Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Weeknight Meal - Veal with Lemon

Once again, I forgot to take pictures of this delicious dish - and C and I inhaled it so fast there was none remaining for a post-meal shot. Jim and the other kiddos didn't like it as much - but I think this one is a keeper.

Anyway, it was late one night last week before I had a chance to go grocery shopping, and I needed a recipe that I could bring home and cook quickly, so I turned to my trusty 30 Minute Meals 2. This recipe looked like one that could be made in as little as 15 minutes, so I hastily added the ingredients to my shopping list and did a quick shopping trip.

When I got home, I was able to whip the veal dish up quickly, along with the sauteed spinach to serve as a bed for the veal and lemon sauce. I also cooked up some whole grain spaghetti as a side dish, which I simply tossed with olive oil, chicken broth, fresh garlic, fresh chopped parsley, and salt and pepper. It was not only quick but really ono!

Anyway, I couldn't find this recipe anywhere online, sorry! It was quite a simple dish, really, with olive oil, butter, flour, and chicken broth whipped together and used to quickly sautee the veal. Then lemon, zest, and parsley are added at the end. How simple can you get? The sauce really complemented my freshly sauteed baby spinach. Loved it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Lunch at Red Robin

C has been wanting to try Red Robin since they started their nationwide ad campaign a few months ago - but of course, there isn't one in Hawai'i. There is one, though, just a few miles from our home in Virginia. We were looking for a place to eat lunch after church today, and dh agreed to take us here.

I ordered this Santa Fe Burger, which I liked - mostly because it reminded me of the old Santa Fe Burger that Carls Jr. had back in the late 80's. The sauce tasted very similar. The roasted poblano pepper was even tastier than Carl's canned Ortega chili. However, the rest of the burger was just standard burger fare, not worth $9.79. I could barely taste the tiny amount of guacamole on it, disappointing for this guac lover.

Jim had the guacamole bacon burger. His only comment was, "it was OK." He really liked their steak fries, and thought the fact they there are bottomless refills was cool. I thought they were pretty good, but not even close to knocking off McDonald's and In 'n' Out of the top of my list.

Service was OK, certainly not stellar. We had to ask for additional napkins (come on, when someone comes in with three kids, that should be standard, shouldn't it?) and point out to her that we needed refills and water.

C will have to tell you what she thought of her 5 Alarm Burger, which was what had intrigued her all these months.

Pau hana, folks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We're still unpacking, surrounded by boxes, but I wanted to serve a familiar food that my family loves. This is a delicious, light soup, and a perfect dinner for a cool evening in Virginia.

It was a fun process making this, mostly because we still hadn't unpacked bowls and I was missing my 5 quart pot that I usually make this in. I was prepping and cooking surrounded by cardboard and packing paper, trying to keep an eye on my husband as he opened boxes with abandon. We did find the bowls, but I had to settle for a different pot.

I remember scoping this recipe out of a magazine years ago, but over the years I have made it my own with a few tweeks here and there. Like most of my recipes, I have changed it to reduce the fat and salt content, while adding flavor. Try this one, I think you will enjoy it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is enough for my family of 5 with plenty of leftovers - halve it for a smaller crowd.

3 pints low sodium, low fat chicken broth (note: this is a light soup, so broth works better than stock)
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp uncooked white rice, medium grain
1 medium yellow onion
2 large tomatoes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, thoroughly washed
2 large ripe avocados, halved and pitted (this is plenty to have extra guacamole to eat with chips alongside the soup)
salt to taste
unsalted, baked tortilla chips
shredded low fat Monterey Jack cheese
juice of one lime
Tabasco sauce

In 5 quart saucepan, heat broth to boiling. Add whole chicken breasts, lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove chicken and cool in refrigerator. Add rice to broth and cook 15 minutes. In the meantime, dice onions, seed and chop tomatoes, and stem and chop cilantro. Mash avocados with salt and, if desired, Tabasco sauce; set aside. Remove cooled chicken from refrigerator and chop; return to broth. Add tomato, onion, and cilantro. Heat just through. Add lime juice. Serve over chips. Top with avocado sauce and cheese. Top with additional Tabasco sauce, if desired.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Expensive taste

I have an expensive taste. I know this will sound crazy, but I don't really like pizza or mac 'n' cheese. But I like pretty much everything else. I like sushi, musubi, seafood, Hawaiian food, Mexican food, ect. My taste started really expanding when we moved to Hawaii.

I would beg my mom to take me to my favorite restaurant, Genki Sushi. It is a really good sushi place. It has a conveyor belt that comes to every table, where you can take any dish. The plates have a color code for the price. Each color represents a different price. My mom takes me when we are out alone. It's really worth it. If you want to check it out, go to

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yama Sushi Bar

Sorry, no pictures for this review - we're still moving in and were in a rush and I completely forgot.

I love sushi - one of the best things about living in Hawai'i for so long was the availability of good, cheap sushi. My oldest shares my love, and was asking when we would start trying to find a good sushi place here in Virginia. Last night we were invited to watch a choir singing at a Christmas preview sale nearby, so C and I decided to try Yama Sushi, which just happens to be right down the street, on our way to the event.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a true Japanese style sushi bar, with all the employees obviously Japanese. The menu was extensive, and not as cheap as we're used to. It includes many other Japanese foods other than sushi. They also give a small bowl of fresh cucumber tsukemono with the drinks, which was nice. The green tea was hot and good, but no refills were offered.

C and I overordered in our enthusiasm to try several different specialties. The endamame appetizer was hot, salty, and good, but the shrimp tempura appetizer was just OK - I've had better. For some reason, they gave us a specialty roll on the house - a Volcano roll. It was actually pretty good - some kind of tuna inside-out roll that was battered and deep fried.

We ordered two rolls off their spicy roll list, but were disappointed in the lack of spicyness. They were good, but barely spicy to our palates. The specialty roll we ordered, the Earthquake, was supposed to be spicy as well, but was actually sweet in taste, something I've never had in sushi before. I'm not sure if I liked it. C ate it all, though, mostly because she loves sushi so much. Love ya, C!

I did order a piece of of salmon sashimi, which was thick, fresh, and delicious.

We will probably go there again, mostly due to the close location, but we will continue to search the area for a really, really good sushi bar.


We've just moved to Virginia from Hawai'i, where I fell in love with food blogs. This will now become my very own food blog, where I can post recipes, restaurant reviews, and all things food. I hope you will enjoy this blog, and also follow my main blog, about life, politics, and homeschooling, which is at