Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Frisch's Founders Day is May 3! Dress like a Big Boy & Get a FREE Big Boy!

I love me some Frisch's and this Saturday is their third annual Founder's Day! 

Frisch's founding father Dave Frisch was born in Cincinnati on May 3, 1902. In 1939, he opened The Mainliner - the first year round drive-in restaurant in the Cincinnati area. Nine years later he opened the first Frisch's Big Boy on Central Parkway. (Two things I didn't know about Frisch's - crazy!)

So in honor of Dave - Frisch's has Founders Day - where if you dress like a Big Boy - you get a FREE BIG BOY! The Big Boy is 2 patties, pickle, cheese and "special sauce".

Now they encourage you to get as creative as you like - but if you need a little help - they have a printable costume - it works too!

FYI - you do have to Dine In for this offer - if you'd like to invite some friends to dress up with you - invite them to their Facebook event!

Thanks to Frisch's Founders Day - you're getting a chance to win a $25 Frisch's gift card. Have fun and good luck!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Restaurant Review & Giveaway: First Watch's Spring Menu

First Watch has their spring menu out right now and it is full of delicious treats! Whether you choose Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, AB&J Waffle or Smoked Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Frittata - you cannot go wrong!

Ranging from $7.50 - $9.50 - they won't break the bank either! I can say now - I didn't choose the pancakes- but then I saw them go by me when I had lunch there - man - they looked good. The manager said the lemon curd (which I do love) is amazingly tasty!

As is with the Food Hussy - coworkers reap the rewards. My girl Kelly came with me and chose the AB&J Waffle (minus the Strawberry Sauce). This light belgian waffle is topped with almond butter, strawberries and fresh granola. She MIGHT have licked her plate clean - I'm not saying she did - I'm just saying she was accused of it. ;-) I tried a bite - yum!

I went for the Smoked Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Frittata - you just can't go wrong with their frittatas (and it's such a fun word to say). This was made with smoked salmon, shallots and tomatoes then topped with parmesan cheese and a chive cream drizzle. It was good - but not my favorite special that I've had. I liked the salmon - but would have liked more vegetables!

Why Should You Go? I love the freshness and variety at First Watch - brunch isn't just bacon and eggs at First Watch and I love it.

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First Watch on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: First Watch provided brunch for 2 free of charge but all opinions are my own. 





Monday, April 28, 2014

Service Review: CincyBite.com Delivery (& Freshii salads)

Ever sitting at home in your PJs and realize you're hungry but there's no food in the house? Just order delivery - right - but what happens when you don't want pizza? Um - um - well - there's oyster crackers in the top cabinet right? 

Not anymore! There's a new site called CincyBite.com and they are bringing restaurant food to your living room - and you don't have to pick it up - heck you don't even have to put on pants! (Well - maybe put on pants.)

CincyBite.com currently works with 13 restaurants and can also stop by the convenience store for you! That is new since I tried them out - you can get Fido food when they bring your dinner - that's pretty awesome! Just think if you're sick and you don't want to leave - YOU DON'T NEED TO! 

I chose to order lunch at work from Freshii - the other restaurants include Buca di Beppo, M Wood Fired Grill, Mr. Sushi, Burrito Joes and more. You just enter your zip code to find out who they can deliver to you! 

The CincyBite.com site is pretty great - it brings up their entire menu and tells you the details of each item. You can also search the menu if you're looking for something specific. 

You can also add on items really easily. The only suggestion I would have is to be able to edit an item - they said that's in the works - but just something to be aware of.

From Freshii, I chose the Fiesta salad and added shrimp. The salad had black beans, corn, avocado, pico, jack and cheddar cheese along with a cilantro lime vinaigrette.

From a salad perspective - it was fine. There was a decent amount of ingredients on the salad and they were fresh. The only two things I didn't love: the shrimp were baby shrimp rather than grilled "normal" sized shrimp and the avocado was in one piece - a little tough to cut with a fork. (We took our salads out to Sawyer Point for a picnic.)

My coworkers went for the cobb salad with field greens, romaine, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes and corn. The salad comes with Honey Dijon but they both subbed out ranch. They asked for hard boiled egg to be added but that isn't on the menu I guess. They said the salad was good.

Why Should You Go (Freshii)? It was a pretty good lunch salad. We used to get Deli 720 all the time but since they've closed - we don't have much for creative healthy options that we can walk to - so it's nice to have a salad option that can be brought to us! I still like Ingredients better - but it's a good option. They also have wraps if salads aren't your thing.

Why Should You Use CincyBite.com? I think it's a great service - there is a delivery fee - but you'd have to expect that. They were on time (actually a few minutes early) and very friendly. I really like having options - it's really handy for work or home! I hope you'll check it out!


Disclosure: CincyBite.com provided our lunch order free of charge but all opinions are my own. 

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

NEW Nutrisystem contest - you could win $10,000 or be swept away to a photo shoot on the beach!

This post brought to you by Nutrisystem. All opinions are 100% mine.

There's some big news from Nutrisystem! Your weight loss could earn you $$$ with their new contest - The Nutrisystem Great Escape $40,000 Giveaway!
 photo GreatEscape_ContestLogo1_zpsbc88e7f0.jpg

To enter, simply share great photos of your amazing weight loss story at Nutrisystem Great Escape $40,000 Giveaway! They'll choose 4 grand prize winners, who will each receive $10,000! (Think of what you could do with that!) Plus, the winners could have the opportunity to join Nutrisystem at a beachy photo shoot!

You have until June 11, 2014 to submit your photos for the Great Escape - make sure to enter the Nutrisystem Giveaway for your chance at awesome prizes and unforgettable memories! :-)
If you're not familiar Nutrisystem has a couple of great weight loss programs:

Nutrisystem® My Way® Program:
The Nutrisystem My Way program uses a science-backed algorithm to estimate each customer's metabolic rate in order to create a customized program tailored to the amount of calories needed for healthy weight loss. Customers are given a personalized meal plan and exercise suggestions. Consumers are encouraged to check in periodically with a Nutrisystem counselor as their metabolic needs change in response to weight loss.

Nutrisystem Fast5™ Kit
With the purchase of a 28-Day My Way program, customers can receive (depending on the promotion offered) their exclusive Nutrisystem Fast 5 kit - created to help you jump-start your weight loss by helping you drop five pounds your very first week! With Fast 5, you'll receive:
* 7 extra days of specially selected breakfasts, lunches and dinners
* 7 Energi-ZING™ shakes to help speed up your metabolism
* 7 Craving Crusher™ shakes designed to help curb cravings
* Unique meal planner for maximum weight loss your first week

Fast 5 was designed to be a special introductory week to help maximize your weight loss results - and motivation - from the start. Once you've completed your first week with Fast 5, you'll move onto our primary My Way program for the next 28 days of your program.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Road Trip: May 10 - Mansions of Lafayette Avenue Spring House Tour 2014

One of the most fun things I have done in Cincinnati - was a tour of homes in Clifton. It was quite a few years ago - BL (Before Larry) - and it was actually a first date! What a great date idea - we had a map of homes and just a whole afternoon to look at houses and get to know each other. While the date didn't lead to marriage (good for Larry - right) - the tour has stuck with me.



In just a couple of weeks on Saturday May 10 from 1-5pm - you can tour the Mansions of Lafayette Avenue on the Spring House Tour 2014. The historic mansions are AMAZING! Tickets are on sale now at CincinnatiPreservation.org (info below) - go now!


You'll be touring "Oakwood" - the 1866 Norman Revival home of Henry Probasco. Probasco was a hardware magnate back in the day and oh yeah - he donated that little fountain to downtown Cincinnati. ;-)


"Scarlet Oaks" - the 1870 High Victorian Gothic mansion of George Shoenberger. This mansion and the "Oakwood" are both on the National Register of Historic Places. Scarlet Oaks was the largest home in Cincinnati at the time it was built.



and "Stonehedge" - an 1887 Swiss Chalet with Arts & Crafts flavor built for H.C. Hulbert. Hulbert was a big name in the paper industry back then - akin to Dunder or Mifflin apparently.

Advance tickets are highly recommended - you can purchase them online at cincinnatipreservation.org. They are $25 for CPA (Cincinnati Preservation Association) members and $30 for guests/non-members.

Will call and parking are available the day of at the Cincinnati Women's Club (330 Lafayette Ave).

Mark May 10 on your calendar now and make your plans - you won't be sorry. You don't get to tour mansions like this very often. There will also be docents at each home to tell you about the home and it's history!





Thursday, April 24, 2014

Restaurant Review & Giveaway: Dick's Last Resort - Newport, KY

When I heard we were getting a Dick's Last Resort at Newport on the Levee - I got on the preverbial internet horn asap! 

Dick's has taken the spot on the corner that has been a few different things over the years. There's a really nice patio on the parking lot side of the building as well.

Inside - it's a busy busy setting - lots of chaos but fun chaos. You see banners hanging - like my alma mater the University of Iowa - and people wearing funny paper hats everywhere. What were we in for?! 

If you're not familiar - Dick's is a very unique dining experience - they're a bit loud, a bit funny and a whole lot rude - but all in fun. They let you know that right up front. Since they had just opened - the wait was quite lengthy and the manager got on the mic and announced something to the effect of, "Hey - we love you all - but we have a lot of people waiting - so if you're done eating - get the hell out!" :-) 

Dick's has a ton of virgin and alcholic beverages. They also have different glass options - we just went for the light up cup - but they also have coconut mugs that were pretty fun. There are also some local craft beers as well.  

We got the chili-cheese dip ($7.99) as an appetizer. The chips were okay - some were noticeably stale. The chili-cheese dip was good - could have been a little warmer. And there was a generous dollop of sour cream as well.  There were lots of chunks of tomato and meat in the dip as well.

The folks at Dick's are pretty obnoxious - but all in good fun. Larry asked me if I was going to get a pair of those drawers for the road. :-) We also got our hats as well - Larry was shocked at how well they pegged me without knowing me at all! ;-) Our fun server Epic made these herself and placed them atop our noggins. Larry is amused as you can see.

Larry ordered snow crab legs ($23.99) and they came with fries. They were fine - he really enjoys the King crab - and these are much smaller - but they were fine.

There's another entree called Big BBQ Balls - and the fun they made of the poor 15 year old boy that ordered those - well - it was pretty great.

I ordered the Crabby Cakes ($16.99) and they came with a side of rice and corn. They were fine - the crab cakes had a lot of crab in them. It was fine - I wish I'd gone for something like Fish & Chips. 

Epic was urging me to take home some dessert if I wasn't going to have it there - so I got a "slice" of cheesecake ($5.99). It was HUGE and lasted me 3 days. :-) It was good stuff!

Why Should You Go? I can say - none of the food was amazing but it's fine. And really - you're not going to Dick's for the food. You're going for the fun. The staff is a blast and they put on a helluva good time. They also have specials for birthdays, bachelorette parties, etc... and the price is good! ($20/head)

And now - you get to experience the fun of Dick's Last Resort! They were extremely generous and are giving away 3- $50 gift certificates to you! Enjoy and Good Luck!

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Dick's Last Resort on Urbanspoon




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recipe: Slow Cooker Angel Chicken

I'm always looking for more easy slow cooker recipes - chicken and mushrooms are perfect for a weeknight dinner and this Slow Cooker Angel Chicken is a great meal - it's quick and easy - and I know you'll love it! 

In the crockpot, you put the mushrooms on the bottom - then add the frozen chicken on top.  

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Then you add cream of mushroom soup, Italian dressing mix, cream cheese and chicken broth. Stir until it's all blended and melted into a sauce.

Then you pour the melted sauce over the frozen chicken and mushrooms.  

Cook it for 4-6 hours on high (or 8-10 on low) - remove the chicken and shred it - then add it back to the mushroom sauce.

You can serve this over rice or egg noodles - I chose rice because Larry's a big fan and cooked that up in my rice cooker. It was good - I think that next time I would use as many mushrooms as recommended in the recipe (I just didn't have that many at the time) and I would double the sauce - it was a bit skimpy.

Larry just saw me typing this up and said, "Oh that was good!" - that's a victory for me!

Slow Cooker Angel Chicken (adapted from luvabargain.com)

Ingredients

* 3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
* 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
* 2 tsp butter
* 1 can cream of mushroom soup
* 1 pkg Italian salad dressing dry mix
* 4 oz cream cheese
* 1 cup chicken broth

Directions

* Place all mushrooms in the bottom of the slow cooker
* Place chicken breasts (frozen is fine) on top of the mushrooms
* Melt butter in a sauce pan
* Add the mushroom soup, Italian dressing mix, cream cheese and chicken broth. Stir until everything is blended and melted into a sauce
* Pour the sauce over the chicken
* Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours
* Serve over rice or noodles

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Product Review: Brylane Home's Outdoor Furniture Set

I love finding a great online site where I can get a variety of quality products that I can count on! Brylane Home is that site! Recently I got a deep fryer from them and it's fantastic! We use it all the time! 

With summer coming up though - we have to get our deck ready! We have an inground pool and it's definitely a gathering spot for friends and family over during the summer.

I chose this Outdoor Furniture Oversized 5-piece Set that has 2 chairs, cooler, umbrella and carrying case. It comes in four color choices and popped out of the box and came together in about 30 seconds. 

We chose the khaki because of our other outdoor furniture. The umbrella snaps together, can go up or down and has these really hand slots that it slips into. The bottom of the umbrella post is pointed so you can secure it into the ground.  


Here's a close-up of the cooler and pocket area. It's great - you could stash a book, sunscreen or phone in the pockets on the front. Then between the seats is a cooler. It's a great size and could easily fit 6-12 cans of soda with ice packs or ice. (There are also cup holders in the arms of the chairs.)

Here's a shot of my helper husband Larry enjoying the new deck seating! It is PERFECT for our back yard!!! We have a bit of shade from the house on the pool side of our yard - but the deck side of our yard is ALL SUN. This will be fantastic for the summer! The other thing I liked is that the chairs are BIG - I have a big hiney - so I like big chairs! These are perfect for me! Larry and I could also sit together and feel completely comfortable - we weren't crowding each other at all. This set is a hit - and at only $79.99 - it won't break the budget! 

It all comes in this handy travel bag with rollers - and for a change - you can actually get it all back in the bag! The set is all one piece (except for the umbrella) - so you just have to squeeze it back together and slip it in. 

The good thing about that is we'll be able to take it with us this summer! Whether it's a parade or fishing - this Outdoor Furniture Set will be great for the back yard - or on the go. I'm so excited we got this! 


Plus - if you are like me - and still haven't gotten your Mom anything for Mother's Day - they have a ton of great ideas! My mom loves her flowers - so whether it's this cute garden trellis, these bucket brigade fence top planters or this translucent lighted fountain - I know I'll find something she'll love!

If you sign up for the Brylane Home email you'll get 20% off your highest priced item.

I hope you find something for you or for Mother's Day - and enjoy the outdoors this summer with Brylane Home.

Disclosure: Brylane Home provided me this outdoor furniture set free of charge but the opinions are all my own.



Monday, April 21, 2014

Restaurant Review: Metropole - Downtown Cincinnati

Recently I was invited to lunch by the staff of the Metropole - the beautiful restaurant in the 21C Museum Hotels. The hotel also has extremely successful locations in Louisville and Bentonville, AR. The Cincinnati location is also attached to the Contemporary Arts Center.  

There is a variety of art right next to the Metropole and you can easily wander around for an hour or so before or after dinner. If you go upstairs in the art area - be sure to check out the Healing Tiles! They are really cool. 

This piece - called How the West Was Won - is a mixed media piece made of carved linden wood, birch wood branches and antlers. 

We started out our lunch with these shrubs - I had Clementine ($4.50) - which also had clove and tarragon. I guess the closest thing I could compare it to is the ever-popular Kombucha - it's a vinegar soft drink. I didn't care for it too much - but it was refreshing. If you're open to trying a totally new type of drink - or you like kombucha - you need to try it. They also offer versions with alcohol on their Cocktail Terrace

We ordered a few items from their lunch menu - so I could try a little bit of everything. We started with the Burnt Carrot Salad ($9). Just the name - Burnt. Carrot. Salad. It didn't light my fire by the name and then I tried it.

HOLY MOLY  - AMAZING! The salad has wheatberries, avocado, goat cheese, parsley, pepita, pickled onion and garlic chips.

Seriously - I can't even tell you how much I loved this. It's served at room temperature and was just simply delicious. I would NEVER think to put all this stuff together...Chef Michael Paley is a wise wise man! ;-)

Next up were these Burrata & Rice Fritters ($9) with caramelized cauliflower puree, salsa verde, lemon & arugula. These were okay - I think the sauce was really good but didn't like the fritters as much.

Next up was the Sweet Potato 'Triccheroni' ($14) - this dish isn't available right now and let me say - too bad for you. The Triccheroni pasta is handmade and mixed with duck pistachio sausage, sage and lioni ricotta. This was DELICIOUS and a little reminiscent of Romy Jung's old dish from The Palace/Aroma/etc...

Last up was the Farm Egg Omelet ($12) which changes seasonally. The one we had was shaved vegetable salad with leek fonduta. I enjoyed the omelet a great deal. My coworker was there on the same day ironically and had this omelet and still says it was the BEST omelet she's had in all of her life. Big praise there!

The kitchen was a piece of art in itself. Chef Paley came out to chat with us and then showed me to the kitchen. He wanted to have a restaurant with a giant fire grill. Everything here was hand-forged and specially made for their needs. The key is to have the embers moved under the grills and that's what actually cooks the food. Pretty damn cool. The kitchen is also very open - so you're able to go back and peek in even without getting behind the scenes like this.

Why Should You Go? Well this is why I like to go to non-chains - if you look at the prices for lunch - they're not much different than a sit-down chain. This was a delicious lunch and I encourage you to go with a couple of friends and share like we did. Although - you might be hogging the Burnt Carrot Salad like I did. ;-) I really hope you'll check it out - and definitely be sure to check out the gallery/hotel as well. I hope the folks at Metropole invite me back soon!

Metropole on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: The Metropole provided this lunch for me free of charge but all opinions are my own. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Recipe: Red Gold Leftover Lasagna #lovinglasagna

Disclosure: I was provided products by Red Gold and New Creative Media - however all opinions are my own. 

I recently got a great box of tomato products from my friends at Red Gold. These tomatoes are great because they're affordable and tasty! 

Red Gold has a lot of recipes on their site - including a bunch of lasagna variations. They even have videos to help you along if you need them.

My lasagna was a Leftover Lasagna - I didn't feel like going to the grocery - so I made do with what I had! Sometimes you just gotta clean out the cupboards - right?!

The great thing about this is you can really use whatever is in your fridge! Have some extra veggies (mushrooms, spinach, zucchini) - out of ricotta? You can use cottage cheese!

I don't have a really deep dish - and there are only two of us - so I just did a couple of layers. I also used the noodles that don't need to be cooked ahead of time. Looks good right?

When you're using those no-cook noodles - it's key to make sure that all pieces of the noodles are covered with tomatoes/juice - that way they'll cook in the oven.

Forty-five minutes later - voila - thick, bubbly lasagna! This was delicious and was great for lunch the next day too. I put the rest in the freezer - it takes a while for two people to eat a dish of lasagna! Here's the recipe:

Leftover Lasagna

Ingredients

* 28 oz can of Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes
* 14 oz can of Red Gold Diced Italian Tomatoes
* 8 oz can of Red Gold Tomato Sauce
* 1 lb hamburger
* 4-6 sheets of no-bake lasagna noodles
* 8-15 oz ricotta cheese
* 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees
* Brown ground beef and drain
* In bowl, mix together tomatoes and sauce
* Spray 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray
* Layer in the dish: sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, ground beef
* Create another layer and top with sauce and mozzarella
* Bake for 45 minutes at 350.
* Let set for 10 minutes before cutting




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