Culinary // Food

Hacienda Don Manuel Offers a Taste of Mexico in Brookfield

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Columns, Community In Focus, Culinary // Food, News

Hacienda Don Manuel Offers a Taste of Mexico in Brookfield

By Alicia + Renato Ghio

Owning a restaurant is a risk, even more so when you step into an existing business with a beleaguered reputation. However, Edgar Romero decided he was ready for the challenge, seizing the opportunity to move from management to owner. Romero, who has 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, having worked his way up…

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Columns, Culinary // Food

Black Sesame Ice Cream

By Alicia Ghio

If there is one thing I completely indulge in with abandon in the summer, it is ice cream. While I appreciate straight up vanilla, I love to try unexpected flavors. Even better, however, is trying to replicate unique flavors at home myself. That’s why instead of going savory with a jar of black sesame seeds…

Orzo Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

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Culinary // Food

Orzo Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

By Alicia Ghio

No summer cookout or picnic feels complete without a little pasta salad. This one takes full advantage of a short-lived early summer ingredient – garlic scapes. Scapes are the curly green shoots that grow from hard-beck garlic varieties. You clip them off so the plant nutrients and energy refocus on the bulb and create a…

Korean Barbecue Turkey Burgers

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Culinary // Food

Korean Barbecue Turkey Burgers

By Alicia Ghio

Turkey burgers have a bad reputation, typically characterized as bland and dry. I am a fan of the humble turkey burger. It’s all about seasoning and bold flavor combinations. These Korean BBQ turkey burgers are the perfect example. They are packed with flavor, a little heat and fresh vegetable crunch. In this recipe, the flavor…

Amaretto Mint Rose

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Culinary // Food

Amaretto Mint Rose

By Alicia Ghio

When we bought our house, I didn’t have time to tend to flowers and wanted something easy and pretty to fill an empty garden bed around our patio. I thought something low-maintenance and edible might be fun. So, I planted two types of mint that year. Most gardeners only recommend planting mint in container gardens because…

Baja Style Fish Tacos

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Culinary // Food

Baja Style Fish Tacos

By Alicia Ghio

We love tacos and our obsession continues with this lighter take on Baja-style fish tacos. Traditionally, Baja fish tacos feature fried pieces of fish topped with crunchy slaw and zippy crema in a corn tortilla. At home, I modify a few ingredients in an effort to keep things a little fresher and lighter. First, instead…

Blood Orange and Asparagus Chicken Salad

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Culinary // Food

Blood Orange and Asparagus Chicken Salad

By Alicia Ghio

A well-stocked pantry is something I always try to have regardless of what my schedule throws at me. Quick staples I usually have on hand include assorted grains, pasta, various canned beans and canned tuna. Well, I recently discovered a new go-to pantry item. It’s canned chicken breast from the brand Wild Planet. It is USDA-certified,…

Chorizo and Spinach Soup

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Culinary // Food

Chorizo and Spinach Soup

By Alicia Ghio

As the weather begins to warm, the foods I crave start to become lighter. But I have to tell you; on a rainy spring day, I still enjoy a comforting hot, hearty meal. I’ll keep dinner easy. And, soup is especially easy when you have ready-made stock or broth on hand. This soup earns high…

2017 Danbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association Carnival

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Agenda, Culinary // Food, Culture & Lifestyle

2017 Danbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association Carnival

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Winter is over, so come on down to enjoy some family fun with great rides, games and carnival food, while supporting the Danbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association. The association is hosting its annual five-day carnival, at the parking lot of Best Buy at 2 International Drive. The event will feature a food tent and rides by…

Lemon Butter Penne with Chard

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Culinary // Food

Lemon Butter Penne with Chard

By Alicia Ghio

The end of March and the beginning of April is what I think of as a bridge between seasons. It’s officially spring but winter always tries to hold on a bit longer. With dark greens, butter, fresh lemon and basil, this recipe unites winter and spring in one fresh, creamy and comforting bowl. Lemon Butter…

Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats

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Culinary // Food

Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats

By Alicia Ghio

The words low-carb and Italian don’t necessarily sound like they should be said together, at least in my mind. This time, however, spaghetti squash loaded with roasted garlic and fennel sausage, will give you all the Italian flavor you want in a low-carb package. Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats Serves 2 Ingredients 2-lb spaghetti squash 1…

Golden Milk Oatmeal

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Culinary // Food

Golden Milk Oatmeal

By Alicia Ghio

Golden milk is one of those trendy items in the food blog world. However, it’s not really a new creation. It comes from Ayurvedic practice and medicine in Indian cultures. It’s a tonic made with milk, turmeric and other warming spices like cinnamon. Turmeric is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Among its many reported health…

Lemony Kale Pistachio Pesto

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Culinary // Food

Lemony Kale Pistachio Pesto

By Alicia Ghio

Pesto is a great go-to, no-cook sauce when you are pressed for time. Traditionally, people think of herbs, like basil, when they think of pesto. However, there are so many variations on this easy, healthy sauce. For my all my pesto recipes, I stick to the formula of greens + garlic + nuts + extra…

Beet & Berry Smoothie

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Culinary // Food

Beet & Berry Smoothie

By Alicia Ghio

Get your day off to a colorful start with this vibrantly hued smoothie that also happens to be packed with nutrients. Green vegetables, like kale, spinach and celery, aren’t the only smoothie-friendly vegetables out there. Somewhat more unusual, yet equally delicious and nutritious, are beets. There is a bit more work involved to use them,…

Peppercorn Chai Mixed Nuts

Culinary // Food

Peppercorn Chai Mixed Nuts

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Nuts are one of my go-to snacks. Loaded with protein and healthy fats, they can help curb your hunger pangs without making you feel guilty about having a little snack. Plain nuts are good, but I like a little more flavor. The only problem is that I find most flavored nuts you buy in the…

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Pilaf with Orange Honey

Culinary // Food

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Pilaf with Orange Honey

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Cooking with fresh cranberries at this time of year just feels right. Their vibrant ruby color creates a festive mood. In this case, paired with tri-color quinoa, apple and a touch of honey, they help create a healthy, protein-packed dish that is not only a delicious side dish for your dinner or holiday table, but…

Fall Apple Noodle Salad

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Culinary // Food

Fall Apple Noodle Salad

By Alicia Ghio

    Vegetables aren’t the only thing you can turn into a noodle. It never dawned on me, until now, that fruit would be a fun twist on the “faux noodle” trend. And, as I discovered, apples are the perfect fruit to turn into a noodle. If you are using a spiralizer, like I do, leave the core intact and when lined up…

Quinoa, Apple + Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash

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Culinary // Food

Quinoa, Apple + Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash

By Alicia Ghio

    There are many wonderful cool-weather squash varieties from the most commonly known like butternut and acorn to lesser-known ones like kabocha. Among the lesser known, but incredibly delicious and versatile, is the delicata squash. It’s often called the “sweet potato squash” for its mild, brown sugar flavor. It’s a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. It’s compact size and thin, edible skin means it is the…

Lemon Curd Grilled Chicken Skewers

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Culinary // Food

Lemon Curd Grilled Chicken Skewers

By Alicia Ghio

To many people, lemon curd is for dessert or a sweet treat. Instead, why not go savory? It gives delicious life to “boring old chicken.” Chicken is the perfect canvas for tangy lemon matched with bright, fresh herbs and robust garlic. And, what better way to cook it than on the grill? The chicken stays juicy…

Italian Plum Crumble

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Culinary // Food

Italian Plum Crumble

By Alicia Ghio

Crumbles and crisps are among our favorite desserts, but especially in the fall. Filled with seasonal fruit and warming spices, they are such a comforting treat. They are simple to put together and a great way to use a lot of very ripe fruit at once. At this time of year, most people turn to apples for fruity desserts, but there are plenty of…

Grilled Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Culinary // Food

Grilled Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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One of the first posts I wrote on Local Food Rocks was about making grilled stuffed poblano peppers. This year I decided not only to grow my own poblano peppers, but also to revisit my original recipe. Poblano peppers have thick walls, making them perfect for stuffing and grilling. They get a wonderful smoky flavor when grilled and their mild heat also adds another dimension to a…

Chunky Tex-Mex Vegetable Salad

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Culinary // Food

Chunky Tex-Mex Vegetable Salad

By Alicia Ghio

Summer produce is coming in strong from my garden and this salad is an easy way to enjoy it. No cooking, just a lot of chopping. I decided to use corn, zucchini, tomato and scallion, but you can easily add or substitute other vegetables, like cucumbers, bell peppers or even yellow squash. Or kick up…

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Bowl

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Culinary // Food

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Bowl

By Alicia Ghio

Smoothie bowls bring a delicious and healthy “pudding” option to the breakfast table. A creamy chocolaty pudding seems like a pretty great way to start the day. As opposed to a regular smoothie that you drink with a straw, smoothie bowls are thicker, creamier and wonderfully pudding-like. With some crunchy toppings, it’s a pleasing balance of textures and a limitless combination of…

Strawberry Elderflower Gin Fizz

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Culinary // Food, News

Strawberry Elderflower Gin Fizz

By Alicia Ghio

Having a cocktail on the patio while we make dinner is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a busy day. In summer, I love a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage that reflects the summer season. It’s usually something with fruit, that’s not too strong and just a little bit sweet. The very ripe strawberries…

Asian Inspired Vegetable Noodles

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Culinary // Food, News

Asian Inspired Vegetable Noodles

By Alicia Ghio

After discovering the fun and deliciousness of zucchini noodles last year, this year I wanted to expand my repertoire. I’ve discovered a whole world of vegetables beyond zucchini that make a nice noodle – cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, butternut squash and more. To make experimentation easier, I did finally invest in a spiralizer….