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Archives for March 2011

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Popcorn Palace

by TT March 31st, 2011| Food News
I am not a popcorn fanatic.  Of course, maybe that's because there are so many poorly done types of popcorn available.  I don't eat popcorn at the movies, though most of my family and many of my friends adore it.  Popcorn covered in "butter flavored oil" just seems nasty.  Microwave popcorn tends to have interesting ingredients to give the popcorn its flavor.  I also don't like popcorn that is doused in butter, even if it's real butter.  So, rather than wrinkling my nose at most popcorn, I just pass on eating it.

However, when I was offered some samples of
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Cheddar Potato Soup

by TT March 28th, 2011| Recipes, Soups & Stews
A couple weeks ago we had a taste of spring, and it was wonderful.  However, it was only Mother Nature teasing us because although the calendar says it's spring, the weather has been anything but spring-like.  With temperatures topping out in the high 30s and fairly windy days making the temperature feel cooler, we've been bundling up in coats, sweaters, and gloves again.  That certainly isn't what I imagine when I think of spring.

This weather doesn't encourage me to make big salads for dinner, even though I now have an almost endless supply of greens, courtesy of my husband's indoor
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Beet Cake

by TT March 23rd, 2011| Desserts, Recipes
This recipe was one where I really wasn’t sure what the end results would be.  We had a great amount of beets that needed to be used.  While I love roasting them either as a side dish or a topping for a salad, not everyone else is as keen on the idea of beets as a daily menu item.  So, what is one to do with extra beets?

Deciding to try a creative approach, I opted to use them in a cake batter.  All of us enjoy carrot cake.  Shredded carrots, walnuts, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting combined, how can you
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Craquelins

by TT March 21st, 2011| Food News
Sometimes it is mere happenstance that brings about the most delightful of discoveries.  Such was the case with my discovering Craquelins.  On a Sunday in January, my husband and I went to a winter farmers' market to purchase our weekly supply of vegetables.  Exploring the various vendors' tables, we found some yummy flatbread crisp samples.  Never ones to pass on a free food tasting, we gave them a try and were hooked.  We added a couple packages to our collection of food.  Returning two weeks later to the next market, we were pleased to see that Craquelins was there
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Honey Mustard

by TT March 17th, 2011| Simple Solutions
Every time I start to write one of these "recipes", I have this feeling of ridiculousness.  Most of the "recipes" require almost no cooking and very few ingredients.  However, that was point of creating this category.  They truly are simple solutions, little hints or tricks that can make meal planning easier or add a little something extra to a dish.

Today I have a two ingredient recipe for honey mustard.  I understand that you can buy honey mustard in any grocery store.  In fact, when you peruse the condiment aisle you are likely to have an overwhelming amount of choices.  So,
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Popcorn- Two Ways

by TT March 16th, 2011| Appetizers, Recipes
Our oldest had his braces removed a month and a half ago, which ended his ban from certain foods, such as caramel and popcorn.  While no one in our house is mad about popcorn, it is nice to be able to make this treat while watching a movie or when friends are over.

Having dined at a restaurant that served herbed popcorn in lieu of bread, it seemed like the perfect snack to try at home.  I was able to do some experimenting with popcorn recipes on a recent, rainy Sunday.  With two of my teens at a home (and all
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Avila, Boston, MA

by TT March 14th, 2011| Chef Interviews
Restaurant Week Boston is entering its second week, so it seems like the right time to feature another fine dining destination, Avila. This restaurant's menu features modern Mediterranean cuisine created by Executive Chef, Rodney Murillo.  I was able to speak with Chef Murillo to learn more about Avila.

Chef Murillo has been part of the Avila family since 1992.  He began his career as a dishwasher at Davio's, a Northern Italian steakhouse that has four locations and is the sister restaurant to Avila.  Chef Murillo received much on the job training and was promoted to sous chef in 1997. 
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California Olive Oil

by TT March 10th, 2011| Food News
One of my favorite work-related events is attending the Boston Wine Expo.  Every year I am amazed at the number of interesting product I discover and intriguing people I meet.  This year was no different.  Of course, the majority of the booths are filled with wineries, which are delicious in their own right, but there also are booths with food vendors.  At one of these booths, I met Mike Forbes, who is marketing director for California Olive Ranch.

A favorite indulgence of mine when dining at a restaurant is enjoying fresh bread and dipping oil.  Well, on a weekend that
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The Beehive, Boston, MA

by TT March 9th, 2011| Chef Interviews
Four days into Restaurant Week Boston Winter 2011 seems the perfect time to highlight one of the restaurants and its chef.  With over 225 participating restaurants, the options were many, but The Beehive and Chef Rebecca Newell seemed to be a perfect choice.  Located on Tremont Street in Boston's South End, it is a fun and fabulous place to enjoy a delicious meal and vibrant atmosphere.

The Beehive will celebrates its fourth birthday this May, and Chef Newell has been the Executive Chef for most of that time, taking the reins in September 2007.  The menu at The Beehive is
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Veal Rollatini

by TT March 7th, 2011| Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
Veal is newer to the list of foods that I like.  I used to refuse to try it quite adamantly and, thus, didn't know what I was missing.  Finally, at some point in time, my husband ordered it while at a restaurant, and I agreed to try a bite.  While it was not an instant conversion from hate to love, I did decide that it was better than anticipated.

Many restaurants serve veal in a fried form, which removes it from my list of ordering options.  So, I began to play with cooking veal at home.  What I quickly learned is
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Winter Stirfry

by TT March 3rd, 2011| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes
It is two months into the year, and we have been successful with our goal to use only locally sourced meats, produce, and dairy items.  While it has made meal planning a little more challenging, it has been exciting to visit our biweekly farmer's market to see what produce will be available.  Thanks to some great independently owned stores and farmstands, we have been stocked with dairy and meat items as well.

However, I have to confess that I miss fresh greens immensely.  A worshipper of caesar salad (with dressing on the side), I have had to create new lunches that
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