Dining Outside the Home: The Library Restaurant and Pub in Indianapolis, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: The Library Restaurant and Pub in Indianapolis, Indiana! Whether you choose private dining for celebrations, a gastro-pub atmosphere where sports abound, or tasteful seating among works of art, you’ll feel at home at The Library Restaurant and Pub. Seasonal favorites, as well as chef specialties, enhance an already extensive menu. For starters, indulge in Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail bathed in a zesty horseradish sauce. Move on to make a meal of Grilled Romaine, drizzled with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing. Mmmm. There’s a method to my madness, you see. The made-in-house desserts make a grande finale. I recommend the Crème Brûlée topped with caramelized sugar. C’est Magnifique!

The Chow Down

“Chowing Down”, what a charming expression. We’re all familiar with its meaning: to eat, especially at mealtime. It’s no secret I get great satisfaction from food, whether it’s an afternoon snack, evening appetizer, or late night sweet. Nowadays with the flux of farm-to-table and organic options, is it any wonder the allure of food is so enticing? Mealtime then becomes an all-star event. And speaking of stars…Some of my posts have received a nod from the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive@DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram @gail_dorna. This continuous journey of the palate gives me time with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. I love to cook, and my husband loves that I do it often. Most recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be easily modified. Leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten later or shared with others. Seeing a smile of gratitude keeps me going. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: THE CHOW DOWN!”

Dining Outside the Home: 2 G’s Barbecue in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Dining Outside the Home: 2 G’s Barbecue in Bellefontaine, Ohio! Jump in your car for a road trip to the county seat of Logan County, an area rich in history and once the village of Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket. If it’s soul food you’re looking for with home style BBQ slow-cooked to perfection, 2 G’s will not disappoint. The melt-in-your-mouth ribs slide off the bone in a thick tangy sauce that is lip smacking good. The baked chicken selections aim to please the hungry appetite. And there’s more. Seafood lovers drool between tiger shrimp and catfish filets. Don’t forget the southern sides and classic cornbread, included with most menu items. And the name, you wonder? Ask the friendly staff. They’ll smile from ear to ear while sharing the remarkable story. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter Z

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Zero Candy Bar Cookies! White chocolate fudge has been popular since it was introduced in a candy bar a hundred years ago. At that time it was called the Double Zero Bar due to its “chilling” snowy white color, reminding the public of an ice cube. To this day it is sold in a trademark cool silver wrapper. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say. Today’s cookies are nothing short of heavenly. 
ZERO CANDY BAR COOKIES
Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened 

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 sea salt

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups peanuts, chopped

3.4 ounce Zero Candy Bar, chopped
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, peanuts, and Zero Candy Bar pieces. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. Drop cookie dough, using a melon ball scoop, onto the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Yield: 6 dozen. 

Dining Outside the Home: The Cheesecake Factory in Cincinnati, Ohio

Dining Outside the Home: The Cheesecake Factory in Cincinnati, Ohio! Mention the word “cheesecake” and watch pupils dilate and lips begin to smack in anticipation of heavenly bliss. After all, what’s not to love about a dessert composed of cream cheese and butter? Add to it the combination of light-as-air cake with unbelievable fillings and mind-boggling toppings! The fact that The Cheesecake Factory offers an extensive menu of healthy options just gives us one more reason to make room for dessert. If I eat salad, then I can reward myself with dessert, right? Of course you can. And if the portions are too large, no worries. That’s what doggie bags are for. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter Y

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Yam Streusel Boats! Root vegetables are our friends. Yams, also known as sweet potatoes, contain more healthy fiber and Vitamin A than white potatoes. Plus they are lower in calories. Granted today’s recipe has a streusel topping, but think about it. When you eat a baked (white) potato, do you add butter, sour cream, and crumbled bacon? I know, right! Obviously portion-control is part of the equation in making healthy choices. With the holidays on the horizon, think warm, comfort foods containing root vegetables. 
YAM STREUSEL BOATS
Ingredients for Yams:

2 medium sweet potatoes 

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon maple syrup 

1 pinch cinnamon 

1 pinch chipotle chili powder 
Ingredients for Chipotle Pumpkin Seeds:

2 tablespoons butter, melted 

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon raspberry chipotle rub

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Ingredients for Streusel Topping:

1 tablespoon flour

1/3 cup brown sugar 

1 tablespoon butter, softened 

1/4 cup chipotle pumpkin seeds, chopped 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Rub sweet potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Pierce the top with a knife. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake one hour. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. Place potato shells on a baking sheet. Slightly mash the sweet potato flesh. Add butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and chipotle chili powder. Whisk until smooth. Spoon mixture equally into yam shells. For seasoned pumpkin seeds, combine butter, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and raspberry chipotle rub. Whisk well. Put pumpkin seeds in a ziplock bag. Pour butter mixture over all. Seal and shake to coat. Transfer seeds to a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Toss and bake 5 minutes longer. Cool. Chop 1/4 cup of seasoned pumpkin seeds for topping. For streusel topping, use a medium bowl. Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter. Mix well. Topping should be crumbly. Fold in chopped pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle streusel topping over mashed sweet potatoes. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. 

Dining Outside the Home: Calico Café in Coldwater, Ohio

Dining Outside the Home: Calico Café in Coldwater, Ohio! As the days grow shorter and the chill of Autumn sets in, people gravitate to a bustling café in Coldwater, Ohio. Step through the door and be embraced by the soothing aromas of homemade soups, a daily special, and delectable desserts that go down easy. Mary, the owner, knows her regulars by name. She takes a moment to share a story or two before scurrying back to the kitchen in response to an oven timer. This is why people drive a few miles out of the way to a place where simpler times are met with a smile…not to mention, a generous slice of dark-chocolate cake with rich ganache icing. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter X

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Xingzi Apricot Tartlets! Apricots have a way of turning simple desserts into gourmet treats. Their rich flavor is similar to a peach, but with a more tender outer skin. The juicy tang blends well with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom for a warm flavorful finish. The buttery dough of puff pastry makes the tartlets as light as air. Guaranteed to impress, and delicious to eat. 
XINGZI APRICOT TARTLETS
Ingredients:

1 sheet prepared puff pastry, thawed

14-ounce can apricots, halved in syrup

2 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed

Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Cardamom to taste

1 vanilla bean pod, slivered
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Unroll the puff pastry and cut it into small rectangles. Place on a nonstick baking sheet. Arrange apricot halves on each pastry strip. Brush with apricot jam. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom to taste. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Garnish with slivers of vanilla bean before serving.