Wednesday, 23 December 2009

dinner in ten

Tonight I was starving when I got home.  So I whipped this up in about 10 minutes. 

The bottom picture looks like an ice cream sundae, but it's pot roast from Hormel (4 minutes in the microwave), Idahoan Yukon Gold potatoes (4 minutes in the microwave) and Baby Bellas sauteed in a smidge of olive oil (about 6 minutes while the potatoes & roast were cooking). 

Add seasonings of your choice & voila!  Delicious flavor in no time at all!  This will be my dinner & garner some leftovers, so I'd say it'd serve 2 comfortably (maybe add a veg).  : )

Now, of course, I want an ice cream sundae!  That will have to wait until next time...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Johnny's Italian Steakhouse

Welcome to Johnny's!  To start, you will have a delicious basket of bread, and a plate for olive oil & parmesean cheese, sprinkled w/ a little pepper, for a dip.  (Seen below is Leyton, demonstrating how to eat this delicacy.  Sorry it's blurry - it's also dark in there & most of my food pictures didn't turn out nearly as well as the pasta one!)

With your entree, you will be given a dinner salad, complete with Johnny's signature balsamic dressing.  I do not like iceberg, but there was some purple cabbage in there, tomatoes, croutons, and carrots, so I was able to sample the dressing.  Very tastey!  Not as bitter or sharp as the Olive Garden's signature dressing (which I also like), more on the sweet side, and very enjoyable! 

For my main dish, I tried the Portabello Tortellini with Shrimp.  The pasta is stuffed and topped with cheese, and I admit I added more cheese from the parm on the table.  Mmm!  Not only are there mushrooms & a mushroom cream sauce, but sweet red peppers and broccoli are added for a superb taste!  The shrimp were rather large and firm, seasoned to perfection & very complimentary to the sauce.  Give it a try, it's worth the price, I think! 

I really enjoy tri-colored pastas, and am always pleasantly surprised when restaurants use them.  More should take advantage of the nutritional value spinach & squash pastas offer! 

What have you been eating lately?  Anything worth sharing?  : ) 

Until next time, keep the rubber on the road! 

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

In the mood for a good smorgasboard the kids will love?  Try Ryan's in Moline.  Mom got steak from the grill.  GOOD steak.  Comparable to Texas Roadhouse steak.  Mmm!  I picked some delicious baked fish out of the lineup, as well as some delicious nachos w/ beef, nacho cheese, sour cream & tortilla chips.  Anthony chose a lot of different things - pizza, mac & cheese, lots of ice cream.  heh.  Leyton ate some good breaded fish, corn, tomatoes - I had a spinach salad & he wanted my tomatoes.  : )  He also went with me to get the ice cream, and got his own cone. 

The best part of Ryan's, tho, in my opinion, is their honey buttered rolls with honey butter.  Oh. My. HECK!  So delectable & melt in your mouth when warm, you have to eat at least two.  I had three, I admit it! 

I do love a good buffet, and Ryan's qualifies.  Head down there on your next outing, and let me know what you think.  : ) 

Until then, stay sweet! 

Friday, 9 October 2009

Biagi's with Cousins

Today I had the pleasure of meeting 3 of my cousins for lunch at Biagi's.  My cousin Mandi works at the one in a different town, and she wanted to share their delicious food with us.  We Started off with a shrimp appetizer that was delicious, but of course I forgot to take a picture of that.  *laugh*  I did remember the rest of the meal, tho. 

First off, we have Mandi's plate, which was a seafood pasta of some sort.  Of course I can't remember the name.  Mandi, if you read this, let me know what it was!  Doesn't it look yummy, tho?  There were 3 or 4 different types of seafood in there, I think. 

Next, we have my plate of butternut squash raviolli.  You know how much I adore pumpkin curry from Exotic Thai, so of course when I saw this on the menu, I heard it calling my name!  Raviolli filled with butternut squash, topped with squash & walnuts, and a sweet sauce.  Very tastey, but did need a little help of salt & pepper.  And possibly a little more cheese, but overall I enjoyed it & give it a 4 out of 5 stars. 

Dawn chose this dish, which photographed a little blurry.  All I remember of the name is it had Bologanise (?) in it.  IDK what that is, but it had meat in it and appeared very hearty! 

Kathy chose a chicken salad, which she liked, but wished the chicken had been warm.  Other than the fact that it's lettuce, it looks good.  *laugh* 

For dessert, we had a lemon cake that I did not try, and white bread pudding, which I did eat a piece of & it was delicious!  I like traditional bread pudding, and this was a little lighter than that, happily.  I also had a very good cup of coffee with cream & sugar.  : )

I would recommend each of the dishes I tried today, and Biagi's in general.  Kathy blessed us by treating, but the pricing looked to be reasonable for the amount and quality of food provided. 

Until next time, have a great time trying new foods!  : ) 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Garlic Shells w/ Meatballs

Sorry it's a little blurry & dark. I just remembered to take a picture before it was all gone! *laugh*

I made this yesterday, without broccoli, and then added that in for today's leftover lunch. Sooo good! Here's the recipe!

Knott's (formerly Lipton) Garlic Shells - follow the directions on the package, plus add 2 shakes of garlic salt, pepper to taste, and 2 shakes of Spinach & Herb dip mix. Cook according to package.

Farmer's Market frozen meatballs (or any frozen meatballs of your choice) - microwave for 1m 30sec in a bowl w/ a little water.

Broccoli - I used fresh, but frozen would work as well. Cook to your liking. I microwaved w/ a little butter for 30 seconds, then added it in to the shells.

Mix it all together, add more spice to taste & voila! *laugh* I know, I'm not the greatest recipe writer because so much of my cooking is to taste. I tweak everything I make, so it's hardly ever the same, but it's always delicious. ; ) IMO. *laugh* Wait, that's not true - I have made some things that REALLY didn't turn out. I may have written about one or two here, I'm not sure. But this one, this one is good. Try it, and let me know what you think!!

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Okay, I don't have pictures because I forgot to take them. I had to make an entry about Sancho's, tho. Their chips & salsa are AMAZING. Seriously the best salsa I've ever had. I believe it's homemade, and however they do it, they do it RIGHT. heh. I had an order of tacos, no lettuce, hardshell. The shells were perfection, stuffed full of meat - some places skimp on the meat, you know, and it's irritating. These were full & had lots of shredded cheddar as well.

I highly recommend it, and I will eat there again (soon!), so I'll take some pictures then. : )

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Old Chicago

Last night, Angela & I went to Iowa City for a Post Secret event. We were supposed to go to this neat bar & deli, Quinton's, but we couldn't find it! : ( I was highly disappointed - I'd looked at the menu online & found a turkey avacado cream cheese sammich that I really wanted to try! : ) Ah well, I'll try to get there eventually. I think it'd be worth the drive! The Post Secret lecture certainly was!
Instead, we went to Old Chicago. It was really delicous! I had the grilled chicken & spinach ravioli. I only had a little bit of it there, had to take all of it home, because of the appetizer.

Italian Nachos. Oh. My. Heck!!!! Sooooo good! Pasta chips, covered in mozzerella, sausage, pepperoni, banana peppers, w/ a marinara sauce to dip. I would highly recommend this dish! Give it a try & let me know what you think. : )

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday Surprise!

Hello everyone! I was telling Carrie about what I was making my kids for dinner. So she invited me to share it with everyone. Why not, right?

I'm all about simple things. Today was no exception. I opened the freezer and thought, "What should I make for dinner?" There's a ton of veggies up there. Some tater tots. Some hash browns. Some hot dogs. Hmmm...... I know! A casserole!

So here it is, folks! *laugh* I know, I know....feel free to call it what you want.

Sunday Surprise Casserole!


1/2 package hot dogs
1/2 lb Velveeta, cubed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, separated into two 1/4 cup portions
1 package frozen vegetables
2-3 cups frozen hashbrowns
6-8 slices American cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish (9x13 glass dish works great), layer hashbrowns in a single layer along the bottom, adding or subtracting as much as necessary to form a single layer. In a large pot, 1/4 cup butter/margarine and cubed Velveeta and heat under medium heat. Once butter and Velveeta begins melting, add frozen vegetables and stir. Do not stir constantly, but stir enough so the Velveeta does not stick to the bottom of the pot and coats the vegetables.

Cut hot dogs into medallions, add them to the vegetable/cheese combination, and stir.

In a microwave safe dish, melt the other 1/4 cup butter/margarine (45 seconds in a dish large enough to accommodate hashbrowns). Once melted, add the hashbrowns you measured out in the baking dish and stir to coat with the butter. Spray baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray liberally and add hashbrowns back to the dish, smoothing out to that single layer.

Spread the vegetable/cheese/hot dog combination on top of the buttered hashbrowns evenly. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Add slices of cheese across the entire top, making sure to not overlap. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken.

Makes 6-8 servings

Sounds easy enough, right? I'll give you even more suggestions, as this is the gist of the recipe. If you have little kids, I recommend slicing the hot dogs lengthwise before cutting into medallions (basically, cut the medallions in half, it's just easier to do it lengthwise first). Also, I prefer to use Oscar Meyer hot dogs-- only because they come in the two packs. *laugh* Saves me from having to eat hot dogs two days in a row because the entire package is thawed out.

Keep in mind that I completely made this recipe up. I figure anyone can make a casserole. *laugh* Even easier? Take a package of au gratin potatoes, add frozen vegetables and hot dogs and bake according to directions on the package of potatoes. I'd have done that, but I don't have au gratin potatoes in the pantry. :)

I hope everyone enjoys!

Saturday, 15 August 2009


This is one of my new favorites. Of course, it's not a new restaurant, just a new discovery for me! Riefe's has been a QC staple for many years, as you can see by the banner above.

They start you out with a bread basket, including rolls & a delicious crumb cake. There isn't a picture included presently because for some reason Blogger won't let me upload it. So, I'm going to be happy with the pictures I HAVE uploaded & leave it at that for now! : ) Leyton really enjoys the crumb cake, too!

Next, we have their excellent soups. This week's was cream of spinach, which I admit I was unsure about. I love raw spinach for salads, but am not really a fan of cooked spinach. However, soup or salad came w/ my meal, and I definitely didn't want the salad, so soup it was! It turned out to be a pleasant surprise, as it was very tastey. Creamy and the spinach wasn't bitter.

Leyton ordered a cheeseburger kids meal, which comes with Jello. Sometimes he likes the whipped cream, and other times not so much, so Mom smartly ordered it on the side. He only ate a little of it - there was so much food, that wasn't a problem! - so I got to finish it, and it was cherry and yummy! I don't know what they do to it, but they make very good Jello!

I ordered a Crazy burger & fries. I'm not sure what makes it "crazy." *laugh* It's a cheeseburger with bacon & tomato (and lettuce, but not for me!). Riefe's fries are the BEST! I don't know what they season them with when they fry 'em, but it's superb. They are just the right amount of crispy, too. Add a little salt & pepper, some ketchup for dipping & voila! Deliciousness.

This restaurant is also very reasonably prices. Bread, soup, burger, fries & soda for less than $10! AAAANNNNND ... it's a Pepsi place! : )
Happy eating, blog buddies! Until next time, keep trying new things. : )

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Work cookout & Linda's party

Everyone tore into the potato salad & fruit!

Not to be sexist, but the men of the management team did an EXCELLENT job grilling burgers & brats for us. Mike soaked the brats in beer & onions & they were GOOD! : )

Tonight, Carol did the grilling, and she did an excellent job, as well! My friend Tina (pictured above at the table) gave me some delicious meat & I grabbed a package for tonight's cookout. I knew it was steak, but I didn't realize how big they were! Turned out pretty tastey! Grilled food is really the best. The potato salad, corn & scalloped potatoes turned out yummy as well!
More on the actual party'll be in the other blog.

Steak steak steak. I could potentially eat it every week! : )

We surprised Linda w/ this cake. : ) Carol also made some homemade ice cream & chocolate mousse for dessert. It was a great food night!!! And great time spent w/ friends as well.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Texas Road House

Tonight, mi mama & I went to TRH for dinner. She called a little after 5 & asked if I wanted to meet her there for some steak that we'd both been craving lately! : ) We got to witness the line dance to ... erm... IDK what the name is - I Played Chicken w/ a Train? Something like that. Anyway, it was neat!

The food was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture of it! *laugh* That pile of plates contained some delicious honey bread & cinnamon butter, apple sauce, a DELICIOUS steak w/ mushrooms, and a loaded sweet potato. : ) I have to say, while I enjoy steak from almost anywhere, TRH has some of the BEST beef around. You can even pick out exactly which steak you want. Heh. We didn't, but I think it's neat that you can.
Next time I'll try to remember to take the pictures BEFORE I scarf everything down. *laugh*
Until next time - where's your favorite place to have steak? : )

Sunday, 2 August 2009

more enchillada & quesadilla fun

Los Agaves
It's delicious! My general meal lately is - chips & cheese dip, cheese enchilladas and a quesadilla. Usually I get beef & cheese, but last night I got chicken for a change of pace. Also got a side of guac, which was spicy but oh so good!!!!
For dessert, we went to Maggie Moo's for ice cream. I had mocha w/ white chocolate chips, which was delicious! Leyton picked "green" which turned out to be cool mint, and added Teddy Grahams & gummy bears. Anthony had red velvet cake with some chocolate add-ins. Mom chose a strawberry banana shake. I had a bit of that, as well, and it was a keeper!

I really enjoy being out with my family for good food & visiting! : ) I hope you'll enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Independence Day Feast

Devilled eggs are a must!
Mmmm...grilled hot dogs! There were also brats, cheddar brats, and hamburgers.

Red, white & blue cake was delicious!! it had raspberry filling btwn layers of yellow cake. Sooooo good! I wish I'd been able to have more than one piece! Heh. Behind the cake is mom's wonderful taco dip, by the way. Yummy!

A must-have for any family gathering - Pickle & Olive tray!
And finally, one of my favorite things, and a new thing - Kodiak crab stuffed mushrooms!! Again, something I wish I'd taken more of, but I was trying not to be greedy! *laugh* So yummy, tho! I hope she makes them again. : )
And aside from the food, it was just a really nice party. Got to spend time w/ family & visit, and even if it was rainy, that didn't matter because the party was in the garage! : )

Friday, 3 July 2009

Lunardi's and Panda Express

I met my friend Michelle for dinner on Wednesday. Lunardi's is a family Italian restaurant tucked in a strip mall by a bigger mall. : ) It's a nice atmospher, and they're a Pepsi place, which earns automatic points!

Michelle had a sausage rigatoni dish that looked really good. I was considering that or the dish I ordered. She said hers was really good, so if I go back, I'll definitely order it!

I ordered the Ravioli Alfredo. It was good, but not OOOOOHHHHH good, ya know? I think if the ravioli would have been stuffed w/ sausage or chicken or even spinach instead of just cheese, it would have been a better contrast. But, to be fair, I did have Pumpkin Curry for lunch, and that is all kinds of flavor! So I am willing to give the restaurant another shot. *laugh*

You also get a basket of garlic bread. Again, not the most flavorful, but good. I ate 4 pieces, it must be good, right? : )

The soup was VERY good, tho! Michelle had minnestrone & I had meatball. If the ravioli had been stuffed w/ meatball, it would have been amazing! : )

Tuesday, Shannan & I went to Panda Buffet. They are also a Pepsi establishment, so points again! : ) Their buffet has a lot of choices - rice, noodles, crab ragoon, pork spring rolls, egg rolls, spicy stuff, mild stuff, sushi, a grille, crab legs, oysters, fruit/veggie bar (salad)... And it's all very well done! The fillings for their rolls & ragoon are delicious!

Oh, yeah, and for dessert - CREAM PUFFS! : )
That's all. Give it a shot. If you're in the area, give me a call & I'll be more than happy to go again! : )