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Italian Dipping Oil

by TT April 14th, 2014| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces, Tapas Monday
Italian dipping oilBefore my husband and son started their get healthy diet, we had a Tapas Monday dinner with an Italian theme.  There were grilled eggplant wheels topped with seasoned ricotta, garlic and cheese chicken sausage bites, and homemade focaccia served with dipping oil.  It was an indulgent and tasty way to end our Monday.

Dipping oils* have been all the rage at restaurants for many years.  Instead of serving your rolls or bread with butter, a small dish of olive oil and assorted seasonings is presented.  The beautiful thing about the dipping oil is that it can be flavored however
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Sweet Asian Barbecue Sauce

by TT April 7th, 2014| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces, Tapas Monday
seasonings-72790_640Last week my almost 18 year old son and husband started a get healthy diet.  Neither needed a major change in diet, just a reduction in portions and elimination of too frequent splurges (chips, ice cream, etc.)  With Tapas Monday falling on Day 1 of the diet, I wanted to create a menu that allowed us to enjoy our candlelit dinner for two but helped my husband stay on track.  (I will not be the reason a diet fails!)

Besides the atmosphere of the dinner, one of the things I like most about the meal is that I try to
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Artichoke Dipping Sauce- Balsamic Version

by TT February 3rd, 2014| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
artichoke balsamic dipping sauceTwo weeks ago I wrote about the dipping sauce that my family enjoyed with our steamed artichokes.  Theirs was a creamy, mayonnaise-based sauce.  While it was tasty in its own right, I like only a small amount of mayonnaise.  Thus, I really wasn't interested in dipping leaf after leaf in the sauce.  And although I enjoy artichokes, they are kind of bland on their own.  So, it was time to be creative and invent another sauce for me.

Vinegar is one of my go-to ingredients for an assortment of sauces, dips, and dressings.  While holding a good amount of
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Artichoke Dipping Sauce- Mayo Version

by TT January 20th, 2014| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
Mayo Artichoke DipI love cooking and baking and do both fairly well, so I'm used to receiving food requests from friends and family.  On weekend mornings there is clamoring for cinnamon rolls or scones.  During tv-based events there are requests for espinaca or homemade potato skins.  However, the other week I was surprised by a request our 15 year old daughter had.  "When can we have artichokes with dinner again?"

A teenager requesting vegetables. What a delightful occurrence!  I can't complain; our kids are well-rounded eaters that will try almost everything and don't wrinkle their noses at vegetables.  However, I was surprised
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Lighter Blue Cheese Dip

by TT November 4th, 2013| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
lighter_blue_cheese_dipLast week I published my recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Florets.  As I was working on the recipe for buffalo florets, I knew that there needed to be a blue cheese dip to accompany it.  Without the dipping sauce, it feels more like spicy cauliflower instead of buffalo cauliflower.  I didn't want to reduce the healthiness of the dish by serving the cauliflower with a high calorie, high fat dip.  I also didn't want an off the shelf low fat, low calorie dip that was full of fillers and other things.  Thus, it was time to create my own
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Cherry Port Sauce

by TT August 20th, 2012| Spreads & Sauces
When I eat poultry, I love having it with some sort of fruit sauce or chutney.  A slice of turkey and cranberry sauce with whole berries; duck with blueberry chutney; chicken with cherry port sauce.  I find the fruit sauces to be a delightful addition of flavor, moistness, and texture.  In fact, I would far rather have a fruit sauce than gravy.

With cherries in season, they seemed like a good ingredient to try in a sauce.  Being freshly picked, they are fairly sweet, just enough to balance the seesaw of sweet and savory in this sauce.  Sautéed onions fill
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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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Vegtable Cream Cheese

by TT Jr. May 14th, 2012| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
I love bagels.  I just love them, specifically toasted.  And with cream cheese.  They are so delicious when they are still hot and the cream cheese starts to melt on them.  My favorite flavor is salt bagels, and they are delicious with plain cream cheese, but sometimes that gets a little boring.  So, I decided to make a vegetable cream cheese to see how it tasted with my mom's yummy salt bagels.  It tasted like heaven on a hot bagel.  The sweet crunchy carrots with the tangy, slightly spicy chives against the salty, hot, soft, crunchy bagel is incredible.

A
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Peachy Cocktail Sauce

by TT April 26th, 2012| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
In an attempt to broaden my 14 year old's seafood palate, I decided to cook tuna last week.  Unfortunately, the fish counter that I visited had none available, so I went with her current favorite fish, salmon, and jumbo shrimp.  Shrimp is a type of seafood that she doesn't like, but the rest of us do.  I figured if I got her to try it again, it may start to be a seafood item that she likes.  She adores coconut, so I thought some coconut shrimp might do the trick.

Apparently, the lure of a coconut coating isn't enough
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Pineapple Mango Salsa

by TT Jr. April 18th, 2012| Appetizers, Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
Hey there! I am sure you guys are usually used to seeing TT's name in the author spot, but my mom has been very busy lately so we decided to split up the articles. . .and I should probably now introduce myself. I am TT Jr.  If you are one of her avid readers, you would know me as her fourteen year old daughter.  You may already know this, but I am a competitive gymnast and a vegetarian.

Last weekend my family and I were having munchies for dinner, and I offered to help cook.  I decided to make pineapple
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Balsamic Strawberries

by TT April 11th, 2012| Appetizers, Desserts, Spreads & Sauces, Tapas Monday
The other night was a cooking-free Tapas Monday.  On this occasion, the lack of cooking wasn't dictated by a busy schedule; rather, it was created due to a shopping trip my husband and I made over the weekend.  Spending some time at an Italian pasta and cheese shop, we found many delicious items and chose a few to bring home.  With the purchase of country pâté and a goat's milk brie, our Monday menu was almost fully planned.

I was thinking about what could be added to the menu to provide a little lightness and more flavor when my husband
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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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