Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheesecake Factory Dinner

We had an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory this week. It was my birthday dinner. I ordered avocado egg rolls as an appetizer. These are unique and very yummy.
I tried the Santa Fe salad. My all-time favorite salad at the Cheesecake Factory is no longer on the menu in Boise, although it's still available in other towns (the seafood salad). This is my new favorite salad. Lots of cilantro and a Thai peanut dressing makes this delish.

The is the four-cheese chicken pasta my husband ordered. Very strong basil flavors. It was good, but not as good as my salad. My daughter had a piece of plain cheesecake....for dinner! The Cheesecake Factory serves ridiculous amounts of food. So, there are always leftovers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review of Lunch at McGrath's Fish House

We had lunch at McGrath's Fish House over the weekend. We hadn't been there in quite a while. And, I don't remember it being THIS GOOD! See those crab and shrimp wontons? Oh my. Plum sauce to dip them in that was amazing.
I had a house salad that was really good. And the cup of clam chowder that my husband and daughter each ordered was quickly gone because it was yummy. My husband ordered a salmon burger. As you can see, a fillet of grilled salmon - not that ground up salmon.

I had crab and shrimp cakes with a panko crust on top of lobster sauce. Our lunch order seemed to take extra long to arrive, others around us who arrived later got their food sooner than we did, but the slow serve-time is my only complaint. I'm dreaming of those wontons again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dinner at Carino's

We hadn't been to this restaurant in so long, I hadn't known they had slightly changed the name. I thought it was Johnny Carino's - now, it's just Carino's. We had to wait quite a while to be seated, and then they seated us in the bar, even though we had our 7-year old daughter with us. All the bar TV monitors were showing some bloody boxing, not exactly dinner entertainment. Above is the Italian chili my husband had.
Here's the lasagna he ordered. He said the soup and lasagna were good.

They serve a hot loaf of rosemary bread, which can be dipped in olive oil spiked with toasted garlic chips. It's a yummy thing.

I had a Caesar salad before my meal. It was disappointing.

But this! This was perfect. Lobster ravioli with fresh spinach and diced tomatoes in a basil cream sauce. And fresh Parmesan cheese all over the top. Regular readers know that we often frequent the Olive Garden, which puts fresh Romano on top of everything. Parm is MUCH BETTER! I asked for a take-out menu. I don't know if I want to dine there again, but I want the food and they have curbside service.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Pancakes

A sweetheart pancake for my little sweetheart this morning.
I use a pancake mix, one that my stepmother told me about years ago and it's still the best. Snoqualmie Falls Lodge mix. It's a little pricey, but it's perfect. I add a little vanilla to my pancakes. It's a magical ingredient. I don't follow the directions on the package. I mix it up thicker than it says to, so the pancakes have a nice "lift" when you flip them over.
The best trick I know about making pancakes is how to make the first one turn out just as well as the rest of the batch. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and turn on the heat to "medium." Let the oil warm, and then lightly swipe the pan with a paper towel. Now, put the pancake on. I know in some homes there's a joke about the first pancake being the "dog's pancake," so if you have a dog who really likes the first anemic-looking pancake, then don't follow my method. Otherwise, that swipe of the pan turns out a perfect pancake on the first try.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yucky Wine

I found this in the refrigerator in the garage and served it up with dinner last night. It was so awful, one sip and down the train it went. I think we ended up with this bottle of wine in a white elephant gift exchange at Christmas. It was a chardonnay - Buena Vista.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dinner at Goodwood

Dinner at Goodwood over the weekend. Look at those onion rings! They're served piping hot with a cool side of homemade ranch dressing for dipping.
My dinner was the Toss 'n Turn Chicken Salad. Very good. Everything I've ever ordered at Goodwood has been a home run.