The growing options for outsourcing meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking can be called time-saving blessings or culture-destroying curses. In the end, they’re probably a complicated mix of both.

I love eating deviled eggs and egg salad, but I had been avoiding making either because it was so much trouble peeling the eggs. Then this summer, I visited my friend Kirsten. Her secret  is that you crack the egg on the bottom (that’s the egg’s larger side, while the top is the more pointed side).

A mix of homegrown chefs and transplants from other cities have been opening risk-taking and award-winning restaurants in Pittsburgh, offering creative spins on American food and authentic takes on cuisines like Venezuelan and Vietnamese that would have been hard to find less than a decade ago.

Marinating is a terrific basic kitchen technique. Essentially, you can take any kind of meat, fish or seafood, or even vegetables or soy products, submerge them in a marinade, and you’ve turned a plain something into a great dinner.