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Fresh Corn Cakes- Local Produce in a Delightful Package

by TT August 25th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
corn fritter cakeLast Tapas Monday, I made a menu that placed a spin on southern flair.  I started with pulled pork, which I let simmer in a mini crock pot for the afternoon.  It was incredibly tender by the time our 8 o'clock dinner rolled around.  Rather than serving it on white bread, I went with the healthier option of lettuce wraps.  Of course, using lettuce as the vehicle leaves more room in the stomach for a second (or third or fourth) serving, so maybe it isn't that much healthier!

I wanted another dish that had hints of southern style.  I automatically
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Shrimp & Avocado Cocktail- An Indulgent Start to Dinner

by TT July 28th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes, Salads
shrimp avocado cocktailJuly has been the month of cold dishes.  Icy cold from the refrigerator, refreshing on the palate sort of dishes. I will end this month with another delightfully cooling dish, but this one is special.  It isn't an any night of the week dish (at least in my opinion.)  Rather this is a special occasion, dinner for two sort of recipe.  Of course, I could be biased, as this was the first course for my husband and my anniversary dinner.

However, I think I can make a case for the elevated status of this dish.

  1. Ingredient #1- shrimp.  Although shrimp is a
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Spinach Mushroom Dip

by TT March 3rd, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes
spinach mushroom dipEvery once in a while a little refrigerator browsing leads to a delicious dish.  Case in point: yesterday afternoon.  After medium-sized, late morning breakfasts, both my husband and I were hungry.  With a big family dinner planned for early evening, there was no need for a full meal but a snack would be perfect.  Of course, I hadn't planned on making snacks and didn't want to go to the store, so I began searching our refrigerator for inspiration.

The first thing I found was a package of fresh mushrooms, which I had bought for a meal that wasn't made due
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Brandied Dates

by TT February 10th, 2014| Appetizers, Desserts, Recipes
brandied datesTen days into February, we're still deep in winter here in New Hampshire.  With an inch of snow last night and temperatures forecast for the twenties all week long, signs of spring are far away.  At this time in winter, I begin to feel the impact of winter in more ways than just the weather.  One of those areas is food.  Seasonal produce is hard to find, especially fruits.  One way that we substitute for the lack of local fruit is by using dried fruits more often.

Yesterday we planned a light dinner of cheese and crackers and veggies and
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Make Your Own Chicken Nachos

by TT January 13th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes
Choose Your Own Chicken NachosFriday night as the parent of teens- it typically consists of an evening at home, either with extra teens here or awaiting the return of our own.  If it's a busy Friday, we typically order some sort of takeout.  However, this past Friday was quieter, so there was time to make dinner.  Being the start of the weekend, it seemed to me that the menu needed to consist of fun foods.  No pasta dish or chicken dinner, a Friday night deserves a treat.

Nachos were the first dish to come to mind.  My husband and I had found a restaurant
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Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash

by TT January 6th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes
squash_baconNew Year's Eve was spent at home with my husband. With teens who weren't fully sure of their evening plans with their dates, it seemed best for us to be home for the night.  Both of us enjoy cooking, so staying home and making our own feast was an enjoyable option.  My husband made sausage and cranberry filled endive; I made roasted grapes and walnut (to be served atop crackers and goat cheese) and bacon wrapped butternut squash.

The squash and bacon combination was a great pairing of favorites: bacon for my husband and the squash for me.  I even
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Scallion Dip

by TT December 16th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes
scallion dipWith a big snowstorm forecast for the weekend, we planned on being home late Saturday afternoon before the storm began and staying home for the remainder of the weekend. With most of our Christmas shopping done, we were glad to have a day to work on other home-based chores, such as gift wrapping.  While we wrapped, I would have some lamb braising in the oven for a late afternoon meal.

Of course, a lazy Sunday pretty much demands some sort of pre-dinner snack.  With a hearty dinner of lamb, sweet potato latkes, and chard, we didn't need anything heavy,
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Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

by TT December 9th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes
mushroomOn Friday night we decorated our house for Christmas.  We already had put candles in windows, wreaths on doors, and lights on our living Christmas tree.  However, we had all of the other interior decor to complete.  To make it a festive evening for adults and teens alike, I offered to create a dinner menu of munchies.  Each of us would pick an item, which would provide plenty of food for us, plus any teen dates that might appear.

My husband asked for shrimp stuffed mushrooms, and I had some difficulty envisioning how that would work.  Could I use some
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Turkey Apple Meatballs

by TT November 25th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday
turkey_apple_meatballsMeatballs have to be in my top five favorite dishes to make for Tapas Monday.  There are a number of reasons for this.  First, meatballs are a great small bite food.  (Of course, for my husband one meatball is a bite, for me it is three or four, but I digress.)  Second, my husband loves the meatballs that I make.  Third, I find the basic recipe for meatballs to be a terrific vehicle for experimentation.  Ground meat, seasonings, and additional flavors equal a tasty bite.

The other week I had ground turkey on my mind.  I was looking for something
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Soft Pretzels

by TT November 11th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes
soft_pretzelWhen it's a chilly Sunday afternoon and you know that there will be three teenage couples at your house to watch their favorite team's football game, you need to have snacks on hand.  Actually, most Sundays we like to have snacks on hand, regardless to whether we're having company.  However, when three of the six teens also happen to be members of the high school football team, you realize that you need to have a decent amount of snacks available.  Some chips and dips and a veggie tray won't cut it.

So, in addition to a tray of fruit and
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Buffalo Cauliflower Florets

by TT October 28th, 2013| Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday
buffalo_cauliflower_floretsThe other weekend ended with the same feeling for both my husband and me; we were full from a weekend of eating.  The odd thing about it was that we hadn't eaten a lot.  There were no extravagant desserts or over-sized meal.  We ate a little less healthily over the weekend, but it wasn't a high calorie weekend by any means.  Thus, when Monday morning rolled around both of us had the same thought about our Tapas Monday menu:  keep it healthier.

I always love the challenge of creating snacks or desserts that taste sinful but actually are lower in
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Incredibly Cheesy Bread

by TT October 21st, 2013| Appetizers, Breads, Recipes
incredibly_cheesy_breadFor Sunday football watching this week, we decided on meatballs as one of the snacks.  I had thought that the meatballs would be the feature of this column, as I added pepperoni to the mixture.  Unfortunately the pepperoni was lost, and they tasted pretty much like basic beef-based meatballs.  Thankfully I decided to try making some herb-infused bread filled and covered with cheese.

This cheesy bread was the highlight of our menu.  The meatballs were fine.  The roasted zucchini that was part of the menu was tasty also.  However, the bread stole the show.  Between the gooey-ness of the cheese,
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