Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Farewell to Broccoli Rabe

Well, now there are officially two vegetables I do not like. Only TWO!

Last night we decided to try a new recipe from Cooking Light - a broccoli rabe pasta. I loved everything about it - lemon juice, garlic, chicken broth, parm cheese, raisins, red pepper, whole wheat rigatoni, pine nuts - but NOT the broccoli rabe. It smelled like cooked mustard greens (which I do like) but was really bitter.

Oh, well.

Oh, the other veggie is eggplant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Comfort Dessert

I found out this past weekend that my Dad likes Rice Pudding, so I thought I would make him one upon their return to Lakeland after a long weekend in Alabama.
I used Tyler Florence's off of Food TV, but of course altered it some.

Rice Pudding

3 cups cooked rice
2 cups skim milk
1 cup light whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
zest of one lemon

Put all (save raisins and lemon zest) on to boil slowly for about 30 minutes or until thickened. Then add raisins and lemon zest and stir together. Serve either warm or cold.

I personally liked it warm, once it got cold I didn't care for it. But, the lemon added some great flavor to it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Elizabeth's meatballs

Another great recipe from the kitchen of Elizabeth! She adapted these meatballs from a Giada recipe - they are great.

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 T milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (we used grated parmesan cheese)
1/2 lb ground turkey sausauge (mild or hot, take your pick)
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt - or lower, our's were a little salty
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all together to form golfball size meatballs, roll in more breadcrumbs, saute in oil till browned, then put in sauce and saute for about 30 minutes. Serve over whole wheat spaghetti!

enjoy - who needs Olive Garden...ok, they have good breadsticks!

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine, Lindsay Weldy, in KY. She is a precious mom of 2 and a great wife to Brad. I was able to go through her recipes while I was at their home on Saturday.

SPICY CASHEW CHICKEN A Very Spicy Mandarin-Style Dish with Green Onions and Roasted Cashews. Served over Rice. (that is the description from the Factory's www)

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken (similar to Cheesecake Factory's)

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
3 T sugar
4 tsp soy sauce
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste, however spicy you want it)
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium)

Mix all - you can do it the night before to save time when cooking.

1 pkg of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 handfuls of cashew pieces
1 small bunch chopped green onions
1/2 large red pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Saute till done, add sauce - throw in cashews at end - serve over rice!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Best Grilled Cheese

The Best Grilled Cheese sandwich that I've ever had - hands down. Ft. Wayne is extremely blessed to have this fabulous little place. It would be a weekly staple - and it was only 5.50 with a salad. That is orange spice tea (not any other liquid) by the menu.

This was grilled sourdough bread - not too greasy as most grilled cheeses are. Perfectly toasted. There was herb cheese on the inside instead of more butter. The other cheeses were cheddar, Swiss, provolone, Parmesan, and pepperjack. The pepperjack gave it bite and the herb cheese added flavor. It was so good. And there was a tomato on it to give it texture and not make it dry.

If you are ever in Ft. Wayne IN you must go downtown to see Dash-In and get the gourmet grilled cheese sandwich

Friday, August 17, 2007

Food in Ft. Wayne

Well, there have been good places to eat here around the hotel in Ft. Wayne, just don't plan on going at 12 during the week - every place (which there aren't tons) are packed and lined into the street, especially when there are 1400 other people in town than who normally are.

But, Dad and I went to Toscani's for dinner on Wed night. It got crowded by the time we left. Raspberry vinegrette house dressing was good - thicker than most. Dad had a stromboli sandwich which was good with the taste of green peppers dominating each bite. I had purse-shaped pasta filled with sausage. They were good - but I thought over priced (13$). But, for 2 at an Italian restaurant for under 20$ for dinner, still isn't bad.

I've gone to a corner coffee shop called Higher Grounds, once for a shake and once for breakfast. Their shake was definitely the best. Something about a zebra was its name - vanilla ice cream with both Ghiradelli white and dark chocolate - it was about the best shake I've had.

Today, since every place I wanted to go had a wait longer than I wanted to wait, I went to a chinese place called the Double Dragon. It was relatively cheap (6$) for drink, soup, rice, and main dish - so I thought it was reasonable. I had General Tso's chicken - it was pretty spicy. I definitely was sweating by the time I finished half of it and was done. Their egg drop soup was too thick and not near as good as Charlie's in Chapel Hill. Oh, well - not much out there is.

Tomorrow hopefully will get to go to Dash-In or Pint and Slice for a good grilled cheese or calzone.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rach's Granola

I got this for a Christmas present from my dear friend, Rach. Then she gave me the recipe - so now it is my first time trying it after mom and I finally got over to Whole Foods in Winter Park. It is so yummy and healthy!

Rach's Granola

4 cups oats
2 cups shaved unsweetened coconut (in the baking aisle at WF)
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds (plain)
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix first three together. Melt the rest over medium heat until all combined. Pour over and stir well. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, spread granola out. I had to use two cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn once during baking. Store in an airtight container and enjoy (or give) for a long time! :)

Thanks Rachael!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Great Salad

This lovely lady gave me this salad recipe after we had it on Sunday! She is so hospitable and not stingy with her recipes! :) Thanks Elizabeth!

1 head romaine
1/2 cup slivered almonds, pan roasted (3 tbsp sugar over med heat till syrupy, then add almonds till covered in syrup, spread out on wax paper, wait, then break apart)
2 cups grapes, halved
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained.

1/2 tsp salt
pepper - to taste
hot sauce - couple of drops - to taste
2 T sugar
2 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 c canola oil

Mix all together and serve. Once dressing goes on - eat right away. Top with almonds so they stay crunchy, don't mix in with the rest.

Serving suggestions:
1. Main salad with chicken or pork on top
2. Side salad with pork or chicken as main dish (with starch and bread)
3. Main salad with more fruit in it like pineapple and kiwi

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Gilligan's in Charleston was proferred to us as a good dining place, so that is where we went tonight.
Well, there are some good and some bad things about this restaurant. First, I’ll go with the good. It is out of the way in Charleston – actually going back south on 17 – so you aren’t fighting most of the tourists, it is a more local place. The d├ęcor is rustic, but fun and clean. The price is fair for what you get – great fresh seafood and good hushpuppies. For example I had a grilled mahi mahi sandwich with three side items for 11$. Not bad. My mahi mahi – which I get every time it is on the menu (dolphin, light and flaky) – was perfectly cooked and seasoned. My fries were wonderful – especially dipped in a mix of tartar sauce and ketchup. Dad really liked the hushpuppies. The manager was very kind and wanting the best for our table, as was our waitress. Now, I must be true to my task: as to the bad. The hushpuppies, in my opinion, were heavily battered and too small. The salmon wasn’t too good – that was Dad’s meal. He asked for his steamed veggies to be really cooked – they weren’t even cooked enough for my liking. So, I ate two of the veggies and gave Dad my fried okra (breaded on site). He said they weren’t done enough either. The green beans, which I got toward the end of the meal – seemed to be those Italian cut green beans you get in a can. The manager took off our uncooked veggies and he was very kind to us. I would tell people to try it – the mahi mahi and fries are a true win!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


So, Dad and I are visiting Charleston, SC (the new home of a precious newlywed) and my sister-in-law told me of a great restaurant I had to try - just 20 minutes away in Mt. Pleasant.
Seel's Fish Camp is a great little seafood place right off 526 (so very easy to find) - friendly, walk up ordering at the counter, paper towel roll on the tables, old signs on the walls, an ice cream cooler - just down home. It felt great. Harry, the owner, and Kim, his wife, are relatives of Keith and Mandy Devine - my brother's friends (and pastor) in NC. Keith married Alan and Ty. WEll, my girls will know about the wing sauce I make - and they love it. Well, the sauce that you get "dressed in Sunday best" style at Seel's - is the same stuff. It is Keith's sauce - who I learned it from.
Anyway, Dad and I both had a Shrimp Po Boy - an 8-in hoagie with about 8-10 medium fried shrim on it. Lightly battered so you can get the fresh shrimp taste. Perfectly cooked - and tasted great. It had tartar sauce on it with tom/lettuce. So, when you mix the Devine sauce it is a perfect blend on the sandwich. The hushpuppies that came it with were perfectly small. Looked like they used a small cookie scoop to get them so perfectly. Had a great mild onion taste to them. Their fries were a little salty to me, but Harry explained they were having issues with this shipment of potatoes they just got in this morning (they cut their own fries). Wash it all down with a A&W Rootbeer - perfect lunch.
Harry was very service oriented as he even cleaned off a few tables and talked with other customers. Thank you for a great dining experience - laid back, very southern seafood and delicious!