January 29, 2012

Quick Lamb Kofta with Harissa Yogurt Sauce and Saffron Rice

Great Indian flavors! Easy and quick to make, though you have to like the gaminess of lamb to really enjoy this one. If you are not a fan of lamb try using ground beef instead - the flavors should be just a good.

For the kofta I used 1 tsp onion powder instead of fresh grated onion and fresh minced garlic instead of the bottled garlic (I hate the taste of that stuff). For the sauce I used garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic.



January 28, 2012

Tex-Mex Chicken Taco Soup

Creamy, flavorful soup! In an attempt to make it a bit healthier I only used half the cream cheese that the recipe called for, which worked out well. If I would have used the entire block of cream cheese I am afraid  it would have been too rich. I did think the balance of hominy to beans was too high so I would recommend reducing the hominy and upping the beans a bit. Be sure you don't skip putting crushed tortilla chips on top as they add a really nice crunch. Also, adding some fresh cilantro as a garnish works nicely to add some color and a nice fresh flavor.  Enjoy!

January 27, 2012

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Love the hazelnuts! They add a different flavor to a traditional-style chocolate chip cookie. I could have done without the toffee pieces as I don't think it added any flavor to the cookies other than some additional sweetness...which they didn't need. These did come out flat and chewy for me (that is a problem I have frequently), but my husband loves them that way so its never an issue in my house.

If you have any tips on making these cookies so that they don't flatten out so much please share your tips with us.

January 26, 2012

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Pie

Excellent! We loved this quick and easy meal that was something a bit different than what we usually serve for dinner. I used two and a half small baked chicken breasts seasoned with ground chipotle instead of the rotisserie chicken  and used a bit of fresh jalapenos instead of the jarred ones as called for by the recipe. When I make it again I might swap out 1 cup of chicken for beans (pintos would be good) to change it up a bit. Enjoy!

January 25, 2012

Stretch-a-Buck Turkey and Bean Burrito Burgers

Great flavors and love the mix of rice and beans with ground turkey. However, they didn't hold together well as burgers so I ended up serving the mixture in a flour tortilla topped with cheese, tomatoes, and guacamole. I would recommend minimizing the fresh garlic in the guacamole, at least if you want anyone to get near you for the rest of the evening ;-)

Hopefully you enjoy this money saving, flavorful meal as much as I did.


January 24, 2012

Two Senorita's - Sarasota, FL

Great salsa - fresh and flavorful with in-house made chips. I'd go back just for that, but the food pretty good too. My husband really enjoyed his chimichanga with fajita chicken, though my chipotle enchiladas were somehow missing the chipotle flavor so I will not order those again. The menu had a wide variety of options to choose from, but they lack variety for sides (hope you like beans and rice). Service was good, but not great which seems to be commonplace anymore - rare is the occasion of great wait service.   

Two Senoritas Restaurant on Urbanspoon

January 23, 2012

Savory Street - Sarasota, FL

Savory Street offers good, simple comport foods with a slight twist such as the German Farmhouse Breakfast or the French Egg Crater (bread bowl filled with a scrambled eggs, ham, brie and bacon). The almond scone was very good and buttery with a lighter, airier texture than most scones. 

The modest portions matched the modest prices, though the service was lackluster. Expect to take your time, no one will rush to assist you and expect ask for things you need…like a water refill or hot sauce for your eggs.  I may go back, but being that the food was nothing extraordinary and the service left more to be desired I won’t be rushing back.

Savory Street Restaurant on Urbanspoon

January 16, 2012

Pumpkin Bars

These "bars" are excellent (its actually more like a cake)!  I couldn't get enough of them...maybe that's because I was 6 months pregnant at the time I made them ;-)

I used fresh pumpkin that I steamed then mashed so the pumpkin flavor was a bit more mild than if using canned, but it was much fresher and lighter tasting. I halved the amount of icing and it seemed just right, any more would have overpowered the taste of the cake. This recipe will be added to my list of favorites and will be one I am sure to make many more times. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Thanks Paula Deen!

January 15, 2012

Italian Sub Stoup

I usually love stoups from Rachel Ray, but this one was too heavy on the meat and salt for my preference. Maybe reducing the amount of meat and upping the veggies would help???  Not something I will make again.

January 14, 2012

Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

Very good, easy, and economical! I served it over jasmine rice for a complete meal.  I added currents for a bit of sweetness, but raisins would work just as well. Others who made this recipe commented that they added some coconut milk, though I didn't do that this time, I will when I make it again as it should round out the flavors of the dish and add some needed richness. 

January 13, 2012

Fudgy Mocha Toffee Brownies

I have made these a few times now. They offer a nice twist on a standard brownie. The toffee adds some extra sweetness and the coffee helps bring out the chocolate flavor. Enjoy!


January 12, 2012

Spanish-Style Chicken and Dumplings

Nice change from your standard chicken and dumplings - great if you are looking for a quick, easy, comforting dinner. 

January 11, 2012

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Yummy pasta dish that is easy and healthy. The roasting of the vegetables really brings out their flavor. Serve with some crusty bread for an easy weeknight meal.

You may consider adding some cooked pancetta to the dish prior to baking to really round out the flavor profile. Enjoy!


Common Table - Bend, OR

Excellent food - great variety of items made from fresh, local food including vegetarian options.

I had a hamburger which I would rank up there with one of the best I have had at a restaurant. The beef was fresh and cooked and flavored perfectly; the bun and spread complimented, not overwhelmed the beef. Good selection of beers on drafts.

If you are looking for a great meal and want to support those in need in the community, this is the place to go in Bend.

Our Common Table on Urbanspoon

January 10, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder

This recipe for pork loin cooked in a crockpot is excellent!  Its simple, easy and delicious. Sweet and spicy with a great Asian flavor thanks to the five spice powder. Double all ingredients besides the pork for the most robust flavor. If you are looking for something a bit more mild follow the recipe as listed on the website.