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Archives for March 2010

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Pear & Cheese – Version 2

by TT March 31st, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes
As I mentioned in my previous recipe (uniquely titled Pear & Cheese - Version 1), this past Sunday we had a big dinner planned for that evening but were hungry hours before mealtime.  In order to curb our appetite, I created two different pear and cheese appetizers.

I found that there were many things to love about these two recipes.  First, they were simple to make.  Although I enjoy cooking, I knew that I would be cooking a decent amount for dinner. So, I didn't want to spend my entire afternoon attached to the stove.  Second, they were amazingly delicious. 
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Pear & Cheese – Version 1

by TT March 29th, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes
I should first mention that my husband returned home from his 17 days of business travel on Friday night.  Not only did he make it home, but he made it home early!  Granted, it was only by 10 minutes, but it was nice nonetheless.

Although it could have seemed a reason for celebration, we had a weekend consisting of normalcy:  a birthday party for our 5 year old nephew, lunch with good friends, shopping for furniture on Saturday night.  On Sunday, it was a quiet day, with a my husband's birthday dinner planned for that evening.  Knowing that we would be
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Mexican Chicken

by TT March 24th, 2010| Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
March has been a long month.  While it has been snow-free, which is a huge bonus in New England, we've had our fair share of cold and rainy days.  So, there's a little bit of cabin fever here.  Plus, having an insane month of business travel for my husband (away from home for 17 out of the last 21 days counts as insane, doesn't it?) makes the days and weeks even longer.

Thankfully, my 13 (almost 14, as he'd remind me) and 12 year old children have been very helpful.  Every week each of them has chosen and cooked a dinner
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Chef Mike Pagliarini

by TT March 22nd, 2010| Chef News
Attending the kick-off for Restaurant Week Boston, I was able to meet several local chefs.  One of the chefs was Mike Pagliarini, executive chef at Via Matta.  Having enjoyed the Tuscan Ribs he served, I decided to learn more about this talented chef.

TT: How long have you been working in the restaurant industry?  For how long have you been working as a chef?

MP: I’ve been cooking for about 10 years, in both Boston and Chicaco. My first sous-chef positions was at Radius in September of 2004, and I’ve been the executive chef at Via Matta since June of 2007.

TT: What
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Review: Black Forest Cafe, Amherst, NH

by TT March 17th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
After a winter of planning weekend spent indoors with food simmering on the stove all day long, it is wonderful to have sunshine, warm weather, and snow-free roads.  Although it is quite nice to spend a day at home, by early March, cabin fever is rampant.  So, on a recent Saturday, my husband and I made plans to spend most of the day exploring antique and consignment shops.  Of course, being foodies, dining is an important element to our day.  After some online searching for a fun restaurant, we decided to start our day with an early lunch at
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Buffalo Chicken Dip

by TT March 15th, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes
Last weekend my husband and I had dinner with friends.  They were preparing the main course, so we brought the appetizer and dessert.  Chatting with my friend to determine everyone's likes and dislikes, we concurred that a dip would work.  And as everyone liked at least slightly spicy food, something with a little heat would work.

At this year's Super Bowl party another set of friends had brought Buffalo Chicken Dip, which we all liked, so I got a copy of that recipe.  While I could have made the dip exactly as her recipe directed, I decided to make some changes. 
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Boston Restaurant Week Samples

by TT March 12th, 2010| Restaurant News
As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the kick-off for Restaurant Week in Boston.  This event is divided into two parts.  The first part is the press conference portion.  This is the cerebral part of the event.  The charity that has been chosen to benefit from this year's event is announced, and other special promotions are presented.  To learn more about the press conference, please read my previous post, or visit Restaurant Week's website.

Part two of the kick-off is the sensory portion.  Each year several restaurants take part in the kick-off, sending a
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Restaurant Week Boston 2010

by TT March 10th, 2010| Restaurant News
There are times when being a member of the media has its perks.  Today I attended the kickoff and tasting for Restaurant Week Boston, held at Pairings. However, I view an event such as this not just as a time to sample some really good food but also as a time that I get to use my public platform to share valuable information with my audience.

Restaurant Week Boston has two important aspects.  1.  Diners are able to sample multi-course meals at great restaurants for fabulous prices.  2.  Through dining, a worthy charity receives financial support.

Dining

Two hundred twenty-eight restaurants in
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Review: Stella Blu, Nashua, NH

by TT March 8th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
As a student I never was late in completing assignments, which makes me wonder how I could be so delayed in writing a review of Stella Blu.  My husband and I first dined there within a day or two of it opening in October 2008.  We loved our drinks and food.  We have returned numerous times, but it wasn't until last Friday night that it occurred to me:  I hadn't written a review.  This was a huge error on my behalf, but one which I now am correcting.  To summarize our dining experiences in a few words:  Stella
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Wrapped & Stuffed Dates

by TT March 3rd, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes
I feel very fortunate that I have the husband that I do.  Many husbands complain about shopping, spending an afternoon in stores.  My husband isn't that sort of person.  In fact, if we have a weekend day without plans, we enjoy spending time shopping, whether it be looking for clothes, rummaging through consignment shops, or checking out gourmet food shops.

This past Saturday was one of those days.  After a late breakfast at a local restaurant, we headed to the mall and shopped for a couple hours.  We found some great buys and fun clothes for each of us.  Then we
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Veal & Mushroom Soup

by TT March 1st, 2010| Recipes, Soups & Stews
In the past week, I don't believe I've seen the sun for more than a few minutes a day.  Looking at the extended forecast has become monotonous, with day after day showing predictions of snow and rain.  Granted, our accumulation has been little to none, but the weather has been dreary.  After days of gloomy skies, I decided to warm our home and ourselves with bowls of steaming hot soup.

Reviewing our store of meat in the freezer, I had limited options.  We had ground lamb, veal medallions, and chicken wings.  Chicken wings seemed like a bad choice, and ground meat
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