Tag Archives: Dining Out

Hors d’oeuvres Anyone?

This past weekend, my husband and I invited my Mother to our home so that we could do her taxes for her. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and my fantastic DH  is just a wiz with numbers, well maybe with just a little help from Turbo Tax.

I was rummaging through our deep freeze, looking for something to turn into an appetizer for us all while we worked. We had planned on going out to dinner, seeing as the weather was suppose to be nasty and I wouldn’t be able to grill anything (mom’s fav is my teriyaki chicken and assorted Asian veggies).

I totally forgot that I had bought these at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks back just for this purpose. Sometimes you need to have a late afternoon snack or maybe folks drop by. I honestly thought that this Camembert cheese with cranberry sauce wrapped in fillo would be super, meh. As you can see, the cheese mostly melted out, bummer!

Now, the Arancini bites stuffed with fontina cheese were a big  hit with both mom and I, the Mister not so much. I had some leftover marinara sauce in the `fridge for a dipping sauce, add a glass of wine…YUM!

(btw, we aren’t going to talk about our dinner out, it wasn’t very good)

ALOHA!

Taco Night Out

Sometimes, and I stress sometimes, my husband will give in and take me and my mother to eat Mexican food here in the middle of the desert.

On this outing, I offered mom the choice of restaurants and her pick was Blanco Tacos + Tequila.

YUM!

Even though DH says that he doesn’t care for Mexican foods, there are quite a few dishes that he will eat.

grilled mahi tacos with rice and corn

Three grilled Mahimahi soft tacos and instead of beans and rice, our super wait staff brought him roasted corn on the cob and their blanco rice. DH was happy with his dinner.

four mini hard shell tacos

Mom and I both ordered the special Summer menu of four mini tacos (oh and I added on a white sangria, thank you very much).

These were hard shell tacos stuffed with four different goodies. Chipotle shrimp, braised short ribs, guacamole and spicy ground beef.

We’ll be back!

Escaping The Heat

Living in the middle of the desert, you try to find ways to truly escape the heat when the mercury starts to rise beyond your comfort level. My husband and I are very fortunate to have good friends that we have known forever that live up North from us, in the high, cool desert of Prescott Arizona, the states territorial capitol. Sitting at some points over 5000 feet above sea level, with oodles of beautiful pines, it’s so much cooler than my hot kitchen, plus I don’t have to cook when we go here!

The food scene in Prescott has grown with the number of tourist it sees. There are so many different, unique and familiar types of cuisines available. On this trip we went to our two favorite places, Prescott Station on Gurley street in the heart of Prescott and Bonn-Fire, over in Chino Valley only a five minute drive away.

We started our trek North early, so I knew that we’d have breakfast on the road. AHA!

Spam Musubi

I had Spam Musubi in the deep freeze outside. A few days before we left, I put the little bundles of my joy  in the `fridge to defrost slowly. Then just as we were about to go out the door, I nuked `em to just barely warm and tossed them into a paper sack for the journey.

We met Mister DF at Prescott Station for lunch. Love this place! The menu hits all of the right notes. Whatever you think you might like to eat, they make it, or they’ll try their darndest to make you happy. We like to sit in the bar area, mainly so that the guys can watch the sports and news while they chat, and yes, men chit-chat just as much as women do, don’t let them fool ya’.

Prescott Station White Sangria

We had a different person serving us at the bar this time, Dave we found out is the local bee-keeper and only works at the restaurant seasonally. Shadow afforded us libations and suggests white sangria, WHAT? I’ll try that. They make theirs with their own recipe of Chardonnay, Muscat, pear brandy, triple sec, apple, peach and pear nectars, YUM-O-LICIOUS! It was so refreshing, and had to grab a hold of myself and not chug it down.

Prescott Station Ahi Salad

DH had the Ahi Salad Oriental with wasabi soy vinaigrette, the large size please.

Prescott Station Shrimo Taco Plate

Both Mister DF and I had the single shrimp taco plate, served with our choice of refried black beans and Mexican rice (which I actually ate, it was very good). The shrimp taco is grilled with Sonoran spices, topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and papaya-mango aioli, that I requested they swap out for the smoked jalapeño aioli, very good!

After lunch, we went to check into our hotel, but our room wasn’t ready yet, so we cruised on over to the Court House were they had a bunch of vendors selling all kinds of goodies. As the heat of the day increased, we found ourselves at Frozen Frannie’s.  We had been there not so long ago with our nephews and really enjoyed it. Love this kind of frozen yogurt shop, serve yourselves, get it weighed and pay by the ounce, perfect on a hot day.

Once we got all settled in to the hotel, we moseyed on over to our friend’s home for a cocktail and then headed out for dinner.

Bonn-Fire in Chico Valley Arizona

Bonn-Fire in Chino Valley is wonderful. And HEH! Guy Fieri, we all sent the Triple D emails saying how you should check out this joint, DON’T!   We don’t want the world coming in, we had a heck of a time this past weekend getting a table! It was just as delicious as ever. We topped off our meals by sharing a piece of Carrot Cake, Oh My GAWD GOOD! As Missus DF said, it has visible vegetables in it; it can’t be bad, right?

Okay! Sunday Brunch, my favorite, especially back at Prescott Station.

As DH and I drove South, back towards the middle of the desert, we both commented on how odd we thought it was that we live in the “Big City” and yet inky-dinky Prescott was it ALL over us for places to eat.

Lunch Out In A Very Small Town

DH and I were out and about yesterday, running errands and it was WELL past lunch time. When you are dieting, I mean have changed the way that you look at food, one needs to eat on a regular timetable. There are only certain foods that we can eat as well as how they are prepared.

As we drove on, I remembered a place that we’ve been to a couple of times, Oracle Inn Steakhouse located in the small town of what else, Oracle Arizona.

Here in the middle of the desert, there are not many choices to get food out other than a chain fast food joint. Not for us. Nothing fried, breaded or soaked in butter, no can do on this diet. What we can eat is sirloin steak and chicken breast, which are both on the menu at this quaint restaurant.

This is not like a big city, slick, fancy kinda’ place, but just plain ole’ folk from around these parts, kickin’ back a few, havin’ a steak and maybe a piece of pie.

We already knew what we wanted to order: top sirloin, double the veg, no starch, hold THE most-delicious-fresh-hot-house-made bread (today it was marble rye), but NO (at least I said no), hold the bread and whipped honey butter, raspberry vinaigrette dressing on the salads, steaks medium with sauté mushrooms.   We’re not always a fan of sirloin, but they do it right at the Oracle Inn.

Hmmm, it’s Wednesday, that means two for one drinks (excluding shots) !

What a lovely afternoon out, were I didn’t have to cook, had a nice meal, TWO glasses of wine and a relaxing time with me very sweet husband.

 

Blurb … Oracle Inn

Just a quick blurb to say DH & I were out and about this afternoon and decided to eat out at the Oracle Inn Steakhouse.  Not the first time that we’ve been there… Stay tuned and I’ll share more.

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

DH and I were invited to some friend’s home for dinner on Friday evening. They had just recently moved into a new home and Mister Friend got his smoker all set up and ready to go.

It’s a wood pellet grill/smoker, interesting. At our house, we just have a very simple and inexpensive propane grill in the back yard, along with a couple of tiki torches for accent.

On the menu was pork loin, yum!

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

I contributed a salad.

For dessert, Missus Friend served fresh mixed berries and whipped cream. We had a very pleasant time, chatting, eating, having a glass of wine… nice.

 

Dining Out In Williams Arizona

Sometimes when you’re on vacation with others, there needs to be compromises made when it comes to choosing a dining locale, that’s just a fact of life. On our trip to the Grand Canyon, our niece and I studied Tripadvisor.com for suggestions. We also walked around town, checked out the menus in the windows and chatted up some of the locals.

Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH and I had been to Williams on a previous excursion with my husband’s brother and his wife, some years back. The four of us had enjoyed Red Raven on Historic Route 66. Dear Niece and I thought that there were enough different dishes to satisfy our gang.

We had originally been seated at a smallish table, but then were “upgraded” to a much larger and comfortable spot. Our drink orders were taken and two baskets of bread and garlic herb butter brought out. I had to stop myself from eating the entire basket.

Chicken Frittes at the Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH requested an appetizer for the table, Chicken Frittes with marinara, which were chicken tenders in a nice Panko and Parm crust and lovely sauce for dipping. They were gone in no time, what with two young guys and their Uncle to help them. I did manage to get a snapshot and a taste. We have a few food allergies, so our five-top consisted of:

Penne with Prawns at the Red Raven in Wiiliams Arizona

Buttered Penne pasta with prawns

New York Srtip Steak at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

New York strip steak with roasted red potatoes and tempura style broccolini

Pork Cilantro at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Pork Cilantro (fantastic cilantro pesto over char-broiled pork loin medallions) with southwest mashed potatoes, which we are still trying to figure out, and yes we did ask but nobody was talkin’

Ginger Beef Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Ginger Beef salad

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Grilled chicken breast salad

Everyone indulged me a photo (I did ask the back of house if it was okay with them) and they wasted no time in cleaning their plates. Our older nephew wasn’t crazy about the broccolini, so he handed that off to his brother and me, yum. I never thought to try that before, but I will now.

It was a nice supper, in a nice place, with very nice company

 

Steppin’ Out With My Honey On A Sunday Afternoon

Sunday was the last day of our ‘diet cycle’ and DH and I can now go back to eating foods from the ‘white food group’ once again. We were out running errands in town again so we decided to have lunch at Shlomo & Vito’s, they have great salads and we figured that we’d ease back into food.

DH had the chopped Italian and I had the Fielder’s choice, a scoop of three salads of your choice, I picked the chicken, tuna and egg salad. As our plates were being cleared the ever looming question came up, “did you save room for dessert?” Their pies and cakes are ginormous. The table next to us ordered a piece of Red Velvet cake and New York style cheesecake, WOW! Just at that moment, the table behind me received a slice of lemon meringue pie, my husband’s fav. You should have seen his face; he looked just like a little boy, if only for a second and then shook himself and said, “No thanks”. I was proud of him taking a pass on something that he could have eaten but didn’t. We went window shopping in the chic mall across the street, La Encantada, to walk off what little calories we had from our salads and found, Frost, YUM!

Frost @ La Encantada Mall

 

THE best gelato and sorberts. We each had a small scoop, well maybe his was a little bigger. My poison was Coconut and husband had the Mint Chocolate Chip.

That was a very nice Sunday afternoon.

 

Anniversary Dinner OUT, I Didn’t Have To Cook

I’ve been so busy lately, I forgot to come back around and tell you about our anniversary dinner out with my mother.

We went into town to one of the Scordato restaurants, Vivace. WONDERFUL! DH and I have been here a couple of times before for late lunch while out running errands.

stuffed mushrooms at vivace

The last time we had lunch at Vivace, I ordered the stuffed mushrooms that comes with a green salad, light lunch, right?

penne with sausage at vivace

My husband’s favorite dish, which he orders every time we go is the Penne with Sausage. I thought at first that he wasn’t going to care for it because it has fontina cheese, but he’s ordered it four times now.

Stuffed Pork Chop at Vivace

On this occasion, I ordered the stuffed Pork Chop. It’s a dinosaur sized chop, filled with spinach and I think like a ricotta cheese and then covered in a Marsala wine sauce.

Pork Sorrentino at Vivace

Mother ordered the Pork Sorrentino, another very yummy plate. Thinly sliced pork with prosciutto and fontina cheese all baked together in a tomato, white wine and parmigiano sauce, the pasta was good too.

It’s nice when we all order a different dish and we share. That way you get what we call in Hawaii, a mixed plate, multiple entrées on one plate.

Life is too short, eat good food!

Salute

Another Doctor’s Appointment Means Going Out Lunch

My mother just can’t seem to catch a break lately. Another doctor’s visit in town, but it was all good. DH came with us this time around and he took us all to lunch once everything was done. We went to this place that we have been to many times before, Sahuaro Café. An added bonus for mom, they serve breakfast all day, she loves that!

Saguaro Cafe House Waffle Plate

My mom ordered the House Waffle, a huge, fluffy, delicate, not at all a belly-bomber that sits there like lead all day. It’s served with 2 eggs done anyway you wish (mom likes basted and the cook does a perfect job of it!) and two Pork Links or Pattie; the link is the better choice in my opinion. I was flabbergasted, mom ate it ALL, she usually only eats half of whatever is given to her.

Saguaro Cafe Chicken Salad Salad

DH had the Chicken Salad Salad, no, not the sandwich please; it was very good. Cook uses a Chipotle Mayo, which gave me a double shock, my husband does not like any sort of mayonnaise.

Saguaro Cafe Caesar Salad topped with grilled Chicken Breast

For myself, the Caesar Salad topped with grilled chicken breast, delicious croutons and light on the dressing. The chicken was nicely seasoned and not dry in the least.

Super nice folks at Sahuaro Café!

As DH was paying for our meal, I asked the gal what brand of sausage links they buy.  I guess it was the owner (I should have asked) came over and explained that she gets Jimmy Dean brand from her vender; she has looked for them in the local grocery stores as well as the club warehouses to no avail, many people have asked her the same question.

Today they were offering freshly baked Apple Pie. I had to walk away, quickly. I didn’t linger to get a photo of the beauty sitting on the counter otherwise I might have had a piece. I can’t do it, yet, later down the road, just gotta shed a few more pounds. Did I tell you that we LOVE food, maybe I bit too much? Next month we should be good to go, the holidays always add a little something to my person…  😉