Holy Wicked Good Seafood, Batman!

You guys!

When Gorton’s Seafood asked me to review their product (which they provided me with coupons to purchase whatever sea fare my little heart desired), I was all, heck yes! I love seafood. Unfortunately, BRIAN does not love seafood. So what’s a little culinary genius like myself supposed to do? Cook a delightful meal just for me? That just didn’t seem fair. So I enlisted the help of my parents. And by help, I mean, I sent my mom an e-mail saying, “Don’t eat tomorrow. I’m coming over after work and cooking you dinner.”

Apparently, my mom had made quasi plans with her best friend for dinner that same evening, so when I arrived at their house the other night, I was pleasantly surprised that we’d have an extra guest for dinner.

Dinner for 4 in 40 minutes or less

I had originally planned to get all creative, since Gorton’s provided me with a variety of recipe ideas and such, but I thought it would be an excellent test of the product to see how quickly (and more importantly, EASILY) I could prepare a meal on a weeknight.

I purchased 2 different Gorton’s seafood products for this particular meal, Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi (since Dad loooooves garlic) and Simply Bake Tilapia. I also brought a mixed greens salad, and poached the rest of the meal from my mom’s garden/freezer.

Gorton's Wicked Good Seafood

When I was en route, I had asked my mom to prep the oven to 350 degrees, so everything would be ready to go. I arrived, did a quick prep of cutting potatoes, tomatoes and red pepper strips, mixed the potatoes with a smidge of olive oil and some salt and was ready to go.

Now for the tilapia. I pulled those babies out of the box, placed the oven safe bags on two baking sheets (after realizing that one baking sheet PROBABLY wasn’t enough…) and popped them in the oven…

Gorton's Simply Bake TilapiaThat’s it.

No really.

That’s. All. I Did.

Then I poured myself a glass of wine and joined the parentals out on the veranda (the backyard patio) for an appetizer of Mom’s homemade salsa with chips.

I took a quick break from chatting to start the scampi, which I set out in single layer across the frying pan.

Gorton's Shrimp ScampiAt the same time I poured frozen green beans into another pan with sliced peppers, a little olive oil and some season salt. I returned to the wine shortly thereafter.

A few minutes later, I went and checked on the scampi, and oh-man! They were lookin’ and smellin’ WICKED GOOD. So I flipped them and let ’em simmer some more. I did add some water so the sauce didn’t boil out.

Gorton's Garlic Shrimp Scampi10 minutes later, I was ready to plate up the meal. A grand total of 40 minutes went by from prep to completion. I call that a definite dinner win for something amazing.

How do I know it was amazing?

Check out the pictures. If you’re not hungry after this…well…you get the picture.

Simple Salad

A simple salad with grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, parmesan cheese and Mom’s homemade Italian dressing (OK, I took the picture before adding cheese and dressing. I was hungry!!

Wicked Good Seafood from Gorton's

Yes,the sauce came out of the bag with the fish. Yes, the two seafood dishes combined well together. Yes, they all partnered up nicely with the potatoes and veggies.

A few extra things to note: You know how I have a tendency to hurt myself in the kitchen? It’s almost impossible with this stuff. The bag opens easily enough that I didn’t need to use a knife and I let the fish sit for 5 minutes before I served it (And it stayed warm in the bag, but was safe to touch on the outside!) The flavor? Phenom. I preferred the tilapia to the shrimp, but both were AWESOME.

Weight Watchers friendly meal

As I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon (after a whole lot of on and off), I wanted to make sure that I got something that was healthy and delicious. The tilapia? 3 points plus. The shrimp scampi? 2 points plus for the serving size we made. A standard serving is 3 points plus, but we divided the box between 4 of us instead of 3.

Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the meal, and both of my parents made separate calls to me the next day to thank me for the wonderful dinner. None of them would have purchase Gorton’s before our dinner, but all 3 said they would eat it again in a heartbeat.

Tell me Blog Friends, have you tried Gorton’s? What are your favorite seafood dishes?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

5 Things I Learned From Yelp

In honor of my third year as Yelp Elite, I’d like to take a few moments to recognize Yelp for its utter awesomeness…And share with you a little poem I wrote.

After a conversation with Heather from The B(itch)log, I felt the need to share with you some really bad poetry. And by bad, I mean truly and most inspiredly awesome. (Yes, I made up inspiredly. Just think of me like the next Shakespeare. Trust me…it will make sense in about 5 paragraphs or so–depending on how long I ramble this morning.)

Heather believes that there is no such thing as bad poetry. I informed her that I once wrote a sonnet about Chicklets (yes, the gum) and asked if she wanted to take her comment back. She said no, which made me hunt for my sonnet about Chicklets…and I couldn’t find it in my vault of bad writing. One day…I promise. One day. But I did write another sonnet in my life. One to the people of Yelp. But first…

5 Things I Learned from Rockin’ with Yelp Across the Country

  1. You see, Yelp is not just a website. It’s a way of life. Whenever we’re looking for somewhere to eat, something to do, somewhere to go…we ask Yelp. We make friends around the country and they help us by writing honest reviews. Yelp is a community of good folks working together to make the positives and negatives known. Yelp is what you make of it.
  2. Not all reviews are created equally. You need to learn to read what’s not being said. That very very very sickly positive review? Might just have been written by the owner or an employee. That very very very angry review? Give everyone a break and read other reviews of that business as well as other reviews from the person writing. You’ll get a feel for whether you trust their judgement or not. I know that I never trust someone who wrote a positive review about the local dive club where everyone shares STDs and drugs. Ew.
  3. You can make new friends just about anywhere. When Brian and I arrived in Orlando for our trip to Disney World, I received a “Welcome to Orlando” compliment from one of the wonderful Yelpers in Orlando. How freakin’ cool is that?!
  4. Business owners who don’t like your review can be ass hats or rock stars. After I reviewed a certain cheese “mecca” poorly, I got a NASTY message from the manager. It was spiteful. And mean. And written with really bad grammar. And then I did some research, and discovered that he had written his very own review of his business. And I called him on it. And was nice. Because that’s how I roll. I’ve had other owners contact me and invite me back for a second chance. I almost always go. Because that’s how Yelpers roll.
  5. It’s OKAY to act like a kid. When Yelp gave me a giant bouncy ball with the Yelp symbol, I knew that I had found my place in this world. S’mores bars and dance floors and so much more…Yelp is fun!
S'mores bar

S’mores Bar-and you thought I was joking.

Things I learned from Yelp drinks

This was a “Jack Frost Martini,” but it was deadly and tasted like college (fruity with the taste of potent alcohol).

A Sonnet to the Big Wigs at Yelp

In order to maintain my elite status for the year 2013, I was asked to write to the big guys with an application and a good reason why I should be elite. I figured the best way to secure my status would be to write a poem. But not just any poem. I wanted it to be a motherfuckin’ Shakespearean poem. And so…I wrote a sonnet.

Quirky Chrissy: Sonnet 2

And now, a sonnet:

To the dear higher ups at the great Yelp,
The holidays and time to choose are here
My Yelp status is floating like a kelp
To be elite Twenty-Thirteen, it’s clear

My application for this honor, bright
with Yelp reviews, comments and stats so fair
includes a poem for your heart’s delight
to show you just how much I really care

And if I am worthy of this status
You can count on me to keep reviewing
Unless I get a sweet pet platypus
Because then I would be busy playing

Do not fret, dear Yelp elite deciders
I love Yelp, please keep me with insiders

Yelp Photo Shoots (Photos Taken by Andres D. and Swiped from Facebook)

Yelp Elite Event

Gettin’ my locks conditioned at the Yelp Fab Femme Fete

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Yelp SWAG panties

Yelp SWAG! Panties anyone? Too bad they were a size small. Too tiny for my bootie!

Yelp Hair Salon Pictures

Just a funny picture of my faux ginger flying high

Yelp events

A Yelp Event at the Wilder Mansion with my pal, Cletus (remind me to tell you the story of this event sometime)

Yelp events with elite yelpers

The Rick Moranis look with the Yelp Crew at Glen Prairie

Thing I Learned from Yelp Elite Events

Making new friends at the Ylep Elite Events

Yelp Egg Nog Rumchata Martini

Sipping on a Rumchata Egg Nog Martini at the Glen Prairie

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Most Amazing Meal I Have Ever Consumed

Just when you thought the Disney posts were over…

While in Disney, Brian and I decided to take a day off from the hustle and bustle of park-hopping. I had discovered that there was a dance club (yes, ladies and gentleman, my boyfriend likes to dance!) and so I suggested taking a trip to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort to go dancing.

After a lovely rainy afternoon at Port Orleans with Penny and her hubs, we made our way back to the Caribbean Beach Resort with a plan. Talk to concierge about making us dinner reservations, and then go dancing. I had previously Yelped to find restaurants in the general area, and discovered a cool looking Greek restaurant. Our resort concierge also recommended it, so we went with it. She booked us reservations, and we went back to the room to relax and get ready.

Our plan was to allot about an hour for transit, as we needed to jump on a bus to MGM erm Hollywood Studios and then grab another bus to the Boardwalk (I can’t help but think about Monopoly every time I see, hear, or say this). So we headed out dressed to the vacay 9’s.

Dressed for an amazing dinner

Dressed up for dinner

We got on the bus, and made sure that we would be able to connect to our final destination. The driver assured us that all would be well. Upon departure from the resort, Brian and I were the only guests on the bus…and I noticed that our driver seemed to going in the wrong direction…

We landed on the Boardwalk a whole hour earlier than our reservations thanks to the rockstar bus driver who gets mad props from me! He informs us that to get back, we won’t have a direct route, but we weren’t worried. Our plan was to cab it back for a few bucks and no hassle.

So we watched the sun set over Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club…and it was as Disney is known for…magical.

Sunset at the Boardwalk

Sunset

After touring the Boardwalk, we arrived at our destination. Celebrity chef, Cat Cora’s restaurant, Kouzzina.

Cat Cora Celebrity Chef

Cat Cora!

Kouzzina Restaurant

YUM!

So, in addition to a fun, blunt, awesome sauce sort of server, I was fed the most amazing meal of my entire life. Think I’m joking? Check this shit out.

Goat Cheese Sto Fourno

The Appetizer: Goat Cheese Sto Fourno -Greek Olive Oil drizzled over Baked Goat Cheese, topped with fresh Pequillo Peppers, pitted Kalamata Olives, & Artichoke Hearts (served with bread and arugula) God I love arugula.

Then, when we thought, oh God, we’re out of bread…how will we ever eat the rest of this goat cheese? (I know, you’re probably thinking what  I was actually thinking– Duh, Chrissy, with a spoon).

This was delivered to the table:

Olive Oil Tasting

Yep, an olive oil tasting. With two types of olive oil and marinated olives. And a whole basket of delicious warm bread! YUM.

Then it was dinner time. Like I wasn’t alright full on apps and olives and bread…Oh GAWD.

Pork Tenderloin

Oak-fired Pork Tenderloin (with a molasses and brown sugar crust) with Feta Gremolata, Zucchini Cornbread, and Fresh Broccolini. I think I may have had several foodgasms during this event.

Ribeye

Brian’s Dinner: Wood-grilled Rib-Eye Steak with fresh Herb Salsa, Broccolini, and Kouzzina Potatoes (garlic and rosemary anyone?) This was also delightful.

Brussels Sprouts

Around here, we like our veggies, so we ordered a side of these babies: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts cooked in a Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Capers, and Parmesan Cheese

By this point, I was stuffed. Like Crazy. Freaking. Stuffed. I had had so many foodgasms, I couldn’t even count. To top it all off, Brian almost insisted that we have dessert. I mean, I guess the most amazing meal of ones’ life should have dessert, right? I thought so, too.

So did our server. She came up with this little pose for my gratuitous photo shoot…

Mouse Ears

Browsing the Dessert Menu–like a Boss! Like the Boss. The Disney Boss. 😉

Dessert
Baklava– A Pastry rolled with Pistachios, Honey, and Cinnamon served with Vanilla Praline Gelato. Oh yeah. That was it right there.

So there you have it folks. The most amazing meal in the history of ever. The meats were cooked to perfection. The flavors were outstanding. The service was top-notch. The experience? Magical. That is what Disney is know for, you know…

I could just leave you with that…but then the following pictures would have been for naught. And I just couldn’t have that…

IGPS (Insert Gratuitous Photo Shoot): If I ever do food reviews, I’m giving pictures instead of stars.

Empty Plate

1 Picture: Empty Plate = I Was Satisfied

Empty Table

2 Pictures: Empty Table = This Was Pretty Good. I’d Eat Here Again

Empty Plate 1

3 pictures Happy Chrissy = tasty meal. I’d do it again.

Happy Chrissy

4 Pictures Really Happy Chrissy = Oh Man, That Was Really Freakin’ Delicious.

Foodgasm

5 Pictures: Multiple Foodgasms = Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Inappropriate? Maybe…But you’re laughing aren’t you? You dirty devil, you.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!