Archives for September 2010

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Brennan’s, Houston, TX

by TT September 29th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
Earlier this month, Think Tasty readers had the opportunity to choose the best restaurant in the Southwest region.  With ten amazing restaurants in the mix, the choice was difficult.  Until the last moment, diners placed their votes and left comments praising their restaurants.  When voting ended, the restaurant that earned the most votes was Brennan's, in Houston, Texas.

I spoke with Chef Danny Trace to learn more about this revered dining institution.

TT: Brennan’s is a 43 year old restaurant.  Are any of your items the same as the original menu?

DT: Alex (Brennan-Martin,
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Whipped Cream

by TT September 27th, 2010| Recipes, Simple Solutions
whipping creamYou know, sometimes the simplest of things is what impresses people the most.  A perfect example of that is whipped cream.  Making it requires three ingredients and one minute.  That's it.  Yet, every time I make whipped cream instead of spraying it out of a can, I receive comments, such as, "Ooh! Homemade whipped cream!" and "Wow! This is amazing!"

While I could encourage this thinking that making homemade whipped cream is something of a phenomenon, I don't.  My usual reply is that whipped cream is a simple item to create, and one that is well worth the  minute it
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Aunt Sue’s Pumpkin Bread

by TT September 24th, 2010| Breads, Recipes
pumpkin breadLike many others, when I cook and need inspiration I usually turn to the Internet.  While I do have a cupboard filled with cookbooks, I find it easier to do a quick search online, as that will offer me more options at a quicker speed than reviewing my cookbooks.  However, there are times when searching my personal collection is a better option.

Among my collection of purchased cookbooks are two binders filled with recipes clipped from magazines and index cards with hand-written recipes.  Some of these handwritten cards are from my mom, some of which are newer to her repertoire and
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Review: Barking Dog Bar & Grill, Amesbury, MA

by TT September 22nd, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Barking Dog Bar GrillOn a gorgeous fall afternoon without any children under our care, what were my husband and I to do to occupy ourselves?  The answer was obvious: visit a local winery and enjoy a late lunch. So, after completing a few necessary errands, we enjoyed our leisurely drive to Jewell Towne Winery.  The time spent there was delightful: sampling wine, touring the vineyard, and buying a few bottles for home.  After spending an hour or so at the winery, it was midafternoon, and we were hungry.  Not familiar with the area, we asked for recommendations.  Of the restaurants named, we
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Ricky’s Lucky Nuts

by TT September 20th, 2010| Food News
One of the benefits of the Best Restaurant polls is meeting interesting chefs and discovering amazing restaurants.  Through the Rocky Mountain poll I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Paul Gelose of The Palace Restaurant in Durango, Colorado.  During our interview, I learned that not only is he an acclaimed chef, but he also is the owner of Ricky's Lucky Nuts.  Chef Paul graciously offered to send samples to me, and I happily accepted.

Ricky's Lucky Nuts come in five different varieties:  Original, Spicy Chile Chipolte, Bombay Curry Coconut, Black Pepper & Salt, and Cocoa & Vanilla Bean. 
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The Best Restaurant in the Southwest Region

by TT September 17th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
After ten days of voting, the poll for the best restaurant in the Southwest Region closed this afternoon.  With many amazing restaurants from which to choose, it wasn't a simple decision.  However, loyal patrons and Think Tasty readers voiced their opinions, and a winner has been chosen. . .

Brennan's, Houston, Texas

Please return to Think Tasty in the coming weeks to learn more about this restaurant and why it is the best restaurant in the Southwest region.

To view how the nine other restaurants fared, click here.
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Chefs Nico Monday & Amelia O’Reilly

by TT September 16th, 2010| Chef Interviews
What is better than one talented chef with creative ideas?  Obviously, two chefs!  The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is the creation of chefs, Nico Monday and Amelia O'Reilly.  Opening on June 4th, the restaurant has enjoyed a successful first season.

Each chef has his/her own unique, yet intertwined, culinary background.  Chef Amelia earned her credentials at California Culinary Academy.  Chef Nico has worked in restaurants, starting at the age of thirteen.  He received his training via apprenticeships stateside and in France and Italy.  The chefs met while working in varying culinary roles at Chez Panisse in Berkley, California.

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Sweet & Savory Pizza

by TT September 13th, 2010| Main Dishes, Recipes
Originally, this pizza was going to be named Pear & Onion Pizza.  However, looking at that title made me think that people would see the title and move on to the next web site.  Although I absolutely adore this pizza, I do understand that it may seem that pears don't belong on a non-dessert pizza, nevermind that they shouldn't be combined with onions.  Therefore, I decided to put a little spin on the title in hopes of convincing the world as to how delicious this pizza is.

What would make this pizza so tasty?  Let me share the ways:

  1. The crust- Whether
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NH’s Best Bread Baskets

by TT September 10th, 2010| Restaurant News
Typically I don't eat a lot of bread.  We tend not to serve it with meals, and I usually prefer having a wrap for a sandwich.  For me, bread is something of an indulgence.  If a restaurant is serving regular dinner rolls or slices of wheat bread, even if it's warm, it's something I skip.  However, there are certain restaurants that we visit that I always plan on eating bread before the meal.  Of these restaurants, two are located in New Hampshire.

1. Michael Timothy's/Surf, Nashua

Michael Timothy's and Surf, both owned by Chef Michael Buckley, have simple bread baskets.  A
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Warm, Sweet, & Nutty Goat Cheese

by TT September 8th, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday
To me, this recipe is nearly perfection.  The title alone should explain that.  First, warm cheese is involved, which always is a good thing in my book.  Second, there is a combination of sweet and savory, which delights my taste buds.  Third, with the use of nuts there is crunch, which is an important part of food for me.

These goat cheese slices are very popular with my husband as well.  Both of us have used them in menu planning, sometimes as a salad topping, other times as part of a Tapas Monday menu.  The one thing that we both have
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Best Restaurant- Southwest Region

by TT September 7th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
Moving south from the Central Plains region, Think Tasty now heads to the Southwest region.  Covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, we will share our top ten picks from the many that were submitted.  For the next ten days, readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite place.  Voting will end at 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, September 17th, and the winner will be announced at that time.

1. Andrea's Italian, Dallas, TX
This a quaint restaurant hidden in a small strip center. The outside is un-preposessing, but
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White Grape Reduction

by TT September 3rd, 2010| Recipes, Simple Solutions
In the past few months I have posted several recipes that I don't consider to be true recipes.  Although they require some cooking or kitchen skills, they usually contain only one or two ingredients and involve a minimal number of steps.  However, I do believe that all of them are useful.  Sometimes a reduction, which has only one ingredient, may be what makes an entrée a shining star.

To deliver these helpful hints to Think Tasty readers, I have created a new category of recipes- Simple Solutions.  Approximately once a month, a new, yet uncomplicated, recipe will be featured.  All
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