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Archives for February 2010

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Single Serving Cheesecakes

by TT February 26th, 2010| Desserts, Recipes
Last week we celebrated our daughter's twelfth birthday with our family.  As is tradition, the birthday girl got to choose the dessert.  While most people think of cakes and birthdays as a given pairing, our kids tend to choose other dessert items.  Sam decided on a chocolate swirl cheesecake.

I had figured that Sam would want something with chocolate, as all four of our kids are chocolate addicts.  However, more than half of our crowd aren't chocolate lovers.  So, I needed to find a way to make a dessert that would please the birthday girl and her adoring crowd.  Obviously, my
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Review: Agave, Portsmouth, NH, & Newburyport, MA

by TT February 25th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Although I have categorized this article as a restaurant review, I have to admit that it isn't a full review.  Yes, my husband and I have been to Agave in both Portsmouth, NH, and Newburyport, MA, but we ordered the same dish and same drinks at each visit.  However, and this is a big however, that dish and those drinks are well worth a review of their own.

We made our first visit to the Portsmouth location, Agave Mexican Bistro Dos, last July.  Enjoying a couple's weekend in this coastal city, we spent Saturday evening strolling the downtown.  We discovered
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Egg Drop Soup

by TT February 22nd, 2010| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Soups & Stews
So, the last recipe that I'll be posting from our belated Chinese New Year dinner is the simplest.  As I was writing my articles last week, I thought about the order in which I should publish them.  I'm glad that I had a moment of clarity and considered how hectic Mondays can be and saved the shortest recipe for last.

Mondays are busy due to the nature of my job, but this Monday is extra busy.  First, it is February break, which means that I have a 12 and 13 year old hanging around the house, and although they understand
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Shrimp Fried Rice

by TT February 19th, 2010| Recipes, Side Dishes
When I began planning the menu for our delayed Chinese New Year dinner, I had certain dishes in mind.  As we had ground pork in our freezer, I wanted to try making pork dumplings.  With my husband and our 13 year old being big fans of fried rice, that was on the list.  And, of course, trying to keep some healthiness to the menu, I decided to make Kung Pao Broccoli.

Deciding what to include in the fried rice was like working with LEGOs.  If you're creating something new, there are no set colors or placement of blocks; it's your
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Kung Pao Broccoli

by TT February 17th, 2010| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Side Dishes
After a week and a half away from my kitchen, I was excited to spend some quality time cooking last night.  Sadly, the reason for my kitchen absence was not a vacation to a tropical island nor a business trip in a fun city; a kitchen-based injury was the basis.  Needless to say, my mandolin and I are not on speaking terms.  It even may take some therapy to repair our relationship.

So. . .after a week and a half of letting others prepare meals and making the simplest of dishes on my own, I was ready to embark on a
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Boston Wine Expo Cooking Demonstrations

by TT February 16th, 2010| Chef Interviews
When you're a member of the media, you are allowed to enter the expo at 11:00 am.  You are able to visit more wineries and sample more wines in those first two hours before the general public enters.  As the expo becomes filled, you still can sample and chat, but it's louder and pretty crowded.  So, this year we tried a different strategy.

First, we visited all of the wineries that were of interest to us.  Second, we visited food vendors of interest to us.  Third, we went to the cooking demonstrations at the Boston Globe stage.  Fourth, we stayed
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Pear Vinaigrette

by TT February 12th, 2010| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Salads
I am a foodie.  I love trying new flavors, textures, cooking methods, etc.  I also am a little bit finicky about how my food is prepared.  I don't like fried food; I prefer not to have a lot of fatty ingredients, such as cream, oil, or butter, in my foods on a regular basis.  Sure, I like to indulge occasionally, but for the most part I prefer healthier foods.

Because of this obsession with healthy foods, I prefer not to put salad dressing on my salad.  Yep, I am that annoying restaurant customer who orders her salad, "With dressing on
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Review: REPUBLIC, Manchester, NH

by TT February 10th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
A couple weeks ago, my husband and I discovered a wonderful new café in downtown Manchester.  As we were on our way to watch our 13 year old son at a wrestling tournament, we didn't have time for more than coffee and pastries.  However, we told ourselves that we would return in the near future, which we did with two of our children.  As we had two budding foodies in our midst, it seemed most appropriate to write this review as a group.  So, in addition to myself, you will learn about our wonderful dining experience from my husband
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Saratoga Garlic

by TT February 9th, 2010| Food News
As I mentioned the other week, the Boston Wine Expo sn't just about wine. There are many tasty snacks and sweets to sample, which makes the expo a well-rounded culinary delight.

On day two of our visit to the expo we discovered several wonderful, new-to-us foods.  The first was a decadent sweet, Wheeler's Black Label Sorbets.  The second was a wonderful balance to this treat, Saratoga Garlic.  As their name suggests, this company sells pickled garlic and a line of aiolis.

Saratoga Garlic was formed fifteen years ago in Saratoga Springs, New York, at Homestead View Farm, which is
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Warm Banana Cake

by TT February 4th, 2010| Desserts, Recipes
A mom can break the rules every once in a while, can't she?

As part of our Christmas presents to our kids, we planned a trip to an indoor water park.  To maximize our time there and make the trip more fun for the kids, we spent all day at the water park and then spent the night at the hotel attached to it.  The following morning we enjoyed a filling breakfast and slowly made our way home, stopping at a small art museum on the way.

When we returned home it was late afternoon and quite chilly.  After spending the previous
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Tillen Farms Adds Cherries to Its Mix

by TK February 2nd, 2010| Food News
About two years ago, we wrote a review of the pickled food offerings of Tillen Farms.  This year at the Boston Wine Expo, we got to see what was new from Tim Metzger, CEO of Tillen Farms, and this was his first dabbling into the realm of fruit with jarred Merry Maraschino Cherries.

Like all of Tillen Farm offerings the cherries are all natural and only come from the best growers and processors located in the Pacific Northwest of Oregon and Washington.  Having loved the wonderful vegetables of Tillen Farms and having a family
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