Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PF Changs

The other day my daughter and I had a date day, always a nice time :)
We picked PF Chang's for lunch I had not been there for 8ish years and she had never been there.
Really nice interior.

We were seated right away.
Our server was hilarious, joking around all the time and had lots of tips on the menu.
We started off with the pretty crab wontons, loved the micro greens on them.  They were fantastic.

They had a lunch menu, we both ordered off that.
You get to chose soup or salad.
I chose soup (egg drop) it was good, not my fav.

Sam chose salad, very plain but she liked the dressing.
For our main meal I got the beef with green onions and brown rice.  INSANELY salty! I could not even eat half of it.

My daughter had chicken with peppers and peanuts and a side of brown rice again, INSANELY salty!

I will never eat here again.
So afterwards we were going to continue our date.
But while driving there my daughter feels very ill.  And we had to end our date day :(
Thanks alot PF Changs.




Friday, March 27, 2015

Peppers and Fries


I've been reading a lot of hype about this new restaurant.  Wanted to go check it out myself.
Nice place, tiny parking lot but street parking available.
We got seated right away (wait to be seated by the way). It a cozy little place.
Service was good, food was good.
Burgers and Burritos - interesting combo.  But it works.
They have other items on the menu too but that is where they concentrate.

We started off with the jalapeno fritters.
I have never been a fan of fritters, I find them to be dry and I'm always wishing there was cheese in them haha, Im such a cheese fiend.

I was pleasantly surprised, these fritters were very moist.  The first fritters I have ever liked people!



Do you think we ordered burgers or burritos?

If you follow me you know we eat way to many burgers :)

I ordered the Bacon Blue Burger with fries, came with a seasoned sour cream.  That was a little to spicy for me.  The burger was great.



Marc ordered the Firehouse 21 Burger, spicy just like he likes it.

If I was in the area I would eat here again.  But, it was a bit of a drive for us.

But, yes I would recommend this place.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mac and Cheese Waffle Bites


Say what?!  Mac and Cheese in a waffle?!  I know right sounds weird, I was watching The Chew one afternoon and they had a Mac and Cheese special that day.
One woman came up with this recipe reinventing her leftover mac and cheese.
Sounded kinda fun to me and I had a frozen dish of leftover mac & cheese I made for Thanksgiving.
So I pulled that out of the freezer to defrost.  If you want that recipe I got that off Martha Stewart's Website.

My first try making this did not go so well.  But not according to my son, he came home from school and saw the big melted mess I made in the waffle maker and asked if he could eat it.
Umm ok.

So lets try this again.

I treated it like you would when you fry chicken.  And it worked!

Here is the mac and cheese recipe The Best Mac and Cheese.

Here is what else you need:
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup flour
toppings optional - chives, cilantro,green onions, jalapenos, sour cream , bacon crumbs etc.

How to make this:
Start with your already made mac and cheese, best if its a day old and cold
Cut into a square, you want it to be smaller than the size of your waffle maker
Once your waffle maker is warmed up spray with non stick spray
Sprinkle your mac and cheese loaf with flour and dip into the egg and then bread crumbs
Place the mac and cheese in the center of the waffle maker
Press it shut but not locking it completely
Let that cook for 5 to 7 minutes

Carefully remove your cheesy waffle from the waffle maker, place on plate and top according to your liking!

Hope you enjoy this fun treat!

PS I AM SO SORRY I FORGOT TO TAKE  A PICTURE - DUHHHH!!
The Picture above is from The Chew 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pretzel



I thought it was spring?  We just got a snowstorm and the last thing I want to do is drive in all this snow.
What shall I do with myself today!?  Why create food!
And there is one thing that I need to work on baking.  I would say I'm ok at baking, nothing fancy just your basics.
My youngest son loves pretzels.  I tried making them before using the boiling method, they tasted horrible!

So I searched for a recipe that used my bread maker (it does all the work) and no boil method.
Found one and adapted from that.

They turned out fantastic, they look alright but taste wonderful, very moist.  Can't wait for my son to come home from school to try one!

This recipe made enough that I will be freezing half the batch.

Here is what you need:
1 1/4 cup room temperature water
3 1/2 cup flour, I used King Arthur 
1 tsp salt (regular table salt)
1 egg, separated (yolk for mix, whites for glaze)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbs yeast
1 tbs water (mix with egg white for glaze)
Sea Salt


How to make them:
Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees
In your bread maker start by adding the water, then the flour, salt, egg yolk, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, white pepper.  Make a well with your finger making sure not to touch the water.
Pour your yeast in the well.
Set your bread maker to the dough setting.


This setting should take 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Once your dough is finished, place on to a clean floured work area.
Cut dough into approximately 16 pieces.


Roll dough into 14 inch ropes.
Make the dough into pretzel shapes

(I tried!)  

Brush the pretzels with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water, sprinkle with sea salt
Grease your baking sheets and lay pretzels 2 inches apart
Bake at 375 for 17 minutes, until golden brown.

Eat them plain, or maybe you want to dip the?  Try butter, mustard, cream cheese or a cheese sauce.

Hope you like them!







Saturday, March 21, 2015

Eastlake Craft Brewery


Friday night date night, checked out the newer Eastlake Craft Brewery in the Global Market, Uptown Minneapolis.

Awesome location.  Love the decor here, nice dark wood, lots of dead animals on the wall :)



And it is in the Global Market, have you been there?  It's pretty awesome.  You can get prepared foods from around the world all in the same building.

Eastlake Craft Brewery really have an awesome gig going on.  If you're hungry pick up some food and bring in on into their brewery.  There are a couple thing that these guys will go pick up for you too and deliver to your bar stool too.  Love it!

This place is awesome for people watching, I love people and you get all sorts here!

The guys who work there work their butts off and are super informative.

Ok about the beer, fantastic!!!  I saw they had flights, I will have to do that next time.

But, I tried the L'Ogre De Turvueren, I have no clue how to say that!  But damn it's good!



Husband had the Increasingly Lost Saison and the Gustav Mauler's Fifth.



We brought in a couple of growlers (clean) and they filled them up with a couple more beers.  Sweet deal if you ask me!

There are some games behind the bar, I saw they have Cards Against Humanity, so naughty ;)  Love it!



Want some swag, yup with got it.

Totally will be going back, check them out!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizza


I have been making this forever now.  And usually eat it just as a meal and not an appetizer!
On the blog I have a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip, almost just the same.
I love Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Buffalo Chicken Pizza!

We had these for dinner last night, with a salad.  But if you want to serve them as an appetizer just cut the bread in 2 inch slices.

Here is what you will need:
1 loaf french bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 cup Franks Hot Sauce 
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbs
4 green onions, chopped
8oz shredded mozzarella
Cilantro

How to make them:
Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees
Cook your chicken and shred it, use a rotisserie chicken if you're in a hurry.
Once your chicken is cooked stir in the hot sauce, blue cheese and onions
Slice your bread the long way
Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the two halves of bread.
Top with the shredded cheese
And bake for 15 - 20 minutes
Top with the cilantro, if you do not like cilantro use parsley
Cut into 2 inch slices and serve!



Hope you enjoy!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bloggin'

Oh lord help me!  So many changes with my blog host and and I'm trying to start a Facebook page for the blog.
I feel like an old person I'm having so many issues with technology, ARGH (nothing against elderly, love ya) !!! Thinking I'll go over to my old pal Youtube watch some helpful videos.
Seriously what did we do before all this technology at our fingertips, all the answers so easily!

I have noticed lately that the views on my restaurant review are way more then my appetizer recipes.

Hummm I question why, totally not complaining just trying to figure it out.
Are you still there, just listening to me think out loud?

Ok talking about restaurant reviews, spring break is coming up I will be heading out of town for a few days, there will be some new restaurant reviews :)

I have so many recipes I'm working on and will get those out soon.

Let's see what else is new lots of changes in life around here besides the blog.  Family and neighbors moving.  My sons school is moving next year, pain in the butt because it's blocks away from where we live now.  Guess we can't be lucky all the time!

Wow this kinda sounds like a bitch fest.  Sorry friends just venting.   Deep breaths!

Positive thoughts, kids are all awesome, weather is great, I have an awesome husband.  And a wonderful life.  Ahh I feel better.

I feel like I need to throw a picture in here so here is a funky picture of a shop my Mom and I went to today.  Hunt and Gather 49th and Xerxes in Minneapolis, that shop is to much fun.  But, beware one wrong move you brake a million things!


Ok now another Pic, this one was taken this week in my neighborhood on my walk one morning.


Have you ever seen these before?  You put books in them and you can take, borrow or exchange them.  It is just in someones front yard.  
Yes it is the phone booth from Dr. Who.

Thanks for listening!  
Peace out! 







Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grand Cafe

Oh My Lord, I can not get this meal out of my head!!!
I had the privilege to eat at Grand Café, in Minneapolis this past weekend to have brunch.
Now mind you I am not really a breakfast sort gal.
The restaurant is in a cute little neighborhood with a lot of character, great for people watching.
And that is what we did while we sat outside at one of their tables.
We were greeted with one friendly smile after another, I cant even tell you how many handsome gentleman came to make sure we had everything we needed.
The menu was very nice, not to large, just right.
I ordered The Eggs Benedict (full order) with a side of bacon to share with my daughter.
Not only was the dish beautiful, but amazingly delicious! 



Everything was cook perfectly, so fresh, not to salty, just right!
My daughter had the Banana Bread French Toast and my Mom had the Eggs Your Way, both were very good.



It's in every little detail that they put into their restaurant that shines through and makes it what it has become.  Well known.

Can't wait to go back!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mini Reuben's


Are you all ready for St. Patrick's Day!?  Do you have your meal planned!?
Well we will be nibbling on these awesome Mini Reuben sandwiches, they are seriously so good!

They are cute, finger sandwiches.  You better be careful though you could shovel several of these into your mouth before you know what happened, you ate 5 of them!

I added a little kick to them too kinda reinventing your typical reuben. Don't get me wrong I love a good classic reuben sandwich.

This is what you will need:
Mini slices of cocktail rye bread
Deli slices corned beef
Sauerkraut
Swiss cheese slices
Thousand Island dressing
Sriracha
Butter

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Butter one side of each of your pieces of rye bread
Mix your Thousand Island with sriracha, according to your tolerance of spice.
Now you will build your sandwich
Spread on the dressing, I used about 1 Tablespoon per sandwich
Next your meat, sauerkraut then cheese
I baked these open face
The tops are also on your baking sheet toasting
Bake for 10 minutes
When finished complete your Mini Reuben with the top slice of bread.



Hope you enjoy & have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Bacon


Should I just stop there with the title, Chocolate Dipped Bacon?  Need I say more!?
Grabbed your attention, two of the best things combined, Chocolate and Bacon, awesomeness!

Ok OMG do you have a Sam's Club near you? I do not think that I will ever go back to another grocery store bacon again.
I picked up this fantastic Pecan Smoked Bacon that stuff is seriously good all by itself.

This bacon appetizer is so simple to make.

All you need is:
A nice thick cut bacon
Chocolate, melted
Sea Salt
Chili Powder

How to make it:
Cook your bacon, I started baking my bacon it is so much cleaner and you can get it crispy and flat.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil lay out your bacon and cook at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, watching it so it doesn't burn.
Once cooked lay out your bacon on a cooling rack (I bought one at the dollar store), dab the bacon with paper towels to remove the excess grease.
Melt the chocolate of your choice, you can do this in the microwave or on the cooktop.
I melted mine in the microwave, a little quicker, but make sure you do this in small amounts of time so it doesn't burn. Nothing more gross than burned chocolate.
Dip your bacon into the melted chocolate, sprinkle with chili powder and sea salt.
I used a small pinch for each slice of bacon.
Again lay your bacon out on a cooling rack to let the chocolate harden.

I know you will love this, it just melts in your mouth!



Friday, March 13, 2015

FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar


I did a review on this place at the end of last summer.  Marc and I went there for his birthday I believe.  We had a great time, beautiful establishment and a nice menu.
Perfect location for us too,close to home.
It is located in the Radisson Blu hotel that is attached to the Mall of America.  The mall I like to stay out of for many a reasons.  But I will frequent a couple times a year.
Anyhow thats not the point of my blog today is it! Just call me rambling Angie.
Back to the restaurant.  This time we visited we sat in the bar area that is located as soon as you walk in.  Very nice lots of seating, I really like the decor.  Its very dim you will see that in my photos.

We ordered the handcut chips and designer dips, that contained 2  dips, one seemed to be a seasoned sour cream sorta flavor and the next was a blue cheese dip.  Served with chips similar to kettle chips , very good and the price only $7.



Marc orded the bone marow (again) ewww... but he really likes that, this seems to be a trend right now you will notice it more and more on menus and cooking programs.  Not my cup of tea as I said in my last review.  But 2 thumbs up from hubbie.

I ordered the Bloomington Club, its a club sandwich with bacon and rotisserie chicken, severed with chips but I substituted for the broccolini, very good.

They serve several local beers and have a nice drink menu.

If your ever in the area I suggest stopping in!




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Avocado Hummus


There are typically two times a year that people tend to want to shed a few pounds the new year and swimsuit season, am I right!?
With swimsuit season upon us my snacking choices are healthier picks
I think this dip is sorta a combination of guacamole and hummus, it's really good!  
So creamy with a tiny kick of spice.
I picked up a couple avocados the other day, wanting to make this nummy light dinner with spicy shrimp with diced avocados and rice mmmm... and I had an extra one, it was starting to get a bit squishy so I made this dip.
You know how to check if an avocado is ripe right?  
First would be to the touch, if its hard it is not ready, if it is really soft it's over ripe.
Now pick the little seed of the end, is it dark brown?  Put it back.  If it's green you got a winner!



What you will need:
1 ripe avocado
15 oz can great northern beans, drained
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lime, just the juice
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:
In a food processor add all your ingredients, if it's to thick add more olive oil.
Salt and pepper it to taste
Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes
Serve with pita bread, pita chips, vegetables, or maybe tortilla chips

Hope you enjoy!




Monday, March 9, 2015

Half Time Rec & Paddy Shack


I must be priming up for St. Patricks Day because we sure have been going out alot lately!
Now this place really brought me back in time!  I felt like I was 15 again!
Well kinda, not when I'm sitting next to a table of 25 year olds.
I read a review for this place recently and almost didn't believe what I read, that they had a chef in house and this was the place to be with amazing Irish food.
I used to go to this place back in the 80's it was a dive, but an awesomely fun dive!
It's an Irish bar/restaurant the bar's name is the Half Time Rec and the Restaurant side is named Paddy Shack.


This place is located in North St Paul , Minnesota.  They have bands, Irish bands at that!
I remember they even used to have Irish dancers, really fun to watch, remember that part in the Titanic movie where she was on her toes dancing?  Ya like that with alot of kicking and stiff arms.

The band was just tuning their instruments when were were there so we didn't catch the band that night.

I was odd in my music likings as a teenager I loved the Beatles and Irish music, totally not my era. I did like popular music from my time period too.  I always liked tagging along with my aunts to their evenings out at the bar.  SSHHH don't tell my Mom.

Alright back to the other day.

Hubbie and I split a burger we had the Paddy Shack Burger, oh boy that sauce on there had some kick!  Very good, the burger came with potato wedge fris.

We started off with Cauliflower Cheese with Rye Toast, this is a dip with toast cut into triangles.
Cauliflower is popular food trend right now, and I'm liking it!
This winter I started making a new cauliflower soup, to die for!  Ask me I'll share the recipe  with you :)



The Half Time Rec has lots more to offer besides food, music, booze and food.

You can play yard games like bocce ball (in the basement!) or volleyball.
Did someone say meat raffle?  Why yes they have that too!





Sunday, March 8, 2015

Amy Thielen's Fried Onion Dip


I may have mentioned this several times before but my new favorite Food Network Chef is Amy Thielen, she has a show named Heartland Table.
I may be biased because she is from my state.  But I can relate to her cooking it's old school, like your Grandma made, well at least my Grandma.

The other day we had a sunny day with temperatures in the upper 30's after a long winter in Minnesota you think that is warm, I just saw a girl at the store today in flip flops and it's only in the 40's !  That's a bit nuts if you ask me!

So I thought lets have a summer meal.  And along with this summer meal I made Amy's Fried Onion Dip.  It was just what we needed to break this winter spell we have been under for to long.

This is what you will need:
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium sweet onion, cut into rings
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 cup (2oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
A dash of cayenne pepper

*I did a couple things different only because I didn't have certain ingredients.
I used no salt butter (I always use this)
A large onion
Red wine
And because I am a cheese freak I used 8oz of cream cheese, honestly that might have been a bit to much!

How to make to Onion Dip:
Start by melting your butter
Slice your onions into 1/2 inch rings
cook that for 10 minutes with the salt and pepper, your going to want that to darken well, almost to a burt point, don't you just love smelling onion cooking in butter!?
Add your honey and garlic cook for a minute, now add your wine.
Continue cooking for about 4 minutes
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool a bit, once cooled chop your onions.
Add the onions to a bowl, next your cream cheese and sour cream mix this well
Stir in the cayenne pepper and top with chives.

Chill and enjoy!





Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shamrocks


Restaurant review time, actually this is a second review for this place.
Shamrocks and The Nook are sister restaurants, I have never been to The Nook.
Shamrocks has a great location, super fun atmosphere, the have bands, awesome people who go here and work here.
We always have gotten great service.  Usually there is a wait, but it's a big place so you don't wait to have to wait to long.
This Irish girl likes to go there for the appetizers and cold beers.
I am not a huge fan of the fris and burgers.  But I have to say I always get the same burger so maybe if I try something new???  DUH!
If you're curious what burger that is I order the Juicy Nookie, that is a cheese stuffed burger.
I'm not sure exactly what it is that I don't like but I think it is the texture of the beef when they form it to stuff with cheese that gets to me.

(that note on my burger basically says LAVA hot cheese beware don't be an idiot and bite right into it!)


The fris are floppy, best word I could come up with floppy.  Not soggy, floppy.
In the warmer months you can sit outside on the happenin 7th street in St. Paul, there is also eye candy for you ladies across the street at the huge fire station!  LOL
Last time we went there we ordered the jalapeno poppers, they were just to our liking stuffed with warm cream cheese and breaded.



We also tried some new beers to us, and both liked them.  You would have thought I could have taken note of the names of them right?!  Oppsie!  Hey I did get a picture of my beer!


Wait!  Hold your horse's I remembered I checked my beer in on Untappd a fun app for beer drinkers. The beer I had was Finnegans Irish Amber, very good!

The table we sat at was cool it had past photos of St. Patricks day under the glass, lots of fun to look at.

Both locations provide a free shuttle to and from Vikings and Wild, home games.

Speaking of Irish - St. Patricks Day is right around the corner, and Shamrocks will be having their annual St. Patrick's Day bash!  Actually they have a party on the 14th &  17th, what an awesome place to celebrate, but make sure to have a sober cab!

Overall review, good, we will be going back!

Here is my original review, I have been back there several time since I wrote this Shamrocks Review.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Roasted Honey Garlic Spread


This is a super simple, I would like think no so bad for you appetizer.
A local flower shop in my area has been hosting a winters farmers market once every month this season, I went this past Saturday.
I went once last year and I remember how insanely busy it was so I made sure I got up bright and early on a Saturday so I could get a parking spot, well silly me thought it started at 8:30, I got there at 8:10 but it did not start until 9!  Good thing I had good company.
Well once it opened hubbie and I found the greenhouse that the farmers market was in and started filling my bag with all sorts of goodies.

A few items I used to make this appetizer.

What you need is:
1 loaf whole wheat baguette
2 heads garlic
2 tablespoons pure honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
farmers cheese

How to make it:
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees
Cut the tops off your garlic heads, keeping them intact, exposing the garlic within the shells
Lay that out onto a foil lined baking sheet, cut side up
Pour the olive oil over the garlic
Divided 1 tablespoon of honey and spread on the garlic
Seal the tinfoil around the garlic and bake for 1 hour
Once the garlic is done let to cool enough so you can pick it up
Squeeze the garlic into a bowl and add one tablespoon of honey, combine well
Slice your bread into one inch pieces
Spread on your honey garlic mixture and top with a slice of your farmers cheese (or another soft cheese of your liking).
Bake at 350 until cheese is slightly melted



Hope you enjoy!