Mama Malkin’s Borscht

April 14, 2010

Since it’s playoff time again, ThePittsburghChannel’s web editors are reprinting Becky Emmers’ blog post from June 9, 2009. You can check it out below. 

(The free offer was only good back then, but the recipe is still the same!) 

Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin


The 17th Street Cafe in the South Side is giving away free cups of Red Borscht Soup tonight, for Pens fans who show up to watch the game. Borscht is the kind of soup that Natalia Malkin makes for her superstar son, Evgeni Malkin. Here is the recipe that the restaurant sent out in a mass email. Yummy! Let’s Go Pens! 

1 pound any kind of meat, cubed (approximately 1 1/2-inches)
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
8-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium beets, peeled and shredded
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-ounce can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream, for topping
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish 

Fill a large pot halfway with water (about 2 quarts), add the meat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage and the can of diced tomatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. 

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beets, and cook until tender. Add the carrots, the white sugar and the raw garlic. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Add skillet contents to the soup and bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and additional sugar, if desired. 

Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley. 


It’s that time of year again fellas! Time to grow playoff beards for the Pittsburgh Penguins! There is another Penguins Beard-A-Thon to benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Fans who are willing to put down their razors are asked to enroll online and upload photos of their shaved faces. Throughout the playoffs, growers can ask their peers to pledge their beards while updating their profile pictures. Prizes will go tot the top three beard growers. reports Double Wide Grill in the South Side is also hosting a playoff beard competition. Stop by the restaurant and get your before photo. The best playoff beard grower will receive a $500 cash prize!

While we’re on the Pens topic, check out my favorite Facebook group of the week. Open the Civic Arena Roof One More Time! The group wants the Mellon Arena roof to open at least one more time if government officials decide to tear it down. I’m not even sure it that’s possible, but sure is a fun idea! As of Friday afternoon, the group had more than 130 members.

I hope everyone has a FABULOUS weekend! 🙂

My Montreal Trip

March 4, 2010

A very nice employee at the Mellon Arena brought this to my attention…I never posted my Montreal trip pictures! Here they are! I wish I were there right now!

Chez Suzette is the first place we ate. Amazing crepes!

Notre-Dame Basilica (Celine Dion was married here)

Bell Centre...surprised to see so many fans during warm-ups!

Adam and I posing during intermission!

After the game (the Pens lost 😦 )

Cafe Europa...the best restaurant I've ever been to!

Surprise mini donuts and COTTON CANDY at the end of the dinner!

Pittsburgh Parking Chairs

February 19, 2010

Parking Chair in Greenfield Courtesy: Funky Dung

If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow, you may enjoy an event taking place at the the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. Tomorrow is Pittsburgh Parking Chair Day! From 10:00am until 3:00pm, artists will be decorating chairs that many Pittsburghers like to use to save parking spots on the street. There will also be games of musical chairs.

 Sticking with the parking chair theme, my favorite Facebook group of the week is called The Pittsburgh Parking Chair. Within a few days the group had more than 2,000 members!

FYI. Pittsburgh police say trying to reserve a parking space on the street with a chair (or any object) is illegal. Bet that’s not going to stop some residents!

It’s my favorite story of Links N’@ today. A Valentine’s Day proposal at the New York Rangers game. A brave fan asked his girlfriend to marry him by using the jumbotron. Apparently, he didn’t get the answer he thought he’d receive!

Update: The Huffington Post reports this was a hoax. Thanks goodness!

I went up to Winterfest 2010 again this year. It was FABULOUS! So much snow up there! When I find some pictures, I will post them! The fun continues through the weekend for those of you who missed out!

Crazy Weather!

February 10, 2010

No Links N’@ today. All of our resources are dedicated to weather coverage. As of noon, five counties are under a blizzard warning! Be safe out there!

Traffic Watch 4's Scott Stiller in the newsroom

Traffic Watch 4’s Scott Stiller has been working overtime. He’s constantly monitoring road conditions and traffic emergencies. He normally just works during the morning, but he’ll be here tonight AND was here last night. I snapped a picture of him receiving instructions in the newsroom and he was SHAVING! LOL!

My driveway on Sunday night

Luckily I missed the storm this weekend. I took my boyfriend to Montreal for the Pens game (it was his Christmas present)! I will post some pictures from the Canada trip in the coming days. We received texts and calls about how bad the weather was here, but we were just shocked when we got home! Thank goodness my boyfriend’s dad and brother carved out a path down the driveway for us! They even shoveled out my SUV! So kind! How will I pay them back?!

My SUV on Sunday night

If you haven’t already, you should really check out Live Wire. Anyone and everyone can post comments and pictures about the weather! It’s great hearing and seeing what’s happening in other neighborhoods!


I first told you about the new sitcom based in Pittsburgh coming to ABC on Links N’@.  Just check out the skyline is the picture above! Production is now underway. ABC just sent out this press release:

Production has begun in Studio City, California on “Romantically Challenged,” an ensemble comedy about four friends trying to find love and happiness, coming to ABC this season.

In “Romantically Challenged,” Alyssa Milano stars as Rebecca, a very recently divorced mom of two who hasn’t gone on a date since President Clinton was in office. Rebecca’s best friend since childhood, Perry, is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. Perry lives with his BFF Shawn, a struggling writer who has depended on Perry for financial stability since the turn of the century. Rounding out the group is Rebecca’s younger sister Lisa, a sweet kindergarten teacher who tries to hurt every man before he can hurt her.

The series stars Alyssa Milano as Rebecca, Kyle Bornheimer as Perry, Josh Lawson as Shawn and Kelly Stables as Lisa.

“Romantically Challenged” is executive produced by Ricky Blitt. James Burrows is executive producer and director. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Here’s a link to the show’s fan page on facebook. There you will find behind the scene photos, including the one below. Check out Josh Lawson’s Pittsburgh Penguins shirt!

Photo From Facebook Fan Page

ABC has not announced when the show is expected to start airing.

Pittsburgher on Idol

January 20, 2010

I don’t know where in Pittsburgh this man is from or how legit this audition is, but it’s very entertaining! A war vet named Brian Krause did his rendition of Tiny Tim on American Idol last night. How embarrassing!


After Lost Bet

It’s an image you will probably NEVER see again. Channel 4 Action News’ satellite coordinator Jim Spence wearing a Cleveland BROWNS jersey! Weather Watch 4 meterologist Demetrius Ivory is standing next to him with the big grin because Jim’s jersey is the result of a bitter bet! Demetrius bet Jim the Browns would beat the Steelers Thursday night. And they did, so Jim was forced to wear this Browns jersey all day long on Friday. Jim was a very good sport, but my guess is he’ll be a little more cautious making bets with Demetrius in the future…

Sketchy Santas

December 11, 2009

No Links N’@ today. We will be back on Monday.

In the meantime, you might like to check out this website, The site allows viewers to share their most bizarre Santa photos. The pictures are pretty hilarious. The site even sells Sketchy Santa Christmas cards. One regular sized card goes for $4.50. It’s cheaper if you buy in bulk. I hope the site brings back fond memories of your times with the mall Santas! 😉

Free Shipping Day

December 8, 2009

First there was Black Friday…

Then Cyber Monday…

The next retail event of the holiday season is FREE shipping day! Mark your calendars, it’s scheduled for December 17th. Free shipping day is a day in which retailers guarantee both free shipping and arrival prior to Christmas Eve. So far, more than 490 retailers have signed up. Some of my favorite stores participating are American Eagle, Apple, Bebe, Express, Godiva, Nike, Nordstrom, Omaha Steaks, Sephora, and Ugg. Here’s the website with a list of all of the stores. Why are all the stores choosing to do this? Numbers show that online shopping dramatically slows after December 10. Retailers hope this will keep people buying later in the month of December.

Best Wii Deal…Ever?!

December 3, 2009

Thought you missed out on the best deals on Black Friday? Think again! If you are looking to buy a Wii this holiday season, you’re in luck. Starting this Saturday at 8:00am, Wal-Mart will be offering a $50 gift card with every Wii purchase, bringing the price of the console down to just $149.99. The deal will last until December 12, or while supplies last. You better act quick!

Top 10 Searches of 2009

December 1, 2009

On this Tuesday, December 1st, I’ve spotted my first “year in review” story. Yahoo has released the website’s top searches of 2009. This year Britney Spears’ four year reign at the top spot has come to an end! Thank goodness! Here’s a look at the top five.

1. Michael Jackson

couresty: Steve Granitz/

2. The Twilight Saga

courtesy: Kimberly French/Summit Entertainment

3. WWE

courtesy: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

4. Megan Fox

courtesy: Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures

5. Britney Spears

courtesy: Kevin Mazur/

This link will show you the top ten.



WTAE Chili Cook-Off

November 30, 2009

The Sunday night crew made WTAE history last night.  It was the first ever Chili Cook-Off!  Weather Watch 4 meterologist Erin Kienzle, technical director Michelle Benedict and director Rick Watson all made their best recipes.  Erin made her husband’s traditional recipe, Michelle made her family recipe and Rick made an easy Italian chili recipe.  This was such a serious competition, that Rick came in on his day off to participate!  Everyone at work sampled each chili, then gave the chili a score from 1-5 on a secret ballot.  It was a tight race, but we tallied up the points and…MICHELLE WON!  Good competition everyone!  Thank you for allowing me to taste test!

Sampling the Chili courtesy: Cary Toaso

Channel 4 Action News Crew Enjoying The Chili Cook-Off


The Winning Chili

Michelle’s Winning Family Chili Recipe

2 tablespoons salad oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic (I use one or two cloves of garlic that I cut up with a knife.)

2 1/2 lb boneless lean beef chunks in 1/2 inch cubes (It comes this way.)

1 12 oz bottle of beer

1 1/2 cups water

1 8 oz can whole tomatoes crushed (You can use two cans if you want)

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 4 oz can mild green chilies chopped (undrained) (I usually use two or three of these.)

1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I use all the green pepper.)

4 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

 In a large sauce pot, heat oil till hot. Saute onion and garlic. Add half the meat; brown well on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add remaining meat and brown. Return all meat to sauce pot. Add beer, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, green pepper, cumin, salt, oregano, paprika, red and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed, for three hours.

 Tips: Leave some of the tomatoes in chunks to give the chili a better texture. The fat in the meat gives the chili a good flavor so don’t use meat that’s too lean and don’t drain the fat after you’ve browned the meat.

 Top with monterey pepper jack cheese

 To extend chili, serve over rice.


Jeff Jimerson’s Mic Stolen

November 25, 2009

…from a beautiful bride that is! Jeff Jimerson’s band, Airborne, performed at my former tennis teammate’s wedding. When the band started playing the song “Don’t Stop Believin’, ” Nikki grabbed the microphone and took over on vocals! Some wedding guests later said, “When the bride gets the mic, you know it’s a good wedding.” I agree! Great wedding Nikki and Paul!

The Bride Steals The Mic From Jeff Jimerson (courtesy: Kristy Borza)

Posing with Jeff Jimerson

Pitt Tennis Alumni

Emily, Kristy & Me

Mr. Borza & Mrs. Mathews

Now here’s some information on Jeff Jimerson. Every Penguins fan knows Jeff because he often sings the national anthem before home games. He fires up the crowd more than any other singer has and he’s considered to be a good luck charm.