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^ The one thing that I wished that they had more of at Taste of Buffalo are the 4 ($2) ticket samplers!

 

About half of the stands had 4 ticket samplers like the hot dog truck where you got close to a half of a hot dog, which is just right. These are perfect bites to share and you get to sample much more food without getting stuffed about halfway through the festival.

 

Unfortunately, a lot of stands have 8 ticket items ($4) and then you end up getting a bit too much - even to share with a friend. Although we do tend to avoid those unless it's something that looks really good.

 

Overall, we blew about $50 between the two of us last weekend, but that isn't too bad considering you could easily spend that in one evening at your average chain restaurant...and most of the food was much better because it's from locally established restaurants!

 

The only national chain that has been a regular at ToB has been Applebees, but we have never gotten anything from their stand. There are also a couple of local chains like Zebbs and some pizzerias that we normally avoid as well due to them really not offering anything unusual or unique. I assume that this is more to appease the people that don't want to be too adventurous as well as having stuff that the younger kids like to eat.

 

I hear that Chicago has the nation's largest food festival on the same weekend - we would love to get out to that one day! Buffalo's claim is that it is the largest "two day" food festival in the country, although I would like to see it expand a bit more and have more food trucks!

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I was at Taste of Chicago on its opening day last week, and it was PACKED. You had to buy tickets in packs of 12 for $8.50. Most items there seemed overly expensive (for instance, a canned drink was 6 tickets), so I just got a few things with my 24 tickets: a small portion (like 4 bites) of some sort of Vietnamese beef dish (which was quite good), an empanada, a Mountain Dew, a slice of cheesecake, and I got some free samples of potato bread and ice cream.

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^ Hmmm...that does seem to be a little more expensive than ToB, but being Chicago, I guess that I would expect that on the front end.

 

I had wondered if they would have samples of their famous deep dish pizza, but if it is like ToB, they hardly have any Buffalo wing offerings...which anyone from out of town might expect (and have complained about).

 

For that, one would need to attend the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo on Labor Day weekend. I have never been because of them always having it on Labor Day weekend (we are usually vacationing or theme park-ing). We have talked for years about sticking around for this, but it has never worked out. This year, we may be planning on a return trip to Myrtle Beach or doing a two week midwest theme park tour from Chicago to San Antonio...not sure yet though. But we will most likely miss this event yet again in 2014.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Being that my European trip report didn't get too many hits, I am going back to posting my food photos in this thread.

 

Here are some photos of food we tried during our journey through Budapest, Vienna and Prague.

 

Hope you enjoy!

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Here is a bowl of traditional Hungarian goulash alongside some freshly made sausage and apple bacon kraut with bay leaves & "mustar"....all very good!

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I had never seen these flavors of Lays chips before so I had to buy a couple of bags before we headed to Prater in Vienna. They were both tasty, but I preferred the Wasabi for the kick of heat.

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Our stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna came with one complimentary meal. Here is the 'fresh basil mousse with tomatoes and mozzarella'. The mousse was definitely an interesting flavor. Think of Jello, but instead of fruit, it's flavored with spaghetti seasoning.

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This is the remnants of the fried breast of polard (chicken) with tomato risotto and rocket salad (the green stuff). I'm not sure what rocket salad is, but I think Michael hit the nail on the head when he called it Easter grass as it definitely had the same texture!

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Dessert was good - Passion Fruit Bavaroise. Sweet and tart at the same time!

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I just can't over how the hotels do breakfast buffets in Europe...amazing selection of fresh fruit, veggies meats, cheeses - anything you could want!

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Unbelievable...I wish US hotels could have breakfast buffets this good. Here is the more traditional US foods - eggs, bacon, sausage, etc.

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Heading into the Czech Republic, we stopped at one of their rest areas for a food break.

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Check out this contraption that squeezes you fresh orange juice!

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Michael opted for a piece of fruit torte which he said was very good.

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I went for this traditional Czech soup because I saw lots of locals going for it. They would put some scallions in it and then put a dollop of sour cream on it, which is what I did. Not sure what was in it, but it was quite tasty despite the fact that there was what appeared to be small, gelatinous tentacle-looking things in there. They really had no flavor and the texture was like eating little bits of rubber. I probably didn't want to know what it really was.

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On the way out, I grabbed a bottle of water and some Mentos. Anyone ever have Mentos Enigma before? I have to admit that it really was an enigma as it tasted like a certain fruit flavor one minute and then something else the next. Very strange.

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Our buffet at the Prague hotel was very good and the host was a Czech guy that had spent several years in the US before returning to his home land. He had some very funny stories to tell about his experiences in America!

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Lot's of freshly made food offerings in Europe. Probably explains why you don't see very many morbidly obese people in these countries.

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Speaking of bad American foods, I found another bag of weird Lays! These one's were quite spicy and after a quick Google, I just learned that Piri Piri is a an African bird's eye chili pepper...who knew? ;-)

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In the center of Prague they had all kinds of interesting food and souvenir stands.

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Here is my lunch...a Czech sausage with curry ketchup and dijon-style mustard...with the obligatory Czech beer to go with it, of course. Delicious!

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Hey...it's the one and only Budweiser!

 

Pssst...this is the GOOD Budweiser & the original! Definitely doesn't taste anything like the American version...almost more like a Heineken.

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Actually, I preferred this local beer to the Budweiser - Staropramen. This reminded me more of a Bavarian beer like Paulaner.

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Dinner was on our own that night, so we found this nice little restaurant down the street from our hotel. This dish was very similar to jalapeno poppers, but with a spicy mayo accompaniment. VERY spicy and delicious!

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I got a beef shank that was good, albeit a bit fatty. The "dipping sauces" were also very unusual and tasty.

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Michael got a pork weinerschnitzel equivalent which was OMG out of this world...way better than my steak!

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After dinner, we walked the streets of Prague...hey look - a sign for Holiday World!

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Like the Hungarian language, Czech language is very difficult to learn.

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During our walk, we discovered that we were only blocks from the Staropramen brewery. How awesome is this sign that covers the connecting tunnel to the brewery? I was hoping for a tour, but they were closed.

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Picked up some more interesting snacks along the way. I should have saved these for a TPR snack exchange! The hot potato sticks were awesome and the crispy teddy bears tasted a lot like Munchos.

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Finally, I will leave you with more breakfast buffet photos from our hotels...isn't this unreal?

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Fruits, veggies and hot sauce, oh my!

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Mmmm...fresh meats and cheeses!

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American fare...I didn't eat any of this mundane stuff.

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Weiners and fresh seasoned potato wedges for breakfast? Yes, please!

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Veggies, cheese, butter...it just goes on and on!

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Cereal, fresh granola, breads, or pudding packets anyone?

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Fresh juice, coffee and water...I just can't help it, I LOVE everything about Europe - especially the food!!!!!

 

Thanks for reading!

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Can't agree with you more on that, about (most) Europe hotels and brekfast buffets...

 

Un - believeable! I also enjoyed the little touches here and there, at different buffets.

 

Enjoying all the food that's shown - and eaten, lol.

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This is how I got to appreciate breakfast eggs, in Europe. This was in Finland, on the TPR 2014 Scandi Tour.

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^Are the minutes listed for the eggs indicative of cook time, Bill?

 

You are absolutely right in that the European breakfast buffets are OMG awesome!

 

Isn't it nice to see real silverware, cloth napkins, coffee pitchers with sugar in a bowl and cream in the little pitchers compared to paper napkins, styrofoam plates, packets of sugar and cream in containers...not to mention the nasty-ass food that most American hotels pass off as breakfast?

 

Hampton Inn's are usually okay, but they still can't hold a candle to the breakfast buffets at the European hotels we have stayed at in Munich, Venice, Amsterdam, Budapest, Prague, etc.

 

I would assume that some of your cheaper hotel chains in Europe are probably like your "continental breakfasts" here, but I wonder if they are really as nasty as say the one's at Comfort Inn's, Super 8's or Motel 6's? Somehow I doubt it!

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^ Yes, I think the times meant soft-boiled (4min) and harder-boiled (8min) eggs, lol.

I do remember at another breakfast buffet, the two eggs were marked 4 and 7.

So that was different to note. I usually took the longer boiled eggs anyway.

 

I remember there was one hotel who did a Continental for us, as there wasn't enough

time to add a hot table. We had a very VERY early departure, that morning. So that

was one time...

 

Most times though, we got a pretty full breakfast buffet to choose from. And a few

of them were more OMG (the overnight cruise) than others, but that was juuust fine with us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^Interesting...did you ever try the 4 minute eggs and if so, were they kind of gooey when you bit into it?

 

Here is an update from the Banshee Bash weekend. I feel guilty that I didn't take any pics from our TPR luncheon because it was really good! Mac & Cheese, fried chicken, sausage, onions, peppers, salad, Banshee cake and FREE SAM ADAMS BOSTON LAGER!!!! Great job by TPR and KI!

 

On the way down, we ended up getting to the Hampton quite late because we had to make the obligatory stop at Schmidt's Sausage Haus in Columbus for great food and great German beer.

 

Schmidts Menu

 

Mmmmm....German sausage haus und bier!!!!

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Here we are in the historic German Village in Columbus, Ohio. What could be cooler than going to this iconic restaurant and then heading down to Kings Island for TPR's Banshee Bash? Methinks not much!

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Michael was sporting his Schmidt's t-shirt from our previous visit - along with a Maß of Paulaner Oktoberfest draft which was ooooohhhh so good!

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We had to wait for a table (plan on it if you visit - a looong one on a weekend), but we were entertained by 'Squeezin' & Wheezin' while we savored our cold beer.

 

I never saw their calliope crash to the ground though.

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A bit of an eye chart, but the place mats share some information about Schmidt's and the German Village.

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We got a front row seat! Well, okay...a 2nd row seat.

 

These guys are seriously a lot of fun!

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Bit of an eye chart, so I decided to edit and post the menu link above.

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Apparently, they don't change their menu often...here is their first new menu item in 25 years!

 

It looks like the schweinhaxe that I tried while in Munich during Oktoberfest - or pork knuckle.

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Not wanting to go for the pork knuckles, I went for the Old World Sausage platter with applesauce, hot German potato salad, kraut, four different sausages and bun. Every sausage had a different flavor from spicy to mild...but all awesome! And the potato salad was to die for!

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Michael opted for the Haus Saurbraten und Gravy which was listed as: Special marinated lean beef, braised until tender, served over German spatzel noodles with traditional gingersnap gravy, potato pancake, applesauce and a bun. It was tasty & I was very tempted to steal his red cabbage which was unreal - definitely the best red cabbage that I have ever tasted.

 

I think we were the only one's tipping 'Squeezin & Wheezin' but they played two songs for us for $2! :-)

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2nd Maß - Hofbrau Lager. I should have started with this before going to the Paulaner as this one was weaker tasting compared to the darker Oktoberfest. But still better than most American beers (that aren't a microbrew). ;-)

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After an awesome Banshee Bash, we headed home on Saturday...dragging ass after 16 hours in the park. It was well worth it though! On the way back, we had to stop at Grandpa's Cheese Barn in Ashland, Ohio. If you are ever traveling between Columbus and Cleveland on I-71, you need to stop and check this place out!

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Two floors of homemade jams, jellies, snacks, gifts, candy, food...and of course, cheese, cheese and more cheese! The best part is that they have pretzels and free samples of TONS of food!

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Michael checking out the sample he just tried.

 

This place is like an old fashioned country store with tons of mouth-watering delights. Every time we have stopped it has been very busy, so it is obviously a hit with tourists, locals and passers-by like us.

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This is our total haul for the day - all stuff that is awesome & very bad for you!

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Who is going to argue if Grandpa tells you "to eat more cheese!"

 

How about some cajun cheese curds and smoked bacon ends? I have not done anything with the bacon ends yet, but the cajun curds were OMG good!

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Bacon cheddar cheese spread, Amish garlic butter, good & evil habanero hot sauce & a smokehouse bacon/cheddar cheeseball mix.

 

I have only tried the bacon cheese spread so far...it's okay, but nothing outlandish. Needs a bit stronger cheddar flavor and of course...more bacon.

 

I am looking very forward to trying out some popcorn drizzled with melted Amish Roll Garlic Butter this weekend!

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We couldn't pass up on the chocolate covered Fritos and milk chocolate pecan toffee. I wasn't a fan of the Fritos, but the toffee was unreal!

 

Sweet & salty with the toffee, chocolate and pecans!

 

Even though I don't care for sweets, I must admit that I have a weakness for chocolate & toffee.

 

Thanks for reading!

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^Perhaps I will have to check out the buffet one of these times. I have never been a big buffet person (unless it involves breakfast in Europe!), but I would imagine that they would do a pretty good one at Schmidt's.

 

The chocolate Fritos were okay, but the toffee bark with chocolate and pecans was waaaay better!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi folks,

 

Time for another phoodie update and this one is going all over the place so I guess it deserves it's place right here in the 'Random, Random, Random' thread...enjoy!

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August 2014 at the Erie County Fair near Buffalo. When I heard that they were having a food truck rally, we had to go!

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The Roaming Buffalo food truck was a hit with me back at the 2013 Taste of Buffalo.

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Mainly because of the WTF burger, but there are some other interesting selections on their menu as well.

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The WTF burger consists of a seasoned grilled burger with chunky peanut butter, bacon and bacon jam. Not quite as good as the slider version that I had during Taste of Buffalo, but pretty good nonetheless.

 

I should have asked them to put the 'drunken onions' and habanero ketchup on there to give it a little more zing. The burger was a little over-cooked for my tastes too.

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Michael opted for a slice of the 'Hummingbird Cake' from the Sweet Hearth food truck. It looked and tasted pretty much like carrot cake, which I don't care for.

 

Way too sweet for my liking.

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Random photo of me at Oktoberfest. Not the real one, mind you...but the one in Columbus, Ohio.

 

I will post a couple more photos of this event in my next update.

 

Pity that they use plastic glasses for the beer, but it was fun. Nothing like the real thing of course, but still a good time.

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Wait...how did we go from Oktoberfest to Carrabbas?

 

Carrabbas is still the best chain restaurant that I have ever eaten at and I am sure that there are plenty of other TPR folks that would agree! ;-)

 

This place craps all over Olive Garden...everything I have ever had on their menu has been super delicious & so full of flavor!

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Now where are we, you ask?

 

At the Beachcliff Diner somewhere in Ohio.

 

Loved the crooked sign...and yes, you better buckle up Lorain - I mean it!

 

And make sure to have some of our famous Fr La Keerie Perch while you're at it!

 

(Actually, the restaurant was in Lorain, Ohio) ;-)

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The prices were ridiculously cheap. It's like I stepped back in time to the 80's!

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Michael had the meat lover's omelet which had bacon and sausage with a "side" of crispy hash browned potatoes.

 

Neither of us could finish because the omelets were so huge.

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I opted for the unusual Greek omelet which had gyro meat, feta cheese and spinach in it...so good for only about $7!

 

If you are ever looking for a breakfast spot heading for Cedar Point off of I-90 West, check this place out. You certainly can't beat the prices and the food was excellent.

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The parking lot looks like it used to be one of those old fashioned drive-in diners where teenage girls would wait on you in your car while wearing polka dot mini-skirts, sporting pony-tailed hair and skating on roller skates.

 

Does anyone else think that carrying a big tray of food while skating around in a parking lot where there are bound to be cracks and potholes seem a little dangerous? Probably explains why you don't see them very much anymore - about the time a girl face-planted into the concrete with a tray loaded with fries, burgers and shakes would certainly be lawsuit heaven here in the good ole' USA in 2014.

 

I am sure that most people saw it as cheap, family-friendly entertainment back in the 50's though!

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On the way back from Cedar Point, we stopped at the Great Lakes brewery in Cleveland.

 

Being my first time there, I had to try the sampler.

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A closer look at the draft selection. Try one or try them all!

 

I believe that I had the Burning River (clever name for folks that know about the infamous polluted burning Cuyahoga River in Cleveland from many years ago), Nosferatu, Oktoberfest, Commodore Perry IPA and the Burning River Pale Ale.

 

All with plenty of hoppy goodness, which I LOVE!

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By the time I got my meal, I had already finished three of the five samples, so I had to order another pint of Commodore Perry to go with my sausage platter - which was heavenly.

 

I like how they make most (if not all) of their meals with locally made products.

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Michael opted for the Monte Christo sandwich which was just okay in my opinion. The sausage platter was much better.

 

Thanks for reading...more to come soon!

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Damn. First, Adam does his recap of EPCOT's Food and Wine visits (FOOD),

Now you summarize your several trips with....FOOD! And DRINK!

 

I can't take this any more!

 

 

Great recap by the way.

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^^ Thanks Bill!

 

^ I had never heard of bacon jam either. The first time I had the slider version at Taste of Buffalo, it seemed like it was more prevalent...this time, not so much. To be honest, I wish that they would offer the slider version as that was just made specifically for the Taste of Buffalo event. Those just seemed to hold more flavor than the bigger burger.

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^ We found a jar of bacon marmalade on a recent food shopping trip. Made by President's

Choice! Doesn't taste too bad. Very sweet with bits of bacon in it, instead of the (usual) fruit rind.

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And it keeps very well in the fridge.

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Why do I always run across this thread right before lunch! That sausage plate looks so good, and so does the bacon jam! I can't believe I've never heard of it!

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^^Oooohhh...that sounds good, Bill!

 

My Dad made some homemade jalapeno jam/marmalade and it is super good - I love it on toast for breakfast!

 

^ Joey - I do the same thing!

 

I stumbled across Adam's Epcot Food and Wine update last week when I was hungry and my stomach was growling. Wanting to try something ethnic for dinner that night, I made enchiladas & they turned out much better than I anticipated.

 

I made up the recipe myself so Michael said I would never remember all of the ingredients in order to make it again - he LOVED them! I am going to try and remember off the top of my head and get it documented here while it's only about a week old...

 

Enchilada stuffing:

 

1 lb lean burger

1 pouch McCormick taco seasoning mix (Medium)

1 box of Uncle Ben's brown rice (pre-cooked)

Three cloves chopped garlic

1/4 chopped red onion

Dash (I never measure) cayenne red pepper powder

Dash of chili powder

Dash of white pepper

Dash of cilantro (will go for fresh cilantro next time - I couldn't find any at the market)

Couple squirts of Sriracha

1 cup of shredded smoked hot pepper cheese

 

Cook rice as directed, place in bowl for later use

Cook ground beef, drain grease

After drain, place ground beef back in pan and add taco seasoning per the recipe along with the garlic and onion

Add in the seasonings, rice and cheese until all ingredients are properly mixed and cheese is melted

Spoon filling to flour tortillas, roll and place in a Pam sprayed glass baking dish

 

Enchilada sauce

 

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1 can enchilada sauce

Couple squirts of Sriracha

Couple teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce

Dash of onion powder

Dash of garlic powder

Dash of ground black pepper

 

Mix all enchilada sauce ingredients and cook on stove until warm

Pour sauce over enchiladas

Add one cup of shredded taco cheese (next time, I want to try cotija)

Top with fresh cut scallions

Bake for 30-40 minutes @ 350

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Philrad's 'Spicy (but not over the top hot) Enchiladas'

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Those look really good, seems like whenever I'm in the mood ft make Mexican food at home I just end up making tacos or grilling quesadillas, enchiladas never come to mind but I may have to try this instead next time.

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^^ I came across an enchilada recipe that I tried out of our company cookbook a couple of years ago and thought the same thing - I always make tacos, so why not try some enchiladas?

 

While I liked the cookbook recipe, I thought it was a bit weak and bland. So I jazzed up the recipe with things that I like and it turned out quite good!

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