Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Summertime Favorite!

Healthy AND Delicious!

I was reading "The Skinnygirl Dish" by Bethenny Frankel the other day in hopes of finding some new healthy recipes to try. Everything that I have tried out of her book so far has been amazing--and healthy, so I was not surprised when I tried out the tuna salad recipe. I never make tuna salad because it always ends up tasting too fishy. I am certain that the reason this recipe is so yummy is because it requires fresh herbs, which I never buy. But I stepped outside my box today and bought some fresh herbs and it made ALL the difference. Now I have a delicious and healthy lunch for the rest of the week! What I also love is that you can eat tuna salad so many different ways, it is so versatile. I personally like mine between two slices of deli flats(100 calories total), with 2 slices of Havarti cheese.

Shammy Says "YUM"

Bethenny's Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

4 cans (about 6 ounces each) white tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup nondairy mayonnaise--if you have low fat regular mayo you can use that
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Shammy's modifications:

1. I made half of this recipe and it was more than enough
2. I used "Spectrum" vegan mayonnaise, which you can find at Reasor's
3. I used "Sweet Hot Mister Mustard", which is also at Reasor's, because I am not a huge fan of Dijon
4. I added about 15-20 bread and butter pickles(finely chopped) because they are my favorite and in my opinion, were the perfect addition!





Sunday, April 24, 2011

The "No Leftovers" Dessert

Before going into the oven
Eat me


Shammy Says "Be prepared to fall in love"

My mom got this recipe from her friend Peggy and I'm here to tell you that it's one of the BEST desserts I've ever had. It has some ingredients you wouldn't expect, but once you try the finished product the taste will definitely surprise you. My mom has made them a few times now and every time she does there are NEVER any leftovers, hence the title. Clearly these are not the healthiest thing to eat, but they are great to make for a holiday, party or potluck, everyone will beg you for the recipe afterwards! Here you go!

Apple Dessert


Ingredients:


2 Granny Smith apples
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 cans Crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 can Mountain Dew

Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice apples into 1/8's. Heat butter, sugar and cinnamon until well blended. Wrap apple slices in crescent rolls. Place in 9 x 13 cake pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Pour  butter mixture over top, trying to completely cover. Pour Mountain Dew around sides of pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot with Vanilla Ice Cream.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Best Chicken Recipe YET!

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

I was looking for some different, healthy recipes to make for dinner and I came across this recipe on eatingwell.com. The recipe called for chicken tenders, but to be honest those really gross me out, so I just cut strips from boneless skinless breasts. Also, I did not have almonds but I had cashews so I used those instead. Those are the only two things that I did different. The recipe was a tad difficult, but when I took my first bite, I decided that it was well worth it. My husband has been on a strict diet for a few weeks now, so this was even more delicious to him. He even asked me to make them for dinner again tonight! My personal favorite thing about this recipe is that each serving has 174 calories, 4 grams of fat(most of the fat being mono because of the nuts), 27 grams of protein and FOUR CARBS!! So if you are getting your body ready for summer like I am, this is a PERFECT meal for dinner, just add a veggie and you are set! Enough talk, time for the recipe! Enjoy!

Shammy Says "Now a staple at the Mathias household!"


Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers


Ingredients:

Canola oil cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 large egg whites
1 pound chicken tenders--I used boneless skinless breasts


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor--NOTE: I do NOT own a food processor so I just put the nuts in a ziploc bag and used a tenderizer to crush them, then added the rest of the ingredients and it worked just fine. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.

3. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray on the other side.

4. Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20-25 minutes. (I cooked them for 20 minutes and they were perfect, maybe even a little less cook time)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Anyone remember Oatmeal Swirlers?!

Two of our favorites: Cinnamon Roll and Strawberries and Cream!

Oatmeal Swirlers. Two words that make my tummy growl. If you had Oatmeal Swirlers as a child, then you know of the deliciousness I am speaking of. It was packets of instant oatmeal with a ketchup-like packet of strawberry goo that was out-of-this-world good, seriously I used to sneak into the pantry and just eat the packet of goo, ask my mom. There is actually a petition going around for them to be brought back that I have signed. This oatmeal is not Oatmeal Swirlers, but it bears a striking resemblance to them. Oat Revolution is healthy, delicious and well priced. I love having quick options for breakfast, especially now that I have a kid. However, "quick" usually translates to "unhealthy". This oatmeal is anything but unhealthy. The ingredients are whole grain rolled oats with flaxseed, while also containing multiple vitamins and minerals. It is also super easy to make, you tear off the top half of the pouch and dump the oats in a bowl, then fill the bottom half of the pouch to the fill line with water, pour it in the bowl, and microwave for 90 seconds. Done. How easy is that? I make this for Kyler most mornings and add Almond Milk to give him calcium and extra protein. Josh and I also eat it ourselves. The Cinnamon Roll is my favorite, due to the fact that it tastes exactly like a giant cinnamon roll. Reasors carries this and I think Whole Foods does as well. They are $1.35 for a box of 5 pouches, extremely reasonable. 

Shammy Says "LOVE any food that brings me back to my childhood"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Junkyard Dawgs

"The Colossal Dawg"

I was referred to Junkyard Dawgs by Wes Hodges when I asked for recommendations for my blog. He knows my style well enough to know that this place would be right up my alley, and it was. I ordered "The Colossal Dawg" which is a quarter pound all beef "hotdawg" with yellow mustard, nacho cheese and sauerkraut. To be quite honest when I saw the words "nacho cheese" I knew this was the "Dawg" for me. I got a bag of potato chips and a slice of vanilla cake with chocolate icing to ensure I met all 4 food groups. The Dawg was very good, you can definitely tell a difference when you eat an all beef hot dog, they have a crisp bite to them. The nacho cheese--get ready--made it PERFECT! Betcha didn't see that one coming...


Shammy Says "Good Dog--pun intended"

Favorite Weight Watchers Recipe!

Crazy Good
This is one of mine and Josh's favorite meals that my mom makes. She invited us over for dinner a few years ago and told us that she had a Weight Watchers recipe she was cooking for us. Our mouths were watering---NOT. Who wants to eat a Weight Watchers meal? Nobody does. But this meal was the exception to the rule regarding diet dinners. Josh is probably one of the hardest people to please when it comes to food, he didn't even eat potatoes when I met him. He gobbled this up as fast as my mom could put it on his plate, and I did the same. I am going to go ahead and say that this is one of the best recipes I have ever tried, regardless of the fact that it is a super healthy one, which makes it taste even better :) 

Shammy Says "Simple, Cheap, Delicious"

Weight Watchers Orange Crumbed Baked Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole wheat crackers, crumbled
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, freshly ground
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, mustard and salt. On a sheet of wax paper combine the cracker crumbs, orange zest, shallot, and pepper. Brush the chicken on both sides with the mustard mixture then dredge in the crumbs, firmly pressing the crumbs to coat both sides. Place the chicken on the baking sheet.

3. Bake 15 minutes, turn over and bake until cooked through. 15 to 20 minutes longer.



BEST Chicken in Tulsa

Chicken and Fries

Heaven in a Basket
If you haven't had Rex's Chicken yet, you are really missing out. Fried Chicken is one of those things that can either be very good or very bad depending on the quality of the meat, the amount/type of breading, tenderness, moistness, etc. Rex's Chicken has been one of Josh's favorite places to eat since high school and it still is. It took me a while to try it, but when I finally did I was blown away at how good it was. They have the most moist, delicious chicken I have ever eaten, and their fries are just as good. I am sure you have heard about their Fry Bread, which is a soft, warm biscuit. First of all, they should not be called "Fry Bread", they should be called "Perfection". I really don't know how to describe them, because it doesn't matter what I say, it won't do them justice until you try them for yourself. They are unbelievably soft, warm and sweet, after you put the honey on them get ready for a taste explosion. Rex's is a little more pricey than the local fast food chicken, but with good reason. The meals start around $7 but once you taste the food, you would probably be willing to pay more. 

Shammy Says "Rex's for Dinner Please?" 

Disappointment---(Sigh)

Not all it's cracked up to be...
Where to begin? Apparently I am a one-menu item kind of girl when it comes to Taco Bell. The last few menu items I have tried have left me very unsatisfied, and now I can add the Cheesy Double Decker Taco to that list. First off, I will say that I was under the impression that the cheese between the two tacos was nacho cheese(which I still think would be better than shredded cheese), and that there were no beans. So perhaps this was just a clear case of me expecting something other than what I received. It just wasn't up to my standards, especially for Taco Bell. I am unsure if they will ever be able to top the Volcano Taco or the XXL Chalupa, but I will continue to support them by giving every new menu item a fair chance. 

Shammy Says "Skip the Cheesy Double Decker Taco and Get a Volcano Taco Instead"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Take me back to the Old School

I had to take a bite before I took the picture...



Why are good bagels so hard to find? The majority of bagels in Tulsa are hard as rocks and as chewy as bubblegum. Gross. Panera bread is notorious for these types of bagels, not ONCE have I had a decent bagel from them, which brings me to my A-student, Old School Bagel. Ahhh Old School Bagel, reminiscent of New York Bagel from back in the day when I was in high school. My mom used to get bagels every week and we would have them every morning for breakfast, and sometimes again as an after-school snack. As I mentioned before, you can't get a soft bagel from Panera on a good day, however Old School Bagel offers warm, soft bagels every time with no exceptions. They have delicious bagels, many different sandwich options and a variety of cream cheeses to choose from. My personal favorite is either the Wall Street, or an Everything bagel, toasted with Honey Almond cream cheese. I could eat there every morning for breakfast if only I lived closer. If you haven't been to Old School Bagel yet, I insist you go and try it. You will never go anywhere else, at least for bagels. 


Shammy Says "Doughnut-shaped bread with cream cheese, what's not to love?"

Friday, April 15, 2011

GO POKES!

The OSU roll is the bottom roll topped with spicy tuna
I knew that would get your attention! Now, whether you are a Sooner or a Poke, everyone will appreciate the OSU roll at Haruno. The OSU roll has spicy scallops, avocado and cucumber, topped with spicy tuna--and of course I added cream cheese. I was excited to try a different roll and just like every other one that I have tried it was beyond tasty, Josh even said this was his favorite roll yet. If anyone is wondering what the other roll is, it is the Shrimp Festival, just another work of magic from Haruno. I will say that they are very unorganized, averaging 15-20 minutes to receive my food each time I visit, but I love their sushi so much that I let it slide. 

Shammy Says "Always satisfying"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Favorite Place of Mine

From their "plethora" of a salad bar
If you are looking for a great place that offers delicious salads, hot meals, healthy fare, or if you are picky and want a variety of foods to choose from, look no further than Whole Foods. Believe it or not, I do eat healthy from time to time and when I do, I go to Whole Foods to wage an attack on their salad bar. It's going to be hard to fit all of my excitement and love for Whole Foods into one post, but I promise to do my best. Not only do they have a huge salad bar with just about every food imaginable, but they also have a sushi bar and a deli that offers up homemade pastas, a variety of meats, pizzas and even desserts! I usually opt for a salad, with lots of toppings, and if they have macaroni and cheese I ALWAYS get a helping of that. I have tried their "mock" buffalo chicken salad, which is vegan and absolutely amazing. I also tried some sort of mozzarella pasta salad one time that was out of this world. They also had a "chicken scallopini" that was hands down one of the best pieces of chicken I have ever eaten. I love that you can get homemade, healthy food to go and make a delicious dinner out of it. Their sushi is great, desserts are "to-die", everything else is equally phenomenal, and the best part is that they have many organic options and most of their food is vegan! I also love that you pay by the ounce at the salad bar, even when I get a "healthy" portion of food it's normally around $6-7 which is not bad considering the high quality of food you are receiving. I would love to shop at Whole Foods for everything, but it's pretty expensive if you buy all of your grocery items there, hopefully some day I will be able to do that. They offer discounts on certain items starting every Wednesday so you can find great deals if you take the time to look for them. However, I have said it before and I will say it again, you get what you pay for, especially with food. Love the food, love the atmosphere, love the people, LOVE WHOLE FOODS!

Shammy Says "Whole Foods" is Top Notch


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Louie Louie--OH BABY!

This was delicious--and I am NOT a burger person

There's always room for queso

Louie's Bar and Grill, where shall I begin? I'll start with this--any place that serves fried foods, cheese and beer gets my stamp of approval. We have eaten at Louie's before and have always been more than pleased. We decided to go for a family dinner on Saturday night to their newest location in Broken Arrow at 71st and Lynn Lane. It wasn't overly crowded, which was nice considering everywhere else was packed. We ordered chips, salsa and queso as an appetizer. Their queso was one of the best that I have had, and I have had A LOT(what am I quoting here people?!) It had sausage in it, which I am usually not a fan of, but it wasn't overwhelming, just a nice addition. The salsa was good, but not the best I have had. I left the main course up to Josh and shockingly--he ordered a burger. I probably eat 3 burgers over the course of a year so that will tell you how much I enjoy beef. When I DO eat burgers, I am very pretentious about where they come from, it must be Burger Street, Red Robin, or Claud's(if you haven't had a Claud's hamburger yet, I suggest you make a point to do that--immediately). I ordered a side of blue cheese crumbles, because they make everything better. The burger surprised me, it was very moist and flavorful, and the fries were also really good, despite being so thin. The service was phenomenal, which we all know can make or break a dining experience. The owner came over and asked us how things were, which shows that they care about their patrons, which is extremely rare these days. We left paying $30 for 4 beers(2 of which were from happy hour), an appetizer, and a burger with fries. Overall Louie's is very consistent, consistently delicious.

Shammy Says "Bar food--at it's finest"


Friday, April 1, 2011

Who doesn't love Taco Salad?

Everything you need for the PERFECT taco salad!

This is my favorite taco salad recipe and it is super duper easy, cheap, and HEALTHY! Most of you know that I am no health nut, but occasionally I will surprise you with a delicious recipe that is also good for your waistline. You will need all of the above ingredients to make this taco salad, although you can sub the beans for your choice of meat, and I forgot to put lettuce in the pic--whoopsie. The reason I love this recipe is because I literally toss all of the ingredients together and have a meal in less than 5 minutes(unless you use turkey or ground beef). Now I know some of you are thinking I forgot the cheese, I can't believe I am about to say this but--you really don't need it. I know, I can barely believe those words just came out of my mouth either, but the salad is so good I never add cheese. I also know that sour cream is not the healthiest thing to eat, but I don't care. I have been eating sour cream on everything since I was a child and I don't intend on stopping any time soon. Bottom line, sour cream is non-negotiable--just use it sparingly. Now the two CRUCIAL ingredients that make this salad so amazing and different are the rice and the taco sauce. You must get Uncle Ben's Santa Fe steam-in-the-bag rice. It rocks, it takes 90 seconds in the microwave and it complements this salad perfectly. The taco sauce is by Pace and I get the "medium" flavor. This sauce is one of the lowest calorie sauces that I have found, and when I diet I put this on EVERYTHING, it is soooooo good! Ok so you have your ingredients, which I will list below also for you, now go make your taco salad!!

Shammy Says "nacho" regular taco salad

Taco Salad Ingredients:
Santitas Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips - $2 a bag
Bush's Black Beans - $0.88 a can
Pace Medium Taco Sauce - $1.98
Daisy LIGHT Sour Cream - $0.98
Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Medley Rice, Santa Fe flavor - $1.50
Ground Beef or Turkey if desired
Lettuce
Jalapeno's if desired

Taco Bell's XXL Chalupa

One order of DELICIOUS please

Now I am moving towards becoming a vegetarian so I normally substitute meat for beans and it is still just as delicious. The cheese, however is proving to be much harder for me to remove from my diet. I have loved processed nacho cheese since I can remember, there really is nothing like it--next to sour cream. I stepped outside of my comfort zone the other day when ordering and found what may be my new favorite menu item at Taco Bell. If you haven't tried this yet, I suggest you go NOW! Scrumptious does not even begin to describe the XXL Chalupa.


Shammy Says 2 very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Broken Arrow's Best Kept Secret

Sushi House roll

Sushi House in Broken Arrow has to be one of the BEST sushi places I have ever eaten at--and I have eaten at ALOT of sushi places. From the service, to the food, to the price this place beats most others. I have eaten here at least 10 times and every time I go, I try something new and love it. If you order 2 or more rolls you get a free roll called the "Fuji Roll" which is beyond delicious. You also get free edamame! I simply don't have enough good things to say about this place and I want everyone who hasn't tried it yet to go IMMEDIATELY, you will thank me later. A few rolls that I like are the "Vegas"(my favorite), the "Arizona", the "Yummy"(speaks for itself), the "Oklahoma", and the "American". Okay now I'm hungry.

Shammy Says this place will leave your tummy happy and your wallet full :)

Best All Natural Pancake Mix!!



Tired of Bisquick? Kodiak Cakes are the best pancakes I have tried yet. All you do is add water, no egg or milk required! I have tried many other mixes that only require water, and they turn out paper thin and taste like cardboard. These pancakes are fluffy and full of flavor! Reasor's carries them, bon appetit!!

Shammy Says "not your average pancake mix"

One of my FAVORITE places to eat...

All I want for Christmas is a Chipotle gift card!

This may sound redundant to the people who know me, but I figured I may as well give credit where credit is due. I could eat at a few different places every day and never tire of them and Chipotle is one of them. I get the veggie bowl with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, corn relish, sour cream, and guacamole...then I also get a side of guacamole with chips as well. The amount of guacamole I order is probably a meal in itself, but it's that good. I have to give my sister credit for turning me on to Chipotle, she insisted I try it, and I did a few times but I ordered tacos or a burrito and was indifferent about them both. Finally I took her advice and ordered the veggie bowl and I was hooked. I love that it is all organic and that I never have a tummy ache after eating there.

Shammy Says "take me to Chipotle ANY day"

Grandma's Tuna Noodle Casserole


Now this is my late Grandmother's recipe and, lucky for you all I WILL be posting it because I believe that everyone should enjoy it just as much as I do. Okay if you have a recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole, go get it and throw it in the trash--now. This is one of those meals that you make on a cold night and it makes you feel all warm and snuggly inside. Obviously you can make your own modifications to your own personal taste but this is how I make it, and it is FANTASTIC!


INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 TBSP melted butter (sometimes I use a little more if I'm in the mood)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk (you can also sub for soy milk)
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 TSP dry mustard
1 can of tuna(or chicken) DRAINED
2 cups of egg noodles cooked - you can really use any noodles you like, but these are the best!
1 can of peas DRAINED
2 cups of Lay's Potato chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles until al dente. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, once the butter is melted, add the onions. Cook until onions are brown and tender. Next, add the cream of mushroom soup, milk, cheese, and mustard. Heat until the cheese melts. Blend in peas, tuna, and cooked noodles. Dump into a casserole dish and crumble potato chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Voila!!!

Shammy Says BEST COMFORT MEAL

My Sushi Sanctuary...



 Private Patio at ITR on the hill


 Volcano


Cody 2

Ok since I started this blog I have been waiting for this moment to come, the moment when I get to profess my undying love for In the Raw. This is by far my favorite restaurant to eat at. They have 2 locations, one on Brookside and another at 61st and Sheridan on top of the hill. I have too many wonderful things to say about ITR, so I will try to limit it to just a few paragraphs. First I will talk about some of my favorite appetizers. I have tried almost all of the appetizers and the best ones in my opinion are "Dynamite Shrimp", "Blue Crab Cake", "Miso Soup", and of course "Edamame". The "Dynamite Shrimp" is black tiger shrimp fried and tossed in a thai chili sauce and it is truly delicious. It is enough for 2 people to split without making you too full for your main course. Ok now it's time to get down to business, Rolled Sushi. My favorite rolls in particular order are "Volcano", "Cody 2", "Ginger"(which is not on the menu), "Nirvana", "Keaton", "6151", "Id", and "Dunwell". The "Volcano"(pictured above) consists of deep-fried shrimp, cream cheese, avocado and jalapeno, topped with scallops cooked in spicy sauce and scallions. It literally melts in your mouth, I could eat this every day and never tire of it. The "Cody 2"(pictured above) consists of deep-fried soft-shell crab, smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado and jalapeno, topped with eel, eel sauce, spicy sauce, sesame seeds and scallions. I imagine most people who reside in Tulsa have already heard about ITR, but if this post reaches just ONE person and opens their eyes to the wonderful world of ITR then my job is done. The prices for the rolls that I listed above range from $6.50 to $15.95--(not including the "6151" which is topped with lobster so it is market price). ITR is not cheap but you get what you pay for. It is always a special occasion when I get to eat here and I savor every delicious bite. Enjoy!!


Shammy Says FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE

More from Yokozuna...




Dill-icious

The Dilly Roll consists of cream cheese, tempura shrimp and asparagus, topped with salmon, avocado, lemon zest and lemon dill aioli. Costs $14



This roll is anything but a Hot Mess...

The Hot Mess consists of chipotle cream cheese, jalapeƱo and crab tempura fried and topped with Hot Mess mix of crab and spicy tuna. Rolled in Ichimi pepper with eel sauce and sriracha and served with a fried wonton chip. Costs $14







The Flaming Volcano, Dilly, and Hot Mess



Here are all three rolls together, one giant plate of yumminess! Again, if you haven't tried Yokozuna yet, you are clearly missing out. They have a very large variety of rolls to choose from, and quite frankly many original ones that I have yet to see from any other sushi restaurant. These 3 rolls cost me $43 before tip but I actually got 2 meals out of it, which is pretty decent for me. 




Shammy Says "Any place you receive a fortune that reads 'Life is like sumo. Be pushy sometimes but don't get undies in bunch' gets my service"

A is for AWESOME

Langostino's drenched in spicy sauce? YES  PLEASE!
I googled Yokozuna to find out the meaning of the word in hopes of coming up with a pithy title to this post and well, it translates as "the highest ranking in sumo wrestling". I guess I can at least correlate the ranking to the taste and quality of the food at Yokozuna. I had many recommendations for this place and so I knew it had to be decent. The atmosphere was modern and airy even though the place was packed. We did not have to wait long to be seated, which was good because I was salivating as soon as we walked in the door. I ALWAYS google menu's before dining at a restaurant, so I know what I am ordering before I sit down, and Yokozuna was no exception. I had scoped out their menu and spotted 3 or 4 rolls that I wanted to try, one in particular titled "The Dilly", which is cream cheese, tempura shrimp and asparagus, topped with salmon, avocado, lemon zest and lemon dill aioli. I had intended on ordering this one and the Flaming Volcano, which is the one pictured above covered in spicy sauce. My friend and I both had people who adamantly told us to order the Red Cross roll which isn't on the menu, and for every one ordered in the month of March, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Relief Fund, which I thought was awesome so we ordered that(also pictured above) and the Flaming Volcano. The Dilly will have to wait until next time. The waitress brought out our order and the Flaming Volcano was served on a plate that was on fire, which I thought was a very nice touch. Now pay close attention, the spicy sauce at ITR is my absolute favorite sauce and so far NOBODY has been able to duplicate it, until now. That's right Katie Griffith, the spicy sauce at Yokozuna was identical to the spicy sauce at ITR. The Flaming Volcano tasted similar to the Volcano roll from ITR, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The difference is that this roll was topped with tender langostino's drenched in spicy sauce--absolutely phenomenal. The Red Cross roll was equally delicious, it was a cold roll so it complimented the Flaming Volcano very well. I am not sure what all was in the Red Cross, but I'm fairly certain it had crab and avocado, and was topped with salmon and a dollop of spicy sauce. Bottom line, Yokozuna pleased my palate and left me wanting so much more. I will be returning very soon and I have decided to post "blog updates" which will be for places that I visit and enjoy enough to go back to try additional menu items. They are priced similar to ITR, being a tad on the cheaper side but well worth every penny. Yokozuna is located downtown at 309 E. 2nd St. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm--which is RARE for a sushi place to be open all day without closing down for prep--and Friday from 11:00am to Midnight and Saturday from 5:00pm to Midnight. Last but not least, they also have a sushi happy hour that features certain rolls at half price on Mon-Thur between 3-6pm and Fri and Sat from 10pm-Midnight. How cool is that?

Shammy Says Grrrrrrrrreat!!



Sonic Has Conquered the Impossible


Redemption
Alright, I am going to be very blunt about my feelings for Sonic. I NEVER eat there, they have too large a menu which normally means that quality suffers, breakfast is served all day which frankly grosses me out, I have also had recurring bad experiences which finally led me to the decision to cross them off my list of places to stop at. With my disgust for them being said, I am very happy to say that they have redeemed themselves with their new line of all-beef hot dogs. They have 4 dogs, the Chicago, the New York, the All American, and the Chili Cheese. When I first saw the commercial for them I will admit I was intrigued, yet also very skeptical. I decided to put aside my bad feelings and give these dogs a try, after all everyone deserves a second chance, or in Sonic's case a 472nd chance. So I ordered up my dog of choice, the Chicago Dog(pictured above), which consisted of a 100% pure beef hot dog topped with pickle, relish, tomato, sport peppers, celery salt and mustard served in a soft, warm poppy seed bun. One word: delicious. A few days later my sister came home with the New York Dog, which was topped with spicy brown mustard, grilled onions and crunchy sauerkraut in a soft, warm bakery bun. In my effort to be concise, this one will also be described by one word: delicious. Every single ingredient was so scrumptious, I will definitely be going back for more. Everyone loves a comeback kid and in this case, Sonic earned that title. Well done Sonic, well done.




Shammy Says "Dog-gone GOOD"

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate



 Homemade Frosting

 Before going into the oven

HEAVEN



Alright, here we go. We all know that there is nothing more satisfying than a good piece of chocolate cake. It can lift your spirits, make you laugh, and for a few lucky ones, produce an out of body experience. This recipe is the best, I repeat the BEST recipe I have found yet for chocolate cake. I got the frosting recipe from a different source because the cake recipe called for white icing and I am NOT a fan of white icing. I have posted both recipes at the bottom of the page and hope you all go home and make this cake immediately, you will not regret it. Last night I got a craving for some chocolate cake, so I went searching for the best recipe I could find, something moist, rich and thick, just the way I like my chocolate cake. I stumbled upon a blog titled "Kevin & Amanda", who have all kinds of yummy recipes to share, including this one so poignantly titled "THE BEST Chocolate Cake", and they are not exaggerating. I was intrigued by a few of the ingredients, such as sour cream, chocolate chips and Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding. It was extremely easy to make, I literally dumped all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mixed them up. Next came the frosting, like I said I got the frosting recipe from a different source, and the one I chose could not have turned out better for this particular cake. The chocolate buttercream frosting came from a user on All Recipes with a recipe titled "Extreme Chocolate Cake". This frosting was so creamy and delicious, while not over-sugary. I guess when you make your own frosting, the confectionar's sugar makes it light and creamy--at least that's what my mom told me. The finished product was rich, creamy, thick, chocolatey, and very moist. I am no longer looking for recipes for chocolate cake, for I have found my soul mate in this one.

Shammy Says "There's more to life than chocolate, but not right now"

Click HERE for the Chocolate Cake Recipe!
Click HERE for the Chocolate Frosting Recipe!

A sandwich that would make Dave Thomas very proud

Not often does something taste as good as it looks, except this

Alright, just when I think I've got it all figured out, I get a curve ball thrown right at me, case in point, the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club from Wendy's. I will start by being completely honest and say that I NEVER order sandwiches from anywhere, my normal order always consists of chicken nuggets and fries, this is because every time I order a sandwich from anywhere I am consistently disappointed. However, I am ecstatic to report that when I was at Wendy's the other day and pondered over ordering this sandwich, I was very pleased that I made the decision to step outside of my box and try something new. I will also let you know that I don't ever order bacon on my hamburgers or any other sandwich, but felt it necessary to order the sandwich just how it was intended to be eaten. It consists of tender, all-white meat chicken topped with thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, natural-aged Asiago cheese, creamy ranch sauce, hand-leafed lettuce, and hand-chopped tomatoes. You can also order it one of three ways, spicy, homestyle, or grilled; I ordered mine spicy and it was AMAZING. I can hear most of you wondering "how can a fast food sandwich be described as 'amazing', in all caps letters nonetheless?" Well, I am not going to lie to you, nor will I exaggerate, this sandwich was so delicious, that I will now frequent Wendy's, as before I only ate there a few times a year, in lieu of the many cold french fry debacles that I grew very tired of dealing with. But their fries were fantastic as well on this particular day. They were fresh, salty, and piping hot. According to me, Wendy's has more than redeemed themselves with this sandwich and are lucky to now be included in my usual, albeit very limited, places I frequent. Nicely done.

Shammy Says "I would like to find the person who created this sandwich and give them a high five"

"Haruno"--meaning "DELICIOUS"

Stone Hinge
Green Monster


I heard about Haruno from a girl named Caroline Cohen a few weeks ago. I was actually embarrassed that there was a new sushi place in town that I hadn't heard about yet. She told me that the sushi was very good, but that it wasn't cheap. Coming from a self-proclaimed food lover, I would pay $30 for a roll if it tasted good. So as I was driving around today, I passed by there right as I was searching for the perfect place to have lunch. I had Kyler with me so I decided to make it a date. We walked in and it was very airy, light, and open. The owner, who was also waiting on most of the tables in the restaurant, greeted us and took us to our table. I ordered the Pork Gyoza and steamed rice for Kyler. For myself, I ordered the Green Monster roll and the Stone Henge roll. They brought everything out at different times, which usually annoys me, but I could tell that they were a little short staffed so I was understanding. The Pork Gyoza was pretty good, I had never ordered it anywhere but decided to step outside the box for a change. Kyler ate every single one of them, and he is becoming quite the picky eater. Then they brought out the Stone Henge roll, which is pictured above, it was VERY good, it reminded me of Sushi House. The Stone Henge consists of tempura shrimp, crab and cream cheese, all of which is tempura fried and topped with sweet sauce. I quickly polished that one off, then they brought out the Green Monster roll, OH-MY-GOODNESS I may have found a new favorite roll. The Green Monster, also shown above, is spicy tuna, avocado, tempura shrimp and cream cheese, wrapped in soy paper(my favorite), and topped with two delicious sauces. I wished they had brought out this one first, because by the time it arrived I was almost full, but that didn't matter, I shoveled it in, as it was so creamy and tasty. There were a lot of other rolls that I wanted to try, so suffice it to say I will be returning. A few of the others that sounded yummy were the Hot Mess roll(crab, cream cheese, lightly tempura fried, then topped with House Hot Mess mix, crispy wonton, sweet sauce and Ichimi pepper), the Logan Special(soft shell crab, tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, all wrapped in soy paper), and the Volcano roll(California roll topped with scallop, crawfish, crab, mushroom, then baked). The prices were comparable to somewhere between ITR and Fuji, with most rolls costing around $8, and the more expensive ones being around $11. Haruno is located at the southwest corner of 71st and Memorial, if you haven't been yet, GO.


Shammy Says "Worth your time and money"

Supply and Demand...

Lemon Bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

After one small post about these lemon bars, I had quite a few requests to blog about them and post the recipe. I will start by saying that I am not a dessert/sweets person, I never have been, but there are a few sweets that tickle my fancy, such as chocolate cake and lemon bars. This is the creme de la creme of lemon bars, it does not get tastier than this folks. My mom had gotten this recipe from Sue Skowronski, a friend whom she worked with at the Post Office. My mom said that whenever Sue would bring these to work, people would "come out of the woodwork for them." I think the key ingredient is fresh lemon juice, because apparently most recipes use bottled lemon juice instead. Whatever the key ingredient is, it just works. They are so creamy, yet not too sugary(which can ruin a dessert quicker than anything), and the crust is very light and buttery. They really do melt in your mouth. I'll stop there and post the recipe so you all can taste for yourself, you can thank me later.


Shammy Says "When life hands you lemons, make lemon bars!"

Indredients:
Crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks butter
1 tsp. baking powder

Filling:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs

Directions:
Mix flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter (like a pie crust). Pat into a 9x13 cake pan. Bake 20 minutes @ 350 degrees or until light brown.
Mix sugar, flour, salt and baking powder together. Add lemon juice and eggs. Mix well. Pour over hot crust. Bake 25 minutes @ 350 degrees (until brown). Let cool and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar. DEVOUR.