Monday, June 30, 2014

Tomato Basil Fettuccine

When I spent the CL Deal for Joe and Son’s Olive Oil, I bought a package of Pasta Mama’s tomato basil fettuccine pasta.  It is made by a small company in Richland, WA that says it only uses fresh ingredients.  Since it isn’t as processed as normal boxed pastas, it only required cooking for a few minutes.  I’ve only ever made boxed pasta – this one tasted much more flavorful and fresh.

Tomato Basil Fettuccini

  • 1-12 oz package Tomato Basil Fettuccine
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t red pepper
  • 1 t black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • Romano parmesan cheese, to taste

1. Put a large pot of water on the stovetop with a dash of salt to get it boiling. 
2. While the water heats up, peel and chop the garlic into small pieces.  Drizzle olive oil on a pan and sauté spinach with the garlic. Season with red & black pepper.
3. When the water is boiling, put the pasta in.  If it is fresh dried like mine, let it return to a boil and only cook it 2½ minutes.  If it is boxed, follow the box instructions.
4.  Drain the pasta and return to the large pot. 

5.  Add the spinach and pasta sauce to the pan and toss to coat the pasta.

6.  Serve and top with romano parmesan cheese.  

Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pomegranate

I had a lot of leftover fried chicken from the Chicken & Waffles I ordered from Datz a few nights ago, so I decided to use it in a salad for dinner.  I just threw together whatever ingredients we had in our fridge, but Lance claims it’s the “best salad he’s ever eaten” so I figured I’d share the recipe.  
Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pomegranate

·        4 cups Baby Spinach
·        4 Fried Chicken Tenders (since mine was leftover from chicken & waffles it was a little sweeter than normal)
·        ½ white onion, chopped
·        ½ pomegranate (instructions on how to seed a pomegranate here)
·        Trader Joe’s English Farmhouse Cheddar with Caramelized Onions, chopped in small pieces (I used about 2 ounces but you could use more)
·        1 cup croutons (I used Texas Toast Asiago Cheese)

1. If you are using leftover fried chicken like I did, heat it in the oven at 375° until it becomes crispy again 

2. Toss all ingredients together

3. Enjoy! 
We completely cancelled out our healthy dinner by eating ice cream afterwards. The grocery store had a sale on Breyers ice cream, so we picked up Girl Scouts Samoas & Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups flavors.  Both are filled with big chunks of cookies & candy & super decadent. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cigar City Brewpub – Tampa, FL

We’ve wanted to check out Cigar City Brewpub for a while now, so we were excited when our friends Katie & Tony invited us to join them for dinner. 

The Brewpub opened last year and I’ve only heard good things about it.  Cigar City Brewery is based here in Tampa and according to, it’s the 4th best brewery in the world and gives it a 100/100, calling it a “world-class” brewery.  When they opened, the owner of the Brewpub said "a lot of our beer is very culinary inspired. We're big believers in food and beer pairings." 

It is a bit of a drive if you live in South Tampa like we do.  It’s actually on Tasting Tampa’s Top Ten List for the Carrollwood area. 


There were a lot of cool beer-inspired design elements to the restaurant – chandeliers and light fixtures made of cans and barrels, barley in the shape of glasses of beer, and a window where you can view the vats of beer being brewed.  

Since they have so many beers to pick from, we started off with sample flights.  Katie and I both like less hoppy beers so our beers were a lot lighter than the boys’ beers.  We also had an appetizer of yuca fries with mojo aioli which were great.  

For dinner I had shrimp & grits – which were the best ones I’ve ever had.  The shrimp were huge and it had the perfect amount of spices.  Lance got the BBQ  Burger with caramelized onions, bacon, swiss cheese, and a sunny side up egg.  Katie had stuffed piquillo peppers filled with chorizo, manchego cheese & rice and a side of mac & cheese.  And Tony had the Ropa Vieja slow cooked flank steak.  

Everyone loved their food and there were tons of other things on the menu I’d like to try.  They also let you take growlers of beer to go so we filled up a few and brought them back to Tony & Katie’s place (they just moved into a new house.) It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday night!  

Cigar City Brewpub is located at 15491 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33624.  They are open Sunday through Thursday 11am – 10pm and Friday & Saturday 11am – 11pm.