Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Post: Francis Tan

Hey Readers!

Today we have a guest post via the wonderful Francis Tan! She is here to share a great recipe with all of you and talk more about her new newsletter. Please consider subscribing! Without further ado, here's the post:

Need Recipe Ideas?

It happens to all of us. One week there is just no inspiration and no energy to make anything besides salad, a chicken breast, and a carton of mediocre ice cream. Those are the days when you wish you had a personal chef, or that at least the take out guy would appear. Instead of languidly flipping through your old cookbooks, why not take a quick look into your inbox at a Recipe Ideas e-mail? Our newsletter is chock full of beautiful photos and delicious recipes ready to inspire you to end your cooking rut. We carefully cull the best of the web to bring only the most delicious and exciting new recipes straight to you! Subscribe here!

Here's a recipe that I enjoy and like to bring to potlucks. This and many more great recipes will be featured when you subscribe to Recipe Ideas!

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
1 pkg (14oz) flake coconut (5 1/3 c)
2/3 c sugar
6 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
1 pkg (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Add egg whites and almond extract; mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased and floured baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.

Dip cookies halfway into melted chocolate. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate onto wax paper-lined tray for 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Yield: 3 dozen


Chocolate Dipped Macaroons


Author Info: 

Francis’ first attempt at cooking was a soufflé at age 13, and she has never had one fall (yet). Ever since then she has scoured the web for new recipes and is very excited to share her huge stash of bookmarks with the world in a new e-mail newsletter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restaurant: DeLuca's

Type of food served: Italian-American

Location: 27424 West Warren Rd.
                Westland, MI 48185


Price Range: $2 & Up

Items I've Tried: Chicken Scallopini, Spaghetti, Broccoli. (Carry-Out and Dine-In item availability differ).

Did I Carry-Out or Dine-In?: Dine-In

Overall Rating: 4/5
I have to make one clarification before I start this review. The food at DeLuca's is very good, any complaints I have are reflexive of our server and not the restaurant itself. I went to DeLuca's with my grandpa (Papa) to meet some people for dinner. I had never been there before, but Papa had come here a few times before and said that the food was very good. The lady who seated us handed our menus and then left us to give us a few minutes to figure out what we wanted. Then the person we were with spotted someone else she knew and soon we asked to be seated at a table together. The waitress agreed and as soon as were seated a different waitress waited on us. We were given baskets of bread and hard bread sticks (the kind with the sesame seeds, I don't know how else to describe them) and pitchers of ice water.
The first thing I noticed was that the waitress didn't ask us what we wanted to drink. I know we were given water, but everywhere I've ever been the first thing they ask is if they can get you something to drink. Strange. I brought this up to Papa and he said it was odd also, but the person we were with suggested that she might ask us when she was taking our food orders. So we looked over the menu and there was much conversation over who was getting what, what looked good, ect. I chose the chicken scallopini over the chicken parmigiana, Papa got the half broasted chicken dinner and everyone else ordered variations of the due combo. Most dishes come with a choice of two additional sides, in the due combo a salad is considered a side and in mine and Papa's it wasn't. The choice of sides is either spaghetti or potato (baked, fries or mashed) and choice of vegetable (broccoli, corn, or green beans). 

Side French Fries

Side Spaghetti

Side Broccoli
We ordered our food and there was still no mention of drinks. The second thing that was off putting was the way our waitress insisted one of the people we were with try the house dressing. Once everyone received their salad one of our companions decided she did not want the house Italian dressing so she asked for ranch instead. The waitress said that she would bring her the ranch, but she would leave the house dressing there instead of taking it back because she believed that our companion might enjoy it. I understand why the waitress did this but it came off as a bit pushy and might have rubbed certain customers the wrong way. Everyone talked and ate their salad and still we were not asked about drink orders. I felt bad being fixated on getting a glass of pop, but I was very thirsty and I did not really want any water at the time. When the waitress brought us our food orders, my Papa politely asked her if we could order drinks. "You were brought water, unless you would to order something else?" she questioned. My papa asked for a root beer and I asked for a coke, when the rest of our table wanted to order drinks she said she would come back and take our drink orders in a few minutes.
Let's stop here to talk about the quality of the food. The chicken scallopini was very delicious, tasted a little sweet and included onions, green and red peppers and mushrooms. It is also available with veal for an additional four dollars. I chose the spaghetti as a side, along with broccoli. The spaghetti was filling on it's own and topped with meat sauce. Papa got the broasted chicken dinner with corn and french fries. He said it was crispy, moist and good. He does not usually like fries, but said that these fries were some of the better ones he's ordered. I can agree with his statements because I managed to swipe a few fries from him...Yup, I'm a fry swiper. Three due combos were ordered: two lasagna/chicken and one haddock/pork chops (you only get one one pork chop despite the "s"). They are also served with two sides. If you want a lot of food for a decent price I'd recommend the due combo.
The next thing that was remarked on was the amount of time our waitress took in between getting boxes, taking orders and things of that nature. When one of our companions asked for a box and our waitress took so long dividing the check she just went to get one herself. We knew dividing the check would take some time since our waitress said she had to do so by hand, but we did not expect it to take so long. Anyway, they put their food in boxes, our waitress gave us our checks and we went up to the front to pay. Overall, the food was good but the service could have been a little better. Despite that we are planning to go back and try it again soon.
Broasted Chicken Dinner - $9.95

Chicken Scallopini - $10.95

The Due Combo - $11.99



Monday, August 6, 2012

Sorry I Haven't Posted

I haven't ordered any food lately. I did try Nutella for the first time today.

Good stuff.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Restaurant: La Pita - Dearborn

Restaurant: La Pita

Type of food served: Mediterranean Cuisine

Location: 22681 Newman St.
                 Dearborn, MI 48124


Price Range: $4 & Up

Items I've Tried: Chicken Shawarma (Pita & Dinner), Mango Smoothie, Vegetarian Grape Leaves, Almond Rice, Hommous.

Did I Carry-Out or Dine-In?: Carry Out

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

I tried La Pita because I had been looking for somewhere that sold shawarma (marinated meat that has been roasted on rotating skewers), but didn't cost an arm and a leg to eat from. There wasn't many places in my area that could accomplish that. So I took to the Internet, looking for reviews and helpful information. What I found wasn't much, but there were a few reviews for La Pita and a website. The menu I looked up had reasonable prices listed and shawarma, so once my grandpa could discern its location, I decided to order from there. Unfortunately, when I called the waitress had very little idea what I was talking about. It turned out the menus for both locations varied slightly and some of the menu items were not sold at that particular restaurant. However, the girl who took my order was very nice and patient and we were able to work out exactly what I needed. The biggest change were the prices, with our total being twelve dollars higher than we had anticipated. Despite that, we decided to go ahead with our order and try the food.

The increase in total was due to my chicken shawarma dinner (shawarma platter), which cost sixteen dollars. It included a choice of chicken, beef, or a combination of meat with almondrice or fries and soup or salad. It also came with cups of garlic sauce and a few pieces of pita bread. Even though it cost a lot of money, the portion size made it worth it because I had enough food for two meals. I also ordered vegetarian grape leaves.The vegetarian grape leaves are nine dollars and stuffed with rice, onion, tomatoes and spices and cooked in lemon. The regular grape leaves are also priced at nine dollars and made with rice, lamb and spices. You get six grape leaves per order. If the price still seems steep to you my suggestion is to order the chicken shawarma lunch special, which is served all day for only eleven dollars. It includes everything the dinner does, plus an addition of hommous. The other lunch specials are served all day as well.

Chicken Shawarma Lunch Special

The best thing to get for a low price at La Pita are the pita sandwiches, baguettes and Man~Ushis. With twenty-five varieties to choose from and prices starting at four dollars, they are great choices on a budget. My favorite is of course, the shawarmas, but my grandpa and uncle have tried the chicken baguettes. They are about nine inches in size and only five dollars each. If you are looking for something to drink with your food, there are the usual soft drinks, coffee, iced tea, hot tea, or lemonade, but I suggest getting a smoothie. Under their "Liquid Health Bar" you will find thirteen types of smoothies, juices, punches, coolers and shakes to which you can add all natural vanilla whey protein for two dollars and fifty cents. I chose a mango smoothie that includes mango, bananas, strawberries and honey. It cost me four dollars. The smoothie was about twelve ounces and tasted delicious. Not overly sweet, it was the perfect thing to get when you want to try something refreshing, new and healthier. By the way, La Pita has a good selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from, if you are so dietary inclined. Quart sizes are available for an additional three dollars and sixty-five cents.
So my overall assessment of La Pita? It's good, a little expensive, but it has decent portion sizes and friendly, helpful service. My grandpa and uncle consider Mediterranean food a bit exotic and out of their comfort zone, but if you're up for trying something new and different La Pita is for you. Most dishes are not so different from what we eat everyday, especially the baguettes. There is even a kids menu with items such as hamburger and fries, cheeseburger and fries and chicken tenders and fries. I will definitely continue to order from here and give you updates on what I find.

Until next time,


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Foodie Finds

Hello There,

I started this blog because there are many places where I and my family eat that don't get a lot of exposure. We'll eat somewhere, love it, continue to go there many times and tell others about it. "Where's that?" or "I've never heard of that before" are some of the remarks we get all the time. This doesn't apply to only resturants either, we've been to delis, markets, dairies and stores, all with a ton of unique and delicious things to offer. This is my way of sharing our teasured finds with the world, hope you'll develop new cravings along the way!