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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

While we were watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network one night, we saw these Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at the restaurant BLD (Breakfast Lunch Dinner) in Los Angeles. I was intrigued by the fact that there was ricotta cheese in them, so I found the recipe (here). They were creamy and sweet—so delicious!

I used part-skim ricotta cheese instead of the dryer large curd ricotta it calls for (couldn't find it at the grocery store). And don't worry, it looks like it won't turn out before you add the dry ingredients, but once you add the flour and then fold in the stiff egg whites, it's perfect. Try them!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rating: The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop

We were too excited to try this place! Stew had a key lime cupcake from Sweet Tooth Fairy at work one day and came home raving about it. It is located across Provo Towne Center by The Quilted Bear.
The one thing we didn't like was that they're only open until 7:00 pm! We think they would get a lot more business if they stayed open later.
















Highest review yet! Although they didn't really have “servers” to lower the service grade. The atmosphere is really cute, with kind of a “fairy” feel and music to match. We wish they had more seating, it could be a great hangout! A cupcake is $2.25, which seems expensive for one cupcake, but if you compare it to a cup of ice cream, it's about the same.
We got four cupcakes to go...yes, just for the two of us. Say what you will. We're not ashamed ;)
Warning: the cupcakes are VERY sweet and RICH! Like, burn in your cheeks sweet goodness. Maybe that's why it's called the “Sweet Tooth” Fairy.

The first cupcake we tried was the Double Fudge.Wow. It tastes even better than it looks. The cake is so moist and combined with the rich creamy frosting it takes over your mouth. It is wonderful.

Second cupcake: Toasted Coconut. The crunch of the toasted coconut really adds dimension to this cupcake. The cake is lightly coconut flavored, and the frosting has a hint of almond. A-MAZ-ING.

Then we went to the gym (not because we felt guilty, it was just in the plans). We got back and wanted more, so we tried the Strawberry Shortcake. It was our favorite! We can't even describe it...great strawberry frosting, moist moist moist cake...YUM!
Grasshopper was the last flavor we tried. Very rich and dense and a great mint flavor!
Here's a video of us biting into the last two cupcakes. We ate the first two with forks. It's definitely more fun to bite into them :) We had just gotten back from the gym so that's why we look gross...

video

If we could eat a cupcake every day (without spending money or getting fat), we totally would! You should definitely head over to The Sweet Tooth Fairy! They aren't open on Mondays, just Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. They also have cookies that looked great, candies, and cake bites!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rating: Blue Iguana

For Lindsey's birthday (just before our wedding, so it kind of got looked over), Grandma and Grandpa Chamberlain took us out to dinner, our choice. We decided to go to Blue Iguana in downtown Salt Lake City (we've also been to Red Iguana, which also has great food, but we think Blue Iguana has a better atmosphere). We'd been to Blue Iguana once before and had a great experience and wanted to try it again.
Blue Iguana looks a little shady as you enter. There are quite a few alcoholic beverage signs on the outside, but it is somewhat family friendly.















The atmosphere is fun and Mexican, with orange walls, art everywhere, and festive music. Our service wasn't as good this time as the first time we went, guess it just depends on the server.
The chips and salsa (free) at Blue Iguana are great! The salsa has a kick to it; we ate a lot!

Lindsey ordered two chicken tacos. Full of flavor and delicious!
The serving sizes are fairly large, as you can see by Stew's Steak Encebollado (10-oz steak topped with sautéed onions).
Grandma ordered a cheese quesadilla and Grandpa ordered a chicken quesadilla. Yum yum!
And for dessert we got Fried Ice Cream. It was average (but average for dessert is still yummy!).
Thanks for the fun dinner Grandma and Grandpa!

Beef Fajita Pizza

I found this recipe by Sandra Lee (Semi-Homemade Cooking) on Food Network and thought it looked interesting. We were surprised at how good it was!
This is before it went in the oven. You top the pizza dough (I made Liz Edmunds’ dough recipe) with salsa (I had chunky salsa, so I drained it a little and blended it up) and Mexican cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, whatever you have). While I was making the dough I sautéed chopped onions, peppers, and steak in a pan. You put that on top of the cheese.

Cook it like a regular pizza (400 degrees, 12-15 minutes) and it looks like this:

Then you top it with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and a little squeeze of lime juice.

Seriously delicious! That's why we ate this much...can't wait to eat the leftovers tonight!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rating: La Dolce Vita Ristorante

We decided to try La Dolce Vita for dinner on Friday. It looks kind of dumpy on the outside, but we thought it might be a hidden gem.















When we first walked inside, we weren't sure who would seat us. The hostess was in normal trendy clothes (NOT a good thing at restaurants...if you're looking to add class, dress uniformly!). Our waiter was in a striped polo muscle tee. The walls were badly faux-finished in a gross mauve color and there were weird plaster things and ugly paintings on the wall (way too many decorations). The table felt kind of sticky, and we saw a table falling apart underneath.
They had a 25th Anniversary deal going on: two meals, two side salads or soups, and one dessert for $25. Good price, but not for the amount of food were given.
Our server brought us bread (free food is always a plus). In the foil-wrapped basket there were two small pieces of greasy toasted bread...but they did have oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in.
When we go to restaurants, we like to ask the server what the restaurant is known for, or what a popular dish is. When we asked our bodybuilder-wanna-be/server this question, he said, “Uh...all of them. Yeah, everything...our sauces are totally different than any other place.” Cop out! And as for their sauces being different...are they different because they just open a can of tomato soup? This was Stew's Neopolitan Calzone:The sauce was so bland and tomato-y. You can't even see any green herbs...come on people, add a bit of Italian Seasoning or basil or oregano or SOMETHING! Stew's calzone was flat and fried. Not really what he was expecting. It was alright, but there was not as much meat in it as the menu description led on.

Lindsey got “Ana's Spinach Ravioli.” By the way, light blue plates like this aren't very appetizing.The ravioli was the better of the two dishes, but not as good as Lindsey was expecting. There might have been artichoke in the dish (it said there was), but we couldn't find it.
There's no picture of dessert because it wasn't worth it. It was a chocolate mousse pie (the server recommended because they were out of tiramisu!), probably bought at Albertson's, put on a plate, and stuck in the fridge.
Well this post is getting long, but basically this restaurant left us wanting (not in a good way), and we thought La Dolce Vita was a cheap imitation of Italian food.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ricotta Mozzerella Pasta with Green Beans and Tomatoes

I got the idea for this meal from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis on foodnetwork.com, and I kind of changed it and made it my own and it was delicious! Her recipe is called Whole-Wheat Linguine with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon.Here's my version. This recipe would be for a whole (small) box of pasta.

Ingredie
nts:
Spaghetti
(I like Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta and couldn't find their linguine)
1 cup Low-fat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup cubed Mozzerella Cheese (Giada's recipe didn't call for mozzerella, but extra cheese is always good!)
3-4 Tomatoes (I cut up Roma tomatoes)
Fresh Green Beans
Fresh Spinach (Not in Giada's recipe either, but I had some in the fridge and thought it would be good)
Garlic Cloves (3-6, depending on what you prefer)
2-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Basil or Italian Seasoning
Lemon for zesting

While pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a big skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, green beans, some salt and pepper and spices. Saute for about four minutes. Then add a cup of the starchy cooking water (I just scooped it out while the pasta was still cooking). Let that simmer for about four more minutes. When pasta is al dente, drain and add to big skillet (now over low heat), along with about a cup of ricotta cheese, the cubed Mozzerella, and chopped tomatoes. Once the ricotta has distributed evenly, add the spinach and let it wilt down (just a minute or two). Add more salt, pepper, and spices if needed. Before serving, wash and dry the whole lemon and grate some of the peel on top (aka “zesting”). This really adds dimension to the dish!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I (Lindsey) made these for dinner. I just kind of made it up, but they turned out delicious! Here's what I did:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (we came up with the name “Chinese Burritos”)
Ingredients (I don't really know measurements):
Iceberg lettuce
Chicken
1/4 of an Onion
Garlic (1-3 cloves)
1/2 Green pepper
Carrots
Radishes
Water Chestnuts
Green Onion
Bean Sprouts
Cashews or Peanuts (I didn't have any nuts but they would be yummy)
Celery (I didn't have any, but it would add more texture)
Mushrooms (if you like)
Any other vegetables you think would work (or fruit—pineapple or mandarin oranges might be good!)
Asian sauce (I used a Panda Express Kung Pao sauce I found at the grocery store)

Directions:
Cook chicken by desired method and then shred. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, then add chopped green pepper. Once the onions have become translucent, add shredded carrots and radishes (mine were very fine shreds, so they didn't need much time), chicken and sauce. Then add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and chopped green onion. Serve in lettuce cups. Delish!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Omelets

For Sunday breakfast I (this is Lindsey) made omelets! I know this is just a regular omelet, but it was the very first time I made them successfully! Usually they just end up like scrambled eggs. I didn't have too many ingredients to put in the omelets, but I threw in ham, tomato, onion, and cheese. They were great! That's a bowl of fresh peaches from Allred Orchards. YUM.

Chicken with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

We made this chicken and rice dish for dinner this weekend. You can find the recipes for the Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce (found in the Enchiladas with Green Chile-Sour Cream Sauce), as well as the Santa Fe Lime Rice (we think it tastes better than Cafe Rio's rice!) in Liz Edmunds' cook book! It was delicious! The ultimate comfort food! And...we don't normally put this much butter on green beans...well, most the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rating: Lion House

Yesterday was Lindsey’s grandparents’ 50th Anniversary. The “marrieds” (we’re in this group now, yeah!!) were invited to dinner at the Lion House at Temple Square! We had a private banquet room for the party, with a buffet just for us! We made sure to sit at the table closest to the buffet (oink, oink)!















Here's what was at the buffet (plus a little more we got on a second trip): fruit, a yummy salad, carrots that made eating carrots fun (Stew said that), green beans, rice pilaf, lemony chicken, mashed potatoes, roast beef (not pictured). Standard buffet food, but it was all tasty!

This raspberry pie was one of the desserts. Not our favorite, but good.
Next favorite dessert: the carrot cake. Serious yum going on in this cake!
Saved the BEST for last. You can tell it's good because we didn't even get a picture before we'd eaten half of it! It was like a homemade Hostess cupcake! So moist and delicious, with FUDGE for frosting. It was not frosting, we swear...it was FUDGE. What a great idea, why didn't we think of that before??

Here's the group. Happy 50th Grandma & Grandpa! We love you!
Fun side note: Grandpa surprised Grandma with a brand new Ford Fusion after dinner!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie & Julia

So yesterday afternoon (matinee price!) we saw the movie Julie & Julia. We thought it was a good movie, but the ending is a little abrupt and they don't really wrap everything up. Meryl Streep is amazing in this movie! She IS Julia Child, with slumped shoulders and the voice—it's great. The ending kind of disappointed us, but overall we liked the movie! It definitely made us HUNGRY watching all the delicious food!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rating: Basila's

We saw Basila's Mediterranean Cafe and had to try it for the Baklava (we ate at a yummy Greek place on our honeymoon in Maui called Pita Paradise that had Baklava ice cream cake).
















The cafe is really small, but had a hip feel to it, with Edward Hopper paintings and other art hanging all over. We were the only ones there when we first walked in (we equate this to St. George=old people, old people eat earlier). The waitress was really friendly and immediately got our drinks.

We were brought this delicious bread with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dip (although, the vinegar stayed at the bottom of the bowl and was really hard to get—we asked for more vinegar on the side). Free appetizers are always a plus for us!!Since we were sharing a meal, we each ordered house salads. They had unique Mediterranean ingredients like feta cheese, chick peas, beets, and a balsamic vinegar dressing.
This is the Combo Platter. The spinach pie (on the left) was surprisingly tasty! We're not huge fans of hummus (at the top), or stuffed grape leaves (top right, and yucky texture). The chicken and steak kabobs with lemon raisin almond rice were fantastic (middle right)! It came with pita bread too, which was good.

When dessert came (what we'd been waiting for), we ordered the Baklava. The waitress came back and said they were out!!!!!!!! How does a Greek restaurant run out of Baklava??!!! So we ordered the key lime cheesecake. It was good, an average cheesecake (Stew thought it tasted like Costco cheesecake).

Overall, we were satisfied with Basila's and would go back...before the baklava runs out. ;)

Rating: Bear Paw Cafe

We were in St. George this weekend and were excited to try the Bear Paw Cafe on Main St. because we had heard good things about it. They are famous for breakfast and serve it all day, but we went to lunch (Stew's dad came along with us).














This restaurant really feels like a cafe that's past its prime, with dark lighting, ugly upholstered chairs and walls lined with old Native American art (we're not dissing Native American art, but we think the cafe could use a makeover). The food came out fast, but the waitress (if that's what you could call her) was ditzy, didn't have an opinion on the food, and was not very friendly. The food was average: nothing fun with the presentation, and we think the pancakes Lindsey makes taste better than the ones Stew ordered (the classic Bear Paw pancakes).

Stew's dad ordered the fish and chips, and they were average. Lindsey ordered what she thought was the most popular panini on the menu, because it had “Bear Paw” in the name. The sandwich had a lot of vegetables, but it was very greasy. The bread was soggy with pesto and olive oil. It could have been very tasty, but sadly was not.
We were excited to try the Bear Paw Cafe, and maybe we just had a rare bad experience, but we wish we would have gone to Twentyfive Main Cafe and Cupcakes instead!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Julie & Julia

Okay, can I just say how excited I am for this show?? (This is Lindsey by the way, but Stew's excited too)
I love movies about cooking (No Reservations, Ratatouille) and this one has some great actors in it, so I have high hopes! Being a graphic designer, I also really love the movie's website. The website even has recipes! They look a little extravagant, so I don't know that I'll be trying them anytime soon, but they sound good!
Can't wait! Is anyone else looking forward to this movie??

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rating: Magleby's

Stew's parents were in town this weekend, and we all went out to dinner at Magleby's (in the Shops at Riverwoods). A lot of people have probably already eaten here, but they're running a 30th Anniversary special right now, featuring their 1979 Menu and Prices! We all ordered off of the 1979 menu (there are about six or seven dishes to choose from).

Stew ordered the Surf and Turf (steak and shrimp) for only $15!
Lindsey ordered a salad and bowl of soup (saving room for dessert!) for only $3.25.

And Stew's parents both ordered the Chicken Parmesan with alfredo sauce for around $7!

We HAD to order dessert!
We got the Buttermilk Pie with raspberries, and the famous Chocolate Cake.





















Magleby's has a good atmosphere. The service was pretty good, but the waiter only brought us three “breadsticks”!We call these rolls. Magleby's calls them breadsticks. Why?? We thought breadsticks were sticks of bread...these are oblong rolls...hm...

What do you think: rolls or breadsticks?

Getting back to the review: We rated the pricing so high because we ordered off the 1979 menu. Too bad desserts aren't on that menu (they are pretty expensive, but worth it!). The presentation, food, taste, and creativity were all pretty standard.
The 1979 Menu and Pricing is for August only!! We think we're going to go back for lunch. They had a Rueben sandwich and BLT on the menu for under $4!