Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recipe: Food Hussy's Quick Fajita Dinner

Sometimes I'm on the ball - I plan ahead with grocery lists, coupons, recipes and menu planning! Sometimes, I'm not. Sometimes I come home and think, "What in the hell am I going to make for dinner?"

This was one of those nights. Thank God for big frozen bags o' chicken! I decided to make fajitas - of sorts:

Food Hussy Fajitas

* Olive oil

* 2 chicken breasts, 3 chicken thighs - frozen bags o' chicken (or whatever combo fits your family)
* 1 T cumin
* 1 onion - sliced into rings then cut in 1/2
* 1 red pepper (I love orange or yellow too - very sweet) - sliced into bite size pieces
* 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
* Toppings: taco sauce, chow chow, sour cream
* Tortillas

1.  Heat oil in big skillet
2. After thawing the chicken, slice into thin bite-size pieces. Add to the heated skillet and start to saute. Sprinkle the cumin all over the cooking chicken.
3. While chicken starts cooking - slice onion and add to the skillet.
4. Slice the pepper and add to the skillet. Make sure you cook everything long enough for the onion to carmelize - approx 15 min or until chicken is cooked through.
5. Add the drained & rinsed beans. Heat through for a few minutes.
6. Serve with tortillas & toppings - enjoy!

Here are my non-cheese toppings. I love Ortega Taco Sauce - I don't know why - but I do. It's got an almost sweet flavor and just enough spice. Mrs. Renfros gave me the chow-chow and when I was getting toppings out I thought I'd use this as a salsa. It added a really great refreshing zing! Lastly - sour cream - can't give that up too!

Here's a shot of the finished dish in the pan.. Those onions - wow - so delicious when they're carmelized. They're sweet and all the bitterness is gone.


Put it all together and faijta night is a success! I like the small tortillas - I can never seem to do the burrito fold. These were so tasty and just as good the next day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday Night: Kelly, Peruvian & Bread Pudding

My good friend Jenny told me that there was a new ethnic restaurant neighborhood in her area of Mt. Washington. It's a Peruvian cafe called Tumi Cafe. She's really hoping it does well since it's great to have new places in a neighborhood. Nobody has blogged about it - so I decided to check it out.

It's just a couple doors down from the Creamy Whip - which is my favorite Ice Cream place!

I got the Cau-Cau (pronounced koo-koo). Everything here is so affordable - most expensive is $7! This was potatoes, corn, chicken and onion served with a side of rice. Honestly - I didn't like it so much. It had a good spice (heat) level but I just wasn't a big fan of the peruvian seasonings in this one. I have to mention though - all the ingredients are so fresh. She said they're a "green" place - the motto is Sometimes wild, sometimes mild, always green!

I'll also say - the online menu says, "Entrées are served with white or green rice, salsa criolla (aji peppers, red onion and vinegar), and two surritos (cheesy corn bread sticks)." We got the rice (as you can see) but didn't get any of the salsa or surritos. :-(

My friend Kelly came with me and the owner convinced her to get the Aji de Gallina - which is shredded chicken covered in walnuts, aji peppers, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese (very spicy). I tried a bite of this - I liked it a lot more than what I had. It is spicier though.

They had music as well - which was perfect - nice background music and didn't interrupt our conversation. They're having a grand opening soon and will have music all day.

Really cool art on the walls too...

It's a really cute little place and I love the stop light. 

Jewelry for sale...

They also sell pet scarves - lots of pictures of family dogs. 


Why Should You Go? Well I have to admit, we didn't really love our dinner choices. I liked Kelly's better than mine though. I want to go back though - there were a few other menu items I want to try - and seriously - at $7/person - it's worth it! I admire the idea and want to check it out again and hopefully find something I love. I think the Tumi sandwich or Mushroom Ceviche are calling me for the next visit. I hope some of you try it and let me know your thoughts.

Tumi Cafe on Urbanspoon

After that - we needed dessert - and I knew just the place! We were close by so we headed over to Bella Luna for some bread pudding! It's what they're known for and Kelly had never had it.

Look at that plate full of goodness! No raisins, no nuts - just deliciousness. The butter rum sauce is so decadent as well. I wish it had been served a little warmer...but still very tasty!

They had live music too - we weren't paying much attention - but it was there. We were too busy catching up - it does have a really cozy vibe. We just sat in the bar area and really enjoyed it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Overload...thanks Cincinnati Magazine!

Cincinnati Magazine recently held their Sweet Victory event in West Chester. It was truly a chocolate overload! This was held at the Savannah Center off the Union Center exit. It was targeted towards folks that were getting married but my good friend Rachel and I were more than happy to check out all the goods!

Right off the bat we were greeted with sweets and treats. The first table was from the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Rachel instantly fell in love with their banana muffins. It was especially nice because they weren't chocolate. We were about to go into a chocolate coma and we didn't even know it.

These little tarts were from the Hilton as well. So beautiful and tasty...

Turning the corner we came across Fantasy in Frosting. These were the best buckeyes I have ever eaten! The samples were really large at this table. We quickly found that we should split the portions and NOT try everything we see!

Those are cheesecake pops - big, delicious cheesecake pops.

Mini-cheesecakes from J. Annette's Cheesecakes

Patricia's Wedding Cakes had some samples of different flavors. These were fairly simple compared to many of the choices.

The Midwest Culinary Institute really had something special to offer. These little dark chocolate towers were filled with creamy goodness of many flavors. Fancy, decadent and just a biteful - they were fantastic. I'm continuously impressed by MCI!


The Bonbonerie was also there - of course. Rachel and I aren't actually big fans and with all there was to try - we passed this one up.


Paper Acorn was there with these really creative paper offerings. These were set up with the fake tealight candles and were very pretty.

They also had adorable cupcake boxes! I had cupcakes at my wedding - these would have been great for guests to take home the extras.

Duncan Hines was one of the sponsors and they were introducing their new glazes.

They also had some cake pops to try! These were great! Cake pops are basically a baked cake crumbled and mixed with frosting. Then you make balls out of them, glaze and decorate!

There was also a cake decorating contest going on. We got there early and didn't hang around for the end but hope the MCI girls won. They were really workin that fondant!

Patricia got in on the action as well and it appears as though she had a young helper. It was interesting to watch the different techniques.

These flowers from the Hilton - edible! Although she said they might not taste too good we could technicaly eat them.

And after many attempts we caught the Fantasy in Frosting guy with a smile!

Rachel wouldn't let me leave without taking a picture of me and my cake pop. It was the last bite of chocolate I could handle.

The last stop was Donna's Gourmet Cookies - we looked, mulled it over and decided we couldn't take another bite of sweet. Sorry Donna - I'm sure they're good.

On our way out we grabbed our "gift" which was a coupon for the Duncan Hines cake or glaze. 

One thing to note is that if you go to an event like this - go early. We were there when the doors opened and after once around, the lines were crazy long! 

And after all this chocolate - we were dying for grease and meat - so we headed to the Friendly Stop in Rachel's own Glendale. Ahhhh garlic burger goodness!

Friday, February 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY DAY! Naturally Nora Cake & Brownie Mixes

I was recently contacted by the folks at Naturally Nora All Natural Baking Mixes about their products being introduced to the Cincinnati market. They're being sold at Kroger stores.

They sent me a nice sample of cake mixes, frosting mixes and brownie mixes. I gave one cake & frosting mix to a couple that had us over for dinner and then decided I would make one of the cakes at home some time!

This week I was down and out with stomach flu doing my best to recover and decided to make him a birthday cake (38 years old!).

As I've mentioned, Larry is allergic to eggs but I saw on Nora's Baking Tips that you could substitute applesauce for eggs in a mix - so this seemed like a great time to give it a try.

I'm going to warn you - please don't make fun of my "decorating". I was home sick and didn't have much to work with - sugar sprinkles leftover from my sister's cupcake days were all I had!


He was actually working at the time - so I sent him a picture to his cell phone. He was really happy - said nobody ever made him a cake before! Awwwwww.

I even made the frosting! I didn't use the Nora mix because that had egg whites. I did a simple buttercream I found on the internet (1 stick butter, 1 bag powdered sugar, vanilla, milk). The frosting was okay - not horrible for a first attempt. The cake was a little warm when I put the icing on so it was separating and sliding a bit. I also don't think I whipped it long enough.

Trust me - I'm not applying for Cake Boss anytime soon!

But the cake was the real star and how did it taste? I made the chocolate and it was really good. Definite good chocolate flavor! Larry's taken some to work every day this week - so it had to be pretty good. Was it much different than Betty Crocker taste-wise? No probably not. But if you like natural ingredients it's a good one to try! I can also say - the applesauce was a good replacement. It might not have been quite as fluffy but the taste was still very chocolate-y.

GIVEAWAY TIME! 

I have a great box of goodies from Naturally Nora for one lucky reader. There are 2 brownie mixes, 1 cake mix and 2 frosting mixes! I'm going to give it all to one reader in hopes that they'll pass along a brownie mix to a friend and spread the word.

So check out the Naturally Nora site and let me know what recipe or product sounds the best to you! (I'm all about that Coconut Cake.) If you tweet or post to Facebook and let me know here - you'll get another entry.

Here's a tweet for you to post:

Check out the @naturallynora giveaway from @foodhussy at http://www.thefoodhussy.com!

I'll draw the winner the end of next week!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

C = Chung Kiwha Korean BBQ

So my sister and her friends rigged the vote for the letter C - but it's all good. She's my baby sister and I love her so she can do no wrong! So off my friend Lou and I went to Chung Kiwha Korean BBQ in Florence.

You've probably driven by this place - the parking lot is usually empty but it was actually kinda busy this particular Friday evening! Actually - it's so NOT busy that many folks have joked it's a front for the mob! But no - they serve food!

Those are sushi roles we're guessing. Also they do not have a menu - it's about $30 for the buffet and sushi is an add-on. When you go in - they tend to assume you know the routine - if you don't - let the server know and she'll give you the lowdown.

They first bring you this random bowl of brown liquid. No clue what it is...it's not soy sauce. It's sweet-ish and not salty.
They bring you out a container of fired up charcoals and plop them into your table grill. 

The server sent us up to the buffet - there's a bit of a "salad" bar with lots of random cold items. Kimchee, sprout salad, seasoned okra and a few more things.

 
I tried all of them...wasn't too fond of any of them. I'm a texture person and these all funked me out to be honest.

They also have a plate of California Rolls as a sushi sampling. I tried a couple and they were good for a CR.


There are a lot of different proteins on the buffet. Chicken, pork and beef - some seasoned, some not... Yes - they're raw - you cook them on that table top grill.

Stop for soup if you like too - we didn't - not soup fans. 

Calamari

Scallops

Shell-on Shrimp

Grab a plate - pile the protein - grab some veggies (peppers, mushrooms) and head back to your table.

This is the funniest thing ever - I have no idea what happened to my pictures of the cooked food! All I have is this:
I remember it is the short rib and it was hands down our favorite of the beef/pork/chicken proteins. The seafoods were fine but no seasoning so basically it's just plain shrimp or scallops. So yes - ooh and aah over that one cooked piece of meat. Ha!

Quick shot of the sushi bar...
After telling her about the restaurant I asked my sister about the "authenticity" of the BBQ and she sent me a link to this article about Korean's BBQs

And now - these are for my sister and for fun. We were cracking up at the "decor".

Sumo wrestlers and a dainty saucy girl drinking some booze.

Seems a little stereotypical...as it greets you at the door. 

Then - random shots of a "cabin" in summer and winter! 

Sis - have you been to Habiro Hermitage in Mt. Myohyang? Well I have now...(yes - the page ripped from a calendar was that real!)

And hey - why not a quick shot of Times Square?!

Sea Kumgang...not touching that with your...um never mind.

Oh yes another saucy innocent - but she's a drinker!

And some random chubby kid on TV doing karaoke. 

Why Should You Go? Well - it's a once/year kinda place. At $30/person - it's expensive - especially when you're cooking your own food! But there were a lot of Korean's there - which I think is a good call to it's "authenticity". I felt like interviewing some to see why they come and how often. It is fun and would be great for a first date - good ice breaker to cook together.

As far as the alphabet goes - looking forward to Dusmesh and letter E! And thanks again to Cincinnati Bites for telling me about Chung Kiwha!

Chung Kiwha Korean Barbecue & Sushi on Urbanspoon