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Dining in London- Part 1

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 28th, 2022 | Restaurant Reviews





During a ten day trip to London, I was able to experience many different dining options. From staying at the hotel and enjoying the appetizers in the executive lounge to a dinner picnic in Hyde Park to high end restaurants with dress codes, I enjoyed every meal I had. Over the next few weeks I will

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Mexican Corn Off the Cob

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 28th, 2022 | Recipes, Side Dishes

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 within walking distance, but it's held on Thursday afternoon. For about half of the summer, my schedule hasn't aligned for me to attend. There are farms, but the nearest is 15 minutes away. Again, not horrible, but as I was used to a farm literally at the top of my
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Linguisa & Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 23rd, 2022 | 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 smaller than bell peppers but also aren't spicy like a jalapeno or serrano. Although meat is a key ingredient, I did add a good amount of veggies to keep them on the lighter side.

Served with Mexican Corn Off the Cob and some queso fundido, we had a
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Portobellos with Wine Poached Lobster

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 21st, 2022 | 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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How to Plan the Perfect Dinner Party

by Editorial Team June 17th, 2022 | Cooking Basics

Dinner parties are one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family and friends. You can catch up and learn about what going on in each other’s lives over a delicious dinner and an alcoholic beverage.





While dinner parties are fun and exciting for everybody involved, they take a lot of preparation. Whether you’re inviting just a few of your closest friends or you’ve got every member of the family coming around, you need to plan every stage of the evening.





As the host of the party, it’s your

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Healthy-ish Broccoli Fritters

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 16th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Cooking from your pantry and freezer ingredients doesn't get much yummier than these healthy-ish broccoli fritters, which are incredibly delicious and pretty good for you!











Healthy-ish Broccoli Fritters





  • 3 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Place florets in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and microwave for 1-2 minutes to defrost.
  2. Allow broccoli to cool.
  3. Gently squeeze florets to remove excess water.
  4. Option 1: Chop florets into a fine dice. This will take a
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Broccoli Apple Bacon Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 14th, 2022 | Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Salads

If the broccoli & apple don't get you, I'm guessing the bacon will.


I feel fortunate to cook for people who aren't picky eaters, as it seems that many other people are. When I talk with friends and colleagues, discussing last night's dinner, I've had many say, "My family/husband/kids
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Pineapple Gazpacho

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 9th, 2022 | Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian

On a hot summer day there's nothing quite like a chilled bowl of pineapple gazpacho to make you feel refreshed.








Pineapple Gazpacho





  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (peeled & seeds removed)
  • 3/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno (minced, seeds & ribs removed)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 6- ounce cans pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Place pineapple, cucumber, red pepper, jalapeno, and red onion in a large bowl; toss to combine.
  2. Add juices and cilantro, and stir well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least
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Asparagus Feta Lemon Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 7th, 2022 | 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 be elegant but also not require lots of last minute time in the kitchen. An
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Maple Oatmeal Scones

by Michele Pesula Kuegler June 2nd, 2022 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Recipes

So much better than a bowl of oatmeal.




I'm not a huge fan of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It's ok but not something I get overly excited about. However, oatmeal cookies are something I do enjoy. The interesting thing is that my husband is the opposite. He likes oatmeal for breakfast but doesn't like oatmeal cookies. I'm guessing something is wrong with him. ;-) Maybe these scones would bring him to the good side. I know that my kids and I found them to be delicious. I may need to make a batch when we're all home
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Lemon Scones- Two Ways

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 31st, 2022 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Recipes

Sometimes it isn't A or B, it's A and B.


If you ask my family, their favorite baked good that I make is a scone. Even though this is an often requested treat, there aren't that many varieties in the Think Tasty archives. So, when I was considering what new recipe to test, a spin on a sweet breakfast scone seemed good. I made this recipe with my flavor preferences in mind; I like lemon, as it delivers a nice bit of pucker balanced with some sweetness.

The tricky part of creating this recipe was deciding how to add sweet
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Brandied Dates

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 26th, 2022 | Appetizers, Desserts, Recipes

Mmm. Dried fruit and liquor pair quite nicely.




It's kind of funny that as I'm writing these date columns I'm watching the snow fall outside my window. Because as you'll see in a few sentences, when I wrote this recipe originally it was February and snowy. However, I am writing this update in April. Apparently winter hasn't gotten the message that it's spring. Nope, it's chilly with some snow flurries. Tonight would be a
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Spiced Date Biscotti

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 24th, 2022 | Desserts, Recipes

A crunchy version of a hermit that could be served as breakfast or dessert!





This recipe was made with one specific person in my- my mom. I knew that I'd be headed to Florida to visit her this spring and wanted to bring

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Cinnamon Apple Biscotti

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 19th, 2022 | Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes







Cinnamon Apple Biscotti



Basically, it's a very crunchy version of apple pie



  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced dried apple rings
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Beat butter and both sugars in bowl of stand mixer on speed 2 for 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides and beating until fully combined.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly
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Caramel Apple Biscotti

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 17th, 2022 | Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes

The classic fall treat turned into a baked good!






Caramel Apple Biscotti



The classic fall treat turned into a baked good





  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups diced dried apples
  • 1 cup caramel baking chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer on speed 2 for 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, mixing until combined.
  6. Stir diced apple into dough.
  7. Divide
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Lemon and Blueberry Biscotti with White Chocolate Glaze

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 12th, 2022 | Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes

Tart from zest, sweet from the glaze, and filled with bursts of flavor, these Lemon and Blueberry Biscotti with White Chocolate Glaze are going to be a treat for your taste buds.






Lemon and Blueberry Biscotti with White Chocolate Glaze





  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in stand
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Chocolate Covered Cherry Biscotti

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 10th, 2022 | Breakfast Dishes, Desserts, Recipes

A candy-themed biscotti that's totally acceptable as breakfast.




Chocolate Covered Cherry Biscotti



A candy-themed biscotti that’s totally acceptable as breakfast.



  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla extract, beating until smooth.
  5. In a
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Peach & Caramelized Onion Bruschetta

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 5th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday, Vegetarian

Slightly sweet with a whole bunch of savory, this peach and caramelized onion bruschetta is the perfect topping for crostini and goat cheese.











Peach & Caramelized Onion Bruschetta





  • 1/2
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Apple & Sage Bruschetta

by Michele Pesula Kuegler May 3rd, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday, Vegetarian

Make apples the star of your snacks with this simple sage-infused bruschetta recipe.






Apple & Sage Bruschetta





  • 2 apples (peeled & cored)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • Salt


  1. Dice apple into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat large frying pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add olive oil to pan.
  4. When oil shimmers, add apple.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, then pour honey over apples; toss to coat.
  6. Cook for another minute; sprinkle with sage and a pinch of salt.
  7. Toss, cooking for another 30 seconds.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl.


Serve with crostini and goat cheese, crackers, or the food delivery vehicle of your

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Autumn-Inspired Salad

Michele Pesula Kuegler April 28th, 2022 | Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads

A fall salad topped with squash, cranberries, and spiced walnuts- oh my!








 





Autumn-Inspired Salad





  • 1 butternut squash (peeled & cubed)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin spiced walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a small amount of olive
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