.
FRUIT SMOOTHIE: Blend low-fat milk or yogurt with frozen fruit.
VEGGIE BAGELS: Grate or chop carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Spread bagel half with garden cream cheese or ranch dressing. Layer generously with veggies. Add sprinkle of grated cheese.
RAW VEGETABLES: Keep raw vegetables in water in the refrigerator along with light vegetable dip or ranch dressing. Have available for all to snack on while preparing supper.
ANTS ON A LOG: Fill celery with peanut butter or soft cheese spread and top with raisins.
CARROT AND PINEAPPLE SALAD: Drain 1 can crushed pineapple. Add 3 cups of grated carrots and ½ cup raisins. Stir in 1 cup vanilla yogurt and a few dashes of cinnamon. Top with grated coconut.
Brussels sprouts, members of the cabbage family, are in season this winter. Americans tend to shy away from this great veggie because we don't know how to select, store and prepare healthy Brussels sprouts. Look for small, firm sprouts with compact, bright green heads. Choose sprouts of similar size for even cooking and roasting.
When preparing your Brussels sprouts for storage remove any loose leaves and seal the unwashed Brussels sprouts in an airtight plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator. Try to use your sprouts as quickly as possible, since their flavor will start to become strong after three or four days. When ready to use wash each Brussels sprout and pat dry, removing any loose leaves. Trim the stem ends and cut in half for easy cooking. Brussels sprouts should be cooked only until tender but still slightly crisp. Their color should remain intense; olive colored sprouts are a sign of overcooked. To check doneness, pierce the stem end with a fork, it should penetrate easily. Check our Recipes
page for easy preparation tips!
Brussels sprouts also a good source of: Vitamins A and C.
Butternut squash is in season right now and make a great addition to lunch and dinner. Look for a squash that has no cracks or soft spots and is heavy for its size. Butternut squash will keep for months in a cool, dry place, so pick out ones you like and store until ready to use.
If making a recipe that calls for mashed squash, the easiest way to prepare it is to cut the squash in half vertically, and remove the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place the halves, cut sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add water to a depth of 1 inch, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender-when you can pierce the squash easily with a small knife. Let the squash cool, then scoop the pulp out with a spoon, and mash the pulp with a potato masher.
Other Tips and Tricks: One pound uncooked butternut squash will yield about 1 cup mashed. When the recipe calls for chopped, peeled squash (uncooked) Cut the squash in half and remove its seeds and fibers with a spoon.Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in cubes, and proceed with your recipe.
Many people assume that all farm raised Atlantic salmon are the same quality and flavor. Foley's has "gone to school" on Atlantic salmon to provide the very highest quality, firmest textured, freshest and most flavorful Atlantic salmon produced anywhere.
Several major factors differentiate one farmed raised Atlantic salmon from another including gene pool, farming practices, harvest and travel time. Attention to detail at each step along the way, from the hatchery to the final shipping determines the overall quality and flavor of the salmon that we offer our customers.
In addition, Foley salmon farms test their salmon regularly at the parts per trillion levels for PCB's which is significantly higher than current government standards. Foley stands behind the healthfulness and quality of each fish.
Foley Fish also partners with farms who raise their fish with good husbandry. For example, all of our Foley Farmed Salmon is fed an all natural feed. Further, they cover their pens with polar twine tops to prevent fish escape. They feature underwater cameras to monitor feed and stop adding feed once the fish stop eating. They also allow pens to lay fallow and rotate pens as a farmer would his fields.
Unlike other companies who merely join associations, Foley Fish actively participates in fishery management with a representative on both the National Marine Fisheries Northeast Groundfish Advisory Panel and the Highly Migratory Species Panel. Foley's direct involvement in fishery management allows us to steer our customers to well managed, sustainable species. McGinnis Sisters is the exclusive retail provider of Foley Fish in Pittsburgh.
For Italians and those who love traditional Italian cuisine, it is time to start thinking about Christmas Eve Baccala. Any Italian worth his or her salt knows that tradition states that you can't wait until the last minuted to start preparing the Baccala. Don't let modern day recipes fool you, Baccala must be soaked for three days. For tradition's sake of course!
Start by cutting your Baccala into larger pieces so they fit into a large baking dish or a large container that will keep the Baccala submerged under water. Start the soaking process by first rinsing the fish and then soaking it in fresh cold water for three days.Be sure to change the water at least twice a day and keep your fish in a cool place. You will notice the fish will start to swell up as the cold fresh water is absorbed.
On Christmas Eve you will be ready to bake or pan fry your traditional Baccala. We have a great recipe to share from one of your McGinnis Team Members Denise. Her husband, Alex, makes the Baccala every Christmas to celebrate his Italian heritage and to celebrate family tradition. Find Alex's recipe here.
Or try this traditional Salt Cod with Tomatoes and Capers
Celebrate the Holidays with our beautiful Rosemary trees. McGinnis Sister Rosemary trees make a great additions to your holiday décor and a perfect gift for anyone on your list. A recipe book is included with the plant, along with care instructions. Why pay up to $40 when ordering oline when our Rosemary trees are under $17.
Let the Sisters do the work for you. We have a variety of sides to feed a crowd or a small gathering. Pre-orders strongly encouraged. Availability varies per location. Please call our store and speak with a Deli Team Member regarding the selection at your neighborhood store.
The perfect holiday meal always begins with the very best ingredients from a partner you can trust. McGinnis Sisters has the finest quality specialty meat items to make your holiday celebration great tasting and stress free! No matter the centerpiece of your holiday meal, we will help you create a truly unforgettable holiday meal. Online ordering
is now available and creating the perfect holiday meal is easier than ever.
A customer asked and the answer is... Yes! This holiday we will have our Christmas Ham Dinner available this December. McGinnis Sisters Ham off the bone with peach glaze, au gratin potatoes and green bean almondine. Serves 8 to 10 guests for only $69.99. Reheating instructions included.
Our Cheese Shoppe is very excited about Beemster cheese. We have five different types of Beemster, which come from the quiet canal lined pastures of North Holland. This remarkable landscape, located 20 feet below sea level, was reclaimed from the sea in the year 1612. In search of better pastures, Dutch farmers moved north and found a lagoon stretching out to the sea. Using dykes and 106 windmills, this area referred to in Dutch as a Polder, was drained and soon became inhabited by lucky dairy cows.
The lush pastures are filled with minerals and it is against the law to use any chemicals or pesticides. Can you imagine how rich the milk is, one taste of Beemster cheese and you will. Beemster Classic is aged 18 months and is a 'Royal cheese'. To achieve this honor and be served at Court, a cheese must be made for 100 years with no mistakes.
Cheese is an investment in good taste and proper storage helps preserve the purity of its flavor. Plastic wrap, foil and other non porous materials suffocate and kill cheese, altering its flavor and accelerating spoilage.
Formaticum's two-ply Cheese Paper simulates the cave envireonment where cheese is traditionally aged. It allows the cheese to breathe while maintaining optimal humidity. Formaticum Cheese Paper is a small investment to keep your cheese fresher longer.
Here's how: Remove store wrap and put cheese in Formaticum Paper, placing the wrapped cheese in high humidity bin or a sealed container in your fridge. Use the enclosed adhesive labels to identify your cheese and ensure a proper wrap. Package contains 15 sheets of 11-14 cheese paper, enough to wrap 30 medium pieces of cheese for only $6.99. Now you can feel secure about your cheese investment and keep it optimally fresh so that each bite tastes as great as the day it was cut.
Use our fool proof method and think of your cheese plate as a clock.
Place the mildest cheese in the Noon position. Try Brie, Havarti, or Erin Gold. Next at Three o'clock stir things up a bit with Parrano or Champagne Cheddar. At Six o'clock start rockin' the platter with a two year old Black Diamond or Tillamook Cheddar, Manchego or Fontiago. Nine o'clock bring your platter full circle with Beemster Classic, award winning Sartori Gold or invite Old Brugge and see what happens.
Now the fun begins, fill in the gaps with honeyed nuts, fresh dates, dried fruit and fresh from the oven breads. Plan to purchase about 2oz of cheese per person.
So what exactly is Crème Fraîche? After you milk the cows, set the fresh cream aside. Let the natural lactic bacteria take over — creating a thick, smooth, tart result known as crème fraîche.
When Bob Reese and Allison co-founded Vermont Butter & Cheese Company in 1984, their first product was Vermont Chèvre, the company’s signature goats’ milk cheese. Vermont Crème Fraîche, their first cows’ milk creation — and another perfect combination of modern technology and time-honored European methods — followed close on its heels.
A staple of French cuisine, Crème Fraîche is exquisitely rich, with the cultured, nutty flavor and creamy texture. Crème Fraîche will add a richness to sauces, stews, and soups. Mix with fresh ripe berries for a refreshing summer inspired dessert. Or try this velvety Crème Fraîche and Chive Mashed Potatoes
dish, a great compliment to any meal.
Brie cheese is a wonderful soft-ripened cow's milk cheese that is off-white or light grey in color. This creamy cheese is covered by a semi-soft white edible rind.
Fresh Brie should have a slightly acidic odor and a buttery, salty flavor. Double and triple cream Brie's are the most popular amount the imported Fresh Brie cheeses. In order for a cheese to be called triple cream the butterfat content must be at least 75%. Double cream cheese only needs to have a butterfat content of 60%. In general triple cream cheeses are going to be smoother, richer, and more complex with a texture closer to butter (which is 100% butterfat) than a double cream cheese. It is almost always worth the splurge for a triple cream Brie but when hosting a party, a double cream Brie will help your dollars stretch without sacrificing flavor.
Store Brie cheese in the refrigerator in the vegetable or high humidity drawer. When selecting Brie, always check the expiration date on the package to ensure the product won’t spoil within a few days. When you get home re-wrap your Brie tightly in wax paper and then in foil. We also suggest using the cheese papers sold in our cheese dept as they are created specifically to increase the life of your cheese. The cheese papers simulate a cheese cave right in your own refrigerator.
Brie is excellent served on its own with a variety of nuts, fresh and dried fruits, preserves, chutneys, crackers and breads. The rind of the cheese, although slightly bitter, is also edible. Brie can also be wrapped in puff pastry and baked for Brie en croute. Brie is also great in fondue, sauces, paté, on baked potatoes and in soups and sandwiches.
Bob’s Red Mill offers a wide variety of whole grain products including whole grain flower, hot cereal and baking mixes to make incorporating whole grains into your diet easier. Bob’s Red Mill is the nation’s leader in stone milling and offers the widest diversity of whole grains found anywhere.
For those suffering from Celiac disease Bob’s Red Mill has become a leader in producing high quality Gluten Free products. McGinnis Sisters is a leader among those offering Gluten Free products. In 2001 we started carrying Gluten Free essential and hosting classes and informational sessions. Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods creates several of our favorite Gluten Free products including brownie and bread mixes.
Be sure to check for the Gluten Free symbol on all certified gluten free products. This symbol informs those following a gluten free diet that the product is produced in a dedicated facility free from wheat and other gluten-containing grains or derivatives.
The Stonewall Kitchen dream began 21 years ago with a few jams displayed on a three foot card table at a farmers market in Maine. Since then this dynamic company has been driven by a passion for food and a knack for creativity.
We visited Jonathan King and James Scoot in Maine for a full tour of the Stonewall Kitchen facilities. We were among the lucky few who have ever gotten a rare behind the scenes look into their word of jellies, jams, sauces and mixes. We spent time in the company stores, the factory, and the test kitchen to get an up-close look at this award winning line. After dinner at their home we could not agree more that life with Stonewall Kitchen is always delicious.
McGinnis Sisters is a proud supporter of the 3/50 Project. Cinda Baxter started this very simple concept on her blog AlwaysUpward.com.
Simply put, spend $100 locally, and $68 of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Spend the same amount at a national chain and only $43 stays within the community. Spend that online, and nothing comes home. So each month pick three independent businesses you'd hate to see disappear, spend $50 per month and save your local economy. For more information visit www.the350project.net
The flu season is fast approaching so be sure your family is prepared and takes steps to stay healthy!
Stay informed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a comprehensive Web site for higher education institutions, including fraternities and sororities, and preparing for the flu. Visit the site at www.flu.gov
for more information.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.o Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcoholbased hands cleaners are also effective.Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Try to get plenty of rest (7 hours sleep recommended). Eat regularly and don’t skip meals. Choose variety, including fruits and vegetables, and proteins, low fat milk and milk products, healthy grains, plenty of water daily.Staying hydrated is very important. Stay active. The balance between rest and activity is a critical one for all of use in building and maintaining a healthy body and immune system, which we depend on when the body is stressed with illness.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Better Batter Gluten Free Flour is the brainchild of Naomi Poe, and quite literally an answer to prayer. In 2003, after a year and a half of unsuccessful therapies for developmental and speech delays commonly associated with autism, Naomi asked her doctor, in desperation, if there was something she was missing. Naomi’s doctor suggested that perhaps gluten was behind her oldest son’s autistic symptoms. Testing revealed that he was suffering from gluten enteropathy. Six weeks on the diet were enough to cause an 180 degree improvement in her son, so much so that he was taken off of the ’spectrum’ for autistic behavior.
Feeding her family of four on a Glueten Free diet, Naomi began to look for better tasting and easy to use Gluten Free mixes. Finally, Naomi came up with a formula for a Gluten Free Flour that could be used in traditional recipes and Better Batter was born! Find great tasting recipes at www.betterbatter.org