Thursday, September 29, 2011

Restaurant Review...."Firebirds Wood Fired Grill" Durham NC at the Streets of SouthPoint

It was Erica's birthday.  Josh, Steph, and Caleb were in town. Time to celebrate.  The question was where should we take Erica on her special day.  Where can we go that has nice atmosphere, attentive and friendly service, and great food every visit?  The answer to that question was FireBirds.  We have been there many times and always have had a wonderful dining experience.  So off we went to the Streets of SouthPoint Mall to have a nice birthday dinner.....
Happy Birthday Erica!!:-)

Here is what they said about themselves on their website....."Firebirds Wood Fired Grill introduced a taste of Colorado to the Carolinas when it first opened its doors in Charlotte, North Carolina in December of 2000. The restaurant is the creative concept of owner and restaurateur, Dennis Thompson, who regularly travels out west. He fell in love with the feel of the area as well as the food. Drawing from those   experiences, he developed Firebirds."

Nice bar area...
Steph and Josh...
Joe and Steph...
 One of the many rustic feel decorations.  I love the stone and the fireplace.  A comfortable cozy and welcoming feel.
Bleu Cheese Filet with Port
Mushrooms.  Delightful!
My salad, the Grilled Shrimp and
Strawberry Salad.  Love it:-)
Happy Birthday Erica!!!
Love you:-)

We have come to love firebirds over the years.  We have been there many times.  It is a restaurant you can count on.  The decor is lovely and the food very nice.  
I love the BLT Salad, and Crab Cake Salad.  Joe loves the BLT Salad also and the Pepper Crusted Sirloin.  They have a very nice wine list.  I usually will order a glass of the Riesling.  
Here are a few pictures from...Their Web Site... Warning, they will make your mouth water....

So if you have a special occasion looming or just want a romantic evening out I suggest you try Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.  You won't be disappointed.
Get out and try a new restaurant...
Happy Eating Everyone:-)

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Flatlander Chili" from All Recipes (Kathiey's world 2010)

Recipe Review..."Flatlander Chili" from All Recipes.

Steph Josh and Erica were coming home and we were going to the North Carolina State Fair.  So what would be easy to make and keep us fed for a couple of days?  Chili!

There is nothing like a bowl of Chili.  I remember coming home from school when I was little and being thrilled when mom was whipping up a big pot of chili.  Smelled so good!
I have always called chili.....well.....just that, chili.   In Texas they call it a "bowl of big red".  My co-worker Kristin calls her chili a bowl of chili beans.  I pictured just a bowl of beans, but no,  it is just regular chili just given a regional name.
I went on line and did a bit of reading about chili.  In different parts of the country it is common to find chili used in different ways.  You could find folks putting it on burgers, fries, rice, mac n cheese, spaghetti and baked potatoes.  In Nebraska it is common to serve chili with cinnamon rolls??  Yes I said cinnamon rolls.  In Missouri folks sometimes pour pickle juice into their chili and in Tennessee you may see people sprinkle vinegar onto their chili. 
Common chili toppings are shredded cheese, saltine crackers, corn chips and sour cream.  I like mine served with shredded cheese, sour cream, and a good round of bread.   I gathered my ingredients....  

Josh's bowl topped with
shredded cheddar.
My bowl topped with sour cream with a side of bread:-)
Here is the recipe for my chili......I love it:-)

Flatlander Chili
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (add to taste, joe is not crazy about onions                 so I usually add about a half cup:-)
1/2 cup chopped celery  (Joe does not like celery so I did not add this)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder  (I always end up adding more for a bit more spice:-)
1 -2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white sugar (I usually add a bit more)
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed
1. Place ground beef and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Add green pepper and cook till tender. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
2. Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

So what do I rate this recipe.  I have to give it a 9.5 on my cooking scale.  It is a comfort food.  Warms your heart and warms you tummy.
Happy Cooking Everyone
Enjoy your world:-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trying New things..."Leeks" and Recipe Review "Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Bucatini"

Trying New things..."Leeks" and Recipe Review "Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Bucatini"

I received  a free sample magazine in the mail.  It's titled "Cuisine at Home".  It is geared to the home cook.  I may have to subscribe.  They do assume in the magazine that the "home" cook has a vast knowledge of all items in the cooking world.  Although that may be true of most home cooks it is not the case for me.  This could be a good problem because I love to try new things so here goes.....I chose a recipe called "Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Bucatini with Garlic Bread Crumbs"
Lets break the recipe down a bit....
..just what is Bucatini?  Off to Google for the answer..
"small hollow tubes of pasta"  (I used spaghetti)
/ˌbʊkəˈtiːni/  (still not sure how to pronounce it:-)

Did you notice the recipe called for Leeks?  I was off to Harris Teeter to find one....and off to Google to find out just what they were....
a plant related to the onion, with flat overlapping leaves forming an elongated cylindrical bulb that together with the leaf bases is eaten as a vegetable. It is used as a Welsh national emblem.
I found one...
Now what???
Off to Google yet again:-)
I learned online that you don't use the entire leek.  Just the center portion that you see in the photo.

..then you thinly cut the portions you want to use.  I also found they tend to hold a lot of dirt so they need to be thoroughly cleaned prior to use..... clean them you slice them to the desired size and put them in a bowl filled with water.  Stir them around gently, the leeks will float and any dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  Easy!
I gathered my ingredients....
and they were many..

...some helpful hints...
...garlic.... of the many steps..
"Caramelized my
 Adding the pasta...

End result....
What would I rate this recipe?
This is a hard one.  It was tasty, but it was not easy.  There were many steps involved and it took a very long time.  As far as flavor I would probably give it an 8/10.  It was unique, and very good. It took so long to make that I don't think I would make it again.

Happy Eating and Cooking!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Carolina Ale House" Brier Creek, Raleigh NC

Restaurant Review...."Carolina Ale House" Brier Creek, Raleigh NC

Last night Erica and I decided to go out for a bite to eat.  Joe was off on a 75mile bike ride.  Josh, Steph, and Caleb were on their way into town but would not be home till later in the evening so we headed out for an early meal.  We decided to try Carolina Ale House on Skyland Ridge Pkwy in Raleigh.
We drove to their Brier Creek location....
As we entered there were 3 folks behind the counter.  They were not overly friendly and we got the feeling it did not matter if we stayed or not.  We were glad that was not the case with our server.  Very friendly and attentive.  The person that brought our food was friendly also.  
First up....time for a girly drink....I ordered the Hawaiian Cosmo....
It was pretty.  As far as flavor not so much my favorite drink.  I probably drank about half of it.
We were not very hungry so we decided to share a few appetizers. 
We started with the Creamy Spinach Dip.  
Now that was yummy.  Creamy and cheesy.  I would order that again.
We ordered a couple more appetizers and as we waited I looked around the room.  
We did notice that we were seated in the UNC section.  
How could they tell we were UNC fans?:-)

 Mozzarella Sticks.
They were ok, a bit bland.
Buffalo Zinger Wrap.
It was ok, not much zing.

So what would I give our little restaurant adventure on my review scale.  All in all I would give it a low thumbs up on the food and drinks we ordered.  Everything was ok, nothing was awful.  The only thing that stood out in the items we ordered was the spinach dip.  The welcome was poor but the service was great.  As far as the venue I think it would be a great place to go see a game.  There were big screens all around.  In the bar area there was a lot of seating and one very large screen TV as well as the smaller ones all around.  I think it would be a great place to watch the Duke vs UNC game and have a few drinks and some pub food.  I would go back to watch a game.
Get out and try a new restaurant.
Enjoy your world:-)
Carolina Ale House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Honey Peanut Butter Cookies" from Taste of Home Magazine

Recipe Review .."Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies" from Taste of Home

Over the weekend Stephanie, Josh, and baby Caleb came for a visit.  It was wonderful!
When they left to go visit Josh's family  I had a choice.  I could take a nap which sounded inviting or I could do something constructive.  After much mental debate I decided to make cookies, so they would have a treat when they came back home.  I pulled out my recipe binder and came across an oldie but goodie....Honey Peanut Butter Cookies from Taste of Home Magazine....


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In a bowl, mix shortening, peanut butter and honey. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to peanut butter mixture and mix well.
  • Roll into 1- to 1-1/2-in. balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork dipped in flour. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Yield: 5 dozen.I
I gathered my ingredients.....

A 9.5 on my cooking scale..

 Ready for the oven...

Can't beat cookies and milk....

I was glad I decided to do something constructive rather then take a nap.  The cookies were enjoyed by everyone.  I even gave Brodie a taste....He loved them:-)
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)