Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Summer, Summer Where did you Go? In honor of the end of Summer, here is one last Salad to Celebrate. This is a Simple Salad with Big Flavor.

The Deets
2 Cups Romaine Lettuce
1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes Roasted
3 Slices Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 TBS of Balsamic Vinegar
2 TBS Plain Lowfat Yogurt
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Pepper

The How To
Roughly Chop Romaine
Roast Tomatoes in a pan over medium heat until glossy and wilted
Cut Mozzarella into large pieces

For the Dressing
So Simple - Can you handle it?
Mix Balsamic into Yogurt
Add Salt and Lemon Pepper
Mix until Creamy

Add as little or as much dressing as you like

Plate, Pray & Enjoy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boulevard Steakhouse

Boulevard Steakhouse is your classic wood-panelled, lowlit, upscale steakhouse located in Edmond Oklahoma. It has a classic dimlit, dark and cozy dining area and a matching lounge where musicians play several nights a week. While the lounge experience is worth a drop by, the actual restaurant is not. Here is the Dining Diva's take on what Boulevard Steakhouse has to offer.

First up the Appetizer: Calamari
The Calamari was great, it was perfectly cooked to a light and crispy perfection and well seasoned. It was served with a blue cheese dipping sauce complete with chunks of blue cheese.  The Calamari Earns 7/10 Diva Stars.

Next Up: The Salad Course
We ordered the Balsamic Caesar Salad, Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil on a bed of Romaine Lettuce topped with house made croutons and shaved Parmesan served with a creamy balsamic dressing. This salad was fantastic and earns 7/10 Diva Stars.

Time for the Main Attraction!
The Prime Ribeye
I hate to admit it, but the Ribeye was disappointing. It was fine, but not the spectacular cut of meat you expect at this price point. It was underseasoned, slightly overcooked and a little tough for a ribeye earning it a 5/10 Diva Stars.

Next up the Grilled Salmon
The Salmon was topped with lump blue crab meat, Grilled Prawns and a ginger scallion aioli. It was "eh". The Salmon was a bit fishy, the aioli was bland, over all it was a subpar dish. The best part of this dish by far was the blue crab meat. The Blue Crab saves this dish and earns it a 5/10 Diva Stars

The Sweet End
For Dessert we had the Oreo Mud Pie
The Oreo Mud Pie was much better than the name implies - it was a complex layering of different chocolates and textures. Although I only ate a few bites, I'd order it again, if it was on someone else's menu. The Oreo Mud Pie earns 7/10 Diva Stars.

Overall I can't recommend Boulevard Steakhouse; I'm not saying don't go - but you can find much better places at this price point and below. For this price point I should be wowed, not underwhelmed. I mean the Food is Fine, but it's not worth the prices and the service left much to be desired.
When I spend this much on a meal the service should be fantastic, but it was actually bordering on awful. Our server was nice and knew the menu well, but didn't pay attention to what we ordered at all and messed up our order big time. I mean big time, as in the only thing she got right was the calamari. That's right, she forgot the salads, gave me a well done steak, forgot the bread, when she brought the salads, after taking away the well done steak, she brought the wrong salads! Instead of facing up and admitting her mistake and moving on - our server avoided us for the night and never once asked how our main course was. On top of that the service was extremely slow, so slow that we had to cancel our after dinner plans because dinner took an extra hour and a half.  Even if the food was amazing, which it wasn't, the service was so bad I probably still wouldn't go back.

Please Note that the poor service did not affect the food scoring - my palet remains objective even in situations like this.

The Report Card for Boulevard Steakhouse:
Service       1/10
Ambiance   3/10
Food          5/10
Overall        4/10

I think you can safely pass right on by Boulevard without missing a thing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Carrot Peach Juice

I Love Summer Produce. Fresh Fruits and Veggies at the peak of ripeness = Perfection. Today's Juice is sweet, simple and super delicious. Carrots and Peaches make a sweet juice, add a squeeze of lemon for a bit of zing and you're all juiced up.

The Deets
5 or 6 Carrots
2 Peaches
1/2 Lemon
The How To
Clean all your Fruits & Veggies
Peel your Lemon
Juice Away
* I recommend mixing this juice 2/3 juice to 1/3 water {I usually water down my juice}

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The BEST Blueberry Muffins Ever

I Love Muffins. I Love Blueberries. So I'd say it's time to share a little Blueberry Muffin Recipe. The original Recipe came from my sister who got it here. Though I do Love the original version, here is my healthier take on Blueberry Muffins. Trust me my version is better - both tastier & healthier. Now Time for a little Muffin Magic!

The Deets
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Cups LowFat Plain Yogurt or LowFat Sour Cream
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 Cups Blueberries
*Raw Sugar for topping

The How To
PreHeat Oven to 385 degrees
Whip Eggs
Add Sugar and beat until smooth
Add other Wet ingredients and beat until smooth
Gradually Add Dry ingredients
Add Blueberries
Scoop into Muffin Pans
Sprinkle Raw Sugar on Top
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Real Women Eat Steak

I am a Montana Girl. I like Steak. When I was in high school I hadn't yet broke the 100lb mark but I could put away a steak like a rough-riding, cattle-herding cowboy. If I never ate a steak again, I would probably still have had my fair share for a lifetime. But I will not stop eating steak, it's just too delicious! Though my appetite has shrunk and my taste buds have been broadened I still love a good steak, just a smaller portion than I indulged in as a teen. Eating Beef in good for you - so long as you don't go overboard. Remember Portion Control is Key! A proper portion of Steak is the size of a deck of cards - which is usually 1/2 to 1/3 of the steak your butcher will cut for you.

I don't cook steak much because I still haven't perfected it and every time I cook one all I can think is "I want one of Dad's steaks". My dad makes great steaks - so long as you stay in the kitchen with him so he doesn't over cook it! Dad and I have very different polar opposite ideas of when a steak is done. I prefer a nice Medium Rare + just one second past medium rare. Dad on the other hand likes his black, jerkified, leather - if he sees pink it gets flamed to death. But Dad loves his "raw meat" eating daughters and makes a mean Medium Rare for me and a cringe worthy bloody Rare for my sister.

Anyway, back to the steak at hand. I am getting better at cooking steaks, thanks in part to my beautiful Staub Grill Pan. When it comes to steak I am a purist. I don't like sauces or toppings. I eat steak for the bold flavor of a good hunk of beef. But it's your dinner, so spice it up however you want - if you like to pile on grilled onions or smother it in sauce go for it. But here is the pure, simple meat of things.

The Deets for 2
1 New York Strip Steak
Lawrys Seasoning Salt
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Olive Oil
1 Hot Grill
The How To
First, Don't cook a cold steak - let the steak get to room temp before you toss it on the grill or in the pan(it takes about 20 minutes from fridge to room temp)
Cut Steak into proper portion size
Lightly Brush Steaks with Olive Oil
Lightly Season with Lawrys & Montreal Steak Seasonings (I do a quick sprinkle of each on both sides of the steak - going lighter with the Montreal Steak Seasoning)
Heat Grill Pan to Medium-High
Cook Steaks 4-5 Minutes on Each Side - only turning once - once you flip it leave it alone (the grill marks on the closer steak were decorative and done during the "side one grill") {continually flipping your steak or removing and reheating it will cause it to be tough}
Turn off pan and remove from heat, letting the Steaks sit for another 2 or 3 minutes
Remove from Pan and let Steaks rest another 5 minutes before cutting or serving

Add a fun side like Grilled Veggies, Scalloped Potatoes and a Salad and dinner is served!

Plate, Pray & Enjoy!