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Blog/My Thoughts

How To Buy Cheap Groceries

In a challenging economic climate, many people are looking for ways to make ends meet. In this quest many people are asking questions like “How do I buy cheap groceries?” or “Where can I get cheap food?”

A better question, however, might be “How do I buy good food at a cheap price?”, for even in today’s tough economic environment you can still buy high quality food at super low prices. Its not as hard as you think. You simply have to know where to look.

Aldi’s Supermarkets

If you’re serious about buying good food at a low price then your first stop must be an Aldi’s supermarket. Aldi’s is a no-frills German based supermarket chain that is expanding rapidly here in the United States.

It is estimated that the typical customer will save 40-50% at Aldi’s compared to conventional grocery stores, and save 16-24% over big discount stores like Wal-Mart and Super Target.

How do you get great food at such a low cost? Aldi’s implements a cult like obsession to cutting costs to the bare minimum. It then passes these savings onto you in the form of lower prices. You won’t find flashy window displays, large sales signs, fancy food displays, or photo and floral sections in Aldi’s. These all cost too much.

Instead, Aldi’s stores are typically smaller helping to reduce heating, electricity, and other utility costs. Customers bag their own groceries and rent grocery carts for a quarter. Only cash or debit cards are accepted, eliminating the processing fees stores usually pay to credit card companies. Store hours are more limited with stores usually closing by 8pm or 9pm. This saves on labor and utility costs.

You won’t find a lot of brand name products at Aldi’s. Instead you’ll encounter their high quality store brand items, from Millville cereal to Sweet Harvest fruit cocktail, from Happy Harvest pork and beans to Berry Hill jelly.

Aldi’s tests these store brand products on a regular basis to ensure each product meets or exceeds the quality and taste of the national brand name alternatives.

Dramatically slash your grocery bill, give an Aldi’s supermarket a try.

Bakery Outlets

Many people carry the misconception that bakery outlets are dingy little stores that sell stale, outdated bread. Nothing could be further from the truth. For savvy consumers, bakery outlets represent an easy way to purchase bread and other bakery products at a 50% to 75% discount off of grocery store prices.

These outlets sell the excess inventory of baked goods that would normally go to area supermarkets. Contrary to popular belief, these items are not stale, out of date rejects. In many cases a product sold in the bakery outlet is fresher than that sold in your local supermarket!

Generally, bakery outlet items are offered at a 50% discount. As items approach their sell-by date they are frequently discounted even further, often to as much as 75% off of corresponding supermarket prices.

Not only can you purchase bread on the cheap, but most bakery outlets offer a variety of additional offerings including donuts, pies, cakes, and other desserts, as well as English muffins, pita pockets, pizza crusts, chips, and more.

Smart shoppers buy cart loads of bakery outlet items which they store in their freezers to create a long lasting supply of cheap bread and baked goods.

Ethnic Food Stores

Small ethnic food stores can be found in many larger cities. These ethnic markets usually cater to the tastes and preferences of their surrounding communities. For consumers these stores offer a treasure trove of savings. Asian, Indian, Mexican, West Indian, and other ethnic grocery stores frequently feature rock bottom prices on produce and meat. They also offer great deals on breads, grains, beans, cheeses, and spices.

Your Local Supermarket

How would you like to purchase your groceries for half price? Well if you know how to shop your local chain supermarket this is exactly what you can do.

Consider the basic “2 for the price of 1” sale or the “buy 1, get 1 free” sale. These are essentially 50% off sales. To save big, stock up on the products you use the most only when they are featured in one of these 50% off sales.

By stocking up when the price is so dramatically reduced you can significantly cut your food costs. Save even more by combining manufacturer’s coupons with the store sales.

You can buy cheap groceries. By visiting the right places to purchase high quality food at low prices you’ll keep more money in your wallet and a smile on your face.

Categories
Food

Consumer Product Review: Bagel Bites Are Delicious Mini Pizzas

After years of seeing them in the frozen food sections of the various supermarkets where I shop, I finally tried eating Bagel Bites (R) this week. I must say, the quality and taste of these mini bagel pizzas surprised me. The mini- bagels themselves are quite palatable and not at all overly- chewy, as I expected them to be. In fact, the Bagel Bites (R) mini- bagels seem to maintain a fresh, pleasurable texture very similar to the bagels that I normally buy at the supemarket deli.

The taste offered by the Bagel Bites (R) blew me away. Being a pizza- fanatic, the reason that I bought the Bagel Bites (R) was because they are essentially mini- pizzas, which use miniature bagels as a crust, or platform. Until I ate them, the whole concept of mini- bagel pizzas seemed strange to me and I thought that the tastes and textures might clash. I certainly was wrong. These little pizzas are delicious.

I must confess that I am a huge fan of frozen foods. Their convenience and quality control certainly appeal to me, although I am aware that many frozen foods are obscenely high in sodium, sugar and fat levels. Not so with Bagel Bites (R). Upon examining the nutrition labels on the two packages of Bagel Bites (R) that I purchased, I was pleased to see that they are quite low in levels of calories, fat and sugars.

Like with many other supermarket items that I try, it was because a weekly sales circular from a local supermarket chain contained a discount coupon for Bagel Bites (R) that impeled me to purchase them.The supermarket where I purchased these mini- pizzas had five different varieties of Bagel Bites (R) in- stock and each variety looked absolutely delightful.

After much scrutiny, I decided to buy one box of the nine- count Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni and one box of the nine- count Supreme Bagel Bites (R), using the coupon for one box and paying the reasonable full price for the other. I couldn’t wait to get home to sample these little pizza pies.

When it was time to cook the Bagel Bites (R), I removed three “Bites” from each box and placed them on an aluminum baking sheet. The cute little bagel- pizzas were coated with an adequate amount of real cheese and nice little pieces of sausage, pepperoni and red and green peppers. In a 350* oven, I cooked the mini- pizzas for approximately 12 minutes, until the cheese on each bagel was fully- melted and the aroma of tasty pizza filled my kitchen.

I had to restrain myself from removing one of the Bagel Bites (R) from the oven before they were done, because they smelled so wonderful. Before I even took a single bite, I noticed that the aroma given off by these frozen items smelled very much like a real, quality pizza.

As I sat down to eat the Bagel Bites (R), I noticed that the cheese was melted nicely over the other ingredients and that the other topping ingredients looked as if they were of high- quality. Upon first bite of the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni Bagel Bite (R), I was amazed at how truly delicious the mini- pizza tasted.

The tomato sauce contained a nice, zesty flavor that was a great complement to the fresh- tasting, real, creamy cheese and the sausage and pepperoni tasted just as flavorful as similar toppings on the highest- quality frozen pies.

The Supreme variety of Bagel Bites (R) possessed the same agreeable texture and flavorful pizza sauce as the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni variety, but the addition of the red and green peppers made this variety sing- out with a pizza parlor- like taste that absolutely floored me. I am now so impressed with the flavor, texture, convenience and reasonable price of Bagel Bites, that I am proud to say that they have become one of my new favorite frozen food items.

Nutritionally, the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni variety of Bagel Bites (R) contain 210 calories, with 60 calories from fat, per four- piece (88g) serving. The Supreme variety of Bagel Bites (R) contain 200 calories, with 50 calories from fat, per four- piece (88g) serving.

Made with real cheese, Bagel Bites (R) are baked not fried and contain 0 grams of trans fat per serving. All things considered, Bagel Bites (R) are truly delicious snacks that this food writer heartily recommends.

Categories
Blog/My Thoughts

Hillshire Farm Deli Wraps Are Delicious Alternatives To The Same Old Sandwiches

Hillshire Farm (R) Deli Wraps(R) are delightful new prepared luncheon products that are available in four different varieties. In recent years, “wraps”, or rolled tortilla sandwiches, have become hugely- popular items at restaurants across America.

Realizing that wraps have gained preference over traditional sandwiches with many hungry consumers, Sara Lee (R), the makers of Hillshire Farm(R) products, have introduced these delicious tasting and easy- to- utilize Deli Wrap “kits”, to great fanfare from consumers everywhere.

For the un-initiated, wraps are essentially sandwiches that are enclosed inside of a tortilla (a flat, bread- like item) and rolled into a cylindrical or rectangular shape. Generally, the wraps are sliced into two pieces, providing for easier dining. As with traditional sandwiches, there is no limit to the amount of ingredients added, or variations on, wrap sandwiches.

Quite often, when preparing wraps at various restaurants, the tortilla is laid flat and an adequate amount of sauce or dressing is spread across the tortilla, before adding the other ingredients. This ensures that an even amount of sauce or dressing is distributed throughout the wrap.

Each of the Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wrap(R) kits contain two soft tortillas with a co- ordinated dressing, which adds a definite restaurant- style appeal to the products. As with many restaurant- style wraps, each kit contains a designated meat, or protein item, accompanied by an appropriate type of cheese and dressing. While most restaurant- style wraps usually contain some types of fresh vegetables, such as lettuce and tomatoes, the Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wraps do not contain any types of fresh vegetables.

Truth be told, these tasty and convenient wraps are quite satisfying, just the way they are. The high- quality meats, cheeses and dressings enclosed in each Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wrap(R) kit consistently provide for delicious sandwiches that really do not need the addition of fresh vegetables. If, however, the addition of items such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions or other vegetables is desired, simply add a small amount to each wrap sandwich.

The Hillshire Farm (R) Deli Wraps(R) are available in four varieties. These include Smokehouse Ham amp; Swiss wrap kit, Turkey and Bacon wrap kit, Southwestern Chicken wrap kit and Chicken Caesar wrap kit. The Smokehouse Ham amp; Swiss kit contains smokehouse ham with natural juices, shredded Swiss cheese and a creamy, honey- mustard dressing, with a golden wheat flour tortilla.

Each kit contains two servings, which measure in at 260 calories, with 100 calories from fat. The Hillshire Farm(R) Turkey amp; Bacon Club Deli Wrap(R) features smokehouse turkey breast, shredded cheddar cheese, creamy Ranch Dressing and bacon crumbles, with a tomato- basil tortilla. Each of the two servings included contains 300 calories, with 140 calories from fat.

The Hillshire Farm(R) Southwestern Chicken Deli Wrap(R) kit contains oven- roasted chicken breast, shredded Monterey Jack pepper cheese, Santa Fe dressing and two soft Chipotle Chili flour tortillas.

Each kit contains two servings, which contain 260 calories, with 120 calories from fat. The Chicken Caesar variety of Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wraps'(R) features oven- roasted chicken breast, shredded Parmesan cheese, Creamy Caesar dressing and two soft Spinach Herb flour tortillas. Each of the two servings included contains 310 calories, with 160 calories from fat.

Amazingly, the meats, cheeses, dressings and tortillas contained in the Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wraps(R) are all of high- quality and quite tasty. These convenient meal- items can be enjoyed either warm or cold.Even if you’ve never constructed a wrap sandwich before, these products are very easy to work with and assembling one of these wraps takes only a few minutes.

These delicious wrap sandwich kits are normally stocked in the luncheon meat, or cold cut sections of most major food retail food stores and are very competitively priced. All things considered, Hillshire Farm(R) Deli Wraps(R) are highly recommended products.

Categories
Blog/My Thoughts

How To Write A Recipe

When a friend asks you for the recipe for your famous-in-the-neighborhood chicken and noodle dish, do you jot down the list of ingredients and add a short paragraph of instructions, only to hear from her later that the recipe didn’t work?

Have you found your grandmother’s collection of recipes, only to discover you can’t follow them because they seem to be written in a secret cooking language? Just how much is “half of Johnny’s coffee cup”?

The skill of writing a clear and concise recipe isn’t just for cookbook authors and food journalists. Those who wish to preserve family recipes, exchange recipes in supper clubs and post recipes on food blogs need this skill to both pass on and save their recipes.

Provide a Descriptive Introduction

The title of your recipe gives the reader an idea of what the dish tastes like. For example, “Chicken and Noodles” doesn’t give the reader an indication of flavors. “Moroccan Chicken with Saucy Egg Noodles” is an enticing title because it describes the flavor profile of the dish.

Include how much your of the dish your recipe makes, the number of servings the recipe yields and the serving size. For example, for a lasagna recipe, the serving size may be 4 ounces. If your recipe yields a 2-pound lasagna, the number of servings is eight. Two pounds equals 32 ounces, and 32 divided by four equals eight.

List the Ingredients in the Right Order

Write the list of ingredients in the order in which they are used.

You also need to list the dominant ingredient or ingredients first. And if several ingredients are added at the same time, list these in order by quantity, with the largest quantity listed first.

Add to that the rules that each measurement should be written out -no abbreviations- and that measures should be precise, something so simple sounding becomes a complex task.

Simplify the list by using subheads to break it into separate parts according to how the recipe is put together. An example of subheads would be ‘Marinade’ and ‘Chicken’ and ‘Sauce’. Each subhead, then, gets a separate list.

Put the Quantities in the Right Order

If the recipe reads ‘1 cup of chopped dried apricots,’ it means the apricots are chopped first then measured out to 1 cup.

If the recipe reads ‘1 cup of dried apricots, chopped,’ it means 1 cup of dried apricots is measured out, and then chopped.

If an action is listed within the measurement, the action is part of the measurement. If the action is listed after the measurement, the action is applied to the measured amount listed.

Write the Directions as a Step by Step Guide

Start the directions with a description of any task necessary to prepare an ingredient, such as “Make the marinade. Add the chicken to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.”

Use step one to indicate oven temperature, the type of pots or pans needed and preparatory steps for those items. Step 1 may read, “Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 2- quart casserole dish”.

List the subsequent steps in order; the steps should correspond directly with the listed order of ingredients.

Explain actions in descriptive terms rather than in “industry lingo.” For example, write “Cook the chopped onions over medium heat until they are translucent,” instead of “Sweat the onions.”

Include cooking times in the last step, with a brief description of what the cook should expect to see when the dish is done. For example, “Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden in color and the liquid is thickened.”

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

If your recipe is modified from a published recipe, include that information after the directions. If the recipe is handed down from your great-grandfather, make a note of it. This small bit of information maintains the history and continuity of the recipe.

Categories
Restaurants

Mike’s Caribbean American Gourmet Soul Food Restaurant

The Caribbean American Gourmet Soul Food Restaurant is located at 519 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, just barely a block from the world famous Lexington Market.

It offers real American food with roots in the homelands of the first Old World immigrants-willing and otherwise. You won’t find any of those sissy make believe fusion concoctions some confused California food artist begot in a crowded kitchen closet in this place.

This fine takeout dining establishment has it all: Pig feet, hocks, hog maws, chitterlings, pigtails and catfish as well as the more pedestrian American fare like beef ribs, pork ribs, curry chicken, curry goat, ox tail and chicken fried steak.

Veggies, too-collards, fried cabbage, lima beans, red beans, string beans, black eyed peas, white rice, spicy rice, veggie rice, sweet potatoes and fries. Processed starches like “mac n cheese” round out the menu.

These delicacies are all prepared personally by the hands of the owner himself-the world famous all over Baltimore, Mike of “Mike’s Famous Caribbean Grilled, BBQ, Jerked or Fried Chicken.”

I had the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Mike salts, peppers, flours and fries the chicken to a golden crispiness on the outside and a hot juicy tenderness on the inside. This chicken is so tender and juicy; you can actually suck the meat off the bone.

Next, he makes the chicken gravy.

First, he browns the flour in the leftover chicken grease with the crispy flour coating that has fallen off the chicken. He must have some sort of secret spice because he produces the most flavorful fried chicken gravy that has ever tickled taste buds.

While this is going on, he is boiling the potatoes for his mashed potatoes.

When they are ready, he peels and mashes them himself with all of the pride that every father feels for his special love child and serves them drenched with fried chicken gravy.

While all of Mike’s food is tasty beyond imagination, his Caribbean Hot Sauce is the crown jewel of his empire. He makes it himself from Scotch Bonnet peppers, onion, carrots, and other secret ingredients. WARNING: This stuff is both DANGEROUS and flavorful.

I highly recommend it.

A word about the neighborhood is in order,

Those who are familiar with Baltimore know that the city is well seasoned and redolent with the delicate fragrance of decades and maybe centuries of urine that imbues the doorframes and the ancient red bricks of the buildings that line the downtown alleys. To be sure, this quaint neighborhood of delightfully eccentric, poverty stricken Americans is one of the more colorful in this magnificently colorful city.

In respect of this, Mike has spared no expense in developing the atmosphere of inner city ambience. You can’t find more authentic inner-city décor anywhere-except perhaps the sally port at the county jail. Heavy steel screens protect the doors and windows and inside there is room for only three or four customers (see the photos).

On one side, there is a heavy-duty unbreakable plastic window between the customers and the food. At the end, a rotating heavy-duty plastic carousel window in a heavy-duty steel door protects Mike and permits food to pass out and money and credit cards to pass in.

All this investment has paid off. When you step inside the Caribbean Gourmet Soul Food dining establishment, all you smell is freshly cooked chitterlings, hog maws, fried chicken and the mélange of other aromas from food cooked or cooking.

So, there it is.

If you want real American food, genuine American food of the sort that built the greatest nation on earth, tasty food, food that will broaden your butt; get your next meal at the Caribbean American Gourmet Soul Food Restaurant, just barely a block west of Lexington Market in quaint, exotic and exciting downtown Baltimore, Maryland.

Fine takeout dining just doesn’t get any better.

Categories
Recipes

8 Freezer- Ready Burger Meals For Work

Do you find yourself spending more on food at work because you hate eating leftovers from the night before? You can cure the leftover drag and save money in the process by using your leftover food to make freezer-ready, hot sandwiches meals to take to work at a later time. The key is to cook smartly. Here are 8 freezer-ready, hot sandwich meals that you can make for work:

Taco Burger

Feeding your family a deliciously quick taco meal for supper? If so, scoop out enough taco meat to cover one or two small, round burger buns. Be sure to add your favorite topping (salsa, cheese, or sour cream) to the burger. Wrap it well in some plastic food wrap and pop it into the freezer. Wait a week or two, and you’ll be ready for a spicy taco burger for your lunchtime meal.

Chicken Strip Burger

Ordering a big batch of chicken strips (or chicken) from your local, fast food chicken restaurant? Don’t forget to save several pieces of chicken strips to make you a chicken strip burger to take to work. Just spread some of your favorite chicken-dipping sauce (barbecue, honey mustard, sweet and sour) across a large burger bun, put the chicken on, wrap it up, and freeze.

Meatloaf Burger

Whipping up a big batch of meatloaf tonight? Be sure to save a portion for later. Just spread a small bit of mayonnaise over the bun and mash flat (onto the bun) the serving of meatloaf you saved. Wrap the meatloaf burger in some plastic food wrap and put it in the freezer. When you get another hankering for meatloaf, your meatloaf burger will be waiting.

Roast Beef Burger

Eating a big roast beef meal for your Sunday supper? Save the last portion of roast beef for a wonderful roast beef burger. Shred the leftover roast beef meat for easy eating, place it on the bun, and lightly marinate the meat with some roast beef gravy, and you’ll have a work time lunch fit for royalty.

Bacon Burger

Frying up a big pan of bacon for your Saturday morning, family breakfast? Make sure to fry up some extra for your delicious bacon burger. Just coat the bun with some mayonnaise, pile on the bacon, and wrap for freezing. This hearty sandwich will taste great whenever you get ready to eat it, even if your craving comes a few weeks down the road.

Ham Burger

Who says that you have to eat beef on a hamburger? Why not make a burger with ham? Use that last piece of ham wisely by slapping it on a burger bun. Be sure to top it with some Dijon Mustard for the ultimate taste. Wrap up the sandwich and wait for your next ham mood. This burger satisfies even the crankiest of cravings.

Steak Finger Burger

Frying up some steak fingers for a hungry bunch? Save out a few steak fingers for your burger. Just wet the burger bun with some leftover gravy, top it with the steak fingers, wrap, and freeze for later. This yummy burger offers you a steak finger meal all over again, except with less of a fuss.

German Sausage Burger

Wondering what to do with the few tidbits of leftover German Sausage? Put these on a bun, of course. No need to coat the bun with any fancy dressings, though. Just microwave your sandwich when you get ready to eat it and then top it with some well-drained sauerkraut. You’ll have you a German-style sandwich that’ll be the envy of your co-workers.

These eight freezer-ready burgers serve only as samples for making freezer-ready burger meals. A whole other world exists in the way of burgers when you set your mind to it. Whether you cook or order take out, imagine which foods would serve well put between two buns. Use your imagination. The sky is the limit.

Categories
Food

Best Mexican Food In Midland, Texas

For a city with a population just over 100,000, Midland, Texas offers a nice array of dining choices for those with finer tastes as well as someone looking for a grab-and-go lunch. Mexican food is no exception. Below is a short sampler of restaurants serving up good Mexican food at reasonable prices. In no particular order, and of my opinion only:

Martinez Bakery

Most famous for their tortas, Mexican-style sandwiches, and their great selection of pastries. This local bakery and restaurant is very consistent in serving traditional Mexican food at reasonable prices. Besides tortas, the restaurant also offers burritos, tacos and other local favorites. The bakery offers preservative-free pastries baked fresh daily.

206 E. Florida, 
Midland, TX 
79701

(432)-618-0589

Rosa’s Café

With three locations in Midland, Rosa’s Café is a local favorite for parents and teens alike. Seen by some as a local hangout, and others as a family tradition, Rosa’s, as it is affectionately referred to, serves up fresh tortillas, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and other favorites. As far as being “real” Mexican food, that is largely up for debate. The food is more Tex-Mex, but it is undeniable that it is more than satisfying. For fast-food style Mexican food, the prices are a little steep, but it is still a local favorite serving up great food daily.

On the Border Mexican Grill amp; Cantina

This casual family-style restaurant serves up some of the best Mexican food and a chips and salsa that should never end. Also offered are appetizers, soups, salads, healthy choices, grilled items, a “taco stand” to choose from a variety of different tacos selections and dessert. Some favorites to look out for are the chicken and sour cream enchiladas, empanadas, quesadillas, fajitas and pretty much anything off the grill.

4306 W. Loop 250 N., Midland, TX 79707

(432)-694-9922

Jorge’s Mexican Cafe

Jorge’s, with two locations in Midland and one in Odessa, offers daily drink and lunch specials. Weekends also set up for early morning breakfast specials to be enjoyed.

There will be many who disagree, but for me, Jorge’s hands down has the best chicken enchiladas with green sauce. There is absolutely no comparison. The enchiladas alone put Jorge’s on my “best” list. A close second is their chile rellenos and fajitas.

Taco Villa

With three convenient locations in Midland, Taco Villa is one of the best grab-and-go stops for great Mexican food. It’s cheap, it’s fast and it’s always good. The meat burritos are the one of life’s simpler pleasures. The tacos, fajita burritos, fried apple burritos and family pack meals never fail to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Vickie’s Burritos

Located just outside of downtown Midland, Vickie’s Burritos is a like a hidden gem. Cheap and delicious, there is no better combination. The breakfast burritos are great in bacon or chorizo. A personal favorite is their steak, potato and cheese burritos. I can eat them for weeks on end.

406 N. Terrell St., Midland, TX(432)-686-7234

Categories
Recipes

How To Make Indian Pakora

I fell in love with pakora, battered and fried vegetables, when I lived in India. Pakora is a popular food that can be purchased from Indian street vendors, and is also a popular snack served in restaurants and homes.

The great news is, it is easy to make pakora at home, particularly if you have a deep fryer. This article includes a few easy recipes for Indian pakora.

Pakora starts with a batter, made from chickpea flour, also known as besan. Regardless of the type of pakora you make, you will always start with the same batter.

Here is a great and easy recipe for pakora batter:

  1. 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  2. 3 tsp oil
  3. 1 tsp. ground cumin,
  4. 1 ½ tsp salt
  5. ½ tsp. ajwain seeds (optional)
  6. 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  7. 1 cup water
  8. Mix all of the ingredients for the pakora batter together in a blender for about five minutes. Although the ingredients will be well blended before then, beating them for five minutes will make the batter light and fluffy.
  9. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.
  10. While the batter is resting, prepare the vegetables.
  11. The vegetables you use depend on personal taste, but some common ones are cauliflower, cut into small florets, sliced potatoes, and sliced onions.
  12. One delicious option is to prepare a combination of vegetables and create a mixed vegetable pakora.

Mixed Vegetable Pakora

  1. 1 small cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  2. 1 cabbage, thinly sliced
  3. 1 cup of sliced spinach leaves
  4. 1 large yellow onion, sliced.
  5. 1 medium potato, diced
  6. Boil all of the vegetables together until the potatoes are tender. Drain well.
  7. Mix the vegetables into the pakora batter and fry at a temperature of 375 degrees, until golden brown, turning the pakora occasionally so that both sides brown evenly.

Single Vegetable Pakora

My favorite single vegetable vegetable pakora is potato, but you can really use any of your favorite vegetables or whatever you happen to have on hand.

Depending on the vegetable you use, you may need to cook the vegetable first. For example, potatoes should be sliced and boiled until barely tender, before making the pakora. Cauliflower should be cut into florets and boiled or steamed until just tender. Other vegetables such as onions and squash do not need to be cooked prior to being battered.

There are two ways to handle battering single vegetable pakora. For larger pieces of vegetables, such as potato or cauliflower, I like to dip the individual vegetables into the batter and drop each piece into hot oil. For onion pakora, I suggest cutting the onion into quarters, and then cutting the quartered onion into slices. Mix all of the onion slices into the pakora batter, and drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and cook until golden brown.

Regardless of whether or not you make single or mixed vegetable pakora, once the pakora has finished cooking, you’ll want to drain it on paper towels and serve it with cilantro chutney or ketchup.

Categories
Restaurants

We Love Granite City Food & Brewery in Rockford, Illinois

Ok, call me a restaurant snob but I don’t usually like chain restaurants. They’re all so predictable. We tried Granite City Food and Brewery in Rockford, IL one busy day while we were out shopping and I have to say it was a real treat.

While Granite City is similar to many trendy restaurants we were impressed with the quality of the food, the service and the overall friendliness of the staff. I’ve got to believe that the wait staff is making good money because I have never seen so many happy waiters and waitresses.

In fact, the service at Granite City was much better than the service at one of Rockford’s well known fine dining restaurants. They have also implemented an interesting circular way of serving that seems to make them very efficient.

One of the waiters was explaining that to us. In short you go in one end of the kitchen only and only come out the other. As with most other restaurants it’s a team effort in serving. The food can, and probably will, be brought out by someone other than the person who took the order.

We have actually visited Granite City six times in the last month so that we could try a wide variety of their offerings. We would highly recommend the Sunday brunch. The roast beef was rare, tender and absolutely melted in your mouth.

The garlic mashed potatoes with brown gravy, excellent. During the week they do not have gravy. If you get the mashed potatoes you top them with butter which is also very good. They have fresh caramel rolls on Sunday which you have to ask your server to bring to you, they are not put out on the buffet.

The caramel rolls are served fresh. As with so many things in restaurants these days they were way too big. One caramel roll would have been enough for the three of us. Oh, and I should mention that all of the breakfast items that we tried were stellar as well.

I give Granite City a gold star for their soups. Every one of the soups that we have tried have been above and beyond other restaurant fare. I’m torn between the potato soup and the turkey rice almandine as my favorite. I love that they offer a half of a sandwich and a cup of soup for lunch. That was a perfect amount for lunch for me.

For my birthday last month we went to Granite City. I had their Filet Mignon. It was superb, if a bit large for me. We also ordered at that outing the crab cake appetizer. My son and I both love crab and we thoroughly enjoyed this treat. For dessert we had chocolate cake which was ok. I wish I had tried the Berry Blast. Guess that gives me reason to go back!

Amazingly we haven’t tried the burgers or the pizzas yet. I have seen both of these served and they look wonderful. Oops! Another excuse to go back. One other fun thing to try at Granite City is the selection of beers. It’s fun to do the sampler. As I’m sure you’ve gathered by this, we would recommend Granite City Food and Brewery to everyone for a fun dining experience!

Categories
Restaurants

Dynamic Dish: A Place For Meat Lovers And Vegetable Admirers in Atlanta, Georgia

Dynamic Dish is located at 427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312. Please call this number, (404) 688-4344, for reservations.
I confess that I am a real meat eater. I don’t care which part of the meat it came from, all parts are equally delicious to me.

But don’t dare to think that I hate vegetables, because I do like them. Vegetables and meat go hand in hand and I get the same craving for vegetables like I get for meat.

The first time I heard about Dynamic Dish, I was urged to come over and have a taste, especially when I heard they were offering a dish called tagine served with organic vegetables. It sounded very delicious so I went for lunch the next day. Day before that I ate a half cut of Korean fried chicken and I thought the tagine dish could bring some balancing on what I had eaten.

This eating venue was located at a mall strip. I parked my car at the front entrance, just a few steps taken before I could actually sit in the expected to be marvelous restaurant. As I entered, I was amazed by the interior decoration of this place. I didn’t expect it would turn out to be as beautiful as it appeared in front of my eyes.

The furnishings were arranged neatly and with style, I believe a touch from a very creative professional had done his jobs here. The sight of several persimmons arranged nicely in a wired container really made me smile as I found it peculiar and a bit funny, but I like the look of it and appreciate the idea.

There was no printed menu handed to me, but all the menu were written clearly on a piece of chalkboard. I looked at the chalkboard which was situated at the back of the counter, and even though the hand written menu was quite small but it was readable and they truly represented what they had in the kitchen. I ordered the tagine with pumpkin, tomatoes and squash.

A friend was with me, and he ordered arugula sandwiches with a type of cheese called the emmentaler. The cheese was spreaded on whole grain bread, sufficiently buttered. Then came the salad, which was the beet salad. For drinks, we ordered the sparkling water which served in small glasses with lemon garnishings.

While waiting for the food to arrive, I enjoyed the scenery and I kept thinking that I was in New York and even Europe. I was actually at Edgewood but I didn’t think I was there at all. Maybe the perfect interior decoration of the dining place made me feel as such. When the food arrived, it was full of color.

I was impressed by the fresh look of all the dishes, and after having my first bite on the tagine, I was completely blown away. The meat was so tender and juicy and I couldn’t compare it with any other restaurants in town. So far this place is the best.