Foodie Friday – Cucumber Salad

Fabulous Friday foodie friends! Are you looking for a refreshing salad that can be a wonderful side-dish or could be a whole meal on it’s own? Sometimes, for lunch I just like something simple. So I found a recipe for Cucumber Salad and thought, well I have to try it!

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This is so simple to put together:

1/2 of a red onion

2 cucumbers

4 Roma Tomatoes

Feta Cheese

Cucumber Dill Salad Dressing

I diced the onions fine, cut the cucumber and tomatoes into equal size chunks. You put it all in a bowl and sprinkle in the amount of feta that appeals to you, I used an entire container. I think it was 6 oz. Then I used a jar of cucumber dill salad dressing. It was not a large jar, but I did use the whole thing. That’s it stir it all together and put it in the fridge. If you are planning to eat it the same day, I would suggest letting it “marry flavors” in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I usually try to make it the day before.

This salad is fantastic on it’s own. You could also add Tuna or Chicken to this and it would be a fantastic full meal. There are many recipes out there for this type of salad and I hope you will give one a try. This is a very refreshing dish and it makes plenty to share, you can also make it for yourself and just eat on it all week long!

Give it a shot my friends!

This is a  🍽 🍽 🍽 🍽 🍽 out of 5 dish for sure!

Love and  🍽,

Becky

Friday Foodie Recipe Review – Taco Chicken

Fabulous Friday Foodie Friends,

Today I am going to share a recipe with you. This is something that I started doing for my family and well, I can tell you it’s on the regular rotation for a reason. We like to eat a lot of taco meat in our house. We make a large amount and we can eat it multiple days in a row without being boring after the first day or two.

To shake things up a little bit we decided to make some a crock pot recipe for taco chicken. I started with a recipe I found on pinterest and modified slightly. Check out my Food Reviews board hereΒ for the original recipe.

So you start with about 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken. You can use breast, I prefer thigh. You add one packet of taco seasoning mix. I use the Taco Bell brand mix. If you are concerned about sodium or ingredients and make your own, use about 3 tablespoons. Then you use a jar of salsa. I use Pace medium. You can use any brand and any heat level you like. Spray your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Put your chicken in the bottom. Cover the chicken with the seasoning and then top that with the salsa. Put on the lid and cook the chicken on high for 2.5 hours or on low for approximately 4 hours. I have also done this in the crock pot with frozen chicken and the best method I have found for that is high setting for 4 hours.

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The above is how it looks cooking. It makes the house smell so good. You will want to eat this all the time. After the cooking is done, I like to pull the chicken out carefully (it will fall apart) and shred it.

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After it is all shredded, I put it in a container and add the sauce from the crock pot.

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You can use this in tacos like you would any taco meat. We love it over chips for nachos. The salsa keeps the chicken so moist and delicious. It adds a great spice to the meat and keeps taco night new and exciting all the time. I believe this recipe would also work very well with a pork tenderloin. You might have to adjust the cooking time in the crock pot but the ingredients would work great.

Overall, this recipe for my family is a 🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽 out of 5 every time! I hope that you will give it a try and if you do, please let me know what you think. How does your family do taco night?

Mangia my friends!

Love and 🍽,

Becky

Friday Foodie Restaurant Review – Triplet’s BBQ

Fabulous Friday Friends,

I hope you all have had a fabulous week. We are still riding on the dreams of summer cook-outs and vacation time with the Labor Day Holiday, so I thought I would share a review of a nearby restaurant called Triplet’s BBQ.

My husband and I went to this restaurant a couple months back and well I have been dying to write this review ever since.

Yes, you go into this giant grain silo and that is where you eat your meal. They had benches along the wall which was so very smart because it made really great use of the space. Farm animals AKA BBQ were the name of the game when it comes to decor.

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Now let’s talk food. If you like any type of BBQ you will like this place. The picture above is of the dish that I chose called a BBQ Sundae! It was layers of BBQ meat goodness and I highly recommend it. Per the menu this was layers of smoked meat (pork & brisket), Cornbread, beans, slaw, bbq sauces, and house pickles. The cornbread on top was the right amount of sweet and savory. It was also the perfect consistency with BBQ. It was not too crumbly and not to firm.

They had so many different sides to choose from. You can see the beans and the coleslaw in the photo above. They were part of the sundae. There are other sides to choose though.

I am a big fan of broccoli salad. This one in particular was very very tasty. They had the right amount of cheese and the right amount of red onion. These are the ingredients that most places just don’t get right for my taste. Now I’m going to talk about what was perhaps the mac & cheese, both my husband and I have ever tasted. This is a Smoked Gouda mac & cheese. The mac was a little over done for my tastes but I like my noodles extra al dente. So I don’t ever hold that against anyone. The flavor here is what we are raving about and telling everyone we know. If they have a chance to head up and visit Cadiz, KY, they need to stop by this BBQ joint and try out not just the amazing BBQ but the mac & cheese. Also, if they like us enough they will bring some back in a cooler!

Finally the true gem of any BBQ join is the sauce. Am I right? Sauce can make or break a BBQ meal. This can also greatly depend on the meat you are having. I am a girl that is very preferential to a mustard sauce. I am also a very traditional vinegar based sauce girl when it comes to pulled pork and how you are covering everything on your bun. If we are talking about ribs, I want a sweet and sticky sauce that is as much a part of the experience as it is a part of the flavor.

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They had three different sauces. Dr. Pepper sauce which was a little sweeter. Jury Spicy sauce which was definitely on the spicy side for me, but the hubs was a fan. My particular meal had both sauces included as the sundae was well full with goodness from all angles!

Overall this was an amazing experience. I highly recommend checking out Triplet’sBBQ if you are in the area. If you are planning a trip to the KY area make this a stop on your list. You will not regret it. 🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽out of 5 experience for sure. Couldn’t recommend more.

Love and Mangia!

Becky

Interview – Olazzo Owner

Fantastic Friday Friends!

As promised, I wanted to share with you the amazing conversation I had with Roberto one of the owners of the Olazzo restaurants in Maryland. Do you ever go somewhere and just want to talk to the owner about what an awesome thing they have done? Sometimes, when I visit a store or a restaurant, I just want to know the story behind it. Do you ever feel that way? Well in this particular instance, I was so lucky to actually get to speak with the owner of Olazzo!

He was very kind to take the time to speak with me about his restaurant, his family and food/life in general.

RGR – To start with how did you and your brother get the idea for a restaurant?

Roberto – Me and my brother (Ricardo) were in the restaurant business working as servers for awhile ( me about 13 years and he about 5). So I was living in California at the time and wanted to open a restaurant. Originally I wanted to open up a sushi place because there was a lack of them in our area. This was in 2001. So I moved back and decided to go with Italian instead of sushi because I was more comfortable with it being a first generation Italian. So I found a location that was a small seafood restaurant name south beach. They were moving to a bigger location up the street and was selling it for $60,000. It was a 1000 square foot space. So our opening chef backed out about a month before we opened. My brother had never cooked before and became our opening chef. We new a lot of people in the area. The place became a hit pretty much right away. It was only 46 seats but became a hot spot in the area.

RGR – Who is the head chef at each location?

Roberto – My brother pretty much heads the kitchen in both places

RGR – Where did your recipes come from?

Roberto – Family grew up Italian so we pretty much had a lot of family stuff. My brother also trained at my best friends place in California.

RGR – What is your favorite food item (dish) on the menu?

Roberto – I would say that our tortellini with mushrooms, dates and spinach

RGR – Where is your family from?

Roberto – My family is from Alatri, Italy

RGR – I know that this is a family business, is it just you and your brother or are other family members involved?

Roberto – The restaurant is owned by me and my brother. But the others helped a lot with the buildouts. We are in the construction business.

RGR – What is your favorite non-Italian thing to make and/or eat?

Roberto – Well I love Octopus to eat. I love making crab cakes

RGR – Do you have a favorite cookbook/chef that is an inspiration?

Roberto – Well my grandmother was a phenomenal cook. She was well known back home as one of the best gnocchi makers in town.

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I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Roberto after he answered all of my interview questions. He told me the one thing he realized about the restaurant business that he thinks he likes the most is the buzz of the place and the ambiance that keeps people coming back. He said there are always clients that find a place and make it their regular hang-out but when there’s a couple that only go out once per month, you want to be the place they want to be. It’s work to be the choice of the customer, especially when there are so many restaurants that are competing for the clientele.

Roberto also told me that the first night they opened the restaurant, he was so nervous he didn’t want to turn on the open sign. Can you imagine? They are so very successful and they now have two locations of Olazzo, plus two other restaurants. Please check out the website for Olazzo. https://www.olazzo.com/

I would encourage you to visit any of their locations. Have a seat and ask some questions. You never know who you might talk to. Roberto is very in to travel right now and doing some very exciting things. I want to let you guys know, we might have to talk to our friend Roberto again to catch up with what he is doing.

Lots of Love,

Becky

Restaurant Review – Olazzo

On a recent business trip, I had the pleasure of visiting Baltimore, Maryland. I know that this area has been in the news recently and I can tell you that I had a great time. It was clean, I felt safe in all the areas that I visited.

I had never been to this area before and it was really fun to visit. One of the things I love most about traveling is getting to experience the restaurants that we don’t have at home. Especially those restaurants that are locally owned and operated.

Olazzo was just the ticket. We visited the Silver Springs, Maryland location on a week night looking for a good Italian dinner. They did not disappoint.

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I love this picture because it really gets the vibe of the rustic at home feeling that you get being in the restaurant. The low light and family style pictures on the walls made me feel like I was visiting a friend’s Italian grandmother’s home.

We started our meal with Arancini. If you have never tried these before they are risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella and served with marinara. I had never ordered them before because I had heard they were very difficult to make and were often not good at restaurants. We took a chance and I am so glad that we did. They were so very flavorful, this restaurant adds saffron to the balls, and the texture I can only say is unique but very very pleasant.

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They brought small squares of bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping and the cocktail was a Peach Bellini. it is always one of my favorites. It was just strong enough after a long hard day of travel and working!

I had a caprese salad that was phenomenal. I loved the fresh mozzarella and the tomato pieces were large tomatoes. There was no grape or cherry tomatoes to make it easier to serve. This was spot on and so very fresh. My main dish was the Gnocchi Duck Bolognese. This dish was amazing. The duck was so well cooked, there was no gamey taste that can often come from duck. The bolognese was not too acidic, it was a perfect blend of spice and tomato. We ordered dessert, a nice refreshing and simple vanilla gelato. I ate it too fast for a photo, sorry folks.

After leaving the restaurant, I learned it was owned by two brothers. They have the location we visited in Silver Springs, Maryland and another location (the original) in Bethesda. I was so fascinated by this family owned and operated business, that I reached out and asked for an interview. One of the family members obliged and you will see that exciting interview, right here next week. While you wait for the interview, here is a link to the restaurant’sΒ website.Β 

If you find yourself in Maryland, I would say you should make your way to Bethesda or Silver Springs and check out this wonderful restaurant.

Overall this restaurant receives 🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽 out of 5. The food was outstanding and the atmosphere was perfect. I only wish we had one in Tennessee.

Love and Mangia,

Becky

Friday Food Review – Sweet Cinnamon Vanilla Biscuits

Fabulous Friday Foodie Friends,

How’s that for some alliteration? When searching for low carb recipes, I often look for things that are a low carb version of something that I would normally like in a full carb version. Biscuits are something that when I am trying to be low carb, I definitely miss. I like breakfast biscuits, dinner biscuits, sweet biscuits, savory buttery biscuits, basically all of the biscuits.

During my search I came across this recipe for Sweet Cinnamon Vanilla Biscuits. I was very excited to try it. The ingredients were very simple and I had them on hand.

It’s similar to any biscuit recipe, you mix together the wet ingredients and then you add the dry.

This is a drop biscuit recipe, not a cut out type style. So I just scooped them onto the cookie pan and baked. The result was a little underwhelming.

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These biscuits were a decent flavor. They fell apart. There was no crusty outside with a warm soft center. These are the things that I need out of a good biscuit. I would say this could possibly be a good recipe if you were looking for something to be a top for a cobbler type recipe. The flavor was mild enough that it would taste good next to apples, peaches or even strawberries. As a stand alone biscuit this was a little disappointing.

I am going to say overall, this was a πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆπŸ™‰ out of 5 recipe. The ingredients are definitely easy, and if you are low carb eating items you would already have on hand. It was a simple recipe to put together. The final result left a bit to be desired.

I’ll keep searching for that good low carb biscuit my friends.

Love and Mangia,

Becky

 

Friday Foodie Review – Keto Lasagna

Happy Friday Friends!

When I got married, I quickly discovered that my husband’s favorite food was lasagna. I decided that I would do everything in my power to make the absolute best lasagna in the world. So the search began. I tried many different recipes and they were all OK. Then I had to go gluten free for a while and chose to go low carb/Keto. I feared I would never find a lasagna that we could both enjoy.

Then I came across a recipe on Pinterest. Keto Lasagna with Noodles.Β I have been making this recipe for months and months now. My husband truly thinks this is the best lasagna ever. I will also include the link to my Pinterest page for you guys!Β Nailed It Board

Here are some pics of the process and final product!

The “noodles” might be the best part of this dish. I don’t know how but they cook up and taste just like regular lasagna noodles. The first pic you will see, I have set out all of my ingredients. The second pic is the finished baked noodle. This will be cut into three loaf pan sized noodles. The flavor is very mild you add the seasoning you like.

Here are the ingredients for the filling. It is so easy. I usually end up using too much spaghetti sauce which makes my lasagna super super full and heavy. If you stick with the actual requirements in the recipe, you will be fine and it will fit great in your loaf pan.

Layering is so much fun. I use a slightly larger casserole dish than a standard loaf pan. This is because I like to fill my lasagna way more full than the recipe recommends and if I don’t use a larger container, then I will have a huge mess on my hands. I say this from honest experience. I can’t help it guys, we like a lot of meat and cheese around here. Also, you will note in the recipe that she uses cottage cheese. I have tried this recipe with both cottage cheese and ricotta, both work fabulously and are very very tasty. Use what your family likes and what works best with your diet. You will not be disappointed either way.

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I love this last picture. It is so messy but it shows those beautiful layers. Thank you to Mouthwatering Motivation website for this amazing recipe. It brings my family together. I never feel like I am missing out or like I am eating something that is a substitute. This is the lasagna my family now prefers. I hope that you and yours will enjoy it as much as we do. Oh and you should know, just like regular lasagna this is even better the next day!

I am sure that I don’t have to say this but this recipe earns 🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽 out of 5!

Love and Mangia my friends,

Becky