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Archives for October 2010

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Scotty’s Brewhouse, Indiana

by TT October 29th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
Earlier this month, Think Tasty readers had the opportunity to choose the best restaurant in the Great Lakes region.  With ten incredible  restaurants from which to choose, picking a favorite was not easy.  Until the last moment, readers added their votes and left comments raving about their restaurants.  When voting ended, the restaurant that earned the most votes was Scotty's Brewhouse with seven different locations in Indiana.

I spoke with President/CEO Scott Wise to learn more about this popular dining destination.

TT: How long have you been working in the restaurant
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Callaloo Stuffed Veal

by TT October 27th, 2010| Main Dishes, Recipes
Callaloo stuffed porkOne of the most relaxing parts of the weekend for my husband and myself is to shop for interesting ingredients and cook.  With harvest in full swing in September and the beginning of October, we made numerous trips to local farms.  While visiting Lull Farm we discovered that they had an amazing array of vegetable.  They had more than 60 types of heirloom tomatoes, multiple types of eggplants, and a cornucopia of greens.

Over the course of a few weekends, we made repeated trips to the farm to purchase different vegetables.  We purchased tomatoes for canning and apple seconds for making
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Figs and Roquefort

by TT October 26th, 2010| Recipes, Simple Solutions
Last week my husband and I had the pleasure of vacationing in Paris.  Although the news reports from France focused on the strikes and protests, I am happy to report that we saw none of that.  What we experienced were five days of utter joy:  fabulous architecture, amazing pieces of artwork, delicious foods, and incredible wines.

Although we were on vacation and intended to enjoy many of our evenings trying the cuisine of numerous French restaurants, we opted to change that plan a little.  With great local shops located within steps of our hotel, we were persuaded to spend two of
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Normanton Farm- Part II

by TT October 20th, 2010| Chef Interviews
Baby cattleHaving met 32 cattle at Normanton Farm, it was time to continue my tour of the farm.  Walking down the fields toward the river, Steve (Normanton, owner of the farm) showed me where the cattle stay during a storm.  As opposed to many farms, the cattle live outdoors and are not kept in a barn at night or during inclement weather.  As Steve pointed out, these animals have lived outside for thousands of year and have the ability to survive outside.  During a storm they are moved to a grove of trees where they are more protected.

Moving away from
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Normanton Farm- Part I

by TT October 18th, 2010| Chef Interviews
Bull Feeding Time

I kind of met a member of Normanton Farm this past spring.  About 10:00 pm on a weekday night I was driving home from a dinner meeting.  As I rounded a corner on a main road in town, I was surprised to discover a cow in the middle of the road.  While I knew I was driving in the suburbs and have seen numerous deer in the road, never before had I met a cow in the road.  Of course, when I met Steve Normanton, owner of the farm, this week, the cow encounter was the first thing I
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The Best Restaurant in the Great Lakes Region

by TT October 15th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
Great Lakes Region restaurantAfter ten days of voting, the poll for the best restaurant in the Great Lakes Region closed this afternoon.  With many fabulous restaurants on the list, it wasn't an easy choice.  However, loyal patrons and Think Tasty readers voiced their opinions, and a winner has been chosen. . .

Scotty's Brewhouse, Muncie, Indiana

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

To view how the nine other restaurants fared, click
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French Onion Pork

by TT October 13th, 2010| Main Dishes, Recipes
French Onion PorkSometimes the last minute idea for dinner ends up being a big hit.  Last night it certainly did.  When I shopped early in the week, I purchased boneless pork chops.  I didn't have a plan for them but figured something creative would come to mind.  As is typical of any workday, my day's projects consume my time.  After driving our 12 year old to gymnastics, I realized it was almost 5:30 and had no clue as to how the pork chops would be cooked.

I decided to go with what I hoped would be an easy and tasty way to prepare
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Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker

by TT October 12th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
Santa Fe Quesadilla MakerLast December, my husband became the proud owner of the Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker via a "Secret Snowflake" gift exchange.  While it wasn't a surprise, as all participants had to register for gift ideas, it was a welcomed present.  My husband had chosen this item because our twelve year old daughter is a huge fan of quesadillas, and he thought she might enjoy this kitchen tool.

Almost a year later, I can confirm that she enjoys having this item at her disposal.  In fact, almost everyone in our house enjoys using it, at least everyone who likes quesadillas enjoys using
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Review: Pizzico Ristorante & Martini Bar, Nashua, NH

by TT October 9th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Pizzico has been a favored restaurant for my husband and me.  Whether it's just the two of us on a Saturday afternoon, an early dinner with the family, or a Friday night out with friends, this restaurant meets the needs of all of those configurations.  A place such as this can be difficult to find.  Typically if we find a restaurant that works well for all four kids it may work also as a night out with friends but would not be the place we'd go just for cocktails.  The same is true in reverse.  Places that we think
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Sweet & Sour Meatballs

by TT October 6th, 2010| Appetizers, Recipes
sweet and sour meatballFor me, meatballs are an obvious choice when entertaining.  First, most people tend to enjoy meatballs (at least in my circle of family and friends).  Second, they can be prepared in advance and kept warm in a crockpot.  Third, they need no garnish or accompaniments, just a fork and a plate, and this munchy is ready to go.

Of course, serving regular meatballs in marinara can become boring, so we have tried many different meatballs.  We have made Hawaii-inspired meatballs, chicken cordon bleu meatballs, and mozzarella stuffed meatballs, among others.  When we planned a family get together the
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Best Restaurant- Great Lakes Region

by TT October 5th, 2010| Regional Best, Restaurant News
Great Lakes RegionMoving north from the Southwest region, Think Tasty now heads to the Great Lakes region.  Covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, 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, October 15th, and the winner will be announced at that time.

1. 20.21 Restaurant & Bar, Minneapolis, MN
20.21 Restaurant & Bar by Wolfgang Puck
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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

by TT October 1st, 2010| Desserts, Recipes
pumpkin bread puddingWhile fall does mean the end of most local produce, there are some culinary highlights to this season, for me anyway.  First, fall brings winter squash, which I happen to adore.  Pumpkin, sunshine, butternut, acorn. . .the list could be quite long.  Second, the cooler temperatures practically beg for something to be baked or simmered in the afternoon.  There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread or simmering soup when it is chilly outside.

With these benefits in mind, what would be better than combining two into one?  I did that recently, baking a couple loaves of pumpkin bread. 
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