Archives for August 2009

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Honey Oatmeal Bread

by TT August 28th, 2009| Breads, Recipes
oatmeal breadI broke one of my baking rules yesterday, which is that baking yeast breads should be done in cool weather only. It should be noted that though my house has central air, something about knowing the weather outside is hot make me not want to complete all the steps required.

However, yesterday I felt inspired to make some oatmeal bread for three reasons.  One, I had bought a great aged cheddar that I wanted to use for an open face melt for dinner.  Two, I needed to use bread as the base and thought oatmeal bread would be perfect.  Three, my
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Review: Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill, Washington, DC

by TT August 26th, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
kramerbooks1After a brief stay at my in-laws' house last weekend, my husband and I headed to Washington, DC.  It was a quick trip, just two nights and one day before I returned home and he headed to a conference in the area.  Although it was a bit of a whirlwind, we did manage to tour a good number of museums and sample food at several different locations.

After a late night dinner on Friday, we weren't in a rush to eat breakfast on Saturday.  Having seen what looked to be a popular cafe during our Friday night stroll through Dupont Circle,
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PopPop’s Strawberry Shortcake

by TT August 21st, 2009| Desserts, Recipes
ShortcakeBringing two of the kids to Delaware for a weekend with their grandparents, we decided to celebrate PopPop's birthday a week early.  Instead of purchasing some random golfing accessory, we opted to make his birthday dinner his present.  Planning dinner was the easy part- he's a meat and potatoes sort of guy.  Desserts are a little trickier.  Spending the day driving from New Hampshire to Delaware would leave little time to bake for dinner that night, and many desserts would not survive that length of drive.

To start my planning I asked my mother-in-law to suggest a few desserts that would
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Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

by TT August 18th, 2009| Desserts, Recipes
Cranberry Pistachio BiscottiWe attended a friend's 40th birthday/housewarming cookout this past Saturday.  As the hosts were providing the main part of the meal (a pig roast plus hot dogs and hamburgers), guests were asked to bring a dessert or side dish.  With a family of six, we decided we should bring one of each.

My husband chose to make a pasta salad with an Italian flair.  It had quite an assortment of ingredients, including homemade sausage, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and caramelized onions.  It produced a salad that was appealing to both the eyes and mouth.

Being the main baker in the house,
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Great Grandma’s Coffee Cake

by TT August 13th, 2009| Breakfast Dishes, Recipes
Great Grandma's Coffee CakeOn Saturday morning our two daughters weren't home as they were having a special girls only sleepover at their aunt and uncle's house.  My husband decided to take our two sons fishing at a local pond, and I chose to stay home and make a special breakfast for the four of us.

With only boys and me at home, I decided to make coffee cake.  Neither of the girls really like coffee cake, but the boys enjoy it, so it was the perfect morning to make this dish.  Flipping through my personal collection of recipes, I found the recipe my mom
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Thai Chicken Wrap

by TT August 11th, 2009| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Sandwiches
Thai Chicken WrapSummer can be such a short season in New England.  This year it seems like it may be very short after the cool, rainy start summer had.  However, days of temps in the 80s and extra humidity have arrived, making summer's presence well known.

While some may complain that it's too hot and sticky, I enjoy this weather.  It's the sort of weather that makes you appreciate an ice cold drink and a light dinner.  Much like I look forward to a snowstorm in winter for baking homemade bread and slowly simmering a pot of soup, so do I anticipate the
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The Best Brunch in the Northeast

by TT August 6th, 2009| Restaurant Reviews
Damariscotta River GrillAfter two weeks of voting, a winner has been chosen in our Best Brunch in the Northeast contest.  With five contenders from five states and five amazing menus, it was a hard decision.  However, after reviewing their options, our readers have made their thoughts known.

[caption id="attachment_771" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Damariscotta River Grill"][/caption]

The results, as of the end of official voting on August 5th are:

5. Nashoba Valley Winery & Orchard, Massachusetts

4. Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen & Bar, Connecticut

3.  Eagle Mountain House, New Hampshire

2.  Carriage House Café, New York

1.  Damariscotta River Grill, Maine

As the newly crowned Best Brunch destination, we congratulate the Damariscotta River
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Tomato Basil Bruschetta

by TT August 4th, 2009| Appetizers, Recipes
tomato bruschettaAs I wrote in my last post, we recently enjoyed a Saturday dinner of Italian appetizers with friends.  The inspiration for the Italian theme was the ready to be picked basil plant on our front porch.  I love using fresh basil in recipes, most often in tomato-based dishes.  Whether it be a caprese salad or eggplant stacks, fresh basil is essential.

As we were eating finger foods on Saturday, I decided to make a dip that could be eaten without utensils.  A bruschetta dip seemed a perfect use for basil.  It could be made early in the day to
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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

by TT August 2nd, 2009| Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes
mozzarella stuffed meatballsOn a recent Saturday night we had our best friends over for dinner.  As we usually end up standing around our kitchen counter instead of sitting at the dining room table or lounging in the living room, making a variety of appetizers seemed to be the best menu.

I decided to go with an Italian theme, as our basil plant was ready for picking.  Tomato Bruschetta, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe, and Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs filled our menu.  Hanging out at the kitchen counter, we were able to pick at the foods, sip some swamp water, and chat.

The meatballs were filled with fresh
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