Archive for Dining Out

May
22

Shrimp

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This week’s theme ingredient at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang’s Friday Foodie Fix is shrimp. In her post of it, Diane talks about the benefits of cooking shrimp, from the ease of cooking to the many nutritional qualities. If you like to cook shrimp, or would like to find some new recipes, be sure to check out the round-up of recipes at the link above. We don’t eat a lot of shrimp at my house. Mostly because my kids aren’t yet fans of it. My son will eat cold shrimp with cocktail sauce, but my daughter still sticks her tongue out at it. Despite my kids’ resistance, we still occasionally cook it on nights I give the kids leftovers or hotdogs for dinner. Gotta love leftovers!

I found a great recipe at Bonefish Grill’s website for Saucy Shrimp and Scallops. I was trying to recreate their recipe for their Saucy Shrimp appetizer that we love to order at the restaurant. It didn’t turn out exactly like the appetizer I have at the Bonefish Grill, but it was close (and very good!). After comparing the recipe I made with the dish at the restaurant, I noticed these differences: The restaurant uses lime juice, not lemon like the recipe states; and the Sun Dried Tomatoes the restaurant used had a much sweeter taste than the ones I got at the grocery store. Other than that, I’d say it was pretty much the same. My husband and I gobbled it up at home just as fast as we do at the restaurant. And, if my kids don’t want to eat it…well, more for me and my husband. :)

Apr
18

Quick & Easy Meals

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If you’ve looked through my menus or recipes, you’ll see that they are mostly quick & easy recipes. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I had to be fast at getting food on the table. Now a few years later, I need to be fast in order to keep up with the after-school activities. I don’t always have a lot of time and energy to spend in the kitchen. When I cook, I often make large portions so I have leftovers I can use another night. Our meals are often simple with few ingredients, but I still want food to taste good and cover all the necessary food groups.

img_3270xIf you’re needing a quick meal, whether it’s lunch or dinner, why not make a plate of nachos? “Appetizer” or “bar food” you say. Yes, they are. But they’re also filling and you can make them to be as nutritious or as fattening as you like.  Choose your favorite ingredients: gluten-free corn chips, leftover taco meat, some refried beans, black beans, shredded cheese, tomatoes, sliced olives, avocado, salsa, sour cream, green onions, etc. A minute in the microwave or 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and you’re done. Or, if you’ve got a lot of leftover rice, put the ingredients over rice instead of chips. It may not be Chipotle, but it’s easy, tasty and filling.

And don’t forget the guacamole. It’s pretty quick and easy to make, but really makes a nice finishing touch to an easy meal. Try The W.H.O.L.E. Gang’s 5-Minute Guacamole.

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Or, if you want it even easier try Frontera’s Guacamole Mix. I found it at Wegmans but you can also purchase it online at Amazon. After reading the ingredients — “fresh tomatillos, fresh tomatoes, green chiles, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, fresh garlic, citric acid, salt, pure can sugar” — I had to give it a try. I was a little skeptical about all the “fresh” ingredients listed (I mean how fresh can it be if it’s in a jar?), but I couldn’t resist.

I think it took 2 minutes to remove the seeds, peel, and mash the avocados (3 or 4) with the entire jar of guacamole mix. And, wow! It wasn’t just good, it really did taste fresh. So, if you’re in a pinch for time, you might want to give it a try. Wouldn’t it be great for a Mexican Fiesta party? One side dish or appetizer you could have done in minutes before the party crowd shows up.

For more avocado recipes, check out The W.H.O.L.E. Gang’s Friday Foodie Fix – secret ingredient avocados!

Apr
13

Weekly Menu April 13

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Once again, I’m joining Laura @ I’m an Organizing Junkie and 400 other ladies (and men) in Menu Plan Monday, by sharing my weekly menu. It seems like a great way to get my week started off right.

I hope everyone had a great Easter. We’ve been spending a lot of quality time with the family and doing a lot of cooking, too. Today my fridge is already full of leftovers, so we’ll be trying to use them up this week. It will be a nice break from all the cooking.

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is temporarily organizing the Gluten Free Menu Swap and is hosting it this week, too. Sorry I don’t have the theme ingredient of the week, flax seeds, in any of my recipes. I’ve never cooked or baked with flax seeds, so I’m anxious to see what everyone else is doing with that ingredient this week.

Monday – Leftover Buffet
Everything comes out of the fridge, and everyone gets to choose what they want. I think I’ll be having the last of the gumbo.

Tuesday – Chicken Divan
A chicken and broccoli casserole served over leftover rice.

Wednesday – Chicken Wraps
Leftover chicken and salad chopped thinly and wrapped inside rice paper/wrappers. I think I’ll try Emeril’s Honey and Mustard dipping sauce to go with it, too. Served with leftover red potato and green bean salad.

Thursday – Broiled Tilapia with a Parmesan Sauce
Served with broccoli and rice.

Friday – Pizza
Haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be homemade pizza, or a trip to zpizza, or maybe Uno’s for their new gluten-free crust.

Saturday – Leftovers
One more day of a leftover buffet. I think it will be nachos or quesadillas for me with leftover taco meat.

Sunday – Meatballs
Trying a new recipe for Porcupine Meatballs posted by Angela at The Nuts Blog. Serving with french fries and fruit salad.

Looks like an easy week of cooking for me. :)

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Mar
07

Bonefish Saucy Shrimp

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img_3053xBonefish Grill is one of my family’s favorite restaurants. They have a gluten-free menu to make it easier to decide what you can eat. The staff is always helpful and actually seems to be knowledgeable of, or at least aware of, the restrictions of a gluten-free diet. And, it’s family-friendly, too. Would you believe my picky preschoolers actually ask to go to Bonefish for dinner? The kids menu is pretty limited for the gluten-free diet, but my kids are happy with the grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. To keep the kids busy, Bonefish provides crayons and a kids menu with activities that the kids can color.

My husband and I enjoy many more choices on the gluten-free menu. We always start out the meal with the Saucy Shrimp to share. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that they had the recipe for Saucy Shrimp and Scallops on their website! So, I decided to try it. And, even though I had to make a few substitutions, it was fabulous! I highly recommend you try it yourself.

Saucy Shrimp and Scallops

Ingredients:

2 oz. Butter
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 ea. green onion [I recommend sliced.]
10 ea. Kalamata olives, 1/2 pieces
1 tbsp. sundried tomatoes, julienne
3 oz. shrimp (small count)
3 oz. bay scallops
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup clam broth
3 tbsp. Feta cheese, crumbles
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
For service: crusty bread, as needed [Use gluten-free, of course!]

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in a saute pan. Add garlic and green onions and saute until the aroma fills the air.
  2. Add Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes — cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add shrimp and scallops, salt & pepper and saute until firm — do not overcook.
  4. Add lemon juice, clam juice and feta cheese — bring to a simmer.
  5. Pour into heated serving dish.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  7. Serve with crusty bread.

Additional Notes:

  • I didn’t have scallops, so I made the recipe with just the shrimp I had in the freezer. The appetizer at Bonefish doesn’t have scallops, either.
  • I also didn’t have clam broth, so I used clam juice instead.
  • You might also want to try using lime juice instead of lemon, quartering the kalamata olives, and adding extra feta at the end with the parsley.
  • So here’s where you can find the recipe for Saucy Shrimp and Scallops on their website, but I suggest checking out the other recipes they have online, too. What better way to ensure that your meal is gluten-free, than by making it yourself!
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Mar
02

Gluten-Free Beer

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img_3044-copyYes, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with beer! As you know, most beer is made with wheat and barley, grains that contain gluten — not good for Celiacs and others on a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are some breweries that are starting to make beer from gluten-free grains. Each one I’ve tried is a little different from the others (pale ales, ambers, etc.), but all of them taste like you would expect beer to taste! We haven’t found one yet that replaces Guinness, but we’ll keep looking. :-)

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