Archives for April 2011

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62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Salem, MA

by TT April 27th, 2011| Chef Interviews
There is something quite charming about a chef whose career was inspired by cooking with his mother as a child.  That was the initial spark for Antonio Bettencourt, co-owner and executive chef of 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar.  Since those early years, Chef Bettencourt has gained much knowledge, through culinary school and work in restaurants.  Opening 62 in February 2008 with his wife, Valerie, the chef has been busy creating a restaurant that serves Italian classics with a modern twist.

I was able to speak with Chef Bettencourt recently.

TT: You started cooking at your mom’s side. What are some of
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Apple Amaretto Chutney

by TT April 25th, 2011| Appetizers, Recipes, Spreads & Sauces, Tapas Monday
Monday nights are a favorite for my husband and me, as we have a tapas meal to end the day.  However, his business travel schedule has been such that many Mondays in the past month weren't of the tapas nature.  So, when he was home last Monday, both of us were excited for an evening of food, Prosecco, and conversation.

As it had been a couple weeks since our last Tapas Monday, I decided to defer to one of our favorites, baked brie.  Served with some homemade focaccia and homemade flatbread chips, it is a delight for the senses.  While the
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Butter Café & Bakery Homemade Peeps

by TT April 21st, 2011| Desserts
All of the recipes I post on Think Tasty are either creations of my own or recipes handed down in my family.  That makes today's recipe unique.  Because although I have used this recipe, it is not my creation nor is it a family heirloom.  Rather this is a recipe graciously shared by Chef Butters of Butter Café & Bakery in Walpole, Massachusetts.

I made these peeps last weekend with my 13 year old daughter.  Be forewarned, these are messy, as you are creating homemade marshmallows.  However, while they are still warm, the marshmallow mixture makes a lovely indoor s'more if
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Butter Café & Bakery, Walpole, MA

by TT April 20th, 2011| Chef Interviews
When you think of a café and bakery, does a whole pig roast come to mind?  How about a clambake?  Most likely, neither pairing seems like something you would expect.  However, those are just two of the items that make Butter Café & Bakery the unique place that it is.

What first drew my attention to this amazing bakery/café/caterer was their peep promotion, "Peeps Will Die!"  With every bakery order placed for Easter, customers can request a dozen homemade peeps for free.  While I am not a peep aficionado, actually I don't even eat them, the title caught my eye,
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Polder All-In-One Timer/Thermometer

by TT April 18th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
As someone who uses a variety of cooking methods, quite often I need to gauge the temperature of the item that I am preparing.  Although there are some who can determine the doneness of meat by touch, that is a skill I have not acquired.  Other items, such as candies, need to be cooked to a specific temperature, which is easier to determine with a thermometer.  Thus, the Polder Original Cooking All-In-One Timer/Thermometer is a commonly used tool in my kitchen.

One of the features that I like about the thermometer is that the display has a magnetic back.  Whether
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Summer Squash Lasagna

by TT April 13th, 2011| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes
Last night was the perfect night for a little bit of recipe experimenting.  Due to business travel and sporting events, I had only one other person at home with me, my 13 year old who had the start of a cold.  As she was a bit under the weather, a bowl of pasta was all she really wanted.  With no other diners, I wouldn't have to consider if the meal was filling enough or would get eye rolls from teens.

I had two summer squash in the refrigerator, which seemed like the perfect replacement for noodles in lasagna.  I didn't have
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Roquefort and Honey

by TT April 11th, 2011| Recipes, Simple Solutions
When I have greens available, my favorite lunch is a salad and a piece of flatbread.  While this may not sound like an exciting lunch, it really can be quite fun (and not calorie laden) with some creativity.  Salad toppings are easy to keep healthy, if you stick with wholesome ingredients, such as veggies, fruit (dried or fresh), chicken breast, or a small amount of pecans or walnuts.  Of course, keep the dressing on the side.

If you want to splurge and make the flatbread a little more exciting, toppings are a great option.  A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan
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Boston Olive Oil Company

by TT April 6th, 2011| Food News
A recent weekend was spent in Boston, celebrating my husband's birthday.  Although Boston is only an hour away from our home, it was quite delightful to have two whole days to explore different venues.  One of those venues was Newbury Street, which is home to numerous high-end shops, one of a kind boutiques, and wonderful restaurants.  While we enjoyed many different shops for art galleries to designer clothing shops, our favorite was Boston Olive Oil Company.

Entering the store, our eyes were greeted with the site of an island and a wall counter covered with stainless steel tanks filled
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Stuffed Zucchini

by TT April 4th, 2011| Healthy Cooking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
I have dabbled in the world of vegetarianism, so I am fairly comfortable with creating menus that do not include meat.  In fact, my 13 year old has been eating a vegetarian diet for five months, which has helped me create meals with meat that easily are transformed into vegetarian-friendly versions.  However, last weekend I had a curve ball thrown at me.  My husband decided he would try a week of being vegetarian.

If I have a decent amount of experience with cooking vegetarian dishes, why would his announcement be challenging?  The first reason is that he does not enjoy legumes
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