Archives for March 2012

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Leek & Goat Cheese Mini-Tarts

by TT March 29th, 2012| Appetizers, Tapas Monday
Although the sources of inspiration for my cooking may vary, I think the inspiration for this dish was unique.  Over the weekend I made lobster newburg for my husband's birthday.  As this was a dish I'd never made, I reviewed many recipes, seeking what seemed like the perfect combination of ingredients.  In the end I debated between two recipes, finally choosing one that utilized a roux.

After our dinner on Sunday evening, our 15 year old asked why we had leeks in the refrigerator.  I then realized that while shopping I had purchased all of the ingredients for the recipe
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Chef Adam Keough

by TT March 28th, 2012| Chef Interviews
We continue our review of spring restaurant menus with another fine California restaurant, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar.  This fine dining restaurant has been a popular dining destination since 1998.  Located in San Francisco, it is home to Executive Chef Adam Keough.  A native of Boston, he adds a bit of New England flair to the west coast dishes he creates.  We were able to speak with him and learn more about his spring menu.

TT:  How many new dishes have you added to your menu?

CK:  Nine dishes have been added.  Four are from the dinner menu; one is from
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Fried Peach Pies (Peach Jacks)

by BnB Finder March 27th, 2012| Best BnB Bites
Now that spring has officially arrived, I have a strong craving for fresh fruits and vegetables.  Of course, living in New Hampshire, freshly grown produce is still months away.  Thankfully there are a number of ways to provide ourselves with foods that taste like summer, such as using the vegetables that we froze at the end of last summer.  Another way to mimic the taste of summer is to utilize dried fruits.

Today's recipe uses dried peaches to make a dessert that is delicious and fits perfectly in the palm of your hand.  Courtesy of Big Mill Bed &
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Chef Steven Snook

by TT March 26th, 2012| Chef Interviews
In order to fully embrace spring, the Think Tasty crew has decided to interview chefs across the USA to learn more about their spring menus.  Each of these chefs has graciously shared sneak peeks of their spring-only menu items.  Even if the weather is chilly and gray where you are, these seasonal highlights should add a little warmth and vibrancy.

We start our interview series with Chef Steven Snook, Executive Chef at the Kenwood Inn and Spa, located in Kenwood, California.  The menu which Chef Snook has shared with us is the April prix fixe menu, aptly titled Ode
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Feta Sauce

by TT March 22nd, 2012| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces, Tapas Monday
As I was planning the menu for the most recent Tapas Monday, I asked my daughter what she would like.  The carb-loving girl that she is, she requested pasta.  I asked if she wanted it plain with grated parmesan.  She asked if I could make a parmesan sauce.  I explained that this dinner would be just for her, as her brother was having meat sauce, so it seemed like a lot of work.  She looked at me and said, "All you need to do is make a roux, add some milk and parmesan."

I must note that she said that
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by TT March 20th, 2012| Ask the Chef
Soufflés have always looked so intricate to me. However, I recently saw a cooking show, and the host said that they actually are simple to master. Do you think that soufflés are something that a home-cook could do well? If so, is there a recipe you could recommend?

A clue to what's involved in making a soufflé comes from the word itself. It's French, of course, the past participle of the verb souffler, which means "to blow up." A soufflé puffs up as it bakes because air beaten into the egg whites dilates when heated in the oven.

I love teaching
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Blue Cheese & Dates

by TT March 19th, 2012| Appetizers, Tapas Monday
As I mentioned in my Maple Apple Mustard recipe, last Tapas Monday was not one that allowed for a lot of cooking time.  Instead I worked on pairing each of the cheeses with a simple condiment:  sharp cheddar with maple apple mustard, truffle cheese with pinot grigio sausage.  I had a wedge of gorgonzola that was begging to be paired.

I personally love the combination of pears and blue cheese, but we were without pears.  Looking for something sweet to contrast with the salt and bite of the blue cheese, I remembered that we had a package of dates.  I
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Maple Apple Mustard

by TT March 15th, 2012| Spreads & Sauces
I know I've written about it many times, but I thoroughly adore Tapas Mondays.  Even though it means not eating dinner until after 9:00, it is such a wonderful way to start the workweek.  The kids are in bed, working on homework, or entertaining themselves on a different floor of the house.  The dining room is lit by candles, and my husband and I sit down to a delicious dinner and some prosecco.

Many of these nights involve a fair amount of cooking.  While the kids eat their dinner, I am working on that night's menu.  However, sometimes there are
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Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Grasshopper Icing

by TT March 14th, 2012| Desserts, Recipes
To end our St. Patrick's Day recipe series, a dessert seemed like the perfect fit.  What we found was a recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet dessert and Irish beverage.  With a stout, such as Guinness, and dark chocolate in the batter, this cupcake is sure to please the majority of your holiday crowd.  A grand finale of mint-flavored frosting should provide a bit of sugary brightness.

Make these cupcakes early in the day (or even the day before), and you will have a dessert that requires no last minute work.  Once you're ready for dessert, it will
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Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins

by TT March 13th, 2012| Breads
Everyone in my house likes muffins.  Is that a silly statement to make?  As I think about what I typed, I have to wonder if there is anyone who doesn't like muffins.  There are so many options.  For those with allergies or health issues, they can be made gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, whatever it is that you need.  The options for flavors seem endless:  banana, apple, chocolate chip, spice, oatmeal, corn. . .

So, when I saw that the newest bed & breakfast recipe was a muffin, I was excited to see what I could add to my repertoire.  Then I
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by TT March 12th, 2012| Desserts, Recipes
Now that we've talked about a variety of dishes for St. Patrick's Day dinner and brunch, it's time to consider a little bit of dessert.  Honestly, I don't usually think too much about dessert for this holiday, as the meal tends to be heavy.  Plus, when St. Patrick's Day falls on a weekday, there isn't always the time to linger over a multi-course meal.

With the collision of St. Patrick's Day and Saturday this year, why not give an Irish dessert a try?  This recipe is simple to make, requires few ingredients, and will provide some nice bright flavors to
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Interview: Jason Santos, Blue Inc.

by TT March 8th, 2012| Chef Interviews
Although most of us are quite ready for winter to disappear, you might want it to last just a little longer so that you don't miss out on a great winter event:  Winter Restaurant Week Boston.  Who cares if it is chilly and cloudy when you can dine in the best restaurants in the Greater Boston area and enjoy 2- and 3-course meals at fabulous prices?  This year's Restaurant "Week" is a two-week event, being held from March 18-23 and March 25-30.

Over that two week period, 220 restaurants will be participating.  Each restaurant will offer its own special menus,
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