Archives for July 2012

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Black Forest Mini Fudge Cakes

by BnB Finder July 31st, 2012| Best BnB Bites
I may not be a big fan of chocolate desserts, but all four of my children are.  Cookies, cakes, ice cream, they adore those in chocolate form.  I know they aren't unique in their love of chocolate.  Whether at a get-together or restaurant, I am used to seeing a dessert selection that is chocolate heavy, much to the pleasure of most of the guests.

This recipe is even better than a typical chocolate dessert, as it is gluten-free.  Provided to us courtesy of Deutsche Strasse Bed and Breakfast, they make a delightful dessert or late afternoon indulgence and are
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Salvatore’s, Boston, MA

by TT July 30th, 2012| Restaurant News
If you're heading into Boston to dine, many people consider the option of Italian food in the North End.  While there are many, many fine restaurants from which to choose in that one neighborhood, there are other good destinations for Italian food elsewhere in the city.  One such place is Salvatore's.  With four locations in Massachusetts, two of which are in Boston (Theatre District and Seaport), they provide an excellent alternative to the North End.

Last Friday, I visited the Seaport location and was able to meet with Executive Chef Victor Paone.  In addition to overseeing the kitchens at
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Homemade Bread Crumbs

by TT July 26th, 2012| Simple Solutions
It's been a while, but today I decided to write about a non-recipe recipe.  Bread crumbs.  Most likely when you think of that ingredient you envision a cylindrical cardboard container in your cupboard.  Until about a year ago, I did also.  If I was going to make meatballs, eggplant parmesan, or zucchini fries, I would need to have this ingredient on hand.

I had heard plenty of chefs recommend that cooks make their own bread crumbs.  However, I always thought it was easier to buy them, until one day I had a realization.  Neither my husband nor I eat
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Raspberry Apple Feta Salad

by TT Jr. July 25th, 2012| Recipes, Salads
This past week was insanely hot.  Specifically Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday night, I was at Canobie Lake Park with my best friend so I was not home for dinner, although Wednesday all I had was gymnastics from 1-4 p.m. like I do every other Monday through Thursday.  And man was it stifling out!  To try to cool down our palates I decided to make a crisp, cool, experimental salad.  I knew I wanted to make a raspberry vinaigrette, and what better to pair with fruit, than more fruit!  My mind immediately went to watermelon.  But, after some consideration,
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Salt Varieties

by TT July 24th, 2012| Ask the Chef
When I go to restaurants, I notice that the type of salt used in the dish is mentioned. It seems that offering different varieties of salt in dishes is a popular thing. I do keep both regular and kosher salt at home because of the difference in coarseness. However, should I add a shelf to my spice rack for a variety of salts also?

Isn't it interesting how salt, unjustly considered a dietary villain for many years, is now the darling of the food world? Salt, with a history as old as mankind, is a fascinating subject. Animals and people
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Zucchini Parmesan

by TT July 23rd, 2012| Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
My husband has been talking about eggplant parmesan quite frequently.  While eggplant is an ingredient that I incorporate into our Tapas Monday on a semi-regular basis, I don't make eggplant parmesan all that often.  If I do, I usually cook it with little oil and breading.  However, I knew that he was thinking of the breaded and fried version.

After a busy week, we planned to have a quiet Sunday at home.  With nothing but a few work projects on our schedules, I decided to make a mid-afternoon meal that could be enjoyed while watching a movie and relaxing.  My
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Cutting Boards

by Elizabeth Skipper July 19th, 2012| Techniques, Tools, and Tips
Cutting boards. You need one. Actually, you need more than one. I wrote about knives in my first column, but the second part of the equation is the surface you use those knives on. So here are a few thoughts about cutting boards.

I've noticed that most of the folks I've polled, for some unknown reason, own cutting boards that are too small. I have two that are 20"x14", some others that are anywhere from 8 ½"x11" up to 10"x 17½", one or two smaller ones, and two that are much larger. All range in thickness from ¾" to 1½".

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Chef John Ledbetter

by TT July 18th, 2012| Chef Interviews
Although I haven't lived there since my early elementary school years, I used to live in the Bay Area of California.  I have several aunts and uncles that still live there, so I still feel a tie to the area, an affinity for it.  When I was offered the opportunity to speak with Chef Ledbetter of Bocanova, I was pleased to be able to do so.  Not only would I be able to learn more about this restaurants and its menu, but it would be a little bit like speaking with someone from home.

Located in Jack London Square
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French Toast Casserole

by BnB Finder July 17th, 2012| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
As a little girl, French toast was one of my favorite breakfasts.  According to my mom, when I was preschool-aged I would frequently ask my dad to make French toast for my breakfast on weekend mornings.  As a mom, French toast is in my repertoire of breakfasts that I make for the kids.  Depending on the day, we may add vanilla or cinnamon (or both) to the coating.

However, when we have a crowd of kids and their friends, this recipe seems like it would be much easier than standing at the stove making literally dozens of pieces.  Courtesy of
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Ricotta-Topped Zucchini

by TT July 16th, 2012| Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
Living next to a farm, we have easy access to fresh produce during local growing seasons.  Even better, our farm very kindly lists what new items are in season on their roadside sign.  Thus, when I travel anywhere outside of our neighborhood, I am aware of what is ripe and ready for my kitchen.  At the end of last week, I noticed that summer squash and zucchini had been added.

Both my husband and I love zucchini and have used it in a multitude of ways:  in place of noodles in lasagna, in soup, stuffed with spinach, in quick bread. 
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TT Jr.’s Favorite Compound Butter

by TT Jr. July 11th, 2012| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
Every other week or so my family has an Italian dinner.  And every time we have it, I pig out!  Which for me is abut two bowls of pasta, but still I eat more than usual.  I adore pasta; it is probably my favorite Italian food.  The thing I like the most about it is how many ways you can make it.  You can do pasta plain, you can do it with an Alfredo, marinara, cheese, butter, pesto.  If you can stir it, you can put it on pasta.  One of my favorite things to use is compound butters.
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Stand Mixers

by Elizabeth Skipper July 10th, 2012| Ask the Chef
I just bought my first home and am starting to add small appliances to my kitchen. I have a hand mixer, but I have seen so many TV chefs use stand mixers instead of hand mixers. With a several hundred dollar price tag, I am trying to decide if it is worth the investment. I know that they're useful for baking, and I bake a couple times a month. Are there other uses that would make it worth the expense, or should I stick with a hand mixer for now?

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are:
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