I purchased a new cookbook this week! I’ve been following this author on Facebook and receiving blog updates for the past couple of months so I figured it was time to bite the bullet. All her recipes look amazing! I made the BLT & Avocado Salad tonight which was delicious and also tried the Baked Bananas Foster a’la Mode which was pretty good, too! Can’t wait to try more!
I posted about my no-fail recipe for Tuna Casserole almost 4 1/2 years ago. Audrey STILL asks or it every couple of weeks. Of course I make every time since it’s one of the few things Miss Picky will eat. In our latest efforts to get her to gain a little weight while eating better at the same time, I secretly substituted one of the cans of cream of mushroom soup for pureed cauliflower (a tip from the plant-based diet cookbook Forks Over Knives). The result? She gobbled it right up! Score one for sneaky ingredients!
We had the opportunity to attend Friends & Family Night at Mellow Mushroom. I’ve known about the restaurant opening for a since last summer when we printed the blueprints for the owner at work. Mellow Mushroom is at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville. In the spot that used to be a dark & dingy Bennigan’s.
Mellow Mushroom is anything but dark & dingy! The ceilings are at least twice as high as Bennigan’s, the decor is full of bright colors, and the music is really fun! The bar has a large Herky statue, a large cow-shaped disco ball spins over the dining room and there are large Space Invaders cutouts on the wall.
If you’re not familiar with Mellow Mushroom, they’re a chain that started in Georgia with the mission of making good pizza to drink with cold beer. Speaking of beer, their beer list is quite overwhelming. There are pages of bottled beers to choose from and a long list of draught beers, too. I had a Fat Tire for the first time and was pleasantly surprised! As far as food, Mike and I ordered the Kosmic Karma pizza. It had feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirled on top. Sound delicious? It was!
I would definitely go back! A definite thumbs up.
The book club I’m in meets once a month. The person who picked the book for that month gets to pick the restaurant we meet at. Last night we ate at Augusta – owned by a couple of displaced New Orleans residents and a short 15-minute drive from our house. I had heard very good things about Augusta’s food and was looking forward to it.
DECOR: Usually I really like the mix & match chairs/tables/decor thing. Last night I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was because the table cloths were plastic and some of the chairs weren’t sized right for the tables. I’m not quite sure.
MENU: I’ve been on Weight Watchers – yep, counting my points! – for the last couple weeks and have been doing pretty good, so seeing almost everything on the menu being deep-fried or sauteed in butter was a little disappointing. I decided on a house salad and a cup of gumbo. At a restaurant with owners from New Orleans, the gumbo should be excellent, right? I was so sure it was going to be awesome I even ordered a cup to-go for Mike. It wasn’t like any gumbo I’ve had before. You can interpret that however you want. Mike’s opinion? He took a few bites of it and threw it down the garbage disposal. The mustard vinaigrette dressing on my salad was good, though!
SERVICE: Super, super slow. There were 3 other tables there besides our group of 6. It was the owner’s 40th birthday so she was chatting away with some friends at a table. The place is small so it doesn’t take much for it to get pretty loud. Someone in my group said they had been there on a night when there were more people and the service was faster. My theory: the staff had a lot of time on their hands with so few people in the restaurant that they because preoccupied chit-chatting with each other and not paying attention to the patrons.
LONG STORY SHORT: I was very disappointed in Augusta after all the excellent things I had heard. Glad Mike and I didn’t try it out for a special occasion.
Because of the ease and quickness of posting directly to Facebook & Instagram, I haven’t been posting new things very often. The recipe from dinner tonight will make up for all that. At first I was skeptical because usually when I bake something that’s supposed to be deep fried it turns out mediocre at best. I found the recipe on Pinterest which led me to therecipecritic.com. Even Audrey ate it! You should make it, too. Or let me know when you want to come over for dinner and I’ll make it for you.
Friends of ours received a new Ninja blender as a Christmas present. We got started on talking about making smoothies and it kind of renewed my interest in the fad that just won’t go away. Of course I turned to Pinterest for some recipes to make besides the standard orange juice/strawberry/banana combo and came across this website. There was a link to sign up to take a 30-day GREEN smoothie challenge so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it. Each week I get an email with the shopping list and recipes for 5 different smoothies. Today was our first green smoothie: “Gorilla Punch.” It had kale, almond milk, banana, apple, cocoa powder and a little peanut butter in it. It wasn’t too bad! The Ninja blender I bought about 5 years ago did a pretty good job of blending everything together, but it wasn’t great since it only has a 400-watt motor. We MAY be in the market for a new blender now. Any recommendations?
We didn’t host Thanksgiving at our house this year. We didn’t host Christmas, either. Didn’t even made Christmas dessert. What I DID make, though, was this delicious garlic bread. You should make it, too.