February 18, 2019

The Red Hen Review

The Red Hen
1303 Kings Hwy
Swedesboro, NJ 08085

My husband was the one to mention this place to me.  After finding out that this place is 9 minutes from us, reading their overall great reviews and seeing photos of their insane looking milkshakes on their Facebook page like this one, we had to check it out.  I have a thing for good customer service- i'm a stickler for employees who actually care about their customers and whom are also very helpful as well as professional.  This is probably because I worked in the customer service industry for over 17 years. As soon as my family and I walked in, we were greeted by not one 'hello' and a smile, but two!  I immediately was a fan of the place.  Our server was the same, though I do not recall her name unfortunately.  From the moment we sat down until the moment we left, nothing but helpful and kind service was provided. With a casual, not too big and not too small atmosphere, serving American -fare food with a twist on  a lot of great classics, such as their REAL Crab Fries- served with cheese sauce, and REAL jumbo lump crab meat on top that still had the flavor of Old Bay spice in them.  DELICIOUS!

I wish I had taken photos of all the food but I was a mixture of tired and hungry and I just wanted to enjoy myself.  I've taken a break from social media for the past three weeks and haven't taken photos of food in a while either, but it's been a refreshing break from it all.  That will change the next time we visit there.

So we devoured most of the REAL crab fries, but it's a huge portion for an appetizer!  We started with a couple of drinks from the bar- my husband ordered a Vodka Mule and I had a glass of white wine.  we had two drinks each and it felt wonderful after a long week on a Friday night! I decided to order their Salmon burger which comes with regular french fries or you can upgrade to sweet potato fries which of course, I went for.  You can add cheese to the burger but it comes with a tarter sauce on top and so I just added tomatoes and onions.  The roll is a soft, kaiser bun.  The burger was a good size and I did not finish it all.  My only complaint is that it's not served with enough sauce on top ( if you're a sauce person like me) so next time I would just ask for extra on the side.  The salmon itself was good but I think it could have used more flavor and the dish should be served with two lemon wedges because, well, it's a fish dish.  That's just my opinion though but it's nice to have available if you like like squeezing lemon your fish like me.  Overall, I give my dish a 7!

My husband ordered their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.   Now it comes with pickles and ranch dressing which, looooooove all of that and holy yum!  However,  he's picky, so he ordered no ranch and no pickles.  Party pooper.  He had BBQ sauce put on their instead which is still yummy, and lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.  I forget  what kind of cheese.  It looked huge and totally drool worthy. I may have to try that next time OR we could totally split it.  I think overall, he gave his dish a 7 as well!  Our daughter ordered the kids hot dog ( no bun because I couldn't tell you why, but is she crazy?!)  and french fries.  She devoured her entire hot dog and ate a good amount of fries!  We always tell her she can have a special dessert ( which is typically ice cream) if she eats really well at dinner time.  This place gets another gold star in my book because they actually had mint chip ice cream which is he favorite!  They also have vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and probably even more flavors since they make intense milkshakes with all the crazy toppings! She asked for whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles , too.

When the waitress brought the ice cream out, it all looked homemade/fresh to me. That's never not a good thing. Maybe not the ice cream,but the whipped cream for sure!  The reason I know this?  My daughter loves whipped cream but she' used to Reddi Whip in the can- I mean, that stuff is amazing too!  She took one bite and instantly had disdain across he face.  It gets better, she is used to classic rainbow"jimmies", long rods.  These rainbow sprinkles were the pearls or round ones.  She wasn't a fan of those either.  So I thought she wouldn't like the ice cream , too.  She ate most of that which was a relief. ha!  Still, I know her favorite brand is Turkey Hill Mint Chip.  Turkey Hill is THE BEST ice cream in my opinion.  My husband would disagree.


Anyway, I'd say overall our experience at The Red Hen was a great one and we WILL be back soon!  My husband and I decided next time we go, we'll split the chicken and waffles appetizer ( yes, appetizer- which I hear is huge)!  and then split a crazy milkshake for fun.  Eek!  I see tummy troubles in my future but on the same token, YOLO.


Blog Worthy Baked Chicken Tacos


 ( click here to see how tasty they look).

my computer is being annoying currently and I can't seem to upload photos from my phone to my desktop.  Boo.

Lately, my family and I have been  ordering out to eat more than we'd care to admit.  We've been going out to eat too, which, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that but it comes down to balance and we need a detox of some sort again asap!  Today is Sunday and I decided to make chicken tacos after having cleaned and organized my fridge/freezer and could actually see what we have in there.  I had four peppers from a previous shopping trip, two red and two green. I just had to use them up!

I only used two with 2 smaller onions I had.  I love that these kinds of foods take forever to start going bad.  I had to hit the food store anyway so I picked up taco fixings like salsa and my meat and a 25% lower sodium taco seasoning mix.  I always have them on hand for nights like these!  I also had a brand new box of crunchy taco shells in my cupboard so I decided to go for backed tacos which is simply placing a few shells in a shallow baking dish, putting the tacos together and baking them until golden brown and crispy and the cheese is gooey melted-10 minutes tops!I got this idea from a food blog I follow- The Baker Mama. But she makes everything looks wonderful!  I typically use standing shells ( yup that's a real thing) because they are easier to assemble but I didn't have those this time.

Anyway- the fun part and slightly genius maybe?  I don't know but these were the best baked tacos I have made to date-and I've made a lot over the years.  I bought chicken tenders and cut them into 2 inch pieces.  Cooked them in some evoo for about ten minutes until mostly cooked and added chopped cilantro to the pan and fresh squeezed lime juice ( juice of two lemons) and then lastly added in the taco seasoning packet. *the lime juice is key for how flavorful these turned out*  I sliced up the peppers and onions and coked those down as well in some evoo, salt and pepper.  Turn the heat up under the chicken until the lime juice and seasonings thicken up and turn both pans off .  Get ready to assemble your tacos!!

This is how I made them:
-sprinkle some shredded cheese on bottom of the shell
-top with some onions and peppers
-add about 3-4 pieces of chicken
-top with more cheese ( be generous)
-place in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
-use any and all taco toppings you love and enjoy!!

These hit the spot because we were so hungry!  I'm all about balance, but tonight we're having leftovers because there's a ton leftover from that meal.  Tuesday night will be breakfast for dinner aka brinner!  Homemade waffles, scrambled eggs, apple-smoked bacon and breakfast style potatoes.  Can't wait!  My daughter will only eat the bacon and her min pancakes.  We'll see though.  She's always full of surprises!



August 22, 2018

Cherry On Top Ice Cream Shoppe Review

Cherry On Top Ice Cream Shoppe-26 S Main St, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062


One random evening, it was approaching 5pm and my family and I weren't necessarily starving but we could definitely eat something. Clearly dinner was not planned for this night. I decided on a whim to just go for ice cream so we had an excuse to try the local ice cream shop.  I didn't want a huge dinner and I also didn't feel like eating ice cream shortly after.  My stomach tends to not like me whenever I do that.  My husband at first was iffy about doing that but eventually said, "you want to just do that then?  Yes, yes I do.  And my daughter looked at me and laughed and immediately loved the idea! 

This time we didn't do a bike ride.  We were conventional and drove. I learned the place is fairly new and not even a year old yet.  It's a cute shop with typical old time knickknacks and  a decent sized space to sit inside and eat your ice cream or there's a cute porch to sit on and a few tables to the side of the shop to enjoy your treat.  It was again particularly hot this day as well so we just sat inside.  I tend to get overwhelmed when it comes to good ice cream and also large menus because I just have zero willpower and want to try everything.  At this point I was pretty hungry and figured since I didn't have dinner, I would indulge and try three different flavors. YOLO!

My daughter ordered her usual which is the chocolate and vanilla twist with rainbow sprinkles, my husband ordered a cup of their mint chocolate chip flavor with peanut butter sauce and whipped cream.  They both looked delectable.  I sampled a cookie dough flavor and a cherry vanilla flavor which is in season right now when I first walked up to the counter.  After about 5 minutes or so, I decided on a triple scoop of cherry vanilla, cookie dough and chocolate marshmallow flavors all atop a rainbow sprinkle cone that  was dipped in chocolate.  To say I was in heaven is a huge understatement. The ice cream was so creamy and not too rich either! You can taste the fresh ingredients and if you adore black cherries, you must get yourself or at least sample their cherry vanilla flavor. Chunks of cherries are sporadically spread throughout the creamy vanilla .  You don't  normally come across ice cream shops that make all their flavors from scratch.  Their soft serve is also homemade which really just seals the deal for me.

I finished it all except maybe three small bites of the cone and it was worth every lick! We will most certainly be back soon!



Blue Plate Restaurant Review


Blue Plate
47 S Main St, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062


My family and I recently moved to Mullica Hill and already we are in love with the town, the people, the quietness and of course, the great food spots!  We already found our local pizza shop Naples Pizza which is truly the best pizza  I’ve tasted in a long time and their onion rings…get the onion rings!! We tried a local ice cream shop as well on the same main street called Cherry On Top and it was stellar!  It’s hand-made ice cream so you just can’t go wrong with homemade.


The first week we moved in, my husband took off work so we could get settled in the new house, enjoy time together as a family and just enjoy the new house and the pool we now own!  We decided one morning to try a bike ride to Blue Plate for breakfast.  It was particularly hot this day and going up and down the hills made it extra fun, but once we got to the place and devoured our breakfast, it was all worth it. Blue Plate is a local eatery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with unique twists on most American fare food items. From classic pancakes to unique omelets and breakfast wraps to crab cake sandwiches and salmon BLT’s; that I haven’t tried yet but just spotted on their menu. We were greeted fairly quickly by our server and ordered our drinks. We were able to order our food in a timely manner but it maybe took about twenty-five minutes to receive the food. It was well worth the wait.


My daughter always wants pancakes and she was delighted to hear that they served Mickey Mouse pancakes!  When we eat out, sometimes she’ll eat scrambled eggs and some fruit but this time, it was only the pancakes.  Which is fine and my husband and I both tried a piece of the huge Mickey ears and they were so fluffy! I am never quite sure what I want to order , especially if I go out to breakfast so I was lost for a few minutes but ended up going with their chorizo and scrambled egg with cheddar cheese on a toasted English muffin served along side their breakfast potatoes. The English muffin was toasted to perfection ( I like it really crispy) and the chorizo had just the right amount of spicy to it. The cheese was melty and the eggs light and fluffy.  I have never had a breakfast sandwich like that before. I devoured it in probably 5 minutes A) because I was quite hungry and B) it was FABULOUS.  My husband ordered a bacon , egg and cheese on a Kaiser roll.  He said it was really good but next time he’ll probably try it on a bagel.


Our first experience there was a great one and I’m looking forward to trying their other meals in the future. Blueplate is right on Main Street and walking distance to all the great little shops and quaint antique stores in downtown Mullica Hill.  Luckily and dangerously, we live 5 minutes from Main Street!

December 28, 2017

Spicy Cheesy Turkey Taco Soup



So, on a whim the other night, I decided to make a turkey soup. I then decided I wanted it to be healthy-ish, so I added almost an entire bag of fresh spinach, garlic and an onion. I need spice in my life right now because I have been congested and most likely will be catching my daughter's cold in the new year I'm sure.

This soup has a great kick in the pants spice thanks to the pepper jack cheese and red pepper flakes. It's comforting and filling for a frigid cold night and also makes an excellent lunch.  I love dipping tortilla chips in it. It's also crazy healthy because of the spinach.  My daughter doesn't care for many veggies, but when I am able to sneak any sort of green in something to where she won't notice, it's a win in my book! She also loves dipping the chips in it and putting the turkey on top of the chip. I hope you'll give this soup a try!  It's super easy and definitely hits the spot!


Ingredients

-1 can of diced tomatoes
-1 medium onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 medium bag fresh spinach
-2 cups chicken or veggie broth
-2 cups water
-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
-1 small can of tomato paste
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-1 package low sodium taco seasoning
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 bag (4 ounces) of shredded Mexican-cheese blend or  one block of pepper jack cheese, shredded
-cilantro, sour cream, tortilla chips for garnish/toppings


Directions

 1. Heat  olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook the turkey down until all pink is gone. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine. Set aside.
 


 1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Once hot enough, add the onion and garlic together. Cook down until brown in color. About 5 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and mix well.

2. Add the tomatoes, spinach, red pepper flakes, broth and water. Season to taste.

3. Cover and cook down for about 5-10 minutes over medium high heat until steaming and bubbly. Turn off the heat. Place hot soup mixture carefully in a blender and blend everything until well combined. Pour back in the pot and add the turkey. Let cook until hot and bubbly again. Add the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir well. Serve hot and with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy and stay warm!

* This soup is freezer friendly.







 
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