Archives for July 2008

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Restaurant Review: Cafe Maspero, New Orleans, LA

by TK July 31st, 2008| Restaurant Reviews
It is not too often that I get to write a review of a place that only accepts cash. We tend to review establishments on the higher end of the spectrum and cash-only joints usually don’t make the cut for this distinction.

But our “mini honeymoon” in New Orleans allowed us the time to eat at a variety of different establishments and Café Maspero in the French Quarter was one of the unique places.

The café, which is located near the river, is a sandwich place that is perfect for a quick bite to eat. In an

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The Oregon Brewers’ Festival: A Review

by Erin Steiner July 30th, 2008| Food News

While I am not a beer drinker myself, I do live in one of the country's "beer lovingest" regions: The Pacific Northwest…specifically, Portland, Oregon. People in Portland love their beer, and they are incredibly proud of all of the local microbrews that are available here. Sometimes it seems like you can't walk more than a block without finding yet another restaurant, bar or club that brews its own brand of beer.

Portlanders (and Oregonians) love their local beers so much they have created an annual event called The Oregon Brewers' Festival (or Brewfest to the locals). This event took

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Can't Stand the Heat? Get Out of the Kitchen!

by Lisa Stauber July 22nd, 2008| Salads

July is full swing, and the dog days of August are almost upon us. What’s a cook to do when the kitchen is sweltering – and the oven isn’t even on?

Grill it. Smoky, chargrilled dinners are a summertime staple. Invest in a grill pan and some skewers, and you can cook almost any food over a fire. When the food’s done, make s’mores by roasting marshmallows over the coals for a fun, summertime dessert. (If you have never made s'mores,

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Spinach Salad with Pear and Bleu Cheese

by TT July 17th, 2008| Recipes, Salads
Monday night is our late dinner night.  With a weekly work phone call for my fiance that lasts until 6:30 and then the drive home, dinner for the adults isn't before 7:30.  So, the kids get some sort of exciting kid dinner, such as hot dogs or chicken nuggets, and we get a fun adult dinner.  This plan makes all parties happy.

With it being summer, I enjoy making lighter meals.  For our grown-ups only meal, I also try and use as many non-kid friendly ingredients as possible.  We can enjoy a more adventurous meal without seeing little noses crinkle.

As we
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Kitchen Gadget Review: OXO Olive & Cherry Pitter

by TK July 17th, 2008| Equipment Reviews
My family loves olives. Well... at least I love olives. But I only like good olives, especially Kalamata olives. But the one thing that is always a turnoff is the whole spitting out of the pits. There really is no nice way to handle this unpleasantness.

So on a recent shopping trip, we picked up a little gadget that helps alleviate some of this problem. The OXO Olive & Cherry Pitter is a nifty looking little piece of engineered kitchen gadgetry.

When I tested it on some Kalamata olives it worked like a charm with a
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French Toast with Apples and Cheese

by TT July 15th, 2008| Breakfast Dishes, Main Dishes, Recipes
As I mentioned in a previous post, we took a trip to Whole Foods the other weekend.  Both my fiance and I enjoy a wide variety of cheeses and were not disappointed with the cheese counter at that store.  Perusing the selection, I noticed some wedges of Wensleydale with cranberries.  I asked the clerk behind the counter about this cheese, and he generously offered samples to us.

The cheese was slightly crumbly with a hint of acidity to its flavor.  The cranberries offered a nice contrast to the taste of the cheese.  Upon first bite, I knew we would need to
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Review: The Big One

by Louise July 15th, 2008| Restaurant Reviews
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Ice cream truly is a favorite, especially for New Englanders. I've heard we consume more ice cream per capita than any other part of the country. It's really hard to say which ice cream is the best. What's better, Massachusetts ice cream or New Hampshire ice cream? Honestly, I don't think anyone can tell you that besides your own taste buds. I can, however, recommend a friendly, favorite ice cream stand: The Big One (located in Nashua, New Hampshire).

There's one special order at The Big One; it's called, you guessed
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Blueberry Salsa-Topped Chicken

by TT July 10th, 2008| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes
Looking for an interesting Saturday night dinner, we decided to try a dish that had fruit included.  Although native blueberries weren't quite ready, we knew we would be shopping at Whole Foods and decided that we would be able to find some decent produce there.

So, this past Saturday, with just us two adults in attendance, we embarked on the 35 minute drive to the nearest Whole Foods.  Knowing that we would have an afternoon of shopping, we packed a cooler in hopes of finding interesting foods that would need to be kept chilled.

We were not disappointed.  We found 3 varieties
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Escarole and Pecan Salad

by TT July 10th, 2008| Recipes, Salads
When planning a meal, I enjoy the challenge of finding side dishes that coordinate with the entree. So, when we decided to make Blueberry Salsa-Topped Chicken, I began to consider options. With a variety of herbs and blueberries in the salsa and lime marinating with the chicken, I didn't want to serve anything that would detract from these flavors. Plus, the main dish was fairly light, so I wanted to continue with that feel.

I decided to make a salad with a light dressing. As we would spend our afternoon shopping, I also wanted it to be a salad that
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Peaches, A Taste of Summer

by Lisa Stauber July 9th, 2008| Food News, Recipes

Ah, summertime. The farmer’s markets are full of fresh produce, and it’s a foodie’s paradise.

Peaches are a taste of sunshine, happily plentiful and cheap during the hottest days of the year. Here are four ways to enjoy summer’s best fruit.

  1. Eat out of hand. This is the most popular way to eat fresh peaches, and it’s portable, too. Wash carefully and chomp away!

  2. Slap ‘em on the grill. Use freestone or cling free peaches,
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Tortilla Wedges

by TT July 8th, 2008| Appetizers, Breads, Recipes
To accompany our meal of Eggplant Stacks, a side of bread or pasta seemed too heavy.  However, something in the carb-based category sounded appealing.  With flour tortillas in our pantry and knowing the grill would be in use, I created my own light version of bread. This side was prepared in approximately 2 minutes and was an instant hit with both my fiance and me.  It has become our new multi-purpose side dish.

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Eggplant Stacks

by TT July 8th, 2008| Appetizers, Recipes
On a warm summer Monday I was debating what to make for dinner. Our twelve and ten year olds each had a friend staying for dinner and a sleepover, so trying to find a meal that would please all four and us seemed impossible. The children were happy to hear that dinner for them would be hot dogs, which made for easy cooking.

My fiance had a long day at the office, so I knew I had time to prepare a different meal for us. Having shopped at a farmer's market in Boston the other day, I had some eggplant
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