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Warm Butternut Apple Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 18th, 2017 | Recipes, Salads

Fall flavors + pancetta = yum


I'm in the midst of seasonal transitions here in New Hampshire, as many of you probably are. Last week it was so chilly at night that I thought about closing the windows. (I didn't but added a blanket. There's something about a cool room and thick blanket!) This week it's humid, and I've turned the AC on. The
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Keeping It Sweet All Week

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 15th, 2017 | Friday Flashback

Sweetness doesn't get much easier than this.


Perhaps you saw Monday's recipe for Margarita Cake and thought it looked delicious, but it was too much work. Maybe when you saw Wednesday's Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, you thought, "Eh, not my thing." Now it's Friday, and you'd really like some sort of sweet treat and don't know what to do. Let me help.

Let me state that you don't need to buy the aforementioned sweet treat. You can make it yourself, and it doesn't need to be laborious. It doesn't even have to include turning on the oven. You make a
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Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 13th, 2017 | Desserts, Recipes

Serve it atop a cake or a spoon; it's your choice!


As I worked on my recipe for Margarita Cake with a Kick, I wondered what sort of frosting should be paired with it. I debated some sort of coconut frosting but didn't want to lose the margarita feel. I also thought about a citrus-flavored frosting, but it seemed that might overwhelm the other flavors. A plain buttercream might be too sweet. Then I considered one of my favorite frostings- cream cheese.

The funny thing about cream cheese frosting is that can come in so many different
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Margarita Cake with a Kick

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 11th, 2017 | Desserts, Recipes

All it's missing is the salted rim.


This cake is not for those who approach tequila warily. There is a half cup of tequila involved in making the cake. Of course, the cake serves anywhere from eight to twelve people, depending on slice size, so at most your slice has half an ounce of tequila. It may not be a cake to serve to the kids, but it also isn't a full-strength margarita. Let's just call it a special, adults-only dessert.

I made this cake as the finishing touch to a lazy summer Sunday. We had enjoyed a number of
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What’s Better Than a Cookie?

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 8th, 2017 | Friday Flashback

Who says stuffing has to be savory?


This week's recipes have focused on stuffed dishes: Italian peppers and portobello mushrooms. But appetizers aren't the only things that get to have stuffing. Sure, so do breakfast items, such as stuffed French toast, and main dishes, such as a stuffed pork chop, so why can't a dessert have a stuffing?

Yeah, dessert deserves to have stuffed dishes also. So, to answer the question poised by the title- a cookie that is stuffed is even better than a plain cookie. I mean, you get all the flavors
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Portobellos with Wine Poached Lobster

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 6th, 2017 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday

This is what indulgence tastes like.


This delightful recipe was the appetizer in our 5-course anniversary dinner back in July. As beef was the entrée, I wanted a different protein to be part of the appetizer. What says special occasion better than lobster? I guess other types of shellfish would suffice, but when you take aforementioned lobster and poach it in wine, you've upped the game even more. This may have been my favorite course of the meal.

Although it was my favorite dish, I did think that the recipe needed some tweaking. Our anniversary was the first time that
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Linguisa & Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 4th, 2017 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday

A few ingredients, lots of flavor.


When I was creating this recipe, I wanted the stuffed peppers to be part of an afternoon snack menu and, as such, wanted them not to be large, filling dishes. For that reason I chose cubanelles as the pepper for this recipe. They're
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End of Summer Goodness

by Michele Pesula Kuegler September 1st, 2017 | Friday Flashback

The flavors of late summer in a bowl.


As I write this post, I'm thinking about the pile of bags and boxes that is growing under my stairs, as my daughter is packing to head to her sophomore year of college. Like many other parents, this time of year revolves around back to school. For me not only is it back to school time, it's also return to empty nest time. I find the empty nest to be curiously bittersweet. I miss having the kids home, chatting with them about the tiniest of things, but I also enjoy the
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Caramelized Pecan Biscotti with Salted Butterscotch Glaze

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 30th, 2017 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes

Crunchy, sweet, & salty- these biscotti have it all.


As I wrote on Monday, I mostly eat healthfully. However, I do have a sweet tooth, which I keep under control more often than not. Sometimes, though, I just need to give into the cravings. (Although I do try and schedule cravings for the weekends. I am a person of structure.)

These biscotti are indulgent. Filled with caramelized pecans and topped with butterscotch, they have a good amount of sweet to them. The sprinkling of salt, albeit a small part of the recipe, is key. Without the salt, these treats feel
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Creamy Cucumber and Pea Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 28th, 2017 | Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Nice and creamy, but also nice and healthy.


Yes, I know. I have a fixation with healthy foods. I frequently am thinking of ways to convert recipes from high fat, high calorie dishes into slimmer, trimmer dishes while keeping lots of flavor. I can admit that sometimes you just have to use butter, sugar, and all the other naughty ingredients to deliver, but I also know that quite often you don't. That's how I eat: most of the time healthy, occasionally indulgent.

This salad falls into my healthy eating category. It's not the creamy cucumber salad of my childhood that
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Another Farm Fresh Produce Recipe

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 25th, 2017 | Friday Flashback

Got zucchini? We've got recipes.




This isn't a recipe that was created off the weekend trip to the farm; rather it's a recipe from the Think Tasty archives, back in the days of yore when I could get zucchini with a quick five minute walk to the local stand. However, it felt like the perfect Friday Flashback, as it is another recipe that utilizes fresh produce in a simple way.

For whatever reason, it does seem that zucchini is the ingredient that most often overwhelms someone's kitchen. Whether they're growing it in their own garden or have been given it
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Prosciutto Peaches with Raspberry Balsamic

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 23rd, 2017 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday

A fun way to get more fruit into your day.




With fresh peaches from the farm trip I mentioned on Monday, I was inspired to transform them. Yes, a couple peaches were eaten as is, but I wanted to find a way to make them into part of our Tapas Tuesday menu. (Work schedules pushed it a day late that week.) As I envisioned options, they all seemed too sweet for our menu.

With a
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Mexican Corn Off the Cob

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 21st, 2017 | Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday

All of the flavors, a lot less mess.




I love summer and all of the local produce that it brings with it. Unfortunately, I've learned that for all of the excitement of my new urban setting, local produce is more difficult to acquire. There is a weekly farmers' market
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The Perfect Ending to a Sweet and Salty Week

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 18th, 2017 | Friday Flashback

Don't be fooled by this simple photo; this snack mix is amazing!


This week I have shared two new recipes that are pretty different, which fits into my design of Think Tasty. Although it may be better to have more focus, I enjoy cooking too many things to narrow my recipe testing. Thus, we end up with weeks like this where one day is a salad, and the other is a sweet treat/breakfast dish. I’d like to think that the unifying theme is that everything I post is tasty.

As I looked through my archives of Augusts past, I was
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Chocolate Swirl Rolls

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 16th, 2017 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocoholics, be excited. I've found another way to deliver chocolate to you!


A couple tidbits about me:

  • I thoroughly enjoy baking.

  • I love cooking for others.

  • I am not a big fan of chocolate.


All three of those facts play into today’s menu. On a recent Friday morning, I made sure that my recipe testing began by 7:00 am, so that if it were successful, I could send it to the office with my daughter.

I don’t make as many breads or bread-like dishes in the summer. Although I adore homemade bread, I tend to save that sort of baking for
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Cool off with a Refreshing Froze’

by Editorial Team August 16th, 2017 | Chef Interviews
Especially during the summertime, temperatures can be off the charts. However, no matter what season you find yourself in, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cold beverage which tastes like it was specially made for you. One of the things people like most is a good Rose’, but why not combine it with some other fun stuff in order to create something even better? Introducing the Froze’, a Rose’ experience and a truly refreshing adventure!

Here are the ingredients you are going to need for
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Asparagus Feta Lemon Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 14th, 2017 | Recipes, Salads

Asparagus, meet your new best friends, feta and lemon!


Every year for our anniversary I create a multi-course meal to celebrate the occasion. The only definite part of the menu is dessert, which is wedding cake with fruit filling and buttercream frosting. I shoot for a minimum of five courses. It always includes entrée, salad, and dessert, the other two dishes rotate between amuse bouche, appetizer, salad, and soup. What I have learned after nine years of making this dinner is that it should
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Another Tropical Recipe

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 11th, 2017 | Friday Flashback

Fruit & heat in one fine, chilled soup


We started the week with coconut, why not end it with pineapple? You even could tie the two together with a pina colada; I'd be game for that!

Both the Coconut Crusted Sweet Potato Fries and this Pineapple Gazpacho have an element
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Sweet & Creamy Cholula Sauce

by Michele Pesula Kuegler August 9th, 2017 | Recipes, Spreads & Sauces

A little heat, a little sweet


Yes, ketchup is an invaluable condiment. There are many times that it's my preferred choice for dipping or topping. Sometimes, though, you need to mix things up. For example, my coconut crusted sweet potato fries. Dipping these semi-exotic fries in a basic condiment seemed a waste of their fanciness. Thus, it was time to create a dip.

I've made other dips that have the sweet and spicy blend. My original version was made with chili powder and maple syrup and is just fine. However, maple syrup isn't necessarily an ingredient kept on hand, and
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Coconut Crusted Sweet Potato Fries

Michele Pesula Kuegler August 7th, 2017 | Recipes, Side Dishes

Apparently sweet potato and coconut were meant to be together.


I have this love-hate relationship with sweet potato fries. I think that their sweetness and flavor make them a much tastier treat than regular french fries. However, if I make them at home, I bake them and struggle to get the crispiness that I so enjoy. I've tried lower temps for longer times and higher temps for shorter times.
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