Monday, August 10, 2009

Restaurant Review!!


This time...the place is...

Psycho Suzie's Motor Lounge

Location: Minneapolis, MN

My mother and I saw this on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives one weekend...and we decided to go right then and there! So, we made our way down to Mpls...and once we got there it was PAKCED!! It is a "seat yourself" type of establishment and they have both indoor and outdoor seating...and on a nice Saturday night...it was crowded...but eventually we did find a spot and hunkered down. Soon enough a waiter came around and we got menus and ordered some drinks (which are served in really cool tiki mugs or coconuts) After perusing the menu...we decided to get some Tatter Tots as an appetizer...and a sandwich and a salad for dinner. The tatter tots were awesome, nice and crisp and fresh with a nice seasoning...the salad was awesome as well. The sandwich was okay...nothing crazy special. The chips that came with it, kettle style, these were awesome...they had this amazing seasoning on them that made them so much more! They were yummy and addicting!

Here are some pics:

My drink

Fresh, crispy Tatter Tots

Salad w/ cheeses

Beef, peppers, and cheese sandwich

Seasoned kettle chips

Overall Impression: Although the place was crowded, it was fun, and lets face it...those people were there for a reason...good drinks, good food, and a good atmosphere...which it had, I just prefer a little less people...
The service was good, considering how busy it was, the waiter did what she could. She even suggested some drinks and what not. We got our food in a timely manner and it was good! I strongly recommend this restaurant! Nothing fancy...just a good ol' time!

I would give this place 4.5 out of 5 Yums!

OH!! Some good news! I got JOB!!! Yesss!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

OREO

Truffles...to be exact!

I made them this last weekend for two purposes...1) my mother wanted some for a dinner she was going to, and 2) I had a post-wedding brunch that I was going to bring some to. I have seen this recipe many many times and was very excited to have an occasion to make them for! They are very easy...except for the dipping part...but I enlisted the help of a grill fork (ya know...the one with the two long prongs...) It worked quite nicely!

~Oreo Truffles~
(From Mixing Bowl Magazine)
1 pkg. Oreo cookies, finely crushed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 lb. + 2 oz. white baking chocolate

Crush the Oreo's in a ziplock bag. Place them in a large mixing bowl along with the softened cream cheese. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Roll into 1 in. balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate, in a deep container, according to the package directions. Dip the rolled balls into the chocolate by setting them in the chocolate and submerging them with the grill fork as an assister. Scoop out with the fork and set on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the balls are coated in the white chocolate. With remaining chocolate, drizzle over the truffles using a regular fork. Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours, until set. Enjoy!!

All rolled out and waiting to be dipped

Close up shot!

The finished product (from Mixingbowl.com)

Let me tell you, these are quite rich and yummy! I was struggling with the dipping part...but it is trial and error...and they taste good regardless of what they look like! I hope you like them as much as I did!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Italian Mac & Cheese



There are so many ways to make/prepare Macaroni and Cheese. Being the post graduate (about 4 months out) I am still a fan of the original Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this is only because I have yet to experiment with the dish and/or travel to various locations to sample up-scale M&C.

I would like to note that I am a fan of the Kraft M&C because you can control how much of the various ingredients go into the final product. Take, for instance, my friend K. She likes to make M&C where there is more milk, ie, a more soupy M&C. I, on the other hand, like a more creamy M&C so I add less milk and a moderate amount of butter (but still less than what the box calls for).

I am not a fan of the M&C that are overly thick...it just grosses me out...but I do like M&C that are made with various cheeses...and one of them HAS to be cheddar...I am not a fan of white sauce M&C because it reminds me too much of an Alfredo sauce and I do not like most Alfredo sauces...its a childhood old memory...Anywho...

My family did try a new recipe one weekend at the cabin and it was a hit! I liked it, but it was not my favorite, but it is totally worth sharing because it is very good and very different from the classic M&C. We got it from Giada on the the Food Network and slightly modified it...but not too much!

Here it is!






~Mac & ChChChCheese~
(From Giada on Food Network)
12 oz. wide egg noodles
2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt + more for water
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. packed grated fontina
3/4 c. packed grater parmesan
3/4 c. packed grated mozzarella
4 oz. cooked ham, diced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on stovetop, liberaly salt the boiling water and cook noodles until tender but still firm to bite, stirring, about 5 min. Drain well but do not rinse. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream, milk, flour, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 c. of the fontina, 1/2 c. of the parmesan, 1/2 c. of the mozzarella, ham, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Spray a 13 x 9 in. pan with non-stick spray and transfer the noodle mixture to the dish. Toss the remaining cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over the noodles. Bake for 20 min. or until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top. Let stand for about 10 min. before serving. Enjoy!


For this recipe I just went to the meat counter and got the thickest slices of deli ham that I could get. It worked wonderful! I have also done this recipe with skim milk instead of the whole milk. It was okay, but the whole is much more thick and yummy...and more rich! I hope that you enjoy this recipe as a deviation from the basic blue box!

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last Night of Large Scale Baking...

So, the other night was the last night of this mens group called "Band Of Brothers" that I have been cooking for. Its just a group of guys, college aged, that come and eat, play some games and have fellowship time. I have made about 7 0r 8 recipes of various degrees trying not to repeat various categories like mexican, or italian. I like variety in my life! So, here is what I have made (to the best that I can recall)

Make your own Tacos
Turkey Joe's
Fancy Mac & Cheese
Pork Loin
Penne w/ Meat Balls
Chow Mein
Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
Dorito Casserole

(I feel like there might be another one that I can't remember)

Anywho...I made all of these recipes at home, then took them over to church so that they could eat them! There was also some sort of side dish that accompanied them, like garlic potatoes, veggies, salads, cornbread, and other things. And, OF COURSE there was dessert to go along with them, like cookies, cakes, and cupcakes and an apple crisp. I really did enjoy doing this project because I like to share my cooking with other people, for them to be happy and enjoy it! I am sad that it is now over....but, to cheer me up, I am going to share some recipes with my wonderful readers!

~Dorito Casserole~
(From Mixing Bowl Magazine)
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and greed chilies
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 bg. (14 oz.) Dorito nacho cheese chips, crushed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Salsa

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add taco seasoning (and water) and cook according to package directions. In a large baking dish, layer the bottom with 1/2 of the crushed chips. Set remaining chips aside. In a large bow, combine seasoned beef and onion mixture, nacho cheese soup, cream of mushroom soup, black beans, and undrained diced tomatoes with chilies. Mix well. Pour into pan with chips. Layer with remaining chips and top with the cheese. Bake for 20 min. or until cheese in melted and edges bubble. Top servings with sour cream and/or salsa if desired. Enjoy!

Browning the onions and ground beef

Adding the taco mix and water

Casserole pre-bake

Casserole post-bake

Nummy Jiffy Cornbread



~Apple Crisp~
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 c. quick cooking oats
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4-1 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 c. chopped apples
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
3 tbsp corn starch

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and 3/4 c. melted butter. Mix together. Add more butter if mixture is dry. Pat 1/4 of this mixture into the bottom of a greased 8 1/2 x 11 in. pan. (will not cover entirely) Mix together the cinnamon and apples in a large bowl and arrange in the pan. In a saucepan boil the sugar, water and corn starch. Once it boils, remove from heat and pour over the apple mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining oat mixture, being sure to distribute evenly. Bake in oven for 1 hr. Let cool slightly and serve with vanilla or caramel ice cream. Enjoy!

Apple crisp pre-bake

Apple crisp post-bake

I hope that you enjoy these recipes and I do recommend them! The casserole was a hit as well as the apple crisp! Good for eaters of all ages!

~Turkey Joe's~
1 lb. ground turkey
1 sm. onion, chopped
2/4 c. brown sugar
1 10.75 oz. can tomato soup
Dash of worcheshire sauce
Pinch of red chili powder/flakes

Brown the onions and ground turkey until translucent and cooked though. Add the can of tomato soup and brown sugar and spices. Let simmer until the soup is no longer watery, about 20 min. Server on buns of choice.
ENJOY!!



Monday, August 3, 2009

Restaurant Review!!

CRAVE

So...this was about a week or so ago. I was out with some friends and they were all craving sushi, so away we go to the nearest and what I hear was "the best" sushi joint in town. We'll see if it is worthy of that soon enough...Anywho...we went there for lunch on a Sunday so they were also serving brunch. They had basic lunch/brunch specials on the menu like Huevos Ranchero's and what not.

What I had:
(Split between 2 people)
Scallop Poppers - "Scallops baked in dynamite sauce, wrapped in salmon and topped with crunchy flakes"
Minnesota Sushi - "Cooked smoked walleye, cucumber, celery, green onion and spicy mayo wrapped inside out with capelin roe"
Crab and Avocado Flatbread - "Canadian snow crab, mozzarella, orange cream reduction"


Scallop Poppers

Crab and Avocado Flatbread

What I thought:
The Minnesota sushi was very good but it is not traditional, being that is cooked, but it had wonderful flavor both by itself and when dipped in soy sauce and wasabi. The scallop poppers were also very nice. The Flat bread was okay in the fact that I would have liked it to be a little more cheesy. The avocado was simply chunked and plopped in the middle of the flatbread and wish that it had been more like a "sauce" or incorporated as an ingredient on top like the crab. There was also a lot of crust on the edge pieces and wished that they had more cheese and toppings spread out all the way to the edge.
I also tried their brunch bloody mary and it was good. A little garlicky, but good. This is coming from someone who does not really like bloody mary's! Anywho, the prices are reflective of what you pay for, not absurd, but not cheap either.
The service was a little lacking. It might have just been the waiter, or the day, I don't know, but it was not very good. Things were forgot, an order was messed up, she did not check on us for a while, and it took forever to find her to get our check. But I have seen worse!

One the whole I would give Crave 3 out of 5 Yums.

**Since writing this review I have been to Crave at least 2 additional times. Here is what I had:

  1. Pita & Spreads Appetizer: Organic hummus, house olive tapenade, and roasted garlic bulb. This was very yummy and it has been the appetizer that I recommend to people who I know are going there. It is rather large, so its a good bet for a good sized group, or it can be a meal on its own! 
  2. Crinkle-Cut Fries. They were not listed on the menu when I went, but I asked if they had any. The waiter said yes. Now they are listed on the menu, and I recommend getting them. They are hand cut crinkle fries. Crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. Very, very good! 
Updated 9/15/10

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Music Time!!

video

I was in the mood to post something different...here is a video of a song that I am a HUGE fan of...very peaceful...I found this on my hubby's external hard drive that had a whole bunch of random songs on it from various people. It was labeled as "Suz's Mix" so I thought that the group that sang the song was Suz...but alas...I was wrong and I found out who sang it, and here it is. It is not properly labeled in my iTunes library. Music fanatics unite!!

Oh, I also update Gobble Gobble with a new recipe!!