Quick Crock Pot Chili with Red Gold Tomatoes!

As a blogger, I do enjoy getting and trying new products and sometimes brands that I might just not be familiar with! The folks at Red Gold Tomatoes contacted me about sending me some of their products - so I thought I'd make some chili and try them out! 

After looking in the cupboard, it was pretty clear that chili was the easiest route to go for this recipe! I also had some ground turkey breast and onion in the fridge. Sounds like a plan!

I browned the turkey and onion then popped them in the crock pot. I added 2 cans of tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, 1 tablespoon of the Buffalo Wild Wings Desert Heat spice, 1 tablespoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir. Stir. Stir. Then I cooked on high for about 90 minutes.

Since this dish is SO healthy - I decided that a little shredded cheese would be okay to top it off. I have to say - this was DELICIOUS! I am a firm believer that if you're using it the meat in something like this - using ground turkey is not only healthier but tastier! I found the ground turkey breast on sale - so even better!

The Red Gold tomatoes also tasted great! They were juicy and sweet and still firm after time in the crock pot!

Thanks so much to Red Gold for the tomatoes!

New Greek Food for Me!

So as I've mentioned a couple of times - we've recently moved to a new neighborhood and for a food hussy like me - it's so fun to try all the new places in my 'hood! We were tired of fast food and decided to try out the Blublu Greek Restaurant on Hamilton Ave.

We called in an order for a couple of gyros to go but once we went in to pick them up - we noticed all the other great stuff they have! These are traditional Greek dishes and we are excited to try them! Things like Pastitsio, Stuffed Peppers and a dish that ALWAYS reminds me of one of my favorite movies - My Big Fat Greek Wedding - Mousaka!! (Moose Caca?)

Rather than boring old fries we decided to go for the lemon-roasted potatoes and rice for side dishes. Larry has been having a hankering for rice. The potatoes had a lot of flavor but it would have been nice if they'd been a little crispier.

We both got gyros with everything. They were pretty good - fresh and lots of toppings - lettuce was unique but we liked it. It added a nice cool crispness to them. They were a little more light on the meat compared to other gyros I've had but the total gyro was definitely filling. 

Why Should You Go? It's a nice diversion from the chains in the area and it's ethnic - which (other than Chinese) is rare up here! We have already been back a couple of times. Also to note - they do have a few tables inside so you can eat-in as well but I think a great deal of their business is to-go. For nicer weather, there is a patio as well.

Blublu Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Giveaway Day! Eversave & J Gumbos!

So there's a new Daily Deal site in town and it's called Eversave! It's much like Groupon and the others - Daily Deals at half price - I've got all of these bookmarked and check them each day so I never miss a great deal!

To get you guys started on Eversave - they are giving me one of their J Gumbo's Daily Deals to giveaway to one lucky Food Hussy reader!!! If you haven't been to J Gumbos - check out my review from a while back! 

All you have to do is either like Eversave on Facebook or follow them on Twitter - then leave a comment WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO below and you're entered!!! 

I'll draw a winner this week!!! And make sure to check out their deals - there are 2 days left on J Gumbos and there are some fun holiday deals if you're still searching for a last minute gift! 

Now who wants Gumbo?????

Recipe: Sopapilla Cheesecake

Thanks to Pinterest - my recipe box is FULL! A couple weeks ago I found this Sopapilla Cheesecake and decided it was going in the box to try. 

It's not too often that I spontaneously have all the ingredients for something on hand - but yeah! Crescent rolls, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla - how many of you have all of those ingredients in your cupboards right now?

First you mix up softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla - I also threw some cinnamon in this portion as well. My cream cheese wasn't softened and I put it on "defrost" in the microwave and it softened perfectly without melting.

You put half the crescent rolls on the bottom - spread the cream cheese mix on top - then the other layer of crescent rolls. I was winging it a bit since I was in a hurry and making half the recipe.  I made this in a square dish but the original recipe is meant for 9x13.

Top with melted butter, cinnamon & sugar - then pop it in the oven! 

Here's a shot out of the oven...it puffed up nicely.

And here's a slice of the yumminess! We both liked it a lot and it's a quick and easy breakfast/dessert to make that has pretty simple ingredients.

In my "winging" it - I didn't use enough sugar. I should have taken the extra time to make sure I used the right amounts. It is sort of a recipe you can't screw up though - or if you like things a little less sweet - use less sugar. It was still really good - just would have been better with more sugar in the cream cheese. I also would mix the cinnamon and sugar for the top and go heavier with the sugar there as well.

Hope you like it!

Sopapilla Cheesecake
-3 cans pillsbury butter crescent rolls
-2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
-1 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 cup butter (melted)
-Cinnamon & sugar

Unrolled and spread 1 & 1/2 can crescent rolls on bottom of un-greased pan. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

FINALLY! Taqueria Mercado

Well it's only taken like 3 years since I first heard about Taqueria Mercado for me to get there and try it! I've heard it's one of the more authentic and tasty Mexican restaurants in town.

It took my family coming down from Minnesota and staying nearby for me to try it - but it definitely won't be my last trip!

I branched out - they had Tortas ($5.50!!) on the menu - which I'd heard of but never tried. I got a Torta with Carnitas - it also came with avocado, beans, lettuce, sour cream and jalapenos. The bread comes fresh from their bakery next door.

Let me just say - BEST. SANDWICH. EVER. Like I seriously will never get anything else (except maybe some cheese dip) - this was sooooo amazing and fresh and just plain freakin delicious!!!

Larry got the Camarones ala Plancha (small - $9.49) and while he's not a big fan of Mexican - he did like this. (Who doesn't like Mexican????)

Aunt Marty went for the Shrimp Fajitas ($10.99) and approved as well. 

Mmmmm avocado! Marty didn't want hers so I stacked it on my torta! I can't get enough avocado!

The margaritas were pretty stiff as expected - I went for one small. That was the only negative to comment on - I asked for extra salt and actually got less. Huh? We'll forgive them that one!

Can't really remember what Uncle Bruce got - but he was again - very pleased! 

As I mentioned, they also have a bakery. This was in the cooler and I don't know what the hell it is - but who wouldn't want some of that?!!!!

I did run to the bakery and grab a couple of churros as well for breakfast the next day. Delicious! They were HUGE and sooooo good! I heated them up a lil bit and amazingness!

Why Should You Go? The torta is reason enough for a visit - especially at only $5.50! And don't forget stopping by the bakery.

Taqueria Mercado on Urbanspoon

Awesome Ribs and a New Restaurant

I've been chatting for quite a while with Matt from Just Q'in on Twitter but never actually met him or tasted his food. Up until very recently he's just had a food truck & catering business - but now - he's got a restaurant too! 

Matt has opened up a carryout restaurant in Newtown and in preparation for that - he dropped off a rack of ribs for me to try! 

There was also a side of sauce with them as well. I have to say - the aroma filled the house the second he brought them in. Larry and I were practically drooling right then and there!

I have mainly had ribs with lots of sauce - but these came with the dry rub seasoning on them and I decided to just try them first like that - "naked" if you will.

Let me just say - I didn't even try the sauce! These ribs were soooooo amazing! Fall-off-the-bone delicious is probably the best way to describe these ribs. We had those ribs gone in less than 10 minutes - no sides, no plates, no silverware - just devouring at the kitchen counter!

Why Should You Go? These ribs were so delicious! So - if you're looking for amazing ribs, catering or are in the vicinity of Newtown - get over to Just Q'in!!!

Just Q'in on Urbanspoon

Giveaway Day!!!! Hickory Farms (another gift!)

This Christmas season at Food Hussy - we're making sure not only you get good stuff (like those Omaha Steaks) - but we're also making sure some of your friends & family gets some good stuff too! 

Last week it was Graeters and this week it's Hickory Farms

The folks at Hickory Farms sent me a Party Planner Gift Box which has a great assortment of meats, cheeses, sauces and crackers. Lots of tasty stuff and it was a big hit at a party I went to recently! With every sale of this box, Hickory Farms donates $5 to Share Our Strength and their No Kid Hungry campaign. They also have free shipping of this to Military addresses.

And now - a gift for you! Or someone you know!

One of you will be getting a Warm & Hearty Welcome box from Hickory Farms. This box also ships free to military addresses.


Winning is easy - leave a comment below saying who you'd send this to - or if you'd just keep it for yourself! Christmas is coming quick - so we'll draw a winner Monday!



We're now moved in and pretty much settled and have been discovering the take-out of our new 'hood. Why? I haven't figured out how to grocery shop apparently. Ugh - too much stuff to do and not enough time! 

I drive by Pit to Plate every day on my way to and from work - I have long heard about Pit and got my first taste of them at the Taste of the NFL a few weeks back. So on the way home from work one day - I decided to grab some to-go for Larry and I. 

Pulled chicken, (sauce on the side - can't see it), corn muffin, green beans, taters & gravy for Larry!

For me, pulled pork, cole slaw, baked beans and corn muffins. 

So how did Pit to Plate fare? Really well - first of all $7.95 each - for all that!!! Yeah - great value for the $$. The cole slaw was creamy and had a little zing to it. The beans - sweet, saucy and a little spicy. The pork was juicy and the sauce is really great. The corn muffins - BEST EVER!!

Seriously - I just want a dozen of those corn muffins!!

Also - they get HIGH marks for customer service - those girls are the friendliest, happiest bunch ever!

Pit To Plate BBQ on Urbanspoon

Next up is Big Arts - it's only a couple minutes away - so it's just as close as PTP. I mentioned to someone I liked PTP and they told me I HAD to try Big Arts...so off I went.

I got the same thing - pulled pork dinner to go. It came with two sides and a roll for $9.99. The pork was fine but it was much dryer and the sauce was more bitter. The green beans were also bitter and bleh. But the worst were the roll and the potato - DRY DRY DRY. There was no butter, no sour cream, no nothing. MMMMM - who doesn't want a dry ass roll AND a dry ass baked potato!!

To me - if I'm getting it to-go, they should at least ASK if I need anything. They weren't very friendly either - on the phone or when I went to pick up my order. 

Big Art's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Thus - in the Pulled Pork Faceoff - the clear winner is PIT TO PLATE!!! 

Why Should You Go? Cheaper, tastier and friendlier!!!!

Cheap Buffet...and bad Taco Pizza

In our land of new restaurants - we actually had a "daily deal" for a place we hadn't tried - Carmela's Pizza & Buffet on Kemper in Springdale. I don't remember what site we got it from - but it was for a pizza, two apps or salads and two drinks (I think). 

We didn't realize - it's more of a buffet than a order & wait pizza place. The buffet is really large and surprisingly they have SO much more than just pizza! They had lasagna, chicken, ribs, mac & cheese, etc... plus a big salad bar. That was what most folks were coming in for. And it's really affordable as well - it's only $7.49 with a beverage! (lunch & dinner).

But since we had our coupon - we found a couple of appetizers to try. Larry wanted the garlic knots. They were okay - a little cold, very salty and lots and lots and lots of garlic. Nothing compared to the ones at Brunos. They are really cheap though - only $1.99 for a large order.

We also got the mozzarella sticks ($7.99) and they were pretty good - battered and the marinara was tasty. We liked these a lot.

Larry let me choose the pizza - and he shouldn't have. We got a taco pizza. It wasn't very good. We only ate a couple of pieces and took the rest home but never touched it. The meat was kinda gross and the onions & peppers were a bit too raw. Like they made a cheese pizza and threw the rest on top. It just wasn't good. The crust was nothing to write home about either...

Why Should You Go? Well - don't go for the taco pizza - but at $7.49 for the buffet - if you're in the area - it might be worth a try.

Carmelas Pizzeria & Buffet on Urbanspoon

Try the salad - it's a Killer!

Sorry it's been a while since my last review - with being out of work for a month (now gainfully employed again!) and moving (oye) - it's been a bit cra-cra in the Johnson household! 

But with a new job - downtown - comes new places for the Food Hussy to visit! We are in - as I like to refer to it - the "crotch" of downtown. No idea why I say that - but we're near where all the interstates collide and it is just crotch-like. 

In this area - there are not a lot of restaurants in walking distance - like maybe 3. But that's okay - one is right across the street and is really yummy! It's Deli seven20! Now while their website doesn't seem like much - I do also like their Facebook page because they always have the daily specials there. 

The first day I tried a combo for $8 with a cup of soup and a half-salad. I also got a bag of their homemade chips.

The salad I tried was "The Killer" and it is my favorite! It normally comes with either grilled chicken or tofu - but I asked for portabella mushrooms instead and they were happy to oblige. It comes with 2 dressings - a spicy ranch and salsa. My favorite thing by far about this salad is the roasted corn - it's soooo sweet and just bursts flavor in your mouth. I always get this!

I've tried a couple of the soups - the Fiesta Veggie Bean was just okay. Lacked salt and was too much just a vegetable soup. Meh. The Chicken Chili on the other hand was great! I figured it would be a white chili - but it was a red. Loved it.

The chips are pretty good - they're really well done - so pretty hard and crunchy - thick. Just an fyi - I didn't love them but I did appreciate them - if that makes any sense.

I also tried a sandwich special - it was fine...The "ring dang doo" is pretty popular from what I hear (roast pork loin, smoked gouda, roasted red peppers & sweet chili mayo on focacci). I like that everything is really fresh - but I'm not much of a cold-sandwich person...so I think I'll stick with either a large Killer or a combo with soup & salad. 

Why Should You Go: The price is $8-10 depending on if you get chips/soda/cookie/etc...so it's not cheap - but it's good and feels fairly healthy. Most of all - you can tell it's fresh - which I really like! I don't know that it's worth a trip downtown - but if you're in the P&G/Sawyer Point vicinity - it's a good option. 

I also hear rumblings of a deli/salad bar in the "book building" across the street - I think I'll have to venture over there. The construction workers swear by it and say it's half the price. The girls here say it's not as good. Sounds like a job for the Food Hussy! :-)

And go enter to win a 6 pack of Graeters - if you win - will you send it to my Mom? I can't enter! 

Deli seven20 on Urbanspoon

Giveaway Day!!!! GRAETERS!!!!

While the weather outside is getting frightful (enough rain already - seriously!) - there's one thing that is ALWAYS delightful!

Seriously - who doesn't love some of this decadent goodness? And for those of us in Cincinnati - we can have this deliciousness anytime! But what about our friends and relatives not lucky enough to live here? What are they supposed to do? 

Well - today you can win a SIX PACK OF GRAETERS TO SEND TO THEM! 

That's right - need a unique gift? You can avoid the mall and order the sweetest gift for family & friends at Graeters.com. They have 6 or 12 pint variety packs or you can customize your own! There are 24 flavors including signature chip and limited edition holiday favorites - Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie and Peppermint Stick! 
And for those non-Cincinnati folks - you can enter too! If you haven't heard of Graeter's - here's a little info! The fourth-generation family-owned company stands apart from the rest having pioneered the French Pot process of making only 2 gallons at a time with all-natural ingredients. End result... a dense, creamy texture and massive dark chocolate chips (more HUNKS than chips!). 

My favorite flavor is the Coconut Chip - but the rest are all amazing and delicious as well! So be sure to enter the giveaway today! You'll get your own 6 pack to send to a friend, relative - or yourself!!! Check one gift off the list with Graeters and the Food Hussy! 

Be sure to leave your comment about which flavor is YOUR favorite and who you want to send this to! As always - be sure to leave your contact information (twitter, email or facebook) and if you tweet the message AND let me know with another comment - you get an extra entry! 

I just entered to win a free 6 pack of @graeters from @foodhussy! I wonder who I will send it to! http://www.thefoodhussy.com

Giveaway Day: Parkers Blue Ash Tavern

No review today - just something free for you guys! I have a $50 Brunch for Two gift certificate for Parkers Blue Ash Tavern for some lucky Food Hussy Fan!

Photo Courtesy of Parkers Blue Ash Tavern 

The brunch really looks amazing! I mean - you get a free drink (Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Screwdriver or Champagne) to start - which is never a bad thing! Then - the food! Made to order omelets, Belgian waffles, salads, smoked salmon, Tavern Mac & Cheese, bread pudding and so much more! Seriously - you will NOT leave hungry!

Photo Courtesy of Parkers Blue Ash Tavern

Parkers also has four private rooms that can seat 20-60 people - so it's great for holiday parties and special gatherings. The restaurant really is a pretty place - if you haven't been it's worth a visit. 

So it's Giveaway Time!!! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment letting me know what brunch item sounds the best to you at Parkers and leave your contact info!!!! If you tweet the following - AND leave a separate comment letting me know you did - you'll get an extra entry!

I entered to win Brunch for 2 @ParkersBlueAsh1 from @foodhussy and you can too! www.thefoodhussy.com

Be sure to leave a way to contact you - twitter, email, facebook, something! Otherwise your entry doesn't count.

Thanks and happy brunching!

Congrats also to Jessica for winning the Omaha Steaks $50 Gift Card. More goodies to come!!!

GIVEAWAY DAY!!!! MooooooooCow!

I'm all about trying new things and getting fun giveaways for my readers - this holiday season I have some GOOD stuff coming up for me and you! 

First up in the Giveaways this holiday season is OMAHA STEAKS! I have long-wondered about this mail-order steak company. They do have physical stores as well - in our area they are in Crestview Hills & Beavercreek. (Giveaway at the end)

Omaha Steaks sent me a sample Ideal Gift Assortment which contained: 

2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons
2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloin Steaks
4 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops
4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers
4 (5.75 oz.) Stuffed Baked Potatoes
6 inch Chocolate Lovers Cake

Here's a beauty shot of all the awesome things I get to try! Top sirloin, filet mignon, pork chops, burgers, baked potatoes and cake!!! Seriously - we are gonna eat well this holiday season!!!

After opening my cooler of goodness, this is everything I unpacked! I have to say - for gift giving - these guys have it down to a science! Everything comes so well packed and was all still safely frozen when I got home from work. (More than I can say for the time my mother sent me meat for my birthday - yes - seriously!) Everything is boxed individually and vacuum sealed. It's great because you can pop the boxes in your freezer (if you have room) or unpack and repackage to save space. The cake also arrived safe and sound!

They also have an Unconditional Guarantee that you'll love every bite - makes it nice to feel confident in your gift sending to family & friends!

Here's a closeup of the filet mignons...frozen and vacuum sealed!

I decided to cook up the two top sirloin and two burgers tonight. I always make extra since Larry and I both pack our lunches for school/work. I cooked them on a grill pan as the rain didn't really give me much opportunity for outside grilling.  I also decided on very little seasoning - I wanted to taste the quality of the cow and tell you all what I really thought!

I am also always cooking things on the rare side. I hate when steak is overcooked and dry - yucko! I have to say - I did good tonight. This steak was cooked perfectly for my taste!

Speaking of TASTE - how was it? Excellent! 99% of the time I use Worcestershire on steak - but tonight I just had a tiny bit of steak seasoning. It was really great! A lot of times, meat that has been frozen gets a different texture but this didn't! It had that great steak texture but also FLAVOR. I was very happy with the steak!

How would the burgers fare? I cut one in half just to show the juiciness. I put them on the grill pan the same time as the steaks and the steaks were done first. The burgers aren't huge - but they're enough obviously when you add toppings.

I tried these plain - just to really taste the pure beef of the brand. I have to say - these were also great! And I'm not the kind of person to shill cuz I got it for free - if I don't like it - I'll tell you. But these burgers were great! They had the smell of a good burger (like the ones I got from the farms this summer) and the flavor! Again - the flavor of a good burger is so right on! I was really impressed with this burger!

So from the two things I've tried so far I can highly recommend Omaha Steaks for yourself or as a gift for your friends & family! Their site has so many options from Gifts to Overstock to Complete Meals and even more! They have gifts under $50 and free shipping on select packages as well - so there's something for everybody.

And now - to get you started on your holiday gift giving (or receiving) - your chance for a $50 gift card to Omaha Steaks! There are two ways to enter:

1. Comment below with what item you'd like to try from Omaha Steaks or who you'd like to send a gift package to this holiday season.

2. Tweet this message and come back here to let me know you did!

@foodhussy is giving away $50 to @omahasteaks at www.thefoodhussy.com!

BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL OR TWITTER HANDLE IN THE COMMENT SO I CAN NOTIFY YOU!!!! If I can't figure out how to get in touch with you, I toss out your entry. 

I'll be drawing the winner next Monday (and then hosting another giveaway!).