Dining Outside the Home: Mr. Tequila Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Naples, Florida! When one restaurant owner boasts about an additional place to try, my ears usually perk up. Mexican food is one of my favorites, especially authentic family-owned restaurants with a story to tell. Rafael Romo, born in Guanajuato, migrated to the United States as a teenager. With a good work ethic, he understood the commitment required for a successful business. His journey progressed into a food truck where he sold Mexican food infused with family traditions. Over time he gained more knowledge and experience. Then Mr. Tequila was born. Now popular as a farm-to-kitchen cantina, people flock here for grilled specialties that are bound to become favorites. Some of the drool-worthy dishes include crispy flour shells, grilled seafood and veggies, gooey melted cheese, creamy guacamole, marinated meats, and always fresh pico de gallo. Happy Hour margaritas definitely make late afternoon quite satisfying. For a dining experience rich in culture where people are greeted by name, this place fits the bill.
Dining Outside the Home: Zaza Mexican Kitchen on Marco Island, Florida! Tucked away next to a local bike shop, a blend of kitchen aromas fill the parking lot with hypnotic haziness. The breeze reveals the familiarity of slow-cooked meats like woodsmoke curlicues. Something inside you says this is going to taste pretty good. Using fresh ingredients is a must when combining Latin secrets with Mexican family recipes. There is no other way to cook. The taqueria ambiance slightly resembles Old Mexico living as well. Go ahead, begin with hand-cut chips and salsa. Wash them down with an original agave wine margarita. Ahhh. Then dig in to a platter of sizzling fajitas, spiced carnitas, soft tacos, loaded enchiladas, or cheesy quesadillas. On second thought, better plan on a return visit. Your stomach will thank you.
Going through a kitchen remodel has to be one of the most challenging home improvements ever. Symmetry and balance are important. Changing the layout was not an option since it remains functional as an open-ended galley kitchen including a central corridor. In fact, it all began being a simple goal to modernize the kitchen cabinets from 1970s dark wood to the bright airiness of antique white. As often happens, one thing leads to another. Before long we were updating stainless steel appliances, replacing countertops, leaving the double sink behind in lieu of a large single basin, choosing black matte cabinet pulls with copper accents, and more. One constant remained: the authentic dark hardwood flooring. To this day, it endures as the solid foundation from the time it was installed. Now that the kitchen remodel is complete, is it a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, you wonder. Not at all. But it has been designed around my needs, which makes it perfect. And speaking of perfect…Some of my posts have been favored by “Le Cordon Bleu” and the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even follow me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen: Country Casual Cravings.” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and daily words of encouragement. I couldn’t have come this far without you.
This time of year is especially glorious when local Farmers Markets celebrate their bounty. Cooking becomes more exciting with farm-to-table ingredients, in my opinion. Tag along as we get outside, soak up the sunshine, and fill the tote bags with garden herbs, ripe fruit, rich chocolate, and French butter. Think about outdoor grilling and lazy-day picnics in the park. I’ll give you recipes to celebrate life with good food! Some of my recent posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive@DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram @gail_dorna. Come along for a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Sunshine Eats! This remarkable journey of the palate allows 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. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: SUNSHINE EATS!”
The cat is out of the bag, or rather the Fish, when it comes to nifty thrifty kitchen gadgets. I recently received this unusual object, from a dear friend of mine. At first I was totally confused. I even tried to open it, thinking there had to be something useful and remarkable inside. Was it a bottle opener? Or a refrigerator magnet? What about a cocktail ice cube? Nope. It’s kinda like assembling a coffee table from IKEA. If all else fails, read the package instructions. This quirky little fish gadget turned out to be invaluable. It’s purpose is to eliminate strong odors from smelly foods like onions, garlic, and you guessed it…fish. Too often we rinse our hands with soap, lemon juice, or vinegar without success. Most times the odor is heightened rather than diminished due to the sulfur molecules. Evidently stainless steel is a negative-charged metal that, when combined with the positive-charged amino acids in cold water, will remove irritating odors. I know this to be true because I put it to the test. I was chopping raw onions to toss onto a steaming bowl of homemade chili, so naturally I scooped up the onions with my hands. Afterwards my hands smelled pungent, like onions. I turned on the faucet, placed the fish in the palm of my hands, and vigorously rubbed together under the stream of cold water for about 15 seconds. It miraculously worked. Poof, like magic the odor had disappeared. Thanks, Judy. Your gift is pure genius.
Dining Outside the Home: Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar in Nashville, Tennessee! There’s nowhere else you can go for a cold brewski where the bar is built around an original 1961 John Deere tractor. But that’s not the only thing showcasing Jason Aldean’s Kitchen. Other artifacts include a 1952 Chevy Pick-up Truck hoisted above another eating area. These interesting quirks add to the atmospheric appeal while the creative menu aims to please the craving for bodily sustenance. Having a world-renowned chef translates to Southern food with a flare. Live music and rooftop views of Broadway guarantee an amazing nightlife that is sure to please.
Dining Outside the Home: Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not every meal has to be an extravagant dinner. Lunchtime can be special, too. After all, Las Vegas is a city that seldom sleeps. And you gotta eat, right? That’s when nothing short of a burger will hit the spot. Choose between the Hell’s Kitchen Burger and the Standard Burger. Both have the to-die-for beef with all the fixings plus seasoned fries. Executive Chef, Michelle Tribble, winner of Season 17 Hell’s Kitchen, can be seen keeping everything in tiptop shape for a dining experience you will long remember. Her professional attitude and friendly demeanor are reason enough to come back for more. And then there’s the food, which you can judge for yourself.
On a recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, I knew there was one place that was definitely on my Bucket List: Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace along the Las Vegas Strip. If you’re familiar with the reality cooking series, Hell’s Kitchen, I don’t need to tell you Michelle Tribble was the winner of Season 17. She was awarded the position of head chef for this Vegas hotspot by owner, Gordon Ramsey. And this is the second time I’ve met her. No matter how busy the kitchen staff is, on a full-scale stage for all to see, excited patrons as well as Instagram enthusiasts stop by to pose for selfies. Chef Michelle, keeping one eye on the crew as she circles the dining area checking out the food, continuously greets curiosity seekers for feedback and photo ops. She really is down-to-earth, very personable, and pays great attention to detail. No wonder it was a privilege to meet her.
Say goodbye to ho-hum eating. If you didn’t know it’s okay to think outside the box, I’m here to say, “Permission granted.” The key to chowing down at home is compromising tradition with newfound tastings. After all, we have a versatile palate that likes to explore rustic, organic, and enhanced foods with today’s kitchen technology. Begin by taking a look in the fridge, freezer, or pantry. Then let your tummy be the judge. Turn cheese into crunchies, spread pickles onto veggies, fold seafood into bread dough. And that’s just the beginning. Sound interesting? Time flies on this journey of the palate. Thanks very much to all of my followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be altered in any direction. The leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten again later or shared with others. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: THE NEXT STEP!”