Archives for February 2009

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Pork & Tofu Stirfry

by TT February 26th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes
pork-tofu-stirfryThe diverse range of foods that our children like and dislike amazes me.  There are some foods that typically aren't kid favorites, that some of our kids like, such as sushi, crab, and brussel sprouts.  Then there are foods that many kids like that aren't enjoyed by all of ours, like oatmeal, blueberries, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Of course, with four kids you get more diversity.  Even with that in mind, every once in a while one of the four surprises me with a request for a certain food.  A few weeks ago, the surprise factor was attributed to our 11
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Garlic and Thyme Infused Parnsips

by TT February 25th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Side Dishes
thyme-infused-parsnipsWe were forecast to have rain and snow this past Sunday.  So, after spending all day Saturday shopping, my husband and I were looking forward to a quiet day on Sunday.  As we had this whole weekend without any of our brood at home, we had only our dining pleasures to consider.

A slowly braised roast was our planned centerpiece for this meal.  We simply needed to choose some side dishes to accompany it.  Rather than going with tried and true recipes, we chose vegetables that would have garnered "No thank you" serving requests.  Parsnips seemed like a perfect choice.

I never
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Review: Janie’s Uncommon Cafe, Londonderry, NH

by TT February 23rd, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
On a Saturday morning with no children at home, my husband and I decided to go out for breakfast before engaging in a day of shopping.  Leaving our house around 9:30, we were pretty hungry, so we wanted to eat before we started any of our errands.  This made choosing a restaurant easier, as we only considered restaurants located on the way to our first stop in Londonderry.

Luckily for us, we discovered a new restaurant in the Londonderry Commons.  Apparently, others had discovered Janie's Uncommon Café, as all of the tables were full when we arrived.  However, the staff was
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by TT February 17th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups & Stews
catmo-soupThis weekend we had a request for homemade chicken noodle soup.  While it holds little appeal for myself or  my husband, it is a favorite for three of our four children.  As we hadn't made this simple soup in quite a while, I didn't feel the need to have the kids choose a more creative soup.

However, that didn't mean that my husband and I needed to eat this same soup.  I planned on making homemade broth on Sunday morning, which could be divided between two pots to make two different chicken-based soups.

In the past, we have used chicken broth as
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Chicken Florentine

by TT February 16th, 2009| Main Dishes, Recipes
On a recent Saturday, the kids were tired from a late Friday night.  So, rather than eating dinner together, we made an early kid dinner and put them to bed a little before 8.  After they went to bed, we had a nice quiet, candlelit dinner for two.

As chicken and spinach were our dinner ingredients, they worked well for both meals.  The kids were pleased to have grilled chicken breasts and a "no thank you" serving of spinach.  (In our house, that is a petite serving, enough so that you are sampling but not enough to feel torturous for the
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Mexican Soup

by TT February 11th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups & Stews
mexican-soup-2With soup typically served once a week during the cool months, it is easy to become bored with this dish.  However, to reduce repetition, a different family member gets to choose the soup each week.  With several different taste preferences, this helps to encourage creativity and new flavors.

This week, our 12 year old was tasked with choosing our soup.  He started to fall back upon one of his favorites, corn chowder.  However, I have made that soup already this winter and wanted him to think a little more.  To help him with his decision, I told him to choose an
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Review: The Cheesecake Factory, Baltimore, MD

by TT February 10th, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
cheesecake-factoryEnding a weekend in the mid-Atlantic area, my husband and I traveled to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.  With a couple hours until our flights at BWI, we decided to get some lunch and tour the harbor.

After walking the harbor and enjoying the unseasonably warm February air, we decided to have lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  We had dined at one in Palo Alto almost a year ago, so we were prepared for the portions.

When we entered the restaurant, it seemed a little disorganized, with the hostess station placed around the corner from the doorway.  Once there, we were asked
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Lazy Day Cinnamon Rolls

by TT February 5th, 2009| Breakfast Dishes, Recipes
Last weekend, we had a quiet Sunday morning.  Although we were having a few friends over for the Super Bowl later in the afternoon, we had nothing scheduled until then.  We had done all of the necessary shopping on Saturday and the prep work for the party didn't need to be done until afternoon.  As many of these days don't come our way, I decided to take advantage of the slow pace.

I started the Sunday by vowing to stay in pajamas until noon, at least.  I also thought it would be a great day for a leisurely breakfast.  I didn't
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Taste of Hawaii Chicken Salad

by TT February 3rd, 2009| Recipes, Salads, Sandwiches
view-from-end-of-awaawapuhiWinter continues in New Hampshire.   As I write this post, I am watching both snowflakes and temperature drop.  With multiple snowstorms and ice storms already occurring, winter feels long this year.

I know, I live in New Hampshire; we are supposed to have cold temperatures and snow-covered yards.  If I were to live somewhere tropical, I would miss watching snowflakes glide to the ground and seeing light shimmering on an icicle.  However, sometimes it is nice to visualize a warmer climate for a little while.

Last week I decided to bring a tropical feel to our house via dinner.  Having bought a
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