Thursday, April 17, 2014

TexJoy Turkey Sausage


If you read my blog, you know I love TexJoy and use TexJoy's spicy steak seasoning on just about everything.  Well, I just found a new favorite seasoning, and it's also made by TexJoy.  It's TexJoy Old Fashioned Sausage Seasoning.  OMG.  You have to taste it.  My husband and I mixed this seasoning with ground turkey, and it transformed the flavor of the turkey so that it tastes exactly like sausage, and not just healthy sausage but the kind of sausage you'd expect to find at your favorite breakfast spot...only without all the calories and grease!  You. Must. Try. This!

TexJoy Turkey Sausage

Ingredients:
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 tsp TexJoy Old Fashioned Sausage Seasoning (click here to buy it online)

Method:
In a bowl, mix the ground turkey and the sausage seasoning with your hands to combine.  That's it!




Then you can break the turkey up in a frying pan to make ground turkey, or you can break the sausage into four 2-ounce sausage patties which are perfect for breakfast sandwiches.  Just cook on a griddle or in a frying pan until cooked through.
 



A couple nights ago, we made ground turkey and put it on pizza.  So good!













You can also put 2 oz of ground turkey in a breakfast quesadilla (click here for my breakfast quesadilla recipe).  It tastes like a breakfast burrito from McDonald's only way better.

You won't believe the delicious taste of this turkey sausage.  Seriously, you have to try this!

 Happy eating!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

Easter is less than a week away.  If you plan on making deviled eggs out of all those eggs the kids are busy decorating, why not try this healthy low-cal spin on the classic recipe?  We swap the mayo and egg yolks for hummus for a different but completely delicious Mediterranean flavor.

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs
 
Ingredients:
Eggs
Hummus (get my husband's easy recipe)
TexJoy Italian Seasoning (click here to buy online)

Method:
Boil the eggs for 15 minutes.

Remove the shells, and rinse off the eggs to remove all the bits of shell.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise.

Remove the yolks.

Dab half an ounce of hummus into each half.

Sprinkle TexJoy Italian Seasoning on top.

When testing this recipe, we tried 3 different seasoning toppings, the typical paprika, spicy TexJoy, and TexJoy Italian Seasoning.  The Italian seasoning was the clear winner.  The other two seasonings couldn't stand up to the delicious hummus flavor, but the Italian seasoning complemented it perfectly. 

Happy Eating!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rudy's


On the drive from San Antonio to Houston, my husband and I decided to stop for BBQ for dinner.  We had been planning on stopping at Pappa's BBQ because we knew we loved it and because we'd gotten burned at Bill Miller's BBQ.  However, we decided to chance it and try something new.  We had seen signs for Rudy's BBQ and Country Store around Texas, and when we passed another sign, my husband decided we should try it. 

indoor dining
outdoor seating area



















On first impression, I was surprised at how big the place was.  The decor was very country and outdoorsy with one picnic table after another, but it'd be a great place to feed a hungry family without having to wait for a table.  There was also an outdoor area that looked nice, and inside, the windows looked like they were made like garage doors where you could open them up if the weather were favorable.




















We walked through the seating area and up to the line where you order.  There was a huge ice-filled bin with beer and soda.  I looked at some of the sodas and decided to try a Blue Cream Soda since I'd never had one before.  I'd had cream soda but not blue cream.

There was also a refrigerator where you could grab cold sides like coleslaw.  My husband got some coleslaw and banana pudding.

meat being sliced to order
Then we waited for the next register.  While we waited, I noticed that the meat was cut right behind the registers.  It looked delicious.

You order the food by weight.  There aren't any combos, but you could easily make your own combo.  My husband ordered 1/2 a pound of baby back ribs.  The waiter weighed it right at the register to show that it was really 1/2 a pound.  I wasn't sure that looked like enough meat for my husband, so I suggested he order something else too.  He ended up ordering a half-link of jalapeno sausage.

I was torn between ordering a 1/2 pound of pulled pork and a jumbo smoked potato or a jumbo smoked potato topped with pulled pork.  In the end, I decided to go with the potato topped with pork.  The guy at the register asked if I wanted everything on the potato.  "Everything" means sour cream, butter and cheese.  I said no cheese but butter and sour cream on the side.  I let him go ahead and put the pork on the potato though.  The potato really was jumbo!


The guy at the register asked if we wanted any bread to go with the food, and we said no.  He seemed a little surprised that we turned down the free bread, but we didn't need the extra carbs or calories.  I saw some families with practically a whole loaf of white store-bought bread at their table.  I don't remember if it was Wonder Bread, but it looked similar.

fixins bar



















We asked for cups for water and took our crate of food over to the beverage station to get water.  There was also a fixins bar.  I grabbed a few sliced onions and some peppers.  I also got plastic silverware.

We chose a picnic table near a window and took all of our food out of the crate.  My husband grabbed some paper towels, and we settled down to dig in.
1/2 jalapeno sausage link & 1/2 lb baby back ribs

jumbo smoked potato with pulled pork


















banana pudding

coleslaw
So what did we think?  The food was really good.  We loved all of the meat.  The jalapeno sausage was awesome.  My pulled pork was good and not greasy.  My husband devoured the ribs.  He liked the coleslaw and the banana pudding.  I used a little of the butter and sour cream on my potato, but the potato itself had a delicious smoked flavor that hardly needed anything added to it.  It was too big for me to finish, so my husband helped me out.  He was really impressed at the smoked hickory flavor of the potato.  We need to figure out how to do that at home.

blue cream soda

BBQ sauce, hot sauce & more
What about the Blue Cream Soda?  It kind of tasted like cream soda but with an almost cotton candy taste to it.  It was really sweet.  I'm not used to full-sugar soda, but it was really good.  My husband and I shared it.  It kind of tasted like being at a fair.





And, the negative: we didn't like the BBQ sauce.  There were too kinds of BBQ sauce on the table, spicy and regular, but both tasted too vinegary.  I'm glad we didn't just pour it on our meat without tasting it first.  The meat would've been even better with some good BBQ sauce on it, but it would've been ruined with Rudy's BBQ sauce on it.

In short, we loved all of the food at Rudy's, but since we didn't like the BBQ sauce we probably wouldn't eat here again.  After all, what's BBQ without BBQ sauce?  If I lived locally, maybe I'd bring my own BBQ sauce, but when you're on a road trip, that's not really practical, and I'd rather go somewhere that has good BBQ sauce anyway.  If "BBQ" is in their name, the BBQ sauce better be good!  Next time we'll eat at Pappa's.

Happy eating!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bill Miller BBQ



My husband and I are staying on Randolph Air Force Base, and we were in the mood for BBQ for dinner.  We noticed Bill Miller BBQ right outside the Air Force gate, so we decided to check it out.

At first glance, it reminded me of Pappa’s BBQ, which we loved.  It was set up where you walk up to the counter, order your food, they fix your plate and give you your food right away.  I was disappointed that they didn’t have pulled pork, but we decided to eat there anyway.

fixins bar
I ordered the Regular Plate which comes with one meat and 3 sides.  I chose Brisket for the meat and green beans, Spanish rice, and hash browns for my sides.  They asked if I wanted BBQ sauce on my meat, and I said yes.

My husband ordered The Rib Plate PLUS 1 additional meat.  For his extra meat, he chose sausage.  For his sides, he chose French fries, potato salad and coleslaw.

We found a table and then went up to the fixins bar.  I got some sour cream to add to my hash browns and some salsa to add to my rice.  I also got some brown bread and a white bread dinner roll.  My husband got some ketchup for his fries and some dinner rolls.

brisket, hash browns, green beans, Spanish rice

So, what did we think of our food?  Basically, it tasted like fast food BBQ.  All the meat was pretty fatty.  The BBQ sauce had too strong of a tomato flavor.  The brisket I make myself (which just has TexJoy and liquid smoke on it) tastes way better than this brisket.  I tasted the sausage, and it just tasted like a sausage link you’d get at the grocery store.  My husband thought the ribs got cold fast, possibly like they had been reheated. 

ribs, sausage, potato salad, coleslaw
As far as the sides, I liked the hash browns, especially with the sour cream.  The French fries were also pretty good, but it’s hard to get fries wrong.  I also liked the white dinner rolls with a little butter, but that’s also hard to get wrong.  They were probably just store bought dinner rolls anyway.  I didn’t like the green beans.  They tasted like beef broth.  I’d rather just have salted and buttered green beans.  The rice was okay, but not good enough to eat.  I’m not a huge rice fan, but my husband didn’t even want the rice.  The brown bread wasn’t very good, even with butter.  I love the brown bread at The Cheesecake Factory, but this didn’t have that honey/molasses taste that I like.  My husband thought the potato salad was too smooth/mushy.  It wasn’t chunky enough for his taste.  It tasted like there was too much mayo in it.  The coleslaw was vinegar based, and he would’ve preferred a creamier coleslaw.  He thought about mixing the coleslaw and potato salad together, but he didn’t.

fries plus rolls from the fixins bar
In short, we wouldn’t eat at Bill Miller BBQ again.  I’d rather eat at Arby’s.  I actually like Arby’s.  I kind of wish we had just ordered a pizza from our room.  Lesson learned.

Happy eating!

Rio Rio


My husband and I are in San Antonio today, and we decided to check out the Riverwalk.  We bought tickets for a boat tour and then decided to find some place to eat.  I was in the mood for Mexican food, so we stopped at the first Mexican restaurant we saw, Rio Rio.

There wasn’t a wait, but we waited anyway because we wanted a table by the river.  We looked over the menu while we waited.  It didn’t take too long for the perfect table to open up.  

When we were seated, our waiter brought over chips and salsa.  They weren’t the best ever, but they were pretty good.  We had a coupon from a guidebook for free queso and 10% off our entrees.  While we waited for the queso, my husband broke off pieces of chips to feed to the ducks.  The ducks were quite entertaining.  It was a meal and a show! 




The queso was pretty good, but I haven’t had a lot of queso.  It mainly just tasted like melted Velveeta with Ro-tel mixed in, but that’s what queso tastes like to me.  I liked picking out the tomatoes from the queso and just having a slightly cheesy flavor with the tomato chunks.  My husband ate most of the queso.  He thought it was really thick and not in a good way.

For his meal, my husband ordered the One Enchilada & One Taco combination, which is described on the menu as “one chicken, beef or cheese enchilada topped with mild sauce and melted cheese, plus a crispy taco with your choice of beef or chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato and cheese.”  He chose a cheese enchilada and a ground beef taco.  His meal was served with rice and beans.  The ground beef in the taco tasted bland and under-seasoned, and the shell tasted like a store-bought shell.  The enchilada needed to be cooked longer.  The cheese wasn’t really melted.  The sauce was fine.  The rice tasted like you’d expect but it wasn’t special.  The beans tasted like they came from a can.  They were pretty much what you’d expect.  Overall, he thought the food wasn’t really bad; it just wasn’t anything special.

I was a little more disappointed in my meal.  I was really in the mood for a fajita salad, so I ordered the House Salad, which is described as “Fresh greens, queso fresco, diced tomatoes and tortilla strips.  Served with your choice of signature house or ranch dressing.”  I added “grilled marinated chicken” to the salad for $2.99 and requested the ranch dressing on the side.  The salad was much smaller than I expected.  I unwrapped the silverware in my napkin and discovered that I only had a fork, no knife.  We asked the waiter for knives.  I needed one to cut the chunks of chicken.  When I finally got the knife, I cut up the chicken and optimistically dug into the salad.  The chicken tasted weird to me.  I had my husband taste it, and he said it just tasted cold.  Then it dawned on him that it tasted like thigh meat instead of breast meat.  He was right.  That was it.  I had been expecting nice strips of white meat like you’d get with fajitas.  I gave most of the meat to my husband because I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t like the dressing either.  It didn’t have that Hidden Valley Ranch flavor I expected.  I’m not convinced they gave me ranch.  It may have been their house dressing.  I didn’t like it.  I ended up pouring salsa on my salad and didn’t eat the dressing. 

I left this meal not feeling full.  I asked my husband if we should look at a dessert menu, but considering how unimpressed we were with our meals, I didn’t really want to chance a mediocre dessert.

In short, it was a great location on the river.  I enjoyed the experience of sitting there and watching the ducks and the boats floating down the river, but my husband and I didn’t love the food.  If I were going to eat at the Riverwalk again, I'd eat at Casa Rio, which was the first business to open its doors on the river.  I just checked out their menu, and they have a fajita salad that sounds way better than what I ordered at Rio Rio for the same price, my husband could've ordered the Casa Rio Deluxe Dinner (their #1 seller) which includes a cheese enchilada, a tamale, a crispy beef taco, chili con carne, guacamole salad, chili con queso, Mexican rice, and refried beans all for the same price as his meal at Rio Rio.

Happy eating!