Dive of the Month: Fillet of Phillies

The man and I sometimes eat out on weekends, but decided that we'd save our money to eat out just once a month. During each month we'll have time to choose a restaurant to go to, and we'll visit at the end of the month. It can be anything from dine-in or fast food restaurants, to just something as simple as ice cream or coffee. I'm interested in finding really good, locally owned businesses that neither of us have ever been to. I'm really bored with the usual chain restaurants, and I want something that's not really 'known'.

There's a website called Urban Spoon. It has lists upon lists of places to eat. I mean it has EVERYTHING! I was looking around on it on Friday for a place to eat, and I spent a good hour looking. We had picked a couple places to choose from, a waffle house downtown which would have been too long of a drive, and a philly cheesesteak place that was also a little out of our way. We were about to decide on one when the Man looked for himself and came across another philly cheesesteak place. The price was right, and it was located right next to the mall we were heading to. We were a little iffy about going because we'd never heard of it and it had very little reviews to go off of. But, that was the point anyway, right?! We wanted something just like this. Something different, something we've never had before. So, on to Fillet of Phillies we went!



For the Love of Red Velvet!

Red Velvet. It seems a lot of people go crazy for those two words. My mom being one of them. Mom has always hated chocolate cake, despised it! But, she loves red velvet....? Weird! Really though, red velvet is unlike any other chocolate cake. It's actually a devil's food cake, just with a mild chocolate flavor. Red Velvet cake is very rich, and so moist it almost melts in your mouth, plus who doesn't love that striking red color?

So, Mom's favorite cake is red velvet, but it's her birthday and I don't want to make just any old cake. I want to make a CHEESEcake. A RED VELVET cheesecake. YUMM. This is a genius idea! Remember how I said red velvet cake is so moist it almost melts in your mouth? Well, this cheesecake is definitely no exception! It's sooo creamy and moist, the most moist cheesecake I've ever had. I topped it with a not-too-sweet mascarpone frosting. I wanted something different from the traditional cream cheese frosting, but still as good.

I planned on bringing this cheesecake to Mom's house to give to her, which means there would have to be some for my sisters to share. Except that both of my sisters hate cheesecake. Wait... WHAT?!?! HATE cheesecake!? I'm not sure if we're really even related now. To be sure that my sisters had something sweet to enjoy I made some red velvet cupcakes with buttercream frosting instead of cream cheese (one sister hates cream cheese, period). I injected them twice, some three times, with the frosting. I was also going to make them purty with big frosting swirls, but I started to run out, plus my makeshift pastry bags kept ripping.:(

I must admit that I loved the cupcakes a lot more than the cheesecake. Although the cheesecake was really good with a nice creamy texture, to me the red velvet flavor really didn't compare with the cake. It didn't really scream 'Red velvet!'. The cupcakes on the other hand were delicious! So moist, and velvety. The perfect flavor you'd expect from something named red velvet. And it didn't even matter that I started running out of frosting cause I actually liked them better without it!



Incredible Salisbury Steak

Oh. My. God. I don't know what to say about this recipe other than I'm absolutely in LOVE with it! The 15th was the Man's birthday, and I wanted to make him happy and treat him to a really good dinner. Well, I definitely succeeded! This is the tastiest dish I've had in a loooong time. It was so tender, and so full of flavor... I'm drooling now thinking about it! When I first saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it just for the Man. See, he loves something called greasy bread, it's buttered bread soaked in meat drippings. Sounds kinda weird, but it is oh-so-good. Well, this salisbury steak is prepared and served on top of toasted cheese bread and drenched with gravy. I saw it as a delicious new take on an old favorite of the Man's. And he sure did love it! We each had one serving and devoured a second one. It didn't take long to decide that this is a recipe that is sure to stay in our family for years to come! :)


Candy Cane Biscotti

What season is it? I'm not sure because the weather here in Utah is very indecisive. One day its 80 degrees, and I'm in short shorts. The next day I'm drinking hot cocoa cause it's snowing! So, I decided to go back to a recipe I tried in December. It's very yummy Candy Cane Biscotti. Biscotti is very easy to make, and I found it to be pretty fun. I've actually never made biscotti, or even tried it before I found this recipe! It's actually kinda crazy of me because I love love love coffee, and coffee & biscotti go hand in hand. But, since it's winter, why not enjoy these with some hot cocoa? I thought these would make perfect little Christmas treats, so I handed them out to friends and family along with some cones filled with candy cane cocoa mix.

This biscotti is so good! I really think the candy canes are what made it yummy, and paired with the candy cane cocoa it's a really tasty treat! Now I just hope that the weather here decides to cooperate so I can start pushing out some ice cream recipes :)


Berry-Banana Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are a great way to enjoy a quick, refreshing, healthy snack. And if you're like me, you can drink them for breakfast! I have this recipe for a really simple, yummy berry and banana smoothie. I've found that banana stands out A LOT in smoothies. No matter what other fruits or yogurts I put in the banana flavor is still very strong. Because of this I decided to cut the banana in half, the flavor was still there, just not as prominent. I used mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, black berries) in this smoothie, but you could use any berry that suites your taste. Using frozen berries makes for a nice cold drink, and eliminates the need of ice. If you do decide to go with fresh fruit, just add a half a cup of ice to be sure that your smoothie is ready to be enjoyed cold. :)



Ham Fried Rice

One thing I love about Chinese food? Ham. Fried. Rice. I love this stuff. I could eat it by the bucket-ful. This is another really simple, delicious recipe that will be ready to eat in no time! Why not enjoy it with some yummy Orange Chicken?

Orange Chicken

Chinese is one of my favorite kinds of food, but it can be kinda pricey to eat out. I've never made or eaten homemade chinese food, but I didn't hesitate to try my hand at it when I came across this recipe. This orange chicken is very, very tasty. It was tangy, with a slight sweetness. I personally thought it had much better flavor than many Chinese restaurants I've been to. It was also REALLY simple, and easy to make. If you love Chinese cuisine, you MUST try this yummy orange chicken! Why not enjoy it with some tasty Ham Fried Rice?

Orange Chicken
Recipe from BlogChef
Printable Recipe

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
1 ½ C flour
1 egg, beaten
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Oil for frying

Orange Sauce-
1 ½ cup water
2 Tbsp orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp orange zest, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp ginger root, minced
½ tsp garlic, minced
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Heat oil in deep fryer to 375°F.

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken at 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or wok until completely cooked and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine cornstarch with water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.



Buffalo Chicken Dip


Cheesy. Creamy. Spicy. Delicious. And simple. This dip is perfect for quickly satisfying your chip & dip cravings.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Slightly adapted from Blog Chef

2-8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup ranch  (I used bacon-ranch)
3/4 cup hot sauce  (I used franks redhot buffalo)
1 - 10oz can chicken 
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a pie plate or small baking dish with cooking spray.

In a bowl beat cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce til smooth. Fold in chicken. Pour mixture into baking dish, top with shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips, vegetables, or quesadillas.


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