Recipe: Turkey Burgers & Thomas' English Muffins

This post and TV appearance were sponsored by Thomas' English Muffins but all opinions are my own.

This morning at 840am I'll be live on Local 12 with Bob, John L, Sheila, Jen & John G and today we'll make turkey burgers with a unique "bun" - how about instead of hamburger buns - we use ENGLISH MUFFINS!!! 

Thomas' English Muffins come in a number of varieties including a Light Multigrain with 8 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of fat. 

We'll be making California Style (cojack, avocado, lettuce, tomato, dijon mustard & garlic) and Buffalo (red hot buffalo sauce & bleu cheese) Turkey burgers - of course - I'm doing the simple route by using seasoning and toppings - but Thomas' has a great recipe if you like your turkey burgers from scratch. I do recommend not getting a super lean turkey - it's already so much leaner than beef that you need a little fat to make the burger juicy. 


Oh - and I have a feeling a certain anchor may end up with this on his head. :-) (Thanks to Big Mouth for sending it my way.)

A video posted by Heather Johnson (@foodhussy) on

If you miss my appearance, you can always catch it later on my YouTube channel - you should subscribe!

Restaurant Review & Giveaway: Noodles & Co - 2 New Salads!

I love Noodles & Company - it's a quick service lunch with pasta - 'nuff said. It's also close to my work - so that's more bonus points...AND they have a Coke Freestyle. 


WHAT MORE COULD A GIRL ASK FOR? 

They recently gave me a gift card to try their two new worldly salads that are being launched at the same time as a new contest to win $10,000 to travel the world!! (yes please)


Before the salads though, the manager said I had to try their Korean BBQ Meatballs. The thing is - I've tried them before - but I like them - so SURE I'll try them again! They're made with the "new" Sriracha which is Gochujang. Yeah, Sriracha is so 2015! 

The little flecks of seasoning will kick you in the hiney!!! So watch out if you don't like spice! 

Here are the details on the $10,000 World Tour - you get one of these salads and a drink and then selfie it up - share it and you're entered! Super simple! 

So what's the deal with the World Tour? Well - Noodles prides themselves on offering dishes from all over the world - so whether you like Indian, Thai, Italian, American or a variety of others - you can find a pasta or salad that fits the bill! So they want to send you on a World Tour as well!

But now - the salads! 

First - the Chicken Veracruz Salad - it's loaded!! Mixed greens, roma tomatoes, red onion, chili-lime chicken, crumbled bacon, fresh cut corn, crispy jalapeƱos, avocados and cilantro tossed with Jalapeno Ranch dressing.

It's got a kick - especially with the jalapenos. My buddy and I shared the salad and he really liked this one - but I was able to get half of it. :-) I liked it too - it was crispy and refreshing and spicy all at the same time. Like a taco salad but better! And it's only 510 calories!!!!

Next up was the Napa Market Salad with Chicken - mixed greens, gala apple slices, roma tomatoes, red bell pepper, pulled chicken, bleu cheese and bacon crumbles tossed with pomegranate vinaigrette.

Nate knew he wasn't going to dig on this - something about bleu cheese so it was pretty much all mine - which I didn't realize or I wouldn't have made sure to get my half on the Veracruz! I used to not like bleu cheese - and I still have a level where it gets too stinky and funky - but I now APPRECIATE it. It's got a good kind of funk now - at least the mellow stuff does. I liked this salad and think the apples and the bleu were a fantastic combo!

So there you have it - two new salads that could win you $10,000 to travel the world. And I have something else for you! A contest to win a $20 gift card so you can try them on me! Tell me which one you want to try and you'll be entered to win!

Thanks to Noodles & Co for the free lunch and the giveaway for you guys! Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Noodles & Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Texas Roadhouse's Fall Off The Bone Ribs

I was pretty excited when I was asked to try the ribs at Texas Roadhouse! We always love a reason to go out for dinner - especially when ribs are involved.
 


I've also just started using SnapChat - oh my - yes you too can see me take a photo with the filter of the day and make nonsensical 10 second videos of my life. Look me up @foodhussy.

I started with the house salad mainly because theirs is really good. Why? Eggs. I love hard boiled eggs on my salad! It also had cheese, tomatoes and croutons along with their delish honey mustard. Honey mustard needs a balance - some are too honey, others are too mustard but Texas Roadhouse has a great balance. Definitely a great house salad. 

Then the rolls! Oh the rolls! They're super soft yeast rolls and always served piping hot with a generous helping of cinnabutter. Melt in your mouth every time. 

Then with ribs on the menu for us - we decided to split a full rack of ribs. A full rack has is a large portion and it was definitely good for us. We got a sweet potato and a side of broccoli to share as well. The ribs smelled delicious and I couldn't wait to dig in...

but first we had to eat our veggies - right?! Here's my lovely broccoli as well - theirs is good - they add a little butter to give it some flavor - always a good thing.

And back to those ribs - Texas Roadhouse does a great job because they care about more than the cut & quality - they care about the preparation! It's a 3-day process that includes a unique blend of seasonings and their signature sauce.

What you end up with is fork-tender meat that literally falls off the bone! We killed the rack of ribs between the two of us - so good! I actually don't like much sauce on my ribs - I'm a dry rub kinda girl and these were great because they were sauced but not drenched. They're served with extra sauce so you can sauce to your delight.


And thankfully - Texas Roadhouse wants you to be able to make your own ribs as well. Watch this video for an at home ribs recipe from the experts at Texas Roadhouse!

And - if you're just too hungry to wait for ribs at home - then check their locator to find the Texas Roadhouse closest to you!

Why Should You Go? Ribs. Duh!

Texas Roadhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Food Hussy Tour: Pig Farmers & Maid Rites!

Recently - I went on a tour of Queen City Sausage and met Jennifer from the Ohio Pork Council. She's so fun and she likes bacon - so we bonded right away. 

She invited me to visit and meet these guys. Seriously - she let me go in a room with hundreds of baby pigs. I mean - come on. I was giddy. They're all so pink and oinky. (Also they had plenty of room but when humans come in - they sort of have a piggy pile until they get used to you.)

Now - I'll say up front - it is hard to hug a baby and then say, "Oh I can't wait to eat you in a few months." But my love for bacon supersedes pretty much all else. What I can be concerned with is how they're cared for and their conditions before they become my breakfast.

First up - Alan Evers is the Grow-Out Manager for Coopers Farm. We met up with him in Fort Recovery, OH and chatted about the operations at Coopers and I learned a LOT. This was all in preparation for me to spend some quality time with the little buggers.

But Coopers does more than just grow 500,000 pigs - they also grow 4 million turkeys and 2 million layers (chickens). Alan is in charge of hogs but knows about all aspects of the farm and taught me a lot! Like what hussy? Like this:

* Young chickens lay eggs with thin shells, old chickens lay eggs with thick shells
* 24 weeks - 2 years old are the best layers for consumers
* Old chickens go to chicken soup... (awww)
* Eggs that are too thick or thin go to "egg breakers" like McDonalds

* Pigs are in the nursery for 4 weeks
* They grow to be 285 pounds and are sold for about 50 cents a pound
* Coopers owns the pigs but contracts out to farmers to raise them
* They'll be full grown in 6 months and gain 1-2 pounds a day

* Pig poop is a good fertilizer for corn but turkey poop is good for soybeans

How's that for knowledge droppin?!

So once I learned enough - they let me go to the babies. But first - I had to suit up. Oh yeah - that's a great look for me. This is for safety reasons because germs can be carried on hands, clothes and shoes. Most barns don't allow visitors like this but they wanted me to see the whole picture of these babies - and that meant getting right in there with them!

But it was worth it - look at this little guy! If they had wifi - I'd bring a barcalounger and hang out.

I also got to see their feed - it's an interesting mixture and has lots of nutrients because these little guys just left their moms this morning. It didn't smell too bad either.

These little guys aren't always the most polite - the longer I hung out with them - the more they tried to nibble on me! It was a pretty freaky feeling have them nuzzle up on my feet!

A video posted by Heather Johnson (@foodhussy) on


Oh my God Becki - look at her butt. It's so pink and round! 

The facilities they're in are really clean - which was impressive. Many Ohio farmers believe that raising pigs in barns allows them to better care for them. They have fans, misters and heaters to keep them comfortable and healthy all year. They also have sides that open to help with circulation. 

After that, we visited the larger hogs in a location where they'll be at until they're ready. These guys were equally adorable but I wasn't able to go in with them. They get a little feisty and are a lot bigger.

We also chatted about antibiotics in pork - there is a lot of misinformation out there - when these guys are given antibiotics - it's for a reason and it's done by a vet. Testing is always done to be sure the antibiotics are out of their system before they enter the food supply.

After I learned all that and spent time with the pigs - I was hungry! So we stopped by the Tin Cupboard for lunch.

I had to get pork after all that so I I tried the hot ham & cheese sandwich with a side of macaroni salad.

Tin Cupboard is a cute little spot - it's nothing fancy but it's homemade and that's always welcoming. I hear they have great desserts too!

Tin Cupboard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After that - we headed home - with a couple of stops along the way...

First up was Birts - I heard "wall of candy" and had to go. It's a cute little place that's obviously been there forEVER. They had fresh plants outside and a little general store inside.

Wall of candy was right!!!! We picked up a few things for the road. 

After Birts, we stumbled upon a wall of gum! (ew) Where was this amazing site? 

Outside the Maid Rite in Greenville of course. Now as an Iowan - I'm always up for a Maid Rite! So yes - even though I just ate lunch - I made room for a couple of Maid Rites as well.

Maid Rites are something very special to all Iowans - if you want to learn to make them - check out this video I did on Local 12 - but you can always head up to Greenville and get one there as well.

It's a blend of seasonings with hamburger and then smacked on a bun with onions, pickle and mustard. (I also like ketchup on mine.) It maybe not seem like anything too exciting but remember - you people came up with Skyline!

Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

All in all - I had a great day - exploring the countryside of Fort Recovery (it's a couple hours north on the Ohio/Indiana border). I learned a lot and ate a considerable amount as well.

12 Packing Essentials for a Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg Cabin Trip!


I just got back from the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and it was so much fun. There is so much to do and you can really make of it what you want - if you want family-friendly - you're good - if you want adventure - you're good - if you want lazy cabin days - you're good! 

Along the way I came up with a list of 12 packing essentials to make your cabin getaway just a little better! 

Let me tell you quick about the resort - we stayed at Gatlinburg Falls Resort - it's just outside of Gatlinburg - maybe 5 minutes from downtown. They were kind enough to let us stay in the Panorama Cabin for the week. They have cabins ranging from 1-9 bedrooms and even the 1 bedrooms (like ours) sleeps 6-8.

The Panorama cabin had a King bedroom with a master bath, 2 pullout sofa sleepers and a set of bunk beds. It also had a hot tub, jacuzzi tub, full kitchen/dining area, multiple tvs, video games, charcoal grill and ample parking. The resort also has a swimming pool & fitness facility. It was a great spot for our first visit to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area! (more on all the fun we had in weeks to come)

But now - we must start the list! First I highly recommend a cabin over a hotel. You all know I'm a foodie and I have to say there wasn't really any restaurant that I fell in love with - so at the end of our visit - we wish we had cooked more at the cabin. Restaurants are a little more expensive - and when they're not amazing - it's just not worth it. So - #1 on the list:

1. Cooler w/ Groceries 

They have a grocery store just outside of town and the prices aren't bad but they're higher than home and the place is a madhouse. So bring a big cooler and pack your own groceries. We brought snacks and drinks but should have brought more meals (burgers, dogs, etc). Our grocery haul that we brought included: chips, soda, juice, milk, candy, s'mores ingredients, bottled water, etc. Don't forget the water for sure - we went through the whole 24 pack - it was 90 degrees all week - you'll need it!

2. Pillows

The beds are ample - but the pillows aren't - plus they're communal pillows. We did do the obligatory check of the mattresses and all was good there - but I'm partial to my pillows - and they help in providing a good nights sleep. Pack 'em.

3. DVDs

Our cabin was awesome enough to have movie channels and a game room - complete with pool table, air hockey, pinball machine and arcade games. But just to be safe - pack some DVDs for family movie night to make sure you're not relying on whatever is on cable.

4. Anti-Itch Cream

The view from our deck was great! All the cabins at Gatlinburg Falls Resort had a great view. The thing about a great view of nature means there are also probably mosquitos and critters nearby. Also when there are cabins - there are wasps and bees - so if you're allergic - be mindful.

5. Phone Chargers

There are beautiful sights everywhere you turn - this was at the entrance to our resort. You're going to want to take lots of pictures - don't forget your chargers!

6. Laundry Soap

These cabins had a washer & dryer which came in super helpful. You see it was HOT. More like HOLYCRAPITSHOTHERE!!!! So no matter what we did - including hula hooping in the parking lot - we were sweaty! It was great to be able to do our laundry there and come home with a suitcase full of clean clothes! You can also pack less!

7. Hot Dog/Marshmallow Sticks

We had a charcoal grill and all the stuff to make smores - but none of those stick things. Don't forget those. We ended up grilling the smores and they were still pretty great but it's just easier with the sticks.

Bonus Tip: Matching Clothes! 

Okay - not really a tip - but it was pretty funny. This is my BFF that I've known since I was 3. I came out of the cabin as we were both packing up our cars and looked at her and realized we were #twinning!

8. Sneakers & Flip Flops

What you see here is an active 13 year old. What does that mean? You have no idea what you'll be doing from one minute to the next. Hula hooping to go karts to whitewater rafting and everything in between. I hate wearing anything but flops in the summer but some places require closed toed shoes - so keep your sneaks and socks in the car at all times just in case.

Photo courtesy of Gatlinburg Falls Resort
9. Coffee  

Look at this view - it's perfect in the morning - the only thing missing is your behind in that chair and a cup of coffee. The kitchen had a coffee maker - but you need to bring the joe.

Photo courtesy of Gatlinburg Falls Resort
10. Ziploc Bags/Tupperware

We made dinner at the cabin on the last night and purchased a watermelon for dessert. Then - we had nothing to put the leftovers in! Throw a couple of ziploc bags and/or tupperware in the bag just in case. They always come in handy.

Photo courtesy of Gatlinburg Falls Resort
11. Swimsuit

Each cabin has their own hot tub and the property has a swimming pool - so don't forget the swimsuits and trunks!

Photo courtesy of Gatlinburg Falls Resort
12. Towels

Lastly - throw in some extra towels. The cabin provides towels but not very many and they're not very big. Towels from home are always better.

Photo courtesy of Gatlinburg Falls Resort
The trip to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg was amazing. We had a great time and did so much! Our cabin was great as well and perfect for our group. The video games in the cabin were a great touch as well - there was always something to do - especially at night as we were winding down.

The only side note I will mention is about the sofa pull outs - in my older age I had forgotten the lack of comfort those things offer. So if you're using those - try and save those for the kids - their backs don't care as much as the 40+ crowd.

And here's the list again - all together so you don't forget!

12 Packing Essentials for a Cabin Stay in Pigeon Forge

1. Cooler w/ Groceries
2. Pillows
3. DVDs
4. Anti-Itch Cream
5. Phone Chargers
6. Laundry Soap
7. Hot Dog/Marshmallow Sticks
8. Sneakers & Flip Flops
9. Coffee
10. Ziploc Bags/Tupperware
11. Swimsuit
12. Towels

And thanks again to Gatlinburg Falls Resort for the stay at the Panorama cabin. We thoroughly enjoyed the cabin and all that Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg had to offer! Can't wait to return! Stay tuned as I'll be sharing more about our trip, the food and entertainment in the weeks to come!

Food Hussy Recipe: Lemon Feta & Tomato Zoodles

So I think I'm the last person on the planet to try the "zoodle" craze - but I'm here and I love it! 

I came across this super fresh and light recipe and knew I had to share it with my friends at Local 12!

It starts with super simple ingredients - many of which came from my favorite folks at Green Bean Delivery! Garlic, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, lemon and feta cheese. You know it's going to be good!

I started by heating up some grapeseed oil in a pan and then tossed in a few cherry tomatoes and some minced garlic. Heat those up until the tomatoes start to soften.

Then you just zoodle the zucchini - I used a Veggetti - it's a super cheap little hand tool. I actually borrowed it from a coworker because I wanted to make sure I would like it. It is really easy - there's a thick and thin side - I used thick - and you just twist the zucchini through it right into the pan.

Add a little salt and some lemon juice and zest if you're feeling really crazy! 

Then serve them up - I sprinkled some crumbled feta on top - it's a bit zingy and really added some twang to the "pasta". 


A video posted by Heather Johnson (@foodhussy) on
I'm also appearing on Local 12 to make this recipe with all of my friends! I hope you'll tune in - at 840am on Star 64.

Lemon Feta & Tomato Zoodles!

* 2-3 zucchini
* cherry tomatoes
* grapeseed oil
* garlic
* lemon
* salt
* feta

* Heat oil in a skillet and toss in cherry tomatoes & garlic until tomatoes BEGIN to soften
* Zoodle your zucchini into the skillet - 1 small zucchini makes about 1.5 cups of zoodles!
* Continue to saute to soften the zucchini (just a couple of minutes)
* Squeeze in the juice from a fresh lemon (as much or little as you like) and sprinkle in some sea salt
* Serve zoodle mixture on a plate and sprinkle crumbled feta on top