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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7.29.2013 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Fresh, local produce featured at Eat'n Park for the week of July 29, 2013.
  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand Breaded Zucchini and FarmSource Vegetable Soup
Yellow Squash
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup
Grape Tomatoes
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
Fresh in: Dinner Salads and our Soup, Salad, and Fruit Bar
  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Holthouse Farms, Willard, OH
Fresh in: Dinner Salads and our Soup, Salad, and Fruit Bar
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Wier’s Farms, Willard, OH
Fresh in: Coleslaw and Pittsburgh Turkey Sandwich

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cooking With Kids

At Eat’n Park, we’ve made a commitment to helping children and their families make healthier choices. One of the ways that we do that is through volunteerism. Read on to see how Jamie Moore, our Director of Sourcing and Sustainability, shared his talents with a group of local students.

One of the organizations that I actively volunteer with is called Slow Food Pittsburgh. They recently partnered with the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on assisting with hands-on cooking classes for their high school interns through a program called "Learning for a Greener Future".  Cooking is a great life skill that these young adults can take with them as they grow into independent adults. I was excited and honored to be one of their instructors for the afternoon. 

"Learning for a Greener Future" Students
On July 11, I got a chance to teach the young adults some simple but useful cooking techniques with a recipe that will wow their friends. I decided to teach them how to make a veggie hoagie that utilized the following locally grown vegetables: zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce and red peppers.  

Since these students are going to be heading off to college or starting a place of their own, I made sure that I showed them ways to save money when cooking. One of the cost-cutting ideas I showed them was how to roast a red pepper versus purchasing them already roasted. It’s so easy - all you need is a gas stove top or a grill. Simply put the pepper on the open fire or grill and continue to turn until the pepper is charred black. Place it in a paper bag and let sit until its cool. Once cool, the skin from the pepper can easily be pulled off.

Roasting red peppers
After all of the veggies were sliced and roasted, we assembled the hoagies by layering the vegetables onto a large loaf of ciabatta bread.
Assembling the hoagies
Once all of the vegetables were on the sandwiches, I showed the group how to make homemade vinaigrette, which is another cost-saving option.  
Making homemade vinaigrette
After the hoagies were done we sat together and enjoyed them as well as an awesome carrot zucchini cake that Alyce Amery-Spencer a member of Slow Food Pittsburgh made the night before. 

I enjoy teaching young people how to cook because it’s an essential skill that they won’t forget. Plus it aligns with Eat’n Park’s LifeSmiles program, which aims to empower both children and their parents to make healthier choices.  

Below is the recipe for these hoagies. Enjoy!

Until Next time,

Director of Sourcing & Sustainability

Roasted Veggie Hoagie
Yield: 1 large Hoagie (serves 4 – 6)
  • 1 yellow squash, ¼” slices
  • 1 zucchini, ¼” slices
  • 1 eggplant (Japanese or small eggplants), ¼” slices 
  • ½ of a Red onion, ¼” slices
  • 3 plum tomatoes, ½” slices
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 head of bitter lettuce (Frissee or Arugula)
  • ¼ lb. Brick or Munster Cheese (or any cheese that you prefer)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. thyme or other fresh herb
  • ¼ cup red wine vinaigrette (Recipe below)
  • Humus (Recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the first 5 items according to the instructions above.  Add the sliced squash, eggplant and yellow squash to a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Arrange these vegetables on sheet trays and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, flip vegetables over half way through roasting.

Set aside until assembly of the sandwich.

In the meantime, prepare hummus and vinaigrette (recipes below). 

To roast the red peppers, first wash and dry them. Turn one burner on the stove and place pepper in the center. Continue to char the pepper until they are 80% blackened.  Place charred pepper inside of a paper bag.  Let set for 10 minutes. Remove the charred skin and seeds and slice into ½” strips. 
Slice ciabatta bread in half long ways. Spread hummus on the bottom half of the bread then layer with sliced onion, zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, cheese and red peppers. On the other half of bread, spread Dijon mustard then tomatoes and lettuce.  Drizzle vinaigrette over the lettuce and place on top of the bottom of the sandwich. If you’re going to toast the sandwich in the oven don’t put the top with the lettuce and tomato on until after. To toast sandwich, turn on broiler and broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  

Slice sandwich into 4 or 6 slices.   
Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsps. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil

In a small bowl add the first 4 ingredients and whisk together with a wire whip.  While stirring slowly add olive oil and whisk until oil has combined with the other ingredients.
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 cup roasted tahini
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • Salt
Place beans, garlic, half of the lemon juice, tahini, water, olive oil, and a big pinch of salt in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth. If the hummus is too thick, pulse in more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Taste, adding more salt and lemon juice as needed. To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Adventures in Ohio- Smiley Goes to WKDD Kidz Day

Hello everyone! It’s Smiley, here, ready to report on my awesome weekend with my team. We started the weekend at the Saints Simon and Jude parish festival in Greentree, and we concluded on Monday at the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s company picnic at Cedar Point.

On Saturday, we traveled to Green, Ohio for WKDD Kidz Day, which was a great event for everyone involved. The day began with a rainy drive to Ohio, but we arrived to an enthusiastic event staff and everyone was so excited to eat Smiley Cookies! The event was sponsored by WKDD radio station, and there were many different booths, vendors, and performers set up to provide fun and entertainment. 

Hanging out at WKDD Kidz Day
My crew and I took a stroll around the park grounds to see everything that was set up. Highlights for us included Sit Means Sit dog training, The Pierogi Lady, the life flight helicopter, Iron Man inflatable obstacle courses, Fred the blind pony, and the many different Ohio sports teams that were represented. We saw some great performers as well, including dance academy showcases, dancing robots, and Alex Angelo, an up-and-coming local DJ. I got to meet some other mascots as well, including the very tall frogs from Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt. 

I got to meet the Sweet Frogs
Guests at the event had a wonderful time decorating their own Smiley Cookies and sharing Smiley Cookies with their families. Some people even had their first Smiley Cookie at this event, and they responded with rave reviews! We were so glad to be a part of this event, spreading smiles and Cookies to everyone in Ohio.

What a great day!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Eat'n Park Teams Up with FitUnited

Last fall, we announced our support of a new initiative aimed at improving the health of our area’s children by mobilizing and motivating our community. FitUnited, launched by The United Way of Allegheny County, was a natural fit (no pun intended) with our goal of creating a healthier future for our children.

FitUnited brings together like-minded organizations to support this objective through education and outreach. How? By encouraging healthy eating at youth-serving organizations, increasing awareness of how to choose and access healthy foods, and increasing physical activity, for starters.

And who better exemplifies physical activity than our own Pittsburgh Pirates? This video, featuring Pirate Neil Walker and his teammates, illustrates just how easy it is to be a healthy role model for kids.

To learn more about FitUnited, click here.


7.22.2013 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Fresh, local produce featured at Eat'n Park for the week of July 22, 2013.

  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand Breaded Zucchini and  FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Yellow Squash
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw and Pittsburgh Turkey Sandwich

Monday, July 22, 2013

WPXI Skylights Media Day

Hi friends! It’s Smiley, and last weekend was an eventful weekend that consisted of a parish festival, a walk supporting epilepsy, and the pre-Pirates game Kids Day at PNC Park. On Tuesday, Team Smiley and I were invited to attend the WPXI Skylights Media Day at Heinz Field. Football teams, cheerleading squads, and marching bands from around the Pittsburgh area gathered together for a collective pep rally! We, of course, were the cookie suppliers of the event!

I was able to do so many fun things while at Heinz Field. I hung out with my friend Sarah Marince and I met football great, Hines Ward and 96.1 radio hosts, Mikey and Big Bob. Not only did I visit with these smiling faces, but I met a bunch of football players and cheerleaders who had just as much pep as I do!

Here I am with Mikey & Big Bob from KISS FM and Sarah Marince

Football players love Smiley
The highlight of the day was having a role in the commercial that will be airing soon to promote the upcoming Skylights football season. With the camera on us, Sarah and I sung and danced together on the field. Keep an eye out for the commercial!

Filming the WPXI Skylights commercial
I am so excited to be a part of this WPIAL football tradition. I can’t wait for the season to begin so I can cheer on my favorite teams!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Introducing Our New Soup, Salad, and Fruit Bar!

It’s hard to believe that our endless Soup & Salad Bar has been around since 1978. What can we say; guests love our fresh-cut fruit, homemade soups, and abundance of salad bar toppings! But we wanted to make our Salad Bar even better – so let me introduce you to our new Soup, Salad, and Fruit Bar.

Let’s start with our lettuce choices. We now feature three different types of lettuce every single day. Choose from mixed greens, or alternating spinach, Romaine, and spring mix.

We’ve also added:
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Pasta
  • Corn & Black Bean Salsa
  • Combination of red and green peppers (fresh from local  farms, in season)
But we didn’t stop there. We have two new salad dressings: Red Wine Vinaigrette and Citrus Lime Vinaigrette. Give them a try – they are both light and refreshing options!

You can also enjoy our new homemade prepared salads that will be rotated throughout the week.

Waldorf Salad (Sundays) – First presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1893, this salad is made form apples, grapes, walnuts, celery, and mayonnaise.

Couscous & Black Bean Salad (Mondays) - A staple in Mediterranean diets; coarsely ground semolina wheat pasta formed into tiny pasta “grains”. Tossed with fresh diced tomatoes, black beans, peppers, and citrus lime vinaigrette.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad (Tuesdays) -  Fresh local tomatoes and crisp cucumbers tossed in Italian dressing.

Grilled Fresh Marinated Vegetables (Wednesdays) – Zucchini, mushrooms, and onions all sliced, marinated, and chargrilled to perfection.

Couscous Salad (Thursdays) – A staple in Mediterranean diets; coarsely ground semolina wheat pasta formed into tiny pasta “grains”. Tossed with roasted sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, red peppers and raisins.

Macaroni Salad (Fridays) – A classic salad sure to be a favorite!

Potato Salad (Saturdays) – Just like Grandma’s Fourth of July salad…made fresh every day!

And as always, we have an abundance of fresh hand-cut fruit, homemade soups, and housemade breads on our bar.  Are you hungry yet?


7.15.2013 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Fresh, local produce featured at Eat'n Park for the week of July 15, 2013.

  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: Hand Breaded Zucchini and  FarmSource Vegetable Soup

Yellow Squash
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Wexford Farms, Butler County, PA
Fresh in: FarmSource Vegetable Soup

  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw and Pittsburgh Turkey Sandwich

Friday, July 12, 2013

Eat’n Park Family Week Recap

Hello friends! It’s Smiley here, and I hope you are keeping dry in this rainy weather! Despite the bad weather over the past few days, my team and I had a nice, sunny weekend to conclude Eat’n Park Family Week at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. All throughout the weekend, Zoo guests stopped by our tent to celebrate my birthday, play games, and of course, eat Smiley Cookies!

Eat'n Park Family Week
Our festivities started on the Fourth of July. My team set up at the entrance of the Zoo to greet guests on Independence Day, and we celebrated with patriotic temporary tattoos and an abundance of cookies. I also enjoyed a dance party and photo opportunities with the Zoo’s Shark mascot!

Dancing with the zoo's shark mascot
On Saturday, we helped the Zoo celebrate Underwater Adventure Day. This meant that I got to hang out with my Shark friend again at the PPG Aquarium and the Eat’n Park Beach Party, which was a lot of fun. I saw the live sharks from the underwater tunnel, and I even posed for pictures next to a giant polar bear statue!

I love the zoo!
Finally, on Sunday, we arrived at the Zoo to give guests Smiley Cookies for the road. We had fans from near and far stop by for cookies, ranging from Zoo employees to one family that was visiting all the way from Canada! We even had guests drive by our tent for curbside cookie distribution. Overall, we had a great time celebrating Eat’n Park Family Week with our fans at the Zoo!


Monday, July 8, 2013

7.8.2013 Eat'n Park FarmSource Listing

Want to know what's fresh and local at Eat'n Park? Stop back to our blog every week to see what ripe fruits and veggies we have in from local farms.

Week Of July 8, 2013

  • Brenckle Farms, Butler County, PA
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
Fresh in: Hand Breaded Zucchini
  • Yarnick Farms, Indiana, PA
Fresh in: Coleslaw and Pittsburgh Turkey Sandwich

Friday, July 5, 2013

Congratulations to our 2013 Scholarship Winners

We care about our team members and their education, which is why every year we grant over $50,000 in academic scholarships to students who are working for us. We recognize the importance of education in our communities and we believe that making an investment in our team members is essential to the growth of our company.

This year we gave out 43 scholarships to college students and graduating high school seniors.  Best of luck to the following recipients who will be starting their college careers this fall: 

•  Kelsey Butler, North Huntingdon Restaurant - Hempfield Area High School
•  Cassandra Coban, South Hills Restaurant - Brashear High School
•  Matthew Come, North Huntingdon Restaurant - Greensburg Central Catholic

   High School
•  Leanne Crawford, Hampton Township Restaurant - Deer Lakes High School
•  Crystal David, Washington Restaurant - McGuffey High School
•  Jessica Durigon, Uniontown Restaurant - Uniontown Area High School
•  Jacob Fricioni, Cranberry Restaurant - Seneca Valley Senior High School
•  Samantha Gavin, McKnight Road (Northbound) Restaurant - Shaler Area

   High School
•  Erin Gramm, Whitehall Restaurant - Thomas Jefferson High School
•  Megan McNerney, Whitehall Restaurant - Baldwin High School
•  Lisamarie Moss, Whitehall Restaurant- Thomas Jefferson High School
•  Benjamin Nickel, Cranberry Restaurant - Seneca Valley Senior High School
•  Kasey Rhodamer, Somerset Restaurant - Somerset Area High School
•  Tyler Smith, Natrona Heights Restaurant - Knoch High School
•  Karianne Sulkowski, Somerset Restaurant - Shanksville-Stonycreek

   High School
•  Sha’Raya Taylor, McKnight Road (Northbound) Restaurant - The

   Neighborhood Academy
•  Kendall Uhler, McKnight Road (Northbound) Restaurant - North Hills Senior

   High School
•  Eryne Wiethorn, Robinson Restaurant - West Allegheny Senior High School
•  Shante Wright, Monroeville Restaurant - The Neighborhood Academy


Team Smiley Enjoys Kids Day at PNC Park

Hey guys! It’s Smiley here, and I am having such a fantastic time celebrating Eat’n Park Family Week at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium! Aside from hanging out with my super cool animal friends, I have also made time to hang out with some of my favorite people, Pittsburgh Pirate fans!

Every Sunday Pirate-home-game on Federal Street is Kids Day, an afternoon dedicated to all-things kids. There are so many fun activities including face painting, moon bounces, autograph signings, balloon artists, and on selected Sundays, Eat’n Park Smiley Cookies! Guests of all ages can check out my Cookie Cruiser and decorate their very own Smiley Cookie! I love seeing the different designs people decorate their cookies with. They always look so delicious!

Kids Day at PNC Park
Another thing I love about hanging out on Federal Street are all the fans. I love seeing everyone decked out in their Pirate gear, especially the little Bucaroos!

Young Bucaroos
But you know that I also love the music. These two guys play guitar and sing popular songs at every home Pirates game, and let me tell you what- they are AWESOME. They were so good that I tipped them in Smiley cookies!

Showing off my dance moves on Federal Street
I can’t wait until our next visit on July 14th. I just love hanging out with the fans, and my BFF, the Pirate Parrot, and cheering on the home team!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Roll for a Cause on August 3rd

Every year, our company rallies together to raise money for the local children’s hospitals and charities in the communities we serve. In our restaurants, our “Caring for Kids” campaign takes place over the holidays, featuring special events and fundraisers in each of our locations. Our other divisions get in the act, too – and not just over the holidays!

Parkhurst Dining, our corporate and campus dining division, annually holds a motorcycle run benefitting the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Free Care Fund. This year, the event will take place on Saturday, August 3rd, and we’d love for you to come out and join us!

For just $20, participants can ride their motorcycles from Washington to West Mifflin, and receive a complimentary picnic-style cookout. Or, if you have someone riding on the back of your motorcycle, it’s only $35 for both of you! And if you aren’t into riding, you can stop by the picnic to eat, have fun, and support a great cause for just $15.

The ride begins at 10:30 AM at the Steel City Harley-Davidson in Washington, PA and ends at the Hot Metal Harley-Davidson in West Mifflin, PA. For more information, click here


Team Smiley Visits New Kensington Community Days

Hi Friends! It’s Smiley again and I am so excited to tell you about all the fun I had two weekends ago! On Saturday, the crew and I went to the St. Therese Parish Festival in Munhall. I loved listening to the band, and meeting new people! On Sunday, we went to the New Kensington Community Days where I participated in some really cool activities.

When we arrived in New Kensington, we set up the Cookie Cruiser next to all the food booths, and boy did they smell delicious.  There were so many good options, that I just couldn’t decide what smelled the best! (Next to the Smiley cookies of course!)  I walked around the park where I visited the vendor booths, and met tons of community members, including my new friend, Dr. Bear. He was so nice and funny, and I loved meeting him!

My new friend, Dr. Bear

After hanging out with Dr. Bear, I felt inspired, so I decided to help support the New Ken EMT’s and learn CPR!  I stopped by their booth and watched an instructional video and then practiced chest compressions on a “dummy doll.”  I did so well that I earned my certificate of completion. I am now emergency ready! 

CPR training
After completing CPR training, I headed straight for the dance floor. The band at the park was awesome and they played some of my favorite songs! I had so much fun dancing and rockin’ out on the air guitar that I was one happy cookie!

Showing off my dance moves