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Cuenelli’s Peruvian Style Rotisserie Chicken – 4801 W Hillsborough Ave Tampa, FL 33614 – (813) 888-8790

Cunelis1I don’t know how many times I’ve passed this place and not noticed it but now that I have there is no doubt that I will come back. I don’t know if this is actually Peruvian style chicken as one of the waitress told me it was Cuban. Whatever it is it is Latin, flavorful, good sized portions and delicious.
We got there just before the lunch rush began and were immediately seated. Our waitress, Annie, was well versed in the menu, friendly, and fast. This was my first time here.My friend had discovered this place about a year ago when it first opened.Annie waitress

They serve breakfast here as well, which I haven’t tried yet. The star of the day here is the chicken. It is seasoned to perfection with a crispy skin and a juicy meat. I also had Cilantro rice, which I had never heard of but am not a fan, with black beans on the side, and a house salad. I enjoyed everything and I’m pretty sure lunch for two was under $20.00.
I’m not really big on breakfast. I’m more of a brunch person so I don’t know if I’ll be back for breakfast. I do know that if you are in the neighborhood it is defiantly worth it to give this place a try.

If you are lucky enough to get Annie for a waitress, tell her I said hi.

 

Cuelis2

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Salt Water Cowboy’s (904) 471-2332 – St. Augustine, Florida – Restaurant Review

Best Eats in town!

Best Eats in town!

St. Augustine is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida. It’s the oldest city in the United States, steeped with history, and loaded with ghostly adventures. Ghost Hunters filmed one of their best shows at the old lighthouse in St. Auggies. There are beaches, segway tours, museums and more. You could never do it all in one weekend. Plus, the locals are super friendly and helpful. This is my second visit but it will most certainly not be my last. This time I stayed away from the touristy food places and took the advice from my pals at Chowhound.com. We ate where locals go for most of our meals. Salt-Water Cowboys won by a country mile. It couldn’t be more than a 10-15 minute drive from downtown but I guess because of its old Florida feel and unspoiled water views you feel transported to another time.

The outside was so old world looking  that we were pleasantly surprised by how retro cool it was SW Building inside. Kind of rustic upscale cowboyish I guess. We  got there around 4:30 pm but it doesn’t open until 5:00 pm and there was a pretty good crowd waiting to get in when the doors opened. Between admiring the views, looking at all the awards they have lining the front door and chatting with other guests, the time flew by. The doors opened and we were seated  immediately. I am sorry to say that I don’t  remember my servers name but he was polite, well versed about the menu and extremely efficient.

While going over the menu our waiter brought us a beautiful basket of warm bread that we demolished in minutes. I chose their award winning Clam Chowder as an appetizer and was impressed. It was silky smooth and loaded with nice chunks of clam, delicious. For my entrée I had crab cakes which were not on the menu but was a special of the day. Like the chowder, they were loaded with crabmeat and delicious. My friend, who does not eat seafood, ordered a huge burger and said it was juicy and flavorful. After eating a house salad and the bread, she couldn’t finish her meal. I did finish mine.  If only I had more room to sample the frog legs or alligator, I would have been a happier camper. As it was I didn’t have enough room for dessert. I don’t remember the exact amount of the bill but it was under $50.00 for two.

So, this place is a must go if you are planning on visiting St. Augustine. If you’re a seafood junkie it’s heaven and if not you will still find a little bit of paradise at Salt-Water Cowboys.

Inside Salt Water13931084543881393108478958

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Eating St. Augustine

staugustine-bridgeo lionsI’m on a short vcay in St. Augustine’s this weekend. My buddies on Chowhound  gave me so many suggestions of places to eat that I can’t possibly get them all in this weekend. However, I will try to take one for the team and give it my best. Stay tuned kids, next week will be restaurant reviews galore. Until then eat well, eat healthy and have a great weekend.

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Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

I’m no baker but this doesn’t get any easier, Besides, you are probably snowed in anyway so try something new.  As always this is healthy for you and diabetic friendly.  Enjoy!

Total Time: 22 mins                                                                          Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:12 mins

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board (if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approx)
Directions:

1
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
2
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
3
Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
4
If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
5
Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
6
If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
7
Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
8
Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
9
Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
10
You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
11
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
12
If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
13
Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
14
Do not overbake.
15
Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
16
The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
17
I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there’s less chance of overmixing.
18
You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
19
Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
20
Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
21
When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 mns

Nutritional Facts for Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Serving Size: 1 (601 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value Calories 162.5 Calories from Fat 6640%Total Fat 7.3 g 11%Saturated Fat 4.5 g 22%Cholesterol 19.3 mg 6%Sodium 400.1 mg 16%Total Carbohydrate 20.5 g 6%Dietary Fiber 0.6 g 2%Sugars 1.2 g 5%Protein 3.4 g 6%


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Stuffed Mushrooms

As always, this recipe is healthy for you and diabetic friendly. Your friends and family will love it. Let me know if you try it.

This Recipe Serves 6

Ingredients

Cooking spray
6 extra-large white mushrooms (8 ounces)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided                                                                                   jan-2014-stuffed-mushrooms
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
¼ small onion, diced
¼ small green pepper, diced
2 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons gluten-free bread crumbs (or your favorite bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon reduced-fat, shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan  (Don’t use that stuff in the green carton)

Parsley or Cilantro for garnish. (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside the stems.
  3. Place the mushroom caps in a bowl and toss them with 1 teaspoon olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Set aside the caps.
  4. Heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and mushroom stems and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sausage is completely browned.
  5. Add the bread crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and melt.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture (about 1 heaping tablespoon per mushroom cap). Arrange the mushrooms in the baking dish and bake 40 minutes or until the stuffing is crispy on the top.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm all ingredients, including turkey breakfast sausage, are gluten-free. If you don’t have gluten-free bread crumbs you can make your own or try using cornmeal.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size: 1 mushroom cap

  • Calories50
  • Carbohydrate3 g
  • Protein4 g
  • Fat3.0 g
  • Saturated Fat0.7 g
  • Sugar1 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol10 mg
  • Sodium85 mg
  • Potassium155 mg


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Product Alert – Olive Oil Scandal

olive oil production

Is nothing sacred anymore? I love olive oil and have been using it for many years. It is good for your heart, helps reduce risk of stroke, is great for your cholesterol levels and more. So I was very disappointed to learn that this wonderful product is being tampered with by the unscrupulous. My favorite has been EVOO (Extra Virigin Olive Oil) because of its lighter taste.  I would hunt for good sales because I use it often and don’t like to run out. Now it turns out that I don’t really know what I’ve been buying. Here’s the real deal on olive oil.

A staggering 69% of all store bought olive oils in the US are fake. Many that claim to be Italian  are only bottled in Italy and not produced there. Many companies cut the olive oil with cheaper refined oil to increase their bottom line. Standards established by the International Olive Oil Council (OIC) found the following:

Of the five top-selling imported “extra virgin” olive oil brands in the United States, 73 percent of the samples failed the IOC sensory standards for extra virgin olive oils analyzed by two IOC-accredited sensory panels. The failure rate ranged from a high of 94 percent to a low of 56 percent depending on the brand and the panel. None of the Australian and California samples failed both sensory panels, while 11 percent of the top-selling premium Italian brand samples failed the two panels. Sensory defects are indicators that these samples are oxidized, of poor quality, and/or adulterated with cheaper refined oils.

3 ways to check if your EVOO is real:

  1. Check for the harvest date.                                                                     Seal of appoval
  2. See where it comes from (this means the specific region, not just the country)
  3. Check the cultivars (A cultivar is a plant or grouping of plants selected for desirable characteristics), or what olives the oil is composed of.

If these essential elements are missing, it doesn’t speak well to the quality of the oil or the producer. It is probably fake.

According to Consumer Reports’ study, many expensive imported olive oils just didn’t make the cut, even compared to American-grown brands that are available at a fraction of the price.The freshness with olive oil is important, and a cheap but freshly-pressed extra virgin olive oil is better than an expensive one that’s been stored for weeks before shipping, only to sit on a store shelf for weeks.

Also, stay away from anything labeled extra light.  Extra light refers not to the fat content, but to the the fact it’s technically more clear and refined than standard olive oil. Extra light typically has almost no flavor or color.

I’m switching to American produced oil while the powers that be try to get a handle on this situation and if you are health conscious should consider doing the same. Next time you go shopping just remember to really examine the label so you can keep enjoying this healthy, wonderful product.                          USA Oil

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Beef and Broccoli

I love Chinese food but it makes my blood sugar spike so I can’t have it as often as I would like.   This recipe fixes that!  It taste better and is better for you than any restaurant. Let me know if you try it. Enjoy!

  • Makes: 4 servings                                                                    Beef and Broccoli
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 39

Ingredients

  •  3 teaspoons cornstarch
  •  1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  12 ounces boneless beef top sirloin steak, bias-sliced 1/8-inch thick*
  •  4 ounces Chinese egg noodles or whole wheat vermicelli
  •  1 pound fresh broccoli
  •  3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  •  2 tablespoons water
  •  2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  •  1 tablespoon canola oil
  •  3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  •  1 cup quartered and/or halved cherry tomatoes

Directions

  1.  In a medium bowl stir together 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, the soy sauce, garlic, and crushed red pepper; add beef and stir to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2.  Meanwhile, cook Chinese noodles or vermicelli according to package directions, except omit salt; drain and set aside.
  3.  Cut broccoli into 2-inch florets. Peel broccoli stem and cut into 1/2-inch slices; set aside. For sauce: Stir together hoisin sauce, the water, sesame oil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch; set aside.
  4.  In a very large skillet or wok heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until still slightly pink in center. Remove beef mixture; set aside.
  5.  Stir beef broth into skillet, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add broccoli; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender.
  6.  Add sauce to broccoli; cook and stir until thickened. Add beef and tomatoes; heat through. Serve over cooked Chinese noodles or whole wheat vermicelli.

Tip

  • *Test Kitchen Tip: For easier slicing, freeze the beef for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 379 cal., 14 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 48 mg chol., 532 mg sodium, 39 g carb. (8 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 26 g pro.

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