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Archives for July 2011

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Tuscan Kitchen, Salem, NH

by TT July 29th, 2011| Chef Interviews
Walking into this restaurant is much like walking into a kitchen.  If you visit the lower level, you can watch by windows through which you can see the pasta and bread being made.  On the first floor, you are able to see the brick oven in which many of the dishes are baked.  With the smell of garlic, tomatoes, and freshly baked bread, it smells like you're right at home.

I was able to speak with Tuscan Kitchen's owner, Joe Faro, and chef/partner, Jim Rogers, to learn more about this amazing restaurant.

TT:   With all breads and pastas made fresh,
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Blueberry Crisp

by TT July 27th, 2011| Desserts, Recipes
Blueberry season is in full swing.  My husband and I have made three trips to our local pick-your-own farm to stock our home for the next year, which means we've had a few busy days.  We spent two Saturdays picking a dozen or so pounds and making blueberry jam and salsa, which means that we have almost twenty jars of jam and a few jars of salsa.  We also have multiple quarts of frozen blueberries.  Sure, it means we dedicate a good portion of the day to picking and cooking, but we like working in the kitchen, so for us
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Bistro de la Gare, New York, NY

by TT July 25th, 2011| Restaurant Reviews
When I am in Manhattan, whether it be for business or personal travel, I am certain that one of my dinners will be had in the Meatpacking District.  The energetic vibe and vast quantity of excellent restaurants located here completely compensate for the difficulty had in walking the cobblestone streets and sidewalks in high heels.  My latest visit, which included a fabulous dinner at Bistro de la Gare, met that same standard of a fabulous dining experience worthy of meticulously placed steps.

We arrived at the restaurant about 8:00 on a warm summer evening and were greeted warmly by one
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Zucchini Fries

by TT July 21st, 2011| Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes
Zucchini is one of those vegetables that I wish was available locally all year long.  Sadly, its stay is much shorter than that, and it is a vegetable that doesn't freeze well whole.  So, while zucchini is available I like to cook with it frequently.

I have served zucchini in numerous forms:  zucchini cakes (both as a savory appetizer and as a sweet dessert), grilled zucchini, mashed zucchini, and stuffed zucchini.  That is just the beginning of the list.  One item that I had not made previous to last week's Tapas Monday was Zucchini Fries.  However, it seemed like the perfect
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West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT

by TT July 19th, 2011| Restaurant Reviews
Our Independence Day weekend was a huge tour of the Northeast.  Our journey took us to Maine on Friday, Saint John on Saturday, Saint Andrews on Sunday (which ended with a quick stop at home to unpack and repack), and Litchfield, CT, on Monday.  You might wonder how we chose Litchfield as the destination for the holiday, and the answer is quite simple.  We needed to be in Manhattan for business on Tuesday, Litchfield was halfway, and Haight-Brown Vineyard had a Red White and Blues celebration that evening.

Our afternoon at Haight-Brown was enjoyable.  This family-run vineyard had such
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Bourbon Quarter, Saint John, New Brunswick

by TT July 12th, 2011| Restaurant Reviews
While our breakfast at the Homeport Bed and Breakfast was the culinary highlight of our time in Saint John, our dinner at Bourbon Quarter came in at a length behind second.  Most of the food was enjoyable; however, the service was, well, interesting.

We arrived at Bourbon Quarter at 7:30 at which point the restaurant was half-full.  We opted to eat on the lounge side of the restaurant in a booth designed for two.  We were greeted by the bartender who was friendly and attentive.  She delivered water to us and let us know that our waitress would
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Red Wine Tomato Sauce

by TT July 11th, 2011| Recipes, Simple Solutions, Spreads & Sauces
After ten days on the road (with a quick 12-hour stop at home in the middle), it is good to be home again.  Don't get me wrong, the holiday weekend exploring New Brunswick was wonderful.  I also enjoyed a week of business travel in Manhattan, but being home is refreshing.  I don't think we could have planned our return better, as our first full day at home is Tapas Monday.  As I was thinking about tonight's menu I realized that I still had a recipe from a previous Monday to share.

The menu from two weeks ago was filled with new
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Homeport Bed and Breakfast, Saint John, New Brunswick

by TT July 7th, 2011| Restaurant Reviews
Over Independence Day weekend, we found ourselves without children, so we packed our bags and headed on a road trip.  Without firm plans in place, we drove northeast, headed for New Brunswick.  As we drove, we decided to spend the night in Saint John.  Being on the water and able to visit the Reversing River, it seemed like a unique destination.

Sadly, we found Saint John to be underwhelming.  The downtown was quiet, and the city market seemed not all that different from the shopping districts in our area.  The Reversing Rivers was interesting but an overwhelming amount of fog
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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

by TT July 6th, 2011| Desserts, Recipes
Editor’s note:  In celebration of our company’s third birthday, Wasabi Media Group will be donating up to $1,095 to our readers’ favorite charity.  Four charities have been chosen by the editorial team, and each has been aligned with an article on one of our sites.  To help Share Our Strength win, simply click the Facebook Like button.  You can learn more about this contest by reading this article.

When I was a child, one of my favorite summer treats was the ice cream sandwiches my mom would make.  Although I also liked the store-bought version, the ones my mom
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Ultimate Figs

by TT July 4th, 2011| Recipes, Simple Solutions, Tapas Monday
I think figs may be one of the most unappreciated fruits.  I know that I didn't always see the beauty in them.  Typically I thought of them in their dried form, which doesn't showcase them nearly as well.  While Fig Newtons may be enjoyed by many, they are near the bottom of the list of cookies I would like to eat.

However, through a few dining experiences, I was able to sample figs in their fresh form.  Served atop salads and integrated into other dishes, I enjoyed the taste and texture of these fruits.  With a new perspective on them, I
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