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Archives for June 2012

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Chef Grace Nguyen

by TT June 28th, 2012| Restaurant News
If you are like most adults, you probably have times when your day is too busy to prepare dinner.  Unfortunately, quite often you are left with poor choices, such as greasy takeout meals or a cookie cutter of a dinner at a chain restaurant.  If you live in the Bay Area, you are fortunate in that you have a much better option.  Asian Box, located in Palo Alto, offers its diners fresh, healthy dishes that can be eaten at the restaurant or taken home.

We were able to speak with Chef Grace Nguyen, who not only is the executive
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Coffee Cake Muffins

by TT Jr. June 27th, 2012| Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Recipes
My family members, or at least my step-dad, are avid soccer watchers.  His favorite team at this point is England, and they happened to be playing Sunday against Italy.  So, in honor of the game, we had a small get together with munchies and friends.  I volunteered to make something, I was hoping desperately I could land the baking spot.  And with my luck, I did!  I now had to rack my brain for a baked good I had not already made, or at least a variation of something I already had.  Frantically, my brain went through the usual
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Simple Tomato Preparations

by Elizabeth Skipper June 26th, 2012| Ask the Chef
Fresh tomatoes are available locally.  I enjoy eating them just sliced, but are there other simple preparations that will allow me to highlight their flavor but do no more than slicing?

Ah, fresh local tomatoes. They're one of the best arguments for eating locally and seasonally. The answer to your question is quite broad, so I'm going to narrow it down. Otherwise, there's no end to the things I could write about doing with tomatoes, even simple ones. I'm going to stick with ideas for raw tomatoes plus a couple for grilled or broiled, because most cooked tomato dishes can
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Boqueria Flatiron, New York, NY

by TT June 25th, 2012| Restaurant Reviews
Summer has returned, and with it, so has my increase in business travel.  With a little bit of coordination, my husband and I usually are able to schedule our business travels so that they align for the same dates in the same city.  Last week was our first week of such travels, which we started with meetings in New York City.  There are many wonderful things about traveling to NYC, but one of my favorite features is the wide array of restaurants available- all open late into the night.

As our travel had us in New York on a Monday
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Chef Matthew Boland

by TT June 21st, 2012| Chef Interviews
When you think about a vacation at a Caribbean resort, you probably envision beautiful beaches, crystal blue water, and days of lounging.  Although you'll be sure to dine during your stay, food may not be the focus of your trip.  However, food can play an important role in your memories from the trip.  Having had the best dish ever or found a restaurant with great charm will enhance your memories.

Last week I spoke with Executive Chef Matthew Boland of The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba.  At this resort, Chef Boland has been tasked with overseeing all of the
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Vinegar

by Elizabeth Skipper June 20th, 2012| Techniques, Tools, and Tips
Vinegar. The thought isn't exactly mouthwatering. Your reaction might be more one of mouth-puckering. But the kitchen and the cook would be poorer without vinegar, and our dishes a lot less lively.

The word comes from French and means, literally, sour wine (vin = wine & aigre = sour.) Wine vinegar is only one kind, however. Vinegar can be made from any fruit, or other food which contains sugar. It's been made from apples (cider vinegar), grapes, (red or white wine, Champagne, sherry, Balsamic), rice, sorghum, grains, molasses, dates, pineapple, coconuts, even bananas. It all depends on where you are
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BLT Eggs

by BnB Finder June 19th, 2012| Best BnB Bites
People often talk about a favorite bite of food, that perfect combination of flavors that delights your taste buds.  If you enjoy deviled eggs and BLT sandwiches, this appetizer is that perfect bite.  Shared with us by Andon-Red Inn Bed and Breakfast, it makes a wonderful munchy for almost any occasion or time of day.  Whether you're looking for a Saturday afternoon snack or a dish to share at a cookout, these eggs are certain to be enjoyed.

This recipe is simple and doesn't require much time.  However, it is important to have your eggs hard-boiled hours before you
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Dessert Crepes

by TT June 18th, 2012| Breakfast Dishes, Desserts
Last week was filled with events for our family.  In a four-day span we attended an elementary school promotion ceremony, a middle school academic awards night, and a middle school promotion ceremony.  Thus, our evenings were busier than usual.  So, on Wednesday with just our regularly schedule events, we were looking forward to a quiet dinner at home.

Being June, it would have seemed the time of year to make a refreshing salad or chilled soup, but the weather has felt very un-June-like.  It was a week filled with temperatures that hovered around 60.  Add to that some rain on
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Chef Wes Morton

by TT June 14th, 2012| Chef Interviews
When you think of Southern food, there are a range of locations that you may imagine, though I don't think that many people envision Washington, D.C.  However, contrary to that thought, there is a renowned D.C.-based restaurant that has a menu inspired by the South, Art and Soul.  Owned by Chef Art Smith, the menu is an infusion of his Southern style of cooking and that of Chef Wes Morton.

Together they have crafted a menu that seems to effortlessly blend Southern cooking and local ingredients.  I was able to speak with Chef Wes to learn more about Art
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Cheddar Chive Cornbread

by TT Jr. June 13th, 2012| Breads, Recipes
Last week we had breakfast for dinner, which is one of my favorite things to have.  We decided upon eggs so I opted to make cornbread with it.  Now I love cornbread; it is a very classic, understated, yummy item.  But plain cornbread can get, well, plain, not to mention boring.  I started debating how I could dress it up in a somewhat classier and more delicious, not to mention different, way.  I decided to use my two favorite ingredients for savory items.  Cheddar cheese and chives, which I also put in my scrambled eggs.  I find regular scrambled
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Oatmeal for Cookies

by Elizabeth Skipper June 12th, 2012| Ask the Chef
I like to make oatmeal cookies, but some recipes call for old fashioned rolled oats while others ask for quick oats. Does it really make any difference which one I use?

The author of any recipe which specifies the kind of oatmeal to use thinks so. On the Quaker Oats site, for example, all recipes specify which product to use or if either is acceptable.

In general, if a recipe specifies which kind of oats to use, I'd follow the recipe. Each will give a slightly different quality to the cookies, although sometimes it's minor enough not to matter. A look
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Carrot Cupcakes

by TT June 11th, 2012| Desserts
It's hard to believe that it's been so long, but four and a half years ago I wrote about making carrot cake for my parents.  Since that time, carrot cake has become a favorite dessert item in our house, serving as the dessert of choice for many birthdays and celebrations.  This weekend there was a special occasion in store:  our dear friend Miss Vicki was celebrating her birthday with a cookout.  Requested to bring a dessert or side dish, we chose to bring one of each.

Knowing that Miss Vicki has an affinity for carrot cake, it seemed like
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