CHEF HALES’ HOT CHICKEN REVIEW

I had a chance to visit Miami Beach over Labor Day weekend and stayed at the lovely Confidante Hotel. The onsite restaurant is called Bird & Bone and it’s claim to fame is having the best chicken in Miami.

I must admit I was a little skeptical as I am from the south and I have tasted some pretty good fried chicken in my life, but this chicken actually lived up to the hype.

For a $28 price tag on the menu it is listed as Chef Hales Hot Chicken: Florida Honey, House Mustard, Cucumber Pickle, w/ Zak the Baker Country Bread.  This meal only comes in one size, which turns out to be a half chicken.

I ordered this famous dish on a fairly busy restaurant night, but the chicken did not disappoint me at all. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside as if it had been fried to perfection. The mustard sauce bread and cucumbers add to the deliciousness of the dish and do not take away from the star, which is the chicken.

I will be honest I had been in South Beach all day enjoying my fair share of delicious beverages for the majority of the day and I knew that this was going to be my dinner. I took it to my room and sat down and indulged. You will want to eat the whole half of a chicken in one setting if you can. LOL.

You have to try it! I give Chef Hales’ hot chicken 2 thumbs up!!!

(I would like to note that the restaurant had no idea that I would be reviewing this meal)

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Cooking with Misstakenid: My thoughts

While drinking a glass of wine sitting here watching the movie “Julie vs Julia”, it makes me think of the great joy I get from cooking and eating my own food. This movie highlights a young woman that decided to cook her way through a famous cookbook. Even though I have no desire to do such. I realize just how much I love food.

As I was cooking my dinner last night of Lamb shoulder chops, roasted potatoes, green beans, and spinach, I realized how much joy I get when listening to music and cooking. I also experience a greater feeling of joy when I see someone take the first bite of their meal and say how good it was. There is a feeling of bliss when I taste my own food and it tastes great to me.  I know that this may sound conceited but I really enjoy the taste of my cooking as anyone should.

(This post is just an outpour of my thoughts today, just so you know.)

There is also something nice about my new white plates. When I plate anything on them, whether it is an amazing meal or ramen noodles it just looks beautiful to me.  I don’t know why it just does.

These are just  a few of my thoughts today,

Is there anything that makes you happy about cooking or eating? Please comment.

 

Cooking with Misstakenid: My Simple Spaghetti

One of my favorite quick comfort meals is my simple spaghetti. So I decided to share it with you.

1/2 Sweet Onion

3/4 Bell Pepper (1/4 Red, 1/4 Green, 1/4 Yellow)

1 box Thin Spaghetti Noodles

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 Jar Spicy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Season to taste (Ground Pepper, Red Pepper flakes, Garlic Salt, Italian Seasoning)

1 tsp sugar

Olive Oil

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Ingredients

Step 1: Cut up the onions and peppers ( I do a rough cut, because I like chunky vegetables)

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Chopped Onion & Peppers

Step 2: Pour Olive Oil in a skillet and sautee the Veggies on Medium heat (Use some of the seasonings listed to season the veggies lightly)

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Sauteed Veggies

Step 3: Move the veggies to the side of  the skillet, and add the ground turkey. Season the meat to taste using the seasonings and add pasta sauce.  Lower the heat of the skillet to low.

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Add Ground Turkey and Sautee
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Add Pasta Sauce

Step 4: Boil water, add a pinch of garlic salt and splash of olive oil. Boil the noodles until desired tenderness, strain in a colander.

Step 5: Season noodles with italian seasoning lightly

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Spaghetti Noodles cooked

Now get your bowl or plate and pour yourself a delicious drink.

Put the noodles in the bowl, cover with your pasta sauce and serve. 🙂

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Finished Product

 

 

Cooking with Misstakenid: My first Turkey Pepperoni Pizza

Hello friends,

I decided that I wanted to make a pizza.  I am not able to eat pork or beef so I always feel some type way when I see a pepperoni pizza. I finally had enough and decided I was going to make my own, so that I could have one too.  I went to the grocery store, grabbed a few ingredients and made my pizza.  It was the first time so it wasn’t very pretty, but here is my recipe.

1/2 sweet onion

1 pack Hormel Turkey Pepperoni

1 pack sliced fresh mushrooms

1 container of Classico Pizza Sauce

2 packs of Mozzarella shredded cheese

1 Pillsbury pizza crust

1 tablespoon of Crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar

I did a rough cut on the veggies. Meaning I didn’t chop them into small pieces, I just ran the knife through them.

I placed the sauce in a pan and seasoned it a little with some crushed red pepper and a teaspoon or less of sugar. To make a sweet and spicy sauce.

I rolled and kneaded the pizza dough (like I was a pizza chef)

I heated a pizza stone in the oven on 425 degrees and sprinkled it with flour to prevent sticking.

I placed the pizza dough in the oven to heat up for 8 minutes.  Then I took it out and topped my pizza, probably too much.

I sauced the dough placed my toppings on and topped with cheese.  Then I topped the cheese with more turkey pepperoni and onions. At this point I realized that I have topped the pizza too much but it was no time to quit.  I placed my topped pizza on the pizza stone for another 8 minutes.

The cheese melted and I had a nice Turkey pepperoni pizza. Pictures are below, however the taste was way better than the pictures. It was delicious and cheesy, which I liked.  My next one will be better than the first.

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My first pizza.
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sliced up with a beverage

Beat the heat with Mixx Ice Cream in Brier Creek

The temperature outside today was probably close to 90 degrees.  It was super hot. So I decided to take my little cousin over to Mixx ice cream in Brier Creek, so we could try it out.  To my surprise it was very delicious.

We walked in and observed all of the flavors and were greeted by a very kind employee. He asked if we wanted to sample any of the many flavors that they had. Of course as I was looking over at the flavors I was thinking that this place looks vaguely familiar and the flavor choices looked familiar to me too.  It reminded me of another ice cream place, which was great.  Once I saw the layout and the fact that you can “mixx in ” other ingredients to your ice cream made my day.

I sampled some chocolate, coffee, and cheesecake ice cream.  They were all very delicious. The one thing that I especially liked was that on the label for each flavor it noted if it had milk, eggs, or soy. Which I really like just in case people have food allergies. So that special attention definitely made me happy.

I settled on some chocolate and coffee ice cream with some caramel and pecans “mixxed in”.  IT was a very delicious scoop of ice cream.  My little cousin got strawberry ice cream and some sorbet mixxed with gummy bears.  She thoroughly enjoyed hers as well.

If you ever in the Brier Creek area of Raleigh, check them out. I definitely recommend their ice cream.

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Strawberry and Raspberry sorbet with gummy bears mixed in
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Mixx Ice cream
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Lots of flavors

They are right next to the movie theater and accross from greek fiesta and the popular gigi’s cupcakes.

Cooking with Misstakenid: Lobster topped Turkey Burger

I actually saw a picture of a burger and that is what inspired me to make this meal.

Ingredients

Ground Turkey /Turkey patties pre-made

2 Lobster Tails

Lettuce

1 Tomato

1/2 Onion (I used sweet onion)

Pickles (I used hot & sweet pickles)

Cheese (I used Havarti slices)

Hamburger Buns (I used Hawaiian Bread)

Egg/Flour

Salt

Pepper

Goya Adobo seasoning (found in international isle of stores)

Garlic/Garlic Powder

Butter

Steps to putting the meal together:

First, make your turkey burgers.  I use salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Goya Adobo seasoning, garlic, and onion to season my turkey meat.  I season everything to taste.   Make your turkey patties  and add a little flour or egg to make sure that the turkey doesn’t separate.

If you choose to go the quick route get some pre-made patties from the grocery store and season them.

I broil my turkey burgers for about 8-11 minutes on each side to make sure that they are well done.  Once they are done you can take them out of the oven to rest.

While the oven is still warm, place your burgers back in covered with cheese of your choice. (I like Havarti, so that is what I used) Let the cheese melt over your burger and take them back out of the oven.

Get your lobster tails cut them in half, remove the meat from the shell.  Cut the lobster into chunks that you desire.  On the stove melt some butter (about 2 tablespoons) on medium heat with some garlic and drop the lobster chunks in to saute’.  Use some of the Cajun/seafood seasoning to season the lobster lightly. The lobster will be done in about 5 minutes or less.

Once the key ingredients are done, prepare your toppings for the burger. Slice up your onions, tomatoes, and break up your lettuce.  Grab your pickles and get ready to top your burger.

I like for my burgers to have everything on them, so I warmed my bun used some mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and hot & sweet pickles.  Placed the burger on the bun and topped it with the lobster chunks.  I also spooned a little drizzle of the garlic butter over the lobster chunks on top of my burger.

I must say that this was delicious. I actually had some potato chips with it and a hard cider.

I hope that you enjoy it. IMG_20170529_145159_278

Cooking with Misstakenid

This is a segment that I have been thinking about for a while.  So I decided to go ahead and get it started.

You will never hear me say in a statement “I can cook!”.  I just say that I put things together well.  This comes from me thinking about the way people talked about my Mommy’s meals.  People would always say “Your Mom can cook!”, with such enthusiasm and even to the point where they would ask her for meals for holiday gifts.  So, I don’t ever say that I can cook, because I believe that would be a comparison to her greatness and I am my own person.

How did I learn how to cook?

I am usually amazed at how my food turns out, because at times I take risks on food in my opinion and put things together that sometimes wouldn’t be paired. Some people learn to cook from being in the kitchen with their Mom, and I didn’t ever want to be in the kitchen watching, I would be watching tv, reading a book or doing anything else other than sitting in the kitchen with my Mommy.  So often times she would say , “You aren’t going to know how to cook” , “You are going to have a chef, when you grow up”. I used to hear her say it and laugh with her saying, you are right.  I probably won’t cook when I grow up.

Little did she know that I am an auditory learner and so I listened to her make every meal. I heard her talk to herself as she talked about how much seasoning to put into something, how long it took certain things to cook, and how to make sure something was done and those things stuck with me.

I only remember making her one meal.  I am sure that I helped with others but this one specifically stands out in my memory.  She wasn’t feeling good one day and she asked me to make some pork chops. (I know what some of you are thinking, I don’t eat pork now as an adult.  I actually have developed a food intolerance to it, but that came later in life.)

So she sat in the kitchen and talked me through how to fry her some pork chops for dinner.  I will never forget how she told me each step and as she sat at the table she laughed and was telling me how to make sure that they were right.  This memory I cherish because when I finished they were fried golden brown and were seasoned to perfection.  She said in adoration with her unmatched laughter, “These are good, they might taste better than mine”. This moment was one of the better memories of my childhood as I was able to show her that maybe I could make something that met her approval in the kitchen.

My Mommy passed away when I was 15, so even at that time I wasn’t trying to make any real meals, but was making some simple things from memory.  I also called myself practicing for one day when I would have a family. So some things I would stand at the kitchen and make over and over to make sure that I would have some idea of how to make them.

Fast forward to my adult life.  I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking in college. I made really simple meals, but I found out that certain things I could just make from memory.  If I didn’t have any idea of how to make something I would just make it up myself.  For reference, I kept Mommy’s old school Betty Crocker Cookbook and Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook, she made little notes in them.

However, now I just “wing it”, if I think of something. I figure out how I want it to taste along the way.  I look at certain spices and seasonings as staples in my kitchen.

How does the magic happen?

I tend to get started with some fresh ingredients, my pink apron, and some good music.  This makes cooking fun.  I also find it comforting and little spiritual.  At times when I am cooking I like to think that my Mommy comes to visit and we are having a party in the kitchen.  Sometimes it makes me so emotional and the food usually turns out amazing.  The amazing, is only partially my belief.  The people who have been here to eat with me usually think the same thing. I feel like my cooking is a blessing and I hold it dear to my heart.

With this little brief history on my cooking I hope that you enjoy this segment of my Blog called Cooking with Misstakenid. It will feature recipes that I enjoy cooking and some drinks that I enjoy making.  Just a little glimpse into my world.

Mini Charlotte Getaway: Solo Travel Adventures

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to take a little drive to clear my head and my thoughts.  This time I chose Charlotte as it is not too far away and was an easy drive.  A couple of days to relax in a hotel is always a good idea, especially when you are a World of Hyatt member.

As I traveled down the highway I realized that I was most excited about going to brunch on Sunday and I knew that I picked an awesome place with great reviews to eat.

I arrived in Charlotte on Friday, and checked into the Hyatt Place Downtown Charlotte.  I enjoy staying at this hotel as it is nice and very easy to find.  They also provide you with breakfast daily and have a little bar where you can have drinks if you would like (and the drinks aren’t too expensive).

I got checked in to my King room on the top floor for the hotel,  and it was nice and spacious.  Most Hyatt Place rooms are created equally, however this room seemed to have a little more space in it, which was fine with me.  There was a king bed, flat screen tv, pull out couch, you know the usual.

So I unpacked my things and enjoyed my night stay in the room.

Saturday morning I had the pleasure of attending the Level Up Sis Brunch.  This was an amazing workshop centered around women that were all entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs.  Let me tell you that I walked in the room and was immediately surrounded by beauty and positivity.  The hosts/speakers were bloggers and it was great to hear their points and ideas on blogging and just how to level up in everything that you do in life and while focusing on being an entrepreneur.  The workshop definitely made me think about a couple of things differently and I enjoyed every moment of it.  It also allowed for networking with other bloggers and female entrepreneurs.

Saturday afternoon I went to Mertz restaurant, where I had a chance to try their Soul Food Sampler.  It was delicious.  The sampler consisted of Fried Chicken Wings, a salmon cake, soul rolls, and cornbread.  This was a moment that was “yummy to my tummy”.   The soul rolls were egg rolls filled with collard greens, rice, black eyed peas, and chicken. Everything else was self explanatory.  I was trying to figure out why I never thought to make soul rolls at home, I mix up and think of all different types of food.  I am definitely going to have to try this.  I enjoyed the food and was definitely ready to go home and take a nap.

I woke up Sunday morning waiting for, what I felt like I had been waiting all of my days for.  I had been wanting to go to Farenheit restaurant for brunch since the end of last year.  I know what you are thinking. I could have gone at any time, and I could but, I wanted to enjoy this meal with one of my good friends.  She just got engaged and I wanted to celebrate in her town with Brunch.  That gave me an occasion to go and I was ready.

Farenheit is located on the 21st floor of the same building as the Hyatt Charlotte Downtown.  The chef is known all over and I completely understand why.  Many of the menu offerings for brunch will make you think that you just want to order the whole menu.  If you know me well enough, you know that this is not something that is far fetched for me at all.  However, I had my heart set on the king crab benedict and that was all I needed on this particular morning.

Let me tell you, if you like king crab and eggs you will definitely want to try this amazing dish. It literally melts in your mouth.  I got my eggs poached as close to well as possible, but that is how I like them.  The king crab was succulent and it was topped with a kimchee hollandaise sauce.  I was a little skeptical about it in the beginning, due to the kimchee, but they let me sample a little and as soon as I tasted it, I realized that it was going to go great with the crab and the eggs.

I also had the pleasure of trying my very first bloody mary.  Normally with brunch I am a mimosa girl, but I had heard so much about the build your own bloody mary cart that I couldn’t help but try it.

The cart pulls up with a server driving and asks what all you would like in your bloody mary, there are all kinds of toppings and 2 different types of mixes.  I tried the spicier of the 2 with some added horseradish and hot sauce.  I always told myself if I ever had a bloody mary it needed to have some shrimp in it and this one was everything I wanted and more.  If only they had some turkey bacon to go in there too, that may have really made my day. (I love turkey bacon, by the way)  Nonetheless, this first bloody mary was a great addition to my meal.

Of course to toast my friend I had to switch over to a mimosa and I do love champagne so it was great.  We even went out to the lounge area outside and sat on the comfy furniture for a bit. I will definitely be returning back there.

By the end of brunch I needed a nap.  The good thing is rest was the whole point of my trip.  Needless to say, a couple of days at a hotel and some amazing food, can give anyone a much needed recharge.  I advise that everyone take some time out and do this whenever they get a chance.  If you go to Charlotte, I definitely recommend the Brunch at Farenheit, and I also recommend staying at the Hyatt Place downtown., but don’t take my word for it.  Try it out for yourself. 🙂

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my first bloody mary
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king crab benedict
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view from the room

Zucchini Noodles…my new obsession!!

Why didn’t anyone tell me about how delicious zucchini noodles were sooner?

I was taking a class on nutrition provided by my healthcare provider and she recommended that I try zucchini noodles as they would help me increase my vegetable intake easily. So, I was determined to try it out.

Let me confess, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE PASTA. So I was thinking that this would be a hard sell.  I really love spaghetti and meatballs, made with angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti so that I don’t feel so bulky when I eat it.

I was very apprehensive about the idea of trading my beloved pasta, but I figured it can’t hurt and I knew that zucchini noodles have become more and more popular over the past couple of years. My usual self would go out and buy the tools needed to make the noodles and then probably never use them again.  So this time I decided to take the easy way out.

I found out that Harris Teeter had fresh cut zucchini noodles for a couple dollars, so I decided to try  them out.

This was my moment of truth.  I got out the olive oil, some garlic, crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning and a little salt and pepper.  Turned on the stove, put the olive oil in the pan and started my adventure.  I made sure that I seasoned them to my liking.  I sauteed them up in a pan for 5 minutes and they were done, with a light crisp.

Then I took some store bought spicy tomato and basil sauce heated it up in a pan, seasoned it to my liking and dropped in some turkey meatballs.  Tossed the zucchini noodles in the sauce and I had some “spaghetti and meatballs”.

Got a bowl ready, dropped the noodles, sauce and meatballs in topped with a three cheese blend and was ready to try my special veggie spaghetti.  It turns out that it was delicious. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried this sooner, but now I am hooked.

Have you tried zucchini noodles before?  Let me know what you think about them. Leave a comment. Let’s chat. 

 

 

Ruth’s Chris on a Budget

Hello friends,

When you think of Ruth’s Chris Restaurant you probably think that it is expensive and will cost about $100 for your meal.  This can be true if you stick to the regular a la cart menu.  Which is an amazing menu by the way.

Some people think that you need to wait until “restaurant week” comes around to even eat at a restaurant like this.   What if I told you that you can eat at Ruth’s Chris on a regular within a reasonable budget. How would you feel about that?

Let me start off with the idea that I like food and at times don’t really care what it costs, however I have figured out that some restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris offer a “happy hour menu” or a “prix fixe menu” daily, if you didn’t know then I am telling you that you don’t have to spend too much to eat there.

First of all sometimes it is best to check out the bar of the restaurant, sometimes the bar will have a special menu that is not utilized in the rest of the establishment. This is easier for me as I am usually eating solo. So if you have a big group, it is possible to get bar area seating, but just be mindful that there may be a wait, especially during the “happy hour time”.

The average meal on the “happy hour” menu is about $12 and the drinks listed are about $8. So for $20 plus tax and tip you can eat a meal that is a great quality and still filling.

Or you can take a look at the prix fixe menu, which the lowest amount is $39.99, plus tax and tip (not including a drink).  This may seem like too much for some, but think about it this way,  you are getting a salad, main course with side, and dessert. Which I think is a great deal.  There are many options for this menu, salmon and shrimp, stuffed chicken breast, and even a steak.  Keep in mind that this menu may change it’s offerings throughout the year, but the stuffed chicken is pretty much a staple on this menu.  All of those are great options for a meal at this establishment that prides itself in the quality of its food.

Well, I just decided to share a little bit, everyone always thinks people have to spend so much money at Ruth’s Chris and you can if you eat a la cart style, but I am letting you know that you don’t have to.

I would like to add that I frequent The Ruth’s Chris Restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area, and they have amazing service.

Yes, I gave them a mention…you have to acknowledge great service when you get it.  Especially when they don’t know that you are writing a review.

Drop me a comment to let me know if this post was helpful….(images from a couple of my meals are included below)