Archives for March 2009

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Review: Firefly, Manchester, NH

by TT March 31st, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
Friday night and no kids around, we decided to head out for dinner.  We thought about visiting our regular series of independently owned, upscale restaurants in Nashua but decided we were in a more adventurous mood and wanted to try something new.  A quick online search provided a place to try- Firefly, located in downtown Manchester.

Arriving at the restaurant about quarter to eight, we were told our wait would be 15 minutes.  Although the bar was crowded, we chose to make our way there to order cocktails.  A quick review of the drink menu, found what I thought would be
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Leftover St. Pat’s Hash

by TT March 27th, 2009| Breakfast Dishes, Recipes
corned-beef-hashMost of my family likes corned beef.  So, when I purchase it for our St. Patrick's Day dinner, I purchase more than will be eaten at that meal.  Depending on the amount we have left, it can be used to make sandwiches or hash or just eaten plain.

As all of the leftover corned beef wasn't eaten by Saturday morning, I decided to use it for breakfast.  We also had leftover cooked potatoes from our St. Pat's dinner, so making hash and eggs seemed like the perfect way to feed the family and clean out the fridge.  Plus, with almost unlimited
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Review: Z Food & Drink, Manchester, NH

by TT March 25th, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
z-logo_transparentWith the kids having plans for Friday evening, my husband and I had a couple hours to ourselves.  After a busy week of work, we decided that dinner at a restaurant would be a great way to spend those hours.  Although we have an assortment of favorite restaurants, we chose to dine somewhere different.  Having enjoyed lunch at Z Food & Drink with a friend a few months ago, I suggested we try it for our dinner.  We were not disappointed.

Arriving at the restaurant around 7:00, half of the tables were filled, and we were seated promptly.  Given dinner
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Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

by TT March 23rd, 2009| Breads, Recipes
irish-soda-breadI have some Irish ancestry, thanks to my grandma.  However, I only cook Irish foods one day a year, St. Patrick's Day. When I make that dinner, though, everything is homemade.  I served corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage with malt vinegar on the side.  Of course, Irish Soda Bread is part of the menu.

The recipe that I use is my grandma's.  The only difference is that I don't add raisins.  The appearance of dried fruit in the bread would make it unappealing to many of my family members.  Also, according to family history, grandma and her sister differed in
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Asparagus Saute

by TT March 19th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Side Dishes
asparagus-sauteAsparagus is a popular vegetable choice in our house.  In fact, it is so popular that it is often requested by the kids.  Well, some of them anyway. . .

So, with it being served as a side dish every few weeks, I have become bored with steamed asparagus.  However, the idea of burying this delicious veggie under a heavy sauce was even less thrilling.  So, I began to ponder how I could make asparagus more exciting without adding a fat-loaded topping.

I decided to consider other ways of cooking asparagus beyond my typical steaming or grilling.  Sautéing seemed to be my
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Greek Eggplant Dip

by TT March 17th, 2009| Appetizers, Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Tapas Monday
In our house, both my husband and I enjoy cooking.  In fact, we love a lazy Sunday where we can spend the afternoon in the kitchen making a variety of culinary creations.  However, until last weekend we had an obstacle or two when cooking.

The biggest obstacle was our stove, which was in sad shape.  The broiler didn't work, and the gas burners were temperamental.  As it is with appliances, these ailments were degenerative, getting progressively worse with time. Since we were ready to replace the stove, we decided we should have a few small kitchen repairs done and have the
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Restaurant Week Boston Kick Off Recap

by TT March 12th, 2009| Restaurant News
brw09-cookingYesterday, my photographer (AKA my husband) and I headed to Boston for the Winter Restaurant Week Kickoff.  Held at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, attending this event is a definite perk of being a member of the media.

The event began a few minutes later than its anticipated 10:45 start, as Billy Costa (from NECN "TV Diner") was running late.  Unfortunately, fifteen minutes passed, and Mr. Costa had not arrived, so the event began without him.  On hand to speak about the fantastic offers were Patrick Moscaritolo (President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau) and Mayor of Boston,
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Barbecue Chicken Pizza

by TT March 10th, 2009| Main Dishes, Recipes
bbq-pizzaHomemade pizza is a family favorite at our house.  Last Friday night, my brother's family was planning on stopping by for a visit, so we asked them to join us for dinner.  Trying to consider the food preferences of kids ranging in age from 21 months to almost 13 years old, pizza sounded like the winner.

For the kids and my finicky "little" brother, we made a few plain and pepperoni pizzas.  However, for the more adventurous eaters we made Barbecue Chicken Pizza.  This pizza is packed with flavor but is extremely easy to make.  To make the recipe even easier
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4th Annual Winter Restaurant Week Boston

by TT March 9th, 2009| Restaurant News
restaurant-week-0910, 9, 8, 7, 6. . .the countdown has begun!  In six days, the Fourth Annual Winter Restaurant Week Boston begins.  This event gives diners the opportunity to sample some tasty meals at even tastier prices.

Choose one of the many restaurants (over 220 chefs are participating), and make a reservation.  Even though Boston is the center of activity, restaurants involved in this event are located throughout Boston, its suburbs, and further.  Search for your dining location by neighborhood or by name.

For your dining pleasure, you have several options to consider.  You can enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner for
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Trio Wrap-Panini

by TT March 4th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Sandwiches
apple-slicesMy husband loves sandwiches, especially paninis.  So that he could create his own panini combinations at home, I bought a panini pan and press for him at Christmas.  It was love at first sight.

Since then, our entire family has used it for various lunches and dinners.  However, I am not a big fan of sandwiches made with bread, as they tend to be heavy and filling.  I prefer to make wraps.  But just because I like wraps doesn't mean that I want a cold sandwich.

My challenging requests for a sandwich led me to my creation of a wrap-panini.  Using flatbread,
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Review: Bistro Elan, Palo Alto, CA

by TT March 4th, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
My friend Chris recently enjoyed an evening of fine dining with his wife.  Kindly, he wrote a review of this restaurant and shared it with me.  Click here to read his review, which has been posted on our sister site, Good Life Review.

If you live near Palo Alto, it seems like it would be well worth the trip to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at Bistro Elan.
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