Friday, September 12, 2014

Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar

Time for another restaurant review.
Recently it was my husbands birthday, we had a day filled with adventure and wrapped it up at a new restaurant called Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar located in the new Radisson Blu Hotel attached to the Mall Of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota.
This place is pretty posh.  We really enjoyed our time there.
The decor was classy and had a warm feeling about it.

Believe it or not we did not order an appetizer (shocked right!?).  Well right before we went to dinner we were in the hotels business class complementary happy hour room, free food and drink !  
That to was awesome.

I started off with their wild rice soup, there was a nice surprise it had fresh local mushrooms in it too, very good!

My main course was a grilled salmon with a creamy lemon sauce.  Accompanied by broccolini.  
Just fantastic, I will definitely be returning here!

Now my husband is a bit daring and started off with Bison Bone Marrow, the waitress recommended it.  
He really enjoyed it.  Not my cup of tea, but to each their own right!?
Hubbies main course was their 1818 Hickory Roasted Prime Rib dinner, it looked and smelled amazing.
We ate every last bite and had to elegantly roll ourselves out of there.

I would highly recommend this place for a nice dinner evening, I thought the price was very reasonable for what you were getting.

Hope you decide to try this place!  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Slow Roasted Tomato and Feta Spread

This appetizer spread is so flavorful!

The end of the summer is wrapping up and my vegetables are starting to slow down.
In this recipe I got to use tomato's and banana peppers from the garden.
It makes me very happy to find new recipes that I can use my own vegetables in, very rewarding.

Here are the ingredients you will be needing for this spread:

4oz Tomato Basil Feta Crumbles
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup Slow Roasted Tomato's, you can find directions on how to make those here
1 1/2 cups Deseeded and sliced banana peppers
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Very simple here is how to make it:

Take all of your ingredients and toss them into a food processor.
Blend until well mixed.
And it's ready to serve!

I happened to go to the farmers market in my city the previous day and picked up a delicious wild rice baguette that went fantastic with this spread!
Otherwise a plan baguette, crackers of vegetables would go along great with this.

I have another spread that tastes very similar to this one called Tuscan Cream Cheese Spread.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Roasted Tomato Bites

This has got to be one of the simplest appetizers I make!
Iv'e said it many a times here on my blog that I have plenty of vegetables coming out of my garden this summer, tomatoes are just coming out of my ears!
I'm getting creative in what I do with them to, besides canning salsa and spaghetti sauce.
You can slow roast your tomato's and they are just delicious!
I rarely buy the sun dried tomato's in the oil, because of that fact they are drenched in oil.
It's SO simple all you need to do is:
 Start off by washing your tomato's, roma work the best.
Slice them in half, I should have started off by saying pre heat your over to 200 degrees
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Now lay your cut tomato's on that face up, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.
You are going to slow roast these at 200 for 12 hours, yes you heard me correctly 12 hours!
I would put mine in the oven in the late evening and they would be ready in the am.
Pop some of them into freezer bags and pull them out when you need them.
They should stay good for up to a year in the freezer.

Here is a quick little appetizer you can make with them.

You will need:
1 baguette sliced and toasted
1 Spreadable tub of goat cheese
And your Slow Roasted Tomato's

Lay out your toasted baguette slices
Spread on your goat cheese
Place on top the roasted tomato

                                                   We loved these and hope you do too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Zucchini Cheese Biscuits

My house smells AMAZING right now!
I wouldn't call these appetizers, well maybe you could if you made them in a mini muffin tin :)
But, I just had to share!
So like I have said a few times now on my blog I have a lot of vegetables in my garden and I'm getting creative in how to use them.
Today I made Zucchini Cheese Biscuits, they are also garlicy I just didn't want to make the name to large LOL!  

So here is what you will need to make them:

Wet ingredient #1
1 cup pureed zucchini
1 Cup Shredded Cheese of your liking, I used Colby Jack
1/4 Cup Choped green onion
1 Tablespoon dill

Dry mix:
3 Cups flour
4 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp garlic salt

Wet Mix #2
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
4 Tablespoons Melted butter

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 350 
Start by mixing your #1 wet mix together
In another bowl mix the dry mix
And in another bowl your 2nd wet mixture
Totally tedious I know, sorry!
Now you may combine all together
Line your muffin tins with paper muffin cups, if you do not have those on hand make sure you grease the pan.

Cook this for 50 minutes

Be prepared for your home to smell amazing!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cucumber Cups

If you follow my blog you are going to start seeing a trend here of vegetable appetizers.
That is because I have vegetables coming out of my ears!
My garden is doing very well this year, I basically quadrupled the size, I'm going to be a very busy girl the rest of the summer.
Here is a panoramic picture of my garden (I'm not the best photographer)

I am going to be having family over for Sunday night dinner and I wanted to make a couple things with items I had in my garden.
The first would be an appetizer I have made before, Stuffed Banana Peppers, but I got smart and instead of slicing them in half like my recipe calls for I simply cut the tip off the top of the pepper, scooped out the seeds and cut the pepper length wise and stuffing it with the cream cheese filler, super simple!
Also these Stuffed Banana Peppers are the most Pinned item I have out there.
So now on to the Cucumber Cups.
Another super simple bite you can make, very refreshing.

What you need:
5 Small Cucumbers, washed
6oz Tub Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons chopped chives

How to make them:
Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, slice 3 strips of cucumber skin off, about 1/4 inch wide (this is for decorative purpose only, cucumber skin is very healthy! )

Cut your cucumbers into 1 1/2 inch slices
If you have a melon baller (I do not, I used a small spoon) scoop out some of the center of your cucumber.
Fill that center with the softened cream cheese and sprinkle with chives.

I hope you Enjoy them!

A little tip, if you do garden you should really try composting, it's wonderful for your garden and keeps down your garbage!  I have a little can on my island that I fill with compostable material, that I empty daily, bringing it out to our larger spinning composter.
Once that is hot enough we spread it onto the garden floor helps the garden grow and keeps the weeds down.
I must be helping the Earth right????

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cucumber Sandwiches

My garden runneth-over with vegetables!!!
I am always searching for new meal, salad, side dishes and appetizers I can use my various veggies in.
Recently I was cruising through Pintrest and came across those precious dainty cucumber finger sandwiches, bingo had to make them!
I am surprised I have never had these before.
So simple!
I made a couple variations of these finger sandwiches both were very tasty.

What you need:
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
10 pieces of white bread
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon of dry package Hidden Valley ranch dressing

The second type of cucumber sandwich I used this spread:
4oz softened cream cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
2 sliced green onions

How to make them:
Wash your cucumber and thinly slice them, pat dry
Mix together 4 oz of softened cream cheese and 1 Tablespoon of the Hidden Valley Ranch
Spread the cream cheese mix on 2 slices of white bread
Place cucumber slices on one of the slices of bread covering the bread, top with the other piece of cream cheese covered bread.

So now you have a sandwich, cut off the crusts, while pressing down gently squishing your sandwich, cut into 4 triangle pieces.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tex Mex Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love a classic spinach artichoke dip, but this one kicks it up baby and lets you know your alive!
Oh yeah delicious!!
You can almost trick yourself into thinking this dip is good for you with all the vegis in it :)
It is also very colorful.
Depending on your taste buds you can very the intensity of the heat you add into the ingredient.
If your a light weight and can't handle the spiciness of the peppers leave them out or don't add as many in as this recipe calls for.
I love a dip where there is not much to it but a few chops and stirring it all together, there is always something that needs to be done, gotta find time where we can right?!

Ok so this is what you need to gather for this dip:
10 oz Spinach, I used frozen (defrost and drain)
10os can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 Jalapeno, roasted and chopped
1 Plabano or Banana Pepper, roasted and chopped
1 Bell pepper, I used an orange one, roasted and chopped
2 8 oz packs softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella/parmazan cheese
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped

How to make the dip:
Start by preheating your oven and set to broil
Clean our the insides of your peppers, place on a baking sheet, rub with olive oil
Place in your oven and broil until blackened, about 5 minutes (make sure to keep an eye on them)
Remove and set aside
While your peppers are cooling a bit so you can handle them

Combine all your remaining ingredients reserving 1 cup of the mozzarella, parmazan combination

The skins on your peppers should easily peal off, chop your peppers and add to your cream cheese mixture, stir well
Place into a baking dish and top with the remaining cup of cheese

Bake at 350 degress for 40 minutes
Serve with tortilla chips