Saturday, September 26, 2009

Red Lobster Restaurant Review

A few weeks ago, we got the chance to go out to eat at Red Lobster.

We go in the door, and the hostess sends us to someone else to put in our name. I think she said Peter, but there was no one named Peter at the table she sent us to, so that might not be right. We comply, and head to the second person to put in our names. He tells us he's not sure of how long it's going to take to get to sit down, and he'll let us know in about 5 minutes. We were still missing members of our party, so that was fine by us. We didn't mind waiting. Now, our total party was going to be four adults and a child. Keep that in mind, it comes into play later.

Five minutes comes and goes. Ten minutes comes and goes. Our party is all together now, and no guesses for when we're getting seated.

I go ask, again, when we're going to get seated, and I'm not sure, but he was kind of giving off an air like he'd forgotten we were there - he starts stammering "Oh, um...oh", and has to get out the sheet of paper with our names on it, that was IN THE TRASH.

Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Twenty five. Thirty. THIRTY FIVE minutes. Not only had he never told us when he was going to seat us like he'd promised, but he appears to have very little interest in doing so.

So I go back in, again, to ask for an explanation. He tells me that because we're a large party, it's taking more work to find us a table, and he has to wait for a big enough table to open up for us.

I stop now to point out three things, which I also pointed out to him:

1 - since when is four adults a large party?

2 - it's real hard to keep a three year old calm and entertained for thirty five minutes, and he's running out of time before my son is going to start tearing stuff up. If you've ever tried to keep a three year old quiet, calm and entertained in an adult environment for thirty five minutes, you know - I wasn't making a threat. That was a promise.

3 - the entire front section of the restaurant was empty. And we'd been left waiting for thirty five minutes. For a table. In a restaurant that was half empty. Can you say "We straight up forgot to seat you?"

I jab a finger at that table, and go "Um, what about that empty table right there?", he claimed that that was in the smoking section (didn't see a single person smoking), and since we'd asked for non-smoking, he was waiting for a table for us.

I responded "I'll take it. Seat me.", and he did.

Our waiter, thankfully, was much better then our host, and we had a great time. He was quick with the suggestions for good eats (in fact, that's pretty much how I ordered. "Which of these do you recommend?", and he'd tell me one, and I'd order it. Dessert, same thing - "What do you recommend?", and he'd bring it.), he kept the drinks flowing, and he was always easy to find if we had a problem or question. I'd like to mention him by name, but I honestly don't remember it. It was an unusual name. Bennett? Benton? It started with a B, and it was an unusual name. I know that much.

The food was alright. I ordered the Fresh Lobster, and truthfully, lobster just isn't a food that's all that impressive to me. I'm a big seafood eater, and I know that Lobster is supposed to be seafood at it's finest's just OK to me. So that's pretty much all my entree was. OK. I did hear raves from the people around me for theirs though.

The desserts were good, although a bit perplexing. I ordered Key Lime Pie (which you know was a prepared dessert they cut a slice off. Red Lobster doesn't have a pastry chef!), and it came with a raspberry sauce, which seemed a strange match to me. But it was delicious, none the less.

At the end of the meal, the manager got a lobster out of the tank so that my three year old could touch it, which was really fun in its own right. My son loves to stop at the lobster tank at the groucery store, so it was fun for him to get to try to touch one. If your interested, he (the three year old), reported that it "felt like ice".

All in all, the waiter saved the day. Because we had a host that forgot we were there, I had an entree that was only OK, and a flat pop, but thanks to the work of the waiter, I left the restaurant with a positive impression. That was no small feet.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gorilla Bread!

Yesterday, in a fit of sheer boredom, I made Paula Deen's recipe for Gorilla bread. Or, actually, I called it "Baby Gorilla" bread, because it called for two things of biscuits, and I only had one.

Since I was informed by my Comp 2 teacher that I legally can't reprint recipes without permission, and I don't have it, here's the link:

It's like cinnamon rolls on steroids. And I'm sure it's not the least bit healthy - cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, regular sugar, and some cinnamon on a biscuit? That doesn't sound even a little bit healthy to type it out. But it is quite tasty! I recommend it!

In the google search, there's a link for a modification to this recipe that includes bananas and chocolate, and that might have to be next weekends trial. Can't wait!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And The Reasons I Love Jon Stewart Just Keep Growing...

And the hits just keep on coming!

The Daily Show does Iron Chef!

I had some technical difficulties and couldn't imbed the video, but go watch it. It's funny.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Theresa/Paula Deen Project Is Off To A Rousing Start!

The Theresa/Paula Deen Project is off to a rousing start!

My unsuspecting first recipe was Mexican Chicken:

One 10 3/4 ounce can Cream of Chicken Soup
One 10 3/4 ounce can Cheddar Cheese soup
One 10 3/4 ounce can Cream of Mushroom soup
One 10 ounce can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 whole chicken, cooked, boned and chopped, or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken
One 11 1/2 ounce package flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, stir together the three kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken. In a greased 13x9 inch pan, layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture, beginning and ending with tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


I put alot of footwork behind this recipe. I bought a package of chicken breasts, and I had a package of chicken legs, and boiled the both. Then I pulled the chicken - which admittedly took a long time, because the little buggers were HOT - mix up all the soups, throw them in the oven, good to go, right?

As we sat down to dinner, my fiancee confided that he didn't believe that this recipe was worth the amount of work that I'd put into it.

Can I tell you? The picky eater, who never gets adventerous, and hates to try new stuff? Had THREE plates. THREE! T-H-R-E-E. Can you tell that I feel like I've slayed giants here?! And not only did he personally have three plates, but my three year old, who eats like a bird, cleared his!

I'm on FIRE!

This recipe serves 8, so I divided the recipe into two different plates, and put one in a glass casserole dish that we cooked today, and put one in one of those disposable pan, that my non-chef picky eater fiancee has been given instructions for ow to reheat for another day this week. I take college classes on Tuesday and Wendesday, and that'll make a perfect dinner for another night. Even someone who doesn't cook can hang with "warm it up until the cheese melts"!.

I've also got a mess of chicken left to do something with. The Chicken Casserole recipe is probably my next suspect. I've got all the ingredients, save for pimentos. And you know, for having the reputation that all of Paulas recipes start with a pound of butter, an awful lot of them start out with a can of cream of mushroom soup.

Until tomorrow! :)

The Theresa/Paula Deen Project?

Last night, as a joke, I suggested The Theresa/Paula Deen project to my fiancee as a joke. He took me up on it!

If you don't know the spirit of which the joke was intended, here's a few facts:

The Julie/Julia Project is the blog that the movie Julie And Julia was based on. Julie Powell decided to cook her way through Julia Childs "Mastering The Art Of French Cooking", and keep a blog while she did it.

My fiancee is quite a picky eater. Like, the level of picky that it's easier to tell you what he will eat, then it is to tell you what he won't eat. And we got a new kitchen table this weekend, and for some reason, he got all sorts of inspired, and started talking about Paula Deen.

Which brings us back to my suggesting the Theresa/Paula Deen Project, and him taking me seriously. He was totally into it. Go figure!

So I selected "The Lady & Sons Too!" this afternoon at the bookstore, and I'm in the process of making the Mexican Chicken recipe as we speak.

The Theresa/Paula Deen Project might have gotten it's official start! Exciting!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Food Journaling

This isn't usually the sort of thing I write about here, but does anyone else food journal? I just picked up a notebook to start a food journal, and it's funny how fast it seemed to work.

Weight Watchers is an organization that really preaches the importance of the food journal, and they say that the reason is that once you have written record of everything going in your mouth, lots less stuff will go in your mouth!

And I've already got proof that it works. We went to Wal-Mart today, and got a big package of pringles. We get the ones that are portion measured out already (they fit in Jims lunch box the best), and I broke one out and gave it to James (my three year old).

I wanted one of those packages of Pringles so bad, my mouth was nearly watering. But I did NOT want to have to write down that I'd eaten it! So I didn't take one.

Viola! Just like that, the food journal worked! I lived, clearly, without the pringles and I got what I wanted and didn't have to write it down.

Yay for food journals! :) It doesn't have to be fancy - mine is a 30 cent notebook from Staples that's pink, and I just hooked an ink pen through the wire.

I'm weirdly proud for turning down those pringles. Man, that dress better look smokin'. :D

Friday, September 4, 2009

Michael Chiarellos Rules For Cooking

Right now, I've got pretty much every Michael Chiarello cookbook my library would let me take out at once, and I found something fun that I thought I'd share.

In the front of "Flavored Oils: 50 Recipes For Cooking With Infused Oils", he offers his "rules for cooking". They are:

1)Don't cook if you don't want to.

2)Don't cook when you are full.

3)Shop when you are hungry.

4)Cook with the ingredients in the biggest displays. This is usually produce at the peak of its season.

5)Make the food your own - substitute and experiment - just never say "I can't make that because I don't have that exact ingredient."

I like number four. It makes total sense, but who thinks of that? I never had.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

YouTube! What's UP?!

I have a cousin that is currently mourning the loss of the youtube, swearing that it just isn't what it used to be.

At the same time, I'm mourning the loss of Top Chef. Yes, it's true. I just moved, and the only cable company I could get doesn't carry Bravo as part of their basic cable package.

At this point, insert my "YouTube! What's UP?!"

I present, ladies and gentlemen...Top Chef!

Alright! Top Chef is back in my life, baby! I have know idea if this is the complete episode. The user that posted these seems to have only posted two parts, so it's either the whole episode, or all he was willing to post.

Interestingly, or maybe not, Eve, who owns a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan (not far from where I am), is a brunette in all the pictures of her that the papers and blogs around here are running, and she's a blonde on the show. Bravo makeover?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gluten Free?

Little obsessed with the idea of trying to make a gluten free cake, won't lie to you. I got the idea in my head, and now I seriously can't get it out. Evidentally, I need a trip to a specialty store, because everything that I'm finding says gluten free isn't an easy think to do - there's alot of stuff that goes into substituting for cake flour!

But, I just found a gluten free red velvet cake recipe that in it's own way, looks better then original red velvet.

If I can, I'm doing it this weekend. Family cookout, and I'm gonna taste test, and make them decide which is better. Admittedly, I'm a pastry chef at heart, so they generally cringe when they see me coming for fear of what confection I've got neatly tied under my arm, but this might be a challenge their willing to take on!