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A Book of Memories and Recipes

by Jane Wangersky October 10th, 2013| Cooking Basics
pcfifThis week I'm going in a slightly different direction to review a book: Perdutamente: Crazy For Italian Food, by Joe Famularo. ("Perdutamente" means hopelessly, desperately -- I'd guess "lostly" if such a word existed in English.) I can recommend it for several reasons.

First,there's a short passage in this book that illustrates what I'm trying to do with this column:
Later, when our interest in cooking developed and sharpened, we asked Mama to write down some of her recipes. One of the first she shared with us was missing ingredients.

“What about the olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes?” we asked.

“You should have
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Atlantic Fish Company, Boston, MA

by TT December 5th, 2011| Restaurant Reviews
Black Friday was an exciting day at our house but not because we were dashing to early morning (late night?) sales.  It was exciting because there were no sporting events, practices, or work meetings to attend.  As we knew all of this weeks in advance, we planned to take our kids to Boston for the day.  The plan was to visit a museum or two and browse the shops on Newbury Street.  While it was a wonderful day, our thirteen year old daughter and I never made it to the art museum.  The lure of visiting more shops was
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Polder All-In-One Timer/Thermometer

by TT April 18th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
As someone who uses a variety of cooking methods, quite often I need to gauge the temperature of the item that I am preparing.  Although there are some who can determine the doneness of meat by touch, that is a skill I have not acquired.  Other items, such as candies, need to be cooked to a specific temperature, which is easier to determine with a thermometer.  Thus, the Polder Original Cooking All-In-One Timer/Thermometer is a commonly used tool in my kitchen.

One of the features that I like about the thermometer is that the display has a magnetic back.  Whether
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Microplane Gourmet Coarse Grater Revisited

by TT February 28th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
Two months ago, I published a review of the Microplane Gourmet Coarse Grater.  At that point I had mixed emotions about this kitchen tool.  Yes, it did a fine job of grating, but I found it to be a nuisance when cleaning, as the handle collected water.  Sadly, residual water in the handle was not the biggest problem I would have with this tool.

The other night we were enjoying a dinner of chili and cornbread and using the coarse grater to top our bowls of chili with cheddar cheese.  Being a semi-firm cheese, it does require a little
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Review: The Friendly Toast, Portsmouth, NH

by TT December 31st, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Over Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I took a quick overnight trip to Portsmouth.  We love visiting this ocean community as there are many adorable shops and a wide array of restaurants.  We have spent several delightful evenings here, enjoying the amazing queso at Agave.

On our last stay in Portsmouth, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Roundabout Diner before heading home.  This time we decided to try something new to us and chose The Friendly Toast.  Located a short half-mile walk from our hotel, we were there in no time.  Although it was 9:30 on a Sunday
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Review: A Tale of Two Breakfasts

by TT December 15th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
As parents of tweens and teens, my husband and I often have weekend mornings to ourselves.  Between sports practices, sleepovers, or just wanting to sleep late, it often is just the two of us for a good portion of the morning.  Being early risers, that gives us a good chunk of time for just us.  On mornings such as this, we tend to do a little work early in the morning and then head out for breakfast and errands.  As we have come to love Lull Farm in Hollis, we usually make that part of our weekend morning trip,
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Review: Miss Shirley’s Café, Baltimore, MD

by TT November 26th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
I was in Baltimore for work recently and had the opportunity to meet several associates for a late morning breakfast.  Not being familiar with the area, I asked for a recommendation.  One member of the team suggested Miss Shirley's, which received cheers of delight from the rest of the group. With such excitement from the locals, I decided to take a sneak peek at the restaurant via their website.  I must say, the menu was both amazing and overwhelmimg.

The service at Miss Shirley's was excellent.  I arrived first and was seated promptly and offered a beverage.  With a cup
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Review: Aux Meilleures Crêpes de Paris

by TT November 18th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Paris crepeAs we spent every day of our Paris vacation exploring the city on foot, it was not surprising that twice during our trip we ate a meal while continuing with our excursion.  Our second day in Paris, we did just that, grabbing lunch at a take-out crêpe stand near our hotel.  As we headed out late morning on this day, we wanted something to eat that wouldn't take any time out of our viewing of Paris.  Luckily, less than a quarter of a mile from our hotel, and in the direction we were headed, were two crêpe stands.  With
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Review: L’Auberge Saint Roch, Paris

by TT November 5th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Yes, the location of this restaurant is Paris, as in Paris, France.  As I celebrated a birthday of note this year, I was gifted with a rather large present- a trip to Paris.  So, last month, my husband and I spent five days exploring that city.  This trip occurred amidst the strikes and protests, but what we discovered was a beautiful city that had amazing foods.  Thanks to an engaging man that we met on our first night in Paris, we spent our second night dining at L'Auberge Saint Roch.

Walking from our hotel to the restaurant, we arrived at
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Review: Barking Dog Bar & Grill, Amesbury, MA

by TT September 22nd, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Barking Dog Bar GrillOn a gorgeous fall afternoon without any children under our care, what were my husband and I to do to occupy ourselves?  The answer was obvious: visit a local winery and enjoy a late lunch. So, after completing a few necessary errands, we enjoyed our leisurely drive to Jewell Towne Winery.  The time spent there was delightful: sampling wine, touring the vineyard, and buying a few bottles for home.  After spending an hour or so at the winery, it was midafternoon, and we were hungry.  Not familiar with the area, we asked for recommendations.  Of the restaurants named, we
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Review: Becco, New York City

by TT August 19th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Sometimes business travel is all work.  Sitting through long meetings, hurrying through short lunches, trying to find a place to work between meetings, none of those are fun or exciting.  However, every once in a while there is a perk to the travel. Recently, I was able to coordinate my and my husband's business travel so that we could go to NYC together and spend part of the weekend there.  A major victory in the world of scheduling!

After a full day of meetings on Friday, we planned a Saturday filled with fun-for-us events: a workout at the gym together, leisurely
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Review: Pershing Square Cafe & Restaurant, New York City

by TT June 30th, 2010| Restaurant Reviews
Some days feel surreal.  A recent Saturday was one such day.  After a fabulous breakfast at a diner in Portsmouth, NH, a meeting, a quick stop by home, and a 5-hour car ride, I found myself having a very late lunch/pre-dinner snack at Pershing Square in Manhattan.  Of course, surreal doesn't mean anything about the trip was bad.  I mean, how bad can a combination work/fun trip to NYC be?  Based on my experience, not bad at all.

We arrived at Pershing Square about 4:00.  As it was between meals, the restaurant was fairly quiet, and the bar was
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